Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

April 10, 2014

Suspected Drunk Driver Blamed for Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Des Plaines

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1439.jpg Accidents between vehicles and pedestrians are often devastating. In 2010 alone, there were 2,943 such accidents just in the city of Chicago, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. In over 90 percent of all pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian involved is either injured or killed, meaning that the physical toll exacted by these collisions cannot be overstated.

With the constant presence of pedestrians in Chicago, the city experiences a large number of collisions between these walkers and vehicles annually. Most of these collisions do not need to occur, though, and actually are the result of negligence or recklessness on the part of the driver, the pedestrian, or both. When someone involved in an accident fails to act in a safe and legal manner and causes a collision to occur, the victims of that crash may be entitled to seek relief for their injuries. Speaking with a lawyer in Chicago who represents pedestrians injured in accidents may help you understand the legal implications of your accident and what avenues of relief may be available to you.

An accident on Wednesday evening in Des Plaines triggered a police response to the area. When they arrived, they found a collision between a truck and a pedestrian in the area of Frontage Road and Touhy Avenue. During their investigation, authorities determined that a 44-year-old man was driving the truck westbound on Touhy Avenue with two passengers in the car. As the truck approached the area, it struck a 43-year-old male pedestrian, leaving him with critical injuries. Emergency medical technicians transported the pedestrian to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital for treatment but the man's injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead.

At this time, investigators believe that the driver of the truck was operating under the influence of alcohol, contrary to and in violation of local and state laws. The driver was subsequently arrested and has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence and causing an accident that resulted in death, a crime that could lead to incarceration if he is convicted. He is expected to appear in court in Skokie on Friday on the charges.


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April 2, 2014

Driver Caught, Charged after Fatal Crash on I-94

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1694.jpg Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime in Chicago and the rest of Illinois, yet too often, drivers involved in a crash choose to leave the scene. The reasons for fleeing may vary in each crash but often, driver's later report that a fear of potential punishment for involvement in an accident caused them to leave. In truth, a driver who fails to remain at the scene of an accident and instead leaves before being cleared by police will likely face additional and greater charges than had the driver remained, leading to the potential for increased fines, punishments, and potentially incarceration.

In many cases, a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident is later identified and apprehended by police. Once that driver has been identified, a victim who was injured by the at-fault driver's negligence or recklessness may be able to seek a recovery against the responsible driver. Such a recovery can provide compensation for damages including medical and surgical bills incurred, lost wages, and time missed from work. But even if a hit-and-run driver is never located, the victims of an accident may still be entitled to relief. These victims may be able to recover against a provision in their own auto insurance known as an uninsured claim. In the worst accidents, a victim involved loses his or her life. A financial recovery can never adequately compensate a family for their losses in these cases but a recovery can help ease some of the financial damages that family is forced to endure. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer is a good place to start if you have suffered injuries in a car accident and you want to learn about your legal rights.

This weekend, Illinois State Police officers responded to a collision on I-94 near Touhy Avenue. Two vehicles were involved, an Audi and a Chevrolet, and both vehicles were forced into the right ditch after impact occurred. Through their initial investigation, police have determined that both vehicles were traveling in the center lane of southbound I-94 with the Chevrolet in front of the Audi. Police believe that the driver of the Audi rear-ended the Chevrolet, sending both vehicles out of control and causing them to enter the right ditch. The driver of the Chevrolet was trapped inside his car and sustained severe injuries which led to his death. The driver of the Audi needed medical attention and received it at a nearby hospital; the driver of the Audi has since been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and first degree murder. It is not clear if the driver attempted to leave the scene in his car or on foot at this time but police have alleged that the driver failed to remain at the scene as required by law, leading to one of the two charges.

