August 28, 2014

Truck Driver Charged with Reckless Homicide Following Fatal Crash

As Trucking Accident Attorneys, we are well aware of the hazards faced by motorists who are forced to share our roadways with truck drivers that operate semi-tractor trailers. Big-rigs are massive, heavy, dangerous vehicles, capable of mass destruction, as was demonstrated by a tragic accident last month that took the lives of five innocent victims. Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., along with the victim’s family, and residents of our community are pleased to see justice being carried out, at least in the criminal sense, following reports of the truck driver’s indictment for reckless homicide.

As provided by the Chicago Tribune, the crash occurred on the afternoon of July 21, 2014, along Interstate 55, south of Arsenal Road, near Elwood. According to authorities, 51-year-old Francisco Espinal Quiroz was operating a semi-truck, when he crashed into three stopped vehicles. Heartbreakingly, four people were killed immediately due to the crash, and fifth victim died later at the hospital.

Amongst the victims killed as a result of the truck driver’s negligence was an 11-year-old child, Piper Britton, of Urbana. The remaining victims, all adults, were 43-year-ol Kimberly Britton, of Urbana; 54-year-old Vicky Palacios, of Coal City; 48-year-old Ulrike Blopleh, of Channahon; and 64-year-old Timothy Osburn, also of Channahon. In addition to the five fatalities, four other victims were hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the crash.

Following the accident, Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, the truck driver responsible for the crash, was arrested, where his bond was set in the amount of $1 million. According to Will County court records, on August 28,2014, the driver was indicted on over a dozen counts extending from the deadly crash, 15 of which fall under 720 ILCS 5/9 3(a), Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide, and 2 pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/18b-103, Failure to comply with Motor Carrier Safety

In addition to failing to keep proper lookout, and decrease speed, the indictment alleges that Espinal-Quiroz was speeding in a construction zone. The driver also had physical limitations, including complete loss of vision to his right eye, which prevented Espinal-Quiroz from safely operating a tractor-trailor in a lawful manner. Pursuant to 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), the physical qualifications regarding visual capacity, as set forth by Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, requires that the truck driver:

“Has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal Meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber.”

According to reports, the driver had been previously charged with falsifying logbook records pertaining to Hours-of-Service, which the federal government requires for the purpose of discouraging truck drivers from continuing to drive without a break in a manner that exceeds the maximum time limitations set forth by law. Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. recently expressed our concerns over log-book falsification and driver-fatigue in ‘Improving Safety, Preventing Fatigue-Related Accidents, and Ensuring Regulatory Compliance in the Trucking Industry: Electronic Logbooks.’Given the dangers posed to other motorists that share the roadway, we find such offenses appalling, and feel that offenders should be penalized to the maximum extent permitted by law.

According to additional Will County court records, four victims have filed personal injury actions against the truck driver, and his self-owned and operated trucking company, Espinal Trucking. We suspect more claims may follow in the form of Wrongful Death and/or Survival Actions. The attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. send our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and loved ones, as they

If you were injured, or a family member was killed, as a result of trucking accident that occurred in Will County, Cook County, or a neighboring Chicagoland County, we encourage you to contact us, either online or by calling 773-516-4100. We offer FREE consultation in all personal injury and wrongful death matters.

August 25, 2014

Divvy Bikes: What to do After a Crash

As bike sharing continues to expand throughout Chicago, the Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of the growing number of bicycle accidents involving Divvy bikes. Being involved in a bike crash can be stressful experience—so much so, that it can cause a victim to forget what actions need to be taken following an accident. In some cases, the victim may not know what post-accident procedures are necessary and/or appropriate. Our injury lawyers discuss the steps that a bicyclist should take in the event a collision occurs while using a Divvy bike.

Step 1. Call 911 immediately after the incident to obtain emergency assistance. For non-emergency situations, the victim can call 311 instead.

Step 2. Call the police district where the crash occurred, and file a police report. To find the appropriate district, see Police Districts in Chicago. Make sure the officer properly documents all information pertaining to the accident, including the facts of the incident, the parties involved, as well as any potential witnesses.

Step 3. Notify Divvy within 24 HOURS of the incident, by calling 1-855-55-DIVVY, and speaking with a Customer Service Representative regarding the facts of the crash. Divvy will provide the victim with a Divvy Crash Report to fill out.

