January 26, 2011

17-Year-Old Dies in Chicago Car Crash that Leaves Five Others with Injuries

Francisco Campos, 20, is charged with one felony count of aggravated DUI/accidental death and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence in a West Rogers Park car accident that killed 17-year-old Bahra Echmail, who was a passenger in the car. The Chicago traffic crash occurred early Saturday on North Central Avenue.

According to police, Campos crashed his 2003 Ford Explorer SUV while speeding when it failed to yield the right of way at an intersection and struck a 1997 Nissan Maxima. The SUV then proceeded to hit two parked autos before jumping a curb and hitting a tree. Echmail, who sustained cervicospinal injuries, was one of the passengers in Campos’s vehicle. Campos and four other teenagers sustained injuries during the Cook County auto crash.

Chicago Car Accidents
There are Chicago motor vehicle cases involving people who were riding in the same car, with the driver as the defendant and the passenger as the plaintiff. Even if you are friends with the driver, it is important that if you are considering pursuing a claim that you don’t speak with the other party’s insurer or attorney until you explore you legal options and find out whether you have a case on your hands.

Common grounds for this type of Chicago car accident lawsuit:
• Driver error
• Drunk driving
• Drugged driving
• Speeding
• Distracted driving
• Failure to obey traffic signs
• Cell phone driving or texting

In Illinois, the state of limitations for filing a Chicago car accident claim seeking injury damages is two years from the date of the accident. For minors, the statute starts running on his/her 18th birthday.

Man charged in crash that killed girl, 17, ABC Local, January 24, 2011

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Insurance Institute of Highway Safety

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January 20, 2011

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

The Illinois Court of Claims has awarded $8 million to the parents of 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and her 15-year-old sister Kelli Uhl. The Collinsville sisters died in 2007 in a head-on Illinois car crash involving state trooper Matt Mitchell on Interstate 64. This is the highest award ever issued by the court.

Mitchell, claims that he lost control of his auto because another vehicle that cut him off was headed to the scene of an accident when the Illinois auto crash happened. However, there is evidence indicating that he was speeding at 126 miles per hour, talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend, and sending emails on his in-dash computer. Mitchell pleaded guilty in criminal court to reckless driving and reckless homicide. He was given 30 months probation.

The civil case went to the Court of Claims and not an Illinois wrongful death jury because the state has sovereign immunity from lawsuits. This is important to note, because many injury victims might balk at filing a claim against the state for fear that they are wasting their time. It is important that you explore your legal options because there still may be a way for you to obtain your financial recovery.

Court of Claims Judge Peter J. Birnbaum concluded that Mitchell caused the girls’ deaths, breached his duty of reasonable care, and drove his police vehicle in a way that endangered others. Out of the $8 million award, the girls’ mom, Kimberly Schlau will receive $3.5 million for the loss of her daughters. Their father, Brian Uhl, will also receive $3.5 million. Their half siblings, Madelyn Dorsey and Anthony Uhl will each get $500,000. The award must pass through the Senate and House before the governor can sign it and send to the state comptroller.

Chicago Car Accidents Involving Police Vehicles
Even when a police officer is heading to an accident or crime scene, he/she must still drive safely and responsibly so as to not cause a Chicago car accident. Distracted driving, speeding, texting while driving, talking on the cell phone, drugged driving, and drunken driving are some of the careless acts that can cause tragic auto collisions.

Mitchell, who is no longer with the Illinois State Police, has filed a workers’ compensation claim for the injuries he sustained in the traffic crash that killed the Uhl sisters.

Family Gets $8 Million in Fatal Trooper Crash, CBS St. Louis Local, January 19, 2011

Family of Collinsville sisters killed in crash receives $8 million from state, BND, January 19, 2011

Ex-State Trooper Convicted of Motor Vehicle Deaths of Uhl Sisters Seeks Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits for His Injuries from the Crash, Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit: Uhl Family Seeks $46 Million for Wrongful Death of Daughters From Police Pursuit, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, May 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Court of Claims, CyberDriveIllinois

Illinois State Police

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January 10, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Injures Two Teenagers

Two teens sustained injuries on Wednesday when they were hit in a Chicago pedestrian by a car that had driven onto the sidewalk where they were standing. The vehicle then proceeded to crash into a restaurant.

The 15-year-old girl who was struck broke her ankle while the 16-year-old girl sustained minor injuries. Also injured in the Chicago car crash was 61-year-old George Corso, who was driving the car that hit the two teens. Corso has been ticketed for negligent driving.

In other recent Cook County traffic crash news, a 70-year-old man was killed in a Chicago pedestrian accident on December 27, 2010. At the time of the Chicago car accident, the victim, Raymond Veloz, was exchanging information with another motorist over another accident that had just happened. The driver of the third vehicle was cited for failing to avoid hitting a pedestrian. The two drivers who had been involved in separate collisions with Veloz said that the sun had temporarily made it difficult for them to see the road.

Just the day before, 25-year-old Angeline De Leon was killed when the car she was riding in struck a tree in Chicago’s Medical Village neighborhood. Also injured in the Chicago car accident were the driver, 23-year-old Brandon Reed, and a four-year-old boy. Reed, who was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, has since been charged with a misdemeanor DUI. He also received a ticket for driving on a revoked license. More charges may be pending.

Lane Tech students hit by car crossing street, Sun-Times, January 6, 2011

Driver in fatal crash charged with DUI, Chicago Tribune, December 29, 2010

Man killed in South Chicago crash, Chicago Breaking News, December 27, 2010

Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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December 14, 2010

Toddlers Seriously Injured in Fatal Lake County Car Crash Upgraded to Stable Condition

According to officials, the medical conditions of brothers Calvin Jackson Jr., 3, and Clarence Jackson, 2, have been upgraded from serious to stable. The two toddlers were flown to a Park Ridge hospital after the 1995 Jeep Cherokee that they were riding in was involved in a catastrophic Lake County, Illinois car accident with another vehicle on Monday. Police say that the driver of the other vehicle, Adeliata Espinoza, may have run a red light.

The boys were reportedly not in child safety seats at the time of the Lake County, Illinois auto accident and they were thrown from the vehicle. Their dad, Calvin Jackson, Sr., was in the car with the boys and not wearing a seat belt. The 26-year-old East Chicago resident died from massive head injuries.

Also injured in the traffic collision were 18-year-old Houston Neil, who was driving the vehicle that the Jacksons were in, and 17-year-old Laquaysha Johnson. Both of their medical conditions have been updated to stable. Espinoza, 46, and her 2-year-old daughter were treated at the Lake County accident site.

In other recent Illinois car accident news, a Cook County pedestrian accident claimed the life of Chicago resident Sonia Dorado early Sunday evening. The 61-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a Park Ridge hospital later that night.

Police have charged Des Plaines resident Robert Park with leaving the scene of a crash. The 56-year-old motorist also received a citation for driving on a suspended license. Police say that Park may have been suffering from a diabetic reaction at the time. Tests showed that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Traffic Violations Can Cause Illinois Car Accidents
Traffic violations are not just against the law, they can cause serious accidents. Failure to stop at red light or stop sign, yield the right of way, stop at a pedestrian crossing, and other violations can prove fatal for those involved.

Tot brothers recovering from crash in Avon Township, Lake County News-Sun, December 14, 2010

Suspect charged in hit-and-run death of Chicago woman in Niles, PioneerLocal, December 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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September 16, 2010

NHTSA Reports 911 Illinois Traffic Fatalities in 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes Research Note is out, and our Chicago car accident lawyers are happy to report that the number of Illinois traffic deaths dropped last year. While there were 1,043 Illinois motor vehicle fatalities in 2008, 911 Illinois traffic deaths occured in 2009. 319 of those fatalities were alcohol-related.

The decline in highway deaths was also reflected nationally. There were 33,808 US motor vehicle traffic crash deaths last year—the lowest number of fatalities in 60 years. Consider that there were 37,423 traffic deaths in 2008. That’s a 9.7% drop. Even the number of US motorcyclist fatalities, which has been going up for the last 11 years, finally saw a decline. There were 4,462 motorcycle crash deaths last year, down from 5,312 fatalities in 2008.

