Illinois Crosswalk Collision Between Bicyclist and Car Results in 130,000 Verdict – Hilborn v. Merchants Solutions, Inc.

The Illinois personal injury lawsuit of Karyn Hilborn v. Alan Susdorf and Merchants Solutions, Inc., 07 L 1058, received a $130,000 verdict against the defendant car driver and his employer. The car accident occurred at a Glendale Heights intersection and involved both the defendant driver’s vehicle and the plaintiff’s bicycle.

At the time of the Illinois car accident, 62 year-old Karyn Hilborn was riding her bicycle on a sidewalk along Bloomingdale Road in Glendale Heights. Meanwhile the defendant driver, Alan Susdorf, was approaching a stop sign at the intersection of Bloomingdale Road and Drummond Avenue. However, Susdorf failed to stop his vehicle behind the indicated line and instead rolled his vehicle forward into the crosswalk, striking Hilborn and her bicycle.

Hilborn was unable to avoid Susdorf’s vehicle and ended up striking the passenger side of his car. As a result of the crosswalk collision, Hilborn fractured her left tibia plateau and tore her left medial collateral ligament. Hilborn’s case was complicated by a prior history of arthritis in her left knee and doctors have said she will require a knee replacement in the future as a result of her recent intersection accident.

While the defendant driver did not deny that he drove his car partway into the crosswalk, Susdorf argued that this was necessary in order to obtain a clear view of the traffic on Bloomingdale Road. Susdorf claimed that high bushes surrounding the intersection obstructed his view of the sidewalk and oncoming traffic.

Furthermore, Susdorf contended that his vehicle was only one foot into the crosswalk and that Hilborn should have had ample time to stop her bicycle before it ran into his stopped car. Susdorf and his attorneys claimed that Hilborn’s failure to do so was proof of her comparative fault for the Illinois intersection accident.

In Illinois, a jury can attribute fault both to the plaintiff and the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. If a jury finds that the plaintiff is over 50% responsible for his or her injury, then he or she cannot collect any damages for the injury. However, any percentage of fault that is attributed to the plaintiff below 50%, the verdict is then reduced by that percentage.

So in the case of Hilborn, the jury found the plaintiff’s comparative fault to be 15%. Therefore, the verdict of $152,950 was then reduced to $130,800 in actual damages that would be paid to the plaintiff. While this comparative fault saved the defendants from paying out an additional $22,150, the defendants’ offer to settle prior to the Illinois trial was only $45,000.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois intersection accidents for more than 35 years in and around the Chicago area, including Cook County, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Arlington Heights, Glendale Heights, and River Forest.

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