October 27, 2014

Fatal Truck Accident Sets Fire to Illinois Overpass

by Levin & Perconti

Being vehicles of such a large size, semis and tractor-trailers can cause accidents that are very serious in nature, both in injuries to victims as well as damage to personal property and infrastructure. This was made evident in one recent accident in Casey, IL when a semi-truck crashed into a concrete support on the Illinois 49 overpass and caught fire, according to an article by the Herald-Review. The accident occurred over Interstate 70 and one man (the passenger) died and another (the driver) has suffered serious personal injuries and remains hospitalized. Illinois State Police reported that the truck fire damaged the tractor, trailer, and the overpass. The driver was ticketed for improper lane usage.

A fire can be an extremely dangerous consequence of truck and motor vehicle accidents. Not only are they dangerous to those directly involved in the accident, but fires pose a danger to those around the accident as well. Fires can quickly spread to other vehicles, infrastructure, and the environment surrounding the scene of the accident, putting others in harm’s way. Furthermore, because vehicles run off of gasoline and oil, which are highly flammable and combustive materials, the fire can quickly escalate into an ever-increasing dangerous situation.

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October 13, 2014

Passengers Suffer Injuries in Fulton Rollover Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Frequent visitors to our blog know that rollover accidents are especially dangerous and unfortunately very common in SUVs and trucks, because they are tall and narrow vehicles. The design of these vehicles makes it easy for them to tip over in a collision, which can cause serious and long-term personal injuries for all parties involved in the rollover accident – both those in the vehicle that rolled over and those in the other vehicles around the scene who are put in danger of a nearby rolling vehicle.

According to a recent article by the Clinton Herald, a rollover accident in Fulton caused victims to suffer personal injuries. A passenger car that was traveling north collided with a pickup truck at the 900 block of 12th Street. Upon collision the truck rolled over and then came to a stop upside down on top of the passenger vehicle that hit it. Responders had to act quickly in this emergency to extricate the driver out of the pickup truck. Both the driver of the car and the driver of the truck sustained personal injuries, but fortunately none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. That is at least some good news to hear out of this accident because it is extremely common for rollover accidents to result in life-threatening injuries or permanent debilitating injuries.

It is important to remember that a rollover can occur whether the driver is the negligent party or not. While the article stated that it is unclear what the cause of the accident was and that it is still under investigation, in this instance the car hit the truck causing a rollover.

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October 3, 2014

Heyworth Teen Dies in Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It is far too often that fatal truck accidents occur on our Illinois roads and highways. However, it is especially heart-breaking to learn of these accidents taking the lives of young people, such as children and teens. Such accidents cut the lives of these people far too short and take away the potential and futures they had. These accidents are especially difficult for parents and family members because the deaths of very young people are more often than not very unexpected and sudden.

Unfortunately, a fatal truck accident took the life of a teen, according to recent news. In an article by the Pantagraph, a fifteen-year-old boy died after he was the passenger in a car that was hit by a pick-up truck. The boy was wearing a seat belt, but did not survive the accident that took place on U.S. 51 at McLean County Road. The driver, a sixteen-year-old female classmate, suffered serious personal injuries and remains hospitalized. The principal of their high school has brought in counselors to help grieving students with the loss of their classmate and friend. There was also a 6-month-old baby in the pickup truck who was thankfully not harmed. According to another article by Central Illinois Proud, the teens’ vehicle was headed westbound and was struck by the pickup truck headed southbound. The boy died of head injuries from the accident. The state police are still investigating this accident and are currently working to reconstruct it to research it further.

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October 1, 2014

Hit-and-Run Truck Accident Leaves Police Searching for More Information

by Levin & Perconti

For anyone who has ever been in an accident, you know how frustrating they are, sometimes even for the long term. In a matter of just minutes victims sustain injuries and incur heavy financial burdens from damage to their vehicles, medical bills, and possibly lost wages when injuries are serious enough to keep someone from work. However, we all know that the right and lawful thing to do after an accident is to pull over to the side of the road and exchange information with the other party or parties involved. When this doesn't happen though, and other people flee the scene of the accident, victims are left helpless and responsible parties evade accountability.

In recent news by Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, police are trying to identify a truck driver after a hit-and-run accident. The accident occurred in Charleston near Stevenson Hall on the Eastern Illinois University campus. At the intersection of Fourth and Grant, officers had been called out to the scene of an accident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that immediately fled the scene. Authorities gathered information from witnesses, who described the fleeing vehicle as an aqua green full-size truck with a regular cab. The victim had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. The incident is still under investigation.

As you know, it is the law in Illinois to stop when in a motor vehicle accident. Illinois law, under 625 ILCS 5/11-401, describes that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to another person must immediately stop at the scene of the accident. The individual must also remain at the scene.

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September 12, 2014

Chicago Actor Dies in Truck Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Previously, we have discussed how serious truck accidents can be, especially for the reason of the size difference between large trucks and other motor vehicles. Trucks are significantly larger in both height and weight than your average passenger car. Because of this fact, when these two vehicles are in a collision, a truck can cause serious personal injuries or death to victims of other vehicles.

This unfortunate truth about the dangers of truck accidents was especially evident in a recent truck accident that killed a Chicago actor, according to the NWI Times. The collision occurred between a passenger car and tractor trailer at the intersection of Calumet and Broadmoor avenues in Munster. The actor was preparing to appear in a production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at the Theater at the Center. According to police, the semi-truck was northbound on Calumet when it hit the southbound headed car that was turning left into the truck’s path. The car was then crushed beneath the cab of the truck, and the two vehicles ended up in the parking lot of a Fifth Third Bank after colliding. Authorities are still working to reconstruct and investigate this accident.

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September 11, 2014

Skateboarder Dies in Collision with Drunk Truck Driver

by Levin & Perconti

While we all know that pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles and trucks are extremely dangerous, we often think of these accidents occurring in specific locale. Many people might assume that these accidents happen in busy cities with congested roads or off of highways with vehicles traveling at high speeds. While accidents are common in these areas, it is important to remember that pedestrian accidents can and do happen everywhere, even in locations where we least expect and feel safer. By knowing this fact, as pedestrians we can be on alert for dangers wherever we are traveling.

For instance, recent news by the Chicago Tribune has indicated that a skateboarder was fatally struck by a truck in McHenry County. The victim, a 17-year-old, died from multiple injuries to the head, spine, chest, and abdomen. The driver of the pickup truck that hit the teen has been charged with drunk driving. The pickup truck driver suffered no injuries from the accident.

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August 29, 2014

Rockford Truck Crash Kills a Pedestrian

by Levin & Perconti

As we have discussed before, truck accidents are oftentimes more dangerous than collisions with passenger vehicles due to their large size in height and weight. When such a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer collides with a smaller motor vehicle, the accident is often severe resulting in serious personal injuries or even fatalities. However, there are times when truck accidents can be even more grave, such as when pedestrians are involved. Truck accidents are already extremely dangerous, but when taking away the protective barrier a motor vehicle offers in a collision, pedestrians can suffer life-changing permanent injuries if they survive the crash.

According to a recent report by ABC 27 WKOW, a truck crash occurred near the city of Rockford that took the life of a pedestrian. Around 1:30 in the morning, the truck was traveling southbound on I-39 near Baxter Road in Winnebago County when it struck a pedestrian. The pedestrian died following the accident. According to the report, no charges have been filed, and at this time the Illinois State Police are still investigating the accident.

While it is unclear from this report whether anyone was negligent, pedestrian accidents such as this are still all too frequent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2011 there were 4,432 pedestrian deaths in the United States and 4,280 in 2010. Injuries from these accidents are also high. In 2011 approximately 69,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide. Unfortunately, children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. Of the 69,000 people injured in 2011, 11,000 of those people were children aged 14 and younger.

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August 26, 2014

Truck Driver Killed in Woodhull Truck Accident, Passenger Injured

by Levin & Perconti

While truck accidents seem to be all too frequent, especially in Illinois and throughout the Chicagoland area, and that we may not be able to prevent others from being negligent, there are things we can do to protect ourselves and less the danger that others' negligence poses to our safety. One of the best ways to do this is by wearing out seat belts so that we can be secure and safe in our vehicles. In these situations, even when we can do nothing to stop other drivers from being reckless, a safety belt can offer us some protection and save our lives.

When drivers and passengers fail to wear seat belts, they are much more vulnerable to the dangers around them, especially the potential for injury and death in a motor vehicle accident. According an article by the Quad-City Times, one person died and another was injured in a single truck accident in Woodhull on Interstate 74. According to preliminary reports by the state police, the truck veered and left the right side of the road for reasons unknown. The truck traveled into the east ditch and rolled over. Both occupants were transported to the local hospital where the driver was later pronounced dead. Police have reported that the driver was not wearing a seat belt, which could have contributed to his death. The accident still remains under investigation.

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August 15, 2014

57-Year-Old Woman Killed in I-80 Trucking Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Every week we hear in the news of truck and motor vehicle accidents that cause serious personal injuries or deaths, particularly on busy Chicago expressways. Unfortunately, these accidents are often preventable. Too often drivers engage in dangerous driving habits such as texting and driving, driving while tired, excessive speeding, and following too closely. When drivers act in this reckless manner and are the cause of an accident and injury to others, they can be found liable for negligence. All drivers, truck drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles alike, need always remain cautious and vigilant, particularly on busy expressways where accidents can easily occur.

A recent article by the Chicago Tribune reports that a 57-year-old woman was killed in a crash near the Illinois-Indiana border on Interstate 80. According to Illinois State Police, a car and semitrailer collided in the early morning near the state line. The woman died from blunt force trauma in the accident.

Truck accidents are extremely dangerous and can cause victims to suffer serious personal injuries or fatalities. Oftentimes victims suffer life-threatening or permanent injuries such as broken bones, loss of limbs, paralysis, or damages to vital areas of the body like the head and neck. Although uncontrollable factors such as weather or poor road conditions can lead to crashes, many accidents unfortunately occur as a result of preventable negligence such as driver distraction, fatigue or intoxication.

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August 14, 2014

Driver Critically Injured in Route 15 Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our readers know that truck accidents can have devastating affects on individuals who are injured as a result of truck driver negligence such as speeding, drowsy driving, or distracted driving. However, it is also important to consider how these accidents also impact the lives and safety of truck drivers too. Just as drivers of motor vehicles can be injured or killed from truck accidents, truck drivers can also be left with life-threating or permanent injuries caused by the negligence of others.

According to a recent article by Fox 2 Now, a truck driver was critically injured in a crash on Illinois Route 15 north of St. Libory. According to local authorities, the driver of a southbound slammed into the front of the semi-trailer as she attempted to turn west onto Illinois Route 15. The driver of the truck was airlifted to a local hospital and remains in critical condition. The accident is still under investigation.

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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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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 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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May 16, 2014

Semi-Truck Carrying Cattle Crashes

by Levin & Perconti

Our readers know that Illinois is a major hub for commercial trucking because our state is home to many types of businesses and industries, including farming. Every day our trucks depart to and from job sites carrying goods and products as part of their jobs. However, it is important to consider that these businesses’ cargo is not always boxed items, and can actually be living cargo as well. While Illinois is indeed a state full of multinational corporations and businesses of all sizes, our state is also a center for agriculture and farming. For that reason, it is not uncommon that trucks we see on the roads are carrying not only consumer goods, but may be transporting livestock as well.

In fact, trucks are so vital to businesses and carrying cargo, that they carry the majority of goods. According to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, part of the United States Department of Transportation, trucks actually transport 60.8% of U.S.-NAFTA Trade, as of 2013. This includes business with the United States and NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, as part of $98.6 billion of business.

However, just like other truck drivers, those carrying livestock are at risk for accidents. According to an article by the Pantagraph, a truck that was carrying cattle overturned on Interstate 39, and resulted in several other accidents. According to the Illinois State Police, the truck driver was going too fast to properly negotiate a curve and ran off of the road at milepost 13. The semi-truck then overturned in the median, tossing out 35 of the 122 cattle on board the truck. As a result of the cattle on the roadway, several other crashes occurred. Not only did the local troopers, Illinois Department of Transportation, and local police and fire departments have to attend to the accidents, but local farmers helped in rounding up the livestock. Unfortunately, many cattle were injured from this crash and had to be euthanized.

While thankfully the news did not indicate that anyone suffered serious personal injuries from this chain of accidents is a reminder of the serious consequences of reckless driving behaviors such as speeding. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, you can hold them liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Our law firm has successfully handled truck accident lawsuits since 1992, and we would be happy to assist you in a free consultation.

May 16, 2014

Driver Killed in Illinois Semi-Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Reports about trucking accidents are always difficult to read because all too often these accidents could have been prevented. As our state is a major hub for businesses, trucks are constantly en route to transport goods, equipment, etc. for businesses and their services to operate. However, whether we are driving for business or driving for our own leisure, we as drivers have a legal duty to be safe and always use caution. Where negligence causes injury or death to others, reckless drivers can be held liable through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.

According to an article by The Telegraph, a semi-truck overturned on Illinois Route 140 causing the death of another driver. The accident occurred at 6656 Illinois Route 140, just a little east of Illinois Route 159. The semi-truck, which was transporting milk, rolled over onto an adjacent SUV, causing the death of the driver. The semi-truck driver provided testimonial to the Illinois State Police and local fire department, saying that the tailgate of another truck heading west fell into the eastbound lanes. He says that his own truck “bounced” over the tailgate, causing him to slide in the field nearby, and that as he slid, his own truck rolled over on top of the SUV.

While the driver of the township truck says that his vehicle has not had any previous issues, this is likely a factor that would be brought before the court when determining negligence. Logical thought tells us that parts of vehicles don’t “just fall apart.” Normally, this would mean that they are lacking in care, upkeep, or inspection, and had the vehicle been attended to, the faulty part would have been known by the driver or employer company. Under tort law, there is a theory known as “res ipsa loquitur,” which translates to “the thing speaks for itself.” This means that an event would not have occurred but for someone being negligent. While all of the facts of this present accident are not known, and it is not clear which, if any, parties were negligent, analysis like this is likely to come into play in a lawsuit.

On the same note, we have continually stressed that it is a driver’s legal duty to be safe and not be the cause of injury or death to others. While this is true, it not only includes safe driving, but operating a safe vehicle and properly maintaining it. Even if someone uses safe driving skills, they are still an unsafe driver and a danger to others where they operate a vehicle that is not functioning properly or in good working condition.

If you have been injured or lost a family member in a truck accident, you need legal counsel from someone reliable and experienced in the field so that you can obtain the compensation that you deserve. Our attorneys have represented families in truck accident lawsuits for over 20 years and have helped many injured plaintiffs achieve fair and just verdicts and settlements. Call our firm for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you.

May 6, 2014

Peoria Boy in Critical Condition After Colliding with Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents are common, especially in busy cities and in school zones. Our lawyers know that accidents happen, but it is always unfortunate to read about accidents that could be prevented with extra vigilance and abiding by safety practices.

An article by the Peoria Journal Star reported that an 11-year-old boy is in critical condition after a collision with a pickup truck. Police reports indicate that the boy ran across Northeast Monroe Avenue between a stopped CityLink bus and a stopped car and hit the side of the truck, which caused him to spin on top of the trailer that the truck was pulling. As a result of this accident, the boy suffered significant head trauma and is in critical condition.

The accident occurred only a block from the boy’s middle school in a school zone. Even though the area has crosswalks and signs to direct traffic and pedestrians, witnesses note that there is a noticeable amount of jaywalking from both adults and children. Officials have added more crosswalks and signs and has crossing guards at the intersections to remedy the situation, however even with these safety measures in place it is still important for pedestrians and drivers alike to take precautions. Not only should drivers be aware of pedestrians, but adults must set an example for children by using the crosswalks themselves and walking with their children at these marked crossings.

Although it is unclear whether driver negligence played a role in this accident, it is important to note how imperative it is that people abide by local laws for crossing streets and yielding to both cars and traffic. School zones are especially busy areas filled with pedestrians, many of whom are young children. By having this knowledge, drivers should be on the lookout for children, and parents and chaperones should make sure to keep watch on the children in their care who may unknowingly run into traffic while at play or on the way to and from school.

Local authorities, drivers, and members of the statewide Illinois community all need to work together to enforce safety standards and prevent accidents from occurring. With extra vigilance, many pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions could be prevented, and lives could be saved. Everyone needs to do their part in advocating safety, abiding by the laws whether drivers or pedestrians, and setting examples of safety for other citizens in the community.

Our attorneys are advocates of upholding standards of safety in our community too, and work for those who have been injured in accidents caused by negligence. If you or someone you love has suffered injury due to another’s negligence, you may be able to hold all wrongdoers accountable. Contact our law firm for a free consultation, and we would be happy to talk about your potential case with you.

May 5, 2014

New-Baden Semi-Truck Crash Kills Two

by Levin & Perconti

Truck accidents are unfortunately not only common in the Chicagoland area but throughout the state. Illinois is a major hub of businesses and therefore has many routes for transportation of goods and services. With so many business operations, most companies rely on large trucks to transport materials and goods. Unfortunately with this traffic comes an increased risk for truck accidents involving serious personal injuries or deaths.

According to an article by Fox2Now, two individuals were killed when the semi-truck in which they were riding slammed into a highway overpass. The accident occurred outside of New Baden, Illinois on Interstate 64.

Investigations as to the causes and factors for this truck accident are still underway. Preliminary research and reports from witnesses indicated that driver fatigue may have been a factor. Authorities think that the truck driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Witnesses reported to the police that the truck had veered to the left and then veered to the right before hitting the overpass at a full speed.

Driver fatigue is a serious safety issue for all drivers but of particular concern to trucking companies and drivers themselves due to nature of the industry. According to the National Safety Council, those are the highest risk of accidents from driver fatigue are third shift workers, long haul drivers and those with sleep disorders or who are taking medication that can make them drowsy. Many truck drivers fit within those first two categories and drive late into the night and early morning, logging many miles on their shifts.

Similar to drugs and alcohol, driver fatigue is dangerous because it slows reaction time, decreases driver awareness, and impairs judgment. Furthermore, also according to the National Safety Council, statistics show the increased dangers due to driver fatigue. Death rates based upon mileage were 3.2 times higher at night than during the day, for the year of 2007. Also, a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sowed that 37% of drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel during a time in their career, and 8% of these people admitted to doing so within the last six months. Additionally, the majority of this fatigue occurred on interstates and highways; 60% of the drivers stated that when they fell asleep, it was on a road in which they were driving at least 55 mph.

For years the trucking industry has been trying to find a balance between performance and safety. Trucking companies impose deadlines and goals for truckers in order to increase efficiency and profit. This can force drivers to work longer hours on less sleep to meet the demands of their employers. Federal laws dictate how many hours a truck driver may be in service, however oftentimes trucking companies push truckers to the limits or drivers overextend themselves. Our attorneys encourage all truck drivers to be well-rested when they get behind the wheel in order to protect themselves and others from dangers on the roadways and interstates. When a truck loses focus, catches themselves drifting, or finds themselves yawning excessively, it is time to pull over and take a break. Taking precautions could save lives and prevent a truck accident from occurring.

April 30, 2014

Niota Man Dies in Two Vehicle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

As our readers are aware, truck and motor vehicle accidents occur daily across Illinois. Such accidents are frequent not only on congested interstates but on rural country roads and highways as well. No where they are driving, it is always important that drivers use caution when behind the wheel. Where they fail in regards to vigilance and safe driving, they can cause injuries or death to themselves and/or others.

According to the Daily Gate City, a two-vehicle accident in Hancock County caused the death of an Illinois man from Niota. A woman from Dallas City, Illinois suffered injuries in the crash. According to The Illinois State Patrol, the man was trying to make a left turn in front of the woman’s car when the collision occurred. According to reports, he was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Oftentimes people assume that rural roads are safer for drivers because there is less traffic and lower speed limits. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration presents some interesting statistics and facts about motor vehicle accidents that occur in rural areas. According to the NHTSA, although only 21% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, fatal crashes occurring in rural areas account for 57% of all traffic fatalities. In 2005 alone, there were 21,294 fatal crash incidents in rural areas as to compared to urban areas on a nationwide scale. These crashes resulted in the deaths of 24,837 people.

In fact, National Geographic makes the argument that urban areas are safer than rural areas for drivers. Research has shown that rural areas pose a more serious risk for injuries from motor vehicle accident injuries. This is possibly because people in rural areas spend much more time in cars than people in urban areas, and unfortunately, researchers have called riding in cars “one of the most dangerous activities.” Death from motor vehicle accidents in rural areas occurs at a rate of 14.9 people per 100,000. On the converse though, even though accidents are more common in rural areas, access to healthcare and emergency rooms is more available in urban areas.

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident as a result of the negligent actions of another driver, it is important to seek legal assistance so that you may hold wrongdoers liable for your injuries, losses, and suffering. While our law firm is located in Chicago, we serve injured plaintiffs located throughout all of the state of Illinois. Call us for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.

April 21, 2014

Truck Crashes Into Chicago Store, Pinning a Woman Inside

by Levin & Perconti

Shopping and motor vehicle accidents are not two things that we normally associate with each other. Normally, crashes occur on the roads where we are driving, not in the local stores where we are doing our errands. However, according to recent news, one woman was the victim of a truck accident while shopping at a local Chicago store.

According to an article by ABC, the woman, who was buying a lottery ticket, suffered personal injuries when a pickup truck came crashing through the store’s wall. The vehicle collided with a vending and ice machine and pushed the victim between the machine and a wall. Luckily, she only suffered minor personal injuries, although she was within mere inches of being crushed by the truck. The accident occurred after the pickup truck hit two other cars at an intersection outside, according to the same article. Thankfully, the store manager who normally would have been standing at the counter was injured.. Had he been in his normal station of the store he would have almost definitely been in harm’s way.

Our attorneys use this forum to remind drivers, pedestrians and others about the dangers of accidents involving trucks, however in instances like this there is nothing that the victim could have done to anticipate this danger or keep herself out of harm’s way. Thankfully for her she walked away with minor injuries, but we know that some victims in these types of accidents are not so lucky. The news coverage did not expand on why the truck driver lost control of his vehicle or what other factors may have led to these events, but having worked with victims of car and trucking accidents for over 20 years, our lawyers know that reckless behaviors such as speeding, aggressive driving, driver distraction or intoxication often play a role in serious accidents.

Although the woman in this accident was left with only minor personal injuries, the facts show that just a change in inches could have meant her life. Our lawyers know that this close proximity is nothing to take lightly, and that preventable close calls of life or death such as this should not happen. That is why negligent drivers should be held accountable, and why we always strive to obtain justice for victims and use accident lawsuits to raise awareness surrounding safety issues on our roads to prevent future injuries and fatalities to others.

We understand that the types of injuries that occur from truck accidents can be fatal or life-altering. Long-lasting injuries include broken bones, severe burns, paralysis, and more. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a truck accident lawsuit to hold any and all wrongdoers accountable. Accident lawsuits have time limitations so be sure to seek legal advice early to protect your right to seek compensation for the harms caused to you.

April 15, 2014

One Fatality in Wilmette Vehicle-Semi Collision

by Levin & Perconti

All drivers must use caution to avoid motor vehicle accidents and suffering personal injuries or causing them to others. However, this means not only being on the lookout for other cars and trucks on the roads, but those that are parked or stationary as well. We owe a duty to other drivers to remain attentive and observant so that we can stop with enough time and avoid collision with another vehicle. This is especially true on interstates and highways when vehicles travel at much greater speeds. Furthermore, on interstates and highways, not only are vehicles consistently merging or switching onto exits, but cars and trucks often have to pull over to the shoulder of the road for a multitude of reasons. Therefore, we must be vigilant to the vehicles around us, both moving and stopped.

According to one article by the Sun-Times, a collision on Interstate 94 caused the death of one northwest suburban Chicago man who died after his vehicle crashed into a parked semi-truck on I-94 in Wilmette. According to a statement by the Illinois State Police, the semi was parked on the right should of northbound I-94 near Skokie Road when the victim’s vehicle ran off of the road and hit the stationary truck. The man died at the scene of the crash and his passenger survived but had to be extricated from the collision.

There is no word on what caused the man to veer off of the road and hit the truck, but this example can serve as a reminder to drivers to always stay alert and aware of your surroundings on the road. An article by the American Red Cross addresses several points of safety that our lawyers urge our readers to follow. First, it is always important to use your safety belt and to not excessively speed. Observe the speed limits to avoid a collision. Secondly, give your full attention to the road, as distracted driving is a significant factor in highway accidents. This means both avoiding unnecessary distractions like cell phones but also being well rested and alert. Third, use caution on the road by keeping adequate space between your vehicle and others on the road. In this way, you can make a timely stop if you need to and can avoid a collision. Lastly, if you have car trouble, be sure to pull off the road as far as it is possible. In this way, you can help avoid adding “insult to injury” by not suffering a collision on top of present car mechanical trouble. If possible, pull off to an oasis stop if one is available, versus the shoulder.

Our attorneys care about the safety of everyone on the road, which is why we work hard to defend the rights of victims against negligent drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be able to hold that individual liable through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Call our firm today for a free consultation, and our attorneys would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.

April 14, 2014

Champaign-Urbana Accident Leaves Victims with Personal Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

As you know, the Midwest, particularly the Chicagoland area, is known for its drastic changes in weather, particularly in springtime. Often, just when nice weather has arrived, it will quickly change again into late winter conditions. This weather can make our Illinois highways and interstates more hazardous than normal. It is for this reason that we, as drivers, should never cease being cautious and maintain our dedication to safety, even more so when the weather is unpredictable. Remember, regardless of weather, we owe a duty to all others on the road to not be negligent or the cause of personal injuries to others.

According to a recent article by The News-Gazette, extreme weather was a cause in a three-vehicle collision on Illinois I-74. The “extreme crosswind during a rainstorm” was the factor in the collision that injured four men. Reports by the Illinois State Police indicated that the accident occurred near Pesotum in the early morning, and blocked the eastbound lanes of I-74 until late into the afternoon. The accident occurred when a semi-truck was driving in the left lane attempting to pass another semi-truck when an extreme crosswind hit his rig, and he turned against the wind into the median. The truck driver broke through the cable barrier of the median and hit two eastbound vehicles head-on.

The other two vehicles were also trucks. One was an Illinois Department of Transportation pickup truck. The other was a FedEx semi-truck. Police reported that all of the victims had to be cut out of their trucks by emergency responders. Three of the men suffered minor injuries, and one, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered serious injuries.

Unfortunately all too often we read about people who have been seriously injured because they did not use a seatbelt. Our attorneys wish to stress the importance of wearing seatbelts at all times. According to the National Safety Council, commercial drivers, pick-up truck drivers, and males in rural areas are among the groups who are still less likely to wear their safety belts. The men in this accident fit all of these categories, and one of the four was not wearing a belt and unfortunately suffered serious personal injuries. While we cannot predict the negligence of others, or how another driver will react in bad weather, we can take extra steps to protect our own health and safety by always buckling up. Wearing a seat belt can change a fatal or serious accident into one where someone suffers only minor injuries.

Our attorneys care not only about preventing accidents, but in promoting the safety and well-being of everyone in our Illinois community. It is for that reason that we advocate for the rights of injured plaintiffs and have achieved numerous fair and just verdicts and settlements for our clients.

April 4, 2014

Multi-Vehicle Truck Crash Occurs on Illinois I-280

by Levin & Perconti

When truck accidents occur, not only are they highly dangerous and likely to result in personal injuries, but they can cause a chain reaction of accidents, especially on busy roads and interstates. As our readers likely know, these vehicles are extremely large and heavy and this can make it difficult for other drivers to avoid or maneuver around crash sites, especially at the high speeds of interstates. This can result in further collisions.

This was the case recently in western Illinois. KWQC reported that a multiple-vehicle truck accident occurred on Illinois I-280. The incident occurred near Milan, Illinois near Airport Road by mile marker 14. According to the Illinois State Police, one semi was traveling westbound and lost power and then attempted to pull off onto the right shoulder. The truck was not able to get all the way off the road and was struck by a second semi-truck. Then, a third semi-truck struck the other two, resulting in a complete blockage of the interstate road. Despite this being a large accident, thankfully there were only minor injuries. The accident is still being investigated by police.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths and injuries from motor vehicle accidents account for the leading cause of death for those between ages 3 through 33 years old. In fact, traffic fatalities account for more than 90 percent of transportation-related fatalities. For instance, in 2004 alone, an average of 117 people died each day. This is an average of one death every 12 minutes. Furthermore, multi-vehicle crashes take a serious toll with injuries and deaths. In 2004, there were a total of 5,190 deaths from collisions with large trucks, and 295 of these deaths were from multiple-vehicle crashes. Additionally, there were a total of 116,000 injuries from collisions with large trucks, and 14,000 of these were the result of multiple-vehicle crashes.

Our attorneys understand how dangerous truck accidents can be on Illinois interstates and that injuries from these accidents can be severe and life altering. We have been experienced with truck accident lawsuits for over 20 years, and have represented injured plaintiffs in lawsuits and helped them obtain fair and just verdicts and settlements for their injuries and suffering. If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle crash or other truck accident, you also may be able to obtain compensation through a lawsuit for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, etc. Call our firm today for a free consultation, and one of our attorneys would be happy to assist you with your potential claim.

April 1, 2014

Washington County Truck Accident Leaves One Dead

by Levin & Perconti

As our readers are aware, when drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are taking responsibility for others on the road. In tort law – the area of the law that covers personal injury lawsuits – we have what is known as a legal “duty of care” to others around us. We are seen to have breached this legal duty when we are the cause of an injury. For instance, where a driver is being reckless or negligence, such as through excessive speeding or talking on the phone while driving, a court can find that driver negligent and hold the driver legally accountable for the injuries suffered by the victims.

According to reports by KFVS 12, a two-vehicle crash occurred in Washington County, Illinois near Addieville. The accident occurred near State Route 177 and Covington Road. One woman, from Nashville, Illinois, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by the Washington County coroner. The coroner reported that the victim was driving north on Covington Road, ran through a stop sign,, and hit a westbound tractor trailer. Police have elaborated saying that traffic on this road is required to stop at Illinois Route 177 because it is a “through roadway.”

When the driver failed to stop her car at the intersection stop sign, she hit the left side of a refrigerated box trailer attached to the truck. As a result of the collision, the impact ruptured the refrigeration fuel tank. This caused the trailer to catch on fire.

This accident is still under investigation by authorities. They have indicated, however, that they will be performing a toxicology testing.

Some of our readers may have heard of “toxicology testing” previously, while understandably, some may be new to the subject. To fill everyone in, toxicology is a forensic study to test for drugs or alcohol. According to CrimeMuseum.org, this testing is most often done to test for drugs in athletes or job applicants, and can also be used to test for alcohol for drivers who are suspected to have driven under the influence. These tests can be done to determine if a person system’s contained a certain substance and how much of the substance. In this accident case, the person authorities wish to be tested for toxic substances died behind the wheel in this crash. However, it is possible for examiners to conduct postmortem toxicology testing in which they test samples taken from the deceased. While difficult, an examiner can take blood and liver samples from the victim’s body to test for alcohol. Interestingly, this testing can evaluate the cause of death, especially in cases where intoxication led to a collision. For instance, experts have found that the “vitreous humor” is more reliable than “ante mortem BAC levels” because the alcohol content will not change even after death. In this way, they can determine negligence and fault, even where a fatality has occurred.

Our firm handles all types of personal injury lawsuits, and not just those involving trucks and motor vehicles. If you have suffered injuries at the hands of another’s negligence, you may be able to hold that person liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Call our firm today for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you with your case.

March 26, 2014

Odell Man Killed in Pickup Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It has seemed as though this winter has been never-ending. Even now, past the first day of spring, Illinois has experienced freezing temperatures. This past week, we even saw some overnight snow. Unfortunately, this persistent winter has caused more truck and car accidents.

According to an article by the Pantagraph, an Odell resident was killed this Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash. The accident occurred on Interstate 55 south of Dwight, Illinois. Livingston County authorities pronounced the man dead at the scene of the accident. According to the police, the man was heading north on Interstate 55 when he lost control of his pickup truck on the slippery highway and overturned into the median.

Unfortunately, this was not the only accident. The overnight early spring snow left a layer of ice on many roads throughout Illinois. According to the same article, this accident was one of six handled by local authorities of Pontiac. Another accident had occurred on Interstate 74 near Carlock and involved several vehicles.

As always, our attorneys stress to use even more caution than normal when driving in bad weather conditions, if you absolutely must drive at all. According to The Weather Channel, you should be especially careful when driving during or after snowfall. Decrease your speed so that you can both maintain control of your vehicle and allow yourself to stop safely. Furthermore, stopping in snowy weather requires more distance and time. That is why you should allow yourself three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.

Accidents happen. Sometimes one’s own personal actions lead them to suffer injuries; in other instances people may suffer as a result of the careless or reckless behaviors of another individual. Our attorneys have helped seriously victims of truck and motor vehicle accidents caused by driver negligence since 1992. It is our mission to help those who have suffered personal injuries obtain the justice and compensation that they deserve. Crashes can cause severe injuries, such as broken bones, concussions, etc., that may take a long time to heal and cause the victim to lose work. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, it is important that you talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. In a personal injury lawsuit you may be able to obtain compensatory and/or punitive damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and suffering. Contact our firm today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your claims with you.

March 19, 2014

Man Dragged For Three Miles After Semi-Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It is no surprise to our readers that truck accidents can cause life-changing serious personal injuries, or even death, particularly those involving pedestrians. Many of these accidents can leave victims disabled for life and put them out of work. However, the extent of the severity of some truck accidents can still be extremely shocking.

One in particular, reported by CBS, was extremely dreadful to read. In the city of Northlake, Illinois, an 89-year-old man was struck and killed by a semi-truck. According to the report, his body was dragged over three miles before it was discovered in the undercarriage of the truck by the truck driver near Grand Avenue and Garnet Drive.

In preliminary studies, investigators reported that they believe the man was struck by a truck while trying to cross a busy intersection at Mannheim Road and Armitage Avenue after getting off at his bus stop. He died of multiple injuries after being struck by the semi. The medical examiner’s office has ruled his death an accident. As of now, the truck driver has not been charged, but the truck accident remains under investigation.

Our lawyers understand the difficulties that victims and families go through after pedestrian accidents. We have handled many cases involving pedestrians who have been struck by trucks and motor vehicles, and have recovered fair and just settlements for victims and their families. In one such case we obtained a $10 million settlement for a young boy who was run over by a truck while playing by a fire hydrant and suffered the loss of his leg and half of his pelvis as a result.

If you or someone in your family has suffered injuries as the result of a pedestrian accident, it is important to seek legal representation to be compensated for your injuries, suffering, and financial losses. A personal injury lawsuit allows victims to hold negligent wrongdoers for the harms caused to you that would not have happened but for their negligence. While the court understands that some injuries are irreparable, court monetary awards aim both to put the plaintiff back into the position they were before the accident and to set a legal example so that such accidents will be prevented in the future. Our attorneys are passionate and work hard to represent innocent victims and to use the law as a vehicle of preventing future harms to others. If you or a loved one has suffered from a pedestrian accident, you can contact our attorneys for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.

February 25, 2014

Illinois State Trooper Crashes Into Tanker Truck on Icy Roads

by Levin & Perconti

As our frequent readers are aware, we have talked in the past about the importance of driver safety around emergency vehicles and laws to keep our Illinois emergency responders safe. However, on the flipside, it is also important that our emergency responders also practice safe driving. If our emergency responders are not safe drivers, they cannot do the best at their job to keep others safe on the roads either. All drivers have a legal duty when they get behind the wheel of a car to not be the cause of injury to others.

According to recent reports by CBS, an Illinois State Trooper crashed into a parked tanker truck on I-355. Reports state that his squad car spun out on the icy roads and struck a tanker truck that was parked on the righthand shoulder. The trooper said that he lost control due to the high winds and slippery road conditions. Fortunately, neither he nor the truck driver suffered any serious injuries from the collision.

While it is unclear from this report whether the trooper was negligent and failed to use proper caution, our attorneys stress the importance for all drivers to practice safety on the roads, especially when severe weather affects road conditions. According to the organization Pursuit Safety, accidents that occur as a result of police vehicles on chases or response calls kill on average one person per day. These same crashes often kill officers too, with an average of one police officer death every six weeks. Furthermore, innocent bystanders (those who were in the same path of the police response or chase) comprise 42% of victims killed or injured in these accidents. It is every 1 out of 100 of police chases or response calls that result in a death.

Our Chicago accident attorneys fight for the rights of all types of victims, in all types of injury, accident and medical malpractice matters. It is our mission to advocate for those who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones at the hands of another’s negligence while holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions. We also aim to set legal examples through our verdicts and settlements to draw attention to the issues and hopefully prevent future acts of negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident that you believe is the fault of another, you may have a legal claim. Contact our firm today for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you obtain compensation for your losses.

February 14, 2014

Semi-Truck and Automobile Collide in Deadly Crash in Springfield

by Levin & Perconti

I think we can all agree that this Chicago winter seems to be never-ending. What’s worse, is that the weather conditions have been especially treacherous for drivers. Every day the news is filled with reports about snowy or icy conditions causing serious personal injuries or deaths to Illinois drivers and passengers.

Recent reports by WICS in Springfield and Decatur bring more unfortunate news of winter related car accidents. Images showing the snowy and icy landscape also show images of wrecked vehicles and debris-filled roads. Last week, a car and a semi-truck collided in a fatal crash at the intersection of South Grand Avenue and Dirksen Parkway in Springfield. Police reported that the car was driving eastbound when it was struck by the semi-truck in the intersection, killing a passenger in the car. Further investigations are still being done to determine the overall causes of this collision.

In all types of weather conditions, but especially during the winter months, it is imperative for drivers to employ safe driving practices and abide by their legal duty to not pose dangers to others on the roads. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has several key pieces of advice for winter drivers on its website that are good reminders for everyone living in Illinois.

First, be prepared for winter. Make sure your car is in its best condition by making sure it has working parts, paying attention to any mechanical issues before weather sets in, and checking on the battery. Keep emergency materials and supplies on hand in your car, including jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, and warning devices like flares. Keep your phone charged and with you in case you need to call for help in an emergency situation. If you must drive during severe weather, have your route planned, and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. In addition to being prepared, you must also take all measures to protect yourself and your passengers. Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt. Put children in appropriate child protective car seats. Finally, use caution and safe driving practices to prevent motor vehicle accidents. Decrease your speed and keep a longer following distance than usual between you and cars in front of you. In icy conditions, it takes longer to come to a stop and to avoid rear-ending another car. Lastly, never drink and drive, and always have enough rest before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Our lawyers care about the safety of members of the community and stress that everyone be as safe as possible on the roads. Unfortunately, we understand that we cannot control the negligence of others on the road, but we believe you should not have to suffer as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing and lack of caring for the well-being of others. Motor vehicle accidents can result in serious personal injuries, which are costly to victims and families, especially in regards to medical bills and lost wages from time away from work. We may be able to help you recover your financial losses by filing a lawsuit to help you obtain compensation. Call us for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you recover your financial losses.

February 12, 2014

Antioch Pickup Truck Crash Results in Fatality and Personal Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Our attorneys are always saddened to hear of fatal truck and car crashes in Illinois. It is unfortunate that these accidents are so frequently in the news. This news hits close to home, as this could easily happen to a friend, family member, or neighbor. It is because of this that we advocate for victims and their families in hopes that future accidents may be prevented.

Recent news by the Chicago Tribune has relayed that one individual died and two others were injured in a crash in Antioch, Illinois. A pickup truck and a van collided near Illinois Highway 173 and Eagle Ridge Drive, according to the Antioch police. The van, which was headed west, and the eastbound truck collided. As a result of the collision, the pickup truck rolled over. The two individuals in the van suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and the man in the pickup truck died from the crash. As of right now, authorities are still investigating the cause of this accident.

Rollover crashes, such as the one that occurred here, are extremely dangerous and deadly to drivers and passengers. Safecar.gov explains some noteworthy facts and safety tips regarding rollover crashes. First, tall and narrow vehicles, like SUVs and pickup trucks, are more likely to roll over than other motor vehicles. Because these vehicles have high centers of gravity, they are more likely to roll over. Second, rollover crashes can be avoided and are less likely to occur when drivers reduce their speeds and obey speed limits. Fatal rollover crashes are more commonly caused by speed than fatal non-rollover crashes. Approximately 40% of fatal rollover crashes involved traveling at excessive speeds. Also, 75% of these deadly rollover crashes occurred in places where the speed limit was 55 mph or higher. Third, these types of crashes are especially dangerous and a significant cause for fatalities. Rollover crashes account for 33% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities nationwide.

It is unclear whether negligence played a role in the above-mentioned accident or whether either driver bore the fault. Investigations are still underway to determine the ultimate cause of this motor vehicle accident. We will be sure to stay on top of this news and report when and if this is known. Even though it is not known whether either or both driver’s negligence was the cause in this accident, we wish to stress that all drivers on the road have a legal responsibility to be safe drivers and keep others free from injuries and death that can be prevented by being cautious and abiding by the rules of the road. When drivers are negligent, they are not only putting themselves in danger but all others on the road. If an accident and injuries result from this reckless behavior, the negligent driver is legally seen as breaching a duty of care to others and the cause of the collision. If your or someone in your family has been involved in an accident where another party was not cautious and was the cause of putting you in danger, you may have a legal claim in which you can hold that driver accountable. If you call our firm for a free consultation, we would be happy to discuss your case with you and help you decide if a lawsuit is right for you.

February 5, 2014

Illinois Man Dies in Collision With Semi

by Levin & Perconti

While it is always unfortunate to hear of deaths from motor vehicle accidents, it is much more real when such an accident occurs close to home. People’s first reaction is usually to question whether they knew anyone involved or affected by the incident. As our firm is located in Chicago and serves families and victims all throughout Illinois, we know this feeling is common. That is why our attorneys work hard to advocate for those who have suffered losses as a result of negligence in order to hold wrongdoers accountable and to set a legal example to prevent future Illinois citizens from suffering personal injuries and their families from grieving.

Recently an Illinois man died after a collision with a semi-truck. According to Lakeshore Public Media, the victim died as a result of a collision near Chicago. Police reported that the victim, from South Holland, was driving west at a high speed on I-80/94 at the I-65 overpass when he struck the rear of a moving semi-truck. The collision caused the victim to become trapped in his vehicle and police indicated that alcohol may have been a factor in this accident.

As you can see from this example, as well as the others on our blog, it is imperative to use safe driving practices on interstates and roads, not only to oblige by a legal duty to keep others on the road safe, but also to protect our own lives and safety as well. Our attorneys once again remind readers to never get behind the wheel after becoming impaired from alcohol. In this particular incident, it appears as though the accident was caused by no fault of the truck driver.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a study from Michigan State University states that the average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. Many people in a night out have more than this and that means we are taking in alcohol faster than our body is absorbing and metabolizing it. Despite widespread campaigns to warn people about the dangers of drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving also reported on a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which stated that adults drive drunk 112 million times per year. That means there is an average of 300,000 drunk drivers each day. Because these drivers put themselves and others at danger, an average of 28 people die every day from drunk driving crashes, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Our attorneys take a firm stance against drinking and driving and believe no inconvenience is worth risking your life or the lives of those with whom you share the road. Deaths from drinking and driving are always preventable because no one has to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to take action through our court system to seek compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact our firm for a free consultation, and we can help you determine if a lawsuit may be right for you.

February 3, 2014

Illinois Senator Durbin Calls for Increased Oversight After I-88 Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Last week’s fatal crash on I-88 in Aurora Illinois had everyone in shock, and the troubling collision still has citizens, media, and lawmakers trying to grasp what could have been done differently. Our attorneys deeply empathize with the families of the victims involved and advocate for the law to compensate those who have suffered and for the law to deter and prevent future truck accidents. This includes a change in the law if it means protecting citizens and preventing future accidents.

The collision, which claimed the life of a Illinois Tollway worker and critically injured an Illinois police officer, has Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin calling for a closer oversight of truckers. The emergency responders were assisting a motorist when they were struck by an oncoming semi-truck. According to an article from rrstar.com, Senator Durbin has urged regulators to not stop investigations and to delve deeper into the cause of the I-88 crash.

According to the same article, the semi-truck driver who struck the two victims was behind the wheel of his truck for more than 35 hours and had only rested for four hours prior to the accident. Upon analyzing this case, the driver’s lack of sleep and driving time violates the federal rules for truck drivers. This is why Senator Durbin has sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for their help in investigating this crash and has requested that the agency be stricter in upholding rules on maximum work hours.

Our attorneys have represented injured victims in truck accident lawsuits for over 20 years, and closely monitor changes in the law to provide the best representation to our clients. Our lawyers support any new legislation that makes our roads safer and reduces the number of accidents caused by sleep deprived motorists and truck drivers. We remind our readers that anyone who gets behind the wheel has a duty to keep others on the road safe from injuries or death. Where a driver fails to drive safely or use caution, such as when driving without enough sleep, they are negligently putting others at danger, and whereupon others become injured due to a driver’s negligence, the driver can be held liable for injuries, financial losses, or even the death of another individual. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may have a legal cause of action. Call our firm for a free consultation, and we would be happy to assist you in deciding if you have a claim and if a lawsuit is the best course of action for you.

January 31, 2014

I-57 Truck Accident Results in Fatality

by Levin & Perconti

As you have seen in the news, winter weather has made our roads more slippery and dangerous for drivers and more prone to accidents. However, it is not only residents of Chicago who must battle these poor road conditions, but central Illinois and downstate motorists are faced with these challenges as well. According to the Daily-Journal, a Kankakee man was recently killed in a truck accident when he crashed at mile marker 313 on Interstate 57. According to Illinois State Police, the truck driver lost control of his semi-trailer and entered onto the center median. Reports stated that the truck travelled approximately a quarter of a mile in the median and then collided with a concrete wall. The trailer then landed on top of the cab, killing the driver. Illinois State Police are still investigating all causes of the accident.

Whether poor road conditions, unsafe driving, or distractions came into play here is currently unknown. However, regardless of the certain cause, our lawyers stress that drivers should always be using safe driving practices in winter weather and devoting their complete attention and focus to the road.

According to Yahoo! News, American Trucking Associations has offered some advice from truck drivers for safe driving in winter weather. First, it is important for truck drivers to know their route ahead of time. Map out the route. By doing so, a driver is prepared and will know potential exits if he/she needs to get off of the highway. Second, if possible, avoid the winter weather conditions, and if you must be in them, try to drive as much as possible during the day in order to have best visibility. Third, always remove residual snow and ice from your truck. This will give you the best visibility and decrease hazards for those behind you. This will also prevent additional blind spots from forming while you drive. Fourth, slow down when driving in icy and snowy conditions to allow yourself the most space to make the stops you need. When the roads are slippery, a truck will require more distance and time to stop than normal.

Our attorneys stress the importance of highway safety because injuries from truck collisions can be life-altering or fatal. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to hold another party liable for negligence. Serious accidents can leave families in financial hardship from medical bills, lost wages, or funeral costs, so it is important to take legal action to recover compensation for your losses. Our firm has been experienced in truck accident lawsuits for over 20 years. Call us today, and we would be happy to hear your case in a free consultation.

January 30, 2014

Semi-Driver From I-88 Crash in Aurora Had Been Working Over 36 Hours

by Levin & Perconti

In our previous article, we discussed the unfortunate death and injury of two Illinois emergency responders. However, while our firm empathizes with these grieving families, to be the most experienced and educated Chicago accident attorneys, we fully believe in looking at all sides of the legal equation. By doing so, we can observe and analyze the underlying problems which lead to these tragic accidents and how we can shape the law as attorneys through precedent to prevent future accidents and save victims’ lives.

That is why we feel it is important to address an additional article that has brought forth new facts surrounding that tragic Interstate 88 accident in Aurora. According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, the truck driver who struck the Illinois Tollway Employee and Illinois State Police Officer had been working for over 36 hours with only 3 ½ hours of sleep. In that day alone, the driver had been in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois on assignments. Even though the emergency responders had their flashers on, this driver reported that he did not see the vehicles stopped at the side of the interstate.

