It was early twilight on a grey winter Wednesday, plenty of light left. As the 20 year old woman rode her bicycle southbound on North Lincoln Avenue, across the intersection with West Barry Avenue, she easily saw the red Dodge coming the other way. The vehicle was beginning to turn left. Surely he sees me, she thought.
At around 5:00 p.m. on January 16th the young photography student was struck by the 74 year old driver who was attempting to turn left from northbound Lincoln onto westbound Barry in Lakeview. He would later claim to have not seen the cyclist, though she would have been easily visible. The front corner of his vehicle hit the left side of the bicycle flipping its rider onto the hood where her face bounced off of the cold metal before she was thrown to the street. When she leapt to her feet, adrenalin surging, blood was pouring from her broken nose and mouth. An ambulance rushed her to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center nearby.
My law firm has been retained to represent the bicyclist. Her face is healing but she continues to endure dental work to fix her broken teeth.
It is no defense in our state for a driver to say that he looked but did not see. Since at least 1965, the Illinois appellate court has held that the unseeing eye defense is no defense at all.