Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

January 26, 2015

Weekend Car Accident on Lake Shore Drive Leaves 2 Injured

12615.jpg The type and layout of a road can influence the types of collisions most likely to occur in an area. Roads with intersections, stop lights, and stop signs may lead to failure-to-yield crashes which often include multiple cars colliding in a T-bone crash. Highways, expressways, and interstates usually involve high rates of speed and directional traffic separated by a median or a guardrail. Along these roadways, sideswipe accidents are relatively common and are likely to cause serious damage.

With the major expressways that feed into Chicago from the surrounding suburbs, sideswipe collisions are a common occurrence in the city and are one of the reasons that collisions enact such a devastating toll. From the financial impact of a crash like the physical destruction of a car to the emotion toll enacted when a loved one it injured, it is difficult to fully measure these losses but it is clear that a typical expressway accident can range from thousands to millions of dollars in total suffering. When a car accident in Chicago leaves you injured or harms your loved one, laws may provide you with certain protections and may entitle you to relief. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the area can help you understand your options and your rights if you have questions following an accident.

On Saturday night, shortly before 11:00 p.m., police confirmed that three vehicles collided on Lake Shore Drive and injured at least two. Officials believe that a northbound Jeep collided with two separate vehicles near the 1300 block of South Lake Shore Drive before the Jeep came to a rest. The suspected cause of the crash has not yet been released but authorities have reported that the Jeep sideswiped the two other vehicles and that charges are currently pending against the Jeep's driver.

Both the driver of the Jeep and a passenger were injured in the crash and were assessed at the scene by emergency medical personnel. The victims were in need of greater medical help and were transported to area hospitals for assistance where their current conditions are not known.

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January 23, 2015

NBA's Ty Lawson Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

12315%283%29.jpgAccording to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, there are nearly 300,000 drunk driving episodes every day in American but only about 4,000 of these motorists are arrested for their actions. That means that more than 98 percent of drunk drivers are not apprehended and are allowed to continue driving in a reckless or threatening manner simply because an officer is not in the area to notice the conduct. With so many drunk drivers on America's roads, it should not be surprising that thousands of people are injured every year in Chicago drunk driving accidents and that many more are left suffering from the impact of these collisions.

Far too often, impaired drivers injure others with their actions and leave responsible motorists in pain and in need of medical care. While nothing can erase these accidents once they happen, victims in Illinois may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their damages including any medical bills they have incurred or are likely to incur in the future. As every case involves a unique set of facts and circumstances, you may want to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Chicago to learn about the laws as they apply to you if you have been hurt in a car accident.

It is illegal in all 50 states to drink and drive, and according to local reports, that is a lesson that professional basketball player Ty Lawson is learning today. Reports out of Denver indicate that the Denver Nuggets point guard was arrested early this morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol while on Park West Avenue. Reports indicate that Lawson was driving 61 miles per hour in an area with a 35 mph speed limit and that when officers pulled him over, Lawson's breath smelled strongly of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and he was swaying at the scene. When questioned, Lawson reportedly admitted to officers that he was previously arrested for DUI while in Missouri.

Lawson was a successful and highly-touted college basketball player for the University of North Carolina from 2006 through 2009 before being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. As the number 18 overall pick, expectations were high for Lawson in Denver and prior to this morning's incident, he had been having one of his best NBA seasons to date.

It is not clear at this time what effect, if any, Lawson's arrest and charges will have on his eligibility with the Nuggets in the coming weeks and at this time, the team has not released any comment on the situation.

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January 22, 2015

Single Car Crash on I-55 Leaves 2 People Injured

12215.jpgInsurance estimates indicate that a typical American driver will be involved in three to four car accidents over the course of their lifetimes. If you drive more than average or if you are often a passenger in a vehicle, the odds of being involved in additional collisions increases with the time spent inside a car, truck, or van.

