July 25, 2014

4 Dead and 4 Injured in Elwood Semi Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It has been an unfortunate trend in the news as of lately to hear stories of accidents involving truck drivers who are both driving fatigued and falsifying their log book records, thereby fraudulently driving over the permitted amount of hours. As a result of this negligence and recklessness, many innocent people have suffered personal injuries and untimely deaths. Like the incident that happened this past winter on I-88 in Aurora, another similar incident of falsified log books has occurred in the Chicago area.

According to an article by NBC Chicago the Illinois State Police reported that a semi-truck driver was going faster than the posted construction site speed limit and slammed into a car. This caused a chain reaction crash with three other vehicles and another semi-truck. As a result of this accident, four Illinois residents were killed and four others suffered personal injuries. Several required being extricated from the crashed vehicles, and one was airlifted to the local hospital.

According to the same article, the driver of the tractor-trailer was charged and now held on a $1 million bail. He was charged with falsifying his log book, willful violation of a log book, and failure to reduce speed. He had started work at about 2:30 a.m., not 6:30 a.m. Furthermore, this individual had a history of traffic violations going back to 1991, including three for speeding and others for driving without a valid license and other commercial vehicle violations.

This accident leads many to question why this driver, who has a record of being reckless, was permitted to operate a commercial vehicle and pose a danger to others on the highways. Not only did he have a history of violations that posed safety hazards to many on the roads, but despite his many run-ins with the law, this driver has continued to present a threat through falsified log books and excessive speeding.

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July 23, 2014

I-57 Rollover Dump Truck Accident Results in Fatality

by Levin & Perconti

As our readers know, rollover accidents are incredibly dangerous. Often occurring in large tall vehicles like trucks and SUVs, these accidents can cause drivers and passengers to suffer serious personal injury or death due to the violent nature of these crashes. These accidents can and do occur to both commercial and regular drivers alike. Furthermore, as Chicago and the surrounding area is heavy with traffic going in and out of the city on our large and busy interstates and highways, rollover accidents are unfortunately common in our area as well.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, one person was killed in a rollover accident that occurred on I-57 in Markham. The accident took place at 159th street and shut down all lanes of traffic on the highway. Preliminary information indicates that the dump truck appeared to have rolled over the left side of the concrete median on the road, according to the Illinois State Police. After rolling over, the truck set on fire, and trapped the driver inside.

As made evident by this example, the aftermath of rollover accidents can also pose hazards to those surrounding the accident. Here, the truck immediately caught fire as a result of the rollover, killing the driver and posing harm to all who were close by. Furthermore, as a result of rolling over, the dump truck spilled its cargo all over the highway, resulting in a danger to those driving through. Upon rolling over, the dump truck spilled a significant amount of gravel throughout the lanes. Other rollover accidents pose similar threats, from spilled cargo, to presenting obstacles and hazards to other drivers from debris.

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July 18, 2014

Bus Collision Leaves 1 Dead and 18 Injured

by Levin & Perconti

While we are all very well aware of the high frequencies of motor vehicle and truck accidents, we may not always consider how often other types of vehicles are involved in collisions. Consider all of the times that you were traveling on a vacation, for business or to an event in which you weren’t taking an airplane or driving yourself. Some people may use this opportunity to travel on a bus with a tourist group or other large groups of travelers, whether it be public transportation, a tour bus, or a commercial bus. Buses are extremely popular for large groups of people to travel, such as local community group traveling together for a sporting event, taking a commercial bus like Greyhound or Megabus across state lines, or taking a double-decker tour in a city. However, bus accidents can and do occur, whether at the negligence of the bus driver or of another driver that shares the road.

According to recent news report by NBC Chicago, a Greyhound bus and motor vehicle collided on an Indiana highway. One person died and 18 others were injured in this accident. The injuries were severe enough that the people required to be transported to hospital by ambulance or helicopter. One witness reported that the bus went off the shoulder of the road and that the vehicle was crushed in the inbound lane, so much so that witnesses could not even make out the wheels or identify whether the vehicle was a car or truck.

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July 17, 2014

Family Escapes Trucking Accident Caused By Fatigued Driver

by Levin & Perconti

Fatigued driving has been in the spotlight frequently lately. Our lawyers have read a number of reports linking drowsy or overly exhausted drivers with serious or fatal accidents. Although all drivers need to be aware of the great dangers associated with tired driving, the issue is especially important for truckers and trucking companies due to the nature of the industry. Oftentimes truckers are faced with the dilemma of deciding between completing a run or pulling over for a few hours of rest. Although they may be faced with pressure from their employers to meet strict deadlines, we stress the importance of truckers choosing rest and safety over work deadlines.

According to a report by KCENTV.com a family escaped a moving truck accident without serious injury after the truck in which they were riding tumbled down a concrete embankment. Police report that the father was driving the truck southbound on the interstate and crashed into a guardrail near the exit. The truck then rolled down the concrete slope into the frontage yard. This accident is still under investigation, but police say the crash may have been caused by fatigue.

This accident is noteworthy due to the fact that the family escaped this truck accident, not only alive, but without any serious injury. As our readers know, truck accidents are extremely dangerous and likely to cause to serious and permanent personal injuries that are life-altering to survivors. Oftentimes, these injuries can include nerve damage, paralysis, broken bones, loss of limb, and damage to vital areas of the body such as the head and neck.

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July 11, 2014

Truck Driver Sets Record For 4 Million Miles of No Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

It is all too often that we must report to our readers unfortunate news, startling statistics, and researched dangers of motor vehicle and truck accidents. However, when there is good news, we are happy to bring these reports and studies to our readers as well.

According to recent reports by KSAT 12, an HEB truck driver has set a record for logging 4 million miles of travel without a truck accident. The truck driver, Andres Corona, drives a big rig and successfully racked up 4 millions accident-free miles. The Department of Public Safety was present for the 4 million milestone and escorted the driver and 18-wheeler. This record was the first time in the state of Texas, where the driver hails from, that a truck driver reached this record. The driver spoke on the need for skill and defensive driving, while recalling several close calls, to reach this milestone without even a minor scrape along the way. The driver also said that he believes reaching this record is much more difficult in our modern day and recent years due to negligent and distracted drivers who talk on the phone while driving and due to increased speed limits on highways.

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July 10, 2014

Truck Kills Cyclist on Chicago Northwest Side

by Levin & Perconti

As you know, the summer is a statistically high time for truck and motor vehicle accidents. With the weather being nice and many people on vacations heading to local events in the city, there is a higher number of both pedestrians and vehicles out on the streets. Chicago has also become an especially popular place to bike, both for leisure and commuting, with the additions of bike lane and Divvy rental bicycles. However, when combining increased numbers of bikers with increased numbers of drivers, who many are unfortunately negligent, accidents occur.

According to recent news by DNA Info Chicago, a truck collided with a cyclist on Chicago’s northwest side, killing the cyclist. In the neighborhood of Portage Park, a 28-year-old woman was killed in a crash with a truck. She was an avid cyclist who took her bike everywhere, and had been riding for four years. While she was riding north on Cicero Avenue, a cement truck turned right onto Belmond Avenue hitting her. She was rushed to the local hospital but died later in the day from multiple injuries. According to the Chicago Police, it is still unclear whether the truck driver did not see the cyclist or whether she had been coming up quickly while he made a turn. The accident is still under investigation, as detectives are talking to witnesses and looking over surveillance footage.

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July 4, 2014

The Dangers of Street Racing: Bridgeview Truck Crash Kills Four, Gurnee Crash Kills Minor

by Levin & Perconti

Every week our lawyers report on the dangers of negligent driving and the numerous truck and motor vehicle accidents that take place in Chicago and throughout Illinois. What is most unfortunate is that a majority of these accidents would never have occurred if drivers took the caution and safety measures needed when getting behind the wheel. With vigilance and avoiding reckless behavior, personal injuries would be avoided and lives would be spared.

Unfortunately, an avoidable accident occurred in Bridgeview, which took the lives of four people, according to reports by the Palos Patch and NBC Chicago. The two-vehicle accident disrupted Independence Day celebrations on Friday afternoon when a passenger vehicle and a truck crashed head on in the 8200 block of Harlem Avenue. The four victims were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and one other person suffered personal injuries. According to a witness, the passenger vehicle was traveling at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour and was weaving in and out of traffic, and then lost control and hit the truck head on. Some witnesses thought that it appeared that the car was racing. The damage to the vehicles was so severe that both were beyond recognition to the investigators.

Street racing was the cause of another accident in Gurnee, according to the Daily Herald. A 16-year-old girl from Antioch died when the driver of the car in which she was riding was racing and lost control, causing the car to crash into another vehicle on Route 120 in Gurnee. The young woman was in the back seat and was thrown through the window when the car flipped. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and three other teens were also injured.

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July 3, 2014

FedEx Truck Kills Woman on Chicago Kennedy Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

Every week we read of truck accidents in the Chicago news. From reports, it seems that there is no one neighborhood that is safe from these dangerous accidents. They seem to occur everywhere, no matter whether it is the city’s north, west, or south sides. As you also know, summer is an incredibly busy and high traffic season, and causes an increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true in our city, which already experiences a high volume of traffic and congestion on our roads and expressways, but especially during the summer holiday. Unfortunately, it is not just the every day passenger vehicles used by members of communities that cause injury to others, but commercial drivers who are tasked with a responsibility of being safe drivers and representatives of the businesses they serve.

According to recent news by CBS, a woman was killed by a FedEx semi-truck on the Chicago Kennedy Expressway. An Illinois State Police Sergeant reported that the woman ran out onto the expressway at Addison Street and was then struck by the truck. It is unclear why she did this, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

While this specific accident was unavoidable and not the fault of the commercial driver, this incident serves as an example of how important it is for both drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant of each other and follow common safety practice, such as yielding or using appropriate marked crosswalks. If drivers and pedestrians alike follow the rules of the road, more motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents could be prevented.

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June 20, 2014

Construction Worker Suffers Injuries From Being Pinned Inside Truck

by Levin & Perconti

We often joke that Chicago really only has two seasons- winter and construction season. Now that the weather has warmed, construction crews are hard at work throughout our city and its surrounding suburbs always improving the infrastructure, creating new roadways, and repairing any damage that may have occurred to our streets over the past year and harsh winter months. These construction crews work hard to better our lives while putting their own lives at risk and in the face of danger while working along busy and congested Illinois highways and interstates. Even when the roads and traffic are not a danger, these workers are consistently dealing large equipment and machinery that requires a great deal of skill. However, despite the best skills a crew member may have, he or she may be in a dangerous or deadly situation when the machinery they are provided is defective or not fully operational or the worksite is unsafe.

According to recent news by NBC Chicago, a driver of a construction truck was trapped and pinned inside for hours at a site in Elmhurst. According to police, the dump truck tipped over at the construction site located at the 400 block of South Spring Road with the driver inside. Rescue crews rushed to the scene to excavate the man from the truck’s cab. He was then taken to a nearby hospital.

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June 16, 2014

Federal Legislation Proposed to Eliminate Funding for Truck Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Our attorneys have emphasized many times not only how dangerous truck accidents are, but also the high costs of these accidents that burden innocent injured victims and families. After a collision, many times victims are drowning with costs of initial medical bills for hospitalization, vehicle repair, prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy for healing, and lost wages for inability to work. Now, proposed federal legislation may make the costs and recovery of a truck accident even harder to bear for innocent victims by placing the high costs on their shoulders.

According to news from the American Association of Justice through their Take Justice Back campaign, U.S. Senators have proposed legislation that would eliminate accountability for trucks and buses when victims are injured or killed. Currently there is law on the books from the 1980’s that only requires truck companies to hold minimum insurance policies for $750,000 to cover an entire crash. This is the same cost no matter how many people are injured or killed in the crash. When there is a higher cost than what the company can cover, the motorists and taxpayers have to pay the rest. Even though policies may be for $750,000, what many do not realize is that fatal trucking accidents often cost over $4.3 million.

Furthermore, nearly 4,000 people die every year in truck crashes. Yet, next week the U.S. Senate vote on a transportation spending bill that may include an amendment that will delete the necessary resources that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration needs to increase insurance minimums to cover the costs of crashes.

Illinoisans could particularly suffer from such legislation. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of today, there have been 335 fatal crashes in our state in 2014. Of these crashes, 361 people have died. From this data, it is clear that fatal accidents are frequently occurring on our state’s roads, streets and highways And therefore, it is important that lawmakers protect the victims of negligence.

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June 13, 2014

Waterloo Man Killed in Fiery Semi Crash

by Levin & Perconti

While our readers already know much about the dangers of truck crashes and the threats they pose due to their size and weight, truck accidents can be even more dangerous when the vehicles involved catch fire. While collisions along can lead to a variety of injuries ranging from broken bones, loss of limbs, and nerve damage, fire victims can suffer life-altering burn injuries that can take a very significant amount of time to heal, and often leave permanent disabilities and disfigurement to the body of the crash victim. In some cases they can also be fatal.

Such was the case according to a report by the WCF Courier, detailing the tragic death of a Waterloo man in a semi-truck crash on U.S. Highway 20. The truck driver was carrying tractor tires and traveling west when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree. Although it was a single-vehicle accident, the crash was of such significance that witnesses reported being able to hear it in their homes and feeling their homes shake from the nearby collision. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash. One witness reported having seen the semi drift to the right side of the road, hit a mail box, overcorrect to the left, and then hit a tree, which it pushed for about 40 feet before coming to a stop.

Fires from motor vehicle accidents are a major concern, both in Illinois and across the country. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a report on highway vehicle fires provided an insight into these accidents. According to the report, about one in seven fires responded to by fire departments is a highway vehicle fire. The leading cause of highway vehicle fires was unintentional action, which accounted for 32% of vehicle fires. The majority of highway vehicle fires occur in passenger vehicles, which is 86%.

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June 12, 2014

Trucker Dies in Tractor Trailer Accident on Heavily Trafficked Bridge

by Levin & Perconti

Walking around downtown Chicago, you notice how the Chicago River twists and stretches through a vast majority of the business district. You would also observe the hustle and bustle of this busy city, with many CTA buses, taxi cabs, and commuters both on foot and in car. Despite a body of water traveling through the city, those hard at work must also travel too, and that is why Chicago traffic can travel on bridges across the river at various points through the city. However, even though these are bridges, they are still streets used by motor vehicles, which means accidents can and do occur on them.

All drivers must still use the vigilance they owe as their legal duty when driving on bridges. It can be argued that extra caution may be required of drivers to avoid negligence. Normally, in those last minutes before a collision of a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers often swerve away from the object in which they are likely to collide. This can be to the shoulder of the road, to the next lane of traffic, etc. However, when you are on a bridge, there are limited areas in which a driver may swerve to avoid collision. If a driver swerves the wrong way or even hits another car, one or both drivers could end up in water if not stopped by the barriers. For these reasons, drivers should be extremely cautious when driving on bridges as to not cause an accident by ensuring that they are not excessively speeding and are allowing enough space between themselves and other vehicles so that they may come to a quick stop if needed.

Chicago is not alone as a major city with frequent bridge-related motor vehicle accidents either. In recent news by the New York Post, a deadly truck crash occurred on the George Washington Bridge. One truck driver was transporting appliances on the upper level of the bridge and rear-ended another truck that was carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken. The chicken-truck driver then rear-ended a tanker. The appliance-truck driver was then pinned inside the truck and died in the crash.

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