When an innocent bystander is injured or killed in a car accident, determining exactly who is at fault is critical. Many people assume that the driver of the car who caused the crash was reckless or negligent, but that is not always the case.
On Nov. 20, 2008, a young man was outside waiting for public transportation to take him to Chicago State University so that he could attend his night classes. A car that was heading east on Indiana Avenue allegedly hit an ice patch and skidded. The car jumped the curb and ultimately hit the man, who wound up losing a leg as a result of his injuries.
An accident like this may seem pretty straightforward, as there are many accidents throughout the winter season caused by ice or snow. However, this scenario was different. The ice was allegedly caused by water leaking from a nearby water main that the city of Chicago was responsible for maintaining.
The car accident victim is seeking $5 million from the city of Chicago for the injuries he sustained, including the loss of his leg. A ruling on the complaint is expected from the city's City Council Finance Committee. This will bring a long legal battle to an end and hopefully give the innocent victim some peace of mind.
Car accidents aren't always as clear-cut as they seem. People have been injured by speeding cars, only to find out that it was a defective gas pedal and not a reckless driver who caused the injuries. Law enforcement investigates cases where people are injured, but they are concerned only with criminal matters and not incidents that could turn out to have civil consequences. Anyone who is hurt in a car accident should be able to lean on a legal professional to determine exactly who the at-fault party is.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "City could pay $5 million for lost leg accident" Hal Dardick, Apr. 25, 2014