Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

December 22, 2014

Wrong Way Crash on Lake Shore Drive Proves Fatal

122214.jpgIt is the responsibility of every driver in Chicago and across the state of Illinois to follow the rules and regulations that accompany driving on the state's streets, expressways, and interstates. Yet despite this requirement, millions of drivers choose to act in a negligent or reckless manner annually, threatening not only their own safety but the safety of all other motorists in the area. Often, these actions lead to car accidents in Chicago and many of those collisions leave victims with serious or life-threatening injuries.

Victims may be doing nothing wrong and still find themselves at the mercy of these drivers who may not be paying attention to traffic, may be distracted by a cell phone, or may be intentionally speeding or driving erratically. While victims may not be able to prevent a crash from occurring, the laws in the state recognize that they should not be forced to bear the financial burden of their injuries when another causes that harm. Rather, Chicago victims and others in Illinois may have the right to seek financial compensation for their damages when a car accident affects their lives. Speaking with a lawyer who handles personal injury cases in the city may help you understand your options and your rights if you are looking for relief.

Early this morning, one person lost his life and at least six other people were involved in a car accident on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. Though early in their investigation, police have reported that a male was operating his vehicle southbound in lanes marked only for northbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive, one of the city's most iconic and heavily used streets. The driver allegedly collided with two other vehicles near the 4100 block of South Lake Shore Drive in a violent incident, leading to injuries among several of those involved.

The crash took place at approximately 2:40 a.m. and led officials to close the area to through traffic while they investigated and removed debris. At this time, police have confirmed that the suspect wrong way driver was killed in the collision and that six other people were involved. Three of those victims required treatment at area hospitals with their conditions listed as serious-to-critical.

Officials have not yet released any preliminary information regarding the suspected at-fault driver's actions immediately prior to entering Lake Shore Drive and it is not clear whether impairment may have been a factor.

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December 19, 2014

Pedestrian Killed in Metra Train Accident

121914.jpgMetra operates 11 different train lines in the greater Chicago area, including the Union Pacific North, Milwaukee District North, North Central Service, Union Pacific Northwest, Milwaukee District West, Union Pacific West, BNSF Railway, Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service, Rock Island District, and Metra Electric District. When numbers between these lines are combined, hundreds of thousands of commuters and travelers use Metra regularly. The busiest line, BNSF, serves more than 60,000 passengers each weekday. In addition to those who use Metra, many other encounter the company as they drive across Metra train tracks, walk in the vicinity of a station, or otherwise interaction with the train company.

Metra enables many of those who live in surrounding suburbs to work in Chicago and vice versa without adding to the congestion of the expressways that circle the city. Train travel can be beneficial for riders in other ways as it enables them to engage in other activities that would be prohibited while driving, like reading or working. Plus, many Metra stations are located in convenient areas to those who utilize the services. While there are many benefits associated with commuter train travel in the Chicago area, there are some unfortunate drawbacks including train accidents and collisions. These incidents may involve multiple trains, a train and a passenger vehicle, or even a train and a pedestrian. Regardless, the outcome of these crashes often is devastating because a large, heavy train tends to cause destruction of anything in its path.

Victims of train accidents in Chicago and across Illinois may not realize what options are available to them and whether they can get help for their damages. Speaking to a personal injury attorney in the city may help you learn about the legal implications of your accident and whether you can obtain relief for losses including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Authorities have confirmed a tragic collision between a Metra train and a pedestrian early this morning in Oak Forest. The incident took place shortly after midnight near 159th Street and Cicero Avenue and involved a train on Metra's Rock Island District line. The pedestrian, described only as a female, was killed in the accident due to the injuries she sustained.

