Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

November 21, 2014

Minivan Crash Injures 7 in Chicago

112114%282%29.jpgWhen imagining a typical car accident in Chicago, many drivers picture two or more vehicles colliding at an intersection. But the reality is that single car collisions also occur in Chicago and across the nation and that these accidents can cause just as much damage as a crash with multiple vehicles. Victims of a single car accident may not realize that they have the right to seek relief for their injuries, but often, the laws of Illinois enable these individuals to obtain financial compensation.

When a single car crash occurs, it can be difficult to determine if the crash was due to an error on the part of a driver or on another factor, like a weather condition, a mechanical failure, or even a poor road design. In addition, multiple claims may be possible depending on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the crash. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area may help you understand your options and your rights if a collision has affected your life or has left your loved one injured or killed.

Between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, a crash involving a minivan occurred in Jackson Park near East Marquette Drive and South Richards Drive, according to local police. Officials believe that the minivan was traveling west with five children and two adults inside when the driver lost control of the vehicle and left the road's surface, colliding with a tree in the area. The impact caused the van to catch on fire and prompted a response from emergency officials in Chicago.

All seven people in the van were able to exit the vehicle and were assessed by emergency medical crews before being transported to area hospitals. All the children were taken to Lurie Children's Hospital and Comer Children's Hospital while the adults were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. While the nature and extent of the injuries sustained has not been revealed, officials have stated that all are expected to survive despite being in critical condition.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the collision and trying to determine why the driver lost control and whether any other factors led to the impact.

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November 20, 2014

Elderly Driver Cited after Striking Pedestrian in Chicago

112014.jpgMore than 4,500 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2012 alone, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On average, nearly 13 people were killed every day simply by walking in an area by, near, or adjacent to a street or other driving surface. While no state was spared the devastation caused by pedestrian accidents, Illinois, and in particular the greater Chicago area, experienced significant suffering due to the large number of pedestrians, the congested traffic, and numerous dangerous intersections in the state.

Pedestrians are at a significant disadvantage when a collision with a vehicle occurs and almost always sustain injuries. In the most serious Chicago pedestrian crashes, a victim may lose his or her life or may sustain permanent damages that will not heal fully. These victims often realize that at-fault drivers may not be dedicated to helping victims recover for the wrongs caused by these drivers, leaving victims in need of help but without the knowledge of where to turn for relief. Fortunately, Illinois state laws are designed to protect victims who are injured in collisions by allowing them to seek relief for their losses through the use of a civil claim for damages. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area may help you understand your options if you have been involved in an accident or if your loved one was injured or killed.

Just prior to 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning, a collision between an elderly driver and an elderly pedestrian occurred in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, leaving the pedestrian seriously injured. Police in Chicago are conducting an investigation and believe that a an 86-year-old driver was traveling in the area of 18th Street and Ashland Avenue when he attempted a right hand turn at an intersection. A 78-year-old pedestrian in the area was crossing the street when the driver turned and struck the walker, causing the impact.

Emergency crews transported the pedestrian to an area hospital with undisclosed injuries. He is expected to survive but it is not clear whether any permanent damage is likely to result. Responding officers spoke with the driver while the man remained at the scene and cited him for failing to yield to a pedestrian while turning. Though the investigation continues, no additional charges are anticipated without the discovery of currently undisclosed facts.

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November 19, 2014

Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes Lectures to Other Attorneys, Emphasizes Winning Techniques

111914.jpgYesterday, personal injury lawyers in the greater Chicago area gathered to learn advanced trial techniques from some highly-respected attorneys in the field. Among the decorated faculty was Gary Annes, founding partner at the injury firm, Abels & Annes, P.C.

Annes took to the podium to educate fellow lawyers on several strategies to maximize trial successes including the effective presentation of opening statements, effectively conducting direct examination, presenting witnesses successfully and eliciting beneficial testimony, and approaching and managing direct examination of opposing witnesses. While lecturing, Annes also addressed and discussed advantageous approaches when facing expert witnesses.

Annes had one goal in mind when he lectured yesterday - to effectively convey his knowledge and skill to other lawyers in his field so that all injury victims in Illinois can obtain the high caliber legal representation they deserve. In the audience, a range of attorneys took note as Annes spoke about his experiences practicing law and how they helped shape him into the respected and successful trial attorney he is today.

