In Illinois, bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as drivers of motor vehicles, meaning bicyclists must obey traffic signals, stop signs, and other traffic control devices and ride in the same direction as traffic. Here are some specific bicycle safety laws and regulations in Illinois:
- Helmet Law: No statewide law in Illinois requires bicyclists to wear helmets. However, some cities and municipalities have helmet laws, so checking the local regulations is essential.
- Lights and Reflectors: Bicycles ridden in Illinois during nighttime hours must have a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector visible from at least 100 feet to the rear.
- Hand Signals: Bicyclists in Illinois must use hand signals to indicate turns and stops. The left arm straight out means a left turn, the left arm bent at a right angle upward shows a right turn, and the left arm bent at a right angle downward indicates a stop.
- Bike Lanes: Illinois law requires bicyclists to use bike lanes when they are present, except when making turns or passing other bicyclists.
- Passing: Illinois law requires a minimum of 3 feet of clearance when passing other vehicles or bicyclists.
- Sidewalk Riding: In many Illinois cities and municipalities, riding bicycles on sidewalks in business districts is illegal. However, in some areas, sidewalk riding is permitted.
- DUI: Bicyclists can be charged with DUI in Illinois if found operating a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What should you do if you are injured while cycling?
If you are injured while riding a bicycle, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. Below are the necessary steps to do so:
- Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, seek medical attention. Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's essential to get checked out by a medical professional. A medical assessment is vital for your health; the resulting documentation is valuable evidence.
- Gather Evidence: As with any personal injury lawsuit, gathering evidence to support your claim is crucial. This may include accident scene photographs, witness statements, police reports, and medical records. It's also important to keep track of any expenses related to your injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Consult with an Attorney: Personal injury cases can be complex, so it's essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process. A personal injury attorney can review the details of your case, help you understand your legal options, and advise you on the best course of action.
- File a Lawsuit: If you and your attorney determine that filing a lawsuit is the best course of action, you must file a complaint with the court. The complaint should outline the details of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and the damages you seek.
- Settlement or Trial: Once filed, the defendant may offer a settlement to avoid going to trial. If you accept the compensation, court is not necessary. If not, the case will go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
It's important to note that the legal process can be lengthy and complex, so it's essential to be patient and work closely with your attorney. By following these steps and working with an experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of recovering damages for your injuries and other losses. A Meyers & Flowers personal injury attorney will evaluate the merits of your case and determine the best way to resolve your case quickly and secure the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, call Meyers & Flowers at 630-232-6333 for your free, no-obligation case assessment.