Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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.

Party BusWhen you are injured in a bus accident, you may have multiple different ways that you can secure a legal recovery for the damages you suffered. If the driver of the bus drove the vehicle in a manner that was not consistent with reasonable standards of safety, that may create liability. If the owner did not maintain the bus properly in terms of safety or if the bus had safety issues in the way it was manufactured, these too could create a viable case. However you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you should contact knowledgeable Illinois bus accident counsel to help you protect and pursue your case.

One tragic recent bus accident situation involved a suburban Chicago man. Jimmy was out with friends on the night of June 2, 2017 to celebrate the birthday of a former co-worker. To facilitate the festivities and promote safety, none of the group was driving – they traveled aboard a party bus. At a little before 3:00 am, the group was still traveling and partying. They were headed northbound on the Tri-State Tollway when Jimmy got up to turn up the volume on the bus’ radio, according to Patch.com.

However, as Jimmy reached for the volume knob, something went wrong. He tripped and fell, and, when he did, he tumbled down the bus’ stairs toward the doors. When he hit the doors, the doors flung open, leaving Jimmy to fall out of the bus and onto the surface of the I-294 travel lane immediately to the bus’ right. The driver of an SUV, who did not stop, ran over Jimmy and killed him, according to the Patch report.

Chicago TaxiAchieving full and complete success in your Chicago personal injury case is about many things. One of the keys to success in many cases is including all of the available defendants in your action. Suing only an individual person (such as an employee) may mean that, even if you win, you may have a more difficult time recovering the full amount of your damages, especially if the trial court gives a substantial award. Including employers and other entities may enhance your odds of getting your full recovery in some cases. An experienced injury attorney can help you make sure that your case is constructed to give you the full recovery you need.

A recent injury plaintiff, Edward, was a self-employed installer of computerized dispatch equipment in taxi cabs who was hurt when a man drove a taxi cab into Edward, pinning one of his legs between the vehicle and a fence. The impact caused serious injuries to Edward.

The man who was driving the cab at the time was a part-time manager employed by the company that owned the cab. When Edward filed suit for the damages he suffered from his injury, he sued the manager and the company that employed the manager. However, he also named another defendant in his negligence case, a limited liability taxi dispatch company.

truckA grandmother of five was driving across a Northern Illinois highway in March 2013 when she encountered an accident ahead. An allegedly drunk driver had lost control, crossed the median, and hit a guardrail. The grandmother stopped. The truck driver traveling behind her in the same lane did not. Although the trucker was a considerable distance behind the woman, he nevertheless slammed into her vehicle at an alleged speed of around 60 mph. The crash killed the grandmother and triggered a lawsuit that recently ended with the jury finding for the plaintiff and assessing damages at $15 million, according to a National Law Review report. The case highlighted the massive damage that can arise in truck accidents and the potential usefulness of modern technological varieties of evidence, such as “dashcam” video footage, all of which are things that your Illinois truck accident attorney can help you compile and present as part of your case.

The woman’s daughter, who launched the wrongful death case against the trucker and his employer, pursued the case with multiple approaches. There was evidence, including the “dashcam” video of the driver and the accident, which potentially indicated that the truck driver was drowsy or asleep in the moments leading up to the fatal crash. That was one key thrust of the plaintiff’s case:  that the truck driver was negligent as a result of his decision to operate the vehicle while fatigued.

The plaintiff did not limit herself to arguing that the trucker was liable for driving while fatigued, however. The plaintiff also argued that the truck driver “did not allow enough time or distance to safely stop, did not keep a proper lookout, drove too fast for conditions, … and did not apply his brakes.” The defense in this case argued that the trucker was not asleep or drowsy. The plaintiff’s alternative arguments meant that she could proceed, even if she never proved drowsiness. The deceased grandmother stopped legally and properly in the travel lane, due to a wreck in front of her. The trucker allegedly came up behind and rear-ended her at 60 mph, which could potentially demonstrate negligence even if the driver wasn’t asleep or sleepy.

motor coachIn an injury case, as with any civil action, one of the key aspects of the case is the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Whether your case is about liability and damages, or just damages, the discovery process is a vital part of the proceeding, and handling this aspect well can be key to achieving a successful outcome. You certainly want to make sure that you turn over those things that the law says you have to disclose, but you also don’t want to do anything that isn’t required and may weaken your case. In the case of an injured computer analyst, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a ruling recently, stating that he did not have to make discovery disclosures unless the trial court first made findings that the benefit outweighed the burden that would be placed on him.

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