Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Dismissal of Pedestrian Accident Case against Ride-Sharing Service where Driver Forced Passengers to Exit the Vehicle

Ride-sharing services are becoming a popular way for people to get from one place to another. For all their conveniences, these services are raising many legal issues. Our dedicated team of Chicago personal injury lawyers has assisted numerous Illinois residents in understanding their legal rights in a broad range of situations.

An Illinois court recently considered a case in which two individuals were hit and injured while crossing in a crosswalk. Prior to the accident, they had called a ride-sharing service to pick them up and take them home at around 2am. The plaintiffs alleged that the driver was incompetent and did not know how to get them to their ultimate destination. The driver took several wrong turns and when the plaintiff pointed out that the driver was lost the driver became agitated and asked the plaintiffs to leave the vehicle. The plaintiffs began walking home, which is when they were struck in a crosswalk. The driver of the vehicle was speeding and failing to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians.

The plaintiffs named several defendants in the complaint, including the ride-sharing service. The company filed a motion to dismiss alleging that being hit by the vehicle in the crosswalk was not a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the driver’s conduct. The other defendants, including the driver and a cab company, also filed a motion to dismiss on similar grounds. The lower court granted the motions to dismiss and dismissed the complaint with prejudice, which means that the plaintiffs could not refile the action.

The appellate court reversed the lower court’s decision on the grounds that establishing proximate cause is typically a question of fact for the jury. A motion to dismiss asks the court to consider whether the plaintiff has pled sufficient facts to establish a cause of action assuming that the evidence the plaintiff has pled is true. According to the appellate court, reasonable minds could differ regarding whether a pedestrian injury accident was a foreseeable result of forcing the plaintiffs to leave the ride-sharing vehicle in the middle of the night in a dimly-lit, high-traffic area. The court stated that at such an early stage of the proceedings, and without proper discovery to shed light on critical facts, it was inappropriate to reach a conclusion as a matter of law regarding the issue of proximate cause. Based on this, the appellate court reversed the dismissal against all defendants and remanded the action.

If you were injured in a personal injury accident, we are standing by to help you seek the fair outcome that you deserve. Knowing how to go about obtaining a settlement or a judgment that you deserve can be stressful and daunting, especially if you are also coping with serious injuries and disruption in your life. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about our legal team and the options that may be available to you. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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