Last month, a 32-year-old bicyclist was killed when he was struck and pinned beneath a tractor-trailer near Walter Payton Prep in North Chicago. According to the Chicago Police Department, the man was headed south in a bike lane near the intersection of Oak and Wells Streets when he swerved to avoid being hit by the door of a parked car. Instead, the man reportedly wound up directly in the path of a southbound semi-truck. Tragically, the bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Both the truck driver and the man who purportedly opened his car door into the path of the bicycle rider remained at the scene of the fatal incident until police arrived. Although the crash is under investigation, the man in the parked car was allegedly ticketed for opening his door into traffic.
Several neighborhood residents stated the area is often clogged with both drivers and bicyclists. Chicago cyclist Charley Jordan said he has been involved in two accidents where a motorist failed to keep an eye out for bicycle riders. He stated he is careful to remain alert and obey all traffic laws in an effort to ensure his own safety.
In 2008, Illinois bike accidents reportedly killed 27 people and injured an additional 3,385. According to the Division of Traffic Safety at the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 577 bicycle accidents involving a car door in the Chicago Metro between 2009 and September 7, 2012. Such crashes reportedly occur most often on roadways that are heavily traveled by commuting motorists. Additionally, allegedly due to the number of bicyclists living in the area, more bicycle accidents that involved a car door occurred on the North Side of Chicago, in Hyde Park, and near the University of Chicago.
In Illinois, bicyclists are required to obey the same laws as motorists while traveling on roadways. Unfortunately, most crashes that involve an adult bicyclist are caused by motor vehicle drivers who fail to yield to bicycle riders at traffic signals and stop signs. If you were injured by a motorist while riding your bicycle, you should contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights.
Our office works on bicycle cases on a regular basis, and we have handled many dooring cases. Motorists swinging their vehicle doors open into traffic without looking for bicyclists has become an ongoing problem, especially in urban areas.
If you were hurt or someone you love was killed in a Chicago bicycle accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our hardworking Chicago Metro bicycle accident attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you with filing your personal injury case. For a free consultation with a quality personal injury lawyer, please call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 or contact us through our website today.
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Suburban Chicago Firefighter and Paramedic Killed in Dog Attack, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 20, 2012
Bicyclist struck, killed on Near North Side, by Leah Hope, abclocal.go.com
Map: Where are Chicago’s bike dooring accidents happening?, by Kate Dries, wbez.org