Tag Archives: Bicycle Acidents

bicycle riders in Wood River, Illinois Sued by Bicyclist For Defective Street

Wood River, Illinois Sued by Bicyclist For Defective Street

bicycle riders in Wood River, Illinois Sued by Bicyclist For Defective StreetA cyclist successfully brought a civil suit for brain damages caused by a hole in Route 111 in Wood River, Illinois. She was riding her bike next to the road when witnesses testified that it appeared she struck a hole and flipped over the handlebars. She was unconscious at the scene and bleeding from the ears. The injuries have prevented the woman from living a normal life.

The roadway and adjacent gutter and concrete had several defects that would not accomodate bicycle riders even though bicyclists are intended users of roadways. Illinois law provides the same protections to cyclists as it does to vehicles. Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-1502 provides as follows: Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. The Illinois Department of Transportation has an excellent website detailing applicable laws and safety precautions.

The woman was not wearing a helmet although it was unclear whether or not a helmet would have made a difference in these circumstances. Despite the fact that she was not wearing a helmet and had no memory of the event (because of the severe brain injury), a successful suit was brought. Illinois law does not require cyclists (or motorcyclists) to wear helmets and if the matter had gone to trial, a jury could not hold that against her.

Of other significance, suits against municipalities such as cities, are difficult and complex. Through the years, the state legislature has passed numerous laws making it difficult for injured persons to hold municipalities (cities, parks, schools…) accountable for their negligence. In Illinois, one difficulty is the fact that suit must be brought within one year of the injury (this is called the statute of limitations) as compared to suits against private businesses and individual homeowners where the requirement is two years.

The laws contain numerous immunities for a city preventing any recovery. For example, if the cyclist was riding in an area which was not intended for cyclists or not the purpose of the roadway, the city could be dismissed from the lawsuit.

In this case, the evidence and use of expert testimony was used to show that the immunities did not apply.

WWF&G has handled numerous bicycle accident cases, including accidents involving minors as well as product defects involving bicycles. We have also handled various types of injury cases against municipalities. Over the years, we have developed a network of information and experts to assist with these types of cases. For a free consultation call 618-462-1077.

crashed bicycle in belleville Illinois where man sues for accident

Belleville, Illinois Man Sues For Bicycle Accident

crashed bicycle in belleville Illinois where man sues for accidentA man riding a bicycle in Belleville, Illinois has filed a bicycle accident lawsuit after being struck by a car.

The lawsuit claims that the bike rider was injured as the car driver pulled out of his driveway. According to a report in the St. Clair County Record, the collision caused serious injuries.

The plaintiff is seeking damages due to the driver’s failure to watch carefully for passing pedestrians or bike riders. The lawsuit has been filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

According to figures cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 4 million people in Illinois use bicycles. Unfortunately, more than 4,000 bicyclists are injured each year in the state.

Here are some more national bicycle statistics from NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2005 and bicycleuniverse.info:

  • The most common bike-car collision is a driver failing to yield at a stop sign.
  • 784 cyclists died in 2005; 725 cyclists died in 2004; 629 cyclists died in 2003.
  • More than 80% of fatalities for child bicyclists age 14 and under were caused by unsafe riding.
  • Approximately 40% of deaths on bicycles nationwide occur at night.
  • Falls account for 59% of crashes, running into a fixed object 14%, impact with moving motor vehicles 11%, impact with another bicycle 9%.
  • 1 in every 20 bicyclists is injured annually.

Although there are many safety precautions bike riders would be wise to take — including wearing a helmet, avoiding bicycling at night, and allowing extra time to stop when it’s raining — accidents can happen despite following all the rules of thumb.

The attorneys of Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson understand the pain, suffering, and monetary loss caused by automobile drivers who don’t do their part to ensure safety for everyone on the road. That’s why the firm of WWF&G prosecutes bicycle accident cases to the fullest extent, exploring all avenues necessary to make a recovery for its clients.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bike accident, there are some important facts to consider. In the state of Illinois, you are not legally required to wear a helmet, and that detail cannot be used against you in court. Because Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state, one can be partially at fault for the injury and still recover damages provided that he or she is determined to be less than 50% at fault.

Please contact us for a free consultation so we can examine how best to address your situation.