Friday, August 26, 2016

Attorney Michael Keating Appears On WGN News To Discuss Dennis's Law And Illinois Bicycle Laws

Attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices discussed the recent change to Illinois bicycle laws with the signing of "Dennis's Law." He appeared live on WGN Morning News in a segment to discuss why this bicycle law is important to all Illinois bicyclists. 

On August 12, 2015 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 5912 that clarifies that bicycles are “vehicles” under the Illinois Vehicle Code and that motorists must provide the right-of-way to bicyclists in the same manner as motor vehicles. The is known as “Dennis’s Law” after Illinois bicyclist Dennis Jurs who was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle on May 18, 2015 in Hampshire, Illinois. 

"Dennis's Law" was also the subject of news articles by WTTW, the Chicagoist and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in which Michael Keating was interviewed regarding the new law and his role in drafting the legislation. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why The New Illinois Bicycle Law, "Dennis's Law," Is Important For All Bicyclists

Dennis Jurs
On Friday, August 12, 2015 a new Illinois law was signed into law that clarified that Illinois bicyclists are to receive all the same rights in traffic situations involving the right-of-way as the drivers of motor vehicles. Previous to this change, there was a conflict as to whether a bicycle was considered a “vehicle” under Illinois law and was therefore entitled to the right-of-way between vehicles. Since the prior right-of-way laws in Illinois referenced “vehicles” there was an issue as to whether the right-of-way laws explicitly applied to bicyclists. 

New Bicycle Law Provides Clarity To Existing Laws

This change in Illinois bicycle law makes it absolutely clear that bicycles are “vehicles” as defined in the Illinois Vehicle Code and that motorists must provide the right-of-way to bicycles when the bicyclist is entitled to the right-of-way. The new bicycle law will go into effect on January 1, 2017.  

New Law Sought After Traffic Ticket Dismissed

This change was sought after an October of 2015 ruling in which a Kane County judge dismissed a traffic citation against a driver for failing to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming bicyclist. The judge ruled that the right-of-way laws in the Illinois Vehicle Code did not apply to bicyclists. The traffic citation at issue was related to the fatal May 18, 2015 collision between the motorist and Dennis E. Jurs of Hampshire. This collision resulted in the death of Mr. Jurs. The judge cited non-traffic related cases that held that a bicycle was not a “vehicle” under certain legal definitions. The judge then dismissed the charges against the motorist involved in the fatal collision.

The family of Dennis E. Jurs brought the issue of this lack of clarity in the law to the attention of State Representative Anna Moeller. Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois, who represents the Estate of Dennis E. Jurs in the civil case related to the crash along with co-counsel F. John Steffen of Steffen & Kelly, P.C. in Elgin, Illinois, helped draft the legislation. State Representative Moeller sponsored “Dennis’s Law” which passed through both the Illinois House of Representative and the Illinois State Senate with only one vote against it and 164 votes in favor of the change.

Dennis's Law Also Honors The Life Of The Late Dennis Jurs


Dennis E. Jurs was an extremely experienced 68-years old bicycle rider at the time of his death. Mr. Jurs was a United States Army veteran who served in Vietnam where he was injured by a land mine. Mr. Jurs thereafter became very active in cycling in Illinois. He took up cycling at 30 years of age as a way to rehabilitate the leg injuries he suffered while serving in Vietnam. Mr. Jurs was a member of the Illinois-based bicycle racing team, Team MACK, and was an organizer for years of the well-known Four Bridges Bicycle Race in Elgin, Illinois. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chicago Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run By Cargo Van Driver on West Side

Photo from ChicagoTribune.com
A Chicago bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago's West Side late Wednesday night. The bicyclist was riding along the 4000 west block of Maypole Avenue when he was struck by a white cargo van. The driver of the cargo van then fled west on Maypole.

Surveillance footage posted by the Chicago Tribune shows a white cargo van with the letter "A" prominently displayed and the phone number 312-763-3191. Anyone with information can contact police at 312-745-4521.

The bicyclist was taken to Stroger Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this bicyclist. This is the second bicyclist killed in a collision with a motor vehicle in Chicago in the past week.

Drivers in Illinois who are involved in a crash are legally required to:
1) Stay at the scene of the crash long enough to provide the injured party with their information; and

2) If necessary or if requested to arrange for medical care for the injured bicyclist. 


