Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

September 23, 2015

GM Agrees to Settle Shareholder Suit, Still Facing Hundreds of Claims Related to Faulty Ignition Switches

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92415%284%29.jpgRecently, General Motors has faced significant scrutiny in the face of safety-related concerns stemming from their handling of ignition switch failures in several popular vehicle models. The issue occurred when an ignition would switch from the "run" to "off" position without warning, often while a vehicle took a significant bump in the road. As a result of the ignition turning off, airbags failed to deploy when the cars were involved in some collisions which led to substantial injuries and even several fatalities.

Federal investigators reviewed claims that GM engineers knew of the defect for years prior to the formal recall of these vehicles which occurred in February of 2014. As part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, GM agreed to pay $900 million in resolution of the claims brought against it by the government, but that did not begin to address the claims of consumers who were either injured by a faulty ignition switch or who lost a loved one in a crash, claims that could cost GM billions in additional funds.

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September 9, 2015

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 13-19

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9915.jpgEach year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, designate one week in September as Child Passenger Safety Week. This year, September 13 through September 19 will bear that designation in an effort to increase public awareness of the issues surrounding the safety of those young people who travel in vehicles.

Issues surrounding the safety of minor passengers in vehicles in Chicago are different than those that apply to adults for a couple of reasons. First, cars are not built with children in mind and that makes children more prone to injuries if a collision occurs. Safety features like air bags can actually do more harm than good to a child and adults should be aware of this prior to placing any small child in a car. Secondly, the safety of a child is dependent upon the actions of an adult. A typical driver can control his or her choices to drive safely, operate without distraction, and to proceed with caution while behind the wheel but a passenger - particularly a young child - does not have that luxury. Not only is a child at the mercy of a driver's ability to operate a car but that child is also dependent upon an adult to select an appropriate car seat and make sure the child is restrained in it properly.

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August 31, 2015

Police Looking for Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Car Accident

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83115%283%29.jpgAfter a car accident takes place in Chicago, it may not be immediately apparent why a crash occurred. Investigators and local police may attempt to recreate the conditions prior to an impact to determine what led to the loss of control and whether a driver's actions played a role. When multiple cars are involved in a collision, things can be more complicated as each motorist's role must be understood in its entirety for the authorities to properly deduce the cause of a crash.

Victims of these incidents may be left waiting for weeks or even months as all the data is reviewed, and in that time, these victims may need medical help for any injuries they sustained. Fortunately, in Chicago, the rights of a victim are not controlled by the outcome of a police investigation into an accident and rather exist independent of a police review. Those who are hurt in a car crash in Illinois have the right to seek financial compensation for their injuries against an at-fault motorist or another responsible entity, like an insurance company, corporation, city, or even the state. These claims are possible whether or not an at-fault driver is ticketed for his or her role in an accident and regardless of the outcome of any traffic charges. As these claims must be brought in accordance will all local laws and within a time period specified by law, it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a collision or if your loved one was hurt or killed.

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August 24, 2015

Safety Efforts Credited with Lowering Collisions involving Bicyclists, Pedestrians in Naperville

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82315%282%29.jpgCollisions between cars and pedestrians or bicyclists are a problem in every city in Illinois. While crashes are possible anywhere, the greater the level of traffic, the more likely a collision to result. Chicago typically has issues with these crashes every year as do many of the suburban communities whether you go north, west, or south.

Recently, Naperville has taken several steps to increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians within its borders by lowering common risks that may lead to collisions. And so far, data shows that these steps are paying off as both pedestrian crashes and bicycle accidents are becoming less frequent, causing fewer injuries and leading to less devastating financial consequences.

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August 3, 2015

Car Turns Left in front of Motorcycle, Critically Injures Rider in Lake County

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8315%282%29.jpgWhen a motorcycle accident happens in the Chicago area, public perception often places the blame on the biker without even knowing the details of the crash. But thinking like this is unfair to those who ride and often very misguided as a large number of bike crashes happen due to the actions of another person, whether that person drives a car, operates a truck, or is even on a bicycle.

The truth remains that it is legal for bikers to ride on the streets of Chicago and that they possess the same rights as all other drivers. Yet far too often, the rights of these bikers are ignored by others and motorcyclists find themselves in threatening situations that need not happen. If others simply acknowledged the rights of bikers, looked for motorcycles on the roads and at intersections, and yielded the right-of-way where appropriate, a significant number of crashes would be eliminated every year.

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July 6, 2015

Unidentified Fleeing Driver Kills Pedestrian in Chicago

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7615%283%29.jpgWhen a pedestrian is involved in a traffic collision, the results are almost always calamitous for the victim. In fact, in 2013, there were 4,718 pedestrian accidents in the State of Illinois. Of those, 4,419 caused injuries and 115 were fatal. This translates to more than 96 percent of all pedestrian collisions causing either injuries or death - an absolutely staggering number that reveals the extreme threats posed by these accidents.

