It’s easy to underestimate the consequences of a motor vehicle collision. In addition to the person who is injured or killed, the victim’s family and friends are also impacted. However, there are potentially many more people who will be affected by the temporary or permanent loss of someone involved in an auto accident.
Dozens of middle school students are dealing with the news that one of their teachers has been critically injured in a car crash. About 7:50am Thursday morning, the 31-year old teacher at Algonquin Middle School in Des Plaines was heading to work from his home in Chicago. He was driving his Ford Explorer westbound on the Jane Addams Tollway just north of O’Hare International Airport. The man exited at Lee Street about two miles past the I-294 interchange and tried to make a turn, but his SUV was struck by an 18-wheeler.
The crash was so severe that the teacher’s Explorer slid underneath the semi, and he had to extricated from his vehicle. The victim was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he is listed in critical condition. The 32-year old driver of the big rig was cited for failing to yield the right of way because he apparently made an illegal turn.
The victim was married over the summer and now teaches eighth-grade social studies. He also coaches basketball at the school. At this point, it is uncertain when (or if) the 31-year old will be able to return to school to teach again.
Hopefully, the teacher will be able to recoup not only the money he has spent on medical bills, but also the paychecks he isn’t getting because of his absence from his job. One way to obtain this compensation is by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver (and his employer, who is responsible for the actions of all of its drivers).
The countless students and teachers at the man’s school may be suffering from emotional distress. However, only the victim’s wife can receive damages from a jury pertaining to pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship.