Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bike Attorney Mike Keating's Article, "Bicycling In An Automobile's World," Published In Trial Magazine

Illinois Bicycle Law Shield
More Americans use bicycles than ever before, but decaying infrastructure, automobile-focused transportation policies, and a lack of federal funding put bicyclists at serious risk of harm. These are the issues investigated in a recent journal article authored by Keating Law Offices attorney Michael S. Keating. The article, entitled "Bicycling In An Automobile's World," was recently published in Trial Magazine. Trial Magazine is an award-winning publication produced by the American Association for Justice, the national trial lawyer organization that works to promote a fair and effective justice system for injured Americans and their families. 

America's Decaying Infrastructure May Directly Lead To Bicycle Accidents

For decades, the United States has failed to adequately incorporate bicycles into its overall transportation plan, instead focusing almost entirely on motor vehicle traffic. This longstanding transportation policy has resulted in roadways, bridges, and other elements of transportation infrastructure that are not “bike friendly.” Bicyclists are vulnerable roadway users and current transportation policies unfairly place them in harm’s way, leading to crashes that could have been avoided by adding bicycle-friendly features into the transportation infrastructure. A bike-friendly transportation project incorporates features such as bicycle lanes and paths, and it creates safer streets so that its overall design helps bicyclists stay safe.

Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. Keating

Attorney Michael S. Keating is a national leader in the field of bicycle litigation.  Keating Law Offices has successfully represented hundreds of injured bicyclists and their families and in the process recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards. Mr. Keating has served for years as the Chair of the American Association for Justice's Bicycle Litigation Committee and is an active member of the Active Transportation Alliance and Ride Illinois, formerly the League of Illinois Bicyclists. 

Keating Law Offices Is Always Available For A Free Consultation

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, February 1, 2016

Illinois Bicycle Attorneys at Keating Law Offices Attend Chicago Winter Bike Swap

 Keating Law Offices' Booth at Bike Swap
Attorneys from Keating Law Offices attended the Chicago Winter Bike Swap this past weekend. The firm has been a part of the Chicago Winter Bike Swap for several years going back to when the event was held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Attorney Michael Keating, founder of Keating Law Offices, said:
"We love coming to the Chicago Winter Bike Swap and meeting with other bicyclists who are passionate about bicycling and answering questions about bicycle law. My commitment to bicyclists stems first from my personal love of bicycling and bikes. My experience as a trial attorney obviously came later. When the firm goes to events like this it is a great opportunity to combine these two passions. At the end of the day, being a part of the bicycle community in Illinois is at the very heart of what we do and who we are." 
Keating Law Offices is dedicated to representing bicyclists and their families throughout Illinois in cases related to bicycle accidents. The firm prides itself on the fact that its attorneys are involved in all aspect of bicycling and bicycle advocacy. The firm is known for providing personal and direct legal counsel and advice to bicyclists throughout Illinois. The goal of the firm is simple: "To provide legal counsel and advice at any time to bicyclists who are injured anywhere in Illinois." The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices are always available to meet clients at their convenience.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Scofflaw Driver Claims "Ghost Car" Causes Crash That Severely InjuresTwo Bicyclists

Driving record of offending motorist who claimed a "ghost car" caused Illinois bike crash. 
A driver with a long and troubled history of traffic violations tried to claim that it was a "ghost car" that caused a bicycle crash in August of 2015 that seriously injured two bicyclists. "Ghost cars" or "phantom vehicles" are terms that lawyers and police officers use to describe mythical cars that only drivers who are suspects in crashes conveniently see before a collision. "Ghost cars," like a mythical figure, only appear momentarily before disappearing forever. "Ghost cars" also drive erratically and force other drivers to swerve out of their way but unfortunately into something or someone else. 

The Legend of the "Ghost Car" in Vehicle Accident Cases

The motorist who struck two Chicago-area competitive cyclists in late summer of claimed that the crash was caused by a "ghost car." The driver and the cyclist were traveling in the same direction on a major road in the far northern suburbs when the driver swerved over the fog line and onto the shoulder of the road where the two bicyclists were riding. The driver struck both bicyclists and caused serious injuries. 

Fortunately for the cyclists, there were two other witnesses to the crash and a responding police officer who wrote in his report that he did not find "credible evidence" of the ghost car. The problem with stories like this is that the insurance companies will often latch onto stories like this and use it as an excuse to delay a claim or deny it entirely while they "complete their investigation." In all cases an insurance company does have a duty and responsibility to investigate all claims. It's part of their job. But when the facts of the case are so overwhelmingly in favor of the injured person, the claim of an "investigation" becomes nothing more than an excuse to use the Three Ds Of Insurance Defense: Deny, Delay & Don't Pay. 

Our law firm was in contact with the responding police officer and the local county prosecutors' office right away. In the course of our investigation it was learned that the driver had received SIX separate traffic citations within five years. The driver was originally charged with a simple traffic violation, but Lake County prosecutors were encouraged by our firm and the responding police officer to pursue more serious charges given the extreme misconduct of the driver and the fact that serious injuries were sustained. The prosecutors made the decision to drop the misdemeanor traffic ticket and are preparing to file felony traffic charges against the motorist for the crash itself and his claims at the scene about the "ghost car." 

Illinois Laws Provide Bicyclists Protection on all Illinois Roadways


The improper lane change by this motorist on a state roadway violated Section 11-709 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. It is important to note that cyclists have the same rights on all state roads as motorists.

