Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

November 24, 2014

Chicago Crash Near Kennedy Expressway Leaves 2 Injured

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112414%283%29.jpgEvery year, Illinois takes steps to make the roads safer and to increase precautionary measures to decrease the number of car accidents that occur annually. Despite all these changes, though, collisions continue to occur and more than 250,000 collisions occurred in 2011 alone. Many of those crashes resulted in injuries to the drivers and passengers involved while others left pedestrians, bicyclists, or even motorcyclists hurt.

Most car accidents take place because one or more drivers involved make an error or fail to act safely. Under the law, this conduct may be considered negligent and may lead to legal implications for an at-fault driver. In addition to a traffic ticket or other charge, a responsible driver may be forced to bear the financial responsibility for all damages that result. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses, depending on the specific facts of a crash. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your options for relief if you have been injured or if your loved one has been hurt in a crash.

Police in Chicago were alerted to a collision involving two cars near the West Ohio Street Ramp that leads to the Kennedy Expressway around 2:00 a.m. this morning. Police have not confirmed the number of people inside those two vehicles but they have reported that emergency crews on the scene evaluated three individuals and transported them to area hospitals for treatment. Though they are all expected to survive, the current conditions and the nature of the injuries sustained have not been disclosed at this time.

The ramp at issue leads to the southbound Kennedy Expressway and the collision caused some temporary traffic problems in the area. All lanes are reportedly clear at this time.

While it has been confirmed that two vehicles collided, police have not disclosed what caused the crash pending the outcome of their own investigation. That outcome may determine whether any traffic citations will be issued or whether any motorist involved will face criminal charges for this collision.

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November 20, 2014

Bob Avellini, former Bears Quarterback, Sentenced to Prison for Repeat Drunk Driving Charge

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112014%283%29.jpgExperts consider drunk driving to be one of the greatest threats to the safety of motorists on American roads. Despite the fact that it is illegal to drink and drive in all 50 states, every year, motorists continue to cause drunk driving accidents that leave others injured, or worse, killed. Many of these accidents take place in Illinois and in the city of Chicago and cause millions of dollars' worth of damages annually.

Victims may not understand what their rights are or whether they have the ability to seek relief for their losses. In truth, many victims have valid claims for their injuries that are separate and distinct from any traffic charges brought by local police or officials. The facts surrounding a collision and the parties involved may factor into your options, so if you have been involved in a crash, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago to understand all of your rights.

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Bob Avellini has been arrested six times since 2002 and now is facing time in prison for his most recent brush with the law. After a felony arrest in 2013 for driving under the influence of alcohol, Avellini was recently sentenced to 18 months in an Illinois prison as punishment for the 2013 incident as well as for his prior violations of drunk driving laws. Though Avellini has been arrested six times, this most recent offense represents only his third conviction.

Avellini has claimed that hits sustained during his NFL career led him to become depressed which in turn triggered his drinking.

Known as "Slow-Mo" during his playing days, Avellini grew up in New York before playing college football at Maryland. He was the 135th pick overall in the 1975 NFL draft and began his professional NFL career with the Chicago Bears where he played until 1984. He has maintained ties to the Chicagoland area and has had many of his run-ins with the law in the city.

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November 17, 2014

Speed a Factor in Dan Ryan Accident that Caused Amputation of Victim's Hand

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111714%282%29.jpgThousands of different factors can lead to or even cause a car accident in Chicago. While the possibilities are nearly endless, some are more frequent than others. Among common collision-related factors are failing to yield the right-of-way, following too closely for safety, and ignoring a traffic control device like a traffic light or stop sign. Yet the most common factor believed to be present in accidents across the nation, though, is speeding. According to national studies and surveys, speed is believed to be a factor in nearly 50 percent of all collisions, whether it is a contributing factor or the sole cause. Despite the clear evidence that speed can be dangerous, a large number of drivers surveyed continue to admit that they speed on occasion and that they find it safer than some other traffic-related issues.

