May 26, 2014

Vacation Season is Here: Tips for Preventing Car Accidents While Traveling

by Levin & Perconti

For many people Memorial Day weekend signifies the beginning of the vacation season, and consequently, the summer months are usually indicative of a noticeable increase in the number of vehicles on the road. Statistics indicate that in the coming months, thousands of families will be involved in automobile accidents due to the negligence and recklessness of other drivers, but many more will experience serious accidents as a result of their own failure to take necessary safety steps before and during their trip.

As personal injury lawyers, one of the most important aspects of our work is staying up to date on the latest safety information, so that we can better serve our clients and the public. Whether you are going on a vacation, a road trip, or just commuting to work, a higher volume of vehicles on the road is something that will affect you; with this in mind, here are a couple of tips for prevention and planning to ensure safer travel this summer.

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January 2, 2014

1 killed, 15 injured in Accident Involving Pickup Truck and Bus

by Levin & Perconti

Weather can affect traffic in a multitude of ways. This can include visibility impairment, precipitation, high winds, temperature extremes, traction, stability, and maneuverability problems, and can even cause damage to roadway infrastructures. Wet pavement alone causes more than 1,100,000 car accidents every year, and injures more than half a million people, so it is extremely important to be cognizant of the conditions your drive in this winter season, and react accordingly to keep yourself and those around you safe. (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Road Weather Management Program)

Last Wednesday, one individual was killed and approximately 15 additional people were injured after a pickup truck crashed into a bus on U.S. 20 not far from County Road 450 East. According to reports from the LaPorte County Sherriff’s Deputies, the accident happened around 3:15 p.m. as the driver was heading westbound. Authorities believe that the slick pavement caused the driver to lose control of his pickup truck, and led him to drift past the center divider and strike an eastbound bus before careening into a nearby ditch. The impact of the crash was enough to expel the driver of the truck from his vehicle, and caused the bus to swerve off of the road, settling roughly 300 yards away from the sight of the collision. The accident caused the deputies to temporarily close U.S. 20s eastbound lanes, but traffic began moving again by 6 p.m.

Reports indicate that the bus involved in the accident was carrying a group of people from the New Buffalo Four Winds Casino, and was headed to Mishawaka; all 15 injuries are believed to be non life threatening. Passengers from the bus were transported via 7 ambulances to nearby hospitals, and 55-65 people without injuries were taken to a nearby high school in order to stay warm until another bus could be contacted to take them home. The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation. (NWI Times)

The weather is a potentially dangerous variable for any driver, but this doesn’t mean can be used as an excuse for negligence and reckless behavior behind the wheel. Many of these accidents lead to serious long-term injuries, which can affect a person’s way of life for years to come. When this happens, you need a legal team that is experienced with the intricate nature of car accident injury law, who will best serve you. Our lawyers represent individuals and the families of individuals killed and injured in auto accidents across the state of Illinois, and we will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve as well.

August 8, 2013

Effingham Man Killed in Workplace Accident

by Levin & Perconti

We live in the Midwest. That means there are two seasons: winter and road construction. As an Illinois resident, you’ve probably spent a great deal of your summers sitting in two lane traffic, or convincing tourists in Chicago that the construction barrel is actually your official state bush. Still, construction is a necessary evil when it comes to maintaining viable streets and highways, and unfortunately there is no real way to avoid it. As if we needed another reason to detest construction, work zones can be as hazardous as they are frustrating. The congestion created by construction brings cars, construction equipment, and people into very close proximity, and that can be a recipe for disaster.

Earlier this week, a construction zone accident left one worker dead in rural Effingham. According to reports from Illinois State Police, the victim was crushed while giving a dump truck driver directions to back up while on site. While reversing, the driver lost site of the 54-year-old man, striking and proceeding to roll over him. An investigation into the incident is pending. (Effingham Daily News)

While congestion can cause serious hazards for drivers, they are protected to some extent by crumple zones, air bags, and seat belts. The men and women working to build, repair, and maintain our nations roads are afforded no such protection from an impact. In the last five years, accidents in highway work zones have accounted for nearly 5,000 fatalities, and they’ve injured 200,000 more. Whether you are a motorist or a worker, a debilitating injury could mean spending months relegated to a state of recovery. For many victims, this means accumulating thousands and thousands of dollars in medical and insurance costs, and frequently this coincides with an inability to work and earn a paycheck. At Levin Perconti, our lawyers bring a combined 150 years of medical and legal experience together to get our clients the compensation they deserve.

Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of workplace injury cases, and are proud to have helped workers recover noteworthy results including a recent $1.5 million settlement for a construction worker who was injured as a result of negligence and dangerous conditions at a Glencoe site. We believe that the victims of negligent and reckless driving accidents should never be forced to bear the financial burden of someone else’s carelessness. Whether you are a worker or a motorist, remember to be safe and alert in construction zones, but if you ever find yourself the victim of a wrongful injury, know that our lawyers are just a phone call away.

February 17, 2013

Pedestrian Dragged a Block after Being Struck by Car In East Chatman

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident that occurred on the South Side in the East Chatham neighborhood left a pedestrian in serious condition. The accident occurred when the driver of a car struck a man late at night and then attempted to drive away from the scene. The pedestrian that was struck was dragged by the car for an entire block before the car drove away. Luckily for the victim, two police officers that were patrolling in the area saw the hit-and-run Chicago car accident occur and called in a description of the car while staying with the victim until the ambulance arrived. According to the Chicago Tribune, the victim is at Stroger Hospital and is listed in serious condition.

Since the police were able to send in a report of the car right after the car accident occurred, officers from a neighboring area were able to locate the car less than a mile from the scene of the car and pedestrian accident. Several people that lived in a home near where the car was found have been taken into custody in connection with the hit-and-run accident but at the time the article was written no charges had been filed against the people in custody in connection with the South Side car accident.

Hit-and-runs are a serious problem in Chicago and when a driver flees the scene there may be no one around to identify the car or the driver, especially if the victim is severely injured and cannot pay attention to what the car looked like. The penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident in Illinois when a person is seriously injured are very severe, and no driver should ever leave the scene if they strike a pedestrian. Our Illinois accident attorneys remind all drivers to stop immediately if you strike a pedestrian and first call an ambulance right away and then call the police immediately. The severity of the penalties are much less severe if you remain at the scene of the car accident and take all necessary steps to help the victim and help the police. If you leave the scene of the accident and are later found to have been responsible for the accident, the penalties are very severe. If a person struck by a car dies as a result of their personal injuries and the driver has fled the scene, the penalties are even more severe in Illinois.

If you or a loved one was injured in a hit-and-run accident please contact our Chicago car accident attorneys to discuss what legal options are available to you or your family. Please contact our Illinois car accident attorneys today because in Illinois there is a time limit on how long after a car accident personal injury occurs that the victim can sue the person responsible for the accident.

February 8, 2013

Illinois Car Accident Leaves Three Injured

by Levin & Perconti

Three people were injured in an Illinois car accident that occurred on Monday night on Illinois 47 near Armstrong Street. According to the Morris Daily Herald, a woman had pulled over to the side of the highway because she was experiencing engine trouble and then her car was struck by another vehicle from behind while she was stopped on the shoulder of the highway. The original car was stopped in the right hand lane and the driver was trying to call for help on her cell phone when the car accident occurred.

The driver of the other car that struck the stopped vehicle stated that she had glanced down to check her speed at the time of the accident, causing her not to see the stopped car in time to avoid the car accident. The driver that struck the stopped car was ticketed with failure to reduce speed in order to avoid an accident. Both of the drivers, as well as a passenger from one of the cars, were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their minor personal injuries.

The two-car accident resulted in the vehicles blocking the roadway and led to a lot of traffic on Illinois 47 following the car accident. Our Chicago car accident attorneys remind drivers how important it is to maintain a safe speed at all times, because it can often be very difficult to stop your car in time to avoid an accident if you are driving too fast. Please always obey the posted speed limits because they are determined to be the safest maximum speed to drive in that given area. Even if you feel that it is safer to go faster or okay to speed because there are no other vehicles around, remember that it will be very hard to stop your car in time if you need to.

There are also many times and many weather and road conditions that call for driving at a much slower speed than the speed limit, so always make sure to drive at speeds appropriate for the given conditions. Also, remember that even if you try to stop your car in time to avoid an accident, if you are unable to because you were speeding at the time of the accident you will likely receive a ticket for failing to reduce speed in order to avoid an accident. So for your own safety and the safety of others on the road please obey the speed limits at all times!

February 7, 2013

Black Boxes in Vehicles Could be of Use in Illinois Car Accident Lawsuits

by Levin & Perconti

Raise your hand if you are familiar with those black boxes that have become standard inside United States airliners. If you actually raised your hand, keep in mind that I can’t see it, but I have some interesting news for you. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘black box’ is, it is also known as an ‘Event Data Recorder’ or ERD, and it’s job is to record the events leading up to an accident in order to understand its cause. Believe it or not, the vast majority of new cars being sold in the United States are being fitted with them, and this could give judges a new piece of evidence in personal injury lawsuits in Illinois.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new stipulations will make EDRs mandatory in all “cars and trucks that are required to have front airbags” starting on September 1st of next year. Our attorneys read that the black boxes will be responsible for collecting specific information in the minutes before a car accident such as:
• Vehicle Speed
• Engine Throttle Position
• Brake Usage
• Driver Safety Seat Belt Information
• Air Bag Warning Lamp Information
• Velocity Changes

Once a car accident is detected by the EDR, at least five seconds of data will be recorded and “locked” for use in the crash investigation. While the NHTSA has stated that its official policy is to “treat EDR data as the property of the vehicle owner,” Many critics have called for specific language in both the owners manual and regulations that allow data from these black boxes to remain private except in the case of the owner’s consent to do otherwise. Other concerns have been voiced about the need for specific guidelines that specifies the amount of data that can be “locked” prior to an accident. As they have done in the past, the NHTSA has made their proposal open to public comment, which is due by next Monday, so if you have concerns feel free to voice them. (Electric Frontier)

Whether you support the use of these black boxes or think they go too far is up to you. However, the presence of devices such as these reminds us of the unfortunate reality that car accidents happen every day, and it is essential to have a plan for addressing what comes afterwards. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience providing counsel to victims of Illinois car accidents, and have had great success compensating our clients for their misfortunes. In a notable case, our attorneys recovered a $6.5 million Kane County trucking accident settlement for the family of a woman who was killed after her vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-truck.

Our lawyers are passionate about what they do, and if you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of another person, we are here to help.

February 4, 2013

Two Suburban Women Killed in Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Two suburban Chicago women were killed in a car accident that occurred last Saturday night. Both the driver and the passenger were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the car accident occurred in the western suburb of Lyons on Harlem Avenue near Interstate 55. Our Chicago car accident attorneys remind drivers of how many fatal car accidents occur each year and of how important is it to always be alert and paying attention when driving. Drivers who are driving too fast, drivers not being cautious enough of weather conditions, distracted drivers, fatigued drivers and impaired drivers all run the risk of getting into a car accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 32,885 fatalities resulting from car accidents in 2010 alone. Of these accidents the highest percentage were caused by drunk driving, followed by speeding, distracted drivers and bad weather. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reported that over half of the fatalities involved the driver being killed. So many of these accidents were caused by factors in the driver's control and that is why it is so important to remember the importance of being cautious and alert while driving.

It is never worth risking a car accident to get somewhere a couple minutes faster, never necessary to answer a ringing phone or send a text message while driving and always important to keep your eyes on the road and stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Additionally, if you are about to head out in your car or are already out on the road and feel that the weather conditions are no longer safe to be driving on, please pull over and do not continue to drive at that time. The roads are always most slick right after it begins to rain and ice and snow can make it very difficult and lead to sliding. Keeping in mind these simple guidelines could make the difference between an accident and safely getting to your destination.

If you or a loved one was the victim in a car accident that you feel was caused by a driver that was speeding, distracted, fatigued, impaired or driving in unsafe weather conditions, please contact our Illinois car accident attorneys today to discuss what legal options are available to you or your loved one. Please contact our attorneys soon as their is a time limit from the time the accident occurs in which legal action must be taken to have a valid claim against the person responsible.

February 1, 2013

Three Young Adults Victims in Rosemont Crash

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident that occurred in January in Chicago in the Roseland neighborhood left the driver and the two passengers traveling in the vehicle dead after the driver lost control of the vehicle. The accident occurred on the morning of January 13th near the intersection of 102nd Street and State Street. According to ABC Local and the Chicago police, the driver of the car lost control of his vehicle and hit three parked cars and then flipped over. At this point, authorities are saying that speed may have been a factor in the car accident.

Our Chicago car accidents find this story especially upsetting because all three of the victims were young adults, the driver was 20 years old and the two passengers were 22 years old. While it is always tragic when people are killed in car accidents, it is even more difficult to hear when the victims were so young. In addition to the age of the passengers, the passengers were twins so their family had to deal with the pain of losing two children because of the accident.

Unfortunately, driving at speeds even several miles above what is safe for the conditions leads to numerous accidents each year, most of which would be prevented by driving at even slightly lower speeds. According to Smart Motorist, even driving 5 miles over the speeds limit in certain situations can be extremely dangerous and make it impossible for a driver to stop in time to avoid an accident. Speed limits are determined by engineers who analyze a number of factors for the given area and determine what speed is the highest speed at which a car can travel safely. This is why it is so important to respect speed limits and not even travel slightly over the posted limit. Even though this seems like a logical point and that the speed limits are posted for a reason and must be followed, Smart Motorist reports that 90 percent of drivers they studied had sped at some point in their driving career and 75 percent admitted to speeding regularly.

Please remember how important it is to obey traffic laws and speed limits and that the limits are not there to just slow you down but rather to keep you and other drivers and pedestrians safe. Also, remember that driving slightly over the speed limit can make it much harder to stop and control your vehicle in an emergency situation.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident and feel that the accident was caused by another driver failing to obey the posted speed limit, please contact our Chicago car accident attorneys today to discuss what legal remedies may be available to you or your loved one.

