Bike Lane Accidents
During warmer months, people routinely ride their bikes. Not only is cycling an enjoyable activity, but also it can be a great way to exercise. Unfortunately, motorists on the road often fail to yield to bicyclists and pay attention to spaces designated for bicyclists, causing serious accidents and harm. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a bike lane accident that was someone else’s fault, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg bicycle accident lawyers can examine the facts of your case and help you fight for the compensation that you deserve.Pursuing a Claim Based on a Bike Lane Accident
In Illinois, bicycles are treated as the same as any other vehicle. This means that a bicycle rider can legally ride a bike in a lane of traffic but is required to obey all relevant traffic laws. Motor vehicles must recognize a bicyclist’s right to use the road and must be vigilant of cyclists in traffic. A bike lane is a designated route on a roadway for the exclusive use of bicycles and is often separated by a solid bright white line, pavement coloring, or other physical barrier. This means that bike lanes are closed to other forms of traffic, such as cars and trucks. Drivers are prohibited from stopping or parking in these lanes.
While bicycle lanes are designed to keep cyclists safe, they do not always achieve that goal. When there is no physical barrier, motor vehicles can weave into bike lanes and strike a cyclist. In fact, motorists may even be less aware of bicyclists when they are traveling on a shared road. Bike lane accidents can happen in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
Vehicle turn accidents: Many vehicles do not check bike lanes before making a turn. Turning right into the path of a bike can cause a serious accident. Left turns can also be dangerous because a motorist who is not paying attention can collide with a biker traveling toward them in the far left lane.
Open door accidents: Drivers parked on the side of streets often open their door in the path of a bicyclist, causing the bicyclist to either crash into the door or suddenly swerve to avoid the door and crash into something else.
Intersection accidents: Intersections pose a risk to bicyclists, since vehicles that are turning are often not paying attention. Data show that 55 percent of all bicycle accidents in Chicago are reported to happen at intersections.
Most bicycle accident cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence is defined under the law as a failure to act in a reasonably careful way, considering the circumstances. In other words, negligence occurs when an injury or death is a result of a person failing to use reasonable care. Reasonable care refers to the level of care and caution that a prudent person would have used in the same or a similar situation. For example, if somebody driving a car carelessly veers into the bike lane and ends up hitting a bicyclist, that driver would be considered negligent.
In some cases, bicyclists can be injured in bike lane accidents involving other bicyclists. Since bike lanes are quite narrow, a two-bike collision can lead to serious harm. In other cases, bike lane accidents may result from improper maintenance. For example, a pothole could be the cause of a serious bicycle accident. In these cases, the injured cyclist and their lawyer could potentially file a claim against the other cyclist or the municipality in charge of maintaining the road.Discuss Your Legal Options with a Bike Crash Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Bike lane accidents can lead to devastating, even deadly harm. If you have been injured in a bike lane accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. At Therman Law Offices, our diligent attorneys understand how to protect your rights in these cases. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. We take on clients from Wheaton, Schaumburg, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, and Downers Grove. Call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.