Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Victim of Dooring in Lincoln Park Receives Insurance Settlement

A Chicago bicyclist who was doored on Diversey Parkway in June of 2014 has received a substantial settlement from the insurance company for the driver that caused her injuries. The dooring occurred as the bicyclist was riding eastbound on Diversey towards its intersection with Sheffield Avenue in Lincoln Park. At the same time the driver had just parked her vehicle on Diversey and swung her driver’s door open into the designated bike lane where the bicyclist was unable to avoid the collision.

As a result of the collision with the door and the landing after the impact, the bicyclist suffered numerous injuries including a broken foot. It is troubling that bicycle accidents from doorings still occur in areas like Lincoln Park where there are designated bike lanes and consistent bicycle traffic. The law in Illinois generally and Chicago specifically make the act of dooring illegal. Section 11-1407 of the Illinois Vehicle Code and Section 9-80-035 of Municipal Code of Chicago address this issue with the same statutory language:
"No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers."
As with almost all doorings, this one could have been avoided had the driver simply checked over her shoulder and her mirror and looked for bicycles that could be expected down the dedicated bike lane. This seemingly simple failure resulted in a bad injury to a young student who ended up with a broken foot, a pile of medical bills, and missed time from work. This insurance settlement for the bicycle accident more than compensates the bicyclist for her medical bills and missed time from work and also compensates her for the pain and suffering she went through while recovering from her injuries. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Reckless Homicide and Aggravated DUI Charges Filed in Death of Alton, Illinois Bicyclist

Photo of Carol Alton from RiverBender.com
News outlets are reporting that criminal charges have been filed in relation to the death of Carol Admire. Ms. Admire died as a result of injuries sustained when she was struck while bicycling by 21-year old Kajavion McCarvey of East Alton, Illinois. At the time of the collision, both Ms. Admire and the motorist were traveling southbound on Great River Road in Alton, Illinois. Alton is located 25 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

As the name suggest, Great River Road runs immediately alongside the Mississippi River. There is a wide shoulder on the road that is often utilized by bicyclists. At the time of the collision Ms. Admire was riding on the shoulder when the defendant motorist left his lane and struck the bicyclist. There is no information regarding whether McCarvey was also charged with lesser traffic violations for failing to stay in his lane and to provide Ms. Admire with a minimum of three feet of room when passing. Kajavion McCarvey was charged by the Jersey County State's Attorney's Office with one count of reckless homicide and a second count of aggravated driving under the influence (DUI).

According to reports on the nature of the criminal charges, the driving under the influence charge was due to the fact that toxicology reports showed that at the time of the crash that McCarvey had both marijuana and prescription Xanax in his system. The "aggravated" charge is added when a DUI results in severe bodily harm of death of another person. The reckless homicide charge stems from the fact that not only was McCarvey under the influence of narcotic substances, but the steering column on his 1990 truck was unstable and this caused the steering wheel to "float around" and result in a loss of control.

Family and friends of Carol Admire have petitioned local authorities to install a guardrail system along Great River Road that would serve as a protective barrier for bicyclists against motorists. The Wild Trak Bikes shop in Alton has also circulated a paper petition. Local bicyclists also participated in a 15 mile bike ride at the end of May to honor Carol Admire.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Carol Admire and everyone affected by this tragedy.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lawsuit Against Two Separate Drivers Settled Prior to Trial

The Illinois Bicycle Law Shield - Protecting Bicyclists
Keating Law Offices has successfully received two separate settlements on behalf of a cyclist who was injured after being struck by a car while waiting at a red light. The reason for two settlements was the fact that there were two cars involved in an intersection collision that caused one of the cars to careen off and strike the bicyclist.

Just prior to the bike accident, the bicyclist was travelling on Mill Street and was stopped at a red light on Ogden Avenue, a main street that runs from Chicago through the western suburbs. While the bicyclist was stopped at the red light, the motor vehicle collision involving the two cars was unfolding in front of him. One driver was traveling west on Ogden Avenue and waiting for traffic to clear before making her left turn southbound onto Mill Street. At the same time a motorist driving a car eastbound was proceeding through the same intersection of Ogden and Mill.

The lawsuit first alleged that the motor vehicle collision occurred when the westbound driver from Ogden did not yield and turned in front of the eastbound driver. The lawsuit further alleged that the the eastbound driver did not reduce speed as it neared the intersection and did not stop prior to impact. In simple terms, the lawsuit alleged that the negligent actions of both drivers led to this car crash that sent the eastbound driver's car careening into the bicyclist.

Settlements such as this are not uncommon. It is important to note that in filing a lawsuit against two drivers that there does not have to be a "50/50" situation where both motorists are equally at fault. In this instance, it was alleged that the left-turning motorist was primarily at fault. However, the oncoming motorist was at least partially responsible for not slowing as the car approached the intersection or otherwise having enough control of the vehicle to stop prior to impact. 


The left-turning westbound motorist was ticketed for failure to yield the right-of-way. The attorneys from Keating Law Offices attended the traffic court date to assist the bicyclist. The bicyclist, an experienced and successful competitive rider, was thrown from his bike and his head hit the curb after being struck by the careening vehicle.  Immediately after the bicycle accident, the bicyclist was taken by ambulance to the emergency room where he required additional treatment. The bicyclist also suffered dental injuries that required oral surgery.

