Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

October 20, 2014

Evanston Promoting Bicycle Safety During Nighttime

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Reduced.jpgDo you think that the only people who ride bicycles are children and that they only ride in residential areas? When questioned, many people in the areas surrounding Chicago express this view but it is far from reality, especially as bicycling for transportation has exploded in the city in recent decades. In truth, bicyclists of all ages can be seen in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs in all weather and in all seasons. No longer are cyclists taking to the roads only in the nice summer weather, but some riders even brave the snow and sleet of winter as they travel.

Illinois laws has bicycle-specific requirements that some rides and many non-riders do not know. Additionally, many cities and incorporated areas across the state have their own laws and rules in addition to those issued by the State of Illinois, and it is up to every rider to make sure that he or she knows these rules and follows them as written. One such rule requires bicycles that will be used during nighttime be equipped with a headlight or a light on the front of the bicycle that can be visible from at least 500 feet. This light must be white in color and is designed to keep a rider safe by alerting others in the area, primarily drivers of automobiles, that a cyclist is approaching.

Now one local area is taking safety up as an issue and is handing out free lights to bicyclists on October 30, 2014. Evanston will be giving away and installing headlights at the Robert Crown Center and The Weber Arch at Northwestern University between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and will have 400 lights available. In addition, other resources for cyclists including maps will be distributed to those who participate.

While Evanston may be giving away headlights for free, it is important to note that using a headlight will not meet all the requirements stated by law if you want to ride a bicycle at night. Riders also must have a red rear reflector present with visibility from at least 100 feet. The use of a red rear lamp is optional but the reflector and the headlight are both requirements.

While bicycle ridership has increased and is projected to continue to rise, unfortunately the number of bicycle accidents in Illinois, especially in Chicago, continues to remain high. Every year, thousands of riders are hurt and several bicyclists lose their lives when a collision takes place. Most of these accidents involve cars, trucks, and buses but collisions with other bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians occur as well.

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October 13, 2014

Good Samaritan Killed while Helping Elderly Driver in Aurora

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20130725_130057.jpgCar accidents are tragic collisions that usually are caused by the mistakes of one or more drivers involved. The fact that the vast majority of collisions are preventable make them all the more tragic, especially when a victim is injured or killed. While a collision can occur to any driver in the state of Illinois, some types of motorists are more likely to be involved than others. Particularly, teenage drivers and elderly motorists are involved in a disproportionately large number of Chicago car accidents every year.

While teenage drivers lack the experience necessary to make educated decisions behind the wheel, the issues facing elderly drivers are more complex. As motorists age, they may suffer from medical conditions that make driving difficult. Decreased eyesight, including the presence of cataracts or glaucoma, can make it challenging for a driver to see oncoming traffic, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Prescription and over-the-counter medication may interfere with an elderly driver's thinking capabilities and may lead to mistakes. Serious diseases that affect older Americans disproportionately may lead a driver to become confused, unsure of where he or she may be or what needs to be done. These diseases can include things like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Regardless of the factors that lead to a car accident involving an elderly driver in Chicago, the results can be similar. If a victim is injured or killed in that crash, the victim or the victim's surviving family members may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you have been the victim of an accident.

What began as a car accident turned deadly on Wednesday in Aurora, according to local police. It appears that an 84-year-old female driver attempted to back out of a driveway, but in doing so, struck a vehicle and caused a crash. The woman attempted to back up after the crash and may have lost control of her vehicle, then drove into two yards near the area after the initial impact. A 51-year-old man in the area witnessed the woman at a loss of control and ran towards her vehicle in an attempt to render aid. The driver's door of the vehicle was open and the man reportedly attempted to place his foot inside the vehicle to manually press the brake pedal because the vehicle was still traveling backward. Police believe that the driver struck the gas pedal at the time the man's foot was inside the vehicle, sending the car backward even farther and causing the open door to collide with the man and throw him to the ground.

