Posted On: March 31, 2010

Man Files Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit Over Injuries Sustained During Cell Phone Crash

A man who was injured during an Illinois cell phone accident is suing for personal injury. Corey G. Ritnour says that he got hurt on June 9, 2009 when he was rear-ended by Sophia E. Rawlings while she talked on her cell phone.

The Illinois car crash took place on Horseshoe Lake Road in Pontoon as Ritnour was getting ready to turn left. Ritnour is seeking car accident compensation for his pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, decreased earning capacity, diminished enjoyment of a normal life, and disability.

He is accusing Rawlings of not keeping her car in control, driving too fast, not reducing her speed, and neglecting to keep a proper lookout.

He is seeking over $50,000 plus other relief.

Cell Phone Driving Accidents
Talking on a cell phone while driving inevitably distracts a driver and prevents him/her from paying attention to the road and traffic. The motorist’s ability to react quickly is delayed, brain activity associated with driving goes down significantly, and the risk of becoming involved in a traffic accident goes up by at least four times. Unfortunately, it is now no longer surprising to find out that someone got hurt because a motorist was texting or talking on a phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Just like drunk driving, distracted driving is a senseless way to unintentionally destroy another person’s life. A distracted driver can end up in prison while also becoming the defendant of a Chicago, Illinois car crash lawsuit or wrongful death complaint. Fortunately, the federal government and the state of Illinois are taking steps to discourage distracted driving.

Driver using cell phone caused rear-end accident, suit claims, The Record, March 31, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cellphones and Driving, Insurance Information Institute

Distracted Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 26, 2010

Toyota Sudden Acceleration Blamed for Over 100 Traffic Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 102 fatalities involving Toyota car crashes may have been caused by sudden acceleration. The Los Angeles Times reports that is almost double the number of Toyota acceleration-related deaths—56 fatalities—that were reported at the end of January.

The complaints started to flood in following the recalls of over 8.5 million Toyota vehicles over sudden acceleration concerns caused by sticking gas pedals and ill-fitting floor mats. Meantime, the automaker remains adamant that there are no electronic problems that have contributed to the unintended acceleration accidents.

According to the Times, Clarence Ditlow, from the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, says that he thinks that in the next several months hundreds more Toyota acceleration deaths will be reported. It may be that many people who thought driver negligence was the cause of a car crash are now discovering that the culprit was actually a vehicle defect. Among the recent Toyota products liability lawsuits that have been filed:

Nancy and Daniel Murtha are suing Toyota over the wrongful death of their 5-year-old son. Jacob Murtha died during a Lexus acceleration crash in July 2008. Nancy, who was driving the vehicle, sustained serous injuries when the car accelerated suddenly, forcing her to drive into a rock wall.

Barbrara Green filed a Toyota acceleration lawsuit accusing the automaker of causing the wrongful death of her son, Blazej Ignatowicz. He died in December 2006 when his Toyota Solara sped up to 100 mph, causing him to loose control of the vehicle and crash into a number of trees.

The parents of Mark Saylor and his wife are also suing Toyota. Saylor, his wife, their daughter, and his brother-in-law died last August when the Lexus they borrowed from the dealer accelerated out of control because the gas pedal got caught in the floor mat. It was after their deaths that Toyota began announcing a wave of massive vehicle recalls.

Toyotas' sudden acceleration blamed for more deaths, Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2010

Westchester County, New York Parents File Suit Against Toyota for Death of Their Five-Year-Old Son in Lexus Sudden Acceleration Incident, Marketwatch, March 18, 2010

Saylor relatives suing Toyota, dealers, SignonSanDiego, March 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Toyota Motor Corp.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Continue reading " Toyota Sudden Acceleration Blamed for Over 100 Traffic Deaths " »

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 23, 2010

Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Seeking Damages Against City Claims Potholes Caused Off-Duty Cop’s Wrongful Death

The father of Chicago police officer Cameron D. Karshna is suing the City of Chicago for his Cook County wrongful death. The 31-year-old off-duty cop was riding his motorcycle on Touhy Avenue on March 20, 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Raymond T. Adams

According to the Chicago, Illinois motorcycle accident lawsuit, Karshna stepped on the brakes to avoid colliding with Adams’s car, but the potholes on the road prevented him from stopping. Adams, 36, received citations for failure to wear a seat belt and failure to yield to the right of way to oncoming traffic while making a left turn.