But the harm to those involved reveals just a snapshot of the overall suffering that is caused when a person is involved in a pedestrian incident. In addition to the injuries caused, a victim may incur medical expenses, suffering pain and anguish, and may be forced to miss time from work. That victim's family will also incur damages as their lives are affected and those who love and work with victims will suffer as well. The economic toll of pedestrian collisions across the nation is estimated to be in the billions of dollars every year with some collisions causing damages that last a lifetime.

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June 28, 2015

Collision between Bicyclist and Automobile Kills 1 in Illinois

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62915%282%29.jpgThe rights of bicyclists are clearly defined by the laws of the State of Illinois, yet every day, those rights continue to be threatened and they continue to be ignored. In some cases, one cyclists ignores the rights of another. In other instances, it is the operator of a car or other vehicle that fails to recognize a biker's right to ride. Regardless of the perpetrator, any incident of threatening conduct increases the danger faced by everyone and raises the risk of a bicycle accident occurring.

In 2013, there were 3,624 bicycle accidents across the State of Illinois and 3,353 of those incidents resulted in injuries. Another 30 proved to be fatal. These staggering numbers show that the odds of injury or death happening when a cyclist is involved in a crash are extremely high, especially when compared to auto accidents that fail to produce injuries in roughly half of crashes.

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June 17, 2015

Celebrate Safely During Blackhawks Victory Parade and Rally

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61715%283%29.jpgOn Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, with the historic trophy back in Chicago for the next year, the city is coming together to celebrate the victors like no other city can.

Tomorrow morning, the festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a victory parade traversing much of the downtown area. It will end at Soldier Field where the players will enter the stadium with the Stanley Cup and a rally for the team will begin. Many guests are expected to attend and anyone who wishes to be present at Soldier Field can obtain free tickets through TicketMaster beginning on Wednesday afternoon.

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June 15, 2015

Cause of Fatal Car Accident in Chicago Unknown

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61415%282%29.jpgHave you ever been involved in a car accident while in Chicago? If you are of legal driving age, odds are good that you have been involved in at least one crash in your lifetime. Even if you cannot or do not drive, there is still a good probability that you have been involved in a traffic-related collision as a pedestrian, bicyclists, or a passenger of an automobile.

Typically, about one-half to two-thirds of collisions are considered to be property damage only. This means that while at the scene, no one involved appears to be physically hurt or that no one reports injuries. Often, those victims seek medical attention on their own at a later time so it is likely that some of these accidents do result in physical harm to the occupants involved. In the other one-half to one-third of car accidents in Illinois, it is clear that at least one person has been hurt and will need assistance for those injuries. This translates to tens or even hundreds of thousands of injury victims annually who will need help or, tragically, who lose their lives in accidents.

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June 4, 2015

Police Searching for Driver Accused of Killing Man in Hit-and-Run

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6315%284%29.jpgNationally, it is estimated that 11 percent of all traffic accidents involve a hit-and-run driver despite the fact that it is illegal in almost all cases to flee the scene of a crash. Some areas, like Chicago, experience an even higher percentage of drivers that flee the scene and, according to recent data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the city of Los Angeles may be the worst in the nation. That city had 48 percent of its traffic accidents involve a hit-and-run driver in 2009 alone - a staggering number compared to the 11 percent national average.

While Chicago is not Los Angeles, the number of fleeing drivers involved in serious accidents and even fatal collisions annually should give pause to those who call the city home. With every incident of a hit-and-run crash, the potential exists for an at-fault driver to escape the consequences of her actions but it also increases the probability that a victim will be harmed and will be unable to receive help in a timely manner. When a collision leaves a driver or a passenger hurt and that victim cannot call for help independently, the attention of another motorist may be the thing that brings emergency aid to the scene. When the second motorist flees, that avenue towards help is eliminated, potentially exacerbating any harm done in the initial impact.

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June 2, 2015

Rollover Accident involving Semi-Truck Catches Fire

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6115%283%29.jpgCommercial vehicles draw the ire of many motorists on the roads because the commercial vehicles tend to drive at a slower speed, may be difficult to pass, and may be less able to adapt to changing traffic conditions. But while they may seem frustrating, semi-trucks and other commercial carriers pose less of a threat for a collision than a typical passenger car. When compared mile-per-mile traveled, semi-trucks are involved in fewer traffic accidents than private vehicles and the drivers of those trucks less often bear the responsibility of the collision.

That is only half the picture because when a truck accident does take place, it is much more likely to cause serious injuries or even death than a collision with smaller cars. This is one of the reasons that semi-trucks and certain other large vehicles have increased insurance requirements in many states, including Illinois, as the damage that stems from a crash often is significant. When the driver of a semi is injured in an accident, is is possible that the driver will have multiple claims for her damages and the suffering she must endure. A personal injury claim can be possible against any motorist or entity that is responsible for the crash and if the trucker was working at the time of the accident, he may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits as well. To make sure you understand the totality of your options, you can consult with a personal injury attorney if you have been hurt or if your loved one was killed in a truck accident in Chicago.

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May 25, 2015

Fleeing Car Kills Girl in Chicago Lawn

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52515%282%29.jpgThe rules that apply to every driver in the city of Chicago are written out in several places including the Municipal Code of Chicago and laws enacted at the state level. Some rules may seem obvious and others more obscure but the visibility, location, or implication of a law does not matter when it comes to the knowledge charged to drivers - every driver in Chicago must follow all traffic laws. Failure to follow one or more rules, regulations, or laws likely is a violation or a crime and can have substantial fallout including the issuance of fines or fees against a responsible motorist. More significantly in some cases, ignoring a rule can lead to a car accident and that can cause injuries and/or death to the drivers and passengers involved.

One particular rule that applies to drivers in the Chicago area requires them to remain at the scene of a crash if they were involved in the collision until they are excused by police that respond to the accident. There are some very limited exceptions to this rule and generally they apply in the case that a driver needs immediate medical attention; yet often, drivers ignore this rule and leave the scene for reasons other than an emergency or something that is excused by the law. Commonly caused hit-and-run car accidents, estimates conclude that nearly 11 percent of all traffic accidents involve a hit-and-run driver and, unfortunately, about 18 percent of all pedestrian fatalities have a fleeing driver.

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May 20, 2015

Driver Hits, Kills Motorcyclist while Trying to Turn Left

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51915%284%29.jpgSome areas of the country are suitable for riding a motorcycle year-round because temperate weather and a climate made for riding are present. Chicago, though, presents enough issues in the wintertime that most people in the city who choose to ride a motorcycle do so only in the spring, summer, and fall months. Once the snow and ice of winter begin to fall, the majority of Illinois motorcycles are put away and stored for the season.

This means that at present, many of the motorcycles of Chicago are out and running on the streets, expressways, and interstates of the city and of the surrounding areas as spring has finally arrived. With the reappearance of motorcycles comes a reminder to everyone that motorcycle safety is important and that it should be considered at all times while operating a vehicle. Mistakenly, many drivers who operate cars but not motorcycles believe that bike safety is not a concern for them since they do not ride; yet as anyone can be involved in a collision with a motorcycle, including those who only drive or ride in cars, trucks, or vans, safety should matter to everyone and all Chicago-area operators should attempt to prevent motorcycle accidents whenever possible.

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May 12, 2015

Pedestrian Accident Leaves 2 in Critical Condition in Calumet Heights

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51115.jpgMany people in Chicago fail to realize how frequent pedestrian accidents occur in the city and how many of those accidents involve one or more vehicles. From collisions at intersections to those in parking lots and crashes near school zones, pedestrians face a multitude of risks as they travel across the city. When an accident happens, the pedestrian involved is injured or killed most of the time and these damages cause a ripple effect that reaches a victim's family members, friends, and loved ones.

But why should people who walk have to suffer when a driver acts negligently and causes an accident? In Chicago, the answer may be that the victim has the rights and options to seek relief to stem the harm and compensate the injured for the damages caused by a crash. These claims are separate and distinct from any charges that may be brought against the driver by the State of Illinois or any traffic offenses for which the driver is ticketed. However, these claims must be brought in accordance with all state and local laws and within a specified time period so victims must take certain steps to ensure their rights are protected. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help victims understand their legal options and can help them move forward with a claim for relief when that accident happens in the Chicago area.

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May 4, 2015

2 Dead, Several Hurt in Bridgeview Car Accident

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5415.jpgThe year 2015 is only a fraction of the way over and already there have been tens of thousands of car accidents in the State of Illinois. Many of those collisions are located in highly populated areas including Chicago and a large number of the crashes caused damage beyond that sustained by the vehicles involved. Most often, these damages take the form of physical injuries sustained by the drivers and occupants inside vehicles. In some cases, those outside of a car, including pedestrians or bicyclists, may be injured as well. Regardless, when victims are hurt, the impact of a car accident stretches long after the day of the collision itself.

Victims who are hurt by the actions of another, including the actions of a negligent driver, may be entitled to financial compensation for their sufferings when these accidents happen in Chicago. A claim for relief may be possible and may enable a victim to obtain payment for expenses ranging from medical bills to lost wages and even pain and suffering. These claims are separate and distinct from any traffic tickets or criminal charges that a negligent driver may face and these claims are designed to provide payment directly to those who need it - the injured victims. When questions arise following a car accident in Chicago, speaking with a personal injury attorney in the area may provide answers to your questions if you have been hurt.

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