These two settlements allowed the injured bicyclist to be fully compensated for his medical bills, time lost from work, and also to receive a substantial amount of compensation for his pain and suffering from this crash. This lawsuit in the DuPage County Circuit Court was prolonged by the fact that the two insurance companies for each driver were "pointing their finger" at the other driver for who was responsible. While there was no argument that the bicyclist in any way did anything wrong, there were arguments as to how much each of the two drivers was liable and to what extent the bicyclist was injured. But by consistent advocacy on behalf of the bicyclist, the firm was able to make certain that the best interests of its client were taken care of in resolving this case.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Charity Fundraiser Yard Sale Held To Support Family of 12-Year Old Killed in Bicycle Accident

The family and friends of 12-year old Lorenzo Garcia of Steger are rallying to support the young man's family after his death from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident on July 21st in Chicago Heights. Lorenzo was involved in a collision with a car near 207th Street and Western Avenue. No further details have been released regarding the collision and the death was ruled an accident. 

There is a charity fundraiser yard sale on Sunday, August 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Steger Community Center. There is a Facebook page with more information about the event including details as to how to help these efforts by attending the fundraiser or donating items.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Lorenzo Garcia who left us all much too early. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 Prairie State Cycling Series Finishes Another Successful Year

The Prairie State Cycling Series, sponsored in part by Keating Law Offices, finished the 2015 race season after the Chicago Criterium on Chicago's Near West Side. This is the third year that Keating Law Offices has sponsored the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series. The firm, which focuses its practices on representing victims of bicycle accidents, joins title sponsors of the event, Intelligentsia Coffee and SRAM, in sponsoring the series.

The 2015 Prairie State Cycling Series included three races in Chicago with stops on July 17th in Beverly, July 18th in South Shore and July 26th near Union Park on the near West Side. In addition, the series had stops on July 19th in Willow Springs for the Illinois State Championship, July 23rd in Waukegan, July 24th in Elmhurst and July 25th in Lake Bluff.

Regarding Keating Law Offices' sponsorship of the PSCC, attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices said:
"The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers of Keating Law Offices are very proud of our involvement with the Prairie State Cycling Series. By sponsoring pro-level cycling we are supporting bicycling at all levels in Illinois by showcasing this exciting sport. In addition, each stop of the race is a popular event in each community where there is a race. This combination provides us an opportunity to promote safe bicycling and work towards safer streets by spreading a message of safe bicycling and sharing the roadways in Illinois. At each stop we were able to participate in live interviews on stage and meet many people to discuss safe bicycling and how we can all work to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Illinois."
Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chicago Bicyclist Walking Bike Across Western Ave. Killed In Fatal Collision With SUV

News outlets are reporting that a 53-year old man was killed late Saturday night while attempting to walk his bicycle across Western at its intersection with Congress. As the man was walking his bicycle across Western, he was struck by a 2014 Kia SUV that was traveling southbound on Western Avenue. The driver of the SUV was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

According to the NBC report, witnesses saw the bicyclist trying to cross the street at the same time as the SUV's driver attempted to swerve around the bicyclist in order to pass the bicyclist. However, the driver of the SUV could not avoid the bicyclist and the tragic collision occurred.

Given the fact that the Chicago Police Department cited the driver for failure to reduce speed, it is a reasonable question to consider the speed of the driver as he approached Congress heading southbound on Western Avenue.  Illinois law also requires all motorists to provide at least three feet of room when passing a bicyclist. Section 11-601 of the Illinois Vehicle Code requires all motorists to reduce speed as they approach an intersection.In addition, Section 11-1003.1 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code states that every driver of a vehicle must 1) always exercise care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and bicyclists, and 2) sound their horn to provide warning of an impending impact. The precise language of the statute as it applies to this bicycle accident is as follows: 
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human power and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. 
This is another tragic fatality in the month of July in Illinois where a bicyclist lost his life. Earlier this month, Jose Gomez of Des Plaines was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle operated by a United Airlines employee who fled the scene. Jarod Kyle Shumaker of Olive Branch, Illinois was killed when a vehicle did not provide the required 3-Feet of room when passing and clipped the bicyclist sending him into traffic. Jack Henderson of Waukegan was also killed in a hit-and-run. 

Each of these tragic instances reflect how the failure of a motorist to adhere to the rules of the road can lead to death. It is important for all users of the roadways to remember that bicyclists are vulnerable users of the roadway. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all of these victims. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Insurance Claim Settled for USAT Triathlete Injured In Left Hook

A nationally ranked triathlete from Chicago's western suburbs has received a substantial insurance settlement for injuries she sustained in a bicycle accident when she was struck by a school bus while on a training ride. At the time of the crash, the injured triathlete had just competed in the United States of America Triathlon (USAT) Olympic Distance National Championships in Milwaukee in August 2014. The injuries from the bicycle crash caused her to miss several crucial weeks of training. 

The collision with the school bus occurred in October of 2014 in Willowbrook. Immediately prior to the bicycle crash, the bicyclist was on a training ride northbound on Clarendon Hills Road towards 79th Street. This was a well-known route to the rider as a part of her training routine. At the same time, the school bus was travelling southbound in the opposite direction. With no warning, the driver of the school bus made a "left hook" and turned th school bus left immediately in front of the bicyclist as the bus was traveling southbound on Clarendon Hills Road. With no time to stop, the bicyclist crashed into the school bus. 

A "left hook," where an oncoming motorist turns left in front of a bicyclist, is explicitly prohibited by Illinois law. Section 11-902 of the Illinois Rules of the Road requires a motorist making a left-hand turn to yield to oncoming traffic. A left turn may only be made when it is safe to do so. Simple logic dictates that anytime a collision occurs as a result of the "left hook," that was not a safe time for the motorist to make a turn. 