The good news is that many of these accidents that happen are considered minor and, while they may cause damage to vehicles, they do not result in injuries to those involved. However, while many are minor, many others are serious and can leave victims permanently altered following a crash with injuries, damages, and emotional suffering that can last from days to a lifetime. In the worst collisions, a victim may lose his or her life and that victim's family members may never recover from that loss.

The majority of car accidents that take place in the greater Chicago area are not actually accidents but rather are due to an error, mistake, or negligent conduct on the part of someone involved. When these instances lead to injuries, the laws of the state recognize that it is unfair to expect innocent victims to pay for their own damages and therefore the laws enable these victims to seek financial compensation following a crash. Relief may be available to cover things like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages but it is up to a victim to affirmatively take the steps necessary to obtain this help if they want it. If a car crash has affected your life or injured your loved one, you may obtain the answers you need by speaking with a Chicago personal injury attorney who handles these types of claims.

Shortly before 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Illinois State Police were alerted to a single vehicle car accident on I-55 near Western Avenue, prompting an on-scene response. Officials assessed the car and determined that two people inside were injured in the crash and were in need of additional medical treatment so those victims were transported to area hospitals. While officials have confirmed these injuries, they have not stated the nature of the harm sustained other than to state that both victims are expected to survive.

Police are conducting an investigation into this incident to determine what caused the crash and whether the driver involved was at-fault for the collision. Officials believe that the driver lost control of the car for unknown reasons, leading the vehicle to collide with a cement median while traveling inbound, causing a crash that left at least two lanes of I-55 closed for an hour. During rush hour this morning, authorities were able to remove the vehicle and reopen all lanes of traffic for other commuters.

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January 21, 2015

Information Sought in West Pullman Pedestrian Crash

12115%282%29.jpgMost of those who live in Chicago walk at some point in a typical day. The layout of the city and the design of the city's roads means that pedestrians often take to the sidewalks and walk to their destinations along city blocks and through alleyways. Often, walkers will need to utilize crosswalks or other designated pedestrian crossing areas to get from one side of the road to another, and when necessity arises, these pedestrians may take these access points for granted. Under the laws of Chicago and the State of Illinois, pedestrians should be safe when they follow all traffic rules and cross when allowed at crosswalks; in practice, though, pedestrian accidents happen every day in the state and many involve a collision between a motorist who is not paying attention and a walker who does nothing wrong.

Victims of these collisions may be left wondering who is responsible for their losses and whether relief can be obtained. In many cases, Chicago pedestrian accidents enable those who are injured to seek and obtain payment for any expenses and any other losses incurred which often includes medical expenses, wages missed from work, and pain and suffering. These claims depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding a specific accident so if you have been hurt, speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you understand the implications of your crash and what relief is possible.

A pedestrian accident in West Pullman last week left a crossing guard injured and threatened the safety of several young students in the area. Now, police are looking for information on the driver involved as they have not yet identified the driver or owner of the vehicle through their investigation.

The collision occurred at the intersection of 127th Street and Union Avenue. The victim, a 27-year-old female crossing guard, was in the intersection and holding a stop sign to allow children to cross when a black SUV approached and struck the crossing guard, leaving her seriously injured. None of the children were physically hurt.

Eyewitness testimony supports the belief that the driver involved left the scene westbound on 127th before turning north on Emerald Avenue. The driver did not stop and check on the victim or report the incident and has not been identified at this time.

Anyone with information on this collision or who may know the identity of the driver involved is urged to contact the local police in West Pullman and to share their knowledge on this crash.

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January 19, 2015

Crash in Hermosa Leaves 2 Pedestrians Dead

11915.jpgLess than three weeks of 2015 have come to pass and already, numerous collisions between cars and pedestrians have occurred in the greater Chicago area. Several of these have involved hit-and-run drivers and unfortunately, most have caused serious injuries to the pedestrians while some have turned fatal.

