Monday, April 29, 2013

Visiting Cyclist Struck By Hit & Run Driver In Logan Square

A bicyclist visiting Chicago from Brooklyn did not receive a warm welcome to our city last Thursday.  The 29 year old man suffered significant injuries when he was struck by a hit and run driver while riding in the bike lane near 2207 North Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square on April 25th.  My law firm has been retained to represent the cyclist.

The incident occurred at around 4:35 p.m. on a beautiful, sunny afternoon as the bicyclist was riding north on Milwaukee on a bike he borrowed from the friend with whom he was staying for the weekend.  The crash occurring only a few hours after his arrival, he was still wearing the business suit he had donned for the flight from New York.  Chicago police responded to the scene and took statements from at least one witness, the identity of whom we are still waiting to learn.  It is unknown whether any witness to the crash got the license plate number of the driver.  Local area businesses, in particular Ultra Lounge and Taqueria Los Comales, have been very supportive in our efforts to investigate the crash.  Both business's owners provided access to their surveillance equipment to help us determine if a video recording of the incident exists.  Unfortunately, however, neither business's  camera captured an image that will materially assist our investigation.  A call to the Chicago Police Department's 14th District, which would have responded to the scene, resulted in being directed to the "Hit and Run Unit" which is a part of the CPD's Major Accident Investigation Unit.  When I spoke with a representative of the Unit today I was informed that no one would be assigned to investigate the hit and run incident until 12 days had passed from the date of the crash.  Only in the event of a fatality does the Unit respond contemporaneously, I was told.  We are awaiting receipt of the final Illinois Traffic Crash Report to learn the identities of any witnesses to the crash.

The bicyclist was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, a level I trauma center.  There, he was diagnosed with cranial bleeding and was kept over night.  He also sustained a badly fractured nose and serious lateratious to his face which necessitated numerous stitches.  He was released from the hospital late Friday afternoon.  He returned to his home in Brooklyn yesterday.

If anyone has information that may help identify the driver of the vehicle please phone me at 312.803.0128 or contact me via email at

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicago Getting Ready To Divvy Up Its Transportation Options

Divvy Bike
Bike Share is coming!  Bike Share is coming!  

In a press release, the City of Chicago today announced the name of the service - Divvy Bike Share - along with a photo of one of the bikes.  The release also provides a link to the Divvy website, though little additional information can be found there for the time being.

We do not know when Divvy is coming.  At recent Mayor's Bike Advisory Council meetings CDOT representatives have expressed a hope that it will be up and running in mid-June-ish.  Nothing more precise has been announced, and today's press release simply targets "Summer 2013."

Anyway, this is exciting stuff.  "Divvy will give Chicagoans and visitors access to a bike when they want one, without having to worry about storage or maintenance," the release stated.  "Divvy will provide a convenient, easy-to-use transit option available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.   It is envisioned for short point-to-point trips, or as alternative option for a multi-mode commute.  Users will pick up a bike from a self-service docking station and return it to any other station nearest their destination."  

Whenever this thing starts, it will surely get more people not just riding bikes, but using bicycles as a tool for daily living.  More bikes on the road means less car traffic, less pollution and hell, more fun too.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Female Cyclist Left-Crossed By Taxi Driver While Riding In Lakeview Bicycle Lane

A 30 year old Chicago bicyclist was left-crossed by a taxi driver on April 5th as she rode south in the bicycle lane on North Clark Street in Lakeview.  The collision sent the female rider to the hospital with a concussion, a badly damaged shoulder and a deep gouge in her chin requiring stitches.  She remains in treatment.  The cyclist has retained my law firm to represent her.

The collision occurred at around 11:00 p.m. at the intersection of North Clark Street and West Drummond Place in the East Lakeview neighborhood.  The woman, an experienced city cyclist, was on her way home from a quiet evening with a friend in Rodgers Park.  She was riding with a bright, flashing front facing headlight and was wearing reflective clothing.  She also wore a helmet.  When she reached the t-intersection of Clark and Drummond, traffic to her left was stopped.  Without warning a taxi driver, northbound on Clark, turned left between the stopped cars then came to a halt across the southbound bicycle lane.  The cyclist had little time to attempt an emergency stop and could not avoid slamming into the side of the cab.  The impact threw her off her bike and into the road where she landed heavily on her left shoulder.  As she lay in the street with searing pain shooting through her shoulder and blood pouring from her chin she saw the taxi driver attempt to flee the scene down Drummond.  Fortunately, bystanders blocked the driver's get away until the police arrived.  

The cyclist was rushed via ambulance to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.  She was diagnosed with a concussion and received several stitches under her chin.  Though fractures were ruled out, she continues to experience pain and limited range of motion in her shoulder.  She also has numbness which radiates down the limb into her hand.  She continues to receive medical treatment and physical therapy for her injuries and has been placed on medical leave from her job working with children with behavioral problems.  She is not expected to return to her physically demanding job for at least another five weeks.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Bicyclist Injured Near Chicago's "Most Crash-Prone" Intersection

Milwaukee, Ogden and Chicago
Another Chicago bicyclist has been injured near the intersection of North Milwaukee Avenue and Odgen Avenue.  At around 6:30 p.m. on April 5th a 41 year old male cyclist was struck by a left turning motorist as he rode northbound in the Milwaukee Avenue bike lane, about 30 feet south of the intersection with Ogden.  Northbound traffic was backed up in the main travel lane when the driver of a southbound 1999 Nissen turned left, squeezing between northbound traffic, to enter the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy located at the intersection.  When she did she slammed into the left side of the cyclist throwing him onto the hood of the vehicle, then to the street where he suffered a fractured rib.  The cyclist was wearing a helmet and his bike was properly equipped with an operating headlamp.

