Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicago Bicyclist Doored By Uninsured Driver To Receive Compensation

The bottom edge of the car door sliced into the bicyclist, a huge bloody curtain of skin and muscle drawn back revealing the two large bones of his lower right leg.  It seemed as if a shaky surgeon cut a large slab from the side of his leg below the knee.  Minutes later an ambulance would rush him to the hospital to undergo surgery.  Weeks later he would have insult added to injury:  The driver that doored him was uninsured.

At around 4:00 p.m. on July 10th, a 34 year old male cyclist was doored on his way home from work on North Lincoln Avenue, just north of West Webster Avenue, in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. He was pedaling at a leisurely pace in Lincoln Avenue's dedicated bicycle lane when the driver of a 2002 Mitsubishi parked along the curb carelessly open her door just as the cyclist was riding by.  The bottom of the door sliced open the man's leg as he passed and caused him to crash hard to the street.  Thankfully, he avoided being hit by passing vehicles.  The wound to his leg was very serious however.  He was rushed via ambulance to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he underwent surgery that evening.

The bicyclist incurred over $25,000 in medical bills.  At first he tried to resolve the matter with the driver himself.  However, when he learned that she had let her auto insurance coverage lapse before the crash, he contacted my law firm for help.  We immediately notified the bicyclist's own auto insurer that he was injured by an uninsured driver.  If an injured bicyclist has his or her own motor vehicle insurance policy, or is covered under another family member's policy, the cyclist may look to the uninsured or underinsured motorist provision of that policy. This is permitted even though the victim was riding a bicycle and the accident did not involve his or her own motor vehicle. Generally, your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you even when you are injured by a motor vehicle while a bicyclist or pedestrian.  Yesterday, after some hard work and diligence we were able to resolve the bicyclist's uninsured motorist claim for the full amount of coverage, $100,000.

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