Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

April 21, 2014

Chicago Hit-And-Run Crash Leaves Pedestrian Dead

613.jpg Chicago boasts walking paths, wide sidewalks, and a public transportation system that enables many in the city to walk on a regular basis. Whether a pedestrian walks their entire trip or starts out in a car or on a bus before walking, chances are that most people hit the streets at some point in any given day. Everyone is a pedestrian sometimes, yet drivers do not always respect the rights of those who are walking. When a driver fails to pay attention or otherwise acts in a negligent manner, a collision between a car and a pedestrian may result.

Pedestrian accidents in Chicago are the cause of thousands of injuries every year, many of which require hospitalization or other medical treatment, and some of which claim the lives of the pedestrians involved. The fact remains that when compared to the large, heavy, and dense nature of a car, truck, or van, a pedestrian does not stand much of a chance - the pedestrian usually receives the majority of the force in a collision and is the one most likely to suffer injuries.

When a pedestrian accident occurs and injuries result, though, the pedestrian may have legal recourse to ensure that expenses are covered, including medical and surgical bills, lost wages, and other damages like pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who regularly represents victims of pedestrian collisions in Chicago may help you understand whether you have a valid claim and whether you are entitled to relief.

Unfortunately a tragic accident happened and cost a pedestrian her life on Sunday in the North Austin neighborhood of the city. Police have reported that a 64-year-old woman was walking in a crosswalk along West North Avenue at approximately 9:40 p.m. when a car approached the area, traveling westbound. For reasons that are not yet known, the driver of the car allegedly failed to stop or yield to the woman and instead struck her, causing serious injuries that eventually claimed the woman's life.

The driver of the car involved in the crash then fled the scene, according to police. Leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is against the law and can lead to serious traffic or criminal charges, especially in the event where someone was injured in the crash and in need of medical assistance. At this time, police have not yet apprehended the individual responsible and are still investigating the incident.

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April 2, 2014

Driver Caught, Charged after Fatal Crash on I-94

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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September 10, 2013

Chicago Hit-And-Run Crash Leaves 1 Dead

1665.jpg Chicago police are searching for the driver of a silver truck that is believed to have been involved in a hit -and-run accident early Sunday morning.

The crash occurred in the 1600 block of North Kostner Avenue on the northwest side of the city and involved three vehicles, including the silver truck that has been described as a Toyota, possibly a Tacoma. Police believe that the driver of the Toyota truck collided with a Toyota Camry and a Hyundai Elantra, causing a significant crash that seriously damaged at least one of the vehicles.

A 25-year-old man was behind the wheel of the Camry and died at the scene of the crash. There was a 17-year-old male passenger in the Camry who was injured but is expected to survive after being transported and treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Reportedly, there were two people in the Hyundai and neither appeared to sustain injuries.

The driver of the Toyota truck fled the scene after the crash without providing his information to the other drivers or the police. In Illinois, leaving the scene of an accident that causes death or serious bodily injury is a felony and police are searching for that driver at this time.

Hit-and-run drivers break the law when they leave the scene of a crash, but despite the risk of serious charges against them, many Illinois drivers continue to flee and leave behind victims of crashes, many who may be unable to seek medical help themselves. If a fleeing driver leaves an unconscious or seriously injured victim behind, the chances that medical help will arrive in a timely manner decrease, putting the victim at a much higher risk of death or permanent injury. It is also every driver's duty to act with care and caution towards others on the road and leaving an injured victim without assistance directly violates this principle, further threatening public safety.

With the addition of street side cameras and other recording devices, more of these hit-and-run accidents are being captured on film and more offenders are being apprehended. These drivers may be prosecuted for criminal violations, traffic offenses, or both, but that is not always the extent of their liability. In many cases, the victim of a hit-and-run crash may be able to bring a civil claim for their personal injuries against an at-fault driver so that compensation can be obtained. These civil cases generally seek monetary payments to cover expenses like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Even in a hit-and-run accident where the fleeing driver is never found, a victim may still have a valid claim for their damages. Here, a victim or a victim's family may be able to bring a claim against their own insurance company for their losses through a type of claim known as an uninsured motorist claim. This protects Illinois drivers in instances where an unknown or an uninsured driver causes an accident that results in injuries.

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August 5, 2013

Lincoln Square Hit-And-Run Leaves Pedestrian Dead

1444.jpg Just before 5:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, police received a call about an unresponsive man in the road in Lincoln Square. Now, police believe the man was the victim of a hit-run-driver. The victim's injuries were so severe that he died at the scene.

The incident occurred in the 2100 block of West Wilson Avenue on the city's far north side. Police stated that no driver was present on the scene when they arrived to explain the incident and the man was unresponsive before he died. An autopsy on Sunday confirmed that victim died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a collision with a car but at this time, it is not clear the type of car or who was driving at the time of the crash.

In Illinois, leaving the scene of an automobile accident that results in death or serious bodily injury is a felony charge, meaning that in addition to having a driver's license revoked and fines imposed, anyone found guilty of the offense can face serious time in prison. The laws are very harsh because when an uninjured person leaves the scene and leaves another behind who is too hurt to call for help, the authorities may not be alerted and that victim may die while awaiting needed medical care.

In addition to a charge for leaving the scene of an accident, a driver that causes a fatal crash might face traffic offenses brought by the State of Illinois. Often, these include failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, failing to yield the right of way, and failing to exercise due care for others. Sometimes, multiple charges are treated as separate offenses for sentencing purposes meaning that a driver may face even greater time behind bars or an even greater financial fine.

If the threat of criminal and traffic prosecution weren't enough, offenders who leave the scene of an accident may also face civil claims for the injuries they inflict on others. These claims can include assertions for medical bills and treatment as well as time missed from work. Where a victim is killed, a claim can still be brought by the victim's surviving family members and can be made for the losses they suffer, which is massive.

With all that is placed at stake, it may be surprising that hit-and-run crashes are relatively common in both Chicago and Illinois. Some drivers flee after an accident because they do not have valid insurance or a driver's license. Others are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and get scared of the charges they will face. Still other drivers just get scared and take off because they are afraid of what they've done. Regardless of the reason, there is never a valid excuse to leave the scene of an accident and leave victims behind to suffer.

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August 1, 2013

Fatal South Side Chicago Hit-And-Run Leads to Arrest

170.jpg A 27-year-old woman from West Pullman has been arrested and charged in a fatal hit-and-run crash that left a 77-year-old man dead. The woman appeared in court on Wednesday where the judge ordered that she be held on $250,000 bail.

The incident occurred on July 17, 2013 around 7:00 a.m. The prosecutor in the case alleges that the victim was crossing in the 8300 block of South Racine on foot when the defendant approached him in a black Mercedes, traveling northbound. The woman struck the victim with her car and fled the scene without stopping to check on the man's condition or without speaking to police.

There were witnesses to the collision who notified the authorities. When paramedics responded, the male victim was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. Meanwhile, local police interviewed several suspects who had a description of the responsible vehicle. The officers also obtained security footage from an area establishment that reportedly caught the collision on film, including the car striking the victim and then fleeing the scene. According to authorities, two eye witnesses have identified the defendant as the woman that was driving the Mercedes at the time of the crash.

With the information gathered from their investigation, police arrested the 27-year-old woman on Monday in her home. She reportedly works in medical billing, is a mother to an 11-year-old son, and is studying to be an x-ray technician.

It is not clear exactly what charges the woman is facing in connection with the crash, but under Illinois law, it is a felony to leave the scene of an accident that results in death or serious bodily injury to another. Therefore, this woman could be facing the possibility of extended jail time as well as becoming a convicted felon if the alleged facts against her are proved at trial.

If the potentially serious criminal and traffic offenses faced are not enough, this woman may also face a civil claim brought by the surviving family members of the victim on his behalf. This type of civil claim, often referred to as a wrongful death suit, may allow a victim's family to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one.

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July 29, 2013

Driver Runs Stop Sign, Injures 4 Before Fleeing the Scene

20130613_095052.jpg Early Saturday morning, a taxi cab driver and three passengers were injured when they became unwilling victims in a Chicago hit-and-run accident. The crash occurred at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Ogden Avenue at just after 2:00 a.m. and witnesses say a Ford pickup truck was to blame.

