Chicago is known for its beautiful lakefront, and one great way to enjoy the scenery is biking. Additionally biking to work is fast becoming a popular mode of transportation in Chicago. Since 2000, the number of bicycle commuters has increased by 150 percent.
Nationally 0.6 percent of workers commuted to work by bicycle in 2010. In Chicago, that number was 1.3 percent, or 15,000 cyclists daily. Among peer cities, Chicago has more bicycle commuters per capita than New York or Los Angeles. With that many bicyclist’s sharing the roads in Chicago with motorists, it’s no surprise that injuries due to a bicycle accident are on the rise. According to a study done on bicycle accidents in Chicago for a six year period between 2005 and 2010, there were nearly 9000 injury cases involving bicyclists. The most common cause of a bicycle accident was motorist’s error by failure to yield. Additionally, 55% of bicycle accidents occurred at intersections. Bicycle accidents accounted for 6.7% of all crash types in Chicago in 2005, but that number had risen to 9.8% of all crash types in 2010. Read the full report here.
Both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have enacted statutes to govern motorists and bicycles. The municipal code of Chicago (MCC) states the following:
- 9-16-020 e – Drivers must yield to bicycles turning left
- 9-16-020 f – Drivers must yield to bicycles when turning right
- 9-36-010 e – Drivers must pass bicycles with at least 3 feet of clearance when passing
- 9-40-060 – Drivers must not park, stand or drive a vehicle in any bike lane
- 9-40-160 – Drivers must exercise due care to avoid crashing with any bicyclist or pedestrian on the roadway
- 9-80-035 – It is illegal to open a vehicle door into moving traffic, unless it is reasonably safe to do so and only long enough to load and unload passengers.
The Illinois compiled Statues (625 ILCS 5/11-703) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-703) says:
(d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
(e) A person driving a motor vehicle shall not, in a reckless manner, drive the motor vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist, pedestrian, or a person riding a horse or driving an animal drawn vehicle.
(f) Every person convicted of paragraph (e) of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if the violation does not result in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another. If the violation results in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another, the person shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.
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There are many motorist errors that can cause a bicycle accident. One example would be when a motorist opens the vehicle door into the path of a bicycle. This is commonly called “dooring.” Another example is a vehicle veering into a parking space without checking to see that the right side is clear.
Faulty bicycles or defective parts and design can also cause bicycle accidents. Some examples are:
- Bicycle Chains that fall off easily
- Defective Bicycle Frames
- Defective Bicycle Tires
- Faulty Bicycle Handlebars that fall off or break
- Defective Bicycle brakes
- Defective Bicycle Brake Pedals
Additionally, poorly maintained roadways, parking lots or bike paths that have potholes or trip hazards can also cause bicycle accidents and injuries.
Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries, which result in loss of income, pain, suffering, scarring, disability, disfigurement and medical bills. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a bicycle accident in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, call the Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC for a free consultation. Our lawyers have experience in representing victims of bicycle accidents in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs and can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
See what some of the clients we have represented with injuries caused by a bicycle accident have to say:
The Law Office of Daniel E. Goodman LLC was very much a great help for me. I was hit by a car on my bicycle and suffered a few injuries. They helped me in a very professional and timely way. I would recommend them to anyone.
– Adam K.
Late in January 2012 I was hit by a van on a bicycle coming home from work and my injuries were extensive. I called Mr. Goodman’s Office and immediately sent one of his staff to meet with me. The whole time I was receiving care Mr. Goodman kept me informed the entire time. Mr. Goodman in my eyes did a superior job. Not only did he receive a fair settlement but made sure all of my medical expenses were paid. He also helped direct me for funding in my dire need. I don’t think anyone could have done a finer job. I would recommend Mr. Goodman to all of my family and friends, thank you Mr. Goodman.
– Joseph K.