Section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code provides the groundwork for the motorist: 
"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 more specifically lays out the requirements any such motorist must fulfill before leaving the scene of a collision that leads to personal injuries: 
"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."
Rather interestingly, in 2011 the law regarding hit-and-runs in Illinois was amended to allow the motorist to avoid prosecution for the hit-and-run by notifying the authorities within a half hour of the accident or within a half hour of being discharged from the hospital for an injury or incapacitation suffered in the accident. Section 11-401(b) provides as follows: 
"Any person who has failed to stop or to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) shall, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after such motor vehicle accident, or, if hospitalized and incapacitated from reporting at any time during such period, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after being discharged from the hospital, report the place of the accident, the date, the approximate time, the driver's name and address, the registration number of the vehicle driven, and the names of all other occupants of such vehicle, at a police station or sheriff's office near the place where such accident occurred. No report made as required under this paragraph shall be used, directly or indirectly, as a basis for the prosecution of any violation of (staying at scene requirements)."
There is no reasonable excuse for a hit-and-run. Illinois law provides reasonable requirements for drivers who have been involved in a crash to stay involved. Even in instances where the driver is injured, there is still a window of time to legally report the crash. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Details Emerge In Fatal Bike Crash On Milwaukee Avenue

The young bicyclist involved in the fatal crash on Milwaukee Avenue has been identified as Lisa Kuivinen, a native of Rolling Meadows who was studying fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Journalist Kelly Bauer of DNAInfo.com has written a beautiful article honoring the vibrant life of Lisa Kuivinen. Please take the time to read about this young life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friend of Lisa. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, charges have been filed against the driver of the semi-truck that struck and killed 20-year old Lisa Kuivinen while Lisa was riding in the bike lane on Milwaukee Avenue has been issued two citations. The 37-year old driver of the truck was issued traffic citations for driving in the bike and for failure to use due care while driving near a bicycle in the roadway.

Both of these violations are based on the Chicago Municipal Code. Section 9-40-060 of the Code states:
"Driving, standing or parking on bicycle paths or lanes prohibited -The driver of a vehicle shall not drive, unless entering or exiting a legal parking space, or stand, or park the vehicle upon any on street path or lane designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or otherwise drive or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such path or lane. The driver of a vehicle shall not stand or park the vehicle upon any lane designated by pavement markings for the shared use of motor vehicles and bicycles, or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such lane."
Section 9-40-160 of the Code explicitly addresses the need for all motorists to use due care in the vicinity of bicyclists. Similar language is found in Section 11-1003.1 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code. The Code states:
"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 and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway."
According to reports, a court date is set for September. At the court date the driver will have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty and deciding whether or not to proceed with a trial. There have been no reports of any additional charges other than these two moving violations. 

Attorney Michael Keating Addresses National Trial Lawyer's Meeting On State of Bicycle Law

Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices
Keating Law Offices, P.C. attorney Michael Keating was a featured speaker at this summer's annual convention of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). AAJ is the nation's largest trial lawyers organization. Formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, AAJ is one of the most prominent advocacy organizations in the United States. Mr. Keating has also served as the Chair of the AAJ Bicycle Litigation Committee for the three years.

Faculty for National Trial Lawyers Convention

Mr. Keating's presentation was a part of the Continuing Legal Education programs offered by AAJ at its annual conventions. As a member of the AAJ Faculty, Mr. Keating presenting a program entitled, "Why Bike Crash Cases Are Different Than Motor Vehicle Cases." The program focused on how bicycle crash cases must be treated differently because of the differences in laws and how bicycles are used. Not only are there specific laws that only apply to bicycles, but in many instances bicycles are used on bicycle-specific infrastructures such as bike lanes and bike paths. The goal of the program was to educate fellow trial lawyers throughout the United States regarding the emerging issues related to bicycle crash cases. 

National Leaders in Bicycle Crash Litigation

This presentation was a part of the firm's commitment to advocating for the recognition of bicycle specific litigation as a common and necessary part of the law. Earlier this year Mr. Keating had two legal journal articles published regarding bicycle law. The article "Bicycling In An Automobile's World" was published in Trial magazine. The second article entitled "The Wheels of Change Keep Turning: Why the Popularity of Bicycling In Illinois Has Rendered Illinois Law Irrelevant" was published in the Summer 2016 edition of Trial Journal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chicago Bicyclist Dies After Collision With Semi-Truck In Milwaukee Bike Lane

Milwaukee Avenue at Racine

A 20-year old Chicago bicyclist has lost their life as a result of a collision with a semi-truck that took place on the Milwaukee Avenue bike lane. According to reports, the collision took place in the southbound lane of Milwaukee Avenue near its intersection with Racine. The collision occurred at approximately 8:15 a.m., in the middle of rush hour. 

This intersection is in Chicago's River West neighborhood and is passed by thousands of bicyclists every day. This section of the Milwaukee bike lane is not part of the protected Milwaukee bike lane where there are bollards and space between the bike lane and the southbound lane for motor vehicle traffic. At this location both motor vehicle and bicycle traffic run parallel to one another. 


