In 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.
Bicycle accidents occur with frequency in the Chicago area and in the rest of Illinois. Some of them are due to negligence on the part of a driver or motorist involved, some are caused by a passenger, and some may be the fault of a cyclist, a pedestrian, or another individual in the area.
While the City of Chicago has taken many steps to increasing the safety of cyclists, the rates at which these riders is still concerning. In a 2012 article, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Chicago was the second most dangerous city in the nation for bicyclists, behind New York, because of the serious nature of the injuries sustained in the bicycle accidents that do occur within the city’s limits. In the time that has passed since that article, new bicycle lanes have been created, protected lanes have been constructed, and cyclist-specific traffic lights have been added to some areas in an attempt to increase safety.
When a bicycle collision occurs and a rider is injured, the results and the damages are often significant. Medical bills can begin to pile up and a victim may not know where to turn for relief. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we strive to help victims understand their options by taking your calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
We offer a free case consultation without any obligation on your part to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations so that you can get the answers you deserve, whenever you need them.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we make it our business to protected the rights of accident victims. If you have been hurt or if your loved one has been injured or killed, call us today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Two Dead After Semi-Truck Accident on the Bishop Ford, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published October 6, 2014.
Bicyclist critically hurt in Elgin crash, by LeeAnn Shelton, Chicago Sun-Times, published October 8, 2014.