If you were hit by a car while bicycling in Chicago, there are steps you can take that can help protect your health and your legal rights.
- Contact the police. You can do this by calling 911 (or ask someone else to call). Officers from the Chicago Police Department will respond. After making sure the injured get help, they will conduct an investigation and complete an accident report.
- Get medical attention. You may be taken to a local medical facility such as Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Be sure to get medical attention, even if you feel OK. A doctor can diagnose your injuries, begin treatment, and document your injuries.
- Gather information. If you are able to do so, get information from the driver. This includes name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. Gather contact information for any witnesses, also.
- Collect evidence. Take photos of the accident scene and damage to your bicycle. You can also document any visible injuries you have.
- Get legal advice. It’s important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
If you are filing a claim for compensation, you are not required to have legal representation. But it is in your best interests to have a lawyer. Negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong, even if they were speeding or driving recklessly. Insurance companies will actively try to minimize your injuries to justify paying you less. They may make a lowball settlement offer, hoping you’ll just accept it and go away. An experienced attorney can help you fight back against these tactics and fight to recover the compensation you deserve for what happened.