Call

Blog

Law
02

Blog

Disturbing Videos Of Car Slamming Into Chicago Cyclist Helps Case

Persistent sleuthing, hard work and a little luck has brought about successful resolution of a bicyclist’s legal claim against a driver that struck him from behind last year.  Our law firm represented the bicyclist, an active, physically fit 75 year old man.  The case resolved for the full amount of available auto insurance coverage.

The collision occurred on May 1, 2013 at around 6:30 a.m. on West Washington Street in West Chicago, Illinois.  As the video footage below shows the cyclist was pedaling his Trek mountain bike eastbound when he was hit from behind by the driver of a 2007 Toyota Camry.  Before impact he was well-established in the roadway and was cautiously merging left preparing to make a left turn.  In so doing he was fully compliant with the Illinois Vehicle Code.  The driver told police that she was traveling at about 30 mph at the moment of impact.

Soon after the bicyclist hired us we received the Illinois Traffic Crash Report created by the West Chicago Police Department.  It suggested that the bicyclist was at fault for causing the crash.  The report quoted the driver as stating that as she drove east “a man on a bicycle struck her vehicle and hit her windshield.”  She also told police that, “She did not see the bicyclist and was not distracted by anything.”  Witnesses apparently told police that, “The bicyclist began to enter the middle of the east bound lanes in front of” the car. The report concluded stating, “No citations were issued.” Unfortunately, our client was unable to provide us with much assistance.  Other than recalling that he had been eastbound on Washington, he was unable to recall much else having sustained a head injury that impacted his memory.

We got to work gathering evidence.  The first thing we did was carefully survey the area, looking for cameras that may have captured the incident.  We got lucky.  The crash took place in front of a jewelry store.  It was likely to have security cameras.  It was important to contact the store right away, before any existing footage of the crash was deleted or recorded over. Thankfully, the store owner was cooperative.  He had several cameras on the outside of the building and agreed to search the video archive for us.  It turned out that the cameras captured the crash from multiple angles, which were forwarded to us.  I have posted the best views below.  The first video is from the camera looking west and clearly shows the cyclist and car that hit him in the moments leading up to impact.  The second video shows the terrifying collision and its aftermath.  A warning:  Some will find the videos disturbing.   They are posted with our client’s knowledge and permission.

Here’s the first view:

Here’s the second:

The footage allowed us to rebut the suggestion in the police report that the bicyclist came out of nowhere and mindlessly ran into the car. It shows that he was well established within the roadway so as to give a reasonably careful driver plenty of time and space to see him and avoid hitting him.

The cyclist made a downright remarkable recovery from what were very serious injuries.  He was knocked unconscious at the scene, his head having smashed the vehicle’s windshield.  His lower left leg was badly broken, requiring surgical repair.  He also had several very large open wounds that required surgical closure.  After days in the hospital he spent more than a month in a rehabilitation facility. Though his medical bills were quite substantial, the driver only carried the minimum amount of insurance coverage permitted under Illinois law, $25,000.  After we provided the video of the crash to the driver’s insurer, it quickly tendered the full amount of the policy.

We then looked to our client’s own auto insurer to provide additional compensation pursuant to the underinsured motorist provision of his policy.  The video footage also persuaded our client’s insurer to tender the full amount of available coverage, thereby maximizing his compensation.

Comments

Contributory Negligence
Ann Groninger Apr 08, 2021

There is finally a positive development in the fight against Contributory Negligence in North Carolina. Last week a bill called the “Victims’ Fair Treatment Act” was filed in the North Carolina Senate. If passed, the bill would finally bring North Carolina into line with all but 3 other states by eradicating this deeply unfair law. […]

Read More
Bike Shop with wheels
Danny Feldman Apr 04, 2021

Birmingham is blessed to have a number of great bike shops.  Two of these shops, although very different, are the focus here.  Future blog posts from Bike Law Alabama will focus on some of the other great shops in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. A NON-PROFIT BIKE SHOP: REDEMPTIVE CYCLES Why choose Redemptive as your Bike […]

Read More
Dooring of bicyclist
Charlie Thomas Mar 24, 2021

Buena Batiste did not plan to be “doored.” She was knocked off her bike by a car door and then yelled at by the woman who opened it. Fortunately, we were able to take Buena’s dooring case to trial and win. And in doing so, we set a new precedent for bicyclists who suffer a […]

Read More
Bike Hand Signals
Peter Wilborn Mar 12, 2021

Before you get a driver’s license, you typically have to take a test that demonstrates your understanding of the rules of the road. This includes the importance of signaling your intentions when you are turning or changing lanes. Across the United States, bicyclists are required to use signals to let others know what they plan […]

Read More
Ash Our Streets
Daniel Brazil Jan 13, 2021

As a Minneapolis-based attorney, I live, work, play and bike in the city. Although my city might be known for its lakes and our infamous Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis’ dedication to having safer streets for all should be included in that list. To reach the safe streets goal, numerous non-profit organizations and groups are working tirelessly […]

Read More
Ambassador
Rachael Maney Jan 11, 2021

Applications for the Bike Law Foundation Ambassador Program are now live. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 24th. Those selected will be notified on or before February 1. Thanks for your support and willingness to work together to make bicycling safer for all. We are committed to you, to one another, and […]

Read More
3-foot passing close call
Charlie Thomas Jan 11, 2021

It happens all the time: Someone emails me video footage, clearly showing they were biking along when a car buzzes past, coming within inches of a horrible crash — and there’s nothing I can do about it because we don’t have the laws in place to do something to help. Luckily, that might be about […]

Read More
killing cyclist bike law
Rachael Maney Dec 22, 2020

BIKE LAW ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF CARL BEHLER FOR KILLING CYCLIST AND INJURING OTHERS   Today, Carl Behler appeared in court for the first time for killing cyclist Arthur Carter and injuring others. He was indicted on Friday (12/18) by the Anne Arundel County Grand Jury and promptly arrested and detained for 7 crimes related […]

Read More
Bicycle Mayor
Bruce Hagen Dec 03, 2020

When I (Maria of Bike Law Georgia) called Pattie Baker, the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, she was trudging through marshland on her bicycle on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. I pictured her in my mind with her bike, wearing her signature skirts, and mud on her sandals. Always on the go, the newly minted Metro […]

Read More
Load More