Chicago Bicycle Law Prohibits Driving Motor Vehicles on Bike Lane

However, the bicycle lane is clearly marked in bright green and is clearly marked for bicycle traffic only. Chicago law provides that the operators of motor vehicles may not drive on a bike lane. The purpose of this law is to provide safe and reliable routes of travel for bicyclists. In Chicago, the Milwaukee bike lane is well known and immediately recognized as a key route for bicyclists. Here is the section of the Chicago Municipal Code providing that bike lanes are only for bicyclists: 

9-40-060- Driving, standing or parking on bicycle paths or lanes prohibited -The driver of a vehicle shall not drive, unless entering or exiting a legal parking space, or stand, or park the vehicle upon any on street path or lane designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or otherwise drive or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such path or lane. The driver of a vehicle shall not stand or park the vehicle upon any lane designated by pavement markings for the shared use of motor vehicles and bicycles, or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such lane. 
Certain State and Federal Laws Address Duties of Truck Drivers

Since the vehicle involved was a semi-truck, there are specific rules and regulation that apply to the drivers of these vehicles. The drivers of these trucks are expected to be professionals and drive with the utmost care. These rules and regulations exist not just in state and local laws, but also in federal regulations. Here are some of the key laws that apply to a bicycle crash of this nature:
  • 49 C.F.R. Section 383.111 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires a professional driver to recognize and avoid potential hazards at all times around a turning tractor truck. 
  •  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.
Right Hook Crashes Are Prohibited by Chicago Bicycle Laws

The report from ABC 7 implies that this may have been a "right hook" crash where the driver turned right across the path of the bicyclist. A "right hook" crash occurs when a turning vehicle travels directly across the path of a bicyclist and causes a collision between the turning motor vehicle and the bicycle. Chicago law explicitly prohibits "right hooks" by turning vehicles. Section 9-16-020 of the Municipal Code of Chicago specifically addresses "right hooks." 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.” 
According to Alisa Hauser of DNAInfo.com, there are charges pending against the driver of the semi-truck involved in the collision. A witness to the crash relayed to the journalist that the bicyclist and the road bicycle were under the cab of the truck. This would tend to indicate that the bicyclist was run over given the placement of the two vehicles. It is unclear, however, exactly what direction the semi-truck was travelling at the moment of impact. 

In the end, another Chicago bicyclist has lost their life in a crash with a motor vehicle. This is a tragic loss of a young life. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the cyclist. 


Edit: The victim of the crash, Lisa Kuivinan identified as non-binary and preferred gender-neutral pronouns. This post has been edited. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Keating Law Offices Sponsors Ride Illinois' Grand Illinois Tour


Photo Courtesy of Ride Illinois. GIT Riders Receive Free Keating Law Offices water bottles for the 14th Annual Ride. 
Keating Law Offices was a proud sponsor of the 14th Annual Grand Illinois Trail and Parks Bike Tour. The "GIT" as it is commonly called is a 300-mile tour of Illinois that took over 200 bicyclists from the start in Coal City then with stops in Oglesby, Washington, Bloomington-Normal and finally in Pontiac. Click here for an article from the Pontiac Daily Leader on the ride.

The GIT helps promote the work of Ride Illinois. Ride Illinois, formerly the League of Illinois Bicyclists, is dedicated to "improving bicycling conditions throughout the state. We are the advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education, and safety." To learn more about Ride Illinois, visit them on the web at www.RideIllinois.org.

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 committed to representing the rights of bicyclists in Illinois through efforts in advocacy, outreach, and litigation. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Keating Law Offices Sponsors the 2016 Prairie State Cycling Series


Keating Law Offices is once again a sponsor of the the Prairie State Cycling Series (PSCC) along with title sponsors Intelligentsia Coffee and SRAM. The race series has grown to be the second largest bicycle race series in the United States. 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. Our involvement with the Prairie State Cycling Series goes back to 2012. We are very proud to have been apart of the growth of the series and love that we have an opportunity to promote bicycling. It is very rewarding to have played a role in the popularity of the series. As advocates of Illinois bicyclists, we are deeply committed to promoting bicycling in Illinois, whether it be by advocating for safer streets, fighting for our clients in the courtroom, or supporting pro-level bicycling in Illinois."
Attorney Mike Keating and other members of Keating Law Offices will be at each race cheering on the riders. This is a very exciting time for bicycling in Illinois. The popularity of the Prairie State Cycling Series reflects the growth in the popularity of bicycling in Illinois whether it be recreational riding for fun or exercise, commuting by bicycle, or competitive bicycling.

