On a hot summer morning in August 2007, our client was riding her bicycle to work going southbound on Halsted. When she passed the intersection of Chicago Avenue, she sensed the presence of a CTA bus coming up from behind her in her left-side peripheral vision. The next thing she knew, the bus was “squeezing” her off the road as it was merging to its right to pull into a bus stop. The right side of the bus clipped our client’s left handlebar, which caused her to fly forward, over her handlebars and slam down onto the roadway. She ended up fracturing a bone in her elbow, had a degloving injury of the skin on her elbow. She also tore the muscle and tissue on the left side of her buttock, resulting in what doctors described as a “massive hemotoma” on her buttock and hip. In addition to her physical injuries, our client suffered through some difficult emotional injuries as well, due to her being nearly run over by the bus then having to deal with the depression of chronic pain and long months of healing. her condition was diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) for which she had to undergo therapy.
The CTA claimed that the crash was our client’s fault. There were at least three passengers on the bus that filled out “courtesy cards” at the request of the bus driver, stating that it looked like our client rode her bike straight into the side of the bus. For this reason, the CTA only made a token, minimal settlement offer before the case went to trial.
The trial lasted about a week. At the end, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client for over $1,256,000, which was about ten times more than what the CTA had offered in settlement.