Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

motorhomeChances 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.

taxi cabIn 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 car accidentNew 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.

carAs 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.

busAccidents 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.

snowy roadIt 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.

motorcyclistThere 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.

Flagger AheadWhen you are pursuing a personal injury case, there are lots of pieces to the puzzle that is your damages award. Sometimes, the focus of your damages case falls primarily on proving the actual financial harm you’ve suffered in the past, which may mean presenting lots of evidence regarding the medical care you’ve received and the correct value of that care. Other times, it may be about showing future losses you will incur, which may mean things like expert witness testimony to prove the amount of future lost wages you’ll have. In still other cases, it is about amassing significant evidence in a multitude of these areas in order to get the full amount of damages you deserve, which can potentially reach into the millions. Presenting a strong case when it comes to your damages award is but one aspect of many in which your Illinois truck accident attorney can help you get the most out of your case.

One such plaintiff was Frank, whose case was reported by The Southern Illinoisan. Frank worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation as a flagger. One day in March 2014, Frank, as part of his job, had stopped an Illinois Department of Correction van because DOT employees were trimming trees in the area. While Frank had the van stopped, a pest control truck came up from behind and slammed into the van.

The flagger escaped being hit or run over by the vehicle because he dove out of the way when the truck hit the van. In the process, though, he did major damage to his right shoulder. Doctors did surgery to repair the rotator cuff injury Frank had suffered, but Frank nevertheless developed a condition in his shoulder after the surgery. That condition was a result of scar tissue forming abnormally in the shoulder, causing both pain and limitation regarding his use of the joint.

car accidentAuto accidents involving multiple vehicles can mean multiple layers of complexity when it comes to pursuing a legal case to recover damages for the harm you suffered. These types of accidents can also mean, however, multiple opportunities to obtain that fair recovery that you deserve. The possibility of multiple defendants can potentially help you if you’ve suffered serious injuries in your case. An experienced Illinois car crash attorney can provide you with the representation you need as you take on such a potentially complicated case.

One recent Chicago-area case offers an example of how the process works. Here were the facts of the case:  in the early Saturday morning hours of Nov. 2, 2013, Angela was a passenger in a compact Toyota car headed eastbound on Interstate 88 near Naperville. Eastbound I-88 was under construction, and only one lane was open. Daniel was driving westbound on I-88 at the same time. Daniel, who was high on cocaine at the time, made an illegal U-turn and tried to merge into the eastbound traffic. His Chrysler Pacifica struck the Toyota. The impact rotated the Toyota 90 degrees, and the semi truck that had been immediately behind the Toyota was unable to stop. The semi slammed into the passenger side of the Toyota, causing serious and permanent injuries to Angela.

On the surface, Daniel might seem like the primary focus of a lawsuit by Angela. The Illinois State Police’s accident report stated that Daniel’s improper lane usage and other traffic violations were the cause of the accident.

walk signalBus accidents in which the victim is a pedestrian can be especially serious. The impact may cause the pedestrian to suffer multiple serious injuries and may also result in the victim becoming permanently disabled. These injuries can include broken bones, ligament damage, nerve damage, and more. The result may end up with the victim having a lifetime of pain and medical care. That is why it is important to make sure you have capable Illinois pedestrian accident attorneys working for you to ensure you get the full recovery you deserve.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s settlement of a Magnificent Mile pedestrian’s case, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, shows just how extensive the harm can be. The 25-year-old woman was walking in the Magnificent Mile area on Jan. 29, 2014 when an event the opposite of magnificent took place. She attempted to cross Michigan Avenue when a Chicago Transit Authority bus struck her. The pedestrian had waited to cross with the “walk” light in her favor, but the bus driver, who was making a right turn when she hit the pedestrian, neither stopped nor slowed down, according to the injured pedestrian’s lawsuit.

When the bus ran over her feet, it crushed both of them. This resulted in multiple bone fractures in each foot. The extent of the woman’s harm wasn’t limited to the broken bones. She also asserted that the accident resulted in her developing a type of nerve injury that is not uncommon in instances in which a body part is crushed. That nerve injury allegedly inflicted severe pain and forced the pedestrian to undergo extensive therapy, with a lifetime of future care required to deal with pain caused by the nerve damage.