January 28, 2013

Excessive Speed Led to Car Accident Death

by Levin & Perconti

This past weekend, a 20 year old Chicago man was killed and the passenger riding in his car was injured after the car they were driving in crashed into a lighting pole on Michigan Avenue and the car split in half. According to the Chicago Tribune, the driver was trying to pass another vehicle and was driving at very high speeds in order to do so when he lost control of the car, hit a curb and crashed into the light pole. At this time it is not known whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. No other vehicles were involved in the Chicago car accident. The driver was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital and the passenger was taken to the hospital and then treated and released from the hospital.

Unfortunately, many fatal car accidents are the result of reckless driving at speeds that are fair to dangerous for the road. Reckless driving is especially prevalent among young drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, excessive speed is the leading cause of car accident deaths for people under the age of 20. Young men are more likely to be in car accidents caused by driving at excessive speeds. Reckless driving accidents among young young drivers are also more common when the driver is driving with at least one other passenger in the car. Passengers can cause additional distractions to a driver and may lead them to pay less attention to the road. Young inexperienced drivers often do not realize how dangerous it is not only for themselves but also for other drivers on the road to drive too fast and to not pay attention to their surroundings. Driving at excessive speeds makes it much more difficult to stop the car and it makes it very easy to lose control of the car, which is what happened to the driver in the article mentioned above.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident that was the result of another driving driving at speeds that were too high for the road or the conditions please contact our Chicago car accident attorneys to discuss what legal remedies may be available to you. Make sure to call today because Illinois law requires that lawsuits be filed within a certain amount of time after the accident occurred.

January 25, 2013

Severe Charges in Connection with Hit-and-Run Accidents in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Charges have been filed in connection with a fatal hit-and-run Chicago car accident that occurred back in November in Humboldt Park. According to the Chicago Tribune, the accident happened in the early morning hours of November 24th when the accused crashed into another car, killing the driver and injuring the young driver’s brother. The driver fled the scene and a warrant has been out for his arrest since mid December, however the driver has recently turned himself in. At this point it is unclear what all charges the hit-and-run driver is facing.

Drivers that panic and flee the scene of an accident can face very severe penalties under Illinois law. Leaving the scene of the accident when the accident involves property damage, damage to a parked car or damage to another vehicle is considered a misdemeanor in Illinois. The person responsible must stop immediately and provide their information (name, address, registration number and owner of the vehicle’s name) to the other driver, or in cases where there is not another driver present or the owner of the property cannot be located, the driver responsible must leave a note providing their information. Leaving the scene of a car accident that causes personal injury or kills another person will result in much severe penalties and the driver will face felony charges.

In addition to stopping and providing information in any accident, the driver has a duty to render aid to the injured persons. The person must provide reasonable assistance which is defined by Illinois law as “carrying or providing arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital” to be treated for their injuries when the person clearly needs this help or requests this help. In Illinois, failure to render aid when it is required can result in a misdemeanor charge.

While many people may panic and want to flee the scene when they get into an accident, it is very important to realize the severity of punishments that may result from leaving the scene of any type of accident. While the driver mentioned in the accident above may have faced some charges in connection with the accident had he stayed at the scene, his charges and punishments are likely to be much more severe because he left the scene and never reported the accident or offered aid to the injured victims.

If you were involved in an accident and the responsible driver fled the scene of the accident, please contact our Chicago car accident attorneys today to discuss the possible legal remedies available to you.

December 7, 2012

Limestone Bus Accident Injures Several, and Leaves One Dead

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Transit Authority, better known as the CTA, is the United States second largest public transportation system. It covers all of Chicago and its 40 suburbs, and one any given weekday 1.6 million people use it.

One of the biggest parts of the CTA’s service to Chicago is their 2,000 buses, operating along 154 routes, and linking 12,000 posted stops over 2,273 miles of roads. Public Transportation is not just used by adults, it also shuttles our children to and from school every day.

Most of the time people taking the bus have nothing to worry about, but our lawyers know that when it comes to a bus accident injury, you never know where or when it is going to happen. Yesterday morning, a Limestone public school bus was involved in an accident that left one dead, and several injured.

According to state police, the accident occurred around 7:15 a.m. on Illinois Route 113 West. Preliminary reports state that a 2002 Chevrolet was traveling down Warner Bridge road when it struck the school bus, which was carrying a group of high school students. The bus was stopped with its lights flashing, and its riders were boarding when it was hit. (Chicago Tribune)

Several of the students were taken to a local hospital with injuries, but all were considered non-life-threatening. The driver of the Chevrolet was pronounced dead at the scene.

With such a large presence in our lives, we would like to think our public buses are safe, and for the most part they are. However, 24,000 people are injured each year in our country while being transported by bus, and if you are one of them, the results can be devastating. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)

Because of the nature of a large public bus, with open isles, no seatbelts, and no airbags, passengers can pay a heavy price in the event of an accident. While this accident was a result of mistakes made by another driver, our lawyers are also experienced with handling injury cases suffered due to the negligence of bus drivers and their administrators.

We have handled and won multiple cases seeking compensation for the families and clients injured by buses. Recently we attained three separate $1.25 million settlements for victims injured as a result of the negligent actions of Alltown Bus Services as well as the Chicago Transit Authority.

In one such instance, our client experienced multiple pelvic, rib, and transverse process fractures after she was hit by a CTA bus. The settlement allowed her to pay her medical bills, and compensated her for the trauma that followed her accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver, call us, maybe we can help.

December 6, 2012

Teen Charged with Reckless Homicide in Car Accident that Kills Friend

by Levin & Perconti

Teenage drivers are statistically the most dangerous people on the road. In 2010, seven teenage drivers died each day from injuries sustained in car accidents. If you are a parent, and you are wondering why your insurance just shot up, odds are it might be because your child just turned 16. Per mile driven, teen drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident than their counterparts over the age of 20. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety)

Earlier this week, an Illinois court convened to hear the trial of an Aurora teen charged with reckless homicide in a deadly October car accident. According to court reports, the teen was joyriding in his father’s Chevrolet Malibu, without permission, at more than 90 miles an hour when he lost control and slammed into a home.

According to reports from the Chicago Tribune, the defendant, who was only 15-years-old at the time of the accident, was allegedly attempting to reach 100 miles an hour on the wet pavement of a local Aurora subdivision when he came to a curve in the road. Unable to turn, the Malibu hit the curb, and left the ground briefly before slamming into a local family’s garage. Of the three passengers in the car, two were injured, while the third was thrown from the vehicle, and later pronounced dead at the scene.

About 3,000 teens in the United States died last year because of car accidents, and almost 285,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries. While teens make up just 14% of the driving population, they account for more than 30% of vehicle injury costs among males and females. This figure adds up to a staggering $26 Billion. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

This accident is a perfect example of two of the most dangerous things a teen driver can do. For one, excessive speeds lead to thousands of deaths every year. Speeding cuts reaction time significantly and can lead to serious accidents no matter what age you are, but for young drivers with too little experience and too much confidence, this can be especially hazardous. Secondly, many states have recently passed laws prohibiting new drivers from carrying passengers in their car other than relatives. This is in direct response to statistics, which show that for teen drivers, carrying passengers increases the likelihood of car accidents four fold. (Safe Driving Resource)

At Levin & Perconti, we know from experience that when any driver chooses to act recklessly, whether this constitutes speeding, being distracted by passengers, or driving aggressively, it affects everyone on the road. As this accident illustrates, in rare cases, it may even cause damage beyond the road.

Our lawyers have experience handling a wide range of car accident cases, and we have won millions of dollars in car accident settlements for our clients and their families. If you think that we could help you too, please give us a call.

December 4, 2012

Two Dead After Driver of Stolen Car Causes Four Vehicle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Reckless driving is one of the most common factors in the more than 6 million, and it claims thousands of lives every year, and injures millions more. Earlier this week, the head-on collision of two cars in a suburban neighborhood killed both drivers, and injured two others.

Kane County Police reports indicate that shortly before the fatal accident, the driver of the stolen Nissan Altima had also been involved in a minor hit-and run before her erratic behavior caught the attention of a local Sheriff’s deputy. Upon attempting to pull the woman over, she fled at high speeds, with local bystanders reporting speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, at which time the deputy ended his pursuit.

Not long after, while still travelling at speeds well in excess of the posted speed limit, the stolen Nissan hit a Maple Park teen’s Pontiac Grand Am head-on. Before the wreckage had settled, two other cars had been caught in the wreck. The Woman driving the Nissan was declared dead at the scene shortly after authorities arrived.

First responders airlifted the Pontiac’s driver to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was later also declared dead. A woman in the teen’s car, and a passenger in another car were injured, and both were taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. A later press release revealed that in addition to driving a stolen car, the Nissans driver also had a suspended license due to previous offenses. (Chicago Tribune)

This accident serves as a tragic example of how much damage one reckless driver can cause. Because of this driver’s actions two people may have to live with the repercussions of serious injuries for the rest of their life, and one family will have to deal with the crushing loss of a loved one.

3 million people are injured every year in car accidents through out America, and 40,000 lose their lives. Reckless drivers alone are responsible for more than one million of these car accident injuries. In addition to the emotional burden of having a loved one killed or injured, these accidents often force families to shoulder huge financial burdens, with the estimated costs associated with traffic accidents totaling almost $250 Billion. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)

At Levin & Perconti, our lawyers spend our careers serving families who have experiences injuries and loss. Recently, our attorney’s reached a $820,000 settlement for a 33-year old passenger injured in a car that flipped after being hit by a reckless driver. This money helped our client cover the extensive surgeries required to return her life to normal, and provided compensation for the trauma she experienced.

Our lawyers have a great deal of experience in a wide variety of cases, and we have a history of taking care of our clients and their families. If you think there is a way that we can help you, please call us for a free consultation.

November 30, 2012

Report Warns of $16 Billion Dollar Price Tag for Motorcycle Accident Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

A newly published government report from this week calls on would-be motorcyclists to think twice before buying a shiny new Harley-Davidson or Ducati.

The report from the Government Accountability Office claims that direct costs from deaths and injuries among motorcyclists following an accident totaled $16 Billion in 2010. In reality, this number is probably higher, due to the unpredictable nature of long-term medical expenses.

Motorcyclists are involved in fatal accidents much more frequently than their vehicle-driving counterparts. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those who are in a car accident driving a passenger car. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)

Although motorcycles represent only 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, fatalities among their riders accounts for nearly 15% of all traffic deaths, and the number of people who have been treated in emergency rooms for bike accidents since 2001 is nearly 2,000,000. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Despite many traffic safety organizations best efforts to the contrary, people are still buying motorcycles, and statistics indicate that this trend isn’t changing any time soon. Despite an increase in bike crashes and fatalities, people still crave the thrill of owning a motorcycle. In 2011, the number of motorcycles was 441,000, an increase from the previous year.

At Levin & Perconti, we have lawyers who understand the allure of riding in the open air, and the pride that comes with being a part of the biking culture. Therefore, we aim to provide you with some tips for keeping safe, whether you are a drivers or a rider:

• Wear a helmet—While Illinois presently has no helmet law for motorcyclists, the NHTSA estimates that they save 1,550 riders lives each year. If you own a motorcycle, consider purchasing a helmet, it could save your life.
• If you are a driver, keep an eye out—It is important that drivers keep an eye out for motorcyclists and stay attentive behind the wheel to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe.
• If you are a motorcyclist, be responsible—Lastly, if you are a biker, it is important to ride safely, avoiding abrupt lane changes and excessive speeds. The lack of visibility for smaller motorcycles and the shorter reaction time caused by high speeds are two of the main causes of many motorcycle injuries and deaths.

Riding a motorcycle can be a great time, but it is also dangerous. Sometimes even the safest bikers can become victims of negligent and reckless drivers, and motorcycle accident lawsuits often involve some of the most serious injuries our lawyers encounter. If you or a loved has been injured or killed due to someone else’s carelessness, call us for a free consultation to explore your options.

November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Car Accident Fatalities Drop 63% Over Holiday Weekend in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

We are happy to report that yesterday, the Illinois Department of Transportation released a report stating that traffic deaths in Illinois decreased 63% over this long Thanksgiving holiday week from last year. IDOT cited unusually favorable road and weather conditions over the four-day weekend as one of the main reasons for this encouraging drop.

The Drive to Survive traffic safety campaign, which the Illinois Department of Transportation has used to encourage safe driving, is also believed to be a difference maker in keeping Illinois residents safe, and educating them on the dangers that come with driving around the holiday season.

Illinois State Police, as well as other local law enforcement authorities were out in force during the Thanksgiving weekend enforcing seat belt and DUI laws, both of which are crucial to keeping drivers and passengers safe. The Illinois State Transportation Secretary commented that seatbelt usage is at a record high in the state, and yearly traffic fatality totals are on pace to fall below 1,000 deaths for the fourth consecutive year. While this report is evidence that the state of Illinois is making great strides to make their roads safer for drivers, we are not out of the woods yet.

The winter season brings with it many things that are hazardous to drivers. The prolonged darkness at this time of year means more limited visibility and this is one of the main reasons why 49% of all car crash deaths occur at night. You might be thinking that this statistic is misleading because of the fact that more than half of the hours in the day at this time of year are cloaked in darkness. However, this is not so, the fatality rate per mile at night is more than three times greater than during the day. In addition, weather conditions have contributed to more than 2 million traffic deaths since 1975, and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of people injured.

While we are definitely on the right track when it comes to traffic safety, as drivers it is important that we all stay cognizant of the fact that hazards still exist, and accidents still happen.

Our Chicago-based lawyers have fought for 20 years to defend the rights of families who have had loved ones injured or killed in auto accidents. A recent $2.07 million settlement for a woman who suffered multiple leg fractures is just one example of the many cases we handle every year. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, please call us to see how we can help you.

November 22, 2012

Statistics Show an Alarming Spike in Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Holiday Season

by Levin & Perconti

In the United States, the leading criminal cause of death is drunk driving. More than 17,000 people fall victim to the reckless actions of alcohol-impaired drivers every year. The holiday season is an especially dangerous time to be on the roads; in fact, in the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, nearly 40% of all wrongful deaths while driving are directly caused by someone driving after having too much to drink. (MADD)

Early this week, our lawyers cited drunk driving as one of the main hazards of driving around the holiday season, and many other organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), are launching campaigns to attempt to make sure that everyone has a safe and peaceful holiday time.

According to statistics collected by MADD, alcohol is the cause of about 52% of fatal accidents on Christmas, and 57% on New Years, and the people most dangerous behind the wheel this time of year are young drivers. 21-24-year-olds consistently make up the highest number of impaired drivers In addition, it is estimated that there are as many as two million drivers on the road with three or more convictions for driving while under the influence. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)

The nature of the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons gathers many people into one area. It is a holiday for socializing, eating, and drinking. However, everyone has to go home eventually, and for people who are driving back to a hotel or another family members house after a party, driving drunk is something that is always a serious risk.

As dangerous as drunk driving can be, our lawyers want to remind you that it is preventable. If you or your family is hosting a party, have designated drivers, call a cab for loved ones who have had too much to drink, and take measures to ensure that you will not put yourself and everyone else on the road in danger.

Alcohol can significantly reduce the reaction time of drivers, as well as their ability to process and intelligently react to situations on the road. This disconnect between the driver and their wits can result in sudden erratic movements, and this can cause accidents that result in very serious injuries.

Try as you might, sometimes all the preventative measures in the world can’t compensate for the negligence of other drivers on the road. If you are injured by the recklessness of another driver, know that you have a group of experiences and dedicated lawyers to turn to. In our 20 years of legal counsel , Levin & Perconti has helped thousands of families get the compensation that they deserve for injuries, and we have recovered more than $420 million for the harms caused to victims.

Please give us a call to find out how we can help you too.

November 19, 2012

Car Accidents make Thanksgiving Deadliest Holiday of the Year for Drivers

by Levin & Perconti

It’s Thanksgiving week. You are probably thinking about turkey, seeing your family, and maybe spending some time with some old friends. However, with Thanksgiving week being the most traveled holiday of the year, our lawyers want you to have one more thing on your mind. Safety.

Approximately 90% of those who travel during the days before and after Thanksgiving will do so by car. If statistics reign true, as they have in past years, the week surrounding Thanksgiving will be the deadliest of any holiday this year. (USA Today)

Many different factors contribute to the increase of car accidents around Thanksgiving. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind in order to have as safe a holiday as possible:

• Traffic—Generally, when traffic increases, so do accidents. A 2011 study by The Center for Advanced Public Safety found that interstate traffic accidents soared 25% during Thanksgiving week. Increased traffic on virtually all roads this week means more potential hazards, and less room for error for drivers not paying full attention. Make sure to keep a safe following distance, and stay aware at all times behind the wheel.

• Weather—The seasonal weather could mean icy roads for many people in the Midwest, especially those living in the northern Illinois and the Chicago area. It is important to watch your speed, and drive responsibly, especially in weather such as this.

• Unfamiliar Roads—For many who only travel to visit family and friends during holidays, the roads they will be navigating will be foreign, and this makes people more likely to be distracted looking at their Map quest directions, their smart phone navigation, or looking for street signs, which all break the drivers focus on the road.

• Alcohol—According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 40% of all fatal car accidents around Thanksgiving week were caused by alcohol-impaired driving. Alcohol, mixed with the rest of the hazards about is incredibly dangerous. Practice defensive driving, and if you have had anything to drink, call a cab or have a friend or family member drive you home.

In 2010, 431 died on Thanksgiving Day alone. More than any other holiday that year. This week more than ever it is important to be as careful as possible, and be on the look out for reckless and negligent drivers.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. No one wants to think about injuries and traffic accidents, but they are an unfortunate reality of the season. If you or a family member experiences an injury this week because of the reckless actions of another driver, know that our lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you when you need it most.

On behalf of all of us at Levin & Perconti, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving week!

October 25, 2012

Reckless Driving Accident Results in Death of Aurora Teen

by Levin & Perconti

For an Aurora mother, Tuesday began and ended like any other day. As she put her children to bed, the 2700 block of Hamman Way was quite. However, just before 2a.m. that all changed.

At 1:45a.m. the family awoke to what sounded like an explosion. Aurora Police Officers arrived minutes later, only to find that a Chevrolet Malibu had ripped through the garage of the home, with one of its passengers lying on the pavement near the rubble.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Aurora car accident happened after four teenage boys were speeding through the neighborhood and lost control of their vehicle. Attempting to regain control the car skidded, jumping the curb and slamming into the brick wall. The driver, as well as two of the passengers received only minor injuries. However, the passenger who had been thrown from the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thankfully, neither the mother, nor her children were injured as a result of Tuesday’s crash, but this accident represents a tragic microcosm of a much larger and dangerous problem.

Reckless driving causes nearly 33% of the 6 million car accidents in America every year. More specifically, speeding related accidents accounted for 11,674 deaths and more that $40 billion in post crash costs. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)

The events of Tuesday night show first hand that the combination of excessive speed and reckless maneuvering is not only extremely dangerous to the driver, but also puts every person around them in serious danger. Passengers, other motorists, and even pedestrians pay the price every time a driver’s carelessness results in an accident.

As an object doubles its velocity, its kinetic energy quadruples, and when velocity triples, the kinetic energy is increased nine fold. This law of physics means that every time a driver speeds, they are significantly increasing how violent an accidents impact will be. It is for this reason that injuries resulting from reckless driving and speeding are often extremely severe.

This Aurora family’s experience illustrates what our lawyers at Levin & Perconti have learned through years of experience. Sometimes even when you do everything right, you can’t avoid being affected by the dangerous actions of others.

For years, our auto accident attorneys have fought to secure the compensation that seriously injured clients need to regain a normal life, and we remain committed to holding negligent and reckless individuals accountable for their actions. We have recovered millions in settlements, including a record $10 million accident settlement against a negligent City of Chicago driver. If our experience can go to work to help you or your loved ones, please give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your potential case.

August 22, 2012

New Study Highlights Importance of Car Safety Laws to Reduce Accident Injuries for Kids

by Levin & Perconti

Most kids are unsafe when riding in cars, at least according to a study published last month by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Apparently, there are multiple factors that contribute to this phenomenon. For one, many children ride in the front seat before they are old enough to do so. However, there is a common misconception about age as the determinant in prohibiting children from riding in the front seat. As our Chicago car accident attorneys understand it, the real issue has to do with height and weight, whereas young children are often not tall or heavy enough to ride in the front. Further, many children are not properly restrained in car or booster seats.

Our Illinois car accident lawyers found the reasoning in the study to be well supported. The study, which observed 22,000 children, found that “just 3 percent of children between the ages of 1 and 3 who were restrained at all were sitting in a proper, rear facing car seat, and only 10 percent of 8- to 10-year old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or a car seat.”

A Fox News article on the study also explains the complicated role of regulations in this issue. According to the study’s leading doctor at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, the ongoing changes to regulations make it difficult for people to adhere to car safety regulations. Today’s parents did not grow up with the most current regulations, so they are often unfamiliar with them. Even concerned parents who attempt to stay current on the latest regulations often get confused due to the frequent changes.

Interestingly enough, compliance with the more lax regulations was often lower than the newer, stricter regulations. Regardless, compliance is still lacking. For example, only 2 percent of kids over the age of 7 were in a booster seat and a whopping quarter of kid’s ages 8 to 10 sit in the front seat of the car.

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August 18, 2012

Bicyclist at Fault For Collision with Motorist in Geneva, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

In previous blogs, our Chicago car accident lawyers have discussed how bicyclists are too commonly victims in serious accidents caused by inattentive or negligent motorists, in addition to the steps drivers can take to avoid an accident with a bicyclist. Surprisingly, the tables were turned earlier this month when an unusual accident left a bicyclist at fault, according to Geneva police.

Geneva.patch.com states that the accident took place around 8:40am at the intersection of Batavia Avenue (Route 31) and Fargo Boulevard. A 46-year old woman of Geneva was riding her bike north along the east side of Batvia Avenue, south of Fargo Boulevard, while a 42-year old motorist, also of Geneva, was driving her car on Fargo Boulevard in the eastbound lane, approaching Batvia Avenue. The bicyclist then began crossing four lanes of traffic to turn left onto Fargo. The car proceeded to turn right and did not see the bicyclist approaching, resulting in a collision with the left side of the bicycle and the bicyclist flying to the ground.

The report states that the bicyclist sustained an abrasion on her left elbow, and no injuries to the motorist took place. According to police and witnesses, the bicyclist admitted that she cut the corner of the road prematurely, and as a result was issued a warning notice for an improper lane turn. Travel near the intersection of the accident was not affected.

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August 16, 2012

Arlington Heights Woman Killed in Two-Vehicle Accident Near Richmond, Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Last week, an Illinois car accident lawyer at our firm read a report about a fatal two-vehicle accident that occurred on Saturday near Richmond. Crystallake.patch.com stated that around 12pm, a 68 year-old woman of Arlington Heights was traveling westbound on U.S. Route 12 when her jeep allegedly crossed the center line of the road and sideswiped a pick up truck traveling eastbound, driven by a 75 year-old male of Lancaster, South Carolina. The jeep then collided with a fifth wheel recreational trailer pulled by the truck, which detached upon impact and rolled over in a nearby ditch. Both the jeep and the pickup truck came to rest on the roadway.

The report states that the police departments from Richmond, Spring Grove, and McHenry immediately responded to the scene. The Richmond Fire Protection Department was also called to extinguish a fire that was momentarily started in the Jeep after the accident. The McHenry County Coroner’s Office released that the woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver of the pick up truck, as well as a 75-year old passenger, were treated and released at the scene. Authorities say all occupants were wearing safety belts and the airbag systems were deployed in both vehicles. The accident is still under investigation by police and the McHenry County Accident Investigation Unit.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers understand that accidents similar to the one above are very common and often fatal on Illinois roadways, generally taking place when a vehicle either deliberately or accidently crosses a centerline or median of the road, travels the wrong way in a traffic lane, and crashes into an approaching vehicle. Just last Wednesday, a vehicle traveling south in the northbound of Interstate 57 in Union County collided head on with another vehicle, resulting in two sets of injuries and two fatalities. A third fatal accident occurred a few months ago when a 21-year old college student from Burr Ridge, Illinois was driving the wrong way on southbound I-55 and collided head on with a semi truck, killing him upon impact.

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August 15, 2012

River West Taxi Accident Takes Life of Chicago Student

by Levin & Perconti

“It flipped…four times,” claimed a witness of yesterday’s deadly River West neighborhood taxicab accident. According to The Chicago Tribune, the crash occurred on Milwaukee Avenue after the cab veered off the street, hit a pedestrian and a light pole, and then flipped over several times. The pedestrian, a University of Chicago business school student, was thrown “at least 15 feet by the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene” upon being struck.

Even worse, the student was just blocks from his home. Fortunately, good Samaritans who witnessed the scene prevented even further tragedy. Passers-by pulled the driver from the cab just before it started on fire. The cab’s passenger was also able to escape just before the vehicle went up in flames. The driver was in good condition after the accident. The passenger was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition.

As our Chicago car accident lawyers understand it, the impact of the accident was tremendous. Along with hitting the student pedestrian and the light pole, the cab also hit a CVS sign. The manager of the CVS said that the accident “sounded like thunder hit the building.” Similarly, each and every Chicago car accident attorney at Levin & Perconti recognize the thunderous emotional consequences accidents such as this can have on the family of the deceased.

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August 14, 2012

Illinois Car Accident Caused by Illegal U-Turn

by Levin & Perconti

RRstar.com recently released a report detailing a rollover accident that occurred due to a driver making an illegal U-turn. An Illinois car accident lawyer at our firm read that the accident occurred at 6:45pm last Wednesday on U.S 20, about a half-mile west of South Alpine Road. Illinois State Police say a motorist was westbound in the left lane and suddenly slowed down to travel in reverse, attempting to make an illegal U-turn on the raised grassy median. A vehicle traveling behind it swerved off the roadway to avoid a collision, and though no serious injuries were reported, he had to be extricated from the vehicle after it rolled over. The report states that the motorist traveling in reverse immediately fled the scene but was later caught by police. He was cited for numerous offenses including proper backing and leaving the scene of a personal injury crash.

From the perspective of an Illinois car accident attorney, there were two primary factors present that caused the above accident, the first being the motorist’s decision to travel in reverse on a busy roadway. Reversing a vehicle is a very dangerous maneuver, as it is sometimes difficult to see other motorists surrounding the vehicle. There are certain situations where it is simply unsafe to reverse, including highways, roadways with traffic, or areas with cyclists or pedestrians. Though reversing was necessary for the motorist to make the U-turn, it was not the appropriate place to do so and thus the accident took place.

This leads to the second problem in the above report, making an illegal U-turn. A U-turn is considered illegal if a driver is either on a one-way street, crosses a curb, crosses double white lines or a median in the center of the road, or completes a U-turn if road markings or signs indicate “No U-turns.” It is important to remember that a driver’s decision to attempt an illegal U-turn affects all other motorists on the roadway; even carefully performing an illegal U-turn can cause serious injury to approaching vehicles. Thus, it is important that if a driver needs to complete a U-turn, they do so safely on a roadway where it is legal.

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August 12, 2012

Motorcycle Awareness Classes Offered to Drivers to Avoid Accidents on Illinois Roadways

by Levin & Perconti

Motorcycle driving awareness has recently become an issue in many cities throughout the state of Illinois, as the number of accidents involving motorcycles has significantly increased this summer. Our Chicago car accident attorneys were happy to learn that a number of driving classes and safety tips have been offered and encouraged for all motorcycle drivers to use in even more Illinois areas.

