The attorneys at the Law Office of Nicholas Baker know that navigating a bicycle through Chicago can be a lot of fun. With streets throughout the city clearly marking bike lane traffic, it seems inviting to even the novice bicyclist. But caution must be taken; a beautiful sunny bike ride can quickly turn to into a trip to the emergency room when a distracted driver is on the same road.
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Talking on the phone, texting, eating, and people putting on makeup as they drive causes thousands of accidents across the country every day. In the best of cases, this only results in a fender bender. But when it becomes car vs. bike, the car always wins.
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If you sustain an injury in Chicago in a bike accident, you need to follow these steps to protect your rights.
1. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Stay put; you’ve just been in a bike accident! You need to check yourself for injuries and call 9-1-1 if something hurts. It is essential for you to let a medical professional make sure you are not suffering from a head injury, spinal cord strain or that your sore knee isn’t broken.
2. Don’t be embarrassed, think its your fault and ride/walk away. The law in Chicago is clear, a bicyclist is owed a responsibility for drivers to exercise due care when sharing the road with a bike rider. The Municipal Code of Chicago does not allow vehicles to block or drive in bike lanes. If a cyclist is following the rules and is riding in the bike lane, the driver is almost always at fault in a bike vs. car collision.
3. Gather up as much information as you can. This means having a bystander as a witness. Collect the contact information for these bystanders as well as the driver of the car. Name, phone number, address and drivers license number. It is also good to note what kind of car hit you and the license plates on the vehicle (should they hopefully stop).
4. If your cell phone has the capabilities, take pictures and video of your injuries, your broken bike and the vehicle that hit you. Don’t forget to include the area where you were hit, noting the street signs nearby.
5. When the police arrive, make sure you tell them all the details, the insurance company is not your friend, and they will take any chance they can get to twist the situation in order to shift blame for the accident.
6. Contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Nicholas Baker immediately. An attorney will fight to get you compensated for your bike accident injuries. We understand that your injury may make it difficult to get out of the house, or you may still be in the hospital, so we will come to you for a 100% free consultation – even in the evening or weekends!