Articles Posted in Survival Action

It is too often that serious and fatal truck accidents are reported in the news and that we learn about deaths and injuries happening to innocent people. However, it is refreshing and enjoyable to report to our readers when such accidents have happy endings and lives are saved.

According to a recent article by Fox 13, a truck driver has been hailed for his heroic acts after a highway collision. A car slammed into a semi-truck and immediately exploded into flames. The truck driver ran from his truck to the car with a fire extinguisher and along with several witnesses pulled a grandmother and her one-year-old granddaughter to safety. As a result of helping one another, everyone survived this accident.

While in this accident it is unclear who was at fault, it is nevertheless admirable that an individual went into danger to save others. However, this is also a good opportunity to discuss with our readers a legal theory known as “duty of care” under tort law. We have often discussed that drivers have a legal duty of care when they get behind the wheel of the car and to drive in a safe manner as to not cause an accident and injury to others. The duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on individuals that requires them to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. In a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care that was breached.
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The recent severe winter weather cold and snow has posed dangers for everyone on the road. With heavy snow, ice, and freezing conditions, all vehicles are susceptible to motor vehicle accidents. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of January 9th in Illinois, there have been seven fatal crashes, and a total of seven deaths since the new year began.

These winter weather dangers even pose serious risks to people operating large vehicles, including semi-trucks. Even these large vehicles are susceptible to the slick and icy conditions that the Midwest winter weather has brought to our roads. Recently, according to MLive, one semi-truck driver was involved in an especially dangerous crash with a plow truck while on his highway route. Emergency authorities had to rush to the scene of the accident on Interstate 96 to help a semi-truck driver escape his vehicle. After becoming pinned in the cab and suffered multiple injuries

According to AOL Autos, if you witness a car accident and notice that an individual may be injured or trapped, call local authorities to report this, you could save a life by doing so. Passing along that a person may be trapped could increase their chance of survival, and authorities will arrive ready to rescue this individual and provide them with care. Alerting authorities as quickly as possible allows emergency responders to quickly report to the scene of the crash to give the victim medical care.

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.

Two weeks ago a semi truck tipped over on Interstate 94 near Calhoun County and blocked traffic for miles, according to a report from CBS Local. The accident took place at 12:36pm at the entrance ramp to westbound I-94 when police say the truck driver was entering the highway too fast. The truck reportedly crossed the driving lane and tipped onto its side in the passing lane under an interstate bridge.

Police say the semi truck driver, a 48-year old man of Chicago, had 40,000 pounds of goods in the trailer of his truck. Heavy wreckers lifted the semi back onto its wheels and then it was towed away, allowing authorities to reopen all roads by later that afternoon. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital with minor head injuries and was ticketed for careless driving.

The report continues to state that a nearly identical accident occurred just a week before when another truck, entering from the same ramp, flipped onto its side and slid into the left lane of westbound I-94. Our truck accident attorneys note that while many accidents occur on Illinois interstates and highways each year, it is becoming more and more common to learn of these accidents taking place on freeway entrance and exit ramps in comparison to other segments of the highway.

Traffic safety facts from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) include that in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and around 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes around the country. More specifically, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in some form of motor vehicle accident. During the same year, there were 115 pedestrian fatalities in Illinois and approximately 3,000 accidents that injured pedestrians in Chicago. Accidents and collisions involving pedestrians are evidently a very serious concern. Chicago Tribune reported that just last month, an 18-year old woman was jogging in north suburban Gurnee when she was hit by a bus and suffered from severe injuries.

The accident took place near Gages Lake Road and Murifield Drive just after 8:30am, according to the report. The woman was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with chest injuries and various cuts and bruises, but was expected to survive. A Battalion Chief at the scene said, “There was cause for concern initially. I don’t know if there are going to be surgeries needed, but she’s probably headed toward intensive care for a while.” As of that night, no charges were filed against the 31-year old bus driver and there was no suspicion that she was impaired. The area near the accident remained shut down while police investigated further.

The NHTSA states that pedestrian accidents consist of people walking, running, jogging, hiking, or even sitting down being involved in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Our law firm believes 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. Additionally, nearly one half of fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Alcohol involvement, either for the driver or the pedestrian, is reported in almost half of the traffic crashes that result in pedestrian fatalities.

As we are amidst one of the most active periods of the year for wildlife activity in the Midwest, motorists can expect to see more wildlife animals crossing roadways than usual; specifically, deer make up the majority of these animals. While our attorneys continue to warn drivers of the potential dangers associated with an increase in wildlife, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently announced that serious accidents, injuries, and fatalities in accidents involving deer actually declined last year.

Accidents involving deer were responsible for six fatalities in 2012, a decrease from 10 fatalities in 2011. Injuries due to an accident involving a deer decreased from 634 in 2011 to 613 in 2012 as well. Though the number of deer-vehicle accidents slightly increased from 2011 to 2012, an overall decrease is represented since 2009. Statistics from IDOT show that out of the ten worst states for animal collisions, Illinois ranks third. Illinois’ top three counties for collisions involving deer in 2011 were Cook, Madison, and Peoria, ranging from about 400-500 collisions throughout the year. About three in every four crashes occurred on rural roadways and 71% occurred at twilight or nighttime.

Steps that you can take to avoid a collision with a deer include being cautious at dusk and dawn when deer are most active, keeping track of locations where deer have been spotted, reducing speed and being prepared to stop in areas with high levels of wildlife activity, avoiding swerving into traffic or off the road if you encounter a deer, and flashing your headlights and honking your car horn to encourage deer to move off the road.

The holidays are undoubtedly an exciting time of year, generally filled with parties, friends and family, fun, and celebration. As the long awaited night of Halloween soon approaches, many adults will attend their favorite costume parties while children walk their neighborhoods “trick-or-treating” for candy. What many people fail to think about, however, is that Halloween night will also consist of more drivers on the road, an increased chance of drunk driving collisions, more pedestrians out on sidewalks, and hundreds of little children sprinting into the roadways for candy. Our personal injury law firm wants this year’s Halloween to be enjoyable for you and your family, but we also want everyone to be safe.

According to a study from Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car or a truck while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year. Though these accidents are not extremely large in number each year, traffic accidents are by far the most common and potentially deadly type of accident threatening adults and children this and every Halloween. Between 2002 and 2006, 2.2 children on average were killed in pedestrian accidents from 4 to10pm on Halloween, compared to one child every other evening at the same time. A release from Chicago Sun Times states that last year, children and teenagers trick-or-treating or heading to Halloween parties were injured or killed in cities in Utah, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Thankfully, Illinois did not make this list, and our attorneys would like to keep it that way. Here are some tips that you and your family can use to remain safe this Halloween:

Primarily, parents need to keep close watch on their children by either taking younger children trick-or-treating themselves, staying in contact with teens through their cell phones, or at least making sure their children have some type of supervision. Encourage your children to wear bright and reflective Halloween costumes so drivers can see them as they are crossing the street. Carrying flashlights, glow-sticks, or reflective tape are great ideas for increasing visibility; walking in well-lit areas is also recommended. Finally, walking in groups a good way to increase the general safety of children, in addition to the fact that a big group of trick-or treaters is also easier for drivers to see.

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.

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.

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.

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