Dennis’ Law Affords Cyclists the Same Protection as Illinois Motorists

Attorney Blog

In 2015, a 68-year old man, Dennis Jurs, was tragically killed while driving his bicycle in Hampshire, Illinois. In spite of the fact that the driver who hit him had a stop sign and Dennis did not, a Kane County judge dismissed the ticket against the driver because Dennis was not driving a “vehicle” as defined by  the Illinois Vehicle Code. In essence, the driver did not have to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle, only to a vehicle.

ghost bike

Dennis Jurs was one of many bicyclists injured or killed each year. In 2014, 726 people lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes, equal to just under 2 people every day. In the same year, approximately 50,000 people were injured in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes.

In reaction to Dennis’ tragic death, Dennis’ Law came to being. This new law, which will take effect January 1, 2017, assigns the same right-of-way privileges to cyclists that are currently enjoyed by motorists. To read the government decision click here. Simply put, Dennis’ Law grants all of the rights enjoyed by drivers of motor vehicles to cyclists.

This is an important change in Illinois law for both criminal and civil cases. On the criminal side, a driver does not get to evade responsibility simply because he or she hit a bicycle as opposed to another vehicle or pedestrian. On the civil side, violation of a statute can be evidence of negligence per se where there is a rebuttable presumption that, because the defendant violated a law, it is presumed he or she was negligent.

This of course does not mean that you do not have a personal injury case until the new law takes effect. The current law still allows a cyclist to pursue a personal injury claim regardless of what the Illinois Vehicle Code currently says. If you were injured in a bicycle crash, make sure to contact a personal injury attorney who can fully explain your rights under the current laws and remember to keep those helmets on!



I’ve had to know a few attorneys in my life and Jon was the best.

Unfortunately, I got badly injured at an athletic job. Run by a company that didn’t care about me. I needed an attorney and Woodruff, Johnson and Evans was recommended to me by a family member. That small gesture ended up being the best legal advice I ever received. Jon Walker defended me and made sure […]

Marko P.

I wouldn’t have gotten the relief from my injury if Jay had not gotten involved.

I was referred to Woodruff, Johnson & Evans by a friend after a work related car accident. The workmen comp adjuster was giving me the run around. I was having terrible back pain but because it was work related my doctors could not provide me the treatment I need. Jay Johnson began investigating my case […]

Randel M

Outstanding job for my mother and me.

Very professional. Was referred to me by my mother. Did an outstanding job for my mother and me. Great service!

Valente G

Russ was the best!

Russ was the best! I got his number from my cousin. Best phone call I ever made! Always there for anything I needed and got all my bills paid and some compensation for me! Highly recommend.

Timothy F

Thank you for a good service!!

Steve Sandler presented himself professionally with good rapport and showed concern for my well being. I will definitely recommend him to others!! Thank you!!

Sherifat O

This man knows what he is doing.

I can’t say enough about Jon Walker. He took my case after being denied. Told me everything I had to do and kept me calm during the wait and got me approved! If you want a professional lawyer who knows how to get you approved call WOODRUFF JOHNSON & EVANS I cannot thank you enough […]

Steve G

Far beyond what I expected!

Russ Haugen helped me far beyond what I expected. He was polite and communicated with me every step of the way. Thank you for everything!

Mikahl S

I really felt like I had an ally!

Jon Walker represented me in a Work Comp case. I really felt like I had an ally and someone who was going to protect me and my rights after I was injured at work. Jon was extremely attentive and available to me when I had questions or needed advice throughout the entire process. Also, Jon […]

Juli T

Recommendation to Blessing

I had a lawyer working on my insurance claim that was extremely unprofessional and after 8 months of getting nowhere, I fired him. Dexter Evans was recommended to me by a family member. He was extremely professional and made the insurance claim very easy for me. He was very informative and always got back to […]

Brooke D

I am forever Grateful for this Firm!

I am forever Grateful for this Firm. Steven Sandler stayed on top of my auto accident. I was kept informed on every thing. They were there for me and I will be sure to recommend them. Thank you!!!

Lisa R
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation