$4.3 Million Settlement Reached In Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Mother Of Two Was Killed After Being Struck Twice In Crosswalk
The Chicago Transit Authority agreed to pay a $4.3 million settlement in a wrongfuld death lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who was killed in October of 2009 after she was struck by a hit and run driver and then hit again by a CTA bus, killing the mother of two instantly while she was in a pedestrian crosswalk.
According to the Chicago Tribune the wrongful death lawsuit settlement, which will be paid to the woman’s estate, was negotiated by the CTA due to the possibility of a higher judgment if the lawsuit had gone to court.
As reported in the 2009 accident report, the woman was legally crossing at a crosswalk when she was first hit by the car, and then hit by the CTA bus. The report shows that the driver of the original car was never found or identified. The bus driver was not prosecuted or issued a traffic ticket for his part in the accident. In response to the accident, the transit authority implemented better safety measures at the crosswalk where the woman died, making sure that pedestrians in that area have plenty of time to cross the road safely. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cta-bus-death-settlement-20150909-story.html, September 2015]
National statistics show that nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed each year by vehicles and nearly 50,000 are injured. These accidents typically occur when pedestrians are traveling in unsanctioned areas, but can also occur at crosswalks and simply when walking next to the road. 70 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur at non-intersections or at night and 89 percent occur on days when visibility is low.
Pedestrian Cross Walk Accidents
Data from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration shows that 42 percent of pedestrian accidents occur at sanctioned crosswalks. About 9 percent of all pedestrian deaths occur at crosswalks. Each year, about 500 pedestrians are killed while using a crosswalk. Pedestrians who are younger than 16 and older than 45 are more likely to be injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. The most dangerous times to cross the road are at night and on weekends. [http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811888.pdf, September 2015]
Pedestrian Bus Accidents
Pedestrians may be harmed by busses and if a bus hits a pedestrian in a pedestrian bus accident, the person is often killed. A study from 2005 found that busses are over 11 times more likely to kill children under the age of 14 than any other vehicle type and 17 percent more likely to kill elderly individuals over the age of 85. Busses kill an average of about 300 pedestrians per year across the nation according to the study results. In 2014, Ohio busses were involved in 93 pedestrian fatalities and nearly 2,300 injuries. [http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/11/4/232.full, September 2015] [http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2013CrashFacts.pdf, September 2015]
The best way to prevent a pedestrian bus accident is to stay clear of roadways during inclement weather. Do not allow children to walk near busses alone, as busses can cause serious injury or death in young children and bus drivers may not see small children, increasing the risk. Caregivers should instruct children to always use crosswalks and only cross when the road is clear or when the bus driver obviously sees the child crossing the road. Do not cross the road or walk beside it while distracted, such as while talking on the phone, listening to music, or using a tablet. Distractions while walking increases pedestrian injury risk.