As we near road construction season in Chicago, as motorists it is important to be on the lookout for changes in road conditions near construction sites. However, the summertime is not the only time Chicago motorists need to be concerned with poor road conditions. Sometimes bad road conditions result not from regular wear and tear, but rather from low quality road repairs. The personal injury case below is an example of these types of accidents.
The Illinois motorcycle accident occurred when plaintiff was attempting to stop his motorcycle while driving along 163rd Street in Homer Glen, Illinois. However, at the time, he was driving in the same area where the City of Homer Glen had contracted a storm sewer installation in August of 2005. As part of the storm sewer installation, the subcontractor, Dalton Brothers, had cut a four foot trench near the intersection of 163rd Street and Cedar Road. Instead of repaving this trench, Dalton Brothers simply filled it up with loose gravel.
However, by the time the plaintiff was driving his motorcycle over this same area, that gravel had worn away, leaving a six to eight inch depression in the road. Because the roadwork was finished, there were no signs to signal to motorists the dangerous road conditions; the plaintiff had no obvious warning that what he was about to drive over was gravel, not pavement. Needless to say, the plaintiff’s motorcycle skidded as he attempted to stop on the loose gravel.
Instinctively, the plaintiff put one of his feet down in an attempt to stop his motorcycle from falling over. Unfortunately, it was this action that resulted in a fairly severe tibia fracture. Not only did the plaintiff require internal fixation to repair the tibia fracture, but also required skin grafts after skidding on the loose gravel, and wound debridements to repair the infection he developed following the motorcycle accident.
While the surgery and subsequent treatments represented a good deal of pain and suffering for the plaintiff, he is also left with the new development of arthritis in his knee. Likewise, at the time of his Illinois motorcycle crash he was working as a high-level Sears executive, a job from which he was forced to retire from because of his medical issues. Plaintiff’s life planning experts estimated that the plaintiff lost more than $500,000 in lost wages from his position at Sears.
The plaintiff filed an Illinois personal injury lawsuit against all of the parties involved in the storm sewer installation, including the subcontractor, Dalton Brothers; the contractor, Tri-K Development; the paver’s employer, Alpine Asphalt Paving; and Homer Township Road District and the Village of Homer Glen. In its complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the construction job did not meet the necessary codes or standards and that the work done on the storm sewer installation had resulted in the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff’s motorcycle accident.
Prior to trial, all parties reached a settlement of $1.73 million with the plaintiff, with the breakdown as follows:
$1 million from Tri-K Development on behalf of Homer Township Road District and the Village of Homer Glen;
$5,000 from Tri-K Development itself;
$720,000 from Dalton Brothers; and
$5,000 was paid by Alpine Asphalt Paving.
According to Will County settlement figures, this personal injury settlement is the highest motorcycle accident settlement in the history of Will County.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois motorcycle accident cases and Cook County construction site injury lawsuits for individuals and families for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Joliet, Woodstock, Franklin Park, Matteson, Oak Lawn, and Glen Ellyn.
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