Now, Gary E. Karshna is seeking over $100,000 from the city of Chicago. He is accusing the municipal corporation of negligent and careless street maintenance, as well as failng to fix the potholes.

Road Defect Lawsuits
You can sue a city or county for personal injury or wrongful death if failure to properly design, maintain, or repair a road contributed to causing the traffic crash.

Other Road Defects:
• Embankment flaws
• Inadequate striping
• Lack of traffic signs, pedestrian crosswalks, or traffic lights
• Insufficient shoulder area
• Malfunctioning traffic signals
• Inappropriate speed limit
• Insufficient median barriers
• Poor curbing
• Poorly designed intersections
• Potholes
• Not enough traffic lights

Without the body of a motor vehicle to protect motorcyclists from the impact of collision, riders are especially at risk of getting seriously hurt during a Chicago motorcycle accident. You may have grounds for holding certain parties liable.

Suit: Potholes played role in crash that killed off-duty cop, WBBM Newsradio, March 19, 2010

Cop killed in crash was 'always in a good mood', Chicago Breaking News Center, March 21, 2010

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Motorcycle Crash Statistics, Insurance Information Institute

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 19, 2010

Families Can Sue West Chicago Strip Club for Fatal Illinois Car Crash

The Illinois Supreme Court says that the families of April Simmons and John Chiariello can sue the Diamonds Gentleman’s Club and parent company On Stage Productions Inc. for the two car accident victims’ wrongful deaths. Chiariello, a St. Charles resident, and Simmons, who is from Yorkville, were killed in a 2006 drunk driving crash on Route 25 on January 4, 2006. Simmons was pregnant at the time and her unborn baby also died.

The drunk driver, Wayne resident John Homatas, was high and drunk when he drive away from the DuPage County strip club and crashed into Simmons’ SUV. Chiariello was riding in the car with him during the Illinois car accident.

Legal representatives for On Stage have argued that the company could not be held liable under the Dram Shop Act, which holds parties that serve alcohol liable for drunken patrons’ actions, because the strip club doesn’t serve alcohol.

However, the plaintiffs’ families argued that the club’s employees put Homatas in the driver’s seat of his Jeep even though he had thrown up in the strip club bathroom. Also, even though the club is a BYOB spot, the strip club provides glasses, ice, and mixers.

The Illinois Supreme Court is sending the Kane County wrongful death lawsuit back to a lower court so that the case can move forward. Homatas, now 29, is serving a 12-year prison term for his role in the fatal Illinois car accident.

Drunk Driving
Drunk driving can be deadly. Not only is it a motorist’s responsibility not to drive while drunk, but if workers at a club or the hosts of an event see that someone is drunk, they definitely should not help them get into the driver’s seat of any car.

Most people never intend to kill someone when they are drunk, but unfortunately, that is what can happen. Intentional or not, losing someone you love because a driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs is a devastating experience.

Illinois Supreme Court rules families can sue in fatal crash, The Chronicle, March 19, 2010

Court says strip club can be sued in fatal Route 25 crash, SuburbanChicagoNews, March 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Read the Illinois Supreme Court's Ruling (PDF)

I(235 ILCS 5/) Liquor Control Act of 1934, Illinois General Assembly

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 17, 2010

Illinois Auto Products Liability: Woman Blames Ford for Husband’s Wrongful Death

A Clinton County, Illinois woman is suing Ford Motor Company and Wiegman Motor Company for over $800,000. Frances A. Therion claims that a 2004 Ford Freestar contributed to her husband's wrongful death. Joseph W. Therion was seriously injured during a Helvetia, Illinois car accident on December 24, 2008 when another car that failed to stop on Illinois Route 160 hit his vehicle. Even though Joseph was using a seat belt, he was seriously injured and had to have his spleen taken out. He fell into a coma and eventually died.

