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Articles Posted in Bicycle Accident

Recent decades have seen an explosion in the amount of bicycling around the Chicago area among riders of all ages. With it, the rise of Chicago’s reputation as a cycling city has emerged to rival that of many large cities across the country. If all cyclists and drivers act responsibly, riding a bicycle can continue to be a viable means of transit around the city.

But to ensure safety, experts recommend that all those who ride – regardless of their age – use a Consumer Product Safety Commission approved helmet whenever they take to their bikes. It is estimated that the proper use of an approved helmet can reduce 85 percent of all head injuries sustained by American cyclists, including those who are involved in accidents in Illinois.
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In Chicago and in the rest of Illinois, bicyclists are legally authorized to ride in the roads as they move about town. When no distinction for bicycle traffic exists, riders are able to maintain a lane of traffic just like a car, truck, or van can and bicycle flow is controlled by the same devices as vehicular traffic. In many areas of downtown, separate lanes on the roads exist for bicycle traffic, and in some cases, those lanes are even protected by barriers or bollards which prevent cyclists and motorists from mixing unintentionally. Some roadways even possess unique traffic signals that control only cycle traffic and that let riders move through the city in a safe and efficient manner.

These innovations in cycling have arisen due to necessity in Chicago as the number of riders continues to increase dramatically every year. As bicycle accidents have increased with the increase in ridership, those in charge of safety in the city have taken action to limit the mandatory interactions between bikes and cars.
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If you follow the rules of the road in Illinois, you should be able to make it from Point A to Point B without any issues. Your safety should not be compromised and you should not be involved in any type of traffic accident. Unfortunately, what should or should not happen on the streets of Chicago is not the way that reality works in the city. Rather, anyone – whether they are the driver of a car, a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or a motorcyclist – is at the mercy of others in the area and a mistake by another can leave anyone injured when a collision occurs.

Among the various types of collisions that can happen, some are more likely than others to result in injuries or even death. Pedestrian crashes, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle collisions are some types that result in a large number of injuries because those involved have little to nothing to protect themselves in the event of an impact. In contrast, those riding in a vehicle like a car or a van are injured at a lower rate and those in very large vehicles like a semi-truck are injured even less.
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As individuals traversing the Chicago area, we like to believe that our actions control our safety and that if we move with caution, we will be free from injury. Yet that is not always the case as every day, innocent people are involved in traffic collisions simply because another person near them acted negligently or recklessly. These collisions may trigger a victim to incur significant hardship and may leave them in need of medical help, possibly while being forced to miss time from work. The suffering caused by a crash rarely ends at the scene of the collision and often continues for weeks, months, or even years.

If you are a victim of a car accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian collision in Chicago and you are injured, make sure you understand whether you have a valid claim for your damages. If you do not realize the totality of your options and you fail to act upon them within a time period set by law, you will be prevented from ever obtaining payment for your injuries and you will never get the compensation that you deserve. When you are unsure of your standing, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize your possible routes towards a recovery.
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In Chicago, no one is endowed with the right to infringe on the safety of others, regardless of who that person is. Yet every day, drivers seem to forget this clear and simple fact when they take to the roads in a negligent or reckless manner, threatening a collision that may leave their passengers, those in other cars, and even pedestrians and cyclists injured or killed. When this happens, local authorities may step in and bring criminal or traffic charges against an errant driver but those charges only work as a punishment after the fact – nothing can ever erase the damage that is caused once a car accident takes place.

The injuries and the pain and suffering that must be endured by a victim or that victim’s surviving family members likewise cannot be eliminated overnight but that does not meant that there is no help available. Rather, the laws of Illinois and of Chicago guarantee victims with certain protections, including the right to seek and obtain financial compensation for their damages. If you have been the victim of a traffic accident in Chicago, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize your legal options and can help you obtain the payment that you deserve.
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Right now, many bicyclists in Chicago are in the middle of celebrating Chicago Bike Week, an annual event that highlights cycling in all of its forms – for pleasure, as transportation, and as exercise, among others. But this year, the celebrations may be bigger than ever before as a major biking project is set to go live by Friday of this week, just in time for the end of Chicago Bike Week.

