In a hotly disputed case, the bicycle injury lawyers at Peter Higgins Law defeated three different attempts by the Defendant, the Illinois Village of Lake Bluff, to have the case thrown out, then was able to obtain a $600,000 settlement for our client who was injured while riding his bicycle on a bike path in Lake Bluff.
The bike path was overgrown with bushes and trees, making it difficult to see people coming toward you from the opposite direction. As our client was about to pass a patch of heavy vegetation, a boy pushed his bike out from behind the bushes into our client’s lane, causing a collision and sent our client flying over his handlebars, landing on his head. He sustained fractures to the bones in his neck and had to have fusion surgery.
Peter Higgins Law took on the case, knowing it would be an uphill battle because municipalities, like Lake Bluff, are immune from liability in personal injury cases unless you can prove they acted “willfully and wantonly,” meaning either (1) they deliberately and intentionally tried to harm someone (which was, thankfully, never the case), or (2) their actions showed an “utter indifference to, or conscious disregard for, the safety of others.” Typically, the only way to prove this is by showing that they knew about the danger and failed to do anything about it.
Because of this higher standard of proof, Lake Bluff strongly denied fault. The injury lawyers at Peter Higgins Law scoured through Lake Bluff’s records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and discovered that Lake Bluff had been warned on two separate occasions within 7 months of our client’s crash about the dangerous condition of the overgrown vegetation.
Lake Bluff attempted three separate motions to have the case dismissed, but the evidence and our lawyer's arguments were successful in having the judge agree with us and deny each motion in turn. After their last attempt, Lake Bluff agreed to a mediation and the case ended up settling for $600,000.
While, on an individual level, the team at Peter Higgins Law appreciates that the client was thrilled to get this settlement, even more satisfying to Peter Higgins Law is the fact that this case provides an incentive for communities like Lake Bluff to do a better job of maintaining their bike paths going forward. A win for our client today is a huge win for all bikers in the future.
The veteran team of Peter Higgins Law lawyers is available to assist with your case. From our office in Chicago, we offer free consultations to review the details of your potential case. Let our knowledge and experience of the legal system and bicycle injury law protect your rights. If you have suffered a serious bicycle injury you believe is a result of another party's action, call us at (312) 796-6798, complete our online form or chat with a live representative on this website.