Pedestrian accidents are of concern to all those who call Chicago home because at one point or another, nearly everyone walks. Whether you merely walk outside to get a cup of coffee in the morning, walk to your parking place, or walk to public transportation, odds are that you will cross paths with vehicular traffic when you do, putting you at risk for a crash.

It can be difficult to know where to turn for help when a crash occurs or what type of relief may be available to those who are injured. The laws in Illinois and in Chicago enable victims to obtain financial compensation when they are injured due to the actions of another, including those who are hurt in pedestrian accidents and those injured while walking in the city. Compensation can help victims pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and intangible losses like pain and suffering but victims must take affirmative steps to seek that relief or they will be barred from obtaining it. For that reason, speaking to a personal injury lawyer in Chicago can help you understand your options and whether you have a valid claim if you have been injured or if your loved one was hurt or killed. Further, an attorney can help you with the procedural information you need to know to proceed with your action in a timely manner and to seek relief against all those who may be responsible so that you can fully recover from your accident.

Just after 10:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, a crash happened in the Hermosa neighborhood on Chicago's Northwest Side. The incident happened in the 4300 block of West North Avenue and involved a 2002 Buick and two pedestrians and it claimed the life of both pedestrians involved.

According to officials, the Buick collided with the two men, ages 36 and approximately 50, as they crossed the street but the Buick, driven by a 24-year-old male, never stopped at the scene. Instead, the driver fled and collided with parked cars three blocks away, leading police officers to identify and apprehend the driver. While police have not confirmed the cause of the accident, they have stated that the driver has been arrested and that charges against him are pending at this time.

Emergency crews were at the scene and attempted to provide medical care to the victims. Reports indicate that one man was unresponsive while the second was confirmed to survive the crash initially; though the second victim was taken to an area hospital shortly after the accident, the man's injuries were too severe and he died a short time later.

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January 16, 2015

Pedestrian Killed in Car Crash on Chicago's Northwest Side

11615.jpgTo many that call Chicago home, the roads and streets around the city become more difficult to drive every year. With increasing population, increased passenger vehicles, and the ever-present threat of inclement weather, many in Chicago are choosing to use alternative means of transportation as they travel the area. Whether it is a public bus, "L" train, or bicycling, most of these residents will have one thing in common - at some point, they will walk as part of their trip.

Almost everyone is a pedestrian at some point or another in a typical day and therefore threats to pedestrian safety should be important to all. But they are often ignored or downplayed in daily life because some believe that an accident is unlikely to happen to them or that the pedestrians who are hurt may be to blame for their collisions. Instead, many of the pedestrian accidents that happen annually in Chicago are the fault of a negligent or reckless driver who fails to yield the right-of-way or who otherwise fails to recognize the rights of those that walk, and nearly all of these accidents lead to injuries on the part of a pedestrian.

It can seem unfair if you are victimized due to the actions of another and you are the one who is let to suffer, and in fact, it likely is unfair. But this does not mean that you must suffer in silence. Instead, if you were hurt in a Chicago pedestrian crash, the laws of Illinois may enable you to seek financial compensation for your injuries and your losses against an at-fault driver or others who may be liable to you. As the facts surrounding a crash determine what relief may be available, you may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney to learn about your options and your rights if a crash has left you injured.

A Friday morning accident between a vehicle and a middle-aged pedestrian claimed the pedestrian's life, according to local authorities. Just before 6:30 a.m., the crash happened in the 3600 block of West Addison Street, not far from the Addison station on the city's Blue Line. Police have not yet confirmed many details surrounding the accident other than the fact that it involved a private vehicle and a 58-year-old woman and that the woman lost her life as a result.

Officials responded to the scene where they began an initial investigation but they have reported that it will be some time before their work is finalized and it may take time before additional details come to light. The results of the investigation may also determine whether any citations will be issued or whether any charges will be brought in this incident that proved fatal this morning.

