With over 500 miles of marked bike paths, Chicago is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. However, this means that there are more bikers on the road at risk for being injured in a Chicago biking accident. As a result, Illinois is among the top states for bicyclist fatalities. In its annual Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicyclist Safety report, the Governors Highway Safety Association found that Illinois rounded out the five states with highest rates of bicyclist fatalities. Unfortunately, the number of bicyclist deaths is rising, the report said. Between 2010-2012, Illinois reported 80 bicyclist fatalities: 24 in 2010, 27 in 2011 and 29 in 2012. Tragically, many of these accidents are caused by reckless and negligent drivers of automobiles who strike bikers.
On August 12, 2015 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 5912 that clarifies that bicycles are “vehicles” under the Illinois Vehicle Code and that motorists must provide the right-of-way to bicyclists in the same manner as motor vehicles. The is known as “Dennis’ Law” after Illinois bicyclist Dennis Jurs who was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle on May 18, 2015 in Hampshire, Illinois.” Dennis’s Law” was also the subject of news articles by WTTW, the Chicagoist and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in which Michael Keating was interviewed regarding the new law and his role in drafting the legislation. This change in Illinois bicycle law makes it absolutely clear that bicycles are “vehicles” as defined in the Illinois Vehicle Code and that motorists must provide the right-of-way to bicycles when the bicyclist is entitled to the right-of-way. The new bicycle law will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
BICYCLE “DOORING” ACCIDENTS
Bicycle “Dooring” accidents happen when a person in a automobile opens their door without checking for approaching bicyclist, causing the bicyclist to either hit the open door or swerve into traffic to avoid it. Although many localities have bicycle dooring laws, many motorists still recklessly open their vehicle doors into the path of these unsuspecting bicyclists. In 2011, the city of Chicago reported that there were 344 bicycle dooring accidents.
Chicago Bicycle Dooring Laws
In Chicago, it is against the law to open a vehicle door without first checking for oncoming bicycle traffic. Chicago Municipal Code states:
No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
Dooring Accident Injuries
Dooring accidents can leave a bicyclist with extensive medical bills, lost wages from missing work, not to mention a great deal of pain and suffering. In most dooring accidents, the person in the motor vehicle that opened the door is at fault and negligent and should be held responsible. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a bicycle dooring accident, you deserve to be compensated for the costs of the accident. At Fiorentino Law Offices, our Chicago injury lawyers will fight for you to receive fair and just compensation for your injuries.
Do I have a Bicycle Injury Case?
At Fiorentino Law Offices, our Chicago injury attorneys are experienced in handling bike vs auto crashes that often leave bicyclists severely and permanently injured. Cause bike riders don’t have the protection of being surrounded by an automobile at the time of impact, they can suffer serious head and neck injuries, spinal cord paralysis, broken or dislocated a bones or even the loss of a limb. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand that the goal after going through such trauma is not just to get your medical bills paid and covered and recover your lost wages, but to make sure you are compensated FULLY for you pain and suffering and loss of normal life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call us at 312-853-0050 to set up a FREE consultation with Chicago bicycle injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Our experienced Chicago injury lawyers will thoroughly evaluate you’re the facts of your case and explain your rights to you. If you decide to hire use, we will work with all parties involved in your case to make all of your medical bills and other expenses are paid and that you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering and loss of normal life.