There are some motor vehicle collisions where you can tell with a single glance which party was at fault. And then there are some which require a lot more investigation and information before liability can be assigned – and even then, questions may still exist as to who was responsible.
An auto-pedestrian accident with bus which occurred Thursday afternoon in suburban Chicago falls into that latter category. About 12:15pm, a westbound Pace Suburban Bus reportedly “made contact” with a man on Madison Street near the intersection of Harlem Avenue. That location is about a half mile north of the Eisenhower Expressway, and right on the border between Oak Park and Forest Park. The rear of the #318 North Avenue bus struck the man and then ran over his legs, and the victim was transported to Loyola University Hospital in nearby Maywood.Here’s another caveat to complicate matters: the man was visually impaired. As you can see, it is virtually impossible to assign blame in this auto-pedestrian accident with bus based on these facts alone. Some of the questions which must be answered include
- Was the man in a crosswalk or attempting to cross at an intersection?
- Were there audible signals of some sort which were instructing the man to enter the street?
- How “visually impaired” is the man? Can he see shapes and lights, or is he completely blind?
- Was the man being assisted by another person or a service animal?
- Did the bus have the right of way?
- Did the driver see the victim at all prior to impact?
- How did the rear of the bus first make contact with the victim (and not the front)? Was the bus turning or going in reverse? Or did the man wander into the moving bus?
Presumably, these questions and others will be answered in the subsequent investigation by police. The results of the probe could affect whether the bus driver, Pace, or even the cities of Oak Park and Forest Park will be named as defendants in a future wrongful death lawsuit.