In Illinois, bicyclists have the same right to use the roadways as motor vehicles. Illinois law specifically requires motorists to exercise due care to avoid hitting bicyclists. Even with these protections, bicycle accidents still occur and bicyclists are injured because of dangerously negligent or inattentive drivers.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident as a result of negligence on the part of the motorist, you may be eligible to pursue legal damages with assistance from a Will County bicycle accident lawyer. If you choose to retain one, an experienced personal injury attorney could evaluate your case and fight to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
In a case seeking damages for negligence in Will County, the plaintiff would be tasked with proving that the defendant was negligent. This requires demonstrating that the other driver had a duty of care they subsequently breached, the breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury, and compensable physical damages were sustained because of that injury.
The types of evidence that may be required to prove liability in a bicycle accident case depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. Witness statements could be used to establish how an accident occurred. In some cases, they may exist as part of an official record generated by law enforcement officers who responded to the scene of an accident. In others, witness statements may be obtained using discovery tools such as depositions.
Some particularly complicated bicycle accident cases might require an expert witness analysis or opinion. These types of witnesses may either provide their opinion through a formal deposition or may be called as a witness at trial. Since not every bicycle accident lawsuit requires accident reconstruction, it may be best to consult a bicycle accident attorney about the specific requirements of an individual case in Will County.
How “Dooring” Could Impact Claims
A common type of incident that could cause bicycle accidents is a scenario known as “dooring”. Dooring occurs when a person intentionally or unintentionally opens a car door into the path of a cyclist. This may typically occur when a passenger or driver does not see a cyclist coming their way.
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-1407, any occupant of a motor vehicle should not open the door unless it is reasonably safe to do so. This law places the burden on the passenger to show they exercised reasonable care when opening a door in any ensuing civil case.
A knowledgeable attorney could be an invaluable asset for a person dealing with any number of injuries or legal issues.
Recoverable Damages Following Bike Accidents
An injured plaintiff in Will County may be able to recover both economic and non-economic compensation for injuries related to a bike crash. Economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, could be calculated almost exactly in terms of dollar figures. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may be more difficult for the plaintiff to prove.
In cases of long-term pain and suffering or permanent impairment, some bicycle accident lawyers in Will County might advance a per diem when trying to arrive at a damage figure. Others may work to catalog the plaintiff’s injuries and consult a mortality table to arrive at a figure for non-economic damages. In most cases, potential damages that may be available to injured plaintiffs include:
- Past, present, and future medical and hospital bills
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Compensation for permanent injuries and damages
- Loss of consortium
- Compensation for lost wages
- Wrongful death
Contacting a Will County Bicycle Accident Attorney
While no one may be able to anticipate being severely injured in a bicycle accident, the steps you take following a collision may directly impact your ability to recover damages from the party responsible for your accident. A skilled Will County bicycle accident lawyer could evaluate your case and determine whether your claim is worth pursuing. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.