Dubbed the Wells Street Green Wave, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Transportation have confirmed the project is near completion and is just about ready for daily use. The Wells Street Green Wave consists of a series of traffic lights along Wells Street in downtown Chicago that will control the flow of bicycle traffic only. Nestled between Huron Street and Wacker Drive, the lights will enable a quicker travel time for many who ride and will allow cyclists to reach between six and 12 miles per hour when all the lights are synchronized and green.
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Anyone can be injured in a bicycle accident when they ride in Chicago or when they ride elsewhere in Illinois. Collisions can happen due to a number of factors that often include mistakes by those involved, whether it is the mistake of a bicyclist or the mistake of the driver of a motor vehicle. Yet regardless of the factors that lead to a crash, the results can be eerily similar – serious injuries or even death may strike those cyclists or even those motorists.

When a bicycle accident happens in the Chicago area, victims may be confused about where to turn or whether they are even entitled to relief. In most cases, victims can bring a civil claim for their damages and those claims can seek monetary payment for the totality of the damages that result from the accident whether those damages take the form of medical expenses, rehabilitative care, lost wages, permanency of injuries, or even pain and suffering. To seek this relief, victims must take affirmative action and must preserve their rights within a time period specified by law. Actions by local police and state officials, like issuing a ticket or levying criminal charges, will not effectively preserve a victim’s rights or pursue that victim’s interests so if you have been hurt, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to ensure that you are covered.
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There is no denying it – when compared to similar cities across the country, Chicago is considered a bicycle friendly town. Recent years have seen numerous innovations aimed at improving the safety of riding along the streets while simultaneously improving traffic flow and alleviating congestion. Many of these changes can be seen in the Loop and in the more popular surrounding neighborhoods but gems for bicyclists can be found in countless parts of the city.

Riding for pleasure is not the only type of ridership that has increased recently, though. According to the League of American Bicyclists, commuting by bicycle has increased 389 percent in Chicago between 1990 and 2013. Projections indicate that more commuters took to their bikes in 2014 as well and that this number is anticipated to keep growing.
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In recent decades, Chicago has morphed into a metropolitan area that caters to bicyclists both in the downtown Loop and in many of the surrounding neighborhoods of the city. As cycling has increased in popularity, officials have taken affirmative steps to increase the safety of riders and to keep motorists safe as well. Implements like shared bicycle lanes, bicycle-only lanes, protected bike lanes, and bicycle-specific traffic signals are some of the changes that residents have seen recently and some changes that people can continue to anticipate in the coming years.

Despite these steps taken at the local and state level and despite the increased awareness and presence of bicyclists, bike accidents continue to happen in Chicago and across Illinois. Though there are countless reasons for these collisions, the predominate factor continues to be driver error or negligence. Those in automobiles or on bicycles who fail to notice cyclists or respect their rights to ride continue to create hazardous situations that lead to collisions and often, as a result, injuries or even death of the rider involved.
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May is National Bike Month, a time of year that many bicycle advocacy groups use to raise awareness of cycling and to remind motorists of the presence of bikes on local roads. This issue is important in Chicago because of the large number of commuters who choose to ride to and from work in addition to those who ride bicycles for pleasure or exercise. The laws in Chicago govern the transit of these bikes just like they do the transit of vehicles and if everyone on the roads obeyed all laws, these two groups could coexist harmoniously.

Unfortunately, the real world reflects that some cyclists and some drivers fail to follow all applicable traffic rules and laws and therefore cause dangerous situations that may lead to a bicycle accident. The victims of these accidents who suffer injuries may be inconvenienced for some time or may be permanently harmed due to these collisions and they may be forced to incur substantial medical expenses. The laws in Illinois understand that collisions happen and injuries may result and therefore the laws have established procedures through which a victim can obtain payment for his or her injuries. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize your options if you have been injured and if you have questions following a Chicago-area accident.
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