Keating Law Offices is the premiere law firm in Illinois that represents victims of bicycle accidents and crashes. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the National Trial Lawyers Association known as the American Association for Justice. The firm is nationally renowned for its experience in handling cases stemming from injuries or wrongful deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Video Details Emerge That Chicago Bicyclist Virginia Murray Was Killed In Right-Hook Crash

Intersection of Sacramento and Belmont in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood.
The death of 25-year old Virginia Murray of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood has made news headlines in large part because it is the first death of a bicyclist utilizing a bike share bicycle. However, the "right-hook" crash that took her life is unfortunately all too familiar in Chicago. Illinois and Chicago traffic laws that are already in place are designed to protect the bicyclist from this traffic scenario ever occurring. The driver of the flat-bed truck involved apparently did not see the bicyclist and failed to yield the right-of-way when making a right-hand turn. This is known as a "right-hook" crash.  

According to a new report from ABC 7 - Chicago, there is video surveillance footage that depicts the fatal collision between Chicago bicyclist Virginia Murray and the flat-bed tow truck. As reported in the report and previously reported information, the flatbed truck approached the light at Belmont on northbound Sacramento. The truck came to a stop. While stopped, 25-year old Virginia Murray, rode up to the right side of the truck between the curb and the truck itself. In the video it is clear that Ms. Murray was within the field of view of the truck's driver as the flat-bed truck began its turn. Ms. Murray's path was exactly the one that a Chicago bicyclist should follow. 

Illinois law requires bicyclists to ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb in situations like this. Section 11-1505 provides as follows:
Sec. 11-1505. Position of bicycles and motorized pedal cycles on roadways - Riding on roadways and bicycle paths. 
(a) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable and safe to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under the following situations: 
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motorized pedal cycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or 
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or 
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorized pedal cycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this subsection, a "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane; or 
4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. 
(b) Any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable. (Source: P.A. 97-813, eff. 7-13-12.)
The collision occurred when the truck turned right across Ms. Murray. This is what is known as a "right-hook" collision. In Chicago, the Chicago Municipal Code addresses this scenario. Section 9-16-020 of the Municipal Code of Chicago specifically prohibits right turns in front of bicycles. The infographic below details right-hook and left-hook bicycle crashes. 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.” 
As an attorney who focuses my practice on representing victims of bicycle crashes, right-hook collisions are unfortunately very common. The reason that these types of crashes are so common is simple: the motorist does not see the bicyclist even though they have the opportunity to do so. The motorist typically makes the turn without ever checking for other traffic - including bicycles - when making the turn and the collision occurs. 

The key words in the ordinance are "until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle." The weight of these words are that it is incumbent upon the motorist to make absolute certain that the path is clear before turning. In addition, the motor vehicle involved in this situation is the type of truck that is utilized in a professional capacity. Drivers of such vehicles are required to meet a higher duty to make sure they are driving safely at all times.


In Illinois the failure of a motorist to adhere to the Illinois Rules of the Road and the Chicago Municipal Code in a bicycle crash that leads to the death of a bicyclist can be the basis for a wrongful death claim against the driver. In cases where the driving was working at the time of the collision, the legal principle of respondeat superior applies. This legal principal means that the employer is responsible for the acts - including the failures - of its employee.

This is a tragic collision that has cost the life of another Chicago bicyclist. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Virginia Murray. 





Leaders In Bicycle Crash Litigation

Keating Law Offices is the premier law firm in Illinois that represents victims of bicycle accidents and crashes. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the National Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice. Keating Law Offices has represented the families of the victims of some of the most high profile cases in Illinois. The firm is nationally renowned for its experience in handling cases stemming from injuries or wrongful deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles.


If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. 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 absolutely free and without any obligation.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bicyclist Riding Divvy Bike Killed In Collision With Flat-Bed Truck inAvondale


A Wicker Park woman riding a Divvy bike in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood was killed in a crash with a flat-bed truck. According to DNAInfo.com, the bicyclist has been identified as 25-year old Virginia Murray. Multiple news outlets are reporting that this is the first death of a rider using a bike-sharing bicycle within the United States. 

Prior to the crash, both the bicyclist and the operator of the flat-bed truck were traveling on Sacramento near Belmont in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood on the northwest side. Images posted on the DNAInfo.com article show the flat bed track in the street with the Divvy bicycle upon the nearby sidewalk. This would appear to indicate that the bicycle was to the inside of the truck at the time of impact. 

"Right Hook" Bicycle Crashes

According to the Chicago Police Department, the flat-bed truck and the bicyclist were both traveling north on Sacramento when both the bicyclist and the truck made a right-hand turn onto Belmont. As both vehicles were turning onto Belmont a collision occurred. The general facts of the crash at this time suggest what is known as a "right-hook" crash. 