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March 28, 2014

Chicago Car Crash Leaves Pedestrian Dead

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IMG_3521.jpg Pedestrian accidents in Chicago unfortunately are common, especially in areas where heavy walking and vehicular traffic both occur. These spots include crosswalks near busy intersections, sidewalks crossing alleys, and the entrances and exits of parking garages. In many cases, the pedestrian has the right-of-way over a car, meaning that the car is required to let the person walking proceed first. However, in many cases, pedestrian traffic also must follow specified rules including obeying pedestrian crossing signals and crossing only in designated areas.

When a collision between a car and a pedestrian occurs, it can be difficult to understand the factors that led to the crash, including whether either party involved was acting in a negligent manner. Investigators have special training to help them recreate the facts of a collision and they may be able to determine who bears fault in the crash in the eyes of the State of Illinois. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who handles cases on behalf of injured pedestrians may help you understand your personal legal rights and options following an accident if you sustained injuries.

When an accident occurs and it gives rise to a right to a recovery by a victim, any victim involved may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages including pain and suffering. In the worst cases where a victim is killed, that individual's surviving family members may be entitled to relief for their losses, though no payment can ever truly provide adequate compensation in those cases.

Chicago police were called to respond to an accident between a car and a pedestrian early yesterday morning on the city's northwest side. Though still early in the investigation, officials believe that the victim, an 85-year-old man, may have been in the street in front of oncoming traffic when he was struck. The incident happened shortly before 6:00 a.m. in the 4400 block of North Narragansette and caused emergency crews to respond to the scene. Medical personnel transported the victim to Resurrection Medical Center but the man's injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Investigators are trying to determine if the man was in the street before the crash and if so, what caused him to be there. The driver involved in the incident stayed at the scene and spoke with police; officers have reported that the driver has not been ticketed.

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March 24, 2014

Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash in Chicago

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1683.jpg Annually, over 4,000 pedestrians die in traffic-related accidents across the United States every year. Several of those deaths often occur in Chicago, a metropolis known for heavy foot traffic and congested roadways. In addition to those pedestrians who are killed, hundreds more are injured and are forced to incur medical and surgical expenses for their damages even though an accident may not have been their fault.

Pedestrian accidents in Chicago are often devastating and critical because they tend to involve an unprotected pedestrian and a much larger, heavier object like a car. When compared to the steel of a vehicle, a pedestrian does not stand much chance in an accident, explaining part of the reason why pedestrians almost always suffer injuries when hit by a car.

In addition to cars, though, pedestrians can be hurt in collisions with motorcycles, bicycles, public transportation buses, and even trains. Unlike other areas, the city of Chicago has all of these potential threats to pedestrians and more; often, a pedestrian walking just a handful of blocks downtown can encounter all of these threats in a small, combined space. When a pedestrian is hurt in an accident or when he or she is killed, the pedestrian or the pedestrian's surviving family members may be entitled to seek relief for the damages that are incurred, including any medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of life in the event of death. No amount of relief can ever properly compensate a family who has lost a loved one due to the negligence of another but bringing a claim for damages can help ease some of the burden experienced by a death. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand whether you may be entitled to relief following your accident as well as what legal options and claims may be available to you.

Unfortunately, a pedestrian became the victim of what police have described as a hit-and-run car accident in Chicago on Saturday. The incident occurred in the 1000 block of West Grand Avenue shortly before 5:00 p.m. as a 33-year-old man was walking on or near the street. A car approached the area where the man was walking and hit him, causing a serious collision and reportedly throwing the man to the ground. The driver of the car fled the scene of the crash without speaking with police or even stopping to see if the pedestrian was injured. At this time, the driver has neither been identified nor apprehended but police are searching for the individual as well as the car's owner.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and transported the victim to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County for treatment. The pedestrian's injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

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March 13, 2014

Taxi Accident Seriously Injures Pedestrian in Chicago

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1439.jpg When walking, it may become necessary to cross a street or to otherwise enter a roadway normally used by automobiles. When this happens, pedestrians usually have the right-of-way, or the priority to use the area over cars, and cars must yield until the pedestrians are clear of the street. The most common example of this is in a crosswalk designated for use by pedestrians. If pedestrians have a green light to cross a street at a crosswalk, in nearly all circumstances, cars must yield to the pedestrians.

