The accident attorneys at Malman Law understand that in Chicago, bicycling is a great option for city goers and reaps many benefits both financially, physically and is a way to potentially improve the quality of city air. Unfortunately, on our busy city streets, bicycle accidents seem to occur often. Our attorneys want both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists to know that by law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as a motorized vehicle. Despite these laws and bicycle safety programs, cyclists are still an at risk group who are injured and or killed in accidents on the roadways all too often and treated unfairly by motor vehicle drivers. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that “677 pedal cyclists deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.” If you were a bicyclist who was injured in an accident, contact a Chicago accident attorney today to learn about your legal rights.
If you are involved in a traffic collision as a cyclist—
Just as if you are in a motor vehicle accident, first call 911 right away. Secondly, always seek medical attention. In accidents such as this, pain may not be initially felt. Head and spinal injuries particularly do not always have immediate symptoms, but can be very serious and even deadly. The city of Chicago’s Safety in Motion program also states that “victims and or witnesses of such accidents should always get the following information from every vehicle driver: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, make of car, insurance company name and policy number.” Additional steps to take are to write down the names and phone numbers of witnesses, get the police report number from police on the scene and to note how the crash happened. For future use, photos of damaged equipment is important to keep for evidence. If possible, keeping the damaged equipment can be useful for investigation. If you are unsure of your legal rights, a Chicago accident attorney can provide accurate legal advice that will ensure you are treated fairly as a cyclist.
Assaults to Cyclists—
Bicyclists are treated the same as motor vehicles; however, many motorists do not know this and often become angry with cyclists, yell at them to get off the road, or even drive unsafely near a cyclist such as too close in distance.
Chicago’s Safety in Motion program states that motorists who touch or put a cyclist in danger may be guilty of assault. If you are a cyclist and feel as if your injury was due to a reckless or dangerous driver, always try to get all possible information of the vehicle including license plate number, the vehicle make, and the time and place that it occurred. Contacting a vehicle accident attorney may also be the right option for you to recover from medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Learn more about Chicago’s Safe Bicycling program here: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/bicycling/publications/bike_chicago_english.pdf.