While any decline in traffic deaths is always progress made in saving lives, there are always more lives that can and should be saved. There also continue to be thousands nationally and hundreds throughout the state that must contend with catastrophic injuries, costly medical expenses, the loss of a loved one, and other damages. Our Chicago car crash law firm would be happy to evaluate whether you have a case for Cook County personal injury or wrongful death.

More 2009 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts:
• 503 large truck fatalities
• 4,092 pedestrian deaths
• 630 pedalcyclist fatalities
• 2,217,000 traffic accident injuries
• 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA (PDF)

U.S. Traffic Deaths at Lowest Level Since 1950, NHTSA, September 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

CyberDrive Illinois

September 7, 2010

Chicago Car Accidents Injures Kills Six People and Injures at Least Two Dozen Others Over Labor Day Weekend

According to myFoxChicago.com, numerous Chicago motor vehicle injuries and deaths occurred over the Labor Day weekend, including:

• On Saturday, a Chicago motorcycle accident claimed the life of Lyons resident Lissette Loncola, who was a passenger on the bike. Several other people were injured.

• Also on Saturday, a three-vehicle Chicago car accident on the Northwest Side injured at least eight people. Oscar Reyes was cited for negligent driving, leaving an accident scene, failure to report the auto crash, and neglecting to stay in the lane.

• A Chicago pedestrian accident sent four people, including an 11-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl to the hospital after they were struck by a stolen 1999 Chrysler 300. The people riding in the car fled the crash site.

• 67-year-old Lual Mang died from injuries she sustained during a Glendale Heights car accident on Sunday.

• Also on Sunday, a Rogers Park bicycle accident involving a Mini Cooper claimed the life of 67-year-old man.

• A fiery Englewood car crash on Sunday claimed the life of one female motorist, whose vehicle hit a curb or a viaduct wall before hitting another auto and bursting into flames. The driver died at the Chicago car accident site.

• Five people, including at least three teens, were hospitalized after an SUV rollover crash on Lake Shore Drive. Speed was a likely factor.

• A multi-vehicle Chicago car crash at West Belmont Avenue and North Pulaski Road left at least three people with critical injuries.

• On Monday night, a Des Plaines bicycle accident claimed a 52-year-old cyclist’s life after his bike collided with a vehicle in the curb lane.

• A man was flown to the hospital after he was injured in a head-on Chicago car accident close to Fox Lake last night.

Holiday Weekend Crashes Kill 6, Injure Dozens More, myFoxChicago, September 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Traffic Accidents, Nolo

Car Accidents, Justia

Continue reading "Chicago Car Accidents Injures Kills Six People and Injures at Least Two Dozen Others Over Labor Day Weekend" »

August 19, 2010

Dolton Car Accident Kills Teen and Now Parents are Suing Village and Cook County for Fatal Police Pursuit

Selean Turner Brack and Kenyatta Brack Sr. are seeking at least $50,000 in Illinois wrongful death recovery from Cook County and the Village of Dolton. Their son, 16-year-old Kenyatta Brack Jr. was killed on Sunday in a Dolton bicycle accident when he a speeding motorist that was fleeing from police hit him. The driver was going at speeds of about 70 mph at the time. He did not stop at the crash site.

According to the Brack’s Cook County wrongful death lawsuit, police violated police practices when they took part in a high-speed police chase even though no violent crime had been committed, the vehicle pursuit was taking place in a suburban residential area, and office superiors had not been notified.

The officers involved in the police pursuit claim that they never drove faster than 35 mph while following the suspect and were two blocks away when the Dolton car crash fatally injured the teenaged victim. A friend who was cycling with Kenyatta, however, claims that the police cars were driving fast and following closely behind the other vehicle.

The Brack family is calling for the hit-and-run driver to come forward.

Cook County Car Accidents
There may be more than one party who should be held liable for your Cook County car crash injuries. We know how devastating it is to lose someone you love because other people were reckless or careless or negligent. Taking care of legal issues is not something you likely want to be thinking about so soon after your loss. However, the sooner your explore your legal options, the better you will increase the chances of getting the maximum Chicago car accident compensation from the responsible parties.

Father of Dolton teen killed in hit-and-run questions police account, Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2010

Lawsuit: Cops triggered hit-run crash that killed teen in Dolton, Sun-Times, August 17, 2010

Related Web Resources:
The Village of Dolton

Chases by police yield high fatalities, USA Today, April 23, 2010

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August 17, 2010

Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Rogers Park, Illinois Car Crash that Left Woman Dead and Her Son with Serious Injuries

Nearly eight months after a driver in a car fleeing police allegedly struck his wife and son during a Rogers Park pedestrian accident, Felix Worthon is suing motorist Ralph Eubanks for Chicago wrongful death. Worthon, his 48-year-old wife Maria, and their 6-year-old son Jeremia were crossing a narrow street at the time. Maria, whose body was thrown some 100 feet after she was struck, died at the Rogers Park car crash site. Jeremia sustained critical injuries.

According to Cook County prosecutors, Ralph Eubanks, the driver of the 1998 Grand Prix that struck Maria and Jeremia, was fleeing police and allegedly driving at about 70 to 80 mph. He did not slow down or stop at the Rogers Park car accident site.

Eubanks was apprehended with traces of ecstasy, cocaine, and marijuana in his blood. He is charged with aggravated driving under the influence, first-degree murder, and leaving the scene of a deadly car accident site. At his bond hearing after the deadly Rogers Park traffic crash, prosecutors said that Eubanks has never had a driver’s license. He also has three prior convictions for driving without one and has spent time behind bars for drugs, weapons, and possession of a stolen vehicle-related convictions.

Worthon is also suing the owner of the vehicle, Dennis Jeter. Worthon contends that Jeter gave his “explicit permission" for Eubanks to use the vehicle.

Drunk driving and drugged driving are negligent acts that claim the lives of many people each year. Do NOT speak with the other party’s insurer about your Chicago car accident case without exploring your legal options first.

Suit filed against driver, car owner in fatal crash, Chicago Breaking News, August 9, 2010

No Bond For Driver Held On Hit-Run Murder Charge, CBS2, December 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Drugged Driving, NIDA

Impaired Driving, CDC

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August 2, 2010

Nearly 90% of Teen Drivers Engage in Distracted Driving, Say AAA & Seventeen Magazine Survey

Despite government efforts to educate the public that distracted driving is dangerous, almost 9 out of 10 teen motorists continue to multi-task while operating a motor vehicle. Seventeen magazine and AAA recently issued findings from a new survey of 1,999 teens in the 16 to 19 age group:

• 84% of them know that distracted driving increase their car crash risk
• 86% continue to drive while distracted, engaging in behavior such as eating, fiddling with the radio, putting on making, talking on the cell phone, and text messaging.
• Over 1/3 of participants admitted that they’ve almost been involved in car accidents because of distracted driving.
• Texting teen drivers send about 23 text messages each month.
• The highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in deadly motor vehicle collisions belong to the under 20 age group.

Considering that traffic accidents are already the number one cause of teen driver deaths, the fact that many teen motorists continue to text and engage in other distracted driving habits while operating a motor vehicle is bad news. Our Chicago car accident lawyers has seen the kinds of catastrophic crashes that can occur because someone was distracted while driving. We understand how devastating it can be to know that your life has been irrevocably altered because another motorist was busy multitasking and failed to see you in your vehicle.

According to the NHTSA, distracted drivers have a four times grater risk of becoming involved in a traffic crash than drivers who aren’t distracted. Texting increases a motorist’s crash risk by over 20 times.

Meantime, the federal government continues its quest to make people comprehend the dangers of distracted driving. Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the date for this year’s National Distracted Driving Summit. The event is scheduled to begin on September 21 and will involve transportation officials, law enforcement, safety advocates, researchers, industry representatives, and victims.

