Dennis’s Law And Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Founder Mike Keating played a key role in the passage of important legislation
Keating Law Offices, P.C. is dedicated to fighting for the rights of bicycle accident victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Our bicycle accident attorneys are determined to make sure they get the help and financial compensation they deserve. Our commitment to bicyclists extends beyond working hours. We also advocate for legislation that can help keep them safe.
On May 18, 2015, Dennis Jurs was enjoying a bike ride in Hampshire Township, Illinois. Dennis was 68 years old. He was an Army veteran who had been injured in the Vietnam War, and was a recipient of the Purple Heart. He loved bicycling and had 30 years of experience on the road.
On that afternoon, Dennis was struck and killed by an SUV at the intersection of Allen and Walker roads. Police were called to the scene of the bicycle accident, and the driver of the SUV was ticketed for failing to yield the right-of-way. The driver said he had stopped at the stop sign for Walker Road but did not see Dennis coming from his right.
The driver challenged the ticket in court, and in October 2015 a Kane County judge dismissed it. The judge ruled that right-of-way laws in the Illinois Vehicle Code did not apply to bicyclists, citing non-traffic related cases that held a bicycle did not meet the legal definition of a “vehicle.”
A call for change
Dennis’s family was shocked. They felt that something had to be done. The family’s attorney, Michael Keating – himself an avid bicyclist – began working with legislators and lobbyists on a new law that would recognize the rights of bicyclists on the road. Keating even wrote the first draft of the bill.
State Representative Anna Moeller sponsored the bill, which passed both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois State Senate with only one vote opposed. On August 12, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law.
As a result, it is now the law - bicyclists have the same rights to the right-of-way as motorists in Illinois.
Laws alone do not change the attitudes or behaviors of motorists. Our work is not done. Motorists still fail to treat bicycles as vehicles and treat them as a nuisance – if they notice them at all. They still fail to yield the right-of-way to bicycles. As a result, accidents happen that leave bicyclists with serious injuries.
We fight for the rights of injured bicyclists
A bicycle accident can change someone’s life in an instant. A bicyclist is left injured and in need of medical treatment. Injuries can include broken bones, head and brain injuries, neck injuries, back and spinal cord injuries. Bicyclists are often left unable to work for some time. Recovery can take months or years. Some are left with a permanent disability.
Our attorneys build strong cases that hold negligent drivers accountable. We fight insurance companies to help injured bicyclists recover the financial compensation they need and deserve for their injuries so they can heal and move forward. Keating Law Offices is committed to helping injured bicyclists get the best possible outcome.
The Dennis Jurs Memorial Race is held every July in Elgin, where Dennis had helped organize and lead many bike races. The Neighborhood Association of Elgin (NENA) continues to host this race with the support of the Jurs family to remember and honor Dennis and his passion for bicycling.