Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

September 18, 2014

Driver in Fatal Huffing Incident Sentenced to 5 Yeas

20130725_130057.jpgDrivers in Chicago and across the nation are required to operate their vehicles in a safe manner at all times because the actions of any one driver can directly affect the health of others. When one motorist chooses to act in a negligent manner, whether by speeding, ignoring a stop sign or red light, or driving while impaired, all other drivers in the area face an increased risk of being involved in a collision and may sustain injuries if a crash results.

While the laws make driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs a crime, potential criminal charges may not be the only responsibility facing an impaired motorist. In Chicago, the laws of the state enable the victims of these crashes to seek financial compensation for their damages. While no amount of money can ever reverse the effects of a crash once one has occurred, financial relief may enable innocent victims to obtain the medical treatment they need and deserve, the rehabilitative care that will return them to their pre-injury state, and provide for any wages that were missed from work while a victim recuperates. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you have been involved in an accident, including one where a drunk or impaired driver was to blame.

It was Labor Day of 2012 when an alleged impaired driver, high from huffing chemical fumes, caused a serious crash in Highland Park that left a 5-year-old girl dead. Facing charges since that point, the driver's fate was decided yesterday when she received a five year sentence, the same length of the life of the young victim in this case.

Following a not guilty plea, a trial occurred in May where the defendant was found guilty after evidence indicated that she was huffing chemicals from a keyboard cleaner. The driver then lost consciousness and drove across multiple lanes of traffic before driving onto a sidewalk where numerous pedestrians were gathered. One group of walkers consisted of a mother and her three young children who were struck by the vehicle, some several times. While the mother and two children survived, a 5-year-old girl lost her life due to the injuries she sustained in the crash.

Speaking in court, the mother of the victim asked for the maximum possible sentence of 14 years while prosecutors argued for an 8-year term. Attorneys for the defendant, now a 20-year-old woman, cited instances from the woman's past that they claimed should be considered in a reduced sentence, arguing for no jail time in this instance. Following the imposed five year sentence, the defendant will undergo two years of supervised release.

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September 17, 2014

NFL's Josh Gordon Pleads Guilty to Driving While Impaired

1427.jpgRegardless of which state you are in, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can result in serious charges. Drunk driving or impaired driving also leads to a number of other potential consequences including a substantially increased risk for a collision or accident. Unlike some types of car crashes, like those caused by poor weather conditions, drunk driving accidents are preventable and need never occur.

Too often, the victims of drunk driving collisions are those who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Drivers of other cars as well as passengers in their vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and even passengers in the same vehicle as a drunk driver may sustain serious injuries or even lose their lives when a crash occurs. These victims may be forced to endure the complications and pain that come with injuries but they also may be able to seek financial compensation for their losses through the use of a civil claim for damages. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer or an attorney who represents accident victims may help you understand your legal options if you have been involved in a crash or if your loved one was injured or killed.

The laws apply to all motorists on the roads, regardless of who they are or what they do for a living. Josh Gordon, a wide receiver in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, was charged with driving while impaired back in July of this year. During a court appearance yesterday, Gordon pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 12 months of probation in addition to a fine and assessed court costs. Sources within the NFL believe that Gordon pleaded guilty to the charge in an effort to limit any potential punishment he may receive by the NFL, including a potential mandatory two game suspension which would become effective if league owners and the players' association ratify a new drug policy.

Gordon is best known for his time with the Cleveland Browns, the organization that drafted Gordon in the second round of the 2012 supplemental NFL draft. Prior to his professional career, Gordon played college football at Baylor. Gordon previously has been reprimanded by the NFL for other off-the-field instances of misconduct including marijuana use, for which he is currently banned for an entire NFL season. That season-long ban is expected to be reduced if the new drug policy is passed.

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September 15, 2014

Chicago Rollover Crash Leaves 4 Injured

IMG_1250.jpgAny vehicle can roll over in a collision which can cause its passengers to sustain injuries. Yet some types of vehicles are more likely than others to roll, placing those drivers at a greater risk for harm. The 1990s saw the rise of the sport utility vehicle and, with it, the rise of rollover crashes among SUVs. Cars, trucks, and vans can roll over at any time but the distribution of weight is a major contributing factor. Those with a higher center of gravity and/or those with a top-heavy weight distribution are more likely to roll when struck or hit.

Rollover collisions in Chicago can occur when one or more vehicles are involved in a collision. Damage to a vehicle nearly always occurs when a car rolls and often, damage takes place on the sides or even the roof of a vehicle. When compared to a front end collision or a rear end crash, there are fewer safety features to protect victims of a rollover, leading to potentially serious injuries.

When an accident occurs in Chicago or across Illinois, the victims of those incidents may be entitled to seek financial compensation against a responsible driver or another at-fault party. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal rights if you have been hurt or if your loved one has been injured in an accident, regardless of whether you were in the same car as an at-fault driver or in a separate vehicle. Further, it is possible to have a claim even if the responsible driver fled the scene or did not have auto insurance as required by law.

Shortly after 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, a one car accident occurred near the area of Erie Street and Halsted in Chicago. Officials who responded to the scene have confirmed that a car traveling in the area crashed into a barrier and ran over it, then struck a pole while rolling over. Eventually the vehicle landed off the road near a wall separating traffic from a train yard.

At least five people were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash, including four passengers. Allegedly, the driver of the vehicle was able to escape and fled the scene on foot. Police are looking for information on the driver's identity and are asking anyone with knowledge to come forward. The four passengers were all seriously injured and needed medical help, including two who were in critical condition. The types of injuries have not been sustained and officials have not released a cause of the collision, though the investigation is ongoing at this time.

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September 12, 2014

Driver Critical after Crash with Garbage Truck

20130724_085359.jpgTruck accidents take place every day in Illinois and many of those collisions occur in the greater Chicago area. While trucks tend to be involved in fewer accidents per mile traveled than other vehicles, like cars, the damages that results from truck collisions are often more severe. Injuries can affect those in a truck and those in another vehicle, whether a driver of a passenger.

The damages done by a negligent driver's conduct do not end with a crash. As a victim seeks medical treatment or is forced to take time from work, the financial harm of a collision begins to add up, and can continue for years or even a lifetime. When faced with injuries, seeking the help of a personal injury lawyer may benefit a victim by illustrating the legal options available for relief, including a potential civil claim against an at-fault motorist.

A crash this morning left a motorist in critical condition after both an SUV and a garbage truck rolled over in the accident. Local officials responded to the scene and have reported that the two vehicles collided for reasons that are not yet clear. It appears that the SUV rolled over first and then the garbage truck rolled over after the SUV, landing on top of the SUV and trapping its driver. Emergency crews were able to remove the driver from the SUV before the driver was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Downers Grove for treatment. It is not clear whether the driver of the garbage truck or any other individuals involved in the crash were hurt.

When investigators arrived at the scene shortly after 8:00 a.m., they closed the area to through traffic near U.S. 30 and Dugan Road. Motorists were being rerouted and encouraged to take another route if they needed to travel in the area.

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September 11, 2014

Skateboarder Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver

skateboard-closeup-1-991204-m.jpg Children of all ages may become the victim of numerous types of accidents, many of which will result in injuries or possibly even the death of a child. When an injury to a child or minor occurs, the impact can stretch to every member of a family and can last for years or decades, depending on the nature of the injury and the extent of the harm that results.

In some cases, children are the innocent victims of the actions of adults, yet it is these children that are forced to endure injuries, the suffering and pain that accompanies the injuries, and even the life changes that may result due to the permanency of damages. Once an accident takes place, nothing can reverse time and return that victim to normal. But a child and his or her family may be entitled to seek relief for the personal damages done in a crash through the use of a civil claim for damages. These claims are separate from any criminal or traffic charges that may be issued by local officials and the right to seek monetary compensation belongs to a victim. The laws in Chicago and in Illinois require that these claims be brought within a time period specified by statute so it is a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer if you or your child has been hurt in a crash.

A Tuesday night accident in McHenry County turned tragic when a 17-year-old involved in the collision lost his life. According to local officials, the victim was riding a skateboard in the 4200 block of West Crystal Lake Road when a driver in a pickup truck approached shortly after 9:00 p.m. The truck allegedly struck the victim and knocked him from his skateboard, causing serious injuries to his head, neck, and body. Emergency medical crews were called to the scene and rushed the victim to an area hospital but his injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

The driver of the truck involved, a 21-year-old male, allegedly was operating his vehicle while impaired, leading to charges this week against the man for driving under the influence. Officials have reported that the driver was not hurt in the crash.

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September 10, 2014

Pedestrian Killed in McHenry Car Accident

IMG_3520.jpgWhen walking along a sidewalk in Chicago, pedestrians often feel like they are safe from the threat of an accident because they are physically separated from vehicular traffic. But unfortunately, as thousands of pedestrians every year can attest, that is not necessarily the case. Drivers sometimes operate in a reckless manner and place their vehicles in the path of walkers at intersections, at crosswalks, in alleys, and even while a pedestrian is on a sidewalk. A number of incidents between cars and pedestrians occur when cars are exiting driveways or parking lots and cross a designated pedestrian walkway.

Pedestrian accidents in Chicago are often serious and many cause devastating injuries including broken bones, head injuries, injuries to the back or neck, cuts and lacerations, or even death. These victims and their surviving family members may be forced to incur extensive medical bills as treatment continues and may suffer other financial losses like missed income if a victim is unable to work for a period of time. Forcing the victim to bear these losses when the victim is not to blame in a collision is not what the legislature in Illinois intended; rather, the laws in Chicago and across the state are designed to hold a responsible party liable for the damages suffered by a victim, including medical bills, but only if the victim seeks such a recovery. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area who has experience representing pedestrians may help you understand your legal options following a collision.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. last night, a collision occurred between a pickup truck and a pedestrian in McHenry on West Crystal Lake Road. All of the details have not been released at this time but police confirmed that the pedestrian was killed in the crash. The driver of the truck appeared to be uninjured.

Authorities believe that the driver of the truck may have been under the influence at the time of the collision though those suspicions have not yet been confirmed. Officials are still investigating the collision and trying to determine each individual's actions prior to impact so that they can understand the precise nature of the crash.

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September 9, 2014

2 Children, 2 Adults Injured in Chicago Car Crash

619.jpg Innovation takes place every year in the manufacturer of vehicles with the intention of making cars, trucks, and vans safer for those who rely on them for transportation. Whether it is the integration of a back-up camera in a vehicle's dash, the inclusion of side curtain airbags, or even an automatic braking system in the event that a collision is anticipated, modern vehicles have made great strides in increasing safety among those inside a vehicle.

Yet regardless of the safety features involved, those who are part of a collision may still sustain injuries in a crash. The truth of the matter is that the most cautious and responsible driver in the entire Chicago area cannot guarantee that she will not be hurt in a collision as the actions of other drivers on the road are often what cause a crash. When these accidents happen, innocent victims may face serious injuries and steep medical bills without any means to address their losses. Fortunately, the government in Illinois and the laws in Chicago enable these victims to obtain a monetary settlement in many cases against an at-fault driver to cover their losses. Even passengers inside a car who are injured due to the driver of that car's actions may be entitled to relief. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer following an accident may help you understand your legal options if you have been involved in a Chicago car accident, including whether you have a valid claim for your losses.

Shortly before 6:00 a.m. today, a car was involved in a crash near Kostner Avenue and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, sending two adults to the hospital and leaving two children in serious to critical condition. According to authorities who responded to the scene, one of the children involved was thrown from the vehicle upon impact, leading the child to land outside of the car and sustain serious injuries. It is unclear whether that child or a second child, who remained inside the vehicle, were restrained as required by Illinois law.

Authorities have not released details on the nature of the relationship between the adults and the children involved in the crash. At this time, it appears that the children sustained injuries more severe than the adults but all four victims were taken to hospitals in Chicago for treatment of unspecified injuries.

Officials are still reviewing the facts of the accident and trying to determine what led to the collision, including whether the driver involved or any other individual acted negligently or recklessly in the moments prior to impact. No charges have been issued at this time.

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September 8, 2014

Suspected Drunk Driver Hit Trooper, Van in Crash

1383.jpg You may not realize it, but drunk drivers are all over the roads in Chicago and across the rest of the state. Their numbers are staggering and the damage they cause devastating. Yet when the dust settles, it is often the innocent victims of these accidents that remain to pick up the pieces, whether the damages are medical expenses, lost wages, or even pain and suffering.

The victims of drunk driving accidents in Chicago may be able to seek relief for their losses through the use of a civil claim, a type of action that belongs to a victim and can be brought against an at-fault driver. This holds true when a responsible driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time a crash occurs and can be possible whether or not that driver was ticketed in the accident. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you have been hurt or if your loved one has lost his or her life in a traffic collision.

An accident yesterday on I-294 left a trooper in critical condition and seven other people injured, according to police. Officials have reported that a 59-year-old woman approached a trooper who was out of his vehicle conducting a traffic stop in the area of Berkeley when the woman reportedly swerved off the road and onto the shoulder, striking the trooper. The full nature of the trooper's injuries are not clear but it has been reported that he sustained several fractures, including a broken shoulder blade, vertebrae, knee, and ribs. He is still receiving medical treatment at this time.

But the trooper was not the only casualty. According to witnesses, the female driver was operating erratically prior to the initial impact, and following that crash, she struck a divider and continued for approximately two miles before colliding with an SUV with seven people inside, leading to a rollover crash. All seven people inside sustained injuries and were transported to area hospitals where the extent and the nature of their injuries are unknown.

Yet the most shocking part of this collision is what officials have now stated about the driver's history. The suspected at-fault driver reportedly pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence just last week in an Illinois court. The charge stemmed from an incident early in 2014 and it appears that the driver did not have a valid license as a result, though it is not clear when her license was revoked or whether she never had a valid license. A record search has revealed that the suspect had a DUI conviction in 2008 as well.

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September 5, 2014

Hit-And-Run Driver Seriously Injures Pedestrian in West Chicago

1440.jpgIn 2012, there were just under 3,000 pedestrian accidents in the City of Chicago alone. When added to the pedestrian collisions that occur in other parts of the state, the impact of these crashes cannot be understated. Pedestrians are likely to suffer serious injuries or even to lose their lives when a crash with a vehicle occurs because the pedestrian is particularly vulnerable when compared to a large, heavy car, truck, or van.

These accidents can require victims to seek medical treatment. They may need help at a hospital, through follow up surgery, or even through rehabilitation to recover from injuries and to return to their pre-injury state. But the expenses caused by medical treatment or by time missed from work can be burdensome to those who were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. To protect victims, the laws in Chicago and Illinois enable injury victims to seek financial relief for their losses through the use of a civil claim, an option that is separate and distinct from any charges that may be brought by local authorities. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident or if your loved one was killed.

A pedestrian was left with serious injuries after a Wednesday night accident in West Chicago. Shortly before midnight, a pedestrian, who has not been identified, was walking near the area of Fair Oaks Road and Trieste Lane after getting out of a car. Another vehicle in the area, reportedly driven by a 57-year-old woman, approached the pedestrian and collided with her, leaving the walker with serious injuries. According to witnesses, the suspected driver of the vehicle involved fled the scene without checking on the pedestrian or informing authorities.

Police were alerted to the crash and responded to the scene. While they investigated, emergency medical crews evaluated the victim and transported the pedestrian to a nearby hospital in DuPage County where the extent of the injuries are not clear. Officials later located the woman believed to be behind the wheel at the time of the incident and arrested her on felony charges of failing to report an accident. It is not known whether any other charges will be brought in this incident.

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September 4, 2014

Stone from Gargoyle Falls from Church, Kills Woman

Screenshot_2014-09-04-20-38-53.jpgThe laws in Chicago are clear when it comes to buildings: it is up to the owner, operator, or manager of an establishment to ensure that the building is safe. The areas to be occupied must be maintained and any damage must be repaired or replaced. Failing to keep a building in a safe and reasonable manner may lead to an injury and may result in legal liability on the part of the building's owner.

Every year, people in Chicago are injured when they are on premises that are in an unsafe condition, and when that happens, the victims of these incidents may be entitled to pursue legal relief through the use of a civil claim. Recoveries may be possible to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses that are experienced due to a premises liability accident. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who represents clients in Chicago may help you understand whether you have a valid claim if you have been hurt in an accident.

Around noon today, a 34-year-old woman was walking near the Second Presbyterian Church in the 1900 block of South Michigan Avenue when a piece of a stone gargoyle broke from the rest of the statute and fell to the ground, striking the woman in the head. The woman, reportedly a Chicago resident, was walking with her fiance at the time of the incident. Emergency crews responded and transported the woman to an area hospital. Though doctors worked to treat her, the extent of her injuries was too severe and she died a short time later.

Officials are still reviewing the incident and trying to determine what caused the portion of the gargoyle to fall. At this time, it appears that a metal piece providing decoration on the building's exterior fell and struck the gargoyle, causing a portion of the gargoyle to break free and fall. It is not clear what caused the metal decoration to break or whether that began the chain of events.

Reports indicate that the building at issue failed several inspections in recent years, at least one of which was related to the conditions of the building's exterior. City records reflect that some repair work occurred in 2012 but it is not clear what areas of the building underwent repairs at that time.

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September 4, 2014

Motorcycle Crash in Aurora Turns Fatal

021.jpg Freedom. Transportation. Enjoyment. Just some of the many reasons that bikers in Chicago claim they choose to ride motorcycles. And it is the right of these riders because the laws in Illinois make it legal for bikers to take to the roads just as any other driver does. While motorcyclists are required to follow all the rules of the road when they ride, they are also protected by the same coverage that the law affords to other vehicles. This means that motorists in the area of a biker must respect a rider's right to operate a motorcycle and must act with all due safety to avoid a collision.

Too often, motorcycle accidents in Chicago take place because a driver or another biker failed to act in a safe manner. Bikers are likely to sustain serious injuries or even to lose their lives in the event a crash occurs because there is little to protect a biker from hazards, including the road, upon impact. The victims of these accidents may feel the damage not only physically but financially as well as medical bills and lost wages start to accumulate, causing amplified suffering that may extend to an entire family. Fortunately, the laws in Illinois recognize that victims should not be forced to bear the financial damages that stem from another's negligent actions, including those that lead to motorcycle crashes. To make things right, victims in Illinois may be entitled to seek and obtain financial relief through the use of a civil claim. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you have been injured in a collision.

A Tuesday night collision between a motorcycle and a vehicle left one biker dead and another in serious condition. Authorities confirmed that the crash happened near Hill Avenue and Montgomery Road in suburban Aurora around 9:30 p.m. Officials believe that a 28-year-old man was operating the motorcycle with a 37-year-old female passenger on the back as they traveled southbound in the area. A passenger sedan traveling northbound allegedly attempted to turn left in front of the motorcycle and placed itself in a path that led to a collision.

Both riders on the motorcycle were thrown from the bike and landed on the ground nearby, sustaining serious injuries. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old man's injuries were too severe and he died shortly after the crash; the female passenger survived and was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries on Tuesday where her current condition is not known.

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September 3, 2014

NFL Owner Irsay Pleads Guilty to Driving while Intoxicated

1693.jpgDrunk driving and driving while impaired by drugs are a serious problem in Chicago. The actions of drivers who operate a vehicle impaired threaten their own safety but also the safety of others on the road, whether that is other drivers, passengers, or even pedestrians. Drunk driving accidents cause thousands of injuries in Chicago every year and leave a serious financial toll in their wake.

The victims of these accidents may sustain injuries that require medical or surgical care. They may need rehabilitative treatment to return to their pre-accident state or they may need occupational therapy to regain the ability to perform normal, daily tasks. When a car accident leads to personal injuries in Illinois, the victims of those accidents may be entitled to seek payment for their damages through the use of a civil claim. A civil claim is separate and distinct from any traffic or criminal charges brought by the State following an incident and the right to bring a civil claim belongs to the victim who was harmed or that victim's surviving family members. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you have been injured in a crash.

In March of 2014, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated when blood tests revealed prescription drugs in his system. Irsay pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated as part of a plea deal and in exchange for the dropping of several other charges stemming from the March incident.

Irsay was born and raised in Illinois before moving to Texas to play college football at Southern Methodist University. Following college, Irsay joined the staff of the NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts, shortly after the Colts moved from Baltimore. At the time, the Colts were owned by his father, and upon his death, Irsay took control, becoming the youngest NFL owner in the league at that time at 37.

Irsay has allegedly struggled with drugs at various times during his life and reportedly checked into rehab following his March arrest. As part of his plea deal this week, Irsay received one year probation and his actions were reviewed by the NFL, which suspended Irsay for six games this season and fined him $500,000. The cash fine was the highest possible by the NFL without the approval of the other team owners.

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