Thursday, March 5, 2015

Claim for Chicago Bicyclist Struck by Driver Who Ran Red Light at 6 Corners Settled for Policy Limits

View of Westbound Irving Park Road at Chicago's "Six Corners Intersection"
One of the most fundamental rules of driving is that when a traffic light is red, you stop and wait until it turns green before proceeding through an intersection. One Chicago driver's failure to follow this basic rule at the "Six Corners" intersection led to a bicycle crash that severely injured a Chicago bicyclist.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices have secured a financial settlement for the Chicago bicyclist who sustained gruesome facial lacerations after being struck by the motorist. The bicycle accident occurred at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue in September of 2013.

The collision occurred at Chicago's "Six Corners" in Portage Park, which is the well known intersection of three major streets: Milwaukee Avenue, Cicero Avenue and Irving Park Road. At the time of the bicycle accident, the bicyclist was traveling westbound through the intersection of Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue when the motorist, driving on Cicero Avenue, ran the intersection’s red light. The motorist first struck the bicyclist and his bicycle which caused to bicyclist to be ejected from his bicycle onto the hood of the car. The motorist then slammed on his brakes and this caused the bicyclist to be thrown to the pavement.

The bicyclist landed directly on the side of his face. According to medical reports, the bicyclist’s face was bleeding uncontrollably as he laid in the street in excruciating pain. He ultimately suffered a deep facial laceration that required a row of 4 stitches as well as a head injury, hip contusion and knee abrasion.

Liability, the legal term for who "caused" a bicycle crash that resulted in injuries, was clear in this matter. According to Section 11-305 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, a driver of any vehicle must obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device. It may seem obvious that the law requires motorists to abide by traffic signals. But, this collision could have easily been prevented if the motorist did just that…simply stopped at the red stoplight.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers made a claim with the motorist’s insurance provider for the bicyclist’s “elements of damages.” As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, “elements of damages” are the different categories of a claim that make up a claim.In this case, claims were made for the bicyclist’s personal injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of a normal life as well as disfigurement.

“Disfigurement” is a compensable damage in Illinois, meaning it is something that is part of an insurance claim or a lawsuit in court. Disfigurement is defined in the law as “the permanent change in a person’s body that impairs the beauty, symmetry, and appearance.” Under Illinois law, anyone “disfigured” as a result of someone else’s negligence is eligible for compensation for their permanent impairment. “Disfigurement” varies from person to person and case to case. Here, the bicyclist sustained the laceration on his head that resulted in a permanent scar.

As a result, Keating Law Offices attained a settlement where the motorist’s insurance company tendered its full policy limits for this bicyclist and his disfigurements. This settlement was made without requiring filing a lawsuit. This is what is known as an "out of court settlement" and was made possible when our bike attorneys forced the insurance company to pay every penny of the applicable insurance policy.

Keating Law Offices are a Chicago-based law firm that represents injured bicyclists throughout Illinois. The firm is a national leader in the field of bicycle-related litigation. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact the Illinois Bicycle Attorneys at Keating Law Offices at 312-239-6787or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free and there is never any cost to the client unless we win.