A Cook County jury recently returned a verdict awarding over $25 million to an Illinois resident who suffered a severe spinal injury after being involved in a truck crash. The then 38 year-old plaintiff was left as an “incomplete paraplegic” and has been unable to return to work since the 2004 accident. The defendant driver was also left paralyzed after the truck accident.
The Illinois truck accident occurred when the plaintiff’s SUV collided with a truck being driven by an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) employee. At the time the plaintiff was heading to a Schaumburg construction site when he collided with the IDOT driver at the intersection of Frontage Road and the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. Both drivers alleged that they had a green light and that the other driver’s signal was red. The local Illinois police attempted to reconstruct the Illinois truck accident, but were unable to determine which driver was at fault.
In cases like this accident reconstruction can be extremely difficult and oftentimes might not result in any definitive conclusions. Without witnesses who can testify as to which version of the events is correct it is hard to determine what happened. However, when there are other factors to consider, such as an intoxicated driver, or poor weather conditions, then the process becomes much easier.
What is so tragic about this case is the degree of injury that both parties sustained. The IDOT employee suffered partial paralysis on the right side of his body and his lower extremities. And while he has regained the use of both of his legs, he continues to have limited use of his right side and has not returned to work.
The SUV driver’s injuries were even more severe, as he is now a paraplegic. While he continues to have some limited muscle control from his hips to his knees, his legs are essentially paralyzed. He remains wheelchair-bound and is unable to walk without the use of a cane, walker, or leg braces. He also has yet to return to his work as a project manager for a cabinet manufacturer since the accident.