86 Percent of Teens have Driven While Distracted, According to AAA and Seventeen Magazine Survey, AAA, August 2, 2010

Teens, driving and texting are a bad mix, Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2010

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Second National Distracted Driving Summit, NHTSA, July 27, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, NHTSA

Teen Drivers, CDC

Continue reading "Nearly 90% of Teen Drivers Engage in Distracted Driving, Say AAA & Seventeen Magazine Survey" »

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June 29, 2010

Two Chicago Teenagers Killed in Wilmette Car Accident After Birthday Celebration

Friends and family are mourning the deaths of two “best buddies” in a Cook County car accident. Veronica Rojas, who was celebrating her 18th birthday, and Natalie Stygar, 17, died early Monday when the Nissan Maxima that they were riding went off the road, hit a fire hydrant, and broadsided a tree. Rojas was the mother of a two-year-old boy.

The driver of the Nissan, Szymon Zawadzki, sustained non-threatening injuries and was also hospitalized. Another passenger, a 15-year-old girl, sustained critical injuries, while 18-year-old passenger in the front seat was treated at Evanston NorthShore hospital before being released. All of the vehicle occupants were from Chicago.

Meantime, Zawadzki, 20, is charged with two counts of aggravated DUI resulting in death, two counts of reckless homicide, one count of driving under the influence, one count of aggravated DUI resulting in great bodily injury, one count of improper lane usage, driving without insurance, and one count of failure to reduce speed.

It is illegal in the US for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Driving drunk, regardless of the age of the driver, can prove fatal. A driver who caused serious injury or death because he/she was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence can be sentenced to time in prison. He or she can also be held financially liable in civil court for the Chicago car accident.

Due to their inexperience, most young drivers are already at higher risk than their older counterparts of getting involved in a Cook County car crash. Driving under the influence of alcohol, which clouds judgment, slows reflexes, and impairs the senses, only makes it harder for a young, inexperienced motorist to maintain control of a vehicle—especially during emergency situations.

Driver charged with DUI in deaths of two women in Wilmette, Chicago Sun-TImes, June 29, 2010

2 Chicago teens killed in crash after birthday celebration, Chicago Tribune, June 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Teen driver risks in high gear over summer, USA Today, June 21, 2010

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Continue reading "Two Chicago Teenagers Killed in Wilmette Car Accident After Birthday Celebration" »

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June 25, 2010

11-Year-Old Girl Dragged in Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident Dies

A man accused of killing an 11-year-old girl in a hit-and-run Chicago, Illinois car crash has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Carlos Rubio was arrested just hours after Itali Hinton was struck and then dragged several feet by a van on East 79th Street on Tuesday evening. She sustained a traumatic brain injury and was soon pronounced dead at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.

Rubio, 67, had stopped at the Chicago pedestrian accident site, but then drove off after his vehicle was surrounded by a crowd that had witnessed the incident. He was arrested at around 2am on Wednesday after he was positively identified as the owner of the van that struck Hilton. The vehicle had been damaged on its front passenger-side bumper section.

Illinois law mandates that drivers stop at the site of any accident they are involved in. This allows the motorists to exchange contact and insurance information in the event that any vehicle damage occurred and if someone was injured, render assistance. Some people’s lives have been saved because the other motorist involved called 911 and tried to help.

Losing your loved one in any kind of accident is a devastating experience. You may be able to hold the negligent party responsible in civil court.

Man, 67, Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Girl, 11, My Fox Chicago, June 25, 2010

Girl, 11, killed by hit-run driver, Sun-Times, June 24, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Things You May Not Know About Hit and Run Accidents, Deadly Roads

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June 10, 2010

Father Files Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit For His Daughters’ Injuries

Joshua Lemond is suing Jean E. Frillman for Illinois injuries to two minors. Lemond contends that his daughters, Caitlin and Kelli, got hurt on June 15, 2009, when the vehicle the three of them were riding in was hit from the side by the auto that Frillman was driving.

The Lemonds claim that Frillman caused the Illinois car crash, did not maintain control of her car, drove too fast, did not yield the right-of-way, ignored a red light, and disregarded other traffic signs. They say that as a result of the Illinois car accident, they experienced pain and suffering and acquired medical bills.

They are seeking a judgment of over $50,000 plus costs.

Common Kinds of Illinois Car Accidents
• Rear-end crashes
• Side swipe collisions
• Intersectional accidents

Sideswipe collisions, also known as side impact auto crashes, T-bone collisions, and broadside crashes. This type of crash involves an object or vehicle hitting the side of another auto. As the human body absorbs forces from the side, these kinds of car accidents can cause serious and debilitating injuries, which can be costly to treat and may result in permanent injuries.

Child Accident Injuries
No parent ever wants to see his or her child get hurt. It can be especially frustrating to know that your son or daughter is suffering from injuries sustained in a car crash caused by another party’s negligence. You may be able to obtain Illinois personal injury compensation on their behalf.

Father sues over girls' auto accident injuries, The Record, June 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:

CyberDrive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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June 2, 2010

10-Year-Old is Crushed to Death in Chicago Pedestrian Accident

Drunk driving may have been a factor in a Rogers Park pedestrian accident that left a 10-year-old boy with fatal crush injuries on Saturday. Santos and his 3-year-old sister Liliana had just excited their dad’s car and were walking to their aunt’s house at around 5:45 am when he became pinned two parked sport utility vehicles.

The fatal pedestrian accident happened when driver Martin Candia allegedly ran a red light, lost control of his Chevrolet van, and rear-ended one of the SUV’s, pushing it into the other SUV and crushing Santos in the middle. According to boy’s dad, Bulmaro Santos, his son never regained consciousness. He died two hours later.

Meantime, Candia has been charged with reckless homicide, felony drunk driving, and a number of traffic offenses, including driving on a suspended license. His blood-alcohol level was .109 after the Chicago car accident and he failed a sobriety test.

Santos was not the child only child to suffer critical injuries in a Chicago pedestrian accident over the Memorial Weekend. On Friday afternoon, a 13-year-old boy sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a car while crossing the street the Southwest Side Marquette Park neighborhood.

The driver accused of striking him, 19-year-old Steven Mendoza, was cited for negligent driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving without insurance, and not exercising due care when there was a pedestrian in the roadway.

Six Killed in Holiday Weekend Crashes, MyFoxChicago, June 1, 2010

Boy, 10, crushed between parked SUVs in N. Side crash, Chicago Tribune, May 30, 2010

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May 29, 2010

Drive Carefully to Prevent Cook County Car Accidents: AAA Chicago Says 1.5 Million Motorists to Drive from Illinois Over Memorial Weekend

According to AAA Chicago, approximately 1.5 million people will be driving from Illinois over the holiday weekend. While a long weekend is always a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to get together, the Illinois Department of Transportation is cautioning that this weekend is also one of the deadliest periods on the roads.

According to the IDOT, 30 people died in 17 Illinois traffic crashes during the Memorial weekend last year—that’s about 9 deaths a day. While law enforcement agencies have stepped up their patrols and police enforcement to hopefully keep the Illinois car accident death toll down this year, it is still up to drivers to operate their vehicles carefully, wear there seat belts, and refrain from disobeying the traffic laws, speeding, driving drunk, talking on the cell phone, text messaging, or following too closely.

AAA offers a number of tips for safe travel over the Memorial Day weekend, including:

• Don’t drive aggressively
• Make sure your car is properly serviced before heading off
• Don’t keep stepping on the brakes
• Program your GPS before you get in the car not while you are stuck in traffic

Even though it is a holiday weekend, if you were injured in a Chicago car accident that was caused by another party’s reckless or negligent driving or because a vehicle malfunctioned or a traffic light didn’t work properly, it is important that you report the incident and speak with a Cook County motor vehicle crash lawyer about your case.

More people expected to travel this holiday weekend, SunTimes, May 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:

CyberDrive, Illinois

Continue reading "Drive Carefully to Prevent Cook County Car Accidents: AAA Chicago Says 1.5 Million Motorists to Drive from Illinois Over Memorial Weekend" »

May 11, 2010

Mother to Sue Chicago Heights Over Steger Car Crash that Killed Her 5-Year-Old

The mother of 5-year-old Michael Langford Jr. is going to sue Chicago Heights and its police department for her son’s Cook County wrongful death in a Steger car accident. Langford was strapped in the backseat of the car driven by Cecil Conner when the vehicle crashed into a tree. Prosecutors contend that Conner was so drunk and high that he shouldn’t have been driving.