The injured bicyclist sustained a wrist injury in the crash that requires medical treatment as well as bruising and road rash. As significantly, she missed crucial weeks of training leading up to the 2015 competitive season. This lost time from doing life's regular activities is what is known under the law as "loss of a normal life." In the instance of this triathlete, her normal life was very different from the average person's normal life. This bicyclist's normal life involved daily training and intense physical activity. As a result, we were able to make a very persuasive argument to the insurance company for the school bus that this was a significant claim. Ultimately, this insurance settlement compensated the injured bicyclist for all of her medical bills, pain and suffering, and contributed to compensating her for her loss of a normal life. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Police Seek Help In Finding Vehicle Involved in Hit-and-Run in Waukegan


Car suspected in hit-and-run 
Waukegan Police are asking for the public's help in locating a two-door green sedan that was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Waukegan on Tuesday morning. The fatal bicycle accident took place at Washington Street and Martin Avenue in Waukegan around 8 a.m. in the morning.

The offender was caught on nearby security camera footage wearing a red jacket and fled eastbound on Washington Street. 54-year old Jack Henderson of Waukegan was killed in the fatal collision. Mr. Henderson was taken to Vista Medical Center after the collision where he was pronounced. The police are also asking for help in locating any next of kin to Mr. Henderson. Anyone with any information should contact the Waukegan Police at 312-599-2631.

This is another tragic example of a bicyclist who was not only a victim as a vulnerable user of the roadway, but left by the offender. Illinois law requires that any motorist who is involved in a collision involving personal injury or death to not only stay at the scene, but to take reasonable measures to assist the victim in obtaining medical assistance.

Illinois Bike Lawyers at Keating Law Offices Proud to Sponsor the Intelligentsia Cup


For the third year in a row, Keating Law Offices is sponsoring the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series. The title sponsors of the event are Intelligentsia Coffee and SRAM. The 2015 Prairie State Cycling Series has three races in Chicago with stops on July 17th in Beverly, July 18th in South Shore and July 26th near Union Park on the near West Side. In addition, there are stops on July 19th in Willow Springs, July 23rd in Waukegan, July 24th in Elmhurst and July 25th in Lake Bluff.

The Prairie State Cycling Series is put together by the same team behind Tour of America's Dairyland (ToAD). 2015 is the third year for the Prairie State Cycling Series in Illinois. The goal of the promoters is that the PSCC would be a premiere event every July to complement the racing of ToAD every June. 
Regarding Keating Law Offices' sponsorship of the PSCC, attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices said:
"The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers of Keating Law Offices are very pleased to sponsor the Prairie State Cycling Series. Taking part in events like this is an opportunity to give back to the bicycling community in Illinois and showcase bicycling as not just a recreational activity but a pro-level sport. This is the third straight series we have sponsored an it is incredibly rewarding to see this series continue to grow. As advocates of Illinois bicyclists, we are committed to promoting bicycling in Illinois, whether it be advocating for safer streets, fighting for our clients who were injured in a bike accident, or even supporting pro-level bicycling in Illinois. We look forward to the 2015 series."
Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Hour Returns To Illinois. Will The Streets Be Less Safe For Bicyclists?

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law new legislation that will return "Happy Hour" to Illinois. Prior to this change, bars and restaurants were prohibited from selling alcohol at a discount during a short time frame. "Happy Hour" was previously outlawed because of concerns that it promoted a "drink as much as you can while you can" mentality during the short time frame that then put intoxicated motorists on the roads in Illinois. 

The new law basically provides a few changes:
  • Bars and restaurants may advertise "Happy Hours" for up to four hours a day or 15 hours a week;
  • The bars and restaurants must post the "Happy Hour" specials a week in advance to prohibit "flash specials" to get patrons already in the establishment to drink more;
  • The "Happy Hour" can't go past 10 p.m.;
  • The "Happy Hour" can't promote "2 For 1" drinks specials or give away booze; 
  • They also can't do "all you can drink" specials for a fixed price unless it is done as a private party. 
As an attorney who handles wrongful death cases involving drunk drivers and seeing first hand the toll these crimes take on families, we know the harm that comes from intoxicated motorists on the roadways. In 2013 Chicago saw the deaths of Hector Avalos and Bobby Cann in incidents where the drivers involved were allegedly intoxicated. (Disclaimer: Keating Law Offices represents the Estate of Hector Avalos in the civil case against the alleged drunk driver, his employer, and the establishment where he was allegedly drinking prior to the collision). In both of those cases, the drivers were allegedly drinking at establishments that sold alcohol immediately prior to the fatal collisions. 

The concern, of course, is that the idea of a "time limit" would create a mindset in people who have already had too many drinks to "drink as much as they can" while they can get a deal. Proponents of this legislation argue that this change helps Illinois remain competitive with tourism and helps businesses expand their marketing opportunities. But the risk on the opposite of more drinking causes great concern for vulnerable users of the roadway like bicyclists and pedestrians.

Here is a direct link to Senate Bill 398 which outlines all of the changes under Illinois law.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Illinois Bicyclist Killed In Alexander County - Driver Charged With Violation of the 3-Foot Rule

Illinois bicyclist Jarod Kyle Shumaker of Olive Branch, Illinois was killed Sunday night while on a bike ride on Route 3 in Alexander County. According to news reports, Shumaker was riding his bicycle northbound on Route 3 along the right side of the road when the driver of a Buick Century attempted to pass Shumaker. The driver of the Buick struck Shumaker with the passenger side mirror. This impact caused Shumaker to lose control and end in the path of a following Toyota Corolla that was driven behind the Buick. Shumaker was fatally injured in the collision with the Corolla after the initial collision with the Buick.