Section 11-709 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that “a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety. (625 ILCS 5/11-709).
As evidenced by this collision in August of 2015, there was no dispute that it was unsafe for this motorist to move his vehicle from the left lane of Illinois Route 120 to the right lane and directly into the path of the cyclist himself and his bicycle, striking him and causing serious personal injuries.

Keating Law Offices Works To Protect Cyclists Throughout The State of Illinois

The injured bicyclist in this case was represented by attorneys Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices. The cyclist is a member of a local road bike racing team focused on road cycling and triathlon competitions. Given the extremely competitive nature of road bicycle racing, this cyclist will have residual negative effects of a decline in his training level that will permeate into the 2016 season. It was very important for the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices to recover the maximum amount of money available from State Farm on behalf of this injured competitive cyclist and we are proud to have done so.

Bicycle Crash Lawyers

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important that your get as much information as possible right away regarding your legal options. 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. 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, January 18, 2016

Lawsuit On Behalf of Injured Chicago Bicycle Messenger Settled for $100,000.00

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have settled a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of a Chicago bicyclist for $100,000.00. This amount represents the full amount of the State Farm Insurance policy for the motorist who struck the bicyclist and caused her injuries in November of 2014. State Farm had originally denied any responsibility in this case and the bicyclist was forced to file a lawsuit against the driver in the Circuit Court of Cook County. After only six months of litigation the attorney for the driver agreed to have State Farm Insurance settle the case for every penny available from the insurance company.

The motorist caused the collision when she attempted to accelerate past the bike messenger as both traveled southbound on Lakewood Avenue in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The record in the case indicated that the motorist struck the bicyclist’s rear tire at approximately 25 to 30 miles per hour and ejected her forward. The bike messenger was violently thrown off her bicycle and onto the pavement of Lakewood Avenue due to the force of the impact. Due to the severity and speed of the crash, the bike messenger suffered fractures of her radius and ulna bones in her right arm at the wrist, as well as shredded her tendons. She also smacked her forehead on the pavement as she crash-landed.

The Chicago Police Department ticketed the motorist for her failure to exercise due care because she collided with the bicyclist in the roadway. It was a clear violation of Section 9-40-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code, which affords bicyclists the same rights as motorists on the road.

Chicago Bicycle Laws Provide Bicyclists Protection On City Streets

Motorists must be aware of bicyclists on the road at all times and a failure to “not see the bicyclist” until it is too late is no excuse. Section 9-40-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code provides the following protection to bicyclists on the roadway:

"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 or animal power, upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary…"
Chicago Bicycle Lawyers Successfully Resolve Case After Filing Lawsuit

Despite the Chicago Police Department finding the motorist at-fault and the ruling of a Cook County Traffic Court judge determining the motorist was guilty for a failure to exercise due care in this collision, the insurance company for the motorist refused to offer any money in settlement when negotiations first began. The claim by the motorist was that the bicyclist pulled in front of the motorist and the crash was not only unavoidable, but actually the bicyclist's fault. The insurance company for the motorist believed the bicyclist was at-fault because they claimed that and offered nothing prior to the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices filing a lawsuit against the motorist in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

After filing suit on behalf of this injured bike messenger and six months of contested litigation, the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices were successful in obtaining the insurance policy limits for the injured bike messenger – $100,000.00 – in settlement.

Bicycle Crash Lawyers

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important that your get as much information as possible right away regarding your legal options. 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, January 4, 2016

What NOT To Do If You've Been A Victim Of A Bicycle Crash

The Chicago Bike Flag - Keating Law Offices, P.C.
The calendar pages have turned to 2016 and everyone is making New Year's resolutions. The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have previously discussed at length what TO DO if you have been in a bicycle accident. But in keeping with the theme of New Year's resolutions, here are some actions to definitely skip if the unfortunate strikes and you are injured in a bicycle accident.  A resolution should be one that improves your life in some measurable way, so keep these steps in mind, as they can make a big difference:

Refusing Medical Care Even Though You Are Injured: You're scared. You're injured. The adrenaline is pumping and everything is a blur. People are all around you telling you what to do. You're also in pain. But you are worried about the cost of an ambulance or an E.R visit. You just really want to get home and figure you will be OK soon enough so you skip getting medical attention. The ramifications from this decision range from medical to legal. By not getting medical attention you are risking making a medical situation that was treatable much, much worse by waiting. You also miss the opportunity for your injuries to be documented near the time the injury occurred. This is very important to medical professionals who may provide treatment in the future. From a legal standpoint electing not to take an ambulance or get immediate medical attention causes insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys to question the seriousness of the injury. Even though the decision to not seek medical attention had nothing to do with the need for it, the absence of documented injuries at or near the time of the injury will forever cause a "question" in the minds of those that are paid to keep you from getting the compensation you deserve. If there is insurance coverage for the bike accident, the medical bills will most likely be covered that way. And in cases where there isn't insurance and you are unable to pay, most hospitals will consider a waiver of charges through a charitable application.

Hitting Social Media With Details Of Your Crash: Being in a bike accident is a big deal, and like a lot of major events in your life you want to tell your friends about it on social media. Don't. Those same insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys will use any small detail that they can find and try to use it against you. We've even heard the argument, "How could they be so hurt if they were still on social media?" This makes no sense because you only need a working thumb and you can post, but that's besides the point. Don't give anyone fuel to try and deny you the opportunity to compensate you for what you've been through. If you want to communicate with your friends and family about how you're doing, do so privately and not in a public forum.

