Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Written and Reviewed by Peter Zneimer

Wandering around Chicago, one will witness firsthand the micromobility revolution.  In high traffic areas, everywhere you look in Chicago you will see people riding e-scooters, e-bikes  and pedal  bikes.  The surge in micromobility is fueled by corresponding surge of on-demand bicycle and e-scooter networks such as Divvy, Lime and Spin flooding the city.  Such services, hypothetically, offer young, solo riders an easy, cheap, and eco-friendly way to take way to take short trips.  Over 4 million e- scooter trips have been recorded in Chicago since 2022.

Along with the benefits come with many safety risks. The rise of micromobility vehicles has been accompanied by emergency room visits by users of these vehicles. The e-scooter injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have experienced first hand the rise of e-scooter accidents with injuries by the number of call we are getting.   Anyone driving a car or walking around Chicago has most likely had a close call with a Divvy bike or  a Lime, Spin, Divvy E-scooter.  One of the major problems with micromobility is the limited number of protected bike lanes in Chicago.  Most of the so called bike-ways are at best, a painted bike lane that runs parallel to the parked car lane. At worst, the bike-way is simply a street with a bike painted on it.  This state of affairs leads to micromobility commuters being exposed to getting hit by a motor vehicle.  Damen Ave. and Lincoln Ave. are examples of  bike-ways with painted on bike lanes that offer minimal protections.  Damen Ave. in particular goes from wider bike lanes, to narrower bike lanes to bike lanes so narrow they barely afford room for a bike and car to fit on the road.

Electric scooter use has risen dramatically in Chicago over the last few years. The popularity of  electric scooters is spurred by the introduction of shared services such as Divvy, Lime and Spin.  These scooters are left on the on sidewalks and streets and can be unlocked with a smartphone app. When a user is done with their trip they can just leave the scooter at their destination.  With this surge of e-scooter usage has been accompanied by a surge in e-scooter related emergency room visits.

It is easy to see how susceptible to injury scooter riders are.  E-scooters travel up to 20 MPH and some travel even faster.  Scooter injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C., was recently driving down Peterson Ave. in Chicago going about 25 MPH when he was passed by an e-scooter going at least 30 MPH.    On top of that, e-scooters have small wheels that require smooth surfaces to ride on.  As any resident of Chicago can attest, potholes and rough surfaces are everywhere on Chicago streets. When the small wheels of a e-scooter hit a pothole or rough surface, the rider is likely to be thrown hard on to the pavement. If a person falls off an e-scooter on to the pavement at these speeds it is almost guaranteed to be injuries. The most common injuries are cuts, scraps, bruises, fractures and head injuries.

There were approximately  42,200 emergency room visits in the United States in 2021 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This represents an increase of 66% over 2020. The increase in injures for children under 16.  Because of the high risk of injury, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 should not be allowed to ride electric scooters.

Written and reviewed by Peter Zneimer, Zneimer & Zneimer P.C.

The bike lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. observe that there are more bicyclists on the road than ever and with that more bicycle injuries than ever. Chicago, like other major USA cities has made a major push to encourage people to ride bicycles and have added hundreds of miles of bike lanes to Chicago streets. The push is bearing fruit.  A study by the Chicago Department of Transportation has shown that biking is up 119% in Chicago between the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2023.  The comprehensive survey also showed that bicycle trips are up 117% for shopping, 93% for eating out and 8% for commuting to work.

Though other major US cities may have invested more in bike infrastructure in the past, Chicago maybe catching up.  According to CDOT, last year the city of Chicago completed 27 miles of new and protected bike lanes and 18 miles of greenways with more bike lanes planned.  Bicycle advocates argue that the data shows that improvements in bike infrastructure lead to large increases of bike use and that if the city keeps improving the infrastructure, bike usage will continue to grow in the future.

A recent study done by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety indicates that the rise of pedestrian deaths in recent years could be attributable to the rise in popularity of larger vehicles.  The authors of the study conjecture that poor visibility  and blind spots that these vehicles have could be a major factor in their findings.  The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer  have noticed that many of their pedestrian injury cases did in fact involve SUV’s and pick-up trucks.

