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Can Shared Fault Complicate My Bicycle Accident Injury Case?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneysThe snow finally seems to be relenting in Northern Illinois, which means that more and more people will be out riding their bicycles. Riding a bike is a healthy and cost-effective mode of transportation but it can also leave bicyclists vulnerable to dangerous collisions. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. However, issues like shared fault can complicate the process of getting the compensation you need and deserve.

An Injured Bicyclist May Be Considered Partly at Fault

When a bicyclist is hurt in a car accident, he or she may bring a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable payout, the bicyclist may file a personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof in a personal injury case is on the plaintiff. This means that it is up to you to prove that the other driver’s negligence or carelessness caused your injuries.

If you were struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, you might assume that the driver is automatically at fault. After all, vehicle occupants are rarely the ones that are seriously injured after a bicycle collision while bicyclists are often left with severe and even life-threatening injuries. However, it is possible that you will be considered partially at fault for your bicycle accident.

Bicyclists May Still Recover Compensation Even If They Acted Negligently

Individuals riding bikes must follow Illinois traffic laws. Driving the wrong way on a one-way street or running a stop sign or red light can not only put bicyclists in danger, these actions can also influence a bicyclist’s ability to get compensation for damages after an accident. If you violated Illinois law or if you were not wearing protective equipment like a helmet at the time of the accident, your decisions may have worsened the collision.

Fortunately, injured bicyclists may still recover financial compensation for damages through a personal injury case even if they acted negligently. Per Illinois’s modified comparative negligence laws, you may be entitled to damages as long as the driver’s share of fault for the accident is greater than your share of fault. If your actions contributed to the accident, the amount of compensation you could receive is diminished by your share of fault. For example, if you are considered 10 percent at fault for an accident that caused $100,000 in damages, you could still recover $90,000.

Contact an Arlington Heights Bicycle Accident Injury Attorney

Issues like shared fault can greatly complicate your bicycle accident claim. The skilled Schaumburg personal injury attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP are well versed in Illinois personal injury law. We can help you fight for compensation for medical bills, lost income, and more. Call 847-797-8000 for a free consultation.




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