Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keating Law Offices Settles Case For Pedestrian Struck In Crosswalk for $600,000.00

Intersection of Burlington and Main Street in Downers Grove, Illinois
Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices, P.C. has obtained a $600,000.00 settlement for a Downers Grove woman who was struck in a crosswalk by a turning truck. The incident occurred on February 21, 2014 when the pedestrian was walking to her condominium in downtown Downers Grove after getting off the Metra train. It was a short walk that the regular commuter had done hundreds of times before.

As she was crossing Main Street in the crosswalk, an electrician driving his company's work truck, ran over the pedestrian. At the time of the collision the "Walk" light was lit and she was crossing at the same time as other pedestrians. The truck was traveling westbound on Burlington and made a left-hand turn onto southbound Main Street that required the truck to cross over the Main Street crosswalk. As a result of the impact, the pedestrian was trapped underneath the truck and dragged along the roadway before the driver realized he had hit someone and stopped. The driver of the truck admitted to police that he "did not see" the pedestrian.

The Downers Grove Police Department cited the driver for his failure to yield to the pedestrian. Multiple provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code require motorists to yield to pedestrians within crosswalks. Section 5/11-1002(e) states in part,
“Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11-904 of this Chapter.” 
Section 11-904(b) of the Illinois Vehicle Code also requires drivers approaching a stop sign to come to a complete stop before entering a crosswalk at an intersection and to yield to the right-of-way. Attorney Michael S. Keating attended traffic court with the injured pedestrian and when faced with a credible victim who was severely injured the motorist ultimately chose to plead guilty to the ticket.

The pedestrian suffered severe injuries to her face that required reconstructive surgery and resulted in substantial scarring and other injuries that affect not only her appearance but the sensation and functioning of her facial structure. During the course of investigating the claim, it was learned that the driver of the electrical vehicle was insured with two separate insurance policies that combined for a total of $600,000.00. The insurance companies, however, disputed the extent of the pedestrian's injuries and questioned the precise facts of the collision. After over a year of negotiations, Attorney Keating was able to get the insurance companies to pay the full amount of their insurance policies without a lawsuit.

Keating Law Offices is committed to representing all vulnerable users of the roadway including pedestrians and bicyclists. The firm strongly believes in the importance of safe and accessible roadways for commuters of all types utilizing the roadway. This was an optimal result for a wonderful client who was tragically injured when the driver chose to make an aggressive turn across a crosswalk rather than wait for pedestrians to clear the intersection. This accident that resulted in severe injuries could have been avoided if the driver had simply kept a proper lookout and waited to turn until all vehicles and pedestrians were out of the roadway.