Nothing can be as fundamentally life-changing as a brain injury. Medical procedures to fix the damages, rehabilitation services to recuperate, and other related costs quickly and immensely add up. Of course, this does not even begin to describe the difficult manner in which someone has to adapt following a brain injury. Here are some case summaries from across Illinois involving settlements and jury verdicts of bike accident cases.
Should you have a question about a bicycle accident case involving yourself or a loved one, we invite you to contact our office for a free consultation with an attorney who has experience with these cases.
DAHLSTRAND VS. COLE; COOK COUNTY; $114,000 JURY AWARD
The plaintiff in this case was riding his bike along a busy street without a helmet. The defendant parked his car and opened the door to exit when the plaintiff came flying into his vehicle. At trial, the plaintiff said that the defendant should have kept a better watch of the surrounding area and yielded to bikers. The defendant said that it was the biker actually that was negligent, especially since he was not wearing a helmet. The jury eventually found for the plaintiff but did not award him much, $114,000, considering his brain injuries. This might be considered a compromise because that number roughly correlates to the average cost of treatments for brain injuries.
JOSAIAH VS. JAEGER ; LAKE COUNTY; $11,000 JURY AWARD
In this interesting case, the bicyclist was actually the antagonist of the story. A college student was driving his car when someone on a bike veered into his lane on a road where bicycling was not even permitted. In order to dodge the biker, the student turned his car off the road but could not avoid hitting a tree and sustaining a concussion and other various personal injuries. He eventually sued the biker who countered that it was actually the plaintiff’s negligence that caused the incident. The jury awarded the student approximately $11,000.
POWERS VS. JACKSON; COOK COUNTY; $50,000 JURY AWARD
The plaintiff in this case was only a 10-year-old boy. He was riding his bicycle on a relatively busy public road when a truck driver turned right into him. As a result, he suffered brain and spinal injuries, requiring lumbar and skull fusion surgeries. Through his parents, the boy sued the driver and the driver’s employer whom he was working for at the time of the accident. Again, the jury seemed to split the decision down the middle by finding for the plaintiff but not for a lot of money: $50,000.
ORTIZ VS. JESUS; COOK COUNTY; $682,000 JURY AWARD
The plaintiff in this case was a mom out for a leisurely bike ride with her family on Mother’s Day. She was only in her mid-30s. She paused briefly to wait for others to catch up to her. Her resting place was right beside a wall that blocked a busy city street from an apartment complex. Several trees hugged the surface of the stone wall. Without warning or provocation, a limb from one of the trees broke and fell right on top of her head. She sustained extensive skull fractures and brain injuries, requiring multiple surgeries. In her subsequent lawsuit, she alleged that the owner of the property did not adequately monitor or take care of the tree. The defense countered that this was an act of God and they could not have known this was going to happen. However, evidence indicated that the cost to inspect and repair the tree was minimal. Faced with this information and the extreme hardship imposed on the plaintiff, the jury awarded her $682,000.
HAUPT VS. GUZIG; WILL COUNTY; $3,500,000 JURY AWARD
The victim here was a 15-yeard-old boy who had just entered high school. He was riding around town on his bike with a few other friends. When they all approached an intersection, he was the last to enter it. At that point, he was hit in the rear by a passing Cadillac. The force of the collision sent the boy flying out of his seat onto the windshield of the car and then onto the ground. He did not come out of the resulting coma for weeks. When he did, there were extraordinary brain injuries that necessitated months and months of rehabilitation. He had to relearn how to speak and walk among other things. The defendant said that the child had darted out of nowhere. Considering that the boy was the last of the group to cross the intersection, this story did not go over well with the jury who subsequently awarded the victim $3,500,000.
PUDGE VS. ELLIS; COOK COUNTY; $650,000 JURY AWARD
A man in his mid 40s was riding around the city of Chicago on his bike when he came to an intersection. Thinking he had the right of way, he continued on through the crossing but before he could make it out a car slammed into him, throwing him off his bike. He suffered brain injuries so severe that he was placed in a permanent coma. Representatives for the man sued the driver who crashed into his bike. They claimed he was negligent by failing to slow down and avoid the accident. The defendant argued pretty much the same about the plaintiff, saying that the car actually had the right of way. The jury returned a hefty $650,000 award for the plaintiff but also apportioned him with 50% of the responsibility for the accident, thereby lowering his net total $325,000. This seems to be a classic move when the jury is faced with a heavily injured plaintiff but also no clear at-fault party.
Do You Have a Loved One With Brain Trauma Related to a Bike Crash?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can assist your family with getting compensation for brain injuries to a bicyclist in Illinois. Our attorneys are trained in the medical aspects of brain injury litigation and can assist you in getting the funds required for a person with a brain injury. Before you consider talking to a representative from a drivers insurance company, we invite you to talk to our team for a free review of your case. We will provide you with a concise review of your case and your options for a recovery under Illinois law.