Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bicycle Collision Case Settled for Injured DeKalb Child

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers of Keating Law Offices have successfully settled a case on behalf of the family of a now 11-year old child who suffered severe and permanent injuries as a result of a bicycle accident while riding her bicycle to school. The tragic collision occurred on October 4, 2011 in a residential neighborhood in Sycamore, a town in DeKalb County. After extensive negotiations, attorney Michael Keating was able to resolve the case for the entire automobile insurance policy limits of $250,000.00. Attorney Keating stated:
"I have been representing victims of bicycle accidents for over a decade. This case was one of the highlights of my career. The insurance companies actually made several fair arguments in this case as to why the full insurance policy may not apply, but through solid research and negotiations we were still able to obtain the optimum result. Most importantly the young girl in this case, a sweet but tough young lady, has fortunately made a remarkable recovery. This settlement will help her continue to recover from this horrific collision. This result is a testament to the firm's unwavering commitment to help victims of bicycle accidents no matter how "tough" the case may seem."
The then 9-year-old victim was riding her bicycle along the sidewalk on Wild Street when she started to cross the intersection with Becker Place in Sycamore. Despite the presence of a yellow school bus at the intersection with its lights flashing to alert approaching drivers that children were in the area, the driver allegedly drove through the intersection without slowing down and struck the victim with his car. The driver admitted to police that he never saw the little girl on her bicycle before hitting her. State law and local Sycamore ordinances require drivers to slow at intersections and for "hazards." One of the arguments in the case was that a school bus taking kids to school was a kind of "hazard" and ordinary care required the driver to slow in the presence of the bus.  

In this case, the driver who struck the girl did not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate the girl and her family for the cost of her medical bills. The attorneys at Keating Law Offices were able to assist the victim and her family in first obtaining the driver's entire policy limits and then obtaining the full compensation they were entitled to by bringing a claim against her own insurance company under that policy's underinsured motorist coverage. 

Keating Law Offices successfully argued that the driver was at fault in the collision as he violated sections of the Illinois Vehicle Code when he drove at an unreasonable speed through the intersection. The argument was that driving at even a "normal" speed was unsafe with children and a school bus present and these actions directly resulted in the driver striking the young bicyclist. The contrary arguments from the insurance companies were that the real cause of the collision was the girl riding into the roadway of an uncontrolled intersection and, regardless of fault, the girl had made a remarkable recovery in the face of severe injuries. They argued, therefore, that the value of her claim was therefore relatively limited compared to someone who did not make such a successful recovery.

Injuries to bicyclists caused by motor vehicle-versus-bicycle collisions are often severe. These injuries require immediate medical treatment and necessitate a long recovery process. But besides the devastating physical effects of a car-versus-bicycle collision bicyclists, and their families, must face the daunting financial burden of extremely large medical bills. When bicyclists are the victims of injuries caused by underinsured or uninsured drivers they may be able to get compensation through their own insurance policies if they have a plan that provides underinsured or uninsured motorist protection coverage.

The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers have successfully helped our clients to obtain justice by utilizing all means possible. Our attorneys represent the victims of bicycling-related personal injuries throughout Illinois as well as working with counsel in other states. In this case, our attorneys were able to obtain a successful pre-trial settlement of the full value of the policy limits from the insurance companies involved. Our firm is known for aggressively advocating for those who have been injured while bicycling including obtaining settlements from insurance companies for the full value allowed under their policies.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Lawyer Mike Keating by calling him at 312-208-7702 or emailing him at In addition to representing bicyclists, Keating Law Offices handles all types of personal injury cases throughout Illinois.