Illinois pedestrian accident attorney settles DuPage County lawsuit for $600,000

Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer Gary Annes has reached a $600,000 settlement. The claim stems from a DuPage County automobile vs. pedestrian collision that occurred in Lyle, Illinois in November, 2008. Liability, was difficult and heavily contested in the case.

The pedestrian was struck at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and Center Avenue in an unmarked crosswalk. The intersection is near a METRA train station and frequently crossed by train passengers.

Our client was a pedestrian walking from the nearby train station to his automobile parked in a commuter parking lot. He crossed north from the southwest corner of the intersection toward the northwest corner. He safely crossed the two lanes of eastbound traffic and stood in the median waiting until it was safe to cross the westbound lanes. A car approaching in the centermost westbound lane stopped for him to cross. The pedestrian crossed in front of the stopped car, checked to his right to ensure that it was clear to cross the outside lane of westbound traffic. It was clear and he began to cross the last lane.

At the intersection there was a handicap ramp cut-out of the sidewalk and curb at Center’s intersection with Ogden. However, there was no marked crosswalk at the location and the accident occurred at night. Further, the westbound traffic had no stop sign.

The defendant, a seventy-eight year old gentleman, was driving westbound on Ogden Avenue approaching its intersection with Center Avenue. The pedestrian had safely crossed almost the entire outside lane of traffic and was only a step away from the edge of the road when Defendant struck our client with the front passenger side corner of his vehicle. The force of the impact threw him up on to the windshield of Defendant’s vehicle and then forward and to the right, landing directly in front of another vehicle. The plaintiff was found in a pool of his own blood and transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital.

The Lisle Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. The responding officer spoke with Defendant and a witness about the incident. Defendant admitted to the responding officer that he hit our client and stated that initially he thought he only struck a rock. Defendant admitted that he had not seen the pedestrian at any time before he struck him with his car.

During settlement negotiations we argued as follows:

The defendant failed to exercise any caution in approaching the stopped vehicle in the centermost westbound lane. He failed to keep a proper lookout, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the Plaintiff. Defendant failed to see the pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk even though he had nearly finished crossing the entire lane of traffic when struck by Defendant.

We argued the defendant violated Section 5/11-1002(d) of the Illinois Vehicle Code, which states:

Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

Defendant’s vehicle hit the plaintiff while he was walking across Ogden Avenue in the unmarked pedestrian crosswalk. Defendant failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The Illinois Vehicle Code required that a driver must stop and yield the right of way to a pedestrian when a pedestrian is in a marked or unmarked crosswalk and there are no traffic control signals. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a)

Defendant violated the Illinois Vehicle Code by failing to yield. Had he yielded the right of way, he would not have hit our client.

Our clients injuries sustained in the accident were severe. Following the collision he was found on the side of the road in a pool of his own blood. He was transferred by ambulance to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital.

Upon his arrival at the Emergency Department, he was found to have suffered a temporary loss of consciousness, was suffering from posttraumatic amnesia and was very repetitive and confused. He also had lacerations to the scalp, right shoulder, right upper eyelid, and nostrils; puncture wound to the chin; right eye proptosis; neck tenderness; low back contusions; pelvic pain and tenderness; and deep abrasions to the right elbow and left shin. Staples were used to close the scalp and right shoulder lacerations to stop the immediate bleeding.

The initial assessment consisted of a closed head injury, multiple fractures to the right orbit/eye area, right eyelid laceration, an unstable open book pelvic fracture, a right mid shaft ulna fracture and hematuria from bladder contusion. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Several diagnostic tests were ordered which revealed the severity of the injuries. Our client had a right sided orbital blowout fracture consisting of comminuted fractures of the medial, inferior and lateral orbital walls of the right orbit as well as minimally comminuted fractures of the lamina of the IVC, associated with inferior herniation of the inferior retro-orbital fat and inferior rectus musculature into the maxillary sinus. There was also edema of the inferior rectus muscle, a retro-orbital hemorrhage, and edema of the medial and lateral rectus musculature suggesting intramuscular hematoma. He also had comminuted fractures of the anterior, posterior, lateral and medial walls of the right maxillary sinus with moderate hemorrhage within the right maxillary sinus and a comminuted non-depressed fracture of the right zygoma.

The plaintiff suffered an open book pelvic fracture with approximately 4.5 cm diastases of the pubic symphysis, valgus angulation of the left iliac crest with widening of the left sacroiliac joint, and associated extraperitoneal hematoma, retroperitoneal iliac hematoma, and atelectasis at the lung bases. Additionally, he had a comminuted, displaced fracture of the mid right ulna, hematuria, and a cerebral hemorrhage.

The pedestrian underwent a number of surgical procedures, including an open reduction internal fixation of his pelvic fracture, an open reduction internal fixation of his right ulna fracture, a complex repair of his right upper eyelid, a left sacroiliac joint fixation and complex repair of his numerous facial and orbital fractures.

The plaintiff remained an inpatient for several days before he was discharged from the hospital on November 17, 2008. However, due to the severity of his injuries and the significant limitations on his activities he was transferred from the hospital to Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center where he was admitted as an inpatient for rehabilitation and therapy.

After the plaintiff was discharged from Marianjoy Rehab he still had numerous medical issues.
His condition made it difficult to care for himself, dress himself, or even use the bathroom on his own. He was unable to walk for several months after the collision and then could only walk with the assistance of a walker or a cane for a period of several months.

He will continue to suffer from future pain, as well as achiness, soreness, and discomfort with weather changes. He has several scars from injuries and surgeries as a result of this collision.

After working on the case through written discovery and depositions, the parties underwent settlement negotiations at a mediation. The case settled for $600,000 several weeks after the mediation took place.

If you have been hurt in a pedestrian collision, contact the accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free, no obligation consultation. Call us at 866-99-ABELS to speak to a lawyer now.

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