Trying To Handle The Insurance Claim On Your Own: That lady from the insurance company who called you seemed really nice and genuinely concerned for your well being. She said that the insurance company would pay your part of the medical bills and you had nothing to worry about. She just needs to take your statement over the phone oh, and you don't mind if she records it, do you? Well, you have a lot to worry about as this is the oldest insurance company scam in the book. The insurance adjuster doesn't tell you that they will use the recorded statement against you if it is convenient. What that adjuster also fails to mention is that a personal injury claim is made up of more than just your medical bills. You are entitled to be compensated for time lost from work, pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and other compensable damages under Illinois personal injury law. In addition, if your bike was damaged you can also get compensation for the property damage. Insurance companies spend literally billions of dollars every year fighting claims, you should have someone fighting on your behalf. Our involvement in hundreds of cases has made a large difference in the outcome of the case by getting maximum compensation for ALL the parts of your personal injury case. Insurance companies - fairly or not - treat attorneys differently than they do the injured person. The attorneys at Keating Law Offices work 100% on a contingency fee basis meaning you pay absolutely nothing - zero - unless we successfully resolve your case. We do not accept a single penny from you directly and only get paid directly from the insurance company proceeds when your case is resolved. President Abraham Lincoln may have said it best when he said, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." You have nothing to lose by contacting the Illinois bike attorneys at Keating Law Offices. All initial consultations are absolutely free and with no obligation. Call or email anytime. We are here to help.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The law firm, which only handles personal injury and wrongful death cases, is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients in every county in Illinois. If you have any questions rplease 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 100% confidential and absolutely free and without any obligation.

Chicago, IL Bike Accident Attorneys

Monday, December 21, 2015

Focus Bicycles Recalls Bikes Due To Issues With Headset

Focus Bicycles recently announced a recall of its 2014-2015 Izalco Max bicycle models equipped with Acros-brand upper headsets. The recall was issued when Focus discovered that the headset could cause the carbon-fiber fork steer tube to crack, posing a fall hazard to the rider. The recall includes approximately 470 (an additional 31 sold in Canada) Izalco Max bicycles with Acros-brand upper headsets with model years from 2014 through 2015. The headsets are black with the word “Acros” printed in white on the upper headset.

Recalled Bicycles Sold Nationwide

The recalled Focus Izalco Max bicycles were sold at independent bicycle retailers nationwide and online at www.bikebling.com and www.carbonconnection.com from January 2014 to August 2015 for between $1,800 and $9,500. To date, there have been 11 reported incidents associated with the recalled Izalco Max bicycle outside of the United States. The CPSC recommends that riders who have a Izalco Max bicycle that is affected by this recall immediately stop using the bicycle and contact Focus Bicycles to schedule a free repair.

Illinois Bicycle Recall Law Attorneys

Keating Law Offices has significant experience and success with product liability cases and injuries resulting from bike usage. In Illinois the manufacturer of a product can be held liable when their product fails and the person was using the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner. This means that if a bicycle crash occurs because a part of the bike broke or failed during normal use, the manufacturer of that product would be responsible for any injuries or other damages suffered by the rider. Relevant to the recalled Focus bicycles, it would be reasonably foreseeable for a rider to expect the carbon-fiber fork steer tube not to crack, making any resulting injury the potential basis for a claim against the manufacturer.

The Illinois Bicycle Attorneys at Keating Law Offices strongly encourage Illinois bicyclists to stay informed regarding recalls that may affect their bicycles or equipment. While manufacturers rarely intend to sell defective products, recalls are a reminder that product defects posing serious risks to cyclists can be discovered once a product is already on the market. It is important to monitor the safety of your bicycle and cycling equipment both before and after a purchase.

Contact Illinois Bike Attorneys at Keating Law Offices 

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. 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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Need A FREE Stocking Stuffer For The Bicyclist In Your Life?

Chicago Bike Flag stickers and patches and the popular "Share The Road Bumper Stickers" from the Illinois Bicycle Law Attorneys at Keating Law Offices make great stocking stuffers for the bicyclist in your life. And best of all they are FREE to Illinois bicyclists!

How To Get The Chicago Bike Flag Or A Bumper Sticker

All you need to do to get a Chicago Bike Flag sticker or patch or the Share the Road bumper stickers is to email your mailing address to ChicagoBikeFlag@KeatingLegal.com. In the email simply let us know what items you would like and we will mail them out absolutely free of charge. We will do our best to get them out in time for Christmas.

Illinois Bicycle Lawyers At Keating Law Offices 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm works as attorneys and advocates who have been injured in a bicycle accident or crash. 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, December 16, 2015

Victim of Dooring on Milwaukee Avenue Receives $60,000.00 Settlement

A Chicago bicyclist who was doored on North Milwaukee Avenue in April of 2015 has received a $60,000.00 settlement from the insurance company for the driver that caused her injuries. The dooring occurred as the bicyclist was riding north on North Milwaukee Avenue towards its intersection with West Haddon Avenue in West Town. At the same time the driver had just parked her vehicle on Milwaukee Avenue. Without looking, the motorist unfortunately made the regrettable decision to swing her driver’s door open into the designated bike lane on Milwaukee Avenue where the bicyclist was unable to avoid the collision. 

Chicago Bicycle Laws Outlaw Doorings

It is troubling that bicycle accidents from doorings still occur in areas like West Town 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."
Common Injuries In Bicycle Crashes

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 serious injury to a young professional who ended up with a broken collarbone, a pile of medical bills and missed time from work. This insurance settlement for the bicycle accident will fairly 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. Fortunately the bicyclist did not have to undergo surgery for her fractured collarbone and healed with rest and some physical therapy. Due to this she will be able to use most of her settlement towards getting back to her life and putting this event behind her. 

Bicycle Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important that your get as much information as possible right away regarding your legal options. 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, December 7, 2015

Chicago Bicyclist Killed And Pedestrian Injured In Crash With Motor Vehicle in Lawndale

Fatal car crash
Photo by Alexandra Chachkevitch of the Chicago Tribune)
A Chicago bicyclist was killed and a pedestrian seriously injured after they were the victims of an accident caused by the operator of a motor vehicle. The collision happened late last night near 14th Street and Kostner Avenue in the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. According to reports, the bicyclist was a 55-year old man and the pedestrian was a 45-year old man who were struck by the vehicle. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai Hospital and the pedestrian was taken there for treatment as well. 

No other details are available, other than the fact that charges were pending against the driver. Given the this motor vehicle crash involved a fatality to the bicyclist and serious injuries to the pedestrian, the Chicago Police Department's Major Accidents Investigation Unit will investigate this incident. A photograph taken by Alexandra Chachkevitch of the Chicago Tribune shows severe damage to the entire front end of the vehicle and significant damage to the windshield. Windshield damage of this nature typically occurs when a person is struck, thrown onto the hood, and then their body damages the window. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those 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.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Support Your Local Bike Shop on Black Friday

While throngs of shoppers head out on "Black Friday" to chase deals, instead consider visiting your LBS (Local Bike Shop) for your winter riding needs and gift ideas for the cyclists in your life. When you support your LBS, you are directly impacting your local economy and helping contribute to a stable "bicycle economy" made up of store owners, store clerks, mechanics and other jobs. This, in turn, helps continue to foster a community that values bicycling. So simply by "shopping local" you are helping bicycling overall.

Here is a list of Local Bike Shops from the Chicago Bike Shop Database. Feel free to add any shops to the comments below.

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, November 20, 2015

Kona Announced A Recall of Kona Wo Mountain Bikes

The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced a recall of Kona Wo bicycles due to the risk of a bicyclist being injured in a fall due to issues with the fork on the Kona Wo. The concern is that the bicycle fork on the Kona Wo bicycles can crack or break at the junction of the crown. A failure of the fork obviously poses a substantial fall hazard which could lead a bicyclist to sustain serious injuries. The recall includes approximately 530 2014 Kona Wo bicycles with a charcoal black frame and silver decals. The word “Wo” is on the top tube of the frame and the word “Kona” is on the down tube of the frame on the side of the seat.

Kona Bicycles Sold Throughout United States

The recalled 2014 Kona Wo bicycles were sold at authorized Kona dealers nationwide from September 2013 through July 2014 for approximately $1,700. The CPSC recommends that riders who have a Kona Wo bicycle that is affected by this recall immediately stop using the bicycle and to contact Kona or an authorized Kona dealer for a free replacement and installation of the bicycle fork.

Recalls occur in an effort to proactively prevent bicycle accidents from a potentially defective product before that accident takes place. In this case, Kona issued the recall even though there were no injuries reported from the issue with the bicycle fork. When a manufacturer discovers a potential product defect, it is required to recall the defective product immediately. 


Illinois Law Protects Bicyclists From Defective Products

Manufacturers of defective products are liable for all foreseeable injuries that occur as a result from use of the defective product. This is known as "strict liability" under Illinois law. The law in Illinois is very clear when it comes to product defects: if a bicyclist is using a bicycle and its components in a normal manner, and the bicycle product fails to work and a bicycle accident occurs, the manufacturer is liable. Under Illinois law, a liable manufacturer would have to compensate the injured bicyclist for their "damages" which would include their personal injuries such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement and lost wages.

Illinois Bike Attorneys At Keating Law Offices

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois, including bicyclists injured as a result of a defective bicycle or bicycle component. 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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bicyclist Killed In Crash With Semi-Truck Near North Shore Channel Trail

Eastbound Howard St. at McCormick Blvd. Near North Shore Trail
An Evanston bicyclist was killed near the North Shore Channel Trail in Skokie during rush hour on Friday evening. According to news reports, James C. Hinton of Evanston was riding his bicycle around 5:00 p.m. Hinton was riding eastbound on Howard Street at its intersection with McCormick Boulevard when he was struck by a semi-truck. McCormick Boulevard runs immediately adjacent and parallel to the North Shore Channel Trail at this location. The trail is to the immediate east of McCormick Boulevard.

No further details have been released in the media. The Chicago Tribune quoted a Skokie police officer as saying that both the bicycle and the semi-truck were traveling eastbound at the time of the crash. As of yet, no citations have been issued to any person involved in the crash. Skokie police continue to investigate the crash with the assistance of the North Regional Task Force Major Crash Assistance Team. Major Crash investigation units routinely investigate fatal crashes such as this where there are major injuries or death as the result of a crash. 


Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of James C. Hinton and all those affected by this crash.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crash That Killed Joliet Bicyclist Remains Under Investigation

Attorneys Representing Illinois Bicyclists
Joliet police are awaiting the toxicology results and conducting a further investigation into a bicycle crash that left a Joliet bicyclist dead. The fatal crash took place at around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11th. The collision between the motor vehicle and the bicyclist took place when the driver of a Chevrolet Avalanche turned from northbound Boulder onto Westbound Washington in Joliet. According to reports, the motorist only became aware of the collision when he heard a noise. The motorist reported that he never saw the bicyclist. 