My law firm has been retained to represent the injured cyclist. Initially, the driver stopped and apologized for striking him.  She offered her name, address and telephone number.  However, she refused to provide him with auto insurance information and left the scene when he pressed her for it.  We are in the process of tracking her down.

The intersection of Milwaukee and Ogden, which is also intersected by Chicago Avenue, is generally considered one of the most treacherous in Chicago.  At the same time, it is a part of the busiest corridor for cyclists, especially bicycle commuters, in the city.  A investigative piece appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times in September, 2012 called that intersection "the most crash-prone" in the city.  The article noted 38 crashes between motorists and cyclists or pedestrians between 2005 and 2010.  Streetsblog writer and bicycle advocate Steven Vance has also documented how crash prone the intersection is.  I have personally represented several cyclist injured at that intersection.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chicago Bicyclist Struck, Injured In Bucktown By Uninsured Driver

A 30 year old male bicyclist was struck by a car while riding in the shared bicycle lane of North Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown on April 7th.  The crash caused fractures to the cyclist's right clavicle and left hand.  He remains in treatment with future surgery a possibility.  The driver that struck him failed to provide proof of insurance in violation of Illinois law.

The collision occurred near 1653 North Milwaukee Avenue at around 2:30 p.m.  The cyclist was riding home from a supermarket on a vintage steel Raleigh bicycle with a pannier full of groceries secured to a rear rack.  He was riding northbound along the right side of the road, a safe distance from cars parked along the right curb.  As he did, without warning a dark blue Volkswagon Jetta, also northbound on Milwaukee, suddenly veered sharply right, crashing into the left side of the man on his bicycle.  The driver may have been attempting to snatch a parking slot.

The heavy impact threw the cyclist off his bike and to the street where he landed heavily on his right shoulder, the impact fracturing his clavicle and hand.  His head bounced twice off of the pavement, cracking his helmet.  Emergency response personnel from the City of Chicago arrived shortly afterwards, placed him in a neck brace and on a backboard.  He was transported to the nearby Resurrection St. Mary and St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

Though no longer in the hospital, the cyclist remains in treatment.  An IT professional, he has not yet been able to return to work.

My law firm has been retained to represent the bicyclist.  Because the driver was apparently uninsured, we will pursue an uninsured motorist claim with the bicyclist's own auto insurance provider.  Nationwide, roughly one in seven drivers lack auto insurance.  In Chicago, the numbers of uninsured drivers are much higher.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Resolution Reached For Chicago Bicyclist Struck By Indiana Driver

A successful resolution has been reached with an Indiana driver that struck a bicycle delivery rider in June, 2012.  The 24 year old bicyclist, who is still treating for a badly fractured arm, will receive the full amount of the driver's insurance policy.  My law firm represents the cyclist who has undergone two surgeries to treat the fracture of his dominant arm and who is still receiving rehabilitative therapy.

The collision occurred at perhaps one of the best lit intersections in the city, Chicago Avenue and Dearborn Street.  At around 9:00 p.m. on June 18th the bicyclist was riding westbound on Chicago Avenue when he was struck by the eastbound, left turning driver, near the heart of the tourist district.  The motorist, a 28 year old woman from Indiana, claimed that she did not see the cyclist on his white bicycle, in the middle of the intersection.  The bicyclist and driver both had green lights at the time of the crash.  The front of the 2002 Nissan Maxima struck the bike just behind the rider's left leg.  City ordinance requires left turning drivers to yield to bicyclists approaching from the opposite direction.

The heavy and unexpected impact send the cyclist flying north.  He landed hard on the edge of the curb badly fracturing his right arm. The crash also sliced open his left leg.  An ambulance transported him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

51 Year Old Bicyclist Killed in North Riverside

A 51 year old bicyclist was killed early this morning after being struck by a motor vehicle in the 2300 block of Harlem Avenue in North Riverside, according to the Chicago Sun Times.  Illinois State Police crash reconstruction investigators were on the scene to determine the cause of the collision which left Anthony J. Catalano of Bolingbrook dead.  The 28 year old driver of the vehicle reportedly remained at the scene and was tested for alcohol impairment.  The collision with Mr. Catalano, who was either riding or walking his bike, occurred at around 3:35 a.m.  The Sun Times reports that as of late this morning the driver had not been charged with a traffic violation.

Spike Your Bike!?

Now this is cool:  A small, discrete GPS tracking device that attaches to your bike and warns you if it has been stolen.  Even better, it keeps tracking your bike after it has been taken, showing you exactly where it is.  Even betterer, because it contains an accelerometer, if your you experience a drastic and sudden decrease in speed while out riding (in other words, you've crashed) the device will notify your friends that you may been in trouble.  Oh yeah, and the developers of this nifty device are right here in little 'ole Chicago.

This brainy invention in called the BikeSpike and is doing very well on Kickstarter.  Bravo!

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