In addition to the steps listed above, there are other measures that the victim can take to ensure proper documentation, preservation of evidence, and protection of legal rights. This is particularly important where the victim intends to file a claim seeking compensation for their injuries or damages. For more on this topic, see ‘What to do After a Bicycle Crash.’

Victims should also remember that the bicycle remains the responsibility of the pass/key holder that took out the bike, until it has either: (1) been properly locked at a dock; or (2) handed over to a Divvy representative. In some cases, the bicycle itself can serve as evidence in the event that a claim is subsequently filed. For this and many other reasons as well, it can be highly beneficial for the victim to discuss the incident with an attorney as soon as possible following the crash.

The Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have decades of experience handling bike injury cases, and want to help in obtaining the compensation that you and your family deserve. We offer FREE consultation in all personal injury matters. Contact us online, or by calling 773-516-4100.

August 22, 2014

Distinguishing between Accident / Injury Claims involving Bike Sharing, Bike Rental, & Bike Sales

Bicycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent the victims and family members of bike crashes that occurred in Chicago or a neighboring suburb. As bicycling increases throughout Chicagoland, so have bike-related amenities, including bike-sharing programs, bike rental agencies, and bike shops that sell bicycle parts, as well as new and used bikes. In some incidents, the cause or contributing factor to a bicycle accident was the actual bike being used, such as a bicycle that has recently been purchased, rented from an agency, or part of bike sharing program.

There are a variety of factors that must be taken in consideration in assessing the validity of a claim extending from the use, purchase, or rental, of a bicycle. In addition to evaluating the factual circumstances involved, it is important to identify the law applicable to the matter, whether local, state, federal, or a combination thereof. In newly emerging types of claim, such as those involving bike sharing facilities/programs, rulings in prior cases, referred to as case law, can also play a large part in the outcome of a particular matter.

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August 20, 2014

Defendants, Liability, and Compensation Sources in Bicycle Accidents

The Chicago lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent victims seeking compensation for injuries and losses sustained in bicycle accidents. Personal Injury claims extending from bike crashes can be complex, in the sense that there are numerous variations in prospective defendants, as well available sources of compensation. Below, we have compiled a list of persons and/or entities that can potentially provide a means of financial recovery to the victims of bicycling-related incidents. Examples of some specific issues have also been included.

Motorist. Negligent, reckless, or unlawful actions of a motorist (i.e., speeding; running a red light; failure to yield right-of-way or decrease speed; driver distraction; driving while impaired/intoxicated; dooring a bicyclist).

Homeowner. Failure to remedy dangerous conditions that pose a safety hazard to bicyclist (i.e. driveway maintenance; object obstructions/whether stationary or moving; visual obstructions/trees/hedges; falling trees; unattended children; dog or animal attacks).

Business Establishment Owner. Failure to maintain premises in reasonably safe condition and/or warn patrons of a dangerous/unsafe condition that was either known or foreseeable. (i.e., inadequate security; wandering carts; parking lot surface conditions/ pavement markings).

Bike Assembly Service. Failure to properly assemble a bicycle, when the consumer either contracted for, or had a reasonable expectation that the bicycle would be delivered in proper working condition (i.e., untightened bolts; improper tire inflation; other assembly-related issues that do not conform with manufacturer instructions, industry standards, or general safety protocol).

Bike Messenger Service. Accidents involving bodily injury or property damage caused or incurred by a bicyclist employed by a messenger/courier/delivery service. (i.e., liability claims covered under a bike messenger liability policy; failure of service/individual/employer to carry, maintain, or provide sufficient amounts of coverage in liability insurance).

Construction Company. Breaching a duty of care owed to another. Construction related bicycle accidents can involve claims against a private construction company, their insured, as well as claims against the government (i.e., falling debris, improperly secured objects, failure to provide warning of safety hazards).

Other Landowner. Acts or omissions that pose a danger or safety hazard to persons owed a duty of reasonable care. (i.e., unattended/unsupervised/unmaintained/ vacant property; security, fencing, or signage/warning issues; attractive nuisances involving latent non-obvious harms that a child might not reasonably apprehend).

Manufacturer or Distributor. Defects in the design or manufacture of a bicycle or bike-component, or failure to provide adequate warning/instruction, particularly when a party knew or should have known of the risk for accident or injury. See, Product Liability.

