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Denied Insurance Claim? Here’s What You Should Do

Denied Insurance Claim? Here’s What You Should DoSteps To Take After Your Denied Insurance Claim

 

Insurance companies charge you premiums to make a profit. Every time they pay a claim, that profit drops. Thus, insurance companies do everything in their power to delay or deny claims. If your denied insurance claim was valid, here’s what you need to do after receiving your denial letter.

 

Identify the Cause of the Denial

 

When an insurance company denies your claim, it must give reasoning. The reasoning is typically included in the denial letter. Finding out why your claim was denied is the first step to getting the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies deny claims for many reasons, but the most common reasons are:

 

Disputed Liability

 

Depending on the policy, the insurance company will deny a claim if the policyholder was not at fault.

It’s common for insurance companies to try to deny liability, so they don’t have to pay the claim. The good news is you will typically be given a chance to appeal the denied insurance claim.

 

If the insurance company is disputing liability, you need to consult with an attorney. Because this is a commonly used tactic to deny claims, you will need a seasoned personal injury claim attorney to prove liability so you can be compensated. To prove liability, you will need to gather evidence such as a crash or police reports and medical records.

 

Policy Exclusions

 

In some cases, insurance companies will deny claims because of policy exclusions. Insurance policies generally don’t cover intentional acts, acts of God, or some natural disasters. If any of these elements were involved in your accident, you might not be covered.

Lapse in Policy

 

The other most common reason for a claim denial is a lapse in the policy, which happens when the policyholder fails to pay the premium.

 

Facing a denied insurance claim can be frustrating and leave you feeling outnumbered. Insurance companies are motivated to deny your claim to save them money, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced Arlington Heights car accident claim lawyer when filing a claim. A good attorney can help you appeal your denial and get your valid claim paid.

 

If you need help with an insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

13% of Illinois Drivers Are Uninsured: Here’s How to Protect Yourself

13% of Illinois Drivers Are Uninsured: Here’s How to Protect YourselfOver 13% of Illinois drivers are uninsured, according to a recent survey by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). So if you get in an accident in Illinois, it’s a real possibility the other driver could be uninsured. Protecting yourself from uninsured motorists is easy if you take preventative action and know what to do if you’re involved in an accident.

 

Purchase Good Insurance Coverage

 

The best way to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is to carry good uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage is relatively inexpensive considering the benefits. And with 13% of Illinois drivers being uninsured, UM coverage is more important than ever.

 

Illinois requires drivers carry a minimum amount of UM coverage equal to the minimum amount of liability insurance. The minimum policy limits in Illinois are $20k for property damage, $25k bodily injury for one person per accident, and $50k for more than one person involved in an accident. In many cases, these policy limits are insufficient and quickly exhausted. We recommend bodily injury policy limits of $250k per person and $500k per accident for your protection.

 

Know How to File an Insurance Claim

 

You can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company if the at-fault driver is uninsured or fled the scene (hit and run). UM claims are also common in accidents involving a car and a bicyclist or pedestrian. But it’s important to know that even if you are filing a claim with your insurance company, you need to be aware of your rights to make sure your insurer doesn’t violate them. A good first step is to read through your insurance policy to learn about the policy terms when filing a UM claim. Also, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Illinois auto accident attorney who can sort out the limits and terms of your policy so you can get maximum compensation.

 

Direct Claims

 

In very few instances, it’s worth it to file a personal injury claim directly against the at-fault driver. These claims can be very complex and are best handled by a seasoned personal injury attorney. Direct claims require more legwork and can be difficult to pursue in court. In certain cases, however, a direct claim is the only way to recover damages.

 

The State of Illinois is cracking down on uninsured drivers, enforcing fines and conducting random surveys requiring drivers submit proof of insurance. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to protect yourself adequately and know what steps to take after being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured Illinois driver, you should contact an Arlington Heights auto accident and attorney immediately. The sooner you involve an attorney in your claim, the better your chance of getting fair compensation.