Emergency crews responded to the scene of the accident and assessed the Good Samaritan for injuries. He struck his head on the pavement when he was hit by the car door and was in critical condition when crews transported him to an area hospital for treatment. Shortly thereafter, the man was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital but his injuries were too severe and he died as a result of the incident.

At this time, the elderly driver involved is facing a ticket for improper backing but the investigation into this incident is ongoing. It is unclear whether any other charges will be brought. Neither the woman nor the driver of the second car involved in the crash were hurt.

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October 10, 2014

Cyclist Critically Injured after Collision with Car

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116.jpgIn recent decades, Chicago has emerged as an American city home to a large number of bicyclists. Some ride for transit while others ride for pleasure or exercise, but regardless of the purpose, cyclists can be seen along city streets on any day of the week and any week of the year. The seasonal weather in Chicago means that some months see more bicyclists than others, occasionally catching drivers off guard if they are not looking for or not expecting a bike in their area.

But under the laws in Illinois, including those that apply to riding a bicycle in Chicago, every driver is responsible for his or her conduct behind the wheel. This means that motorists must respect the rights of bicyclists, must be aware of bicyclists in their area, and must act in a safe and reasonable manner to prevent bicycle accidents from taking place. Failing to do so may impose legal liability on the part of a driver and may lead to criminal or traffic charges, especially if the cyclist is injured. In addition, an at-fault driver may face legal responsibility to a victim for any and all damages that result, including any medical bills incurred, wages lost while time is missed from work, and pain and suffering if the motorists acts in a negligent manner.

Authorities in Elgin reported that a vehicle and a bicycle collided around 9:00 p.m. near Summit Street and Hill Street. According to officials, a 41-year-old driver was traveling westbound when he approached the intersection and collided with a 21-year-old man on a bicycle. It is not clear whether the cyclist was traveling northbound or southbound but it is believed that the vehicle and the bicycle may have been on different roads and collided while both were in the intersection at the same time.

Officials began an investigation while on the scene but they have not revealed a suspected cause of the crash at this time. Emergency crews tended to the bicyclist and transported him to an area hospital with critical injuries on Tuesday night. The rider's current status and the nature of his injuries remain unknown. The driver of the vehicle did not sustain serious injuries, according to officials who responded to the crash.

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October 6, 2014

Two Dead After Semi-Truck Accident on the Bishop Ford

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026.jpgIt is up to every driver on the road to know and to follow all traffic-related rules and regulations, regardless of what state they are driving in or where they are heading. Failing to follow street rules may lead to a citation, a criminal charge, or other punishment if a driver is stopped by local authorities. When it comes to semi-truck drivers, though, the rules that apply are more complex. In addition to following the basic rules that apply to small vehicles like passenger cars, semi-truck drivers are required to follow federal and state regulations that are strict, including possible reduced speeds, restrictions on consecutive hours of driving, and limitations on the amount of driving in a 24 hour period.

Long before a driver can legally operate a semi-truck, that individual must receive special training and obtain a special type of license to ensure that the driver knows and understands the regulations of conduct as they stand. For the most part, the stricter driving requirements combined with the increased training and licensing requirements are believed to limit the number of semi-truck accidents that occur on American roads every year. Unfortunately, though, some truck accidents continue to take place. While semi-trucks are involved in relatively few collisions per mile traveled, the accidents that do result are substantial and often result in serious injuries or even death because the large size and weight of a semi-truck has the potential to do great damage. If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in the Chicago area, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including payment for your medical bills. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you are unsure of your rights or unclear about your possibilities for relief.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, a collision between a car and a semi-truck occurred on the Bishop Ford that left two people dead. Area authorities reported that both vehicles were traveling southbound near South Cottage Grove Avenue with the truck in front of the car prior to impact. Police believe that the semi-truck began to slow its speed as it approached a construction zone. For reasons that are not clear, the car behind the truck failed to slow in response and allegedly collided with the rear of the semi-truck, leading the car to become entrapped underneath the rear of the semi.