When a collision occurs, the laws in Chicago and in Illinois make it clear that the person responsible for the accident, whether it is an at-fault driver, an owner of a car, or even a corporation or company, should bear the financial costs of all the damages that result. This means that victims may be entitled to payment for their losses to help them recover financially as well as helping them secure the medical help they need. It is the right of victims to seek this compensation but these claims must be brought within a time period specified by the law, so if you have been involved in an accident, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected if you have a valid claim.

Late Friday night, a collision occurred on the Dan Ryan Expressway near 87th Street that involved two vehicles and led to the amputation of a victim's hand, according to Illinois State Police. At this time, witnesses have reported that a vehicle driven by a 21-year-old man shortly after 10:00 p.m. was speeding when it collided with a second car driven by a 59-year-old woman. The impact send the woman's car rolling and it came to a stop on its hood. According to witnesses, the 21-year-old male driver initially left his car and ran to the car of the victim but then fled the scene when police arrived. The suspect's license plates were noted before he fled, though, and authorities arrested the man a short time later. At this time, the suspect has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident but more charges are possible depending on the outcome of a blood alcohol test and an ongoing investigation by local authorities.

The 59-year-old driver of the second vehicle was seriously injured in the accident and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital. Among her injuries was serious damage to her hand and doctors had to amputate it. Her current condition and the rest of her injuries are not known at this time.

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November 13, 2014

Star of TLC's Cake Boss Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated

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IMG_1250.jpgAre you familiar with the drunk driving laws in Chicago and across the state of Illinois? If you are like the typical driver in the city, you know the basics but many of the specifics of the laws evade you. For instance, you might know it is a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, but you might not know how many drinks it takes to be considered under the influence. Or you might not realize that drivers under the age of 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems while they operate a vehicle because they are not legally allowed to consume that alcohol.

One major aspect of drunk driving accidents in Chicago that is not well understood by the public revolves around the rights of the victims of these crashes and what types of legal relief may be available to them. That is because it is up to each and every victim to pursue this relief and the right to receive it will be waived unless help is sought within the time period specified law. In fact, victims may be able to recover financially for all of the damages they sustain in an accident, whether their damages are in the form of medical expenses already incurred, medical treatment likely to be needed in the future, wages missed while off work and recovering, or pain and suffering. In the tragic event that a victim loses his or her life, the right to seek compensation may belong to that victim's loved ones or family members, though not amount of money can ever provide adequate payment in these cases.

A personal injury lawyer with experience representing victims of Chicago car accidents, including drunk driving crashes, may be able to help you understand your legal options and rights if a collision has affected your life.

Police in Manhattan confirmed that Buddy Valastro, best known for his starring role on the TLC show "Cake Boss," was arrested early Thursday morning in New York City. Officials confirm that Valastro was driving in the area of 10th Avenue between 20th Street and 32nd Street when the reality TV star allegedly swerved in and out of traffic. Officers initiated a stop and reportedly noticed Valastro displaying signs of intoxication including bloodshot eyes and the inability to stand on his feet without wobbling. While at the scene, police administered a blood alcohol test via a breathalyzer which Valastro allegedly failed.

Valastro is currently being charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired under local New York laws. It is unclear whether he is currently in custody or whether any additional charges may be issued at this time, though authorities confirm that they are still investigating the incident.

Valastro rose to fame with his TLC show, "Cake Boss," which chronicles a family-run bakery in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey. On the show, Valastro and the rest of the staff at Buddy's Bakery are known for elaborate themed cakes as well as traditional bakery items ranging from breads to cookies to classic Italian dishes.

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November 10, 2014

Chicago Rear-End Crash Injures 5

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111014%283%29.jpgDo you drive in the city of Chicago or are you an occasional passenger in a car, truck, bus, or taxi cab? If so, when you enter the vehicle, do you consider the time of day as a factor in your safety? It might sound strange but statistically, car accidents are not equally spread across the 24 hours of every day. Instead, there are times of the day and days of the week more likely to produce collisions than other. Rush hours, both in the morning and in the evening, are notorious for weekday car crashes, in part because of the large number of vehicles on the roads during these times. However, late night and early morning hours also experience significant collisions, and usually, heavy traffic does not play a role. Rather, distracted driving, motorists who are tired or sleepy, and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs are involved in collisions more often in these late hours than during the daytime, making nighttime driving risky to all who are on the roads.