The driver found the fatally injured bicyclist underneath the Avalanche truck and called 911. Joliet fire department personnel that responded to the scene had to use a jack to lift the Avalanche in order to extract the bicyclist from underneath the truck. The bicyclist was taken to Silver Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.  The bicyclist was identified as 57-year old Joliet resident Raul Weeks. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Weeks's family and friends and all those affected by this tragic event. 

The Joliet Police Department has yet to issue any citations as they await the results of toxicology results and conduct a further investigation into the crash. Because the motorist claims that he did not see the bicyclist prior to the crash it is currently unknown as to what direction the bicyclist was traveling and his location on the roadway prior to the crash. Police departments typically conduct major accident investigations when a crash involves a fatal injury or death. The police department will then issue a final Illinois Traffic Crash Report that summarizes their investigation and will state whether any traffic citations were issued.

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, November 13, 2015

Denied Claim for Rockford Bicyclist Ultimately Results in $100,000.00 Settlement

Illinois Bicycle Law
In 2011 a Rockford bicyclist was out on a ride for exercise. A diagnosed diabetic, the bicyclist had used bicycling as a way to stay in shape and maintain his weight. Through proper diet and regular exercise from bicycling, the bicyclist's doctor said that his diabetes was "under control" and the bicyclist was a "model patient." However, his life took a drastic turn when he was struck by a car and suffered a nerve injury to his face. 

Failure to Stop At Stop Sign Leads to Collision

The crash occurred when the bicyclist approached the roadway from a bike path. There was a stop sign for bicycle traffic on the path and the bicyclist came to a complete stop. He rode into the intersection to continue onto the bike path and was struck by a car that made a quick lane change from across another lane in a last-second attempt to turn. The motorist later admitted he was late in realizing he wanted to make a turn and crashed into the bicyclist. 

Serious Injuries from Bicycle Crashes

The impact from the crash threw the bicyclist from his bike and he landed face first. The impact was so substantial that the bike helmet was completely destroyed. The impact of the helmet pushed into the bicyclist's upper face and caused a nerve injury to what is known as the trigeminal nerve. This nerve helps control function in the bottom, middle, and top of a person's face. It is a slow-healing injury that has an unknown recovery. 

The offending motorist, although accountable for his actions, was nonetheless responsible for violating numerous Rules of the Road. The responding police office cited the motorist for failing to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist in the intersection. In addition, the motorist
violated Section 11-1003.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code in causing the collision. Section 1003.1 requires that drivers of vehicles exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person operating a bicycle. (625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1).


Bicycle Accident Case

What seems like a "clear cut" case became complicated when the insurance adjuster handling the claim for the motorist's insurance company denied the claim. Her reason for denying the claim? She thought it was not possible that a bike helmet forced into a person's face could cause nerve damage. Her personal opinion (keep in mind the claims adjuster is not a doctor) was that the diabetes most likely caused the nerve injury even though there was nothing in the medical records to substantiate this "diagnosis." 

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices were forced to file a lawsuit in Winnebago County to protect the interests of the bicyclist. After two years of litigation the case finally settled after the bicyclist's doctor and the expert neurologist hired by our firm testified that the nerve injury was from the bike crash. The expert neurologist was even able to demonstrate how the point of injury was exactly aligned with where the helmet impacted the bicyclist's face in the crash. 

The case ultimately settled for $100,000.00 which represents the full amount of the motorist's insurance policy. This was also the very same amount that the injured bicyclist agreed to accept - before the insurance company forced him to file a lawsuit against their own insured. 

The case is another example of how when a crash happens and you are injured, even if it is not your fault, that does not mean the insurance company will look out for your best interest. The people handling your claim are claims adjusters, not claims payers. Their job is to do what they can to try and convince you to take less than you are owed. The insurance company will always do what it can to protect its own interest. But Keating Law Offices will always do what we can to make sure that every opportunity is given to injured bicyclists. We will do what we can to assist any bicyclist injured anywhere in Illinois at any time.

Illinois Bicycle Attorneys at Keating Law Offices

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, November 2, 2015

Illinois Law Requires A Bike Light - Daylight Savings Time Is A Reminder To Get One If You Don't Have One

Daylight Savings time is in effect again and until the Winter Solstice on December 22nd the days will get continually shorter. Even after the solstice it is many weeks before we get out of long nights and commutes home will again be in daylight. 

Lights Are Important

There is no way around the fact that Illinois bicyclists who commute to work via their bikes will be riding home in the dark. Because of this bike lights are critically important for all bicyclists. A headlight in particular provides the rider greater visibility and makes you more visible to motorists. A simple set of bike lights can categorically affect the risk of getting injured in a bicycle accident. Thinking "well, there's streetlights, I'll be ok" is an unreasonable and unnecessary risk. It is also illegal. 

Illinois Law Requires Lights And Reflectors

Lights for bicyclists riding at nighttime are required by Illinois law. According Section 11-1507 of the Illinois Rules of the Road, bicyclists must have the following on their bikes:
  1. A lamp on the front that emits a white light that can be seen for 500 feet; and
  2. A red reflector visible from 100 to 600 feet by a car with its headlights on. A rear red light may also be used.
The fact that the law says that a bicyclist may use a rear red light in addition to a rear reflector is probably just due to some less than precise legal drafting. The bottom line is a red reflector AND a rear red light are better than a reflector alone. This is why the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers strongly recommend that all bicyclists use a rear red light in addition to a red reflector and a bright light in the front. 