Journalstandard.com states that a 7th Ward Alderman in the City of Freeport has begun teaching old and new drivers motorcycle awareness in places such as Freeport, Orangeville, Lena, Forreston, and Cedarville. His concern has been stated that experienced drivers do not practice the same caution that younger drivers have been taught. This belief is evident in the numbers of motorcycle accidents that have occurred in Illinois within the last few years. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) there were 130 fatal crashes involving motorcycles in Illinois in 2010 resulting in 132 deaths to drivers and passengers involved. This is a 27% increase since 1999. There were also 343,924 motorcycles registered in Illinois in 2010, a 73% increase since 1999.

Our Illinois accident law firm learned that almost half of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. The most common accident that occurs between a motorcycle and another vehicle is when a vehicle makes a left hand turn in front of a motorcycle. “The first thing a car driver says after an accident is ‘I didn’t see them,’” said the Alderman referring to motorcyclists. “People just don’t train themselves to see motorcycles. We want to get people to look for bikes. Don’t look twice, look three times.” He stated that another problem includes being unable to see motorcyclists at night, often due to motorcycles’ small headlights and their tendency to blend in with traffic.

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August 10, 2012

Two Teens Killed After Illinois Street Racing Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago car accident attorneys recently read a report detailing the death of two teenagers last month after what authorities say was a street racing accident. Chicagotribune.com states that the accident occurred at 2am in the 14000 block of David Road in an unincorporated area near Woodstock, Illinois. Police say two 16-year old girls were driving in a street race and lost control of their vehicle, causing it to travel off the roadway, roll over, and strike a tree and a concrete post. Despite the teens wearing seatbelts and the car’s airbags deploying, both were pronounced dead at the scene.

After further investigation, police have determined that another driver, a 20-year old man of Woodstock, had met with the teens shortly before the accident to arrange the street race. The report states that although the man’s vehicle did not collide with the teens’ vehicle before it crashed, the man left the scene without attempting to help the girls, calling 911, or reporting the accident in any way. The McHenry County Sheriff’s department released that the man was arrested this week and charged with failure to report a fatal traffic accident and aggravated street racing.

As Illinois car accident lawyers, we understand the dangers and hazards that are created by street racing and want to urge drivers to refrain from this activity. For many, street racing seems like a thrill, ranging from spontaneous racing with another vehicle to largely organized events. However, accidents caused by street racing generally happen in a matter of seconds, making it difficult to comprehend the situation until it is too late. As the speed of a vehicle increases, so does the risk of an accident, as well as the risk of an injury or a fatality occurring. Not only are you putting yourself in danger by street racing, but other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway can be greatly affected as well. In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that street racing has become a factor in approximately 130 fatal crashes each year. In 2011, over 300 street racing accidents took place, with many citations, injuries, and fatalities as a result.

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August 9, 2012

Wrongful Death Suit Filed In Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A 22-year-old woman died recently in a two-vehicle accident in downtown Springfield, Illinois. According to The State Journal Register, the woman died a day after incurring life-threatening injuries in the accident. The other driver in the accident, who was driving a company provided van, only suffered relatively minor head injuries. According to the police, he ran a red light just before getting in the accident with the woman. The woman’s vehicle was knocked over a curb and toppled a tree.

The driver is now charged with aggravated driving while under the influence, and he is currently being held in the Sangamon County Jail on a $250,000 bond. Additionally, the mother of the deceased is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Sangamon Country against both the driver and the heating and cooling company that owns the driver’s van.

As per the suit, the company is named because the driver was working when the accident occurred and the company “allowed him to drive the van even though the company knew or should have known that [the driver] had a criminal record involving both drugs and alcohol.” As our Chicago car accident lawyers interpret the law, there are many forms of liability ascribed to companies of various types.

Premises liability, for example, is the concept that a company is responsible for what happens on its land or property. In terms of this case, the company’s potential contributory negligence is at issue. In layman’s terms, the company made possible or fostered negligence on the part of its employees by not taking the necessary actions to prevent such potentially negligent actions.

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August 8, 2012

Geneva Driver in Early May Car Accident Now Charged with DUI

by Levin & Perconti

Mysuburbanlife.com has reported that a driver who was in a car accident in early May of this year has now been arrested and charged with aggravated DUI. Our Chicago car accident lawyers learned that the 20 year-old driver of Geneva, Illinois was driving a 22-year-old passenger who told police the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel before the accident. The passenger allegedly attempted waking up the driver before their car crashed into a line of trees near the Fox River at North Bennet and Dodson streets.

The report states that the car was totaled after the accident and emergency crews quickly responded to the scene. Route 25 was closed for about two hours as a result, and the State Street bridge over the Fox River was temporarily closed so that a helicopter could airlift the passenger in the vehicle to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. Police say the passenger was in critical condition, in contrast to the driver of the car who was not only in stable condition, but had no recollection of the accident. After further investigation, Geneva police issued an arrest for the driver, who turned herself in and was charged with aggravated DUI.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys were surprised to read a release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which states that every year, more than 10% of drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel, while more than 20% say they have momentarily dozed off. As everyone would agree, sleepiness and driving is a dangerous combination for not only the driver, but all other motorists on the roadway. Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, which slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment, and ultimately increases the risk of an accident occurring. Drowsy driving and fatigue behind the wheel can essentially be just as fatal as drunk driving. The NHTSA estimates that about 100,000 accidents involve drowsiness and/or fatigue as a principal causal factor each year, leading to an estimated 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injures. Currently, New Jersey is the only state that considers driving drowsy as reckless driving, and others states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving.

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August 7, 2012

Attorneys Remind Boaters: Life Jackets Can Save Lives in Illinois Boating Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Summer may be nearing its end, but that has not halted the increasing number of boating accidents in Illinois. As our Chicago boating accident attorneys reported late last month, boating accidents have been on the rise. This is particularly true in Illinois, where alcohol related boating accidents are the second highest in the nation, and budget cuts have curtailed boating law enforcement efforts. In another recent post, we reported on the tragic death of a 10-year-old Illinois boy who died in a boating accident. Now, more statistics by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) have been published. These statistics, originally from the U.S. Coast Guard, provide an increased depth of knowledge as to the scope of boating accidents and fatalities.

In 2011, there were approximately 4,600 recreational boating accidents in the United States, involving 758 deaths and 3,081 injuries. These accidents caused nearly $52 million of damage to property. Interestingly, Illinois is ranked in seventh place for states with the most boating accident fatalities, but does not make the top ten in the sheer amount of accidents. Clearly, there are factors at play that have caused Illinois to have a disproportionately high fatality rate in relation to the accident rate.

The fact that Illinois ranks second in alcohol related boating accidents is one such factor. As our Illinois boating accident lawyers discussed, not only is law enforcement hampered by a shrinking budget, but alcohol consumption when boating can present unique challenges. The legal driving BAC is the same as the legal boating BAC, .08, but the exposure to sun and increased likelihood of dehydration associated with boating can strengthen the effects of alcohol. Combined with the fact that drinking is much more widespread in boating than it safely should be, the prevalence of accidents is put in context.

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August 6, 2012

Pedestrian Killed on Lake Shore Drive After Being Struck by Taxi

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagotribune.com recently made a report about a man who died after attempting to cross Lake Shore Drive and was then hit by a taxicab. Our Chicago car accident attorneys learned that the accident happened at approximately 11:10pm on Saturday in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive near Montrose Harbor. Police say the man was allegedly warned by a friend to not attempt crossing the road, but he did anyways and was hit by the taxi. It is not stated whether he was using a crosswalk or not. The report states that a nurse who was northbound on the drive stopped and tried to help the man before ambulances could arrive. She told emergency crews that she found a faint pulse, but the man’s injuries were too extensive for him to be saved. Police say the taxi driver remained uninjured.

Our Illinois auto accident attorneys are aware of the frequency of pedestrian accidents on roadways throughout downtown Chicago and the serious injuries that potentially come with these accidents to those involved. While the man in the above incident seems to be responsible for walking across the street at an inopportune time and thus causing the taxi to hit him, other pedestrian accidents are caused by distracted or negligent taxicab drivers. As previously stated, it is not made clear whether the man was using a crosswalk or not. If he was, the taxi driver would most likely be liable for the accident.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers took interest in the number of pedestrian accidents in downtown Chicago and their causes, specifically related to taxicab drivers. Last August, the Chicago Tribune revealed the results of a five-year study conducted by the Chicago Department of Transportation regarding pedestrian accidents that occurred from 2005 through 2010. The results of the study include that there were a total of 18,377 pedestrians involved in an accident during this time period, 16% of which resulted a serious injury or fatality. The vast majority of Chicago pedestrians, almost 80%, were struck by motorists while legally using a crosswalk. Taxi cab drivers were responsible for 28% of pedestrian accidents that commonly occurred when the motorist was turning.

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August 4, 2012

1 Dead and 33 Injured in Chicago Megabus Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A serious Megabus accident that occurred this Thursday near Litchfield, Illinois has left hundreds wondering what exactly went wrong. Our Chicago bus accident attorneys read a report by Usnews.nbc.com detailing the double-decker bus accident that occurred around 1:20pm. The accident left 1 dead and 33 injured after the bus collided into a concrete Illinois interstate bridge support pillar on Interstate 55, a few miles north of Litchfield in Montgomery County south of Springfield. Police say the bus was running from Chicago to St. Louis and was to stop in Colombia, Missouri before arriving to its final destination in Kansas City.

Traveling at full capacity with a total of 81 passengers, the bus’s collision caused many personal injuries, especially to those who were seated near the front of the bus where the most damage took place. Thirty ambulances, five emergency helicopters, and other emergency vehicles responded to the scene, with rescue crews climbing ladders to reach the passengers trapped inside of the smashed front end of the bus. A 25-year old woman who was seated above the driver on the second floor of the bus was killed upon impact, while 38 others suffered serious injuries and were taken by ambulance or helicopter to St. Louis and Springfield hospitals. 36 additional passengers with minor injuries were taken to a community center in Litchfield by school bus. Some passengers could be seen being tended to along the side of Interstate 55, which was shut down in both directions. Descriptions of the accident included statements of panic and chaos, as many could “feel the bus lose control as it rolled into the median and toward the pillar.”

Our Chicago bus accident lawyers learned that the initial cause of the accident was most likely due to a blown tire. A Megabus spokeswoman stated that the bus passed a full preventative maintenance check within the past week before the accident, causing many to be surprised that the accident occurred in the first place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that it would work with authorities “to determine if there are safety implications that merit agency action.” Meanwhile, Megabus has stated, “Safety remains our number one priority. The thoughts and prayers of our entire staff go out to the passengers involved.”

Records show that Megabus, a popular intercity service for many since 2006, surprisingly had three accidents occur in 2011 in which one person died in each crash. A total of six bus accidents have occurred in Chicago the last two years. In a recent report by Chicago.cbslocal.com, one Illinois bus customer was not surprised by Thursday’s bus accident. The woman told CBS reporters that she rode on a Megabus this summer that was driven by a distracted driver. She reported that the driver was untangling headphones while driving, in addition using her phone to turn on music, which resulted in the driver taking her eyes off the road and her hand off of the wheel. The driver’s trainer was allegedly sleeping nearby. The woman said that after she woke the trainer up to complain, “He looked at me and the driver and said ‘she’s fine.’”

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August 2, 2012

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Report: Deadly Crashes Up 9% in Illinois This Year

by Levin & Perconti

This year’s unusually warm spring and summer seasons in Illinois have caused a larger amount of people to travel on roadways throughout the state, resulting in the number of traffic deaths spiking by 9% as compared to this time last year. Our Illinois car accident attorneys learned that according to a report by Chicago.cbslocal.com, 533 people have been killed in car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents as of last week. This is a 45-death increase from last years total of 488 fatalities recorded through late July. Although state officials haven’t linked the economy to the increase in accidents, many believe lower fuel prices are contributing to more drivers on the road, and thus more opportunities for accidents.

The Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary states that roughly 10% of the state’s traffic fatalities this year are tentatively tied to distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone while driving, despite many public awareness campaigns in place. “Distracted driving is playing a role,” the Secretary said. “We also have noticed that we’ve seen a 70 percent increase in motorcycle related fatalities . . . [The spike in fatalities] is part of a national trend and part of it could be that the weather was mild during the winter months and so we saw increase in travel during those months. That could be part of what’s driving the increase.” The report says that State Police have also dealt with an increase in DUI and wrong-way driving accidents in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, causing a significant amount of personal injury and fatalities.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys read that 54 electronic billboards on and near Chicago area expressways are now featuring a running tally of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, updated in real time. “The billboard campaign that we have going on is to use our ‘dynamic message signs’ to let people know the current fatality count. I know there might be some controversial questions about that,” the IDOT Secretary said. “The idea is to really grab attention so that drivers can see what they do on the road really can make a difference.

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August 1, 2012

Illinois Mom and Two Daughters Killed In Deer Related Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Mulberry Grove woman recently was killed along with her two daughters in a rear-end accident taking place in Bond Country, Illinois. The woman, 41, and her two daughters, 8 and 6, were driving on I-70 when they encountered deer crossing the road. According to an online Fox News article, when the car came to a complete halt, in order to let the deer cross, they were rear-ended by a truck. The truck driver luckily only sustained minor injuries.

This incident harkens back to a previous blog post by our Chicago car accident attorneys in which we discusses the multiple aspects of encountering deer in the road. Our post was inspired by a news report showing that more than half of the car accidents in Coles County, Illinois, involved a deer. In the post, we provided tips on how to avoid deer accident fatalities. We also discussed the fact that the number one source of fatalities in such accidents is the attempt to avoid hitting deer in the road, as concluded by a Cambridge University Press study titled, “Maintaining and restoring connectivity in landscapes fragmented by roads.”

This is unfortunately what happened in the recent case involving the mother and her two daughters. Our Chicago car accident lawyers decided to do some more research on the topic of wildlife related crashes. A National Cooperative Highway Research Program project found that 750,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions occur yearly. There are over 200 human fatalities and more than a billion dollars in damage caused by these yearly accidents.

