Bicycle Accidents Caused by Aggressive Drivers
Protecting the Rights of Bicycle Accident Victims in Chicago
Riding a bicycle can be convenient in Chicago, as you can avoid parking and vehicle storage, as well as avoid fuel costs, all while improving your physical health. However, anyone who has ridden a bicycle in Chicago knows that heavy traffic and the impatience of many drivers can pose a threat to cyclists. All too often, frustration in clogged traffic escalates to aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers may be particularly impatient with slower bicyclists, and may drive in a reckless manner that causes bicycle accidents.
There is no excuse for dangerous and aggressive driving, even if someone is frustrated. At Abels & Annes, our car accident attorneys work to hold aggressive drivers who hit bicyclists fully accountable. We have seen how serious bicycle accident injuries can be and we work for the maximum financial recovery of every client. Please call 312-924-7575 or contact us online if you have sustained injuries in a bike accident in the Chicago area.
Aggressive Drivers Pose a Risk to Everyone on the Road
When a driver becomes aggressive, they often make dangerous decisions that threaten the safety of everyone else around them - including bicyclists. Aggressive drivers may engage in many dangerous behaviors, including:
- Excessive speeding
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Following a bicycle too closely
- Honking and flashing headlights
- Threatening a bicyclist
- Yelling obscenities or making obscene gestures
- Purposely failing to yield to bicyclists
- Dangerous passing of bicyclists
- Accelerating to pass a bicyclist only to turn right in front of them
All of these dangerous maneuvers put bicyclists in danger of serious crashes and injuries. Even if a vehicle does not actually hit a cyclist, aggressive driving may distract cyclists enough to drive them off the road or otherwise cause them to crash. In either situation, aggressive drivers should be held liable for all injuries and losses that result.
Proving Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Aggressive drivers will rarely come forward and admit their misconduct. However, injured bicyclists must be able to prove that the driver was negligent or reckless in order to recover for their losses. Our legal team at Abels & Annes understands how to gather and present evidence of aggressive driving in order to protect the rights of our clients and recover compensation from a reckless driver.
Following an aggressive driving accident, it is important to call 911. Not only will medical personnel evaluate your injuries at the scene but police officers should come and assess what happened. If there are signs that a driver was aggressive and in violation of the law, officers can issue the necessary citations or even place the driver under arrest. Criminal charges and convictions can be helpful in your bicycle accident case to prove aggressive driving, so you should always call the authorities after an accident.
If anyone witnessed the accident and stops to help, that person’s account of the driver’s behavior can also be important evidence of aggressive driving and prove liability. In addition, one of the many surveillance cameras around Chicago may have caught the accident on video. Evidence tends to become harder to find as time passes, however, so you should not delay in contacting our firm after an accident so we can get started tracking down evidence to support your claim.
Seeking Recovery for All of Your Losses
Bicyclists do not have the benefits of seat belts, airbags, bumpers, or the external frame of a vehicle to keep them safe in an accident. While a bicycle helmet does provide some protection from head trauma, bicyclists are still vulnerable to head and brain injuries. Due to their lack of protection, cyclists often sustain severe injuries in a crash and often suffer permanent injuries and impairments. Potential bicycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull fractures
- Broken or crushed bones
- Face and jaw injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Fractured pelvis
- Internal organ injuries
- Soft tissue tears
Traumatic injuries can result in overwhelming losses, including financial, physical, and emotional impacts. These losses for bicycle accident victims often include:
Medical expenses - The costs of treating any type of injury can be extensive. Bicycle accident victims often require emergency trauma care, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, and even home health care. Medical expenses can add up quickly and many bicyclists receive tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in treatment.
Future medical costs - Not all bicycle accident injuries heal with a few weeks—some can last for months or years. In these situations, your medical treatment may not be complete before you file a legal claim, but this does not mean you cannot recover for future treatment costs. Medical professionals and experts can help estimate the costs of future treatment, so you can receive compensation for anticipated expenses down the road.
Past and future lost income - Many bicycle accident injuries require victims to take time off work, and some injuries prevent victims from returning to their former employment. This means injuries can result in lost income for work you have already missed, as well as for work you will have to miss in the future. Often, these calculations require the assistance of occupational and economic experts.
Noneconomic damages - Not all damages are directly tied to bills or monetary losses. Instead, many accident victims can collect damages for noneconomic losses, which can include pain and suffering, permanency of injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, and similar losses. A skilled attorney who knows how to calculate and prove noneconomic losses can help you recover these additional damages.
Find Out How Our Chicago Bicycle Accident Law Firm Can Help
The law firm of Abels & Annes has extensive experience representing the rights of clients injured in Chicago bicycle accidents. If you were hit by an aggressive driver - or a driver who was negligent in any way - you have important rights. However, there are important deadlines for bringing claims and you should not delay in discussing your accident with our attorneys. To schedule your free consultation, please call 312-924-7575 or contact us online today.