Posted On: December 30, 2009

Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sues Kane County for Failure to Arrest Allegedly Intoxicated Driver Prior to Fatal Sugar Grove Township Motor Vehicle Crash

The family of a Marengo motorist who died in a Sugar Grove Township motor vehicle crash is suing Kane County and Elburn resident Linda L. Knotts for Illinois wrongful death. 54 year-old William McKenzie died when Knott’s truck crashed into his Ford van on March 20 on Route 47.

The family’s Illinois wrongful death lawsuit is holding Kane County responsible for the Sugar Grove Township car accident because cops did not arrest Knots on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs when she was briefly apprehended just 15 minutes before the deadly Illinois traffic accident. McKenzie was pronounced dead at the Sugar Grove crash site.

Cops stopped Knotts after receiving complaints that she was driving erratically, including operating her vehicle on the shoulder of Route 47. Her pickup truck struck Mackenzie’s van head-on when she drove into oncoming traffic.

Knotts was initially cited for driving in the wrong lane and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident but the charges against her have been dropped for now. After hearing police testimony in May, a coroner's jury blamed Knotts for McKenzie's death, which they called a homicide.

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuits
There is so much to consider when filing an Illinois car accident lawsuitt An experienced Chicago car crash lawyer will know what to do to successfully pursue your recovery, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, negotiating with the other party’s insurer, and filing your personal injury/wrongful death claim/lawsuit on time.

Obtaining compensation for your car crash injuries or your loved one’s death can help you cover accidents costs, medical expenses, and other damages and losses.

Kane County sued over fatal crash, Daily Herald, December 17, 2009

Man dies in 2-car crash, Northwest Herald, March 21, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Kane County, Illinois

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Posted On: December 28, 2009

Illinois Texting While Driving Ban Goes Into Effect on January 1, 2010

Beginning New Year’s Day, it will no longer be legal for Illinois motorists to text message while driving. While this distracted driving activity has been banned in Chicago for over a year, the prohibition will now be statewide.

Authorities will be allowed to stop a driver if they suspect that he or she is texting. They also can look at your PDA or cell phone to determine whether you were texting, IMing, or online.

In the last year, safety and transportation officials have spoken about the dangers that texting while driving presents, including increasing a driver’s risk of causing a deadly motor vehicle crash. On Tuesday, the Obama Administration launched, which discusses the dangers caused by distracted driving. According to, the three main types of distractions while driving are:

Manual – results in the motorist taking at least one hand off the steering wheel.
Visual – the driver’s eyes are off the road.
Cognitive – the driver’s mind is not focused on driving.

Texting while driving involves at least two of these distractions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says over one-fourth of the 1.2 million auto collisions that occur each year in the US involve a distracted driver.

Our Chicago, Illinois car accident lawyers have blogged in the past about the risks of texting while driving and the statistics which support the claim that way too many people are getting hurt or dying because drivers can’t control the compulsion to send and receive texts just long enough to arrive safely at their destinations. We are hoping that more drivers will abide by this new ban and refrain from texting while driving.

Unfortunately, not only do many texting motorists forget that this seemingly harmless activity can kill people, but also they can be held liable for Chicago, Illinois personal injury or wrongful death if they cause a catastrophic car crash that hurts or kills another person.

Obama administration unveils new effort to combat distracted driving, DetNews, December 29, 2009

How to deal with the new Illinois ban on texting while driving, Daily Herald, December 28, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Scary statistics on teen texting, calling while driving, The Seattle Times, November 17, 2009

Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association

Continue reading " Illinois Texting While Driving Ban Goes Into Effect on January 1, 2010 " »

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Posted On: December 23, 2009

Buffalo Grove Car Accident Victim and Highland Park Driver Agree to $1 Million Chicago Personal Injury Settlement

A $1 million Chicago car accident settlement has been reached between two former best friends. Marissa Palmer, a 22-year-old Buffalo Grove woman, sustained a closed head injury, road rash injuries, spinal, rib, and neck fractures, and lacerated her liver and spleen in 2006 after she was ejected from the Jeep Cherokee that Dana Horowitz, a Highland Park resident, was driving.

The two women were University of Wisconsin undergrad students at the time of the catastrophic three-vehicle crash that took place in snowy weather. They were traveling from Madison to Highland Park on icy roads.

According to witnesses, Horowitz was operating her motor vehicle at a speed of about 60 mph while other motorists were driving at approximately half that speed. She lost control of her Jeep, drove over the median, and struck two other autos.

While a motorist is not responsible for poor weather conditions and the hazards that they can create on wet, icy, or foggy roads, a driver can be held liable for Chicago personal injury if the motorist fails to modify his/her driving to prevent an Illinois car accident from happening.

A driver may have to reduce the vehicle's speed to lower than the posted speed limit to prevent his/vehicle from sliding uncontrollably on icy or wet roads. Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving when the road conditions are poor can cause tragic car accidents.

The party responsible for your Chicago, Illinois motor vehicle accident may be the driver of another vehicle, the driver of the vehicle that you are a passenger in, or another person or entity.

$1M settlement for Buffalo Grove woman in icy-road crash, Chicago Sun-Times, December 19, 2009

$1M settlement for woman in icy-road crash, WBBMNewsRadio780, December 19, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Winter Driving Tips, AAA

CyberDrive, Illinois

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Posted On: December 22, 2009

Lockport Police Officer Accused of Causing Deadly Chicago Car Crash Had BAC of .223%

Assistant State’s Attorney John Carroll of Cook County says that Lockport Police Officer Edward Stapinski’s blood alcohol was .223 when he allegedly caused a three-auto crash on the Stevenson Expressway on Sunday night. Stapinski, 34, was not on duty when the deadly collision happened. Killed in the tragic Chicago car accident was Man K. Wong, 29.

According Illinois State Police, Stapinski was headed south on Interstate Highway 55 close to Cicero Avenue when his vehicle drove onto the left shoulder and hit the concrete median barrier. It then went over the barrier, striking Wong’s auto in a head-on crash. Next, the off-duty cop’s auto rolled over, hitting a third vehicle.

According to witnesses, the off-duty police driver was operating his vehicle at a speed of about 80 mph when the deadly Cook County car accident happened. Police who were at the scene say that the 34-year-old cop exhibited slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and smelled of alcohol. Stapinski declined to be tested for alcohol while at the crash site but he took a blood tested at the hospital where he was admitted for his injuries.

Wong was pronounced dead in Mt. Sinai Hospital. The third motorist was not injured. On Monday night, Stapinski was charged with drunken driving and reckless homicide.

Illinois Drunk Driving Accidents
While the number of Illinois drunk driving deaths has gone down (439 alcohol-related Illinois car crashes in 2007 and 362 drunk driving fatalities in 2008), drunk driving accidents continue to claim too many lives. A drunken motorist who causes a deadly car crash can be held liable for Illinois personal injury or wrongful death.

Especially during the holiday season, when people are busy going from one holiday event to the next and traveling to spend time with family, our Chicago, Illinois car accident law firm would like to remind you to refrain from driving while drunk.

Off-duty Lockport cop charged with reckless homicide, DUI, Chicago Tribune, December 22, 2009

Lockport Officer Was 3 Times Legal Limit, WBBM780, December 22, 2009

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Intensive Holiday Drunk & Impaired Driving Crackdown & Advertising Blitz, NHTSA, December 7, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Fatalities and Fatality Rates in Alcohol- Impaired-Driving Crashes by State, 2007-2008, NHTSA, December 2009 (PDF)

DUI Information for Adults, Illinois State Police

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Posted On: December 20, 2009

Illinois Motor Vehicle Complaint Seeks Compensation for Injuries Sustained by Woman and Her Son

A woman is suing a motorist for personal injuries that she and her son suffered during an Illinois car crash. Philicia Holman is seeking over $150,000 plus other relief and costs.

According to Holman, she and her son, O’Brien Pigee, were in Alton late in the afternoon of October 30, 2008 when they stopped for traffic. She says that is when Matthew Sanders, driving a 1999 GM Suburban, rear-ended the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu that they were riding in.

Holman says she sustained shoulder, neck, abdomen, and back injuries from the Alton car accident. She also has experienced headaches, lost income, can no longer participate in certain activities, and incurred medical expenses. She also says that she and her son sustained injuries to muscles, membranes, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, tissues, as well as became disordered, sore, sick, and lame and experienced great anguish and pain.

Holman is accusing Sanders of not seeing her auto, failing to properly controlling his motor vehicle, neglecting to drive at a reasonable speed, failing to maintain a safe distance from her auto, and neglecting to slow down to avoid causing a car accident.

Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end crash can cause the occupants in the vehicle that is struck to propel their heads forward at a speed that is 10 times or greater than the force of gravity. Rear-end crashes can cause back injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, whiplash, cervical spine injuries, disc injuries, nerve injuries, joint injuries, ligament injuries, and other serious injuries. These types of injuries are very painful and debilitating. A rear-end car crash victim may have to undergo surgery, take pain medication, and spend months in physical therapy. In some cases, the injuries may be permanent.

Mother sues driver over injuries she and son sustained in accident, The Record, December 16, 2009

Cervical spine injuries and whiplash caused by rear end collision< SRISD

Related Web Resources:

CyberDrive Illinois

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Posted On: December 17, 2009

Man Sues St. Clair County and Employee for Illinois Car Crash Injuries

Douglas Ault is suing St. Clair County and its employee, Daniel E. Stockett, for personal injury. Ault hurt his back and neck during an Illinois car accident because he claims Stockett, a county employee, was driving negligently.

The Illinois traffic crash occurred in Shiloh. Ault says Stockett was driving too fast, did not maintain a proper lookout, was not driving with adequate brakes, neglected to properly apply the brakes, failed to swerve or stop his vehicle to prevent the Illinois car crash from happening, neglected to keep his auto under control, did not yield the right-of-way, and made a u-turn in a manner that was not safe.

Ault says that because of the Illinois car accident, he became disordered, sick, and sore, and his nervous system suffered a shock. Because his earning capacity was impaired, he lost significant income. He cites significant property damage to his vehicle.

Ault is seeking over $100,000 and costs.

Obeying the rules of the road can prevent Illinois traffic crashes. If you were injured because a motorist failed to stop at a red light, made an illegal or unsafe U-turn, disobeyed a traffic signal, did not yield the right-of-way, or committed another traffic violation, you may have grounds for filing a Chicago car accident lawsuit against a liable motorist. Sometimes, there are other factors that contribute to causing an Illinois traffic crash. There may be other parties who should be held liable for your personal injuries.

A Chicago car accident victim can incur medical expenses, recovery costs, lost income, and other expenses because of the Illinois motor vehicle collision. Obtaining Chicago injury recover can help you with your accident expenses.

St. Clair County and driver sued in U-turn accident, The Record, December 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Car Accident Defenses: Contributory and Comparative Negligence

Illinois Department of Transportation

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Posted On: December 15, 2009

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit Filed Over Wrongful Deaths of Couple and Unborn Baby

The siblings of Lindsey Arnold-Zimmer and Adam Zimmer are suing two drivers for Illinois wrongful death. The couple was riding in a vehicle on Illinois Route 111 on the afternoon of February 21 when they were rear-ended by a vehicle, driven by Donald Canterbery at a speed of at least 90 mph. The collision caused their vehicle to spin out of control some 122 feet before it crossed into the northbound lane and was struck by a vehicle driven by Tiffany Ogara. Both Canterbery and Ogara were allegedly drunk when they struck the Zimmers' vehicle.

Lindsey and Adam died from their Illinois car accident injuries, as did their unborn baby. Now, Theresa Arnold and Christopher Zimmer, the couple’s siblings, are suing for loss of society, loss of companionship, wrongful death, and the pain and suffering that the Zimmers and their baby suffered, in additional to medical expenses incurred prior to their deaths.

The defendants named in the Illinois car crash lawsuit are Canterbery, Ogara, Joshua Ogara, Panero (as Smokey Joe's), Sarah L. Perrigan (doing business as The Village Inn), and MasterCars Company.

Canterbery’s blood alcohol concentration was .246 and Ogara’s BAC was .112 at the time of the deadly Illinois car crash. Cannabis and cocaine were also found in Ogara’s blood.

The plaintiffs are accusing Canterbery of drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, neglecting to decrease his speed or properly control the auto, driving without a license, and driving even though his license was revoked for past drunk driving charges. They contend that Ogara did not properly control her auto or decrease its speed to avoid being involved in a crash. They also claim she was negligent for driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Following the deadly Illinois car accident, Canterbery was charged with numerous felony crimes, including four counts of aggravated driving with a blood level of .08 or more that results in death, three counts of reckless homicide, three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, and eight counts of aggravated driving with a blood level count of .08 or more causing great bodily harm. He also was charged with a misdemeanor for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Suit filed over Route 111 deaths; Couple and unborn child killed, The Record, December 1, 2009

Granite City teacher, wife and unborn child killed in car accident, Suburban Journals, February 25, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Wrongful Death Act

CyberDrive Illinois

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Posted On: December 13, 2009

Alton Motorcyclist Awarded $1.3 Million for Illinois Motor Vehicle Accident Wants More Damages from Insurance Company

A man who a jury awarded $1.3 million for serious injuries he sustained in an Illinois motorcycle accident is now asking for sanctions against, as well as half a million dollars in damages from the responsible driver's insurance company. Steven Thomas Kirk, an Alton resident, severed his foot and part of his leg when he was injured in a June 30, 2006 traffic accident.

Kirk was riding his motorcycle when a vehicle driven by Enver Hamiti, who is also an Alton resident, hit him. Police cited Hamiti for not obeying a stop sign. Kirk, who was under the influence at the time of the Illinois motor vehicle accident, was not cited for causing the crash or ticketed for drunk driving.

Kirk sued Hamiti for Illinois personal injury. He says the motorist did not attempt to assist him or call for help. Kirk says that while he lay on the street with his leg detached, someone came up to him and robbed him, stealing a diamond earring that he was wearing.

A jury awarded him $1.8 million. It did, however, subtract 20% for the plaintiff’s contribution to causing the traffic collision.

Now, Kirk is accusing Hamiti’s insurer, Mercury Insurance Co., of persuading (maybe even bribing) a witness to lie about what she saw. During the civil trial, the witness said she saw Kirk weaving and speeding on the road. She claimed she lived in an apartment close to where the motorcycle accident happened and that “Friends” was on at the time.

The Illinois motorcycle accident, however, happened at 11pm and “Friends” was on at 9pm that night. During cross-examination, the witness said that her lease on the apartment started six months after the motorcycle collision.

Kirk is seeking sanctions and another $500,000 in damages.

Amputee seeks sanctions against insurance company post-trial , The Record, December 2, 2009

Alton man seeks more damages after jury award, The Telegraph, December 1, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycle Accidents, Justia

Mercury Insurance Co.

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Posted On: December 11, 2009

Chicago-Area Car Accidents Over Thanksgiving Weekend Kill at least Six and Injure Several Others

A number of people were killed and injured in Chicago car accidents in the city and suburbs over the holiday weekend. According to the National Safety Commission, the Thanksgiving weekend is considered the deadliest holiday of the year for motorists, with 389 US car accident fatalities and thousands of injuries occurring last year. To view our Chicago car accident law firm’s blog post about the dangers of being on the road during Thanksgiving, click here.

Here is rundown of some of the injuries and deaths, which were reported in the Chicago Sun-Times:

On Thanksgiving Day, 21-year-old Elias Nunez died in a Chicago pedestrian accident when a vehicle that had just hit another auto on S. Cicero Avenue struck him. Nunez was transported to an Oak Lawn hospital in critical condition where he was pronounced dead several hours later. Four other people were injured in the Chicago traffic accident. The driver accused of causing the Cook County car accident, 31-year-old Anthony Morales, was charged with felony aggravated DUI. He also received citations for failure to reduce speed, following too closely, and leaving the scene of an accident where property damage was involved.

On Black Friday, a woman was injured in an Aurora pedestrian accident when a car struck her. Many people were out shopping that day. Also on Friday, eight people were injured in a South Side car crash when the Buick they were riding hit a tree. Six of the Chicago car crash victims were minors.

On Saturday, a 63-year-old Joliet motorist was declared dead at the crash site when he was ejected from his vehicle. Spero Zappas lost control of his vehicle when he tried passing a semi-truck on Interstate 55 while driving at a high speed. His vehicle flew into a ditch and he was thrown from the auto.

Also on Saturday, 29-year-old Miguel Gomez-Ortiz was killed in an Aurora motorcycle accident when his bike collided with a Chevrolet SUV. Gomez-Ortiz was dislodged from his bike during the traffic crash.

Early Sunday, Yorkville driver Dustin Avenarius died when his pickup truck went off the road in a Kendall County truck accident. The pickup truck hit a tree before catching fire.

Chicago Car Accidents
There are many reasons why Chicago car accidents. Distracted driving, poorly designed roads, defective auto parts, drunk driving, and bad weather or road conditions are just some of the causes of Illinois traffic crashes. Before you throw in the towel on your Chicago motor vehicle crash case, you should speak with an experienced Chicago injury law firm about your case. There may be parties that you should hold liable for your Illinois injury accident.

6 dead, more injured in holiday weekend crashes, Chicago Sun-Times, November 30, 2009

Drive Carefully to Prevent Chicago Car Crashes During the Thanksgiving Weekend, MalmanLaw, November 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents, Justia

Tort, Cornell University Law School

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