This is not the first time Annes has been asked to share his knowledge with other lawyers to educate and to improve the profession. In addition to lectures to licensed lawyers seeking to further their legal skills, Annes has also co-authored several publications including the chapter "Initial Client Contact" in the book Medical Malpractice, published by Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the chapter "Physical Injuries: Plaintiff's Perspective" in the book Proving and Disproving Damages in Personal Injury Cases, also published by Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He regularly updates these chapters to stay current with the changing legal landscape in Illinois, allowing countless others to approach litigation with the techniques that benefits all injury victims across the state.

Annes seeks out opportunities to lecture and assist in his field because he believes strongly in protecting the rights of victims who have been injured by the actions of others. Whether hurt in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, a medical malpractice case, or in a workplace injury, Annes fights for his clients so that they can obtain the relief they deserve and so they can recover from their accidents, regardless of their injuries or what damages they sustained.

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November 18, 2014

Driver Arrested for DUI has 3 Prior DUI Charges, Including Conviction for Fatal Crash

111814%282%29.jpgIt is a crime in the state of Illinois to drive a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, yet every day, some motorists knowingly ignore this law and take to the road while they are impaired. Chicago drivers will be presumed to be under the influence of alcohol when they have a BAC of .08 or greater, but the law does not make that the only time that a driver can be guilty of drunk driving. In fact, any amount of alcohol in a driver's system can lead to a charge of driving under the influence if the alcohol present affects a motorist's ability to operate a car. Further, certain types of drivers, like those under the age of 21 and those who drive school buses, are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems while they drive.

The reason driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal is because of the drastic consequences that may result. Drunk driving accidents injure thousands in Illinois every year and cause millions of dollars' worth of damages in the form of personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While victims cannot erase the harm done to them once a collision occurs, they may be entitled to seek relief for their losses through the use of a civil claim. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your options, including your ability to obtain compensation, if an accident has left you injured or has harmed your loved one.

Just prior to midnight on Saturday, police in Palatine discovered a driver unconscious in his vehicle near the 700 block of Independence Drive. Officers were in the area after they received calls that a car collided with two parked vehicles in the area and then came to a stop. Officials were able to determine that the unconscious driver was the same one suspected of colliding with the parked cars and that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and charged in the incident, but police quickly learned that this was not the first time that the driver had been involved in a drunk driving offense.

Previously, the suspect was arrested and charged following a 2003 accident that left a 17-year-old girl dead. The 2003 incident took place in Kane County and involved the current suspect crossing a center line and causing a head-on crash that killed the other driver. After charges were filed, the suspect was convicted and sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison. Prior to 2003, the suspect was charged twice with offenses related to driving under the influence, once in 1997 and once in 2001.

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November 17, 2014

Alleged Drunk Driver Traveling Wrong Direction Causes Car Accident on Kennedy Expressway

111714.jpgThe average drunk driver in Illinois is male, age 34, and has a blood alcohol content of .16 - twice the legal limit in the state. But drunk drivers and drivers under the influence of drugs can take any form and can vary widely from this typical scenario as compiled by the Illinois Secretary of State. Regardless, the victims of drunk driving accidents in Chicago likely are not concerned with the age or gender of the offender who caused their crash. Instead, it becomes a reality that anyone who chooses to drink and drive poses a risk to others and is more likely to cause a collision than those who drive sober.

Drunk driving collisions are the cause of thousands of injuries in Chicago and across Illinois every year and account for millions of dollars' worth of damages in the form of medical and surgical expenses, lost wages, damage to vehicles, and pain and suffering. The damages are most severe when a victim loses his or her life in these collisions, though the toll enacted in these situations falls heavily on those left behind, whether they are family members or loved ones.

Though no actions can turn back the hands of time and prevent a crash once one has occurred, victims may be entitled to seek financial compensation to help them recover monetarily. This relief can be sought by a victim through the use of a civil claim for damages, a type of relief that is separate and distinct from any traffic or criminal charges brought against a drunk driver. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area may help you understand your legal options if you have been involved in a collision or if a crash otherwise has affected your life.

Early Sunday morning, police learned of a two-vehicle crash on the Kennedy Expressway in the northbound lanes. According to these officials, a suspected drunk driver was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes and collided head-on with a northbound vehicle. The suspected at-fault driver was seriously injured in the crash and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. That driver has since been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and may face additional charges pending the investigation currently underway by local authorities.