Illinois law requires motorists to provide at least three feet of room between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing the bicyclist. The "3-Foot Rule" comes from sub-paragraph (d) of Section 11-703 of the Illinois Rules of the Road. This law states:

(625 ILCS 5/11‑703) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑703) Sec. 11‑703. Overtaking a vehicle on the left. The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules otherwise stated in this Chapter:(d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
The driver of the Buick was cited by the police for improper overtaking of a bicyclist. There are no other reports of any additional charges at this time. Tragically, the "3-Foot Rule" law exists to attempt to stop this very kind of collision that resulted in the death of Jarod Shumaker. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Jarod Shumaker.

Below is an infographic from the Illinois bicycle attorneys at Keating Law Offices that outlines Illinois' bicycle law known as the "3-Foot Rule."




Bicycle Attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices Presides Over National Meeting of Bicycle Lawyers

HomeAttorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago recently attended the annual conference of the American Association for Justice. This year's conference took place over the past week in Montreal. At the convention, Mr. Keating led the meeting of the Bicycle Litigation Committee. The Bicycle Litigation Committee is made up of attorneys from around the United States who dedicate part of their practice to representing injured bicyclist. The committee exists to promote laws that create safer streets for bicyclists and to support the attorneys in their practices to prosecute cases on behalf of injured or wrongfully killed bicyclists. 

Attorney Keating has served as the Chair of the American Association for Justice’s Bicycle Litigation Committee since 2013. The American Association for Justice (AAJ), is also known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. AAJ is the world's largest trial bar and works to defend the right of accident victims.

Michael S. Keating is considered a national leader in the field of bicycle litigation. He currently handles numerous bicycle accident cases in courtrooms throughout Illinois including several high profile cases involving wrongful death and serious personal injuries. Keating Law Offices focuses its practice on representing victims of bicycle accidents and their families and is dedicated to the sole mission of obtaining justice on their behalf.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients in wrongful death and personal injury cases throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are absolutely confidential and free. Please feel free to contact the firm at any time. We are committed to helping our clients.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

United Airlines Employee Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Bicyclist in Elk Grove Village

Police have arrested 54-year old Daniel Wehr of Morton Grove with a felony in the fatal hit-and-run of a bicyclist on Monday night. According to news reports, 25-year old Jose Gomez of Des Plaines was killed in the collision with the vehicle driven by Wehr. According to reports, Wehr was driving a United Airlines vehicle at the time of the crash near his work at a United Airlines facility.  

Wehr fled the scene but police were able to locate a license plate at the scene of the fatal crash. The license plate led police to a vehicle and the subsequent investigation led them to be able to identify it as the vehicle in the fatal bicycle crash. The vehicle, described as a large SUV, was owned by United Airlines and was located at a nearby United Airlines facility where Wehr worked as a maintenance worker. Wehr was arrested within hours of the fatal bicycle accident. 

Wehr apparently has claimed that he "didn't see" the bicyclist until the crash. Illinois law requires that all motorists "keep a proper lookout" for other vehicles on the roadway. Under Illinois law, a bicycle is a vehicle on the roadway. There are no reports, however, that detail how the collision on Algonquin Road occurred. Wehr could face additional legal charges as the investigation continues. Wehr has thus far only been charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal collision. Illinois law specifically provides that a motorist must not flee the scene of a collision. Section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code states: 
"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible and shall then forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled."
Section 11-403 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code also states the law as to what a driver in a fatal bicycle crash must do: 
"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give the driver’s name, address, registration number and owner of the vehicle the driver is operating and shall upon request and if available exhibit such driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with an shall render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to the physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jose Gomez. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the national trial lawyers association's bicycle litigation committee. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Illinois Bicycle Law Infographic: What Is The "3-Foot Rule" in Illinois Bicycle Law?


Illinois law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing a bicyclist. The "3-Foot Rule" comes from sub-paragraph (d) of Section 11-703 of the Illinois Rules of the Road. This statute provides as follows:
(625 ILCS 5/11‑703) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑703) Sec. 11‑703. Overtaking a vehicle on the left. The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules otherwise stated in this Chapter:
(d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.

Key language in the statute is obviously that there must be a minimum 3 feet between the bicycle and the motor vehicle when the motorist passes the bicycle. But note that the statute also requires that this distance of 3 feet must be maintained until the motorist is "safely past" the overtaken bicyclist. The goal of this law is to provide bicyclists with enough space to safely operate and to reduce the risk of bicyclists being "clipped" by a passing car. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Illinois. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Insurance Claim for Bicyclist Hit By Motorist and Dragged 25-30 Feet Settled


The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have obtained a $105,000.00 settlement on behalf of a local woman who was injured in a bicycle vs. motor vehicle collision in July of 2013. The collision occurred at approximately 9:30 on the morning of July 2, 2013. 


The motorist was exiting a parking lot on East Algonquin Road in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. At the same time, the bicyclist was traveling westbound along the sidewalk separating the parking lot from East Algonquin Road. As the motorist made a right turn onto the eastbound lane of East Algonquin Road, he crashed into the bicyclist and her bicycle, dragging her and the bicycle under the car for approximately twenty-five to thirty feet before coming to a stop. 

Police investigators who came to the scene confirmed the distance that the bicyclist was dragged. Miraculously, the handlebars of the bicycle became lodged between the roadway and the undercarriage of the car and this kept the bicyclist from being crushed by the vehicle. Rolling Meadows Battalion Fire Chief Jeff Moxley reportedly said it initially appeared as though the bicyclist was pinned underneath the car when they arrived on the scene. 

