February 22, 2011

More than a Year After Sustaining Head Trauma in an Illinois Car Crash, Man Dies in a Chicago Hospital

28-year-old Elvis Hernandez is dead from injuries he suffered almost a year-and-a-half ago during an Illinois car wreck in Aurora. Hernandez has been in the hospital since October 9, 2009, when the car he was in a passenger in was involved in a traffic crash with a box truck.

The Aurora man was riding in a 1999 Lexus SUV driven by David Solis, also 28, when the latter rear-ended a 2009 International 4400 box truck that was stopped in traffic. Following the Illinois truck crash, Solis drove his SUV into a gas station parking lot and fled the scene. Hernandez, who sustained major head trauma, remained in the front passenger seat.

45 minutes after the Aurora car accident, Solis returned to the crash site. He was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, driver under the influence of drugs, driving without insurance, and driving on a suspended license. Currently behind bars over these charges, more are likely pending now that Hernandez has died.

Chicago Car Crash Injuries
Sustaining a serious injury during a Chicago car crash can be tough physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. Recovery can take months or, in some severe cases, a victim is left permanently disabled. The bills for hospital stays, 24-hour care, rehabilitation services, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, tests, as well as the loss of income, benefits, and future earnings can take a toll.

Man dies year after DUI crash, charges upgraded, ABC Local, February 22, 2011

Aurora crash victim dies 16 months later, Daily Herald, February 21, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Head Trauma, eMedicine

Treatments and drugs, MayoClinic

More Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Worker Dies from Injuries Sustained in Chicago Car Crash Involving Hit-and-Run Driver, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, February 11, 2011

Toddlers Seriously Injured in Fatal Lake County Car Crash Upgraded to Stable Condition, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, December 14, 2010

11-Year-Old Girl Dragged in Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident Dies, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, June 25, 2010

Continue reading "More than a Year After Sustaining Head Trauma in an Illinois Car Crash, Man Dies in a Chicago Hospital" »

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May 21, 2010

Chicago Taxi Accident Victim Remains in Critical Condition

A Bucktown man who was injured in a hit-and-run Chicago taxi accident on May 14 remains in critical condition. Daniel Firkins was leaning through the window of a taxi that he had just summoned when, during a disagreement, the cab driver stepped on the gas and drove away with the 32-year-old still partially in the vehicle. The taxi driver then fled the car accident scene.

Firkins sustained a traumatic brain injury, two skull fractures, and other miscellaneous injuries. Tire marks on his leg also indicate that the cab had run over him. On Wednesday, his mother said that her son, who was placed in a drug-induced coma, may not make it.

David and Maureen Firkins are asking for help in identifying the cab driver. They considered the driver’s actions intentional and not accidental. The taxi involved in the Chicago cab accident is a white taxi with blue stripes.

Hit-and-Run Injury Victims
If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago car accident involving a hit-and-run driver, you will need help collecting damages. Sometimes this means getting the company that provides the victim with insurance to pay damages. At other times, it means going after the driver’s insurer and other liable parties once the driver has been apprehended.

Motorists are supposed to stop at a Cook County car accident site to exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. They also should call 911 in the event that medical help is required. It is a crime to hit-and-run. Not helping an injured motorist or pedestrian can cause the victims’ injuries to become more serious or, worse yet, lead to Chicago wrongful death.

Parents keep vigil over man dragged by cab, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2010

Man critically injured in taxi accident, ABCLocal, May 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Hit-and-Run Accidents, Deadly Roads

Continue reading "Chicago Taxi Accident Victim Remains in Critical Condition" »

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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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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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