Additionally, two people were seriously injured in the second vehicle involved in the crash, a driver and one passenger. Though the nature of their injuries has not been disclosed, both are expected to survive this ordeal.

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November 13, 2014

Driver Fleeing Traffic Stop Blamed for Chicago Car Crash

111314%282%29.jpgIf you drive in Illinois, you are obligated to follow all state traffic laws in addition to any local city or municipal laws that apply to the areas in which you travel. Most people inherently understand this requirement and stop at stop signs, yield the right-of-way, and obey the speed limit, among other required actions, but every day in Chicago and across the state, thousands of motorists make a conscious decision to disobey one or more traffic laws. While their actions may seem harmless to these drivers, in fact, they may be evidence of negligent or reckless driving that can threaten the safety of all others in the area, including passengers in their own vehicles. Often, ignoring or disobeying a traffic rule is a contributing factor to Chicago car accidents.

What are victims to do if a car crash affects their lives? Many victims do not realize that they may be entitled to bring a claim and seek relief for their losses that is separate and distinct from any charges brought by police or local authorities against an at-fault driver, but the laws in Illinois are designed to protect victims from unnecessary suffering, giving them options for compensation. The possible relief can vary depending on the facts of an individual accident so the options available to you may be different than those available to someone else, regardless of whether you were involved in the same crash. If you have questions, you may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area to learn about your legal options and your ability to obtain relief.

Shortly before 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, a police official attempted to make a traffic stop of a driver, but that driver had other plans, according to authorities. The driver allegedly fled the scene of the attempted stop and struck another vehicle in the 500 block of North Franklin Street in Chicago, leading to a collision. The second vehicle has not been identified but it was not the police vehicle that initiated the stop.

Following the impact, the driver of the fleeing car reportedly took to his feet as he attempted to run away from the scene. However, after a short distance, a State Trooper apprehended and arrested the suspect who is now facing charges related to the crash.

One person in the second vehicle was injured in the accident and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment. The suspected at-fault driver reportedly was unhurt, as was the officer who attempted the stop. However, during the foot pursuit of the fleeing suspect, the State Trooper sustained a broken finger.

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November 12, 2014

Winter Weather Heading to Chicago

111214.jpgA snow storm is hitting much of the country, bringing freezing temperatures from Montana down to New Mexico and blanketing some of those areas with snow and ice. While Chicago has seen some winter weather this year, the amounts have been minimal and have not caused significant impact to motorists and commuters around the city. However, as the year winds down, it is a certainty that winter snow, sleet, and ice are on their way and soon will be threatening the roads of Illinois, and with it, threatening the safety of all of those who use the roads to travel.

Winter weather accidents can affect any driver or any passenger in the city and can turn a typical driving day into a nightmare in mere moments. Slush, drifting snow, black ice, and gusting wind can all play their role in a collision but in most cases, winter weather combines with the actions of a driver in leading to a crash. Actions like speeding to following too closely become more dangerous as the weather worsens and can be the primary factor to blame when weather leads to an accident.

The best thing to do when inclement weather strikes is to drive as safely as possible and to stay alert for dangers. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. suggest you keep the following tips in mind as winter approaches:

- Winterize your vehicle: If you drive in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, consider taking steps to prepare your vehicle as much as possible before winter strikes. Make sure your car is in good working condition and get a tune-up if needed.

- Check your tires: Tires are one of the most overlooked safety aspects of a vehicle. If your tires are old or have a large number of miles, ask an expert if it is time to replace them. Consider opting for winter or snow tires during the snow season to enhance your vehicle's performance and regardless of the tires you select, make sure they are properly inflated before driving.

- Accelerate and decelerate slowly: Poor conditions mean it is more likely that a vehicle will slip on a road's surface. To limit a loss of traction as much as possible, increase and decrease your speed slowly, especially when turning or driving on a hill.

- Keep plenty of gas in your tank: Extra weight in a vehicle can help keep the car under control in wintertime, especially in icy conditions. Experts recommend keeping at least half of a tank of gas whenever possible to help control a vehicle's motion. Additionally, extra gas may come in handy if poor weather slows your travel and it takes longer to make it to your destination than anticipated.

