Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Road rage and aggressive driving can take many dangerous forms. It might involve speeding, swerving, cutting off another driver with an abrupt lane change, “brake checking” (slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater to dissuade the tailgater from following too closely), passing on the shoulder or excessive use of a car horn or headlights/high-beams. Regrettably, road rage can also lead to auto accidents and serious injuries, including fatalities. Certainly, the best course of action when facing an aggressive driver is to avoid that person. If you cannot, and if you are injured in a road rage-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation in a civil case. As with any auto accident injury situation, reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney to learn more about your options.

Recently, the Sun-Times covered the criminal case of a Chicago police dispatcher accused of attempted murder in a road rage case. The accused, K.M., and the alleged victim, S.G., were driving down South Ashland Avenue in Chicago. K.M. allegedly tried to cut off S.G., but S.G. blocked her. A verbal argument, complete with alleged racial slurs, ensued and S.G. tossed a large cup of soda into K.M.’s car. The pair ended up in a parking lot, where the verbal dispute turned physical. As the fight escalated, K.M. pulled a gun and shot S.G. in the chest, inflicting non-fatal injuries.

In the criminal case, K.M. was not convicted because the judge determined she acted in self-defense, the Sun-Times reported. However, in addition to the criminal case, K.M. also faced a civil suit pursued by S.G. Just because K.M. won her criminal case, that outcome does not automatically dictate that S.G. cannot succeed in her claim for civil damages, which is still ongoing in the courts.

Many times, a truck accident has the potential to change the lives of multiple people… and change them forever. Those killed have their lives cut needlessly short. The decedent’s loved ones must deal with the emotional and the financial fallout of the unexpected loss. Obviously, no amount of money can take the place of the love, support, companionship, affection and wisdom of a lost loved one. That undeniable fact does not, however, change another fact, which is that the untimely loss of a loved one may create a massive financial hardship for those left behind.

A fatally injured victim in his 40s may have had a spouse and teenage children at home, and that family likely relied in whole or in part upon that person’s income to make ends meet. A person in her mid 60s may also still be working and providing both emotional and financial support to her family members. A victim in his 20s may be newly married with an infant at home who relied on her in many ways. All of these families could have suffered incalculable emotional losses and extensive financial ones, as well. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can help you in this vulnerable time to deal with the legal side of your needs.

Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court entered a ruling in a long-running case involving a tragic accident in Will County. J.S. was a 66-year-old husband and father of two from Naperville who had made a career in the commercial lending business. J.S., along with T.S., a 42-year-old man from Seneca (as well as many other drivers), were traveling along northbound Interstate 55 near Plainfield when the lives of their families and many others would be forever changed. At a little before 10 a.m., there was a wreck along I-55 and that had caused a backup. D.H., a trucker from Utah hauling a load of potatoes from Idaho to Bolingbrook, did not notice the slowed traffic in front of her soon enough. She tried to stop, but her truck slammed into the vehicles in front of her.

Cars often weigh around 2,700 to 4,000 pounds. Pickup trucks, vans and SUVs weigh 4,000-6,000 pounds. A commercial truck carrying a full load might weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Clearly, the unavoidable physics associated with these numbers tells you that, in a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, the amount of damage to the driver and passengers of the car/pickup/van/SUV can be catastrophic as the smaller vehicle will likely bear the brunt of the impact. The harm these people suffer can be horrific and permanently life-altering. The accident may create a need for a lifetime of medical care, and perhaps permanent disability. To get the financial recovery you need as a result of such a wreck, you may need to avail yourself to the legal system. If that happens to you in Illinois, be sure you have retained a skilled Illinois truck accident attorney to help you with your case.

A recent case that made news headlines demonstrates just how severe these damages can be. J.B., a mom of three, lost control of her pickup truck along a stretch of eastbound Interstate 20 in west Texas when she allegedly hit a patch of icy roadway. The pickup skidded across the roadway and into the westbound lanes. At that point, a commercial truck driver was headed westbound. The big rig slammed into the pickup.

The results of the crash were tragic. A report from cdllife.com indicated that the mom and the one child suffered substantial brain injuries. J.B.’s 12-year-old daughter was left with permanent paralysis that meant that she would be a quadriplegic for the rest of life, forever requiring 24-hour care. The accident killed J.B.’s 7-year-old son.

