Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Many major national and international entities use complex corporate structures to attempt to minimize or avoid civil liability, especially in today’s more complicated “gig” economy. They may have layers of subordinates or franchisees which, they will argue, are independent and solely liable for negligence that injures you. These large entities can range from online retailers to pizza restaurants to rideshare companies. Many times, these franchisees or subordinates may be very small and/or very financially limited.

The law, however, recognizes some important exceptions when the larger entity is actually the one “pulling the strings” and maintaining control of the activities being performed, and therefore potentially liable. With the right proof, you may still be able to get the full recovery you deserve by pursuing the (often much larger) parent or principal entity. To accomplish these kinds of goals (and others) in your Illinois accident case, be sure you have placed a skilled Chicago injury attorney on your side.

A case from Florida gives some insight into how success might be achieved. In the Florida case, a former fire chief was traveling a state highway when a pizza delivery driver cut in front of him. The chief reportedly swerved to avoid contact but lost control of his truck and flipped. The accident left the chief with permanent spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. He died 15 months later as a result of complications of the accident, according to a Florida Today report.

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settlementstick-300x276There may be many different possible ways to resolve your Illinois personal injury action. You can litigate the case all the way to a verdict, you can work out a settlement with the other side, or you may achieve a settlement through an alternative dispute resolution process like mediation. In order to protect yourself, you need to make sure that you understand your case in great detail, including the monetary value of your case. Without this knowledge, you may fall into the trap of accepting a low-ball offer to settle your case. Retaining knowledgeable Chicago car accident counsel to represent you is one important way to make sure that your interests will be properly safeguarded, whether through trial, mediation, or any other process.

The case of Keenan, reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, was an example of how mediation can fail because the defendant does not submit an appropriate offer. According to Keenan, Anne rear-ended him in the town of Shiloh, causing him to suffer significant injuries. When you’re injured in an auto accident, there are several steps that are involved in the process to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered. Whether you want to settle or go to trial, whether you seek a courtroom resolution or an outcome achieved through alternative dispute resolution, knowledgeable legal representation will know how to handle any of these scenarios.

The defense asked for the two sides to participate in mediation. Mediation can be a useful way to reach a fair and beneficial outcome without having to go through everything that is inherently involved in a full trial. Some of the keys to a successful mediation generally involve a strong knowledge of what your case is worth (so that you don’t agree to a settlement that is too small) and an opponent who participates in the process in a serious manner.

Many times, vehicle accidents involve a limited range of legal options. You can pursue the at-fault driver and his auto insurer… and that could be all. In other situations, though, a vehicle accident may present you with a greater array of legal avenues. If, for example, your injury accident was caused by the driver of a truck or other work vehicle that was doing work for the City of Chicago, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the City of Chicago.

This option of suing the city may greatly enhance your odds of getting a full and fair recovery, whether via verdict or settlement. To learn more about the various legal options available to get the full amount of compensation you deserve, be sure to engage an experienced Chicago injury attorney.

Two accidents that illustrate this point recently ended in settlements. The more recent accident, reported by the Sun-Times, occurred in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Reportedly, the accident victims, 7-year-old S.L. and her mother, J.L. were attempting to cross South Ashland Avenue at West 65th Street. The pair made it only halfway across the street before they were struck by a tractor’s trailer. The accident left the mother with a hip injury but killed the girl.

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An Uber driver in Chicago made the news in late July for the wrong reasons. The driver, a 27-year-old from Midlothian, allegedly was driving drunk when he struck a police officer’s vehicle on I-94 near 76th Street. The officer was injured and required hospitalization.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunken Uber (or Lyft) driver, would you know what to do? Would you know who to pursue for compensation for the harm you suffered? For answers to these and other essential questions, be sure to seek out the advice of an experienced Chicago car accident attorney.

In that type of situation, you’d probably recognize that you could sue the driver. But, what do you do if the driver has few assets only has minimal insurance coverage, while you have piles of medical bills and other damages? Can you sue Uber? The answer is: potentially yes.

Sleep Tips for Commercial Drivers

If you are a commercial driver or you know one, it’s important to educate yourself about drowsy driving, what helps mitigate it, and what makes it worse.

1. Get Enough Sleep Before You Drive

Chances are, if you’ve watched enough television or movies, you’ve become familiar with a certain stereotype: a person who is involved a car accident where one vehicle is stopped and the other is going 2 mph. The person struck appears fine at the scene, only to reappear later in a massively bulky neck brace. Like many stereotypes, this one rarely reflects reality. The truth is that, even if you’re involved in a low-speed crash and even if the pain you feel doesn’t set in right away, that doesn’t mean that you weren’t seriously injured as a result of the accident and it doesn’t mean that you cannot recover compensation for the harm you suffered in that accident. Whether the wreck was high-speed or low-speed and whether your pain started immediately or had a delayed onset, make sure you fully explore your options by contacting an experienced Chicago injury attorney about your situation.

A recently settled case, originally reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, was an example of precisely this kind of scenario. J.D. was driving his motorcycle through a small Illinois town just east of St. Louis when he approached an intersection. J.W. was parked on the side of the road and was attempting to turn left into a parking lot. As J.W. turned his pickup truck left, he crossed into the path of J.D.’s motorcycle, according to the motorcyclist’s complaint. The impact allegedly caused the bike to topple over and pin J.D. underneath.