Langford’s mother, Kathie LaFond was the one driving when police pulled her over for failing to use a turn signal at around 2:35 am on Monday. LaFond, who was sober, was taken into custody for driving on a suspended license. Conner was allowed to drive off with the boy. He crashed the vehicle forty minutes later.

Now, the boy’s family is suing Chicago Heights and its police department for negligence. They contend that the arresting officer should never have let Conner, who was intoxicated, drive off with the boy.

Meantime, police sources say the arresting officer told Conner to go directly to the Chicago Police Department, which he didn’t do. They also claim that he did not appear drunk at the time. Conner is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Chicago Car Accidents
Determining who is liable for causing a Chicago, Illinois car accident can be tough without legal help. There may be more than one party responsible for causing your personal injury accident or the wrongful death of a family member. Depending on the specifics of your case, examples of other possible liable parties:

• Auto manufacturer
• Maintenance shop
• Restaurant/bar/private citizen who overserved alcohol to a motorist/minor
• Police for engaging in a police pursuit that caused the traffic crash
• Government entity responsible for a dangerous road defect

$500,000 bail for man accused of DUI in fatal crash, Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2010

Mother Of Boy Killed In Steger Crash To File Suit, CBS, May 11, 2010

Related Web Resources:
The 6 Most Common Causes of Automobile Crashes, SixWise.com

CyberDrive Illinois

Continue reading "Mother to Sue Chicago Heights Over Steger Car Crash that Killed Her 5-Year-Old" »

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May 7, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit: Uhl Family Seeks $46 Million for Wrongful Death of Daughters From Police Pursuit

The family of 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and her 15-year-old sister Kelli, are seeking $46 million in wrongful death recovery from the state of Illinois and former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell. The Collinsville sisters were killed on November 23, 2007 during a head-on crash with Mitchell.

The deadly Illinois car accident occurred on Interstate 64 as the former state trooper was headed to another traffic crash site. Prosecutors have said that Mitchell was distracted when he struck the girls’ auto. They contend that he was using his cell phone, emailing on the computer of the police vehicle, and driving at a speed of 126 mph when the collision happened.

Because the state of Illinois has sovereign immunity from lawsuits, the wrongful death case is going before the Court of Claims rather than a civil jury. The girls parents, Brian Uhl and Kimberly Schlau, filed their Illinois car accident lawsuit in the Court of claims on April 19, just three days after Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated reckless driving and reckless homicide. His sentence is 30 months probation. As part of his plea agreement, the former cop agreed to never work as a police officer again.

Following the conclusion of his criminal case, Mitchell changed his story. He claims that he did not cause the girls’ wrongful deaths and that he only pleaded guilty because he didn’t think he would receive a fair trial.

There are four claimants seeking recovery from the state and Mitchell: The girls’ parents, stepsister Maddy, and stepbrother Tony. They are claiming loss of love, society, companionship, and affection.

Distracted Driving
Driving while distracted, especially at high speeds, is dangerous not just to the motorist who is preoccupied but to the pedestrians and other vehicles that happen to be around at the time. It doesn’t matter how urgent it is that you get to your destination as soon as possible or that you obtain whatever information you need from the person that you are texting or talking with on the phone. Nothing is more important than safely getting where you need to go and making sure that you aren’t involved in a Chicago, Illinois car accident that could destroy other people’s lives.

Family seeks $46 million for daughters’ deaths, St, Louis Globe-Democrat, May 3, 2010

Uhl Family Wants $46 Million to Settle Lawsuit, Fox2News, May 4, 2010

2 killed in crash identified as sisters, STLToday.com, December 1, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Illinois State Police


Distracted Driving

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April 30, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Injures 6-Year-Old Pedestrian

Ashton Williams was crossing the street with his dad and sister on South Michigan Avenue when he was hit by a van going the wrong direction on the one-way street. Williams, age 6, sustained a concussion, bruises, cuts, and a stiff neck when he was thrown some 15 feet during the Chicago, Illinois car accident. The driver of the van then left the South Side motor vehicle crash site.

According to his father, Mark, the van appeared to come from nowhere. He says that the driver was speeding.

Chicago, Illinois Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
Wrong-way driving is a leading cause of car accidents. The chance that a wrong-way driver will cause a deadly head-on crash is high. Pedestrian accidents can also happen—especially as the victims may not be looking for a vehicle coming from that direction.

Common wrong-way driving situations:
• A motorist goes the wrong way down a one-way street
• Driving in the wrong direction up a lane
• Entering the freeway through an exit or exiting a highway through the entrance

Wrong-way driving accidents are preventable. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and failure to obey traffic signs are common causes of wrong-way driving. Traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries can occur because a driver was careless or reckless and drove the wrong way.

6-year-old injured in South Side hit-and-run, ABC Local, April 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Hit-And-Run Victims Now Eligible For Compensation, CBS2Chicago, October 8, 2009

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April 22, 2010

12-Year-Old Fatally Struck During Oak Lawn Bicycle Accident

12-year-old Kelly Ryan died on Sunday night after he was hit by a pickup truck on the Southwest Side. Ryan, who was riding his bicycle, had just entered a crosswalk on Narragansett Avenue when a Ford F-250 hit him.

The Cook County bicycle accident occurred at around 8:25 pm. The driver of the vehicle that struck Ryan, 48-year-old driver Keith Kostush, received traffic citations, including one for negligent driving.

Child Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 716 pedalcyclist deaths and 52,000 injuries last year, riders under the age of 16 made up 13% of fatalities and 25% of injuries. 87% of those who died where male. These figures are not surprising, considering that child bicycle injuries is the leading type of kid injury involving recreational sports that results in emergency room visits each year. About 1/3rd of the children hospitalized for their bicycle injuries sustained a traumatic brain injury from the crash.

While bicyclist errors and carelessness is a common cause of Cook County bicycle crashes, there are also many bicycle accidents that occur because a driver was distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, failed to obey traffic signs, lost control of the vehicle, or behaved negligently in otherwise.

Kids are prone to serious injuries in any kind of traffic crash. But for child cyclists who may only have the protection of a helmet to cushion the blow that comes with being hit by a car, a truck, a bus, a motorcycle, or a van, the injuries are often catastrophic if not fatal.

Boy, 12, killed riding bike on Southwest Side, Chicago Breaking News, April 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Kids' Bike Injuries Are Major Public Health Concern, Science Daily, October 18, 2007

Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, NHTSA, (PDF)

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April 20, 2010

Driver Charged in Chicago Car Crash Involving UPS Semi-Truck That Claimed Passenger’s Life

Adrian Tellez has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor driving while under the influence, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident in the catastrophic Chicago car crash that claimed the life of his passenger, 25-year-old Rafael Lopez.

The Cook County auto accident happened at around 2:30 am on April 1 on the Near West Side. Tellez was driving a 2005 Ford Taurus that collided with a UPS semi-truck, which was trying to turn left. According to police, the 21-year-old’s BAC was .16, which is two times the legal driving limit.

The Chicago Fire Department was called to the traffic crash site to extricate some of the auto accident victims. Five people were taken to hospitals—two of them in serious to critical condition.

According to autopsy results, Lopez’s death was caused by multiple injuries from an auto hitting a truck. His death was ruled an accident.

Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents
Our Chicago car accident lawyers cannot stress enough the dangers of driving drunk and the degree of injury risk that this irresponsible activity poses for people. Drunk driving is a senseless and unnecessary way to get hurt, destroy one’s life, and accidentally inflict great harm, pain, and suffering on others.

Just last week, four women were taken to local hospitals after their car drove into a business in a shopping plaza. The car’s driver, 24-year-old Sharlie Shaffer, sustained serious injuries. She is charged with drunk driving.

On March 31, a Wayne man pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and drunk driving in the June 2009 St. Charles, Illinois car accident that claimed the life of West Chicago resident Cameron Godee, age 18. The driver, Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso, is facing a maximum of 14 years in prison.

The 19-year-old lost control of his car while driving his SUV at a speed of approximately 77 mph in a 25 mph zone at around 3:20 AM. The vehicle struck two trees and a mailbox.

