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Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, more than 5,000 people died last year in accidents involving large trucks. Many factors contributed to those numbers, and some of those regrettably could have been (and should have been) avoided. If you’ve been hurt (or a loved one has been killed) in a crash with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to recover significant compensation, and you should reach out to an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney right away for the legal advice you need.

One of the ways in which you can succeed in a truck accident case is to show that the trucker and/or the trucking company violated the federal trucking regulations. According to a report from the Boston Globe, a group of advocates is hoping that the number and stringency of those federal regulations will be increasing.

The advocates reached out, according to the report, directly to President Biden, who has a personal connection to fatal truck crashes. A December 1972 crash involving a large truck and the Biden family station wagon killed the president’s 1-year-old daughter and his first wife.

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Whether the semi-truck driver who hit your vehicle and caused your injuries was drowsy, intoxicated, distracted, or negligent for some other reason, if the police cited that trucker for some sort of infraction (like speeding, improper lane usage, or failure to reduce speed,) that citation can be an extremely important piece of your successful injury case, helping you get the compensation you need. That’s often because of a legal concept called negligence per se. Whether your injuries arose from a trucker’s ordinary negligence or negligence per se, be sure to seek out representation from an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer to help you select the best pathway forward to get the compensation you need.

There are various scenarios in which a trucker can be cited by the police. Back in March, a 62-year-old semi-truck driver crashed downstate in Wayne County. The trucker fell asleep while traveling east on Interstate 64 and overturned in the median. The trucker’s passenger was injured in the crash. Police cited the trucker for “driving while fatigued and improper lane use,” according to 14news.com.

In late April, a trucker crashed on Interstate 57 in Franklin County after he veered to the right, overcorrected, and overturned his rig. In that crash, the driver received a citation for “failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and improper lane usage,” KFVS 12 reported.

Recently, we have heard a great deal about the dangers that unsafe drivers driving for services like Uber and Lyft represent. While the threat posed by drivers who never should have been authorized by their rideshare services remains very real, the problem is bigger than just rideshare drivers. In addition to those drivers, there is also a similar danger posed by certain food delivery drivers (driving for services like Uber Eats, Door Dash and Grubhub,) as an incident from right here in Chicago illustrates. If you’ve been hurt by a food delivery driver who shouldn’t have been driving for that service, you may be able to bring a legal action and recover much-needed compensation. Reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney to find out more.

In this Chicago case, the platform being brought to court was Grubhub. The victim was a Lake View East restaurant worker who was run over and drug for several feet by a man who was driving for Grubhub. The injured woman suffered several broken bones, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Those included a broken pelvis, two broken arms and fractures in both legs. She also suffered nerve damage to both arms and required surgery on both of them, according to her attorneys.

In her lawsuit against Grubhub, she asserted that it contributed to the very serious accident through its negligence. Grubhub’s app allegedly allowed the driver, who was not licensed to drive and (according to Grubhub) was not one of its authorized drivers, to access the platform through the account of another individual who was an authorized driver.

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Self-driving cars are back in the news again. Uber is reportedly in negotiations with a competitor, Aurora, in which Uber would sell its Advanced Technologies Group (which includes Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit) to Aurora. Also, Tesla is expanding what it calls “full self-driving beta.” Driverless Waymo vans are going public in Arizona. While this may all seem very exciting, there remains the issue of safety and the accidents caused by self-driving vehicles. When that happens, and someone’s hurt, who’s liable? For answers to this and other important questions, be sure you are getting the information you need from a knowledgeable Chicago car accident attorney.

In some circumstances, the law may dictate that the person in the car is the person who is liable for the injuries you suffered, even if the vehicle was equipped with self-driving technology. If, for example, the technology inside the vehicle was merely a “driver assist” program and the accident occurred because the human was paying no attention to the road, then that person is going to be the one who bears most or all of the legal liability.

There are, however, several situations in which an accident caused by a technology-equipped vehicle may offer more legal opportunities to you beyond just suing the person behind the wheel. For example, the self-driving Waymo vans in the East Valley area of Phoenix will be completely driverless. There will no human behind the wheel whose job it is to assist the vehicle. In a scenario where a Waymo van causes a crash, then there could obviously be an opportunity for legal action against Waymo and/or Alphabet, Inc., of which Waymo is a division. (Alphabet’s divisions also include Google.) Back in October, Venture Beat reported that driverless Waymo cars were involved in 18 accidents in 20 months.

