$38,000 Jury Verdict Where Car Hits and Injures Teen Standing in Roadway Near a Disabled Car

On Dec. 15, 2000, Patrick Broderick was driving southbound on Schoolhouse Road when icy conditions caused him to lose control of his car.  His vehicle came to a rest on a snow bank on the east side of the road.  A good Samaritan stopped at the scene to help Broderick, parking his car in the northbound lane of traffic.  Supposedly, the good Samaritan’s hazard lights were on and working, but that fact was disputed.

Caroline Semanic was traveling northbound on Schoolhouse Road when she approached the scene.  Semanic said she saw no flashing headlights on the good Samaritan’s vehicle and testified under oath that she saw only tail lights that she thought were attached to a moving vehicle.  Semanic’s car slid into the good Samaritan’s car while attempting to avoid crashing into that parked car, pushing the vehicle into the plaintiff Broderick, who was standing in the roadway with his back to northbound traffic.

Broderick maintained that the force of the impact caused him to be thrown 75 feet.  The thrust of the impact resulted in a closed head injury, mild traumatic brain injury and soft tissue neck injury.  Broderick claimed that he now has impaired cognitive function, loss of prior math skills, inability to concentrate, memory deficits, altered personality, word-finding difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder, inability to follow directions, chronic insomnia, increased flare ups of temper, headaches, neck pain and depression. He is currently working as a fraud analyst.

The defendant Semanic denied that she was negligent and argued that the proximate causes of the accident was black ice as well as negligence by the good Samaritan and Broderick, who were standing in the road when conditions were dangerous. Semanic also said that Broderick knew that he would not be easily seen in the location that he was struck.  The defendant also disputed the nature and extent of Broderick’s alleged injuries.

The jury’s verdict of $38,400 was reduced by 40% accounting for Patrick Broderick’s contributory negligence.

The damages awarded were made up of the following:

$19,000 for medical expense;

$45,000 for pain and suffering; and

$0 loss of normal life.

The attorney representing Patrick Broderick in the case was Frank S. Cservenyak, Jr.

Patrick Broderick v. Caroline Semanic, No. 08 L 40 (Will County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling car accident cases, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accident cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lemont, Northbrook, Niles, Morton Grove, Crete, Country Club Hills, Chicago Heights, Burnham, Burbank, Hillside, Park Forest, South Chicago Heights, South Holland, Summit, Thornton and Tinley Park, Ill.

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