The driver later plead guilty to failing the yield to the bicyclist. Illinois law requires motorists to yield to oncoming traffic when exiting a parking lot. Section 11-1205 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states:

"The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within an urban area shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving into the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building, entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon, and shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid collision, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on such roadway." (625 ILCS 5/11-1205)
While the bicycle crash was fortunately not as catastrophic as it appeared at the scene, the bicyclist still required extensive medical attention at Northwest Community Hospital and suffered from a prolonged period of pain and suffering and anxiety as a result of the crash. The settlement of $105,000.00 is considerable given the nature of the bicyclist's injuries. It reflects the very serious and traumatic physical and emotional nature of this bicycle crash where the bicyclist was dragged for 25-30 feet before the motorist came to a stop.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

$350,000.00 Settlement for Chicago Bicyclist Injured When Riding Over A Pothole

A Chicago bicyclist who was severely injured in April of 2011 in a bicycle accident after hitting a pothole next to a rail track was awarded a $350,000.00 settlement to resolve her lawsuit against a local railroad. The bicyclist sustained fractures of both bones in her forearm and the bone in her upper arm. These fractures required two separate surgeries to repair the injuries. 

The incident occurred on Chicago's Goose Island on the near North Side of Chicago while the bicyclist was riding home. The crash occurred as the bicyclist rode over the rail road tracks near the intersection of Magnolia and Blackhawk near the Chicago River. The area is just to the east of Elston near the Morton Salt depot. 

The railroad tracks at this location are inlaid in the street itself so they are flush with the pavement. The bicyclist was unable to see the pothole because it was on the far side of the tracks as she crossed over the set of the railroad tracks to the east. Adding to this dangerous condition was the fact that the pothole was dark in color and from a distance appeared to be a part of the rail track itself, not a submerged defect that was not flush with the street and the railroad track. 


As a result of the nature of the pothole, the bicyclist did not see the defect until she was literally over it and her front wheel became lodge in it. When the wheel became lodged, the bicyclist's momentum carried her "head over heels" over her front handlebars. She instinctively put out her hands to break her fall and due to the way she landed she unfortunately sustained the fractures in her arm. 


Railroads have unique responsibilities to maintain their property under Illinois law.  Section 18c-7401(1) of the Illinois Vehicle Code provides that the railroad was generally required to maintain and operate all of its tracks and other property in Illinois in a manner that posed “no undue risk” to the person of any member of the public. Section 18c-7401(3) of the Illinois Vehicle Code specifically required  the railroad to maintain its tracks, in this case the property adjacent the tracks, as well as the road crossing over its tracks so that the “roadway at the intersection shall be as flush with the rails as superelevated curves will allow.” In short, the Illinois Vehicle Code says that all railroads have to work to eliminate any risks near the tracks and to make the roadways next to tracks as even and flush as possible. 


Most interestingly is that during the case it was discovery that the railroad had conducted several inspections of the area in the weeks leading up to this bicycle accident, including an inspection the very day before the crash. It was also determined that the inspection would have required the railroad inspector to literally walk over the area where the pothole was. Yet, the railroad unfortunately did not take any steps to either note the condition nor take action to correct it. 


Faced with these facts and the severity of the injuries, the railroad agreed to participate in negotiations to resolve the case. The case settled after two separate Pre-Trial Settlement Conferences with a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. This $350,000.00 settlement compensates the injured bicyclist for all of her medical bills as well as her pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and the scars she has from her injuries and the surgery.


Ironically, the bicyclist met with another personal injury law firm in Chicago that she contacted after seeing their ads near a CTA platform. The attorneys at that law firm told the bicyclist that she did not have a case and that they were not interested in pursuing the case. The bicyclist then contacted Keating Law Offices who, after four years of litigating the case, were able to obtain a successful resolution for the injured bicyclist.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lawsuit For Chicago Bicyclist Injured In Accident With Taxi Settled

A Chicago bicyclist who was injured in an accident with a Chicago Carriage Cab has received a nearly $85,000.00 settlement for the personal injuries he sustained in the collision. The collision occurred on August 29, 2011 when the taxi cab driver turned directly into the bike lane from a parked position on Halsted Street outside of Illinois Masonic Hospital. The bicyclist was struck and thrown from his bicycle and sustained a non-displaced fracture of his collarbone. The injured bicyclist was taken directly into the Emergency Room at Illinois Masonic Hospital from the scene where he was treated.

At the traffic court hearing attorney Mike Keating attended the traffic court hearing with the injured client. At the hearing the taxicab driver pled guilty to violating Section 9-40-190 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. This section specifically prohibits drivers from pulling into traffic - in this case the bike lane on Halsted - from a parked position.

The taxicab driver was driving a Chicago Carriage Cab at the time of the accident. Chicago Carriage Cabs are common in Chicago and recognizable by their unique maroon color as opposed to the traditional yellow taxicab color. Chicago Carriage Cabs were insured with an insurance carrier named Ullico at the time of the collision.

What seemed like a relatively straightforward lawsuit given the guilty plea by the driver and the very clearly severe injury sustained by the bicyclist quickly became complicated when Ullico filed for "insolvency." "Insolvency" is when an insurance company essentially declares itself bankrupt in the sense that it does not have the money on hand to pay all of the claims against it. As a result of Ullico's insolvency proceedings, there was a period of time where there was essentially no insurance for any Ullico claims. During this time there was a legal "stay" on all lawsuits in Cook County involving Ullico as well. The combination of no insurance and the stay left these cases in legal limbo.

