I Got Hit by a Bicycle While Walking in Illinois: What Are My Legal Options?

i got hit by a bicycle while walking

“It was a beautiful sunny day in Chicago, and I was out for a walk, enjoying the weather. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bicycle came speeding down the sidewalk and slammed right into me. I was knocked to the ground, and the bicyclist just rode away without even stopping to see if I was okay.”

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, hit and injured by a bicycle while walking in Illinois, you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. The good news is you have legal rights and options for seeking compensation.

In this article, we’ll break down the laws surrounding bicycle-pedestrian accidents, what steps to take after being hit, and how a bicycle accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve.

Illinois Laws Regarding Bicycles and Pedestrians

While bicycles are not legally classified as vehicles in Illinois, bicyclists are still required to follow many of the same rules as motor vehicle drivers. The Illinois Vehicle Code states that bicyclists must obey traffic signals, stop at stop signs, and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks.

However, some specific laws apply only to bicyclists. For example, bicyclists must use a front white light and rear red reflector when riding at night, and they are required to signal their turns and stops using hand signals. Additionally, cyclists are not allowed to ride on sidewalks to protect pedestrians and prevent accidents.

When a bicyclist violates these laws and causes an accident, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages they cause. As a pedestrian, you have the right to expect bicyclists to follow the rules of the road and to share the space safely.

Common Causes of Bicycle-Pedestrian Accidents

Bicycle-pedestrian collisions can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Distracted biking: Just like distracted driving, bicyclists who are texting, using headphones, or otherwise not paying attention to the road can easily miss seeing a pedestrian and cause an accident.
  • Speeding and reckless riding: When bicyclists ride too fast or weave in and out of traffic, they put pedestrians at risk.
  • Poor visibility: Especially at night, it can be hard for bicyclists to see pedestrians if they’re not wearing reflective clothing or if the area is poorly lit.
  • Hazardous road conditions: Potholes, debris, and other road hazards can cause bicyclists to swerve unexpectedly and hit pedestrians.
  • Failure to yield: When either bicyclists or pedestrians fail to follow traffic laws and yield the right-of-way, accidents can easily occur.

Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Bicycle

If you’ve been hit by a bicycle, the first and most important step is to seek medical attention immediately. Even if your injuries seem minor at first, it’s crucial to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, may not show symptoms right away.

Once you’ve taken care of your health, here are the next steps to take:

  1. Call the police to file an accident report. This will create an official record of the incident.
  2. Gather evidence at the scene, if you’re able. Take photos of your injuries, the bicycle, and the surrounding area. Get contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident.
  3. Report the accident to your insurance company.
  4. Consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with bicycle accident cases.

Preserving Evidence for Your Bicycle Accident Claim

To build a strong case for compensation, you’ll need evidence to support your claim. In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment and following your doctor’s orders, be sure to keep track of all your medical bills and records related to the accident.

The police report from the accident will also be a key piece of evidence. If there were witnesses who saw what happened, their statements can help corroborate your version of events. Photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage can also be powerful evidence.

Compensation for Pedestrians Hit by Bicycles

If you’ve been hit and injured by a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including ER visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and more
  • Lost wages if you’ve had to miss work during your recovery
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Determining Liability in Bicycle-Pedestrian Collisions

To recover compensation, you’ll need to prove that someone else was at fault for the accident. In many cases, this will be the bicyclist if they were riding negligently by speeding, running a red light, riding on the sidewalk illegally, etc.

However, there are some situations where the pedestrian may be found to have some comparative negligence. For example, if you darted out into the street without looking and were hit by a bicycle, you might be found partially at fault.

Other potentially liable parties could include the bicycle manufacturer if a defective bike part caused the accident or a government entity if poorly maintained roads contributed to the collision.

Our experienced attorneys at Onward Injury Law will thoroughly investigate your case to identify all potentially liable parties and sources of compensation, including the bicyclist’s insurance policy, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and any third-party insurance policies that may apply.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Bicycle Accident Case

Dealing with a bicycle accident can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from injuries.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle all the legal heavy lifting for you, including:

  • Communicating with the insurance companies on your behalf
  • Conducting a thorough investigation into the accident
  • Identifying all potential sources of compensation
  • Negotiating for a maximum settlement
  • Taking your case to trial if necessary

At Onward Injury Law, we know that being hit by a bicycle as a pedestrian can turn your life upside down in an instant. You might be facing a long road to recovery, struggling with pain, medical bills, and time away from work. It’s a lot to handle on your own, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed.

That’s where we come in. Our attorneys have helped countless pedestrians across Illinois get through the legal process after a bicycle accident. We’ll take the time to understand your case, explore all your legal options, and advocate to get you the compensation you need to move forward.

So, if you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today.

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