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Dennis’s Law Recognizes the Rights of Bicyclists

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Illinois bike accident lawyersA law that recently went into effect provides that motor vehicles and bicycles are to receive the same rights on the road in right-of-way situations. The law went into effect on January 1, 2017. This is an important change that is meant to enhance the protections given to bicycles and may be helpful is bike accident lawsuits brought by cyclists.

Background of Dennis’s Law

The law is named after an Illinois resident, Dennis E. Jurs, who died in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident in 2015. The driver of the vehicle was issued a traffic citation for his failure to yield to the right-of-way to the cyclist.

A Kane County judge dismissed the citation, pointing to case law that held a bicycle does not fit the definition of a vehicle. The family members were upset by the decision and brought the issue to the attention of a state legislator, who drafted the revision. The bill was voted into law almost unanimously.

Illinois Is a Dangerous State for Cyclists

Bicycle advocates are hoping that the law will protect bicyclists by holding motorists responsible for death or injury in more situations. A recent ranking placed Illinois in the No. 5 spot for bicyclist deaths.

According to the study, Illinois has seen as many as 29 cyclist deaths per year. The states that ranked above Illinois in order from most dangerous to least are California, Florida, Texas and New York.

It is estimated that in two-thirds of all fatalities, the cyclist did not wear a helmet. Illinois law does not have a helmet requirement.

What to Do If You Have Been in a Bike Accident

If you or a loved one has been in a bike accident, know that you have rights. Bicyclists are vulnerable on the roads, and motorists have a duty to follow traffic laws and to act in a reasonably safe manner.

When a bike is struck, many serious injuries can be sustained. These injuries are painful, require time off of work and may never completely go away. Under the law, you should be compensated for all these injuries and any others that are unique to your case.

Contact a Will County Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Our firm helps bicyclists get the justice and compensation they deserve with our knowledge of insurance companies and our willingness to take a case to trial if required. Contact the Plainfield, IL bike accident attorney of Flaherty Law at 815-577-7500 to set up a meeting today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=099-0785

http://kwqc.com/2016/12/28/new-illinois-bike-law-gives-cyclists-the-same-rights-as-drivers/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-bike-deaths-illinois-met-20141027-story.html

 

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