Common Bicycle Accidents

April 25, 2024 | David Abels
Common Bicycle Accidents

Common bicycle accidents include being hit by a motor vehicle, falling or running off the road due to dangerous road conditions or to avoid a motorist, striking inanimate objects, and striking other bicyclists. Bike collisions are common when drivers make turns, open car doors when parked on the side of the road, fail to check blind spots, and much more.

bicycle accident attorney

Bicycle accidents can happen head-on, from the side, or the rear. All types of collisions put cyclists at risk of severe and often life-threatening injuries.

The details of bicycle accidents matter, particularly when a victim is seeking compensation for medical care and other accident-related damages. A bicycle accident attorney in Chicago will gather all relevant information about your crash, identify liable parties, and fight for a fair financial recovery.

Who Is at Fault for Common Bicycle Accident?

Who is at fault for a bicycle accident depends on:

  • How the accident happens
  • Who contributes to the cause of the accident 
  • Whether anyone has legal responsibility over the party who causes the accident

Bicycle accident lawyers generally start by determining who is at fault for the collision. Common at-fault parties in different accident types include:

Collisions Between Vehicles and Bicyclists

If motor vehicle drivers exercised greater caution, a significant number of serious bicycle accidents wouldn’t happen. Speeding, distracted driving, passing illegally, and tailgating are among the behaviors that can lead to collisions between motorists and bicyclists.

When a motor vehicle collides with a bicyclist, at-fault parties can include:

  • The motor vehicle driver
  • A motor vehicle or component manufacturer responsible for a defect
  • A municipality responsible for road conditions that contribute to the accident (such as malfunctioning crossing signals)
  • Any other party whose negligence led the motor vehicle to hit the bike rider

While motor vehicle drivers are often responsible for hitting motorists, these accidents require scrutiny. A bicycle accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your collision and identify those responsible.

Bicyclists Being Knocked Over or Run Off the Road

Bicyclists sometimes become injured despite no vehicle striking them. This can happen when:

  • A bicyclist swerves to avoid an oncoming vehicle
  • A motor vehicle approaches the bicyclist from behind, either riding the biker’s rear tire or passing dangerously close
  • An occupant in a parked vehicle opens their door without looking for oncoming bicyclists
  • A motorist pulls or backs out of a driveway, parking lot, or street without looking for oncoming bicyclists
  • A bicycle component (such as brakes) malfunction

A single-bike accident can be as harmful as being hit by a motor vehicle. A motorist, bike manufacturer, municipality responsible for blind spots, and other parties can be financially responsible for single-bicycle accidents.

Accidents Between Multiple Bicyclists

Bicyclists can suffer severe injuries when they strike another bike head-on, from the rear, from the side, or in a domino effect accident where multiple bikers fall over.

A bicycle accident can cause:

  • Bicyclists to be struck by pointed or sharp bike components
  • Bicyclists to be ejected over the handlebars
  • Bikers to make contact with hard objects, including the road and fixed objects like concrete barriers
  • Severe injuries 

Fault for multi-bike accidents varies from case to case. Allow your lawyer to gather all relevant information and determine who owes you compensation for accident-related damages.

Accidents Between Bicyclists and Fixed Objects

When a rider hits a barrier, post, or other fixed object, you must consider whether that fixed object was a foreseeable hazard. Someone may be responsible for:

  • The dangerous placement of the object
  • Failure to warn riders of an upcoming object
  • Any other failures that contributed to the bicyclist hitting the fixed object

These are a few of the big-picture bicycle accident types. The details of each accident are far more complex. A bicycle accident lawyer will investigate the fine details of your accident to determine who is at fault, how the collision may have been prevented, and who owes you compensation for accident-related damages.

Can I Get Compensation for a Bicycle Accident?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for a bicycle accident. If someone else caused the collision (even if you have some fault for the accident), you should take the opportunity to pursue all of the money you are entitled to because:

  • You may have one opportunity to secure compensation, and you may seriously regret not taking advantage of the opportunity
  • The cost of medical care, lost income, and other damages from a bike accident may be immense (and bankrupting, in severe cases)
  • If you hire a lawyer, you can pursue the compensation you deserve without taking on the stress of an insurance claim or lawsuit

It is not always immediately clear how serious a bicycle accident is. For example, those with brain injuries may not experience certain symptoms until weeks after the bike collision. To avoid substantial financial hardship, hire a bicycle accident lawyer to evaluate your damages and seek any compensation you deserve.

Should I Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Represent Me?

Only a bicycle accident victim (or someone affected by a fatal bike accident) can decide whether to hire a lawyer. Many accident victims ultimately choose to accept help from a bicycle accident lawyer because:

  • They lack the time, energy, or willpower to deal with their case: Bicycle accidents can take it out of you. Sudden, unexpected injuries and psychological distress may place you in a diminished state. You may not have the time, energy, or wherewithal to handle your case competently. 
  • They want to protect their case (and avoid rights violations): Insurance companies may apply pressure from the moment a bike accident happens. Every interaction with an insurance company offers the chance to make a mistake or a rash decision with severe financial consequences. A lawyer is a rock-solid layer of protection between you and the insurance companies.
  • They appreciate a lawyer’s resources: Lawyers provide resources that the typical bicycle accident victim may not have on their own. This includes mock courtrooms, expert services, networks of doctors and mental health professionals, and substantial financial support. 
  • They recognize a lawyer knows what they are doing: Attorneys’ understanding of the law, real-world experience, and familiarity with legal strategy is always helpful for bicycle accident victims. You may not be a lawyer, and therefore you may not have such training, knowledge, or experience. 
  • They want the option of going to trial: If you aren’t a lawyer, you may not realistically be able to lead a lawsuit or trial. When you hire a proven bicycle accident attorney, you can go to trial.