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November 11, 2014

Bassist for Black Tusk, Heavy Metal Band, Dead after Motorcycle Accident

111114.jpgWhile the weather may be turning cold in Chicago and snow may be in the forecast, there are some motorcycle riders who are still taking to the streets of the city, riding to and from their daily destinations or simply riding for fun. Hundreds of thousands of bikers in more temperate areas of the country, including the south and the west, likewise are riding regularly at this time of year. With motorcycles as legal means of transit across the country, it becomes every driver's duty to watch for and act safely in the presence of a bike.

Too often, motorcycle accidents occur and leave those involved with serious or even fatal injuries. Victims who are hurt in the Chicago area or in the state of Illinois may be unable to avoid these injuries but may be able to obtain needed financial relief to help them get back on their feet from the damages caused by a crash. The facts and circumstances surrounding an individual accident can determine what legal claims may be available so it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you have been hurt.

Officials in Georgia have confirmed that a Friday night motorcycle accident has led to the death of Jonathan Athon, best known as the bassist for heavy metal band, Black Tusk. The Friday night crash reportedly occurred when a motorcycle ridden by Athon collided with an SUV in downtown Savannah. Emergency crews responded and transported Athon to a local hospital where he was put into a medically-induced coma and was placed on life support. According to band mates, testing revealed brain damage to Athon that was permanent and therefore a decision was made to remove Athon from life support pursuant to his prior directions. He died Sunday in the Georgia hospital.

At this time, it is not clear what factors led to the collision or whether either motorist involved erred prior to the crash. Officials have confirmed that Athon had a 26-year-old female passenger on his motorcycle and that the woman survived the incident. She is still receiving medical treatment but is expected to make a full recovery at this time. There is no word on whether anyone in the SUV was harmed in the crash.

Black Tusk formed as a band in 2005 in Savannah with its three members calling Savannah home. The surviving members of the band confirmed Athon's death on their website this week as well on social media outlets, including Facebook, where fans have expressed their support and condolences.

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November 10, 2014

Suspected Impaired Driver Arrested after Wrong-Way Accident on I-55

111014.jpgAuthorities often encourage travelers to report suspicious behaviors to officials working in the area, even if they are unsure whether the suspicious behavior is threatening. But traveling is not the only time such behavior should be reported, according to numerous police agencies across the nation. When motorists witness reckless or negligent conduct by another driver, they are encouraged to report such actions to a relevant police agency so steps can be taken to stop the driver and avoid a collision, whenever possible.

Often, reckless driving is associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a threatening behavior all too common on the streets and expressways of Chicago. Drunk driving accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries in the state of Illinois every year and they are believed to cause millions of dollars' worth of damages.

Many victims do not know what to do or where to turn when a Chicago drunk driving accident occurs and leaves them injured, but fortunately, the law is on their side. When hurt in Illinois, victims may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages and payment for expenses like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. As each crash is unique, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer if you have been involved in a collision or if your loved one was injured or killed in a crash.

Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, police in the Chicago area received multiple reports of a driver traveling north in the southbound lanes of I-55 near Damen Avenue. Not long after the reports were made, the suspected wrong-way driver collided head-on with a vehicle traveling southbound, causing a serious crash that left two women injured. At this time, police believe that the wrong way driver may have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, leading to the arrest of the 22-year-old female driver with charges pending.

The driver of the second vehicle involved in the crash was a 29-year-old woman. Damage to her vehicle required authorities to cut away a portion of the car before she could be removed and transported to an area hospital for injuries considered to be serious but not life threatening. Her current condition is unknown.

The suspected at-fault driver was also hurt in the accident and needed medical assistance though her injuries were believed to be minor.

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November 7, 2014

2 Car Crash in Lincolnwood Leaves 1 Person Dead

110714.jpgLike every other state in the country, Illinois has laws against drinking and driving, and violating those laws can lead to serious punishments and penalties. In Illinois, a driver is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if that driver has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. But not everyone realizes that motorists can be cited and found guilty even if their BAC is lower than .08. As written in the law, what matters is whether a driver is intoxicated or impaired by the alcohol in his or her system.

Some types of drivers have even less leeway when it comes to drinking and driving. For example, those under age 21 are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle, in part because they have not reached the age of majority and therefore cannot drink legally. Some professional licenses likewise require drivers to refrain from all alcohol while driving. A school bus operator often is required to comply with this rule and even a drop of alcohol in a driver's system can lead to a criminal charge in some cases.

