Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Claim Settled for Chicago Bicyclist Injured In Dooring Collision

The Illinois Bicycle lawyers at Keating Law Offices recently settled a claim on behalf of a bicyclist who was doored on on Belmont Avenue earlier this year on August 13th. The incident occurred when the bicyclist was riding his bicycle eastbound on West Belmont Avenue at the same time a driver was sitting in a parked vehicle on Belmont. As the bicyclist rode by, the driver suddenly opened the driver’s side door of her vehicle without checking for oncoming traffic. Her door opened directly into the bicyclist’s path, causing him to collide into the door. The impact caused the bicyclist to be thrown from his bicycle and crash onto the pavement.

Following the collision, the injured bicyclist was admitted to the emergency room at Resurrection Medical Center. The hospital took several x-rays and the bicyclist was diagnosed with a shoulder separation and an injury to his tailbone. This settlement fairly compensated the injured bicyclist for his medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from his time off of work, and provided money to repair his damaged bike.

Illinois law expressly prohibits the behavior of the driver in this case. Section 5/11-1407 of Illinois Vehicle Code states:
 "No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers."
Despite efforts to raise awareness, dooring remains a serious concern in Chicago. In 2012, doorings caused approximately 250 bicycle collisions within Chicago limits. To combat this problem, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel recently imposed an ordinance that will require all Chicago taxicabs to place a sticker on the rear passenger window that reads, "Look! Before Opening Your Door." In addition, in June 2013 the Chicago City Council approved the 2013 Bicycle Safety Ordinance which increases the fine for dooring a bicyclist.

Keating Law Offices has represented numerous victims of doorings not only in Chicago, but throughout Chicagoland and the rest of Illinois. While doorings most typically happen in congested urban areas, the Illinois law that prohibits doorings applies throughout the state of Illinois.

Keating Law Offices is a Chicago-based firm of trial lawyers who represent clients throughout Illinois. They are the leading Illinois firm in the field of bicycle litigation. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving bicycle law or litigation, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.