Each auto accident injury scenario comes with its own set of unique elements. These elements can sometimes be confusing, even to a sophisticated lay person. That is one of many reasons why it pays to consult an experienced Chicago injury attorney about your situation and your options for compensation. For example, if you were a rider in rideshare vehicle and that vehicle was hit head-on by a drunk driver, would you know what to do and whom you could sue? What about if, during their investigation, the police found out that your rideshare driver had taken drugs and had those drugs in her system when the crash happened-would you know how to proceed in that circumstance?

That exact scenario occured in an accident that injured a man named A.V. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, A.V. was a passenger in a Toyota Camry driven by E.R, a Lyft driver. As E.R. drove through the Humboldt Park community at roughly 3:55 a.m., the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with an SUV driven by T.A. Police later concluded that T.A. was driving drunk. The accident inflicted serious harm to E.R. and caused fatal injuries to A.B., another passenger in E.R.’s vehicle. A.V. suffered head injuries and a concussion, the Sun-Times indicated.

In a circumstance like this, you might believe that, if you were in a position like A.V., your legal recourse is simple: pursuing a claim for damages against T.A. However, the reality of cases like these is that they can often be more complicated than they appear on the surface. In A.V.’s case, T.A. was driving drunk. However, law enforcement also discovered, as part of its investigation, that E.R. was under the influence of a drug when she was driving her Lyft vehicle at the time of the accident.

If you are a close loved one of someone who died in an auto accident, you likely have many things on your plate in the days, weeks and months after the tragic incident. You may be dealing with interactions with friends and family. You may be dealing with the deceased’s personal effects and final arrangements. You are doubtlessly dealing with your own emotions. On top of all that, there may the matter of possible legal action based upon the accident. As you deal with the multitude of personal and family issues that require your attention, leave the litigation issues to the legal professionals. Retain knowledgeable Chicago auto accident counsel to be sure that your case gets the legal representation it needs.

Patch.com recently reported on a wrongful death filing submitted in nearby Will County. In that civil court complaint, the estate of a woman fatally injured in a crash just west of Joliet had sued two drivers. The complaint alleged that J.B., an elderly woman, was riding in a minivan that was being driven by E.C., her caretaker. E.C. was traveling west on a city street near an interstate overpass. A.R. was driving his 1999 Mitsubishi eastbound on the same road. As the two vehicles crossed paths, a massive collision occurred.

The lawsuit named both E.C. and A.R. as defendants. The complaint alleged E.C. was negligent in her driving and therefore liable. Specifically, the lawsuit asserted that E.C. had a solid red traffic light in her direction but that, in spite of her red light, she improperly failed to yield the right of way. The lawsuit also named A.R. and asserted that he was negligent.

Most of us have a reasonable general understanding of the rules of the road. In any intersection situation, one direction of traffic has the right of way and the other flows of traffic are obliged to yield. The requirement to yield can be controlled by a traffic light or a traffic sign. That said, what happens when you failed to yield because the stop sign that controlled your road was missing? Obviously, drivers are not required by the law to be psychics and cannot be liable for not following signs that are missing. In fact, if any driver (including the one who failed to yield) is hurt as a result of such a scenario, then the injured people may have valid claims for compensation based upon the improper failure to re-install or replace the stop sign. For this or any other type of auto accident injury case, be sure to consult a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney about your options.

That scenario described above, while unlikely, actually happened to one Southern Illinois woman. The website rrstar.com reported on the fatal crash of S.K., a small-town high school teacher. Early one late May morning, she was on her way to her doctor’s office and was driving through a road in rural Stephenson County. She encountered an intersection but, seeing no stop sign and not being familiar with the road, she proceeded ahead. Unbeknownst to her, traffic on her road was supposed to stop and an oncoming vehicle crashed into her. The teacher died shortly after the impact.

If you were (non-fatally) injured in an accident like this, would you know what to do? Would you attempt to sue the other driver in the crash? If a driver improperly fails to yield the right of way and that failure to yield causes an injury accident, then that driver could be liable for the injuries caused as a result of the driver’s negligent failure to yield. However, in this case, the driver who crashed into S.K. had the right of way, and therefore probably could not be liable for improperly failing to yield.

Bus-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.

When 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.

When 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.

Chances 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.