The City of Chicago Pays Settlements of $4M and $3.7M for Two Cases, One Causing a Death and the Other Causing Permanent Paralysis to the Victim

Many times, vehicle accidents involve a limited range of legal options. You can pursue the at-fault driver and his auto insurer… and that could be all. In other situations, though, a vehicle accident may present you with a greater array of legal avenues. If, for example, your injury accident was caused by the driver of a truck or other work vehicle that was doing work for the City of Chicago, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the City of Chicago.

This option of suing the city may greatly enhance your odds of getting a full and fair recovery, whether via verdict or settlement. To learn more about the various legal options available to get the full amount of compensation you deserve, be sure to engage an experienced Chicago injury attorney.

Two accidents that illustrate this point recently ended in settlements. The more recent accident, reported by the Sun-Times, occurred in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Reportedly, the accident victims, 7-year-old S.L. and her mother, J.L. were attempting to cross South Ashland Avenue at West 65th Street. The pair made it only halfway across the street before they were struck by a tractor’s trailer. The accident left the mother with a hip injury but killed the girl.

The evidence unearthed after the accident showed that the owner of the tractor was a private contractor but that the private entity had been hired by the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation to do work. That contract was key as it allowed the mother to include the city in her lawsuit over the accident. Ultimately, the city settled with the mother for $4 million.

Other times, the city’s liability may not involve a truck or any other city-affiliated vehicle. Instead, it may arise from the condition of roads. A 25-year-old woman reportedly suffered paralysis as a result of an accident in the River West area of Chicago. The woman was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 28-year-old man. The man was speeding when his car crashed, hit several objects and plunged over an embankment, falling 25 feet to the ground below.

While the woman’s accident might appear to be 100% the fault of the man due to his negligence in speeding and failing to keep his vehicle under control, the woman’s legal team had evidence that showed that the truth was more complicated. According to an Insurance Journal report, the woman’s evidence pointed to the city as negligent for failing to design and maintain the unprotected embankment near the Chicago River in a safe manner, which was a contributing factor in the car’s 25-foot plunge (and the woman’s severe and permanent injuries.)

The woman’s evidence was very strong, which helped her achieve a favorable settlement of $3.7 million. The mayor stated that it would have been “very, very difficult” for the city to avoid liability if the case had gone to a verdict.

Pursuing governmental entities for liability in work vehicle or truck accident cases can sometimes be much more complicated than pursuing private entities. You need to be certain that you are following all of the proper procedures to ensure that your case doesn’t get dismissed on a technical error. To make sure you and your case are best positioned for success, talk to the skilled Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have many years of effectively representing injured people throughout the Chicago area. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.