One of my favorite things about being a Chicago bicycle injury attorney is having a client tell me how “pleasantly surprised” they are by the size of the settlement I obtain for them. To me, this is the best indication that I’m doing my job well.
Recently, Chicago Bike Law Firm secured a $190,000.00 settlement for a client who fractured his collarbone in a bike crash. He was proceeding southbound down one of the city’s busier North-South streets when he was struck in the middle of an intersection by a driver heading northbound that was in the process of turning left at the intersection. This is a classic example of an all too common bike crash typically referred to as a “left cross.”
The driver was indisputably at fault, and no one from the driver’s insurance company or legal team ever suggested otherwise. In spite of this clear liability, the insurance company started off by giving us the runaround. They said that our client’s recovery would be limited by his “pre-existing conditions.” He had fractured his collarbone twice before, and one of the times was within less than a year of this accident. They also suggested that surgery and physical therapy wouldn’t be necessary and that the injury wasn’t that serious. In short, they were going to short-change my client and came up with all kinds of reasons to do so.
Of course, I knew better, and so did my client. He was in pain and needed surgery and physical therapy to fix the injuries he suffered at no fault of his own. I diligently fought the insurance company and my client was able to get the surgery and therapy he needed. The insurance company covered all of his medical expenses and though it was the right thing to do, they weren’t happy about it. In addition to covering his medical bills, my client was able to walk away with a substantial cash settlement to compensate him for the loss of a normal life during his recovery.
So, why am I telling you this? Because even when a cyclist is clearly not at fault in a crash, the insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to pay for as little as they can, no matter how unfair it might be. It takes an experienced bike crash injury lawyer to turn an unjustly small offer from an insurance company into a settlement that, in the words of this particular client, was “more than [he] ever could have hoped for.”