Sidewalk bicycling doesn't invalidate driver's requirement to practice due care

Result: $100,000

A 42 year old Chicago cyclist was struck by a SUV emerging from an alley on the 4800 block of West Belle Plaine Avenue. The bicyclist suffered a torn right labrum (shoulder) requiring arthroscopic surgical repair.

He had been riding on the sidewalk, which adults are not permitted to do in Chicago, before entering the alley where he was hit. We successfully argued, however, that the city’s prohibitive ordinance may not be used to bar an injured cyclist from receiving just compensation.

Pursuant to Garcia v. City of Chicago, 240 Ill.App.3d 199 (1st Dist. 1992), the ordinance was enacted to protect pedestrians and young cyclists from adult bicyclists using the sidewalk. It was never intended to protect drivers from cyclists and, therefore, could not be used as a shield under the circumstances of our case.

Steven Vance