Jason Jenkins of the Active Transportation Alliance has put together a very helpful and informative short video on bike lights and what a difference they can make. Jason's advice regarding buying the most durable and bright light you can afford is solid advice. No one wants unnecessary expenses, but bike lights can make the difference between getting in a bike crash and getting home safely. 

Illinois Bike Law Attorneys

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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bike Attorney Mike Keating Attends Illinois Bike Summit

Keating Law Offices attorney Mike Keating attended the 4th Annual Illinois Bike Summit on October 28, 2015 in Champaign-Urbana. The Illinois Bike Summit is presented by the League of Illinois Bicyclists which announced at the summit that it is changing its name to "Bike Illinois."

The Illinois Bike Summit

The Illinois Bike Summit brought together 300 bike advocates, engineers, politicians and community members to meet on various topics regarding bicycling in Illinois. The Daily Illini wrote an excellent recap that you can find by clicking here.
Attorney Mike Keating said the following about the event, "The Illinois Bike Summit is an important part of bicycle advocacy in Illinois. Taking the time for bicycle supporters from different areas to come together and focus specifically on how to make bicycling better and safer is critically important." 
Illinois Bicycle Lawyers At Keating Law Offices

In addition to being one of the nation's leading bicycle attorneys, Mike Keating has a long background in Illinois politics and community organizing. He is the former staff attorney for the Illinois House of Representatives committees on State Government and Civil Law, the area that encompasses personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mike has previously been a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and has worked on numerous political campaigns. Mike now devotes his practice to the representation of injured bicyclists and their families. As a part of that dedication, Mike is proud of his ability to use the political skills and contact gained during his legal career.

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, October 23, 2015

Chicago Bicyclist Injured When Tow Truck Makes Illegal "Right Hook" in Lincoln Park

A 38-year old Chicago bicyclist was injured in a crash with a tow truck in Lincoln Park early Thursday. The bicycle accident took place when both the bicyclist and the tow truck were travelling east on Fullerton Avenue and approaching Halsted Street near DePaul University. This is a six-corner intersection with Fullerton and Halsted intersected diagonally by Lincoln Avenue as well. There are bike lanes at or near this intersection on all three of these major Chicago streets. The official bike map for the City of Chicago clearly marks the presence of bike lanes on Fullerton, Halsted and Lincoln. 

Chicago Bicycle Crashes Often Occur At Intersections


According to the original news reports, the collision between the bicyclist and the Ford F-650 truck occurred when the driver of the tow truck apparently did not check the blind spot of the vehicle and turned across the bicyclist as the tow truck turned from Fullerton onto Halsted Street. 

Since the initial reports it has been clarified that the bicyclist was injured but not killed. As a result of the impact, the bicyclists was knocked off of her bicycle and suffered a head injury. Paramedics responded to the scene and transported the bicyclist to Illinois Masonic Hospital.

Chicago Bike Law Prohibits Right Hooks

This type of collision is what is known as a "right hook" turn and it is specifically prohibited by the law. Section 9-16-020 of the Municipal Code of Chicago specifically prohibits right turns in front of bicycles. The ordinance states:
When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.” 
In very simple terms, a motorist MUST make sure that they do not make a right turn in front of a bicyclist. This is particularly crucial in urban areas such as Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood where there is a large amount of bicycle traffic. In fact, immediately west of the intersection of Fullerton and Halsted there is a marked bike lane and signage indicating the presence of bicycles and other signs providing bicyclists directions. 

Chicago Police Department's Major Accident Investigation Unit (MAIU)


Given that this was an accident that involves serious bodily injury or death, the Chicago Police Department policy is that the Major Accidents Investigation Unit are to conduct a full investigation. The driver of the tow truck was issued a traffic ticket at the scene, but there are no further details as to the exact charge for the citation. 

The traffic laws in place are to protect all users of the roadway, including bicyclists. This collision could most likely have been avoided by the driver of the truck simply checking the blind spot of the vehicle before turning across Fullerton where the bike lanes on Fullerton and Halsted intersect and bicycle traffic is frequent and well known. 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

League of American Bicyclists Examines Census Data. The result? More Bike Lanes = More Bicycle Commuters

The American League of Bicyclists recently released the latest analysis of United States Census data regarding the cities that are cycling to work the most. The report, complied by Attorney Ken McLeod of the American League of Bicyclists, points to a nationwide increase in the number of Americans opting to bicycle to work rather than use motorized transportation.

Bicycle Infrastructure Is Leading To More Bicyclists

The root of the analysis underscores the following larger point: If you build it, they will come. Meaning, if you build the bike lanes, the cyclists will come to the streets. The League of American Bicyclists analysis is complied from the U.S. Census Bureau’s report and is based on data collected by the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2000 to 2014, gathered from a questionnaire sent to approximately 3.5 million addresses countrywide.

The ACS is conducted annually to provide one of the largest sources of information on bicycle commuting in the country. Here are the details of the Survey:
  • The ACS is geared towards workers ages 16 years and older who work outside their home.
  • The questionnaire asks what the respondent’s primary method of transportation was for the previous week’s work commute.
  • For commuters relying on multiple transportation methods for their daily commute, only the method used for the longest distance of their commute will count.
Bicycle Ridership Continues To Rapidly Increase

Here is the most interesting fact to come from the ACS: The number of bicycle riders across America continues to soar. Nationwide, from 2000 to 2014, bicycle commuting has grown 62 percent. Raw data shows an increase from 488,000 people in the year 2000 to 904,463 people in the year 2014. Even though the overall share of workers commuting by bike remains relatively low – approximately 1.0% of the population –this drastic increase represents the single largest percentage increase of any transportation method in the country.

