Can I Sue if I Get Hit by a Car on a Bike? | Bicycle Accident Claims

i got hit by a car on my bike can i sue

Getting hit by a car while riding your bicycle can leave you with serious injuries, mounting medical bills, and significant disruptions to your daily life. If the driver was negligent or reckless in causing the accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal action and compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against them.

While a successful case won’t undo the trauma, it can provide a sense of justice and financial relief during your recovery.

Who’s At-Fault in a Car vs. Bicycle Accident?

Illinois follows a “fault” system regarding vehicle accidents.

This rule means that the courts will hold the party responsible for causing the accident, usually the driver, for the resulting damages.

Evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage is necessary to prove fault and demonstrate the driver’s negligence.

Some negligent acts that cause drivers to hit unsuspecting cyclists include:

  • Distracted driving (texting, fiddling with the radio, etc.)
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to bicycles
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Shockingly, studies have shown that distracted driving alone accounts for nearly 58% of all bicycle accidents involving cars.

It’s a harsh reality that underscores the importance of holding negligent drivers accountable.

Proving Negligence and Building Strong Cases Against Drivers

As mentioned earlier, you must prove that the driver was negligent before filing a personal injury action in Illinois court.

It involves showing that the driver owed you a “duty of care” to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly but failed to do so.

You’ll also need to demonstrate that this breach of duty directly caused the accident and your injuries.

Evidence is key to building a strong case.

The following discoverable evidence can prove causation in a bicycle accident:

  • Police reports detailing the crash
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Traffic camera or dashcam footage
  • Accident reconstruction by experts

Your personal injury attorney will gather and present this evidence compellingly to prove the driver is responsible for all the harm and financial damages you’ve incurred.

Recoverable Damages in Bicycle Accident Lawsuits

Economic and non-economic are available in personal injury lawsuits.

If you were involved in a bicycle accident, the at-fault driver must pay your:

  • Medical expenses (ambulance rides, ER visits, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.)
  • Lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working
  • Property damage to your bicycle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases of extreme recklessness by the driver

It’s important to note that even if you weren’t operating a motor vehicle at the time of the bicycle accident, your own auto insurance policy may still provide coverage in certain circumstances.

Many policies include provisions for incidents involving bicycles or pedestrians struck by vehicles. However, the extent of coverage can vary depending on your specific insurance policy. We recommend speaking with your insurance agent or contacting our personal injury attorneys to fully understand your options and rights after being involved in a bicycle accident.

Our legal team can review your policy and advise you on the best course of action to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from all available sources, including your own insurer.

What to Expect From Insurance Claims and Payouts

After your bicycle accident cases, you may want to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.

However, dealing with insurance adjusters alone can be tricky.

Never Take the First Offer

Insurance companies train their employees to minimize your injuries or shift blame to you to avoid paying out the full amount they owe you.

It’s important to remember that insurers aim to profit by paying you as little as possible.

Personal Injury Lawyers Level the Playing Field

Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer on your side during settlement negotiations makes a big difference. Your legal counsel will handle all communications with adjusters and negotiate aggressively on your behalf.

Also, remember that policy limits will impact your insurance payout. If the at-fault driver’s coverage doesn’t pay all your damages, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover the difference.

Illinois Statute of Limitations

If you’re considering filing a bicycle accident lawsuit in Illinois, you must act quickly.

Our state has a statute of limitations, or time limit, on personal injury and property damage lawsuits. In most cases, you have just two years from the accident date to file your claim.

Two years may seem like plenty of time, but it’s really not considering how long it takes to gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies.

Evidence can also disappear, witnesses can forget details, and injuries can worsen over time. By involving an attorney early on, you’ll give your case the best possible chance of success.

Working with a Bicycle Accident Attorney

Why is having a dedicated personal injury attorney in your corner so important?

A skilled bicycle accident lawyer will:

  • Thoroughly investigate your case and file your insurance claim
  • Interface with insurance companies on your behalf
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if necessary
  • Get you the maximum settlement or jury award possible

Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront, and they only get paid if they win your case.

This perk allows you to access top-quality legal representation, regardless of your financial situation.

Hit By a Car? Contact Onward Injury Law Today

Remember, central Illinois has a personal injury attorney close by, so you don’t have to face your bicycle crash injuries alone. Onward Injury Law thoroughly understands how insurance companies and the Illinois courts handle bicycle accident claims.

We’ll investigate your case, prove the driver’s negligence, and fight for a settlement or award for your injuries and future losses. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

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