For most of us, Chicago construction is a minor nuisance that slows down our travel to work. However, when road construction is improperly supervised and construction companies don’t warn motorists of uneven surfaces of the pavement, that nuisance can turn deadly.
Devastatingly, that’s what happened to a Joliet Fire Lieutenant this past August. The 38 year-old man was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle westbound on Interstate 80 when he hit a patch of uneven pavement near Chicago Street. The highway was reduced to one lane in that area, which further exacerbates liability on the part of the road construction company, in that the man had nowhere else to drive. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the man lost control of the bike and was thrown from the motorcycle, hitting the roadway. He was pronounced brain dead shortly thereafter.
Perhaps the most crucial fact is that the smallest change could have made a huge difference. The Chicago Sun Times reports that an attorney on behalf of the deceased’s estate says that there were no signs, markings, or other warnings given to motorists about the bump in the road. Had the Fire Lieutenant known of the hazard in the roadway, it may have made a difference in whether he lived or died.
Road construction companies bear the responsibility of making sure that their work does not negligently and harmfully impact drivers. When obstructions occur in the roadway, they have the burden of advising drivers of potential dangerous situations, and may be liable when people suffer injuries as a result of not knowing about the unsafe conditions.
The victim’s wife has subsequently filed an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit against D Construction Inc., the company hired by the Illinois Department of Transportation to work on I-80. The lawsuit alleges that D Construction didn’t supervise the construction properly, inspect the work, warn the public of a hazard, or fix defects in the roadway.
Injuries suffered as a result of motorcycle accidents can be severe and life altering. A person may suffer whiplash or burns to the head and neck, have nerve damage or spinal chord paralysis, broken or dislocated bones or limbs, or even have lost the use of a limb. In this case, the Fire Lieutenant died from the trauma he sustained, and if the road construction company is found liable for contributing to cause his death, his wife may have a successful Illinois wrongful death case for the loss of companionship of her husband.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have successfully handled nearly every type of motor vehicle negligence case – including motorcycle accident cases – and have recovered millions of dollars in Illinois motor vehicle accident lawsuits for victims and their families. They have both the understanding and experience to handle even the most complex motor vehicle accident lawsuits, and will fight diligently to ensure that you are fairly compensation and justice is served.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a motor vehicle accident caused by another’s negligence, contact an attorney immediately to get a better understanding of your rights under the law.