Many attorneys withdrew from cases involving Ullico fearing that the claims would never be paid. However, the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices remained committed to their client and patiently pursued the case. Ultimately the State of Illinois provided insurance coverage through the Illinois Guaranty Fund - a sort of "insurance for insurance." After continuing to pursue the case ultimately the case was able to be settled for $60,000.00 in addition to the over $24,000.00 in medical expenses that had already been paid by health insurance.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients injured in bicycle accidents throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law or a bicycle accident, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The606 - Featuring the Bloomingdale Trail - Opens This Weekend

The long awaited 606, with the elevated 2.7 mile Bloomingdale Trail as the diamond in the crown, will open this weekend. The weekend is full of numerous events to celebrate this major civic achievement in Chicago. Saturday is the 606 Festival at Humboldt Boulevard which is great day-long party to celebrate the unveiling of the 606. The 606 Festival starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 9 p.m.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices are one of the community partners taking part in the event and sponsoring the 606 Photo Booth where attendees can take free professional pictures on a literal red carpet and then instantly share their photos via a social media kiosk. The 606 Festival at Humboldt Boulevard will also include two music stages, beer, food vendors, SummerDance, and other fun activities. 

Attorney Mike Keating is a long time supporter of "rails-to-trails" programs. Attorney Keating said: 
"It is truly a dream come true that the Bloomingdale Trail and the whole 606 is finally being unveiled. This project shows what Chicago can do when we "make no little plans" and choose to dream big. What was once a stretch of unused railway will now be a nearly three mile long park that connects Chicago. I couldn't be prouder of Chicago." 
You can learn more about the 606, the Bloomindgale Trail, and this weekend's events at the606.org. The 606 website describes Chicago's latest public space as follows: 
Opening June 6, 2015, The 606 takes Chicago’s legacy of great parks to new heights. The 606 has the elevated 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail as its centerpiece; when fully built out, the trail will be connected to six neighborhood parks at ground level, a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming and other amenities. Set above city streets, it’s a new way to explore Chicago on trails for biking, running and strolling. The 606 also connects parks, people, and communities; what once physically separated four neighborhoods now will knit them together and attract visitors from throughout Chicago and beyond. Imaging block after block of uninterrupted trails. Kids will learn to ride their bikes up here, commuters will find a new shortcut to work, and neighbors will make new friends. The 606 will change what it means to go to the park. The 606 runs along Bloomingdale Avenue (1800N) on Chicago’s northwest side, and is a partnership between the City of Chicago, The Chicago Park District and not-for-profit The Trust for Public Land. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hit-and-Run Collision in Little Italy Injures Bicyclist



Keating Law Offices has been retained to represent a bicyclist who was the victim of a hit-and-run in Little Italy. The firm is currently investigating the crash and is looking for witnesses or anyone who may have seen the crash or its aftermath. The hit-and-run collision occurred on the evening of Thursday, May 21st. The collision occurred when the bicyclist was traveling westbound on Taylor Street in the designated bike lane on his way home from a friend's house. As the bicyclist pedaled towards home, an unknown vehicle struck the bicyclist.

The force from the collision knocked the bicyclist off of his bicycle and he crashed onto Taylor Street. As a result of the impact, he suffered a severe laceration and bruising to his eye. This injury left his eye swollen shut and required stitches to close the eye wound. In addition, his upper lip was lacerated and required stitches.

A valet at a nearby restaurant was able to get a basic description that it was a passenger type car. However, a subsequent investigation by the Chicago Police Department was unable to locate the subject vehicle and no other identifying information is currently available. Keating Law Offices is in the process of obtaining any nearby surveillance footage and locating any witnesses. Anyone with any information should contact Keating Law Offices at 312-239-6787 or email Info@KeatingLegal.com.

This collision was also the subject of a recent Streetsblog Chicago post which can be read by clicking here. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ride of Silence Tonight - May 20, 2015

The 12th Anniversary of the Ride of Silence is tonight, Wednesday May 20, 2015. The annual Ride of Silence honors those that have been injured or killed in a bicycle collision or crash. Now in its twelfth year, the Ride of Silence has grown to be a true nationwide event. But while the support of our nation's cycling community is positive, the fact that the Ride of Silence resonates so widely is tragic. 

According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association the number of fatal bicycle accidents nationwide has increased since 2010. California has experienced 338 bicycling fatalities, followed by 329 in Florida, 143 in Texas, 138 in New York, and 80 in Illinois. The tops six states accounted for 54% of ALL fatal bicycle accidents nationwide. In addition, the study found that there has been a 16% increase in the number of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles between 2010 and 2012. In fact, the total number nationwide went from 621 to over a hundred more in 2012 with 722 fatal bicycle crashes.

These deaths are yet again tragic reminders of the vulnerabilities of bicyclists and the tragic results of what happens when motorists fail to share the road and respect bicyclists. The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices are proud to support the efforts of the Ride of Silence and to act as an advocate for bicyclists throughout Illinois.


The Chicago Ride of Silence will leave from Daley Plaza at approximately 6:30 p.m. after gathering at 6:00 p.m. Please go to the Chicago Ride of Silence website for more information. A special thanks to Elizabeth Adamczyk of Ride of Silence - Chicago for her tireless efforts in promoting the Ride of Silence and making bicycling safer.


Please click here for information on other Ride of Silence events in Chicagoland and throughout Illinois.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Victim of Right-Hook Bicycle Accident Receives Settlement

A Chicago bicyclist who originally had his claim "denied" by an insurance company has ultimately received a substantial settlement from the same insurance company. The situation began early last winter when the Chicago bicyclist was riding on Lincoln Avenue. As the bicyclist was riding along Lincoln Avenue, a car traveling in the same direction "right hooked" the bicyclist. A "right hook" is when a motor vehicle traveling in the same direction as a bicycle turns right over the bicyclist as a part of the motor vehicle making a right-hand turn. 

As a result of the bicycle accident, the bicyclist was thrown from his bicycle and forcefully struck his body on the front passenger quarter-panel of the car. The bicyclist then violently landed on the pavement on his right side. The majority of the impact with the pavement was sustained by the right side of the bicyclist's head and jaw.

