Saturday, December 4, 2010

IL Bicycle Lawyer Settles Case for North Side Bicyclist

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyer, Mike Keating, has settled a lawsuit on behalf of a North Side bicyclist who was "cut off" on Ridge Road by a motorist making a left-hand turn in front of the bicyclist.

This incident occurred on October 31, 2008. The bicyclist was traveling southbound on Ridge Boulevard near a Dominick's that was being renovated.The motorist was traveling northbound and made a quick left turn across the southbound lanes immediately in front of the bicyclist.

After making the turn in front of the bicyclist, the motorist then stopped her car so that the trunk was sticking out into traffic. It was impossible for the bicyclist to stop and she struck the rear of the car. This caused the bicyclist to be thrown off of her bicycle where she suffered a concussion, several patches of "road rash," and severe contusions. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was medically evaluated and treated for her injuries.

The motorist had liability insurance that should have immediately provided compensation to the bicyclist. However, as is unfortunately often the case, the insurance company denied the claim under the theory that the bicyclist should have stopped prior to impact and the collision was the bicyclist's fault. Despite the fact that it would have been impossible to stop in time with any kind of bicycle and the bicyclist did not break any laws, the insurance company dug in their heels and went into what is known as "defense posture" meaning they refused to settle the case.

Attorney Mike Keating immediately filed a lawsuit on behalf of the bicyclist. In 2008 the Chicago Municipal Code was amended so that there were greater protections for bicyclists in the City of Chicago. One of the changes made it illegal to fail to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle approaching from the opposite direction while making a left-hand turn. (Section 9-16-020(e) of the Chicago Municipal Code). This lawsuit was one of the first in Chicago to specifically make a claim under this change to the Chicago Municipal Code.

After taking depositions of the motorist and the responding police officer and several rounds of negotiations with the attorney for the motorist that was hired by the insurance company, there was ultimately an offer to settle the case for the full amount of the motorist's insurance policy. In short, the insurance company went from claiming they were not responsible for making any payment to paying the entire amount of their insurance policy.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or All initial consultations are confidential and free.