We often tell new teenage drivers that “driving is not a right, it’s a privilege,” in an effort to impress on them the many responsibilities that come with driving. When we get behind the wheel we need to be conscious of driving in a way that ensures our safety as well as that of other drivers and pedestrians. It is for this reason that we commit to memory many rules, e.g., the pedestrian always has the right of way, or reduce speed in a school zone. The failure to follow these rules increases the possibility of a car accident occurring.
A recent Cook County jury was asked to analyze a personal injury lawsuit involving a pedestrian and a car. The plaintiff was a student at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, and was leaving his school when the car accident occurred. The case was filed by a teenage boy who was hit by a driver while walking across the street to get a ride. As a result of the pedestrian car accident, the teenager sustained a severe leg fracture, requiring surgery and the placement of four screws. And while the boy eventually made a full recovery, it was not until his family had amassed over $35,000 in medical bills.
The defendant car driver was issued a ticket for traveling over the 20 mph posted speed limit and for failing to yield to a pedestrian. The driver freely admitted that he was going 5 to 10 mph over the posted school zone speed limit. However, despite this admission of guilt, the Cook County jury found in favor of the defendant driver.