Emergency crews responded to the scene to evaluate those individuals involved in the crash. Two men, ages 25 and 26, were inside the car and unfortunately, both died as a result of the impact. The driver of the semi-truck was not believed to be injured seriously. Authorities restricted traffic in the area while they began an investigation and while the wreckage of the collision was assessed. Police have released some initial information regarding the accident but they state that their review is ongoing and that they are still reviewing relevant facts at this time.

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October 3, 2014

Single Car Crash in Illinois Leaves Passenger Dead

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1500.jpgTraffic safety often makes drivers and passengers think about car accidents in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. The typical image of an accident involves two cars colliding due to a mistake on the part of one driver, whether that mistake was speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield the right-of-way. While this may be the popular image thought of in the city, it is far from the only type of collision that occurs. In fact, every year, thousands of car accidents involving only a single car take place in Illinois.

Every single car accident in Chicago involves a unique set of facts and therefore different legal options may result for the victims who are harmed in those accidents. Some of these collisions may be caused by bad weather conditions while others may result from a mechanical malfunction. In some instances, a driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet in other cases, speed, lack of driving skills, or other factors may cause or contribute to a one vehicle accident. Regardless of the cause of the crash, if you were hurt in a collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. A recovery may be possible to provide you with payments you need to cover your medical and rehabilitation expenses, wages missed while you were off work, and your pain and suffering, among other losses. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your rights, and whether you have a valid claim, if you have been involved in a Chicago car accident.

Shortly before 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, police responded to the scene of a single vehicle car accident on Birdewell Drive in Burr Ridge. When they arrived, they found the driver of a Mercedes trapped inside the vehicle and a passenger laying on the ground nearby. At this time, police believe that a 24-year-old man was behind the wheel of a Mercedes when he left the road's surface, struck a tree, and continued into a parking lot of a steak house. The vehicle collided with the restaurant and knocked some bricks free but did not do substantial structural damage, according to officials.

The force of the crash caused the vehicle to roll over and eject the passenger, a 23-year-old woman. When emergency crews arrived, they assessed both the driver and the passenger and transported each to area hospitals for treatment. Unfortunately, the passenger's injuries were too severe and she died in the early morning hours on Thursday. The driver survived but is listed in critical condition with injuries that have not been specified.

Several people inside the restaurant and at least one passing motorists reportedly witnessed the incident and spoke with investigating officers regarding the crash. Authorities began their investigation on scene on Wednesday night but are now proceeding remotely as the scene has been cleared. Official have not released a determination as to why the driver left the road and struck the tree, beginning the incident, but they have stated that the road at issue is curvy in the area where the collision occurred.

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September 29, 2014

Divvy Bike Rentals Expanding to Evanston and Oak Park

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003.jpgThough fall may be here, the warm weather this week in Chicago and across Illinois means that many bicyclists may be enjoying some last-minute rides before the winter comes. But if you have lived in the Chicago area for any length of time, you know that some brave riders take to their bicycles year-round, even in the midst of winter. Until recently, bicycling has been dominated by those who owned private bikes in Chicago.

Yet the introduction of Divvy, a city-wide bicycle rental service, has helped change the landscape of transportation in Chicago as well as the makeup of the typical Chicago bike rider. Now, tourists, non-residents, and causal riders are taking to the streets in greater numbers. Divvy enables those who want to use a bicycle for a limited period of time the option to ride in Chicago without the obligation, expense, and upkeep of owning a personal bike. Subscriptions are available to Divvy to enable anything from a one-way ride to a unlimited yearly pass so that cyclists of all levels and of all types can benefit from the program.

