A Chicago Driver Receives a $4.75M Settlement After Her Collision With a Municipal Garbage Truck

Legal News GavelWhen you are hurt in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, there are two general types of damages to which the law says you may be entitled. Your compensation may come from special damages, general damages, or both. Special damages include things that typically are readily capable of being calculated. This means things like your past and future lost earnings and your past and future medical expenses. General damages include compensation for which the calculation may be less black-and-white. It encompasses things like past and future pain and suffering, disability, and scarring. Even if you did not suffer broken bones or major organ damage, your case may still present evidence indicating that your damages are quite large. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can help you pursue all of the special and general damages to which the law says you are entitled.

The case of Katea, a Chicago area driver, which was reported in the Chicago Tribune, was an example of a circumstance that created the potential for a significant damages award and ultimately did lead to a large settlement. In mid-October 2016, Katea was driving her SUV through Skokie when she was involved in a serious accident. A garbage truck driven by a City of Evanston employee crashed into Katea’s vehicle. Police reports indicated that the eastbound garbage truck crossed a double-yellow center line and sideswiped Katea’s Honda CRV. That impact caused Katea to spin out and hit another vehicle.

Crashes involving large, heavy vehicles like garbage trucks can inflict major injuries because the impacts involved in these crashes are frequently very profound, due to the weight of the truck. According to the Tribune report, Katea’s accident was no exception. Sometimes, those serious injuries may involve major organs or broken bones. Even in an accident without any of those elements, the impact inflicted upon the injured driver can still be life-altering. Katea suffered no broken bones or major organ damage. However, she did suffer substantial nerve damage to one hand. My “hand does not work. My finger doesn’t work,” the woman stated in the report.

Obviously, damage to a hand will not impair all of your daily life activities, but it can impair, if not prohibit, certain kinds of activities. Katea, for example, worked as a cashier and as a home health worker. Lacking a complete ability to use her hand and finger, Katea alleged that she was unable to perform the duties of those jobs and that returning to work was impossible after the crash.

Katea’s case had the potential for a significant award of special damages. She had been unable to work for a considerable time, and she remained unable to do so, due to the nerve damage. Additionally, the injured woman likely incurred a large volume of medical expenses. Her nerve damage had led doctors to perform five surgeries. Additionally, she continued to undergo physical therapy, which would represent an ongoing expense.

All of this proof of significant expenses placed Katea in the position of having a very strong case. As a result, the injured woman and the city agreed to a settlement in which Katea received a payout of $4.75 million.

Sometimes, achieving a successful result in your injury case means taking the dispute all the way to trial. Other times, that successful result can be achieved through a settlement. Either way, it pays to make sure you have skillful Illinois truck accident attorneys on your side from the beginning. The experienced Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck can help you handle your auto accident case and seek the compensation you deserve. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Fatal Chicago-Area Police Chase Accidents Lead to Two Deaths and a Pair of Multi-Million Dollar Settlements, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, March 19, 2018

Southern Illinois DOT Worker Receives $2.3M Damages Award After Injury Arising From Near-Collision With a Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 10, 2018