Government. Roadway issues related to improper maintenance, repair and/or inspection. This type of claim generally requires the plaintiff to show that a state or local entity had actual or constructive knowledge of dangerous or unsafe condition (i.e., roadway debris; potholes; cracks in pavement; traffic signals; train crossings; trees; pavement markings; signage).

Medical Professional. Failures related to treatment, diagnosis, monitoring, patient instruction/warning/advice, other factors related to professional judgments in the medical field (i.e., failure to diagnose head injury; failure to warn patient of risk/dangers/symptoms of head injuries in bike accidents; treatment-related infection; other medical malpractice issues)

**Individual. In most bicycle accident cases, financial compensation is sought through a person or entity that has an insurance policy which provides coverage for liability in the specific type of accident involved. However, in some cases, the victim may choose to seek a judgment against an individual, particularly in cases where such award can be attached to/levied upon current assets/wages, or those that may be acquired in the future.

Given the examples provided herein, it is easy to see the potential diversity in both defendants and compensation sources associated with bike accident injury/death claims. In addition, many bike collision cases require specialized knowledge in distinct legal practice areas, such as with actions involving wrongful death, products liability, or claims against the government. Consequently, while the ability to identify persons or entities to direct claims at, is certainly essential, your attorney must also have the experience and skill necessary to present your case, both in accordance with procedural law, and in a manner that will maximize your financial recovery.

For decades, the Chicago attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have been providing aggressive representation to the members of our communities involved in bike accidents. Let our legal team review your matter during a FREE comprehensive consultation. Call to schedule at 773-516-4100, or contact us online.

August 19, 2014

Bicyclists Reminded to Check Bikes for Safety Recalls

The Bicycle Crash Attorneys of Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent the victims and family members of those injured or killed in a bicycling-related accident. According to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 13% of bike injury incidents are associated with the mechanical failure of a bicycle. While many of these accidents are caused due to improper maintenance or other external factors, many occur as a result of bicycle that was defectively designed or manufactured. Consumers are reminded of the importance of keeping track of safety recalls.

Our concerns extend from the announcement of two separate bicycle recalls in the past month, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Youth Bike Recall. On July 31, 2014, Dynacraft recalled 3,100 Avigo 20-inch Turn N’ Burn Youth bicycles (Model No. 8107-62), sold exclusively at Toy “R” Us stores, stating that the front wheel can detach, causing a child to fall. Dynacraft is aware of at least one incident, in which a child sustained minor injuries after falling as a result of the wheel becoming detached. Consumers are advised to immediately discontinue use of the bike, and contact Dynacraft to arrange for a free repair. To view more information, see the CPSC’s Dynacraft Recall Summary.
Mountain Bike Recall. On July 23, 2014, East Coast Cycle Supply recalled 1,800 Trayl TRN 29-inch hardtail mountain bikes, sold exclusively at Sports Authority, stating that the brakes can fail to stop riders within the distances required under federal regulations. East Cost has been notified of at least one non-injury related incident in which the braking system failed to work in accordance with federal standards. Consumers are instructed to immediately stop using the bicycle, and return them to Sports Authority to obtain a free repair. To view more information, see the CPSC’s East Coast Cycle Recall Summary.

In addition to these two recent recalls, there have been more than a dozen other bicycle and bicycle component recalls in 2014 alone. Consumers can protect themselves in two ways. First, register your bike (or your child’s bike) with the manufacturer/distributor, so that you are receive notification in the event of a recall. If you move, be sure to update your information. Second, regularly check for safety recalls by visiting the CPSC’s Recall Website, or at www.recall.gov. It is important to check for recalls yourself, rather than rely on registration-related notifications.

As Bike Injury Attorneys, the Chicago law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. understands that bicycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed in a biking-related incident, it is imperative to have a legal professional review your matter, to determine and/or rule out potential causes, including faulty or defective bicycle components. For more information on personal injury claims involving consumer products, see our Products Liability practice area. You may also contact us with any questions or concerns, by using the form provided on the right-hand-side of this page, or by calling 773-516-4100.

