Defendants, Liability, and Compensation Sources in Bicycle Accidents

The Chicago lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent victims seeking compensation for injuries and losses sustained in bicycle accidents. Personal Injury claims extending from bike crashes can be complex, in the sense that there are numerous variations in prospective defendants, as well available sources of compensation. Below, we have compiled a list of persons and/or entities that can potentially provide a means of financial recovery to the victims of bicycling-related incidents. Examples of some specific issues have also been included.

Motorist. Negligent, reckless, or unlawful actions of a motorist (i.e., speeding; running a red light; failure to yield right-of-way or decrease speed; driver distraction; driving while impaired/intoxicated; dooring a bicyclist).

Homeowner. Failure to remedy dangerous conditions that pose a safety hazard to bicyclist (i.e. driveway maintenance; object obstructions/whether stationary or moving; visual obstructions/trees/hedges; falling trees; unattended children; dog or animal attacks).

Business Establishment Owner. Failure to maintain premises in reasonably safe condition and/or warn patrons of a dangerous/unsafe condition that was either known or foreseeable. (i.e., inadequate security; wandering carts; parking lot surface conditions/ pavement markings).

Bike Assembly Service. Failure to properly assemble a bicycle, when the consumer either contracted for, or had a reasonable expectation that the bicycle would be delivered in proper working condition (i.e., untightened bolts; improper tire inflation; other assembly-related issues that do not conform with manufacturer instructions, industry standards, or general safety protocol).

Bike Messenger Service. Accidents involving bodily injury or property damage caused or incurred by a bicyclist employed by a messenger/courier/delivery service. (i.e., liability claims covered under a bike messenger liability policy; failure of service/individual/employer to carry, maintain, or provide sufficient amounts of coverage in liability insurance).

Construction Company. Breaching a duty of care owed to another. Construction related bicycle accidents can involve claims against a private construction company, their insured, as well as claims against the government (i.e., falling debris, improperly secured objects, failure to provide warning of safety hazards).

Other Landowner. Acts or omissions that pose a danger or safety hazard to persons owed a duty of reasonable care. (i.e., unattended/unsupervised/unmaintained/ vacant property; security, fencing, or signage/warning issues; attractive nuisances involving latent non-obvious harms that a child might not reasonably apprehend).

Manufacturer or Distributor. Defects in the design or manufacture of a bicycle or bike-component, or failure to provide adequate warning/instruction, particularly when a party knew or should have known of the risk for accident or injury. See, Product Liability.

Government. Roadway issues related to improper maintenance, repair and/or inspection. This type of claim generally requires the plaintiff to show that a state or local entity had actual or constructive knowledge of dangerous or unsafe condition (i.e., roadway debris; potholes; cracks in pavement; traffic signals; train crossings; trees; pavement markings; signage).

Medical Professional. Failures related to treatment, diagnosis, monitoring, patient instruction/warning/advice, other factors related to professional judgments in the medical field (i.e., failure to diagnose head injury; failure to warn patient of risk/dangers/symptoms of head injuries in bike accidents; treatment-related infection; other medical malpractice issues)

**Individual. In most bicycle accident cases, financial compensation is sought through a person or entity that has an insurance policy which provides coverage for liability in the specific type of accident involved. However, in some cases, the victim may choose to seek a judgment against an individual, particularly in cases where such award can be attached to/levied upon current assets/wages, or those that may be acquired in the future.

Given the examples provided herein, it is easy to see the potential diversity in both defendants and compensation sources associated with bike accident injury/death claims. In addition, many bike collision cases require specialized knowledge in distinct legal practice areas, such as with actions involving wrongful death, products liability, or claims against the government. Consequently, while the ability to identify persons or entities to direct claims at, is certainly essential, your attorney must also have the experience and skill necessary to present your case, both in accordance with procedural law, and in a manner that will maximize your financial recovery.

For decades, the Chicago attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have been providing aggressive representation to the members of our communities involved in bike accidents. Let our legal team review your matter during a FREE comprehensive consultation. Call to schedule at 773-516-4100, or contact us online.