Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorney
Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC has built a reputation in Chicago as the place injured bike riders turn to when they seek justice. Our experienced Chicago bicycle accident attorneys have represented hundreds of injured clients, obtaining large settlements and verdicts, including mutli-million dollar awards, for injured cyclists in the Chicago area. At the law offices of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, we know bike laws and we advocate for bike rights. Call us today for a free consultation at (312) 586-1700.
Through our vast experience with injured cyclists in and out of the courtroom, and our time working with bicycle advocacy organizations like the Active Transportation Alliance, we have shared tips for safe riding, avoiding injuries and summarized important changes in the law. As cycling in Chicago continues to grow and more bike accidents happen in Chicago, it is important to know the law, know your rights, and know what to do when injured in a bike accident.
Why Choose Us
- Our firm represents individuals in their claims against negligent, or reckless, parties, including dangerous drivers. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing multiple types of personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents.
- We have a strong track record of successful settlements and record-breaking verdicts, securing over $400 million on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys will fight tenaciously to secure maximum compensation for your recovery.
- Our lawyers understand how painful a bicycle accident can be. We will handle all aspects of your claim on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your healing. Additionally, our attorneys will be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Chicago Bicycle Laws
If injured, it is vital that Chicago cyclists know their legal rights and seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately for injured bicyclists, the City of Chicago and State of Illinois have passed favorable laws that hold negligent drivers accountable for bicycle accidents. The City of Chicago through the Chicago Municipal Code addresses the following bicycle laws:
Improper Right Turn in Front of a Bicycle
Improper Left Turn in Front of a Bicycle
Overtaking Bicycle Rider at Unsafe Distance (Less than 3 feet)
Opening and closing vehicle doors in traffic
Standing or parking in a bike lane is forbidden
If a driver violates any of the above laws and causes a bicycle accident, you could hold him or her accountable for your damages. Additionally, if a driver violates any other traffic laws—including laws on speeding, drinking and driving, distracted driving, or running a red light—you can also hold him or her liable for your losses. Speak to an attorney at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Can You File an Insurance Claim as a Cyclist?
Like most states, Illinois follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. This means that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for their victims’ damages. These victims may include other drivers and their passengers, as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. You have the right to file a claim with the insurance company against the at-fault driver as a cyclist.
You as a bicyclist can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in civil court. Most bicycle accident claims begin in the insurance stage before proceeding to a lawsuit if they are unsuccessful. However, there are certain situations where you may want to file a lawsuit from the beginning. If you have very high losses that exceed the driver’s liability coverage limits, it may be in your best interests to file a lawsuit.
In some cases, the driver may not have insurance coverage, despite Illinois law requiring this policy. In this situation, you could file a claim using your own insurance coverage. Illinois requires all liability insurance policies to come with uninsured motorist coverage; if you have auto insurance, you likely have this policy. Speak to a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC to identify your optimal path to recovery.
Damages Available to Bicycle Accident Victims
Like in many personal injury cases, bike injuries vary from typical bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes, to more serious fractures and spinal disk injuries, to catastrophic crashes resulting in death or paralysis. Some of the most common bike injuries result from the cyclist being injured by an opened door, commonly referred to as a ‘dooring’ injury, or being run over and/or off the road by a car or truck.
Through a bicycle accident lawsuit or insurance claim, however, you can recover compensation for the losses you sustained due to the collision. You can hold the driver accountable for your economic, or financial, losses, as well as your non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering.
Common damages in bicycle accident cases include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including hospitalizations, surgeries, and prescription medication
- Lost wages during your recovery period and loss of future earnings and benefits if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Property damage, including repairs and replacements for your bicycle
- Physical pain and suffering, including chronic pain, disability, disfigurement, and amputation
- Emotional pain and suffering, including mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and the development of mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
What to Do After a Chicago Bike Accident
The moments after a bicycle accident can be overwhelming and disorienting. However, evidence is often the freshest immediately after an accident. If injured in a bike accident in Chicago or Illinois, our office recommends that the victim remain calm, assess the injuries and damage and take the following steps.
- Call 911. This will bring law enforcement to the scene, as well as emergency medical services. The responding officer will create a police report that will include vital information, including the officer’s opinion on how the accident occurred.
- Collect all witness information. These witnesses could provide valuable evidence for your future claim, corroborating your version of events and establishing the driver’s negligence. Collect the witnesses’ phone numbers, names, and email addresses, if possible.
- Tell the police officer your side of the story (if possible). While your first priority should be your health and safety, speaking to the officer ensures that your side of the story is on the record. However, be careful and avoid making statements about your injuries or your fault in the accident.
- Make sure the witness is listed in the police report. If you are unable to reach out to the witnesses at the scene, ensuring that their information is in the report will help you contact them at a later date.
- Make sure to get a copy of the police report. The responding officer will usually make the report available within a week or two of the accident, which you can request through the police department. You can use this information to prove your right to compensation and establish the at-fault driver’s liability.
- Take pictures of your bike, the car, and the scene. Photographic evidence is vital to insurance claims and lawsuits. Make sure to take as many pictures as you can from as many angles as possible. Additionally, photograph any visible injuries that you have.
- Don’t refuse medical attention if needed. In fact, you should always receive medical attention after an accident, even if you do not feel hurt. You may have underlying injuries that you are not aware of. Your medical records will provide valuable evidence in your claim, and insurance companies may use your failure to receive treatment against you.
The next step is to contact an experienced, aggressive and compassionate Chicago bicycle injury attorney such as Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Unlike other firms who simply say they help injured cyclists, we have a proven track record of taking bike injury cases to trial and securing significant verdicts, oftentimes vindicating a cyclist improperly faulted for their injuries. If injured in a bike accident in Chicago or the Chicago area, the best choice in bike injury law is the firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer In Chicago
It can feel tempting to handle a bicycle accident claim without an attorney on your side. However, these cases can be complex—and hiring a lawyer to represent you in your insurance claim or lawsuit can provide several benefits. Some of the reasons why you may need a bicycle accident attorney include the following.
- During the course of your claim, you may need to negotiate with insurance representatives. Your lawyer will have significant experience navigating these discussions and will have the skills necessary to advocate for your best interests.
- Liability in bicycle accidents can be unclear, and you want to provide sufficient evidence to prove the driver’s fault. Your lawyer will conduct an in-depth investigation into your accident on your behalf, building a compelling case in your favor.
- In some cases, you may need additional support to prove your right to compensation. Your attorney will have access to expert witnesses who can validate your claims and provide insight into your injuries, such as medical professionals or manufacturing specialists.
- To ensure you receive sufficient compensation, you will need to estimate your damages. However, calculating your award can be a challenge without prior experience. Your lawyer will examine your case and identify every possible avenue of compensation, creating an accurate estimate. He or she will then use this information to assess any settlement offers you may receive.
If you are in a Chicago bicycle accident, you need an attorney on your side. The lawyers at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC have the skills, experience, and resources to handle your case from start to finish.