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July 31, 2012

Illinois Boating Accident Kills 10-Year Old Boy While Tubing

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, one of our Illinois boat accident lawyers read a report about a 10-year old boy that was killed while tubing on a lake in the northern Chicago suburbs. Dailymail.co.uk reports that on Saturday afternoon, the boy from Libertyville, Illinois fell off of an inner tube as it was being towed across Lake Petite, near Lake Villa in Lake County. He was then hit by a passing 29-foot craft and suffered traumatic injuries.

An Antioch Fire Department deputy chief received the report of the accident at 4:39pm after a bystander who witnessed what happened called 911. Boats and divers from several surrounding towns rushed to the scene and found the boy by tracking the mobile phone of the witness. Paramedics then took him to Condell Health Network in Libertyville, where a Lake County coroner later confirmed his death due to blunt force trauma. Authorities say two other people involved in the accident were taken to hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. No one has been cited or arrested for the incident, which remains under investigation.

Our Illinois boat accident attorneys are aware of the number of boating accidents that occur during the summertime and want to urge the public to be more cautious while either driving a boat or simply enjoying the water nearby. Watersports like tubing, water skiing, and jet skiing have become very popular in lakes throughout Illinois for children and adults of all ages, but can also become dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Thus, our Illinois personal injury law firm thought it would be helpful to remind our readers of the steps they can take to avoid serious injury while tubing, boating, or sharing the waters with boaters this summer.

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July 30, 2012

Decatur Man Pleads Guilty In DUI Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Decatur, Illinois man was recently sentenced to eight years in prison after he ran into another car while under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, the man tested positive for THC, the main substance in marijuana, reports The Pentagraph. The man is being sentenced for aggravated drunken driving, and is required to serve at least 85% of his 8-year prison sentence as well as pay 178,000 dollars in damages.

The man pleaded guilty to this specific DUI accident, subsequently incurring the legal consequences, in exchange for the dismissal of 11 other DUI incidences. Clearly, the driver has an established record of likely negligence. Our Chicago car accident attorneys are unsure as to what other penalties this man incurred over the years as a result of his previous DUIs. However, we are confident that the existence of 11 previous incidences is enough evidence to conclude that this man was a potential danger.

Unfortunately, history repeated itself in this accident, and had highly detrimental consequences. In the accident, in which the man pleaded guilty, three people were injured or killed in the other car. The driver of the other car and her 3-year-old passenger were both injured. A backseat passenger, a 31-year-old man from Bloomington, Illinois, was killed in the accident.

This unfortunate incident highlights a couple causes prevalent in most Illinois roadway accidents. Each Illinois car accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti knows all to well, from our experience dealing with many clients, that the following causes can have damaging consequences.

The first of such causes is distracted driving. According to the same Pentagraph article, the man at fault for the accident claims that he was changing his CD at the time of the accident. Generally, distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Specifically, 66% of the 43,000 fatal car accidents in 2002 were a result of “playing with the radio or CD,” according to NHTSA statistics reported in a Mental Floss magazine article.

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July 29, 2012

$3 million Bail Set in Illinois Hit-and-Run Accident that Killed Cook County Correctional Officer

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Chicagotribune.com, bail has been set at $3 million for a West Side man charged with reckless homicide for the deadly hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of a Cook County correctional officer. Our Chicago car accident lawyers read that the 38-year old officer was about to begin her overnight shift at the maximum security division of Cook County Jail on July 18th when she was struck by a van while crossing California Avenue near 29th Street around 11pm. Authorities say the van hit the officer and threw her into the middle of the road, where she was then pinned by a sheriff’s squad car. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and was later pronounced dead.

Police say the driver of the van, a 57 year-old man of the 2900 block of West 25th Street, was taken into custody the following day after police found his van, which matched the description of the vehicle that hit the officer. He admitted to driving on California Avenue the night of the accident and “admitted to hitting something.” Police also talked to someone who told them he had seen the driver drinking alcohol Wednesday night prior to the accident. A judge later set the $3 million bail and ordered the driver to return to court on Monday for a preliminary hearing. Dozens of Cook County correctional officers packed into court for the hearing, saddened by death of the wife and mother of a 6 year-old girl, who had worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s office as a correctional officer for 12 years.

Illinois Secretary of State records show that Bello's driver's license was revoked in 2010 from a DUI arrest the previous year. After finally becoming eligible to appear at an administrative hearing to attempt getting his license back, he never applied, according to an office spokesman. Thus, he continued to drive despite the fact his license had been revoked. Bello had received court supervision for a 2002 DUI from LaSalle County, was issued a speeding ticket in 2008, and received a ticket for running a traffic light in 1999. The correctional officer’s husband stated that Bello driving on a revoked license added to the pain because he should not have been behind the wheel in the first place.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys learned that the driver was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and reckless homicide. He was also cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian, driving too fast for conditions, and driving on a revoked license. An assistant Cook County State’s Attorney stated he “had no regard for following the law” and “presents a clear and present danger” to other pedestrians and motorists.

Continue reading "$3 million Bail Set in Illinois Hit-and-Run Accident that Killed Cook County Correctional Officer" »

July 27, 2012

Driver Taking Road Test Crashes Car Near Illinois Secretary of State’s Facility

by Levin & Perconti

Napervillesun.suntimes.com recently made a report detailing a single vehicle accident that occurred last week during a driver’s road test. Our Chicago auto accident lawyers learned that accident took place outside of the Illinois Secretary of State’s testing facility in central Naperville around 3pm. The driver of the vehicle, reported to have been an elderly man, lost control of his vehicle after shifting it into reverse, leading him to collide with a brick support column adjacent to the testing facility. The testing facility manager confirmed that the crash occurred during the driver’s license renewal test, indicating the cause was the driver’s “failure to apply the brake during the road test.”

The report states that half a dozen individuals in a pub nearby the testing facility said they heard the vehicle collide with the support column. The car, its trunk badly dented and open, came to rest within a few feet of the pub’s front window and door. Many were relieved that the car hit the column and did not crash into the entrance of the pub.

A Naperville Fire Department Captain stated that paramedics took the test administrator to Edward Hospital in Naperville that evening as a precautionary measure. It is unknown where the administrator was seated in the car at the time of the collision. No one else, including the driver, was injured in the crash. Naperville police said it was unlikely any tickets would be issued, as the accident had occurred on private property. The department’s formal report on the crash remained incomplete while members of the city’s Naperville Transportation Business Group continued to assess the damage.

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July 24, 2012

Illinois Boating Accidents Increasing

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois boat accident lawyers were taken aback upon reading a recent article in The Southern Illinoisan. Illinois, claims the United States Coast Guard, is host to the second most alcohol related boating fatalities in the nation. Wisconsin has the most of such fatalities.

This status is a result of the recent rise in Illinois alcohol-related boating fatalities over the past five years. In 2011, nine people died in such accidents, which is the highest amount of boating accident fatalities in Illinois since 2004. Thirteen more people were injured in nearly eighteen different alcohol-linked boating accidents. A captain at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources claims that alcohol plays “a part in almost all of our accidents.”

Unfortunately, the relevant authorities have their hands tied. Due to budget cuts, the conservation police ranks have been cut by nearly a third, falling from 180 to 125 officers. This reduction in police worries our Illinois boating accident attorneys, since the likelihood that accidents are promptly and correctly attended to will surely decrease. The laws are put in place for a reason, and the lack of enforcement may pose potential harm to many responsible boaters.

This is especially true in the Chain O’Lakes, where more than a dozen bodies of water connect multiple counties. It is here that weekend boaters come out and relax on the waterways in fairly dense proportions, often linking their boats and creating floating vessel “islands.” In this relaxing environment, there is usually alcohol consumption.
However, alcohol consumption on boats is different than it is in normal conditions. Because of the sun, boaters are often more fatigued and dehydrated, which amps up the effect of the alcohol on their bodies. The legal BAC is the same for boaters as it is for traditional motorists though.

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July 23, 2012

$1 Million Bond Set After Mom Runs Over Daughter in Illinois Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, one of our Illinois car accident lawyers read a report about a mother who struck and killed her young daughter as she was backing her vehicle out of her driveway. Suntimes.com reports that the 40 year-old south suburban woman of Steger, Illinois got into her minivan in the 1100 block of Main Street in Crete around 7pm last Wednesday, while her 18-month-old daughter was playing nearby. Police say as she attempted to back her vehicle down the driveway, she unintentionally ran over her daughter.

The report states that police and fire crews responded to the scene and found the girl seriously injured. She was taken to Saint James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago Heights, where she was pronounced dead at 7:41pm, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy completed later the next day determined she died of massive head injuries and her death was ruled an accident.

In a statement given to police at the scene, the woman admitted consuming “several alcoholic beverages” just prior to the accident. She was later given a blood test at Saint James Hospital, which indicated she was above the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. Police have not released her BAC. Police also said the woman was driving while her license was suspended.

The report states that the Will County State’s Attorney’s office recommended two felony counts of aggravated DUI, and bond was set at $1 million. She is currently being held in the Will County Jail with additional charges expected, as police await the results of toxicology tests.

As our Chicago car accident lawyers understand it, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs by one’s self is bad enough when considering that such actions endanger not only the impaired driver, but also all other motorists and pedestrians on or near the road. With that said, drunk driving becomes even worse when children are involved, either as passengers in the vehicle or simply walking or playing nearby, as described in the above report. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the 1,347 child occupant fatalities that occurred throughout the country in 2010, another 34 children died as pedestrians or bikers who were hit by drunk drivers.

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July 21, 2012

One Dead and Five Injured in Plainfield Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagotribune.com recently made a report detailing a car accident near southwest suburban Plainfield that left one person dead and five people, including an infant and a toddler, seriously injured. Our Illinois car accident attorneys read that at about 2:30pm last Saturday, a car carrying a husband, wife, infant, and toddler was westbound on Route 126 waiting to turn left onto County Line Road. As the car was about to turn, an SUV, also traveling westbound, rear-ended the car and rolled over several times. After being hit by the SUV, the car spun and side swiped a motorcycle traveling eastbound on Route 126.

A Fire Department Deputy Chief states the family traveling in the car was extricated from the vehicle by firefighters and was transported to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. The man, toddler and infant were transported by ambulance in serious condition, while the woman was listed in critical condition. The deputy stated that both children were properly restrained in car seats, ultimately saving their lives. The driver of the SUV was thrown from his vehicle upon impact and was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in serious condition. The motorcyclist was transported to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora in critical condition. According to Illinois State Police, he unfortunately went into traumatic arrest in the ambulance and died later that evening. He was not believed to have been wearing a helmet.

In addition to the fire department deputies and Illinois state policemen at the scene, Plainfield police and Kendall County police arrived as well. Plainfield Emergency Management blocked the roads at the intersection and surrounding the area after the accident, and they were reopened later that evening.

Although the report does not confirm who was to blame in this particular accident, our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that these types of accidents are very common throughout the state of Illinois and can ultimately become fatal if the proper precautions are not used while driving on roadways. An accident involving young children can potentially kill them upon impact if the children are not properly restrained in car seats. The children in the above report were both in their car seats, ultimately saving their lives. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental death for children ages four through fifteen, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every year, about 2,000 children under the age of fifteen die and nearly 300,000 are injured in passenger vehicle crashes; more than half of these children were not properly restrained.

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July 20, 2012

Illinois Wrongful Death Suit Highlights Stop Sign Related Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

A wrongful death suit was recently filed against an Illinois man who was involved in a fatal car accident last year. As reported by The Chicago Tribune, the man flew through a stop sign without stopping and ended up colliding with another car. The driver of the other car and two of his passengers were killed as a result of the collision. Also named in the lawsuit is the man’s company that supplied him the car involved in the accident.

The family of the deceased is responsible for the suit, claiming that “comfort, society, and valuable services” have been wrongfully taken from them. As per the suit, the driver was negligent in creating unsafe road conditions by speeding through the stop sign. Our Chicago car accident attorneys have experience with many cases such as this. Alas, we offer the to the family the greatest of our sympathy in these hard times. It is with regret that we note the all too common nature of accidents such as this.

According to a 2003 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “nearly 700000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes occur annually at stop signs.” Accordingly, stop sign accidents account for more than 70 percent of all automotive crashes in the U.S. One third of these accidents resulted in injury, or worse.

The statistics are based on police reports from 1996 to 2000 in four major U.S. cities. Frankly, the facts are shocking, albeit illuminating. Failure to adhere to stop signs is a leading nationwide problem that deserves attention. This is especially true when considering that rear-end accidents, often seen as one of the major scenarios for an accident, only constituted 12 percent of all automotive accidents.

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July 19, 2012

Chicago Accident Lawyers to Parents: Never Leave Your Child Alone in Vehicles During Extreme Temperatures

by Levin & Perconti

As many people know, this summer has brought almost every region of the United States record high temperatures, humidity, and dangerous heat advisories. Staying cool during these times is critical, as failing to do so can result in serious injury and damage to one’s health. A Chicago auto accident attorney at our firm was surprised to read a report about a woman who recently left her child in her car while the temperature was ninety degrees outside. Joliet.patch.com reports that the ten-year-old girl was left unattended in the parked car outside of Jewel on North Larkin Avenue while the driver went grocery shopping. Joliet police say that an officer checking to make sure the fire lanes in front of the store were clear spotted the car illegally parked in the fire lane. When the officer looked closer, he saw that the car was running and the little girl was inside. When he spoke with the girl, she told him she had been waiting there for a long time.

The report states that the 23 year-old driver was later ticketed for leaving the girl in the vehicle while she went shopping. According to police, this had been the sixth time last week that someone had been charged with leaving a child, dog, or a combination of both in a car, sometimes with temperatures higher than ninety degrees with the car windows closed.

Our Illinois auto accident attorneys and many others understand that leaving children unattended in or around vehicles is a serious problem, especially during the summertime. According to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids USA, children left unattended in hot cars, trucks, vans, and SUV’s account for 24% of fatalities. More than one thousand cases involving injury or death have been documented so far, most being caused by hyperthermia (heat stroke). The average number of U.S child hyperthermia fatalities per year since 1998 is 38, creating a total of 539 cases up until 2012. These fatalities occur under the circumstances of either a caregiving simply “forgetting” their child in their car, a child being left to play in an unattended vehicle, or a child intentionally being left in a vehicle. The ages of these children ranges from 5 days to 14 years old, but more than half of fatalities are children under 2 years of age. Only eighteen states have laws prohibiting leaving a child unattended in a vehicle; Illinois is thankfully one of them.