A "right-hook" occurs when the operator of a motor vehicle turns right over a bicyclist riding in the same direction. Given that a bicyclist typically rides to the right towards the curb that would place the bicyclist on the "inside" of a turning motor vehicle.

Flat-bed trucks are typically commercial vehicles most often used as tow trucks. Operators of these vehicles are required to adhere to all of the applicable rules of the road, such as the Chicago Municipal Code, the Illinois Vehicle Code, and also Federal requirements for vehicles of this nature. These legal requirements provide that 1) Drivers should "keep a proper lookout" for bicycles; and 2) to not turn right until it is safe to do so. It is axiomatic that if a vehicle is "clear" to turn, that a bicycle crash cannot occur.

Legal Requirements for Commercial Vehicles

In addition, there are other specific laws that apply to a bicycle crash of this nature:
  • 49 C.F.R. Section 383.111 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires a professional driver to recognize and avoid potential hazards at all times around a turning tractor truck. 
  • 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.
  • Section 9-16-020 of the Municipal Code of Chicago specifically provides that a motor vehicle should not turn right across the path of a bicyclist traveling in the same direction until it is "clear" and safe to make the turn. This is known as a "right hook."
Legal Consequences of Fatal Crashes

There are no reports as of yet regarding any traffic-related criminal charges having been filed. In Illinois, a crash of this nature can also be the basis of a wrongful death case on behalf of the family of the bicyclist. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Virginia Murray and all those affected by this tragedy. 

Leaders In Bicycle Crash Litigation

Keating Law Offices is the premier law firm in Illinois that represents victims of bicycle accidents and crashes. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the National Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice. The firm is nationally renowned for its experience in handling cases stemming from injuries or wrongful deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. 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 absolutely free and without any obligation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chicago Bicyclist Killed In Collision With Double Decker Bus On Mag Mile

A Chicago bicyclist has lost their life as a result of a collision with a double decker tour bus on Michigan Avenue's famed Magnificent Mile. The fatal crash occurred at Michigan Avenue and Oak Street according to reports quoting Michelle Tannehil of the Chicago Police Department. Earlier reports indicated that the bicyclist was trapped underneath the bus.

The bus is owned by Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. This company name is affiliated with a parent company called TRT Transportation, Inc. according to an official listing with the Illinois Secretary of State. Collisions with corporate owned buses are different than those with regular passenger vehicles due to the state and federal requirements that govern the safe operation of these massive vehicles.

This is the second fatal collision with a Chicago-area bicyclist within a week. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the bicyclist, their family, and all those affected by this tragedy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Joni Beaudry, Mother of Five, Killed While Bicycling In Mt. Prospect


Intersection of Weller Lane and Central Road in Mount Prospect, Illinois
Another bicyclist in the Chicagoland area has lost their life as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle. The most recent collision occurred in Mount Prospect. Last Thursday, Joni Beaudry, a 55-year old mother of five, was riding her bicycle northbound on the sidewalk along Weller Lane approaching the intersection with Central Road in Mount Prospect. This is just to the south of Melas Park in Mount Prospect. Melas Park is well known in the bicycle community as the location of one of the races in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup. 

According to news reports, after Ms. Beaudry activated the crossing signal and waited for the cars in the eastbound curb lane to stop, she began to cross north on Central Road in the marked crosswalk.  At the same time, a Lexus SUV in the eastbound median lane did not stop and struck Ms. Beaudry while she was in the cross-walk.  While she was transported to the hospital, she died later that day as a result of the trauma sustained in the accident.

The driver of the Lexus was issued traffic citations for failure to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.  Section 5/11-904(b) of the Illinois Vehicle Code imposes a requirement on drivers to come to a complete stop before entering a crosswalk at an intersection, stating, 

“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.”

Ms. Beaudry fell squarely into the category of individuals protected by this provision, as Section 5/11-1512(c) of the Illinois Code specifically states,

“A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”

This is a tragic loss of a life as a result of a mistake by the operator of the SUV. Whether the deceased was a bicyclist, or it was anyone else crossing the street by foot or bicycle, a motorist has the responsibility to make sure that the cross-walk is clear before entering the intersection. Instead, a mother of five has lost her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

13-Year Old Bicyclist Killed In Collision With Dump Truck While Riding Bicycle In Burbank, IL

On Friday, a 13-year old boy was riding his bicycle eastbound on the sidewalk along West 87th Street in Southwest Suburban Burbank. According to news reports, as the boy rode his bicycle across the intersection with Latrobe Avenue he was struck by a dump truck. The dump truck was traveling westbound on West 87th Street and when its driver made a right-hand turn onto Latrobe the young bicyclist was struck at 2:27 p.m. in the afternoon. The boy died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