Divvy is still relatively new in the Chicago area and the resulting effects are not all known at this time, but experts unanimously agree that when a large number of bicycles and a large number of cars share the same space, collisions are likely to occur unless all riders and motorists act with due care and caution. In Illinois, including Chicago, bicyclists are authorized to ride in the streets much like any vehicle is legally allowed to drive, yet despite numerous protections under the laws, drivers continue to ignore these riders with alarming regularity. Every year, numerous bicycle accidents occur and leave cyclists injured or, in the worst instances, dead as a result. While these crashes cannot be erased, the victims of these crashes may be entitled to legal relief through the use of a civil claim for damages. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand whether you have a valid claim, and if so, who may be legally responsible for the injuries you sustained if you have been involved in a bicycle collision.

Now, the Divvy rental platform is getting the green light to expand into Oak Park and Evanston next summer. Due in part to a $3 million state grant, 20 new self-serve stations will take root in those two cities and will enable riders in the north and west to choose rentals when they please. Part of the grant also covers expansion of Divvy programs within Chicago including the funding of 50 new Chicago-area stations.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been an advocate for making Chicago more bicycle-friendly and has initiated programs to improve the safety of riders as a result. Advances have included increased bicycle lanes along city streets, the creation of protected bicycle areas along some heavily traveled routes, and bicycle-specific traffic lights to control riders while making sure that motorists get the right-of-way when intended.

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September 22, 2014

Victim Dies Weeks after Chicago Taxi Cab Accident

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611.jpgNumerous taxi cab companies operate within the city limits of Chicago, transporting passengers from one end to another, from home to work, or from school to home. Though the cab companies may vary in some respects, in many respects they are required to comply with standards applicable to all taxi companies, including fare structures, maximum occupancy, and certain insurance requirements. The City of Chicago also has other means to control the cabs that travel their streets, thus restricting the overall number of vehicles and trying to keep the market from becoming flooded. One of the methods to control cabs is through the issuance and requirement that cabs operate under medallions, a basic licensing requirement for those who wish to run a taxi in the city.

The regulations imposed on taxi cabs are designed to control the actions of cab drivers as well as increasing the safety for passengers, motorists, and pedestrians in the area. Yet the taxi specific regulations are not the only ones facing cab drivers; additionally, all traffic rules and regulations must be followed, and failure to abide by the law may lead to traffic or criminal charges. Often, the severity of any punishments levied increase when a collision results and one or more people involved sustain injuries. In addition to charges brought by local or state officials, though, cab companies and cab drivers who cause accidents may be held financially liable for the injuries that result if a victim chooses to bring a civil claim for a monetary recovery. A personal injury lawyer who handles Chicago taxi accidents on behalf of victims may be able to provide you information regarding your rights if you have been hurt in a collision.

A collision between a taxi cab and a pedestrian in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago back in August turned fatal when the victim died on Friday morning. According to witnesses, the crash took place in the 1400 block of North LaSalle around 2:00 a.m. on August 30, 2014 . A cab traveling in the same area as a pedestrian came upon the pedestrian, a 26-year-old female, and struck her, leading to serious injuries that required extensive medical care.

Police responded to the scene of the collision and spoke with witnesses and reportedly the driver of the cab. Thus far, the driver has been cited for failing to reduce the speed of the vehicle to avoid a crash with a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. It is possible that additional charges will be issued following Friday's passing of the victim though there has been no official word from local authorities on that point at this time.

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September 17, 2014

Four Car Collision in Schaumburg Injures 6

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613.jpgThe laws in Chicago and Illinois are designed to hold those who act in a negligent manner as responsible for all the damages that result. This often comes into play in the context of a car accident, hundreds of thousands of which occur within the state every year. The laws enable the victims of car accidents to seek financial relief through the use of a civil claim for damages, a legal option that is separate and distinct from any traffic tickets or criminal allegations made by local authorities.

The right to seek relief belongs to the victims of car crashes so an at-fault driver cannot block or prevent these claims from occurring. Speaking with a lawyer in the Chicago area who has experience helping injury victims, including those who have been involved in car collisions, may help you understand the laws as they apply to your case, including whether you have a valid claim for relief.