Lorusso’s BAC was nearly three times the legal limit. Two passengers riding in the backseat were also injured. Godee and Lorusso had been best friends since they were third graders.

Four women hurt when drunk driver crashes into business, WBBM780, April 14, 2010

Man pleads guilty in crash that killed best friend, Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2010

Motorist twice the legal limit in fatal Near West Side wreck: cops, Sun-Times, April 6, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Influenced Driving, Illinois State Police

Continue reading "Driver Charged in Chicago Car Crash Involving UPS Semi-Truck That Claimed Passenger’s Life" »

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April 15, 2010

$3 Million Chicago Car Accident Settlement for Woman Who Sustained Permanent Traumatic Brain Injury During Police Pursuit

Per the Chicago traumatic brain injury settlement advanced by a City Council committee, Regina Valera is to receive $3 million for her Cook County personal injuries. Valera sustained a TBI, kidney contusion, fractured her collarbone, and lacerated her liver on August 10, 2004, after she was hit by a stolen GMC van that ran a red light while Chicago Police followed it during an unauthorized pursuit.

Valera, then 17, was thrown about 40 feet from her vehicle during the Chicago car accident. She was placed in an induced coma for 48 hours and was in the hospital for more than two weeks. Now, she can only work menial jobs.

Under Chicago police policy, cops must obtain supervisory approval before engaging in a pursuit. They also must stop chasing the suspect if he/she starts disregarding traffic control signals. The cops that were involved in the police chase that injured Valera never told their supervisors that they were chasing a suspect. Their vehicle was moving at about 55 mph in a 25 mph zone.

The cops have denied that they were involved in an unauthorized pursuit. However, a van passenger and a witness said the police chase went on for eight blocks.

If you or someone you have was injured in a police pursuit, you should speak with a Chicago injury lawyer immediately. Cops must follow specific procedures when chasing a suspect and they are not allowed to endanger the suspect or anyone else.

Sustaining any kind of injury during a Chicago car crash can be difficult. There are likely medical expenses, recovery costs, lost wages, property damage, and other losses and costs. If your injury was a catastrophic one, such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, the expenses may be astronomical. It is important that the parties responsible for your traumatic injuries be held liable.

Committee OKs $3 million to settle lawsuit by woman injured by police chase, Chicago Sun-TImes, April 12, 2010

Chicago aldermen approve $3 million settlement in police chase crash, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Chicago Police Department

Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide, Center for Neuro Skills

Traumatic Brain Injury, Mayo Clinic

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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, CyberDriveIllinois.com

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

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February 26, 2010

Father and Daughter File Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit Over Cell Phone Driving Accident

A father and daughter are suing Carlo Gordon for personal injury. David and Lauren Levy claim that they were injured on July 17 when their 1995 Saturn was rear-ended by Gordon, who they allege dropped his cell phone while driving a 2003 Buick Lasabre.

Lauren is a minor. She was driving the car and her dad was with her as a passenger. David and Lisa Levy, Lauren’s mother, are the plaintiffs of the Illinois car accident complaint.

David and Lauren say they sustained head and neck injuries and experienced loss of their normal lives, disability, serious physical pain, and mental anguish. Lauren also injured her back, while David hurt his shoulder. The two of them claim their injuries, time off work, and medical bills have cost over $60,000, and they are seeking compensation for injuries and damages, in addition to costs.

Lauren and David claim that Gordon caused the Illinois auto accident when he looked down after dropping his cell phone. He then allegedly failed to: control his vehicle, prevent the Illinois car crash, activate his brakes, slow down his car’s speed, and drive safely. They also are accusing him of following too closely behind their auto.

Cell Phone Accidents
Although still not considered the taboo that drunk driving is, the similarly tragic consequences that can result when driving under the influence or using a cell phone to talk or text message are now undeniable. More than 330,000 people get hurt every year because someone was distracted while using a cell phone or PDA. Thousands are killed. Fortunately, the state of Illinois, a number of other US States, and the federal government are taking steps to discourage drivers from engaging in this dangerous practice.

If you were injured or someone you love died in a Chicago, Illinois cell phone accident, you may be owed personal injury or wrongful death damages.

Dropped cell phone caused driver to lose control, suit claims, The Record, February 11, 2010

Distracted Driving: The Dangers of Mobile Texting and Phone Calls, TechNews Daily, February 26, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Focus Driven

CyberDrive Illinois

US Department of Transportation

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February 19, 2010

Driver that Struck 6-Year-Old Jada Washington in Fatal Chicago Pedestrian Accident Was Allegedly High on Cocaine and Marijuana

Police have charged 48-year-old Eddie Lumpkin with aggravated DUI and reckless homicide for causing the catastrophic Chicago, Illinois car crash that claimed the life of 6-year-old girl Jada Washington and seriously injured her aunt Tiuette Richardson. The two Chicago pedestrians were crossing the street at Ashland and 74th at around 6:30 on Tuesday when they were struck by Lumpkin, who was driving a van.

According to prosecutors, the young girl’s body struck the windshield before flying into the street. Jada was pronounced dead at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Richardson injured her shoulder blade and leg, as well as fractured her skull.

Authorities say that prior to the South Side auto accident Lumpkin had been ticked at least 40 times for traffic offenses. Speeding, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to exercise caution around pedestrians were among the many violations he’d been cited for. He was convicted six times but the majority of tickets against him were dismissed.

Chicago DUI Accidents
Even though people know how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are motorists who still get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while intoxicated or high. When this happens, the motorist becomes a danger to everyone on the road.

It is bad enough to be the victim of a pedestrian accident let alone get hurt in one that involves a drunken or drugged driver whose vision, reflexes, and ability to stop a vehicle have been severely impaired. While most drunk and drugged drivers never intend to injure or kill anyone, unfortunately there are those who end up doing just that. If his happens, you should speak with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer right away.

As for the people who dare to drink/get high and drive, our Chicago, Illinois pedestrian accident law firm wants to remind you not to be so reckless. In a city with such good public transportation and so many hotels, there is no excuse for why you need to ever get behind the driver’s seat of a car when you are under the influence.

Prosecutors say motorist charged with DUI in child’s death had cocaine in his system, Chicago Tribune, February 19, 2010

Motorist in girl's death collected at least 40 traffic tickets, ChicagoBreakingNews, February 17, 2010

Related Web Resources:
What is Drugged Driving?, National Institute on Drug Abuse

CyberDrive Illinois

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February 15, 2010

Parents File Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Chicago Car Crash that Claimed Toddler’s Life

The parents of Joshua Molina, Jr., 13 months, are suing driver Putiporn Kaewmooka for their son’s Chicago, Illinois wrongful death. Joshua Molina and two adults, Aldo Maldonado and Orlando Rodriguez died in a Chicago car accident on February 1 when Kaewmooka struck the vehicle they were riding as he was fleeing from another auto accident site.

According to the couple’s Chicago car accident lawyer, Kaewmooka was driving at speeds of about 80 to 100 mph, not driving in the correct lane, and did not have his car lights on even though it was late at night. Kaewmooka’s Toyota Camry struck the vehicle Joshua Molina Sr., who was turning left.

Young Joshua, who was in a child safety seat, was knocked out of the car seat that he was fastened into and struck the rear window. Rodriguez and Maldonado, who were Joshua Molina Sr.'s best friends, were riding in the backseat of the car with the toddler. Maldonado was thrown from the vehicle.

Amy Alanis and Joshua Molina’s Chicago injury lawsuit is seeking at least $50,000 from Kaewmooka for their personal injuries and their son’s wrongful death.

Kaewmooka, who was charged with traffic citations, has been released on bond. The couple’s lawyer doesn’t believe that police charged Kaewmooka with the proper citations or crimes.

Couple Sues Driver in Crash that Killed Baby, Two Friends, MSNBC, February 12, 2010

Couple sues man in crash that left their baby, two friends dead, Chicago Sun-Times, February 8, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Claims Lives of 13-Month Old Boy and Two Adults, Chicagocaraccidentattorneysblog.com, February 3, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo


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February 3, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Claims Lives of 13-Month Old Boy and Two Adults

Three people died from injuries they sustained during a Chicago car crash on the Northwest Side on Monday night. The victims are 13-month old Joshua Molina Jr., 20-year-old Orlando Rodriguez, and 21-year-old Aldo Maldonado. Molina’s mother, Amy Alanis, survived the Illinois traffic wreck. Her boyfriend Joshua Molina, who is also the toddler's dad, was driving the car. He did not sustain serious injuries.

Their car was turning left when they were struck by a speeding Toyota Camry that had its lights turned off. The Toyota’s driver, a 55-year-old man from Skokie, had just been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

The Molinas say that their son, who was secured in a car seat, was partially thrown through the back window due to the force of the collision. He was pronounced dead at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Police questioned the Camry driver yesterday. So far, he has been charged with negligent driving related to this deadly Chicago car accident and for driving too fast for the conditions at the time and leaving the scene of the first auto collision. Police say that before these dual car crashes, the motorist had a clean driving record since getting his driver's license in 1999.

Chicago Car Accidents
Every year, people are killed or seriously injured in Chicago, Illinois car accidents. It is life shattering to lose someone in such a senseless manner. Negligent motorists can be held liable for Chicago injury or wrongful death.

Common causes of Cook County Car Accidents:

• Drunk driving
• Speeding
• Hit and run
• Driving faster than current road or weather conditions
• Text messaging
• Cell phone conversations
• Failure to obey traffic signs
• Failure to pay attention to road conditions

Three dead -- including child -- in NW Side wreck, Chicago Sun-Times, February 2, 2010

NW Side crash takes 3 lives, Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2010

Related Web Resource:
CyberDrive Illinois

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January 19, 2010

Villages of Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, and Gurnee Settle Cook County-Lake County Car Accident Lawsuits Over 2006 Police Pursuit that Killed One Teen and Left Another with a Traumatic Brain Injury

The villages of Gurnee, Wheeling, and Buffalo Grove have settled the Illinois car accident lawsuits filed on behalf of three teenagers who were involved in a July 23, 2006 catastrophic motor vehicle crash involving a U-Haul truck and its driver, who was fleeing police at the time.

16-year-old Corey Diamond died from his injuries. His friend Elliot Cellini is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Brandon Forshall sustained non-life threatening injuries during the car accident, which occurred at the Wheeling-Buffalo Grove border.

The catastrophic car collision occurred when U-Haul driver Ralph Lewis drove through a red light while trying to escape police and crashed straight into the vehicle carrying the teenagers. Lewis had rented the truck so he could fill it up with stolen goods to pay back money for drug-related debts.

Witnesses say that Lewis was driving through the suburbs at a very high-speed as a Gurnee police officer chased him. At different times, Lewis may have been driving anywhere from 50-80 mph. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008 and is serving a 45-year-prison term.

Wheeling’s board is expected to approve settlements of $18,000 to Diamond’s estate for his wrongful death, as well as $40,000 to Cellini and $2,000 to Forshall for their personal injuries. Late last year, the village of Buffalo Grove’s board approved settlements of $50,000 to Forshall, $500,000 to Diamond’s estate, and $1,000,000 to Cellini. Gurnee settled all of the lawsuits for $50,000. The village of Buffalo Grove is paying the plaintiffs the most because their officers were the lead agents involved in the police chase, which they failed to call off before it turned deadly.

Last year, Diamond’s mother, Melanie, spoke about how his son’s death has left her family “forever incomplete.” Cellini says his personal injuries from the accident have placed him in a “personal prison."

There may be more than one party who should be held liable for your Chicago car accident injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death.

Villages to settle lawsuit in fatal car chase case, Daily Herald, January 19, 2010

U-Haul driver convicted of murder in chase, fatal crash, Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Village of Wheeling, Illinois

Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Village of Gurnee, Illinois

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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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October 30, 2009

Fox Lake Toddler Injured in Lake County, Illinois Backover Accident is Still Recovering

The 4-year-old Fox Lake toddler who was seriously injured in a Lake County, Illinois car accident last August is still recovering. Skiler Wright was hit by a car that was backing out of a driveway. The little girl got caught under the gas tank, muffler, and bumper and was dragged 200 feet.

Skiler, who weighs just 24 pounds, sustained a skull injury, lost a significant portion of her scalp, and injured her shoulder in the Fox Lake pedestrian accident. She already has had eight surgeries.

The medical bills for her treatments are racking up. Skiler’s dad, an iron foundry worker, is on short-term medical leave and her mother is a pregnant, stay-at-home mom. Their health insurance coverage is only taking care of a portion of the little girl’s medical treatments.

This week, the driver of the vehicle that struck Skiler was charged with a traffic violation and a misdemeanor. Pamela Simone, a 36-year-old Fox Lake resident, posted bond after turning herself into the authorities.

Simone was driving on a revoked license at the time of the catastrophic Lake County, Illinois car crash. Previous to losing her license she was charged four times with driving on a suspended license.

2008 Children (Under age 15) Traffic Safety Facts (NHTSA):

• 1,347 child traffic deaths
• 193,000 child traffic injuries
• About 4 child traffic deaths/day
• 270 child pedestrian deaths
• 13,000 child pedestrian injuries
• 44 Illinois child pedestrian deaths

Drivers must exercise caution anytime they are operating a motor vehicle so that they don’t accidentally strike a pedestrian. Kids are especially at risk of sustaining serious injuries during an Illinois pedestrian accident, which is why a motorist needs to look out for them when backing out of driveways, crossing intersections, or driving through areas where there are schools.

Woman who struck, dragged toddler charged with misdemeanor, Daily Herald, October 29, 2009

Fox Lake toddler recovering after being dragged 200 feet by car, Daily Herald, October 22, 2009

Lake County, Illinois Car Accident Leaves 3-Year-Old in Critical Condition, Malman Law, August 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Backover Accidents, Kids and Cars/Consumers Union

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October 29, 2009

Graduated Licensing Requirements Lower Number of Illinois Teen Car Crashes, Says Department of Transportation

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the state’s new graduated licensing requirements appear to be working. Between January and October, 60 teen drivers died in Illinois car crashes. That’s a significant decrease from 2007, the last year before the GDL was enacted, when 127 teen drivers died.

Per Illinois’s GDL:

• Teen drivers must now have a learner’s permit for six month instead of just three.

• Teen drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while driving until they turn 19.

• Illinois’s graduated licensing program creates two young driver stages: the learner stage and the intermediate stage.

• The GDL prohibits both learner teen drivers and intermediate teen drivers from operating a motor vehicle after 10p during the week and after 11p on Fridays and Saturdays.

A teen who has just gotten a driver’s license can only have one teen passenger in the car with him or her during the first year.

Young drivers in general are known to be more easily distracted than older drivers. They also don’t have as much driving experience and are more likely to text while driving. Having a group of teens in the car can be distracting for the teen driver, who may forget to pay attention to the road and other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 164 people died in Illinois car accidents involving a young driver last year. The NHTSA classifies people between the ages of 15 and 20 as young drivers.

80 of the victims were the young drivers. 39 of the people that died were riding in the young drivers’ cars. 37 of the Illinois traffic accident victims that died were riding in the other vehicles involved. 8 of the Illinois auto accident victims were not riding in or on a vehicle when the deadly teen driving accidents happen.

Teen driving law appears to work, Galesburg.com, October 23, 2009

Young Drivers, Traffic Safety Facts 2008, NHTSA (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Graduated Driver License, Cyberdrive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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October 27, 2009

Two Illinois Car Accident Lawsuits Accuse Drivers of Failure to Obey Stop Sign

Two parents are suing driver Billie L. Varner for Illinois personal injury. Varner, allege Michael S. Overby and Tiffany Blomgren, ran a red light on June 27, 2008, striking the vehicle driven by Overby. Also riding in the car with Overby were his children, Alexandria and Paige Overby, and Blomgren’s children, Joshua and Michaela Blomgren. The four children are minors.

The plaintiffs contend that because of the Illinois car crash, Michael Overby became disabled and ill, sustained back injuries, and continues to experience pain. His vehicle was damaged during the traffic crash.