Car accidents in the Chicago area may involve one or multiple vehicles and may range from the minor to the fatal. Often, it is innocent victims who are left to suffer the harm caused by a collision, whether that harm takes the form of a physical injury, pain and suffering, or even lost wages that a victim must miss. The laws in the state are on the side of victims and are designed to hold negligent drivers liable for their actions, so if a car crash has affected your life, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn about the law as it applies to your collision and whether you have a valid claim.

Shortly before 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, two vehicles collided in the South Austin neighborhood of Chicago near the 5400 block of West Chicago Avenue, according to local police. Officials have reported that their investigation is ongoing but that they believe both vehicles were traveling in the same direction when the rear vehicle collided with the car in front, sending both vehicles careening out of control. The first vehicle struck a brick wall off the roadway's surface while the rear vehicle struck a pole in the area, bringing both vehicles to a stop.

Between the two vehicles, five people were injured and were in need of medical help. Four of those victims were in serious condition with undisclosed injuries, but it is not clear whether either driver involved was among the seriously hurt.

While the investigation continues, officials are trying to determine what caused the rear-end crash and whether negligence played a role. Among other factors, they are trying to determine whether speed or distraction played a role.

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November 3, 2014

Mom and 3 Children Killed after Train Collides with Car in Vandalia

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110314%282%29.jpgTrain accidents pose a significant threat to those who call Chicago home or to those who work in the city. Even if you do not travel by train, you may not be safe as many train collisions involve vehicles other than trains, like those that occur between a train and a passenger car. With numerous train lines and street-level train track crossings in Chicago, it can be a dangerous place to drive if a train is in the area.

When a train collision involves a smaller vehicle, like a car, truck, or van, those involved are likely to sustain injuries or to lose their lives because of the disadvantage in size highlighted by an impact. Cars are not constructed to withstand an impact of a train and often cars crumple in response when a crash occurs, potentially trapping victims inside the passenger compartment. While nothing can erase the damage done by these collisions, victims of crashes may be entitled to seek relief for their losses if they have been hurt. If a victim loses his or her life, the right to seek relief may belong to the victim's surviving family members and it is the right of the victims to seek compensation, meaning an at-fault company cannot prevent a recovery. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options for relief if a Chicago-area train accident has affected your life.

A tragic accident occurred on Thursday evening between a train and a family in a vehicle as that family headed to a Halloween parade, according to officials in Vandalia. Police believe that a 35-year-old mother was behind the wheel of her vehicle with her four children inside when she approached a train crossing near a parade route. The train struck the vehicle on the passenger side, killing the 35-year-old mom, an 18-year-old daughter, a 13-year-old son, and a 10-year-old daughter. The three children were killed at the scene while their mother survived for some time before succumbing to her injuries.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and evaluated all victims. In addition to the 35-year-old mother, a 9-year-old son was alive but in serious condition and was transported via air ambulance to a nearby hospital. The nature and extent of the boy's injuries are not clear at this time nor is it known whether he will survive.

The train involved in the crash reportedly was 105 cars long and no one on board is believed to have been hurt. Multiple agencies are investigating this incident and trying to determine what led the vehicle and the train to be at the crossing at the same time, including whether negligence played a role or whether any other factors influenced the collision.

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October 28, 2014

Illinois has 5th Most Bicycle-Related Deaths in the Country

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1620.jpgThe face of bicycling has changed dramatically in the last decade. According to a study conducted byte he Gluskin Townley Group, ridership among children decreased 20 percent between 2000 and 2010 but the number of adult riders during that same time period increased across the county. This illustrates what many drivers may have already noticed: cycling is not only for children any more. In Chicago, bicycling is increasing annually as more people take to the roads to ride to work and around the town, favoring a bicycle over a personal car, a taxi cab, a bus, or a train. In response, the City of Chicago has enacted several safety features to keep these riders safe, from shared bicycle lanes to bicycle paths to protected bicycle lanes that serve only cyclist.