J.D. sued J.W. for negligence. Although J.D.’s accident was a low-speed one, the motorcyclist allegedly suffered significant damages. His complaint asserted that the accident caused him to incur “progressive and disabling injuries to his neck, back, and spine; left shoulder, hand and wrist; and pelvis.” These injuries allegedly caused the motorcyclist to incur substantial medical bills, in addition to a great deal of pain and suffering, according to the Record.

If you’re hurt in an accident where the at-fault driver was an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be concerned about getting a proper and full payout for your claim. Fortunately, rideshare companies like these offer liability insurance for their drivers. That coverage only applies in certain situations and, even if it does, it may require strenuous effort (just like in many other insurance situations) to get the insurer to pay up. To be sure that you are pursuing your claims in the right way, and getting the full payout that you deserve, be sure you have a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney guiding you throughout the process.

As it now stands, Uber and Lyft drivers in Illinois are generally considered independent contractors. As a result of that, if your injuries were the result of an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, the rideshare company may try to get the driver’s personal insurance to pay. Many drivers’ personal insurers, however, will refuse claims resulting from the driver’s Uber/Lyft activities unless the policy includes commercial coverage. That’s because most personal policies say that the driver must use the vehicle only for personal use and, if she/he doesn’t, then the insurer isn’t liable for paying claims based on that non-personal-use accident.

Fortunately, there is the insurance coverage held by Uber or Lyft. The amount of compensation that you may be able to seek depends on what the driver was doing when the accident took place. If the driver was not logged into the Uber or Lyft app at the time of the accident, then Uber or Lyft’s insurance will say that the driver was not operating as a rideshare driver at the time and will deny coverage. (Of course, if that happens, then you may be able to assert successfully that the driver was using the vehicle for personal use in that moment and pursue a successful claim against the driver’s personal insurance.)

We continue to hear a lot in the news about rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft. Too often, these stories involve riders or pedestrians being hurt. A case from Texas involving a severely injured Oklahoma college student is just the latest example of how your Uber or Lyft ride can go wrong. When your Uber or Lyft ride does go wrong in Illinois, be sure that you reach out without delay to contact an experienced Chicago injury attorney.

The case of S.M., an Oklahoma State University student, made headlines recently due to a verdict entered against the manufacturer of the van in which the student was riding when she was catastrophically hurt. Her case, though, offers an important view into how unsafe rideshare rides potentially can be, and how you can pursue important compensation if you’re hurt while riding with a rideshare driver.

S.M. was partying in Dallas with friends late one night and, because the group had been drinking, they hailed an Uber to take them to another location. The Uber driver, behind the wheel of a Honda van, ran a red light and got T-boned by a pickup truck. S.M., who was in the middle seat of the van’s third row, was seriously injured. Doctors ultimately diagnosed S.M. with a fractured neck. That injury meant that S.M. would be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life.

In an auto accident situation, there are many potential obstacles you could face. In many of those circumstances, the biggest roadblock might be an insurance company. Going up against an insurance company may be an essential part of getting full and fair compensation for your injuries. It is also a key reason why it is worth your while to retain an Illinois car accident attorney to represent you in your case. The insurance companies are well-equipped with skillful attorneys. You should be too.

One recent case from the North Side of Chicago was an example of such a battle involving an auto insurer. The injured woman, Eileen, was hurt in a late March 2014 accident. She was crossing Milwaukee Avenue in the Norwood Park neighborhood when a driver crashed into her. The driver, Ciprian, had consumed several alcoholic beverages that day. Ciprian was driving a vehicle that he borrowed from Kelly. Kelly knowingly allowed Ciprian to drive the vehicle, even though Kelly also knew about Ciprian’s alcohol consumption.

Eileen was critically injured in the accident. She later sued both Ciprian and Kelly for the harm she incurred from her serious injuries. In many varieties of auto accident cases, including those involving pedestrians, auto insurers can play an important role. In a case in which the at-fault driver was not the vehicle’s owner, you may be entitled to sue both individuals, which could possibly trigger a legal obligation by one of both of those people’s insurers to defend them in your lawsuit.

The convenience of modern technology is often wonderful. We can use technology to do everything from adjusting our thermostats to turning on the porch lights to maintaining our grocery lists. One area that may offer great benefits, but also currently carries significant risk, is self-driving vehicles. As major ride-hailing services like Uber explore the possibility of using self-driving vehicles, it is important to be aware of the risks driver-assisted or self-driving vehicles can pose. If you’ve been hurt by a self-driving vehicle, whether you were in that vehicle or an outside one, it is possible that you may have legal claims against various entities based on that crash. You should contact a skilled Chicago injury attorney to discuss your situation and your options.

Uber is recognized as one of the leaders in autonomous vehicles, alongside Tesla and Google’s Waymo. Each of the entities have had to deal with injury-causing accidents. Last year, a pedestrian in Arizona died after a self-driving Uber vehicle did not try to evade her, but instead plowed into her at 40 mph, according to a Business Insider report.

Recently, the news stories have involved Tesla. Back in March, CNBC reported that a Tesla vehicle was involved in a fatal crash in South Florida. The Tesla Model 3 was traveling at 68 mph when it slammed into a big rig’s trailer. The Tesla’s occupant died in the crash. The vehicle’s autopilot was on at the time the crash took place, and reports said the driver had taken his hands from the wheel for eight seconds. The accident report indicated that neither the autopilot system nor the driver “executed evasive maneuvers,” according to the report.