June 29, 2015

Semitrailer Hit By Amtrak Train Near Joliet

by Levin & Perconti

Our attorneys cannot stress enough that railroad tracks and train crossings are places in which we should never cease to be vigilant and safe. These are never locations where our attention can slip or where we can bend the rules. When motorists and pedestrians act negligently near railroad tracks or crossings they endanger the lives of themselves and others around them and serious accidents can occur. Trains always have the right of way at these designated crossings and cannot stop quickly, even in the case of an emergency, because they travel at high speeds. If lights are flashing and gates are down, this means a train is near and motorists should use caution.

Even through frequent safety campaigns, warning signs posted, and laws on the books, train accidents unfortunately still frequently happen when people are negligent and ignore the rules. In a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a semitrailer blocked railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming Chicago bound Amtrak train in southwest Wilmington, located 14 miles south of the Joliet train station. As a result of the collision, 10 people were taken to area hospitals, according to Wilmington police. Due to the impact of the collision, the train’s cargo of 70,000 pounds of bacon was strewn across the ground near the tracks. The truck’s cab also separated from the trailer and ended up on the other side of the train. Twenty minutes after the accident occurred, passengers were told to leave the train and learned about the accident.

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June 26, 2015

Truck Driver Fatigue to Blame in Stevenson Expressway Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Driver fatigue is an ongoing issue and danger on our roads that needs addressed. It is far too often that truck drivers get behind the wheel when exhausted thereby creating an extreme danger for all others on the road with them. Our attorneys file lawsuits to punish wrongdoers like these and prevent future incidents of recklessness through our legal action. We encourage our readers to also take a stance against this important safety issue and spread the awareness to their loved ones and friends. Driver fatigue is a serious issue, so it is important to raise awareness of tragic events linked to fatigue to help put a stop to these dangerous behaviors.

According to a recent article by ABC, truck driver fatigue was a major factor in a recent Stevenson Expressway crash in which six people were injured. The accident occurred on the Stevenson Expressway near 1st Avenue. The driver of a semi-truck fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into 13 vehicles. Not only did the crash occur on a busy Chicago highway, but this was also in a construction zone and around 5 a.m. on a weekday when commuters are hitting the road. As a result, six people suffered personal injuries, and all inbound lanes of I-55 at 1st Avenue were shut down. The truck driver admitted to state police that he fell asleep at the wheel. Charges have not been filed, but the investigation is still ongoing.

One commuter was on her way to work at the time when her vehicle was hit by the semi. She suffered a broken neck and clavicle as a result of the accident and has ongoing pains in her side. A car in the accident was ejected into the air, flew over, and landed directly on top of this victim’s car.

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June 15, 2015

Three Suffer Personal Injuries in Southern Illinois Train & Truck Collision

by Levin & Perconti

Trucks and trains are among the largest and most powerful vehicles on the roadways. They are extremely large in height and weight and travel at high speeds. While all drivers already have a legal duty to be safe drivers, it is arguable that it is even more important for drivers of these large means of transportation to be especially safe and vigilant, for when they are negligent, extremely serious accidents often occur which result in significant personal injuries.

Even though these vehicle may be large and have the potential to be dangerous, does not mean that they have to be. When operated responsibly, these vehicles are great for business operations or for people to travel long distances. Furthermore, our state has gates and lights at railroad crossings for a reason: to signal that a train is approaching in that very instant and to not cross the track. Signs, lights, and gates are there for our protection and to give us notice. If we follow these warnings and signs and do not act in a negligent manner at crossings, there is no reason that collisions should have to occur. Many of these incidents are entirely avoidable.

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April 25, 2015

Alton Woman Killed in Trucking Accident Near Alton

by Levin & Perconti

The severity trucking accidents leave a lasting impact on the lives of those involved. Many of these accidents, especially ones involving personal injuries caused by negligence and reckless driving, can be prevented. When seeing an accident report in the news, this is not something anyone should write off as an “everyday event.” These accidents involve real people and loss of life. Continuing discussion and legal dialogue about these issues can raise awareness and help further education about the need for safe driving and the negative impact these accidents cause.

Unfortunately, another severe accident occurred, which took the life of an Alton woman, according to The Telegraph. The woman, who was driving a SUV, died immediately upon impact when a semi-tractor double-trailer slammed into her vehicle. She was the only person in her vehicle during the accident, which occurred at the intersection of 20th Street and Martin Luther King Drive. The impact was so hard that it smashed the driver’s door and passenger door, knocked down a traffic sign in the median, and removed the bumper of the truck. Unfortunately, the victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident either. The crash is under investigation by the Alton Police Department and Illinois State Police.

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April 20, 2015

Fatal I-55 Truck Accident; Semi Hits Disabled Vehicle

by Levin & Perconti

While we often write about the City of Chicago itself as being a major hub for the trucking industry, we need to remember that Chicagoland, including the surrounding suburbs, consists of a large area around the city. This means that while many trucks are making stops in the city itself, they are frequently traveling on roads and highways outside of the City, including downstate and the suburbs.

Reported in an article by the Chicago Tribune, a trucking accident in the Bolingbrook-Plainfield suburban area on I-55 killed a middle-aged man. The victim’s vehicle was disabled at the time and had stalled in the right northbound lane, according to both the state police and the Plainfield Fire Protection District Deputy. A Melrose Park man was driving the semi-truck and hit the victim’s vehicle while trying to get off the road. The impact of the collision sent the disabled vehicle from the right hand lane into the median wall. The semi-truck was originally on top of the vehicle, but the semi driver was able to reverse the truck off of it before fire crews arrived to the scene. The victim was trapped in the car and required heavy extrication by emergency responders. Additionally, the collision caused the semi-truck to jackknife, blocking all lanes of northbound I-55.

Another article reporting on the same accident, also by the Chicago Tribune, states that the accident occurred near Lockport Road. The driver of the disable vehicle was pronounced dead on the scene in the early evening. The driver of the semi-truck was rushed to a local hospital.

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April 17, 2015

Chicago Megabus Crashes and Injures 19

by Levin & Perconti

Many Chicagoans rely on public transportation to commute both within the city and the surrounding Chicagoland area. Instead of owning or relying on a car, public transportation offers riders the ability to travel for an affordable price. Even if a vehicle is available, many people find that transportation like buses and trains offers convenience and affordability, especially when needing to travel a farther distance away from the city of Chicago.

However, these common carriers owe a legal duty of care to their paying customer passengers. This includes not only having a safe and properly functioning mode of transportation but also driving safely and keeping the passengers free from harm. Abiding by this legal duty is important. While minor mistakes may seem like no big deal before they occur, when someone acts negligently while the lives of others are in their hands, accidents are likely to occur and often do happen. Even moments of negligent behavior can have a serious effect on the safety and well-being of passengers. Where a company or one of its drivers fails in any of these regards (i.e. safe vehicle, safe driving, etc.) and passengers suffer injury as a result, the company and/or its employee can be held responsible through a personal injury lawsuit.

A recent article by the Chicago Sun-Times is a prime example of driver negligence can endanger passengers. A Megabus, heading south out of Chicago, crashed on the highway and injured 19 people. The bus crashed into three other vehicles, one of which was a semi-truck. After rear-ending a semi in the early morning, the bus caused a chain-reaction crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65. Police relayed that for unknown reasons the bus driver failed to stop before the front of the bus collided with the rear of a semi-tractor trailer that was stopped in the left lane. This set off a chain-reaction; after hitting the semi, the semi then hit a SUV, followed by the SUV being pushed into a small passenger vehicle.

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April 13, 2015

Gravel Truck Rolls Over on a Car, Killing Pregnant Mother

by Levin & Perconti

Negligence can have a permanent impact on the lives of victims and their loved ones. When we do not follow the rules of safety, whether on the road or at work, what actions may not seem like a big deal could actually create a very hazardous situation putting others’ lives at risk. Safety precautions and rules exist for a reason – to keep people, premises, worksites, etc. accident-free. When these rules are not followed, a dangerous situation is unnecessarily created and can easily cause serious personal injuries or death.

According to a recent article by ABC 7 Chicago, a gravel truck toppled over onto a car, killing a pregnant woman inside. OSHA is investigating what caused the truck to fall on top of the car, which was parked in the woman’s driveway. The victim was in the process of moving her car from her driveway at the request of the truck driver when the gravel truck flipped onto her vehicle, killing her. OSHA is gathering evidence and is concerned whether safety protocols were followed.

Often, when we think of truck accidents, we think of the accidents occurring on roads or interstates caused by distracted driving, fatigued drivers, rear-end collisions, and rollovers. While it is true that many accidents do happen on roads as collisions between other trucks and motor vehicles, this article is an example that accidents can and do occur when vehicles are stationary as well. While a rarer occurrence – and even rarer when safety precautions are followed – an accident can occur when a construction vehicle is in the process of moving and carrying loads. A truck accident, whether stationary or on the road, can result in serious personal injuries, including permanent disabling injuries or broken bones, and death from the impact or being crushed.

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April 10, 2015

Kane County Truck Accident Takes the Life of a Young Girl

by Levin & Perconti

As our frequent readers know, truck accidents often lead to serious personal injuries and deaths of victims. Knowing how dangerous these truck accidents are to the average adult, then consider the impact on the lives and safety of children and the elderly who are more vulnerable due to being physically smaller and possibly frailer. When these people are involved in a collision, the impact of the accident can be much more serious for them. Knowing this reality, it is even more important for us to work together to stop negligent and reckless driving behaviors and to encourage education of safe driving and awareness of roadway hazards. In this way, we can protect those most vulnerable and prevent future accidents.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, a 12-year-old was killed in a semitrailer rollover crash in Kane County. She was riding in a truck, driven by her father, when the truck left the road and rolled onto its side. The girl, who was ejected from the cab of the semi-truck, was pronounced dead at the scene, and her father was taken to a local hospital. No other vehicles were involved in this crash, and police are continuing investigation. The report does not indicate whether the girl was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

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April 4, 2015

Recent Reports Indicate Fatal Big Rig Accidents Are On the Rise

by Levin & Perconti

As our readers know, truck accidents can be extremely dangerous to all involved. Even when these accidents are not fatal, they often result in victims suffering serious injuries that are sometimes permanent and disabling. These are the types of accidents we need to work together as a community to prevent, whether by contacting our legislature, reporting unsafe driving to trucking companies or authorities to hold employees/employers accountable, or encouraging friends and family members to drive safely and avoid negligence. With extra efforts, we can bring the numbers of these accidents down.

CBS News, recently reported that the number of fatal accidents involving big-rigs is on the rise. that the report links this increase to the fact that most tires on trucks are not meant to handle maximum constant speeds over 75 mph, yet many truckers travel at for long distances on expressways for their routes. Trucks across the nation consistently exceed that limit, and federal investigators believe this is leading to crashes. The article also reports data that between 2009 and 2013, large trucks and buses were responsible for 14,000 fatal accidents across the county. Of those fatalities, 223 were related to heavy truck tires, according to government data.

The same article notes that last month, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation revealed that multiple Michelin tire blowouts were to the result of a deadly combination of high speeds and lack of maintenance. The NHTSA stated that no truck tire is rated above 81 mph and most are rated at 75 mph. However, 16 of our states have truck speeds equal to or greater than 75 mph. Four states even have speeds at 80 mph. For these reasons, some argue that state laws are an explanation of failures to combat big-rig fatalities.

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April 3, 2015

Chicago Woman Killed in Accident with Semi

by Levin & Perconti

It is always saddening to learn about local lives lost in car and trucking accidents caused by negligence. It is especially tragic when the victim was very young and had a lot of potential and life yet to live. That is why our attorneys believe it is so important to remind community members that when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle, they have a responsibility toward others. Their actions as a driver can take the lives of their passengers and others on the road if they do not practice safe driving.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a Brighton Park woman died after the friend that was driving her crashed into the side of a semi-truck. The accident occurred in the city’s Lower West Side community in the early morning in the 3100 block of South Damen Avenue where the road passes over the Stevenson Expressway. The car hit the passenger side of the trailer of a semi-truck that was making a left turn to enter northbound Damen. The driver of the car also suffered serious injuries. The accident is still under investigation by the police department’s Major Accident Investigation Unit.

When we share the roadways with large vehicles like trucks and tractor-trailers, it is especially important to exercise caution. There is no room for negligence around large trucks. Because of the extreme size, both in height and weight, of these vehicles, a collision is extremely dangerous and often results in serious personal injuries and fatalities. Common serious and permanent injuries can include broken bones, nerve damage, or loss of limbs. Injuries like these are life-changing and may even take away one’s ability to work or go about their daily lives the same way.

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March 26, 2015

Elderly Couple Involved in Aurora Semi-Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Even though winter weather conditions may finally be coming to a close soon, this does not mean that truck accidents are on the decline. Although winter weather is often a factor in increased risk for collisions, these dangerous accidents can and do happen in any type of weather or time of day. When drivers of trucks or motor vehicles are negligent or distracted, accidents are very likely to happen. With just increased attention and diligence to safety and the laws of the road, lives could be saved and injuries could be prevented.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, an 89-year-old man was killed, and his 87-year-old wife seriously injured in a crash with a semi-truck in Aurora. The accident occurred at the intersection of Eola Road and Diehl Road. The accident occurred in the afternoon. The man was driving west on Diehl and went through a red light at the intersection at Eola. The car and the semi-truck, that was driving north on Eola with a green light, then collided. The car was pushed across the roadway and the truck then went into another vehicle that was on Eola and attempting to turn onto Diehl.

It is very unfortunate and saddening that a preventable accident took the life of this elderly man and took him away from his beloved elderly wife. Interestingly, this is mere steps from the site of the notorious semi-truck accident that took the life of a tollway worker and seriously injured an Illinois State Trooper in winter of 2014 . Being a major suburban road and also right off of a large Chicagoland interstate, this is a high traffic area for commuters and trucks traveling their routes. Such high traffic areas require additional caution on top of what should be our already safe driving practices. It only takes a moment of inattentiveness to safety or road signs to cause an accident. In busy and high-speed areas like this intersection off of the I-88 interstate where there are many drivers, accidents can easily occur.

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March 23, 2015

Mail Truck Rollover Crash Seriously Injures Two in Plainfield

by Levin & Perconti

Often, when we think of truck accidents, we envision the giant semi-trucks, tankers, and tractor-trailers. These truck accidents are extremely dangerous due to these vehicles’ large size and weight. However, truck accidents can involve all types of trucks, both commercial and not-commercial. Even when a truck is not as big as a tractor trailer or semi, they still tend to be heavy vehicles, and are often much larger than other motor vehicles on the road . Whether pickup trucks or commercial vehicles, truck accidents can result in serious personal injuries. This was the case recently when a U.S. mail truck as involved in a rollover accident in Plainfield.

According to ABC Chicago, two people were seriously injured in a mail truck rollover crash in the Chicago suburb of Plainfield. The accident occurred at Route 126 and County Line Road. According to the Plainfield Fire Department, the postal worker was driving eastbound on Route 126 and lost control of the mail truck. The truck then flipped over into oncoming traffic and was struck by a motor vehicle. The postal worker had to be airlifted to a hospital in serious condition, and the man in the other vehicle also had to be taken to a hospital for medical attention for serious personal injuries.

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