Bicycling has greatly increased as a method of transportation in Chicago, both for commuting and leisure. However, when there is a lack of safety, whether on the part of motorists or the cyclists, serious bicycling accidents can and do occur. By reporting on and discussing such accidents with our readers, our attorneys hope to raise awareness of bicycle safety to both motorists and cyclists so that accidents can be avoided and prevented.
According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a bicyclist was killed in an accident in the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport. The report indicates that the bicylist was struck by an SUV while riding through a red light. Around11 p.m., the cyclist was riding west on 33rd Street and failed to stop at a red light at the intersection on Emerald Avenue. This occurred about four blocks from the cyclist’s home in Bridgeport.
Even though the driver of the SUV was cited for not having a driver’s license, it appears from the report that the collision with the cyclist was not the fault of the motorist, exemplifying the notion that in addition to motorists safely sharing the roads with cyclists, cyclists need to ride safely and defensively and follow the same rules of the road that motor vehicles must follow. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by law, bicycles are vehicles and therefore share the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. That is why cyclists must also obey the rules of the road, such as stopping at red lights and stop signs. Cyclists can also take steps to keep themselves safer while driving, such as wearing a helmet to protect the most vital area of their body from injury. Also, bicyclists should use extra caution when riding their bicycle at night since they are more difficult to see. Reflective clothing and bicycle lights help make cyclists more visible.
Collisions between pedestrians or cyclists with cars or trucks are especially dangerous due to size difference between these methods of transportation. While those in cars or trucks are encased in the vehicle and shielded, those who choose to travel by bike or on foot are vulnerable with their bodies unprotected in the open air. Because of the significant difference in size between people and motor vehicles – both in height and weight – these accidents can cause serious personal injuries or death. Not only are the injuries initially severe, but they are often permanent and life-altering too. Sometimes victims may suffer injuries to vital areas of the body, like the head or neck, which can result in nerve damage or spinal chord paralysis. Other times victims may suffer from broken bones, dislocated limbs, or even the complete loss of a limb.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious bicycle accident that was due to the negligence of another, we are a firm you can trust. We have over 20 years of experience in a wide array of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits since we opened in 1992. Our attorneys also understand that victims also suffer not only physically and emotionally after these accidents, but financially. After going through trauma like a bicycle or pedestrian accident, victims need to know how to get their medical bills paid and how to not suffer further through lost wages from missed time at work or the ability to no longer work. That is why victims should seek the help of a legal professional. Through a lawsuit victims may be able to hold those who were negligent liable for their injuries and suffering and obtain compensation to cover costs they would not otherwise have needed to but for the accident. Call us today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.