Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys recently read a press release on The Digital Journal announcing a significant verdict in a bicycle accident lawsuit. The verdict, which was over $1 million, was rewarded to an injured bicycle rider. The rider fell off of her bicycle due to an illegally parked vehicle, and, as a result of falling, her leg was run over by a city bus.
According to the release, the bike rider was using the proper bike lane, but because a vehicle was illegally parked, she needed to move around the parked automobile. While she was moving around the vehicle, the driver of the illegally parked car opened his side door. The bicyclist saw this happen and slammed on her breaks, causing her to fall off of the bike and into the road.
Not only was the victim in the hospital for 20 days, but she also needed daily physical therapy, outpatient rehab, and other forms of kinesiology in order to regain strength in her leg. The victim will also have permanent scars and neuro-damage to her right leg. The victim sued the illegally parked driver for negligently parking his car in an unlawful place.
The article reports that, “the defendant acknowledged some responsibility for the accident but named the MTA bus company and bus driver as third party defendants in the lawsuit. The defendants claimed that both the driver of the MTA bus and the plaintiff were also negligent and contributed to the accident.” Ultimately, the jury ruled in favor of the woman, giving her $1.1 million for past and future pain, and also over $150,000 for medical costs.
Bike safety awareness has recently gotten a lot of attention and we feel it’s important to remind drivers that they not only share the road with other drivers, but pedestrians and bicyclists as well. Sites like BicycleSafe.com offer some tips on how bikers can avoid collisions with cars, including tips on proper bike gear. This includes using reflectors and a headlight, for nighttime riding. Not only does Illinois law require headlights, but they can also be used as a flasher to make yourself apparent to some drivers that may not see you.
Also, bikes should be equipped with a loud bell or horn. Similar to how a car uses a horn, a bicyclist can use this to alert cars around them of their presence. And, always wear a helmet to protect your head in case an accident should occur. Mirrors are also beneficial to help the biker to see what is going on behind them, and check the blind spots that they might have when going around parked cars, turning, or merging into another lane on the road.
Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys encourage all bicyclists to be prepared and alert when riding on the road. Not only can certain equipment be extremely beneficial when riding, but also paying attention to traffic signs, along with the traffic around you can be life saving. We hope that all bicyclists will take into account these tips, and that drivers will also be more alert, and share the road with their fellow drivers.