According to the Illinois injuries to minor lawsuit, the kids experienced disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering. As a result of the plaintiffs' injuries, the car crash victims incurred medical expenses.

The Illinois car accident lawsuit claims Varner neglected to obey a traffic control device, was driving too fast, failed to maintain a proper lookout, and did not stop to avoid causing the motor vehicle collision. The plaintiffs are seeking over $50,000 from Varner.

In another Illinois car crash alleging failure to obey a stop sign, Amber N. Hosford says Shirley Hook failed to yield when she struck Hosford’s vehicle on February 24.

Hosford says that because of the traffic accident, she injured nerves, ligaments, bones, discs, and muscles in her body, back, and neck, as well as suffered from bruising. She contends her medical expenses are a result of her injuries. She also says she remains unable to tend to her regular responsibilities. Hosford is seeking over $50,000 from Hook.

Failure to Obey a Stop Sign
Not stopping or yielding at a stop sign can have catastrophic consequences for the vehicle occupants and pedestrians involved. Traffic signs exist to regulate traffic, warn of hazards, and prevent Illinois car accidents from happening. Failure to obey a traffic sign or a traffic light can be grounds for a Chicago car accident case if someone gets hurt or dies.

Driver failed to obey stop sign, say parents in suit, Madison Record, October 23, 2009

Alton accident is subject of suit, Madison Record, October 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

2009 Rules of the Road, CyberDriveIllinois

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October 21, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Kills Pregnant Pedestrian and Injures Three Others

A baby boy was delivered prematurely at a hospital today, after his pregnant mother was killed in a Chicago car accident on the West Side. Kim Brown, 27, was walking with her friend and the latter’s two children at around 11:30am at Washington and Kostner when a van, which had just collided with another van, jumped the cub and struck them. The other woman, 30, and her two daughters, ages 1 and 3, were also injured.

Doctors say it will take 24 hours to determine the premature infant’s chances of survival. The baby sustained injuries during the Chicago car crash and is in “extremely critical” condition. Brown has five other children.

Police are investigating the catastrophic Chicago car accident, which, unfortunately, was not the only traffic accident today that caused injuries.

There people inside a North Shore tanning parlor got hurt when an 85-year-old driver accidentally stepped on the gas pedal and drove into Wilmette store.

Two of the injury victims were patrons who were struck by the vehicle. They were taken to Evanston Hospital. The third Chicago car accident victim, a Palm Beach Tan patron, got pinned between the wall and front counter.

The motorist was trying to park his car when the auto accident happened.

Pregnant woman dies in crash, baby survives, WGN, October 21, 2009

Illinois Department of Transportation


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September 25, 2009

Owning a Motor Vehicle Increases Chicago Car Accident Risk for Teenagers

According to two studies by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researcher, teenagers who either own a car or are able to use one whenever they want have a greater chance of becoming involved in a car accident than teens who have shared use of a vehicle and/or whose parents monitor their kids’ driving activities and/or have specific rules about driving.

The studies’ research is based on a nationally representative survey of over 5,500 teens, grades 9-11. Students from 68 US high schools responded to the questionnaire, which was issued 2006.

Over 2,000 teens who said they drove unsupervised were at the center of the study. 70% reported that they either owned a vehicle or were the main driver of an auto. While 25% of “main” drivers had been involved in auto accidents, that figure was at 10% for teen drivers who had shared use of a car.

Flaura Koplin Winston, who is the study’s lead author, noted that when teenagers are given free use of or ownership of a car, they may develop a “sense of entitlement” that can make them less careful drivers. She said that teen drivers who shared driving access had a lower crash rate because having to ask for the car keys made it easier for parents to monitor their driving habits. Teens whose parents were more involved in their driving activities were 71% less likely to drive drunk and 30% less likely to talk on a cell phone while driving.

Considering that traffic accidents is the number one cause of teen fatalities, this information is good for parents to know. Just because a teen driver is now old enough to legally drive does not mean that he or she automatically has the skills, experience, knowledge, and judgment that is necessary for driving safely.

A teenager who causes a Chicago car crash risks not just his or her life but also the lives of others. In 2008, 4,400 teens were killed in US car crashes. In 2007, over 7,000 people died in US auto accidents involving teen drivers. Over 3,000 of the people who died were teenagers. Over 250,000 teen drivers sustained injuries.

Ken Ginsburg, associated pediatrics professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends that parents set “appropriate” rules and boundaries for teen drivers. His suggestions include establishing curfews, restricting driving during bad weather, and preventing their kids from driving passengers around for the first six months to one year.

The studies findings’ can be found in the October issue of Pediatrics. State Farm Insurance Co. funded the study.

Strict rules from parents lead to safer-driving teens, USA Today, September 25, 2009

Teens with own cars have more crashes, study finds, AP, September 25, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, CDC

New Drivers, NHTSA

Continue reading "Owning a Motor Vehicle Increases Chicago Car Accident Risk for Teenagers" »

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September 8, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Claims the Life of 5-Year-Old Bicyclist

Police in Chicago, Illinois are citing the 64-year-old motorist who fatally struck a 5-year-old bicyclist with failure to provide a pedestrian with due care in a roadway and failure to stop when leaving an alley. Following the deadly Chicago car accident in the Rogers Park area, driver Mary Mani remained at the crash site.

The young girl, Ester Kenig, was transported to an Evanston hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Chicago Car Accidents Can Fatally Injure Child Bicyclists
With the new academic school year underway, it is important for drivers to be on the look out for bicyclists. A Chicago motorist can be held liable for personal injury or wrongful death if a cyclist is injured in a Chicago auto crash. Young child riders are especially at risk of serious injuries.

Steps to avoid injuring a bicyclist in a Chicago car accident:
• Be on the look out for bicyclists.
• Be especially careful around child bicyclists.
• Before opening your car door, make sure that a bicyclist isn’t approaching.
• Follow the speed limit.
• Stop completely when at stop signs.
• Give a bicyclist room to maneuver.
• Don’t tailgate a cyclist.
• Watch out for child pedestrians and bicyclists in school crossing zones and in areas where kids are likely to be going to or from school.
• Slow down when passing a bicycle rider.
• Try not to honk your horn when you are close to a bicyclist. You might startle him or her, causing the rider to fall onto the street.

Chicago car accidents can lead to serious injuries for victims. In many cases, car insurance will not cover all recovery expenses. An experienced Chicago, Illinois car collision lawyer can pursue the maximum compensation that you are owed.

Driver cited in death of 5-year-old, ABC Local, September 7, 2009

Yield to Heels, Hsrc.unc.edu

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Driver ticketed in crash that killed 5-year-old girl, WBBM Newsradio, September 7, 2009

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August 26, 2009

Lake County, Illinois Car Accident Leaves 3-Year-Old in Critical Condition

A 3-year-old girl is in critical but stable condition at a Chicago hospital. The young girl had been playing in Fox Lake on Monday evening when a Dodge that was backing out of 23 Arlington Road struck her. The girl was pinned underneath the vehicle during the backover accident and dragged some 200 feet before the driver realized what happened. The 3-year-old broke her collarbone and sustained shoulder and head injuries during the Lake County, Illinois car accident.

Police say they may pursue charges against the motorist.

Backover Accidents
Backover accidents involve a person that is struck by a vehicle that is backing up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 221 people died in backover accidents in 2007. 14,000 others were injured. 99 of the deaths and 2,000 of the injuries were kids in the 14 and under age group.

Most of the backover accidents took place in parking lots and driveways. Kids and Cars founder Janette Fennell says that the NHTSA figures affirms her group’s findings that about two children a week die in the US because of backover accidents.

It is important that motorists carefully check around and behind their vehicles before backing up. Larger cars, such as vans, sport utility vehicles, and trucks, tend to have bigger blind spots.

Steps to prevent backover accidents from happening:
• Physically go around your vehicle before backing it up.
• Keep an eye on children on the road so that you don’t miss one of them running behind your car.
• Keep toys and other items kids might want to play with off your driveway.
• Drive carefully

A driver can be held liable for personal injury if negligence or carelessness caused the motorist to accidentally run over someone during a Lake County, Illinois backover accident.

