Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys Answer Bicycle Accident FAQ
Attorneys who help injured bicyclists in Chicago and throughout Illinois
Immediately following a bicycle accident, many questions can pop into your head. The first question you will probably ask is, “What just happened?” Then you will probably wonder, “What do I do next?” The bicycle accident attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C. know that you have a lot of questions. We help you find answers.
When you’ve been hurt in a crash, many things can start working against you. The negligent driver who caused the accident may deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies will look for ways to pay you as little as possible. That is why you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney fighting for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
- If the driver who hit me was working, can I file a suit against the company?
- How long do I have to take legal action after a bicycle accident?
- What type of compensation can I seek after being hurt in a bicycle accident?
- Should I file a police report after a bicycle accident?
- What is the value of my claim?
- Can I be found at fault for causing my bicycle accident?
Our firm knows how to hold negligent drivers accountable. Our legal team investigates your accident to get the facts for ourselves. We know where to look for evidence that a driver was speeding, driving recklessly, distracted, fatigued or driving under the influence. We review all documentation and interview witnesses.
We also know the tactics insurance companies use to avoid their responsibility. They may question the extent of your injuries or try to argue you had them before the crash. Sometimes, they’ll make you a lowball settlement offer. They may even try to blame you for what happened. We fight back against their tactics.
Our attorneys build a strong case and fight to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our bicycle accident attorneys.
If the driver who hit me was working, can I file a suit against the company?
Your accident may have involved a driver who was on the job. Examples include a truck driver, a taxi driver, or a limousine driver. If you were injured because the driver was negligent, you can take action to hold the driver accountable and pursue financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.
In some cases, the company that employed the driver was also negligent. For example, it failed to check to see if the driver was qualified, or it did not provide proper training. In those cases, you may also be able to take action to hold the company accountable. One of our bicycle accident attorneys can explain your options.
How long do I have to take legal action after a bicycle accident?
You generally have two years from the date of your bicycle accident to take legal action to seek financial compensation. It is only one year if it is a state or local municipality. While there are some exceptions for minors and disabled people, in any event it is important than you act quickly. It can take months to build a strong case. This includes time to gather evidence, review documents, interview witnesses and consult with experts, if needed.
Another thing to consider is that over time, evidence that can help you prove negligence can be lost or destroyed. The memories of witnesses can also fade. They may forget certain details. That is why it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident.
What type of compensation can I seek after being hurt in a bicycle accident?
In general, you can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those to which a specific dollar amount can be attached. These include all current and medical expenses for treating the injuries you suffered in the accident. Another example is lost wages, if your injuries left you unable to return to your job.
Non-economic damages are more subjective losses. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, any disability you suffered, loss of future earnings if you were left unable to work, and loss of enjoyment of life. One of our attorneys can help you determine the total amount of damages you have suffered.
Should I file a police report after a bicycle accident?
Yes. Many bicyclists wonder what the point of a police report is, especially if they were hurt in a hit-and-run accident. Some wonder if it is just a waste of time, but a report can contain important information that can help you recover financial compensation if you take legal action later. At a minimum, a police report serves as proof that you contacted the authorities and the crash happened.
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, call the police or ask someone else to call. The responding officer will ask you to fill out an “Illinois Motorist Report,” which is a white piece of paper with red ink. It can also be filled out online. Follow the instructions and fill out the report to the best of your ability.
What is the value of my claim?
There is no easy answer to this question, as every case is different. In general, it depends on many factors. These include the extent of your injuries, whether you suffered lost wages, the circumstances of the accident and the total amount of insurance coverage that the negligent driver has.
One of our attorneys can help you determine the total amount of damages you suffered in the accident. The total amount you will be able to recover also depends on many different factors. We will explore every option and fight the insurance companies to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Can I be found at fault for causing my bicycle accident?
Bicyclists have rights when out on the roads of Chicago and everywhere in Illinois. They also have responsibilities and are always required to follow the rules of the road. This means that they can be found partially at fault for causing an accident, even one that leaves them injured.
Insurance companies are fully aware of this. They also know that under the state’s contributory negligence laws, if a bicyclist is found to be partially responsible for an accident, it reduces the total amount of compensation they receive. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, the insurance company will try hard to pin some of the blame on you.