August 18, 2014

Recent Bike Crashes in Chicago Area Raises Concerns over Bicycling Safety

The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have repeatedly voiced our concerns over the safety of bicyclists in our communities. Increased ridership over the past few years has brought not only more accidents, but a wider variation in accident types. While often time we discuss bike crash issues in general terms, our concerns are perhaps better expressed by taking a look back at recent bike crashes that have occurred in the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Motorist kills cyclist at Intersection
On August 18, 2014, a 44-year-old Park Forest resident was struck and killed by a southbound motorist while bicycling eastbound at the intersection of 55th Street on Central Avenue in the Garfield Ridge community. Police cited the motorist for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Bike trail Accident kills bicyclist
On August 9, 2014, a 42-year-old un-helmeted bicyclist sustained fatal head trauma as a result of a bike trail accident. Forest Preseve officials say that the man fell from is bike after swerving to avoid an oncoming bicyclist, as he was attempting to pass a jogger.

Tractor-trailer collides with bicyclist
On August 7, 2014, a 55-year-old man was pronounced dead, three days after being stuck by a semi tractor-trailer in the Archer Heights neighborhood. Officials say the victim was pinned underneath the truck that hit him, as he rode his bicycle in the afternoon hours near Archer and Lawndale Avenues.

Metra train kills bicyclist at crossing
On July 31st, a Metra train on the Union pacific NW, headed from Chicago to Barrington, struck and killed a woman in Des Plaines, as she was riding her bicycle south across the tracks. Officials say they are investigating the incident to confirm whether the safety mechanisms at the crossing were in proper working order at the time of the incident.

The accidents listed above are just a few of the bike accidents reported in the past three weeks alone. Going back even further, the Chicago bicycle accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. provide more examples of the diversity in both injury and crash type that continue to plague bicyclists:

DUI hit-and-run driver collides with child bicyclist
On June 13, 2014, a 70-year-old woman struck a child on the 7700 block of Wheeler Drive in Orland Park. Officials say the woman did not stop to help the child, and instead choose to drive home. She was later charged with driving under the influence, and hit-and-run related charges for failing to render assistance to the child.

Truck strikes and kills bicyclist
On July 3, 2014, a 28-yearold woman was killed after being struck by a truck near the intersections of Belmont and Cicero Avenues in Portage Park. The victim was transported to the Illinois Mason Hospital with multiple injuries, where she later died.

Bicyclist killed in Crash with motorcyclist
On July 2, 2014, a bicyclist and a motorcyclist collided at the 1600 block of Church Street, between Orrington and Chicago Avenues in Evanston. The victim, a 55-year-old woman, who was a children’s librarian at the Evanston library, was transported to the hospital, where she died from her injuries two days later.

Hit-and-run driver kills bicyclist
On June 2, a 40-year-old man was struck from behind and killed as the victim was bicycling in Forest Park on Harlem Avenue, near 14th Street. Witnesses say, the motorist, who left the scene of the accident appeared to be speeding. The unoccupied vehicle was later found in Berwyn. On June 5th, 21-year-old Joel Mendoza was charged in connection with the incident.

As injury attorneys, these accidents validate our concerns over the safety of our residents. Quite simply, bicycling in most Chicago Metropolitan area is dangerous, and we feel that more needs to be done about it. If you suffered an injury, lost a loved one due to a fatality, or simply have a question about bike safety, we encourage you to contact Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., either online, or by calling 773-516-4100.

August 11, 2014

Fatal Bicycle Accident Raises Concerns over Trail Safety

The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. discuss the issue of the growing number of bike trail and bike path accidents in the Chicago area. In particular, we address the topic of bike pathway and trail incidents caused by what we refer to as ‘avoidance-related’ factors. Our use of the term ‘avoidance-related’ refers to actions taken by a bicyclist in attempt to avoid striking an oncoming pedestrian, bicyclist, or object, which as a result of such efforts, causes a subsequent fall or collision.

Avoidance-related accidents have long been a concern for cyclists that travel upon roadways. For example, swerving to avoid a vehicle that suddenly stops, only to strike an oncoming pedestrian, or worse yet, be struck by an oncoming vehicle. Likewise, attempting to avoid a dooring accident, which causes the bicyclist to fall, or collide with a person or object. These are just a few avoidance-related issues along roadways—now consider the same along bike paths and bike trails.

For explanatory purposes, we discuss a recent fatal bike accident that occurred along a Will County Forest Preserve Trail, as reported by the Chicago Tribune:

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August 6, 2014

Bicyclist Negligence: Traffic Law and Bike Regulation Violations

The Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. comment on an important inquiry often presented by bike crash victims: ‘Can violating a traffic law or bicycle regulation impact my personal injury claim?’ Generally speaking this question can be answered with a ‘YES,’ however, the better response is really ‘DEPENDS.’ While part of safe and responsible bicycling requires adherence to both state and local law, not every unlawful action will play a role in the outcome of a personal injury claim.

