Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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

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

Street racing was the cause of another accident in Gurnee, according to the Daily Herald. A 16-year-old girl from Antioch died when the driver of the car in which she was riding was racing and lost control, causing the car to crash into another vehicle on Route 120 in Gurnee. The young woman was in the back seat and was thrown through the window when the car flipped. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and three other teens were also injured.
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Reckless driving is a serious issue because it puts all others on the road at risk. Reckless driving, especially from excessive speeding, can put people in danger and cause serious personal injuries and death. When these motor vehicle collisions occur on congested highways and interstates at great speeds, they can be extremely dangerous and fatal. It is especially unfortunate when these accidents occur, because many people on our highways are carpooling together, and these collisions therefore can take a toll on a greater number of people, including families with children.

Reports by AZ Central have relayed that 5 people were killed in a two-vehicle crash. The accident occurred subsequent to a police chase of a reckless truck driver. Authorities are still working to determine the chain of events and at one time the fatal collision happened.

Preliminary reports have said that an Illinois family of four was traveling on U.S. 160 when the truck driver collided with them head-on. This collision claimed 5 lives, including the truck driver and his passenger. The only survivor was a 9-year-old girl in the family’s vehicle, who remains in critical condition. Her father, mother, and brother all died from the crash.

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Many times we feel that we are safer from car and truck accidents once we are off the roads and in the parking lot of our destinations. That makes sense too, because you are away from heavy traffic and around mostly stationary vehicles. However, that was not the case for one Chicago nursewho was recently killed in a parking lot by a snow plow truck.

According to reports by CBS, a nurse who was walking in a hospital parking lot in Barrington was struck by a snow plow truck and killed. According to the Lake County Sheriff, the truck was backing up and hit the victim. Both the nurse and the snow plow driver were hospital employees.

Reports have stated that truck’s flashing lights, backup alarm, and safety equipment were all functional at the time, but have not said whether the driver was using these devices, or whether he was on guard looking for pedestrians. The hospital is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.

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In the past weeks our firm informed readers about the unfortunate semi-truck crash that occurred on I-88 in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois. We have been following the aftermath of this accident and want to bring to you readers the latest news surrounding this horrific and tragic accident. The surviving victim and his family have now taken legal action and commenced a lawsuit against the trucking company that is the employer of the truck driver that struck him and killed his colleague.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, last Monday the family of the Illinois State trooper who survived the accident but suffered serious personal injuries filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against both the truck driver and his employer. The victims and his wife are named plaintiffs and are seeking compensation in excess of $1 million for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, and economic losses. They may also be seeking punitive damages.

Oftentimes truck accident survivors are faced with life-threatening and permanent injuries The surviving victim in this case suffered a fractured clavicle, fractured ribs, head and facial lacerations, and second and third degree burns. This victim has remained in serious condition and in intensive care since the accident occurred on January 27th. In order to aid in recovery, healthcare professionals have had to keep the victim under sedation.

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Wrongful death is a legal term that means that a death was caused by the fault of another person. Wrongful death can unfortunately occur to all types of victims, and has one particular category of victims. Those at work, such as local authorities, can also be victims of others negligence while in their line of work.

New York State Trooper was recently killed as a result of a collision with a semi-truck, according to The Leader-Herald. On December 16th, a tractor-trailer crashed into the back of a police car, killing the officer. The accident occurred on Interstate 90; the officer was sitting inside his car after previously pulling over another car. While sitting in his car, the semi-truck hit him and pushed the car 50 yards into an embankment. The officer was thrown from his car upon the impact. Then, the semi hit the car that the officer had pulled over, pushing it 75 yards and stopped on top of the car. Investigations are currently underway to determine the cause of the accident, such as negligence, since neither alcohol nor weather are considered factors in the crash.

According to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, motor vehicle accidents are a serious cause of police officer deaths. From 2003 – 2012, 457 police officers died in automobile crashes, and 138 died as a result of being struck by a vehicle. NPR also reports that car accidents are among the most significant causes of police deaths. In fact, traffic fatalities for police officers have been on the rise since the late 1990s. Traffic congestion and an increase in distracted drivers have been factors in this increase. With increased traffic and less attention to the road, many drivers do not notice police officers at work and do not slow down when they are present.

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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.

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A male driver from Arlington Heights was recently charged with driving under the influence in a two-vehicle accident that killed one last month. ABC News states that the accident occurred in an eastbound lane of Interstate 290 when the 25-year old driver rear-ended a pickup truck. The truck driver, a 29-year old woman of Granite City, was ejected from the truck after it flipped over in the middle of the road; her passenger was killed upon impact.

Prosecutors released that multiple tests found the man’s blood alcohol level to have been nearly twice the legal limit. Illinois police say he was charged with aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol and was also ticketed for improper lane usage. The driver was held at a local 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. ABC Local recently released that both organizations have launched awareness campaigns with the goal of keeping roads safer this season. A vigil was held last week 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.

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A DuPage County couple was killed on Saturday night after their motorcycle was read-ended at a stoplight, according to Chicago Sun-Times. The motorcycle’s 43-year old driver and 41-year old passenger from Naperville were waiting to turn left at the stoplight when a pickup truck crashed into the back of them. Both motorcyclists were ejected from the vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities reported that neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a helmet. The 21-year old driver of the pick-up truck was uninjured and was later charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. An accident reconstruction team was called to the area shortly afterwards, and investigations of the crash are currently ongoing.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident lawyers, motorcycle riders who are stopped at traffic lights or are traveling at slow speeds are at a very high risk for being rear-ended. Rear-end collisions are especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists, who are more susceptible to injury or fatality than drivers inside of a car or truck. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Fatality Analysis Reporting System” found that cars and trucks are almost equally likely to rear-end motorcycles. It also found that frontal impacts and impacts with fixed objects are two of the most harmful events in fatal motorcycle crashes. Even so, drivers and passengers continue to sustain serious injury when involved in rear-end collisions.

In this accident, neither motorcyclist was reported to have been wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. 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%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thus, there is substantial evidence that increasing helmet use would save many lives and help to significantly avoid personal injury.

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College students were distressed on the University of Illinois campus yesterday morning after two young women were hit by a pickup truck on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. The accident took place when the 58-year old motorist was driving “erratically” in the southbound lane, according to East Central Illinois News-Gazette, and may have been driving up to 70 miles per hour. He sideswiped a University Facilities & Services truck and then continued for a few more blocks before riding over the curb. Both girls were walking on the sidewalk when they were hit. The truck continued down the street and stopped after colliding with a street barrier.

Witnesses reported seeing one girl fly over the top of the pickup truck while the second was dragged underneath it. Local students immediately ran to the scene and called 911, and medical personnel from a health center across the street came to assist authorities. The girls were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital where the Champaign County coroner confirmed that one died and the other’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

Dozens of police cars and ambulances lined the street as authorities investigated the accident scene. A six-block stretch of Lincoln Avenue from Nevada Street south to Pennsylvania Avenue was surrounded with crime scene tape and was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Preliminary reports suggest the pickup truck driver may have suffered from a sudden seizure or other serious medical condition. He was taken to the hospital for a blood test and was later issued traffic tickets for driving without insurance and improper lane usage, according to an Urbana police sergeant.

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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.