Bicycle Accidents at Night
Skilled Attorneys Helping People in Wheaton, Schaumburg and Nearby Areas
Bicyclists may choose to ride for transportation, exercise, or to protect the environment. The unfortunate reality is that riding a bicycle poses risk of injury from negligent drivers. Riders are particularly vulnerable due to visibility issues that arise at dusk and last through the nighttime hours. For those injured in bicycle accidents at night in Cook County or nearby areas, the Wheaton and Schaumburg bicycle accident lawyers at Therman Law Office can provide insight regarding your potential legal claim and how to pursue compensation. We bring more than three decades of experience to our advocacy on behalf of injured bicyclists, and are here for our clients throughout the entire legal process.
Demonstrating Legal Fault Following Bicycle Accidents at Night
Many drivers claim to be unable to see bicyclists on the road, and the risk bicycle accidents at night rises because visibility decreases. However, drivers are expected to take the same precautions that other reasonable drivers would take, under similar circumstances. At nighttime, this may include reducing their driving speed and scanning for others on the road when approaching a turn.
Nighttime bicycle accidents can lead to serious trauma for the rider, and financial support is imperative. When a rider is struck by a driver, they can file a legal claim for compensation. Many bicycle accidents are preventable by the driver. Had they exercised reasonable care behind the wheel, the accident could have been avoided. When an injury or death results from someone’s failure to meet their level of care, they may be held negligent by a judge or jury.
Four specific elements of a negligence claim must be established in order for a bicyclist to prevail in their legal claim following a nighttime accident. First, they must show the defendant owed them a duty of care. Next, they must present evidence that the defendant breached this duty of care through aggressive driving, or failing to yield the right of way as required. Third, the defendant’s breach must be a direct cause of the crash, and finally, the bicyclist must have endured compensable damage. As the plaintiff, the victim must show that they suffered actual loss. This can be in the form of physical harm, property damage or in many cases, both.
All individuals are legally obligated to act as a reasonably prudent driver, reacting to road conditions as others would under the same circumstances. At nighttime, this means using headlights and even high beams when appropriate. Driving while distracted or fatigued at nighttime is dangerous, and people should be aware of their mental state before getting behind the wheel and their surroundings while driving. A violation of the duty of care takes different forms, and need not be intentional.
Damages Available in a Nighttime Bicycle Accident Legal Claim
A successful legal claim entitles the bicycle accident victim to damages, both economic and noneconomic. The value of a claim varies, depending on the extent of injury. Along with a medical professional, a skilled lawyer can assist in analyzing how the cyclist’s injuries impact their ability to work, and to participate in their former lifestyle.
Compensation that may be available to bike accident victims includes past medical costs as well as ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy and assistive devices. Lost earnings from work missed due to injuries can be secured, as can lost future earnings. The emotional trauma from the accident, including pain and suffering, is another type of damage that may be secured. Finally, the victim may recover property damage, including costs for a destroyed bicycle or other personal property.
In the event of a tragic death from a nighttime bicycle accident, a personal representative or surviving family may pursue a wrongful death claim. The damages in this type of legal claim include expenses before the victim passed away, as well as funeral expenses. A wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the victim’s passing.
Skilled Attorneys Asserting the Rights of Bicyclists in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Nighttime bicyclists can suffer traumatic injury when struck by a vehicle on the road. During the challenging period following an accident, the lawyers at Therman Law Offices are here to provide compassionate legal advice. Our clients reside in areas including Wheaton, Schaumburg, West Chicago, Elmhurst, Villa Park, Addison, Oakbrook Terrace, Westmont, Lemont, Clarendon Hills, as well as Glendale Heights and Lombard. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 773-545-8849 or reach us through our online form.