As we have discussed before, distracted driving, such as driving when tired, does not allow drivers to employ the caution they are legally required to use to keep others on the road safe. When workers are sleep-deprived and not provided with enough rest breaks from their employers, they cannot devote the focus and attention to safety that is legally required of them on the road. Here, the individual had allegedly worked for over 36 hours straight. That is over a day without a break. With so little sleep and such a great amount of work, this person may have not had the ability to focus on his driving as needed.

Because this person may have not been allowed breaks and was put on too long of a shift, it may be important to analyze the tort theory of “respondeat superior.” This is a legal theory in which an employer is legally responsible for the tort actions (such as personal injury or wrongful death) of its employees. Under this theory, if the families of the victims decide to pursue a lawsuit, they would include the employer as a party with the defendants as well as the driver.

At our firm, our attorneys are well versed in the theory of “respondeat superior,” as well as many other areas. We have over 20 years of experience in personal injury, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, and many other areas that include negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence, you can trust your case in the empathetic and experienced hands of our attorneys. Call our firm for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you determine if you have a legal cause of action.

January 29, 2014

Illinois Tollway Employee Killed in Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our attorneys sympathize with families who suffer from the loss of a loved one due to highway accidents. When these accidents occur, not only one life is changed by reaching its end too soon, but spouses may be separated by death, and children may lose their parent and role model. It is tragedies and suffering like these that our Chicago attorneys hope to prevent from happening to others when we take legal action on behalf of victims’ families.

According to an article from NBC Chicago, a crash on Interstate 88 along Eola Road in the Chicago suburb of Aurora seriously injured an Illinois State Police Trooper and killed an Illinois Tollway employee. The two victims were assisting a driver whose tractor trailer was disabled when they were struck by another oncoming tractor trailer. Flames engulfed all of the involved vehicles. According to a different article by the Daily Herald, a spokesperson for the Illinois State Police said that the truck driver who caused the crash is currently in custody.

Emergency responders should not have to be put in more danger than their job already entails, which is why Illinois has laws in place to protect these individuals. It is important to consider Scott’s Law in a crash like this. This law was passed to protect emergency responders while they are on duty. According to the Illinois State University Police, the law states that when a driver is approaching an emergency vehicle, such as a police car that is pulled over to the shoulder or an oncoming ambulance, drivers must yield and/or pull to the side of the road to let the vehicle through. A law such as this is meant to protect our emergency responders. When wrongdoers choose to violate the law, at least justice will be served since such a law exists.

First responders, like these two men, are consistently putting themselves in the faces of danger to help others in need. Our attorneys feel it is truly unfortunate that in their acts of selflessness they have been killed and critically injured. It is unjust that those who dedicate their work to helping others, and their families, must suffer in this way. Our firm believes in upholding Scott’s Law and advocating for our emergency responders and their families. If you, or a loved one, have been a victim of another driver violating Scott’s Law and putting our emergency responders in danger, you can call our Chicago accident firm for help. In a free consultation, we can discuss your case and decide what the best course of action is for you. We have over 20 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death, and would be happy to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

January 15, 2014

Deadly Semi Crash Claims a Life

by Levin & Perconti

Collisions with semi-trucks often result in motorists suffering significant personal injuries or even death. Factors that make these accidents so dangerous and fatal are due to the fact that these collisions often occur on highways where trucks and cars are driving at much faster speeds, and due to the fact that semi-trucks are much larger in both size and weight. Combining fast speeds with large size and weight, makes for a much more dangerous accident than typical motor vehicle accidents between passenger vehicles.

Last week, a collision with a semi-truck caused the death of a woman from Princeton, Illinois, according to the Star Courier. The victim was a passenger in a car driving on Route 40 near Manlius, Illinois when the car in which she was riding collided with semi-truck. The Bureau County Coroner pronounced the woman dead at the scene of the accident. The preliminary accident report indicated that the victim’s vehicle was travelling eastbound on 1745 North Avenue, and the semi was driving northbound on Route 40. The car entered the intersection and stopped in the path of the semi-truck. The driver of the semi said he tried to avoid hitting the car but could not do so in time. Another nearby car also had to steer around the victim’s car to avoid a collision as well. This accident remains under investigation by the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department and coroner’s office and by the Illinois State Police.

When drivers take to the roads, they should not only be worried about their own well-being but legally have a duty to maintain safe driving conditions for others on the road, including passengers in their own car. Where a driver acts recklessly or without caution, they create danger on the road and higher probability for car accidents. Thus, the driver in this situation was not acting in a safe manner by stopping in the path of the oncoming semi-truck. But for her negligence, these dangers would not have existed, and the collision and resulting death would not have occurred. It is this recklessness and lack of caution that is the cause of the accident at issue. Since the driver could potentially be pointed to as the cause of the accident due to her negligence, she could be held liable for the wrongful death of the victim.

Our firm both understands and empathizes with those who are victims of collisions due to the reckless behavior of others. If you or a loved one has been injured as a passenger while another was driving, you may be able to hold that driver liable for their negligence. Our firm has been helping victims of motor vehicle accidents obtain compensation and justice for their injuries since 1992, and would be happy to evaluate your potential cause of action and discuss your legal rights with you. Please call us for a free consultation, and we can help you determine if you have a legal cause of action against a negligent driver.

January 13, 2014

Drunk Truck Driver’s Accident Costs Chicago $16 Million in Settlement

by Levin & Perconti

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the city of Chicago must pay $16 million to compensate the victims of an accident from 2011 in which a drunk city laborer plowed a city truck into a crowd of pedestrians walking along the sidewalk in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Last week a $7.4 million settlement was announced for the most seriously injured victim who shoved aside a stroller with a baby inside just a second before the truck jumped the curb and ran down the crowd of people. The driver had a blood-alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit of .08 and an open bottle of liquor inside the city-owned truck. In criminal court, the driver pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Our attorneys represented another one of the victims of this accident, a 27-year-old man who suffered multiple serious injuries in the accident. In September, a Cook County jury awarded him a $2.4 million verdict. At trial, he was represented by attorneys Susan Novosad and Jordan Powell from our office. Our suit alleged at the driver was operating his vehicle under the influence and that the City of Chicago assumed vicarious liability for the driver’s actions because he was a city employee. At the time of this accident in 2011, the city of Chicago did not require random alcohol and drug tests for drivers, unless they held commercial drivers licenses. This driver was sanitation worker and only assigned to garbage cans and debris, so he had not undergone the tests. However, after the crash, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered for tightened supervision to prevent future accidents.

Employers, in this case the city of Chicago, are liable for the negligent and tortious actions of their employees. When an employer hires an individual, they assume responsibility for the actions and harms that an employee may cause while working for and representing the employer. In this case at hand, because the driver was on the job and using a city truck, he was under the supervision of his employer, the city of Chicago. Where an employer is legally liable for the actions of an employee who has been negligent and reckless and caused injuries to others, is called “respondeat superior.” The reasoning behind this legal terminology is that an employee is an agent for the employer and has been authorized and entrusted by the employer to act. Where facts show that an employer-employee relationship exists (here, the driver was on the job using a city truck), an employer can be held responsible for injuries caused by the employee while in the course of employment.

As the example above shows, our lawyers have experience handling all types of personal injury lawsuits and are not afraid to take our clients’ cases to trail to recover fair and reasonable compensation for the harms caused to them by the negligence of others. If you or a loved one suffered serious or life-changing injuries due to someone acting carelessly while on the job, you may have a legal claim. With over 20 years of experience, our lawyers would be happy to hear your case in a free consultation and help you determine if you have a legal cause of action.

January 10, 2014

Car and Pickup Truck Collide in Winter Weather Crash in Peru, IL

by Levin & Perconti

The recent bout of winter weather has posed some serious risks for drivers, creating icy and snowy road conditions. Sometimes these dangers are not easily seen and cannot be quickly reacted to, especially on highways surrounded by open countryside. It is imperative that all drivers are responsible and use caution to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road and to prevent accidents.

This past Monday, according to the News Tribune, a car and a pickup truck were involved in a collision amongst the snowy road conditions along Route 251 north in Peru, Illinois. The car spun out on the snow and ice covered road and then struck the pickup truck. One victim sustained multiple injuries after she was thrown from the window of her car along. After going into a ditch, the driver of the pickup became trapped in his vehicle, requiring firefighters to use extrication equipment to open the door and free him from the crash.

During winter and while driving on the highways, it is imperative that all drivers employ cautious driving behavior. According to The Weather Channel, if you are unfamiliar with driving in snow, it can be helpful to first practice. Try finding an open parking lot, so you can become more familiar with snowy roads and how to handle your car in these conditions. You can also consult the owner’s manual of your vehicle for the best guidance on how your car handles the snow and ice. When driving on icy roads, it is important to driver much slower than usual and to increase your following distance between vehicles. When roads are slippery, it takes longer to stop, so you should give yourself three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you to avoid a rear-end collision. Furthermore, be especially cautious on bridges and open or infrequently traveled roads, because these areas freeze first and have the iciest conditions.

Our Chicago accident firm also urges all drivers to use caution, especially in these slippery road conditions in winter. Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious damage to both vehicles and drivers, leading to costly repairs and injuries that often require rehabilitation and time away from work. As drivers, we all share a responsibility to make our highways a safe driving environment for everyone. When sharing the roads, we have a legal duty to be cautious and not drive recklessly or carelessly. If you have been seriously injured in an accident where someone was not using caution, you may be able to hold this person accountable for negligence. Our firm has been assisting victims of car accidents for over 20 years, and we would be glad to hear from you in a free consultation to determine if you have a legal cause of action and if we can use our experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

January 7, 2014

Truck Crash Kills Illinois Teenager

by Levin & Perconti

While all motor vehicle accidents are unfortunate, our lawyers are especially saddened when a collision takes the life of a child or teenager. These individuals would have had their whole lives ahead of them to live and opportunities to seize as they grow into adults. Unfortunately, lives are often cut short way too soon due to the negligence of other drivers on the road.

This past Tuesday, an Illinois family had to suffer the loss of a young loved one. In the morning of January 7th, a pickup truck skidded off the blacktop road and turned on its side and partially ejected an 18-year-old passenger victim from the vehicle, according to the CarmiTimes. The coroner pronounced this victim dead at the scene.

The driver has been jailed in connection with the crash, pending formal charges. The preliminary charges are DUI, illegal consumption by a minor (the driver is 20 years old), driving with a suspended license, unlawful sale/gift/delivery of alcohol to a person under the age of 21, and obstructing a police officer. This is not the first time the driver was cited for such violations.

According to the 2013 Illinois DUI Fact Book published by the Illinois Secretary of State, “driving under the influence” is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Impaired drivers unfortunately contribute to a large number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. In 2011, 323 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, which was 35% of the 918 total crash fatalities.

Driving under the influence is not only negligent, as it carelessly and recklessly endangers the life and safety of others on the road, but it is criminal. It is illegal to drive after consuming an amount of alcohol that places one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08. This is the number at which a person is considered intoxicated. Consuming alcohol at or above this amount impairs one’s ability to function well and react normally, especially when behind the wheel of a car. Furthermore, the legal age for consuming alcohol is 21 throughout the U.S., and drinking underage is an endangerment to the individual and others, especially behind the wheel. The Illinois Secretary of State also notes that the average DUI offender is arrested between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on weekends and is caught driving with a BAC of .16, which is twice the legal limit. It takes the body about one hour to metabolize one alcoholic drink and approximately 3 drinks in one hour places a person at .08. This means that the average DUI offenders gets behind the wheel after having an average of 6 or more drinks per hour, and although most reasonable adults would see the dangers in this, DUI accidents continue to claim the lives of thousands each year.

When a driver is so careless as to allow their behavior to harm others, our firm stands as an advocate for victims and their families. Our Chicago accident attorneys have been aiding victims in obtaining compensation for their injuries and financial and emotional losses since 1992. Contact our firm for a free consultation, and we can discuss your case with you and determine if you can hold another liable for their negligence.

January 1, 2014

Greater Chicago Area Semi-Truck Collision Results in Fire and Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

This New Year’s Eve saw some extreme winter weather in Illinois, including significant snowfall the continued throughout New Year’s Day. As a result, the roads, especially interstates, consisted of very treacherous driving conditions, which posed a strong likelihood for motor vehicle collisions.

ABC 7 reported that on New Year’s Eve, three semi-trucks collided on Interstate 65. Upon collision, two of the semis caught on fire. The collision and resulting fire left two victims with personal injuries. Then, an hour and a half after the collision, while firefighters and emergency responders were still attending to the scene and clearing away debris, one of the semis burst into flames. The police did not know the precise cause of the crash and needed to delve into further investigation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 vehicle fires per year nationally from 2006-2010. Vehicle fires caused an average of 209 deaths and 764 injuries. This is an average of 17 vehicle fires per hour, which killed an average of four people per week.

Accidents that result in fires can be even more dangerous than a typical collision. Victims of the accident and emergency responders are exposed to more dangers than the already existing road conditions, the initial collision’s dangers, and debris. Fire can be a cause of grave injuries, such as severe burns. The fire itself can be hard to contain as well once it ignites and can spread to the surrounding landscape and other motor vehicles involved in the collisions, since most vehicles run on fuel, which is extremely flammable. Because gas and oil are combustible fuels, vehicle fires are incredibly dangerous.

The National Safety Council offers advice on vehicle fire safety. If you find yourself in or near a vehicle that is on fire, make sure to keep yourself as safe as possible. If you are driving a vehicle and notice smoke, pull over to the side of the road, and get yourself and other passengers out of the vehicle as quickly and safely as possible. Then, call 911 to report your emergency and get away from the vehicle. Also, due to the high flammability of fuel in your car, do not try to put out the fire yourself. The fuels in your car are prone to explosion when lit on fire. Professional emergency responders are the only ones who should tend to this fire, as they have the training and experience to control such fires. Furthermore, any inhalation of these fumes can be extremely hazardous, and can even cause death.

If you have been a victim of a collision and vehicle fire caused by the negligence of another driver, our accident attorneys understand the financial and emotional hardship that your personal injuries have caused. Our firm has been providing legal aid to victims of motor vehicle crashes since 1992. Call us for a free consultation, and we can determine from this experience what the best course of legal action is for you. Our attorneys can discuss your case with you and options available, as well as work with other parties involved to make sure all needs are handled and justice is served.

December 31, 2013

Suburban Chicago Semi-Truck Crash Leaves One Injured

by Levin & Perconti

Last week, in Yorkville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, multi-vehicle crash occurred resulting in personal injuries to one victim involved. The vehicles involved included several pickup trucks and one semi-truck, according to ABC 7. The accident occurred along Illinois Route 47.

The Illinois State Police determined that the driver of one of the pickup trucks caused the accident by running a stop sign. The pickup truck was “t-boned” by the semi-truck, which resulted in another pickup truck crashing. Additionally, due to harsh winter conditions, freezing fog was covering the area at the time. This created low visibility. State and local officials are still investigating the accident.

Because fog adds low visibility to the already slippery winter roads, accidents are more prone to occur. The Weather Channel reported on data analyzed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration from 1995 – 2008. Every year in the United States, there are 1.5 million weather-related vehicle crashes, such as those from wet, snowy, or icy roads. However, fog plays a major factor in motor vehicle accidents. Every year, fog causes an average of 38,000 of these crashes. Of these 38,000 crashes, 15,600 individuals are injured and 600 people die due to fog-related crashes. The Weather Channel puts this into perspective by explaining that fog-related accidents claim more lives each year on average than the death toll from 2011’s most destructive tornadoes (553 deaths). Therefore, fog is especially dangerous for those on the roads, especially when negligent and reckless behaviors come into play. According to the same article, the American Automobile Association reported that most fog-related accidents resulted from drivers who knew the road very well but were driving too fast and speeding. Driving too fast results in drivers having to make sudden stops and follow too closely, which if done in foggy conditions, are difficult to do safely and without collision.

Winter weather, particularly fog, creates especially hazardous driving conditions. Such conditions require extra caution from drivers. When drivers lack this caution and are negligent, accidents are even more likely to occur when there is such low visibility and slippery road conditions. That is why it is imperative that drivers use caution on the road. Drivers should reduce their speed, avoid sudden stops, and keep a longer following distance between cars than usual.

If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident where a driver has not exercised the needed caution in foggy conditions, you may have a case against that driver for their negligence and your resulting personal injuries and hardship. At our firm, our Chicago accident attorneys have a combined 130 years of personal injury litigation experience and knowledge. With this talent and dedication to clients, our firm has continually achieved verdicts and settlements in the multimillions for clients’ personal injury cases. Call our firm for a free consultation, and we can help you determine the best course of legal action for you to take.

December 20, 2013

Three-Semi Crash Closes Eastbound I-80/94

by Levin & Perconti

According to CBS Chicago, the Chicagoland border experienced a three-semi crash on Interstate 80-94 on December 11th. This accident resulted in closure of all eastbound lanes right before the morning commute to downtown Chicago. The police believe it was due to slippery winter road conditions that the semi collision occurred. The police elaborated that driving too fast in snowy winter conditions can cause accidents such as these.

Accidents increase not only as a result of poor conditions and negligent driving in winter, but due to traffic congestion as well. That means that not only can injuries be a result of the initial accident at hand, but due to road closures that create traffic congestion as a result of the accident. Where there is a road closure, traffic congestion occurs as a result of increased use of the road and rerouting all traffic to a different road in a sort of spillover effect. When rerouting, traffic experiences slower speeds (and especially slower ones in winter) and longer trip times (such as in a morning commute, like this specific accident). Additionally, Chicago’s Interstate 290 at the Circle Interchange was ranked as the most congested highway in the United States, according to a 2010 study of freight congestion by the Department of Transportation. The average truck speed was 29 mph. Chicago’s I-90 at I-94 North ranked as number 8 of 20 total ranked highways.

Winter conditions on two of the country’s most congested highways means that drivers should be especially cautious. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time on your commute to get to your destination. Always buckle up, and do not use a handheld mobile device while driving in extreme congestion. Avoid driving at fast speeds and leave distance between yourself and other cars, especially in dangerous winter conditions.

If you have been in an accident on the Chicago highways, our experienced attorneys are here to help. In the past, our firm has advocated for plaintiffs and achieved million dollar accident settlements. Our clients have been satisfied with our representation and quoted as saying that the attorneys have been professional as well as caring and thoughtful. Our firm empathizes with your hardship and can use our experience to advocate for you and the hardships you have suffered as a result of your personal injuries. Call us for a consultation.

December 19, 2013

Four Cars Crash Into a Jackknifed Semi on I-88

by Levin & Perconti

Semi crashes on Illinois interstates pose great risk for serious personal injuries and even fatalities. The greater Chicago area interstates experience a lot of heavy traffic ranging from tourism, business, and commuting, and much of the business in Chicago involves the carrying of various cargo to and from the city on semi-trucks on the interstate.

On December 13th, a five vehicle crash occurred involving a semi truck that was “jackknifed” on Interstate 88 in the Chicago suburb Downers Grove. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that this five-vehicle crash occurred on westbound I-88 at the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) interchange. The cause of the crash is yet to be determined, but the Illinois State Police said that they believe slick road conditions probably played a part in the collision.

The Department of Transportation defines a large truck as one with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation, from 2000 – 2009, we experienced a total of 44,544 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses. That’s an average of 4454 deathly crashes per year on U.S. roads. This large number exemplifies how serious and danger accidents involving large motor vehicles are.

Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in handling cases involving trucking accidents. For instance, in the past, our firm advocated the family of a woman who was killed when their pick-up was rear-ended by a semi-truck in the case R.C. v. Geils Farms et al. Our firm successfully proved negligence and recklessness of the defendant, and the court awarded $6.5 million in favor of the plaintiff. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, our firm will apply this same knowledge and experience to advocate for you. Contact us for a free consultation.

December 12, 2013

30 Car Pile-Up Shuts Down Major Chicago Highway in Semi Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Ever read about a major accident that has impacted and caused injury to what seems to be countless people? Ever wondered how a survivor of a major crash was able to defend their rights when they were part of such a numerous group? Some recent accident survivors might be wondering just the same.

Recently, those traveling between Chicago and Milwaukee faced real danger amid severe winter weather. According to the Epoch Times, on December 8th, a crash on I-94 resulted in a 30 car pile-up. As a result of the crash, all lanes were blocked on I-94 eastbound. This resulted in traffic authorities completely shutting down this major interstate all the way from Milwaukee to Chicago. To gain a perspective about how significantly large this area was that was shut down, Milwaukee is 92 miles north of Chicago. It takes the average person about an hour and a half to drive from one city to the other.

As a result of such a large crash, 50 plus people were injured. The pile-up was impacted so many that buses had to be dispatched to rescue those stranded amongst the winter weather on the interstate. The Illinois Department of Transportation had to send hundreds of workers to clear the interstate.

When a chain reaction and pile-up accident occurs, it affects many people. For those involved in a crash, especially one of this size, the anxiety and stress of the situation understandably makes everything feel as though it happened in a blur. It may be hard for victims to pinpoint what happened and when, what the cause of the collision was, and who bore the fault, especially while they are recovering from serious injuries. That is why when you have suffered personal injuries due to the negligence of others, it is important to seek the help of an attorney. Our Chicago accident attorneys are experienced with handling large impact collisions and can help you navigate the legal system to obtain the compensation you deserve for your hardship. No victim deserves to get lost in the aftermath of a major accident or suffer more than they have. Attorneys like ours are familiar with negligence and have successfully handled previous motor vehicle accidents. Call for a free consultation.

November 23, 2013

Illinois Motorist Killed After Walking Across Interstate 270

by Levin & Perconti

News Democrat recently reported that a man was struck and killed on Friday when he was running across Interstate 270, just east of Illinois 157. According to an Illinois State Police spokesman, a car collided with a semi tractor-trailer at about 6:20am, causing minimal damage to both vehicles. The driver of the car proceeded to pull off the interstate onto the left shoulder while the driver of the semi pulled onto the right shoulder. The driver of the car then tried to check on the semi truck driver and ran across the interstate where he was struck by a pick-up truck.

The man was fatally injured and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Madison County Coroner’s Office. The police spokesman stated, “There’s a slight rise there in the road and it appears that he couldn’t see oncoming traffic.” He said the driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured and no citations would be issued in relation to the accident. Interstate traffic was reportedly diverted onto Illinois 157 for more than three hours after the accident.

Though it is not stated who was specifically the cause of either accident, an obvious factor that played a part in the death of the car driver was his decision to attempt to walk across the interstate. Pedestrian accidents on interstate highways are actually quite common; according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, more than ten percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on highways. The most common reason for pedestrians to be on the highway is when they find a need to walk across it, as seen in the above accident when the car driver walked across the interstate to check on the semi truck driver. Given the speed of other vehicles on the roadway, many motorists don’t even see these pedestrians until it is too late.

Other causes of pedestrian fatalities on interstates involve pedestrians walking in the roadway at night, walking or standing on the road shoulder, attempting to fix mechanical problems with their vehicle, and finally, tending to a previous accident.
Though pedestrians do need to use an appropriate level of care to protect themselves on highways, there are many instances in which pedestrians are injured or killed due to a negligent motorist. These motorists include individuals who drive over the speed limit, drink and drive, use their cellular phones while driving, or drive while fatigued. In these instances, pedestrians or their families may be able to receive legal compensation for injuries sustained as the result of an accident. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent driver, our truck accident lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

November 19, 2013

Police Charge Pick-Up Truck Driver with Drunk Driving in Skokie

by Levin & Perconti

A large number of drivers transporting large commercial vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor/trailers, or pick-up trucks travel on Illinois roadways each day, and much is expected of these drivers in order for them to reach their destinations quickly and safely. Because larger vehicles are more difficult maneuver and can potentially become dangerous for not only the truck driver, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway, it is essential that truck drivers travel responsibly. This includes driving attentively, maintaining their vehicles, following regulations, and taking all steps necessary to remain safe behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, many drivers choose not to uphold their responsibilities and make decisions that lead to serious accidents and injury on the road. This was the case last Sunday when a Skokie man was charged with drunken driving after he allegedly ran a stop sign and struck an SUV carrying three individuals.

At about 1am, the driver, whose pick-up truck had open containers of beer inside, drove through a stop sign and struck an approaching SUV, according to Chicago Tribune. The pick-up truck T-boned the SUV with such force that the entire floor of the SUV fell from its framework. The pick-up truck continued traveling until it crashed into a nearby fence, while the SUV hit a parked car.

Our personal injury lawyers learned that authorities arrived to the scene shortly after the accident and transported the driver of the pick-up truck, driver of the SUV, and passengers of the SUV to a nearby hospital. None of these individuals’ injuries were declared as life threatening. However, the driver of the pick-up truck was found to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.17, more than double the legal limit of 0.08, according to a Commander at the scene. As a result, he was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence.

As many are aware, drinking and driving is a very serious, yet sadly common issue throughout the country. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that each year, about 310,000 people suffer injuries in alcohol-related traffic crashes, an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes, and about 300 fatalities also take place. In 2002, 51,649 people were arrested for DUI in Illinois. As stated above, some trucks can be difficult to maneuver in that they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be up to 75 feet in length. Adding alcohol into the mix can cause severe truck accidents that cause more personal injury and fatalities than many other traffic accidents.

Our attorneys want to urge every motorist to always drive safely. Taking the appropriate steps such as refraining from driving under the influence, while fatigued, and distractedly can prevent motor vehicle accidents, decrease personal injury, and ultimately save lives. In the case that you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an accident caused by a negligent motorist, please contact us to discuss your potential lawsuit.

October 29, 2013

Report Discusses Need to Freeze Maximum Size and Weight of Semi Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

The dangers associated with large trucks, including semis, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles are immense. These trucks sometimes weigh up to 80,000 pounds and account for a great number of traffic injury and death each year. Could you image increasing the size and weight of these trucks? Neither could we. Our attorneys recently read and support the ideas behind a Saferoads report regarding the need to freeze the maximum size and weight of trucks in order to increase the safety of all individuals traveling on Illinois interstates and highways.

Freezing the size and weight of large trucks is necessary because in simple terms, bigger trucks compromise safety. The heavier a truck is, the more the chances of a truck accident occurring and resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that large trucks are involved in 11% of all crash fatalities. In 2009, nearly one-quarter of occupant fatalities in passenger vehicles that had multi-vehicle collisions were the result of accidents involving large trucks. In two-vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles and large trucks, 98% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicle.

In addition to injuries and fatalities, the issue of cost is at hand. Truck related accidents cost up to $19 billion each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Fatal truck accidents create the highest costs, with an average of $3 million spent per accident. These costs include medical bills, lost wages, road damage, and other projected costs. Specifically, road damage has become a serious issue in that one legal 80,000-pound tractor-trailer truck does as much damage to road pavement as 9,600 cars. By damaging roads, large trucks further degrade highway safety and continue to add to the costs caused by trucks. With even heavier trucks, interstate highways would simply be unable to accommodate them.

Despite the list of numerous concerns, trailer lengths have continued to grow over the past few decades with some states allowing vehicles of up to 59 feet on their roadways. The number of trucks on U.S. highways has also consistently grown, even after increases in both the sizes and weights of semis. According to the release above, by an 88% majority, the American public is opposed to allowing bigger and heavier trucks on highways. We agree that this stopping this growth may prevent accidents, reduce costs, and keep all motorists safer behind the wheel.

Truck accident rates have been increasing throughout the country over the last decade. Often times, negligent drivers cause these accidents and bring life altering consequences to those involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, seeking qualified representation is critical. Our lawyers hold negligent drivers accountable for their behavior and help accident victims receive compensation for their sufferings.


October 24, 2013

Metra Train and Semi Truck Collide in Bartlett

by Levin & Perconti

Our train accident attorneys often discuss the severity of train and semi truck accidents and the serious consequences that motorists may face after an accident involving either vehicle. We recently learned of a collision involving both of these massive vehicles that witnesses described as “horrific.”

On Monday afternoon, a Metra train was traveling east toward Chicago in suburban Bartlett, according to NBC Chicago. Authorities say a semi-truck driver approaching the Western Avenue crossing thought he could make it past the tracks before the train traveled by. The train suddenly struck the semi-truck, which was carrying a load of new cars, and reportedly dragged it 100 feet east on the Milwaukee District/West line.

Police rushed to the scene to see both seriously damaged vehicles. Several cars in parking lots near the crash scene were also damaged. Witnesses who saw the aftermath of the accident said they knew the “initial bang” they heard was from a train accident. Two passengers on the train suffered minor injuries and the truck driver remained uninjured. Investigators told reporters the Western Avenue crossing is not considered high risk or high volume, but because the semi-truck driver quickly navigated across the train tracks, the collision took place as a result. Inbound and outbound service was stopped in both directions throughout the day, but service was fully operational by the next morning. Charges have not yet been filed against the semi-truck driver.

Illinois has a somewhat high number of train crossing accidents take place every year in comparison to many other states. In 2010, Illinois was the second deadliest state in train crossing fatalities out of ten states; there were a total of 27 fatalities in a 12.8 million population in Illinois. This is more than twice the number in much larger states. The FRA is currently making efforts to improve safety near railroads in Illinois and many other states with a high number of train crossing accidents that may bring injury or fatality to those involved.

Many people believe that if they ever crossed the train tracks at an inappropriate time, they would either be able to avoid the train or the train would be able to stop in time. However, most freight trains traveling at about 50 miles per hour take over a mile to stop. If there is any possibility of a train coming nearby, avoid the train tracks and do not cross them until you are sure you can do so safely.

Train crashes can cause a significant amount of harm to those involved. This includes personal injury, damage to property, or even emotional damage to passengers or witnesses and their families. Victims may be able to file a claim in civil court against negligent parties who contributed to the accident occurring. Our lawyers are here to help you learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

October 22, 2013

Illinois Lawyers Discuss Risks of Driving in Poor Weather Conditions After Semi-Trailer Accident in Normal

by Levin & Perconti

Poor weather conditions are reported to be a cause of a sudden semi-trailer accident on Interstate 55 this week. Illinois Pantagraph recently released that the semitrailer truck crashed and burned on the interstate during a severe rainstorm in Normal. The 45-year old driver was traveling north near mile-marker 161 around 2:40pm when he abruptly lost control of his vehicle. Illinois State Police say the truck jackknifed, struck the center median barrier, and then caught on fire.

Wreckage from the truck was scattered across the highway, according to the report, and flames destroyed the truck’s cab. Motorists could see a huge column of smoke from miles away and were at a standstill for almost an hour as firefighters worked to contain the fire. Firefighters from Bloomington and Normal and an Illinois Department of Transportation crew responded to the accident and helped to clear the scene. The driver was treated at a nearby medical center for what authorities say were moderate injuries, and he was later charged with driving too fast for conditions.

From the perspective of our truck accident law firm, while negligent motorists are commonly the cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways, hundreds of accidents each year are due to the uncontrollable and often times unpredictable onset of rain and poor weather conditions. These conditions certainly do not make the physical aspect of driving any easier, and also affect the manner in which we drive, whether that is excessively timid or dangerously reckless. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some information about how rain can affect driving conditions and what steps you can take to remain safe behind the wheel when they occur.

As we all know, rain makes roads slick and slippery. Rain can make it more difficult to stay on a roadway, to stop, or to avoid colliding with other vehicles. The National Weather Service states that this is especially true when it first begins to rain because roads are most slippery at the beginning of a storm. In addition, rain reduces visibility and makes it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and street signs. When rain is combined with dirty water kicked up from the road by other drivers, windshields can quickly become dirty and make it even more difficult to see.

In these conditions, it is important to drive at a safe speed. Though this tip may seem obvious, many timid drivers who travel at unreasonably low speeds in the rain may back up traffic and increase the risk of rear end accidents, and reckless drivers who disregard the dangers that come with rain drive at high speeds and can also cause collisions. Driving at a moderately safe speed and keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you can help increase your reaction times and will allow you to brake sooner if needed to avoid collisions. In regards to braking, refrain from braking too quickly; because the roads will be slippery, stopping your wheels too quickly may cause them to lose traction with the road and lead to skidding. If your vehicle does skid, remain calm and steer straight until you feel your vehicle regain traction.

Because poor weather conditions are something that every motorist will eventually have to face while driving, keeping these safety tips in mind will decrease the likelihood of an accident occurring and therefore reduce the risk of serious injury. If you have unfortunately been in an accident and suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage due to the weather, be sure to contact your insurance company right away.

The accident above was a single vehicle accident in which no additional vehicles or motorists were involved, however multivehicle crashes occur daily as a result of reckless driving behaviors. In the case that you are involved in a collision as a result of a negligent motorist, seeking qualified representation is recommended. Our attorneys represent individuals and families who have suffered because of driver carelessness and may be able to assist you with your potential lawsuit.

October 8, 2013

Illinois Attorneys Offer Safety Tips After Semi Truck Collision Causes Massive Fire on I-55

by Levin & Perconti

Interstate 55 was closed for eight hours last Tuesday after a semi truck accident resulted in a massive vehicle fire. CBS Chicago reported that the crash took place near southwest suburban Channahon last Tuesday around 6:20am. Police say a 66-year old Freightliner semi truck driver was approaching a construction zone in the southbound lanes of the interstate when he failed to stop and crashed into the back of a second semi truck, driven by a 48-year old Joliet man. This semi was then pushed into the passenger vehicle in front of it.

Soon after the accident, the Freightliner caught fire due to its load consisting of paper products, according to authorities. The drivers involved were thankfully able to make it out of their vehicles before the fire had begun. Witnesses were shocked to travel past the huge clouds of black smoke and flames that consumed the semi truck. Crews from the Channahon Fire Department rushed to the scene and put out the fire by 8:15am, although a district sergeant told reporters that the truck was still burning hours later. The driver of the Freightliner was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

From the perspective of our personal injury lawyers, although no injuries were reported in this accident, there are many ways it could have been much more severe. The consequences of any type of road accident often bring harm or suffering to those involved, including injury, medical bills, property damage, or the loss of a loved one. Vehicle fires, a common result of car and trucking accidents, are known to increase the risk of these expenses. We would like to take this opportunity to present some fire safety rules that all drivers should be aware of in the case that you experience a fire in your vehicle.

After a collision or roadway accident, vehicle fires commonly start in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can start when a vehicle is left alone in a tall, grassy area, the vehicle’s engine is still hot, or if flammable material is present in the vehicle. In the above accident, the semi truck caught on fire because it was carrying paper products. Preventing vehicle fires first requires your vehicle to be properly maintained. This includes checking the fuel lines and gas tank, being sure that all vehicle parts are properly installed, assessing electronics on a regular basis, and maintaining the vehicle’s battery. Problems with vehicle maintenance can raise the risk of a fire starting. Keeping your vehicle clutter-free and ridding of any garbage or debris inside can also help to prevent a fire from worsening if one starts. Never transport flammables or combustible liquids in the same part of the vehicle in which people ride.

Though some drivers invest in fire safety devices and resources that can be kept in a vehicle to minimize fires, many others tend to underestimate the strength of a vehicle fire. Not only are the drivers or passengers in the vehicle in danger, but surrounding cars, trucks, pedestrians, or buildings are also at risk. If your vehicle catches on fire while it is still in motion, move to the side of the road and turn off the engine. Get out of the vehicle immediately and move as far away from it as possible, while keeping yourself a safe distance away from oncoming traffic. Notify emergency services and wait for them to put out the fire; never try to put out the fire yourself, as most drivers who attempt to rid of the fire sustain more injuries than they did from the original accident.

U.S fire departments respond to 287,000 vehicle fires on average every year, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Limiting negligence and reckless driving will help to protect all motorists from roadway accidents and therefore, vehicle fires. If you or someone you know has been injured an accident caused by a negligent driver, our lawyers are here to help you receive compensation.

October 3, 2013

1 Dead In Semi-Trailer Collision On Interstate 94

by Levin & Perconti

CBS Local recently reported that a Chicago driver was killed in a semi-trailer accident on Interstate 94. The woman was heading west when she failed to stop for slowing traffic due to emergency vehicles responding to an earlier four-vehicle crash. The woman’s passenger vehicle collided with a semi-trailer in front of her and then proceeded off of the shoulder of the highway.

The report continues to state that this accident was the third fatal crash on the interstate last month and that each involved drivers hitting the back of slowing or stopped vehicles. In two of these accidents, the initial crash caused a chain reaction collision in which even more surrounding vehicles were hit.

Police say the recent crashes have not involved excessive speed or large traffic violations. Rather, it is simply a matter of failing to drive attentively and to notice construction or slowing vehicles. A local sheriff told reporters, “When you are in the car, your number one priority has to be operating the car. People look away from the road for only a second and the circumstances can rapidly change, especially at a speed of 70 miles per hour. Sometimes, people are more concerned about getting to their destination than getting there safely.”

Our truck accident lawyers know that driving attentively is even more critical for semi truck drivers, whose vehicles are so much larger and heavier than others on the road. Truck accidents lead to more fatalities than car accidents each year, according to the American Trucking Association, and they account for a significant portion of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In most cases, the majority of those killed were inside the other vehicle involved in the crash, as seen in the above report. In addition to causing traffic fatalities, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that truck accidents also lead to almost 90,000 people sustaining injuries in 2008.

No matter what vehicle you drive, it is important to always remain aware of your surroundings when you are behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for slows in traffic, construction, changes in speed limits, and other vehicles or pedestrians nearby so that you can react to them appropriately. If you need to use your cell phone, eat, tend to children, or do something that requires taking attention off of the road, pull over to a safe location. Never drink and drive, and in general, follow the rules of the road. Driving attentively can be the difference between preventing an accident or not, which in turn can prevent injury to you or other motorists nearby.

Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and represent those who have suffered due to a trucking accident caused by a negligent motorist.

September 23, 2013

Illinois Lawyers Highlight Safety Tips After Two Fatal Bicycle Collisions

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago Tribune released a saddening article detailing the death of a 4-year old boy after he fell off his bicycle and was fatally struck by a semi-trailer truck. The report states the boy was riding his new two-wheeler down his driveway and onto East Oakton Street in the northwest suburbs near Des Plaines when he fell. His aunt told reporters, “It just happened really fast. I think his pants were stuck to the bike, and he couldn’t get back up.” He was hit by the rear axle of the semi and was declared dead at the scene after suffering from multiple blunt force injuries. The boy’s mother, who had been pushing a stroller alongside of him, rushed to her son after the collision. The driver of the truck and his passenger also stopped and attempted to help. According to a spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff’s police, the truck driver was not ticketed.

Our wrongful death attorneys also learned that a 41-year old man from Champaign was killed when the bicycle he was riding swerved into the path of a pickup truck. Illinois State Police told Herald Review he was riding north alongside U.S. 45 near Arcola, just south of Douglass County Road, when a 28-year old pickup truck driver moved to the left to pass him. As he passed, the bicyclist appeared to lose control and “began riding/falling to the left into the northbound lane,” according to state police. The pickup truck struck the bicycle and threw the bicyclist into the highway’s northbound lane. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while the pickup truck driver was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Bicycling is a popular pastime for many families and children, especially during the summer and autumn when the weather is nice. While the activity is generally safe, many Illinois accidents unfortunately involve bicyclists. Semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and pickup trucks are vehicles that are commonly involved in bicycle collisions because of their large weight, height, and number of blind spots present, in combination with extreme vulnerability of the bicyclist. Oftentimes, driver negligence is at play if motorists fail to yield to bicyclists, do not give them the space they need while riding on roadways, do not follow the rules of the road, or are distracted while driving. Other times, accidents can be caused when the bicyclist loses control and falls into the pathway of another vehicle, as seen in the above reports.

After reading these reports, we thought it would be helpful to remind our readers of the steps they can take to avoid serious injury when biking or sharing the road with bicyclists. Being sure your bike fits you properly in relation to your height, weight, and age should come first. Also check that all equipment, including tires, brakes, chains, and seat connection, is working correctly before riding. Wearing a helmet and reflective clothing is advised in order to allow motorists to see you while riding on public roadways. Bicyclists should stay alert, ride so drivers and other cyclists can see you, and ride with the flow of traffic. Motorists should always be sure to pass bicyclists at a safe distance, drive with extra caution through intersections, and turn and yield properly. In general, everyone should always know and follow the rules of the road.

While not every accident or injury can be prevented, remembering these safety tips will help to avoid accidents and prevent serious injury to both motorists and bicyclists. Although the reports do not confirm whether the bicyclists’ families planned to seek legal action against the truck drivers, when bicyclists do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Through the legal representation of one of our lawyers, the victims’ families may be able to file a claim in civil court against the motorist. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you can contact our team of lawyers to learn about what rights may be available to you.

September 19, 2013

Tire Blowout Causes Semi Truck Collision Near Wadsworth

by Levin & Perconti

Although our truck accident lawyers regularly discuss motor vehicle accidents that are caused by negligent drivers, others can be due to defective parts or general vehicle malfunctions. This may include defects with brakes, seatbelts, the steering wheel, airbags, or tires, all of which can occur for a variety of reasons and often without warning. If your vehicle endures a vehicle malfunction while you are driving, the experience can be scary and can potentially cause serious injury to you or others involved in a collision.

According to ABC 7 News, a box truck blew a tire while traveling in the northbound lane of Interstate 94 near Wadsworth last month. The truck lost control and sideswiped a semi truck shortly afterwards. Even worse, the semi-truck then hit the center median and light pole, which fell across the southbound lanes of the interstate and struck three vehicles in the opposite lanes. The semi truck burst into flames, and traffic was backed up in both directions as officials cleared the scene.

Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported in this multi-vehicle accident. National crash data shows approximately 23,000 collisions and 530 fatalities take place every year around the country because of tire blowouts. Though this type of malfunction is common, its occurrence is generally unexpected and can have serious consequences.

If you experience a tire blowout, your vehicle will begin to slow down and pull strongly to the left or right depending on which tire burst. It is advised to slightly accelerate to keep your vehicle traveling at a constant speed and steer in the opposite direction of where the vehicle is being pulled. Once your vehicle is under control, pull over to a safe location.

In general, all motorists should keep their vehicles properly maintained to avoid malfunction and to ultimately avoid an accident. In the case above, completing regular tire pressure checks may have been the difference between experiencing a tire blowout or not. If you do keep up with a regular maintenance schedule and are the victim of a vehicle defect, the vehicle manufacturer may be at fault for defective manufacturing and may be held liable for the injuries or damages you suffered.

Accidents involving vehicle malfunction can become very complex in determining how the malfunction occurred, who was at fault, and if driver negligence was a factor in the accident. Every year, our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless motorists. In the case of an accident caused by vehicle malfunction to the driver, we can help you determine where liability falls, in addition to helping accident victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained in the accident.

September 12, 2013

Chicago Semi Truck Driver Kills Family of Four Due To Driver Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois semi truck driver is facing severe consequences after his vehicle struck and killed four family members. The accident was caused by driver fatigue. The Chicago Sun Times released a report detailing the accident that occurred when the 36-year old truck driver of River Grove slammed into the back of another car while travelling westbound on Interstate 80. The impact caused this car, driven by a 30-year old man, to crash into a nearby car, driven by his 28-year old wife and carrying his two young children in the backseat. This car was then propelled underneath a truck and trailer nearby on the roadway. All vehicles burst into flames, and all four family members in both cars were pronounced dead at the scene.

The semi driver currently remains in jail and had a bond review hearing for $1 million. He was charged with four felony counts of manslaughter and four more counts of vehicular homicide due to driver fatigue. The manslaughter charges carry penalties of twenty years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000 on each count upon conviction, and the motor vehicle homicide counts carry a sentence of up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge upon conviction, according to the report.

Our truck accident lawyers learned that the driver’s truck company, AKI Trucking Inc. of Romeoville, has been in operation since 2010. Online records from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reveal that the company’s recent Driver Fatigued Scores were notably alarming. During the last two years, the company has received a composite Fatigued Driving Score of 80.9%; the threshold allowed before FMSCA intervention is 65%. These percentages come from compilations of out of service violations or poor inspections. During a recent inspection, an operator was cited for failure to retain his previous seven days' hours of service logs, as required by law. Incomplete logs often signal that a particular driver is operating his vehicle past the 14-hour service or 11-hour driving limit, per service day. The FMSCA will now possibly conduct an investigation of the company.

Our attorneys know that driver fatigue is a serious issue on Illinois roadways and urge our readers to drive attentively at all times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue because of the long hours they travel each day and into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase behavior that can lead to accidents.

Truck drivers face many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. For other motorists, it is important to follow similar guidelines before driving. If you feel drowsy before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel.

Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and represent those who have suffered due to a trucking accident caused by a negligent motorist. Please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.


September 10, 2013

School Bus And Truck Collide in Barrington Hills

by Levin & Perconti

A personal injury attorney at our firm recently read that a school bus full of children collided with a two-axle box truck near Barrington this past week. CBS Local states that a school bus on the Tristate Tollway was carrying students from a nearby middle school when it collided with a truck. The bus was allegedly traveling with seven additional school buses around 10am when the collision took place, witnesses stating that the truck was the size of a moving van.

Illinois State Police released that twenty students sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the accident. “They (the children) are being treated and taken to local hospitals,” stated a spokesperson for the police department. At least five ambulances transported the students from the scene of the accident. The report states that southbound traffic on the toll way was backed up for miles as officials worked to assist the injured and clear the scene.

School bus accidents, including collisions between buses, trucks, or cars injure about 8,000 children every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although the report does not specify who was responsible for the accident, our attorneys believe it is important to understand the risks and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid school bus related injuries. These measures include allowing proper distances between your vehicle and school buses on the roadway and being careful when making turns.

Specifically, young children are most at risk when playing or congregating near bus stops, and when they are getting on or off the bus. It is important for all drivers to remember the following rules when sharing the road with school buses:

-Always obey school bus warning systems. Stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm.

-When a school bus is traveling on a one-way roadway or a two-lane roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop, preferably at about 20 feet beforehand.

-When a school bus is traveling on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions, only lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction of the school bus must stop.

Familiarizing ourselves with the safety issues and concerns surrounding school buses can help reduce the number of child bus-related accidents and injuries on Illinois roadways. A number of laws exist in regards to drivers sharing the road with school buses. Violation of these laws can lead to citations, fines, and loss of license.

If you or your child has been injured in a bus accident due to a negligent motorist, including the bus driver, please contact our law firm. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action.

September 6, 2013

2 Semi-Trailers Collide in Interstate 55 Construction Zone Near Livingston

by Levin & Perconti

A truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report from The Belleville News Democrat that details a serious semi-tractor trailer collision on Interstate 55. According to an Illinois State Spokesman, two semi-trailers were southbound on the interstate near the Livingston exit when they approached a construction zone that reduced the interstate to one lane. Although the first semi truck was stopped in the right lane of traffic, the second truck driver failed to notice that it was completely stopped and then struck it from behind.

The second semi trailer’s cab was completely crushed from the impact. Emergency personnel had to cut the driver from the vehicle and later airlifted him to a nearby hospital. He remains in serious condition, while the driver of the truck that was hit suffered minor injuries. Southbound lanes of the interstate were closed for several hours while the Illinois State Police Certified Truck Inspection Team inspected the trucks for safety violations.

Road construction is nothing out of the ordinary for the Chicagoland area. Bright orange cones, flashing signs, construction vehicles, and ongoing road maintenance are common sights for Illinois drivers, but they also may cause changes in traffic flow and speed limits that can be very dangerous for drivers and road construction crews. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 1,525 drivers were injured and 24 were killed in work zone accidents in 2011.

In order for you to work towards preventing accidents in road construction areas, be sure to abide by reduced speed limits and lane shifts at all times. Note that lane reductions can cause a sudden slow in traffic, in which driving attentively is necessary to avoid rear-end collisions similar to the one above. Adjust your lane position away from workers and equipment on the side of the road, and increase your following distance from other vehicles when necessary; this is extremely important for semi-truck and trailer drivers. Speeding, texting, or driving distractedly in work zones can result in large fines or loss of license.

Our attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered a significant personal injury or loss of a loved one as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Please contact us to discuss your potential lawsuit and to determine if legal recourse may be available to you.

September 3, 2013

Illinois Police Examine Three-Vehicle Accident on I-294

by Levin & Perconti

Illinois State Police recently responded to a serious three-vehicle accident that killed one and injured four others. Daily Herald released that the accident occurred early Sunday morning on Interstate 294 near Arlington Heights. According to preliminary reports, a southbound driver of a car initiated the accident by rear-ending a tow truck traveling in front of him. The driver of the tow truck reportedly exited his vehicle to speak to the driver of the car when an oncoming passenger vehicle struck the car and began to spin out. The passenger vehicle then hit the driver of the tow truck who was standing in the roadway.