In some cases, the law expressly exempts a particular violation from being presented as evidence in civil claims extending from an accident or injury. For example, many Chicagoland communities that require minors to wear helmets have set forth an evidentiary exclusion for child helmet-use law violations. Pursuant to town/village code for Barrington, Cicero, Inverness, and Oak Park, violation of a child helmet law:

‘shall not constitute negligence, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence, or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation of any bicycle, nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any civil action.’

In other cases, the law provides no exemption for presenting evidence of a specific violation, however the violation has little or no bearing on a case, or is altogether irrelevant to an issue in dispute, and therefore inadmissible.In other words, an opposing party would generally be unsuccessful in defending a claim based solely on the fact that a bicyclist has committed a violation, without some logical connection between the wrongful act and the accident or injury.

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August 4, 2014

Increase in Bike Messenger Services poses Safety Risk to Pedestrians

The Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have decades of experience representing victims in a diverse range personal injury matters. As the city continues to enhance infrastructure and improve safety, more and more residents are turning to eco-friendly modes of transportation such as walking or biking. With more bicyclists and pedestrians has come not only more accidents, but a wider variation in the types of accidents. While in previous years, it was more common to see incidents of a motorist striking a pedestrian or bicyclist, we have begun to see increasing numbers of incidents involving bicyclists colliding with pedestrians.

Recently, we expressed our concerns of the growing numbers of bike path accidents, in which a path or trail user sustains injury after being struck by a bicyclist. However, another trend that we find highly concerning is the risk for pedestrian injury caused by the ever-increasing presence of messengers, couriers, and similar bicycle delivery persons. Bike messenger accidents are unique, because, unlike other types of bicyclist-versus-pedestrian incidents, the victim may be covered under a liability insurance policy held by the messenger service.

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July 31, 2014

Bicycle Helmet Laws in Chicagoland – Part I

Given the profound impact that helmets have on the reduction of serious injury and fatality, the Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. encourage the use of helmets for all bicyclists, and support legislative efforts that would make helmet use a requirement for children. As legal professionals and bicycle enthusiasts ourselves, we take note of some confusion regarding helmet use laws which are shared by many Illinois residents that reside in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Presented in two parts, we first address general concerns and possible reasons for misconceptions of the law. To view information regarding bike helmet use laws in specific Chicagoland communities, see Part II.

Distinguishing between state and local law In order to understand the law regarding the use of helmets while bicycling, it is necessary to consider both state and local laws. Currently there is no statewide law requiring the use of helmets in Illinois. However, pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code sec.11-208(8), local authorities have the power to regulate the operation of bicycles with respect to the streets and highways under their jurisdiction. Nearly a dozen communities have enacted local laws regarding helmet use.

Prior attempts to enact statewide legislation Efforts to make the use of helmets, for certain minors, a requirement under state law, have been ongoing in Illinois for well over a decade. For many, such efforts may have contributed to confusion regarding the current status of the law, particularly in light of widespread discussion and media attention on the topic. Further, support by community activist groups is ongoing, and it is very likely that the issue over bicycle helmet laws will be revisited in the (near) future.

Lack of compiled data (local law) Locating state law pertaining to helmet use can be found in Illinois Vehicle Code. Determining the status of pending laws can be found at www.ilga.gov. However, ascertaining the bike helmet laws, if a particular city, town, village, or municipality has enacted any, requires review of the ordinance/code in each individual area. We feel that our communities would benefit greatly if the state were to compile accurate statewide data, and make such information available through reliable and/or government-affiliated resources.

Improper information In conjunction with our contention in the previous paragraph, although some online resources have attempted to compile statewide data, the problem is that many provide inaccurate or outdated information, or fail to provide updated information. For example, in discussing 'safety laws,' the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles misstates the law regarding helmet use requirements. Further, many other online resources have failed to incorporate amendments to local law.

Ongoing Improvement While the lack of data and/or resources that provide current, complete, accurate, and reliable information is certainly troubling, we find this issue will become more problematic, as many more Chicago area cities implement regulatory revisions that extend from community development efforts related to bike planning, safety, and infrastructure.

To continue reading more on this topic, as well as find information on helmet-use laws in your community, see 'Bicycle Helmet Laws in Chicagoland - Part II.'