 

If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

The Risks of Using Social Media When Filing an Insurance Claim

The Risks of Using Social Media When Filing an Insurance ClaimPosting in Private

 

Social media is a great way to share the details of your life with your friends and family. But social media is not suitable for sharing information about an accident or insurance claim. Insurance companies are increasingly turning to technology to investigate claims. Part of this effort is looking to social media to find information about claimants. But they aren’t using that information for your benefit; they’re using it to increase their profits.

 

Can They Do That?

 

Insurance companies are within their right to check claimants’ public social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But they aren’t interested in pictures of your pets and what you had for dinner. They want to find information they can use to deny your claim. How do they do this? I’m glad you asked because understanding their tactics is the key to protecting your rights.

 

What Are They Looking For?

 

Insurance companies will do anything to find evidence and information about your life to disprove what you tell them. For example, if you told the insurance company you experienced significant pain for weeks after your accident, the claims investigator might turn to your social media pages to find information to the contrary. If your posts show you going out with friends or having a good time, they might say you couldn’t possibly have been in great pain.

 

Similarly, some claimants have been caught talking about the details of their claims on social media, accidentally revealing bits of information that the insurance companies can use to deny their claim. It happens all the time. Claims investigators have even accused claimants of insurance fraud based on poorly thought out social media posts.

 

Why It’s Not Fair

 

But there is an inherent problem in this tactic: a problem insurance companies don’t always acknowledge. People are more likely to downplay the negative in their life on social media. Typically, we post about positive things and keep the negative components of our personal lives private. Furthermore, many of us don’t take social media so seriously that we overthink the consequences of what we’re saying. It’s supposed to be fun and informal! But insurance companies will stop at nothing to use our words against us to devalue or deny claims.

 

You should always be on guard when dealing with insurance companies. Don’t assume your private life is private. It’s a good idea to abstain from posting about your accident or claim and consider whether insurance investigators could misinterpret your posts. If you want to learn more about what you should do to protect your rights and your claim, consult with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney in your area. An attorney can help you avoid common insurance claim mistakes.

 

If you need help with an insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Post-Settlement: What Are Your Options?

Post-Settlement: What Are Your Options?Do You Have Options?

 

One of the most important things to consider before settling an insurance claim is whether the amount compensates you for all your present and future damages. Because once you settle a claim and cash the check, your options are limited.

 

What Does It Mean to Settle?

 

When you agree to a settlement amount, you will be asked to sign a form that releases the defendant and the insurance company of further liability. Legally speaking, someone without liability does not owe you a dime. So if you have medical expenses come up after you settle, you most likely won’t be able to ask the insurance company for more money. If you have any hesitations about signing the settlement agreement, talk to an attorney before you do so. The settlement is not legally binding unless you sign it, so don’t rush into it.

 

An Exception

 

Once you settle, you won’t be able to ask for more money from the defendant or insurance company. The settlement agreement—once signed—is a legally binding contract. You can’t negotiate the terms of the settlement after signing either. The only exception is if you find a mistake or a legal error in the agreement. But you can’t ask for more money just to cover unexpected expenses.

 

Compensation from Multiple Parties

 

You might be able to seek more compensation if there is more than one liable party. If you settle with one party, you might be able to seek compensation from the other(s) provided that your settlement agreement does not release all parties from liability. Some car accidents involve more than one liable party. For example, damaged or poorly maintained roads are common contributors to accidents. Because these are in many cases the responsibility of the city or state, you might be able to hold one of these parties liable. Construction site accidents can also involve multiple liable parties as there are typically several contractors working on the same site.

 

Take Your Time

 

Don’t rush into settling your claim until you know the extent of your injuries and how long they will take to heal. Also, always have an Illinois personal injury claim attorney review your settlement offer before signing it. It’s crucial you thoroughly understand the terms of the settlement offer. It’s also very important to make sure the amount reflects your total present and future damages. An attorney can help you do both.

 

If you want to settle your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Dash and Helmet Cams: Can They Protect Your Rights?

Dash and Helmet Cams: Can They Protect Your Rights?Keeping a Record

 

Dash and helmet cams are becoming common fixtures in cars and motorcycles today. While they have long been in use in Asian countries—where traffic is hectic, and accountability is minimal—motorists in the US are now using cams to protect their rights in accidents and encounters with law enforcement.

