Gridchicago.com recently released a report detailing the death of a bicyclist last Friday after he was struck by a semi truck in Chicago. Our attorneys learned that the accident occurred around 9am on Wells Street, just north of Oak Street, when the bicyclist was in the southbound lane and turned suddenly to avoid a parked car’s open door. As a result, he was hit by a passing semi truck, falling underneath the front wheels of the truck’s flat-bed trailer. Police worked all morning at the scene to remove the body from under the truck.
The report states that an accident similar to the one above occurred in 2009 when a college graduate was bicycling north in LaSalle Street, was doored, thrown into another lane of traffic, and run over by an oncoming truck, killing him upon impact. According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 577 “doorings” have been reported from 2009 through September of this year, the majority on the North Side of the city. These accidents are said to most commonly occur on diagonal streets and intersections.
As a result of these accidents, individuals inside and outside the Chicago community are discussing how to best prevent them in the future. Some believe that an increase in protected bike lanes in the city would prevent doorings, while others aren’t sure that a protected bike lane would make much of a difference, and that alertness on the part of bikers and drivers would do the most to prevent accidents. One community member stated, “This bike lane design is obsolete and deficient as it causes bicyclists to ride in highly unsafe situations.”
From the perspective of our law firm, bicyclists and other vehicles share Illinois roadways each day, and it is important that all motorists truly “share the road” in order to avoid serious accidents and personal injury. This means that truck and passenger vehicle drivers should make every attempt to yield to bicyclists and give them the space they need while riding on or near roadways. In relation to the accidents above, take caution while opening your vehicle’s door near bicycle lanes in the case that a bicyclist is approaching. In general, it is important that all motorists and bicyclists travel attentively and responsibly to prevent collisions.
Though bicyclists are considered as motorists and have every right to use the roadway like any other vehicle does, they are commonly disregarded and as a result too commonly become victims in serious accidents and collisions. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from bicycle accidents, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers are prepared inform you of your rights and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.
If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.