The Chainlink

Hit by car, minor injury, but seeking advice how to handle better next time

I was hit by a car in the loop today as I was changing lanes in preparation of a left turn. Injury seems minor, swollen and bruised ankle, but the police did not give the driver a citation. He said it was because I left the bike lane, although in that stretch of Wells, the “bike lane” is the shared right hand lane. Cop wouldn’t even listen to my whole story once he confirmed I left “the bike lane.”

Is there anything I should have done differently?

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Here's a copy of the Illinois Bicycle laws to read over. Not sure if it's up to date. Bicycles are considered vehicles, and drivers should be giving you the right-of-way according to House Bill 5912. If you were hit, you should have went to the hospital. At this point in time, there's nothing to say that you didn't twist your ankle playing soccer. If any long term issues arise from this, you wouldn't have proof of any injury. 

Also, it's best to reach out to an attorney when involved in an accident. If you would like to meet Mike Keating(He's pretty well know as the bicycle attorney), BikeLaneUprising is hosting an anniversary party at his office on Sept. 20th, 6-9pm.

I was checked out by EMTs at the scene. And I have their names.

Here's ATA's after crash page:

http://www.activetrans.org/resources/crash-support/after-crash

It covers pretty much everything you need, definitely contact them if you have any questions. If it were me, I'd file a complaint on the cop.

Thanks. Once the report is published online, I’ll definitely do something if I don’t like how it’s written up. I’m assuming I won’t like it since the senior officer didn’t even let me tell him my whole story. 

You're not required to ride in the bike lane.  I would file a complaint with the officer as well.

The CPD has contempt for cyclists. It's obvious in their lack of enforcement of bike lane violations as well as this typical way they handle collisions. If I failed to do my own job out of some kind of working strike protest- it would be called insubordination. This is why more accountability is sorely needed for the CPD.

The CPD is just as ignorant as the general driving public.  And in my experience, they think cyclists are just a PITA.  They cannot be counted upon to enforce the law objectively.  They are more often our adversaries, unfortunately.

§ 9-52-040 - Yielding right-of-way

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this section, any bicyclist upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near as practicable and safe to the right-hand side of the roadway, except in the following circumstances:

   (2)   when preparing for a left turn

(e) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one- way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left-hand side of such roadway as practicable.

I ride the same route down Wells St. To turn left on to Jackson, I have to cross over to the left hand side. 'Same on my way home on Orleans as I prepare to make a left turn at Kinzie. Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human or animal power, upon any roadway (§ 9-40-160).

Thanks for that! As well as your personal experience. 

Did you get the driver's insurance/ info and plates?

Did you get checked out by your healthcare professional as soon as possible after the crash?

Did you go to the police station and insist that they make out a crash report?

Did you consult with a bicycle law attorney?

Did you take any pictures with your smartphone? 

Did you make a note of the police officer's badge number and name or car beat number?

I got a photo immediately of the driver’s plate, which I think just made her angry.  She refused to show me her license or insurance. Obviously, she had to give that to the cops when they arrived. The police report is supposed to be online tomorrow, but I’m expecting I won’t like it as the senior cop wouldn’t even let me finish talking one he determined I left the so-callled bike lane. 

I got the names of the officers and the EMTs who checked me out. 

I believe the exchange of information is required by law.

From DMV.com:

"If you are involved in an accident in Illinois, you are required to provide certain information to the other parties involved. Likewise, fellow motorists, passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident must share similar information with you. Also, it is often wise to ask for the information of witnesses to the accident just in case you need to have them testify at a later date. The key information to exchange in the aftermath of an accident includes:

  1. Name, address and contact details
  2. Driver license number
  3. License plate number of the vehicles involved
  4. Auto insurance information for the motorists involved.

It may also be useful to take photographs at the scene of the accident."

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