Now, Joseph’s widow, Frances Therion, is claiming that the Freestar’s defective design and improper manufacture, including the lack of side curtain, side head, and torso airbags, inadequate roof crush strength, and inadequate restraint, contributed to his Illinois wrongful death.

She is suing Wiegman because her husband bought the Freestar from the company. She says that the vehicle was defective when he purchased it.

Illinois Auto Products Liability
Not only must auto manufacturers must make sure that there are no defects in a vehicle that can cause the auto to malfunction, but they must also ensure that the proper protections are in place to protect vehicle occupants from injury in the event of a car crash. Failure to provide properly designed and functioning seat belts, airbags, and other safety devices can be grounds for a Chicago, Illinois auto products liability complaint if injuries or deaths occur as a result of the car manufacturer’s negligence.

Woman claims Ford responsible for husband's death in Freestar crash, The Record, March 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:, NHTSA

Ford Motor Company

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 12, 2010

Chicago Car Accident on I-57 Injures 9-Year-Old and Kills One Woman

A single-car crash on the Far South Side has left one woman dead and a 9-year-old with injuries. The Chicago car accident happened on Tuesday, as 28-year-old Yvonne Kemp lost control of the Ford Escort she was driving on I-57.

The vehicle crossed the right and center lanes before driving off the embankment and striking a light pole, which then broke and landed on the car and caused the vehicle’s roof to cave in.

Katrina Jackson, who was a passenger in the car, died from her Chicago, Illinois motor vehicle crash injuries. Another passenger, a 9-year-old girl, was ejected from the vehicle. She landed on the grass and the light pole fell on her. She sustained non-fatal injuries.

Kemp, who is the girl’s mother, was charged with drunken driving.

Drunk Driving Crashes
Drunk driving-related injuries and death are preventable. Ways to avoid causing drunken driving accidents:

• Don’t drink and drive
• Don’t let your friends drink and drive
• Appoint a designated driver
• Make overnight arrangements if you plan to/end up drinking too much
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911

Warning signs that someone on the road may be driving drunk:
• Dangerous passing
• Making excessively wide turns
• Driving too slowly
• Weaving
• Driving without the headlights on
• Driving on the center line

It is negligent behavior for a motorist to get behind the steering wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol or drug.

One charged with DUI in I-57 crash that killed one, ejected child, Sun-Times, March 11, 2010

1 charged in fatal I-57 crash, Southtown Star, March 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Drunk driving can be stopped, Alcohol Problems and Solutions

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Continue reading " Chicago Car Accident on I-57 Injures 9-Year-Old and Kills One Woman " »

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 9, 2010

Will County, Illinois Car Crash Kills Joliet Teenager and Injuries Two Others

A Joliet teenager has died following a New Lenox car collision on Monday night. 16-year-old Emily A. Dukovac was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:34 pm.

The Will County car accident took place at New Lenox and Cherry Hill Roads when a Chevrolet Cavalier carrying Dukovac and two other 16-year-old girls failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit by a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The truck hit the Chevrolet on the passenger side, fatally wounding Dukovac, who was in the backseat. The other two girls sustained nonfatal injuries.

According to the Will County Sheriff’s Department, at the time of the Illinois car accident, the weather was clear, the road conditions were “good,” and alcohol, drugs, or speeding don’t appear to have been involved. The 49-year-old Joliet pickup trucker did not sustain any visible injuries. All three car crash survivors were taken to the hospital.

Will County Car Collisions
Our Chicago, Illinois car accident attorneys cannot stress enough the importance of obeying all traffic signs, signals, and laws. It is especially important that teen drivers learn Illinois’ driving laws. They already suffer from the disadvantage of lacking driver experience, which increases their chances of becoming involved in a teen driving accident. Failure to obey traffic laws can prove catastrophic. Not only is this tragic for any victims involved, but it is also a tragedy for the driver, who in many cases lacked the skills, knowledge, and maturity to avoid causing a car crash and made an irreversible mistake.