While the city has taken steps to increase safety, bicycle accidents continue to occur every year and continue to leave riders and others injured, and in the worst cases, killed. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association recently determined that Illinois had the 5th most bicycle-related deaths in the country based on data between 2010 and 2012.

The study, Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicycle Safety, revealed other shocking statistics, including the fact that the number of bicycle fatalities increase 16 percent in Illinois between 2010 and 2012 with a total of 80 deaths. This put Illinois fifth in the total number of fatalities behind California, Florida, Texas, and New York. Nationally, the number of deaths caused by cycling in urban areas has increased from 50 percent in 1975 to 69 percent in 2012.

The increase in urban fatalities supports that the trend witnessed in Chicago is happening everywhere: a greater number of adult riders are taking to bicycles, regardless of where they live or what they do for a living. While riding a bike is great exercise and can be an efficient and cost-effective means of transportation, bicycle accidents continue to occur and cause serious injuries in those involved in the crash.

The laws across the country vary from state to state so it is important to know your rights if you have been involved in a bicycle accident. In Chicago and across Illinois, victims have the right to seek financial compensation for their damages, whether those damages are in the form of medical bills, rehabilitative expenses, lost wages from time missed from work, or pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options if you have been involved in a crash, including whether you have one or more valid claims for your losses.

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October 20, 2014

Evanston Promoting Bicycle Safety During Nighttime

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Reduced.jpgDo you think that the only people who ride bicycles are children and that they only ride in residential areas? When questioned, many people in the areas surrounding Chicago express this view but it is far from reality, especially as bicycling for transportation has exploded in the city in recent decades. In truth, bicyclists of all ages can be seen in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs in all weather and in all seasons. No longer are cyclists taking to the roads only in the nice summer weather, but some riders even brave the snow and sleet of winter as they travel.

Illinois laws has bicycle-specific requirements that some rides and many non-riders do not know. Additionally, many cities and incorporated areas across the state have their own laws and rules in addition to those issued by the State of Illinois, and it is up to every rider to make sure that he or she knows these rules and follows them as written. One such rule requires bicycles that will be used during nighttime be equipped with a headlight or a light on the front of the bicycle that can be visible from at least 500 feet. This light must be white in color and is designed to keep a rider safe by alerting others in the area, primarily drivers of automobiles, that a cyclist is approaching.

Now one local area is taking safety up as an issue and is handing out free lights to bicyclists on October 30, 2014. Evanston will be giving away and installing headlights at the Robert Crown Center and The Weber Arch at Northwestern University between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and will have 400 lights available. In addition, other resources for cyclists including maps will be distributed to those who participate.

While Evanston may be giving away headlights for free, it is important to note that using a headlight will not meet all the requirements stated by law if you want to ride a bicycle at night. Riders also must have a red rear reflector present with visibility from at least 100 feet. The use of a red rear lamp is optional but the reflector and the headlight are both requirements.

While bicycle ridership has increased and is projected to continue to rise, unfortunately the number of bicycle accidents in Illinois, especially in Chicago, continues to remain high. Every year, thousands of riders are hurt and several bicyclists lose their lives when a collision takes place. Most of these accidents involve cars, trucks, and buses but collisions with other bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians occur as well.

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October 13, 2014

Good Samaritan Killed while Helping Elderly Driver in Aurora

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20130725_130057.jpgCar accidents are tragic collisions that usually are caused by the mistakes of one or more drivers involved. The fact that the vast majority of collisions are preventable make them all the more tragic, especially when a victim is injured or killed. While a collision can occur to any driver in the state of Illinois, some types of motorists are more likely to be involved than others. Particularly, teenage drivers and elderly motorists are involved in a disproportionately large number of Chicago car accidents every year.

