Thursday, May 6, 2021

Six Figure Settlement for Cyclist Who Suffered Broken Leg Because of Distracted Driver

Early last fall a Chicago cyclist was riding in Lakeview when a motorist's distracted driving led to a broken leg for the cyclist. The collision occurred at the intersection of Pine Grove an Sheridan Road in north Lakeview. Both the cyclist and the driver came to the four way stop and stopped at the stop signs. 

The cyclist, who had the right of way due to being at the intersection first, proceeded in to the intersection. The driver unfortunately was not paying attention and did not see the cyclist. She struck the bicyclist as she was attempting to turn left onto Sheridan Road from Pine Grove. In doing so, the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist who was in the intersection first and over halfway through the intersection at the time the motorist hit the bicyclist with her car.

The responding police officer’s investigation of the scene, assessment of damage to the vehicles coupled with the parties’ statements, only bolstered the bicyclist’s claim that he entered the intersection first and had control of the intersection. The driver also admitted to the responding officer that she did not see the bicyclist prior to the crash.

  • Illinois vehicle laws and Chicago Municipal Ordinances are in place to protect cyclists in these scenarios by requiring all drivers to do the following: 
  • Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person operating a bicycle, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 and Section 9-40-160 of the Municipal Code of Chicago;
  • Yield to the preferential right-of-way while making a left turn at an intersection, 625 ILCS 5/11-902;
  • Decrease the speed of a motor vehicle when a special hazard existed with respect to pedestrians or other traffic, 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a); and
  • Avoid moving a motor vehicle into a lane of traffic without first ascertaining that such movement could be made with safety, 625 ILCS 5/11-709.

However, the most basic and fundamental protections that cyclists deserve is the complete and full attention of all users of the roadway. The cardinal rule of approaching an intersection is to slow down and stop, look both ways before entering and be alert for other vehicles proceeding through the intersection. 

Here, the driver was not paying attention or keeping a proper lookout which caused this horrendous accident. As a result of the accident, the bicyclist was taken by ambulance to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with a fractured leg which required surgery.

The bicycle attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C., recently obtained a six-figure policy settlement on behalf of the cyclist from Allstate Insurance. This settlement was reached within months of the collision. While the settlement recovered for the bicyclist will never undo his massive injuries and damages. The money will help cover the not only the cyclist’s medical expenses but compensate him for the pain and suffering and interruption to his life that he was forced to experience because of the driver's distracted driving.