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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyBicyclists understand that they are at risk of injury when riding near vehicles. However, drivers are responsible for sharing the road safely with bicycles and taking the proper measures to avoid bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to live up to this responsibility. If drivers do not notice bicycles near their vehicle, or if they act unsafely when bicycles are on the road, they can cause serious injuries to bicyclists. One way people in vehicles can injure bicycles is through “dooring.”

What Is Dooring?

When drivers park on the side of a busy road, they will likely be aware of other vehicles, and they will be looking to protect their own safety when they open their doors and exit their vehicle. However, drivers and passengers often fail to look for bicycles in these situations, including those who are traveling in bike lanes or who are riding in a lane of traffic near parked vehicles. If a person in a vehicle opens their door without checking for bicycles, they may block a bicyclist’s path or strike a bicycle.

In many cases, dooring will cause a cyclist to fall from their bike. A bicyclist who cannot stop before colliding with a car door in their path may be sent flying over their handlebars. This can cause multiple types of injuries when a cyclist collides with a door and lands on the ground. These may include serious cuts and bruises, broken bones, dislocated joints such as shoulders or wrists, injuries to the spinal cord and the vertebrae in the neck or back, or traumatic brain injuries, which may occur even if a person is wearing a helmet.

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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.

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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney bike accident

Whether you are a casual, recreational bicyclist or bike riding is your primary mode of transportation and a way of life for you, the warm, sunny summer season provides a prime opportunity for you to be outdoors on your bicycle. However, as you hit the trails or roadways this summer in Illinois, it is crucial to protect yourself from potential bike accident injuries by keeping some key safety tips in mind any time you venture out.

Essential Safety Tips to Keep in Mind

In 2018, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 6 percent increase in cyclist deaths, with nearly 900 bike rider fatalities on record, and here in the state of Illinois, bike riders, among other types of pedal cyclists, contributed to the nearly 3,000 riders who were injured in the year 2017. This data serves as an important reminder that a proactive approach to our safety is a must. Here are three essential tips to keep in mind when riding your bike in the summer season:

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Arlington Heights bike accident injury attorney

If you are among the many commuters biking more often due to this unprecedented time in our country, then it is important to stay up to date on your rights on the roadways, especially when it comes to protecting yourself from the likelihood of bicycle accidents and injuries. Whether you have just begun biking as a way to cope with stay-at-home orders, to increase your exercise, or simply to rely less on your vehicle during this time, there is some good news for you: Illinois law states that bicyclists have many of the same rights as drivers. 

What Rights Do Bicyclists Have on the Road?

Generally speaking, drivers are required to treat you, the biker, as they would treat other drivers. While it may be a relief to know that you are entitled to most of the same rights that regular motorists are, it is helpful to be aware that you are also accountable for the same responsibilities. For example, bikers should travel in the same direction as vehicles, and if you drive a low-speed or electric bike, you are required to follow all the same laws that are applicable to cyclists, just as drivers must obey all the same laws that apply to them. 

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Arlington Heights bicycle accident injury lawyer

Every year, thousands of Americans suffer significant injuries while riding bicycles. While biking can be an enjoyable activity and a convenient way to commute to and from work, cycling does come with some inherent safety risks. Most notably, bike riders have little protection aside from their helmets, especially if they are struck by a motor vehicle. Because of this, many of the injuries associated with bicycle accidents can be life-threatening. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 700 bicyclists suffered fatal injuries after being struck by motor vehicles in 2017. If you or a loved one are injured in a bicycle collision, it is time to speak with a legal professional. 

Securing Compensation 

When accidents occur between a motorist and a bicyclist, it is not uncommon to find that the motorist was acting negligently in some manner. Motorist negligence can come in any number of forms, from running a red light to erratically swerving from lane to lane. Today, the most common forms of driver negligence are speeding, texting and driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Speeding is prevalent in many bicycle collisions, due to the fact that the motorist’s reaction time is significantly hindered because of the high speed at which he or she is traveling. Texting while operating a vehicle has become the most common form of distracted driving and can be incredibly dangerous to bicyclists. Unfortunately, alcohol plays a huge role in many collisions between bikes and vehicles. Throughout 2017, 37 percent of all fatal bicycle collisions involved an intoxicated motorist. An injured cyclist may be able to seek compensation from a driver whose actions or negligence led to a bike accident.

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