Taxi drivers in Chicago are held to higher standards than operators of private vehicles. That’s because people put their safety in the hands of the cabdrivers whenever they get into a cab. Any mistake by a cabdriver could result in injury or death to a passenger. This week, one such mishap also caused the death of a bystander in Chicago.
On Tuesday morning around 6am, a Checker Cab was driving on Milwaukee Avenue in the River West neighborhood on the city’s Near Northwest Side. For some reason, the cab jumped the curb near Chicago Avenue and struck a 30-year old Bloomington man who was waiting for a bus, throwing him some 15 feet into the air. The cab then rolled over several times and crashed. Passersby helped the cabdriver and his passenger out of the burning vehicle, and the passenger was rushed to a nearby hospital in serious to critical condition. But the bystander was pronounced dead at the scene about a half hour later.
Police are still investigating exactly what caused the auto accident. But it appears that the cabdriver will be held primarily or solely responsible for the Chicago cab accident. That means that both the driver and the cab company will be held liable for the injuries to the passenger and the death of the Bloomington man.
It’s very likely that the passenger will file a personal injury lawsuit against the cabdriver and his employer. Such legal action can help the plaintiff get reimbursed for medical costs and lost wages from work absenteeism, as well as damages for pain and suffering. In addition, the surviving family members of the bystander have solid grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the same defendants. In that suit, a jury could order the defendants to pay compensation for lost future wages that the Bloomington man would have earned in his lifetime, as well as damages for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship.