Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

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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