Our personal injury lawyers learned that the tow truck driver is currently recovering with a few broken bones. Sadly, the driver of the car, a 39-year old of Prairie View, was pronounced dead after the crash by a Lake County coroner. Police say it was unclear whether the driver suffered from a medical issue, died upon impact from the first crash with the tow truck, or died after the second impact with the passenger vehicle.

Three other individuals involved in the accident were transported to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries. State Police and the local fire department responded to the scene and remained there until it was cleared. Because of the time of day and light traffic present when the accident occurred, there were no serious delays on the interstate. Police will continue to investigate the accident for the next few days.

An examination of the entirety of this accident has the potential to be quite difficult for authorities, considering it is difficult to assume who exactly was to blame. Police will most likely first attempt to determine what caused the car to rear-end the tow truck on the interstate. Rear end accidents such as these often occur when the following car is tailgating, or if a leading vehicle decelerates at some point during travel. Police also need to determine the factors that caused the oncoming passenger vehicle to strike the car. Our attorneys often read about secondary accidents occurring soon after collisions because drivers exit their vehicles to assess the initial damage or injuries. These types of secondary accidents may occur because other drivers do not have time to stop their vehicles when approaching an accident, or may not see the accident or victims until it is too late.

After authorities are able to answer these questions, it can then be concluded who or what was responsible for the accident and therefore, potentially responsible for the death or injuries of the other motorists involved. When an individual or family is seriously injured as the result of a negligent driver, it is advised they seek appropriate legal representation to learn about the compensation that may be available to them.

Our law firm understands that accidents involving cars or trucks on Illinois interstates can result in life altering consequences. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries, medical expenses, or property damage in an accident due to a careless driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what rights may be available to you.

August 16, 2013

Bicyclist Struck and Killed by Semi-Trailer Truck in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

We’ve all driven near bicyclists before, sometimes on smaller roadways or intersections, and other times on larger roadways or even highways. Occasionally, passing motorists become irritated by bicyclists, especially if the bicyclist is traveling directly in the middle of a lane instead of on a bike trail or sidewalk nearby. These bicyclists instantly become disliked because they are “in the way” or are slowing traffic.

Even so, we commonly see street signs that say, “Share the Road” in reference to bicyclists. Many motorists are unaware that bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and therefore have every right share the road with them. Instead, they are commonly disregarded by drivers who may fail to yield to them, fail to give them the space they need while riding on roadways, disregard the rules of the road, or become distracted while driving. This only increases the chance that a bicyclist will become a victim in serious accident or collision.

Chicago Tribune recently reported that a bicyclist was struck and killed by a semi-trailer truck in Chicago last week. Our personal injury attorneys read that the semi struck the 40-year old woman around 1:30pm when she was riding on the side of a road in a small South Side neighborhood. Authorities say the woman was dead at the scene and the Cook County medical examiner’s office was then notified.

Even worse, after striking the bicyclist, the semi truck driver immediately fled the scene of the accident. Though officials were not available for comment, the semi truck driver is not in custody. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Major Accident Investigation Unit is handling the collision and is seeking the driver of this tragic hit-and-run collision.

Though collisions with any vehicle and a bicyclist can be serious, the size, weight, and height of semi trucks is massive in comparison to a bicycle and increases the chance that a bicyclist can be critically injured or killed in an collision. With this being said, accidents involving inattentive or negligent semi truck drivers are even worse. Though the above report does not state the direct cause of the accident, the semi truck driver demonstrated carelessness and disregard for the bicyclist when he failed to check her after the collision or to report the accident, instead choosing to flee the scene.

Because semi trucks are so large and take up a significant amount of road space, it is often difficult for truck drivers to judge how near a bicyclist is; the numerous blind spots that semi trucks have also contribute to this difficulty. Giving bicyclists the greatest amount of space possible will decrease the chance of an accident taking place. Additionally, all motorists should yield to bicyclists at stop signs and crosswalks and make an effort to pass and turn near bicyclists safely. It is most important to keep your eyes on the road, avoid distractions in your vehicle, and drive responsibly.

Accidents involving a vehicle and a bicyclist can be devastating for those involved, including victims, family members, or even witnesses of the accident. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our lawyers are prepared to inform you of your rights, offer you the resources needed to seek legal action, and fight for the compensation you deserve.


July 22, 2013

Joliet Woman Killed in Motorcycle Accident on I-80

by Levin & Perconti

Our motorcycle accident lawyers have previously discussed how motorcyclists are too commonly victims of serious accidents caused by inattentive or negligent motorists, in addition to the steps drivers can take to avoid an accident with a motorcyclist. However, the tables were turned last Saturday when a semi-truck and motorcycle collision left the motorcyclist at fault.

Newlenox.patch.com states that the accident took place around 6:35pm on Interstate 80 near Harlem Avenue. Preliminary investigation results indicate a semi-truck was in the far right lane of westbound I-80 and collided with a motorcyclist that was entering the interstate from the southbound Harlem Avenue ramp. Illinois State Police say the motorcycle struck the front, right corner of the truck, causing the motorcycle’s driver to lose control.

The motorcycle driver was taken to a local hospital, his condition remaining unknown. His passenger, a 22-year old Joliet woman, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Will County Sheriff’s Office. The semi-truck driver remained uninjured. The report states that it is not known what exactly caused the collision, but police investigations revealed that the motorcycle driver misjudged his speed and distance away from the semi-truck when entering the interstate, therefore causing him to strike the semi and lose control. No charges have been filed or tickets issued as of last week.

From the perspective of our law firm, we find that car and truck drivers are often responsible or unharmed in motorcycle accidents involving injuries because of the size and power of their vehicles, the disadvantage seeing small and swift motorcycles, and driver negligence often playing a role. Nevertheless, motorcyclists who do not maximize their visibility, recognize which streets or intersections are safe to ride in, fail to maintain an appropriate speed and distance away from other vehicles, or simply fail to follow the rules of the road might be deemed responsible for an accident.

As we are amidst the summer season, more people in Illinois rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and as a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as well. Journalstandard.com reports that recently, a significant amount of motorcycle accidents have occurred in Northwest Illinois. A spokesman from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), stated, “We have seen an increase in motorcycle registrations and motorcycle crashes over time, for a variety of reasons. That’s why we believe it’s vitally important for motorists and motorcyclists to pay special attention when they are on the road during the warmer months.”

Our lawyers are aware of the increase in motorcycle drivers on the road and advise all motorists to take the appropriate steps and safety precautions necessary to drive attentively and defensively, use proper judgment, and ultimately avoid accidents and collisions. Because of the vulnerability of motorcyclists, they need to be sure to drive defensively and be cautious around other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible to others, as it is easy for trucks and cars to make turns or merges without noticing the motorcyclist nearby. As most motorcyclists die of head injuries, it is important that they wear helmets at all times. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots.

Those involved in accidents between motorists and motorcyclists may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a motorcycle accident, our law firm is prepared to offer you the experience and resources you need to seek justice for the harms caused. Find out what rights may be available to you.

July 18, 2013

Chicago Attorneys Review Accidents Caused By Negligent Truck Drivers

by Levin & Perconti

A drunk driver that killed a woman in a head-on collision pleaded guilty last week in Madison County Circuit Court. Bnd.com released that the driver’s trial began on multiple charges relating to driving under the influence of alcohol in a fatal accident. The 36-year old of Clinton County caused the accident in February of 2010 when his pickup truck crashed into the woman’s SUV on Illinois 160 near Highland Road.

The woman from Trenton was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her mother was a passenger in the truck and suffered critical injuries. The pickup truck driver pleaded guilty last Friday morning to two of the four DUI charges, which included aggravated DUI resulting in death, and aggravated DUI resulting in bodily harm. It was reported that he already had two DUI charges within seven years when the accident took place. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison on each count.

Cases similar to the one above are all too common in Illinois. 47% of Illinois motor vehicle fatalities are estimated to involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is also stated that nearly three of every ten Americans are involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident in their lifetime. Our truck accident attorneys represent individuals and families who have suffered due to a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent motorist. We recently represented the family of a 32-year old woman who was killed by a semi-truck trailer driven by an impaired motorist.

In this 2008 accident, the impaired driver was traveling with an overloaded trailer, causing him to collide into the back of the stopped vehicle driven by the woman’s husband; her son was also a passenger in the vehicle. The woman was killed upon impact and her husband and son were seriously injured.

Our lawyers obtained a total sum of $6.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of the woman and for the injuries of her family. We proved the semi-truck driver’s vehicle was overloaded with 81,200 pounds of grain and that he was in possession of the drug paraphernalia and marijuana, causing him to fail to see the plaintiff’s vehicle stopped in front of him. In the wrongful death portion of this settlement was the largest record wrongful death settlement in Kane County.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, receiving proper legal representation is critical. Our law firm is willing to assist you in determining your rights and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

July 16, 2013

16 Injured In Chain Reaction Collision On I-94 Near Great America

by Levin & Perconti

An accident outside of Gurnee near Six Flags Great America injured sixteen people last Friday morning, according to Chicagotribune.com. Families and children traveling to the state theme park were stunned to see the six-vehicle crash and six ambulances that had responded to the scene. A truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident took place on I-94 at mile marker 9.5 near Grand Avenue, just north of Washington Street.

The accident was allegedly the result of a chain reaction collision involving three SUV’s, two passenger vehicles, and one semi truck that was hauling a trailer. Preliminary investigations of the accident determined that five vehicles were stopped in traffic in the far two right lanes of the interstate. The semi-truck was driving behind them and was unable to reduce speed. He then struck the rear of one of the vehicles, causing it to push into the others in front of it.

Gurnee Fire Department Chief reported that paramedics responded to the scene immediately and transported sixteen victims to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Of those victims, three were in critical condition and two were airlifted from the medical center via Flight for Life to another hospital in Park Ridge. The thirteen remaining patients, who included both adults and children, ranged from fair to serious condition. Illinois State Police say that all of the patients were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

Traffic on I-94 was backed up to Route 137 as police shut down several lanes in order to complete their investigation; all lanes were reopened four hours later. Daily Herald recently reported that many of the victims have been released from the medical center, and no charges have been filed.

From the perspective of our lawyers, chain reactions collisions can happen in a matter of seconds. The results can be life altering to those involved, especially if the collisions involve semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles. Serious injuries, medical expenses, property damage, or the losses of loved ones are just a few of the possible consequences that victims may experience.

We want to take this opportunity to warn all motorists to drive attentively and to remain aware of other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and street signs at all times. Allowing a proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is absolutely crucial. Although the causes of the above accident have yet to be determined, proper distances are especially needed if you drive a heavier vehicle like a semi truck or semi-trailer. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you will help to keep you safe and ultimately prevent accidents and injuries to others.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident due to the negligence of another motorist, seeking qualified legal representation is advised. Our law firm is willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you and is prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

July 9, 2013

Distracted Driving Causes Two-Vehicle Collision Near Newman

by Levin & Perconti

In previous blogs, our attorneys have warned motorists of the many dangers associated with distracted driving. Whether an individual is drinking and driving, texting and driving, playing the radio loudly, or simply driving with a vehicle full of passengers, distractions can increase the risk of an accident occurring and therefore increase the risk of serious injuries to those involved. This was the case on Monday when a man was injured in a two-vehicle accident after taking his eyes off of the road.

Our personal injury law firm learned that the accident took place in Newman on U.S. 36 at 11:55am. According to News-gazette.com, a 21-year old man of eastern Illinois was driving west on the interstate, about a third of a mile west of Illinois 49, when he approached a Freightliner truck. State police report that the driver told authorities he had intended to pass the truck, but failed to do so once he looked down for a few seconds; when he looked back up, he realized he was too close to the truck and rear-ended it.

The driver was taken by ambulance to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana and is currently in stable condition. He was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The 61-year old truck driver remained unharmed. Both vehicles had experienced a significant amount of damage as a result of the collision, and police stated that both drivers were lucky to walk away from it.

Accidents similar to this are all too common in Illinois and in almost every other state throughout the country. Though the specific reason as to why the driver looked down is unknown, the change in focus that lasted for only a few seconds could have potentially caused long lasting results.

With a dramatic advancement in technology in recent years, cellphone usage has skyrocketed and now unfortunately occurs more while driving than ever before. Because texting or handling a cell phone while driving is illegal in Chicago, many drivers set their cell phones down on their laps while driving and look down to use it. These drivers are easily identifiable because their attention is focused on their laps and not on the road. Many of these drivers assume this action is better than taking one or both hands off of the wheel to text, when in reality, it is causing an increasing amount of rear-end accidents, unintentional lane changes, and passes through red lights and stop signs.

Illinois agencies statewide are raising awareness of the dangers of texting while driving by reminding motorists to “Drive Now. Text Later.” A U.S. Transportation Secretary has also launched an online web series to reveal the serious consequences of driver inattention. From the perspective of our lawyers, distracted driving is a factor in more than one million accidents in the country every year. Every time a driver takes their focus off the road, even for just a few seconds, they put their lives and the lives of others in danger. This is unfortunate considering that the causes of driver distraction can be so easily preventable.

If you need to use your cell phone while driving, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road in order to do so. It is generally a good habit to turn your phone off before you step behind the wheel so you won’t be tempted to use it. Besides cell phone usage, driver inattention can also result from adjusting seat positions, radio dials, or mirrors while driving. Making these adjustments before you leave is an easy way to prevent distraction in your vehicle. Finally, tending to children and eating or drinking in the car are two actions that have also proven to be extremely dangerous; pulling over to the side of the road is encouraged in these situations as well. In the case that you are driving attentively and notice other drivers who are facing distractions in their vehicles, it is advised to either avoid them or let them pass you to avoid the risk of a rear-end collision.

If you or someone you know has suffered in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm to discuss what legal options may be available to you.

July 5, 2013

Driver Trapped Inside Tractor After Overturning On Illinois Exit Ramp

by Levin & Perconti

Timesherald.com reports that a tractor-trailer overturned on an Illinois expressway exit ramp last week, trapping the driver inside of the tractor. A truck accident lawyer at our firm read that the late-morning accident caused the driver to remain trapped until early afternoon as emergency rescue crews and authorities responded to the scene. Traffic was also stopped on the ramp for a significant amount of time. After over two hours, the male driver was finally freed from the wreck and was flown by a medical helicopter to a nearby hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. State police opened the exit ramp to traffic after the accident scene was cleared.

In comparison to other segments of the highway, a large number of Illinois accidents commonly occur on freeway entrance and exit ramps. This is often due to congestion taking place on the ramps, trucks traveling near or directly next to passenger vehicles or motorcycles, and motorists traveling over the speed limit at the same time as the ramp curves. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that additional common factors contributing to these accidents are poor weather, driving under the influence, and traveling at night.

In order to reduce the number of accidents on highway ramps, it is crucial to drive attentively, responsibly, and most importantly, defensively at all times. When entering a highway ramp, speed limit signs often changes to about 35mph; despite this, many drivers continue traveling at their current speed of up to 50 mph on the ramp. Be sure to slow down and look out for upcoming curves or turns on the ramp. If there are other vehicles on the ramp, allow a proper amount of distance in between yourself and these vehicles in order to prevent collisions.

Finally, remain cautious when entering onto a fast paced highway. Many motorists choose not to slow down for oncoming vehicles that are attempting to merge into the highway. Semi trucks can be especially dangerous in that the large size and weight of the truck may affect the driver’s ability to slow down and allow others to merge in.

By taking the appropriate steps necessary to remain safe while driving on highway ramps and interstates, the likelihood of an accident occurring decreases, and thus, the likelihood of personal injury taking place decreases as well. Though it is not confirmed why the tractor-trailer driver overturned in the above accident, negligent motorists do exist and oftentimes are the cause of many severe accidents on Illinois roadways.

In the case that you or a loved one have suffered serious personal injures in a trucking accident due to a negligent driver, legal recourse may be available to you. Our law firm has experience handling truck accident cases and represents individuals and families who have been wrongfully killed because of driver carelessness. Please contact us to find the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 2, 2013

Investigation Finds Truck Driver Was Asleep Before Crash That Killed Illinois State Trooper

by Levin & Perconti

With thousands of trucks, cars, and motorcycles traveling Illinois roadways, highways, and interstates each day, it is a sad truth that many accidents and collisions are bound to take place. As often as our truck accident law firm hears about various forms of motor vehicle accidents that occur throughout Illinois and across the country, it remains difficult to grasp that so many of those accidents are caused by careless drivers. The fact that so many injuries and deaths are placed upon innocent individuals and families is saddening when the accidents they were involved in could have easily been prevented. An example of an act of driver negligence that our lawyers are familiar with is driving while fatigued. As of yesterday, we learned that a federal investigation of a crash between a semi-truck and a police cruiser that killed an Illinois State Police trooper revealed the truck driver had been working more than 14 hours and fell asleep at the wheel.

The Chicago Sun Times and Whbf.com reported that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) records show the 26-year old driver and United Van Lines have been fined for violating rules requiring truck drivers to get enough rest before driving. Though the driver has not yet been charged in connection with the death of the trooper, he and United Van Lines are cooperating with authorities and are “deeply saddened” by the trooper’s death.

This truck driver, along with many others, has violated the “14-hour rule,” which states that a commercial truck driver cannot work for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. In recent months, the FMSCA has created new federal hours-of-service rules designed to limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate, and many trucking organizations were less than pleased. Our lawyers read a report released by World.einnews.com detailing the enforcement of these new rules, which as of recently had led to litigation.

The FMCSA continues to express that potential trucking accidents become even more likely with truckers driving long hours in order to meet deadlines. The report states that according to the administration, around 755 deaths and 19,705 injuries occur on U.S. roadways each year due to commercial drivers who are fatigued. As a result of these concerns, the FMCSA created its new federal hour-of service rules with the goal of creating a safer environment on roadways for all motorists. After the rules created an uprising by a number of trucking organizations, specifically the American Trucking Association, the dispute ended up in federal court. The administration had to defend its new rules, stating, “The HOS rule reflects FMCSA's weighing of scientific evidence and its careful consideration of the potential impacts on health and safety, as well as the costs and the effects of the rule on the public and the regulated industry."

We learned that opponents primarily disagree with three sections of the new hours-of-service rules, including the new 11-hour daily driving limit, 30-minute required breaks, and 34-hour restart provision. These opponents claim that these changes provide only small safety benefits while severely limiting a driver's ability to drive, in addition to adding large costs to the economy. There are a small number of groups, however, who oppose these rule changes only for the reason that the 11-hour daily driving limit should be dropped even lower to 10 hours.

Regardless of any disputes that have occurred with the above driving rules, it is evident that driver fatigue is a severe issue. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase careless behavior that can lead to accidents. If you feel drowsy or fatigued before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel.

Though truck drivers should abide by many strict regulations before driving, trucking accidents will unfortunately continue to happen. Our attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of negligent motorists. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a trucking accident, please contact us for more information.


June 28, 2013

Motorcyclist Dies After Rear-End Collision with Semi-Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Our law firm understands that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways. When these accidents involve motorcycles, the results can be extremely severe to those involved, especially the motorcyclist. This was the case on Wednesday when a motorcyclist was killed after a semi-truck tractor struck her from behind. The 57-year old motorcyclist was westbound near the U.S. Route 51 and Illinois State Route 16 at 2:00pm when she slowed to turn right into the Rosebud parking lot. According to the preliminary Illinois State Police report, the semi-truck hit her as she was turning, causing her to be thrown from her vehicle.

Pananewsonline.net reports that the motorcyclist died of injuries she sustained in the accident. She was pronounced dead on arrival in St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. The 34-year old semi-truck driver was uninjured and was later ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The accident remains under investigation by state police.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle riders who are stopped or are traveling at a slow speed in preparation to turn are at a very high risk for being hit from behind by other vehicles. Rear-end collisions are especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists. Due to the larger size and weight of semi trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of the motorcyclist sustaining serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases.

Often times, semi-truck and motorcycle collisions occur due to the negligence of one of the drivers involved, while other accidents occur because of the difficulty of maneuvering and slowing a semi truck. Based on the above report, all semi-truck drivers should be cautious while turning, changing lanes, and traveling behind smaller vehicles. Placing a significant amount of distance between your truck and other vehicles can potentially be the difference between causing an accident and avoiding one. In the mean time, motorcyclists should always drive defensively, wear helmets, and make themselves visible to other drivers. Try to avoid driving next to a truck for an extended period of time, and if you must pass a truck, do so quickly.

Our lawyers at Levin & Perconti want all motorists to recognize how essential it is to exercise extreme caution when driving near or around motorcycles. Keeping the above safety tips in mind will help you avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident this summer. When any motorist suffers serious injuries as the result of a careless or negligent driver, including semi-truck drivers, they have the right to take action. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent driver, our attorneys are here to assist you in determining what rights and compensation may be available to you.

June 13, 2013

Chicago Women Injured After Failing To Stop For Fire Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Two women were injured after a Chicago Fire Department engine struck their vehicle in Chicago last Monday. The accident occurred at about 3:30pm at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive when the fire truck was responding to an emergency call in the Loop. The truck had its lights and sirens on as it attempted to travel through the intersection, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman. Witnesses say that while all other vehicles nearby stopped to allow the truck to proceed, the vehicle carrying both women failed to stop and reportedly turned in front of the truck on Columbus Drive. The fire truck then collided with the vehicle, which was pushed onto a sidewalk and into a parked car.

Abclocal.go.com states the women had to be extricated from the vehicle and were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition. The fire department spokeswoman believes the women’s’ conditions were stabilized because of their vehicle’s full set of airbags having deployed after the collision. It was unclear whether any firefighters or fire personnel were injured, but damage to the fire truck was believed to be minimal.

Our accident lawyers remind drivers that Illinois has had a law in place for 10 years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from both reckless drivers and drivers that may interfere with an emergency vehicle that is responding to an emergency call. The legislation was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police cars, fire engines, ambulances, and tow trucks. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights and yield to highway workers.

Our lawyers encourage all motorists to be mindful of this law, no matter if they are driving in Illinois or any other state. It is crucial that the law is followed for the safety of emergency personnel and every motorist or pedestrians on the roadway. Unfortunately, collisions similar to the one described above do occur, and many individuals are injured or somehow affected every year because of them.

Our attorneys are very familiar with Illinois legislation and have represented many individuals and families in various accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident, we are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Contact us for more information.

June 11, 2013

2 Injured In Tractor-Trailer Collision On Interstate 88

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a late-morning crash that left multiple lanes closed on Interstate 88. According to Dailyherald.com, the accident occurred last Thursday at approximately 12pm between Naperville Road and Yackley Road when the 48-year old driver of a tractor-trailer decided to change lanes. As he attempted to maneuver into the lane on his right, he struck a passenger vehicle. The result of this collision caused both the tractor-trailer and the passenger vehicle to turn out of control, eventually striking a flat bed tow truck nearby.

Illinois State Police reported that all three vehicles traveled off the right side of the road and into a ditch. Two of the drivers were transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of injuries; it is not specified which vehicles these individuals were driving. The accident caused two lanes of eastbound I-88 to remain closed for more than four hours. All lanes were finally reopened just after 4pm. Investigators are continuing to work to determine what exactly triggered the accident.

From the perspective of our attorneys, a very large number of trucking accidents and collisions occur when truck drivers attempt to change lanes on highways and interstates. For semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, changing lanes can be extremely difficult because these vehicles have very large blind spots. Therefore, truck drivers tend to have difficulty seeing additional vehicles on the road around them. When driving near a semi truck, you will most likely know that the semi is near you, but the semi’s driver, however, may not be aware you are near. As displayed in the above report, accidents resulting from lane changes often involve more than two vehicles because the vehicles involved may spin out of control and into the path of others. This places many drivers on the road at a serious risk of injury, even if they are not involved in the initial collision.

To minimize blind spots and decrease the risk of these accidents from occurring, all truck drivers should stay in the right lane as often as possible and avoid making unnecessary lane changes. If a lane change is necessary, signaling should be completed well in advance to inform surrounding motorists that the change is taking place. Other tips to increase visibility include keeping mirrors clean and properly adjusted or installing extension-mounted mirrors.

If you are a motorist driving near a truck, remember that trucks take longer to change lanes than any other vehicle. If you must travel next to a truck, travel in the faster lanes of the highway where trucks are not as likely to enter. Furthermore, always try to refrain from traveling next to a truck in the right hand lane; the likelihood of an accident occurring is greater in the right hand lane than if you traveled in the left hand lane, primarily because it is easier for the truck driver to see you on the left. And finally, always remember that as a rule of thumb, if you cannot see a truck driver’s mirrors, then he or she probably cannot see you.

Though most truck drivers are careful while behind the wheel, not all drivers follow the above recommendations, resulting in other motorists or pedestrians being serious injured or killed when a semi truck makes a sudden lane change. A lane change happens within a matter of seconds, but the consequences of a negligent lane change can be long lasting and severe.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of a negligent truck driver, please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

May 30, 2013

Chicago Lawyers Discuss Severity of Accidents Involving Garbage Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

Rrstar.com reports that a portion of Interstate 90 was closed near Rockford last week when a dump truck hit an overhead sign on the road. The incident happened at about 6:50am between State Street and Harrison Avenue. Illinois State Police say that the truck’s bed was in an upright position when it hit the sign. Witnesses also say that the collision almost caused the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and change lanes. Luckily, no injuries were reported, and eastbound I-90 was closed as authorities inspected the sign. Westbound traffic was also closed so emergency equipment could be used to clear the accident scene.

Though this particular accident did not result in any personal injury, our truck accident lawyers have been informed of other accidents involving garbage trucks in recent months that were much more severe. For example, a 36-year old man of Chicago was struck and killed by a garbage truck in February, having suffered multiple blunt traumas. The driver of the truck was issued numerous citations for the collision. Additionally, a woman from Algonquin suffered serious injuries when her vehicle was struck from behind by a garbage truck.

Because garbage trucks seem to be a normal part of daily life for most, it is easy to dismiss them as dangerous; therefore, many individuals often fail to be cautious while driving or walking near them. Truthfully, these trucks have the capability to cause serious injury or fatality to anyone who comes too close. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), garbage trucks have the highest pedestrian killing rate on city roads. These vehicles’ large size, limited visibility, and proximity to sidewalks combine to create a pedestrian death rate that is nearly twice as high as what IDOT says is their next closest competitor, the bus. Specifically, garbage trucks kill nearly 24 pedestrians per 100 million miles driven. This number is quite large as compared to buses, which kill 14 people per 100 million miles driven, automobiles, which kill 8, and taxis, which kill 6.

Though our attorneys generally discuss the dangers of larger motor vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor-trailers, trains, and buses, it is highly encouraged to act appropriately around garbage trucks as well. Always give these trucks the space that they need on the roadway, while at the same time remaining aware of your surroundings and attempting to make yourself as visible as possible to the driver of the truck to further decrease your risk of being in an accident.

While many accidents are caused due to the general difficulty of operating and maneuvering such large vehicles, others are caused by driver negligence, whether that consists of distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or failing to follow the rules of the road. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident by a negligent motorist, seeking qualified legal representation is advised.

Our law firm is willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

May 24, 2013

Illinois Attorneys Highlight Accident Safety Tips After Elgin Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A woman died in a motorcycle accident last week when she struck a semi-trailer on Route 20 in Elgin Township. The 21-year old from Sycamore stopped on Plank Road facing north while waiting to make a turn east on Route 20 before the accident took place. According to Crystallake.patch.com, the motorcycle began turning, accelerated rapidly, then crossed the roadway and struck the semi-trailer. The woman was thrown from the motorcycle as a result of the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Kane County Sheriff’s office stated the driver of the semi-truck was uninjured. No tickets have been issued thus far; the accident remains under investigation by numerous detectives and members of the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team, as well as Illinois State Police Truck Inspectors.

Our motorcycle accident attorneys understand that collisions between semi-truck drivers and other motorists remain some of the most devastating types of accidents, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of semi-trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. While many accidents may occur due to driver negligence, others simply occur because of the difficulty and potential dangers that go along with driving semi-trucks or motorcycles. Therefore, although many accidents are unavoidable, we would like to offer truck and motorcycle drivers some critical steps that can be taken to help drive defensively and to avoid being involved in any motor-vehicle collision this summer.

Based on the above report, it is always important to be cautious when turning. It is easy for motorcyclists to immediately accelerate at a rapid speed when turning, which increases the likelihood that the motorcycle can tilt on its side or travel in an undesired direction. Furthermore, as a truck driver begins a turn, he will usually first swing in the opposite direction, sometimes into the next lane, to complete the turn. It is best for motorcyclists and all other vehicles to avoid the truck altogether when this is occurring. All motorists should always place a significant amount of distance between their vehicles and semi-trucks on highways or larger roadways. They should also be cautious when passing semi-trucks because of their limited visibility. Finally, as always, taking extra care when driving in poor weather conditions is essential.

From the perspective of our lawyers, is important that all motorists, especially motorcyclists, exercise great caution when driving near or around semi-trucks. Truck and motorcycle accidents are extremely severe in that the difference in size of the vehicles involved may cause much greater property damage and personal injuries than other collisions. When motorists do suffer serious injuries as the result of another careless or negligent driver, they have the right to take action. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us for more information.



May 22, 2013

Tanker Truck Rollover Accident on Interstate 80

by Levin & Perconti

Interstate 80 was shut down near Atkinson last Thursday when a semi-truck tanker crashed and rolled over onto the side of the road. Whbf.com released details about the accident, stating that it occurred around 6am on the westbound lanes of the interstate at mile marker 29. Witnesses report the truck driver was traveling westbound in the left lane when he crossed into the right lane, continued through the right shoulder, and rolled the vehicle into a ditch just seconds later.

After emergency crews responded to the scene, the truck driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say the tanker leaked fluid as a result of the crash. Hazardous Material teams arrived to clean up the small chemical spill, later stating there was no immediate health risk due to the spill. Traffic was diverted around the accident in both directions onto US 6, which caused major delays throughout the morning. The report states the truck driver has been charged with improper lane usage.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers know that according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents are the deadliest of all motor-vehicle types of accidents. Rollovers reportedly occur in only about 13% of heavy-truck fatal crash involvements, but they account for 50% of truck-occupant fatalities. Tanker trucks are most susceptible to rollovers because the weight distribution of bulk loads can shift suddenly during sharp turns or movements, causing a vehicle imbalance.

Additionally, in a study undertaken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, almost half of truck rollovers were proven to have resulted from failing to adjust speed to curves in the road, poor brake conditions, and unsafe road surfaces. Other major crash contributors involved simply being inattentive, falling asleep, and distraction, all leading to situations where a sudden direction change resulted in a rollover. Finally, a large crash contributor involved over-steering to the point of rolling over.

The NHTSA states that adding advanced electronic stability control systems to larger vehicles could prevent up to 56% of rollover crashes each year and eliminate an estimated 4,400 injuries and up to 160 fatalities. The system uses various sensors to monitor vehicle movement and steering inputs, and then automatically applies the brakes individually to the wheels and controls vehicle under steer and over steer. This would ultimately prevent rollovers and other out-of-control problems. The department claims that the technology is a “major step forward to improving the safety of large commercial trucks, motor coaches, and other large buses,” as stated by the department secretary.

It is important for all truck drivers to drive safely behind the wheel on Illinois roadways. This includes driving attentively, following the rules of the road, and maintaining your vehicle properly at all times. Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents such as rollover accidents unfortunately continue to occur.

If you have been involved in a rollover accident or have been in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.


May 17, 2013

Semi Truck Driver Arrested For DUI and Driver Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

State Police have recently reported the arrest of a truck driver who has been charged with multiple drunk driving charges after a traffic accident Monday night, according to Wgem.com. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that the driver of Roodhouse, Illinois was driving west on I-72 in Pike County just before 11pm when he drove his semi-trailer into a wooded area off of the road. After authorities arrived at the scene, the driver was taken to a nearby hospital, only having suffered minor injuries.

When later questioned regarding the accident, the driver stated he fell asleep behind the wheel. He was arrested for DUI, illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage, improper lane usage, driving while fatigued, operation of a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence, and unlawful possession of alcohol in a commercial motor vehicle.

From the perspective of our lawyers, accidents involving semi trucks, trailer trucks, or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only the drivers of these trucks, but potentially other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Though the accident described above was fortunately a single-vehicle accident, it could have easily been prevented. There were clearly two primary factors at play that caused the truck driver to drive off of the road: driving while fatigued and driving under the influence.

The above accident occurred at 11pm, a time when driver exhaustion and fatigue commonly become a cause of distracted driving. Driver fatigue is an extremely severe issue in Illinois and throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue because of the long hours they travel each day and into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase behavior that can lead to accidents. Despite this already large risk for the truck driver, he was also irresponsibly drinking while driving, presumably leading to even more distraction.

If you feel drowsy before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel. Truck drivers face many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. For other motorists, it is important to follow similar guidelines before driving.

Every year, our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Truck accident lawsuits can help compensate accident victims for potential personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of a trucking accident.

Those involved in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident caused by a truck driver’s reckless or negligent behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of a truck accident, please contact us for more information.

May 13, 2013

Illinois Attorneys Address Helmet Laws After Greene County Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Kmov.com recently reported that a Greene County couple is dead after their motorcycle was rear-ended at a traffic light on Saturday night. A motorcycle accident attorney at our firm learned that according to authorities, a Harley Davison was stopped in traffic and was attempting to turn left onto Kane road when a pickup truck crashed into it from behind.

The 46-year old driver and the 42-year old passenger were both ejected from the motorcycle and were both pronounced dead at the scene. The 21-year old pickup truck driver was not injured and was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. After an accident reconstruction team was called to southbound US 67 at Kane road shortly after the accident, authorities were able to report that neither the driver of passenger of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet. Investigations into the crash are ongoing.

Our attorneys understand that more people in Illinois have begun to rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as a result. A primary reason for the severity of these accidents has to do with helmet laws, or lack thereof, in the state of Illinois. Officially enacted in 1970, Illinois does not have any helmet laws in place for motorcycle drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 83% of the people who died from motorcycle crashes in Illinois were not wearing a helmet. This is among the highest percent nationally. In the United States, Illinois ranks 47th for lives saved and economic costs saved due to helmet use. Shockingly, compared to the 36 lives saved in states with a Universal Helmet Law in place in 2010, only 4 were saved in Illinois. Additionally, states with a Universal Helmet Law saved about $73 million dollars, while Illinois only saved $9 million.

From the perspective of our law firm and many others throughout the state of Illinois, enacting a Universal Helmet Law should be considered. As most motorcyclists involved in serious accident die of head injuries, wearing a helmet at all times is vital. Many believe that helmets will reduce visibility or impair hearing while riding, however, these statements are both false. The risk of head injury would be reduced by 69%, and the risk of death would decrease by 37%. Thus, there is substantial evidence that increasing helmet use would not only save an enormous amount of money, but would save many lives and help to significantly avoid personal injury.

We want to urge the public to be more cautious when traveling on Illinois roadways this summer. Those involved in motorcycle accidents caused by another driver’s reckless or negligence behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of a motorcycle accident, contact us for more information. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.

May 8, 2013

Police Charge Pick-Up Truck Driver with Drunk Driving After Elgin Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Many motorists driving large vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor/trailers, or pick-up trucks travel on Illinois roadways each day, and much is expected of these motorists in order for them to reach their destinations quickly and safely. Large vehicles are not the easiest to maneuver and can potentially become dangerous for not only the truck driver, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Therefore, it is critical that truck drivers travel attentively and responsibly, properly maintain their vehicles, follow regulations, and take all steps necessary to remain safe behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers choose not to uphold their responsibilities and make decisions that lead to serious accidents and injury on the road. This was the case on Sunday when an Elgin man was charged with drunken driving after he allegedly ran a stop sign and struck an SUV carrying three individuals.

At about 2am, the driver, whose pick-up truck had open containers of beer inside, drove through a stop sign on Hastings Street in Elgin and struck an SUV approaching on Liberty Street, according to Chicagotribune.com. The pick-up truck T-boned the SUV with such force that the entire floor of the SUV fell from its framework. The pick-up truck continued traveling until it crashed into a nearby fence, while the SUV hit a parked car.

Our truck accident lawyers learned that authorities arrived to the scene shortly after the accident and transported the driver of the pick-up truck, as well as the driver and passengers of the SUV, to nearby hospitals. None of these individuals’ injuries were declared as life threatening. However, the driver of the pick-up truck was found to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.17, more than double the legal limit of 0.08, according to an Elgin Commander. As a result, he was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence. Police say he is expected in bond court this week.

As many are aware, drinking and driving is a very serious, yet sadly common issue on roadways in Illinois and throughout the United States. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that about 310,000 people suffer injuries in alcohol-related traffic crashes each year, an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes, and about 300 fatalities also take place each year. In 2002, 51,649 people were arrested for DUI in Illinois. As stated above, trucks of any size can be difficult to maneuver; adding alcohol into the mix can cause severe truck accidents that cause more personal injury and fatalities than many other traffic accidents.

Our attorneys want to encourage truck drivers and all additional motorists to drive safely on Illinois roadways this year. Taking the appropriate steps such as refraining from driving under the influence, being sure not to drive while fatigued, and always driving attentively can prevent motor vehicle accidents, decrease personal injury, and ultimately save lives. In the case that you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an accident caused by a negligent motorist, please contact us for more information.

May 1, 2013

Car Struck By Oncoming Pickup Truck When Changing Lanes On Route U.S. 67

by Levin & Perconti

Reviewatlas.com recently reported on an accident that occurred between a car and a pickup truck on Monday night just north of Roseville. Illinois State Police say an unidentified passenger-vehicle driver was traveling on Business Route U.S. 67 at 6:50pm when it was struck by an oncoming extended cab pickup truck, driven by a 55-year old man of Roseville.

Our Chicago truck accident law firm learned that according to a statement made by authorities, the driver of the passenger vehicle was traveling in the right lane and attempted to pass another car “at a high rate of speed” when it approached the oncoming pickup truck. It then veered back into the right lane, but “spun out clockwise back across the centerline and in a collision course with the truck” (Review Atlas). Police say the front of the pickup then struck the vehicle’s passenger side.

The driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The pickup truck driver was transported to a nearby medical center and was treated for non-life threatening injuries; he was listed as in stable condition Monday night. Police say both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, but an investigation is ongoing to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

From the perspective of our lawyers, all drivers generally pass other vehicles on Illinois roadways when necessary, the task being easier to complete on four-lane roads than two-lane roads. No matter where you are or who you are attempting to pass, there are many decisions that have to be made beforehand. These include whether or not there is enough time to get around the vehicle in front of you, if oncoming traffic is present, how fast you and the vehicles around you are traveling, and overall, if you would be able to pass another vehicle safely and without risking injury.

We believe it is beneficial for all drivers to learn about the steps that can be taken in order to make passing other vehicles effective and safe. This first begins with making sure it is legal to pass. On two-lane roads, it is forbidden to pass the vehicle in front of you if there is a double yellow line between lanes. Watching for signs that say “Do Not Pass” will also help you determine if passing is allowed. These signs are most commonly on roads that are near hills or curves.

If it legal to pass, make sure the lanes around you are clear. In relation to the above article, do not pass if there is an oncoming vehicle that is near you. If this vehicle is approaching you at a constant speed, this means it is most likely too close in order for you to pass safely. Proper passing techniques include using your turn signal to alert others of your intention to pass, increasing your speed up to ten to fifteen miles per hour faster that the vehicle you are passing in order to do so quickly, and after you have passed the vehicle, checking to make sure you have enough clear space to safely re-enter your lane.

Because passing another vehicle is often a hurried action, many drivers do not think the above steps through and accidents commonly take place as a result. Following the steps and suggestions provided will help to decrease the risk of an accident occurring and will ultimately keep you and other motorists safe behind the wheel.

In the case that you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent motorist, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

April 29, 2013

Semi Truck Driver Deemed Negligent After Falling Asleep Behind Wheel and Killing Illinois State Trooper

by Levin & Perconti

Last month, an Illinois State Police trooper was killed when a semi truck collided with his squad car. According to Chicago.cbslocal.com, the 28-year old trooper was pulled over on the left shoulder of Interstate 294 near Willow Road in northwest suburban Northfield Township just after 11pm when he was hit behind by the semi. It was not clear why the trooper was stopped or if his vehicle’s emergency lights were on. Witnesses told investigators that they saw the semi, a United Van Lines truck, in the left lane before the crash.

After the impact of the collision, both vehicles burst into flames. Witnesses say it was hard to even make out the squad car among the tangled and burnt metal. A later autopsy determined the primary causes of the trooper’s death were thermal injuries from the fire, as well as inhalation injuries and minor head injuries. The truck driver walked away from the accident with nothing but a burnt hand.

As of a few weeks ago, the medial examiner’s office ruled the trooper’s death an accident and the semi truck driver was not charged with any crime or wrongdoing related to the accident. But now, our wrongful death lawyers have learned that after further investigation, recent reports obtained by Sun-times state the semi driver fell asleep behind the wheel before his vehicle veered out of its lane and struck the trooper. The trucker was initially issued a ticket for improper lane usage but it was dismissed soon after, according to a state police spokeswoman. Authorities are continuing to reconstruct the site of the crash to find out additional details relating to why the crash happened, and higher charges may result. Among the things that will be looked at are the trucker’s driving history, how many hours he had been behind the wheel without a break, and the results of drug and alcohol tests administered as required by state law after a fatal accident.

DWD, or Driving While Drowsy, is a large concern for many Illinois drivers. The Illinois Department of Transportation lists DWD as a cause of around 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths every year. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This not only results in deaths and injuries, but also close to $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue because of the long hours they travel each day and into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase behavior that can lead to accidents.

Truck drivers facing many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. For other motorists, it is important to follow similar guidelines before driving. If you feel drowsy before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel.

Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. We represent individuals who have suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a trucking accident caused by a negligent motorist. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

April 26, 2013

Drunk Motorist Kills Pickup Truck Driver on Dan Ryan Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

Charges have been filed against a driver who caused a fatal accident early Tuesday on the Dan Ryan Expressway in which alcohol was a factor, killing the 25-year old driver of a pickup truck. Chicago.cbslocal.com reports that the two-vehicle accident happened at about 12:30am in the southbound lanes of the interstate when a 52-year old crew cab truck driver of Chicago suddenly crossed from the far right lane to the far left lane of the five lane highway near 95th Street and struck the pickup truck. Witnesses told police that both trucks then hit the median wall, crossed traffic again, and hit the right wall of the interstate before finally coming to a rest.

Our truck accident attorneys learned that the driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 1:05am Saturday, autopsies determining that he died of serious head injuries from the collision. Family reports that the man was heading home from his shift at work when the crash occurred. The driver of the crew cab truck, however, was uninjured in the accident and submitted to standard field sobriety tests administered by Illinois State Police troopers on the scene. His blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.109, more than the legal limit of 0.08, according to a police report. He was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol in the death of a man and was held in lieu of $350,000 bail in a midday hearing in Cook County Bond Court on Wednesday.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration lists that the number of drunk driving fatalities in Illinois in 2011 was 278, with the percentage of traffic deaths that were drunk driving related being 30%. This was a decrease from 2010 in which 292 fatalities took place and the percentage of drunk driving related deaths was 32%. Though this decrease is certainly positive, organizers such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Alliance Against Intoxicated Driving (AAID) say one accident is still too many. "It's a problem that's always going to be around because people drink and it's socially acceptable. It's totally unacceptable to get behind the wheel if you've been drinking," stated a member of AAID. "One in three families will be impacted by drunk drivers,” stated a member of MADD. “So if you're sitting in a row of three people, it's not the two of them. It's going to be you." Reports from Abclocal.com state that both organizations have launched awareness campaigns with the goal of keeping roads safer this summer.

As a result of the above accident, the pickup driver’s brother stated, “I knew that they had (the driver) in custody, which means he walked away from the crash and my brother didn’t. We just want justice to be served.” Our lawyers agree that in a case similar to the one above, we want justice to be served. The driver of the pickup was involved in an accident due to the negligence of another motorist, ultimately leading to his death. All drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly at all times, which includes refraining from driving under the influence or driving while distracted. When motorists fail to drive responsibly and injure other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians on the roadway, victims and their families often seek legal representation.

Our law firm has successfully handled hundreds of cases for individuals and families injured or killed due to another’s carelessness, including truck, car, and wrongful death cases. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

April 15, 2013

Four Chicago Teens Killed After Vehicle Overturned In Wilmington

by Levin & Perconti

Cbsnews.com reports that four Chicago-area teens from Wilmington High School were killed last Tuesday when their vehicle overturned and plunged into Forked Creek. An accident attorney at our firm learned that the victims, two boys and two girls ranging from fifteen to seventeen years old, left their homes on Monday evening and never returned. A bus driver near Ballou Road spotted their car and bodies around 7:30am Tuesday morning in Wilmington, about fifty miles southwest of Chicago. A tow truck was called to pull the car from the water, and officials worked to remove the bodies from the wreck. The cause of the accident is currently unknown, but police believe there may have been run-off water coming over the roadway from the creek and possible ice that contributed to the vehicle overturning.

The occurrence of this accident was especially significant for our lawyers because the teenagers were among fifteen who have been killed in three major accidents since last week. Five teens were killed in Texas when their vehicle ran a stop sign and collided with a fuel tanker truck. That same day, six Ohio teens were killed when their SUV sped off a stretch of roadway at eighty miles per hour and flipped into a pond.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes have been declining in all parts of the country, dropping from 8,748 in 1975 to 3,115 in 2010. However, the risk of being in an accident is three times higher for teens than any other group of drivers. Accident injuries are the leading cause of death for individuals aging from thirteen to nineteen years old. Even more, Illinois ranks twelfth in the country for fatalities in crashes involving young drivers by state.

There are often many factors that contribute to teenagers being involved in accidents. First and foremost, most teens have not yet completely mastered basic driving skills that develop after years of experience behind the wheel. They take longer to detect hazards while driving and also tend to underestimate accident risk in hazardous situations while overestimating their ability to avoid those hazards. Teens also have a more difficult time driving at night than other age groups.

Furthermore, the fatality risk of teenagers is much higher when they are driving with passengers than when they are driving alone. Same-aged passengers are likely to distract the teen drivers and encourage them to take more risks. These risks include speeding, tailgating, making illegal turns, or running red lights. Teens are often overconfident in their driving abilities and therefore take these risks that often result in injury or death. This is especially the case when teenagers are not wearing their seatbelts, which they do less often than older drivers. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is also a common cause of serious teen accidents. Teenagers who drink and drive are at much greater risk of serious crashes than are older drivers with equal concentrations of alcohol in their blood.

We want to encourage all teens to exercise caution while driving in order to decrease the risk being involved in an accident. There are a large amount of teens who are cautious behind the wheel, but nevertheless, they do not have the years of experience that adults do and therefore are at a larger risk of being in an accident. We also want to encourage motorists in older age groups to be aware of teenagers that are driving near them in case the teens are exerting risky behavior behind the wheel and may be putting them in danger.

Please contact our law firm if you or someone you know has been in an accident caused by a negligent motorist. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action.

April 5, 2013

Truck Driver Charged With Death of Family In Multi-Vehicle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Starherald.com recently released that the trial of a truck driver charged with killing an entire family in a multiple-vehicle accident has been scheduled for September. Our accident lawyers learned that the 36-year old driver’s arraignment hearing took place in January, in which a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf on four counts of manslaughter, four counts of motor vehicle homicide by willful reckless driving, and one count of motor vehicle homicide of an unborn child by driving recklessly.

The report states that the family consisted of a 30-year old man from Maryland, his 28-year old wife, and the couple’s two and three-year old children. The family had been among other drivers stopped on Interstate 80 as emergency crews were responding to a previous accident. The couple was driving separate vehicles at the time. Allegedly, the truck driver drove onto the scene, failing to notice the emergency lights or slow down for the stopped vehicles, and struck the husband’s vehicle. The force of this collision pushed his vehicle into his wife’s car, which was forced underneath a semi-tractor trailer. All family members were killed upon impact. The woman was pregnant at the time of the crash and her unborn child also died.

