Illinois Appellate Court Denies Appeal in Bus Accident Case Based on Failure to Preserve Objections at Trial

In a recent case, a plaintiff filed a complaint against a defendant, claiming that on September 21, 2013, she was a passenger on one of its buses. She also alleged that the bus driver did not correctly operate the wheelchair lift and that she suffered injuries as a result of this failure. After a trial on the matter, the jury returned a verdict in the defendant’s favor, finding that no negligence was involved. The plaintiff appealed the decision but proceeded without legal counsel. When an individual decides to pursue legal action without legal representation, he or she is referred to as a pro se litigant or party.

On appeal, the plaintiff alleged that the jury was swayed by improper events that took place during jury selection and outside the courtroom. Namely, the plaintiff contended that the jury selection process did not constitute the appropriate amount of time, that defense counsel failed to adhere to the court’s instruction to wait in the courtroom until the jury was dismissed, and that defense counsel made inappropriate statements during their closing argument.

The documents filed with the plaintiff’s appeal included multiple letters, deposition transcripts, medical bills, and medical records, as well as a complaint the plaintiff filed against the attorney who represented her during the trial.

In affirming the lower court’s ruling, the trial court first noted that the plaintiff failed to preserve any of these errors for appeal during the trial court proceeding. To appeal an event or decision that happened during a trial court proceeding, a party must object and state the basis for his or her objection on the record. If a party fails to object and state his or her basis for objecting, his or her ability to appeal the outcome of the case based on this allegedly objectionable behavior is deemed waived. In other words, he or she will not be allowed to seek an appeal based on an error to which he or she failed to object.

The appellate court also noted that the plaintiff failed to include critical and required documents with her appeal papers, including a transcript of the trial court proceedings. It also noted that the plaintiff’s appellate brief failed to include material specifically required pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 341(h).

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident due to another person or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The legal system is very complicated. There are many rules and regulations that you must follow when you are pursuing the full amount of compensation that you deserve. At Therman Law Offices, we pride ourselves on ensuring that each of our clients receives personal attention and understands what’s happening with their lawsuit from beginning to end. Representing clients throughout Chicago and Illinois, we offer a free consultation to help you learn about your rights. Call us now at 312-588-1900 or contact us online to set up your appointment.

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