You should not hesitate to ask for help from someone with the time, physical ability, knowledge, and training to handle the demands of your case. Allow an attorney to guide you through a distressing chapter in your life. They will work hard to secure a positive financial outcome from a difficult situation.

Can I Afford to Hire a Bike Accident Attorney?

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Every bicycle accident victim can afford to hire an attorney. Contingency fees are the standard arrangement for bike accident lawyers, and these fees:

  • Don’t require the bike accident victim to pay the law firm upfront
  • Require no out-of-pocket payment from client to lawyer
  • Mandate the law firm to cover filing costs, expert fees, and other case-related expenses
  • Dictate that the law firm only receives its fee and replacement of costs if it secures a settlement or judgment for the client
  • Place immense motivation on the law firm to secure compensation for the client

Many lawyers take pride in helping clients receive the compensation they deserve. Even if they didn’t, a contingency fee will ensure the law firm fights for maximum compensation for the client.

This fee structure means that any bicycle accident victim of any financial status can afford a lawyer, as there is no upfront or out-of-pocket cost.

What a Bicycle Accident Attorney Will Do for You

The demands of each bike accident-related claim and lawsuit are unique. However, bicycle accident lawyers often perform similar tasks in cases like yours, including:

Obtaining Video, Photographs, and Other Evidence from the Crash

Your legal team will build an evidence-backed case, as they need to prove who caused your accident. Important evidence can include:

  • Video footage of the accident or events leading to the accident
  • Your testimony about how the accident happened
  • Witness testimony about how the accident happened
  • The police report
  • Experts’ testimony and reconstruction of the collision
  • Photographs of damage to your bike, a motor vehicle, and other items related to the collision

Establishing the cause of the accident is one of the first steps in securing a fair settlement or verdict.

Securing Medical Records and Other Documentation of Damages

Your lawyer will secure documentation that shows the cost of your accident, including:

  • Any photographs and medical images showing your injuries
  • Accident-related medical bills
  • Invoices for repairing or replacing your bike
  • Evidence of lost income and other professional damages

Your attorney can also work with a mental health professional. They may evaluate you and determine if you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other types of accident-related pain and suffering.

Calculating a Detailed, Precise Case Value

Before your lawyer can ensure your long-term financial stability, they must know the cost of your accident. They will consider economic and non-economic damages (including future harm) as they compose their settlement demands.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Let your lawyer be your personal negotiator. They will:

  • Keep insurers at bay as they build your case, document your damages, and compose their settlement demands
  • Initiate settlement talks once they have all the necessary information, documentation, and evidence
  • Demand that insurance companies pay fairly for your damages
  • Keep you posted as settlement negotiations move forward

Negotiation is an art that can improve with experience. Rely on a lawyer’s history of securing fair settlements as you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Some bicycle accident cases lead to lawsuits and trials. Yours may settle, but a lawyer should always be willing to take legal measures when best for the client.

If filing a lawsuit or going to trial becomes a realistic option for your case, listen to your lawyer’s advice. You will have final authority over how your case concludes, but your lawyer should position you to make an informed, empowered decision.

Your Bike Accident Lawyer Will Spare You from Bad-Faith Insurance Tactics

Attorneys protect their clients, first and foremost. Because your attorney will deal with insurers for you, they will address:

  • Any denial of your insurance claim(s)
  • Lowball settlement offers
  • Delays
  • Disputes about the necessity of medical care or other accident-related services
  • Disputes about the cost of your accident-related losses
  • All other challenges that come with the insurance claims process

Attorneys deal with insurance companies day-in and day-out. This familiarity is priceless when negotiating a resolution to a bicycle accident claim. With a lawyer leading your case, you won’t have to deal with unwanted phone calls, high-stakes decisions, or concerns about the insurance company’s motives and tactics.

Recoverable Damages for Injured Bicyclists

Bike Accident

Your lawyer will work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages, which may include:

  • Bicycle repairs: Your attorney will calculate (along with qualified experts) the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle. They will also consider the cost of replacing other damaged property, securing temporary transportation, and addressing other property-related damages.
  • Healthcare expenses: Your bike accident lawyer will frequently contact your doctors. They will obtain copies of all accident-related medical bills and include all healthcare expenses in your case.
  • Pain and suffering: Attorneys consider the non-economic cost of bicycle accidents, including PTSD, anxiety, and physical pain. Your attorney will also consider the cost of any treatment related to your pain and suffering.
  • Lost income: Your case will include any lost income, diminished earning power, and other professional harm resulting from injuries or mental health struggles.

If you have any disabling injuries (or mental health conditions), you may face additional costs and burdens. Attorneys tailor their cases to reflect clients’ unique losses, and your bicycle accident lawyer will do the same.

Hire Your Bicycle Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

You may have a short time to file a bicycle accident lawsuit, so don’t wait to hire your attorney. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner you can focus entirely on your recovery.

David Abels Author Image

David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

Author's Bio

You Might Be Also Interested In

Losing a Loved One in…

Losing a loved one is never easy – especially if their death was fully preventable. Sadly, that is…

View Post

Can You Claim Compensation for…

Bicyclists are at risk of suffering severe injuries in an accident because of their limited protection while on…

View Post

How Much Is a Bicycle…

Besides a bicycle helmet, bicycle riders have extremely limited protection while on the road. If a motor vehicle…

View Post