The truck was reportedly traveling east on Congress Avenue in the early morning hours as it approached Ogden Avenue. There is a stop sign controlling eastbound traffic but the truck allegedly failed to stop and entered the intersection, striking the rear passenger door of the taxi. After the collision, the driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping to check on the other car or without speaking to police, who responded to the crash. Ambulance crews transported the passengers of the taxi and the driver to area hospitals for treatment will all expected to survive.

Police officers are looking for the driver of the Ford pickup truck that caused the crash as part of their investigation.

If the facts stated so far prove to be true, the driver of the truck in this accident was a danger to himself and others. Not only did he fail to stop at a stop sign but he also fled the scene of an accident without checking on those in the other car. Both of these are serious crimes in Illinois and can carry a jail sentence, depending on all the factors involved, if a driver gets convicted.

No one knows why the driver in this accident fled the scene after causing a crash, and that is the case in most hit-and-run accidents. Experts believe that some of the most common reasons drivers flee are that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver did not have a valid driver's license or insurance, or running from police for another offense. Occasionally we see accidents where a driver did not even realize that he caused a crash or that the driver was not wearing necessary eye glasses and so was unable to see a car in his path. Regardless of the reason, any driver that causes a collision and then leaves the scene before being cleared by police is in violation of the law.

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July 19, 2013

Speeding Hit-And-Run Driver Kills Gresham Man

884607_lights.jpg An elderly resident of the Gresham neighborhood in Chicago was hit and killed by a car on Wednesday, just before the man was to celebrate his 77th birthday. The incident occurred near the intersection of 83rd Street and Racine during the morning hours. All of the details are not clear at this time but there was at least one eye witness to the event. When asked about the crash, the eye witness stated that the black car involved was speeding and traveling at least 80 miles per hour when he struck the 77-year-old victim, killing him. The driver then reportedly fled the scene without checking on the condition of the man or calling for help.

By Thursday morning, family members of the victim were hoping that the at-fault driver would turn himself in. The victim was a Korean War veteran and beloved by his family members who had planned to celebrate his birthday. Now, through the negligence of another, they are planning the man's funeral.

Local police have not yet located the individual driving the car involved in the crash and they are looking for information regarding a 2002-2005 dark, two door Mercedes Benz C230 to question the driver. If you have any information regarding this crash, you are asked to call your local police department.

Anyone who is involved in a car accident in Illinois is required by the law to remain at the scene. Parties must speak to police officers and be cleared to leave by those same police officers so that the police can obtain necessary information regarding the accident. Failure to stay at the scene of a crash is a crime and when a victim of the crash is seriously injured or dies, a fleeing driver may be found liable of a felony and sentenced to serious prison time.

In some accidents, a hit-and-run driver places a victim at greater risk of death or permanent injury by leaving the scene and failing to call for help. Often victims who are hurt are not able to reach a cell phone or are unconscious, making them incapable of calling for an ambulance. If another driver causes the crash, it is that driver's duty to call for help.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nationally, nearly one out of every five pedestrian deaths are caused by hit-and-run drivers. That means that in almost 20 percent of the cases where a pedestrian dies, the driver of a car, truck, or van flees the scene and disregards any responsibly he or she may have under the law. If some of these fleeing drivers stayed to help their victims, it is possible that fewer pedestrian deaths would result.

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June 29, 2013

Actor Chris Brown Charged in Hit-And-Run Crash

211.jpg Just when it seemed it had been a while since Chris Brown made the headlines, authorities announced that they have charged the famous singer after a hit-and-run crash that happened back in May. The crash reportedly happened in Los Angeles and has Brown facing charges of driving without a valid license and a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run.

The accident occurred when Brown reportedly rear-ended another car near Toluca Lake. Reportedly Brown refused to give his driver's license information to the other driver and gave fake insurance information. He then left the scene of the crash.

Failing to provide accurate information is a misdemeanor that could land Brown with jail time. However, the celebrity has taken to Twitter to strongly deny all allegations. According to his official Twitter account, Brown states that he provided his driver's license information and that he had a valid license at the time of the crash. He also states that the insurance information he gave was correct. Brown has posted a picture of what he claims is the other car involved in the accident. According to him, the car shows no damage and there was no damage done to his car either. Brown alleges that the other driver noticed the cameras surrounding him and it caused her to contact "the cops thinking of a payday from Chris Brown when [he] followed proper procedures."

