April 21, 2011

Woman Impaled in Lake County, Illinois Car Crash Caused by Tree Branch Sues Property Owner

Helen Miller, a Lake Villa woman, is suing Vista Health System Surgery and Treatment Center for her Lake County, Illinois car accident injuries. Miller, 42, was driving in Lindenhurst last October when a tree fell on her car, causing one of its branches to crash through her windshield and impale her beneath her lungs and above her stomach. The medical facility is the owner of the property where the tree was located.

The dead tree fell on Miller’s car after gusts of wind over 50 mph caused it to snap. Although she was fortunate because none of her vital organs were hit when she was impaled, Miller had to be placed into a medically induced coma and she sustained serious and permanent injuries.

Car Crashes Involving Falling Trees
A property owner can be held liable for a Chicago car collision if there was a hazard on a premise that caused the accident to occur. Auto crashes caused by falling trees/tree branches are not as uncommon as you would think. Over the years there have been numerous vehicle crashes that have occurred because the owner of a property failed to properly maintain a tree, which ended up falling on a vehicle or a pedestrian. Fatalities have been known to occur as a result.

In February, a 41-year-old man died when a tree collapsed and fell on the pickup truck he was riding. Three other people who were with him were also hurt. In 2008, a woman died from injuries she sustained when a tree fell on her car. Her daughter was in the vehicle with her when the deadly accident happened. The year before, a 49-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his van. His family sued for wrongful death and claimed the city did not make sure that the tree roots were cut properly.

Woman impaled by tree branch sues medical center, Chicago Tribune, April 20, 2011

Woman Impaled by Tree Branch Sues, NBC Chicago, April 21, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents, Nolo

Car Accidents, Justia

More Blog Posts:
Chicago Injury Lawsuit Involving Boy with Brain Damage After He was Struck by Tree Branch is Settled for $1.55M, Chicago Injury Attorney Blog, February 7, 2011
Chicago Car Accident Risks Rise When There is Snow and Ice on the Road, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, December 21, 2010

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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

July 5, 2010

Preventing Illinois Bicycle Accidents: Governor Pat Quinn Signs New Safety Bills in Chicago

In Arlington Heights today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s new bicycle safety legislation, turning them into law. One bill imposes new penalties on reckless drivers and those that drive too close to cyclists. The other creates “Share the Road” license plates that will be sold so that funds can go toward education campaigns. Quinn says the new laws will remind motorists to watch out for bicyclists while hopefully keeping the latter safe.

Our Chicago, Illinois car accident lawyers applaud any efforts made to keep bicyclists safe. Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles formally adopted a number of edits to their design polices that will hopefully make it easier and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around.

For far too long, too many arterial roads have lacked sidewalks, many large intersections were not designed in a way that made crossing the street safe or easy, and merely an extra 12-inchse of extra width in travel lanes on high-speed, busy roads, was considered sufficient room for bicyclists to ride safely. While Illinois bicycle accidents can occur because of rider mistakes or carelessness, many Chicago bicycle accidents happen because roads are poorly designed accommodate cyclists or because a driver was negligent.

Bicycle accidents can result in serious Chicago personal injuries for victims who only have a helmet to protect from serious injuries. Our Chicago car accident law firm represents clients injured in all kinds of motor vehicle crashes. We are committed to obtaining our clients’ Chicago injury compensation for them.

Quinn signs bicycle safety legislation, Daily Herald, July 5, 2010

IDOT Complete Streets – History and Status, League of Illinois Bicyclists

Related Web Resources:
Bicyclists and other cyclists, Traffic Safety, NHTSA (PDF)

Illinois Department of Transportation

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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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