The statistics are striking. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 6,519 pedestrians were killed in the United States in 2020.  That represents an astounding 59% increase since 2009.  Over the same period of time the sales of SUV’s and pickup trucks rose dramatically, now accounting for almost 50% of all new vehicles sold.

A North Carolina study was done from 2010 and 2018 that demonstrated the impact of SUV’s and pickup trucks on pedestrian injuries.  This study found that  pickup trucks were 42% more likely to hit pedestrians when making a left turn and  SUV’s were 23% more likely to hit a pedestrian.  Experts conjecture that this disparity is that the larger vehicles have poorer viability.    SUV’s and pickup trucks have A-Pillars which can block viability.  Additionally, Consumer Reports found that truck hoods have risen 15% since 2000.  The magazine also found that the Ford F-250 was a staggering 55 inches off the ground which is as tall as the roofs of many cars.  The high hoods obstruct the view of people walking in front of the truck, especially if the pedestrians and are short  or are children.


The Chicago Tribune recently published an article with the results of a study they conducted which seem to indicate that Chicago police tend not to issue tickets in pedestrian and cyclist crash cases.   The Tribune study of Chicago police data shows that out of more than 4,000 crashes between 2018 and November 2023 only 26% resulted in a traffic ticket or more serious charges.  The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer, PC see many police reports and we observe that the police rarely actually witness the accident. When the police arrive on the scene of the crash, they interview the parties involved and the witnesses to determine what happened.  From experience, the lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer PC have observed that when there is an independent witness who will assign fault to one party or the other, then the police will be more likely to issue a ticket. Usually if there is no independent witness and both parties are blaming each other, then the police officer will not give a ticket to either party. Of course the injured pedestrian or cyclist can hire a personal injury lawyer to make a claim against the at fault motorist for damages.  If the motorist’s insurance company denies the claim then the injured party’s lawyer can file a lawsuit and have the case decided by a jury.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has  accelerated improvements on the roadways in Chicago, adding more protected bike lanes, pedestrian islands and speed bumps.  However, infrastructure improvements can only go so far in protecting pedestrians and cyclists.  Chicago Department of Transportation’s data shows that most traffic deaths involve motorists who were driving recklessly.  Almost 60% of the traffic deaths involved speeding.  Astonishingly, more than half of the pedestrian deaths in Chicago were hit and run crashes with the motorist fleeing the scene of the crash.

The Illinois Supreme Court case of Galarza v. Direct Auto Insurance Co. represents a significant judicial decision impacting uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Illinois. This case arose from an incident where Cristopher Guiracocha, a minor, was injured by an uninsured motorist while riding his bicycle.  His father’s automobile insurer, Direct Auto Insurance denied coverage to Christopher arguing that he was not insured since he was on a bicycle and not in a vehicle at the time of the accident.

The Circuit Court initially granted summary judgment in favor of Direct Auto, agreeing with their argument that UM coverage did not apply as Cristopher was not an occupant of a covered vehicle at the time of the accident.

On appeal, the issue centered on whether the policy’s limitation of UM coverage to insureds occupying an “insured automobile” violated section 143a of the Illinois Insurance Code and was against public policy. The appellate court reversed the circuit court’s decision, finding that the policy’s terms were inconsistent with the statute and public policy, mandating broad UM coverage for “persons insured” under an auto insurance policy.


Tragically, there have been three fatal bicycling related crashes in Cook County in the last three weeks.   The latest fatal bicycle accident occurred on October 23, 2023 at 8:00 pm in the 5100 block of N. Damen in Chicago.  This stretch of Damen Ave. is a very congested area, and there are only painted on bike lanes. This area is also notorious for crashes and close calls between bicyclists and cars.  The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. observe that it is well know that Chicago has a bad reputation for bike safety.  A bike safety advocacy group called PeopleForBikes assessed 163 large cities on how safe the cities were for cyclists and assigned a score.  The score was determined based on a cities grid connection and intersection safety, the number of protected bike lanes and the cities speed limits along with other factors.  The study ranked Chicago 161 out of 163 large cities for “bikeability” in 2023.  The city scored poorly in creating connecting bike lane routes,  providing protected bike lanes and establishing access to all neighborhoods and fundamental services.