But every year, pedestrian accidents occur in Chicago as a result of drivers failing to yield the right-of-way. Many of these collisions begin when a driver attempts to turn right but fails to look for pedestrian traffic first. In other accidents, a driver may attempt a left hand turn but focus only on oncoming vehicular traffic, failing to look for people walking in a crosswalk until it is too late. Yet other accidents are caused by a driver running a red light or a stop sign and placing his or her vehicle in the same path as a pedestrian.

When a collision with a vehicle leaves a pedestrian injured, that pedestrian may be entitled to legal relief through the use of a civil claim for damages. In these cases, the pedestrian who is hurt may be able to recover compensation to pay for medical and surgical expenses that have been incurred or will be incurred in the future as well as other losses, like lost wages and payment for pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who handles pedestrian accidents is a good way to learn about what legal options may be available after a collision occurs.

Yesterday afternoon, police in Chicago were called to respond to the scene of a collision between a pedestrian and a taxi cab on the city's Near North Side. The crash happened near the 1400 block of North Clark Street sometime between 1:00 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. When they arrived, police were able to determine that the driver of the taxi ran a red light at an intersection and collided with a second vehicle. The force of that collision caused the taxi driver to lose control of the vehicle, which then collided with a woman walking in a crosswalk. The woman was thrown approximately 40 feet before being hit by the taxi a second time.

The pedestrian hit was a 66-year-old woman and she was seriously injured in the accident. Emergency authorities responded and transported the victim to an area hospital in serious to critical condition for treatment of her injuries. The driver of the cab was also injured in the accident and transported for medical care and has been cited in the accident for running a red light and striking a pedestrian.

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March 6, 2014

Pedestrian in Aurora Hit and Killed by Passing Car

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IMG_3519.jpg Many people in Chicago do not realize how many pedestrian-related car accidents occur in the city and across the nation every year. Pedestrian accidents may not be as visible as crashes involving multiple vehicles and they may not receive the same amount of attention in the media but that does not mean they are rare. In fact, in 2010 alone, nearly 3,000 pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents in Chicago alone, not to mention the thousands of other pedestrians who were injured across Illinois.

Many pedestrians who are hurt or sustain injuries in an accident turn to lawyers to help them understand their legal rights. In Chicago, a pedestrian who is involved in an accident due to the negligence of another, like a distracted driver or a motorist who fails to yield the right-of way, is entitled to seek relief for his or her damages. This can be accomplished through the use of a civil claim for damages and it can allow a pedestrian to recover for things like medical bills incurred and time missed from work. As the facts and circumstances surrounding each accident are unique, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer regarding the details of your crash to learn about what legal options may be available to you.

Unfortunately, often in pedestrian accidents, the injuries sustained by the victim are too severe and the pedestrian loses his or her life. In those cases, no amount of money can adequately compensate a family for the damages they sustain though legal relief is still available to help ease the financial burden placed upon the victim's loved ones.

Authorities in Aurora reported a fatal crash between a pedestrian and a passenger car in the western suburb early this morning. At this time, they believe that a 56-year-old woman was walking northbound on Randall Road when she was hit by a Ford Taurus, also traveling northbound in the area. The victim initially survived the accident and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital but succumbed to her injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead.

The area near Indian Trail Road and Sullivan Road was closed down for several hours while officials investigated following the 4:15 a.m. crash. The driver of the Ford remained at the scene and spoke with officials who do not suspect impairment by the driver as a factor at this time. No citation have been issued and the investigation continues.

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February 26, 2014

GM Recall Now Includes 1.37 Million Vehicles Over Safety Concerns with Ignition

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Logo.jpg Buying a new car from a well-established, trusted manufacturer usually leaves buyers with peace of mind that they are purchasing a safe vehicles for themselves and their families. Most of the time, that is precisely what happens, and the owner of the vehicle does not have to deal with safety threats from the design or manufacture of the car. Yet in some cases, things are not quite right, and safety may be at issue. When these issues are learned, American manufacturers issue recalls so that all other affected vehicles can have the problem fixed.

