Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

chicago busBus-versus-bicyclist and bus-versus-pedestrian accidents can often inflict massive, and sometimes catastrophic, injuries, even at low speeds. The curb weight of a transit bus is 10-16 tons while empty, and can be 15-22 tons when fully loaded. Whether your bus accident occurred at 5 mph or 45 mph, chances are it inflicted serious harm that will affect you negatively for a long time, if not permanently. To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, you have to be able to demonstrate, with persuasive evidence, all of the damages that you suffered, from medical expenses to lost wages to pain and suffering, among other things. To recover everything the law says you should, reach out to a skilled Chicago injury attorney about your case.

As an example of how serious a bus accident can be, consider the injury incident of D.M., which was reported by WGN. D.M. was a woman who worked as a bartender on Chicago’s northwest side. One recent Friday night, after getting off work, D.M. bicycled home alongside her boyfriend. Before she reached home, however, she was involved in a massive collision with a Chicago Transit Authority bus. According to news reports, the bus turned left and slammed directly into the woman. D.M.’s crash left her with a skull fracture, broken arm, broken rib and a compound fracture of one leg.

Once you’ve decided to sue for the harm you’ve suffered, your case often turns to demonstrating liability and showing the extent of your damages. Anyone seriously injured in a bus crash is going to have substantial medical bills, which can vary in their sum total based upon the severity of the injuries and the injury victim’s insurance status. If you’ve suffered major injuries, like bone fractures, spinal injuries or a brain injury, you may need extensive ongoing medical care in the future, which could greatly increase the total of your medical expense damages.

Legal News GavelWhen you are injured in a vehicle accident, one of the key steps in the process may be finding the appropriate legal grounds to assert your case, not only against the driver, but also against the driver’s employer. Sometimes, the employer can be indirectly liable through what’s called “vicarious liability”. Other times, an employer may be liable for its own mistakes, like hiring and retaining an unsafe driver who eventually caused the accident that injured you. To learn more about your options if you’ve been hurt in a crash, talk to a skilled Chicago injury lawyer about your situation.

CBS 2 reported recently on the rash of accidents involving Chicago Transit Authority busses. In one instance, according to the report, a CTA bus driver changed lanes to get around a car, then proceeded through the intersection on a red light. The westbound bus collided with a southbound car in Humboldt Park, causing serious injuries, including a ruptured spleen, broken bones and a traumatic brain injury for the driver of the southbound car.

The driver of the southbound car received a payment of roughly $8 million. The evidence she had in her case included proof that the CTA hired the driver despite his having on his driving record citations for negligent driving, failure to obey a traffic signal, improper lane usage and five speeding violations.

Legal News GavelWhen you are hurt in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, there are two general types of damages to which the law says you may be entitled. Your compensation may come from special damages, general damages, or both. Special damages include things that typically are readily capable of being calculated. This means things like your past and future lost earnings and your past and future medical expenses. General damages include compensation for which the calculation may be less black-and-white. It encompasses things like past and future pain and suffering, disability, and scarring. Even if you did not suffer broken bones or major organ damage, your case may still present evidence indicating that your damages are quite large. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can help you pursue all of the special and general damages to which the law says you are entitled.

The case of Katea, a Chicago area driver, which was reported in the Chicago Tribune, was an example of a circumstance that created the potential for a significant damages award and ultimately did lead to a large settlement. In mid-October 2016, Katea was driving her SUV through Skokie when she was involved in a serious accident. A garbage truck driven by a City of Evanston employee crashed into Katea’s vehicle. Police reports indicated that the eastbound garbage truck crossed a double-yellow center line and sideswiped Katea’s Honda CRV. That impact caused Katea to spin out and hit another vehicle.

Crashes involving large, heavy vehicles like garbage trucks can inflict major injuries because the impacts involved in these crashes are frequently very profound, due to the weight of the truck. According to the Tribune report, Katea’s accident was no exception. Sometimes, those serious injuries may involve major organs or broken bones. Even in an accident without any of those elements, the impact inflicted upon the injured driver can still be life-altering. Katea suffered no broken bones or major organ damage. However, she did suffer substantial nerve damage to one hand. My “hand does not work. My finger doesn’t work,” the woman stated in the report.

