Koester & Bradley Handles Bicycle Accidents in Champaign-Urbana and Across Illinois

 


Illinois as a state, and in particular Champaign-Urbana with its proximity it the University of Illinois flagship campus, are hotbeds for bicycle traffic.  Most communities across Illinois embrace bicycle usage by building bike paths and installing dedicate bicycle lanes on roadways.  Increasing bike traffic has many benefits to the community such as decreasing automobile and vehicle traffic and thus reducing deadly car accidents, and also providing a more environmentally friendly atmosphere in Central Illinois communities. However bicycle accidents can also be very dangerous in Champaign-Urbana and throughout Illinois since cyclists can collide and interfere with both pedestrian traffic and also automobile traffic.  The result is that in communities such as college towns like Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana bike accidents are both common and dangerous.  Furthermore, when bicycles collide with or are struck by automobiles, the damages can be just as dangerous and deadly as car accidents.

The personal injury and accident attorney team at Koester & Bradley have been assisting victims of bike accidents for decades and have an exceptional track record of success.  Our bicycle crash attorney team has tackled difficult cases involving cars hitting bikers on bike paths, cars getting into accidents with bikers in crosswalks and on the roadways.  Additionally, Koester & Bradley's injury lawyers have assisted Champaign Urbana residents when bicyclists cause accidents with pedestrians.  Bike accidents are complicated, so no matter how significant your injuries are after a bicycle crash it is best to protect your rights by contacting a local attorney immediately after seeking medical attention.

Like most accidents in Illinois, the numbers associated with bicycle accidents speak for themselves.

HOW MANY BICYCLISTS ARE INJURED IN ILLINOIS? 

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 3,343 bicycle crashes in 2016 which account for 1% of overall crashes reported in Illinois.  A total of 3,138 bicyclists were injured in 2016 with 362 individuals sustaining incapacitating injuries. 20 bicyclists died as a result of these crashes.    

If you or a loved one was injured while riding a bicycle, you may be able to recover monetary damages--the Champaign bike accident lawyers at Koester & Bradley can help.   

COMMON CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS 

  • Automobile Drivers failing to yield to bicyclists. 
  • Car Drivers failing to give right of way to bicyclists during turns, especially left-hand turns. 
  • Car and Truck Drivers sideswiping bicyclists while shifting lanes or merging. 
  • Auto Drivers or passengers of motor vehicles failing to look before opening car doors.  Yes, this happens in real life, not just in the movies. 
  • Drivers engaging in texting or other distractions. In fact, Koester & Bradley's legal team was involved in an accident case where a distracted driver killed a bicyclist which served as the foundation for Illinois' distracted driving litigation.
  • Vehicle Drivers engaging in speeding or other reckless driving. 
  • Drivers driving drunk or impaired due to use of drugs. 
  • Mechanical Defects of the bicycle, e.g. defective wheels, brakes, etc. 
  • Improperly maintained bike paths. 

COMMON BICYCLISTS INJURIES 

  • Road Rash 
  • Punctures and Lacerations 
  • Fractures and Joint Damage 
  • Back and Neck Injury 
  • Brain Injury and Concussion
  • Death 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT? 

  • Avoid moving if seriously injured.  Let medical personnel assist you. 
  • Call the police and file a formal report.   
  • Seek the necessary medical treatment. 
  • Hire a qualified personal injury attorney. 
  • Do NOT admit fault for the accident to anyone at the scene of the accident. 
  • Do NOT plead guilty in court. 
  • Do NOT agree to a recorded statement with the insurance carrier before seeking legal advice. 
  • Do NOT accept a check from the at-fault driver or his/her insurance company as this can be construed as a settlement agreement which can preclude you from recovering additional money. 

WHY HIRE AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY LIKE KOESTER & BRADLEY? 

Koester & Bradley, LLP provides our bicycle clients the following services: 

  • Police Report Request and all associated costs will be handled by our team
  • Medical Records & Billing Statement Requests 
  • Communication With Insurance Adjusters whose sole goal in life if to minimize what their companies have to pay.
  • Settlement Negotiations with Insurance companies (Allstate, State Farm, Country Companies, Geico, AAA, American Family and others.)
  • Negotiations With Lien Holders such as facilities such as hospitals, emergency rooms, ambulance companies, and clinics.
  • Consulting with Experts If Necessary, e.g. accident reconstruction specialist 
  • Drafting & Filing of Court Pleadings If Necessary 
  • Court Appearances If Necessary 

SUBMIT YOUR CASE

Call a Lawyer

HOW DO I PAY FOR AN ATTORNEY? 

