Cycling can be both a form of exercise and a convenient way to commute in Bloomington. Motorists are expected to share the road with bicyclists. However, inattentive drivers may unintentionally strike a biker, causing them severe trauma.
A Bloomington bicycle accident lawyer could help if you have been hurt or someone you love has been injured or killed while biking. An attorney could give you advice on how best to proceed, either through the insurance claim process or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Bicycle Injuries
Even if cyclists wear helmets, the injuries they can sustain in a vehicle-bicycle accident can be severe. Bikers can suffer harm to the brain, including concussions, bleeding, swelling, and trauma. Brain damage can be evident immediately or may take time to develop.
Broken bones are also common in bike accidents. When cyclists are struck by a vehicle, they can be thrown from their bike, resulting in fractured or shattered bones. These injuries can take a long time to heal, may require surgery, and could cause permanent impairment. In some cases, they can lead to lung punctures or internal bleeding.
Lacerations and road rash usually accompany other bike injuries. Wounds can make an injured victim susceptible to infection, so it is essential to get proper medical care after an incident. These injuries can also cause scarring and disfigurement. Since injuries in bike crashes can be catastrophic, an attorney in Bloomington may able to recover substantial compensation on behalf of a claimant.
How is an Injured Biker Compensated?
Before filing a lawsuit, a person injured in a bicycle wreck may go through the insurance claims process. Illinois requires drivers to have vehicle insurance with certain policies and minimums. If the person at-fault has a substantial policy, a claimant may be able to obtain a desirable settlement from their insurer.
However, this is not guaranteed. Insurance companies often lowball injured claimants, especially unrepresented ones. A Bloomington bicycle accident attorney could stand up to insurance companies and negotiate a meaningful settlement.
If the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance, it may be possible to use the claimant’s policy to recover more. This depends on what coverage an individual has and its policy limits. If a claimant’s losses are not being fully compensated, they may choose to file a civil lawsuit for damages.
Time Limit for Filing a Bike Crash Lawsuit
Illinois prohibits plaintiffs from filing civil claims if a certain amount of time has elapsed since their accident. Per 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes Section 5/13- 202, the statute of limitations period for filing a bicycle accident lawsuit resulting in physical injuries is two years. The limitations period may be shorter if the vehicle that caused the injury was a government vehicle. There may be additional time if the injured person was a minor. The best way to determine the time limit that would apply to your case is to meet with a lawyer to discuss your situation.
Speak with a Bloomington Bicycle Accident Attorney Right Away
Though Bloomington has taken steps to become more bicycle-friendly, infrastructure is still inadequate, and drivers are all too often unaware of the need to share the road. These shortcomings pose significant hazards to cyclists.
Consulting an attorney could help you understand what your potential options are for recovering medical bills, lost income, and other damages for the pain and suffering you have endured. A Bloomington bicycle accident lawyer could assess your case and offer advice about how best to proceed. Your initial consultation is free, so call now.