What is great about Chicago and its surrounding areas is the diverse neighborhoods and communities. There is always something for people of all ages, especially with our numerous and vast parks and open outdoor recreational spaces. However, bear in mind that Chicago is also a heavily populated area with extremely busy streets and oftentimes congested traffic. When drivers are not vigilant and engage in negligent behavior, many innocent bystanders can suffer personal injuries or wrongful death.
Negligence can even cause injury to the most innocent of victims – the children of Chicago. It is a common sight to see children at play throughout Chicago, with many children’s events at museums, playgrounds, day camps at the parks, and popular outdoor activities like bicycling or playing ball. When people are negligent with children in vicinity, children cannot properly defend themselves from imminent injury because they are too young to mentally understand and grasp an oncoming danger. They are also extremely small that a collision may harm them much worse than fully grown adults.
One Chicago father has filed a lawsuit against a driver who allegedly hit his son in a crosswalk while e was riding a bike, according to the Cook County Record. The father described how his son was injured after a van hit him as he was crossing the street in a crosswalk. The father has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the minor child in Cook County Circuit Court alleging negligence and battery. The complaint elaborates that the boy was riding his bicycle in a crosswalk within a school zone in order to cross West 59th street at the intersection of South Kolin Avenue. The boy became unconscious as a result of the collision and required immediate care in the emergency room for his injuries.
Illinois has laws and special zoning in place to protect the safety and health of its children, such as slower speeds in and around schools. When drivers choose to ignore the laws of school zones, children are placed in danger and can suffer serious injury or even death. According to Illinois Driving University, the Illinois Vehicle Code gives the state and its local municipalities the ability to change speed limits based on local conditions. Any time you pass by a school, it is likely that the local municipality has adjusted the speed for this area, so be on the lookout for a sign indicating you are entering a school zone with reduced speed limit. In Illinois the school zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour when school is in session and when children are present. This is normally from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., but in some areas you may drive the normal speed limit while children are in class. If you see children outside, you must always slow down to the 20 miles per hour speed limit for school zones.
Furthermore, Illinois takes school zone violations seriously. According to the same article, unlike normal speeding tickets, you cannot deal with a school zone ticket by the mail and must appear in court. For a first offense, it is likely you will pay $150 to the state and $50 to the school system. For a second offense, the minimum is likely to be $300 plus $50 to the school district. However, if you cause injury to someone in a school zone, the penalties will be worse. Illinois passed “Jeff’s Law” in 2007, which states that injuring or killing someone in a school zone as a result of speeding is assumed recklessness on the part of the driver. A driver could also be fined up to $25,000.
As our readers know, those under 18 cannot file a lawsuit without the aid of a parent or legal guardian, which is why the father in this case has filed suit for his son. If a child in your family has been injured by a reckless and negligent individual, you may be able to help them recover compensation on through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys are experienced in defending the rights of minor children, including a $10 million settlement for a 5-year-old boy who was run over by a Chicago Fire Department truck. Contact us for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you as well.