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Monday, January 21, 2013

Keating Law Offices Retained to Represent Bicyclist Doored in Bucktown

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers of Keating Law Offices have been retained to represent a bicyclist who was the victim of a "dooring" in July 2012 in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. The bicyclist was travelling on Damen Avenue near its intersection with Shakespeare Avenue when an occupant of an illegally parked car suddenly opened its door directly into her path. The bicyclist had no time to react and collided with the open door. The impact sent the bicyclist to the ground and resulted in severe injuries including a fractured elbow, lacerations and bruises. The injuries required an extensive recovery period during which time the victim was unable to work.

The term "dooring" refers to a bicycle-versus-motor vehicle collision caused by a driver or passenger opening a car door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. This is the exact situation that happened in this case. In Chicago, drivers or passengers of cars who open their doors into the paths of bicyclists are in violation of Section 9-80-035 of the Chicago Municipal Code which states that:
"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."
Chicago's WBEZ did a study in October 2012 and found that between 2009 and September 7, 2012 there were an astonishing 577 dooring incidents in Chicago alone! The vast majority of reported dooring incidents occurred on roads with designated bike lanes--such as Damen Avenue in our client's case--which are intended to protect bicyclists from these types of unsafe encounters with vehicles. While issuing traffic citations is a way of punishing those who door bicyclists it does not necessarily help to prevent these types of easily avoidable collisions from occurring. It only takes a second of forgetting to look before opening a car door for a defenseless bicyclist's life to be irreparably altered due to injuries from a collision. Bringing attention to the high rate of dooring incidents in Chicago, and throughout Illinois, can help to alert drivers to the grave danger bicyclists face from doorings.

Our firm's attorneys have experience representing bicyclists who have been the victim of injuries caused by doorings, including the recently filed case of Zimmerman v. City of Chicago in which our client was injured by a driver who opened his car door in front of her while she was riding in a designated bike lane on Taylor Street in Chicago. If you, or a loved on, have been injured in any way while bicycling, our dedicated Illinois Bicycle Lawyers are ready to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

If you have any questions regarding this post, or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Lawyer Mike Keating by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing him at MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. Keating Law Officers offers free, no obligation consultations to injured bicyclists.

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