Whenever adults choose to get onto a train or bus, they know they are placing their well-being into the hands of a vehicle operator. Parents also realize this when they watch their kids get onto a school bus, and many of them worry about their youngsters’ safety. And it’s easy to imagine that the stress levels are even higher for parents and caregivers of special-needs children when these kids are placed in a transport vehicle.
Which makes an auto accident last month in Chicago all the more disturbing.
Around 8:45am on the morning of Monday, June 24, a van carrying several kids with special needs was driving east on 111th Street through the Roseland neighborhood on the city’s South Side. When the woman driving the van tried to turn left onto Wentworth Avenue (near Roseland Community Hospital), an oncoming vehicle collided with the van in the intersection. A total of nine of the children had to be taken to nearby hospitals due to injuries, and two adults were hurt as well. The van’s driver, a 56-year old woman from Frankfort, was cited for failing to yield the right of way.
The van was leased by a foundation who provides support for children with developmental disabilities, and it was this facility in Tinley Park where the van was headed. Since the auto accident appears to be the fault of the van’s driver, the parents of the injured children could choose to file personal injury lawsuits against not only the Frankfort woman, but also the foundation as well (since the driver was employed by the foundation). These suits could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for ambulance charges, hospitalization and treatment expenses, medications, and even physical therapy. The fact that the victims were special needs children might also increase the odds of a jury awarding monetary damages to the plaintiffs for pain and suffering.