The cause of the crash has not been confirmed at this time but officials did state that the train, which was on its way to Joliet, was halted at the scene while an initial investigation took place. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

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December 18, 2014

Staying Safe During Holiday Travel

121814.jpgAAA expects a four percent increase in the number of Americans traveling this holiday season over those who traveled last year for a total of 98.6 million Americans leaving home. This is the highest projection since 2009 and it accounts for those who are expected to journey at least 50 miles from home, whether by car, train, plane, or other means. The majority of these people, nearly 91 percent, will be traveling by road at some point in their journey, an indication of anticipated congestion and possible delays along the roads of Chicago and across Illinois.

If you are one of the millions that will be driving this year, know that you are at risk for traffic-related incidents, including car accidents. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. wish you save journeys and want to remind you of the following tips to help increase your safety if you are traveling:

- Plan Ahead: Before you leave home, think about your trip and try to cover all your bases. Make sure you know your final destination and that you are familiar with the route ahead of time. If you are using a map, make sure your map is current and that you are aware of any potential issues, like construction, which may complicate your trip. If you are using GPS, make sure you use it as a guide. While GPS is a wonderful tool, drivers should not forget that it does not replace common sense. Rather, GPS combined with your experience and skill behind the wheel are your best bet.

- Consider Traffic Patterns: If you know where you will be heading, think about what time of day and which days of the week may be the busiest along your preferred route. In many areas, like Chicago, expressway traffic varies significantly during a typical day. This means that leaving during the middle of the day or at times other than rush hour might save drivers hours on their trip. But even if the time to travel is not your primary concern, consider that increased traffic leads to congestion and that car accidents are more likely to occur during periods of heavy traffic than they are when conditions are light.

- Check the Weather: While Chicago has not experienced a lot of snow so far this year, that may change by the time you and your family travel. As the forecast looks now, snow is a possibility as are rain and ice. Chicagoans may be used to inclement weather so it can be easy to forget the threat it poses when your mind is distracted by a family trip. If the weather is poor, consider reducing your speed and increasing the distance between your vehicle and those in front of you. Make sure to leave plenty of time to slow and stop if needed and watch out for other drivers who may lose control of their cars.

- Anticipate a Problem: No one wants to have an incident over the holidays but thousands will be the unwilling victims of such accidents, disasters, and car failures. Think through your options before a problem arises and prepare by packing your cell phone and a car charger to call for help if needed. Consider your options to split up the trip if necessary by staying with friends or family in the event of a problem. If your car is known to have any underlying issues that may make a trip unsafe, take it to a mechanic for a tune up or make any necessary repairs before you plan to leave.

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December 17, 2014

River Grove Train Accident Causes Delays

121714%282%29.jpgTrains travel on fixed routes along tracks that crisscross the country and Illinois is no exception. Chicago has long been considered a national hub for train traffic and to this day continues to host many types of trains, from passenger cars like the CTA and Metra to freight trains and cargo trains to national carriers like Amtrak. These trains run daily and take passengers or goods from one point to another, easing traffic that would otherwise congest the already congested roadways.

While the routes may be limited, it is not a guarantee that accidents will not occur. In fact, approximately 175 train collisions take place in Illinois every year and many of them cause injuries. When a passenger train is involved, there are dozens or even thousands of potential victims who may sustain injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to broken bones or even death.

Train accidents can be complex and difficult to sort through for many reasons. For one, train collision can involve several types of vehicles. Some involve one train derailing or otherwise coming into dangerous conditions while others involve crashes between trains. In still other collisions, a car, bus, or van may be involved in a collision with a train while in Chicago, train versus semi-truck accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, there are also incidents where pedestrians and cyclists are injured in train collisions. With so many types of potential accidents, it is no wonder that victims may be left confused by their legal options. But speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you sort through the complexities to help you understand if you have a valid claim.

Yesterday, a train accident in River Grove set back schedules for much of the day and had a significant effect on some commuter traffic. According to officials, a train collided with an unoccupied car that was stopped on the tracks, leading to a collision that halted all traffic in the area. Officials investigated at the scene and the tracks were cleared, allowing train traffic to be restored later in the day.