Common causes of teen driving accidents:

• Driver inexperience
• Speeding
• Easily prone to distraction
• Text messaging
• Talking on cell phones
• Drunk driving
• Drugged driving

Plainfield high school mourns Joliet girl killed in New Lenox crash, Chicago Tribune, March 9, 2010

Joliet teen dies, 2 other girls injured in wreck, Chicago Sun-TImes, March 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, CDC

Illinois Graduated Licensing System,

Continue reading " Will County, Illinois Car Crash Kills Joliet Teenager and Injuries Two Others " »

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 5, 2010

Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Tire Defect for Fatal Van Rollover that Killed Father and Son

A Cook County woman who lost her husband and son when the 1984 Chevrolet Astro Van they were riding in rolled over on March 3, 2009 in Mexico is suing the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. Alicia Mendoza and Roberta Graff filed their Cook County wrongful death lawsuit over the deaths of Jose L. Mendoza Sr., Jose Mendoza Jr., and Leonardo Medina. Graff submitted the complaint on behalf of Medina.

According to their Illinois wrongful death complaint, the catastrophic van accident happened because of a tire defect that resulted in tire tread separation and failure.

Also named as defendants in the Illinois wrongful death complaint are Martha and Ruben Mendoza. They lent the van to the deceased. The lawsuit is seeking over $300,000 from the Mendozas and over $600,000 from the tire company.

Common Kinds of Tire Defects:

• Tire failure
• Tread separation
• Tire blowouts
• Rim blasts
• Tire explosions

Tire issues can occur because of design flaws, manufacturing defect, or due to negligence during installation/repair. In the event that a tire blowout happens or tread separation occurs, there is a good chance that a driver can lose control of the vehicle, causing the auto to crash into other cars or roll over. Spinal cord injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, quadriplegia, paraplegia, and death can result.

Tire manufacturers, retailers, and tire repair and installation shops are supposed to make sure that tires are in proper working condition, no defects exist, and no maintenance errors are made that can cause a tire-relate crash to occur. Injured parties may have grounds for filing a Chicago, Illinois defective tire lawsuit or wrongful death complaint.

Suit: Defective tire led to triple-fatal crash, Chicago Sun-TImes, February 26, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Products Liability, Justia

Motor Vehicles,

Bookmark and Share

Posted On: March 1, 2010

Chicago, Illinois Cell Phone Accident: Teen Was Looking at Phone When She Hit State Police Trooper on Dan Ryan Expressway

19-year-old Kimisha M. Moore is charged with aggravated reckless conduct for her alleged role in the Chicago car accident that left an Illinois State Trooper with serious injuries on Saturday night. Police say that Moore was looking at her cell phone when she accidentally struck the trooper, who was standing in the express lane’s right shoulder on I-94.

According to Chicago police, the trooper had stopped a vehicle on the Dan Ryan’s Expressway when a Toyota hit her. The trooper sustained a head injury and leg injuries from the Chicago cell phone accident and went into surgery at a Cook County hospital. Following the procedure, she was transferred to the ICU where she was in “stable” condition on Sunday morning.

Moore also received citations for failure to reduce speed, improper lane usage, violating Scott’s Law, and operating an uninsured vehicle.

Our Chicago, Illinois car accident lawyers cannot stress enough that distracted driving is dangerous and can kill people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that over 500,000 people every year sustain injuries because drivers were not paying attention to the road. Cell phone use and texting have rapidly become two of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.

Teenagers are one demographic who are especially at high-risk of getting into a distracted driving accident. Not only are they more easily distracted than their adult counterparts, but also they are more likely to text or use a cell phone while driving. They also lack the experience that older drivers have when it comes to preventing car accidents as they are about to happen.

Driver distracted by phone when she hit trooper on Dan Ryan: prosecutor, Chicago Sun-TImes, March 1, 2010

Woman Who Hit State Trooper Was Using Cell Phone, NBC4, March 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Scott's Law Brochure, Illinois State Police

Continue reading " Chicago, Illinois Cell Phone Accident: Teen Was Looking at Phone When She Hit State Police Trooper on Dan Ryan Expressway " »

Bookmark and Share

Watch Our Videos

Recent Entries