When a person drives drunk and causes an injury accident in Illinois, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in an effort to recoup medical expenses, collect damages for pain and suffering, and receive compensation for wages based on work the victim has missed and/or is physically unable to perform in the future. But when the defendant is a city employee, his or her employer can be named as a defendant in the lawsuit as well. In these cases, it is not uncommon for the municipality to approve a settlement agreement to keep the lawsuit out of court.
That’s precisely what happened last week in Chicago. On Friday, the city council voted to approve a $6.25 million settlement in the lawsuit filed in connection with a serious auto accident in May of last year. A city employee drove his pickup truck onto a sidewalk in the Gold Coast district and pinned a man underneath the truck. The victim suffered severe injuries which resulted in permanent disability and brain damage.
The driver was later found to have a blood alcohol level of .183 and an open bottle of brandy underneath his front seat. He is now serving a nine-year prison sentence for aggravated driving under the influence.
The victim has reportedly already amassed $572,000 in medical costs since the auto accident. The suit said that he is unable to return to his former profession as a computer scientist, which was earning him approximately $80,000 annually.
Other people were injured in that horrendous crash. In addition to the plaintiff’s wife (whose injuries were also settled by the suit), a nanny sustained serious injuries while pushing the stroller carrying a 20-month old girl she was caring for out of the way of the truck. So it’s likely that the city council will be asked to approve a similar settlement in the future.