A significant collision occurred in northern Schaumburg yesterday morning at the intersection of Higgins Road and Martingale Road. According to witnesses, one vehicle was stopped at the intersection, waiting for a red light to turn to green. Three other vehicles were in the area when a crash occurred, involving all four vehicles and leaving six people with injuries.

Police and ambulances responded to the scene and evaluated all those involved. The six victims needed additional medical treatment and were transported to area hospitals where their conditions are not known, though all victims were expected to survive. The nature of their injuries have not been disclosed.

Police are still reviewing information related to the collision and are in the process of determining what caused the four-car crash. As the investigation unfolds, it is possible that one or more of the drivers involved will be issued a traffic ticket.

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September 15, 2014

Illinois Had 3rd Most Train-Related Deaths in 2013

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20140725_191248.jpgFor much of the 20th Century, Illinois was widely acknowledged as a central hub of train transportation throughout the nation. That designation carries through to the present as freight, goods, and people travel by train within Chicago, the suburbs, and across the rest of the state. Trains serve a vital function in the city and they are a daily presence in the lives of many.

Even if you do not travel by train, chances are that you cross the path of a train or train tracks on a regular basis. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclist, and those who drive personal cars have a hard time moving from one spot in Chicago to another without potentially seeing a train or tracks. This can lead to a train accident and potentially to serious injuries. Victims of these collisions may be entitled to seek financial compensation through the use of a civil claim for damages, a type of relief that can provide monetary relief to cover damages like medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.

In an effort to increase awareness of the dangers presented by trains, Illinois is recognizing this week as Rail Safety Week. It is a national program that is being recognized in the state for the first time because in 2013, Illinois had the third most deaths by train in the nation. These instances involved 21 people who were killed by a train while in a vehicle and another 25 people were killed in train accidents as pedestrians. In addition to those who were killed, 67 people were hurt by trains in Illinois.

The reasons for train injuries and deaths are varied but include the heavy train traffic that is experienced across the state. As Chicago has a high concentration of both people and trains, many of the accidents take place within the city's limits. Some are the fault of motorists who attempt to drive around warning gates or try to race a train so they will not have to wait at a crossing. Other collisions are due to speeding trains, improperly working machinery, failure of safety devices, or even a mistake by the operator of a train. At least one incident in Illinois last year is believed to have occurred by a teen who was intentionally trying to get as close to a passing train as possible.

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September 11, 2014

7 Injured After CTA Bus Hits 2 Parked Cars

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617.jpgBuses are a common sight in Chicago with nearly every main street playing host to at least one bus on a regular basis. When considering travel by bus, those in Chicago have options to ride on the CTA, on a charter bus, on a private bus providing transit or simply tours, or even Greyhound buses, to name a few. Leaving the city and heading for the suburbs adds the addition of Pace buses while traveling out of town or out of state may include a ride on a Megabus. Regardless of the type of bus, though, a passenger trusts his or her safety to the driver once that passenger boards and takes a seat.

Often, buses provide safe passage through Chicago and its surrounding suburbs but for some unlucky riders, a bus accident may occur and may potentially cause injuries. Head and neck injuries, fractures or broken bones, and cuts and bruises are some of the most common injuries sustained in a bus incident though nearly any time of injury is possible. When a collision occurs, it can be difficult to understand who bears the legal responsibility for a crash and whether a victim may be entitled to relief. In some cases, it may be the bus driver and the bus company while in others, it may be a motorist who collided with the bus. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you sort through the legally relevant facts in your accident if you have been hurt as well as helping you understand your options to obtain monetary relief.

An early morning bus accident left seven people injured in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, according to local authorities. Early reports indicate that a CTA bus was traveling in the 3700 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when the bus collided with two parked cars. The incident happened at approximately 3:00 a.m. and may have first involved the CTA bus crossing the center line before striking the cars, though that has not been confirmed at this time. It is unclear exactly how many passengers were on the bus but officials have confirmed that six of them were injured and needed medical addition. Additionally, the driver of the bus was also hurt, leading to emergency crews transporting the seven victims to area hospitals.