The Champaign-Urbana accident attorneys of Koester & Bradley, LLP represent all personal injuries cases including bicycle accidents on a contingency fee basis.  This means that if we are unable to recover compensation for you then we do not receive a fee.   

WHAT CAN BE RECOVERED? 

  • Payment of Medical Bills 
  • Pain and Suffering Compensation 
  • Emotional Distress 
  • Lost Income Compensation 
  • Punitive Damages in very outrageous situations
  • Bicycle Repair or Replacement 
  • Loss of Consortium 
  • Loss of Financial Support 
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses 

 

WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE? ARE BICYCLE ACCIDENTS COVERED?

Under Illinois law, motorists are required to carry liability insurance that covers for property damage and bodily injury they cause others.   The Koester & Bradley personal injury and bike accident team has experience recovering money under all sorts of insurance situations.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage 

Under Illinois law, motor vehicle drivers are required to have Uninsured (UM) coverage.  This insurance pays for bodily injury to the driver, members of his/her household, the driver’s passengers and anyone other person authorized to drive his/her car if the individual lacks liability coverage of his/her own.   

Underinsured Motorist Coverage 

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance is not required under Illinois law but is additional coverage made available for purchase to motor vehicle owners.  This insurance can be used to pay for bodily injury damages if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits do not cover the full amount of your damages.  UIM covers the difference between your UIM limits and the at-fault driver’s coverage.   

I WAS HIT BY AN UNINSURED DRIVER, WHAT CAN I DO? 

You can always try suing the driver personally to collect a judgment.  However, a search of assets may reveal that the person cannot afford to pay the judgment against him/her.  You can pay for your damages under uninsured motorist policy if you have one. 

DOES ILLINOIS REQUIRE BICYCLISTS TO WEAR HELMETS?

Koester & Bradley, LLP provides our motorcycle clients the following services:

  • Police Report Request
  • Medical Records & Billing Statement Requests
  • Communication With Insurance Adjusters
  • Settlement Negotiations
  • Negotiations With Lien Holders
  • Consulting with Experts If Necessary, e.g. accident reconstruction specialist
  • Drafting & Filing of Court Pleadings If Necessary
  • Court Appearances If Necessary
I WAS HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER; CAN I SUE THE BAR?

Under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, you may be able to recover damages from a bar, liquor store, restaurant or other business licensed to sell alcoholic beverages if it can be proven that the business contributed to the drunk driving accident in which you were injured. 

In order to be successful in a Dram Shop Act claim, you would need to prove the following: 

  • The driver who caused the accident was intoxicated at the time of the accident. 
  • The bar, restaurant, liquor store, or other business (or one of its employees) sold or gave alcohol to the driver who then consumed it. 
  • The alcohol caused the driver’s intoxication. 
  • The driver’s intoxication was at least one cause of the accident. 
  • You suffered injury or property damage as a result of the accident. 

Damages recovered in a Dram Shop Act claim are subject to statutory caps.  $67,356.23 limit for personal injury or property damage and $82,324.28 limit for loss of means of support of loss of society apply to accidents which occurred on or after January 20, 2017.   

The Statute of Limitations in a Dram Shop Act claim is 1 year, which is not tolled for injuries to a minor.    

WHAT ABOUT TEXTING AND DRIVING AND BICYCLE ACCIDENTS?

Texting, using a hand-held cellphone or other forms of distracted driving are acts of negligence.  Illinois law enacted a 2009 law prohibiting the sending and/or reading of text messages and e-mails while behind the wheel.  Illinois also banned the use of hand-held cellphone while driving in 2014.  

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT TO FILE A BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWSUIT IN ILLINOIS?

Yes.  In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file your personal injury lawsuit.   

Additionally, under Illinois law, compensation can be reduced under the “modified comparative fault” rule.  This means that your compensation can be reduced based on your percentage of fault.  For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault for the motorcycle accident, your compensation could be reduced by 25%.  If you are found to be 51% at fault for the motorcycle accident, you can be barred from any recovery.    

THE INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERED ME SOME MONEY FOR MY BIKE ACCIDENT, SHOULD I TAKE IT?
The personal injury and accident attorneys at Koester & Bradley, LLP would strongly advise against accepting a settlement without first having an attorney review the insurance company’s offer.  The offer may not fairly and fully compensate you for your injuries.  You may be entitled to better settlement.   
Illinois Bicycle Accident Lawyers

 

Illinois Bicycle accidents are especially tragic. Due to the large differential in size and speed between bicycles and automobiles and trucks, when a car crashes into a bike--the results are deadly. -Ryan Bradley and Tom Koester