December 3, 2010

A Chicago Car Accident Caused by a Drowsy Driver Can Be Grounds for Cook County Personal Injury Case

If you are like most people, you’ve inevitably gotten in the driver’s seat while feeling exhausted. But did you know that some safety experts consider driving while drowsy to be as dangerous as driving while drunk? If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago car accident because the other driver feel asleep at the wheel, you may have grounds for a Cook County injury case.

According to a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in six fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. Meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Foundation reports that drowsy driving causes 71,000 injuries, 1,1500 deaths, and over 100,000 auto accidents annually.

Also, per the study:
• Drivers under the age of 25 are almost twice as likely as drivers in the age 40 to 59 group to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
• In approximately 57% of drowsy driving accidents, the driver’s vehicle ended up off the road or in other lanes.
• Over 55% of drivers who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel said this happened on a high-speed divided highway.
• Over 59% of drivers who said they’ve fallen asleep while operating a vehicle in the last year said they had only been driving for less than an hour when it happened.
• Over one in four drivers who fell asleep while driving said they did so during the day between the hours of noon and 5pm.

Drowsy driving can lead to problems focusing, driver inattention, short-term memory lapses, lane driving, swerving, tailgating, missed traffic signs and exits, aggressiveness, vision impairment, slowed reaction times, and a delayed ability to process information. Sound familiar? That is because symptoms and effects of drowsiness are similar to those of being drunk.

It takes just a few seconds for a deadly Chicago car accident to happen. This means that shutting one's eyes for just a few seconds of rest could prove fatal. Many drowsy drivers fall asleep and don’t even realize it.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® Highlights Prevalent and Preventable Accidents, National Sleep Foundation

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving, NHTSA

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Continue reading "A Chicago Car Accident Caused by a Drowsy Driver Can Be Grounds for Cook County Personal Injury Case" »

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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, 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" »

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" »

March 23, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Motorcycle Crash Statistics, Insurance Information Institute

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December 13, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycle Accidents, Justia

Mercury Insurance Co.

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