Usually, these recalls do not occur until the problem becomes known, and generally that means that accidents must first happen. These car accidents can leave passengers injured, or in the worst cases, killed and can leave others behind to suffer losses, whether in Chicago or elsewhere across the nation. Even after a recall is issued, the defect can still present a threat to those who are driving the cars without the problem being rectified, either through a lack of notice of the recall or because their designated time for service had not arrived. Regardless of how the facts fall, if an accident involving a safety flaw or manufacturing error leaves a victim injured, that victim may be entitled to seek relief for his or her injuries.

Auto giant General Motors recently announced a recall for two models of vehicles due to problems with the ignition. Now, the recall has been greatly expanded to cover additional models and additional years of manufacture. In all, 1.37 million GM vehicles have been recalled, including Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s, Saturn Ions, Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices, and Saturn Skys manufactured between 2003 and 2007.

Officials say that the design of the ignition has led to a problem with power. When the vehicles encounter a particularly large bump, especially when a vehicle is operating off-road, the bump can move the ignition from the "run" position to an "off" position. The change cuts power to the vehicle which therefore does not let certain safety devices, including airbags, function. If a vehicle is involved in an accident when the power is off, the occupants of the car may be more likely to sustain serious injuries or even death. To date, GM is aware of 13 such deaths and 31 accidents linked with these ignition problems.

GM believes that extra weight hanging off the ignition is either causing or contributing to these issues and therefore it recommends that all owners of these vehicles do not drive with excess weight, like key chains, hanging off the key in the ignition until the problem is fixed.

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February 19, 2014

Musician Todd Harrell Charged with Driving Under the Influence

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IMG_0238.jpg Fans of the band 3 Doors Down know Todd Harrell as a founding member and former bassist of the group but others may know him from his legal problems over the last few years. In July of 2012, Harrell was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs after his Cadillac rear-ended another car. Then in 2013, Harrell was involved in a fatal accident in Tennessee that claimed the life of a 47-year-old man while Harrell was allegedly under the influence of drugs.

Now, police in D'Iberville, Mississippi have reported that Harrell was arrested there on Tuesday for suspected driving under the influence of an unknown drug or drugs. They are awaiting the results of blood tests before they can confirm or deny their suspicions of Harrell's allegedly impaired driving.

Police have reported that they approached a vehicle with Harrell in the driver's seat at an intersection in D'Iberville, the same city where he was arrested for DUI in 2012. A police officer noticed that the driver of the vehicle was slumped over the steering wheel while the vehicle was stopped. When officers attempted to speak with Harrell, they claim there were signs that Harrell was impaired and possibly under the influence of drugs. He has been charged with a repeated offense of driving under the influence while police and investigators continue to look into the occurrence and Harrell is currently free on bail.

Fortunately no one was injured in Tuesday's incident but that was not the case last April when Harrell allegedly caused a fatal crash near Nashville. In that case, police claim that Harrell was speeding on an interstate and reportedly admitted to officers that he had consumed both hard cider and the prescription drugs Lortab and Xanax before driving that day. Harrell reportedly struck the rear of a pickup truck, causing the driver of the truck to lose control, strike a guardrail, and flip at least once before the truck came to a stop. The 47-year-old man behind the wheel died as a result of his injuries in that crash.

The band 3 Doors Down cancelled some of its shows out of respect for the victim's family and later replaced Harrell with another bassist for future shows. In 2013, sources reported that Harrell entered a drug rehabilitation program shortly after the fatal crash occurred.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state of the country yet daily, drivers continue to get behind the wheel while impaired, placing their own safety and the safety of others at risk. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that nearly 20 percent of all drivers killed in accident who were tested for the presence of drugs had positive test results. In addition to these drivers, thousands of other innocent people lose their lives to drivers on drugs every year.

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February 10, 2014

Truck and Van Collide in Antioch, Leaving 1 Dead

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IMG_0238.jpg Government regulators, local officials, and automobile manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make driving safer. Whether it is through a redesign of a safety feature inside a vehicle, an alternate layout for a busy and congested intersection, or even changing some of the rules of the road, people want driving to be a safe and efficient means of transportation across the nation, including within and around Chicago. But despite all these efforts, car accidents continue to happen every day and they continue to claim the lives of thousands of Americans.

Often, these accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more drivers. More and more, drivers are distracted while they are behind the wheel and they fail to devote their full attention to the road, leading to an increased chance of a collision. Many drivers are distracted by their cell phones or tablet devices while others have reported distractions from the radio, a child inside the car, or even a conversation with an adult passenger. Regardless of what form the distraction takes, the results are clear: distracted drivers are a danger not only to themselves but to others on the road and they are responsible for a large number of Chicago-area car accidents every year.

Distraction is not the only way that drivers can cause an accident, though. Failing to follow the rules of the road, including running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, or even speeding may cause an accident. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also more likely to be involved in a crash than are those who refrain from intoxicating substances.

After an accident occurs, officials, including police officers, will try to determine what happened immediately before the impact that led to the collision. That is the point where officials in Antioch find themselves after a serious collision occurred there yesterday. Police know that in the late morning hours, a van and a truck collided while traveling in opposite directions near I-173 and Eagle Ridge Drive but they do not yet know what caused the crash to occur.

Upon impact, the pickup truck involved in the accident rolled over, killing the male driver inside. At least two people were inside the van and both of those individuals were injured but were expected to survive after receiving treatment for their injuries, though their current conditions remain unknown.

Passersby who witnessed the aftermath of the collision attempted to help the driver of the truck but they were unable to save his life due to the severity of his injuries. He was 45-years-old.

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February 3, 2014

Expressway Crash Kills 1, May Have Involved Fleeing Semi Truck

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093.jpg When no witnesses to a car accident are found, it can be difficult for police to understand exactly what happened immediately before a crash occurred. Through an investigation, though, often the factors involved in a crash are determined and officials learn whether one or more drivers were to blame for a crash. Tickets may or may not be issued, potentially leading to a criminal charge in the matter, but regardless of whether a citation is received, a responsible driver may be held liable for the financial damages done in a collision.

The ability to seek financial relief is available to victims who are hurt in a car accident that was the fault of another, whether it was the driver of the car the victim was riding in or the driver of another vehicle that caused a crash. Speaking with an injury lawyer who handles these cases in Chicago is the best way to understand what legal options may be available in your case.

Many people do not realize that they can be cited in a collision even if they were not initially at fault. Most often, this occurs when a not-at-fault driver flees the scene of a collision after a crash without speaking with police first. The laws in Illinois require all drivers to remain at the scene, regardless of who was at-fault, with limited exceptions to seek immediate medical care. Failing to stay at the scene may lead to a traffic or criminal charge and may result in fines, loss of license, or even incarceration.

Police are currently investigating an unusual accident that claimed the life of an Illinois man early this morning. They believe that the driver, a 33-year-old man, was traveling in his Toyota Camry on I-80/94 near I-65 shortly after 1:00 a.m. The driver collided with something on the road at a high rate of speed, causing significant damage to his vehicle and leaving him seriously injured. Police responded to the collision and attempted to help the man who was unresponsive and in distress. Though he was transported to a local hospital in Gary, the man's injuries were too severe and he died as a result of the crash.

At this time, police believe that the man may have collided with the rear of a semi truck on I-80/94 and that the semi truck fled the scene of the crash. When they arrived at the scene, the victim's car was still on the expressway's driving surface, suggesting that the collision occurred while the car was traveling along the road. Authorities have not determined the identity of the other driver involved but they have spoke to individuals at area truck stops, trying to turn up any leads.