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July 17, 2012

IDOT Launches Statewide Digital Safety Campaign on Illinois Roadways

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Carmitimes.com, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun making efforts to help reduce roadway fatalities in Illinois this year. Our Chicago car accident lawyers read that starting July 9th, IDOT began a statewide digital message board campaign in conjunction with social media and Internet page presence in order to decrease driver negligence and ultimately decrease the number of fatalities on roadways for the remainder of the year.

The report states that provisional crash data released that 479 fatalities have occurred on Illinois roadways this year, as compared to 418 fatalities during the same time frame last year. An Illinois transportation secretary spoke out concerning this fact, saying, “This inventive campaign is about using the resources at hand to help inform the public, save lives, and prevent crashes from occurring as much as possible. Simply stated, our goal is to drive zero fatalities to reality.”

IDOT has planned to create driver awareness through the use of statewide messaging boards. The agency plans to rotate five key traffic safety messages daily, including “Don't Drink & Drive," "Don't Text & Drive," “Save a Life, Buckle Up," "Stay off the Phone in Work Zones" and "Motorcyclists, Gear Up, Drive Safe." In addition to these messages, the boards will post the daily traffic fatality count to make more of an impact on drivers and to remind them of the severity of motorist negligence.

Our Illinois auto accident lawyers learned that these statewide messaging boards are primarily reserved for emergencies or traffic incident management alerts related to accidents, detours, travel times, lane closures, weather alerts, construction, or maintenance operation information. These specific messages will take precedence over the traffic information campaign, and safety campaign messages will only be posted during times when such emergency alerts are not required. “We want all Illinois motorists to take a role in our fight against impaired and distracted driving, and strongly welcome the efforts of all concerned residents to help create awareness of the need to lower traffic-related fatalities,” stated the Illinois transportation secretary.

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July 16, 2012

Illinois Man Dies In Car Accident After Heart Attack

by Levin & Perconti

A 64-year-old Illinois man was driving his car yesterday when he apparently had a heart attack, causing him to drive into a light pole, claims the Illinois State Police. The Chicago Sun-Times covered the story, reporting that the driver died an hour later, while his passenger was treated for minor injuries. Our Illinois car accident attorneys would like to extend our sympathy to the family of the man in dealing with their unfortunate loss.

Despite the near perfect storm of events causing an otherwise potentially preventable death, incidences such as this are not unheard of. This past February, another Illinois man, 46, died in a car crash caused by a heart attack. Also in February, an Arizona elementary school teacher, 64, experienced the same fate. Last May, Fenway Park announcer Carl Bean, 49, crashed his car as a result of an accident, subsequently dying as a result. In April, a month earlier, a chemistry professor from MSU had a nearly identical experience. Midway through 2011, a famous wrestler known as Macho Man, 58, also experienced the same unfortunate accident as the others.

Due the unique situation of these accidents, the impact on traffic fatality statistics is highly contextual. For example, non-fatal heart attacks that cause an accident are counted as traffic accident fatalities. Alternatively, fatal-heart attacks that cause an accident are not counted as traffic accident fatalities.

These types of accidents interested our Chicago car accident lawyers, seeing as complicated questions of legal liability arise. Again, the issues here are highly contextual. For example, if an unforeseeable emergency, such as a heart attack, causes an accident that injures another person, it is possible for the person who had the heart attack to defer liability. It would come down to the details of the case, and it is hard to say generally where legal liability would fall. However, if the person who had a heart attack has a history of heart conditions, or some other emergency health situation, then liability is very likely to fall on his shoulders. The reason being that he could have reasonably predicted, or anticipated, such a situation.

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July 14, 2012

Chicago Taxi Accident Wrongful Death Suit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed on behalf of an 86-year-old woman who was hit by a taxi when crossing a crosswalk, reports The Chicago Tribune. She died from her injuries two days later. According to an eyewitness, the taxi driver “just plowed into her and ran her down like she wasn’t even there.” Another eyewitness remarked, “He just hit her.” In the suit, the driver is being accused of negligence and the family is seeking more than $100,000 in damages from each defendant. Yellow Cab Affiliation Inc. is also named in the suit.

The taxi driver, consequently, was charged for “failure to use due care when a pedestrian is present, and…for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.” However, the driver was only fined $325 and placed under court supervision. The family of the 86-year-old woman, who filed the suit, says that this is not acceptable. The brother of the deceased was reported as saying, “It’s kind of an outrage that he’s still on the street.”

As our Illinois car accident attorneys understand it, the driver has a very spotty record when it comes too responsible driving. According to a CBS Chicago article, the taxi driver has accumulated nearly 70 traffic tickets since 1999. In court, the taxi driver said that he did not feel his record was an adequate basis for claiming he is a bad driver. The judge dismissed the driver’s arguments and he was found guilty for his actions.

Unfortunately, accidents like this one are all too common. Pedestrian accidents make up 11 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, according to U.S. government statistics. Additionally, a 2009 policy report in Connecticut showed that the taxicab accident rate is more than quadruple times the accident rate for normal passenger vehicles.

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July 13, 2012

Two Killed in Rend Lake High-Speed Boating Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, a Chicago boating accident lawyer at our firm read a report detailing a deadly high-speed boating accident in Rend Lake, located in Benton, Illinois near Franklin County. Wpsdlocal6.com stated that last week, five men and women associated with BRP, a boat manufacture with facilities in the area, were driving two different boats on the lake to conduct a demo run for the company. Preliminary investigations show that both boats were traveling at full speed to test the boats, as no speed limit currently exists on the lake. Two people riding on one of the boats pulled out in front of the second boat holding the three remaining individuals, causing both boats to collide.

The report states that a 41-year-old woman on the first boat sustained severe injuries and died at a local hospital. The other person on the boat, a 38 year-old-man, was thrown into the water and was missing until the day after the accident, when divers pulled his body from the lake. The second boat hit land after the collision and all three individuals on it sustained non life-threatening injuries. They are currently in stable condition.

Our Illinois boating accident attorneys are aware of the number of boating accidents that occur during the summertime and want to urge the public to be more cautious while either driving a boat or simply enjoying the water nearby. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released a boating accident report from 2011 detailing the most common conditions in which boating accidents occur. In Illinois, most accidents occurred in either Lake Michigan or Illinois River during the summer and on Saturdays and Sundays. The people involved in the accidents were most commonly between the ages of 30 and 40 and were riding on open motorboats or personal watercrafts. Personal injury in the accidents resulted from careless/reckless operation of the boat, operator inattention, lack of operator experience, and when the driver was not wearing a personal flotation device.

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July 12, 2012

Update: Illinois Car Accident Kills 2nd Grader

by Levin & Perconti

This past May, a Skokie woman hit a nine-year boy with her car, causing him to slide out into oncoming traffic, ultimately taking his life. Our Chicago car accident attorneys discussed the issues at hand in a previous blog post. The woman had been driving under the influence of drugs, namely marijuana and amphetamines.

In the blog post we discussed the role of drugs, distractions and negligence in car accidents. The accident highlighted some of the potential negligent actions and their subsequent consequences. In our remarks, we said that there would be serious consequences for all parties involved. To quote from the June 29th post, “In the case of the nine-year-old boy, he lost the potential for a long and prosperous life, while his family is experiencing emotional and financial stress. In the case of the woman who hit him, she is facing a lifetime of legal consequences that will surely curtail her future.”

Now, there have been some new developments in the case, as updated by a recent Chicago Tribune article, demonstrating just what we discussed. Apparently, the woman who hit the boy is pleading “not guilty” to some very serious charges. The charges include “a felony count of aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs.” The judge overseeing the case also refused to lower her bond.

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July 11, 2012

Lockport Woman Dies in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Suntimes.com, two vehicles were involved in a fatal accident at 95th Street and LaGrange Road near Hickory Hills, Illinois this past weekend. One of our Chicago car accident lawyers read that a 51-year-old Lockport woman was driving east on 95th street and had the green light when she entered the intersection. Her SUV was then hit by a pickup truck traveling south on LaGrange road. The 25-year-old Orland Park man ran a red light at the intersection and T-boned the woman’s car. A Cook Country sheriff’s police spokeswoman stated that preliminary investigations indicate the man may have been driving up to 70 miles per hour. The spokeswoman also said the man had made statements that he had been out drinking in Chicago since the evening before. Police later found traces of marijuana, cocaine, and opiates in his system as well.

The woman, a dedicated wife and mother of three, had been traveling to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she worked as a part time registered nurse when the accident took place. She was taken to Palos Community Hospital shortly after the accident and was later pronounced dead. The Orland Park driver, who was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries, is now in police custody and is being charged for driving under the influence, operating an uninsured vehicle, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and disobeying a traffic signal. There were no other passengers in either vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

As an Illinois car accident lawyer reading the above report noted, accidents caused by failing to obey traffic signals can be fatal. However, as of recently, legislation has been passed and signed into law authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras throughout the state of Illinois to decrease the number of these accidents. Specifically, local police departments are using red light cameras to hold drivers accountable for driving through red lights. As recently as February 2012, legislation was also passed to authorize the use of speed cameras in Chicago school and park zones. Governor Pat Quinn outlined his support for these cameras, noting “Reducing speed around schools and parks where children are present is a good policy for Illinois, and I’ve signed the legislation because I think it does have an impact on safety.”

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July 10, 2012

Wrongful Death Suit Filed After Chicago Suburb Train Derailment

by Levin & Perconti

This past July 4th a Union Pacific train derailed and resultantly collapsed a bridge in a Chicago suburb, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. The weather was over 100 degrees at the time of the accident, which is said by Union Pacific to be the cause of the derailment. Fortunately, the train was not a passenger train, and was only transporting coal. However, at least two people were found dead after being crushed by the collapsed bridge and derailed train.

One of the accident’s victims was a 69-year-old Chicago man, and the other was his 70-year-old wife of over 47 years. Their son has filed a wrongful death suit on their behalf against Union Pacific, claiming, “Union Pacific was negligent, failed to properly build and repair its tracks near the viaduct and failed to take notice of ‘dangerous and unsafe operating conditions.’” The claim regarding the repair and building of the tracks results from the fact that there have been two previous derailments in the same spot.
Additionally, there was reinforcement added to the bridge in question in the past year. Both sides are using this information to their advantage. On one hand, Union Pacific could be said to have been aware of the shortfalls of their bridge. On the other hand, Union Pacific could be said to have taken the necessary measures to be void of negligence.

Union Pacific also claims that it had done multiple checks on the bridge and tracks, including the morning of the accident, and found nothing wrong. They argue that the abnormal excess build up of train cars was more than the bridge could handle. Despite the excuses, the plaintiff’s attorney does not think that it is acceptable for something so tragic to happen. Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand the feeling, and recognize the desire for answers and reconciliation.

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July 9, 2012

Two Riders Seriously Injured in Illinois Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois car accident lawyers recently read a report about a severe motorcycle accident that occurred last week in Breese, Illinois. Stltoday.com states that at 9:20am, two motorcyclists were traveling west on U.S. Route 50 near Linden Grove when they decided to change lanes—going west in the eastbound lane—to pass a vehicle in front of them. As the motorcyclists changed lanes, an SUV was coming toward them in the eastbound lane. Police say the motorcyclists didn’t have enough time to get around the car they were passing before the SUV came towards them. The driver of the SUV swerved onto the shoulder of the road to avoid hitting the motorcyclists. One of the motorcycle drivers, a 40-year-old woman of East Saint Louis, Illinois, decreased her speed after seeing the vehicle swerve off of the road, while the other driver, a 50-year-old man of O’Fallon, Illinois, did not. He followed too closely behind the woman’s motorcycle and as a result, collided with it. Both driver’s were then thrown from their motorcycles and are currently in serious condition.

The report states that the driver of the SUV was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured. Neither motorcyclist, however, was wearing a helmet, in addition to neither being properly licensed to operate a motorcycle. The Illinois State Police have cited both drivers for not having proper driver’s license classification, for improper overtaking of a vehicle, and for failing to have insurance.

Our Chicago auto accident attorneys understand that more people in Illinois have begun to rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, especially during the summertime when gas prices are high and the weather is nice. As a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing. A primary reason for the severity of these accidents has to do with helmet laws, or lack thereof, in the state of Illinois. Officially enacted in 1970, Illinois does not have any helmet laws in place for motorcycle drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, 83% of the people who died from motorcycle crashes in Illinois were not wearing a helmet. This is among the highest percent nationally. In the United States, Illinois ranks 47th for lives saved and economic costs saved due to helmet use. Shockingly, compared to the 36 lives saved in states with a Universal Helmet Law in place in 2010, only 4 were saved in Illinois. Additionally, states with a Universal Helmet Law saved about $73 million dollars, while Illinois only saved $9 million.

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July 7, 2012

Joliet Woman Injured in Animal-Related Motor Vehicle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

While many drivers are themselves responsible for causing serious car accidents through driver negligence, such as driving while distracted or failing to follow traffic laws, other accidents may be caused by factors outside of the driver’s control. This was the case on Thursday morning when a woman’s vehicle struck one of several cows along a road in DeKalb County. A Chicago car accident attorney from our firm read the Cbslocal.com report, which stated that the sixty-year-old woman from Joliet was heading east on U.S. 30 when cow jolted in front of her car. DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department deputies say the impact of the collision caused the woman’s vehicle to fall into a ditch, roll over, and then catch fire. Thankfully, the woman was able to escape from the vehicle; her condition is currently unknown.

Although no legal recourse is generally available to those who suffer from an animal car accident, our Illinois car accident attorneys understand how common and potentially severe animal-related accidents on the road can be. Striking a cow on the side of the road as the above report discusses is less common, but other animals such as deer, fox, and coyotes are seen more often and can cause deadly accidents. Even smaller animals like rabbits, raccoons, dogs, cats, and squirrels can impact driving skills and lead to serious injury to you or others on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), there are about 1.5 million car accidents with animals each year. This results in one billion dollars in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. Out of the ten worst states for animal collisions, Illinois ranks third. Cars are involved in about 61% of the crashes, followed by pick up trucks at 26%, vans at 7%, and tractor trailers at 2%. Our Chicago car accident law firm would like to offer you defensive driving tips to help prevent hitting an animal on the road this summer.

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July 6, 2012

College Student Dies In Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A promising 21-yeaer-old college student recently died after being involved in a car accident near Athens, Illinois. According to the KirksvilleDailyExpress.com, the student veered off the right side of the road into a ditch. Her car rolled over, landing back on its tires, but the student did not survive the impact. She was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The cause of the incident remains unknown, but her experience in not uncommon among people of her age group.

Young drivers are notoriously overrepresented in car accidents. In accidents involving alcohol, drivers from the age 16 to 24 constitute 28 percent of accidents. However, only 14 percent of the U.S. population is in this age group.

There are multiple factors at play here. For one, younger people are often more likely to drink alcohol and use drugs, but also are relatively much less experienced with such substances. Thus, they are more likely to act in ways that that put them in danger, such as driving, when using such substances.

Inexperience also plays a significant role when it comes to driving. Younger people generally have less experience driving, and as such, are more likely to make mistakes that more experienced drivers have learned avoid. The claim that young people have a feeling of invincibility, causing them to be reckless, fits nicely within this causal framework.

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July 5, 2012

Joliet Family Sues Driver Over Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident

by Levin & Perconti

According to an online news report by Chicagotribune.com, the family of a Joliet woman killed in a 2008 hit-and-run accident is suing the driver, who just recently came forward and confessed to striking her. The 28 year old driver of Naperville, Illinois allegedly struck the 20 year old University of Illinois student as she was walking on McDonough Street in Joliet. The driver’s identity has been a mystery until a few months ago, when he showed up on the family’s doorstep and confessed to taking part in the fatal crash. The report states that based on court records, the driver told the family that after the woman jumped out in front of his car, he hit her, checked on her and found that she was still alive, and then fled the scene.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys learned that the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in Will County against the driver and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. The driver has been charged with causing personal injury and leaving the scene of an accident causing a death. He is currently being held in Will County jail and returned to court earlier this week.

From the perspective of a Chicago auto accident attorney, too many motor vehicle accidents unnecessarily and severely injure and kill pedestrians throughout the state of Illinois. According to a National Pedestrian Crash Report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian fatalities account for about 10 percent of traffic-related deaths and on average, thirteen pedestrians die in vehicle crashes each day. While many accidents take place in cities, pedestrian fatalities commonly occur in rural areas as well. Pedestrians are more likely to be killed in a crash between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. or during the weekend on Saturday or Sunday. They are also more likely to be killed if they are over the age of 65, under dark conditions, and while drivers are traveling at a higher speed. As a driver’s blood alcohol concentration increases, the probability of a pedestrian getting killed in a crash increases; nearly 46% of pedestrian fatalities are alcohol involved. Also surprisingly, one in five pedestrians killed are killed in hit-and-run motor vehicle crashes.

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July 4, 2012

It’s Raining…Cars? Bizarre Chicago Parking Garage Accident

by Levin & Perconti

When it is raining heavily, people often remark that, “It is raining cats and dogs.” The phrase makes sense, in that it highlights the large size of rainfall. But what do you say when it is raining luxury vehicles? It should not come as a shock, then, why a few unlucky Chicago shoppers were left speechless when they found their cars flattened under another vehicle.

According to MyFoxChicago.com, a driver was attempting to park his BMW in a parking garage when he hit the gas instead of the brake. The BMW went through the barrier and fell directly on top of a Jaguar and a Mercedes Benz. Fortunately, the Jaguar was empty and no one was hurt. The Mercedes Benz, however, did have a passenger who was shocked when he witnessed the empty side of the car get crushed right next to him.

However bizarre this particular case is, parking lots and garages are host to plenty of motor vehicle accidents. Jeff Mohr, who is automotive collision expert, says that parking lot collisions are all too common. Mohr claims that, “14% of all claims for auto damage involve parking lot collisions; 80% of bumper scratches occur during parking.” Mohr also puts emphasis on the estimate that “30% of drivers feel it’s OK to ‘love tap’ your bumper when parallel parking.”

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June 30, 2012

Report Finds Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

As we are amidst the summer season, more people in Illinois rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and as a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as well. One of our Illinois motorcycle accident lawyers recently read a report by Journalstandard.com about a man killed in a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Galena Avenue and Stephenson Street in Freeport, Illinois. Police say the 22 year old resident of Freeport was driving his motorcycle southbound on Galena Avenue, while the driver of the car, a 31 year old resident of Freeport, was traveling northbound. The accident occurred when the car turned west onto Stephenson Street in front of the motorcycle. Police say the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and was taken to FHN Memorial Hospital. He later died of injuries sustained in the accident, and the driver of the car was cited for failure to yield at an intersection.

Our Illinois auto accident attorneys are aware of the increase in motorcycle drivers on the road and want to urge the public to be more cautious when traveling on roadways this summer. Because of the vulnerability of motorcyclists, they need to be sure to drive defensively and be cautious around other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible to others, as it is easy for trucks and cars to make turns or merges without noticing the motorcyclist nearby. As most motorcyclists die of head injuries, it is important that they wear helmets at all times. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots.

Journalstandard.com reports that recently, a significant amount of motorcycle accidents have occurred in Northwest Illinois. A spokesman from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), stated, “We have seen an increase in motorcycle registrations and motorcycle crashes over time, for a variety of reasons. That’s why we believe it’s vitally important for motorists and motorcyclists to pay special attention when they are on the road during the warmer months.”

Also listed in the news report are many motorcycle crash statistics from IDOT. In 2010, 343,924 motorcycles were registered in Illinois, representing a 73 percent increase compared to the 198,444 registered in 1999. Many believe the increases in registration may be due to the desire to save money on fuel. Also in 2010, a total of 132 fatal crashes involving motorcycles occurred, killing a total of 130 people, representing a 27 percent increase compared to the 103 motorcyclists killed in 1999, states IDOT.

From the perspective of a Chicago car accident lawyer, the increase in motorcyclists on the road means that both motorcyclists and motorists need to be more careful while driving. Those involved in accidents between motorists and motorcyclists may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a motorcycle accident, our Chicago auto accident attorneys are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Find out what rights may be available to you.

June 29, 2012

Winnetka Accident Highlights Bicycle Safety Tips

by Levin & Perconti

One of our Illinois accident lawyers read a recent report about a collision that occurred between a vehicle and a bicyclist in Winnetka, Illinois on Tuesday morning. The accident, Winnetka.patch.com states, happened just before the morning rush hour at the intersection of Green Bay and Willow roads. The Deputy Chief of the Winnetka Police Department stated that the driver, a Winnetka resident, was traveling northbound on Green Bay Road while the bicyclist from Glencoe, Illinois was heading southbound. The driver then attempted to head west on Willow Road when he hit the bicyclist. According to the Deputy Chief, the driver of the vehicle was cited for failure to yield, and the bicyclist was transported to Evanston Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

After reading this report, we thought it would be helpful to remind our readers of the steps they can take to avoid serious injury when biking or sharing the road with bicyclists. Every summer, bicycle riding becomes a popular pastime for many families and children. While the activity is generally safe, there are many tips that riders should keep in mind to remain safe and avoid any serious risks. Being sure your bike fits you properly in relation to your height, weight, and age should come first. Be sure all equipment, including tires, brakes, chains, and seat connection, is working correctly. Wearing a helmet and reflective clothing is advised in order to allow motorists to see you while riding on public roadways.

Most importantly, everyone should know and follow the rules of the road. Motorists should always be sure to pass bicyclists at a safe distance, be extra careful when driving through intersections, and to turn and yield properly. Bicyclists should stay alert, ride so drivers and other cyclists can see you, and ride with the flow of traffic. While not every accident or injury can be prevented, remembering these safety tips will help to avoid accidents and prevent serious injury to both motorists and bicyclists.

In the previously mentioned news report, the bicyclist was not seriously injured after the collision. Although the report does not confirm whether the bicyclist planned to seek legal action against the driver of the vehicle, when bicyclists do suffer serious injuries as a result of careless or negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Through the experience of our Chicago car accident attorneys, the bicyclist may be able to file a claim in civil court against the motorist. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you can contact our team of Chicago car accident lawyers to learn about what rights may be available to you.

June 29, 2012

Drug Use to Blame In Illinois Car Accident That Killed 2nd Grader

by Levin & Perconti

Late in May, a woman caused a chain reaction automobile accident in Skokie, Illinois. The accident resulted in the death of a nine-year-old boy who was hit by the woman while riding his bicycle. Now, she has just been indicted on charges that she was driving under the influence of drugs, reported The Chicago Tribune. The results of her blood and urine tests were positive for cannabis and amphetamines at the time of the accident.

The woman has been involved in quite a few brush-ups with the law in the past couple of years. The Chicago Tribune reports that she has been charged with unlawful possession of cannabis, shoplifting, and has received multiple driving tickets.

Whether cannabis is a significant cause of car accidents is hotly debated. Many studies, such as the one done by Dalhousie University this past February, show that cannabis is a significant factor. In the Dalhousie study, cannabis was shown to double the risk of an accident when driving within three hours of its use. Conversely, advocates of cannabis law reform argue that these studies are biased and hyperbolic. In a summary of research to date, one such group, called “Norml,” claims that, “Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol.”

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June 27, 2012

Roadside Car Accident Kills Teen

by Levin & Perconti

Tragedy struck this past weekend when a 19-year-old teen was killed in a roadside accident. As reported by stltoday.com, the teen was hit while he was trying to wave down a passing car for help after his pick-up truck broke down on Interstate 64. The motorist in the accident claims that the teen had stepped into her lane while waving his arms, leaving her very little time to maneuver.

Whether the accident is the fault of the driver or the fault of the teen is not currently known. The cause could have been a result of improper compliance with traffic rules and procedures, or even driver negligence such as speeding, driving while distracted, driving aggressively, etc. However, since all the facts are not known at this time, it is impossible for us to say who is really to blame for this tragedy.

What is known is that there are severe consequences of incidences like this, such as physical, medical, financial, and emotional damages. Additionally, the teen, while acting innocently, was not acting in the safest manner possible. Each and every Illinois car accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti knows how important it is to act safely on and off the road. Therefore, we would like to offer some advice for how to stay safe should your accident break down and get stuck on the side of the road.

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June 25, 2012

Bicyclist’s Death Sparks Liability Issues

by Levin & Perconti

A wrongful death suit has recently been filed against a social media website for bicyclists. The suit was filed as a result of an accident in which a bicyclist drifted into the wrong lane and was hit by a car, reports Berkelyside.com. The bicyclist, who is now deceased, was apparently racing to regain his “King of the Mountain” status on the website. The status is awarded for various accomplishments, including the achievement of top speeds on various routes.

The wrongful death suit was filed by the parents of the deceased bikers parents after they learned of another bicyclists death involving the use of the same social media website. In this case, the cyclist was going 35 mph and hit an elderly woman. The women died and the cyclist was charged with vehicular manslaughter.

The parents, while acknowledging their son’s partial responsibility for his death, ultimately argued that the website’s culture fosters negligence on the part of cyclists. The goal of the suit is to curb the occurrence of said negligence potentially resulting from the environment fostered by the website. The case will most likely come down to whether the social media website shares legal liability for the incidents.

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June 20, 2012

Illinois Woman Awarded Compensation in Car Accident Suit

by Levin & Perconti

A plaintiff from Edwardsville, Illinois, recently won her damages suit resulting from a rear-end car accident she was involved in two years ago. The plaintiff claimed damages based on neck and back pain she experienced after the accident, confirms local reports. She claimed that her life was not the same after the accident since she experienced physical pain, which restricted her abilities to live the same lifestyle as she did before the injury. The plaintiff sought $30,000 in damages, while the defense lawyer argued she only deserved $3,662. The Judge sided with the plaintiff, awarding her just over $8,000.

The closing arguments from both sides placed the jury in the difficult decision of finding the right amount of monetary compensation for non-financial damages. The final argument from the plaintiff’s side was that her life was severely affected after sustaining the injuries from the accident, thus warranting the requested financial restitution. The defense’s closing argument was that $30,000 was not a reasonable sum for simply having been in an accident.

From the perspective of our Chicago car accident lawyers, the loss of a pleasure-filled life is a very serious issue, and is a potential consequence of negligent actions. It is something we do not believe can be taken lightly. With that said, there are some lessons that can be learned from this case.

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June 18, 2012

Illinois State Police Targeting Distracted Driving

by Levin & Perconti

As of June 13, there has been a 21 percent increase in Illinois traffic accident fatalities this year, reported a local news station. The 21 percent increase is significantly greater than the nation-wide average increase in traffic accident fatalities of 11 percent.

Amidst increasing fatal car accidents on Illinois roadways, police are ramping up their efforts to both prevent and penalize negligent driving. Police departments across the state have been launching educational programs, while also attempting to raise awareness of the issue. For example, the District 13 Commander recently issued a statement warning Illinois drivers to avoid the “Fatal Four.” The Fatal Four are the four most common traffic violations, including “speeding, driving while under the influence, failure to wear a seatbelt, and distracted driving.”

When it comes to enforcement, Illinois police departments are backing up their statement. According to an article in the The Journal-Standard, police departments are instituting more hire-back and directed patrols, as well as construction zone enforcement. Hire-back patrols are conducted via the employment of overtime patrollers who target specific traffic violations. Directed patrols are almost identical to the former, but patrollers are simply not on overtime.