Another big factor as to why Chicago scored so low is that PeopleForBikes assessment automatically considered a painted bike lane on a street with a 30 mph speed limit to be dangerous.  Since the default speed limit for streets in Chicago is 30 mph, almost all painted bike lanes in Chicago are considered dangerous by this standard.  The reason for this is that painted bike lanes typically run next to parked cars which expose the biker to being doored into the moving traffic or a bicyclist may have to make a sharp maneuver into moving traffic to avoid the door.  In such instances it would be much safer for the bicyclist if traffic were moving slower.

Chicago bicycle safety advocacy groups such as Active Transportation Alliance have been pushing for the completion of a fully interconnected bike network with protected bike lanes that would connect all of the cities neighborhoods.  Though such a network is far from reality, the good news for bicyclists is that Chicago  Mayor Brandon Johnson and many members of the city counsel have publicly supported a full bike network that would connect the whole city.  The bicycle accident lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. support the completion of a network of protected bike lanes in Chicago to help prevent deaths and serious injuries from bicycle accidents in the future.


Chicago personal injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. notes that one of the most common causes of pedestrian injury cases is when a driver makes a right turn on red and strikes a pedestrian or pedestrians who are walking in the crosswalk to the right of the driver. The problem is that when drivers make a right turn on red, their attention is focused to the left to watch for approaching cars.  When a driver sees that there are no approaching cars or that an approaching car is far enough back to make the right hand turn, his focus is still to the left to make sure that it is safe.  Then the driver is supposed to look to see if there are pedestrians in the crosswalk to the left. A recent study published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspective in May of 2023,  illustrated why right turns on red are so problematic.  The study concluded that “at red-light turns, driver attention was heavily skewed toward the leftward traffic.”  Additionally, the pedestrians may feel a false sense of safety and may not be looking out for cars since they have the walk signal.

Studies that looked into the effects of right on red on pedestrian safety  bear out the dangers of allowing right on red.  A study conducted by the Journal of Safety in 1982 after right on red was implemented in many states found that; accidents rose 40% for pedestrians and 82% for bikes in New York State. Likewise in Wisconsin, the figures were 107% for pedestrians and 72% bicyclists.  And finally,  Ohio saw an increase of accidents of 57% for pedestrians and 80% for bicyclists.  The statistics show that there were dramatic increases of pedestrian accidents after the implementation of right on red.

The city of New York has already banned the practice of right on red and San Francisco and Los Angles are considering a ban.  The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. suggest that Chicago put pedestrian safety first and seriously consider of taking the lead and ban right on red in the city of Chicago.


Car accidents can be devastating, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek legal representation right away. At Zneimer & Zneimer, our experienced car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping clients receive the compensation they deserve.

Impaired driving is a leading cause of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 10,142 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This represents 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. In addition to alcohol, drug-impaired driving is also a growing problem. In 2019, 14.8 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

At Zneimer & Zneimer, we understand the devastating impact that impaired driving accidents can have on victims and their families. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in car accident cases involving impaired drivers. We will investigate the incident thoroughly, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Compensation for car accident injuries can include medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering. In cases involving impaired driving, victims may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish the at-fault driver and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek legal representation right away. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide you with the support you need during this difficult time. Continue reading

Our personal injury lawyers handle many accidents caused by impaired driver.  Many impairments result from intoxicating substances recently taken or still lingering in the driver’s body.  According to Illinois Secretary of State statistics, in 2020

  • 254 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, which was approximately 21% of the 1,195 total crash fatalities
  • 20,131 DUI arrests were recorded by the Secretary of State’s office
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