On this blog, we’ve written about the dangers of riding a bicycle on the streets of Chicago. One of the strategies often adopted by bicyclists whenever conditions appear to be unsafe is dismounting from the bike and walking it along the side of the roadway. Doing so gives the person more control over his or her speed and position on the road.
But walking a bicycle certainly doesn’t guarantee one’s safety, as an incident this weekend in Chicago sadly demonstrated. On Saturday afternoon around 12:30pm, a 53-year old man was walking his bicycle along the side of South Pulaski Road between Jackson Boulevard and Gladys Avenue, less than half a mile west of Garfield Park and about a quarter mile north of the Eisenhower Expressway. A 51-year old man was driving a minivan on that stretch of road when he swerved to get around another vehicle and struck the man walking the bike, sending the victim flying through the air. The 53-year old suffered critical injuries including bruised lungs, fractured ribs, and brain hemorrhaging. The minivan driver turned his vehicle around, sped past the injured man, and fled the scene. He was arrested by Chicago Police a short time later.
The driver claims that he saw the man walking the bike, but didn’t think that he had hit him with his vehicle – even though he admitted seeing people waving and yelling at him to stop. It appears that the 51-year old will be held responsible for the accident and the injuries sustained by the bike-walking man. Should he choose to do so in the future, the victim could file a personal injury lawsuit against the minivan driver. Such legal action could enable the plaintiff to collect reimbursement for the extensive medical costs he is incurring, as well as those he may incur in the future if he remains disabled. This lawsuit could also allow the victim to collect compensation for lost time at work and damages for pain and suffering.