 

New technologies have also fueled this trend. Action cameras—like GoPros—are making portable video recording cheaper and more accessible. Dash cams easily clip into adapters that can mount on your windshield. And new adapters can securely strap action cameras to DOT-approved helmets so that bikers can comply with helmet laws and manufacturer’s warnings about modification of the helmet shell.

 

This new trend not only gives us hair-raising camera footage, but it is helping claimants get the compensation they deserve from insurance companies.

 

How They Help

 

Dash cams and helmet cams can provide clues to what happened in an accident. Camera footage can illuminate issues such as traffic light color, the right of way, and sequence of events. It can also show lane changes, turns, and merging, all common points of collision. Having proof of these elements can reduce the chance of the insurance company disputing liability. This is especially helpful in motorcycle accidents where visibility is often an issue. Helmet cam footage can show the line of sight between car and motorcycle, clarifying when and where the collision took place.

 

Is Recording Legal?

 

Bear in mind, laws on recording can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While there is no law prohibiting you from recording your commute, in some cases, it is illegal to record someone without their knowledge, which could come into play if you kept recording after the accident. Also, the footage can be subpoenaed as evidence in a personal injury claim. Take care to back it up after a collision because deleting it could land you in trouble.

 

A dash cam alone isn’t enough to ensure you fair compensation. Insurance companies use brilliant tactics to work against everything a claimant says and the evidence they provide. They are quickly learning to challenge new technologies, such as dash and helmet cam footage. If you recorded footage of your accident, speak with a car and motorcycle accident attorney in the Arlington Heights area. An attorney can help you submit the footage to the right parties to support your claim. This will give you the best chance at full and fair compensation.

 

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

How Is Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

How Is Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?An Elusive Injury

 

Traumatic brain injury is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. But diagnosing traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be challenging, as numerous symptoms can appear. This makes TBI an especially dangerous injury because it can worsen over time without proper treatment.

 

Testing for TBI

 

A neurological examination testing for motor and sensory skills is the first step to diagnosing TBI. Emergency medical providers will often ask the patient questions about what they can feel and ask them to complete simple tasks like making a fist or gripping an object. If these tests indicate possible brain injury, medical providers use brain scans to confirm a diagnosis and assess the scope and severity of the damage.

 

CT scans take cross-sectional x-ray images of the skull to identify fractures, bleeding, brain tissue swelling, and bruising. MRI scans are also used to identify more subtle signs of TBI including scaring or minor bleeding or tissue damage, which a CT scan could miss.

 

In addition to these scanning methods, healthcare providers will evaluate the patient’s symptoms to diagnose TBI. But again, TBI patients can suffer a wide range of symptoms including:

 

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive deficiencies
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Lack of emotion regulation
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Memory problems, and
  • Mood swings

 

Some symptoms appear immediately, while others can take weeks or even months to surface. Unfortunately, many people aren’t correctly diagnosed with TBI after an accident, which is made worse without treatment. For this reason, it’s crucial to seek emergency medical treatment after an accident so you can be thoroughly examined. You may not recognize signs of TBI. But TBI—if left untreated—can manifest itself in serious and long-term symptoms.

 

Why a Proper Diagnosis Is Important

 

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t rule out TBI. Concussions are a common injury after car accidents and also a form of TBI. Also, never ignore symptoms of any kind after an accident. Even seemingly unrelated conditions, such as depression, can indicate TBI. Don’t rush into settling your claim before you know the full scope of your injuries. TBI often isn’t diagnosed right away, so follow your medical provider’s recommendations and never settle before you’ve fully recovered and spoken with an Illinois auto accident attorney.

 

Preventing TBI is just as important. Always wear a seat belt in a car, which can reduce the chance of head injury, and wear a DOT-approved helmet if you are a biker or motorcyclist. And seek medical treatment immediately after an accident to catch and treat TBI before it worsens.