The driver was issued a traffic ticket by Burbank Police for failing to exercise due care. There is a court date on July 19th at the Bridgeview Courthouse of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Section 5/11-1003.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code imposes a duty of care to look out for bicyclists, stating, 

[E]very 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…” (625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1). 
This is a tragic loss of a young life as a result of a mistake by the operator of the dump truck. Whether the child was a bicyclist, or it was anyone else crossing the street by foot or bicycle, a motorist has the responsibility to make sure that the intersection is clear before making their turn. Instead, a young boy has lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.

Keating Law Offices is the premier personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. Keating Law Offices is the premiere law firm in Illinois that represents victims of bicycle accidents and crashes. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee for the National Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice. The firm is nationally renowned for its experience in handling cases stemming from injuries or wrongful deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles.

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, June 3, 2016

Keating Law Offices Sponsors Saturday's Glencoe Grand Prix

Chicago, Illinois law firm Keating Law Offices is a sponsor of this Saturday's Glencoe Grand Prix. This is the 10th annual running of the event on Chicago's North Shore. The race was recently profiled in a Chicago Tribune article and has become a popular event for the community.
Keating Law Offices' attorney Mike Keating said, "Sponsoring events like the Glencoe Grand Prix is a part of our overall commitment to bicycling in Illinois. By sponsoring competitive events like this we help promote bicycling as a support. This, in turn, helps spread the message that bicycling is a safe, viable form of transportation."

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices sponsor numerous bicycle related events throughout the year. They are also sponsors of Active Transportation Alliance's Bike The Drive, the Prairie State Cycling Series and the Chicago Cyclocross Cup. The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices are the top law firm in Chicago, Illinois representing victims of bicycles accidents and crashes. The firm has successfully represented numerous victims of bicycle accidents and collisions in Chicago, the suburbs, and throughout the rest of Illinois. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Keating Law Offices Is A Proud Sponsor Of Bike The Drive

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As part of its commitment to safe bicycling in Chicagoland, Keating Law Offices is proud to sponsor Active Transportation Alliance's Bike The Drive. This annual ride takes place this Sunday on a Lake Shore Drive that is completely closed to motor vehicle traffic. For one glorious morning every year, bicyclists will be able to ride up and down the drive without the congestion, pollution and noise from motor vehicles. Bike The Drive is the biggest fundraising event for the Active Transportation Alliance. The event benefits Active Transportation Alliance which is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit safe, convenient and fun. 

Keating Law Offices has helped assist Active Trans with its events for several years. Attorney Mike Keating said, 
"The firm is very proud of the work that we have done on behalf of Active Trans. By helping sponsor this event we directly help Active Trans with their mission of making our streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. That goal aligns directly with the mission of the firm. The events are always a great time on their own and we have the benefit of being able to meet so many fellow bicyclists in person." 
The firm will be at the Post Ride Festival in their familiar "Illinois Bicycle Lawyers" tent giving away free "Chicago Bike Flag Swag" including stickers, bumper stickers, patches and the rest of the popular items.

Keating Law Offices is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. Keating Law Offices is one of the first firms in the nation and the the most prominent Illinois firm that dedicates its practices to victims of bicycle accidents. You can learn more about the firm at KeatingLegal.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chicago Bicyclist Receives Settlement From CTA For Injuries Sustained In Crash With CTA Bus

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have settled a substantial personal injury claim against the Chicago Transit Authority on behalf of a bicyclist injured in the Ukranian Village in the summer of 2014. The crash occurred when the bicyclist was riding her bicycle southbound on North Western Avenue near its intersection with Walton Street. At the same time, the defendant was operating a CTA bus southbound on North Western Avenue behind the cyclist. The defendant attempted to pass the cyclist by going around her on her left, and in doing so, the CTA bus made contact with the cyclist’s elbow. 

Personal Injuries From Bike Crash

The violence of the collision threw her off-balance and she eventually crashed to the ground. She was hurled so violently against the pavement that one of her injuries required surgery to resolve. The cyclist underwent a surgical procedure known as a "left subcutaneous ulnar nerve transposition surgery." Afterwards, her left arm was immobilized with a splint for several weeks following the surgery. She was left with a large visible permanent scar on her left arm which impacted her life as a model and a dancer. Additionally, she continued to experience weakness, pain, and numbness at the location of the scar for 18 months after the accident. 

