On March 6, 2013, while on her way to a literary event at Lake Forest College, a 72-year old woman was using a crosswalk at the intersection of Sheridan Road and East Scranton Avenue in Lake Forest, Illinois. She checked all directions before entering the crosswalk, and she believed it was safe to cross. Unfortunately, she had no way to know that a distracted driver was speeding toward the intersection on Sheridan Road at that very moment.
According to a witness, the southbound car did not slow down or swerve as it approached the crosswalk where the pedestrian was crossing. The woman was hit and thrown about 50 feet from the intersection, losing consciousness. The same witness said that she did not hear the car’s brakes or horn before the impact, and she saw the woman thrown onto the hood of the car before rolling off the right side. The pedestrian was severely injured and transported to Condell Medical Center for treatment.
The driver was speeding at the time of the accident. He admitted to the police that he had looked down inside his vehicle, taking his eyes off the road. By the time he looked up, it was too late to avoid hitting the pedestrian. The Lake Bluff police cited the driver for failure to stop for a pedestrian and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
By all accounts, it was a classic example of distracted driving, and the driver had clearly caused the accident.
The woman sustained multiple fractures in the incident, including fractures of the spine, hip, leg, and pelvis. Incredibly, she did not require surgery. Her leg was immobilized, and she spent much of the two months of her inpatient therapy using a wheelchair or walker. She had multiple cuts and bruises, and she needed seven staples for a large cut on her scalp. Her doctors reported concussion-like symptoms, including memory loss, problems with balance and gait, and difficulty concentrating.
Her treatment included extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. As a result of heavy treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, the woman suffered gastric side effects, which interfered with her options for pain management. Her recovery was also complicated due to age-related concerns. She was treated over many months for the fractures, as well as inflammation, scarring, and nerve pain. As she continued with rehabilitation efforts, she also developed shoulder pain and tendonitis from use of crutches and walkers. During the course of her long recovery, she was in severe pain, despite pain management efforts.
The accident also left her with fear, anxiety, and PTSD-like symptoms. She suffered increased depression and anxiety with the emotional strain of coping with her pain, disability, and isolation. While she had previously enjoyed a full and active life, she had trouble adjusting to her loss of independence over eight months. She was unable to write her book, fulfill her business obligations, or travel. She struggled with difficulty sleeping, memory problems, and irritability. She relied on in-home support in the first stages of her outpatient recovery, and her relationship with her husband was strained by her long inpatient stay. She received ongoing psychotherapy and medication treatment as part of her emotional recovery.
The woman ultimately made a remarkable physical and emotional recovery. She regained the ability to walk and was able to return to a more normal lifestyle with only minor limitations. However, the woman still needed legal help recovering the substantial costs of her injuries, rehabilitation, and other damages. She turned to Partner Scott Lane.
Through his hard work and legal skill, the woman was ultimately awarded a total of $900,000 arising from the incident, including the driver’s policy limit of $100,000 and $800,000 from her own underinsured motorist coverage. This substantial award will help her recover the costs of her extreme injuries and move forward with her post-accident life.
No matter how clear fault for an accident may seem, victims aren’t guaranteed a fair legal recovery. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in the Chicago area and need help, you can start getting the help you need today. Set up a completely free, no-obligation case review with our experienced attorneys by calling 312-332-1400 or toll-free at 312-332-1400.