 

If you’ve been seriously injured, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

Help With Healing: When Severe Fractures Need Surgery

Help With Healing: When Severe Fractures Need SurgeryHelping Fractures Heal

 

Many fractures can heal on their own with immobilization and time. Severe fractures are less likely to heal completely with these conventional treatment methods. Fortunately, modern technology has made it possible to repair severe fractures using sterile surgical techniques. For those suffering from unhealed fractures, surgical treatment can be the key to returning to a healthy, active life.

 

The Surgical Procedure

 

Surgical treatment for fractures involves first reducing the fracture (i.e., positioning the bone back in alignment). This is necessary for the bone to heal without any deformity. Then, the bone or bone fragments are held in place with hardware like plates, screws, wires, and pins. The hardware might need adjustments and eventual removal down the road.

 

The Drawbacks

 

Surgical treatment can reduce the chance of improper healing and help patients regain their functioning sooner. Despite these benefits, surgery is expensive and can be painful. It can also introduce new problems such as infection or ongoing adjustments to the support hardware.

 

Nevertheless, you need to treat your injury fully before you settle your claim. If your fracture heals improperly, you could suffer from discomfort and lack of mobility for the rest of your life. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’ve healed to the extent that you can before you settle your claim. This is called reaching maximum medical improvement. Otherwise, you’d face potential ongoing medical costs for which you cannot seek compensation.

 

Working With Insurance Companies

 

When treating severe injuries after an accident, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney about your options. Insurance companies will typically reimburse you for reasonable and necessary expenses, so you should work with an attorney and your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment is reimbursable. Also, you might need help getting your immediate medical bills paid before you settle, as surgery can extend your treatment timeline while the costs mount up.

 

You shouldn’t have to fight with insurance companies to get your medical bills paid. A personal injury attorney can help you get the treatment you need when you need it. An attorney can coordinate your insurance benefits, work with providers on medical liens, or find other methods of paying your bills while you heal. Also, consult with an attorney before you settle to make sure your compensation reflects your present and future medical bills and pain and suffering.

 

Filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, and Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer understands how you feel. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Disability and Insurance Claims: Fair Compensation

Disability and Insurance Claims: Fair CompensationFollowing an accident, you could suffer from a temporary or permanent disability. Getting compensation for your disability, including your medical bills and present and future pain and suffering, involves determining your prognosis and the extent to which your disability affects your life.

 

Short-Term or Long-Term Disability?

 

A broken bone can leave you disabled for a few months. A spinal cord injury can leave you disabled for life. You need to know how long your doctor expects you to be disabled to seek fair compensation for your debilitating injury.

 

Other Factors to Consider

 

Once your doctor gives you a prognosis on whether or disability is short-term and expected to heal or permanent, you need to consider how your disability affects your life. A short-term disability might put you out of work for a month or two, meaning your damages could include lost wages. If you are unable to return to work ever because of a permanent disability, your damages should reflect your life-long needs, not just those of the present.

 

Why Your Lifestyle Matters

 

You may also recover compensation for your loss of functioning, ability to take care of yourself or your family, and your loss of enjoyment in life. If you are left paralyzed, and you have a family to take care of, your settlement should reflect your loss of capacity. Similarly, if you were a professional athlete and no longer able to play due to your disability, your settlement should reflect both loss of income and your inability to participate in your regular activities.

 

A Note of Caution

 

If you have been disabled in an accident and are seeking compensation, you should work closely with an Arlington Heights auto accident attorney. Cases involving disability can be complicated, especially if the disability is permanent. Your eligibility for Social Security Disability could affect your claim, as could any workers’ comp benefits you could receive. In short, many factors can affect your claim, so you should have skilled legal representation when filing your claim. An attorney can serve as your advocate so you can focus on recovery and treatment.

 

A disability can affect your life in many ways. If you have a disability, make sure your priority is taking care of yourself. Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan, stay healthy, and seek support from friends and family.

 

If you’ve recently been injured and need help with your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

Life-Altering Injuries: Seeking Compensation for Immobility

Life-Altering Injuries: Seeking Compensation for ImmobilityIf you suffered life-altering injuries in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. Damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. When it comes to significant injuries that cause immobility, however, determining your damages can be complicated. Many factors can affect your settlement, and it’s important you receive fair compensation for all your losses. You should always work with a knowledgeable Illinois personal injury attorney if you have been seriously injured in an accident, but the following information can help prepare you for your first meeting.

