Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Claim Settled for Divvy Rider Doored By Pizza Delivery Driver

Illinois Bicycle Lawyers Michael S. Keating and Joseph T. Vietri have reached a settlement on behalf of a Divvy bicyclist who was injured when she was doored by a pizza delivery driver.

The dooring happened on September 11, 2013 as the bicyclist was riding southbound on Clinton Street in the marked bike lane. The driver was returning to a nearby pizza restaurant after making a delivery run and had parked along the curb at 310 South Clinton Street.

As the Divvy bicyclist approached the parked vehicle the driver suddenly opened the driver's door directly into the bicyclist's hand on the right handle bar of the Divvy bike. The impact crushed the bicyclist's right hand between the vehicle door and the handle bar. The impact then caused the Divvy bicyclist to be thrown from the Divvy bike to the pavement. The Divvy bike then landed on top of the bicyclist. The bicyclist immediately sought medical treatment for injuries to her right hand and left shoulder.

The responding Chicago Police Officer issued the driver a traffic citation for violating Section 11-1407 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. Section 11-1407 states in part, "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." (625 ILCS 5/11-1407). As evidenced by the collision and resulting injuries, it was clearly unsafe for the driver to open his vehicle door into the bike lane without first looking for oncoming bicycle traffic.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers filed a claim with the driver's insurance carrier to compensate the injured Divvy bicyclist for her injuries, medical bills, loss of a normal life and pain and suffering. After weeks of negotiation, the settlement secured by the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers amounted to four times (400%) of the medical bills incurred by the injured Divvy bicyclist.