In Illinois, the majority of bicycle accidents take place in big cities like Chicago. That’s because bicyclists are common on urban sidestreets, and they sometimes collide with the vehicles that they share the roads with. As a result, Chicago officials are trying to draft laws which will help protect bicyclists.
But sometimes, people get hurt while riding bicycles on roads in small communities. One such collision this week claimed the life of a bicyclist in Grundy County.
On Monday night, a 43-year old man was riding a bicycle north on Ridge Road in Minooka. Around Industrial Road (across from Minooka Junior High School), which is just north of McEvilly Road and about a mile south of Interstate 80, the bicyclist was struck from behind by a car. The man was rushed to a hospital in Joliet, but died from his injuries around 8:15pm that night. The car’s driver was not injured. Authorities are still investigating exactly how the crash took place.
Although no citations have been issued as of yet, from the information given it appears that the driver of the car will be held responsible for the collision and the death of the bicyclist. Even on non-urban roads, bicycles and vehicles are required to share the roadway; so if the car rear-ended the bicyclist, it was probably the motorist’s fault (just like it would be if one car rear-ended another).
Should they wish, the surviving family members of the bicyclist could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car. This would allow the family to receive reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, as well as monetary damages for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship. The suit could also let the plaintiffs collect the estimated wages that the man would have earned in his lifetime had the accident never occurred.