The increase in bicycle commuting is largely the result of many of the country’s most prominent cities investing heavily in non-motorized travel-based projects. In Chicago and many other municipalities in Illinois there has been a massive increase in the number of bike lanes including Chicago recently completing the 100th mile of marked bike lanes in the city limits. Many of these projects are critical improvements to the infrastructure that can greatly reduce the risk of a bicycle accident or simply provide easier access to bicycling. Examples of these infrastructure improvements are as follows:
  • Sidewalk modifications;
  • Protected bicycle lanes; and
  • Bicycle sharing programs, such as Chicago’s popular Divvy program.
Bicycling In Chicago Is Growing

Each year Chicago continues to increase its percentage of bicycle commuters. In 2014, 1.7 percent of the cities population, which translates to about 21,362 people, used bicycles as their primary method of commuting. This is a vast increase from the 1.3 percent or 16,000 of Chicago workers reporting bicycling as their primary method of commuting from 2008 to 2012.

Finally, the report listed a few notable, nationwide trends among bicyclist commuters that make for interesting bicycle facts. For example:
  • Men are twice as likely than women to ride to work;
  • Large cities have the highest rate of bicycle commuters;
  • Cities where bike commuting is growing the fastest have all begun investing in bike lanes within recent years;
  • The top 10 cities with the highest share of bike commuters are mostly college towns; and
  • The city with the highest percent of residents biking to work was Davis, California with bike lanes on 95% of its major streets.
An important final takeaway is that bikes are here to stay. Contrary to the assertions of many in the “anti-bike camp,” bicycling is not a fad and a bicycle is not a child's toy. A bicycle is a vehicle. Bicycling is an integral part of the transportation plan in any modern American city and Chicago and many other municipalities throughout Illinois are at the forefront of this movement.

Chicago, Illinois Bicycle Law Attorneys

As bicycle attorneys in Illinois, we are proud to have been a part of the collective effort to support and advocate for bicycling throughout Illinois. We remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for the rights of bicyclist and adhere to our mission of providing legal advice to any bicyclists injured in a bicycle accident anywhere in Illinois at anytime.

SOURCE: "WHERE WE RIDE: Analysis of bicycle commuting in American cities." Report on American Consumer Survey data by the League of American Bicyclists. 

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, October 14, 2015

Chicago Bicycle Accident Victim Receives Settlement for Personal Injury Case

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have obtained a substantial insurance settlement on behalf of a local student and restaurant employee for injuries he sustained when he was struck by a car at the intersection of North Racine Avenue and West School Street in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Bicycle Crashes Frequently Lead To Injuries

The bicyclist was traveling eastbound on West School Street at the time of the crash, heading to his job as a bartender and waiter at a popular restaurant in the Lakeview neighborhood. The collision occurred when the driver attempted to accelerate northbound through the intersection of North Racine Avenue and West School Street and collided directly into the bicyclist’s entire right side.

The bicyclist was physically crushed due to the force of the impact. This collision knocked the bicyclist off of his bike and threw him to the ground. Before hitting the ground, the bicyclist instinctively put out hand and the impact broke his wrist. Due to the severity and speed of the crash caused by the driver, the bicyclist suffered what doctors refer to as an acute, comminuted intra-articular fracture of radius bone in the right wrist.

Chicago Bike Law Requires Drivers To Drive Carefully Near Bicyclists

Chicago's Municipal Code makes moves like the one by this driver illegal. Chicago generally requires all motorists to "exercise" due care around bicyclists. Here is the language of the ordinance regarding a driver's responsibility to "exercise due care":
9-40-160 Drivers to exercise due care.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 or animal power, upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary…
Chicago, Illinois Bike Law Attorneys

As a result of the attorneys at Keating Law Offices protecting the rights of bicyclists in Chicago and throughout Illinois, we were able to demonstrate to the insurance company for the at-fault driver that this was a significant claim. Ultimately, this insurance settlement compensated the injured bicyclist for all of his medical bills, lost wages from having to miss work, pain and suffering, and loss of a normal life from being unable to use his right wrist for a number of weeks. This out-of-court settlement allowed this claim to be resolved without lawsuit and still for the optimal outcome for the 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 312-239-6787 (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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

One Million Thanks for Five Thousand Likes

This week the Facebook Page for the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices reached 5,000 "Likes" on Facebook. While this may not seem like a lot compared to many pop culture pages, to put it in context of law firms the nation's largest law firms typically have around 3,000 likes on Facebook. Life is full of wins and losses both big and small. And while this is certainly a small social media victory in the grand scheme of things, it is still an occasion to thank the Illinois bicycle community for entrusting us when you have been the victim of a bicycle accident or simply needed counsel and advice. Our gratitude and appreciation is truly beyond words.

Illinois Bicycle Lawyers Are Found Online At www.IllinoisBicycleLaw.com

The original "Illinois Bicycle Law" blog was started in October of 2008 at the same time as Chicago personal injury attorney Mike Keating opened Keating Law Offices, P.C. As a lifelong bicyclist who was then commuting by bicycle to work in the Loop in the early 2000s, Mike was familiar with the experiences of bicyclists in Chicago. At the same time, as an up-and-coming trial attorney at a premiere personal injury law firm he was familiar with all types of vehicle-related accidents. But the two worlds did not come together until the mid-2000s when he noticed a pattern of cases involving bicyclists being referred to him by other attorneys who knew him as a "bike guy" who was also a skilled attorney.

