A long journey began for a Chicago bicyclist back in April of 2011. However, the journey he embarked on that day only started by bicycle. The journey itself was primarily made up of three years of medical care including a surgery. As is often unfortunately the case for many bicyclists who would much rather have their journeys only be by bicyclist, this journey started when a motorist, driving a company car, did not stop at a stop sign.
On that April day in 2011 the bicyclist was riding westbound on West Montrose Avenue. The bicyclist was traveling at a normal pace down a relatively busy Chicago street when he approached North Troy Street. At the same time as the bicyclist was approaching North Troy Street, the motorist was traveling southbound on Troy. North Troy Street is a one-way street flowing southbound with a stop sign at its intersection with Montrose Avenue. The stop sign at this intersection is in plain view. In contrast, vehicles (both motor and human powered) traveling on Montrose do not have a stop sign or a stop light at the intersection with Troy.
The motorist rolled through the stop sign and directly into the path of the bicyclist. This caused the bicyclist and his bicycle to collide into the driver’s door of the motorist’s vehicle. It may seem obvious, but what the motorist should have done was make a complete stop at the stop sign and then look both ways before continuing through the intersection. Had the motorist done the simple act of "looking", this bicycle accident could have been easily prevented.
Instead, the motorist failed to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist. This failure to yield was a clear violation of the Illinois Rules of the Road. Section 11-902 states, that “the driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection” is required to yield the right-of-way to any bicyclist approaching from the opposite direction “which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
As a direct result of the motorist’s failure to yield, the bicyclist suffered severe pain in his left shoulder that radiated down his arm. The injury also resulted in a severely limited range of motion, intense and constant pain, and difficulty sleeping in the days following his injury. He was diagnosed with left shoulder separation and shoulder bursitis. The bicyclist tried to treat the injury with rest and later physical therapy. But the pain did not go away and the shoulder was not getting better. Ultimately he was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery and later received a cortisone shot, both unsuccessful in long-term alleviation of his pain levels.
The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices were ultimately able to negotiate a $190,000.00 settlement on behalf of the injured bicyclist. This was a particularly successful settlement as it was 50% more than what the bicyclist was offered to settle his case by the insurance company for the motorist. It was only after being represented by Attorney Michael Keating, who litigated the case on behalf of the injured bicyclist, that the insurance company was forced to fully compensate the bicyclist.
Keating Law Offices is one of the nation's leading law firm in the emerging legal field of bicycle litigation. The firm has successfully represented hundreds of clients who were injured while riding or whose family member was killed while riding. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice, the national trial lawyers association.
If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or Mike@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.