The family of a woman who was struck and killed while bicycling in a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the flatbed truck that hit the 23-year-old. The lawsuit claims the driver was negligent. The driver's employer also is named in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
The recent Loyola University Chicago graduate was killed in late September. She was bicycling just before 8 a.m. in a shared bicycle lane when, as can be seen on surveillance video from a nearby business, the flatbed truck “makes a right-hand turn and plows over” the woman, according to the family's attorney. The driver was cited by police for failure to exercise due care around a pedestrian.
In the lawsuit, the family claims the truck driver “violated numerous traffic laws, including driving too fast for conditions in the share lanes that day, failure to slow down as he approached the intersection and failure to keep a proper lookout as he made the turn to ensure that the truck was safely clear of the bicycle."
She was the sixth bicyclist killed in Chicago this year, all struck by large commercial vehicles. All of the fatal crashes have occurred since June.
The five other bicyclists killed in Chicago are:
- A 29-year-old bike messenger hit by a double-decker bus.
- A 52-year-old man hit by a train.
- A 25-year-old woman on a bike-sharing bicycle struck by a flatbed truck.
- A 20-year-old student hit when a semitrailer crossed into the bike lane.
- A 58-year-old man killed by a cargo van in a hit-and-run.
In 2014, 4,884 pedestrians were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in the United States compared to 726 bicyclists killed. That was down from the year before when more than 900 bicyclists were killed and there were 494,000 emergency room visits due to bicycle-related injuries. The estimated cost of bicycle-related injuries and deaths is about $8 billion a year, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
About 2 percent of car crashes each year cause bicyclist deaths. Most deaths occur due to head injury. Wearing a bicycling helmet can reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent. The Loyola graduate was wearing a helmet when she was killed.
No state law requires adult bicyclists to wear helmets.Young riders are required to wear helmets in only 21 states and the District of Columbia. In Pennsylvania, state law requires children ages 11 and younger to wear helmets when bicycling. In Maryland and Washington D.C. state laws require riders 15 and younger to wear helmets.
According to a 2012 report in Governing magazine, Florida is the deadliest state for bicyclists. Louisiana and New Mexico round out the top three. Illinois, where the Loyola graduate died, ranked No. 11. Washington D.C. was No. 24, Pennsylvania was No. 36 and Maryland was No. 41.
If you have been harmed by the negligence of an inattentive driver, or if a loved one has died, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.