The bicyclist was transported to the emergency room at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital where he was diagnosed with a head injury, facial contusion, left knee sprain and multiple body contusions. The facial injuries required follow-up care with a specialist and the body injuries left the bicyclist unable to ride for a month. Perhaps worst of all, due to the jaw injuries, he was forced to only eat soft foods while his jaw healed.

Despite the fact that the driver of the motor vehicle caused the crash, the insurance company for the driver denied the claim when they were contacted by the bicyclist. An insurance company "denies" a claim when they feel that either their driver was not responsible for the bike accident or that the injuries claimed are not related to the crash. In this case, the insurance company tried to shift the blame to the injured bicyclist.

The injured bicyclist then contacted the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices who agreed to represent the bicyclist in his claim. The firm was able to quickly engage the insurance company and present the bicyclist for a sworn statement where he was able to clarify that the bicycle accident was in no way his fault. Soon thereafter, the insurance company resolved the claim.

The injured bicyclist, who we will identify as only M.V. due to attorney-client confidentiality, was kind enough to send the firm an email thanking us for our efforts and the result. With his permission, he expressed the following:

"I did get the final settlement in the mail today and just wanted to thank you again. As you are aware, I originally thought that this incident would work itself out, and was something that I'd be able to handle on my own, but after an insurance company tried to blame me for the accident, and the back and forth over so many seemingly minor details, I'm confident in saying that I couldn't have gotten through this without you. You were thorough, responsive and most importantly, became someone that I trust.

With any luck, there won't be a need for me to work with you again, but wanted to wish you all the best in the future. Thanks again."
In the end, justice was served, and on top of it, our client was pleased with the result. Righting wrongs and helping injured bicyclists is the fundamental mission of this firm. It is always rewarding to come through for the client.


Keating Law Offices is one of the nation's leading firms that concentrates its practice in representing bicyclists injured in a bike accident. The firm represents more bicyclists in cases pending in Illinois courts than any other law firm in Illinois. 


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Bicyclist Injured In Dooring Settled On Eve Of Trial


Attorney Michael S. Keating, one of the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices, has successfully resolved a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of an injured Chicago bicyclist. The lawsuit stemmed from injuries the bicyclist sustained when the rider was doored while bicycling in a marked bike lane in Chicago. The lawsuit was settled for $80,000.00 on the eve of a pending jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. 

The total settlement of $80,000.00 provides the injured bicyclist compensation for the approximately $15,000.00 in medical expenses incurred as well as an additional $65,000.00 for pain and suffering and the loss of a normal life the bicyclist experienced as a result of the injuries. “Loss of a normal life” is a compensable damage under Illinois law that is defined as “the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life,” and “includes a person’s inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life.” Examples of a loss of a normal life include difficulty with sleeping, enjoying hobbies, or even something as simple as an interruption of your regular social life.

The act of "dooring," where a motorist opens their vehicle door into the path of a bicyclist, is specifically outlawed in Chicago. Section 9-80-035 of the Municipal Code of Chicago states:

"No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers."
Keating Law Offices is one of the nation's leading firms that concentrates its practice in representing bicyclists injured in a bike accident. The firm represents more bicyclists in cases pending in Illinois courts than any other law firm in Illinois. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Keating Law Offices Launches Bicycle Awareness Campaign

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois have launched a Bicycle Awareness Campaign. The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers' most recent efforts to promote safe bicycling does so by reaching out directly to motorists.

The Chicago, Illinois law firm that concentrates its practice on representing victims of bicycle accidents is providing free bumper stickers to motorists. The bumper stickers serve as an opportunity for motorists to declare that they "Share The Road" and "Look For Bikes." At the same time, other motorists are reminded that bicycles are on the roadway.

Attorney Michael S. Keating, who also serves as the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the national trial lawyer's association, says that including motorists is an important part of promoting safe bicycling. Attorney Keating said: 
"Far too often we see the devastating effects of a collision between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle. And a common factor in those collisions is that the motorist didn't look for bicycles or didn't share the road by providing the bicyclist the three feet required under Illinois law. With this campaign the goal is to spread this message right on the roadways with visual reminders and add to the efforts to increase safe bicycling in Illinois." 
To receive the "I Share The Road" or "I Look For Bikes" bumper stickers for free, simply email ChicagoBikeFlag@KeatingLegal.com and include your mailing address. For more information on Keating Law Offices, please visit IllinoisBicycleLaw.com and KeatingLegal.com

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm in Illinois that dedicates its practice to representing victims of bicycle accidents. The firm is recognized as a national leader among bicycle attorneys and is a committed advocate to safe bicycling in Illinois. 

Contact Keating Law Offices at 312-239-6787 or Info@KeatingLegal.com.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Save Kinzie - Fight Ald. Reilly's Plans to Value Real Estate Development Over the Kinzie Bike Lane


Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly, whose 42nd Ward encompasses Chicago's highly praised Kinzie Street protected bike lane, is taking steps that could lead to the removal of the bike lane. Alderman Reilly claims that the Kinzie Bike Lane should be removed because with the new real estate development on Wolf Point, at the intersection of the branches of the Chicago River, there will be more traffic congestion. 

The Kinzie Bike Lane runs approximately a half mile between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street and acts as a primary east-west route for bicyclists that are traveling to and from Chicago's Loop via Milwaukee Avenue. The Kinzie Bike Lane was the first protected bike lane installed in Chicago as a part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to install 25 miles of protected bike lanes each year. 