State police say that when the accident occurred, the truck driver had been driving for more than fifteen hours, violating commercial motor vehicle federal regulations. He also failed to observe radio traffic and other warnings that would have alerted him about the accidents on the interstate. He remains in a local jail on a $1 million bond, and a pre-trial conference is scheduled for late-May.

Our attorneys believe this accident directly sheds light on how critical it is for all truck drivers to follow the “14-hour rule,” which states that a commercial truck driver cannot work for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. Thus, each duty period must begin with at least 10 hours off-duty. The United States Department of Transportation regulates the number of hours a truck driver can driver per day, as well as the total number of driving hours per week. Following this rule is necessary not only to meet federal regulation guidelines, but to ensure that you are able to drive attentively behind the wheel and consequently help save lives.

Wrongful death cases, commonly filed by a family member of a victim, can be used to recover monetary damages such as medical expenses or funeral bills, or pain suffered by survivors of the victim. We have seen the devastation that reckless behavior behind the wheel can cause and have represented numerous families in various cases. In 2010, John Perconti obtained $6.5 million in a settlement for the family of a 32-year old woman who was killed in an accident with a semi-truck, including personal injuries suffered by her husband and child. The wrongful death portion of the settlement, $4.7 million, was the highest wrongful death settlement ever recorded in Kane County, Illinois.

If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident due to the negligence or carelessness of the driver, please contact our law firm for more information. We have the experience necessary to help your family recuperate after the loss of a loved one, in addition to uncovering the act of negligence that caused the accident.

April 3, 2013

Crystal Lake Woman Dies in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Suntimes.com, two vehicles were involved in a fatal accident at 95th Street and LaGrange Road near Hickory Hills, Illinois this past weekend. One of our Chicago wrongful death lawyers read that a 51-year-old Crystal Lake woman was driving east on 95th street and had the green light when she entered the intersection. Her SUV was then hit by a pickup truck traveling south on LaGrange road. The 25-year-old Orland Park man ran a red light at the intersection and T-boned the woman’s car. A Cook Country sheriff’s police spokeswoman stated that preliminary investigations indicate the man may have been driving up to 70 miles per hour. The spokeswoman also said the man had made statements that he had been out drinking in Chicago since the evening before.

The woman, a dedicated wife and mother of three, had been traveling to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she worked as a part time registered nurse when the accident took place. She was taken to Palos Community Hospital shortly after the accident and was later pronounced dead. The Orland Park driver, who was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries, is now in police custody and is being charged for driving under the influence. There were no other passengers in either vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

As our attorneys reading the above report noted, accidents caused by failing to obey traffic signals can be fatal. However, as of recently, legislation has been passed and signed into law authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras throughout the state of Illinois to decrease the number of these accidents. Specifically, local police departments are using red light cameras to hold drivers accountable for driving through red lights. As recently as February 2012, legislation was also passed to authorize the use of speed cameras in Chicago school and park zones. Governor Pat Quinn outlined his support for these cameras, stating “Reducing speed around schools and parks where children are present is a good policy for Illinois, and I’ve signed the legislation because I think it does have an impact on safety.”

Allowing traffic safety cameras on roadways has definitely had an impact on safety for drivers. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in 2010, there were 927 fatalities on Illinois roads after authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras, down from 1,254 in 2006. The addition of intersection safety cameras in Chicago led to a 32% reduction in fatal red light running accidents. The addition of the same cameras in Naperville led to a 65% reduction in red light violations and a 27% reduction in injury crashes at just one intersection. There was also a 35% reduction of red light violations in Westmont. Data across the state shows that the increased use of traffic safety cameras continues to change driver behavior, deter drivers from breaking the law, reduce serious car accidents, and most importantly, save lives.

While traffic safety cameras have gained much support in Illinois, based on the above report, accidents do continue to happen as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Our law firm is willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a car accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, contact us for more information.


April 1, 2013

Semi Truck Kills Driver of Vehicle Stopped On Stevenson Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

A truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read that the driver of a car that suddenly stopped on the Stevenson Expressway due to a previous collision was killed when a semi plowed into his car. Chicago.cbslocal.com states the accident occurred last Wednesday at about 1:30am near southwest suburban Plainfield. The chain of events leading to the accident started when the 26-year old driver allegedly lost control of his vehicle on southbound Interstate 55 and struck a center median wall. The vehicle then became disabled in the left lane, without its lights on, according to state police. After a few minutes, a second motorist saw the disabled vehicle and stopped to offer assistance. Before both vehicles could be moved from the roadway, a semi truck struck both vehicles near mile marker 260.

The report states the driver of the stopped vehicle was airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where he died shortly after. No other injuries were reported. Travel on I-55 was stopped in both directions so the injured man could be airlifted from the scene. By about 3 a.m. both directions were open to travel again, state police said. The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.

From the perspective of our lawyers, chain reaction collisions similar to the one described in the above report can cause serious injury to those involved. When these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the likelihood of a serious injury greatly increases. While a stalled vehicle was the cause of this particular chain reaction, others usually occur due to tailgating and failing to maintain a safe distance from others on the roadway. Thus, it is important to always keep your eyes moving to remain aware of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and street signs.

It is advised to allow a distance of ten feet in between you and the vehicle in front of you for every ten miles per hour you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling at 50 miles per hour, this distance would be fifty feet. Heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances, and distance should also be increased between all vehicles while driving in poor weather conditions. In general, remain attentive for all of the vehicles surrounding you while driving.

It is not confirmed why the driver of the passenger vehicle lost control of his car before colliding with the median and becoming stopped on the expressway. Most commonly, victims report that their vehicle had an empty fuel tank or a piece of equipment was not working properly. If there is a malfunction with your vehicle or you are involved in an accident, use your signals properly to move to the side of the road, or at least turn on your hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles. In the case that an equipment malfunction causes an accident due to the vehicle stalling in the middle of the road, the driver may not be held responsible for the accident. However, if either the passenger vehicle or semi truck driver were negligent in the above case, victims or their families may be able to claim for injuries or property damage sustained in the accident.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm for more information. Our attorneys provide quality legal representation to those who lives have been severely impacted by negligent motorists and are willing to assist you in determining what rights and compensation may be available to you.

March 28, 2013

One Killed In Semi Truck And SUV Collision On Interstate 88

by Levin & Perconti

MyFoxChicago.com released that a woman was killed on Tuesday night when a semi truck crossed the median of Interstate 88 and struck her SUV. Our wrongful death attorneys learned that the collision took place at 7:14PM on the toll road between Butterfield Road and Route 56 near west suburban Aurora. Illinois State Police say the semi was traveling east when it went through the grassy median and into the westbound lanes of traffic. Upon entering the westbound lanes, it struck the woman’s SUV head on. The semi stopped in a ditch on the right side of the westbound lanes and caught fire just seconds later, according to the State Police Tollway District Master Sergeant.

The driver of the SUV, a 46-year old woman of southern Illinois, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Kane County Coroner’s office released that an autopsy Wednesday showed the preliminary cause of death was directly related to the accident. Toxicology samples were collected and sent to a forensics lab for evaluation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation; no citations have been issued yet.

Vehicles that cross the centerline are causing an increasing number of fatal accidents on Illinois highways and interstates. Often times, motorists deliberately attempt to cross the centerline with the intentions of changing directions on the interstate. Other times, motorists accidently cross the centerline due to factors like poor weather conditions, impaired driving, or being involved in a previous accident.

No matter what the cause, these accidents can have severe consequences to those nearby. On the smallest level, these accidents generally affect all lanes of traffic on the interstate. In the above crash, westbound lanes were closed for more than five hours following the collision until being reopened at 1am, state police said. More seriously, these accidents to cause life-altering consequences to those involved, including personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage.

Our attorneys understand that the above report does not specify why the semi truck crossed the median of the interstate or if he was the direct cause of the accident. It also does not confirm whether the woman’s family planned to seek legal action against the driver of the truck. When individuals do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless of negligent motorists, they have the right to seek legal representation to receive compensation for their sufferings. If the truck driver was negligent, the victim’s family may be able to file a claim in civil court against him.

Illinois Police objectives to reduce the number of these accidents currently include attempting to find ways to keep vehicles from traveling into the opposite lane, minimizing the likelihood of a car crashing into an oncoming vehicle, and ultimately reduce the severity of accidents that occur. However, our attorneys understand that not all accidents are preventable. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a negligent motorist, please contact us for more information. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action, as well as determine what rights and compensation may be available to you.

March 25, 2013

Illinois Pick-Up Truck And Motorcycle Accident Leaves 1 Dead and 1 Injured in Elgin

by Levin & Perconti

A serious accident between a pick-up truck and a motorcycle left one person dead and another with life threatening injures on Saturday evening. Our truck accident attorneys read a report by Dailyregister.com detailing the accident, which occurred at 3pm on North Randall Road at the intersection with Westfield Drive near Elgin. According to the Elgin Sheriff’s Office, the accident took place when a pick up truck traveling north on Randall Road failed to make a complete stop prior to entering Westfield Drive. The driver of the truck allegedly did not see a motorcycle traveling on Westfield Drive until just before impact. After the collision, the motorcycle left the road and overturned in a small ditch. Brake patterns on the road have led police to believe the driver of the motorcycle was attempting to swerve into the southbound lane of traffic while braking.

The report states that the driver and his wife who were both riding on the motorcycle were unresponsive at the scene. Both were taken to a nearby medical center and were later transported to other hospitals. The driver died shortly after, while his wife remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Our lawyers understand that collisions between truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of trucks in combination with the smaller size of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. With a large number of motorcyclists traveling on Illinois roadways, we want to urge the public to be more cautious when driving near them this spring.

Specifically, truck drivers should exercise great caution while turning or merging in order to avoid colliding with another vehicle or pedestrian. Because of the many blind spots that exist for truck drivers, maintaining a proper speed, following all road regulations, and driving attentively will help to avoid serious accidents and most importantly, increase the safety of everyone on the road. Furthermore, because of the vulnerability of motorcyclists, they need to be sure to drive defensively and be cautious around trucks and other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible to others, as it is easy for trucks and cars to make turns or merges without noticing the motorcyclist nearby. As most motorcyclists die of head injuries, it is important that they wear helmets at all times. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots.

Every year, our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Truck accident lawsuits can help compensate accident victims for potential personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of a trucking accident.

Those involved in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident caused by a truck driver’s reckless or negligence behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a truck accident, please contact us for more information. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.


March 18, 2013

Chicago Attorneys Caution Against Distracted Driving Near Tow Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

Any typical driver in Illinois has experienced their share of construction on many roadways or highways in their lifetime, and has therefore driven past numerous tow trucks, signs with flashing lights, traffic cones, and emergency vehicle personnel assisting authorities at construction scenes. While many drivers cautiously and attentively drive past these construction scenes, others fail to do so and as a result cause a significant amount of damage and personal injury to vehicles or individuals working at the scene. This fact is something that our Illinois truck accident lawyers believe needs to be addressed and wants to inform all drivers of the current issues at hand.

Chicagotribune.com recently released a report detailing the death of a 20-year old tow truck driver who was killed by a passing motorist as he was assisting someone on an interstate. The driver that hit him allegedly failed to pay attention to the flashing lights and emergency vehicles on the side of the road and thus struck and killed the truck driver. After learning about this accident, an owner of a transportation service in Barrington, Illinois wanted to remind drivers to “move over and slow down” when they see a tow truck with flashing lights along the side of the road. The owner states that most people don’t recognize tow truck operators as emergency vehicles and fail to take the necessary precautions when they pass by them on roads or highways.

Illinois has had a law in place for ten years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from reckless drivers. The legislation, details the report, was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the roads, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police, fire, ambulance, highway workers and tow truck drivers. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights.

“I want to make people aware of this law, no matter where they drive,” the service owner stated. “If they’re here in Illinois or in any other state, to move over and slow down for any vehicle they see with flashing lights at the side of the road…Tow truck drivers are on the highway more than anyone else, and no one wants to get a call that their loved one was killed when they were trying to help someone out,” he said.

Our law firm agrees it is crucial that this law is followed for the safety of tow truck drivers, emergency personnel, and even other motorists and pedestrians on Illinois roadways. Unfortunately, negligent drivers do exist, and a number of individuals are injured or somehow affected by accidents caused by these drivers every year. Our attorneys are very familiar with Illinois trucking laws and have represented many individuals and families in trucking accident lawsuits consisting of issues similar to those described above.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of the trucking accident, we are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Contact us for more information.

March 13, 2013

Truck Driver Blacks Out Behind Wheel On Interstate 57

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident attorney at our law firm recently learned of an accident in Williamson County that was potentially caused by a driver blacking out behind the wheel. Kfvs12.com reports the accident took place approximately two weeks ago at 9pm on the exit ramp from Interstate 24 East to Interstate 57 South. According to Illinois State Police, a 75-year old driver of Florida was behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle when he allegedly blacked out and drove off of the left side of the roadway. His vehicle then overturned and came to rest on its left side, blocking both lanes of traffic on the interstate.

The report states that the driver had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to a Marion hospital for treatment of serious injuries. No other motorists were injured in the accident. The driver has been ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and for violating the “14-hour rule,” which states that a commercial truck driver cannot work for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period.

From the perspective of our attorneys, while road traffic accidents most commonly occur due to negligent motorists, distracted driving, or some form of driver error, other accidents may be caused by sudden illness of the driver. These unexpected medical conditions that are considered to be “sudden illness” behind the wheel most commonly include heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and epilepsy. In the above case, the driver suffered a sudden black out and was unable to drive his vehicle appropriately to avoid an accident.

There are many rules and laws in place that are worthwhile for every driver to know in the case that an unexpected medical condition arises while driving. If you are overcome by illness while driving and are in an accident, it is crucial to inform emergency services of your condition as soon as possible, as medical evidence will be critical in determining liability. Contact your insurance company who will explain your rights as the driver who suffered the sudden illness. Even if you are in the car with a driver who suffers from a medical condition, you may have the ability to claim.

Accidents caused by unexpected medical conditions while driving have the potential of becoming very complex as far as where legal liability truly falls. Determining who is liable for an accident depends on numerous factors, such as medical evidence, whether the driver’s medical condition was fatal or non-fatal, the driver’s history of medical conditions, who was injured in the accident, and whether the accident itself was the cause of a heart attack or other illness to the driver. There is a good chance that you will not be prosecuted for causing an accident, as you most likely had no control over the car at that stage. In the accident above, however, the truck driver had been on duty for more that 14 consecutive hours and was therefore ticketed for this violation. Our attorneys want to remind all semi-truck and commercial vehicle drivers that following this rule is essential for not only their health and safety, but the safety of other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway who may be injured if an accident takes place.

Every year, law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. In the case of an accident caused by sudden illness to the driver, we can help you determine where liability falls, in addition to helping accident victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact us for more information. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

March 6, 2013

Road Rage And Aggressive Driving Cause One Death in Naperville Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A 32-year old man is currently facing charges of aggravated DUI and reckless driving from a June 2012 accident that killed a 63-year old motorcyclist. A Chicago wrongful death attorney at our law firm learned that the pick-up truck driver was traveling during rush-hour traffic when he claimed a young teenager cut him off on Ogden Avenue at River Road in Naperville. The driver then became enraged and attempted to chase down the teen. In the process, he turned in front of the victim, who police say had the right of way. “He bulldozed through the intersection, no matter who or what was in his way,” a witness told a DuPage County Judge.

Dailyherald.com released that the victim, of Lombard, was killed upon impact. After the accident, the report states that the erratic driver fled the scene and flagged down a police officer, leading him to a nearby strip mall where he attempted to blame the teen driver for causing the accident. Instead, police found marijuana in his car, in addition to his blood later testing positive for traces of both cannabis and cocaine, according to a forensics expert.

“His driving and his driving alone caused [the victim’s] injuries,” said an Assistant States Attorney. But police are still investigating the accident, as several eyewitnesses were said to have provided conflicting details about who and what the case really was. In the mean time, the driver remains jailed on $500,000 bail. His trial resumed last week and will continue for several weeks afterwards.

Aggressive driving and road rage is on the rise and is a large concern for many drivers today. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as "The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property." At least 1,500 people are seriously injured or killed in traffic disputes every year. An important distinction is that aggressive driving is a traffic violation, while road rage, an extreme state of aggressive driving, is actually a criminal offense. Both may include following too closely behind other vehicles, driving at excessive speeds, running stop lights and signs, and weaving through traffic.

One of the leading causes of aggressive driving is traffic congestion. Many drivers have low tolerances for traffic delays and may become angry with anyone who slows them down on the road. Frequently changing lanes and tailgating is often the result. Drivers who are running late also tend to drive aggressively, commonly believing their actions can be justified by the fact that reaching their destination is most important.

In order to prevent aggressive driving accidents, our attorneys believe it is important to always obey speed limits and have regard towards the law and other motorists. Always be cautious of other drivers and travel in the right lane if you are a slow driver. If you are being chased by another motorist who appears to be in rage, do not change lanes or weave in and out of traffic. This could cause harm to yourself and other motorists. If you are cut off, do not make any gestures to the other motorists. Do not confront him, and attempt to refrain from making eye contact. Instead, continue driving with the flow of traffic. If necessary, call 911 with a description of the car and the license plate number. Continue driving to a safe location.

Our attorneys want to encourage you to continue driving safely on Illinois roadways. Doing so will not only help to keep you and your passengers safe, but will prevent accidents that may cause injury to other motorists or pedestrians nearby. Because aggressive driving is such a common problem for many Illinois drivers, it is nearly impossible to prevent every accident from occurring. But making an effort to drive patiently, within the speed limit, and following the rules of the road can certainly have an impact in keeping you and other motorists safe behind the wheel.

In the case that you or a loved one has been seriously injured by an aggressive driver, please contact our law firm for more information. We provide quality legal representation to those who lives have been severely impacted by negligent motorists and are willing to assist you in determining what rights and compensation may be available to you.

March 4, 2013

Illinois Lawyers Address Accidents Caused By Trucks Crossing Interstate Medians

by Levin & Perconti

Two recent accidents involving vehicles crossing the centerline or median of a highway have caused Illinois Police to discuss appropriate measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of these accidents occurring. Nbcchicago.com released a report regarding one of these accidents, in which a driver was killed after a wrong-way driver struck his vehicle.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers learned that the accident occurred on Saturday on Interstate 80 near Seneca at approximately 12:05am. The report states that the wrong-way driver was heading west in the eastbound lanes of the interstate and struck the 66-year old driver’s vehicle at high impact. To make matters worse, a semi truck collided with the vehicle just minutes later, before the accident scene could be cleared. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other drivers were transported to Morris Hospital with serious injuries. Police are still investigating the accident and no charges have been filed.

Furthermore, two westbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed last Thursday due to an accident involving two semi-tractor trucks. A Chicago man was seriously injured when his semi was clipped by another semi on the interstate just west of Briggs Street in Joliet, forcing his vehicle into the grassy median. Shorewood-il.patch.com released that at 1:15pm, the first semi was traveling in the right lane of westbound I-80, pulled into the left lane and then collided with the second semi already in that lane. Illinois State Police say both drivers were badly injured and were transported to local hospitals in critical condition, while both lanes of westbound I-80 were closed for more than five hours. The semi that traveled into the median of the road was said to have nearly caused three more accidents on the opposite side of the interstate.

Our law firm understands that accidents similar to both above are very common and often fatal on Illinois roadways, generally taking place when a vehicle either deliberately or accidently crosses a centerline or median, travels the wrong way in a traffic lane, and crashes into an approaching vehicle or causes obstruction in the middle of the road. Illinois Police objectives to reduce the number of these accidents currently include attempting to find ways to keep vehicles from traveling into the opposite lane, minimizing the likelihood of a car crashing into an oncoming vehicle, and ultimately reduce the severity of accidents that occur. However, our attorneys understand that not all accidents are preventable. Truck accidents caused by distracted or negligent drivers can cause life-altering consequences to those involved, including personal injury, medical expenses, or even property damage.

Our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered injury or death as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Please contact our lawyers to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

February 27, 2013

Death of Two Drivers in Logan County Truck Accident Sparks Investigation

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned of the recent examination of an unexplained accident three months ago that claimed the lives of two drivers on Interstate 294. Dailyherald.com released that in early November, a driver on I-294 called the police after noticing a car stopped in the right southbound lane of the highway near Logan County around midnight. The report states that the vehicle, driven by a 32-year-old man of Glenview, was at a dead stop with no lights on and was causing a traffic hazard for other motorists.

Illinois state troopers later arrived to the scene and were shocked by what had occurred. A tractor-trailer had plowed into the back of the stopped vehicle at speeds over 70 miles per hour. It is reported that the truck was hauling a large load that caused his truck to stop so suddenly that the cabin was crushed forward. Police say the semi ran over most of the car and then went out of out control, traveled into the median of the road, and stopped in a creek bed. Both drivers were ejected from their vehicles and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The report states that as a result of the accident, a Logan County Coroner scheduled an inquest into the deaths this week. After being asked to describe the scene of the accident, the coroner stated, “It was really destroyed. The car was just a pile of rubble, and the semi wasn’t much better either. I’ve never seen a semi torn up like that. It’s just a sad thing, a really, really sad thing.” He said toxicology reports would be released soon, potentially yielding more information. The Illinois state trooper who investigated the incident is expected to testify. Family members of the victims hope to find out more about the unusual accident.

One important thing to note regarding the above report is that the accident occurred in the middle of the night. A huge concern for most truck drivers is driver exhaustion into the late hours of the night, which can result in distraction and failing to drive attentively on the roadway. Night driving frequently presents significant problems of determining how fast other vehicles are going on the road, in that many truck drivers don’t realize if other vehicles ahead are stopped until it is too late, as described in the above report.

Truck drivers face many regulations before driving to ensure they are well rested, all of their equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. Because of the great amount of energy and force associated with trucks, truck drivers need to be extremely cautious at all times, even at low speeds. Doing so will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accidents on highways and interstates.

Despite the many regulations truck drivers face before driving, accidents do continue to happen as a result of negligent drivers. If you have suffered personal injury, medical expenses, property damage, or have lost a loved one due to a negligent semi truck driver, please contact our law firm to learn about your rights and what compensation may be available to you.

February 25, 2013

Two Riders Seriously Injured in Illinois Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois motory recently read a report about a severe motorcycle accident that occurred last week in Algonquin. Stltoday.com states that at 9:20am, two motorcyclists were traveling west on U.S. Route 50 near Linden Grove when they decided to change lanes—going west in the eastbound lane—to pass a vehicle in front of them. As the motorcyclists changed lanes, a pick-up truck was coming toward them in the eastbound lane. Police say the motorcyclists did not have enough time to drive around the car they were passing before the truck came towards them. The driver of the truck swerved onto the shoulder of the road to avoid hitting the motorcyclists. One of the motorcycle drivers, a 35-year-old woman of Chicago, decreased her speed after seeing the vehicle swerve off of the road, while the other driver, a 42-year-old man of Naperville, did not. He followed too closely behind the woman’s motorcycle and as a result, collided with it. Both driver’s were then thrown from their motorcycles and are currently in serious condition.

The report states that the truck driver was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured. Neither motorcyclist, however, was wearing a helmet, in addition to neither being properly licensed to operate a motorcycle. The Illinois State Police have cited both drivers for not having proper driver’s license classification, for improper overtaking of a vehicle, and for failing to have insurance.

Our attorneys understand that more people in Illinois have begun to rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation. As a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing. A primary reason for the severity of these accidents has to do with helmet laws, or lack thereof, in the state of Illinois. Officially enacted in 1970, Illinois does not have any helmet laws in place for motorcycle drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, 83% of the people who died from motorcycle crashes in Illinois were not wearing a helmet. This is among the highest percent nationally. In the United States, Illinois ranks 47th for lives saved and economic costs saved due to helmet use. Shockingly, compared to the 36 lives saved in states with a Universal Helmet Law in place in 2010, only 4 were saved in Illinois.

From the perspective of our law firm and many others throughout the state of Illinois, enacting a Universal Helmet Law should be considered. As most motorcyclists involved in serious accident die of head injuries, wearing a helmet at all times is vital. Many believe that helmets will reduce visibility or impair hearing while riding, however, these statements are both false. The risk of head injury would be reduced by 69%, and the risk of death would decrease by 37%. Thus, there is substantial evidence that increasing helmet use would not only save an enormous amount of money, but would save many lives and help to significantly avoid personal injury.

Because of the increase of motorcycle drivers on the road, we want to urge the public to be more cautious when traveling on Illinois roadways. In addition to wearing a helmet, motorcyclists should be sure to drive defensively and take notice of all other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible to others, as it is easy for trucks and cars to make turns or merges without noticing the motorcyclist nearby. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots.

Those involved in motorcycle accidents caused by another driver’s reckless or negligence behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a motorcycle accident, contact us for more information. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.

February 22, 2013

Semi Truck Accident Kills One And Injures Three on Eisenhower Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

Dailyherald.com recently released a report detailing the death of a woman from Carol Stream after she pulled over along an expressway and was then struck by an oncoming truck. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the accident occurred around 5:45am on the eastbound side of the Eisenhower Expressway near Kostner Avenue. According to Illinois State police, the 29-year old woman was parked on the shoulder of the expressway and exited her car for unknown reasons. The driver of an oncoming truck failed to notice the woman and suddenly struck her and her car, killing her upon impact and injuring her passenger.

The truck driver and his passenger were transported to nearby hospitals, in addition to the woman’s passenger. State police described all three as being in serious but stable condition. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The accident and investigation caused eastbound traffic on the expressway to be rerouted for about three hours. Charges are currently pending against the truck driver, as alcohol was believed to be involved in the crash.

From the perspective of our lawyers, accidents caused by negligent drivers of large commercial vehicles are causing an increasing amount of personal injury and fatalities throughout the state of Illinois. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that an increase in trucking accidents has occurred, not only in Illinois, but also throughout the country. In 2011, a total of 927 fatalities took place in Illinois from trucking accidents, as compared to the 911 fatalities in 2010. This represents an increase of 16 fatalities, or 1.8%. In relation to nation wide statistics, there was an 8.7% increase in the number of people killed in crashes involving large trucks throughout the United States. These fatalities increased in all categories—large truck occupants, occupants of other vehicles, and non-occupants.

Although the above report does not confirm whether the woman’s family planned to seek legal action against the driver of the truck, when individuals do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. If the truck driver was negligent, the victim’s family may be able to file a claim in civil court against him.

Our attorneys understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. We have represented a number of families in wrongful death lawsuits against trucking companies, including a recent settlement for $6.5 million for a family involved in a rear-end accident with a tractor-trailer in Kane County. A father and his young son were seriously injured, and their wife and mother died as a result of the truck driver’s negligence. The driver was found to have marijuana in his system. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

February 21, 2013

Illinois Truck Accidents Account for about Ten Percent of All Illinois Accidents Fatalities

by Levin & Perconti

Many tractor-trailer accidents occur each year in the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation compiles the data each year of traffic accidents in Illinois and releases this information to the public to help the public have a better sense of how many accidents are occurring and what factors are most common in these motor vehicle accidents.

In 2011, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that there were 10,033 accidents in Illinois involving tractor-trailers. Tractor-trailer accidents accounted for about 3.6 percent of all vehicular accidents in Illinois in 2011. Ot these 10,033 accidents, 81 of them involved at least one fatality and 1,750 involved personal injuries to at least one person. 8,202 of these accidents involved damage to property.

Even though tractor-trailer crashes accounted for only about 3.6 percent of Illinois vehicle accidents, tractor-trailers were involved in about 9.7 of all fatal vehicle accidents in Illinois. This difference in numbers is likely due to the size of tractor-trailers and the severity of many accidents involving tractor-trailers. It is much more likely that the drivers or the passengers of passenger vehicles that get into an accident with a tractor-trailer are injured or killed than the driver of the large truck because of the difference in size of the vehicles. In 2011 in Illinois, there were 15 truck drivers killed in tractor-trailer accidents and 74 drivers or occupants of passenger vehicles killed. Four pedestrians were killed in connection with tractor-trailer accidents in 2011 in Illinois.

The number of large trucking accidents that occurred in Illinois was around four times higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with 8,054 of the 10,033 trucking accidents occurring in urban areas. It is likely that one of the main reasons the number of accidents in urban areas are so much higher is because urban areas are much more congested than rural areas and truck drivers encounter many more cars and pedestrians and distraction in urban areas.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers were happy to learn that the number of fatal trucking accidents in Illinois in 2011 was lower than the number in Illinois in 2010. Our attorneys hope that truck drivers and passenger car drivers are being more cautious and respectful of other vehicles on the road and that this is leading to fewer fatal accidents in the State of Illinois.

If you or a loved one was injured in a accident involving a large truck or tractor-trailer please contact our Illinois truck accident attorneys today to discuss what legal options may be available to you or your family.

February 19, 2013

Illinois Man Faces Multiple Charges in Connection with Illinois Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man has been charged in connection with a trucking accident that occurred in Quincy, Illinois. The accident occurred on February 16th at around 11pm and involved the truck the man charged was driving as well as two other vehicles. The pickup truck that the man was driving crossed over the center line of the street and crashed into two cars that were parked on the other side of the street. According to The Quincy Herald Whig, the driver of the pickup truck fled the scene of the accident. In addition to fleeing the scene of an accident in which property was damaged, the driver faces additional charges of suspicion of possession of a stolen car, aggravated driving under the influence and driving while his drivers's license was revoked. The police were able to locate the driver even though he fled from the scene of the accident and now he faces additional charges because he left the scene.

Many drivers in Illinois do not realize the severity of leaving the scene of an accident when the accident involved parked cars. While drivers may think they can get away without stopping and leaving their information or without calling the police, if anyone sees the accident and reports it to the police and the police are able to locate the driver, the driver will face severe penalties for leaving the scene of the car accident. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers ask all drivers to always report any type of accident you are involved in, no matter how severe the damage is. A driver that reports an accident will be in much better shape with the police and with respect to fines and charges if they contact the police immediately and do anything they can to help others that may have been injured in the motor vehicle accident.

The driver mentioned in the article above will likely face serious penalties because of the combination of what he is being charged with. In addition to fleeing the scene of the truck accident, he stole the vehicle he was driving and was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while his license was suspended. It is unclear at this time if the reason his license was previously suspended was because of prior incidents of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but if that is the case he is likely to face even more severe penalties because this would not be his first offense where he was operating a vehicle while under the influence.

Plese contact our Illinois personal injury attorneys if you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in which the person responsible was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred, to see what legal options may be available to you or your loved ones. Call today to make sure you do not miss your opportunity to be compensated for your injury and hold the person responsible for your injury liable for their actions.
 

February 18, 2013

Illinois Truck Driver Cited For Accident Caused by Illegal U-Turn

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois personal injury lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a rollover accident that occurred due to a driver making an illegal U-turn. RRstar.com released that the accident occurred at 7:30pm last Thursday on U.S 20, about a half-mile west of South Alpine Road. Illinois State Police say a pick-up truck was westbound in the left lane and suddenly slowed down to travel in reverse, attempting to make an illegal U-turn on the raised grassy median. A vehicle traveling behind it swerved off the roadway to avoid a collision, and though no serious injuries were reported, he had to be extricated from the vehicle after it rolled over. The report states that the truck driver immediately fled the scene but was later caught by police. He was cited for numerous offenses including proper backing and leaving the scene of a personal injury crash.

Our law firm believes there were two primary factors present that caused the above accident, the first being the motorist’s decision to travel in reverse on a busy roadway. Reversing a vehicle is a very dangerous maneuver, as it is sometimes difficult to see other motorists surrounding the vehicle. There are certain situations where it is simply unsafe to reverse, including highways, roadways with traffic, or areas with cyclists or pedestrians. Though reversing was necessary for the motorist to make the U-turn, it was not the appropriate place to do so and thus, the accident took place.

This leads to the second problem in the above report, making an illegal U-turn. A U-turn is considered illegal if a driver is either on a one-way street, crosses a curb, crosses double white lines or a median in the center of the road, or completes a U-turn if road markings or signs indicate “No U-turns.” It is important to remember that a driver’s decision to attempt an illegal U-turn affects all other motorists on the roadway; even carefully performing an illegal U-turn can cause serious injury to approaching vehicles. Thus, it is important that if a driver needs to complete a U-turn, they do so safely on a roadway where it is legal.

Though accidents continue to happen on Illinois roadways due to negligent motorists, simply following the rules of the road and using proper judgment while driving can decrease the number of these accidents and ultimately prevent serious injury to those involved. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a negligent motorist, please contact us for more information. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action, as well as determine what rights and compensation may be available to you.

February 14, 2013

Illinois Man Charged for Fleeing the Scene of Fatal Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man has been charged in connection with a trucking accident that killed a young Illinois woman on February 12th. The victim was killed when she fell out of the passenger side of the car that the man charged in connection with the accident was driving. Once the young woman fell out of the car, she was struck by both a car and a semi-truck which killed her right away. According to The St. Louis Post Dispatch, police are unsure at this time whether the passenger jumped out of the moving car she was riding in or whether she was pushed from the car. The car then crashed near an exit ramp on 1-94 and the driver attempted to flee the scene on foot. Police were able to later find the driver and apprehend him.

Regardless of why the victim fell out of the car, the driver has been charged because he immediately fled the scene following the fatal trucking accident. The driver has been charged with one count of aggravated driving under the influence that caused a death, one count of aggravated fleeing from the scene of an accident and one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

It is against the law in the state of Illinois to leave the scene of an accident that you were involved in, and the charges are even more severe if the accident involved a personal injury and most severe if the accident involves a fatality. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys realize that many people get worried when they are involved in an accident and are worried about what will happen to them if they stay at the scene, but our attorneys want to remind everyone how important it is to stay at the scene anytime any kind of accident occurs. Drivers may face severe charges if they leave the scene of an accident and are much better off staying at the scene and talking to the police when they arrive. This is important anytime there is an accident, no matter how small or how severe the accident is. If you hit a parked car or a piece of property it is important to stay at the scene as well and to call the police immediately and report the accident, or you may face charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to property.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car or trucking accident and have questions about what legal options may be available to you and your family, please contact our personal injury attorneys today.

February 13, 2013

Three-Vehicle Accident Kills One and Injures Four On Illinois Tri-State Tollway

by Levin & Perconti

Police are currently investigating a three-vehicle accident that killed one and injured four on the Tri-State Tollway in Deerfield. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the accident took place at about 8:30am last Sunday on Interstate 94 near Lake-Cook Road. Chicago.cbslocal.com states that the vehicles involved included a tow truck, a van and a passenger vehicle.

Illinois State Police Tollway District master sergeant told reporters that a 40 year-old man of Algonquin was on his way to work when he began to slow his vehicle to pass through an I-PASS collection lane. As he slowed, a pick up truck behind him continued at normal speed and collided with the back of the passenger vehicle. Just seconds later, a van collided with the back of the pick up truck.

After authorities arrived at the crash scene, four people with life-threatening injuries were taken to an area hospital for serious injuries. The driver from Algonquin was declared dead at the scene. The report states that his specific cause and manner of death was undetermined as of Sunday afternoon and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday. Police cannot disclose any additional details about the crash because their investigation is still active.

From the perspective of our attorneys, thousands of motorists drive through I-PASS lanes on Illinois tollways every day. The prepaid electronic toll collection system is thought to be convenient for essentially everyone in that it saves the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (IHTSA) and common motorists time and money on a regular basis. However, as proven by the above report, accidents may occur if motorists do not travel through I-PASS lanes properly.

It is encouraged that when approaching a toll collection system that either includes using an I-PASS or paying with coins or cash, motorists should choose the lanes that are the proper width and height for their vehicle. Tollway signs generally indicate which lanes trucks and passenger vehicles should drive through. It is encouraged that once motorists choose the lane they will pay in, they remain in that lane. Changing lanes at the last second may increase the risk of a collision occurring. Additionally, be sure to slow down fully to the speed limit indicated at the toll, even stopping if necessary. Speed limits usually range from 15-30mph. Always remain alert for other motorists around you and be sure to allow proper distances between their vehicles and yours; this is especially necessary at times when the tollway is more congested, such as during rush hour.

Driving through toll collection systems on Illinois tollways is a relatively easy and safe procedure if these steps are followed. Although the above report does not specify who was to blame for the accident, victims have the right to seek legal compensation for their injuries if any of the drivers were negligent. This negligence may be caused by a number of factors such as driving inattentively, driving under the influence, or texting while driving.

In the case that you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to a negligent motorist, contact our law firm to learn about what rights may be available to you. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

February 12, 2013

Tipped Semi-Truck Causes Chain Reaction of Car Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

A semi-truck accident occurred on Interstate 55/70 at the intersection of Illinois Route 203 injuring three people. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the accident occurred in the early evening on February 8th and while three people were injured, all of them were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The accident occurred when a semi truck was attempting to exit the Interstate and while on the exit ramp, tipped over on the ramp. When the truck tipped over, the entire load of coal that it was carrying spilled onto the roadway. The tip occurred on a bridge overpass section of the highway, so the spill not only covered the area around the truck but also debris fell onto the Interstate area below where the bridge was located. The falling debris caused a chain reaction of car accidents, with multiple people swerving or slamming on their breaks in reaction to the truck’s spilled load of debris. The section of Interstate 55/70 where the trucking accident occurred was closed for four hours following the accident so the area could be cleaned up.

Police believe that the truck driver driving too fast for the exit caused the truck accident, so the driver was charged with failing to reduce his speed in order to avoid an accident and for losing the truck load that he was carrying. Two of the other drivers involved in the chain reaction car accident were also charged with failing to reduce their speed in order to avoid an accident.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys remind both truck drivers and passenger car drivers of the importance of always maintaining a safe speed while driving, so you will be able to react in time if you need to stop suddenly to avoid an accident. Accidents like the one mentioned above are a perfect example of how sudden stops can pop up out of nowhere, and drivers have to react immediately. The drivers driving on the road behind the truck driver and the drivers driving under the bridge where the accident occurred both had to react very suddenly when the debris started spilling onto the road. If you are traveling too fast, it is very difficult to stop right away when the situation arises and it becomes very easy to get into a car accident. Please make sure to drive at or below the posted speed limit at all times you are on the road and always make sure to be alert and aware of what is going on around you on the roadway!

February 8, 2013

3 Dead And Over 40 Injured In I-75 Multi-Vehicle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers recently learned of a terrible multi-vehicle accident scene that caused an excess of injury and damage to those involved. Usatoday.com writes that around 9am, sudden wind gusts and snow showers blew across southbound Interstate 75 in Detroit. A transportation spokesman said that although road crews had pre-salted the expressway’s lanes in preparation for unexpected weather conditions, the show showers quickly turned to ice and caused total white-out conditions beginning on the I-75 bridge. Motorists slammed on their brakes when they realized how slick the roads were, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the eight to ten crashes that occurred within the accident scene.

State Police say that between 150 and 200 vehicles were either involved in crashes or were blocked by accidents. At least a dozen fire and emergency vehicles responded to the scene that stretched for more than a mile, and at least ten flatbed trucks came to assist as well. According to a first responder, one victim’s vehicle was shattered with the back of the vehicle folded up over the front of the vehicle. Many others were totaled, had run into embankments, or had suffered some type of damage. Authorities set up a mobile command post to coordinate how to remove crashed vehicles and handle hazardous material removal because several crash-related fuel spills were reported. Tow trucks remained on site waiting to use heavy machinery to push many vehicles from the road.

Despite the amount of property damage that occurred after the accident, emergency personnel were primarily focused on rescuing injured motorists. A local Police Lieutenant stated that two children, ages 7 and 9, were killed in one accident while their parents and 10-year old sister remained in critical condition. South of that accident, a 54-year old Illinois man died in another crash with a pick-up truck. A dozen additional victims were transported to area hospitals by ambulances and rapid response units with severe injuries. More than thirty people were also treated for injuries at the scene, many of them having suffered blunt trauma from the collisions.

“It’s extremely unfortunate,” a local responder told reporters. “So many families obviously will be devastated by this.”

This large multi-vehicle accident is evidence of the dangerousness of driving in extreme weather conditions. When visibility is reduced due to rain, fog or snow and roadways become slick, the risk of an accident occurring dramatically increases. If you are driving and are faced with unexpected severe weather conditions, the most effective defensive driving technique is to slow down. Always make sure you are able to see clearly by keeping your windows and windshield clear, turning on low-beam headlights and windshield wipers, and maintaining an appropriate distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Avoid fast turns and fast stops; if you begin to skid, turn your wheels in the direction of the skid and glide until you regain control of your vehicle. If weather conditions are extremely severe, it may be necessary to pull over and wait for conditions to subside. If this is the case, refrain from leaving your vehicle at any time.

Remembering these tips will help to prevent serious injury on Illinois roadways when poor weather conditions are present. If you or a loved one has suffered in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

February 7, 2013

Illinois Couple Struck by Pickup Truck

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman was killed when she was struck by a pickup truck as she stood next to her car on the side of I-80/I-94 at the Central Avenue ramp shoulder. The woman’s husband was also struck by the pickup truck and he was thrown into the middle of the shoulder, but unlike his wife he survived being struck by the truck. The Illinois victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the trucking accident and the cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma, because according to Gary Community she was propelled over the barrier wall, which separates the highway from the exit ramp and onto the inner shoulder of the highway.

The Illinois couple was pulled over on the side of the highway because they had just been involved in a single car accident, caused by the husband losing control of the vehicle as he passed under the I-65 overpass. Their car spun around when the driver lost control and hit the barrier wall and stopped at an angle on the outer shoulder. The couple exited the car and was struck by the driver of the pickup truck shortly after they left their vehicle following their accident.

At this point in the investigation it is believed that the driver of the pickup truck also lost control of his vehicle while passing under the I-65 overpass, in a similar manner to the passenger car, causing him to strike the couple and not be able to avoid the fatal truck accident. According to police, the roadway was very wet and had scattered slick spots at the time that both drivers lost control of their vehicles.

Both the driver of the passenger car and the driver of the pickup truck were taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries but neither of the drivers suffered any serious personal injuries.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys remind all drivers of the dangers of driving on slick roads. Oftentimes, a wet road will not seem that slick or dangerous to be driving on and then the driver will encounter slick spots on the highway that cause a driver to lose control. This is what happened to the two drivers involved in this accident, and both drivers were unable to control their vehicles once they initially lost control. Whenever the roadway is wet it is important to take extra precautions and be very alert of the conditions on the road. Roads are the slickest right after it begins to rain, because the oil on the road surface rises to the surface at this time causing very slick conditions.

February 6, 2013

Illinois Driver Killed In Three-Vehicle Accident on I-294

by Levin & Perconti

Illinois State Police recently responded to a serious three-vehicle accident that killed one and injured four others. Dailyherald.com released that the accident occurred early Sunday morning on Interstate 294 in Lake County. According to preliminary reports, a southbound driver of a passenger car initiated the accident by rear-ending a tow truck traveling in front of him. The driver of the tow truck reportedly exited his vehicle to speak to the driver of the car when an oncoming taxi struck the car and began to spin out. The taxi then hit the driver of the tow truck who was standing in the roadway.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys learned that the tow truck driver is currently recovering with a few broken bones. Sadly, the driver of the passenger car, a 39-year old of Prairie View, was pronounced dead after the crash by a Lake County coroner. Police say it was unclear whether the driver suffered from a medical issue, died upon impact from the first crash with the tow truck, or died after the second impact with the taxi.

Three other individuals involved in the accident were transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with non life-threatening injuries. State Police and the Deerfield Fire Department responded to the scene and remained there until it was cleared. Because of the time of day and light traffic present when the accident occurred, there were no serious delays on the interstate. Police will continue to investigate the accident for the next few days.

An examination of the entirety of this accident has the potential to be quite difficult for authorities, considering it is difficult to assume who exactly was to blame. Police will most likely first attempt to determine what caused the passenger car to rear-end the tow truck on the interstate. Rear end accidents such as these often occur when the following car is tailgating, or if a leading vehicle decelerates at some point during travel. Police also need to determine the factors that caused the oncoming taxi to strike the car. Our attorneys often read about secondary accidents occurring soon after collisions because drivers exit their vehicles to assess the initial damage or injuries. These types of secondary accidents may occur because other drivers do not have time to stop their vehicles when approaching an accident, or may not see the accident or victims until it’s too late.

After authorities are able to answer these questions, it can then be concluded who or what was responsible for the accident and therefore, potentially responsible for the death or injuries of the other motorists involved. When an individual or family is seriously injured as the result of a negligent driver, it is advised they seek appropriate legal representation to learn about the compensation that may be available to them.

Our attorneys understand that accidents involving cars or trucks on Illinois interstates can result in life altering consequences. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries, medical expenses, or property damage in an accident due to a careless driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what rights may be available to you.

February 5, 2013

Semi-Truck Accident Leaves One Dead in Boone County

by Levin & Perconti

A two-vehicle accident occurred Monday at Illinois 173 and Caledonia road in Boone County. The accident involved one passenger vehicle and one semi-truck that collided and left the driver of the passenger vehicle dead at the scene. He suffered severe chest injuries that led to his death. According to The Rockford Register Star, the driver of the semi-truck only suffered minor injuries and was treated for his injuries at the scene of the accident and released.

At this time the Sheriff's department and the coroner are still investigating what could have led to the crash. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys remind all drivers that even though most people think of car accidents as being caused by one of the drivers speeding, losing control, not paying attention or a vehicle problem, accidents are also caused by problems with the driver's themselves. These types of problems can range from driver fatigue to a serious medical condition that interferes with a driver's ability to properly operate a vehicle.

If you have a medical condition that requires you take certain medication in order to be allowed to drive, please make sure that the medicine is always taken on time to protect yourself and others on the road. If you are driving and do not feel well or feel that you are no longer able to operate the vehicle you are driving, please make sure to pull over and seek medical attention or wait until you feel better to continue driving. Additionally, if you have a medical condition which makes it unsafe to drive or are taking a medication that should not be taken when operating a vehicle, please do not drive.

Because accidents can be caused by factors relating to the driver and not always vehicle or road related issues, the coroner is often also an important person in the investigation of a crash. If the cause of an accident is not clear, a coroner may be able to offer additional insight into what was going on with the driver. For example, if someone is driving and has a heart attack and gets into a car accident and ends up dying, the police may not be able to determine what caused the accident. In this case the coroner would be likely to figure out what had happened to cause the accident. In the above mentioned accident, it is not clear whether the coroner or Sheriff believe that the accident was caused by a medical condition or problem with the driver, and having both offices investigating what happened will hopefully lead to a quick discovery of what caused the accident.

If you or a loved one was involved in an accident and you believe the other driver was operating their vehicle while taking a medication that is not safe to drive on, contact our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to discuss what legal options may be available to you or your loved one.

February 4, 2013

Illinois Trucker Survives Head-On Impact With Trailer on U.S. 50

by Levin & Perconti

A southern Illinois truck driver miraculously survived a head-on collision with a loaded trailer last week, according to Gasconade County Republican. The 53-year old driver of Coulterville, Illinois was traveling eastbound on U.S. 50 when a loaded trailer tore loose from a westbound tractor and slammed into his truck. The trailer was loaded with “distiller’s grain” that burst from the trailer, covering the interstate’s eastbound lanes for several hundred feet. Dozens of policeman and personnel were on the scene attempting to clean the grain that in some places was three to four inches deep. Many used roller sweepers and sprayed gallons of water to remove more of the substance.

A local police trooper stated that he looked in his rear-view mirror while driving and saw the trailer slide into the oncoming truck. The tractor had allegedly crossed over the centerline at the crest of a hill on the highway, which was on a curve. As it began its descent forward, the trailer then broke loose from the tractor.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers learned that the accident closed traffic to all motorists for hours. Local fireman rerouted eastbound and westbound traffic and eventually allowed tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles to pass through once the westbound lane was reopened.

The report states that the truck driver was taken to a local hospital by ambulance for treatment of moderate injuries. He had received facial and head lacerations but did not appear to have suffered any broken bones, according to his wife. A local dispatcher commented on the accident after having seen photographs of the scene. He told reporters, “I’m surprised. Thank God he came out alive. The truck can be replaced. He can’t. He’s a good driver.”

Authorities say there was no indication that either driver was in any way under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. However, the tractor will be examined for signs of possible equipment violations.

From the perspective of our attorneys, accidents with cargo involved have the potential of causing very serious injury to the driver and other motorists if the cargo is detached or spills at any point during travel. Cargo detachment may cause further accidents, or in some cases may be caused by a previous accident. Cargo can add thousands of pounds to a truck’s weight, making it difficult for the driver to stop or steer as easily as if the cargo were not there.

Whether a cargo spill, equipment malfunction, or a negligent motorists is responsible for injury to another individual on the road, our law firm is dedicated to holding those accountable for the damage they have caused, including personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

January 31, 2013

Illinois Truck Accident Caused by Driver Taking Turn Too Fast

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident occurred this past Monday in Moline when a truck that was hauling hogs overturned at the intersection of Interstate 74 and Interstate 280. According to The Quad-City Times, the cause of the accident was the truck driver exiting from Interstate 74 to turn onto Interstate 280 too quickly. Because the truck driver was going too fast, he lost control of the truck and it rolled over. There were no other vehicles involved in the accident and the truck driver was not injured. Some of the hogs that he was transporting were injured and the truck could not be turned back over until all of the hogs were unloaded from the truck. The delay in being able to turn the truck back upright led to congestion on the exit ramp of Interstate 74 and the on-ramp of Interstate 280.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys remind truck drivers and trucking companies how important it is to drive at safe speeds in order to cut down on trucking accidents and injuries to truck drivers and other drivers on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study about causation in truck accidents involving large trucks. The study looked at a large sampling of truck accidents that involved trucks with a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 pounds that had occurred in many different states. Of all of the crashes studied, traveling too fast for the given conditions accounted for 23 percent of the truck accidents.

According to Road Safe America, all trucks are legally allowed to travel at the same speed as passenger vehicles even though it takes a fully loaded commercial truck three times as long to stop as a passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, many truck drivers feel the pressure to drive fast because they are trying to get to their destination on time and are getting paid by the mile. Large trucks do come with a computer that can monitor speed, called “speed governors”, that keep the truck from going over a certain speed. While these are installed in all commercial trucks made in the United States since 1992, many trucking companies do not use these devices.

Road Safe America
points out that many trucking companies that do use the speed governors have reported higher profits because the trucks save on fuel and the trucking equipment lasts longer because the trucks are being operated at the proper speed for ideal performance. Additionally, liability costs are often lower because the trucks are driving at safer speeds so less trucking accidents will occur.

Whether or not truckers and trucking companies choose to use speed governors on their trucks, it is important that all truckers remember the importance of driving at an appropriate speed given the size of their truck and load, the traffic conditions around their truck, the weather conditions and any other factors that could change what speed is safe for drivers to travel at any given time. Driving at an appropriate speed, which may be slower than would be safe for a passenger vehicle in the same conditions, could reduce the number of trucking accidents and keep people from suffering from avoidable personal injuries.

January 30, 2013

Woman Sentenced To Seven Years After Killing Illinois Driver

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois wrongful death attorney at our firm recently learned that a woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for causing a head-on collision that killed another driver in March 2009. Chicagotribune.com highlights the story, stating the 48-year old woman of Aurora pleaded guilty in Kane Court last Thursday to one count of aggravated DUI that killed the 54-year old man.

Specifically, the woman was driving her pickup truck south in the northbound lane of Illinois Route 47 near Sugar Grove when she struck the man’s vehicle. Accident reconstruction estimates show that she was traveling at 73 miles per hour at the time of the accident. Further tests reveal that the woman had cocaine in her system as well.

The report states that prior to the accident, police had received a number of reports from motorists reporting that the woman was “driving erratically, speeding and passing numerous vehicles.” She had been stopped and cited by police about fifteen minutes before the accident.

Am Illinois State’s Attorney spoke out after the accident, saying, “This crash was clearly preventable, the result of this defendant’s reckless and dangerous driving with cocaine in her system.” He called the man’s death “nothing short of tragic.”
The woman has been free on bond since she was indicted in 2010. She was ordered to begin serving her sentence today.

Our attorneys agree that this accident could have easily been prevented. When drivers of cars or trucks consume alcohol or drugs before driving, the results can be fatal. Not only is the driver affected, but other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians may be at risk. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that each year, about 310,000 people suffer injuries in alcohol-related traffic crashes, an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes, and about 300 fatalities also take place. In 2002, 51,649 people were arrested for DUI in Illinois.

Our attorneys want to urge all motorists to drive safely on Illinois roadways this year. Taking the appropriate steps such as refraining from driving under the influence, while fatigued, and distractedly can prevent motor vehicle accidents, decrease personal injury, and ultimately save lives.

If a driver is over the legal limit of intoxication and injures you in an accident, you may have the ability to claim. Every year, our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. We have seen the devastation that reckless behavior behind the wheel can cause and have represented numerous families in cases similar to the one above.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a negligent driver, please contact us for more information.

January 29, 2013

Truck Drivers Must be Extra Cautious when Driving in Rain, Ice and Snow

by Levin & Perconti

Slick icy conditions on the road this past Sunday resulted in numerous accidents throughout the state of Illinois. According to the State Journal-Register, police believed that as many as fourteen of the accidents they saw in the Springfield area alone on Sunday were the result of the terribly icy conditions. When the roads are icy drivers are more likely to not be able to stop their vehicle from sliding into other vehicles, crossing the dividing lines, and crashing into walls, poles and dividers.

While driving on icy roads is difficult in any type of motor vehicle, our Illinois truck accident attorneys want to remind truck drivers in particular how much more difficult it can be to control a truck in rainy, icy or snowy conditions due to the size and difficulty in maneuvering large trucks. The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that a quarter of all speed-related large trucking accidents occur when the weather conditions are adverse. Given the length of many trucks, what might be a small skid or slide in a smaller vehicle could be much more serious and lead to a severe trucking accident. These types of accidents are often very preventable just by knowing how to properly drive in certain conditions as well as recognizing when it is unsafe to be on the road at all.

Because of how hard it can be to control a vehicle on icy and slick roads, drivers must remember to reduce speed and drive extra carefully to allow time to react if you start to skid, as well as also leave extra space between you and other vehicles on the road. If you start to feel that you cannot control your vehicle or that the visibility is limited please make sure to pull off of the road until conditions are safer to drive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers the following advice to all truck drivers to help reduce the number of accidents that occur during adverse weather:
• speed should be reduced by 1/3 on wet roads
• remember the road is most slick right after it begins to rain because the oil on the road has risen to the surface
• speed should be reduced by at least 1/2 on snow packed roads

Keeping in mind these few simple reminders can help truck drivers and other drivers stay safe when driving in rainy, icy or snowy conditions and will hopefully help prevent further accidents and injuries on days with bad weather conditions.

January 28, 2013

Driver Loses Control On Interstate Due To Black Ice

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago.cbslocal.com reports that two serious accidents occurred last Tuesday on Interstate 94 when a driver lost control of his vehicle due to black ice. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers learned that at approximately 12:01pm, a 51-year old driver was westbound on the interstate at the 39.5-mile marker in the middle lane when he began to lose control of his van. As a result, the van hit a guardrail and spun around, striking the guardrail three additional times. Preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured. His 50-year-old passenger, however, was not wearing a seatbelt and was taken to a nearby hospital after the accident. The van is reported to have sustained a significant amount of damage.

To make matters worse, a local fire department responded to the scene to assist with removing both men from the van and was partially blocking the right lane. An oncoming semi truck hauling a rail container was in the middle lane when its driver, a 52-year old of Harwood Heights, Illinois, braked before moving into the left lane as he approached the crash scene. The semi lost control, jack-knifed, and the trailer’s right rear struck the center left side of the parked fire truck. The driver of the fire truck was seat belted and remained uninjured, while the fire truck sustained a small amount of damage.

From the perspective of our law firm, there are three primary factors that played a part in the above accident’s occurrence, the first being black ice. Illinois State Police would like to remind all motorists that with low temperatures, black ice can form on roadways when moisture from vehicles’ exhaust condenses on the road surface. This causes a thin coating of glazed ice on the road that can be almost transparent. Bridges and overpasses are said to be especially dangerous in these conditions. It is important to motorists to remain aware for these conditions and use extreme caution while driving.

A second factor that potentially contributed to the injuries sustained by the passenger of the van is the fact that he was not wearing a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50%. It is the single most effective thing any motorists can do to protect themselves in a crash. Just last year, buckling up saved over 13,000 lives. Choosing to wear a seatbelt is such a small decision to make, but its consequences can be large.

Finally, the fire truck that responded to the scene led to a semi truck driver changing lanes and losing control of his vehicle. Chain reaction collisions similar to this can cause serious injury to those involved, especially if they include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles. While the parked fire truck can be seen as an obvious cause for the semi driver to lose control, it also may be due to the truck driver tailgating or failing to maintain a safe distance from others on the interstate. Allowing a distance of ten feet in between you and the vehicle in front of you is advised for every ten miles per hour you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, this distance would be sixty feet. Heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances, and distance should also be increased between all vehicles while driving in poor weather conditions. Rule of thumb, if you know you wouldn’t be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you are following another, then you are most likely driving way too close.

By addressing all of these factors that contributed to the above accident occurring, we hope that all motorists will be more aware of the steps that need to be taken to help reduce the risk of an accident occurring. There are unfortunately many accidents that are caused by negligent or careless drivers, causing potential injury and fatality to those involved.

Our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. Accident lawsuits help victims recover compensation for injuries or costs experienced as a result of an accident. If you or someone you know has suffered injury or death due to a negligent motorist, please contact us for more information.

January 25, 2013

NTSB Reports Drop In 2011 Transportation Fatalities

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident attorney at our firm recently learned that transportation fatalities in the United States declined in 2011 by approximately 2 percent. Ntsb.gov reports that preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board indicate this information. Specifically, transportation fatalities decreased from 35,043 in 2010 to 34,434 in 2011. The majority of these deaths involved passenger cars, light trucks, and vans. A decrease is also present in the number of train fatalities throughout the last year.

NTSB lists additional statistics in the report stating that in contrast to the decrease in fatalities that occurred on U.S. roadways, the total number of deaths actually increased through other means of transportation. The total number of deaths in aviation increased by 18 in 2011, with about 90 percent involving fatalities in general aviation and air taxies. Deaths on U.S. waterways also rose, in which recreational boating continuing to account for the majority of marine fatalities (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).

The chairman of NTSB states, “Transportation accidents remain one of the nation’s leading causes of death. We can do better, which is why the NTSB shines a light on key safety issues each year through the “Most Wanted List Of Transportation Safety Improvements.” Our attorneys want to inform readers about what exactly these safety issues are, in addition to highlighting the appropriate actions motorists can take to help reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

A primary safety issue that affects all motorists is regular infrastructure maintenance. Regular maintenance of highways, railroads, bridges, and waterways is required, and when necessary, repair or replacement of this infrastructure may take place. Enhanced safety technologies have also proven safety benefits as of recently.

Furthermore, buses remain to be a large part of U.S. transportation, carrying millions of passengers every year. Bus accidents can be disastrous in that they can potentially harm a large number of people at any given time. Three recurring safety issues that are reported to exist regarding buses are fatigued drivers, poor occupant protection, and marginal operators. Efforts are being made to ensure that all buses are functioning properly and all bus drivers are able to transport their passengers in the safest and most efficient manner possible.

Finally, approximately 10,000 people are killed every year due to impaired drivers. NTSB investigations have highlighted the danger of impaired and distracted drivers across all transportation modes, stating, “Distraction’s death toll is highest on the highways and is only going to grow as new hand-held devices are released each year and the automotive industry develops even more sophisticated infotainment systems.”

In general, motor vehicle accidents claim more than 30,000 lives each year, injuring tens of thousands more and costing millions of dollars in damage. Though it is somewhat comforting to learn of the two percent decrease in transportation fatalities last year, as the chairman of NTSB stated, we can do better. Improved maintenance, enhanced safety advances, and additional attempts to reduce accidents are certainly beneficial; but at the end of the day, it is the driver who needs to be responsible while behind the wheel. This includes refraining from drinking and driving at all times, never texting and driving, never driving while fatigued, following all roadway rules and regulations, and being aware of his or her own driving skills and surrounding vehicles on the road.

As it has been made clear, motor vehicle accidents exist through all modes of transportation on U.S. infrastructure and will unfortunately continue to exist. Through combined efforts from NTSB, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, additional transportation safety boards, and most importantly, all motorists on the roadway, we can hopefully continue to decrease the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities that occur on Illinois roadways.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

January 24, 2013

Extra Caution Needed When Driving Near Semi-Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

An elderly Illinois couple was injured following an Illinois trucking accident in which their car struck a semi-truck on Route 116. According to PJStar.com, the accident occurred when the driver of the passenger car was unable to stop in time and rear-ended the semi-truck. Both the driver and the passenger in the car were taken to a hospital and are currently listed in good condition. The driver of the passenger car was ticketed for failing to reduce his speed in order to avoid an accident.

Given the size of semi-trucks, even a minor accident between a passenger car and semi-truck can cause serious damage to the passenger car and can lead to serious injuries for the passengers. While it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are driving cautiously in any situation, given the size and difference in how large trucks operate, it is important to give yourself extra space and be extra cautious when driving behind a large truck.

The Illinois Department of Transportation offers some useful tips to remember when driving behind trucks. Trucks have large blind spots so passenger car drivers need to always be extra alert. The tips that the Illinois Department of Transportation suggests with respect to truck driver’s blind spots are:

• Remember that if you cannot see the truck in your side mirrors that the truck driver will not be able to see you
• Remember if you can’t see one of the truck drivers mirrors than the truck driver also will not be able to see you
• Do not enter the lane in front of a truck until you can see the entire front portion of the truck in your rear-view mirror
• Never enter the area between the truck and a shoulder or curb if the truck driver has the truck’s turn signal on.

Remembering these four tips should provide a safe distance between you and a truck and keep an accident from occurring.

These are just some of the ways that you can be proactive in insuring you drive safely around large semi trucks and that you are not injured in a trucking accident that may have been avoided by remembering that extra caution should be taken when driving around trucks.

In addition to drivers of passenger cars needing to take extra steps and caution when driving near large trucks, truck drivers must also be aware and cautious of cars driving around their trucks. If you were injured in an accident involving a large semi-truck and feel that the truck driver was at fault in causing the accident, please contact our truck accident attorneys today to talk about what legal options may be available to you.

January 23, 2013

Illinois Man Dies Of Injuries Sustained In Snowmobile Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Winter weather is commonly the cause of numerous accidents throughout the country due to dangerous driving conditions such as ice, snow, and fog. Besides the most common motor-vehicle accidents, such as those involving cars or trucks, an Illinois man was found dead on Monday night while traveling on another means of transportation: the snowmobile. Stltoday.com reports that the 31-year old died of injuries he sustained in a one-machine accident while out with a group of people on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the accident.

The amount of winter snowfall in Illinois barely compares to the amount of snowfall in Colorado, but snowmobile accidents still occur in many parts of the state. Chicagotribune.com recently released a report stating that two men suffered serious injuries after a snowmobile collision in southern Illinois a few weeks ago.

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers learned that the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) is actively involved in a worldwide campaign to encourage snowmobile safety and safety training programs. However, laws governing snowmobile are said to vary widely among different states, and few restrictions and regulations for operation creates a potentially high risk for accidents to occur.

ISMA states that speeding is a contributing factor to most fatal snowmobile accidents, in addition to alcohol consumption before or during travel. Another large hazard that could have influenced the above accidents is driving at night; most snowmobile accidents occur between 8pm and 3am.

To prevent snowmobile accidents in Illinois or anywhere throughout the country, our attorneys encourage drivers to always wear a helmet and appropriate winter clothing. Never travel alone and plan your route properly before travel. Be sure to maintain your snowmobile in top condition and remember to be aware of the abilities of the vehicle and your own abilities as well. Stay alert, don’t drive when fatigued, and remain attentive for yourself, your vehicle, and others around you.

Driving and operating snowmobiles is no easy task. When poor weather conditions, mechanical defects, or even driver negligence comes into play, there is a very high chance that you or someone you know may be seriously injured in a snowmobile accident. It is important to always be aware of the above information and do what you can to prevent an accident from occurring.

In the case that you have been injured in a snowmobile accident due a negligent motorist, please contact us to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.

January 21, 2013

Pedestrian Struck And Killed By Garbage Truck In Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read that a pedestrian who was killed by a garbage truck this week has been identified. Chicago.cbslocal.com states the 36-year old Chicago man was struck at approximately 9:45am in a small neighborhood near the west side of the city. Police reported that the pedestrian suffered multiple blunt traumas and was killed at the scene of the accident. Though the accident was not declared to be a hit and run, the driver of the garbage truck was issued numerous citations for the collision. Authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.

Because garbage trucks seem to be a normal part of daily life for most, it is easy to dismiss them as dangerous, many people often failing to be cautious while driving or walking near them. The truth is that these trucks have the capability to cause serious injury or fatality to anyone who comes too close. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), garbage trucks have the highest pedestrian killing rate on city roads. These vehicles’ large size, limited visibility, and proximity to sidewalks combine to create a pedestrian death rate that is nearly twice as high as what IDOT says is their next closest competitor, the bus.

Specifically, garbage trucks kill nearly 24 pedestrians per 100 million miles driven. This number is quite large as compared to buses, which kill 14 people per 100 million miles driven, automobiles, which kill 8, and taxis, which kill 6.

Though our attorneys generally discuss the dangers of larger motor vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses, it is highly encouraged to act appropriately around garbage trucks as well. Always give these trucks the space that they need on the roadway, while at the same time remaining aware of your surroundings and attempting to make yourself as visible as possible to the driver of the truck to further decrease your risk of being in an accident.

While many accidents are caused due to the general difficulty of operating and maneuvering such large vehicles, others are caused by driver negligence, whether that consists of distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or failing to follow the rules of the road. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident by a negligent motorist, seeking qualified legal representation is advised.

Our law firm is willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

January 16, 2013

Illinois Attorneys Discuss Trucking Workplace Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagotribune.com recently reported that federal workplace safety officials have launched an investigation of a trucking company in Bensenville, Illinois after a truck driver was killed last week. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys learned that the the driver, a 57-year old of South Normandy in Southwest Suburban Worth was killed after being pinned between his truck and a post. He was pronounced dead at approximately 8:19pm at a nearby hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A few days later, the medical examiner’s office determined the driver died of multiple injuries after he became pinned between the open door of the cab and a fixed object in the loading area. The report states that he was conducting a safety check prior to leaving, and officials have ruled his death an accident.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the accident and to see if any safety regulations were not followed. Representatives from the trucking company had no comment regarding the investigation.

While most of our blogs discuss numerous trucking accidents that take place on Illinois roadways, many serious injuries or fatalities can also occur in the common workplace. The workplace can be a potentially dangerous environment for individuals at large construction sites, industrial settings, and as seen in the above report, trucking companies.

There are a variety of reasons why the safety of workers may be in jeopardy at a trucking company. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that most truck accidents take place during the loading and unloading of materials. Others may occur due to defective machines or products, tracing back to lack of inspection and maintenance throughout the company. Careful inspections of trucking policies are necessary after any workplace accident to verify that all regulations are followed and all safety policies are strictly enforced. Information gathered from the above investigation has not yet been released, but if any internal policies and procedures were not followed, the company itself may be seen as responsible for the worker’s death.

Workplace accidents can result in devastating injury or even death to those involved. Seeking qualified legal representation after an accident is critical in determining your rights, obtaining available resources needed to file a claim, and learning about what benefits and compensation you may receive as a result of the accident.

In the case that you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a trucking workplace accident, please contact our law firm for more information. We have the proper experience needed to offer you all necessary resources to take legal action. Find out what rights may be available to you.

January 14, 2013

2 Injured In Tractor-Trailer Collision On Interstate 88

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a late-morning crash that left multiple lanes closed on Interstate 88. According to Dailyherald.com, the accident occurred last Friday at approximately 11:54am between Naperville Road and Yackley Road when the 48-year old driver of a tractor-trailer decided to change lanes. As he attempted to maneuver into the lane on his right, he struck a passenger vehicle. The result of this collision caused both the tractor-trailer and the passenger vehicle to turn out of control, eventually striking a flat bed tow truck nearby.

Illinois State Police reported that all three vehicles traveled off the right side of the road and into a ditch. Two of the drivers were transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of injuries; it is not specified which vehicles these individuals were driving. The accident caused two lanes of eastbound I-88 to remain closed for more than three hours. All lanes were finally reopened just after 3pm. Investigators are continuing to work to determine what exactly triggered the accident.

From the perspective of our attorneys, a very large number of trucking accidents and collisions occur when truck drivers attempt to change lanes on Illinois highways and interstates. For semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, changing lanes can be extremely difficult because these vehicles have very large blind spots, and drivers have difficulty seeing additional vehicles on the road around them. When driving near a semi truck, you will most likely know that the semi is near you, but the semi’s driver, however, may not be aware you are near. As displayed in the above report, accidents resulting from lane changes often involve more than two vehicles because the vehicles involved may spin out of control and into the path of others. This places many drivers on the road at serious risk of injury, even if they are not involved in the initial collision.

To minimize blind spots and decrease the risk of these accidents from occurring, all truck drivers should stay in the right lane as much as possible and avoid making unnecessary lane changes. If a lane change is necessary, signaling should be completed well in advance to inform surrounding motorists that the change is taking place. Other tips to increase visibility include keeping mirrors clean and properly adjusted or installing extension-mounted mirrors.

If you are a motorist driving near a truck, remember that trucks take longer to change lanes than any other vehicle. If you must travel next to a truck, travel in the faster lanes of the highway where trucks are not as likely to enter. Furthermore, always try to refrain from traveling next to a truck in the right hand lane; the likelihood of an accident occurring is greater in the right hand lane than if you traveled in the left hand lane, primarily because it is easier for the truck driver to see you on the left. And finally, always remember that as a rule of thumb, if you cannot see a truck driver in his mirrors, then he probably cannot see you.

Most truck drivers are careful while behind the wheel, but unfortunately, not all drivers follow the above recommendations, resulting in other motorists or pedestrians being serious injured or killed when a semi truck makes a sudden lane change. A lane change happens within a matter of seconds, but the consequences of a negligent lane change can be long lasting and severe.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of a negligent truck driver, please contact our attorneys to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

January 10, 2013

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Truck Driver After Death of Illinois State Trooper

by Levin & Perconti

Bnd.com recently reported that a wrongful death suit was filed on Wednesday following the death of Illinois State Trooper after he was struck by a semi truck. Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys read that the 32-year old trooper and former Madison County Sheriff’s deputy was killed in late November while he was executing a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois. The suit has been filed on behalf of the trooper’s widow against the truck driver and the trucking company.

According to authorities, the driver was driving a semi-tractor trailer for DOT Foods when he hit the trooper on the shoulder of the highway, killing him upon impact. The driver reportedly suffered from an unknown medical condition that may have caused him to black out and lose control of his truck. The suit alleges DOT Foods acted improperly because it allowed the driver to operate his truck when he knew he was “medically unfit to do so” and was an “imminent danger to the public.”

The truck company’s corporate counsel could not be reached for comment regarding the accident. However, the victim’s family’s attorney stated that the trucking company is always looking for someone to drive their trucks. She asserts that trucking companies can't keep up with the demand for drivers and ensuring drivers are healthy would cost too much, leaving unsafe drivers in control of tractor-trailers.

There are many factors that come to play when a wrongful death suit similar to the one above is filed. A primary issue that needs to be addressed is if the trucking company knew the driver had the medical condition that he did. If so, the company had a responsibility to prevent him from driving. If not, the question of whether or not the driver’s condition could have been recognized by annual physicals or other trucking regulations enforced by the company needs to be asked. Finally, it is important to determine if the driver’s condition was the type that would prevent him from operating his vehicle properly.

In a case similar to the above, our law firm would perform a thorough and complete investigation into the fitness of the truck driver and whether the trucking company had knowledge of the driver’s physical well being. We would also determine whether the company complied with all state and federal regulations, and adhered to its own internal policies and procedures.

Wrongful death cases, commonly filed by a family member of a victim, can be used to recover monetary damages such as medical expenses or funeral bills, or pain suffered by survivors of the victim. We have seen the devastation that reckless behavior behind the wheel can cause and have represented numerous families in various cases. In 2010, John Perconti obtained $6.5 million in a settlement for the family of a 32-year old woman who was killed in an accident with a semi-truck, including personal injuries suffered by her husband and child. The wrongful death portion of the settlement,$4.7 million, was the highest wrongful death settlement ever recorded in Kane County, Illinois.

If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident due to the negligence or carelessness of the driver, please contact our law firm for more information. We have the experience necessary to help your family recuperate after the loss of a loved one, in addition to uncovering the act of negligence that caused the accident. Find out what rights may be available to you.

January 2, 2013

Semi-Truck Carrying Oversized Load Causes Standstill on Interstate 80

by Levin & Perconti

Whbf.com recently reported that a semi-truck attempting to travel under a bridge spilled its oversized load onto the highway and lost control in the process. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the incident occurred on Interstate 80 around 10am, authorities stating the road was not big enough for the truck to pass through. This, in combination with the truck carrying too much weight, caused it to veer left and right and stop abruptly in the middle of the interstate.

Additionally, a second semi truck driving behind the first slammed into a container that was dropped from the load. Traffic was at a standstill on the interstate while Illinois State Police attempted to clear the scene. CBS News spoke with a woman who was traveling with her mother and children when the incident forced her to stop. She thought about what could have happened if she was directly behind both trucks, and believes that trucks on the highway should be regulated so accidents like this do not happen. “They should stop and get checked, and I think it should be mandatory. There should be standards set for all truckers,” she told reporters. Other drivers also came forward and expressed their concerns regarding the issue.

Police say they are looking into the semi-truck driver and encourage all drivers to do their part to make sure roads are safe. "If people are traveling around over sized vehicles, increase your following distance. It makes a huge difference and if you don't have to pass them, if they are traveling the speed limit, keep your distance because if it hits something like this or if it loses control because of a slick spot or whatever, it's an awful big output traveling at a pretty good rate of speed to try to avoid," stated a local trooper.

After a few hours, I-80 was completely cleared off and drivers carried on as usual. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident.

Our attorneys understand that accidents involving semi trucks, trailer trucks, or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only drivers, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Though the accident described fortunately did not result in any injures, it could have easily been prevented. The primary reason for the accident was oversized load the driver was carrying in his truck. Accidents with cargo involved have the potential of causing very serious injury to the driver and other motorists if the cargo is detached or spills as a result of the accident.

All semi truck drivers do face a number of regulations before driving to ensure they are well rested, all of their equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. Because of the great amount of energy and force associated with trucks, truck drivers need to be extremely cautious at all times, even at low speeds. Doing so will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accidents on Illinois roadways.

Despite the many regulations truck drivers face before driving, accidents continue to happen as a result of negligent drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, please contact our lawyers to find out what rights may be available to you. We are willing to assist you in determining in legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

December 31, 2012

16-Year Old Driver Injured In Collision With Semi-Truck

by Levin & Perconti

A 16-year old driver sustained serious injuries after his pick up truck collided with a semi-truck in Kinsman, Illinois last week. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read about the accident on Morrisdailyherald.com. According to the report, the young driver was traveling north on Illinois 47 near DuPont Road when his pick up truck suddenly crossed over the centerline to oncoming traffic. Illinois State Police said there is no explanation for why the truck crossed the centerline.

As a result, the pickup truck was struck nearly head on by an oncoming semi-truck. The front of the semi collided with the passenger side of the pickup, causing the pickup to roll to a ditch on the westbound side of the road. Reports state that the pickup truck’s bed had been separated from the rest of the truck and was found in the middle of the road. Investigation teams found the 16-year old lying on the hood of the truck in the ditch. Supposedly, the driver had been ejected from the truck through the windshield.

The semi-truck stopped in the southbound lane after the accident, and the driver of the semi did not sustain any injuries. The 16-year old is currently being treated in Morris Hospital for the injuries he sustained. Authorities say his injuries are non-life threatening.

Our attorneys understand that accidents similar to the one above are very common and often fatal on Illinois roadways, generally taking place when a vehicle either deliberately or accidently crosses a centerline or median, travels the wrong way in a traffic lane, and crashes into an approaching vehicle. Similar accidents include a collision that occurred a few weeks ago when a vehicle traveling north in the southbound lane of Interstate-87 collided head on with another vehicle, resulting in two sets of injuries and two fatalities. Another serious accident occurred this summer when a 21-year old college student from Burr Ridge, Illinois was driving the wrong way on southbound Interstate-55 and collided head on with a semi truck, killing him upon impact.

Illinois Police objectives to reduce the number of head-on accidents currently include attempting to find ways to keep vehicles from traveling into the opposite lane, minimizing the likelihood of a car crashing into an oncoming vehicle, and ultimately reduce the severity of accidents that occur. However, our attorneys understand that not all accidents are preventable. Truck accidents caused by distracted or negligent drivers can cause life-altering consequences to those involved, including personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage.

Our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered injury or death as the result of a trucking accident. Please contact us to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.


December 27, 2012

1 Killed and 2 Injured in Chicago Hit-And Run Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A report released on Nbcchicago.com details a hit-and run accident that occurred in Chicago over the weekend. An Illinois wrongful death lawyer at our firm read that the accident occurred at about 5:35am in the 3500 block of West Division Street. Two men were allegedly inside their vehicle when an approaching truck hit the vehicle and fled the scene. The truck continued onward until witnesses reported seeing the truck strike a pedestrian on the side of the road. The driver continued to flee the scene.

One of the victims in the vehicle, a 24-year old of West Haddon Avenue, was taken to a hospital in Cook County where he was declared dead just 40 minutes later, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Autopsies confirmed he died from multiple injuries from the accident. Additionally, his 21-year old brother was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition. Family members are believed to be filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. The pedestrian that was struck is reported to have suffered only minor injures.

Police are currently looking into more possible witnesses of the hit-and run accident. Officials have released photos of the truck, and anyone with any information regarding the accident is encouraged to contact authorities. The police Major Investigation Unit will continue investigating the accident.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are common throughout Illinois due to negligent truck and passenger vehicle drivers and often result in fatalities. The American Automobile Association found that Illinois hit-and-run accidents have increased by 15% since 2000. From 1994 to 2003, a total of 14,914 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes in the United States, about 60% of these victims having been pedestrians. Surviving victims of these accidents report that they feel especially violated because they were not only struck by a vehicle, but the driver of the vehicle showed no remorse and failed to stop to see if the victims were okay.

Our law firm believes it is important for all drivers to know what to do if involved in a motor-vehicle accident. Illinois laws state that after any type of collision with an individual or another vehicle, the driver is legally required to stop, make a reasonable effort to contact the other party, and remain at the scene until authorities have been notified. If the driver fails to take these steps after the accident and flees the scene, prison time and fines may be issued as a result. Victims should make every attempt to identify the vehicle and/or driver if he does leave the scene in the case that a witness is needed to prove the driver was responsible for the accident.

Hit-and run accidents are not only serious because they are breaking the law, but they may be further harming an injured motorist or pedestrian by delaying them medical care. Victims of hit-and-run accidents have the right to seek legal action to cover personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of the crash.

Our attorneys have handled numerous wrongful death cases and represent individuals who were wrongfully killed or injured because of driver negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered in a hit-and run accident, contact us for more information.

December 25, 2012

School Bus And Truck Collide in Deerfield, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers recently read that a school bus full of children collided with a two-axle box truck near Arlington Heights this past Wednesday. Arlingtonheights.patch.com states that a school bus on the Tristate Toll way, just north of Deerfield road, was carrying students from Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa when it collided with a truck. The bus was allegedly traveling with seven additional school buses around 10am when the collision took place, witnesses stating that the truck was the size of a moving van.

Illinois State Police released that twenty students sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the accident. “They (the children) are being treated and taken to local hospitals,” stated a spokesperson for the police department. At least five ambulances transported the students from the scene of the accident. The report states that southbound traffic on the toll way was backed up from Deerfield road to Highway 60 in Lake Forest as officials worked to assist the injured and clear the scene.

School bus accidents, including collisions between buses, trucks, or cars injure about 8,000 children every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although the report does not specify who was responsible for the accident, our attorneys believe it is important to understand the risks and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid school bus related injuries. These measures include allowing proper distances between your vehicle and school buses on the roadway and being careful when making turns. Specifically, young children are most at risk when playing or congregating near bus stops, and when they are getting on or off the bus. It is important for all drivers to remember the following rules when sharing the road with school buses:

- Always obey school bus warning systems. Stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm.

-When a school bus is traveling on a one-way roadway or a two-lane roadway and is stopped to pick up or drop off students, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop, preferably at about 20 feet beforehand.

-When a school bus is traveling on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions, only lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction of the school bus must stop.

Familiarizing ourselves with the safety issues and concerns surrounding school buses can help reduce the number of child bus-related accidents and injuries on Illinois roadways. A number of laws exist in regards to drivers sharing the road with school buses. Violation of these laws can lead to citations, fines, and loss of license.

If you or your child has been injured in a bus accident due to a negligent motorist, including the bus driver, please contact our law firm. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action.

December 20, 2012

High Winds Cause Three-Vehicle Accident on U.S. 24

by Levin & Perconti

U.S. 24 was closed for nearly eight hours last Thursday after a three-vehicle accident involving two tractor-trailer units and a three-axle straight truck, according to Whig.com. An Illinois truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that a 58-year old man of Granville, Illinois was driving east on the highway around 12:50pm when heavy winds blew his truck sideways. As a result, the truck collided with the front end of a second tractor-trailer, driven by a 50-year old man of Murrayville. After the collision, the second truck spun out of control and came to a sudden stop, blocking U.S. 24.

To make matters worse, the driver of an International three-axle straight truck was also driving east on the highway when he approached the above accident. He was unable to stop his vehicle in time and ran off the right side of the road, overturning his truck seconds later.

Illinois State Police say all three drivers were wearing seat belts. The first tractor-trailer driver was reported to have suffered serious injures, the second tractor-trailer driver reported no injures, and the three-axle straight truck driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. All three trucks were extremely damaged after the accident, and traffic on U.S. 24 was stopped for nearly eight hours as the trucks were removed and crews worked to clear the scene. Assisting at the site of the accident were the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Fire and Rescue Team, in addition to the Schuyler County Ambulance.

It is important to note that the primary cause of this accident was the heavy winds that led the first tractor-trailer truck to blow sideways and collide with the second tractor-trailer truck. High winds are one of the top causes of car and truck accidents, producing many collisions and overturning many vehicles on Illinois roadways each year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, high winds are usually defined as sustained gusts of winds of at least 40mph and reaching up to 58mph. They cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and can even push them right off of the road. Unfortunately, wind is an overlooked danger to drivers, as most individuals fail to realize the potential dangers winds can have until it is too late.

In the case that heavy winds are present while driving, our attorneys believe an important step that can be taken to help prevent an accident from occurring is not driving over the speed limit, even decreasing speed if necessary. High speeds in combination with high winds can be especially dangerous. In addition, it is important to always keep your hands on the wheel, remain aware of your surroundings, and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Many times, high winds will be strong enough to cause a vehicle to lose control no matter what the circumstances, but following the above steps will help to greatly decrease the risk of an accident. In the case that you or someone you know has been injured in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm for more information.

December 18, 2012

Drunk Driving Organizations Raise Awareness For Holiday Season

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers read that a driver from New Douglas, Illinois was recently charged with driving under the influence in a two-vehicle accident that killed one last month. Stltoday.com states that the accident occurred in an eastbound lane of Interstate 270 near Troy, Illinois when the 24-year old driver’s vehicle rear-ended a pickup truck. The truck driver, a 27-year old woman of Granite City was ejected from the truck after it flipped over in the middle of the road. Her passenger, her 62-year old mother, was killed upon impact. The man only suffered minor injuries.

Prosecutors say multiple tests found that the man’s blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. Illinois State Police state that the driver was charged with aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol just last week. He was also ticketed for improper lane usage. The driver is now being held at the Madison County Jail in lieu of a $60,000 cash bail, according to the report.

Though the number of deadly drunk driving accidents has been steadily declining over the last few years, organizers such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Alliance Against Intoxicated Driving (AAID) say one accident is still too many, A recent report by Abclocal.go.com states that both organizations have launched an awareness campaign with the goal of keeping roads safer this holiday season.

Both organizations just held a vigil this Tuesday where dozens of people came together to share the pain of losing a loved one to drunk driving, including a 35-year old husband and father who was killed on Interstate 57 when a drunk driver rear-ended his vehicle. Organizers hope that similar events will help families cope with their losses, while also raising awareness.

"It's a problem that's always going to be around because people drink and it's socially acceptable. It's totally unacceptable to get behind the wheel if you've been drinking," stated a member of AAID. "One in three families will be impacted by drunk drivers,” stated a member of MADD. “So if you're sitting in a row of three people, it's not the two of them. It's going to be you."

Our accident lawyers don’t want it to be you this holiday season. We highly encourage all motorists to refrain from drinking and driving and continue to drive attentively and responsibly. With an increase of drivers on roadways for the holidays, in addition to the possibility of snow or inclement weather conditions, the risk of a deadly accident occurring is quite high. Adding alcohol into the mix not only puts you at danger, but also can potentially cause injury or fatality to other motorists and pedestrians on the road.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a drunk driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

December 13, 2012

Truck Driver Disqualified After Fatally Striking Illinois State Trooper

by Levin & Perconti

Federal regulators have determined that a truck driver is not medically fit to drive commercially after he lost consciousness behind the wheel and his tractor-trailer struck and killed an Illinois state trooper. According to Therepublic.com, authorities say the 32-year old trooper was working at a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield when he was struck and killed by the oncoming truck. After agency investigators later found serious concerns about the driver’s medical conditions and qualifications under his commercial driver’s license, he was placed out of service last Friday and is disqualified from further trucking. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determined that the driver "failed to exercise an appropriate duty of care to the motoring public."

The report also states that the driver’s prescribed medications were found in his truck after the accident, investigators later determining he failed to disclose his medical situation to a medical examiner. Authorities stated the driver was in a “present state of unacceptable safety compliance.” The department did not detail the driver’s conditions, and the driver had no comment about the accident. Charges may be filed in the near future.

"This case sends a clear message that we will use every tool at our disposal to identify and remove from our roads unsafe operators," said the FMCSA’s chief. "Our agency is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle and driver safety.”

Accident reports similar to this emphasize the necessity of qualified commercial vehicle drivers on all roadways and interstates. All truck drivers are required to own a proper license, properly maintain their vehicle, and ensure they can operate their vehicle responsibly; failing to report medical conditions is a serious matter in that it not only jeopardizes driver safety behind the wheel, but can potentially injure or kill other individuals on the road.

Our attorneys want to encourage all motorists to drive attentively and responsibly on Illinois roadways. Though transportation agencies frequently attempt to remove irresponsible drivers from the road, many of these drivers unfortunately continue to exist. When an accident does occur due to a careless driver, victims have the right to seek compensation for any injuries they sustained as a result.

If you have or a loved one has experienced personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage due to a negligent motorist, contact our Illinois truck accident law firm at Levin & Perconti. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

December 11, 2012

Two Motorists Killed After Walking Across Illinois Interstate

by Levin & Perconti

Jacksonsun.com recently released a report detailing the death of a motorist after being hit by a truck on an Illinois highway as he attempted to help another motorist, who had also been hit by a vehicle just beforehand. Illinois State Police say that a 58-year old man from out of state was northbound on Interstate 57 when he lost a tire around 5:40pm. When his car broke down on the northbound shoulder, the driver tried to retrieve the tire from the median of the road, being fatally struck by an oncoming vehicle just seconds later. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

After witnessing the accident, an 80-year old motorist on his way to Chicago stopped and left his truck to help pull the man’s body out of the road. As he was crossing the highway, he was sadly hit by an oncoming truck. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois where he died shortly after. A newspaper report in a Kankakee, Illinois daily journal states the crash remains under investigation by state police and no citations have been issued.

Though it is not stated who was specifically the cause of either accident, an obvious factor that played a part in the death of both motorists was their decisions to attempt to walk across the interstate. While many may believe these decisions were senseless, pedestrian accidents on interstate highways are actually quite common. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, more than ten percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on highways. The most common reason for these individuals to be on the highway is when they find a need to walk across it; in the case of the above accidents, the first motorist walked across the interstate to retrieve his missing tire. Given the speed of other vehicles on the roadway, many drivers fail to see these individuals until it is too late.

Other causes of pedestrian fatalities on interstates involve pedestrians walking in the roadway at night, walking or standing on the road shoulder, attempting to fix mechanical problems with their vehicle, and finally, tending to a previous accident.
Pedestrians do need to use an appropriate level of care to protect themselves on highways; however, there are many instances in which pedestrians are injured or killed due to negligent motorists. These motorists include individuals who drive over the speed limit, drink and drive, use their cellular phones while driving, or drive while fatigued. In these instances, pedestrians or their families may be able to receive legal compensation for injuries sustained as the result of an accident.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois pedestrian accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights may be available to you.

December 7, 2012

Chicago Police Officer Charged For Hit-And Run Accident With Bicyclist

by Levin & Perconti

Nbcchicago.com states that a Chicago police officer has been charged with striking and seriously injuring a bicyclist, not only fleeing the scene afterwards, but also filing a false report about the accident. Our law firm learned that the accident occurred in August when the 33-year old officer of almost ten years was driving his truck near California and Wabansia Streets and struck a woman riding her bicycle home from work at 3:45am. Officials say she was knocked unconscious with a head injury, and also suffered other bruises and fractures to the rest of her body. Her boyfriend, who was also riding his bicycle nearby, stated that he saw the pickup speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and running stop signs before he struck the woman.

The report states that the officer called 911 twice from his cell phone to report the accident and provide the location and condition of the victim, without identifying himself as a Chicago police officer. As ambulances approached the scene, the officer got back into his truck, drove around the victim and hit two parked cars as he fled the scene, his license plate falling off of his truck in the process. "To find out that he was a police officer and was not taking action at that point, that really surprises me," said the woman’s boyfriend.

Even more surprising, prosecutors say the officer filed a false report with police two days later. He ultimately tried to conceal his wrongdoing by blaming the bicyclist for the accident, stating the woman disregarded a stop sign and hit his truck, later fleeing the scene. Authorities who recovered paint samples from the truck, in addition to the truck’s missing license plate, determined the truck had hit the woman’s bicycle and both parked cars. Medical and forensic records also indicate the officer was to blame for the accident.

The state’s attorney’s office recently released that the officer was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries, a Class 1 felony, and disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony. He has been relieved of his police powers and was ordered held on a $25,000 bond.

From the perspective of our attorneys, the occurrence of accidents similar to this is truly unfortunate. While negligent motorists do exist, the negligence of drivers such as police officers, semi truck drivers, or bus drivers can cause accidents and serious injury that simply should not happen. These drivers are expected to follow all rules and regulation necessary to protect that safety of other individuals on the road, whether they are motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Some of these rules include owning a proper license, properly maintaining their vehicle, operating their vehicle attentively and responsibly, and reacting appropriately if an accident does occur.

Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a truck and bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals and families who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death because of the carelessness or negligence of a motorist.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent truck driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

December 5, 2012

Illinois Lawyers Increase Awareness of Ambulance Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Four people were injured in an accident involving an ambulance and a tractor-trailer a few weeks ago, according to Stltoday.com. The crash happened at about 7:50pm on Interstate 55 near Hamel, north of Edwardsville. Illinois State Police stated that an ambulance was in the right lane responding to a medical emergency at the I-55 rest area when it made a sudden turn and was then struck by a tractor-trailer following behind it. As a result, the ambulance overturned and both drivers of the vehicles suffered injuries, in addition to one passenger in each vehicle. All four people were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries. The report states that no charges were issued, and no further information is available.

Though it is not specified who was ultimately responsible for the accident, motor vehicle crashes involving ambulances have become an increasing source of public concern, posing a serious risk to drivers, passengers, and patients. In this post, our attorneys will list ambulance crash statistics, address ambulance crash characteristics, and project the magnitude and severity of risks involved, hoping to increase awareness in relation to these accidents and help all motorists remain safe while sharing the road with ambulances.

Ncbi.com states that throughout the last decade, 399 ambulance accidents caused 405 fatalities and 838 injuries in the U.S. Authorities believe that given there are close to 50,000 ambulances on the road on any particular day, it is likely there were even more collisions than those making headlines. In 2011, a total of 39 people suffered a range of injures in these accidents, many of these individuals actually being ambulance drivers and crew members themselves.

After analyzing all fatal ambulance accidents on U.S. public roadways throughout the last decade, data shows that these accidents occurred most often between 12-6pm, on straight and dry roads, and almost always at intersections (41%). Ambulances were commonly hit by other vehicles as they attempted to go through intersections and vice versa, sometimes happening when ambulances traveled against red lights to reach their destination. In these accidents, a greater amount of injuries fell upon those who were not in the ambulance.

Moreover, about 10% of ambulances collided with one another on roadways, or with other emergency response vehicles like fire trucks or police cruisers. Most crashes and fatalities also occurred during emergency use, when ambulance drivers simply lost control of their vehicle while traveling at excessive speeds. Finally, our attorneys were surprised to learn that last year, 16 accidents had some connection to the use of alcohol or drugs, most commonly by civilian motorists but also by ambulance crew members in some cases.

Authorities say emergency medical service directors are attempting to develop more ambulance operation and risk management policies. Many believe that crash and injury reduction programs should address improved intersection control, screening to identify high-risk drivers, appropriate restraint use, and design modifications to decrease the likelihood of ambulance damage in collisions.

As one can see, collisions with ambulances can occur under many conditions and have the potential to be life threatening. Our attorneys hope that by knowing the above information, drivers will stay alert for all emergency vehicles, react appropriately if an emergency vehicle is approaching, and drive responsibly to prevent the risk of an accident occurring. As always, it is encouraged to remain attentive, use good judgment, and follow the rules of the road.

Our Illinois truck accident law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of an ambulance accident. Please contact our lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

December 3, 2012

Semi Truck Kills Bicyclist in Chicago Hit-And Run Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagotribune.com reports that a semi truck killed a teenage bicyclist in downtown Chicago last weekend and immediately fled the scene. Our lawyers learned that the teen was struck at approximately 3:30pm near the South Side and died upon impact. Though it is not specified exactly how the accident occurred, the fact that it is a hit-and run has left authorities and accident investigation units seeking the driver. Police are asking nearby residents to come forward if they have more information regarding the accident.

All semi truck accidents are recognizably serious in that they have the potential to cause injury to those involved. Bicyclists are extremely susceptible to injury in a semi truck accident due to the truck’s large weight, height, and number of blind spots present in combination with the vulnerability of the bicyclist. In addition, it is easy for drivers to fail to yield to bicyclists or fail to give bicyclists the space they need while riding on roadways. Bicyclists are considered as motorists and have every right to use the roadway like any other vehicle does; yet, they are commonly disregarded and as a result too commonly become victims in serious accidents and collisions.

Even more, in addition to the general likelihood of a bicyclist being struck by a large commercial vehicle, many serious bicycle accidents unfortunately involve inattentive or negligent motorists. Many drivers do not follow the rules of the road, or are simply distracted while driving. In the above report, the driver of the semi-truck couldn’t even stop to check the bicyclist after hitting the teen or report the accident, and instead fled the scene.

It is important that all truck drivers drive attentively and responsibly to ensure the safety of other motorists on Illinois roadways, especially bicyclists. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a truck and bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident due to a negligent truck driver, you may be able to receive compensation. Our Illinois personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

November 28, 2012

Illinois Chain-Reaction Collision Causes Injury and Fatality on I-57

by Levin & Perconti

News-gazette.com recently released a report detailing a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 57 that claimed the life of a 22-year old Chicago man last Friday afternoon. Our law firm learned that a semitrailer truck was decreasing in speed in the southbound lanes of the interstate at the 255-mile marker near Ludlow, Illinois due to an earlier accident. This accident consisted of a semi truck and a passenger vehicle collision around 1:10pm after the semi lost control, eventually rolling over in the southbound lanes. The semi’s tired crossed the center median into the northbound lanes where they struck an oncoming Jeep.

