Friday, October 17, 2014

Hit-and-Run Motorist Caught After Leaving Bicyclist With Head Gash

Chicago Bike Flag
A Chicago bicyclist was severely injured when she was struck by a motorist who then fled the scene. The bicycle accident occurred on Union Avenue and Roosevelt Road which is immediately adjacent to the Dan Ryan Expressway and next to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. The bicyclist was riding eastbound on Roosevelt Road in the bike lane when the motorist cut her off to make a right-hand turn onto Union Avenue. The bicyclist could not avoid the car and she was hurled to the pavement.

The motorist then continued making the right turn onto Union, fleeing from the scene of the bicycle accident. Fortunately, a  witness was able to make note of the license plate and the Chicago Police Department were able to locate the vehicle and issue a police report. This was a bit of "good luck" in an incredible unfortunate situation. If not for the witness, the chances of locating the offending driver would have been much, much lower.

This type of bicycle crash is what is known as a "right-hook crash." 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.”
Because of the motorist’s “right hook,” the bicyclist suffered a severe gash to the left side of her head, bruising on her side, and scrapes on her elbow. The head wound required the bicyclist to receive medical staples in order to close the wound.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have already begun legal action against the motorist and the motorist’s insurance company on behalf of the injured bicyclist. Keating Law Offices is the premiere law firm in Illinois that represents bicyclists injured in a collision with a motor vehicle. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (24/7) or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.