Plans would call for bicycle traffic to be moved onto new bike lanes on Grand Avenue. However, the Active Transportation Alliance in particular has forcefully advocated for the Kinzie Bike lane to be saved. On their website, ActiveTrans succinctly stated their position:
"Removing the first protected bike lane in the city just four short years after it was installed will be a national embarrassment and set us back in our efforts to make our city more livable and economically vibrant. The only way to make our streets safer and less congested is to build more protected bike lanes like the one on Kinzie, while pushing for complementary transit and pedestrian improvements."
ActiveTrans is also asking supporters of the Kinzie Bike Lane to sign an on-line petition and to contact their local Alderman asking them to oppose Ald. Reilly's proposals in the Chicago City Council. 

Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices also object's to Ald. Reilly's proposals. Attorney Keating, who acts as an advocate for Chicago bicyclists and represents injured bicyclists in legal actions, stated:
"In many regards the suggestion of removing the Kinzie Bike Lane is offensive because of what it represents. This was the first protected bike lane in Chicago and was a clear indication of Chicago's commitment to safe bicycling. On a practical level, the Kinzie Bike lane created a conduit from the Dearborn Bike Lane to Milwaukee Avenue, the city's most popular bike route. So the Kinzie Bike Lane is both a symbol of Chicago bicycling and also a vital part of many Chicagoans' bicycle commute. Removing the Kinzie Bike Lane sends a message that Chicago values a single new development over safe bicycling. We simply can not stand for that."
Keating Law Offices is a Chicago-based law firm that focuses its practices on representing injured bicyclists throughout Illinois. The firm is a national leader in the emerging field of bicycle law. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Claim for Riverside Bicycle Commuter Settled for $100,000.00 Insurance Policy Limits


Aerial photograph of area in Riverside, IL where a bicycle commuter was injured in bike accident.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have recovered the entire amount of the insurance policy limits for a Riverside bicycle commuter who was severely injured in a bicycle collision last June. The bicyclist regularly commuted via bicycle from her home in Riverside to her job in Berwyn at a healthcare facility. The collision occurred as she was riding her regular route to her Riverside home.

On June 17th she was riding near the Riverside Metra station and crossing Longcommon Road in the crosswalk. At the same time, a teenage driver inexplicably sped northbound on Longcommon Road towards the crosswalk. The motorist struck the bicyclist in the crosswalk in the rear tire of her bicycle. The force of this impact projected the bicyclist from her bicycle. She then landed on the pavement and violently struck her head and face. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where she received medical care. She continued to receive follow-up medical care for months after the collision.

The responding Riverside Police Department officer issued the motorist a traffic citation for violating Section 11-1002 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. Section 11-1002 states that: 
[w]hen traffic control signals are not in place…the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling…”
Attorney Mike Keating attended traffic court at the Maywood courthouse with the injured bicyclist. It is critically important that injured bicyclists attend traffic court to ensure that all available testimony is available to assist prosecutors in pursuing charges against the at-fault motorists. In this particular case, the motorist was accountable for his actions when faced with the prospect of a trial. He pled guilty in court to the charges and thereafter personally apologized to the injured bicyclist. 

This claim was able to be quickly resolved for the available $100,000.00 policy limits from the national insurance carrier that is not known for quick or fair resolutions to claims. Ultimately, this was the best possible financial resolution in the case. We continue to assist the client with obtaining all of the medical attention she requires by working with her health care providers and her health insurance company.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keating Law Offices Settles Case For Pedestrian Struck In Crosswalk for $600,000.00

Intersection of Burlington and Main Street in Downers Grove, Illinois
Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices, P.C. has obtained a $600,000.00 settlement for a Downers Grove woman who was struck in a crosswalk by a turning truck. The incident occurred on February 21, 2014 when the pedestrian was walking to her condominium in downtown Downers Grove after getting off the Metra train. It was a short walk that the regular commuter had done hundreds of times before.

As she was crossing Main Street in the crosswalk, an electrician driving his company's work truck, ran over the pedestrian. At the time of the collision the "Walk" light was lit and she was crossing at the same time as other pedestrians. The truck was traveling westbound on Burlington and made a left-hand turn onto southbound Main Street that required the truck to cross over the Main Street crosswalk. As a result of the impact, the pedestrian was trapped underneath the truck and dragged along the roadway before the driver realized he had hit someone and stopped. The driver of the truck admitted to police that he "did not see" the pedestrian.

The Downers Grove Police Department cited the driver for his failure to yield to the pedestrian. Multiple provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code require motorists to yield to pedestrians within crosswalks. Section 5/11-1002(e) states in part,
“Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11-904 of this Chapter.” 
Section 11-904(b) of the Illinois Vehicle Code also requires drivers approaching a stop sign to come to a complete stop before entering a crosswalk at an intersection and to yield to the right-of-way. Attorney Michael S. Keating attended traffic court with the injured pedestrian and when faced with a credible victim who was severely injured the motorist ultimately chose to plead guilty to the ticket.

The pedestrian suffered severe injuries to her face that required reconstructive surgery and resulted in substantial scarring and other injuries that affect not only her appearance but the sensation and functioning of her facial structure. During the course of investigating the claim, it was learned that the driver of the electrical vehicle was insured with two separate insurance policies that combined for a total of $600,000.00. The insurance companies, however, disputed the extent of the pedestrian's injuries and questioned the precise facts of the collision. After over a year of negotiations, Attorney Keating was able to get the insurance companies to pay the full amount of their insurance policies without a lawsuit.

Keating Law Offices is committed to representing all vulnerable users of the roadway including pedestrians and bicyclists. The firm strongly believes in the importance of safe and accessible roadways for commuters of all types utilizing the roadway. This was an optimal result for a wonderful client who was tragically injured when the driver chose to make an aggressive turn across a crosswalk rather than wait for pedestrians to clear the intersection. This accident that resulted in severe injuries could have been avoided if the driver had simply kept a proper lookout and waited to turn until all vehicles and pedestrians were out of the roadway.