After slowing down for this accident, the semitrailer truck began a large chain reaction collision about five miles north of Rantoul. The 53-year old truck driver hit a passenger vehicle, pushing it into a rear of another truck tractor flatbed semi trailer, and also sideswiped a van.

Needless to say, these accidents caused an immense amount of damage, personal injuries, and one fatality. Some were taken to nearby hospitals with serious injuries; response teams unfortunately needed to cut the 22-year old man out of his destroyed car, with his injuries leading to his death just hours later. The southbound lanes between Paxton and Rantoul were closed and traffic was rerouted for several hours. Both lanes of traffic were reopened around 6 p.m.

Chain reaction accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. When these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the likelihood individuals sustaining injuries greatly increases. Though many of these accidents are unavoidable, it is important that drivers do everything they can to prevent these accidents from occurring. This primarily includes maintaining a safe distance from others on the roadway at all times. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, as well as properly maintaining your own vehicle, helps to decrease the risk of an accident.

Note that heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances, and distance should also be increased between all vehicles while driving in poor weather conditions. Rule of thumb, if you know you wouldn’t be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you are following another, then you are most likely driving way too close. In general, always keep your eyes moving to remain aware of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and street signs on the roadway.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a trucking accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, please contact our law firm for more information.

November 26, 2012

Garbage Truck Kills Pedestrian in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

Police have recently identified a man who was killed after being struck by a garbage truck last week, according to Chicagotribune.com. The pedestrian, identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, was struck at approximately 8:30am in the Pilsen neighborhood near the west side of Chicago. An officer reported that the pedestrian suffered multiple blunt traumas and was pronounced dead by medical examiners at 9am at a hospital in Cook County.

Though the accident was not declared to be a hit and run, the driver of the garbage truck was issued citations for the collision. The police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is continuing to investigate.

In many previous blogs, our attorneys have discussed the general dangers of large motor vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses. However, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), garbage trucks have the highest pedestrian killing rate on city roads. These vehicles’ large size, limited visibility, and proximity to sidewalks combine to create a pedestrian death rate that is nearly twice as high as what IDOT says is their next closest competitor, the bus.

Specifically, garbage trucks kill nearly 24 pedestrians per 100 million miles driven. This number is quite large as compared to buses, which kill 14 people per 100 million miles driven, automobiles, which kill 8, and taxis, which kill 6.

Because garbage trucks seem to be a normal part of daily life for most, it is easy to dismiss them as dangerous, many people often failing to be cautious while driving or walking near them. The truth is that these trucks have the capability to cause serious injury or fatality to anyone who comes too close. It is highly encouraged to give these trucks the space that they need on the roadway, while at the same time remaining aware of your surroundings and also attempting to make yourself as visible as possible to the driver of the truck. Doing so will decrease your risk of being in an accident and ultimately prevent serious injury.

While many accidents are caused due to the general difficulty of operating and maneuvering such large vehicles, others are caused by driver negligence, whether that consists of distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or failing to follow the rules of the road. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident by a negligent motorist, seeking qualified legal representation is advised.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact our lawyers at Levin & Perconti for more information.

November 21, 2012

Truck Driver Charged With DUI After Seriously Injuring Elderly Pedestrian

by Levin & Perconti

An 87-year old pedestrian was severely injured in Chicago on Friday morning when a drunken truck driver struck him while he was attempting to cross the street. A report by Chicagotribune.com states that the pedestrian was crossing the street at approximately 7:05am in the 400 block of North Broadway. The driver, a 26 year old of Rogers Park, reportedly drove through a red light and hit the pedestrian in the process.

The victim of the accident was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition and remains there today, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman. Officers were able to arrest the driver soon after the accident. He was recently charged with felony DUI resulting in serious injury, and cited with striking a pedestrian, running a red light, and driving without insurance or a driver’s license. Police say he was expected to appear in Cook County Bond Court on Sunday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in the United States. In relation to the above report, while the average pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to get killed in a motor vehicle accident than the driver or occupants of the vehicle, statistics further show that elderly people account for 18 percent of all pedestrian accident fatalities (Illinois Department of Transportation). Reasons for this include the fact that elderly pedestrians oftentimes have more frail body structures and move at generally slower paces across roadways.

To prevent an accident from taking place, it is important for all pedestrians to always keep an eye out for motor vehicles, in addition to wearing bright clothing and always walking in available paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks in order for motorists to see them in return. It is also important to make sure that streets and intersections are crossed at appropriate times and there is plenty of time available to do so.

As for drivers, yielding to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks is required in most situations. Driving responsibly and attentively and following the general rules of the road is always expected. The number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities each year is at a fairly high level in Illinois and throughout the country; unfortunately, drivers similar the one in the above report increase this level through their negligent actions, including traveling through red lights, drinking while driving, etc.

Our law firm wants to encourage all pedestrians and motorists to avoid the risk of injuries or death in an accident by taking the necessary safety measures when on the road. In the case that a pedestrian, or any individual, is injured or killed as the result of a negligent motorist, legal recourse may be available to them or their families. It is advised that all victims seek quality representation after an accident. Our Illinois personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are experienced in helping victims compensate for injury or medical expenses due to the negligence or recklessness of a driver. Please contact us for more information.

November 16, 2012

Chicago-Land’s First Snow Blamed for Several Fatal Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

As the middle of November approaches, many Chicago and suburban area residents have only begun to enjoy the fall season’s brisk weather, the changing colors of the leaves, and the preparation of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. These residents, however, had a rude awakening on Monday night when the city’s first snow flurries arrived. Freezing temperatures, frost, and black ice near roadways and expressways surprised drivers in the West and Northwest suburbs. Also surprising is the number of motor-vehicle accidents that occurred in the Chicago area over night.

According to Chicagotribune.com, state police patrolling area toll roads responded to a total of 17 crashes between 9:45 and 10:45pm. A Master Sergeant stated that this number was extremely above the typical 1 or 2 crashes during that time period. In one accident that occurred, a 42-year-old man was fatally struck by a vehicle after leaving his own car following a collision on the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, just west of Gary Avenue. Another accident occurred when a police cruiser was hit by a truck while an officer was responding to the scene of an accident. “Troopers were dodging cars coming at them,” authorities said.

In all, slick roads and black ice left vehicles damages, drivers injured, expressways closed overnight, and witnesses hoping the snow flurries would come to an end. Though the snow may be gone for now, it will certainly return soon, and our attorneys want all motorists to be prepared for poor weather conditions on Illinois roadways.

Though the best way to avoid an accident on a snowy road is to simply stay off the road until the poor weather passes, there are many simple steps that drivers can take to decrease the risk of an accident occurring. These steps include remaining aware of all current weather forecasts, traveling at slower speeds to maintain vehicle control on ice, always wearing a seatbelt, and being attentive for other drivers who may have lost control of their own vehicles. It is also important to refrain from stopping for accidents or stranded vehicles along an icy roadway because it increases the likelihood of a chain-reaction collision occurring, as seen in the above reports.

In all, our attorneys want all drivers to keep these safety tips in mind in order to be prepared for any unexpected snow or ice that the season brings. Understand that overconfidence in these conditions is what causes a greater number of personal injury and fatalities; always drive defensively, attentively, and responsibly.

In the case that you or a loved one is injured in an accident due to another’s negligence, please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti for more information.

November 14, 2012

Truck Driver Runs Red Light and Strikes Police Car In Downtown Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

Nbcchicago.com recently released a report detailing an accident that occurred Saturday morning after a truck driver ran a red light and T-boned a police squad car, injuring two Chicago Police Officers as a result. Our law firm learned that the 18-year old truck driver of West 50th Street in downtown Chicago was approaching the intersection of 47th and La Salle Streets when she ran the red light, according to a police News Affairs Officer.

After striking the police squad car, the truck driver and one police officer were taken to Mercy Hospital with minor injuries, while the second officer was treated on the scene. The report states that the truck driver received a handful of traffic citations, ultimately being charged with running a red light, negligent driving, driving without insurance, and a municipal violation for damage to city property. The driver is scheduled to appear in Traffic Court later this year.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 100,000 accidents and 1,000 fatalities occur nationwide each year because of a driver failing to stop at a red light. These accidents are often considered “T-bone” accidents, where the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. Our lawyers believe these accidents are especially damaging because the side of a vehicle is proven to be one of its weakest points; therefore, upon impact in this area, the likelihood of injury or death occurring is much greater than other types of accidents with similar force.

Running red lights is a common problem in Illinois, although incidents of red light running have begun to decrease because of the authorization and installation of red light cameras at various intersections and roadway locations. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2010, 927 fatalities took place on Illinois roads after authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras, a decrease from 1,254 in 2006. Specifically, the addition of intersection safety cameras in Chicago led to a 32% reduction in fatal red light running accidents. Additional data across the state shows that the increased use of traffic safety cameras continues to change driver behavior, deter drivers from breaking the law, reduce serious car accidents, and most importantly, save lives.

While traffic safety cameras have gained much support in Illinois, based on the above report, accidents do continue to happen as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a car accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, please contact us for more information.

November 9, 2012

Four People Injured After Ambulance Rear-Ends Semi Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Four people were injured in a collision between an ambulance and a semi truck earlier this week in Mazon, Illinois, according to Shelbyvilledailyunion.com. A Grundy County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy stated at about 7:30am, the sheriff's department received a report of an accident involving a semi and a Gardner Fire District ambulance in the northbound lane of Illinois 47, near the railroad crossing.

Allegedly, a train was crossing the tracks and the gate arms were down at the time of the accident. Thought the gate arms were down with lights flashing, a heavy fog sat in the air that significantly limited visibility. Witnesses report seeing a passenger vehicle having to stop abruptly to avoid striking another vehicle stopped at the crossing, then a semi behind the vehicle do the same. The ambulance, which was behind the semi truck, was unfortunately unable to stop in time to avoid a collision and struck the semi at full force.

The report states that four people were transported to Morris Hospital, including a patient who was in the ambulance at the time of the accident. Names and specific injuries of the victims have not yet been released. All ambulance service and travel times were uninterrupted.

From the perspective of our attorneys, a primary factor at play in the above report that led to the ambulance colliding into the back of the semi truck was the existence of poor weather conditions. Fog is a leading cause of automobile accidents in that it reduces drivers’ perception of speed, makes it difficult to distinguish between a moving object and a stationary one, and also makes it difficult to judge the distance a driver has between his or her vehicle and the vehicles nearby. Last year, approximately 38,000 crashes took place throughout the country because of fog, causing around 15,600 injuries and 600 fatalities. (U.S. Department of Transportation).

Maintaining a proper distance between yourself and other vehicles is recommended in any circumstance, but it is especially crucial in poor weather conditions. It is also important to take your time, use your fog lights, if possible, and drive with extreme caution. If you or a loved one has been in an accident due to a negligent motorist who has failed to drive attentively and responsibly at any time, please contact our Illinois truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

November 5, 2012

Pick Up And Semi Truck Collision Leaves Two Injured In Macomb, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

A large collision involving a pick up truck and a semi-truck in Macomb, Illinois on Friday has left roadways closed and two individuals seriously injured, according to Olneydailymail.com. Preliminary information from a McDonough County Sheriff states that the pick up truck appeared to have drifted over the centerline while heading eastbound on state Route 136, causing it to collide with a semi truck in a westbound oncoming lane.

The sheriff says that there were two occupants in the pickup truck, which was overturned, and one occupant in the semi. A man who lives close to the scene of the accident, which specifically occurred near the intersection of Route 136 and County Road 1800 East, said the collision “sounded like a sharp explosion.” Reports state that from his vantage point, he could only see the wheels of the over-turned pickup truck.

As a result of the accident, the passenger of the pickup and the driver of the semi were transported to McDonough District Hospital by ambulance. The driver of the pickup truck, who was trapped within the vehicle, was evacuated by helicopter. East and west bound lanes on state Route 136 of Macomb were also closed. Details regarding the nature of the accident and specific injuries remain unclear; the county sheriff was unable to provide any more information. The accident is currently under investigation by Illinois State Police.

Our law firm understands that accidents similar to the one above are very common and often fatal on Illinois roadways, generally taking place when a vehicle either deliberately or accidently crosses a centerline or median, travels the wrong way in a traffic lane, and crashes into an approaching vehicle. Illinois Police objectives to reduce the number of head-on accidents currently include attempting to find ways to keep vehicles from traveling into the opposite lane, minimizing the likelihood of a car crashing into an oncoming vehicle, and ultimately reduce the severity of accidents that occur. However, our attorneys understand that not all accidents are preventable. Truck accidents caused by distracted or negligent drivers can cause life-altering consequences to those involved, including personal injury, medical expenses, or even property damage.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered injury or death as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Please contact our lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

October 30, 2012

18-Year Old Bicyclist Dies After Truck Collision in Southern Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

The collisions that take place between truck drivers and bicyclists are unfortunately common and have been discussed previously in many of our blogs. These accidents are once again in need of discussion, as our attorneys recently learned of the death of an 18 year-old student after a truck hit him while he was riding his bicycle in southern Illinois.

Kwqc.com released a report detailing the accident, which occurred near the village of Bonnie, Illinois. A coroner at the scene stated that the 18 year-old and another person were riding bicycles along opposite sides of Illinois Route 37 when a pick up truck suddenly pulled onto the roadway and failed to see the bicyclists until the very last second. The coroner said the truck driver attempted to avoid one cyclist, but hit the 18-year old.

Authorities say the student died at the scene and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating the accident. They also stated that the accident happened in darkness and while the cyclists were wearing dark clothing, with no reflectors on their bikes.

Our attorneys have noted multiple times that both bicyclists and truck drivers need to take the appropriate steps needed to reduce the possibility of collisions on Illinois roadways. However, in this case, the bicyclists failed to make themselves visible on the roadway, likely contributing to the cause of the accident. It is always recommended for bicyclists to wear a helmet, wear bright and reflective clothing, and be sure they have reflectors on their bicycles, especially at night. By doing so, motorists will have a better chance of seeing them while riding on public roadways. Bicyclists should always stay alert and ride with the flow of traffic.

In addition, truck and passenger vehicle drivers should make every attempt to yield to bicyclists and give them the space they need while riding on or near roadways. Motorists should always be sure to pass bicyclists at a safe distance, be extra careful when driving through intersections, and to turn and yield properly. In general, it is important that all motorists and bicyclists follow the rules of the road and travel attentively and responsibly to prevent collisions.

While not every accident or injury can be prevented, remembering these safety tips will help to avoid accidents and prevent serious injury to both motorists and bicyclists. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a truck and bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals and families who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death because of the carelessness or negligence of a motorist.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident due to a negligent truck driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

October 26, 2012

Truck Driver Recognized For Traveling 4 Million Miles Without Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Nwitimes.com recently released a report detailing the incredible job of a truck driver who has logged four million miles without a single accident over his 40-year career. Our attorneys learned that the man has driven for Ruan Transport in East Chicago for the past nine years and is currently responsible for making regional deliveries of cryogenic liquids. He has also driven for McKeown Transportation, The Linde Group, and Praxair Inc., and has traveled across 48 states. He travels between 50 and 400 miles each trip and has reportedly driven enough miles throughout his career to circle the globe 160 times.

The driver credits his safe driving record to being aware of changing road, weather, and traffic conditions. “My routine varies daily,” he stated. “The long hours are a drawback, but I like that the job varies and that I get to be alone.”

The report states that Ruan Transport recognized the driver with a luncheon and presentation of the 4 Million-Mile Award. “It was a real surprise,” he said of the recognition. “I was only doing what I’m supposed to do.” The driver stated that he plans to continue on the road and is not going to retire in the near future.

Though the truck driver did not boast about his work and barely seemed to show emotion, drivers similar to this man should definitely be commended for their efforts. By simply driving attentively, remaining aware of all roadway conditions, and being responsible about his job, hundreds of accidents may have been prevented and many innocent lives were undoubtedly spared.

All truck drivers should aspire to drive in the safest manner possible every time they are behind the wheel. It is important that truck drivers are well rested when driving, maintain their vehicle properly, and do not drive over the speed limit. They should distance themselves from other vehicles as best as they can and always drive attentively, especially at night.

Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals who have suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a trucking accident caused by a careless driver. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

October 22, 2012

Illinois Lawyers Discuss Need to Freeze Maximum Size and Weight of Semi Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

The dangers associated with large trucks, including semis, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles are immense. These trucks sometimes weigh up to 80,000 pounds and account for a great number of traffic injury and death each year. Could you image increasing the size and weight of these trucks? Neither could we. Our law firm recently read a report by Saferoads.org regarding the need to freeze the maximum size and weight of trucks in order to increase the safety of all individuals traveling on Illinois interstates and highways.

Freezing the size and weight of large trucks is necessary because in simple terms, bigger trucks compromise safety. The heavier a truck is, the more the chances of a truck accident occurring and resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that large trucks are involved in 11% of all crash fatalities. In 2009, nearly one-quarter of occupant fatalities in passenger vehicles that had multi-vehicle collisions were the result of accidents involving large trucks. In two-vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles and large trucks, 98% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicle.

In addition to injuries and fatalities, the issue of cost is at hand. Truck related accidents cost up to $19 billion each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). Fatal truck accidents create the highest costs, with an average of $3 million spent per accident. These costs include medical bills, lost wages, road damage, and other projected costs. Specifically, road damage has become a serious issue in that one legal 80,000-pound tractor-trailer truck does as much damage to road pavement as 9,600 cars! By damaging roads, large trucks further degrade highway safety and continue to add to the costs caused by trucks. With even heavier trucks, interstate highways would simply be unable to accommodate them.

Despite the list of numerous concerns, trailer lengths have continued to grow over the past few decades, some states allowing vehicles of up to 59 feet on their roadways. The number of trucks on U.S. highways has also consistently grown, even after increases in both the sizes and weights of semis. According to the release above, by an 88% majority, the American public is opposed to allowing bigger and heavier trucks on highways. Our law firm agrees that this growth needs to be stopped in order to prevent accidents, reduce costs, and keep all motorists as safe as possible behind the wheel.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that truck accidents can result in life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a truck accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

October 19, 2012

Illinois Attorneys Offer Safety Tips For Driving In Poor Weather Conditions

by Levin & Perconti

Poor weather conditions are reported to be the cause of a deadly accident that killed two teenagers last weekend in southern Illinois, according to Suntimes.com. Investigators say that two 19-year old girls were driving to class in Carbondale during a thunderstorm and slid into an oncoming lane of traffic due to the rain-slicked roads. Their vehicle was then struck by the driver of a pick up truck and came to rest in a nearby creek. Eyewitnesses report that they tried to help the teens after the accident, but it was too late. Police say both girls died at the scene from the impact of the wreck. The driver of the truck was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released. No citations have been issued in the accident, which authorities and family members are declaring “tragic.”

From the perspective of our law firm, while negligent motorists are commonly the cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways, hundreds of accidents each year are due to the uncontrollable and often times unpredictable onset of rain and poor weather conditions. These conditions definitely do not make the physical aspect of driving any easier, and also affect the manner in which we drive, whether that be excessively timid or dangerously reckless. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some information about how rain can affect driving conditions and what steps you can take to remain safe behind the wheel in these conditions.

As we all know, rain makes roads slick and slippery. Rain can make it more difficult to stay on a roadway, to stop, or to avoid colliding with other vehicles. The National Weather Service states that this is especially true when it first begins to rain because roads are most slippery at the beginning of a storm. In addition, rain reduces visibility and makes it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and street signs. When rain is combined with dirty water kicked up from the road by other drivers, windshields can quickly become dirty and make it even more difficult to see.

In these conditions, it is important to drive at a safe speed. Though this tip may seem obvious, many timid drivers who travel at unreasonably low speeds in the rain may back up traffic and increase the risk of rear end accidents, and reckless drivers who disregard the dangers that come with rain drive at high speeds and can also cause collisions. Driving at a moderately safe speed and keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you can help increase your reaction times and will allow you to brake sooner if needed to avoid collisions. In regards to braking, refrain from braking too quickly; because the roads will be slippery, stopping your wheels too quickly may cause them to lose traction with the road and lead to skidding. If your vehicle does skid, remain calm and steer straight until you feel your vehicle regain traction.

Because poor weather conditions are something that every motorist will eventually have to face while driving, keeping these safety tips in mind will decrease the likelihood of an accident occurring and therefore reduce personal injury on Illinois roadways. If you have unfortunately been in an accident and suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage due to the weather, be sure to contact your insurance company right away. In the case that you are in an accident as a result of a negligent motorist, seeking qualified representation is also recommended.

Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals and families who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death because of the carelessness or negligence of a motorist. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.

October 17, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed After Being Struck By Semi On I-290 Ramp

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagotribune.com released a report last Saturday regarding the death of a motorcyclist after he collided with a semi truck in Hillside, Illinois. Our attorneys learned that the accident happened at 4:51pm at Mannheim Road on the ramp of the eastbound Interstate 290 leading to the Eisenhower Expressway. The 20 year-old motorcyclist attempted to get onto the expressway at the same time as the semi but was pushed against a wall by the truck and was then run over by the trailer the semi was carrying, according to police. The Cook County medical examiner’s office pronounced the motorcyclist dead shortly after.

As all motorists are aware, many accidents occur on Illinois interstate highways each year; specifically, a large number of these accidents take place on freeway entrance and exit ramps in comparison to other segments of the highway. This is often due to congestion taking place on the ramps, trucks traveling near or directly next to passenger vehicles or motorcycles, and traveling over the speed limit at the same time as the ramp curves. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that additional common factors contributing to these accidents are bad weather, alcohol, and traveling at night.

In order to reduce the number of accidents on highway ramps, it is crucial to drive attentively, responsibly, and most importantly, defensively at all times. When entering a highway ramp, speed limit signs often changes to about 35mph; despite this, many drivers continue traveling at their current speed of up to 50 mph on the ramp. Be sure to slow down and look out for upcoming curves or turns on the ramp. If there are other vehicles on the ramp, allow a proper amount of distance in between yourself and these vehicles in order to prevent collisions. The motorcyclist and semi truck driver failed to do this in the above report and collided as a result.

Finally, remain cautious when entering onto a fast paced highway. Many motorists on the highway choose not to slow down for oncoming vehicles that are attempting to merge into the highway off of the ramp. Semi trucks can be especially dangerous in that the large size and weight of the truck may affect the driver’s ability to slow down and allow others to merge in.

By taking the appropriate steps necessary to remain safe while driving on highway ramps and interstates, the likelihood of an accident occurring decreases, and thus, the likelihood of personal injury taking place decreases as well. Negligent motorists do exist, however, and a significant number of accidents unfortunately continue to take place on Illinois roadways. In the case that you or a loved one have suffered in a motor vehicle accident due to a negligent driver, legal recourse may be available to you.

Our Illinois law firm at Levin & Perconti specializes in truck accident cases and represents individuals and families who have been wrongfully killed because of driver negligence. Please contact us to find the resources you need to seek legal action.

October 11, 2012

Chicago Bicyclist Killed After Collision with Semi Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Gridchicago.com recently released a report detailing the death of a bicyclist last Friday after he was struck by a semi truck in Chicago. Our attorneys learned that the accident occurred around 9am on Wells Street, just north of Oak Street, when the bicyclist was in the southbound lane and turned suddenly to avoid a parked car’s open door. As a result, he was hit by a passing semi truck, falling underneath the front wheels of the truck’s flat-bed trailer. Police worked all morning at the scene to remove the body from under the truck.

The report states that an accident similar to the one above occurred in 2009 when a college graduate was bicycling north in LaSalle Street, was doored, thrown into another lane of traffic, and run over by an oncoming truck, killing him upon impact. According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 577 “doorings” have been reported from 2009 through September of this year, the majority on the North Side of the city. These accidents are said to most commonly occur on diagonal streets and intersections.

As a result of these accidents, individuals inside and outside the Chicago community are discussing how to best prevent them in the future. Some believe that an increase in protected bike lanes in the city would prevent doorings, while others aren't sure that a protected bike lane would make much of a difference, and that alertness on the part of bikers and drivers would do the most to prevent accidents. One community member stated, “This bike lane design is obsolete and deficient as it causes bicyclists to ride in highly unsafe situations.”

From the perspective of our law firm, bicyclists and other vehicles share Illinois roadways each day, and it is important that all motorists truly “share the road” in order to avoid serious accidents and personal injury. This means that truck and passenger vehicle drivers should make every attempt to yield to bicyclists and give them the space they need while riding on or near roadways. In relation to the accidents above, take caution while opening your vehicle’s door near bicycle lanes in the case that a bicyclist is approaching. In general, it is important that all motorists and bicyclists travel attentively and responsibly to prevent collisions.

Though bicyclists are considered as motorists and have every right to use the roadway like any other vehicle does, they are commonly disregarded and as a result too commonly become victims in serious accidents and collisions. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from bicycle accidents, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers are prepared inform you of your rights and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

October 8, 2012

FMSCA Defends New Truck Driving Rules To Reduce Accidents Caused By Driver Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

Last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created new federal hours-of-service rules designed to limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate, and many trucking organizations were less than pleased. Our attorneys read a report released by World.einnews.com detailing the enforcement of these new rules, which as of last week, had led to litigation.

As our law firm has expressed throughout previous blogs, truck accidents have the potential to be extremely severe, causing many injuries and fatalities each year throughout Illinois and the country. The FMCSA states that Chicago drivers witness hundreds of trucks traveling the interstates in and around the Chicago-land area each day, given that the city is a major transportation crossroad. Thus, with such trucking activity, accidents are bound to happen.

The FMCSA continues to express that potential trucking accidents become even more likely with truckers driving long hours in order to meet deadlines. The report states that according to the administration, around 755 deaths and 19,705 injuries occur on U.S. roadways each year due to commercial drivers who are fatigued. Driver fatigue increases the risk of injury for truck drivers themselves and everyone else on the road.

As a result of these concerns, the FMCSA announced its new federal hours-of service rules late last year with the goal of creating a safer environment on roadways for all motorists. After the rules created an uprising by a number of trucking organizations, specifically the American Trucking Association, and the dispute ended up in federal court, the administration had to defend its new rules, stating, “The HOS rule reflects FMCSA's weighing of scientific evidence and its careful consideration of the potential impacts on health and safety, as well as the costs and the effects of the rule on the public and the regulated industry."

Our attorneys learned that opponents primarily disagree with three sections of the new hours-of-service rules, including the new 11-hour daily driving limit, 30-minute required breaks, and 34-hour restart provision. Opponents claim that these changes provide only small safety benefits while severely limiting a driver's ability to drive, in addition to adding large costs to the economy. There are a small number of groups, however, who oppose these rule changes only for the reason that the 11-hour daily driving limit should be dropped even lower to 10 hours.

Though the court has yet to officially resolve these issues, the FMCSA, in addition to our law firm, understands that trucking accidents will unfortunately continue to happen due to negligent or exhausted drivers. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of negligent motorists. If you or a loved one was recently involved in a trucking accident, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

October 5, 2012

Illinois Attorneys Discuss Railroad Crossing Safety After Train/Truck Collision

by Levin & Perconti

Chaos erupted in California this Monday afternoon when an Amtrak train carrying about 169 passengers derailed in a collision with a semi truck. Suntimes.com released that the accident occurred when the driver of the semi tractor-trailer failed to yield and hit the train. The impact caused the train to travel about 600 additional feet before hitting a switchback and pushing two passenger cars and the locomotive off of the tracks, according to a local highway patrol officer. Officials have not determined how fast the train or the truck were traveling, but the average speed for Amtrak through the area is 70 to 80 mph, while the speed limit on the roadway where the truck was traveling is 55 mph.

After the accident, metal pieces from the truck could be seen inside the train, and passengers’ belongings were scattered around the area. "Right after it happened I see all these people with a terrified look on their faces, all trying to get to the front of the train," a passenger told authorities. “I tried as best I could to try and calm people down and help them get off that train.” The report states that at least twenty passengers suffered injuries ranging from bumps, bruises, scrapes, and broken bones. Thirteen of the injured passengers, in addition to the semi driver, were taken to nearby hospitals. Uninjured passengers were taken to an auditorium where they boarded another train and continued to their destinations or were picked up by family members.

Authorities stated that repair crews worked into Tuesday removing the derailed cars and locomotive and ultimately repairing the damaged railroad tracks. All train service throughout the area was stopped after the accident. BNSF Railroad Co., which operates the tracks, said the accident occurred at a crossing that was equipped with gates to stop traffic. Investigators will try to determine if the accident was caused by a malfunction of these gates, driver error, or something else.

In previous blogs, our attorneys have discussed the number and severity of train accidents in Illinois, as almost all of these accidents include property damage, personal injury, medical expenses, or fatalities. We would again like to urge the public to always be cautious when traveling near railroad tracks.

Railroad collisions have many causes, including improper installation of warning devices, improper sight lines that prevent drivers from seeing an oncoming train, failure to properly maintain crossing areas, or other types of negligence that may occur by either the train company or other vehicles involved. Surprisingly, nearly half of all collisions at railroad crossings occur when automatic warning devices such a flashing lights or gates are present and are functioning properly. Therefore, be aware of these warning devices and avoid train tracks when they are flashing. Be especially alert near train tracks that do not have these warning devices.

In addition, many people believe that if they ever crossed the train tracks at an inappropriate time, they would be able to avoid the train, or the train would be able to stop in time. However, most freight trains traveling at about 60 miles per hour take over a mile to stop. Therefore, if there is any possibility of a train coming nearby, avoid the train tracks and do not cross them until you are sure you can do so safely.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that trucking accidents can result in life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a train accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

October 3, 2012

Hit-And-Run Accident Leaves 1 Dead In McKenry County, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

A 22-year old Algonquin man was struck and killed early Monday morning in a McKenry County hit-and-run accident, according to Chicagotribune.com. Our attorneys learned that shorty before 3:30am, McHenry County’s sheriff officials responded to a call reporting that a man was injured in the middle of East Main Street, west of Newbold Road in unincorporated Algonquin Township. When police and paramedics arrived at the scene, they found the man lying in the road where he was later pronounced dead.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, preliminary investigations revealed that an eastbound vehicle on the 600 block of East Main Street struck the pedestrian and then fled the scene. Pieces from the vehicle’s headlight area were reportedly left behind in the middle of the roadway. Police are now seeking help locating the hit-and-run vehicle or anyone who may have witnessed the accident.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are common throughout Illinois due to negligent truck and passenger vehicle drivers and often result in fatalities. The American Automobile Association found that Illinois hit-and-run accidents have increased by 15% since 2000. From 1994 to 2003, a total of 14,914 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes in the United States, about 60% of these victims having been pedestrians. Surviving victims of these accidents report that they feel especially violated because they were not only struck by a vehicle, but the driver of the vehicle showed no remorse and failed to stop to see if the victims were okay.

Our law firm believes it is important for all drivers to know what to do if involved in a hit-and-run accident. Illinois laws state that after any type of collision with an individual or another vehicle, the driver is legally required to stop, make a reasonable effort to contact the other party, and remain at the scene until authorities have been notified. If the driver fails to take these steps after the accident and flees the scene, prison time and fines may be issued as a result. Victims should make every attempt to identify the vehicle and/or driver if he does leave the scene in the case that a witness is needed to prove the driver was responsible for the accident.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents have the right to seek legal action to cover personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of the crash. Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti have handled numerous wrongful death cases and represent individuals who were wrongfully killed or injured because of driver negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered in a motor vehicle accident, contact us for more information.

October 2, 2012

Chicago Attorneys Offer Driving Tips To Avoid Semi Truck Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Wrjmdailynews.com recently released a report detailing a four-vehicle accident that occurred on I-57 last Monday night. Our attorneys learned that a 21-year old of Iroquois, Illinois was driving his passenger vehicle northbound on the interstate approaching milepost 187 while a 32 year-old of Chicago, Illinois was driving a semi-truck in the right lane. The driver of the passenger vehicle attempted to pass the semi but in the process, he sideswiped two utility vehicles parked on the side of the road. The semi truck then collided with the passenger vehicle and caused it to spin out of control, both eventually coming to rest in the median of the interstate.

After Illinois State Police responded to the scene, the semi-truck driver stated that he tried to avoid the impact with the passenger vehicle, but was unable to do so. He was transported to the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana and treated for minor injuries. The driver of the passenger vehicle was transported to the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Care Center in Mattoon. He was cited for improper lane usage, and a 21-year- woman who was riding in the front seat of the vehicle was cited for failure to wear a seat belt. Both drivers’ injuries were cared for and they are currently in stable condition. The Coles County Sheriff's Office, Mattoon and Lakeland Police Departments, Mattoon Fire Department and the Illinois Department of Transportation all assisted in the accident.

Our attorneys understand that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways and can result in serious personal injury to those involved. While many accidents occur due to the negligence of semi truck drivers on the roadways, others commonly occur due to the careless ways in which passenger vehicles drive near and around these trucks, failing to realize the potential dangers that are associated with these actions. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some critical steps that can be taken to help you drive defensively and ultimately avoid being involved in a semi truck accident in the future.

Based on the above report, always place a significant amount of distance between you and a semi truck on highways or larger roadways. Understand that trucks are not like other ordinary vehicles; a truck’s size and weight can affect the driver’s ability to brake and change lanes safely. Thus, try to avoid driving next to a truck for an extended period of time, and if you must pass a truck, do so quickly. Also understand that semi trucks have many more blind spots than cars do, with limited visibility next to and behind the truck. Note that there are a greater amount of blind spots on the passenger side of the truck, so if you are passing it, try to do so on the left side whenever possible. Always try to stay in the truck’s visibility; if you cannot see the truck driver or his mirrors, odds are he is also unable to see you.

In addition, remain cautious when entering a highway from an entrance ramp onto a fast paced highway, where trucks may have trouble slowing down to allow you to merge in. If you ever need to stop on a highway, pull completely off of the road, as truck drivers may not realize that cars too close to the highway are stopped until it is too late. Finally, avoid road rage or becoming aggressive against trucks. If a truck driver is driving aggressively, do not retaliate. It is best to keep distance between you and the truck, in addition to other vehicles on the road that may be driving in an aggressive manner because of a truck.

From the perspective of our attorneys, it is essential that all motorists exercise great caution when driving near or around semi trucks. When motorists do suffer serious injuries as the result of a careless or negligent semi truck driver, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are very familiar with Illinois trucking laws and have represented many individuals and families in trucking accident lawsuits consisting of issues similar to those described above.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

September 28, 2012

Police Charge Pick-Up Truck Driver with Drunk Driving After Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Many drivers driving large vehicles such as semi trucks, tractor/trailers, or pick up trucks travel on Illinois roadways each day, and much is expected of these drivers in order for them to reach their destinations quickly and safely. Large vehicles are not the easiest to maneuver and can potentially become dangerous for not only the truck driver, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Therefore, it is essential that truck drivers travel attentively and responsibly, properly maintain their vehicle, follow regulations, and take all steps necessary to remain safe behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers choose not to uphold their responsibilities and make decisions that lead to serious accidents and injury on the road. This was the case last Sunday when an Elgin man was charged with drunken driving after he allegedly ran a stop sign and struck an SUV carrying three individuals.

At about 1am, the driver, whose pick up truck had open containers of beer inside, drove through a stop sign on Hastings Street in Elgin, Illinois and struck an SUV approaching on Liberty Street, according to Chicagotribune.com. The pick up truck T-boned the SUV with such force that the entire floor of the SUV fell from its framework. The pick-up truck continued traveling until it crashed into a nearby fence, while the SUV hit a parked car.

Our attorneys learned that authorities arrived to the scene shortly after the accident and transported the driver of the pick-up truck to Sherman Hospital. The two passengers of the SUV, 20 and 25 years old, were also taken to Sherman Hospital, while the driver of the SUV was taken to Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. None of these individual’s injuries were declared as life threatening. However, the driver of the pick-up truck was found to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.17, more than double the legal limit of 0.08, according to an Elgin Commander. As a result, he was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence. Police say he is expected in bond court Monday.

As many are aware, drinking and driving is a very serious, yet sadly common issue on roadways in Illinois and throughout the United States. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that each year, about 310,000 people suffer injuries in alcohol-related traffic crashes, an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes. About 300 fatalities also take place each year. In 2002, 51,649 people were arrested for DUI in Illinois. As stated above, trucks of any size can be difficult to maneuver; adding alcohol into the mix can cause severe truck accidents that cause more personal injury and fatalities than many other traffic accidents.

Our attorneys want to urge truck drivers and all other motorists to drive safely on Illinois roadways this year. Taking the appropriate steps such as refraining from driving under the influence, while fatigued, and distractedly can prevent motor vehicle accidents, decrease personal injury, and ultimately save lives. In the case that you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an accident caused by a negligent motorist, contact our Illinois truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

September 24, 2012

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Offer Driving Tips To Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities on Illinois Roadways

by Levin & Perconti

As of recently, the Chicago Department of Transportation released a comprehensive plan to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians, according to Wbez.org. Our attorneys learned that several official meetings throughout the last year have produced a large document detailing the city’s plans to improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians in the area. These plans include making improvements such as creating neighborhood traffic circles and increasing the number of safety zones near schools and parks. Some low-cost projects including the addition of crosswalk stripes and posting signs are already in progress at intersections with the highest accident rates. All plans will predominantly rely on federal funds in order to make the proper improvements necessary.

The Department of Transportation Commissioner states that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all need to take responsibility to prevent accidents. "It's not just distracted drivers that we're worried about," the Commissioner said. "People on their cell phones are walking out into intersections getting hit by cars." Trucks are also a frequent cause of accidents and personal injury in that their large size and weight on small, crowded city roadways makes the truck difficult to maneuver in itself; this fact in addition to other distracted drivers and pedestrians nearby creates a very unsafe and potentially dangerous combination.

The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that approximately 3,000 traffic accidents injure pedestrians in Chicago each year. Shockingly, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic accidents in the United States in 2010, an increase of four percent from 2009. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents.

Our law firm wants to urge all motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to take the appropriate steps to remain safe on Illinois roadways. We believe that it is important to be aware of which circumstances generally produce the most pedestrian accidents and personal injury. Pedestrian fatalities most commonly occur in urban settings during the hours of 8pm and 12am, and surprisingly during normal weather conditions, as compared to rain, snow, and foggy conditions. Nearly one half of fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Alcohol involvement, either for the driver or the pedestrian, was reported in almost half of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.

All pedestrians are advised be attentive at intersections, where drivers often fail to give them the right-of-way while turning. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks, in most situations. Pedestrians should be sure to cross the street at designated crosswalks whenever possible, always being sure to stop and look both ways before crossing the street. If anything is blocking your view, only cross when you are certain it is safe to do so. It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic. Finally, always attempt to increase your visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing to highlight body movements.

Our truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have represented numerous individuals and families who have been injured in a pedestrian accident due to a negligent motorist. For example, we settled a case for $1.25 million for a woman who was seriously injured when she was hit by a bus at a Chicago crosswalk. We apply this experience and our knowledge of the law to deliver the best results and fair compensation for every client we represent. If you have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, please contact us to learn about what legal options may be available to you

September 19, 2012

Chicago Semi Truck Driver Kills Four Due to Driver Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois semi truck driver is currently facing severe consequences after his vehicle struck and killed four individuals due to driver fatigue. Suntelegraph.com released a report detailing the accident, which occurred when the 36-year old truck driver of River Grove, Illinois was westbound on I-80 last Thursday and slammed into the back of another car. The impact caused this car, driven by a 30-year old man, to crash into a nearby car, driven by his 28-year old pregnant wife and carrying his two young children in the backseat. This car was then propelled underneath a truck and trailer nearby on the roadway. All vehicles burst into flames, and all four family members in both cars were pronounced dead at the scene.

The semi driver currently remains in jail and will have a bond review hearing for $1 million. He is being charged with four felony counts of manslaughter and four more counts of vehicular homicide due to driver fatigue. The manslaughter charges carry penalties of twenty years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000 on each count upon conviction, and the motor vehicle homicide counts carry a sentence of up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge upon conviction, according to the report.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys learned that the driver’s truck company, AKI Trucking Inc. of Romeoville, has been in operation since 2010. Online records from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reveal that the company’s recent Driver Fatigued Scores are notably alarming. During the last two years, the company has received a composite Fatigued Driving Score of 80.9%; the threshold allowed before FMSCA intervention is 65%. These percentages come from compilations of out of service violations or poor inspections. During a recent inspection, an operator was cited for failure to retain his previous seven days' hours of service logs, as required by law. Incomplete logs often signal that a particular driver is operating his vehicle past the 14-hour service or 11-hour driving limit, per service day. The FMSCA will now possibly conduct an investigation of the company.

Our Chicago accident law firm agrees that driver fatigue is a severe issue on Illinois roadways and wants to urge motorists to drive attentively at all times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue because of the long hours they travel each day and into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase behavior that can lead to accidents.

Truck drivers face many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. For other motorists, it is important to follow similar guidelines before driving. If you feel drowsy before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel.

Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. Our Illinois personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals who have suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a trucking accident caused by a negligent motorist. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

September 17, 2012

Illinois Attorneys Caution Against Distracted Driving Near Tow Trucks

by Levin & Perconti

Any typical driver in Illinois has experienced their share of construction on many roadways or highways in their lifetime, and has therefore driven past numerous tow trucks, signs with flashing lights, traffic cones, and emergency vehicle personnel assisting authorities at construction scenes. While many drivers cautiously and attentively drive past these construction scenes, others fail to do so and as a result cause a significant amount of damage and personal injury to vehicles or individuals working at the scene. This fact is something that our Illinois truck accident law firm feels needs to be addressed and wants to inform all drivers of the current issues at hand.

Telegraph.com recently released a report detailing the death of an 18-year old Kansas City tow truck driver who was killed by a passing motorist as he was assisting someone on an interstate. The driver that hit him allegedly failed to pay attention to the flashing lights and emergency vehicles on the side of the road and thus struck and killed the truck driver. After learning about this accident, an owner of a transportation service in Woodstock, Illinois wanted to remind drivers to “move over and slow down” when they see a tow truck with flashing lights along the side of the road. The owner states that most people don’t recognize tow truck operators as emergency vehicles and fail to take the necessary precautions when they pass by them on roads or highways.

Illinois has had a law in place for 10 years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from reckless drivers. The legislation, details the report, was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the roads, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police, fire, ambulance, highway workers and tow truck drivers. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights.

“I want to make people aware of this law, no matter where they drive,” the service owner stated. “If they’re here in Illinois or in any other state, to move over and slow down for any vehicle they see with flashing lights at the side of the road…Tow truck drivers are on the highway more than anyone else, and no one wants to get a call that their loved one was killed when they were trying to help someone out,” he said.

Our Chicago law firm agrees it is crucial that this law is followed for the safety of tow truck drivers, emergency personnel, and even other motorists and pedestrians on Illinois roadways. Unfortunately, negligent drivers do exist, and a number of individuals are injured or somehow affected by accidents caused by these drivers every year. Our attorneys are very familiar with Illinois trucking laws and have represented many individuals and families in trucking accident lawsuits consisting of issues similar to those described above.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of the trucking accident, our Illinois truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Contact us for more information.

September 14, 2012

Illinois Police Investigate Recent Truck Accidents on Route 126

by Levin & Perconti

Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate a three-vehicle accident that occurred on Route 126 earlier this week and resulted in one fatality, according to Plainfield.patch.com. A Plainfield Deputy chief states that a 63 year-old man of Yorkville, Illinois was driving east on Route 126 between County Line and Ridge Roads shortly before 6am on Monday when his vehicle crossed into the westbound lane and hit a box truck. The truck driver allegedly attempted to avoid the oncoming vehicle but couldn’t, and ended up striking an additional eastbound vehicle. The Yorkville driver was extricated from his vehicle and taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora where he was later identified and pronounced dead. The remaining drivers were taken to Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in stable condition. Police say they are investigating what exactly caused the driver to swerve into the oncoming lane.

Police appear to be especially interested in this accident because it happens to be the third fatal accident this summer on a roughly three mile stretch of Illinois Route 126, an east-west state road that runs from Route 47 in Yorkville to Interstate 55 between Plainfield and Bolingbrook. On June 4th, three former District 202 students died when their vehicle crashed into a semi-truck at Route 126 and Sclapp Road near Oswego. Two of the students, both 19-years old, were pronounced dead at the scene, while the third 18 year-old student of Naperville was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center, where she was also pronounced dead.

Just over a month later, a motorcyclist was killed when an SUV struck a smaller vehicle at westbound 126 and County Line Road. The impact forced the car into the eastbound lane, where it struck the 57-year old motorcyclist and killed him upon impact. The remaining drivers and passengers were extricated from their vehicles and taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. A fourth, non-fatal accident occurred Tuesday just more than a mile from the site of Monday’s deadly crash. One person was injured in the crash involving a mail truck and two other vehicles near County Line and Renwick/Wheeler roads.

While many authorities believe that Route 126 is not particularly dangerous, others are continuing to investigate the recent accidents and determine if anything on the roadway can be done to prevent future accidents.

In the case that you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident due to a negligent driver, legal recourse may be available to you. Our Illinois truck accident law firm specializes in wrongful death cases and represents individuals and families who have been wrongfully killed because of driver negligence. Contact our law firm at Levin & Perconti to find the resources you need to seek legal action.

September 12, 2012

Truck Chain-Reaction Collisions Cause Fatalities and Injury in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Two serious chain-reaction collisions that occurred this past week have caused numerous fatalities and personal injuries, and both scenes have continued to be investigated by emergency crews. The first accident occurred at approximately 10:33am in Posey County near Mount Vernon and consisted of a collision involving two pick-up trucks and a commercial vocational flatbed truck, according to Poseycountynews.com. Police investigations reveal that a 73-year old man of Norris City, Illinois was driving his pick up truck west on State Road 62, approaching the Sauerkraut Lane intersection. His vehicle then traveled left of the centerline on the two-lane highway and struck an eastbound flatbed trailer, pulled by a 55-year old man of Evansville. The pick-up then continued traveling further into the eastbound lane and struck another pick-up truck, whose 49-year old driver of Evansville was following immediately behind the trailer. Both pick-ups were then forced from the roadway as a result of the impact.

A Posey County Coroner pronounced the driver of the first pick up truck dead at the scene, while the second pick up truck driver was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville with non life-threatening injuries. The flatbed trailer driver was checked at the scene by emergency medical personnel and did not suffer substantial physical injuries. State Police and Fire Departments are currently assisting in investigation of the scene.

The second traffic pile-up, detailed by Theindependent.com, included a succession of crashes beginning at 4:30am near the Illinois and Iowa border. A 27-year old of Big Lake, Minnesota was killed when his semitrailer truck slammed into the back of another semi in the westbound lane of I-80, who’s 66-year old driver of Oak Park, Illinois had stopped because of mechanical problems.

While police investigated this accident, traffic backed up and a second fatal crash occurred. A 25-year old driver of River Grove, Illinois was driving a semi truck that crashed into a car, which struck another car, which was pushed under another truck. Both drivers of the cars and their passengers were killed on impact. The County Sheriff’s Office and the State Patrol closed a stretch of I-80 for most of Sunday and vehicles traveling west were rerouted on U.S Highway 30.

From the perspective of one of our Chicago truck accident attorneys, chain reaction collisions similar to those described in the above reports can happen in a matter of seconds and cause serious injury to those involved. When these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the likelihood of a serious injury greatly increases. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, as well as properly maintaining your own vehicle, will not only help to keep you safe, but will help to prevent accidents and injury to others on the road.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a trucking accident, contact our law firm at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.

September 10, 2012

Cell Phone Usage Causes 3 Illinois Accidents Over Holiday Weekend

by Levin & Perconti

As many are aware, cell phone usage while driving remains a common cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways each year. This was especially the case during the recent Labor Day weekend, according to Chicago.cbslocal.com. A report states that over the busy weekend of traveling and celebration, at least three Chicago area accidents were blamed on drivers using their cell phones. These accidents are now serving as even more evidence of the dangers of using a cell phone while driving.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office states that at 6:56pm last Sunday, a 21-year old of Maple Park told police he was trying to plug in his cell phone when he drove into a ditch near East County Liner and Barber Geren roads. He was later ticketed for failure to reduce speed and not having insurance. Furthermore, on 10:10am Monday, a driver in Aurora caused an accident while he was trying to grab his dropped cell phone at Long Meadow Drive and Route 34. His actions led him to smash into two parked cars nearby and overturn his own vehicle. Police say the driver received tickets for improper lane usage and driving on a suspended license.