While teenage drivers lack the experience necessary to make educated decisions behind the wheel, the issues facing elderly drivers are more complex. As motorists age, they may suffer from medical conditions that make driving difficult. Decreased eyesight, including the presence of cataracts or glaucoma, can make it challenging for a driver to see oncoming traffic, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Prescription and over-the-counter medication may interfere with an elderly driver's thinking capabilities and may lead to mistakes. Serious diseases that affect older Americans disproportionately may lead a driver to become confused, unsure of where he or she may be or what needs to be done. These diseases can include things like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Regardless of the factors that lead to a car accident involving an elderly driver in Chicago, the results can be similar. If a victim is injured or killed in that crash, the victim or the victim's surviving family members may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you have been the victim of an accident.

What began as a car accident turned deadly on Wednesday in Aurora, according to local police. It appears that an 84-year-old female driver attempted to back out of a driveway, but in doing so, struck a vehicle and caused a crash. The woman attempted to back up after the crash and may have lost control of her vehicle, then drove into two yards near the area after the initial impact. A 51-year-old man in the area witnessed the woman at a loss of control and ran towards her vehicle in an attempt to render aid. The driver's door of the vehicle was open and the man reportedly attempted to place his foot inside the vehicle to manually press the brake pedal because the vehicle was still traveling backward. Police believe that the driver struck the gas pedal at the time the man's foot was inside the vehicle, sending the car backward even farther and causing the open door to collide with the man and throw him to the ground.

Emergency crews responded to the scene of the accident and assessed the Good Samaritan for injuries. He struck his head on the pavement when he was hit by the car door and was in critical condition when crews transported him to an area hospital for treatment. Shortly thereafter, the man was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital but his injuries were too severe and he died as a result of the incident.

At this time, the elderly driver involved is facing a ticket for improper backing but the investigation into this incident is ongoing. It is unclear whether any other charges will be brought. Neither the woman nor the driver of the second car involved in the crash were hurt.

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October 10, 2014

Cyclist Critically Injured after Collision with Car

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116.jpgIn recent decades, Chicago has emerged as an American city home to a large number of bicyclists. Some ride for transit while others ride for pleasure or exercise, but regardless of the purpose, cyclists can be seen along city streets on any day of the week and any week of the year. The seasonal weather in Chicago means that some months see more bicyclists than others, occasionally catching drivers off guard if they are not looking for or not expecting a bike in their area.

But under the laws in Illinois, including those that apply to riding a bicycle in Chicago, every driver is responsible for his or her conduct behind the wheel. This means that motorists must respect the rights of bicyclists, must be aware of bicyclists in their area, and must act in a safe and reasonable manner to prevent bicycle accidents from taking place. Failing to do so may impose legal liability on the part of a driver and may lead to criminal or traffic charges, especially if the cyclist is injured. In addition, an at-fault driver may face legal responsibility to a victim for any and all damages that result, including any medical bills incurred, wages lost while time is missed from work, and pain and suffering if the motorists acts in a negligent manner.

Authorities in Elgin reported that a vehicle and a bicycle collided around 9:00 p.m. near Summit Street and Hill Street. According to officials, a 41-year-old driver was traveling westbound when he approached the intersection and collided with a 21-year-old man on a bicycle. It is not clear whether the cyclist was traveling northbound or southbound but it is believed that the vehicle and the bicycle may have been on different roads and collided while both were in the intersection at the same time.

Officials began an investigation while on the scene but they have not revealed a suspected cause of the crash at this time. Emergency crews tended to the bicyclist and transported him to an area hospital with critical injuries on Tuesday night. The rider's current status and the nature of his injuries remain unknown. The driver of the vehicle did not sustain serious injuries, according to officials who responded to the crash.

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October 6, 2014

Two Dead After Semi-Truck Accident on the Bishop Ford

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026.jpgIt is up to every driver on the road to know and to follow all traffic-related rules and regulations, regardless of what state they are driving in or where they are heading. Failing to follow street rules may lead to a citation, a criminal charge, or other punishment if a driver is stopped by local authorities. When it comes to semi-truck drivers, though, the rules that apply are more complex. In addition to following the basic rules that apply to small vehicles like passenger cars, semi-truck drivers are required to follow federal and state regulations that are strict, including possible reduced speeds, restrictions on consecutive hours of driving, and limitations on the amount of driving in a 24 hour period.