Fox Lake girl critical after struck by car, Lake County News-Sun, August 26, 2009

3-Year-Old Struck By Car, Dragged 200 Feet, CBS2Chicago, August 26, 2009

221 People Killed in "Backover" Accidents in 2007, NHTSA Study Shows, Edmunds Daily, January 2009

Related Web Resources:
Kids and Cars

Automobile Back-Over Accidents: How to Avoid a Surprisingly Prevalent & Serious Accident, SixWise.com

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August 18, 2009

Woman Dies in Illinois Head-On Car Accident on Route 13

A 65-year-old woman was killed yesterday in an Illinois car accident on Route 13. Frances Koon, a seamstress, was going to work when her car was in a collision with a pickup just before 5am.

According to investigators, it was Nicholas Wilson, 19, who crossed the center line, causing the head-on crash with Koon’s motor vehicle. Illinois State Police have charged Wilson with DUI.

Three people were in the car driven by Wilson. The passengers, ages 19 – 21, were flown to hospitals.

Drunk Driving
Despite all the information available regarding the dangers of drunk driving, there are still many motorists that continue to drink and drive. Drunk driving accidents killed almost 13,000 people in 2007—that’s one drunk driving death every 40 minutes. In each of these instances, the driver who was drunk had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.

Drunk driving accidents destroy the lives not just of the person killed or injured in the Illinois car crash, but also the lives of the victim’s loved ones who now must spend years dealing with the fact that the person they care about is gone or catastrophically hurt because someone drank too much and decided to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

On August 21, 2009, law enforcement officers throughout the US will begin an 18-day Drunk Driving crackdown until Labor Day. The initiative, called Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Is meant to save lives and make it clear to motorists that if they are driving drunk, they will be arrested.

Drunk drivers that end up killing someone will likely face time in prison for committing this crime. The negligent motorist can also be held liable in civil court for Illinois personal injury or wrongful death.

Head On Collision Kills Woman from Lenzburg, Illinois, Fox2Now, August 17, 2009

Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest, NHTSA

Related Web Resources:
Underage Drinking, SADD

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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June 15, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Law Firm: Illinois Head-On Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pickup Truck Claims Toddler’s Life

A head-on crash in Vermillion County involving a pickup truck and an SUV has claimed the life of a toddler. Hoopestown resident Zachary Howard would have turned 2 this week. The deadly Illinois motor vehicle collision happened on Wednesday at around 4:30 pm on Illinois 1 about 1 mile from Hoopestown.

According to police, a pickup truck going north on Illinois 1 swerved into the southbound lane to hit a Ford Explorer driven by 44-year-old Denise Goodrum in a head-on crash. Zachary, Samuel Howard, 25, Robert Irvin, 19, and a 15-year-old passenger were riding the pickup truck driven by 23-year-old John Schwartz.

Both drivers and two of the people in the pickup were transported by air to an Urbana hospital. Preliminary reports indicate that Schwartz may have swerved into the other lane to avoid a car that was turning in front of him that he did not initially see. Witnesses say that the pickup truck wasn’t speeding.

Pickup Truck Accidents
While pickup trucks do not fall into the same category as large trucks, they are still bigger and heavier than most passenger vehicles and can cause substantial damage and serious injuries in the event of a pickup truck accident.

According to the Department of Transportation, in 2006, motor vehicle accidents involving light trucks and passenger vehicles resulted in twice as many deaths as auto crashes involving just passenger vehicles. One reason for this is that a pickup truck’s bumper usually is placed in a higher location than where bumpers are placed on minivans and cars. This can cause the bumper of the pickup truck to strike the hood or side of the car, which can lead to serious injuries.

Toddler died in head-on crash, The News-Gazette, June 12, 2009

Toddler named in fatal accident, Commercial News, June 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents, Justia

Head-On Collisions, Safety.Transportation.Org

Continue reading "Chicago Car Accident Law Firm: Illinois Head-On Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pickup Truck Claims Toddler’s Life " »

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May 26, 2009

Chicago Hit and Run Car Accident: Mayor Daley Orders Police to Investigate Whether Cop Arrested for Boy’s Bicycle Death Was Given Preferential Treatment

Is the Chicago police officer arrested for the Illinois hit-and-run death of 13-year-old Trenton Booker getting preferential treatment? That’s what Chicago Mayor Richard Daley wants to know. He is ordering the police department to conduct a probe into the matter immediately.

Bail was set at $2 million for Richard Bolling—although as of this afternoon, the Chicago police department still won’t identify him as the off-duty cop who was driving the speeding car that hit Booker, who was riding a bicycle, early Saturday morning. They are also refusing to release Bolling's arrest photo.

According to witnesses, Bolling was at a bar right before he got into his vehicle and hit the boy at the intersection of Ashland and 81st at around 1:30am. Police arrested the off-duty cop a few blocks away from the Chicago bicycle accident site after they saw his vehicle driving the wrong way down a one-way street. The state attorney’s office says there was an open bottle of beer in the car and Bolling’s Dodge Charger had sustained windshield and front-end damage.

The 17-year veteran of the Chicago police force was charged with leaving the crash site where an injury or death occurred, aggravated driving under the influence, transporting alcohol, driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street, and reckless homicide.

There are concerns as to why the Chicago police department did not administer a Breathalyzer test to Bolling until four hours after the deadly Chicago motor vehicle accident. Another eight hours reportedly passed before a blood test was administered to Bolling to determine his blood alcohol level. His BAC at that time was .079. The legal limit is .08%.

Booker’s family members have also complained that a court hearing on Saturday to set bail for the Chicago cop took place an hour ahead of schedule and that they weren’t notified of the change. Typically, bond hearings occur at noon.

A police arrest report says that Bolling did not appear impaired after he was given field sobriety tests. However, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney John Dillon said at the Saturday hearing that a witness that saw the Chicago cop at the bar said Bolling always had a drink in hand.

Favoritism shown in cop's DUI arrest?, Chicago Breaking News, May 26, 2009

$2M bail set for Chicago cop charged in hit-run death of boy, Chicago Sun-Times, May 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Chicago Police Department

Car Accidents Overview, Justia

Richard M Daley, City of Chicago

Continue reading "Chicago Hit and Run Car Accident: Mayor Daley Orders Police to Investigate Whether Cop Arrested for Boy’s Bicycle Death Was Given Preferential Treatment " »

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May 6, 2009

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit Says Driver Pulled Away Before Daughter Was Completely Out of Vehicle

An Illinois mother says her daughter got injured because the driver of the car the girl was riding in pulled away before she could get out of the vehicle. The Illinois car accident allegedly occurred on the evening of December 30, 2008.

According to Tracy Jenkins’s complaint, driver Nicholas R. McGraw had stopped the vehicle on Route 15 in Freeburg to let Megan Jenkins out but then tried to drive off before the girl was completely out of the auto. Tracy says that as a result of McGraw’s negligence in failing to tell Megan that he was about to drive off and neglecting to keep a proper lookout, the girl sustained extensive ankle and leg injuries and became sore, sick, disabled, and disordered, experienced suffering and pain, and accrued medical expenses. She is seeking over $100,000 plus costs on her daughter’s behalf.

Illinois Personal Injury
Depending on the circumstances surrounding an Illinois car accident case, you or your child may be entitled to recovery for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional damages, and disfigurement. Hedonic damages, for the loss of the ability to enjoy certain activities, and punitive damages to punish the defendant may also apply. Injuries to minors cases must be filed by the child’s parent, guardian, or another adult.

Just because you or your loved one was seriously injured in an Illinois car accident doesn’t mean you will instantly receive personal injury compensation. As the plaintiff, you will have to prove that the defendant is legally liable in terms of legal causation and actual causation.

A good Chicago car crash lawyer can do this for you, including determine whether there is more than one party that can be held liable for Illinois personal injury, such as a car maker, a tire manufacturer, local police, an Illinois city, or another entity.

Driver sued for taking off before passenger all the way out, The Record, May 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Car Accident Overview, Justia

Car Accidents: Proving Fault, Nolo

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