 

The Significance of Immobility

 

If you’ve lost your mobility temporarily or permanently, your life will change. You could have ongoing medical costs, lose your ability to work, and taking care of your family may be impossible. It’s hard to imagine any settlement can truly compensate someone for immobility, but here are a few factors that can influence such a claim.

 

Is your immobility permanent? If so, your settlement needs to reflect your future medical bills and pain and suffering.

 

Have your reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)? MMI is an important criterion when doctors treat severe injuries. You’ve reached MMI if you have healed to the extent that you can, and your doctor does not expect your condition to improve. This can be considered a treatment plateau. If you are immobile because of a severe injury and your doctor believes further treatment will not heal or improve your condition, you may be ready to start settlement negotiations.

 

What was your life like before your injury? Were you active? Did your job require you to do physical labor? These details of your life can affect your settlement because they reflect your unique losses. No personal injury settlement is the same, due in part to these various factors. If your job involved physical labor, you might not be able to return to your line of work. If you need training or an education to find a new job, your settlement could include an amount for that.

 

Similarly, if you skied, hiked, competed in marathons or otherwise enjoyed a very active life, your compensation should reflect the significant losses you’ve suffered. Don’t discount these small details, even if the insurance company does.

 

Moving on With Help

 

Another significant factor is whether you need help to take care of yourself. If you are unable to take care of your daily needs, you may need a home health aide or to stay in an assisted living facility. Again, your settlement should reflect the cost of this care, which can be significant.

 

Handling a personal injury claim on your own can be overwhelming, even more so if you suffered serious injuries and are immobile. You should be focusing on treatment and figuring out what you need to help you adapt to your condition, not fighting for your right to fair compensation with insurance companies. Find an experienced Arlington Heights personal injury attorney who can be your advocate and handle your claim while you focus on what’s important.

 

If you’ve been seriously injured, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Electric Bikes and Car Accident Claims

Electric Bikes and Car Accident ClaimsAccidents involving cars and electric bikes (also known as electric assist bikes) can be catastrophic. But as electric bikes gain popularity, more and more people are put at risk. Car accident claims involving electric bikes are similar to those involving non-electric assist bikes, but there are a few differences.

 

What Are the Dangers?

 

Electric assist bikes (e-bikes) have 750 (or less) wattage power motors that assist with pedaling. Low-power e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles. But they can allow bicyclists to travel with the speed of traffic, which increases their risk of being seriously injured if hit. It can also increase the risk of an accident with other bikes on the road, as e-bikes can easily travel much faster than traditional bikes.

 

Who Has the Right?

 

Cars do not have the right of way over e-bikes. On most roads, bikes and e-bikes are given equal priority on the road, as they are considered vehicles. This has a significant influence on personal injury claims. In many cases, who had the right of way is disputed. Before bicyclists were given the same right of way rights as motorists, the rules on bicycle right of way were not always clear. Now, both share the same rights, making it easier to determine liability in accidents.

 

What Does That Mean?

 

With the same rights and responsibilities, car accident claims involving e-bikes do not necessarily differ from claims involving two car accidents. But e-bike riders are subject to a few restrictions that could affect a claim. Low-speed electric bikes must have no more than one horsepower and be operated by someone who is at least 16 years old. They can only be driven on streets but cannot exceed 20 miles per hour. And e-bike riders must follow all the applicable rules for bicyclists. Modified e-bikes operating at greater than one horsepower or traveling at speeds exceeding 20 miles per hour could be violating the vehicle code, making determining liability more difficult.

 

You must adhere to Illinois’ rules of the road when operating an e-bike. This is for your safety and the safety of others. If you are involved in an accident, however, you should contact an experienced Arlington Heights bicycle accident attorney right away. An attorney can walk you through the steps of preserving critical pieces of evidence that could strengthen your claim and help you get fair compensation for your losses.

 

Always ride safe and smart on Illinois roads, and respect the rights of all vehicles. Doing so will help keep you, your family, and everyone safer on the road.

 

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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