Liability for accidents caused by blocked bike lanes depends on several factors but often falls to the drivers who obstructed the designated bicyclist lanes. Illinois has a vibrant bicyclist community and lanes throughout major cities that are designated for bike riders. Unfortunately, sometimes cars and trucks stop or park in these areas. In doing so, they force bicyclists out of the safe lanes specified for their use.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reported more than 2,300 bicycle accidents across the state in 2021. Lacking the exterior protection that vehicles offer occupants, bicyclists involved in crashes often suffer serious injuries or death. Through car accident claims with the insurance companies or personal injury lawsuits, victims in such wrecks may seek to recover compensation for their injury-associated losses.

Parking in Bike Lanes Increases the Risk of Traffic Accidents

Having designated bike lanes in Chicago provides separation between bicyclists and motor vehicles on busy city streets. For lack of other options or out of convenience, however, drivers sometimes block these lanes. Doing so may increase the danger of traffic accidents, putting both bicyclists and motorists at risk.

When cars park in bike lanes, bicyclists may have to move out into traffic to get by. Such unexpected transitions may catch motorists off guard, and a bike lane accident may result.

Bicycle vs. Car Accidents: Common Liability Issues

Successfully recovering compensation in bike accident cases depends largely on liability. To obtain damages, victims must show a driver was responsible for causing the collisions that resulted in their injuries. 

Fault for bicycle-car crashes will typically depend on factors such as whether the bicyclist or the driver violated any traffic laws or signals. For example, in a hit-and-run case, or if a driver ran a red light and struck a bicyclist in the crosswalk, the driver would likely bear the financial responsibility. If, however, the bicyclist was crossing the road outside a crosswalk or intersection, and was hit by a speeding motorist, both may share in the liability for the crash and resulting injuries. Navigating the complexities of liability in a bicycle versus car accidents can be challenging. A personal injury attorney may help advise injured victims in such cases, guiding them through the process to recover a fair and reasonable settlement. They may have entitlement to compensation for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.