Long before a driver can legally operate a semi-truck, that individual must receive special training and obtain a special type of license to ensure that the driver knows and understands the regulations of conduct as they stand. For the most part, the stricter driving requirements combined with the increased training and licensing requirements are believed to limit the number of semi-truck accidents that occur on American roads every year. Unfortunately, though, some truck accidents continue to take place. While semi-trucks are involved in relatively few collisions per mile traveled, the accidents that do result are substantial and often result in serious injuries or even death because the large size and weight of a semi-truck has the potential to do great damage. If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in the Chicago area, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including payment for your medical bills. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if you are unsure of your rights or unclear about your possibilities for relief.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, a collision between a car and a semi-truck occurred on the Bishop Ford that left two people dead. Area authorities reported that both vehicles were traveling southbound near South Cottage Grove Avenue with the truck in front of the car prior to impact. Police believe that the semi-truck began to slow its speed as it approached a construction zone. For reasons that are not clear, the car behind the truck failed to slow in response and allegedly collided with the rear of the semi-truck, leading the car to become entrapped underneath the rear of the semi.

Emergency crews responded to the scene to evaluate those individuals involved in the crash. Two men, ages 25 and 26, were inside the car and unfortunately, both died as a result of the impact. The driver of the semi-truck was not believed to be injured seriously. Authorities restricted traffic in the area while they began an investigation and while the wreckage of the collision was assessed. Police have released some initial information regarding the accident but they state that their review is ongoing and that they are still reviewing relevant facts at this time.

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October 3, 2014

Single Car Crash in Illinois Leaves Passenger Dead

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1500.jpgTraffic safety often makes drivers and passengers think about car accidents in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. The typical image of an accident involves two cars colliding due to a mistake on the part of one driver, whether that mistake was speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield the right-of-way. While this may be the popular image thought of in the city, it is far from the only type of collision that occurs. In fact, every year, thousands of car accidents involving only a single car take place in Illinois.

Every single car accident in Chicago involves a unique set of facts and therefore different legal options may result for the victims who are harmed in those accidents. Some of these collisions may be caused by bad weather conditions while others may result from a mechanical malfunction. In some instances, a driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet in other cases, speed, lack of driving skills, or other factors may cause or contribute to a one vehicle accident. Regardless of the cause of the crash, if you were hurt in a collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. A recovery may be possible to provide you with payments you need to cover your medical and rehabilitation expenses, wages missed while you were off work, and your pain and suffering, among other losses. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your rights, and whether you have a valid claim, if you have been involved in a Chicago car accident.

Shortly before 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, police responded to the scene of a single vehicle car accident on Birdewell Drive in Burr Ridge. When they arrived, they found the driver of a Mercedes trapped inside the vehicle and a passenger laying on the ground nearby. At this time, police believe that a 24-year-old man was behind the wheel of a Mercedes when he left the road's surface, struck a tree, and continued into a parking lot of a steak house. The vehicle collided with the restaurant and knocked some bricks free but did not do substantial structural damage, according to officials.

The force of the crash caused the vehicle to roll over and eject the passenger, a 23-year-old woman. When emergency crews arrived, they assessed both the driver and the passenger and transported each to area hospitals for treatment. Unfortunately, the passenger's injuries were too severe and she died in the early morning hours on Thursday. The driver survived but is listed in critical condition with injuries that have not been specified.

Several people inside the restaurant and at least one passing motorists reportedly witnessed the incident and spoke with investigating officers regarding the crash. Authorities began their investigation on scene on Wednesday night but are now proceeding remotely as the scene has been cleared. Official have not released a determination as to why the driver left the road and struck the tree, beginning the incident, but they have stated that the road at issue is curvy in the area where the collision occurred.

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