Furthermore, the Aurora Beacon-News reports that on 10:33pm that same day, a woman who was texting while driving on Lincoln Avenue near Simms Street in Aurora dropped her phone, and slammed into a tree as she kept driving while trying to pick it up. The woman was later ticketed for having no insurance.

Though texting and driving is illegal in Illinois, drivers continue to use their cell phones while driving and put themselves and others at risk for serious injury. After learning about the above accidents, officers in Rockford stated that cell phone usage while driving increases your chances of getting into a car or truck accident by almost 25%. They also stated the dangers of texting while driving compare to those of drinking and driving, as each text takes your eyes off of the road for about five seconds. Many police officers throughout the state are opting for alternative methods to enforce cell phone laws and ultimately keep the roads safe from distracted drivers.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers want to urge the public to drive attentively, responsibly, and safely on Illinois roadways, without cell phone usage taking place. If a negligent car or truck driver has injured you or a loved one, please contact our law firm at Levin & Perconti. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

September 6, 2012

Freight Train Cars Derail After Collision in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

Foxnews.com recently published a report detailing a massive freight train collision around 2am Sunday in southwest Chicago that caused the derailment of several rail cars, damage to a freight train on an adjacent track, and even power outages in the surrounding area. An Illinois train accident lawyer at our firm learned that one of the freight trains involved was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee to Chicago with two locomotives and thirteen freight cars; another from Albany, New York to Chicago had four locomotives and ninety-three freight cars, and a third train from Flint, Michigan had two locomotives and one hundred-thirty freight cars. Needless to say, a collision between these freight trains would cause a significant amount of damage to many of the individual locomotives and cars involved.

Authorities say the derailment sent eight full-sized cars off of the tracks and a ninth car slid down an embankment into a nearby backyard. Though the CSX rail spokesman has no specifics on which train hit the other and which was on the adjacent track, the report states that many authorities said the derailment occurred in an area of elevated tracks. Emergency crews initially called for a hazardous materials response as a precaution, but no hazardous materials were detected and no leaks were discovered in any of the freight trains.

Our Chicago train accident lawyers read that there were no immediate reports of any injuries following the derailment. However, local radio and press reports said power was knocked out to more than 2,500 people in the surrounding area; no energy providers answered calls seeking further details. "CSX is working with local first responders gathering additional information," the rail spokesman told AP, adding the derailment remains under investigation. He added that the primary focus remained on public safety.

From the perspective of our Chicago train accident attorneys, train accidents cause a significant amount of damage and personal injury throughout the state of Illinois each year. Though the above report did not specify if a driver was in any way responsible for the train derailment, in addition to stating that no one was injured after the collision, when individuals do suffer injury in a train accident due to a negligent driver, they have the right to take action.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact our Illinois accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action, in addition to helping victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.

September 4, 2012

Chicago Man Convicted For Illinois Truck Accident Caused by DUI

by Levin & Perconti

A West Chicago man has recently been convicted for severely injuring a pedestrian in a DUI accident that occurred in 2010. Stcharles-il.patch.com released that the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced a jury convicted the 49-year old of one count of aggravated driving under the influence on Tuesday, a Class 4 felony.

The release states that around 2 a.m. on January 31st, 2010, the man was driving a pickup truck south on Route 31 in St. Charles, Illinois when he made a left turn to travel eastbound on Route 64. He then lost control of his truck and drove onto the sidewalk, striking a pedestrian. Authorities say investigation revealed his blood-alcohol concentration was .170, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the pedestrian from Geneva, Illinois suffered several severe injuries as a result of the accident, including bleeding on her brain, a torn ligament in her right knee a cracked sternum, and a broken finger. The victim testified during trial that she is still recovering from these injuries, stating she continues to experience short-term memory loss and limited mobility and now has to refrain from taking part in a number of activities such as running and skiing. An associate judge at the trial set the driver’s next court appearance for October 12th for post-trial motions and sentencing, which may include probation or between one and twelve years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The driver currently remains free on $3,000 bond and thus must refrain from possessing or consuming alcohol.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers understand that accidents involving semi trucks, trailers, pick up trucks, or other large vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only drivers, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. The driver’s decision to consume alcohol in the above report affected himself and also an innocent pedestrian.

Those involved in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident caused by a truck driver’s reckless or negligence behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a truck accident, please contact our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.

August 31, 2012

Geneva Driver Collides with Truck After Blacking Out Behind the Wheel

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys recently read a report detailing a collision caused by the sudden black out of one of the drivers involved. Geneva.patch.com released that the accident occurred earlier this month around 3:34pm in the 1600 block of Kaneville Road in Geneva, Illinois. Police say a 61-year old driver from the area crashed into the rear of a large postal service truck, driven by a 51 year-old of Batvia, Illinois.

As a result, emergency crews rushed to the scene and took both drivers to Delnor Hospital. After speaking with the driver who caused the collision, authorities learned that he claimed he blacked out for a moment while driving, and when he regained full consciousness, he was too close to the back of the postal truck to stop. Police say no alcohol was involved, and the driver was later issued a warning notice for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

From the perspective of our Illinois truck accident attorneys, while road traffic accidents most commonly occur due to negligent motorists, distracted driving, or some form of driver error, other accidents may be caused by sudden illness of the driver. There are many rules and laws in place that are worthwhile for every driver to know in the case that an unexpected medical condition arises while driving. These unexpected medical conditions that are considered to be “sudden illness” behind the wheel most commonly include heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and epilepsy. In the above case, the driver suffered a sudden black out and was unable to drive his vehicle appropriately to avoid an accident.

If you are overcome by illness while driving and are in an accident, it is crucial to inform emergency services of your condition as soon as possible, as a primary issue in these types of accidents is liability. There is a good chance that you will not be prosecuted for causing an accident, as you most likely had no control over the car at that stage. However, medical evidence will be critical in determining liability. Contact your insurance company who will explain your rights as the driver who suffered the sudden illness. Even if you are in the car with a driver who suffers from a medical condition, you may have the ability to claim. Accidents caused by unexpected medical conditions while driving have the potential of becoming very complex as far as where legal liability truly falls. Determining who is liable for the accident depends on numerous factors, such as medical evidence, whether the driver’s medical condition was fatal or non-fatal, the driver’s history of medical conditions, who was injured in the accident, and whether the accident itself was the cause of a heart attack or other illness to the driver.

Every year, our Chicago truck accident lawyers provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. In the case of an accident caused by sudden illness to the driver, we can help you determine where liability falls, in addition to helping accident victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact our Illinois accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

August 29, 2012

Man Charged With DUI After Fatal Streamwood, Illinois Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm recently learned that an Elgin man who was involved in a car accident resulting in the death of a 66-year old woman has now been charged with causing a fatal accident while under the influence of drugs. Chicagotribune.com states that the accident occurred earlier in August in Streamwood, Illinois when the woman turned left in front of the 37-year-old man’s landscaping truck at the intersection of Lake and Park Streets. A witness estimated the truck was traveling at about 60 mph, killing the woman upon impact. Her 10-year-old grandson was in the backseat of the car at the time and suffered minor injuries.

The Assistant State’s Attorney reports that the man was arrested this week following an investigation of the accident and toxicology tests, which showed he had cannabis in his system at the time of the accident. She also reported that police found a pipe for smoking marijuana and a vial that contained two grams of a barbiturate in the truck. Authorities say the driver has an extensive history of traffic offenses, included five speeding tickets, driving without insurance, and driving on a suspended license.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys learned that the driver was charged in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday with causing a fatal accident while under the influence of drugs. Bond was set at $75,000 by the judge in Rolling Meadows branch court on charges of possession of a controlled substance and aggravated DUI causing death.

Our Illinois accident lawyers understand that when drivers of trucks or other large commercial vehicles consume alcohol or drugs before driving, the results can be fatal. Trucks can potentially weight up to 80,000 pounds, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when one collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle, 98% of fatalities occur to the people in the passenger vehicles. First offenses for truck drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs include disqualification from carrying a commercial driver’s license for one year, and up to three years if carrying hazardous materials. A second offense will result in a lifetime commercial driver’s license qualification. Penalties are generally not limited to being imposed on the truck driver, but also the carrier, the owner of the vehicle, and any individual associated with the operation of the truck.

If a truck driver is over the legal limit of intoxication and injures you in an accident, you may have the ability to claim. Every year, our Chicago truck accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists.

We have seen the devastation that reckless behavior behind the wheel can cause and have represented numerous families in cases similar to the one above. Our law firm handled a wrongful death lawsuit in January 2009 after a semi-truck driver killed a 32-year old woman while under the influence of drugs. John Perconti of Levin & Perconti reached a $6.5 million settlement for the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action, in addition to helping victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.

August 27, 2012

3-Year Old Girl Struck And Killed By Truck In Roseland

by Levin & Perconti

Tragedy struck this weekend in Chicago, Illinois when a delivery truck killed a 3-year old girl while she was crossing the street with her family. Chicago.cbslocal.com released details about the accident, stating that it occurred around 11:25am Saturday at 103rd and State Streets in the Roseland neighborhoods. The little girl was attempting to cross State Street with her mother and brother when the delivery truck struck and killed her. Witnesses say the girl had broken free from her mother and ran under the truck’s back wheels.

A witness stated that he tried to help the family after the accident, trying to tell them to refrain from picking her up or moving her. But everyone soon realized that nothing could be done for the little girl and that the truck had simply crushed her. The driver of the truck and his passenger stopped immediately after they realized the truck had hit something; he was devastated to see it was a child. Neither he nor the witness had noticed the girl behind the truck until it was too late.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys learned that the girl was rushed to the nearest hospital, but police say it was just a formality; the girl was already dead when first responders arrived at the scene. Witnesses say her family was simply heartbroken, in disbelief, and almost hysterical at the scene, having just helplessly witnessed a vehicle so suddenly cut their 3-year old’s life short. Though it does not seem as though any charges will be filed in this case, the police Major Accident Unit is continuing to investigate the accident.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys, in addition to those who witnessed the accident, hope it will serve as a warning to other children and parents in the neighborhood about the danger of crossing busy streets. It also serves as an eye-opener about how fatal truck accidents can be. Whether driving next to a semi-truck on the highway, biking near a pick-up truck, or in this case, walking in the street near a delivery truck, accidents can and do happen involving truck drivers and other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians each day. It is essential that individuals take the proper safety precautions necessary to avoid an accident with a truck driver, including remaining safe, remaining attentive, and ultimately following the rules of the road.

Although we cannot assume that the truck driver was to blame in this particular incident, when accidents do occur as a result of negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Our Illinois accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago truck accident lawyers to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

August 22, 2012

Semi Truck Hitting Overpass Sparks Concern for Truck Safety Requirements In Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

When it comes to semi trucks, trailers, or other large commercial vehicles, our Illinois truck accident attorneys can all agree that driving trucks attentively and responsibility is crucial for the safety of the driver and all motorists on roadways, and that negligent driving may result in serious injury or fatalities. However, many truck accidents are caused by issues with trucks themselves, such as weight, size, or potential equipment malfunctions. This was the case last week when a semi trailer struck an overpass due to its height in East Peoria, Illinois. Mortontimesnews.com released that a 37-year old driver was traveling eastbound on Interstate 74 at the Pinecrest overpass around 8pm. Police say he was driving a truck tractor semi-trailer transporting a number of sport utility vehicles. His cargo was over the legal height limit and as a result struck an overpass, causing extensive damage to three of the vehicles being transported on the truck.

The driver did not suffer serious injuries, but according to preliminary information from the Illinois State Police District 8, he was issued a citation for having a semi trailer/auto hauler that was over its legal height. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) inspected the bridge for structural damage after the accident and determined it was safe.

In addition to this accident, our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned about two fatal accidents that occurred when trucks that had their hydraulic lifts raised slammed into overpasses. According to IDOT, statistics show such accidents are on the rise. Although some states maintain a variety of standards governing bridge clearances and truck height, most accidents are the result of stacking cargo too high, improperly marking low clearance bridges, or raised hydraulic lifts. The frequency of these accidents is a cause for concern and many believe that examining truck safety requirements is necessary for Illinois drivers, as well as truck drivers throughout the country.

The American Society of Civil Engineers agrees that these accidents are increasing and have proposed a bridge bumper system to decrease the impact of such collisions. According to Tribtoday.com, they have indicated that investing in this system would compensate for the losses in bridge repair, road closure, property damage, and personal injury.

As far as equipment malfunctions go, our Illinois truck accident lawyers believe it is important that truck companies are doing what they can to help drivers remain safe behind the wheel. These safety precautions include alarms sounding when seatbelts aren’t fastened, tilt bed warning lights being used to warn truck drivers when their lift is not secured, and specifically relating to the above reports, having trucks automatically shut off after reaching certain speeds with their hydraulic arms deployed to avoid accidents caused by height problems.

Accidents caused by equipment malfunctions or safety hazards should not be increasing in Illinois; truck accidents caused by negligent motorists are already too common and can result in life altering consequences. Those who have been injured an accident due to a negligent truck driver have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers represent those who have suffered personal injury medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a trucking accident. We are prepared to inform you of your rights and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury from an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our Illinois accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what compensation may be available to you.


August 21, 2012

Semi-Tanker Truck Overturns In Mount Carmel, Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Tristate-media.com recently released a report detailing an accident that occurred after a semi-tanker truck over-turned on its side this Saturday. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers learned that at 9:15am, a 51-year old truck driver of Xenia, Illinois was westbound in the 200 block of W. 9th street in Mount Carmel when he was negotiating making a left hand turn onto Walnut Street at the 9th and Walnut streets’ intersections. According to police, the truck’s load shifted during this time period and thus caused the tractor tanker to overturn, coming to a rest on its side. The truck was reportedly hauling about 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time.

Thankfully, no ruptures were reported in the tanker and no damage was caused by any of the fuel. However, the Hinder-liter Environmental Services of Evansville, Indiana did respond to the scene to assist in the off-loading of the diesel fuel into another tanker and assist additional emergency responders with any hazardous materials present. The accident occurred in front of the Mount Carmel Fire Department, whose members heard the truck overturn and immediately responded to the scene, in addition to the Wabash General Ambulance Service and Illinois Department of Transportation. The driver of the truck was then taken to Wabash General Hospital Emergency Room for treatment and was later released. He was issued a traffic citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The 800 block of Walnut Street was closed for about six hours after the accident, and officials detoured large vehicle traffic down 3rd Street until the accident scene could be cleared.

From the perspective of an Illinois truck accident attorney, accidents involving semi trucks and trailers or other large commercial vehicles can be extremely dangerous for not only the truck driver, but also other motorists and pedestrians nearby. The size and weight of semi trucks are massive compared to other vehicles; therefore, it is essential that all motorists exercise great caution when driving near or around semi trucks. Passenger vehicles should always be cautious around trucks that are turning or merging. In the above report, the truck driver simply attempting to make a turn led to the truck turning over on its side. If any other vehicles were near the truck when this occurred, the results could have been fatal. Motorists should also be sure to observe trucks’ signals, pass trucks quickly and appropriately if needed, and drive defensively at all times.

In addition, it is important that all truck drivers are well rested when driving, maintain their vehicle properly, and do not drive over the speed limit. They should distance themselves from other vehicles as best as they can and drive attentively, especially at night. Unfortunately, despite the many regulations truck drivers face before driving, accidents do continue to happen as a result of negligent drivers. Because of the great amount of energy and force associated with trucks, truck drivers need to be extremely cautious at all times, even at low speeds. Doing so will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accidents on Illinois roadways.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, please contact our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out what rights may be available to you. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

August 17, 2012

Chicago Police Officer Survives Deadly CTA Train Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago police officer miraculously survived an accident on Sunday when her car was totaled by a train while chasing a suspect. Policeone.com reports that the officer was following her partner in pursuit of a suspect just before 4pm on Friday when she drove around a closed train gate at the Kedzie Brown Line CTA station, believing the tracks were clear. An inbound train had indeed cleared, but an outbound train was close behind, which slammed into the police car at high speed and left it completely destroyed. Authorities say the car was partially wrapped between two train cars partially leaning on the Kedzie station house, and crews had to work for hours to dislodge it from the train.

Our Chicago train accident lawyers learned that despite the wreckage, the police officer was able to free herself from the vehicle and sustained non life-threatening injuries. Paramedics took her to Advocate Masonic Medical Center where she was treated, and the CTA train operator was also hospitalized. The accident affected the train company’s service until 7:45pm, shutting off power in both directions between the Kimball and Western station while emergency crews helped clean up the scene. Thankfully, none of the 30 to 40 passengers aboard the train was injured and authorities say the riders were able to get on bus shuttles to travel to other stations.

Allegedly, nearby residents have reported they’ve seen similar accidents before, one stating he had seen at least a dozen accidents from drivers trying to go through the train gate. According to CTA, stop signs warned train operators to stop just before approaching the station in 2006, but after a Kedzie station renovation, those signs were moved with the addition of the gates and flashing lights. A chief of the CTA rail workers union told reporters that he may want to consider putting the stop sign back in light of all the accidents that occurred.

In a previous blog, our Illinois train accident lawyers have discussed the number and severity of train accidents in Illinois, as almost all of these accidents include property damage, personal injury, medical expenses, or fatalities. Statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show that railroad crossings in Illinois are more dangerous in terms of accident population. In 2010, Illinois was the second deadliest state in train crossing fatalities out of ten states. The FRA is currently making efforts to improve safety near railroads in Illinois and many other states with a high number of train crossing fatalities.

Our Illinois train accident law firm would like to urge the public to always be cautious when traveling near railroad tracks. Railroad collisions have many causes, including improper installation of warning devices, improper sight lines that prevent drivers from seeing an oncoming train, failure to properly maintain crossing areas, or other types of negligence that may occur by either the train company or other vehicles involved. Surprisingly, nearly half of all collisions at railroad crossings occur when automatic warning devices such a flashing lights or gates are present and are functioning properly. Therefore, be aware of these warning devices and avoid train tracks when they are flashing. Be especially alert near train tracks that do not have these warning devices.

In addition, many people believe that if they ever crossed the train tracks at an inappropriate time, they would be able to avoid the train, or the train would be able to stop in time. However, most freight trains traveling at about 50 miles per hour take over a mile to stop. Therefore, if there is any possibility of a train coming nearby, avoid the train tracks and do not cross them until you are sure you can do so safely.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that train accidents can result in life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a train accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago accident attorneys to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.


August 15, 2012

Speed Limiters Considered As Requirement for Large Trucks to Reduce Serious Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

As of recently, a number of trucking companies have been attempting to find ways to prevent truck accidents from happening on Illinois roadways and throughout the country. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers read that these companies are specifically targeting speeding, a very common, yet preventable cause of semi truck and tractor-trailer accidents. To reduce speeding, truck companies have begun installing “speed limiters” on their commercial vehicles.

A speed limiter is used to prevent a vehicle from exceeding a predetermined maximum speed, usually about 65 miles per hour for trucks. While some are skeptical about the efficiency of the speed limiter, a recent study completed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that the device really does work. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess the impacts of implementing speed limiters in large commercial vehicles. This was done through focusing on truck accidents that could have been avoided with an active speed limiter installed. The study’s sample consisted of data from 963 accidents that were collected across 24 site locations in 17 states. Results showed that trucks equipped with speed limiters were 50% less likely to be an accident than trucks that did not use the devices.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers learned that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA) both strongly support the use of speed limiters. This support, in addition to positive research and investigation results, has led many safety advocates to strengthen their calls for a nationwide speed limiter requirement. The NHTSA has recently stated that it would grant petitions from ATA and Road Safe America to require manufacturers to install devices that would limit heavy truck speeds to 68 miles per hour.

Though many truck drivers drive attentively and professionally on Illinois roadways, others, including those who speed, are considered negligent and are often held accountable for causing serious accidents and personal injury to those involved. Speed limiters may be proven to decrease the number of truck accidents on roadways; however, accidents do continue to happen as a result of truck driver negligence.

Those who have been injured an accident due to a negligent truck driver have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys represent those who have suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a trucking accident. We are prepared to inform you of your rights and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our Illinois accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

August 13, 2012

Bicyclist Struck and Killed by Semi-Trailer Truck on Chicago Roadway

by Levin & Perconti

Early last week, our Chicago truck accident attorneys read a report about a female bicyclist who was struck and killed by a semi-trailer truck in the Fuller Park neighborhood on the South Side. Chicagotribune.com reported that the semi was entering the Norfolk Southern facility in the 300 block of West 47th Street around 1:40pm on Monday when it struck the bicyclist. Authorities said the unidentified woman, believed to be in her 40’s, was dead at the scene. The Cook County medical examiner’s office was then notified.

After striking the bicyclist, the semi truck driver immediately fled the scene of the accident. Though officials were not available for comment, the semi truck driver is not in custody. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Major Accident Investigation Unit is handling the collision and is seeking the driver of this hit-and run-accident.

From the perspective of an Illinois truck accident lawyer, many serious bicycle accidents unfortunately involve inattentive or negligent motorists. Semi trucks or large commercial vehicles are commonly responsible for striking bicyclists due to the truck’s large weight, height, and number of blind spots present, in combination with extreme vulnerability of the bicyclist. Often times, drivers fail to yield to bicyclists, don’t give bicyclists the space they need while riding on roadways, do not follow the rules of the road, or are simply distracted while driving. In the above report, the driver of the semi-truck couldn’t even stop to check the bicyclist after hitting her or report the accident, and instead fled the scene. Bicyclists are considered as motorists and have every right to use the roadway like any other vehicle does; yet, they are commonly disregarded and as a result too commonly become victims in serious accidents and collisions.

It is important that all truck drivers drive attentively and responsibly to ensure the safety of other motorists on Illinois roadways, especially bicyclists. Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a truck and bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago truck accident lawyers are prepared to inform you of your rights and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident due to a negligent truck driver, please contact our Illinois accident law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.

August 11, 2012

Semi Trailer and Transit Bus Collision Injures 8 near Granite City, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois truck accident attorney at our firm recently read a report about a collision involving a semi tractor-trailer and a Madison County Transit bus in Granite City on Tuesday evening. Kmov.com reported that the bus was stopped at a light going northbound on Route 3 at the intersection with Chain of Rocks Road, just south of Interstate 270. A semi truck then rear-ended the bus, sending it into a pick up truck in front of it. As a result, the bus skidded about seventy-five yards into a ditch, while the semi swerved to the right side of the rode and struck a set of overhead traffic lights. The cab of the truck then fell on its side into a ditch, while the trailer remained upright.

The report states that emergency crews quickly responded to the scene, including the Granite City Police and Fire Department, Illinois State police, the Madison County Sheriff, Alton, Edwardsville, Abbot, and Collinsville ambulances, and ARCH rescue helicopters. The driver of the semi truck was extricated from the cab of the truck and airlifted to an area hospital, later being transferred to St. Louis University Hospital. His status is not yet known. The driver of the pick up truck was taken to Alton Memorial Hand is in stable condition. The driver of the bus, in addition to five passengers on the bus, was transported to Gateway Regional Hospital, all six individuals in stable condition. Authorities closed the roadway following the accident and reopened it a few hours later.

In previous blogs, our Chicago truck accident lawyers have discussed the severity of accidents that occur between semi trucks or large commercial vehicles and smaller cars or motorcycles. The risk of individuals in smaller vehicles sustaining personal injury after an accident with a larger vehicle is very high, often due to the vulnerability of the smaller vehicle in combination with the much taller and heavier vehicle like a semi truck, tractor-trailer, or bus. Even more, accidents that occur between two or more of these large vehicles can be just as dangerous. Accidents with semi trucks can result in turnovers or large swerves onto other vehicles, truck cabs disconnecting from the trailer, or even trucks spilling their loads onto the roadway. Furthermore, accidents with buses can lead to not only damage to the bus and surrounding areas, but all passengers traveling on the bus are at risk of injury or death. It is important that all drivers of large commercial vehicles do everything they can to prevent accidents with other motorists in Illinois roadways, ultimately preventing injury to those involved.

Though the above report does not specify which driver was responsible for causing the accident, in addition to whether anyone planned to seek legal action, individuals who suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists may be able to file a claim in civil court against the drive. Our Chicago accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Illinois truck accident lawyers to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

August 7, 2012

Illinois Pick-Up Truck And Motorcycle Accident Leaves 1 Dead and 1 Injured in Williamson County

by Levin & Perconti

A serious accident between a pick-up truck and a motorcycle left one person dead and another with life threatening injures on Sunday evening. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys read a report by Dailyregister.com detailing the accident, which occurred at 5:12pm on Corinth Road at the intersection with Thompsonville Road near Williamson County. According to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, the accident took place when a pick up truck traveling south on Thompsonville Road failed to make a complete stop prior to entering Corinth Road. The driver of the truck allegedly did not see a motorcycle traveling westbound on Corinth Road until just before impact. After the collision, the motorcycle left the south side of the road and overturned in a small ditch. Brake patterns on the road have led police to believe the driver of the motorcycle was attempting to swerve into the eastbound lane of traffic while braking.

The report states that the driver and his wife who were both riding on the motorcycle were unresponsive at the scene. Both were taken to a nearby medical center and were later transported to other hospitals. The driver died shortly after, while his wife remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman. The driver was the Harrisburg Medical Center President and CEO, and many have released statements expressing remorse for he and his wife. The Chairman of the HMC Board stated in a press release that the man’s “vision, leadership, and determination have been vital in the success of HMC and to the delivery of quality healthcare for the people we serve. The Board remains confident that the Administration and staff of HMC will continue to deliver quality healthcare to the people of southeastern Illinois.”

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys understand that collisions between truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of trucks in combination with the smaller size of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. With a large number of motorcyclists traveling on Illinois roadways, our Illinois accident law firm wants to urge the public to be more cautious when driving this summer.

Because of the vulnerability of motorcyclists, they need to be sure to drive defensively and be cautious around trucks and other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible to others, as it is easy for trucks and cars to make turns or merges without noticing the motorcyclist nearby. As most motorcyclists die of head injuries, it is important that they wear helmets at all times. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots.
In addition, truck drivers should exercise great caution while turning or merging in order to avoid colliding with another vehicle or pedestrian. Because of the many blind spots that exist for truck drivers, maintaining a proper speed, following all road regulations, and driving attentively will help to avoid serious accidents and most importantly, increase the safety of everyone on the road.

Every year, our Illinois truck accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Truck accident lawsuits can help compensate accident victims for potential personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of a trucking accident.

Those involved in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident caused by a truck driver’s reckless or negligent behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a truck accident, please contact our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.

August 1, 2012

Illinois Family Suffers Injuries After Two Rivers Tractor Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Htrnews.com, five members of an Illinois family were injured when their car collided with a large farm tractor north of the state border on Monday. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that around 4:30pm, a tractor unit was attempting to turn east off of state Highway 42 onto county Highway VV when a car trying to pass the tractor struck it. The collision caused the tractor to spill a large amount of diesel on the roadway. In addition, authorities say the car struck and downed a utility pole, causing scattered power outages in the Two Rivers area. The car then stopped in a ditch on the side of the road and emergency crews rushed to the scene.

The Lieutenant of the Two Rivers Fire Department said the driver of the car was transported by ambulance to Aurora Medical Center. His wife, the front-seat passenger of the car, was airlifted by helicopter to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center. One of the three back seat passengers was transported to Aurora Baycare by ambulance, while the other two were taken to Holy Family Memorial in Aurora, also by ambulance. The extent of each passenger’s injuries was not immediately known, as well as if the driver of the tractor was injured. State patrol continue to investigate the accident, while Water and Light Department crews from Illinois and Wisconsin worked to clean up the fuel that spilled from the tractor.

From the perspective of our Illinois truck accident attorneys, accidents caused by negligent drivers of semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles are causing an increasing amount of personal injury and fatalities throughout the state of Illinois and surrounding areas. However, it cannot be assumed that the tractor driver was to blame in this particular incident, as the car involved was responsible for hitting the tractor while trying to pass it. Even so, due to the larger size and weight of tractors and trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of other vehicles, accidents become much more destructive and likelihood of serious injury occurring during a collision greatly increases.

Although the above report does not confirm whether anyone planned to seek legal action as a result of the accident, when individuals do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Our Illinois truck accident lawyers understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in life altering consequences. If you if you or someone you know has suffered injuries, medical expenses, or property damage in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

July 30, 2012

Illinois Driver Dies in Truck Accident After Heart Attack

by Levin & Perconti

Commercial-news.com recently made a report by detailing a central Illinois trucking accident Thursday morning that left the driver dead at the scene. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read that a 2006 International truck was headed west on Interstate 74 at the 209-mile marker near Danville, Illinois when it exited the roadway to the right around 4:30am. The truck allegedly drove up an embankment and back, and came to rest on a grassy area north of the road. Illinois State Police confirmed that the driver, a 51 year-old man of Taylorville, Illinois was found unresponsive at the scene of the accident and was taken to the hospital’s emergency department.

Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department, in addition to Oakwood Ambulance, Kickapoo Fire, and the Tilton Police Department, arrived at the scene of the accident. Reports indicate the driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident and therefore was not ejected from the vehicle. He also was not extricated by any emergency crews on the scene. The report states that a Vermillion County Coroner indicated a preliminary autopsy pointed to a massive heart attack as the driver’s cause of death. Toxicology test results from the autopsy are still pending.

While road traffic accidents most commonly occur due to negligent motorists, distracted driving, or some form of driver error, other accidents may be caused by sudden illness of the driver. From the perspective of our Illinois truck accident attorneys, there are many rules and laws in place that are worthwhile for every driver to know in the case that an unexpected medical condition arises while driving.

Unexpected medical conditions that are considered to be “sudden illness” behind the wheel most commonly include heart attacks, strokes, and epilepsy. If you are involved in a road traffic accident due to sudden illness, you may be unable to act at the scene. It is important to stay calm and call for help if and when you are able to. If you are injured from the accident as well, continue to remain calm and let emergency services take control of the situation. Be sure to inform emergency services if you believe you’ve suffered a heart attack or stroke as soon as possible.

If you do suffer from sudden illness while driving, there is a good chance that you will not be prosecuted for causing an accident, as you most likely had no control over the car at that stage. However, medical evidence will be critical in determining liability. Contact your insurance company who will explain your rights as the driver who suffered the sudden illness. Even if you are in the car with a driver who suffers from a medical condition, you may have the ability to claim. Accidents caused by unexpected medical conditions while driving have the potential of becoming very complex as far as where legal liability truly falls. Determining who is liable for the accident depends on numerous factors, such as medical evidence, whether the driver’s medical condition was fatal or non-fatal, the driver’s history of medical conditions, who was injured in the accident, and whether the accident itself was the cause of a heart attack or other illness to the driver.

Every year, our Chicago truck accident lawyers provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. In the case of an accident caused by sudden illness to the driver, we can help you determine where liability falls, in addition to helping accident victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 28, 2012

Illinois Truck Driver Killed in LaSalle County Four-Semi Collision

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a news report by Morrisdailyherald.com detailing a four semi-truck accident that occurred last month in La Salle County. A semi truck driver was killed on Interstate 80 at milepost 102 after backup from one accident on the highway caused a second chain reaction accident with not only the driver’s semi, but three additional semi trucks.

At about 6:15am, Illinois State Police received a call about a three-vehicle accident between two passenger cars and a semitrailer in the eastbound lanes of the Interstate. In this accident, the semi driver sustained minor injuries, and the drivers of the passenger cars remained unharmed. But because of the backup from this accident, a second much more severe accident occurred about a mile behind.

According to a press release from state police, a 63 year-old semi driver of Evergreen, Illinois hit the already stopped semi from the first accident, which caused a chain reaction. His truck, consisting of double trailers, traveled into the next lane and hit a second semi truck, driven by a 46-year old of Chana, Illinois. That truck was then pushed into a third semi truck, which then hit a fourth semi truck, both driven by 45-year olds from out of state.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Seneca Fire and Ambulance teams rushed to the scene. The report states that the Evergreen driver was pronounced dead upon impact by the La Salle County Coroner’s office. The driver of the second semi truck was taken to Morris Hospital by ambulance, but was treated and released. The other two semi truck drivers did not report any injuries. According to state police, eastbound lanes of the I-80 were closed as a result of the accident, and were re-opened later in the afternoon after both accidents were cleared. The second accident was thoroughly investigated by state police and the La Salle County Coroner's office.

As our Illinois truck accident lawyers have discussed in previous blogs, chain reaction collisions can cause serious injury and life altering consequences to those involved. If these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles similar to the accident reported above, the likelihood of a serious injury greatly increases. While a backup from a previous accident was the cause of this particular chain reaction, others usually occur due to tailgating and failing to maintain a safe distance from others on the roadway. Thus, it is important to always keep your eyes moving to remain aware of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and street signs. Allowing a proper distance in between you and the vehicle in front of you is crucial. Heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances. Rule of thumb, if you know you wouldn’t be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you are following another, then you are most likely driving way too close.

Chain reaction accidents can happen in a matter of seconds and cause serious injuries to those involved, especially if they involve semi trucks. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, as well as properly maintaining your own vehicle, will not only help to keep you safe, but will help to prevent accidents and injury to others on the road. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a trucking accident. Pease contact our Illinois truck accident attorneys to find out what rights may be available to you. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 26, 2012

Driver Injured in Saline County Illinois Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by TheSouthern.com, a Franklin County truck driver was seriously injured last week after his truck ran off of the roadway and crashed. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys read that the accident occurred at 1:24am on Friday along Raleigh Road in Saline County. Illinois State Police say the 32 year-old driver was injured after the truck and trailer filled with coal he was hauling veered off the roadway, struck two utility polls, and rolled on its side. The trailer spilled its entire load of coal in the accident.

The driver was taken to Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado by ambulance, later transferring to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. Police say he was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, but was cited for improper lane usage and texting while driving.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers understand that accidents involving semi trucks, trailer trucks, or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only drivers, but also other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Though the accident described above was fortunately a single-vehicle accident, it could have easily been prevented. It is important to note that the accident occurred in the middle of the night, when driver exhaustion and fatigue commonly become a cause of distracted driving and failing to drive attentively on the roadway. Despite this already large risk for the driver, he was irresponsibly texting while driving, presumably becoming the cause of the accident by leading to even more distraction. Even worse, the driver was hauling an entire load of coal when the accident occurred. Accidents with cargo involved have the potential of causing very serious injury to the driver and other motorists if the cargo is detached or spills as a result of the accident.

Though truck drivers face many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested and all of their equipment is working properly, accidents do continue to happen as a result of negligent drivers. Because of the great amount of energy and force associated with trucks, truck drivers need to be extremely cautious at all times, even at low speeds. Doing so will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accidents on Illinois roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out what rights may be available to you. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 24, 2012

Authorities Investigate Cause of Texas Truck Accident that Claimed 23 Victims

by Levin & Perconti

Kens5.com recently released a report detailing a one-vehicle pick up truck accident southwest of Goliad, Texas that claimed the lives of fourteen individuals and seriously injured nine. Our Illinois truck accident attorneys read that a 2000 white Ford Super-Duty F-250 truck overloaded with passengers was heading north on U.S 59 in the rural community of Berclair on Sunday evening, about 100 miles southeast of San Antonio. Police say the truck suddenly veered off the right side of the highway and struck two large trees.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said twenty-three passengers were crammed inside the truck’s cab and bed, including at least two young children. Eleven people, including the driver of the truck, were killed at the scene. Six of those who died were still inside the mangled vehicle when emergency crews arrived at the scene, while five were found outside of the vehicle. Medical helicopters and ambulances took the twelve surviving victims to hospitals in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Victoria, several with life-threatening injuries. Early Monday, a Department of Public Safety dispatcher in San Antonio said three of those victims died at the hospitals, bringing the total number dead to fourteen. "This is the most people I've seen in any passenger vehicle, and I've been an officer for 38 years," stated the dispatcher. He said it was one of the state's most serious accidents in his time.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers learned that the victims included men, women, and two young children, all who have not been identified. Authorities say the truck was registered in Houston to someone other than the driver. Beginning Monday morning, investigators were trying to determine what exactly caused the accident that lead to the multiple fatalities. Authorities say it could be another week or two before it is concluded, in addition to whether anyone should be held criminally responsible for the accident.

The report states that Border Control was assisting in the investigation into the accident in Goliad County, about 150 miles northeast of the border with Mexico. It was not immediately clear if those involved were illegal immigrants, but it is possible. Thus, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents are working to confirm the identities of the victims to determine if this was a case of human smuggling. Such overloaded vehicles are not uncommon, as smugglers of illegal immigrants try to maximize profits through moving their loads north from the Texas-Mexico border. Records show that in April, nine Mexican immigrants died near the border when the teenage driver of their van crashed after fleeing Border Patrol. There were eighteen people in that minivan.

From the standpoint of a Chicago truck accident attorney, driving a large amount of passengers inside of a single vehicle can be extremely dangerous for not only the passengers, but also other motorists on the roadway. Cars and trucks are designed to hold a certain number of people safely, and if they are overcrowded, they put passengers at risk. The driver of the vehicle may have had blocked sight lines and had trouble seeing other vehicles and pedestrians through his windows or mirrors. Thus, the driver put everyone at risk when he allowed to many people to pack into the truck. There is no Illinois law at this time that specifically prohibits passengers from riding in the cargo bed of a pickup truck, however seat belt laws do restrict who can ride in the bed. The Child Passenger Safety act requires that passengers must be at least 16 years of age to ride in the bed of the pickup; if there are children under 16 in the bed of the pickup, the truck must never move faster than 25 miles per hour. If it does, all passengers under 16 must be fastened in a seat belt or child safety seat inside of the truck.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys agree that the accident described in the above report would not have been so severe if there were not as many people riding in the vehicle. Riding in the bed of a pick up truck is very dangerous; even at low speeds, a fall from a pick up bed can be deadly. We are aware of the severity of truck accidents and understand that those involved can suffer life-altering consequences. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a negligent truck driver, please contact one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 22, 2012

Semi Driver Critically Injured in Borman Trucking Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report detailing a life threatening semi truck collision. A semi truck driver currently remains in critical condition after his flower delivery truck rear-ended another semi truck on the Borman Expressway at approximately 2:48am on Friday.

Police say the accident left the driver trapped in the cab of his truck for more than three hours on the eastbound I-80/94 near Cline Avenue. Doctors and nurses from the University of Chicago Air Medical Network arrived to the scene within minutes and were shocked by the severity of the accident. After seeing the driver trapped in the cab of his truck, a flight nurse stated, “The truck was basically crushed on top of him. The steering column and the entire dashboard was into his chest and both of his legs were trapped.”

The report states that independent sources told NBC Chicago that crews had to amputate one of the driver’s legs from the calf down in order to extricate him from the cab of the truck. Emergency doctors on the scene later confirmed the severity of the driver’s injuries, stating that he wouldn’t have had a chance to survive if the doctors did not arrive when they did. “If he remained in the cab in the condition that he was in, his chances of survival would have dropped precipitously,” one of the doctors reported.

The driver was transported to the level one trauma center at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition. All lanes of the Borman expressway were blocked for more than four hours following the crash and eastbound traffic was at a standstill from the state line. One westbound lane re-opened just after 6:30 a.m.

From the perspective of one of our Chicago truck accident attorneys, it is important to note that the accident occurred in the middle of the night. As discussed in previous posts, a huge concern for most truck drivers is driver fatigue into the late hours of the night, potentially resulting in distraction and failing to drive attentively on the roadway. Despite truck drivers facing many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving, accidents do continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists.

Every year, our Illinois truck accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Truck accident lawsuits can help compensate accident victims for potential personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of a trucking accident. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out what rights may be available to you. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 20, 2012

Four Vehicle Accident in McCracken County Leaves One Injured

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by McCraken.kfvs12.com, a vehicle that stalled out in the middle of the road caused a serious four-car accident last week. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read that the vehicle, driven by a 33 year-old man, stopped on the I-24 bridge in McCracken County around 4pm because of an empty fuel tank. A car traveling westbound, driven by a 41 year-old woman of Golconda, Illinois, spotted the stalled vehicle and swerved to avoid hitting it. After swerving, the woman’s car was hit from behind by a semi trailer, pushing it right into the stalled vehicle. To make matters worse, the 52-year-old driver of the semi trailer then swerved, and as a result struck another semi trailer.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department was called and responded to the stalled vehicle, but did not reach the scene in time to prevent this accident. Police say the driver of the second semi trailer was the only person who suffered injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The road was closed for an hour and a half in order to properly investigate the accident.

From the perspective of one of our Chicago truck accident attorneys, chain reaction collisions are very serious and can cause life-threatening injuries to those involved. If these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the likelihood of serious injury greatly increases. The primary cause of the chain reaction described above was a stalled vehicle due to an empty fuel tank. Many drivers often postpone filling up their gas tanks until it is too late, potentially causing danger to themselves and others on the roadway. It is suggested that drivers fill up their gas tanks when they are about halfway empty to prevent the level from getting too low before finding the time to fill them up. Be sure your vehicle and its accessories are always working correctly by routinely checking your tires, brakes, lights, windows, and windshields. If there is a malfunction with your vehicle or you are involved in an accident, use your signals properly to move to the side of the road, or at least turn on your hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles.

Other chain reactions more commonly occur due to tailgating and failing to maintain a safe distance from others on the roadway. Thus, it is important to always keep your eyes moving to remain aware of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and street signs. You should allow a distance of ten feet in between you and the vehicle in front of you for every ten miles per hour you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, this distance would be sixty feet. Heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances, and distance should also be increased between all vehicles while driving in poor weather conditions. Rule of thumb, if you know you wouldn’t be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you are following another, then you are most likely driving way too close.

Chain reaction accidents can happen in a matter of seconds and cause serious injury, especially if they involve semi trucks. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, as well as properly maintaining your own vehicle, will not only help to keep you safe, but will help to prevent injury to others on the road. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a trucking accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, contact one of our Illinois truck accident lawyers. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.

July 18, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed in Decatur Trucking Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Herald-review.com recently released a report detailing the death of a motorcyclist after a semi truck collided with him last Thursday. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm read that the accident occurred at approximately 11am in the 2800 block of North Brush College Road in Decatur, Illinois. According to an initial investigation made by the Decatur Police Department’s fatal accident investigation team, a semi truck was engaging in a turnabout when the accident happened. The driver of the semi truck, a 48 year-old man of Fairview Heights, had just exited a private driveway and was beginning to enter a second private driveway, just north of the first one, when the northbound motorcyclist, a 58 year-old man of Shelby County, collided with the rear tires of the semi truck. A Macon County Coroner stated that the truck simply “passed over the motorcycle.” The coroner indicated the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:40pm, having suffered “massive destructive head trauma and trauma to his torso.” The driver of the semi truck was not injured. The report states that no arrests or citations have been issued yet, but the accident is still under investigation by Illinois State Police.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys understand that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of semi trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. While many accidents occur due to the negligence of semi truck drivers on the roadways, others simply occur because of the difficulty and potential dangers that go along with driving a semi truck. Therefore, although many accidents are unavoidable, we would like to offer all motorists some critical steps that can be taken to help drive defensively and to avoid being involved in a semi truck accidents this summer.

Based on the above report, it is always important to be cautious around semi trucks that are turning. As a truck driver begins a turn, he will usually first swing in the opposite direction, sometimes into the next lane, to complete the turn. It is best to avoid the truck altogether when this is occurring. Always place a significant amount of distance between you and a semi truck on highways or larger roadways. Understand that trucks are not like other ordinary vehicles. A truck’s size and weight can affect the driver’s ability to brake and change lanes safely. Thus, try to avoid driving next to a truck for an extended period of time, and if you must pass a truck, do so quickly. Also understand that semi trucks have many more blind spots than cars do, with limited visibility next to and behind the truck. Note that there are a greater amount of blind spots on the passenger side of the truck, so if you are passing it, try to do so on the left side whenever possible. Always try to stay in the truck’s visibility; if you cannot see the truck driver or his mirrors, odds are he is also unable to see you.

As always, take extra care when driving in poor weather conditions, as this can greatly affect semi trucks in addition to all other vehicles on the road. Be cautious when entering a highway from an entrance ramp onto a fast paced highway, where trucks may have trouble slowing down to allow you to merge in. If you ever need to stop on a highway, pull completely off of the road, as truck drivers may not realize that cars too close to the highway are stopped until it is too late. Finally, avoid road rage or becoming aggressive against trucks. If a truck driver is driving aggressively, do not retaliate. It is best to keep distance between you and the truck, in addition to other vehicles on the road that may be driving in an aggressive manner because of a truck.

From the perspective of a Chicago truck accident lawyer, it is essential that all motorists exercise great caution when driving near or around semi trucks. When motorists do suffer serious injuries as the result of a careless or negligent semi truck driver, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago truck accident attorneys to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

July 16, 2012

Mokena Family Sues Metra Over Fatal Train Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read an online news report by Mokena.patch.com detailing the death of a 19-year-old girl from Mokena, Illinois after a Metra train struck her car. The accident occurred late last month on the train tracks near 191st Street and LaGrange Road. Initial findings indicate that the girl’s car was inside of the crossing gates as the train approached around 10pm. Witnesses say that the car came to rest inside of the gates, but clear of the tracks, before the gates were lowered. As the car began driving slowly onto the tracks, witnesses blared their car horns in attempt to warn the driver of the train coming towards her. A Metra spokeswoman stated that the train engineer, traveling inbound from Joliet at 70 miles per hour, spotted the car and threw the train engine into emergency mode to attempt to brake. Metra said the gates were down and warning lights were flashing. Sadly, the car was struck as it reached the second track and the girl was killed at the scene. The report states that on Thursday, the family of the victim filed a complaint in Will Country Court to sue Metra for negligence.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers are aware of the number and severity of train accidents throughout Illinois, as almost all of these accidents involve property damage, personal injury, medical expenses, and in many cases, death. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), a person or a vehicle is hit by a train in the United State every two hours, totaling about 3,000 accidents each year. Surprisingly, railroad crossings in Illinois are statistically more dangerous in terms of accidents per population. In 2010, Illinois was the second deadliest state in train crossing fatalities out of ten states; there were a total of 27 fatalities in a 12.8 million population in Illinois. This is more than twice the number in much larger states. The FRA is currently making efforts to improve safety near railroads in Illinois and many other states with a high number of train crossing fatalities.

Railroad collisions have many causes, including improper installation of warning devices, improper sight lines that prevent drivers from seeing an oncoming train, failure to properly maintain crossing areas, or other types of negligence that may occur by either the train company or other vehicles involved. Our Illinois truck accident law firm would like to urge the public to be more cautious when traveling near railroad tracks this summer. Nearly half of all collisions at railroad crossings occur when automatic warning devices such a flashing lights or gates are present and are functioning properly. Be aware of these warning devices and avoid train tracks when they are flashing. Be especially alert near train tracks that do not have these warning devices. Many people believe that if they ever crossed the train tracks at an inappropriate time, they would be able to avoid the train, or the train would be able to stop in time. However, most freight trains traveling at about 50 miles per hour take over a mile to stop; the above report stated that emergency brakes were used to try to stop the train, but this was a failed attempt. Therefore, if there is any possibility of a train coming nearby, avoid the train tracks and do not cross them until you are sure you can do so safely.

Although the above report does not confirm who was to blame in the accident, when motorists do suffer serious injuries as a result of a train accident, they have the right to take action. In this case, the victim’s family was able to file a claim in civil court against the train company. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that train accidents can result in life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a train accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago truck accident attorneys to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

July 14, 2012

Investigation Begins After Death of Two Drivers in Logan County Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Sj-r.com recently released a report detailing the current examination of an unexplained accident two months ago that claimed the lives of two drivers on Interstate 55. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read that at 11pm on the night of May 8th, a driver on I-55 called the police after noticing a car stopped in the right southbound lane of the highway near Logan County. The report states that the vehicle, driven by a 21-year-old woman of Chicago, was at a dead stop with no lights on and was causing a traffic hazard for other motorists.

