Bicycle Accident Lawyer – Champaign
Champaign Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Every year, more and more people are choosing to use bicycles to get around instead of traditional vehicles. This is especially true in Champaign-Urbana with the advent of the dock-less bicycle share system that was implemented at the University of Illinois. However, with an increase in bicycle riders comes with it an increase in bicycle accidents. When a cyclist is hurt in an accident, the injuries can be devastating to the rider, even if they are wearing the proper protective gear. The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Patel Law, P.C. are here to aggressively advocate for the injured cyclists in central Illinois and will fight for the compensation you deserve after an accident. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Champaign bicycle accident lawyer.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents happen in certain situations more so than others. One of the most common types of bicycle accidents happens at intersections with stop signs. Drivers of larger vehicles will coast through a stop sign or ignore it altogether and strike a cyclist biking through the intersection. Bicycle accidents also commonly happen at uncontrolled intersections, where there are no traffic signs or signals. The person who gets to the intersection first has the right of way, but not all drivers will cede that right to a cyclist on the road.
Accidents involving a left-turning vehicle are also common when it comes to collisions with bicycles. Drivers are not always looking for bicycles when making a left-hand turn and will broadside or turn directly in front of an oncoming bicycle. A similar situation can happen with a right-hand turn as well, when the cyclist is positioned on the right side of the road and the vehicle is making a right-hand turn. Other common types of bicycle accidents include dooring, drunk driving crashes, distracted driving accidents, and rear end crashes when a vehicle trails a bicycle too closely.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained in a bicycle accident for the cyclist can be catastrophic, even when protective gear is worn. Due to the lack of protection that a bicycle provides its rider compared to a larger passenger vehicle, a cyclist often takes the brunt of the impact in a crash. Some of the most common injuries caused by bicycle accidents include the following:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial trauma
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones
- Lacerations and road rash
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Amputated limbs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it is critical that you speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claims for compensation.
Compensation for a Bicycle Accident
Compensation for a bicycle accident includes both economic and noneconomic damages incurred by the victim. Economic damages includes all medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits. Medical expenses include ambulance costs, hospitalization, treatment, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, long-term care, and transportation costs. Noneconomic damages compensate the victim for their pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and for any disability or disfigurement caused by the accident.
In the worst cases, where the cyclist dies from their injuries, the family of the victim can also seek compensation for wrongful death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 600 cyclists die each year, and in 2014 Illinois reported 27 cyclists killed while riding throughout the state. Wrongful death compensation includes all final medical bills, funeral costs, burial costs, and compensation for the loss of love, support, guidance, and companionship from the victim.
It is important to note that Illinois uses a modified comparative fault standard for bicycle accidents and other personal injury cases. Under the modified comparative fault standard, the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in an accident and reduces their overall award by that percentage. However, if a party is found 50% or more at fault for an accident, then they are completely barred from recovering any money for their damages. This applies to personal injury compensation as well as to compensation for wrongful death. For example, if a cyclist is injured in an accident with $100,000 in damages and is found 10% at fault, the compensation is reduced to $90,000. However, if the cyclist is found to be 60% at fault, then he or she cannot recover anything for resulting injuries.
Talk to Our Office
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in central Illinois, call or contact Patel Law, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with a bicycle accident attorney in Champaign.