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Bicycle accident leads to claim against fire department driver

Drivers in Illinois are required to yield when bicyclists have the right of way. Bicycle riders are extremely vulnerable because they have no protection, and it is not uncommon for a bicycle accident victim to suffer severe injuries or even death. While most drivers are aware of other vehicular traffic when they want to turn at intersections, some fail to keep a proper lookout for cyclists.

In a claim that was recently filed in a Chicago civil court, a cyclist alleges that a driver who happens to work for the Chicago Fire Department caused an accident that resulted in severe personal injury and property damage. Although the fire department is also listed as a defendant, it is unclear whether the driver was on duty or whether he was driving a vehicle belonging to the fire department when the accident occurred. The plaintiff asserts that she was riding her bicycle in a lane designated for cycles when the man allegedly turned without yielding. She claims that the defendant made an unsafe right turn without signaling his intention to do so. Furthermore, she claims that he failed to stop or reduce speed in order to avoid knocking her down.

When a vehicle collides with a bicycle, the resulting injuries could include brain, spinal cord, neck and back injuries, along with internal injuries and bone fractures. In some cases, the injuries could cause disabilities that will affect the the victim for life. Such injuries could have devastating financial repercussions and deny the victim the continued enjoyment of his or her life. 

Bicycle accident victims may choose to pursue recovery of damages incurred. If they can prove negligence on the part of the other party, an Illinois civil court may hold the driver -- and any other party who may own the vehicle involved -- financially responsible for any personal injury suffered. A successfully presented case may result in a court awarding restitution for medical expenses. If deemed appropriate by state laws, the plaintiff may also be compensated for additional damages such as future medical costs and property damage, as well as pain and suffering related to the injuries.

Source: The Cook County Record, "Cyclist accuses fire department employee of causing collision", Kelly Issacs, Oct. 23, 2014

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