It appears that alcohol may have been a factor in this crash and that the 33-year-old driver may have been traveling at a high rate of speed immediately before the collision. Officials will not know more until they complete their investigation into this crash, at which time they will determine what factors led to the collision.

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January 27, 2014

Potholes in Chicago are becoming a Serious Problem

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Daley%20Plaza.jpgSome consider potholes or chuck holes just to be a part of driving in Chicago and a pain that cannot be avoided. But potholes often are more than just an annoyance to drivers and bicyclists. They can be a threat to safety and they are responsible for numerous accidents every year. No driver is immune from the threat of a pothole but some are at greater risk than others.

Potholes can cause a car to be knocked out of alignment or can even entrap a car's wheel if the hole is large enough. Too often, though, a pothole causes a driver to lose control of a vehicle and then to cause a collision with another car or an object in the road. This can lead to serious injuries to a driver, a passenger, or others in the area.

Motorcycle riders and bicyclists may face the greatest risk of injury by potholes because a pothole can easily cause a crash among these riders, even without another vehicle being involved. Any time the rider of a motorcycle or bicycle comes into contact with a pothole, there is a chance that the rider will be thrown off and may land on the ground. These incidents often result in injuries or in the worst cases, death.

Pothole accidents may not be avoidable and in some cases may not be the fault of a city or a state. But in some cases, a local or state government knows of the dangerous condition but fails to take action to correct it, allowing others to potentially become injured in the meantime. When the existence of a pothole is known but ignored, a city or other entity may be liable for the injuries that result from an accident. Speaking with an injury lawyer is the best way to know whether you have a valid claim for your damages and if you are entitled to financial relief.

A major cause of potholes if the cycle of freezing and thawing that occurs in cold weather climates like Chicago. Snow and ice fall on the road and turn to water as cars run over it or as the weather warms. The water runs underneath the road's surface and then freezes, causing the ground beneath the roadway to freeze. This causes the area to expand and crack, creating more ways for water to again travel beneath the road's surface and further freezing. This cracking and expanding of the road can cause large sections to fracture and falter, leading to potholes. Though the weather may cause many of these road defects to occur, the roads must still be maintained in a reasonably safe manner by those in charge of their care.

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January 13, 2014

Stalled Van Leads to Fatal Crash in Forest Park

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IMG_5293.jpg Car accidents are a regular sight in Chicago, especially among those who use the expressways on a regular basis. The volume of traffic on the roads, interstates, and highways means that collisions between vehicles result with some regularity. Some of those crashes are due to the weather while others may be blamed on poor road design. But in the majority of accidents, multiple factors, often including negligence, combine to result in an impact.

When a driver or a passenger is injured in a crash that is properly blamed on another, whether it is a driver, owner or a car, or even a city or town, the victim of the crash may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries that were sustained. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options following an accident, including whether you may be able to bring a civil claim for your losses.

Sometimes, a mechanical failure can occur that leaves a vehicle non-functional or otherwise interferes with a driver's ability to maintain control of the car. According to police, that may have been what caused a serious crash on the Eisenhower Expressway that left two women dead and two other individuals injured.

The crash happened on Sunday morning at approximately 3:45 a.m. and involved a minivan and an SUV in the center lane of I-290. For reasons that are not yet clear, police believe the minivan stalled on the expressway, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. An SUV approaching from behind collided with the rear of the minivan in what has been described as a serious crash. Two women in the minivan, including the driver, lost their lives as a result of the incident. The driver of the SUV and another passenger in the minivan were injured but were expected to survive.

No charges have been filed against the drivers involved in the crash at this time. Authorities are continuing their investigation into the incident, including the factors that led to the minivan stalling and whether the issue was preventable.

Mechanical issues can arise from a number of failures, including improperly designed parts, negligent maintenance on a vehicle, or even failing to maintain a car or truck. Understanding the cause of a mechanical failure can be very difficult and often, speaking with an expert or someone familiar with mechanical failures is the best way to learn about the possible causes of a crash.

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