Bike Messenger Injury Accidents

The Chicago Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have decades of experience representing victims in a diverse range of bicycle accidents cases involving serious injury or fatality. In recent years, we have noticed a significant increase in collisions involving bike messengers.

Whether you are a commuter or recreational enthusiast, bicycling in the city is dangerous in and of itself. Now, imagine if bicycling was the primary duty required under your job description. Bike messengers, also referred to as bike couriers, are persons that make deliveries on behalf of bike messenger services. Pursuant to Chicago’s Municipal Code, section 4-168-010:

“Bicycle messenger services” means the delivery by bicycle for hire of packages, parcels, food, papers or any other items on behalf of any commercial, industrial, governmental, charitable or other enterprise.

Consider the risks of persons that bike as a profession, in comparison to those that bicycle for personal reasons. Bike Messengers typically use a wider range of roadway types in reaching particular destinations, and often time must travel off designated bike lanes and routes that are intended specifically for bicyclists. Further, bike messengers generally encounter more alleyways and driveways, and must also cross over more intersections, some of which have no signal or crosswalk.

As a consequence of frequent road use, bike messengers are exposed to many more motorists, thereby increasing the risk of accident, injury, or fatality, caused as a result of coming into contact with persons that travel in an irresponsible, unreasonable, careless, negligent, reckless and/or unlawful manner. According to chainlink.org, “with 47 lost-workday injuries per 100 workers, bicycle messengers have the highest rate of injuries of any reported job.”

Common motorist-related causes of bike messenger accidents include moving violations, such as running a red light, speeding, or failing to yield the right of way; suddenly stopping in a manner that causes the bicyclist to collide with the rear of a vehicle, person, or object; and non-moving violations, such as dooring incidents, or obstructing a bike lane by parking unlawfully.

In addition to bicycling-specific risks, bike messengers are also more frequently exposed to the same risk factors faced by all types of road users, whether automobile driver, pedestrian, or motorcyclist, such as:

Given the frequency in travel and resulting exposure to roadways and motorists, it is quite simple to see the dangers of bike delivery. However, it is also important to remember that timeliness and efficiency are essential components of messenger, delivery, and courier services. These persons must take sufficient measures to ensure their safety and avoid accident or injury, while also meeting delivery requirements.

In recognition of the increasing numbers of bike messenger accidents, Illinois enacted 625 ILCS 5/11-1515 which require person, firms, or corporations, that use bicycles in the operation of commercial messenger services in cities populated by more than 2 million residents, to carry liability insurance. Chicago, having 2.7 million residents, has gone a step further by increasing state law minimums for bodily injury and property damage liability coverages for certain bicycle messengers that operate within the central business district area.

If you or a family member were the victim of bike messenger accident, it is imperative that you discuss the matter with an attorney that has prior experience in handling this specific type of case. In addition to provisions under state and local law, our team of bicycle injury lawyers will explain your legal rights and entitlement to compensation from each applicable source, whether involving worker’s compensation; auto insurance coverage; bike messenger liability insurance coverage; or a private claim against an individual or entity.

To schedule your FREE personal injury consultation, contact the Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. at 773-516-4100, or online at our website.

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