Urbana Bicycle Accident Attorney
In 2018, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported nearly 2,500 injuries in the state as the result of bicycle accidents. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that there are over 460,000 injuries–and 1,000 deaths–annually from bicycle accidents. While this is only a fraction of auto accident-related injuries and fatalities, it still represents a substantial loss of life. Even in non-fatal cases, a bicycle accident can leave the victim with substantial, life-altering injuries.
The Urbana bicycle accident lawyers at Patel Law, P.C., understand the severity of this problem. That is why we represent individuals who have been injured as the result of negligent motorists whose actions injure or kill bicyclists, who have just as much right to be on the road as individuals operating cars or trucks. Our team will help you fight for the compensation you deserve from these drivers who refuse to share the road.
How Motorist (or Third Party) Negligence Causes Bicycle Accidents
Too many drivers view bicyclists as a “nuisance” or obstacle to overcome, rather than as equals with the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle operator. Such thinking often leads to reckless driving, which in turn leads to accidents. Here at Patel Law, P.C., these are just a few of the common acts we see leading to bicycle accidents:
- A motorist fails to yield to a bicycle as they would another car or truck;
- A motorist underestimates a bicyclist’s speed and makes a sudden turn in front of the bicyclist at an intersection;
- A motorist fails to give a bicyclist sufficient room and passes too closely to them;
- A motorist fails to look behind them or to the right before making a turn, again cutting off a bicyclist who is behind them;
- A motorist fails to keep a lookout for bicyclists in a parking lot or other area where there may be inadequate lighting; and
- A motorist is already disobeying traffic laws–i.e., speeding or swerving in and out of lanes–thereby placing bicyclists at increased risk of a collision.
In addition to motorist negligence, there may be other parties at-fault for a bicycle accident. For instance, if your accident was the result of a defect in the road, such as a pothole or loose concrete, you may be entitled to compensation from the government agency responsible for that roadway. Or perhaps the accident was the fault of a problem with your bicycle, in which case you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Whatever the cause, the Urbana bicycle accident attorneys at Patel Law, P.C., can assist you with investigating what happened and holding the negligent parties legally accountable.
What Damages can I Seek for a Bicycle Accident?
In legal terms, “damages” refer to the financial losses you have sustained as the result of an accident. When it comes to bicycle accidents, the injuries will vary depending on the victim. The following are the most common types of damages we obtain for clients in these cases:
- Medical damages – This includes all of your accident-related medical bills, including emergency treatment, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost income – If you are forced to miss time from your job, you can seek damages for your lost wages or other income; if the accident caused a permanent injury, you may also be entitled to damages for your loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – Illinois courts are allowed to award a bicycle accident victim non-economic damages as compensation for their pain and suffering; as there is no way to precisely calculate such damages, a judge or jury will instead look at the total impact the accident has had on the victim’s quality of life.
Do I Need to Contact an Urbana Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Some bicycle accident victims are reluctant to speak with an attorney. This is usually a mistake. For one thing, the negligent driver and their insurance company will not hesitate to try and take advantage of the situation. An insurer may make an initial offer to the accident victim that is far too low to fully compensate them for their injuries. Remember, the insurer’s job is to protect their own financial interests–this goes for your insurance company as well as the one insuring the negligent motorist.
The best way to protect your own financial and legal interests is to work with an experienced Urbana bicycle accident attorney whose only job is to look out for you. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Patel Law, P.C. to schedule a consultation with a member of our team right away.