Instead of attempting to work with the cyclist to compensate her for the damages she suffered due to the defendant’s negligence, the CTA claimed that the cyclist was at fault. They claimed she failed to control her bike, failed to ride as close to the curb as possible, failed to stay in her lane, failed to keep a proper lookout, and failed to take evasive action to avoid an accident.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed To Protect Rights of Chicago Bicyclist

She knew she needed help and she reached out to the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices who filed a lawsuit on her behalf in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Through diligent investigation, they uncovered that the CTA’s own transportation manager found that the defendant violated their Standard Operating Procedures in a multitude of ways ranging from the protocols for attention to duty, the defensive driving guide, mirror adjustment and use, and passing and being passed. Additionally, they found evidence that the defendant violated portions of the Municipal Code of Chicago as well as the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.

Using their advocacy skills, the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices were able to recover a substantial settlement from the CTA for this injured Chicago bicyclist. The settlement was reached without having to resort to filing a lawsuit and will fully compensate the bicyclist for her medical bills, time off from work, and her pain and suffering.

Contact Keating Law Offices At Any Time

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.

The Leading Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Illinois

Keating Law Offices is the premier personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. Keating Law Offices has successfully obtained compensation for hundreds of bicycle injury victims across Illinois. The firm's bicycle accident attorneys are always available to review your case with absolutely no risk or obligation to you. The firm's mission is to do everything possible to obtain you the maximum amount for the injuries you sustained. In the event that no recovery can be made for you, our legal services are absolutely free.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bicycle Attorney Michael Keating On Why Illinois Law Fails to Protect Bicyclists from Unsafe Streets

Attorney Michael Keating of Keating Law Offices has published an article entitled, "The Wheels of Change Keep Turning: Why the Popularity of Bicycling In Illinois Has Rendered Illinois Law Irrelevant," in the Summer 2016 edition of "Trial Journal." This publication is the official magazine of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). ITLA is the statewide organization made up of attorneys who specialize in representing victims of accidents that resulted in personal injuries and wrongful death. The organization was founded in 1952 and has over 2,000 members.

The article focuses on how one bike crash in DuPage County in 1992 dictated the laws in Illinois on the responsibility of cities and towns to keep their roadways safe for bicyclists for the following decades and remains law today. This law remains in effect even though the number of bicyclists, the use of bicycles, and the amount of bicycle infrastructure has exploded in the past two decades. 

In September of 1992 a bicyclist named Jon Boub was riding his bicycle and came upon a one-lane bridge that was made up of wooden planks with asphalt in between the planks. Boub crashed when his tire became stuck between two of the wooden planks in the bridge. It turned out that the asphalt between the planks on the bridge deck had been removed by the local township as a part of a resurfacing project for the deck of the bridge.

In Illinois, cities and towns are protected in the law by what is known as the "Tort Immunity Act." The courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court, rejected Boub's claim and held that Boub would only have a case if he could prove that he was both a permitted and intended user of the road. The Supreme Court held that the intended users of public roads are motor vehicles, and because a bike is not classed as a vehicle cyclists were not the intended users. Because of this rule a bicyclist cannot bring a case for a roadway defect unless he also alleges additional facts that prove that the township specifically intended for the rider to use the road. Examples of this would be if the road was designated as a cycle route, a bike lane, or if there were signs stating that cycling on the road was permitted.

The attorneys at Keating Law Offices believe that Boub was wrongly decided and are engaged in several cases where bicyclists were injured because of defects in the roadway. It is the firm's position that the Illinois Supreme Court should review its treatment of cyclists to reflect the changes in bike use since it decided Boub.

There are multiple reasons for why this change should occur, and not just legal ones. Through programs such as “Bike to Work Week,” the installation of bike lanes, the placement of sharrows, the installation bike racks, and the implementation a new bike rental programs, many municipalities now encourage its citizens to use bikes as a method of transport. In Boub, the court held that an injured bicyclist cannot recover unless he can prove that a township intended him to use the road. These modern programs provide that proof, and should serve as a presumption that bicyclists are intended users of city roads. 

These pro-bicycle programs clearly indicate that many townships not only intend for bicyclists to use public roads but also encourage them to do so. Therefore, it is should be the law that an injured bicyclist could hold a municipality liable if it causes and injury to a bicyclist because of defective roadways. If a city or town is not potentially liable for dangerous conditions on their roadway, then there is little motivation for them to make sure that the streets are safe for bicyclists. 

Since the Boub decision in 1992 bicycle use has increased dramatically. Society now considers bikes as not only a leisure activity but as a valuable and serious method of transportation that provides major benefits to municipalities. In light of these benefits and the growing reliance on bikes as an important means of transport, the Court should reevaluate its decision in Boub or risk the law becoming an irrelevant anachronism.

