Highway Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents that occur on a highway tend to be severe, leaving riders in critical condition. If you or someone close to you was injured on a bicycle due to a driver’s negligence, the attorneys at Therman Law Offices can help. As competent Wheaton and Schaumburg bicycle accident lawyers, we investigate accidents and set forth strong legal claims on behalf of those injured. With over three decades of combined legal experience, our goal is to provide advocacy that recovers maximum compensation for clients and their families, including the potential future costs of medical care and treatment.Proving Fault for a Highway Bicycle Accident
When a driver exhibits negligence by not operating their vehicle in a reasonable manner, they can be held accountable for the harm caused by their actions. For cyclists injured in a highway bicycle accident, injuries can be severe, ranging from broken bones to paralysis, and even death. Wrongful death claims may be appropriate in certain cases; surviving family may file a claim on behalf of their loved one. In other situations, victims may pursue a legal claim seeking damages from the driver that caused the accident.
Bicyclists in Illinois have the same rights as other motorists on the road. This means that they also have the same duties, which includes avoiding actions that cause foreseeable harm to others and abiding by rules of the road. Motorists and cyclists sharing the highway face a particular challenge because bicyclists often cannot keep pace with passenger vehicles. Bicyclists must adhere to rules regarding where they are permitted to ride on the highway. While some highways offer paved buffered bike lanes, others do not.
Near on-ramps and other intersections, bicyclists on highways are at risk of being struck by drivers that do not show the appropriate level of care, such as reducing their speed and scanning for riders. Some drivers exhibit aggressive driving, endangering vulnerable bicyclists. Others improperly change lanes or fail to yield to bicyclists who have the right of way.
An injured rider pursuing a negligence claim against a driver would show the following four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. All elements must be satisfied for a victim to financially recover. In terms of a duty of care, drivers must assess their surroundings for hazards and adapt their speed and driving behavior as necessary. While on the highway traveling at great speed, drivers must safely maneuver around other motorists, including bicyclists. After establishing the driver's duty of care to others on the highway, including bicyclists, the injured individual must show that the defendant breached their duty.
A driver may violate or breach their duty of care by acting in a careless manner, based on the circumstances. For instance, drivers must remain aware of their environment to avoid causing a crash. If a driver is not scanning for other vehicles and cyclists on the road, then their actions likely do not reflect that of a reasonably prudent person. A breached duty of care may also include losing control of the vehicle from texting behind the wheel. Violating a state law, such as by driving while intoxicated, may also breach the duty of care.
Causation, the third element of a negligence claim, may be evident in a bicycle accident when the defendant’s actions directly cause the bicyclist to suffer injuries. Essentially, the defendant driver’s vehicle must have struck the cyclist, without another intervening cause. This can be demonstrated by witness statements, physical evidence from the scene of the accident, and police reports, if available.
The damages that may be received in a successful negligence lawsuit include costs for past, present, and future harm. Expenses for medical treatment, physical therapy, missed wages from work, and property damage are included in a damages calculation. Emotional pain and suffering and disability payments may also be set forth.Skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton Attorneys Here to Assist You
A consultation with the bicycle accident lawyers at Therman Law Offices can help you understand whether you have a viable claim, and how to pursue monetary damages. We understand the severity of a highway bicycle accident, and the accompanying physical and emotional aftermath. Our office is proud to assist clients in Wheaton and Schaumburg and throughout the communities of Glendale Heights, Villa Park, Lombard, Carol Stream, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Addison, Lemont, Oakbrook Terrace and Westmont. To learn more about your case, call 312-588-1900 or reach us online.