Local police have not released their early findings into the incident including the cause of the crash or whether any citations are expected to be issued. However, the investigation into this incident is ongoing at this time. No victim was believed to be facing life-threatening injuries.

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September 10, 2014

Driver Facing Charges after Fatal Crash on Dan Ryan

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20140424_084736.jpgIn Chicago and across the state of Illinois, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A motorist will be presumed under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher but that is not the only time a driver can be guilty of a crime. Rather, if there is any alcohol in a motorist's system that causes that motorist to be impaired, even if a small amount, that driver can be guilty of operating while intoxicated.

While drinking and driving receives much attention, driving under the influence of other drugs, both prescription and street drugs, is just as dangerous and also a crime in Illinois. Chicago drivers who are impaired due to drugs are violating the law and can face similar punishments to those who drive drunk, including the loss or suspension of a driver's license, fines and fees, and incarceration. In addition to any charges brought by state officials, impaired drivers who cause accidents may be held liable for the financial damages that result to victims, including any medical bills that may be incurred. The right to seek this relief belongs to victims and can be available regardless of the outcome of any criminal case or charges stemming from the accident. A personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you have been hurt in a collision.

Local authorities have charged a 35-year-old man with driving under the influence and reckless homicide following a Sunday evening collision on the Dan Ryan Expressway that left one woman dead. The incident occurred shortly after 7:00 p.m. near 87th Street in the northbound lanes and involved two vehicles, a BMW and a Jeep. Officials believe the 35-year-old driver of the BMW collided with the Jeep and forced the Jeep off the roadway where it began to roll. The 44-year-old female driver of the Jeep was seriously injured in the incident and was transported by EMS officials to an area hospital for emergency treatment. Though doctors tended to her, the woman's injuries were too severe and she died later that evening.

Police responded to the scene and spoke with the driver of the BMW who reportedly sustained minor injuries and is expected to recover. According to an officer, the driver admitted to consuming several alcohol beverages earlier in the day, prompting officials to charge the man with driving under the influence. Authorities are still investigating the incident to determine whether any charges in addition to the two already filed should be brought and in an attempt to determine what caused the initial impact between the two vehicles.

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July 16, 2014

Rider Hurt in Chicago Motorcycle Accident

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image%20%286%29.jpg Summertime riding in Chicago is a popular activity as motorcyclists take to the streets. Bike are a fuel efficient means of transit that many people enjoy; in fact, there are more than 240,000 registered motorcycles in Illinois alone.

Motorcycles are treated like any other vehicle under the rules of the law, allowing bikers to ride the streets as any other car would drive. Motorcycles are guaranteed the same protection as other vehicles and must abide by the same rules. Though they are authorized to ride, bikers often do not receive the respect they deserve, leading to dangerous situations were a collision might occur.

Motorcycle accidents in Chicago result in injuries and even deaths every year. When a crash is due to the negligence of a driver involved, whether it is another biker or the operator of a car, an injured motorcyclist may be entitled to financial relief under the law. These claims are the right of all injury victims to bring and are often available regardless of whether an at-fault driver received a citation in the collision. Further, in the event that a hit-and-run driver caused the accident, a victim may still be able to obtain relief through a claim against his or her own insurance company. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who has experience representing motorcycle accident victims may help you understand your legal options and whether you have a valid claim.

A motorcycle accident occurred in Gresham on Tuesday, shortly before midnight, according to local authorities. The incident, which occurred in the area of the 7900 block of South Bishop Street, involved a car that reportedly failed to yield to the biker, causing a collision that left the biker with serious injuries including a broken arm and pelvis. The victim was transported from the scene by emergency medical personnel and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he received treatment for his injuries. His current condition is not known.

The driver of the other vehicle received a traffic citation. It is not clear whether that driver was injured in the accident.

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