Keating Law Offices Excels And Grows By Focusing On Illinois Bicyclists

The refrain from these clients a decade ago was often the same: "The first attorney I talked to told me I didn't have a case because as a bicyclist you choose to put yourself at risk so if you get hurt it's mostly your own fault." Mike knew as a lawyer who previously worked as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois Speaker of the House that this advice from other lawyers simply wasn't true. The statewide Illinois Vehicle Code had long acknowledged that bicyclists in Illinois were permitted users of the roadways. However, this anti-bike sentiment was well ingrained in many attorneys minds. Mike realized that the Illinois bicycle community as a whole was not receiving a "fair shake" from many attorneys just like they were not receiving fair and legal access to the roadways.

For the past decade Mike Keating has committed himself to being a skilled trial attorney and his dedication to bicyclists has remained steadfast with the knowledge that Illinois cyclists have a right to the road and they deserve top-flight legal protection. Yet, there is still work to do. There are too many cars no matter how many roads we build. And bicyclists will always be vulnerable to motor vehicles. So when a crash happens, the chance for injury is real. And that is why Keating Law Offices is a law firm that hundreds of bicyclists have entrusted with their cases when they've been injured. The commitment of Keating Law Offices will always remain the same: The firm will assist any bicyclist who has been injured anywhere in Illinois at anytime.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Slow Roll Chicago Founder Recognized by White House As a "Champion of Change"

Slow Roll Chicago Co-Founder Olatunji Oboi Reed will be recognized as a "Champion of Change" at an event at the White House. The work of Slow Roll Chicago will also be recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Reed and Slow Roll Chicago co-founder Jamal Julien use Slow Roll Chicago as a way to use bicycling to show that the city is accessible and a way to reduce crime and revitalize neighborhoods.

Attorney Mike Keating stated the following about this accolade.

"I've had the good fortune to meet Olatunji and Jamal many times and am always struck by the sincerity of their commitment and passion. I look forward to working with them in the future in any way we can be of service. This is certainly a well deserved award for everyone at Slow Roll Chicago." 

To learn more about Slow Roll Chicago, visit their website at SlowRollChicago.org.

Active Transportation Alliance's "Bikeways for All Plan" Would Reduce Bicycle Crashes

The Active Transportation Alliance has issued a vision for bikeways in Chicago entitled "Bikeways for All." This plan for bicycling in Chicago is focused on increasing the number of bike routes available to citizens throughout Chicago. The plan also aims to increase the equitable and fair distribution of bikeways in the city to all parts of Chicago. Overall, the plan focuses on maintaining Chicago's rapid increase in bicycling by providing new bike routes that are "low stress" and comfortable for riders of all ability levels. "Low stress" includes bike routes that are consistent and reliable in providing safe routes throughout Chicago.

Active Transportation Alliance's Bikeways For All Plan

In the PDF detailing the plan, ActiveTrans summarizes "Bikeways for All":
"Bikeways for All proposes 180 miles of new low-stress biking routes that prioritize three types of facilities: Protected Bike Lanes, Neighborhood Greenways and Urban Trails. We envision 100 additional miles of these new Protected Bike Lanes and Neighborhood Greenways by 2020 as well as concrete progress on urban trail projects."
The Chicago Tribune also published an excellent article detailing the event and provides a solid summary of the Bikeways for All plan:
"The report urged the Emanuel administration to commit to building 100 miles of the 180 miles by 2020. The 100 miles would consist of physically protected bike lanes; marked bike lanes on low-traffic, low-speed residential streets that connect to stores, parks, schools and public transit; and off-street "urban trails'' along the lakefront, the Chicago River and abandoned rail lines patterned after The 606, which opened this year and runs through Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park."
Bikeways For All Could Help Reduce Bicycle Crashes In Chicago

A direct result of a progressive, forward-thinking plan like "Bikeways or All" will also lead to fewer bicycle crashes in Chicago. As attorneys who focus our practice on representing victims of bicycle accidents, there are certain "common denominators" we see in most cases. Far and away, the failure of the driver to pay attention (keep a proper lookout) and congestion are two common factors in bicycle accidents. A bikeway of any kind serves to mitigate against the potential threat of these two factors.

First, a bikeway serves as a "warning" in the same way a stop sign does. When a driver sees clearly marked and delineated roadway markings for a bike lane and signs indicated the presence of bicyclists this serves as a "warning" to motorists to be aware that bicyclists could be present on the roadway. This awareness fights against the common refrain from motorists that the "bicyclist came out of nowhere." The bicyclist didn't come out of thin air, most likely the motorist simply did not appreciate that bicyclist would be on the roadway and their "surprise" is just from a lack of awareness.

Secondly, bikeways help reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars and onto bicycles. As noted in the report, since 2000 the number of trips by bicycle in Chicago has tripled. More trips on bikes means fewer trips by motorized vehicles. Bikeways also streamline bicycle traffic into prescribed patterns that are more efficient. The net result is that bicycles on bikeways are on a dedicated space where the bicyclist is most safe. Protected bike lanes, in particular, provide a clear area for bicyclists. But overall any type of bikeway will result in a bicyclist being more comfortable on their ride.

This latest plan by the Active Transportation Alliance is another example of the strong leadership this advocacy organization exhibits. We applaud Active Trans on its continued great work.

Chicago Bicycle Attorneys and Advocates

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.