Southern Illinois DOT Worker Receives $2.3M Damages Award After Injury Arising From Near-Collision With a Truck

When you are pursuing a personal injury case, there are lots of pieces to the puzzle that is your damages award. Sometimes, the focus of your damages case falls primarily on proving the actual financial harm you’ve suffered in the past, which may mean presenting lots of evidence regarding the medical care you’ve received and the correct value of that care. Other times, it may be about showing future losses you will incur, which may mean things like expert witness testimony to prove the amount of future lost wages you’ll have. In still other cases, it is about amassing significant evidence in a multitude of these areas in order to get the full amount of damages you deserve, which can potentially reach into the millions. Presenting a strong case when it comes to your damages award is but one aspect of many in which your Illinois truck accident attorney can help you get the most out of your case.

One such plaintiff was Frank, whose case was reported by The Southern Illinoisan. Frank worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation as a flagger. One day in March 2014, Frank, as part of his job, had stopped an Illinois Department of Correction van because DOT employees were trimming trees in the area. While Frank had the van stopped, a pest control truck came up from behind and slammed into the van.

The flagger escaped being hit or run over by the vehicle because he dove out of the way when the truck hit the van. In the process, though, he did major damage to his right shoulder. Doctors did surgery to repair the rotator cuff injury Frank had suffered, but Frank nevertheless developed a condition in his shoulder after the surgery. That condition was a result of scar tissue forming abnormally in the shoulder, causing both pain and limitation regarding his use of the joint.

Frank sued both the truck driver and the driver’s employer, the pest control company. In his case, Frank contended that the truck driver engaged in “willful and wanton conduct.” To support this assertion, he offered proof that the truck driver encountered at least three DOT work zone warning signs and at least three other signs warning drivers they were entering a 20-mph school zone. According to Frank, the truck driver ignored all of these signs and continued forward at a high rate of speed until he crashed into the DOC van.

In Frank’s case, the evidence he presented covered multiple different types of damages. Based on the proof he submitted, the jury concluded that he had suffered in excess of $116,000 in past medical damages, $1,500,000 for past and future lost earnings, $375,000 for past and future pain and suffering, and $375,000 for past and future “loss of normal life.” In Illinois, an injured plaintiff can pursue a claim for loss of normal life or for disability, but not for both. Depending on the individual facts of your case, one may be more advantageous to you than the other, so it is important to make this choice carefully.

The Southern Illinoisan reported that, at $2.366 million, Frank’s damages total was the highest ever awarded in a personal injury case in Jackson County.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, talk to the skilled Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck. Our attorneys have been working with injured pedestrians, passengers, and drivers to get fair recoveries in their auto accident cases. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Four common construction site injuries, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, March 22, 2015

Road workers and the risks they face in Illinois, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Oct. 16, 2014