A Metra Union Pacific Northwest train struck and killed a pedestrian recently on the Northwest Side. Kassie Heffernan, 35, was hit by outbound train No. 618 around 7:30 a.m. near the Edison Park station at 6730 N. Olmsted Ave. according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and Metra Office. The Chicago Fire Department confirmed that Heffernan was declared dead at the scene and lived about a block away from where the fatal accident took place. Initially, inbound and outbound Metra trains on that line were halted near Edison Park, but the inbound tracks were cleared for service around 9:20 a.m. By 11:00 a.m. all tracks were cleared and trains were moving again with extensive delays.
Pedestrian Accidents Involving Trains
With multiple Metra, Amtrak, and elevated train stations throughout the Chicago area, it comes as a surprise to very few people that the city experiences a number of pedestrian accidents involving trains every year. According to reports, a pedestrian is struck and killed by a train on average every ten days in the city. Pedestrian accidents are the leading cause of fatalities in the train industry, and these types of accidents are almost always fatal for the pedestrian victim involved.
Many people assume that the pedestrian is at fault in accidents involving trains; however, there are many circumstances that can lead to a fatal pedestrian accident with trains where the victim is not at fault for the action. These types of accidents require a case-by-case scrutiny of everyone’s intentional or negligent actions before, during, and after the accident to determine where the fault truly lies in a train accident where a pedestrian is injured or killed. This is particularly true in Illinois where fault is determining by a modified comparative negligence standard.
Illinois Fault Rules
Illinois utilizes a modified comparative fault standard when determining the level of responsibility of an accident. Under this standard, the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in the accident given the particular facts of the case and then reduces the compensation for each party by that percentage. However, if a party is found to be more than fifty percent at fault for the accident, then they are barred from recovering any compensation for the damage caused by the accident. Because of this complex standard, it is critical that the victim of a pedestrian accident involving a train or the loved one of the victims hire an attorney that has experience arguing to the court why the train company, operator, conductor, or others contributed or fully caused the accident.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident as a pedestrian with one of the many trains that run through the Chicagoland area every day, you may have a valid claim for personal injury compensation. Call the office or contact us today at Harvey L. Walner & Associates to schedule a consultation of your case with one of our experienced Chicago car accident attorneys now.