Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Posted On: April 5, 2012

Chicago school bus accident lawyer set to file a lawsuit

Illinois car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes are heading to court for a teenage client who was hurt in a school bus accident. The automobile vs. school bus collision took place in the area of Oakwood Avenue and 197th Street in Lynwood, Illinois, in December of 2010 at approximately 6:43 a.m. Our client was injured when the school bus she was a passenger in was T-boned by a 2001 Ford escape.

The school bus was traveling eastbound on 197th Street approaching its intersection with Oakwood Avenue. The school bus stopped for a stop sign at the intersection and then, when it had the right of way, the school bus proceeded to make a left turn onto Oakwood Avenue. At that same time, the defendant was driving southbound on Oakwood Avenue approaching its intersection with 197th Street.

When the Ford reached the intersection, he failed to stop and/or yield the right of way, and proceeded through the intersection, striking the school bus in which our client was a passenger. The front-end of the Escape struck the front driver’s side of the school bus.

The Lynwood Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. After speaking to all the parties involved in the collision, the investigating officer placed the Ford driver at fault for the collision. The investigating officer noted that the students on the school bus confirmed the defendant’s failure to stop at the stop sign and/or yield the right of way to the school bus.

We have argued to the defendant's insurance carrier that he failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop for a stop sign, failed to yield the right of way, failed to stop and/or reduce his speed to avoid a collision, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area.

The defendant's insurance carrier is denying the claim because the defendant is claiming the bus cut over into his lane while making the turn and hit him. The problem with this argument is there is a bus full of kids saying otherwise. Essentially, the defendant has decided to waste everyone's time with a lawsuit he won't win. I would expect that after a period of litigation, the defense lawyers will tell the insurance carrier to be realistic and try to settle the case.

Following the collision, the teenager had an immediate onset of back pain and headaches.

That same day, she was seen at the Ingalls Memorial Hospital Emergency Department. There, she complained of back pain and headaches. A history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed, including a CT of her head and x-rays of her lumbar spine. A physical exam revealed paraspinal tenderness of the lower and mid back. She was initially diagnosed with a closed head injury, paraspinal contusion/abrasion, and low back pain. She was prescribed pain medication, instructed to follow up with her primary care physician, and discharged.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, she sought follow up medical care from an orthopedic doctor on December 22, 2010. She complained of low back pain, right index finger pain, and headaches. A history was taken, she was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed, including x-rays of her lumbar spine and right hand. A physical exam revealed pain on palpation of the midline and lumbar 4th and 5th spinous process, bilateral lumbar paraspinous muscle pain, pain on palpation over the proximal 2nd phalanx, edema on the right index finger, and synovial thickening over the proximal 2nd phalanx. The right hand x-ray found a bone chip off of her DIP joint. The physician diagnosed her with lumbar strain, low back pain, right index finger sprain, and right hand pain. She was prescribed pain medication, instructed to restrict her activities, and recommended to begin physical therapy on her right index finger.

On January 19, 2011, she returned for follow up treatment with her doctor. She had continued complaints of low back pain, right index finger pain and headaches. A physical exam was performed, which revealed pain on palpation of the midline and lumbar 4th and 5th spinous process, right paraspinal muscle pain, exaggerated lumbar lordosis, pain on palpation over the proximal 2nd phalanx, edema in right index finger, synovial thickening over the proximal 2nd phalanx, and limited range of motion in her lower back and right index finger due to pain. The physician diagnosed her with a lumbar strain, low back pain, right index finger sprain, and right hand pain. She was prescribed pain medication, recommended to modify her activities, and instructed to begin physical therapy on her lower back and continue physical therapy for her finger.

On February 22, 2011, the plaintiff returned for follow up treatment again. At that time, the physician instructed her to continue with physical therapy.

She was next seen on March 29, 2011. At that time she was discharged from medical care.

Per doctor's orders, our client attended ten (10) sessions of physical therapy beginning on February 8, 2011 and ending on March 11, 2011, at which time she was discharged from treatment.

As a result of the collision, the teenager's family incurred over $9,000 in medical bills.

With the lawsuit we will look to recover those medical bills for her, along with money for her pain and suffering, and loss of normal life. It's not a question of whether we will recover for her, it's just a question of who's going to pay. As a passenger, the plaintiff was free from negligence. Unfortunately, there are two defendants pointing the finger at each other as to who was at fault. When this happens, it's time to go to court.

If your child has been injured in a collision, contact the Illinois bus accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call us 24/7 at 312-475-9590 speak to an attorney now.

Other school bus accident blogs:

Several complaints filed against school bus driver after accident

Illinois school bus accident
, 20 students injured