LINK: "The Wheels of Change Keep Turning: Why the Popularity of Bicycling In Illinois Has Rendered Illinois Law Irrelevant," "Trial Journal," Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Summer 2016. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Annual Ride of Silence to Remember and Honor Fallen Bicyclists is Wednesday, May 18th

The Annual Ride of Silence is Wednesday May 18, 2016. The annual Ride of Silence honors those that have been injured or killed in a bicycle collision or crash. Now in its thirteenth 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 the Ride of Silence becomes more personal to families nationwide every year is heart breaking. 

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 in Chicago and throughout Illinois. 

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

The preventable deaths of bicyclist are 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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"You make house calls?" Why It Is Important That Your Attorney Treats You As More Than Another Client

Illinois Bicycle Law Attorney Mike Keating
A Chicago bicyclist called me last week after he was injured in a crash. He was badly injured and had just gotten home from the hospital. I told him that it was no problem for me to come meet with him in person. His response was, "You make house calls?"

I never thought of it in those exact terms before but, yes, we do make house calls. To me (not just as a lawyer but as a bicyclist) I know how it feels in the days after a bike crash. You are shaken up, in pain, and worried about the days in front of you. The last thing you need is to have to travel down to a law firm. That is why we have always "made house calls" and met with our clients at their home, at work, or wherever is convenient for them. We are also always available to meet in the evening or on weekends if necessary. We are here for you.

In an age where personal injury attorneys advertise on TV and on highway billboards, it is easy for someone to fear that they would be "just a number" or "just another client." Our commitment to the Illinois bicycle community is that we are ready to assist any bicyclist injured anywhere in Illinois at anytime. This can mean anything from offering some helpful advice to complex litigation. But we will do whatever is best for each client. And that always includes "making house calls" when necessary.

Initial consultations are 100% free and with zero obligation. In fact, there are zero attorney's fees unless we make a recovery for you in your case. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash in Illinois, please call Keating Law Offices at anytime. We have online chat operators who are literally available 24/7/365. You can reach us on the phone at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). You can also email Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hit-and-Run Driver of Semi-Truck Involved in Fatal Illinois Bike Crash Located

Illinois Trial Attorneys at Keating Law Offices
According to news reports, the Illinois State Police have located the driver of a semi-truck that was involved in a fatal crash near St. Elmo, Illinois on Monday morning. 30-year old Jason Hearty of Altamont, Illinois was killed in the crash. It was reported that Mr. Hearty regularly used this route to ride his bike to work. 
Additional Charges May Be Filed In Fatal Hit-and-Run
The driver was located around noon Monday morning after the crash. He was identified as 31-year old Kevin A. Bagwill of Godfrey, Illinois. Police also identified the semi-truck itself as the one involved in the crash. Bagwill was issued traffic citatinos for leaving the scene of a fatal crash and for failure to report the crash to police. Further charges may be forthcoming after a review by the Fayette County State's Attorney's Office. 
Illinois Law Requires Drivers Involved In Bike Crashes to Stay at Scene
Hearty was was riding his bicycle westbound on Route 40 near St. Elmo, Illinois when the fatal crash took place. There are no reports as to the direction of travel of the semi-truck at the time of the crash. However, witnesses reported the driver of the semi-truck fleeing the scene. Driver in Illinois who are involved in a crash are legally required to:
1) Stay at the scene of the crash long enough to provide the injured party with their information; and

2) If necessary or if requested to arrange for medical care for the injured bicyclist. 


Section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code provides the groundwork for the motorist: 
"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 more specifically lays out the requirements any such motorist must fulfill before leaving the scene of a collision that leads to personal injuries: 
"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."
Rather interestingly, in 2011 the law regarding hit-and-runs in Illinois was amended to allow the motorist to avoid prosecution for the hit-and-run by notifying the authorities within a half hour of the accident or within a half hour of being discharged from the hospital for an injury or incapacitation suffered in the accident. Section 11-401(b) provides as follows: 
"Any person who has failed to stop or to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) shall, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after such motor vehicle accident, or, if hospitalized and incapacitated from reporting at any time during such period, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after being discharged from the hospital, report the place of the accident, the date, the approximate time, the driver's name and address, the registration number of the vehicle driven, and the names of all other occupants of such vehicle, at a police station or sheriff's office near the place where such accident occurred. No report made as required under this paragraph shall be used, directly or indirectly, as a basis for the prosecution of any violation of (staying at scene requirements)."
There is no reasonable excuse for a hit-and-run. Illinois law provides reasonable requirements for drivers who have been involved in a crash to stay involved. Even in instances where the driver is injured, there is still a window of time to legally report the crash.