There has been no official word yet on why the train and the empty car collided or why they were on the same track at the same time but several agencies are still reviewing the facts of this collision.

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December 16, 2014

Rolling Meadows Car Crash Causes Injuries

121614.jpgAs winter sets in on Chicago, drivers may find themselves thinking about vehicular safety a little more often. While safety should be the forefront concern of every Illinois motorist, it is easy to focus on other things behind the wheel and take safety for granted. It may take a near crash or a scare while driving to make an operator focus again on safety. Winter is the season more likely than any others to do this as poor weather conditions combine with driver error to cause thousands of car accidents across Chicago and many more across the state. Even when weather is not a factor, though, crashes continue to happen and continue to leave citizens injured or even killed as a result.

What are victims to do? Trust that an at-fault driver will take responsibility for her actions and fess up to her mistakes? Place their faith in an insurance company to represent their best interests and provide payment for the full value of their claim? Unfortunately, this rarely happens and victims are left to scrap and fight for any benefits they rightfully deserve, including monetary compensation to cover medical bills. Fortunately, Illinois laws protect the rights of victims to seek this compensation and also authorize victims to obtain a lawyer of their choice to help them through the process. Speaking with a personal injury attorney in Chicago may help you understand your options if you have been hurt in a crash or if your loved one was injured or killed.

Prior to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, three vehicles collided in Rolling Meadows, sending one driver to the hospital with injuries. Police have confirmed that a pickup truck and two SUVs crashed near the intersection of Meadow Drive and Kirchoff Road, leading traffic to be diverted from the area. Police have not yet stated whether any citations will be issued as a result of the incident or whether any of the drivers involved erred prior to the accident.

The injured victim was transported to an area hospital for additional treatment where his condition remains unknown.

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December 15, 2014

3 Car Accident on Lake Shore Drive Injures Police Officer

121514.jpgIn Chicago, most drivers are behind the wheel for a reason. Whether they are driving for work, driving to work, taking kids to school, or running errands, few of the motorists on the roads are there for pleasure. When a driver operates a vehicle for work, that driver has little say in when he or she is on the roads and therefore may not be able to control the routes taken.

Dangerous drivers abound on Chicago roads and many of them pose a threat to others on the streets. Speeders, distracted drivers, and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are just some examples of motorists who put their own interests before the collectively safety of all others on the roads. When these drivers are near, they are more likely than others to cause car accidents and to be responsible for the outcomes of those crashes, including any injuries that result.

Victims of these accidents have rights in Chicago that may entitle them to financial compensation for their damages. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand if you can recover for your injuries, including your medical bills and pain and suffering. In many cases, multiple claims may be possible and may enable you to get the full value of the compensation you deserve if an accident has affected your life.

Just before 3:00 a.m. on Friday, a collision occurred on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago that left at least one person injured. Officials have confirmed that two vehicles traveling in the Lakeview area collided for reasons that are not entirely clear. The force of the crash pushed one of the vehicles onto the side of the road where it collided with a marked police car that had been stopped before the crash, causing significant damage and leaving the officer inside injured. Emergency crews evaluated the officer at the scene and transported him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where his condition is not known but he is expected to make a recovery.

During their investigation, police determined that one of the drivers involved in the initial impact failed to slow down to avoid the crash and therefore officers issued a ticket to that driver as a result.

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December 13, 2014

Red Light Camera Footage a Reminder of Danger caused by Running Lights

121314.jpgRed light cameras have been placed on many Chicago intersections in recent years, prompting some to question their purpose and others to wonder if safety in those areas will improve as a result. The City of Chicago has stated publicly that red light cameras are designed to hold negligent drivers liable for their actions while decreasing the number of collisions that happen elsewhere when motorists choose to ignore red lights.

Now, the Chicago Department of Transportation has released footage of several collisions around the city that were caused by motorists who failed to stop at red lights. CDOT notes that 80,000 car accidents take place in Chicago alone every year. Of those collisions, 15,000 produce injuries which translates to an average of 15 injury-causing crashes every day in the city. Drivers are not the only ones at risk, however, as 3,000 pedestrians are involved in accidents annually. Finally, 125 people are killed in Chicago traffic accidents each year.

Chicago hosts a large number of the car accidents that take place in Illinois every year in part because of the city's high population and in part because of its crowded streets. But congestion alone does not cause any collisions. Crashes usually involve a mistake or an error by one or more drivers involved, whether it is ignoring a red light, speeding, or following too closely. In some cases, though, a driver may not make a mistake but rather a mechanical failure or a poorly designed intersection should be blamed for an accident.

In the images released by CDOT, many drivers ignored red lights at intersections and entered the area when they did not have the right-of-way. Several of these motorists ran what experts consider to be "deep red lights," meaning that the light turned red several seconds before the vehicle proceeded into the intersection. By this point, traffic in an opposing direction may have a green light, allowing those vehicles to enter the shared space. A driver who runs a red light after opposing traffic begins to move is more likely to cause a collision.

Red light cameras are supposed to increase safety but many have questioned whether that is the motive behind the City of Chicago's actions. Some believe that red light cameras are being used solely to increase revenue to the city - by issuing additional traffic tickets, fines payable to the city increase and the city experiences a substantial influx of cash. Additionally, there have been allegations that Chicago has reduced the length of yellow lights to three seconds in areas with red light cameras. A shorter yellow light means that motorists have less time to stop before the light changes to green and that more drivers will be guilty of running a red light. In addition to the tickets that may be at issue, more drivers running red lights is likely to cause additional collisions, further questioning the motives of the City of Chicago by its use of red light cameras.

Many drivers do not understand how red light cameras work or what their purpose is. In most cases, cameras are placed near an intersection, often at two or more corners with their lenses pointed towards the crossing itself. The cameras are linked by a computer to a guide or a trigger that tracks the motion of vehicles through the intersection while simultaneously monitoring the traffic lights. After a traffic light turns red, the device will trigger and a photograph or photographs of the vehicle running the light will be taken and stored. Most cameras are pointed at a license place and may also take pictures of the driver as he or she sits behind the wheel. This information and the photographs are stored, allowing local police to issue citations or follow up with drivers as needed.

But when a collision occurs, these cameras can serve as video evidence of the events that led up to the impact, including the conduct of each motorist. This footage can be used as a tool to assign fault and to hold a negligent driver responsible for the full outcome of an accident, including any injuries that may result.

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December 12, 2014

Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Facing Lawsuit for Head-On Car Accident Involving His Kids

Dave%202.jpgHundreds of people are killed in car accidents in Illinois every year and tens of thousands of others sustain injuries ranging from the minor to the severe. Any area of Illinois can have a collision but some cities, neighborhoods, and intersections are more likely than others. Chicago has a large population packed into a small area which leads to traffic congestion, hurried commuters, and confused drivers. In turn, Chicago experiences a large number of crashes annually. In other parts of the state, poorly designed roads or intersections may make it difficult for passing cars to travel safely and may lead to an accident, or dozens of accidents for that matter.

No matter who you are, and no matter where you drive, you may become the victim of an Illinois car accident. That collision may leave you with significant damages you did not anticipate from the loss of your vehicle, the need for alternative transportation, medical expenses incurred due to an ambulance trip or emergency help at a hospital, or even lost wages for time you missed from work. If your injuries were more severe, you may need surgery or you may need occupational therapy to help you get back to your pre-injury state. Regardless, it is likely that you were forced to endure pain and suffering due to the crash and that your life has been affected permanently.

The right to seek relief belongs to the victims of these accidents and speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your options if you have been hurt or if your loved one was injured or killed.

In June of this year, a boxer who trains with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. reportedly was driving Mayweather's vehicle when a crash occurred in Los Angeles. According to reports, Mayweather's car and several other vehicles, including a motorcycle, collided in L.A. while Mayweather was on the red carpet for the BET Awards. Three of Mayweather's children were inside the vehicle at the time of the impact but fortunately none were seriously injured. Mayweather was on the phone with pop star Justin Bieber, a friend and regular member of Mayweather's entourage, when he learned of the crash, prompting Bieber to respond to the scene to comfort the kids.

Now, reports have surfaced that at least one person outside of Mayweather's vehicle was injured in the accident and is suing Mayweather as well as the driver of the car for his damages. The lawsuit alleges that the victim sustained injuries to his head, neck, collarbone, ankle, and foot. Legal claims include the allegation that the operator of Mayweather's car was driving recklessly, speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour prior to the crash, and weaving in and out of traffic. At this time, there has been no official word from Mayweather regarding the suit.

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December 11, 2014

Shocking YouTube Video Shows Potential Dangers of Lane Splitting on Chicago Expressways

Dave%27s%20Photo.jpgMotorcycle accidents affect thousands of Illinois riders every year. In addition to those on a bike, motorcycle crashes can also harm drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in the area. In some cases, a crash between a motorcycle and bicycle may result. Regardless of who is involved, a motorcycle accident is more likely than a car accident to produce injuries because at least one person involved, the motorcycle rider, has little to no protection to divert the impact in the event of an accident.

While any type of motorcycle rider may be at risk for a collision, some activities have a greater risk than others. The video below depicts one rider filming a second while both motorcyclists "lane split." Also known as whitelining, stripe-riding, or filtering, lane splitting occurs when a vehicle smaller than a car moves between vehicles in traffic either between lanes or while traffic is stopped. This can let riders avoid congestion or slow moving traffic while freeing up other space for cars, but in many cases, it can also lead to collisions.

Lane splitting is only permitted expressly in California in the United States but many other areas do not prohibit it. However, even if not prohibited by the letter of the law, the activity is considered dangerous and contrary to many other traffic laws, meaning that those who lane split can be ticketed or charged for this activity. All riders considering lane splitting should become familiar with local and state traffic rules before engaging in any conduct.

Lane splitting is common in many foreign countries including those that have a high percentage of two wheeled traffic. Whether motorcycles or bicycles, these areas lend themselves to lane splitting as riders who are backed up seek the opportunity to move through traffic.

Motorcyclists who lane split may be trying to save time by getting to their destination before traffic would otherwise allow but they risk much by engaging in lane splitting. In addition to the risk of harm they take on themselves, lane splittlers may threaten the safety of others in the area by increasing the risk of a collision. Many of these accidents involved multiple vehicles and can leave innocent victims with injuries or other damages, leading to a claim by the victims against a responsible motorist. Additionally, any rider with a passenger on his or her bike risks that passenger's safety when lane splitting.

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December 10, 2014

CTA Bus Driver Hurt in Crash with Motorist Fleeing Police

121014.jpgChicago residents and those who work in the city are used to seeing buses driving on the roads every day. Even areas without other large vehicles, like Lake Shore Drive, may have buses taking people to and from work or around town. Buses provide a needed service in Chicago as they enable people to take cost-effective transit while reducing the congestion caused by personal cars. Further, buses boost sectors of the local economy and enable tourists to better navigate the town.

In most cases, buses are safe and the passengers on board ride without issue. But for an unfortunate number of riders, bus accidents occur and may leave them injured or in need of medical help. Common bus-related damages include broken bones, head and neck injuries, lacerations, bruises, and internal injuries. In addition to the medical bills they are forced to incur, victims might miss time from work and therefore be unable to earn income they otherwise would have obtained. This can harm an entire family who depends on that support and can cause damages to last for months or years after a crash takes place.

While bus accident victims may be unable to prevent a crash, they can obtain the relief they need to put them back into their pre-injury state. Through the use of a civil claim for damages, victims and their families may be entitled to payment for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among any other damages that occur. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options and your rights if you have been involved in a crash or if your loved one was injured or killed.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. last night, a police officer near the 4700 block of South Wolcott Avenue in Chicago reportedly noticed a vehicle run a stop sign. When the officer attempted to stop the van, the driver continued operating the vehicle away from the officer, prompting a chase in the area. The fleeing driver approached South Talman Avenue and reportedly crashed into a CTA bus and then five parked cars, leading to the end of the chase and the apprehension of the driver.

The minivan allegedly was stolen and the driver, described as a 36-year-old man, was arrested and is facing charges related to the incident. He was not harmed in the collision but the driver of the CTA bus was hurt and needed help. The CTA driver was taken to an area hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries where the driver's condition are not clear. It is not believed that anyone else, including any owners of the five parked cars, were hurt in the incident.

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December 9, 2014

Chicago Car Crash Leaves 2 People Dead

120914%282%29.jpgAny accident that happens can be devastating, regardless of the outcome and the damages that occur. But when a victim loses his or her life in a car accident, those loved ones who are left behind will never recover. There is nothing than can bring back a victim or that can undo the suffering experienced by those that knew him or her.

The laws in Illinois entitled the family members of these victims to seek compensation for their damages even though no amount of money can ever be considered adequate. Relief can enable families to obtain the help they need to pay their expenses and to cover other damages left behind once the dust settles. In Chicago, it is possible to bring a wrongful death claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer to obtain the relief that your family deserves if your loved one was killed in an accident. These claims must be brought within a period of time specified by law and multiple claims may be possible so it is wise to consult with a lawyer after the accident takes place.

A collision occurred in Chicago on Sunday morning and claimed the lives of two people involved. Officials have reported that an SUV traveling in the 1600 block of West Webster Avenue struck the side of a second vehicle before the SUV continued traveling. Approximately two blocks later, the SUV crashed again, but this time collided with a parked car, bringing the vehicle to a stop. The driver of the SUV, a 40-year-old man, was killed in the accident and so was a 37-year-old female passenger who was believed to be in the front seat prior to the crash.

Two other people were injured in the accident and needed medical assistance at different area hospitals. Officials have not confirmed whether these two other victims were inside the SUV or whether they were in or near one of the other vehicles involved, though the review of the facts of the collision is still ongoing at this time. It is not clear what types of injuries were sustained or whether either of the surviving victims faced life-threatening injuries.

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December 8, 2014

West Chicago Car Accident Killed 1

120814.jpgCar accidents across the country are one of the greatest causes of unintentional death among all Americans every year. They are responsible for more deaths among older teens than almost anything else but car crashes affect people of all ages. In Chicago, like elsewhere in the country, the very young, the very old, and everyone in between can become the victims of a collision any time they are in or near a car.

If you have lived in Chicago for some time, chances are that you have been involved in a collision, whether as a driver or as a passenger. If you have been fortunate enough to avoid one, you may know a friend, neighbor, or coworker who has been in a collision and may have been hurt. Many people do not understand the rights that injury victims possess once a crash happens but in Illinois, victims have numerous rights that cannot be taken away or denied by an at-fault driver. Relief may be possible and may provide compensation for losses like medical expenses, missed income, or pain and suffering, depending on a unique crash. Speaking with a personal injury attorney in Chicago can help you move forward from a collision by letting you know your options and your legal rights if an accident has affected you.

Two vehicles collided in a head-on crash on Friday around 11:00 p.m. in West Chicago, according to local officials. The incident took place near Route 59 and Gary's Mill Road and left one person dead and two others injured.

When officials arrived on the scene, they noticed that one of the two vehicles was on fire after the crash. Bystanders pulled two male victims out of the second vehicle before authorities arrived as both those men were hurt and were reportedly unable to exit the vehicle under their own power.

Emergency medical crews transported the two men pulled from the second car to an area hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. Their current conditions are not clear nor is it known whether either man was driving the vehicle prior to the impact. A third person involved in the crash was killed due to the accident but that victim's identity has not been released.

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