Chicago area lawyers explain the risks cyclists face
A cyclist in the Chicago suburb of Glenville recently died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run bicycle accident, according to CBS 2 News Chicago. The 59-year-old Wheeling, Illinois man was killed when a vehicle struck the cyclist and left the scene of the Cook County accident, according to the Glenville Police Department, which continues to investigate the fatal bicycle accident.
According to reports, the cyclist was taken to Salgado to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead.
The victim’s daughter told CBS 2 News that she was shocked and saddened by the tragic event.
“Always at work, always taking care of people, always helping our neighbors, and for somebody just to leave him like that? Could have saved his life. They could have stopped,” the man’s daughter said.
Tragically, these types of crashes are becoming far too common in Illinois and across the U.S., with each tragedy serving as a heavy reminder that cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users.
Annual bicycle accident statistics
Bicycle accidents happen far more often than many people might realize. Every year, more than 1,000 bicyclists are killed on average in accidents nationwide, according to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council.
Worst of all, that number has been increasing dramatically each year for the past decade. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of fatalities due to bicycle crashes has increased by 37 percent during that time period.
As for Illinois, fatal bicycle accidents remain a serious problem as well. The number of bicycle fatalities on average between 2010 and 2019 was 24.5 deaths per year statewide, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly half of those deaths (10.2 each year on average) occurred in Cook County between 2015 and 2019.
Why do most bicycle accidents happen?
Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles often occur because the at-fault driver was behaving in a reckless or negligent manner. Specific reasons why include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Aggressive driving, including not sharing the road with cyclists (e.g., not giving enough room when passing, tailgating, failure to yield, etc.)
- Drivers opening the doors of parked cars without looking, resulting in a dooring accident, a term used for bicycle accidents involving cyclists being struck by an open car door
- Reckless driving, including drivers who run a red light or drive in a bicycle lane
- Speeding, especially at busy intersections where drivers don’t have time to slow down and avoid hitting a cyclist
- Drunk driving or falling asleep at the wheel, especially late at night
Bicycle crashes caused by drivers happen for many other reasons, but negligence is usually the common theme. That’s why it’s critical that injured cyclists or family members talk to a lawyer soon after a bicycle accident.
Talk to an attorney to protect your legal rights
Knowing what to do after a bicycle accident can be confusing. Even knowing what your rights are might not be clear. That’s why it’s important to talk to an attorney right away to learn more about the legal options available to you. In many cases, you or your family could be eligible to receive financial compensation for accident-related expenses, including medical bills and replacement income.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Coplan & Crane in the greater Chicago area have years of experience handling such complex legal cases. That’s why we have such a great track record for consistently securing sizable settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families.
If you or someone you love got hit by a car while riding a bike, learn more about how our law firm can help you. Contact us today in Oak Park to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Chicago bicycle accident attorney. We handle legal cases throughout Illinois.