Abels & Annes

Chicago Injury Lawyer Reaches Settlement In Bike vs. Car Accident Case

Chicago Accident Attorneys from Abels & Annes, P.C. have resolved a case for a bike rider that collided with an open car door on California Avenue on August 21, 2008. The plaintiff was riding his bicycle in a northbound direction on California and the defendant was parked on the side of California facing northbound. The at fault driver suddenly and without warning opened her door into traffic.

The defendant was negligent in that she failed to look back and ensure that it was clear and safe to open her door before doing so. The door opened so suddenly in front of our client that he did not have any time to avoid it and collided with the open door.

The law in Illinois on the issue of opening a car door into traffic is as follows: Opening and closing vehicle doors. 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.

Pursuant to this statute the defendant was negligent in opening her door when it was not reasonably safe to do so and when it would interfere with the movement of other traffic. Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all of the rights of a driver of a motorized vehicle. 625 ILCS 5/110-1502.

The defendant tried to claim that she had left her door open for an extended period of time prior to the accident and that her door did not just swing open. However, even under this possible scenario the driver was still negligent and is still at fault as under the law it is improper to leave a car door open for any period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

The defendant was issued a citation from the Chicago Police Department for violation of § 5/11-1407 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.

Our client was transported by ambulance to Norwegian American Hospital. At the Emergency Room his most significant complaint was of left shoulder pain. A history was taken, an examination conducted and diagnostic tests were performed. He was diagnosed with possible humeral l head fracture, his arm was put in a sling, he prescribed pain medication and instructed to seek follow up treatment.

The plaintiff’s pain and discomfort were so significant that he sought follow up treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room two days later. At Northwestern’s Emergency Room he complained of increased pain and swelling to his shoulder. Further diagnostic testing identified that the head of the humerus appeared inferior to the acromion process, possibly due to joint effusion. Mark was prescribed more pain medication, instructed to continue to keep his arm in a sling and instructed to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon.

Mark then obtained follow up treatment from board certified orthopedic surgeon. He continued to suffer from significant left shoulder pain. The doctor identified a possible impression fracture of the humeral head and possible left shoulder dislocation. The doctor ordered further diagnostic testing including x-rays and a shoulder MRI.

X-rays showed an abnormal appearance of the anterior humeral head and the MRI revealed a reverse Hills-Sachs lesion. A reverse Hills-Sachs lesion, also known as a McLaughlin Fracture, is a violent muscular contraction resulting from the anterior medial humeral head impacting on the posterior labrum and impaction fracture of the humeral head. This is the consequence of a shoulder dislocation.

A course of conservative treatment was initiated consisting of range of motion exercises. Unfortunately, as a result of this injury our client is at an increased risk of suffering future recurrent shoulder dislocations.

As a result of his injuries the plaintiff was unable to engage in many of his activities of daily life including all household chores, cycling, volleyball, juggling, playing guitar and writing.

Despite his care and treatment he continued to experience pain and soreness in his left shoulder and any activity that requires lifting or use and motion of the shoulder increases his pain. Additionally, if he does not move his shoulder it becomes stiff and painful. Medical expenses incurred by our client for treatment of the injuries he suffered as a result of the accident were just over $6,000.

The case settled for just under $19,000. No lawsuit was filed.