Illinois bicycle laws and Illinois motorized bicycle laws are designed to protect us from fault and injury as we bike around busy urban streets like the downtown Chicago area.
Unfortunately, those laws can’t stop human error and the injuries and loss of life that occur because of it.
Have you, or a loved one, been hurt riding a bike?
Bicycle accidents are different than regular car accidents because it can be harder to define fault but thanks to modern laws, cyclists have the same rights as any vehicle on the road.
Our Attorneys know Illinois bicycle laws and ride just like you!
We have over 35 years of representing bicycle accident victims and have a deep understanding of Illinois bicycle laws. This experience is on your side the minute you pick up the phone to call us. We are happy to answer your questions without pressuring you to become a client.
Shuman Legal® has helped over 25,000 injured victims in Illinois!
As bicycle riding grows in popularity, so, unfortunately, do bicycle accidents. Today there are more cars and bikes on the road and everyone is in a hurry from Uber eats delivery drivers to Lyft cars grabbing their next pickup. It’s no wonder that Chicago statistics from organizations like Rospa.com state that around 75% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas. These statistics revealed that 75% of these accidents happen at, or near, a road junction, and surprisingly 80% occur in daylight.
We don’t charge any upfront fees!
Here at Shuman Legal®, we are 100% focused on the client. We are immediately invested in each and every case and don’t get paid until we win your case. That means we will fight to get you the highest settlement and we’ll make sure that you’re getting the immediate financial support you need to take care of yourself and your family. We live, work and ride in the same communities that you do. We are dedicated to the area, we know Illinois bicycle laws and will do everything we can to support you throughout the life of your case.
We negotiate with hospitals and doctors to reduce your bills!
Part of the services we offer our clients is that we fight tirelessly to reduce your hospital bills, as well as your doctor bills. Far too often injured bicyclists are charged outrageous medical bills that either go way over your insurance overage or cause you to have to pay huge out-of-pocket expenses. Our team of negotiators will get to work to reduce your bills so that you get to keep more of the settlement you are awarded. We want you back on the road and back on your bike as soon as possible.
Illinois Bicycle Accident FAQ
Does a bicycle have to follow the same rules as a vehicle in Illinois?
In the State of Illinois, cyclists are given the same rights and duties as someone who operates a motor vehicle. When riding a bicycle in Illinois, you will have to follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles, with the exception of laws that could not be applied to a bicycle due to its functions.
Do you have to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in Illinois?
Helmets are required when riding a bicycle for children and for messengers and delivery people. Adults who are not actively working in those capacities have the freedom to choose. However, it is still a very good idea to wear a helmet even if it is not legally required, as approximately three-quarters of the bicycle-related deaths in the country are caused by head injuries.
Where am I allowed to ride my bicycle in Illinois?
When riding on a public road, bicycles are expected to stay as close as they safely can to the right side of the road. Some exceptions to this include:
- Passing another bicyclist
- Preparing for a left-hand turn
- When avoiding fixed or slow-moving obstacles on the road.
- On one-way roads, when you are expected to stay as close to the left-hand side of the road as safely possible.
Do I need any kind of equipment to ride my bicycle in Illinois?
When riding your bicycle in the State of Illinois, your bicycle should be equipped with a lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from at least 500 feet away. You should also have a rear red reflector. These improve the visibility of your bicycle in poor lighting or other times of poor visibility and are required in order to ride at night.
Can I still be compensated if I was partially at fault in a Bicycle Accident in Illinois?
Illinois follows a set of rules for determining fault called ‘modified comparative negligence’. This means that even if you were found to be partially at fault, as long as it was less than 51%, you can still be eligible to receive a portion of the damages.
The percentage of your damages that you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault that you are found to have for your accident, however. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, you would only be able to receive up to 80% of your damages in compensation.
Who has the right of way when I’m riding my bicycle in Illinois?
In most circumstances, the bicyclist has the right of way over other vehicles. This is especially relevant in the case of turning, where a motorist must wait if a bicyclist is turning. If a bicyclist is passing on the right and a motorist intends to turn, they must also wait until the bicyclist is fully through and past them.
Who is responsible if I was hit by a car’s open door when I was riding my bicycle in Illinois?
These kinds of accidents referred to as ‘Dooring’, are surprisingly common. Most frequently, accidents in which someone opens the door of a vehicle into the path of a bicyclist occur at diagonal intersections. According to Illinois law, occupants of a car have a responsibility not to open the door of their car unless it is safe to do so. In most cases, this places the burden on the driver of the vehicle to prove that they had taken reasonable care to make sure that it was safe before opening their door.
The 3 most common types of bicycle accidents in Illinois are:
1. Left Hook: This is where a car turns left in front of someone riding their bike and hits them with the left side of their car.
2. Right Hook: This is when a car turns right and without properly checking for a person on a bike to their ride, perhaps riding in a bike lane, and hits them with the right side of their car.
3. Dooring: This, as described above, is when a car opens its door without checking and a cyclist runs into it.
How much space am I entitled to on the road as a bicyclist in Illinois?
When passing someone riding a bicycle, drivers are required to leave a minimum of three feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist. This is referred to as the “3-Foot Rule”. Unfortunately, many drivers often violate this rule, and it is a common source of bicycle accidents.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, we want you to take these steps, listed below.
Ride Illinois is an organization that seeks to guide and direct bicycle riders in Illinois to be safe riders. If, however, you find yourself in an accident despite your best safe riding efforts call one of our experienced attorneys, and take these steps as much as possible:
Call the police.
Almost anywhere across the state, you are required to file a police report when there is an accident involving an injury, your attorney will also request this. Anyone that was involved in your accident needs to share information like insurance and contact details with you, this is the best time to get this information and it will be important to have.
Get checked out by a medical professional.
Without fail, make sure you seek medical attention, even if you think you are not injured immediately. It can take some time for the adrenaline to clear and injuries or inflammation to become visible. If, as often happens, injuries reveal themselves over a day or more after the accident, the driver may suggest that your injuries were caused elsewhere, so seek medical attention while at the scene of the accident when possible.
Get witness and driver information.
Be careful not to assume that the police will get witness information for you. In a case where the question of fault depends on your word against the driver’s, an independent witness makes all the difference; so, be sure to get the phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses while you are at the scene. Try asking someone else to collect it for you if you are not able to at the time.
Your visible injuries, bicycle, clothing, helmet, and anything else damaged in the crash is evidence and, as such, keep them preserved and documented. Take pictures of any visible injuries, the scene, and any damage to your bicycle or other vehicles involved.
Have you, or a loved one, been hurt riding a bicycle?
Shuman Legal® has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 25,000 injury victims and their families. We advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on the task of recovery.
As experienced personal injury lawyers, we are well acquainted with Illinois Bicycle laws. Let us help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.