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January 15, 2015

Guilty Plea in DUI Case Leads to 6 Year Prison Sentence

11515.jpgIt takes only a split second to have your life changed forever if you are involved in a traffic accident in Chicago. Whether the responsible driver was speeding, driving while distracted, or even failed to yield at a light or stop sign, the results of the crash can be devastating and can affect you and your family for the rest of your days. Some incidents may seem more egregious because of a driver's conduct prior to the impact, and one common scenario of that is when a motorist drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

DUI accidents in Chicago affect people of all ages, social statuses, genders, and races and can leave victims from the very young to the very old. Despite the risks of drinking and driving, motorists take to the roads every single day in Illinois when they are impaired and when they are prohibited by law from driving safely, leading to incidents where collisions may be inevitable. The most frustrating part of a drunk driving crash may be that none of them need occur; if drivers opted to refrain from driving, used a designated driver, or chose public transportation instead, no victims would be hurt in Chicago and no families would be left to suffer from those losses.

While drivers continue to operate drunk, injuries to victims will continue to result. The law recognizes this and therefore enables victims to seek relief for their suffering and their losses against those responsible. In many cases, claims can enable victims and their families to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, depending on the injuries that occur. Speaking with a lawyer who handles personal injury cases may help you understand your options and your potential claims of a car crash has injured you or has otherwise affected your loved one.

In a Skokie courtroom on Monday, a judge sentenced a 38-year-old suspect to six years in prison after the man agreed to plead guilty to the charge of reckless homicide stemming from a car accident that occurred in October of 2009. The defendant originally faced charges including aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death after an accident which took place near Oakton Street and Riverside Drive in Park Ridge and that claimed the life of two people inside the defendant's vehicle.

Police and local authorities brought a case against the man and alleged that he operated his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, contrary to and in violation of Illinois state laws. The officials further alleged that the man was speeding when he ran a red light and collided with a second vehicle, injuring both his 25-year-old and 37-year-old passengers as well as the driver of the second car. Both passengers lost their lives as a result of that incident but the other driver survived with less serious injuries.

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January 13, 2015

Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Fleeing Car in Morton Grove

11315.jpgPedestrians are at risk for collisions anytime they are near the drivers of automobiles. While the laws in Illinois are strict regarding who has the right-of-way and who must yield in instances when pedestrians and cars cross paths, too often, those laws are ignored by drivers and pedestrians suffer the consequences when a crash takes place. A staggering 19 percent of all pedestrian fatalities caused in traffic accidents were the result of hit-and-run drivers in the nation in 2012, a reminder that pedestrians are not only at risk for a crash but also at a serious risk of being ignored by an at-fault driver if a collision occurs.

Pedestrian accidents affect thousands in Chicago and in Illinois every year and cause many victims to suffer financial hardships in addition to the pain and suffering that comes with the injuries they sustain. When a hit-and-run driver is involved, victims may not understand whether they have a valid claim or whether they can obtain relief for their losses, but in Chicago, relief often is possible. Speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you further understand what options are available to you, regardless of whether a fleeing driver was later apprehended.

Police in Morton Grove have confirmed that a collision occurred on Monday night between a pedestrian and a hit-and-run driver and that the pedestrian lost his life as a result. The incident occurred near the intersection of Shermer Road and Harlem and caused officials to close the area to traffic in the area while they began their investigation on site; however, the area was reopened a short time later.

Emergency medical personnel were also on hand Monday and they evaluated the pedestrian, described as an 86-year-old male. His injuries were extreme and he was transported to Lutheran General Hospital for treatment but the victim died a short time later. At this time, police have not yet identified the driver or the owner of the vehicle that was involved in the crash and they are looking for help from the public or from anyone with information on this incident. Authorities believe that the suspected vehicle may have significant front-end damage caused by the crash and that anyone who believes they have information should call the Morton Grove Police Department.

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January 12, 2015

Alleged Wrong Way Driver Caused Fatal Car Accident in Forest Park

11215.jpgHigh speed collisions often have tragic results. When one or more vehicles involved is traveling at a high speed before a crash, the forces involved in the impact are higher than they would be in a lower speed accident and therefore more damage can result. As damage becomes greater, there is an increased chance that the people inside those vehicles will sustain injuries or even lose their lives, though harm can come to victims in any Chicago car accident, regardless of the damage done to a car, truck or van.

Crashes with high speeds are most likely to occur on expressways and interstates like those that wrap their way around Chicago and lead to the suburban cities where so many dwell. For this reason, the laws in Illinois recognized that interstate accidents are very serious and they are designed to hold at-fault drivers liable for all the consequences that occur. From the possibility of a traffic citation or a ticket to financially liability for injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages suffered by a crash victim, this damage can be substantial and can accumulated quickly. Fortunately, this means that victims may not be forced to pay for the actions of a negligent driver and instead may be entitled to payment by that driver or an insurance company when injuries result in a crash. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand the implications of your collision and whether your claim for help is valid if a crash has affected your life or left your loved one hurt.

Prior to 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, a three vehicle collision on I-290 in Forest Park left at least three people hurt and one person dead, according to police who responded to the scene. The incident occurred on the eastbound side of I-290 near the Des Plaines Exit and forced Illinois State Troopers to close all lanes of eastbound traffic while they investigated and cleared the scene.

At this time, officials believe that a 22-year-old male driver may have been under the influence of alcohol when he drove his vehicle westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic, causing a head-on crash that involved two other cars. While unclear how many people were inside those three vehicles, authorities have confirmed that a 29-year-old male passenger in one car lost his life and that at least three other people sustained injuries. Emergency crews responded to the scene and were able to help the surviving victims by transporting them to area hospitals for treatment and relief but their injuries remain, though none were believed to be facing fatal damages.

The results of any preliminary testing of the suspected wrong-way driver have not been released yet but officials assert that charges against the man are pending; the nature of any blood tests and the results may determine whether additional or increased charges are levied in this case.

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January 10, 2015

Winter Weather Causes Massive 150 Car Pileup on I-94

The blizzard that struck Chicago earlier this week and caused havoc to those who drive managed to move east and hit Michigan before traveling out of the Midwest. While hovering over Michigan, ice and snow accumulated on several interstates and led to dangerous conditions, primarily in the western Michigan city of Kalamazoo. New video has surfaced of a massive pileup that happened in that area on I-94 yesterday and involved somewhere between 150 and 200 cars.

Local authorities believe that poor driving conditions stemming from a mix of snow, wind, and low visibility combined to lead to initial collisions and that once several vehicles were involved, those approaching the area were unable to stop and crashed as well. The current vehicular estimate of 150 to 200 cars includes several semi-trucks that crashed, one of which reportedly was hauling fireworks and caught on fire after the impact. Witnesses in the area reported the sounds of fireworks exploding as the fire spread to the trailer of the truck and ignited the cargo.

Both the westbound and eastbound lanes of I-94 between mile markers 92 and 88 were affected but the westbound lanes had many more vehicles than the eastbound. The initial collisions began at approximately 1:00 p.m. Friday and continued until authorities closed down the area due to the crashes and the interstate remained closed into Saturday. At this time, officials report that it will be at least 6:00 p.m. Saturday before any of I-94 is opened in the area because of the time it has taken to remove disabled vehicles and clear them from the road's surface.

11015.jpgIn addition to damage to every vehicle involved, one fatality has been confirmed with several others reported but unsubstantiated at this time. Additional injury victims were in need of medical treatment and multiple ambulances reported to the area to help those in need.

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January 9, 2015

Winter Storm Leads to Car Accidents across Chicago

1915.jpgSome in Chicago were hoping that winter weather would skip the city in 2015 and would wait until next year to return, but the storms that have been blanketing the city recently have put that hope to rest. Storms have brought snow, cold weather, ice, and some reported sleet to Chicago and have made it treacherous to get around the city by any means. Those that drive have been particularly sensitive to this change in weather as the stormy conditions have brought extra danger to the roads and expressways of Chicago.

Winter weather accidents can happen whenever the weather turns poor as it has this week. Combining cold and slippery conditions with fast moving vehicles increases the risk of a crash happening and can increase the severity of a collision if one does occur. The fortunate victims of these collisions are not hurt and can walk away with nothing more than the frustration that comes with a typical accident but not all are this lucky. Many will be hurt in collisions over the winter season and will be in need of medical help that can range from emergency treatment to follow up care and a rehabilitative regime. While these victims cannot erase the damage done to them, they may be able to recover financially for their expenses and suffering through the use of a civil claim. Personal injury lawyers in Chicago specialize in these claims and may be able to help you figure out your rights if you have been involved in a car accident or if your loved one was injured.

The blizzard that hit Chicago yesterday came right before the start of rush hour and made the drive hazardous for almost every driver on the street. In addition to the new snow that fell, high winds caused a lot of blowing that led to whiteout conditions in some areas and led to several car accidents in the greater Chicago area. Two semi-trucks collided on I-74 near Danville when a wind gust and ice on the road caused one truck to blow into the other and jackknife, injuring at least one of the drivers and limiting traffic in the area for some time. In a separate incident, a pickup truck left the road's surface on I-57 and rolled over on the shoulder and into a ditch. The driver of that truck was hurt in the incident and was taken to an area hospital but was expected to survive.

The City of Chicago deployed numerous plow trucks to combat the weather conditions and to clean up the roads as much as possible but their actions were limited by the continuing snowfall and the blowing conditions. While plows did improve the roads significantly, authorities caution that road conditions may still be threatening during Friday's morning rush hour and that drivers should be prepared for both snow and ice on the road surfaces.

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January 8, 2015

Semi-Truck Burst into Flames after Brakes Catch Fire on I-80

1815.jpgSemi-trucks often get a bad reputation when it comes to driving in the Chicago area. They are present on all of the major expressways including the Eisenhower, the Stevenson, the Kennedy, and the Bishop Ford Freeway. While drivers may view these trucks negatively because they tend to drive slower, on average, semi-truck accidents are less common per mile traveled than collisions involving personal vehicles like cars. However, when trucks are involved in crashes, the results tend to be more severe than car accidents because trucks are large, heavy, and capable of causing devastation.

In addition to collisions that may result by driver error, though, truck accidents can be caused by problems with the vehicle itself. Mechanical failures, blown tires, or an improper design of the truck may lead to a situation that cannot be handled by a driver in a manner that prevents a collision. These accidents can threaten the safety of numerous people in the area including the truck driver, others in the truck, or people in nearby cars.

The laws in Chicago are designed to protect those who get hurt in traffic accidents by allowing them to recover financially for their losses. In the event that a faulty condition leads to a collision, relief may be possible against the manufacturer or a truck, a company that performed maintenance on the vehicle, or anyone who service individual components on the truck itself. Further, drivers may have an additional claim under workers' compensation laws that may be brought against an employer. With so many possibilities, victims cannot be fully informed of their options and rights without consulting with a knowledgeable expert like a personal injury attorney if they have been hurt.

Shortly after 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, a semi-truck traveling on I-80 near Mokena was forced to stop after an incident occurred and the truck's brakes caught fire. The driver of the vehicle was able to exit the cab shortly before the fire spread from the brakes to the main vehicle, leaving the truck engulfed in flames.

Emergency crews and police were alerted to the incident and they responded at the scene. Crews were able to extinguish the fire and others cleared the wreckage of the crash but several lanes of eastbound I-80 had to be closed during the clean-up. Fortunately, no one was injured in this instance and I-80 was fully functional before morning rush hour began.

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