What to Do After a Bicycle vs Car Accident

Bicycling in Chicago is becoming safer but accidents continue to happen.  Knowing what to do immediately after a bicycle accident can make a significant difference in your health recovery and legal outcome as to who will be responsible for the medical expenses and your damages.  Zneimer & Zneimer PC have legal expertise in handling bicycle accidents and this checklist provides steps what to do in case of an accident:

  • Move to a safe place. Move to a safe location if you can. Ensure that you and others involved are out of harm’s way. Check yourself for injuries and seek medical attention immediately, if you feel  even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • Call 911 to report the accident and notify the dispatcher if you have been hurt and if you need an ambulance.  An official police report will be important for your insurance claim and any potential legal action
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, your bicycle, any vehicles involved, and any visible injuries.  If you are not in condition to take any photographs, ask witnesses, or take photographs as soon as you can.
  • Videos. Note any videos on poles or buildings.  If there is a bus nearby, make a note of its line and number as many busses have cameras.
  • Witnesses. Collect contact information from witnesses. Their statements can be valuable in supporting your version of events
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved in the accident. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance details.
  • Do not make admissions. Avoid discussing fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Stick to the facts when speaking with the police and other parties involved.

Chicago Ordinances that Ensure Safer Riding

Chicago has specific ordinances that govern the operation of bicycles within the city. Familiarizing yourself with these laws can help you navigate the aftermath of an accident more effectively.

  1. Rights and Duties of Bicyclists:  Bicyclists in Chicago have the same rights and duties as drivers of vehicles, with certain exceptions. This means you are entitled to use the roadway and must obey all traffic signals and signs.
  2. Riding on Sidewalks: Bicyclists aged 12 and older are generally prohibited from riding on sidewalks unless the sidewalk is officially designated as a bicycle route or used to access a bicycle share station.
  3. Speed and Right of Way: Bicyclists must ride at a speed that is reasonable and prudent given the conditions. When emerging from alleys, driveways, or buildings, bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles.
  4. Hand Signals: Bicyclists are required to use hand signals to indicate turns and stops to other road users.
  5. Use of Communication Devices: Operating a bicycle while using a communication device is prohibited unless using a hands-free device. Violations can result in fines, especially if an accident occurs.

Zneimer & Zneimer PC, a Chicago based law firm with extensive experience in handling bicycle accident cases, can provide invaluable assistance.  We understand the nuances of insurance policies related to bicycle accidents, ensuring that you receive compensation.  We are also skilled in addressing common defenses raised by insurance companies and opposing parties, such as contributory negligence or violation of traffic laws.

Being involved in a bicycle accident can be a devastating experience By following the outlined steps and understanding the relevant Chicago ordinances, you can better protect your rights and interests. Remember, seeking professional legal assistance from experienced attorneys like Zneimer & Zneimer PC can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome. We are committed to providing topnotch legal representation for bicycle accident victims in Chicago.

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