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What are the most common types of Illinois bicycle accidents?

Nature of Illinois bike accidentsPrior to delving into the specific issues and mechanics found within Illinois bike accident cases, we should spend some time reviewing the overall makeup and impetus for these lawsuits.  These might offer you some insight as to the area of law that you will be wondering into as well as the challenges and opportunities that you will face.  Practically, it will also explain to you where to find these cases because this is how they typically kickoff.



MOST COMMON FORMS OF ILLINOIS BIKE ACCIDENT CASES:

  • Negligence

Negligence actions are the most frequent form of bike accident cases in Illinois and probably the most familiar to the general public.  The basis of these lawsuits is that the defendant acted unreasonably in the circumstances and that that conduct caused the plaintiff’s injuries.  Through their counsel, bike accident victims must prove the following elements to be successful at trial or through settlement:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty not to do something.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • That breach caused the plaintiff injuries.
  • Those injuries manifested into actual damages for the plaintiff.

Typically, in bike accident cases, plaintiffs sue the opposite party involved in the incident.  However, sometimes they also might go after a person or entity that was not even there such as an employer.  This indirect form of liability is most often seen when the person who instigated the incident was working at the time of the crash or collision.  To make the case that the employer should be responsible, though, plaintiffs must show that the company had some sort of control, supervision, and benefit associated with the work that was being performed at the tome of the accident.  Otherwise, they will argue that the employee was acting outside of the scope of his or her employment at that time and that as such they should be liable for any injuries that resulted.

  • PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Though not as ubiquitous as negligence actions, products liability lawsuits can result from bike accidents across Illinois.  These causes of action essentially allege that a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer negligently designed or produced a product and that negligent design or production caused you injuries.  Furthermore, as part of any products liability case, plaintiffs must affirm and prove that they were using the product as it was intended to be used and in a reasonable manner.  It is important to keep in mind that some plaintiffs in bike accident cases develop both negligence and products liability theories in their complaint and subsequent case.

MOST COMMON TYPES OF ILLINOIS BIKE ACCIDENTS: 

  • CAR DOOR

Quite possibly due to their simplicity, car door bike accidents also maintain a very frequent status among Illinois litigation.  It is not hard to see why-the explosion of urban centers as put bikers in close contact with innumerable pedestrians, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other obstacles.  Generally, collisions between bikers and car doors involve the former falling off their bikes, flying over the car’s hood, or swerving into additional danger.  Whatever the particular circumstances, the bicyclist is often left with significant personal injury, medical bills, and even financial losses (including bike damage).  To learn more about car door cases, click here.

  • FAILURE TO YIELD

Though they might act like it, motorists are not kings of the road.  They actually are obligated by law to avoid collisions and to yield where appropriate in order to do so.  Unfortunately, many car, truck, and motorcycle fail to do this and thousands of people die every year as a result according to federal studies.  Generally, failure to yield accidents occur when motorists are trying to merge, back up, or go through a crosswalk but they can also happen in many other manners.  To read more about failure to yield issues in Illinois, click here.

  • SIDESWIPE ACCIDENT

Due to the makeup and two-wheel design of bikes, they are extremely vulnerable to any collision with motorists.  One common crash scenario that leaves many bicyclists injured or even killed is the sideswipe.  Often referred to as a “glancing blow,” sideswipes generally occur when drivers lose bikers in blind spots, merge without looking, or shift into other lanes because of another impending collision.  Normally, bicyclists are flown from their bikes and can even be hit again as they are sent into opposing traffic.  Therefore, sideswipe incidents have the potential to escalate into chain-reaction situations.  To read more about sideswipes, click here.

  • TURNING ACCIDENT

The rules of the road are laid out at every level of government including the local, state, and federal systems.  However, this does not mean that drivers follow them and it does offer any worthwhile protection for pedestrians or bicyclists before they are injured.  The most common scenarios for turning accidents are on left, right, and gap turns.  Traditionally, left turn accidents are the most offensive because the biker normally has the right of way and right turn accidents are the most serious because the driver normally did not see the biker prior to the incident.  To review the issues associated with left and right turns in bike accidents, and identify what compensation could be available to you, click here.

For more information on questions related to Bicycle Accidents please visit the following pages: