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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March 20, 2015

Tanker Truck Explodes On I-94

by Levin & Perconti

As our readers know, truck accidents can be extremely dangerous. These vehicles that are extremely large in height and size are very common in our area, as Chicago is a large hub for business. Trucks are constantly going to and from our metropolitan area, carrying all sorts of products and goods for businesses. However, sometimes the things they carry are not your everyday consumer items but may be hazardous materials. While truck accidents are already dangerous on their own, consider the gravity of an impact when a hazardous material like gasoline or other chemicals are involved.

According to a recent report by Fox17 News, a tanker truck exploded on Interstate 94. The fire started in the morning, and emergency crews had to battle the fire for several hours into the afternoon. Because of the fire, the interstate was shut down in both directions due to the extreme danger and emergency crews responding. The truck driver was transported to the hospital, and is expected to recover from his injuries. The accident is currently under investigation, as authorities are trying to determine what caused the tanker to explode.

The Chicago Tribune also reported on this explosion, describing how the accident sent huge plumes of smoke into the air, requiring the interstate to be closed. Emergency responders had to battle the fire for several hours, and the fire continued to flare up multiple times as firefighters fought to extinguish it. Apparently, even after the fire was contained on the scene, fires in the city’s sewer system continue to pose dangers and problems for the interstate and local area. A spokesperson from the state’s department of transportation stated that the truck had more than 13,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline in the tanker.

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March 18, 2015

55 Injured in Train Collision

by Levin & Perconti

Trucks and trains are two of the largest modes sizewise of ground transportation used traveling or transporting goods for businesses. However, because these vehicles are so large in height and weight and extremely fast in speed, when they are in an accident, the crash is likely to result in serious personal injuries or fatalities. One of the worst situations though, is when trains and semi-trucks collide. Not only can their size and speed cause serious damage, but a large number of people are usually involved or affected by the accident as well.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a train and a semi tractor-trailer collided resulting in at least 55 people injured. A tractor-trailer got stuck on tracks while trying to make a left-hand turn, and an Amtrak train slammed into it. The state highway patrol reported that the oversized flatbed trailer was transporting a modular building wrapped in blue plastic and filled with electrical equipment. At the time of the incident, a trooper was trying to help the truck driver complete a difficult left-hand turn across the tracks and onto a two-lane highway. However, the truck, being 164 feet in length, couldn’t make the turn. This attempt lasted for about five minutes, and the trooper reported that during this time there was no indication of a train in the vicinity. Even though they were alerted by the lights and gates when the train began to approach, there was not enough time to reverse off the tracks before the train collided with the truck. In addition, it was difficult to get off the tracks because while the truck was attempting this maneuver because traffic had backed up behind it.

One witness shot a video of the accident with her cellphone. She saw the truck driver jump out of the truck as the train approached, right before the collision. State officials have said that 55 people were injured as a result of the crash, but federal authorities believe the number may be as high as 62. Those injured include the conductor of the Amtrak train. A spokesperson from the Federal Railroad Administration stated that it appeared that the locomotive and two cars derailed, out of a total of one locomotive and seven cars.

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March 13, 2015

Illinois Legislature Advances Bill to Impose Tougher Rules on Trucking Industry

by Levin & Perconti

We’ve discussed many truck accidents with unique causes. Many typical motor vehicle accidents are often due to driver negligence like speeding and failing to stop for a signal, or crashing under poor weather conditions, and while these are still factors for truck accidents, there is an additional and very significant factor that leads to many serious truck accidents: not abiding by federal and state rules set for the trucking industry.

Our governments have rules in place specifically mandated for the commercial trucking industry to follow to promote safety and protect everyone on the road. It is far too often that trucking companies order their drivers to drive too many consecutive hours straight without rest to get a job done, which endangers the lives of drivers and others on the road, and greatly increases the likelihood of a crash when drivers are fatigued. Oftentimes this occurs when drivers falsify their log books and drive many hours straight, causing them to fall asleep behind the wheel. It is important that the state and federal governments fight these actions of putting profit before the safety and welfare of those on the road with fatigued drivers.

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