From time to time, you hear about drivers being involved in auto accidents caused by a “medical condition.” In most cases, this means that the driver was experiencing some sort of acute health problem that caused him or her to lose control of their vehicle. Sometimes when this happens, the driver is the only person who gets hurt (or killed). But other times, someone else gets injured even more seriously than the driver.
This past week, a 50-year old Chicago man was indicted for aggravated reckless driving stemming from an auto accident that severely injured a 17-year old boy last month. Around 4:30pm back on May 2, the man was driving a 1992 Nissan 300ZX eastbound on West 79th Street on Chicago’s Southwest Side. He apparently suffered a seizure, which caused his car to jump the curb just past Springfield Avenue (east of Pulaski Road) and run onto the sidewalk. The vehicle then struck a city sign post, the teen, and another sign post before crashing into a wrought iron fence on the campus of Bogan High School. As a result of the auto accident, the teenager suffered a fractured spine, and he is now paralyzed from the neck down.
It’s certainly unfortunate that the driver (who was taking anti-seizure medication) suffered a seizure while behind the wheel. Nevertheless, he will still be held responsible for the life-altering injuries sustained by the teen. So regardless of how his criminal case turns out, the parents of the 17-year old may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the man. Because the victim will likely need substantial assistance for the remainder of his life, his medical bills could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) over the coming years – and this lawsuit is a way that his family can receive reimbursement for the health care costs they have incurred and will incur in the future.