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Here in Illinois, the state has strong laws regarding using cell phones while driving. This summer, the penalties for causing an injury accident (or fatal accident) due to distracted driving are going up – to a potential maximum of a $1,000 fine and a one-year driver’s license suspension, according to the Chicago Tribune. One of the groups of people who depend heavily on their phones, and are at a high risk of driving distracted, are Uber and Lyft drivers. Their job involves lots of driving and their access to new riders involves lots of interfacing with a cell phone app, so the potential for danger is clear. If you’ve been injured by a distracted Uber driver, then you may be entitled to compensation through a civil court action. By reaching out to an experienced Chicago car accident attorney, you can get the information you need about your legal options.

Dealing with the need to use a cell phone app frequently while also driving frequently is something that all Uber drivers must deal with. Regrettably, some do it better than others. Posts on Uber message boards contain multiple “horror” stories like one Chicago-area rider who stated in 2019 that “I took an Uber ride a couple years ago in River North where the driver was holding his phone on his lap. I didn’t feel a strong sense of safety during that ride.”

It sounds like that rider got home safely, but not all riders are similarly fortunate. In Toronto, Canada, a man’s Uber ride to the airport was his last. According to a report by The Star, the Uber driver transporting the man and his girlfriend first went the wrong way on the expressway, managed to navigate onto the correct expressway going the correct way, but then lost control of his cell phone. The driver pulled over to retrieve the phone from the floor of the car, but did not get his vehicle completely outside the far-right travel lane before stopping. Another driver crashed into the Uber driver’s car, fatally injuring the passenger and severely injuring his girlfriend.

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Anytime you set out on Illinois’ roadways and expressways, there is an element of danger. That’s especially true if your vehicle comes into contact with a “big rig.” These truck accidents, due to trucks’ size and weight, have an elevated tendency to cause major damage, injuries and death. Getting the full amount you deserve in this type of situation may involve many different types of evidence to establish all the damage for which you are entitled to receive compensation, so be sure you have an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney handling your case from the very start.

Just a few weeks ago, the state Department of Transportation released its latest accident statistics report, which covers January – December 2018. During that year, the state logged more than 13,000 accidents involving tractor-trailers, with 2,235 causing injury and 122 causing death. These numbers represented a significant increase over 2017, when there were only 11,700 truck crashes, 1,949 of those causing injury and 107 fatal accidents. In each of those three categories, the year-to-year increase was more than 10%.

Recent news stories provide further examples of the problem. In early July, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on a motorcyclist who lost his life while traveling north on Lewis Avenue in Waukegan. The driver of the Freightliner that was immediately next to the motorcyclist switched lanes to the right… and right into the path of the Harley Davidson. The motorcyclist was declared dead at the scene.

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It is sometimes said that no one likes attorneys until they need one. It can be easy to form negative opinions about lawyers based upon what you see a small minority doing in the news headlines. However, when you’re hurt and a powerful entity on the other side is inaccurately representing what happened in your accident in order to deny you the recovery you urgently need, you may feel overwhelmed or plain hopeless if you are without counsel. When that happens, you definitely need the services of the right Chicago car accident attorney. Your experienced injury lawyer can help you make sense of your case, take control and acquire the evidence you need (like eyewitnesses, forensic crash-scene evidence or video footage) to expose the truth.

An example of that type of situation happened recently in the Chicago suburb of Hometown. A Metra train crashed into a compact sedan one night at around 7:30 p.m. A WGN report indicated that, according to Metra, “the lights were flashing, the gates were down and other vehicles had stopped, but the female driver sped around the gates.” The accident critically injured three women inside the car. A 19-year-old male pedestrian struck by the car and died in a hospital two days later.

Obviously, if Metra’s description were true, that could be incredibly damaging to the court cases that the injured passengers and fatally injured pedestrian’s family might pursue against Metra, as it would indicate that the car’s driver, not Metra, was to blame for causing the accident. This is why you need ample resources on your side to discover all the favorable evidence that may be out there. The unfortunate reality is that, without strong evidence to contradict Metra’s description, may people might find the story of a relatively young driver in her 20s recklessly choosing to “beat” the train to be persuasive.

