As a general rule, pedestrians have the right of way; however, this does not mean that the driver is always at fault. While car drivers have a duty to look out for pedestrians in a designated crosswalk, they do not have the same duty to watch for pedestrians on a designated roadway. In the Cook County personal injury lawsuit of Hashi Said v. Mamoudou Barry, 09 L 5973, the jury found in favor of the car driver, not the pedestrian.
Hashi Said was the pedestrian in this scenario. Said, a taxi cab driver, had parked his cab at a taxi holding area located at O’Hare airport. The taxi holding area is a designated area where cabs line up; it includes an area at the roadside where the cab drivers can socialize and take breaks. At the time of the pedestrian-car accident, Said was walking in the parking lot area when he was hit by a cab being driven by Mamoudou Barry.
The force of the collision caused the 33 year-old Said to sustain a left knee fracture and a tear to his left lateral meniscus. Said was out of work for ten months while he underwent three separate surgeries and physical therapy. And despite all his medical treatment, Said will likely need a knee replacement in the future.
Said filed a personal injury lawsuit against Barry, in which he alleged that Barry had caused the pedestrian accident by driving at an unnecessarily high speeds. According to Said’s theory of liability, if Barry had not been driving at those high speeds, then the auto accident would not have occurred. Said was seeking reimbursement for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, and payment of his $72,793 workers’ compensation lien.