Legal News GavelChances are, most people have not contemplated suing the spouse to whom they are happily married. There are certain circumstances, though, in which that can be a wise and prudent step. One of those is when a passenger spouse is injured as a result of the driver spouse’s negligence in causing an auto accident. When that happens, a lawsuit may be one of several options available. A knowledgeable Illinois car accident attorney can help you assess your case and choose a strategic path for proceeding.

One couple for whom such a spouse-versus-spouse lawsuit took place was Patricia and William from Will County. The pair, proud Illinoisans since 1971, decided to load up the motor home and two grandchildren for a weeklong vacation in Florida. On the way back, and while still in Indiana, William lost control of the motor home and slammed into a concrete wall. Patricia was hurt in the accident.

Patricia filed a lawsuit against William. This might sound a bit strange for those not familiar with these issues. However, it often may be exactly the right thing to do, even if both spouses are insured under the same auto insurance policy, in order to allow an injured spouse to collect the full recovery to which she is entitled. It is important to understand, though, that even if both spouses agree about filing the lawsuit, a contested litigation action may still result, since the auto insurer will likely put on an aggressive defense on behalf of the defendant spouse.

Legal News GavelIn your pedestrian injury case, you’ll need many things to give yourself a strong chance of success. One of these things is an experienced Illinois car accident attorney, who understands the facts of your case, the law in Illinois, and how to present your case in a way that holds liable all those who are responsible. In a recent case involving a nurse struck by a cab driver, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld an $897,000 verdict that found the cabbie negligent for hitting the plaintiff and the cabbie’s employer liable for its “willful and wanton” conduct in failing to do a better job vetting the driver before hiring him.

Margaret, the plaintiff, was a woman who worked as a psychiatric nurse at a hospital in suburban Chicago. On her way to work one day in 2011, a taxi cab driver hit her. The driver was driving slowly but still managed to knock the woman all the way to the ground. The impact caused the woman to suffer significant damage to her left shoulder. This damage included rotator cuff tendinopathy and glenoid labral tear/shredding. Despite years of physical therapy, Margaret’s doctor diagnosed the problem as permanent and something that “will likely cause her pain and restrict some activities for the rest of her life.”

With a personal injury case, such as a pedestrian-versus-vehicle accident, the plaintiff’s case may often revolve around demonstrating that the defendant driver was negligent and, if that driver was working when the accident occurred, that the employer is vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. Depending on the facts of your case, though, this may not be the only way to pursue recovery for your damages.

Several different business entities, from General Motors to Uber to Google’s parent (Alphabet), have been striving to perfect the technology for self-driving vehicles. Toward that end, Uber had been conducting tests in three U.S. cities and Toronto until a recent accident in Arizona left a pedestrian dead, the Legal News GavelNew York Times reported. While the accident remained under investigation, and fault had not been placed on the Uber vehicle or the pedestrian, the ridesharing company still decided to cease testing all self-driving vehicles. With each new technology that hits the roads, there are new possibilities for accidents and injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a vehicle accident, you should contact an experienced Illinois car accident attorney about your situation.

The fatal Uber test occurred in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. According to police, a 49-year-old woman named Elaine was crossing the street outside the crosswalk on a Sunday night at around 10:00 pm. An Uber Volvo that was in fully autonomous self-driving mode struck the pedestrian, and the woman ultimately died from her injuries. While Arizona law currently allows companies like Uber to test its vehicles with no one in the driver’s seat, there was a human in the driver’s seat when the fatal accident in Tempe took place.

Uber had been conducting tests with its self-driving vehicles in four cities prior to the fatal accident in Arizona. Those cities included Phoenix, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. The company suspended all of those tests everywhere, pending the results of an investigation into the Arizona fatality.

Legal News GavelAs a driver on the roads (or a passenger in a vehicle), one faces many potential risks. There are aggressive (“road rage”) drivers, distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and careless drivers, to name a few. All of these types of drivers have the potential to cause accidents that inflict serious harm. Unfortunately, another category is injuries caused by high-speed law enforcement chases. In two instances in recent years in the Chicago area, high-speed pursuits have inflicted fatal injuries on innocent drivers. Both of those cases settled, with each family receiving several million dollars in their respective settlements. Whether your injury was related to a high-speed police chase or another type of liability, you should make sure you have a knowledgeable Illinois car accident attorney to help you put together a strong case.