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Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed that, in 2015, some 13% of all large truck accidents were the result of driver fatigue, a percentage greater than alcohol and illegal drugs combined (11%). Drowsy truck drivers represent an extreme danger risk on Illinois’s highways, as an accident involving a sleepy (or sleeping) truck driver often also involves a big rig traveling at high speeds. If you or a loved one have been hurt by a trucker who drove while drowsy or otherwise fatigued, you may be able to recover substantial compensation in court, so you should act quickly to contact a knowledgeable Chicago truck accident attorney.

A tragic January accident is an example of just damaging semi accidents can be. The driver of a FedEx semi, traveling eastbound on I-90 near Rockford at roughly 1:00 a.m. one morning, crashed into the rear of a disabled vehicle that was positioned along the right-hand shoulder of the highway. The disabled vehicle’s driver, a young mother who had run out of gas and was standing alongside her vehicle, died at the scene. Her 4-year-old child, who was still in the vehicle, suffered minor injuries, according to a WIFR report. The report indicated that the truck driver was cited by police for “failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.” Police indicated drugs and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash.

The information reported by the news media offers us some facts, but not everything, about this crash. We know that the accident happened in the wee hours of the morning. We know that the deceased driver pulled off the highway after her vehicle stopped running. We know semi driver was believed by police to be completely sober. The information from the news reports did not rule out driver fatigue as a factor in the crash.

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A multi-vehicle chain-reaction accident involving an Amazon semi-truck left two people dead in Houston, Texas shortly before Easter Sunday. Unfortunately, headlines and stories like this are popping up far too often. Amazon trucks are becoming involved in an ever-increasing number of accidents… accidents causing major injuries and sometimes fatalities. If you are injured in Illinois by an Amazon truck, or by a truck driver delivering items for Amazon, you may be entitled to compensation from the massive corporation. To find who owes you damages for the harm you’ve suffered, reach promptly and speak to a knowledgeable Chicago truck accident attorney about your circumstances.

In the Houston incident, the accident, which occurred in the wee hours of the morning, initially wrecked a Mazda, a Chevrolet pickup truck and a Lincoln SUV, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Mazda’s driver and a passenger in the Lincoln exited their vehicles. As they did so, “an Amazon 18-wheeler plowed through the crash site,” according to the report, killing them. A third person, a “Good Samaritan” who had stopped to help, only escaped the big rig’s path by jumping off the freeway overpass, landing some 10-15 feet below, whereupon he suffered serious injuries, according to ABC 13. The ABC report also indicated that the roads were rain-slickened at the time of the crash.

In late January, an Amazon Prime truck headed northbound on I-77 north of Charlotte abruptly crashed into and through a guardrail at roughly 1:00 a.m. Fortunately, in this accident, no one was seriously injured, as the truck collided with no other vehicles and the roughly 13,000 packages that spilled from the trailer generally landed on the grass to the east of the northbound lanes. WSOC, which covered the accident, stated that it was not known “yet what caused the truck to go off the interstate.”

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There are many ways that a commercial truck driver can err and cause an accident with injuries. These can include good-faith judgment mistakes, such as going too fast for a rain or ice-slicked highway. Other times, the driver’s actions are less “good-faith,” such as when a driver causes an injury crash because he was impaired by drugs or alcohol. When you’re injured by a commercial truck driver, you are entitled to sue for the harm you suffered. Getting the full recovery you deserve often depends on accumulating and presenting the right evidence about who was legally liable for those injuries caused, and getting a judgment against all of them. To ensure you are equipped to get that full recovery, be sure you have a knowledgeable Chicago truck accident attorney working for you.

In one recent Central Illinois commercial truck accident, the outcome was tragedy. According to WAND TV, a grandmother was outside her vehicle in the parking lot of a local gas station when a dump truck lost control trying turn at a nearby intersection. The truck slammed through a ditch, passed over a street and careened into the parking lot, where it hit and killed the woman.

A day after the crash, the state charged the truck driver with aggravated DUI, reckless homicide and various drug crimes, according to the WAND report. The driver was operating a dump truck for the local township at the time of the fatal accident.

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