Monday, July 20, 2015

Insurance Claim Settled for USAT Triathlete Injured In Left Hook

A nationally ranked triathlete from Chicago's western suburbs has received a substantial insurance settlement for injuries she sustained in a bicycle accident when she was struck by a school bus while on a training ride. At the time of the crash, the injured triathlete had just competed in the United States of America Triathlon (USAT) Olympic Distance National Championships in Milwaukee in August 2014. The injuries from the bicycle crash caused her to miss several crucial weeks of training. 

The collision with the school bus occurred in October of 2014 in Willowbrook. Immediately prior to the bicycle crash, the bicyclist was on a training ride northbound on Clarendon Hills Road towards 79th Street. This was a well-known route to the rider as a part of her training routine. At the same time, the school bus was travelling southbound in the opposite direction. With no warning, the driver of the school bus made a "left hook" and turned th school bus left immediately in front of the bicyclist as the bus was traveling southbound on Clarendon Hills Road. With no time to stop, the bicyclist crashed into the school bus. 

A "left hook," where an oncoming motorist turns left in front of a bicyclist, is explicitly prohibited by Illinois law. Section 11-902 of the Illinois Rules of the Road requires a motorist making a left-hand turn to yield to oncoming traffic. A left turn may only be made when it is safe to do so. Simple logic dictates that anytime a collision occurs as a result of the "left hook," that was not a safe time for the motorist to make a turn. 

The injured bicyclist sustained a wrist injury in the crash that requires medical treatment as well as bruising and road rash. As significantly, she missed crucial weeks of training leading up to the 2015 competitive season. This lost time from doing life's regular activities is what is known under the law as "loss of a normal life." In the instance of this triathlete, her normal life was very different from the average person's normal life. This bicyclist's normal life involved daily training and intense physical activity. As a result, we were able to make a very persuasive argument to the insurance company for the school bus that this was a significant claim. Ultimately, this insurance settlement compensated the injured bicyclist for all of her medical bills, pain and suffering, and contributed to compensating her for her loss of a normal life. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 (Office) or 312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends). Our staff and operators are available around the clock. You can also email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.