The first of the two accidents took place in May 2013. Jacqueline was headed to a funeral at around 10:15 a.m. when an SUV ran a red light and crashed into her car. The South Side accident left the occupants of the SUV, two police officers, injured and Jacqueline dead. The officers had been chasing an individual who was a suspect in a home burglary, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Although there was no evidence found indicating that a weapon was involved in the crime, Chicago police engaged in a high-speed chase. The pursuit involved numerous red lights at which the suspect and officers “blew through” red lights. The officer who struck Jacqueline hit speeds of 74 mph as the chase moved through mostly residential areas of the South Side. The officer’s SUV was going an estimated 68 mph when it slammed into Jacqueline’s Pontiac sedan, according to the Tribune report.

Legal News GavelAccidents that involve pedestrians and buses can often have catastrophic results. The injuries an accident causes can be dramatically life-altering. In these cases, as with any case, it is important to make sure that your case focuses on all of the details, factual and legal, great and small, from expert witnesses to the instructions a judge gives the jury before they start deliberating. An experienced Illinois pedestrian accident attorney can give you the help you need in making sure your I’s are dotted and T’s crossed.

One recent case in which the detail of jury instruction content was vitally important was the case of a woman named Patricia, who was struck by a bus in Champaign. The February 2015 accident caused such profound damage to the woman’s legs that doctors had to amputate. These types of accidents often require large damages awards to compensate the injured person, since the injuries suffered frequently alter almost every aspect of the injured person’s life. It may alter the course of the injured person’s employment, marriage, family relationships, hobbies and activities, and more.

The pedestrian sued for the damages caused by her severe injuries. At trial, the mass transit district conceded that it was negligent, which meant that the only issue the jury had to resolve in the case was damages. After its conclusion, the jury awarded Patricia more than $9 million.

Legal News GavelIt is once again winter in Chicago, and with it have come cold temperatures, snow, and dangerous driving conditions. With the winter weather inevitably come slick roads and weather-related accidents. Recent news stories of fatal vehicle accidents should remind everyone of the profound importance of taking extra care when there is snow and ice on the roads. If you’ve been hurt in a vehicle accident occurring in winter weather, you may have a legal claim for damages. You should contact a knowledgeable Illinois car accident attorney about your situation and potential case.

A downstate accident has served once again as a tragic reminder of the dangers that can become involved when weather conditions combine snow and ice with multi-ton semi trucks. 29-year-old Kacee was a passenger in a vehicle traveling along Interstate 39 in McLean County. At some point, her vehicle became involved in a crash with a semi truck. The driver of Kacee’s vehicle was treated at the hospital. Kacee was killed. Roads in that area at that time were reported to be “snow-packed with slick spots,” the Pantagraph reported.

Just a few days earlier, CBS Chicago reported on an accident involving a car and a snow plow that took place in south suburban Chicago. The driver of the car was attempting to make a left turn when the plow, which was traveling straight ahead, crashed into the vehicle. One of the passengers in the car later died from his injuries.

Legal News GavelThere are many hazards that, while serious issues for all drivers, are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Animals in the road are one of these risks for motorcyclists. If an SUV hits a cow, the vehicle may be severely damaged, but the driver will probably survive. The same cannot always be said when the driver is operating a motorcycle instead of a car, truck, or SUV. News agencies have recently reported on fatal motorcycle-versus-cow crashes in Tennessee, Kansas, and western Wisconsin. A California motorcyclist died after hitting a bull. In Illinois, if you’re hurt because your motorcycle crashes into a livestock animal in the road, you may be able to hold that animal’s owner liable for your injuries and recover damages. If you’ve experienced such an accident, you should reach out to an experienced Illinois motorcycle accident attorney promptly.

In May of last year, two motorcyclists were involved in a crash in Marion. According to wsiltv.com, 25-year-old Joseph struck a deer. The initial collision threw him off course, and he subsequently collided with 34-year-old Matthew. The report indicated that both men were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Joseph and Matthew were involved in an accident involving a wild animal. Had the animal involved been a livestock animal instead of wildlife, they might have had a valid lawsuit. In Illinois, the law explicitly forbids owners of livestock from allowing their animals to roam. The law states that no “person or owner of livestock shall allow livestock to run at large in the State of Illinois. All owners of livestock shall provide the necessary restraints to prevent such livestock from so running at large and shall be liable in civil action for all damages occasioned by such animals running at large.” Thus, if you’ve hit a cow that was in the road, you may have a claim for money damages.