These charges are significant for Brown who is currently on probation for a 2009 felony after Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting girlfriend Rhianna. With these new charges, a judge could determine Brown is in violation of his parole and revoke it, sending him to jail or prison. Prosecutors have claimed that they will not seek to revoke Brown's probation due to this recent incident. Brown is also facing charges that he pushed a woman in a nightclub on Saturday night, causing her to fall and injure her knee. He also denies those claims.

When it comes to hit-and-run accidents, each state has slightly different laws but all states require a driver to remain on the scene after a crash and provide basic information. In Illinois, fleeing the scene of a crash that results in great bodily harm or death is a felony charge and can lead to years in prison if a driver is convicted. When a driver causes an accident that injures another and then leaves, the injured person may not receive the needed medical care, which increases the chance of permanent injuries occurring or even death.

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June 17, 2013

Hit-And-Run Driver Arrested after Accident Injures Child

866311_predestrian_lights.jpg A driver who hit an 8-year-old girl and fled the scene of a crash has been arrested and is being held in lieu of bail in Chicago, according to local police. The driver has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury and failure to exercise due care to a pedestrian.

The collision occurred near West 47th Street and South Indiana Avenue in Chicago. The young girl was crossing the street with an adult and several children when the driver, a 36-year-old male, allegedly sped from a green light and hit the child. The impact threw the girl on the hood of the car where she rolled several times before landing on the windshield and then being thrown to the ground, according to an eye witness. The witness said the girl landed on her head when she hit the pavement and that the driver fled the scene without even slowing down after the crash.

Police happened to be in the area and heard the impact of the collision while they were driving on 47th Street. The driver of the car passed the police in a Geo Prism and driving at a high rate of speed, according to the officers, and witnesses later identified the driver as the one who struck the 8-year-old girl.

Officers took the man into custody where bail was set at $75,000. The man currently is being held in lieu of that bail and is awaiting further court proceedings. The girl who was hit was taken to Comer Children's Hospital and is in stable condition after sustaining blunt force trauma to her body, including her head. The extent of her injuries and what type of medical treatment she required are not yet known.

Drivers flee the scene of accidents for a number of reasons and it is often difficult to determine why a driver leaves. But leaving the scene is never a good idea because police officers routinely determine who the driver was and then the charges against that driver will be much greater after fleeing. In Illinois, leaving the scene of an accident that causes injury or death can be a felony violation with a potential sentence in prison at stake. This charge generally is brought in addition to any other charges that may be applicable, like speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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June 13, 2013

Man Charged in Fatal Tinley Park DUI and Hit-and-Run Crash

The hit-and-run driver of a vehicle that killed a pedestrian on Wednesday night has been arrested and charged, according to Tinley Park police. The 22-year-old Blue Island resident has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence and failure to stop after an accident causing personal injury or death.

A 61-year-old man who was visiting Tinley Park from India was crossing 159th Street southbound at 80th Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. when he was hit and killed by a black pickup truck. The truck fled the scene but left evidence including his license plate behind, a key element that helped police make an arrest.

A witness described the victim as laying in the middle of the road, a shoe and a bag he was carrying several feet away from his body and said the impact sounded like a large boom. A relative described the victim as "a very fun loving person" who "liked to travel." Reportedly, he was a mayor and a social worker in India in his local municipality.

The charges against the driver in this case are significant and if convicted, could result in a long incarceration stint, depending on the driver's prior history and other extenuating or aggravating factors. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol places a defendant at an immediate risk for a suspended license and fines, if convicted, and the consequences can be more severe.

In America, someone is killed as the result of a drunk driver every 51 minutes. This adds up to over 10,000 deaths at the hands of drunk drivers every year. None of these deaths are necessary and all are preventable by simply not driving after drinking. There are numerous alternatives in Illinois including public transportation, taxis, designated drivers, or even walking. But getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is reckless and often results in injuries or death of innocent bystanders, as it did in this case.

Driving under the influence is a crime that this driver has been accused of, and leaving the scene of an accident is also a crime. Here, the driver allegedly failed to stop to render aid, failed to wait for the police to respond, did not provide any of his identification information, and did not remain at the scene after the crash. This is a felony offense in Illinois unless the driver needed to seek immediate medical attention, and there is no indication that the driver was hurt in this accident. This charge alone, separate from the DUI charge, may result in jail time if the driver is convicted.

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