July 31, 2014

Bicycle Helmet Laws in Chicagoland – Part II

The Bicycling Accident & Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. continue our discussion on bicycle helmet laws in Chicagoland communities. The need for clarity on this topic extends from several key observations, which we feel have contributed to the difficulty in understanding whether or not the use of a helmet while bicycling is required by law. As discussed in Part I, these issues include: distinguishing between state and local law; multiple failed attempts to enact statewide legislation; recent/ongoing amendments to local laws; improper information provided through online resources; and general lack of resources that compile statewide data.

First and foremost, it is important to know, that as of the date of this post, there are no statewide laws regarding helmet use that apply universally to all types of bicyclists, or all areas of Illinois. However, there are many areas have enacted local laws pertaining to helmet use, including legal requirements based upon age or type of road user, as well as those that are strictly incentive-based.

Age-based Helmet Use Laws
Chicagoland communities that require the use of helmets based upon age, have set forth such regulations using language substantially similar to the following format:

Every person under the age of [16,17,18] shall:
  1. wear a protective helmet;
  2. that meets the standards of American National Standards Institute; American Society for Testing and Materials; Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.; other nationally recognized standards;
  3. whenever the bicyclist is
    • upon a public highway, sidewalk, bicycle path or other public right of way within the corporate limits of the [city, town, village] and is riding; or
    • being carried on any bicycle or any carrier attached to or pulled by a bicycle.

As of 2014, the following local helmet-use laws were in effect, grouped according to age:

  • Under the age of 18:
    • Evanston (City Code of Ordinances, sec. 10-9-5)
  • Under the Age of 17:
    • Oak Park (Village Code, sec. 15-2-23)
  • Under the age of 16:
    • Barrington (Village Code, sec. 6-6-5)
    • Cicero (Town Code of Ord., sec. 94-542)
    • Inverness (Village Code sec. 11-1-9)
    • River Forest (Village Code, sec. 9-4-8)
    • Skokie (Village Code of Ord., sec. 106-233(d))

Road-use based Bicycle Helmet Laws
In some areas of Chicagoland, bike messengers are required to use helmets when operating a messenger service, or carrying out the duties as an employee for a messenger service. In particular, Chicago requires the use of helmets for messenger services being operated with the central district pursuant to Chicago's Municipal Code of Ordinance, sec. 4-168-070.

Incentive based
In contrast to local law which require the use of helmets, some areas of Illinois have bicycle helmet-use ordinances that are incentive-based. For example, sec 23-101 of Libertyville's Municipal Code provides:

The chief of police shall direct police officers to periodically conduct educational programs and offer incentives to youths wearing appropriate helmets and safety equipment while bicycling.

The Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. support local efforts aimed at increasing the use of bike helmets, particularly for children, whether regulatory or incentive based. According to the ICAAP Bicycle Helmet Fact Sheet, created in support of recent attempts to enact a statewide child helmet-use law, nearly 90% of middle-school aged children reported riding a bike within the past 12 months. However, despite the fact that nearly three-quarters of all fatal bike crashes involve head injury, less than 25% of children wear bicycle helmets.

If you were the victim of a bicycling-related accident, let our experienced team of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers review your matter and explain your legal rights to financial compensation. Contact us online, or by calling 773-516-4100.

July 14, 2014

Poor Maintenance of Bike Lanes Creates Hazards for Cyclists says Chicago Attorney

As Chicago continues to install more bike lanes, many are worried about the city’s ability to keep up with lane maintenance issues. While a number of cyclists have already voiced their concerns by filing a complaint with the Chicago Department of Transportation, others have opted to simply forego the use of routes where the lack of maintenance presents safety hazards. As Bicycle Accident Attorneys, the injury team of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. takes note of current problems associated with poor maintenance of bike lanes, but at the same time, also have uncertainties over plans for the construction of more infrastructure in the coming months and years.

There are a variety of maintenance issues, some which are associated specifically to bike lane location, but many more which are dependent on the time of the year. In warmer seasons, critical problems include: roadway debris, such as garbage or broken glass; roadway surface conditions, such as potholes or cracks in pavement; as well as the persistence of pavement-marking issues, particularly along unprotected lanes (i.e. disappearing white lines),.Many cyclists have reported bent rims, flat tires, and other bicycle damage, caused by poor maintenance of bike lanes. Most concerning though, is the risk of injury or fatality, due to the increased potential for bike accidents caused by such hazards.

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