Chicago has one of the greatest bicycle presences in the nation but also one of the highest rates of bicycle-related accidents. As cyclists continue to use the streets as a means of transportation, they face a very real risk of being struck by a car, potentially leading to serious injuries or even the death of the rider. To combat this risk, Chicago has taken steps to increase the safety of cyclists and motorists, especially in the congested areas downtown. Some streets have seen additional bicycle markings while others are now controlled by bicycle traffic signals.
When a collision involving a bicycle occurs, the victims of those accidents may be entitled to relief for their damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand whether you may be able to recover for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you were forced to incur due to your accident. In many cases, recoveries can be possible against an at-fault driver or even against the bicyclist’s own insurance company, depending on the facts of the collision itself and any official investigation that may have occurred afterwards.
Though many efforts have been expended in recent years to make the streets safer for bicycles, there is still a long way to go. Recognizing this, officials in Chicago announced plans to add an additional 20 miles of protected bicycle lanes throughout the city with the idea that collisions will be less likely to occur if bikes and cars are in segregated, separate areas of the street.
The plans for upgrades include five miles of bicycle lanes separated by bollard-style posts to prevent bicycle traffic from entering lanes designated for motor vehicle transit and vice versa. An additional 15 miles of bike lanes designated by street surface painting will be added during the spring and summer of 2014. This phase of alterations are planned to occur on Broadway between Montrose and Foster, on Harrison between Desplaines and Wabash, on Lake Street from Austin Boulevard to Central Park Avenue, on California between August Boulevard and North Avenue, on Halsted between 26th and 31st, and on Stony Island between 56th and 63rd Street.
Later in the year, additional bicycle path and lane renovations are planned to occur to increase safety for riders and motorists in the city as well as providing causal riders with the ability to travel in otherwise dangerous areas.
While efforts to increase bicycle safety are a positive move, accidents continue to cause injuries to cyclists every day in Chicago and across Illinois. If you have been involved in an accident while riding a bike, know that you have legal rights that may entitled you to seek relief for your damages.
The injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 to help you understand your legal rights. We offer a free case consultation to all those who have been injured in an accident and there is no obligation associated with taking advantage of the free call. If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we also offer a free in-home or in-hospital consultation to those accident victims in need.
If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, do not allow yourself to continue to be a victim. Call us today and let us help you get the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
2 Car Crash in Des Plaines Leaves Several Injured, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 3, 2014.
More bike lanes on way for Chicago, Chicago Tribune, published April 6, 2014.