In most auto-pedestrian accidents, authorities are able to determine how the incident occurred and who is responsible. If a person darts out into a roadway and is struck by a vehicle, then the pedestrian is usually at fault. Conversely, if a vehicle hits a pedestrian who is in a marked crosswalk or off the roadway completely, then the driver will likely be held liable for any injuries or death that results. But sometimes, police don’t have any way of knowing what led to an auto-pedestrian accident – so they ask the public for help.
That’s what happened this week in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. On Wednesday evening shortly after 8:15pm, Park Ridge police found a 51-year old woman lying in the roadway near the intersection of Oakton Street and Busse Highway, less than a half mile east of the Tri-State Tollway. She was transported to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead there. The motorist who struck her remained on the scene, but Park Ridge police are still trying to piece together what happened. So they’re asking anyone who might have seen this incident to contact them as soon as possible.
If it turns out that the driver of the vehicle which struck the woman is at fault in the auto-pedestrian accident, the surviving family members of the victim could elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that individual. This could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial costs, compensation for any future wages the woman might have earned had she not been hit by the car, and perhaps even monetary damages for pain and suffering or loss of care and companionship. However, if police cannot determine with certainty that the driver was to blame, then the woman’s family won’t be able to seek relief through the civil courts.