Illinois state troopers later arrived to the scene and were shocked by what had occurred. A tractor-trailer, driven by a 67-year old man, had plowed into the back of the stopped vehicle at about 65 miles per hour. It is reported that the truck was hauling a load of Caterpillar counterweights, causing his truck and his entire load to stop so suddenly that the cabin was crushed forward. Police say the semi ran over most of the car and then went out of out control, traveled into the median of the road, fell off of a bridge, and landed in a creek bed. Both drivers were ejected from their vehicles and were pronounced dead at the scene. In addition, the car the woman was driving had later been reported stolen.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers read that as a result of the accident, a Logan County Coroner scheduled an inquest into the deaths this week. After being asked to describe the scene of the accident, the coroner stated, “It was really destroyed. The car was just a pile of rubble, and the semi wasn’t much better either. I’ve never seen a semi torn up like that. It’s just a sad thing, a really, really sad thing.” He said toxicology reports will be released soon, potentially yielding more information. The Illinois state trooper who investigated the incident is expected to testify. Family members of the victims hope to find out more about the unusual accident.

One important thing to note regarding the above report is that the accident occurred in the middle of the night. A huge concern for most truck drivers is driver exhaustion into the late hours of the night, which can result in distraction and failing to drive attentively on the roadway. Night driving frequently presents significant problems of determining how fast other vehicles are going on the road, in that many truck drivers don’t realize if other vehicles ahead are stopped until it is too late, as described in the above report.

Truck drivers face many regulations before driving to ensure they are well rested, all of their equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. Because of the great amount of energy and force associated with trucks, truck drivers need to be extremely cautious at all times, even at low speeds. Doing so will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accidents on Illinois roadways.

Despite the many regulations truck drivers face before driving, accidents do continue to happen as a result of negligent drivers. If you have suffered personal injury, medical expenses, property damage, or have lost a loved one due to a negligent semi truck driver, please contact our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Find out what rights may be available to you.

July 12, 2012

Pedestrian Killed in Semi Truck Accident on Dan Ryan Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report posted by Chicagotribune.com, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a semi truck on the 83rd Street ramp of the Dan Ryan Expressway last week. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the 40-year-old man was traveling northbound on I-94 and stopped along the right shoulder of the road near 83rd Street at about 9:40am. Authorities say he then exited his vehicle for unknown reasons.

A 1999 Volvo semi-trailer traveling in the right lane failed to notice the man and fatally struck him; he was later pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semi truck was uninjured, and no charges have been filed as of recently. The report states that Illinois State police closed three northbound lanes of the expressway in order to properly investigate the accident.

Although we cannot assume that the truck driver was to blame in this particular incident, from the perspective of an Illinois truck accident lawyer, accidents caused by negligent drivers of large commercial vehicles are causing an increasing amount of personal injury and fatalities throughout the state of Illinois. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that an increase in trucking accidents has occurred, not only in Illinois, but also throughout the country. Last year, a total of 927 fatalities took place in Illinois from trucking accidents, as compared to the 911 fatalities in 2010. This represents an increase of 16 fatalities, or 1.8%. In relation to nation wide statistics, there was an 8.7% increase in the number of people killed in crashes involving large trucks throughout the United States. These fatalities increased in all categories—large truck occupants, occupants of other vehicles, and non-occupants.

Although the above report does not confirm whether the pedestrian’s family planned to seek legal action against the driver of the semi truck, when pedestrians do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. If the semi truck driver was negligent, the victim’s family may be able to file a claim in civil court against the semi truck driver.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago truck accident attorneys to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.

July 6, 2012

Farmington Woman Injured in Semi Truck Collision

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report posted on CantonDailyLedger.com detailing a tragic semi truck accident that has left one woman severely injured. The accident in question transpired along Illinois Route 116 at roughly 8:30 a.m. It is reported that the 30-year-old accident victim was traveling westbound when her vehicle drifted into the eastbound land and collided head-on with a semi tractor-trailer. As a result of the accident, the woman was air lifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where she is currently listed in fair condition.


Additionally, our Chicago truck accident attorney learned that upon impact, a fuel tank located along side of the semi tractor-trailer was punctured – ultimately resulting is a severe fuel spill. The driver’s side of the semi truck also sustained major damage. However, the cab of the truck was not heavily impacted and the semi truck driver remained unharmed in the accident. It took roughly three hours for tow truck works and cleanup crew to contain the fuel spill and clear the wreckage from the destructive Illinois trucking accident. The 30-year-old woman has received a ticket for improper lane usage.


Although our Illinois trucking accident blog commonly reports on the dangers associated with unsafe travel of semi truck drivers, often times drivers of small passenger vehicles can be equally responsible for accidents involving large commercial vehicles. In order to help drivers protect themselves against the perils that often result from trucking accidents, our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti continue to encourage drivers to:
- Always drive at a safe speed
- Adjust speed to accommodate adverse roadway conditions
- Always use your turn signals
- Avoid cutting of a semi truck at all costs – they take significantly longer to break
- Maintain a minimum four-second following distance from semi trucks

In the unfortunate case you have been involved in a trucking accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Recently, our attorneys obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of a Huntley, Illinois, family who sustained severe and fatal injuries in a tragic semi truck accident. Through our investigation, it was determined that the semi truck driver was operating under the influence of marijuana, as well as, a overload tractor-trailer.


Please contact an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney for a free consultation.

June 26, 2012

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed after Streamwood Trucking Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report posted on Courier-News.com, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a 29-year-old Streamwood school teacher who died this past year as a result of a devastating trucking accident. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident in question transpired on August 19, 2011, as the woman was on her way to the middle school she worked at.

The 29-year-old was traveling southbound on Route 59 when she slowed for traffic at Struckman Boulevard in Bartlett. A heavy-duty pickup truck, traveling behind the victim, failed to notice the woman’s reduction in speed and subsequently collided with the woman’s vehicle.

As a result, the 29-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries and died nearly three weeks after the accident. Our Chicago truck accident lawyer learned that the initial autopsy following her death was inconclusive; however, final autopsy results showed that the school teacher ultimately died from multiple injuries sustained in the accident, as well as, bronchial pneumonia.

Relatives of the woman have since filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court. According to court documents, the defendants named in the lawsuit include both the Equipment Depot of Illinois – the company that owns the truck involved, as well as, the employee who was operating the truck.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the 29-year-old school teacher’s father, asserts vehicle negligence, wrongful death, as well as, survival action. The family seeks at least $2 million in damages based on the school teacher’s anticipated earnings in wages and pension benefits she would have received if she had lived. Additionally, our Chicago trucking accident attorney learned that the family seeks damages for medical and funeral expenses.

Every year, our Chicago truck accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to those who have been harmed or killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident. When large trucks are operated in a careless or negligent manner, the results are almost always severe and life-altering.

Accident victims and their families may be able to seek legal action against negligent truck drivers and their employers. Truck accident litigation can help compensate accident victims for the various expenses incurred as a result of a trucking accident. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident, please contact our attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.

June 12, 2012

Lawsuit filed after Loose Truck Cargo Causes Fatality

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, a Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm read a news report detailing a lawsuit that has been filed after a devastating 2011 semi truck accident resulted in the fatality of a 40-year-old man. ThePeoplesTribune.com reports that the accident in question transpired on December 14, 2011, along Champ Clark Bridge when the accident victim’s SUV was struck by cargo that had broken loose from a semi truck along the 20-foot-wide two-lane bridge.

As a result of the accident, the 50-year-old Illinois truck driver was ticketed for improper lane usage. However, the truck driver, as well as, his trucking company will not be subject to civil litigation brought about by the accident victim’s family. The wrongful death lawsuit was originally filed in St. Charles County Circuit Court by the victim’s wife and their two sons, however, it is reported that the suit has now been filed in the eastern district federal court. Our Chicago truck accident lawyer learned that the family is seeking a jury trial, in addition to, an unspecified amount of damages.

Any Illinois truck accident attorney will tell you that proper securement of cargo is one of the most prominent, as well as, necessary regulation a semi truck driver must adhere to. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the government agency that regulates semi truck driver, requires that motor carriers operating in interstate commerce must comply with the following guidelines pertaining to securement of semi truck cargo:
-
Articles must be prevented from shifting on or within, or falling from commercial motor vehicles
- Increase the use of tie downs or cargo securement devices other than those currently in use
- All vehicle structures, systems, parts and components used to secure cargo must be in proper working order when used to perform that function with no damaged or weakened components that could adversely affect the truck’s performance.
- All rules are applicable to trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds

If you have been injured in an Illinois trucking accident or have lost a loved one in an accident caused by improperly secured cargo, please contact our experienced accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti as soon as possible to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys ensure that our clients are properly compensated for their devastating injuries and losses due to the negligence of others. We hold truck drivers, as well as, their companies liable for their failure to safety operate large commercial vehicles.

June 1, 2012

Two Injured in Illinois Bus-Truck Collision

by Levin & Perconti

The State Journal-Register Online recently released a news report detailing a destructive bus-truck collision that sent two Illinois schoolchildren to the hospital. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident in question transpired just after 4:30 p.m. on Interstate 55 – roughly five miles north of Litchfield. The school bus – containing 33 sixth-graders, two teachers, five chaperones, as well as, the school bus driver – collided into the back of a tractor-trailer that had slowed in a construction zone.

As a result of the accident, nine students were taken to an area hospital for injuries sustained. As of press time, two of the school children remain hospitalized – both suffering from broken legs. Additionally, the 66-year-old driver of the school bus was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The bus driver has been cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. However, the 54-year-old semi truck driver remained uninjured in the accident. The accident remains under investigation by Illinois State Police.

When devastating Illinois trucking accidents or Illinois bus accidents result in severe injury to minors and children – the results can be particularly tragic. Bus drivers have a duty of care that they must adhere to in order to ensure that they operate their vehicle with the utmost care in order to avoid any potential hazards – especially accidents. When this duty is deviated from and an accident ensues, the driver may be held both criminally and civil liable for any injuries or deaths that may ensue.

If you have been injured in a trucking accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, please contact our accident attorneys in Chicago as soon as possible.
Our Chicago truck accident lawyers share comprehensive knowledge when handling any and all types of motor vehicle accidents – including those involving semi trucks and buses and will provide a free initial consultation to help determine what legal rights, relief, and representation may be available to you.

Recently, our Chicago truck accident attorneys obtained a $10 million settlement on behalf of a 5 year-old boy who sustained critical injury when he was run over by a City of Chicago Fire Department truck while playing in an open fire hydrant. The resulting injury included the loss of his leg, as well as, half of his pelvis. The settlement aiding in covering the young boy’s past and future medical expenses, as well as, special prosthetic devices he will need for the rest of his life.

May 14, 2012

Illinois Bus-Semi Truck Collision Results in Numerous Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, STLToday.com reported a devastating Illinois trucking accident that occurred in Springfield, Illinois. The article reveals that a school bus transporting 33 sixth-grade students was traveling along Interstate 55 at around 4:30 p.m. – just five miles of Litchfield – when a semi truck traveling in front of the school bus began to slow down. The school bus driver failed to notice the semi truck driver’s reduced speed and subsequently collided into the back of the semi truck.

As a result of the collision, our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that more than a dozen students aboard the bus, as well as, the school bus driver sustained injury. It is reported that a 12-year-old student was airlifted to a nearby Illinois hospital where she has been treated for a broken femur. She is currently listed in fair condition and is expected to undergo surgery. Additionally, seven children were treated at a hospital in Litchfield – with two later discharged, three still requiring hospitalization, and two airlifted to a St. Louis hospital.

Several concerned parents also took their children to an area hospital where they were treated for minor injuries – such as bumps and bruises. Uninjured students returning from the field trip in Springfield, Illinois, were transported back to their school. Our Chicago truck accident lawyers read that due to the crash investigation, the southbound lanes of Interstate 55 from exit 60 to exit 52 in Litchfield remains closed as of press time.

Any Chicago truck accident lawyer will tell you that motor vehicle accidents – including bus and semi truck accidents – continue to remain the leading cause of fatality among children. This notion is due to the fact that any injury sustained by a young child in a motor vehicle collision can lead to substantially devastating consequences than those injuries sustained by adults A recent analysis conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that children who suffer head injuries (such as traumatic brain injuries) as a result of a collision can experience lasting or late-appearing neuropsychological problems.

If you or your child has sustained injury in a motor vehicle collision, please contact our Chicago trucking accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our knowledgeable attorneys continue to provide qualified legal representation to those who have been injured as a result of another’s negligence. Recently, our attorneys obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of a Huntley family incurred debilitating injuries in a tragic semi truck accident. Through our investigation, it was revealed that the driver of the semi truck was operating under the influence of marijuana, in addition to, operating an overloaded semi truck at the time of the accident.

May 3, 2012

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed after Channahon Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois trucking accident lawsuit has been filed as a result of a tragic fatal semi truck accident that transpired last year – ultimately resulting in the death of a Channahon woman. SunTimes.com reports that the wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the 44-year-old Illinois woman’s family. The accident in question occurred when the accident victim was traveling west on U.S. 6 in Channahon on May 10, 2011, when a semi tractor-trailer struck her motor vehicle on Bell Road and forced it into a traffic pole.

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the 44-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the crash scene. It was reported that two of the woman’s children were also traveling in the motor vehicle with her and also sustained injuries as a result of the accident. According to court papers, the wrongful death lawsuit names the truck driver, as well as, his employer as defendants.

Additionally, the truck accident lawsuit names the town of Channahon as a defendant because the pole that pinned the driver’s side of the accident victim’s vehicle did not collapse. It is noted that if the pole was collapsible – it would have lessened the force of the crash. According to Will County records, the defendant truck driver was not ticketed immediately after the accident. The wrongful death lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages.

Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that accidents involving large commercial vehicle accidents tend to be substantially more severe in terms of damages and it is important to obtain experienced accident attorneys to help handle your claim. Since 1992, our attorneys at Levin & Perconti have expertly handled numerous wrongful death claims for victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents and ensure that our clients are properly compensated for their injuries and losses.

Recently, our lawyers obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of 32 year-old Huntley woman who was fatally injured when a semi tractor-trailer rear ended the passenger vehicle which was also transporting both her husband and young son. The settlement was also a $4.7 million record Kane County wrongful death settlement when it was revealed that the defendant truck driver was operating under the influence of marijuana, in addition to, an overloaded semi tractor-trailer.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident, please contact an accident lawyer in Chicago to see what legal rights may be available to you.

April 29, 2012

2 Injured in Stevenson Bus Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this weekend, a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our office read a news report confirming that two individuals have been injured in an Illinois bus accident on the Stevenson Expressway. According to the article, posted on SunTimes.com, the accident transpired Friday morning when one of three buses transporting inmates from Cook County Jail to Stateville Prison collided into the bus traveling in front of it. It was reported that the bus driver has not noticed the reduction of traffic speed when he collided into the other bus around 8 a.m. on the outbound Stevenson – just south of Pulaski.

As a result of the bus collision, our Chicago truck accident attorney learned those injured included one inmate, as well as, one law enforcement officer. Both individuals suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. It was revealed that the other 105 inmates were put back onto the buses and taken back to Cook County Jail where they were put under medical review to ensure that no other injuries were sustained. After being medically checked out, the inmates were transported back to Stateville Prison. Illinois State Police revealed that although the accident caused traffic to remain backed up for a short period of time after the accident, the buses were relocated off the interstate – allowing traffic flow to resume.

Given the substantial size and weight of large commercial vehicles, such as buses and semi trucks, any collisions in which these vehicles are involved in carries the significant risk of debilitating and life-altering injuries and in many unfortunate cases -- premature death. Statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveal that in 2009 alone, over 10,000 vehicles were involved in bus accidents across the United States. Of those 10,000 accidents, over 9,000 resulted in injury or death – ultimately causing over 20,000 individuals non-fatal injuries or fatality.

In the event of a bus accident, any Chicago trucking accident attorney will tell you that the consequences can be substantial for injured parties and their families. When negligence plays a role in these types of accidents, civil litigation can help families obtain the compensation they deserve as a result of another’s wrongful or negligent conduct. Some of the most common types of compensation accident victims can recover in a bus accident include:

- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages aimed to punish the wrongdoer for their negligent conduct

April 21, 2012

Truck Driver Charged with DUI in Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A 41-year-old Aurora truck driver has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from an Illinois trucking accident on Interstate 355 earlier this week. According to a news report, posted on NewLenox.Patch.com, the tractor-trailer was traveling down a ramp from southbound Interstate 355 toll-way to eastbound Interstate 80 when the truck’s trailer subsequently tipped over at around 11 p.m. The large commercial vehicle, transporting a cargo of frozen food products, ultimately came to rest on its side – causing all lanes of traffic to remain closed until roughly around 8 a.m.

In a statement released by the Illinois State Police, it was revealed that the truck’s trailer was breached, so some of the product was dislodged. However, it was not ultimately lost from the trailer itself. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the 41-year-old semi truck driver was ultimately charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving too fast for conditions, as well as, improper lane usage. It was reported that the truck driver has “no recollection of the accident.”

Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that any time a large commercial vehicle driver operates an 80,000 pound truck under the influence of alcohol – the results are almost always significantly tragic and life-altering. Under current regulations provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large commercial vehicle drivers are not permitted to consume alcoholic beverages within four hours of his/her shift. Additionally, a trucking carrier is not permitted to allow a truck driver to driver if it appears that the driver has used alcohol within four hours of their shift.

If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a drunken semi truck driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for damages incurred as the result of the truck driver and his/her company’s negligence. Our attorneys at Levin & Perconti have expertly handled a number of personal injury and wrongful death claims – including Illinois trucking accidents – and ensure that our clients are properly compensated for their devastating injuries and losses. Accident victims may obtain compensation for various damages including: loss of wages, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, in addition to, punitive damages that aim to punish the wrongdoer’s negligent behavior.

Please contact an experienced accident attorney in Chicago as soon as possible to help evaluate your case.

April 12, 2012

Illinois Trucking Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Truck Driver

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report detailing an Illinois trucking accident lawsuit that has been filed after a hazardous trucking accident transpired late last year. According to the news report, posted on MadisonRecord.com, the accident in question transpired on December 14, 2011, when the accident victim was traveling east on Highway 50 near its intersection with Route 4 in Lebanon when the defendant truck driver ran a stop sign and struck the victim’s passenger vehicle.

The accident victim filed a lawsuit late last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court – naming both the truck driver, as well as, his trucking carrier as defendants in the lawsuit. Court papers reveal that as a result of the accident, the victim incurred medical expenses, great pain and mental anguish, in addition to, missing numerous working days as a result of the trucking collision.

The plaintiff asserts that the defendant caused the accident in negligently failing to keep his vehicle under proper control, failing to keep a proper lookout, driving too fast, failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, running a stop sign, in addition to, other negligent acts. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the plaintiff seeks a judgment of more than $100,000 – plus any additional court costs.

The experienced Illinois truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have effectively handled a variety of motor vehicle accidents, including Illinois trucking accidents. Due to the sheer size and weight of large commercial vehicles, any type of collision has the potential for devastating or life-altering consequences. Truck accident victims almost always sustain serious injuries including, but not limited to: broken bones, loss of limbs, in addition to, injuries to the brain and spinal cord.

If you or a loved one has suffered severe personal injury or a tragic loss as the direct result of an semi truck accident in Illinois, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for damages sustained. These damages may include compensatory damages which seek to provide the accident victim compensation for a particular loss or injury that was sustained as the direct result of the unlawful conduct of another. Additional damages may include punitive damages which seek to punish the wrongdoer for their negligent conduct.

Please contact our Chicago trucking accident lawyers as soon as possible for a free consultation to help determine what legal rights and relief may be available to you.

April 7, 2012

Illinois Traffic Fatalities on the Decline

by Levin & Perconti

Rockford Register Star Online recently released a news report detailing new traffic statistics that have been published revealing the decrease in fatalities on Illinois Roadways. Through information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Information, our accident lawyers in Chicago learned that traffic fatalities in the state of Illinois have declined 26 percent from 2006 to 2010. These statistics also report a 21 percent decline in fatalities pertaining to speeding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were approximately 927 traffic fatalities in 2010 – a noticeable decrease from the 1,254 deaths in 2006. Traffic Safety Coalition, a non-profit group, released a statement emphasizing that Illinois roads have become safer due to increased seatbelt use, better air bag technology, as well as, the installation of red light cameras.

Nationwide data reports that red light cameras have continued to show positive change in driver behavior and aids in deterring drivers from breaking traffic laws. Our Chicago accident lawyers learned that in February, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into legislation a law that permits the city of Chicago to use speed cameras to monitor drivers around parks and schools. The article reveals that this particular piece of legislation may ultimately extend to other cities in Illinois.

A 2007 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration addressed how these traffic tools operate, in addition to, further highlighting the benefits of speed cameras and red light camera programs worldwide. It is revealed that red light cameras are implemented to photograph vehicles entering intersections after traffic control signals have turned red. Detections of a traffic offense (such as running a red light) is made by sensors that have been installed into the roadway’s pavement and connected to a timing system.

If a vehicle enters the intersection illegally, a photograph of said vehicle and their license plate number is taken. The information is than reviewed by the program’s jurisdiction. Often as a result, a driver found in violation will receive a violation by the jurisdiction. Through these types of programs, the reported crash reductions have ranged between 9 and 51 percent. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that a majority of these studies have typically found a decrease in right-angle motor vehicle accidents and an increase in rear-end collisions. However, the severity of the right-angle crashes outweighs that of rear-ended accidents.

March 27, 2012

One Killed in Illinois Semi Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

NBCChicago.com recently released a news report detailing an Illinois trucking accident that resulted in one fatality. The report reveals that the devastating accident transpired early Friday morning in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80. Local authorities state that as a result of slowed traffic from a prior accident, a tractor-trailer traveling eastbound was unable to stop in time and “plowed” into the traffic ahead of him. The accident caused a chain reaction, striking a total of three additional semi tractor-trailers. The driver of the semi truck who caused the accident was pronounced dead at the scene.

Any Chicago truck accident lawyer will tell you that large commercial vehicles, which weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, carry a substantial risk on our roadways. Not only do these semi tractor-trailers take substantially longer to break, they are more prone to rollover accidents. Additionally these types of vehicles can cause considerable structural damage to bridges and roadways. According to statistics gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of truck-related deaths and injuries each year cause significant financial burdens – with the cost of large truck accidents exceeding $19 billion annually.

Since 1992, our Chicago truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have represented clients who have sustained severe injury or harm as a result of any and all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving semi tractor-trailers. Operators of large commercial vehicles have an increased responsibility to safety operate their vehicle in order to prevent the occurrence of serious and debilitating accidents.

When large commercial vehicle drivers operate in a negligent way that causes an accident, they may be held legally liable in civil court for damages sustained. Our Chicago trucking accident attorneys will tell you that these damages include, but are not limited to: medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as, punitive damages that aim to punish he wrongdoer’s negligent behavior.

Large truck accidents can be particularly devastating and may cause severe personal injury and even premature fatality. If you have been injured in an Illinois trucking accident – or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent semi truck driver, please contact an Illinois truck accident attorney at Levin & Perconti to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.

March 26, 2012

Illinois Police to Increase Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, our Illinois trucking accident blog reported an initiative that was being undertaken by the Lombard community in an effort to crack down on commercial vehicle law enforcement. In a follow-up article, posted on DailyHerald.com, an Illinois truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the Illinois Department of Transportation will be issuing additional funds to communities around the state of Illinois in order to compensate police officer overtime for commercial vehicle safety enforcement. The Illinois Department of Transportation has provided $135,815 to 10 suburban law enforcement agencies, including Addison, Algonquin, Bartlett, McHenry and Palatine police departments, in an effort to reduce commercial vehicle accidents and their subsequent injuries and fatalities.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyer read that the community of Palatine received over $18,600 so that the police agency can pay officers overtime and even hire back police officers to focus on speed, occupant restraint, as well as, vehicle safety violations involving large commercial vehicles. An additional aspect of the grant will allow officers to conduct speed surveys before and after the grant to gauge the increased enforcement’s effectiveness, in addition to, developing an educational campaign to bring commercial vehicle awareness to Illinois residents. The Illinois officers participating in this initiative will also be specially trained and certified in federal and state laws pertaining to commercial vehicle enforcement.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that these types of enforcement campaigns have received widespread success around the country and have helped decrease the devastating number of traffic fatalities. Our Chicago trucking accident attorney read that in other areas of the state, additional funding has aided in the decrease of accident fatalities to 911 in 2009 – down from 1,043 deaths in 2008. The most recent up-to-date traffic fatality statistics shows that traffic deaths decreased to roughly around 800 in 2010.

Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that when additional funds are allocated to the state in order to strengthen the enforcement of large commercial vehicles, the results are uncompromisingly positive. As accident attorneys, we see the continued harmful effects of large commercial vehicle accidents – including those involving semi trucks and buses. With developments such as this one, the risk of severe injury and fatality from traffic accidents substantially decreases and the roadways become a safer place to travel.

However, in the unfortunate circumstance you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Illinois trucking accident, please contact our experienced Chicago accident lawyers as soon as possible to help handle your claim and obtain compensation for damages incurred as the result of another’s careless or negligent conduct.

March 22, 2012

55-Year-Old Construction Worker Killed in Illinois Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to Rockford Register Star Online, an Illinois trucking accident transpired earlier this week when a large commercial vehicle struck a construction worker on Interstate 39. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read the article which detailed that the 55 year-old construction worker was performing repairs along the shoulder of Interstate 39 South when a semi tractor-trailer collided into the worker. Local authorities report that an Illinois Department of Transportation sign was directing traffic to merge into the left lane of the interstate highway, however, the 76 year-old large commercial vehicle driver was unable to merge in time. The accident remains under investigation and charges against the truck driver are pending.

Each Chicago truck accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti reads almost weekly reports of devastating semi truck accident involving roadway workers. Given the massive size and weight of large commercial vehicles, the consequences of these debilitating accidents almost always result in life-altering personal injury or even premature fatality. According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 150 people are killed annually doe to large commercial vehicle accidents in roadway work zones. A separate study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed that 12% of all fatalities in semi truck accidents in the United States are non-motorists – including construction workers.

Although the news report does not confirm whether or not the accident victim’s family plans to seek legal action against the truck driver, through our experience as Chicago trucking accident lawyers, the victim’s family may be able file a claim of wrongful death in a civil court of law. Under current Illinois statute, a wrongful death claim is one where the death of an individual was a direct result of a negligent or unjust action. Additionally, wrongful death claims differentiate from personal injury claims in that the family of the victim files the lawsuit on behalf of the victim. In the case at hand, the semi truck driver’s failure to merge in a construction zone was the direct cause of the victim’s untimely death.

If you have been injured in an Illinois truck accident or have lost a loved one prematurely due to the careless or negligent conduct of a large commercial vehicle driver, please contact our Chicago accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our experienced accident lawyers will provide a free consultation to help determine what legal rights, representation and relief may be available to you.

March 21, 2012

Lawsuit Filed After Illinois Trucking Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, our accident attorneys in Chicago read a news report posted on MadisonRecord.com detailing a negligence lawsuit that has been filed after a violent 2010 semi truck accident. The accident in question transpired in December 2010 when a passenger vehicle was traveling east on Interstate 270 in Chouteau. As the passenger vehicle crossed the Chain of Rocks Canal Bridge, the motor vehicle’s car stalled. The driver subsequently pulled off onto the right side of the roadway to take care of the disabled vehicle. According to court documents, a semi truck driver traveling behind the disabled vehicle crashed into the passenger vehicle while the driver and his passenger were still inside.

Shortly thereafter, local authorities cited the semi truck driver for improper lane usage for his role in the Illinois trucking accident. The negligence lawsuit contends that the truck driver failed to allow enough room between the commercial vehicle and the disabled vehicle to pass safely. The motor vehicle’s driver, as well as, his passenger names both the truck driver and his trucking carrier as defendants in the lawsuit. A jury trial is sought and the two seek an unspecified amount in damages for medical expenses, loss of income, as well as, court costs.

Each and every year, our Chicago truck accident attorneys handle a wide variety of cases involving motor vehicle accidents, including those involving large commercial vehicles. Due to the sheer size and 80,000 pound weight of semi tractor trailers, any accident in which they are involved have the increased possibility to be substantially devastating and tragic. With over 500,000 truck accidents occur each year – according to the United States Department of Transportation - victims of these types of accidents often sustain serious harm that may include, but is not limited to; broken bones, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, as well as, injuries to the spinal cord.

When drivers of large commercial vehicles fail to heed proper safety precautions when operating their semi trucks and an accident ensues, the driver - as well as his/her trucking carrier - may be held liable for negligence or in accident involving fatality – wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi truck accident you believe was caused by driver negligence, please contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti. It is important to seek experienced legal guidance as soon as possible to help maximize your claim.

March 19, 2012

Driver Killed in Brownstone Semi Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

EffinghamDailyNews.com released a news report earlier today detailing a fatal Illinois trucking accident that took the life of a 51 year-old semi truck driver. The accident transpired around 2 a.m. Saturday morning in Brownstone when a semi truck experiencing equipment malfunctions pulled off Interstate 70 onto the right shoulder of the westbound lane. When attempting to travel back onto the interstate, the victim’s semi truck struck the merging commercial vehicle and subsequently ignited upon impact. The victim was trapped inside the fiery semi truck and was burned beyond recognition – ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

Our Chicago accident lawyers learned that the 43 year-old driver of the semi truck attempting to merge into traffic survived the tragic accident, but required advanced medical attention for severe injuries – his current conditions remains unknown. The crashed caused the interstate to remain closed for roughly 10 hours while local authorities and the fire departments extinguished the fire and cleaned up the wreckage. The crash currently remains under investigation and the 43 year-old semi truck driver has received a citation for failure to yield when merging with traffic.

Any accident attorney in Chicago will tell you that drivers of large commercial vehicles are mandated by federal law to adhere to a minimum standard of care when operating their trucks. One of the objectives of the standard of care rule, outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, states that commercial vehicle drivers must prevent accidents by trying to anticipate hazardous situations and adjusting driver behavior in order to compensate. When this standard is violated by an accident caused by a criminal violation such as failure to yield when merging with traffic, truck drivers and their trucking carriers may be held liable for negligence if an injury or death results.

When semi truck driver error plays a significant role in a fatal collision, accident victims and their families may be able to seek legal relief for damage incurred. Personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits may be filed when significant harm has been sustained or death has ensued as a result of another’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been involved in an Illinois trucking accident caused by driver negligence, please contact a Chicago truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys will provide a free consultation to help determine what legal rights, representation, and relief may be available to you.

March 18, 2012

Illinois Semi Truck Accident Results in Pesticide Spill

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, an Illinois trucking accident transpired on southbound Route 53 after a large commercial vehicle transported 36,000 pounds of pesticides overturned. According to the news report, posted on DailyHerald.com, the accident occurred around 10:45 a.m. when the semi tractor-trailer rolled over off the roadway’s ramp and into a ditch. The driver remained unharmed and refused advanced medical attention. The accident caused ramp to remain partially closed as roadway and hazardous material crew cleaned the roadway’s wreckage. Local authorities believe the accident was caused by the semi truck driver traveling too fast to negotiate the ramp’s curve or the tractor-trailers load shifted – subsequently causing the rollover. The accident remains under investigation and it has not been confirmed if the large commercial vehicle has received a ticket for the accident.

Any Chicago trucking accident attorney will tell you that given the sheer size and weight of large commercial vehicles, any motor vehicle accident in which these vehicles are involved has the potential for severe and life-altering injuries or death. This threat is only increased when the commercial vehicle accident involves a tractor-trailer transporting a cargo of hazardous materials. Hazardous material trucks (most commonly referred to as HAZMAT) involve those commercial vehicles who transport hazardous materials (such as flammable liquids) from one destination to another. Approximately 800,000 tractor-trailers of hazardous materials are transported every year in the United States – according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - resulting in approximately 200 fatal accidents.

In order to reduce the severe damage that often results from HAZMAT truck accidents, truck drivers and their trucking carriers are required by law to adhere to the Hazardous Material Transportation Act. The Act, published in 1975, was implemented in an effort to provide adequate protection against the common risks and dangers associated with the transportation of hazardous materials. The Hazardous Material Transportation Act designated materials or classes of materials that are hazardous and provides requirements for the safe transportation of such material.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Illinois trucking accident involving a large commercial vehicle transporting hazardous material, you may be able to obtain compensation as a result of harm sustained as a result of the accident. Given the severe liability associated with HAZMAT carriers, truck drivers transporting said materials are required by federal and state law to exercise the utmost caution during transportation. Any violation caused by a driver’s failure to maintain a duty of care may constitute negligence in a civil court of law. Please contact an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.

March 17, 2012

Illinois Grant Aims to Improve Trucking Enforcement

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, a Chicago truck accident attorney at our office read a news report detailing a state transportation grant that has been afforded to the community of Lombard, Illinois. According to the article, posted on DailyHerald.com, local Lombard authorities are permitted to start using $13,000 in state grant money towards the additional law enforcement of speed, as well as, moving violations committed by large commercial vehicles. The grant was issued by Illinois Department of Transportation and will compensation law enforcement for their overtime in an effort to crack down on truckers during the daytime hours between April 1 and June 30.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyer learned that Lombard was issued the $13,000 grant after recent application for the grant. In the application, the community cited recent Illinois trucking accident statistics from the area encompassing I-355 and I-88, as well as, several state highways that intersect the town. From 2007-2011, Lombard revealed that 212 accidents involved large commercial vehicles. Given the approximately 30-40 truck accidents that occur each year, local authorities hope that the extra enforcement will overall reduce the number of life-threatening accidents.

Each Chicago accident attorney at Levin & Perconti is pleased to learn that Lombard has implemented a policy to help reduce the ever-increasing rate of semi truck accidents. According to the most recent accident statistics provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation, in the past 5 years, large commercial vehicles have been involved in 8.6%-10.6% of fatal accidents. In 2005, Illinois saw the deadliest year for tractor-trailer accidents, with large commercial vehicles causing 208 – out of 1,999 – fatal accidents. In 2008 alone, there were 144 fatal trucking accidents.

Every year, our Chicago trucking accident attorneys provide quality legal representation to those whose lives have been negatively affected by all types of motor vehicle accidents – including those involving large commercial vehicles. Recently our accident attorneys obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of a Huntley family who sustained severe harm as the result of a negligent semi truck driver. Through our investigation, it was determined that the driver of the semi truck was operating under the influence of marijuana, in addition to, operating an overloaded tractor-trailer at the time of the collision. The accident caused severe person injury to the occupants of the vehicle and result in the fatality of the victim’s wife/mother.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, please contact our attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.

March 1, 2012

Truck Driver Cited in Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report detailing an Illinois trucking accident that transpired on Interstate 80 earlier this week. According to BCRNews.com, the accident transpired when a semi tractor-trailer traveling westbound on I-80 struck the roadway’s center median, crossed the westbound lanes and subsequently overturned – coming to a rest on the driver’s side of the commercial vehicle. The truck driver remained trapped inside the vehicle and required extrication by local fire departments.

The truck driver sustained minor injuries in the accident and required advanced medical attention. Our Chicago truck accident attorney learned that is was later revealed that immediately prior to the destructive accident, the truck driver had started coughing and blacked out. Additionally, the accident caused the truck’s tanker – which contained a substantial amount of ethanol – to begin expelling a small amount of the liquid. Numerous crews, including a hazardous materials team, were called to the scene to help clear the wreckage. The driver has received a citation for improper lane usage.

Any Illinois truck accident lawyer will tell you that the United States Department of Transportation holds drivers of hazardous materials to strict regulations. These regulations are put in place to avoid the deadly accidents that often result from accidents involving these types of large commercial vehicles. The state of Illinois also provides regulations to the transportation of hazardous materials. Illinois has the ability to suspend or restrict a driver from transporting hazmat materials, as well as, impose a $10,000 fine to a driver or their employer if they are found in violation of federal or state regulations.

When drivers of large commercial vehicles cause motor vehicle accidents resulting in personal injury or even premature death through careless or negligent conduct, legal relief can often be sought by accident victims. Since 1992, our Chicago truck accident attorneys have provided skilled legal representation to those who have been harmed as the result of the wrongful or negligent conduct of others.

We hold truck drivers, as well as, their trucking companies liable for their failure to safety operate or maintain their large commercial vehicles. Victims of these types of accidents are often able to obtain compensation for various damages including: lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages that aim to punish the wrongdoer’s negligent behavior.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a large commercial vehicle accident, please contact our accident attorneys to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.

February 25, 2012

Illinois Semi Truck Rollover Causes Cargo Spill

by Levin & Perconti

A large commercial vehicle transporting a trailer containing 30,000 pounds of scrap metal expelled onto the Stevenson Expressway earlier this week as a result of an Illinois trucking accident. According to the news report, posted on ChicagoTribune.com, the accident transpired around 3:15 a.m. Thursday at the bottom of the ramp leading from outbound Stevenson when the semi tractor-trailer fell onto its side in an attempt to merge onto the Expressway. As a subsequent result of the accident, the truck’s cargo of metal covered the entire roadway.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the rollover took Illinois State Police, as well as, the Illinois Department of Transportation several hours to clear the scrap metal from the Expressway. State police were required to reroute traffic on the roadway in order to alleviate congestion. The semi truck driver and his passenger sustained no serious injuries as a result of the accident. The crash remains under investigation and as of press time, the driver has received no citations.

Any Illinois truck accident attorney will tell you that proper securement of cargo is a top priority for semi truck drivers, as well as, their trucking carriers. Current regulations for cargo securement provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration require that drivers adhere to the following rules and procedures:

- Articles must be prevented from shifting on or within, or falling from commercial motor vehicles
- All vehicle structures, systems, parts and components used to secure cargo must be in proper working order when used to perform that function with no damaged or weakened components that could adversely affect the truck’s performance.
- Increase the use of tie downs or cargo securement devices other than those currently in use
- All rules are applicable to trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds

The experienced Chicago accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have effectively handled a variety of motor vehicle accidents, including Illinois trucking accidents. Due to the sheer size and weight of large commercial vehicles, any type of collision has the potential for devastating or life-altering consequences. Accident victims almost always sustain serious injuries including, but not limited to: broken bones, loss of limbs, in addition to, injuries to the brain and spinal cord.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, please contact one of our experienced accident attorneys for a free consultation to see what legal rights may be available to you.

February 24, 2012

Two Fatalities Result in Dan Ryan Semi Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, ABCLocal.com reported a devastating six-vehicle accident on the Dan Ryan that resulted in two fatalities. A Chicago accident lawyer at our office read the article which revealed that the fatal accident transpired last night at around 11:30 p.m. near 47th Street. The initial accident transpired when a Chicago tour bus driver collided into a semi tractor-trailer, ultimately causing the commercial vehicle to jackknife. However, the semi truck was able to straighten out its trailer and subsequently fled the scene.

In an attempt to avoid the initial collision, a passenger vehicle swerved out of the way and proceeded to collided into an additional semi truck. A minivan, traveling behind the accident, ultimately collided into the second semi truck as well. Unfortunately, two of the passengers in the minivan were killed in the Illinois trucking accident. An additional passenger in the minivan required advanced medical attention for injuries sustained in the accident.

According to Illinois State Police, the van’s driver will face charges for their role in the accident in which alcohol is believed to have played a role. Four other individuals involved in the six-vehicle accident sustained non-life threatening injuries. The cause of the initial accident remains unknown, however, weather conditions may have played a role given that the roads were wet from rain and sleet. Local authorities are still conducting a search in attempt to locate the first semi truck.

Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that when driver negligence plays a role in any type of motor vehicle accident, accident victims may be able to seek compensation for injuries sustained as a result. Drivers of all types of vehicles have a duty to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicle and when that duty is violated, criminal and/or civil penalties may result. Driver negligence can include the following factors:

- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding
- Disregard for weather or traffic conditions
- Intentional or reckless operational conduct

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Illinois motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek legal aid as soon as possible. These types of accidents, especially Illinois truck accidents, are particularly destructive and can cause severe personal injury and untimely death. Our Chicago trucking accident lawyers ensure that our clients receive proper compensation for the ill effects of motor vehicle accidents and make certain that negligent drivers are held liable for their wrongful actions.

February 19, 2012

1 Killed, 2 Injured in Dekalb Collision Involving Semi Truck

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this morning, a 21 year-old Dekalb man was killed and two others were injured after their motor vehicle collided into the rear end of a semi tractor-trailer near the 500 block of West Lincoln Highway. According to the news report posted on ChicagoTribune.com, the large commercial vehicle was stopped at an intersection when the light changed green and he began to resume travel. Shortly thereafter, a small passenger vehicle, described as traveling at a “high rate of speed”, collided into the truck. In an unfortunately turn of events, the truck driver felt something but was unaware of the accident and continued to drive for several blocks.

A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that once the truck driver had pulled over to inspect his commercial vehicle, he discovered the small passenger vehicle wedged underneath the truck’s trailer. Although the driver of the passenger vehicle was wearing a safety belt, he was pronounced dead at the scene for injuries sustained in the accident. His two passengers, the driver’s 29 year-old brother and a 33 year-old relative, had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters – a process which took over twenty minutes. The two passengers were airlifted to a local Dekalb hospital and are currently listed in critical condition.

According to local authorities, an immediate crash investigation revealed numerous open containers of alcohol in the passenger vehicle. Illinois police believe that alcohol may have played a predominant role in the Illinois trucking accident. As of press time, no citations have been issued to the large commercial vehicle driver. The devastatingly fatal accident that occurred only a short distance away from the Northern Illinois University Campus currently remains under investigation.

While our truck accident blog frequently discusses the unfortunate consequences of semi truck accidents caused by error at the hands of large commercial vehicle drivers – such as driver fatigue, illegal substance use, or speeding – a 2006 study conducted by Virginia Tech for the United States Department of Transportation revealed that over 78 percent of trucking collisions were caused by passenger vehicle drivers. Even though passenger vehicle drivers are not held to strict operational regulations as large commercial vehicle driver’s license holders, motor vehicle drivers must exercise the utmost caution when traveling around 80,000 pound commercial vehicles.

Our Chicago accident lawyers continue to encourage safe operation by drivers of all types of motor vehicles. Not only will safe driving aide in the prevention of motor vehicle accidents, it may one day save the live or you or a loved one.

February 6, 2012

Driver Injured in Belleville Tractor-Trailer Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Belleville News-Democrat Online released a news report earlier today detailing an Illinois trucking accident that occurred on Illinois 15. The report states that a passenger vehicle was traveling westbound on Illinois 15 near the intersection of 11th Street in Belleville when the vehicle slammed into the rear ended of a semi tractor-trailer. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the driver of the passenger vehicle required advanced medical attention for unknown injuries. The collision caused the right westbound lane of Illinois 15 to remain closed for several hours while local authorities investigated the accident.

According to a witness of the tractor-trailer impact, the accident transpired during severe traffic congestion. It is alleged that the driver of the passenger vehicle attempted to serve away from the truck prior to the collision. Fortunately, no other motor vehicles were involved in this collision and the driver of the tractor-trailer remained unharmed. Our Chicago trucking accident lawyers learned that the accident still remains under thorough investigation by Illinois police and no citations have been issues as of press time.

Although our Illinois trucking accident blog frequently reports the devastating effects of semi truck accidents caused by commercial vehicle drivers, often times the unsafe acts of passenger vehicle drivers causes the occurrence of these life-altering accidents. Even though drivers of commercial vehicles are held to an advanced standard of care when operating large trucks, passenger vehicle drivers also have an obligation to operate in a safe and lawful manner.

According to a study recently completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, every year over 40,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents – with over 5,000 of these fatalities resulting from collisions involving large commercial vehicles. Additional statistics reveal that large commercial vehicle drivers were held liable for these collisions about 44% of the time.

Every year, our accident lawyers in Chicago handle a variety of cases for clients who have had their lives turned upside down as the result of a motor vehicle collision. When the negligent driving of another vehicle results in severe injury or even death, civil litigation can often be sought. Accident victims may be able to obtain compensation for their damages that include but are not limited to: lost wages, medical expenses, physical and emotion pain and suffering, in addition to, punitive damages which aim to punish the negligent party’s wrongful behavior.

If you have been involved in an accident, please contact our experienced Chicago accident attorneys. Our lawyers will provide a free initial consultation to help determine what legal rights and relief may be available to you.

January 28, 2012

IDOT Implements Interstate Safety Barriers

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report earlier this week detailing new safety measures taken by the Illinois Department of Transportation to improve interstate highway travel. According to the news report, published on NewsTrib.com, the Illinois Department of Transportation plans to construct center-median cabling from Utica to the Fox River alongside Interstate 80.

The project, which should be completed this coming summer, is designed to prevent tragic motor vehicle – including Illinois trucking accidents – in which these vehicles cross the grassy median and collide into oncoming traffic. An additional design aspect of the cable medians is to slowly stop out of control large commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles. The safety measure is currently in use along Interstate 80 from Marseilles to Seneca and has been proven highly effective.

The Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman released a statement in light of the future implementation, stating that cable median barriers are significantly reducing cross-median crash and overall saving lives in Illinois. Previous accident statistics provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation revealed that in 2009, over 55 motor vehicle accident occurred between the stretch of interstate from La Salle to Ottawa. In 2010, there were a reported 59 motor vehicle accidents and one documented fatality on the same stretch of highway.

Our Chicago trucking accident lawyers learned that the safety project intends to complete most of the construction work during the daylight hours this summer, while majority of the construction-truck traffic and paving work will be completed during the nighttime in an effort to eliminate traffic congestion and risk. The safety measure is a part of an overall 5-year plan constructed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Our accident lawyers in Chicago are pleased to learn about such beneficial roadway safety measures being implemented on our busy Illinois roadways. Cross median traffic accidents have proven to be a significant source of fatalities each and every year. With recent accident statistics provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there are approximately 366 fatal cross median head-on motor vehicle accident accidents each year on our nation’s roadways. Although this number seems relatively small compared to most other traffic accident statistics, cross median crashes tend to be extremely severe and life-threatening.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Illinois trucking accident, please contact our experienced accident attorneys to see what legal rights and representation may be available to you.

January 27, 2012

Illinois Driver Ticketed for Collision Involving Semi

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, the Belleville News Democrat Online posted a report detailing a particularly devastating Illinois trucking accident that resulted in three individuals sustaining severe personal injury. According to the news report, the accident transpired when the 21 year-old driver of a passenger vehicle collided into the rear end of a large semi tractor-trailer while traveling southbound on Interstate 255 near Dupo, Illinois. The passenger vehicle driver, as well as, his two passengers all required advanced medical attention for the severe injuries they sustained in the crash that caused the vehicle to become smashed beneath the large commercial vehicle.

According to Illinois authorities, the driver of the semi truck informed police that he was on the right shoulder of Interstate 255 and was using the shoulder to gain speed to merge into traffic on the interstate highway when he was rear-ended by the passenger vehicle. In the passenger vehicle driver’s statement to authorities, he revealed that he was unable to remember if he was traveling in the center lane or right lane before he struck the commercial vehicle. The motor vehicle driver admitted that he looked down at the radio seconds before the tragic collision and did not recall seeing the truck before the crash.

Our Illinois truck accident attorneys learned that a witness at the accident scene told police that he observed the 21 year-old driver pass his vehicle in the right lane when he witnessed the semi truck using the shoulder of the interstate to gain speed before merging with traffic. The witness revealed that the truck had merged into the right lane of the roadway for at least seven second before the passenger vehicle collided into the large commercial vehicle. Subsequently, as a result of the accident in which three individuals sustained substantial serious injuries, the driver of the motor vehicle has received a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

While our Illinois truck accident blog frequently discusses the tragic consequences that often result from semi truck collisions caused by truck driver error, many times drivers of passenger vehicles are found to be responsible for these devastating collisions involving large commercial vehicles that often weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys continue to urge readers to exercise safe driving habits each and every time a motor vehicle is operated in order to help reduce and eventually eliminate the injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicle accidents.

January 22, 2012

Illinois Trucker Encourages Motorists to Share the Road

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys recently read a news re