For bicycling enthusiasts, there is a wide range of benefits that come from their chosen form of transportation. Biking reduces reliance on fossil fuels. Bikers are engaging in aerobic exercise that helps keep their body and heart in better shape. They can sometimes commute more quickly and directly than those traveling in cars, public transportation or taxis. For many, biking is simply an enjoyable activity.
However, there is a downside to biking as a means of transportation, particularly for commuters: serious accidents with those who operate motor vehicles. If you have suffered a car/bicycle accident, you need an attorney.
There are risks to cyclists, despite city efforts to improve safety
For years, the city of Chicago has recognized that bicycle traffic accidents are a serious issue. To reduce the number of accidents, the city has created over 200 miles of bike lanes on streets, as well as off-street paths, and invested in bike racks for cyclists to use around the city. This has helped provide safer spaces for cyclists who share the roads with cars, but it hasn’t eliminated the risk to cyclists. Many drivers simply fail to look for those on bikes when turning or changing lanes.
Drivers and passengers may hurt cyclists by “dooring” them. Dooring occurs when a car occupant opens one’s door in front of a cyclist, causing a crash. It is often done by mistake, but in some cases it is intentional. Dooring can cause grievous bodily injury or even death.
Bicycle accidents can have long-term impacts on families
Even when cyclists have proper safety equipment and follow the rules of the road, the risk of injury remains. A negligent driver can run them over, force them off the road or collide with them without suffering a scratch. The cyclist, on the other hand, could suffer broken bones, head injuries, spinal injures and a host of other serious injuries. The medical bills associated with emergency trauma care, surgeries and then physical therapy can become overwhelming, especially if the victim is unable to work while recuperating.
Personal injury attorneys can help you recover
Even if you have excellent health insurance and the driver of the car was fully insured, there may be lengthy delays before your medical bills get paid. The hospital may expect you to pay in the meantime. Being unable to do so could impact your credit or result in not receiving ongoing care. A bicycle accident attorney can negotiate with insurers to ensure prompt payment, review proposed settlements and even help you file a civil lawsuit if needed to recover the expenses incurred following your accident.