When a motorist drives under the influence, that driver's ability to make decisions and respond to changing conditions deceases, increasing the odds of a drunk driving accident occurring. These collisions can be serious and may leave victims with injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to broken bones and lacerations to head injuries or even death. While many drunk drivers know that they risk the possibility of a criminal charge if they are caught, not all realize that they may also be held financially liable for any and all damages that result if they cause a collision. Victims of these crashes may be able to understand their legal options by speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area.

Two cars collided and a building was hit in a Lincolnwood car accident that happened Thursday at approximately 3:00 p.m. According to police in the area, one car was traveling northbound in the 6600 block of North Lincoln Avenue when the driver lost control and struck a second car, then several trees, a building, and a sign pole. Emergency crews responded to the crash and transported the driver to an area hospital but his injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead. During treatment, officials learned that the driver had alcohol in his system prior to the collision but the exact level of alcohol and whether that driver was intoxicated are unclear at this time. It is also not clear whether anyone in the second vehicle or in the area of the restaurant were hurt in the crash.

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November 6, 2014

Fleeing Driver Causes 3 Car Crash on Lake Shore Drive

110614.jpgMost drivers in Illinois follow the rules of the road, stopping at red lights and stop signs, driving safely, and yielding the right-of-way. But even when a large number of drivers act responsibly, safety is not guaranteed because the actions of a single motorist can threaten dozens of people on the road at the same time. When a driver acts negligently and causes an accident, it is often innocent victims who are left to suffer.

Car accidents occur in Chicago every day and most of them, fortunately, are minor. But thousands of Illinois residents suffer serious injuries annually in car crashes when a driver fails to pay attention or is otherwise distracted behind the wheel. Following a collision, the law requires all drivers to remain at the scene and to speak with police officers expect in rare situations like a medical emergency. Failure to stay at the scene can be classified as a hit-and-run accident and can lead to additional charges against a driver which may lead to fines, fees, penalties, loss of a driver's license, or even incarceration.

Victims of car collisions in Chicago may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages if they were hurt or if a loved one was injured or killed. Following an accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you evaluate your case and inform you whether compensation is possible, and if so, what claims may be available to you or your family.

Shortly before midnight, an SUV on Lake Shore Drive was operating erratically and allegedly struck two vehicles before fleeing the scene, according to local police. The northbound SUV reportedly rear-ended a taxi cab before continuing forward and striking a Jeep from the rear. Both the driver of the cab and the driver of the Jeep lost control of their vehicles, sending both into concrete barriers where the cab flipped over become coming to a stop. Police state that the SUV fled the scene without stopping to check on the victims of the accident and that the driver has not been apprehended at this time.

Three victims were left in serious to critical condition after the collision and were taken to area hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries. An additional three victims also obtained medical treatment for injuries believed to be less severe and all six victims are expected to survive.

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November 5, 2014

Pedestrian Hit, Killed after Cars Crash in Chicago

110514.jpgPedestrians should be safe when they follow all applicable rules and walk with safety in mind, but when drivers of cars act negligently, no pedestrian is guaranteed to be safe. In Chicago alone, thousands of pedestrians are injured every year in pedestrian accidents, many of which involve cars or other vehicles. Walkers are at a significant disadvantage when a crash occurs because there is nothing to protect the pedestrian from the impact of the collision, resulting in injuries or even death in some accidents.

While a victim cannot turn back the hands of time to prevent a collision from taking place, they may be entitled to financial compensation for any and all damages that result. In a typical accident, this can include medical and surgical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, depending on the particular injuries that result and the facts surrounding a crash. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your options, including whether you have a valid claim for relief, if an accident has affected your life or the life of your loved one.

Earlier this week, a pedestrian in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago was hit and killed after two cars collided shortly before 7:00 p.m. Police have reported that two drivers near Belmont Avenue and Austin Avenue collided for reasons that are not yet clear. While it is also unknown if the vehicles were traveling in opposite directions, it is known that the impact of the crash sent one of the cars out of control of the driver, leading that vehicle to collided with a pedestrian standing in the area.

Emergency crews responded to the scene of the collision and evaluated the pedestrian, a 62-year-old woman, who sustained critical injuries. She was taken to an area hospital but unfortunately, the woman's injuries were too severe and she died as a result of the crash.

While is is not known whether anyone in either vehicle was injured, police have reported that they made an arrest in response to the Chicago car accident and that charges are pending against that driver.

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