Posted On: March 29, 2011

$1M Chicago Car Accident Lawsuit Filed by Family of Teen Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver

Two months after 17-year-old Bahra Echmail was killed in a Chicago car accident, her mother is suing driver Francisco Campos for Illinois wrongful death. Campos, 22, was driving the SUV that Echmail was a passenger in when it drove through a stop sign and hit another auto on West North Shore Avenue on January 22.

Campos and four other people in the SUV sustained injuries. Police have since charged Campos with aggravated DUI causing accidental death.

If someone you love was killed in a Cook County car accident, you may be able to sue them for Chicago wrongful death. Filing a civil lawsuit won’t bring your loved one back and it can't make up for your loss. It can, however, allow you to recover damages for the liable party. Your Chicago personal injury case would be separate from any criminal charges filed against the negligent driver.

Unfortunately, people continue to drive drunk despite knowing that this type of negligent driving behavior can cause death and injury. Today, Lynwood village clerk Roel "Roy" Valle pleaded not guilty to one charge of reckless homicide and six counts of aggravated driving under the influence.

Valle was allegedly drunk when, after driving home from a political fundraiser and stopping at a bar in a village-issued car, he struck two cars while driving the wrong way up Illinois Highway 394. Police say that at the time, his BAC was 0.135%.

Mlikah Little, a 32-year-old Marquette Park mom of four, died in that Chicago car accident. Records show that Little’s family is suing the Village of Lynwood and Valle for her Chicago wrongful death.

Lynwood clerk pleads not guilty in DUI crash death, Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2011

Valle pleads not guilty in fatal crash, NWTimes, March 29, 2011

Family sues over crash that killed teen, Chicago Tribune, March 15, 2011

Teen Dead, 5 Hurt In Rogers Park Crash, CBS Chicago, January 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:

CyberDrive Illinois

More Blog Posts:
Fatal Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident on I-55 Involved Alleged Drunk Driver, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, March 24, 2011

17-Year-Old Dies in Chicago Car Crash that Leaves Five Others with Injuries, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, January 26, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Injures Two Teenagers, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, January 10, 2011

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Posted On: March 24, 2011

Fatal Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident on I-55 Involved Alleged Drunk Driver

Police are charging Fernando Almaraz, 40, with aggravated drunk driving in the Chicago car crash that killed Enrique Lopez, 32, on March 17. Lopez, whose vehicle was experiencing mechanical problems, was standing on the side of the road on the I-55 (Stevenson) Expressway and waiting for a tow truck when he was struck by a pickup truck around 10:17 pm. The truck then left the Cook County auto accident scene.

According to one witness, the driver of the pickup cross the solid white “fog line” and hit Lopez. The pickup truck was discovered soon after in the 5400 block of South Ellis Avenue, where Almaraz is a resident.

The officers who apprehended him say that they smelled alcohol on his breath and there was an open can of alcohol in the car. They also said that his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Per the police report, Almaraz failed all field sobriety tests and was taken into custody. His blood-alcohol content was reportedly twice the legal limit, and he admitted to drinking before the Chicago pedestrian accident happened.

Autopsy results indicate that Lopez died of multiple injuries from being hit by a car.

Drunk Driving
Every year, lives are lost and families are destroyed because there were people who drove drunk. Although drunk people usually are not fully in control of their faculties and are known to make poor decisions, this does not exempt them from responsibility or liability for their actions—especially if serious Chicago injuries or wrongful death result. Also, filing a Chicago car accident case or wrongful death lawsuit can allow you to recover the costs incurred from medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other damages suffered.

Prosecutors: Driver in fatal Stevenson crash was drunk, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2011

Motorist charged with DUI in fatal hit-and-run, Sun-Times, March 19, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Stop Impaired Driving, NHTSA

More Blog Posts:
Mother of Chicago Car Accident Victim Killed Last Thanksgiving Files Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, November 24, 2010

Bolingbrook, Illinois Car Accident Kills Sleeping Chicago Woman as SUV Crashes into Her Bedroom, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, November 16, 2010

Drunk Drivers Can Cause Catastrophic Chicago Car Accident Injuries, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, August 27, 2010

Continue reading " Fatal Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident on I-55 Involved Alleged Drunk Driver " »

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Posted On: March 16, 2011

76-Year-Old Pedestrian Killed in Arlington Heights Car Accident in Parking Lot

Ramona A. Zentefis, a 76-year-old Des Plaines resident, died this morning when she was struck by a car during an Arlington Heights pedestrian accident in the Northwest Community Hospital’s parking garage. The driver of the minivan that struck her is 59-year-old Mount Prospect resident.

At the time of the Cook County car accident, the van was going up the first floor parking garage ramp when it hit Zentefis, who was in a pedestrian crosswalk. Paramedics and hospital staffers treated the elderly pedestrian, while others worked to free her from under the van. She was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room. Police are investigating the incident.

Parking Lot Accidents
Our Chicago car accident lawyers are sorry to have to report that parking lots can be a dangerous place for pedestrians. Common causes of parking lot pedestrian accidents:

• Speeding
• Failure to watch out for pedestrians
• Backover accidents
• Distracted driving
• Texting or talking on the phone while driving
• Failure to obey traffic signs
• Failure to yield
• Aggressive driving, such as when drivers race each other to grab the empty spot
• Inadequately designed walkways
• Wheel stops
• Poor lighting
• Potholes
• Uneven surfaces
• Improperly marked handicap zone
• Blind spots

Pedestrian Safety
Just because you are in a parking lot doesn’t mean you aren't at risk of become the victim of a Chicago pedestrian accident. Watch out for cars, cross in designated areas, and don’t assume that a driver backing out of a parking lot has seen you.

Ramona A. Zentefis Killed by Minivan in Crosswalk at Hospital Parking Garage, The Cardinal, March 16, 2011

Woman struck, killed in hospital lot, Trib Local, March 16, 2011

Related Web Resources:
America Walks

Pedestrian Statistics, Cyber Drive Illinois

Related Web Resources:
Aurora, Illinois Car Accident Injures One Pedestrian While Killing Another, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, October 29, 2010

Cook County Cell Phone Accident Causes Serious Injuries to Berwyn Pedestrian, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, September 24, 2010

Champaign, Illinois Teenager Was Texting When He Fatally Struck Chicago Pedestrian with His Car, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, July 26, 2010

Continue reading " 76-Year-Old Pedestrian Killed in Arlington Heights Car Accident in Parking Lot " »

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Posted On: March 11, 2011

Should Illinois Texting While Driving Ban Also Prohibit Internet, Facebook, and Twitter Use?

Just when safety officials were getting the word out that talking on the cell phone and texting while driving can cause car crashes, State Farm is now reporting that surfing the Web has also become a common driver distraction. The insurer says that of the 912 licensed drivers that answered its informal online survey, almost one in five drivers admitted to surf the Internet while driving at least once a week. Our Chicago car crash lawyers are very concerned about this finding.

While our Chicago cell phone accident firm would like to hope that that people would deduce that if texting while driving is dangerous, then surely posting a Tweet, reading in moving traffic, or sending a Facebook friend request is no less safe, State Farm says that over 19% of respondents admitted to going online on a cell phone while driving.

Granted, this figure is much lower than the 74% of respondents who said that they talk on the cell phone while driving at least once a week or the 35% who admitted to texting and driving, it is disturbing to know that there are so many drivers out there who are endangering themselves and others because they are on the Internet.

It was just last month that we reported on a Chicago wrongful death lawsuit against a driver accused of updating her Facebook page while driving. A pedestrian was killed in that Illinois distracted driving crash.

Currently, in Illinois, all drivers are barred from texting while driving. Ban of handheld cell phone use, however, is at the discretion of each locality. Chicago is one of those localities that has banned the use of handheld cell phone ban while driving.

If you believe that a smart phone played a role in causing your injuries, our Chicago cell phone accidents law firm wants to talk to you.

19 Percent Of Drivers Say They Use The Internet While Driving, State Farm, March 4, 2011

Many admit using Web while driving, Sun-Times, March 4, 2011

Distracted Driving: Chicago Car Crash Occurred Because Driver was Updating Facebook Page, Claims Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys, February 15, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Cellphone Laws, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Distracted Driving, CyberDrive Illinois

More Blog Posts:
Illinois Court of Claims Awards $8M to Family of Uhl Sisters Killed in 2007 Car Crash Caused by State Trooper Accused of Speeding, Texting, and Cell Phone Driving, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers, January 20, 2011

Cook County Cell Phone Accident Causes Serious Injuries to Berwyn Pedestrian, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers, September 24, 2010

Champaign, Illinois Teenager Was Texting When He Fatally Struck Chicago Pedestrian with His Car, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers, July 26, 2010

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