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June 16, 2012

Car Accident Raises Issue of Negligence Versus Ignorance

by Levin & Perconti

On June 6, a woman and her infant were involved in a rollover accident on I-290, The Daily Herald reported. The car rolled over after striking the right wall of the Illinois expressway. The infant was seriously injured and is currently still in critical condition. Police reports indicate that the infant’s car seat was not properly attached to the car, nor were the car seat’s fastening straps properly positioned on the baby.

The mother “has been cited for failing to properly install” the car seat, as well as improper lane usage and driving without insurance. This incident raises a complicated issue regarding the issue of negligence. In cases like this, it may be unclear whether this was an act of negligence or simply excusable ignorance.

The state trooper interviewed in the article, who is a safety education office and child seat technician, argues that this is more so an issue of ignorance than it is of negligence. His reasoning is that there was no harm intended in that the parents did utilize a safety seat. Additionally, a recent car seat check in the Chicago area demonstrated that, “between 50 percent and 75 percent of the seats were installed incorrectly.”

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June 11, 2012

Illinois Work Zone Accident Illustrates Importance of Work Zone Safety

by Levin & Perconti

Over this past weekend, a 29-year-old man suffered a fatal car crash after driving onto Illinois Route 146, which is currently closed for construction. ABC KAIT 8, a local news station, reported that the man was attempting to turn around and, in the process, accelerated head first into a parked pavement roller. The crash marks the first ever on Illinois Route 146, given that the road is new and has yet to open to traffic.

The particular events taking place in this accident are quite rare. However, work zone car accidents in Illinois are a very common occurrence. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, on average there are 7,500 car accidents in work zones each year. Roughly 2,000 injuries and 28 fatalities result from these work zone crashes each year. Any Chicago car accident lawyer will tell you that there is a multitude of causes responsible for car accidents in any situation, ranging from general negligence to distracted or aggressive driving.

Crashes in the work zone share many of the same causes, but it is the unique conditions present in the work zone that can exacerbate them. For example, if a driver is distracted when entering into a work zone, he may not notice the various changes in his environment. These changes include reduced speed limits and often times fewer lanes. Risk of distraction is also higher since many people pay more attention to the construction than they do to the road. Additionally, those already aggravated drivers often become even more frustrated, and their driving suffers as a result.

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June 6, 2012

Motorcycle Accidents In Illinois: What You Need To Know

by Levin & Perconti

It’s summer; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the motorcycles are humming all across the roadways of Illinois. This, of course, means that it is also accident season. The Chicago Tribune recently reported the death of the co-founder of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run, which was caused by a severe motorcycle crash in Grundy County, Illinois. Yesterday in DeKalb, Illinois, two people were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash. USA Today reports that boxing champion Paul Williams has been paralyzed due to a recent motorcycling accident.

These are just a few of the many examples that characterize the potential dangers inherent in driving. Such dangers are exacerbated as motorcycle ridership increases in the summer time. Additionally, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently cautioned military members to use extreme caution when riding, claiming that, “Highway fatalities, particularly from motorcycle accidents, make up the majority of summertime deaths.”

In other blog posts, our Chicago car accident lawyers have analyzed the statistics and have reaffirmed this trend. Motorcycle fatalities and accidents have both been on the rise, and the importance of motorcycle safety is becoming more important than ever. Why is this the case? Motorcycles are generally much smaller than most cars, and often many drivers to not see them on the road until it is too late. Often times a negligent driver is on the cell phone, or is in a condition unsuitable for the road, and merges without adequately checking his or her surroundings.

Furthermore, motorcycles riders are also much less protected than someone who is driving a car or truck. Motorcyclists should take extra precautions, i.e. wear a helmet and thick clothing, such as a leather jacket. However, many do not and are often left unprotected.

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June 4, 2012

Legislation Could Curtail Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Illinois House of Representatives has passed a new law aimed at reducing the risk of auto accidents. The law would institute a ban on the use of cell phones within a 500-foot proximity of auto accidents. As our Chicago car accident lawyers understand it, the ban would also apply to the use of other mobile devices such as laptops, but not to the use of navigation systems. There are also exceptions to the ban, including the legal use of cell phones when pulled over on the shoulder of the road and when in park or neutral due to obstructions in traffic.

The bill passed the House by a wide margin, but it was not without criticism. Opponents of the law believe that the law is an instance of severe overregulation. The proponents, conversely, view the regulation as a necessary means to reduce the risks associated with driving.

Many accident lawyers, as well as our very own Chicago car accident attorneys, have noted the increase in laws targeted at cell phone use while driving. Preceding Illinois automotive laws dealing with the use of cell phones have banned the use of such devices in school and construction zones. Additional Illinois laws have banned text messaging while driving. In a previous post in our Chicago car accident lawyer blog, our attorneys discussed the potential complications of determining the scope and proper enforcement of such laws.

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May 30, 2012

Two Peoria Men Killed in Route 24 Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, CentralIlinoisProud.com released a news report detailing a tragic Illinois car accident that took the lives of two Peoria men and left one severely injured. Local authorities reveal that the accident in question transpired as an SUV was turning left onto Banner Marsh from westbound Route 24. The SUV failed to yield to a loaded garbage truck and subsequently turned directly in front of the truck.

As a result of the accident, two of the SUV’s passengers – both 31-year-old men – were killed upon impact. The driver of the SUV was rush to OSF with life-threatening injuries. The 52-year-old driver of the garbage truck remained uninjured in the accident. Our Chicago car accident attorneys learned that the accident caused Route 24 to remain closed for several hours late Tuesday evening while local authorities attempted to clean the crash site, as well as, conduct a thorough investigation.

Any Chicago accident lawyer will tell you that a number of different factors contribute to these types of devastating and life-altering motor vehicle accidents. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:

- Driver Distraction
- Driver Fatigue or Impairment
- Adverse Road Conditions
- Vehicle Defects or Failure
- Failure to Adhere to Traffic Laws and Signals

According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 6 million motor vehicle accidents transpire each and every year in the United States. Of that number, approximately 38,000 of those accidents proved fatal, all the while, 2.9 million resulted in personal injury. Additional research conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation further revealed that in Illinois, some of the most common types of fatal motor vehicle accidents include:

- Single-Vehicle Accidents
- Speeding-Related Accidents
- Intersection-Related Accidents
- Rollover Accidents

Each Chicago accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti encourages drivers of all types of motor vehicles to exhibit extreme caution when traveling on our state’s busy roadways. More often than not, when the driver of a motor vehicle operates in a careless or negligent manner, ensuing accidents can cause severe physical injury and trauma, in addition to, substantial financial damage. Some of the most common types of damages that are sustained as a result of a car accident include: medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as, loss of quality of life.

If you have been injured in a car accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, please contact our experienced accident attorneys in Chicago to see what legal rights may be available to you.


May 15, 2012

Weekend Brought Multiple Fatal Accidents in Madison County

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, a Chicago car accident lawyer at our office read a news report posted on TheRepublic.com detailing several fatal accidents that transpired in Madison County over this past weekend.

One of the most prominent accidents occurred early Saturday morning when local authorities discovered an overturned car on the 2200 block of St. Clair Avenue in Granite City. The accident resulted in deaths of all three of the motor vehicle’s occupants. Another vehicle was located at the accident scene and was taken into custody because he was wanted on other charges. However, the driver has not been charged in connection with the fatal crash.

Our Chicago accident lawyer learned that an Illinois State Police accident reconstruction officer is currently in the process of determining how the crash initially occurred. According to a statement released by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, the driver will not face charges until it has been determined that he was involved in the devastating accident that resulted in three fatalities – given that evidence at this time does not support the charges against him and a further investigation is required.

The article reports that this crash was noted as one of the deadliest out of the numerous fatal motor vehicle accidents that transpired in Madison County over the weekend. Our Chicago auto accident attorney learned that the Madison County Coroner screened a total of 31 death reports over the weekend from the hours of 12:01 a.m. Friday all the way through 12:01 Monday. Of the weekend’s 31 deaths, 12 will require an additional investigation in order to determine identifications, establish a cause of death, in addition to, determining whether or not foul play or criminal activity was involved.

Additional accidents that transpired over the weekend include: a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a car in Pontoon Beach, a pedestrian that was struck and killed by a train in Venice, a 45-year-old woman was died after the minivan in which she was traveling in struck two parked cars in Alton early Sunday morning.

When these types of devastating motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents transpire, it is often crucial to obtain legal representation in order to ensure that increasing medical expenses are covered, any lost wages are recovered, in addition to, ensuring that your insurance company will pay for any future treatment for injury sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. If you have been injured in an accident or have lost a loved one, please contact our accident attorneys in Chicago for a free consultation.

May 7, 2012

Chicago’s Most Dangerous Intersections

by Levin & Perconti

All Chicagoans have their own horror stories about the parts of the city and surrounding suburbs that are the worst to travel on. In various locations at various times, certain intersections are always filled with the confusion, veering, honking horns, and angry travelers. Each Chicago car accident lawyer at our firm knows that there are certain locations in the Chicagoland area that pose far higher risks for travelers. It is helpful to be aware of these particularly dangerous locations so that those who frequent the area can be extra cautions to ensure they don’t get caught in an accident.

Last week the Chicago Sun Times published a story that discussed new information from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The story includes a specific list of the twenty worst intersections based on the total number of accident that they have recorded in recent years.


Number One
According to the story, the most dangerous intersection is Stony Island Avenue at South Chicago Avenue. The location, beneath the Chicago Skyway was the site of 63 crashes in 2010—the most recent year for which data is available. Data shows that this particular location is crossed by about 70,000 cars and truck each and every day. It has been called “uninviting” and “challenging for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.”

Our Illinois car accident lawyers know that part of the problem in the past at this particular intersection is that travelers sometimes try to race through the red light. For example, cars traveling south on South Chicago have 11 seconds to cross Stony Island before the light changes. However, in the past many cars sped past the area, even when the light was red. Red-light cameras were installed in the summer of 2007. At that time an average of 34 drivers received a violation every day. That number was apparently down to only three violations a day by the summer of 2010. In that same period the red light cameras were likely responsible for lowering the total number of accidents by 8%. While that is encouraging, the intersection still ranks as the most dangerous in the area.

Part of the problem, say some transportation experts, is that there are many stimuli facing drivers at the same time—from the skyway overhead to the viaduct that causes lanes to shift. This all leads to driver confusion, which itself causes Chicago car accidents.


Number Two
The second most dangerous intersection in the area according to these crash statistics is the ramp from westbound I-80 to La Grange Road in Frankfort. This suburban location was the site of 56 crashes in 2010. One local police sergeant summarized the ramp crashes: “Those accidents are all the same. People stop, and there’s two turning lanes with a sign out there that says no turning out there that says no turn on red except right lane.” Upon seeing the sign the drivers in the right lane stop to look while making a turn. The sudden stopping causes them to be rear-ended.

Please check out the full story to read the complete list of the most dangerous intersections in the Chicagoland area.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Macomb Man Injured in Two-Car Accident

Mayor Emanuel Plans for Speeding Cameras at 79 Intersections in Chicago

April 23, 2012

Western Springs Begins Campaign for Railroad Safety

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, our Chicago auto accident lawyers read a news report detailing a railroad safety initiative that has been implemented by the Western Springs Police Department. According to the article, posted on WesternSprings.Patch.com, the campaign, entitled “Police on Board for Rail Safety” will begin its sixth year commencing May 1. The annual event involves a two-part initiative to promote railroad safety through accident and collision prevention, as well as, avoiding violations. The first part of the event will take place at the Western Springs Train Station where members will hand out train-safety information.

The second part of the initiative will transpire on May 8 when the Western Springs Police Department – along with other local law enforcement agencies – will be “aggressively enforcing” safety laws at the sites of Western Springs’ five vehicle and/or pedestrian crossings. In continuing with last year’s tradition, the Western Springs Police Department will not take punitive action during their enforcement. However, the police department will take the time to educate the local public on railway-safety.

According to the news report, the Western Springs Police Department released a study citing information obtained by the Illinois Commerce Commission in which it was revealed that the state of Illinois sees approximately 80 railroad-related fatalities each and every year. Of that number, our Chicago accident lawyers learned that roughly 50 percent of collisions between motor vehicles and trains occur at marked crossings with warning signals.

Additional statistics provided by the United States Department of Transportation further highlight the severity of collisions between trains and motor vehicles. It has been uncovered that there are approximately 5,800 vehicle-train collisions each year in the United States with a majority of the accidents transpiring at railroad crossings. These tragic accidents cause roughly 600 fatalities and result in approximately 2,300 injuries.

A study conducted by the United States Department of Transportation found that more than 50% of all fatal accidents transpire at railroad crossings that maintain inactive or insufficient safety devices. Supplementary research discovered that during the day time hours, roughly 75% of motor vehicle-train collisions involve the train striking the motor vehicle. All the while, during the night-time hours, approximately 50% of collisions transpire as a result of a car colliding into a train due to an inadequately marking railroad crossing.

With the continued number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle-train collisions, our Chicago car accident lawyers continue to urge drivers of all types of vehicles to operate in a safe and cautious manner to avoid any potential accident resulting in severe personal injury or even premature fatality.

April 22, 2012

Dan Ryan Expressway Collision Results in One Fatality

by Levin & Perconti

ChicagoTribune.com reported earlier today that a 26-year-old man has succumbed to fatal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Our Chicago accident lawyers learned that the vehicle was traveling outbound on Interstate 94 near 47th Street at around 11:00 p.m. According to local authorities, the passenger vehicle was speeding when – for an unknown reason – the vehicle struck the outside wall of the local lanes. As a result, the vehicle crossed traffic and subsequently climbed the embankment at the 47th Street exit and hit a traffic control box – ultimately coming to a stop next to a bridge.

The driver of the motor vehicle fled the crash scene on foot and – as of press time – local authorities have been unable to locate him. One of the passengers in the vehicle died almost instantaneously, all the while, a second passenger in the vehicle required advanced medical attention at an area hospital where he is currently listed in serious-to-critical condition – according to the Chicago Fire Department. The accident caused traffic to remain closed for several hours until roughly around 5 a.m. when all southbound local lanes were re-opened.

Any Chicago car accident attorney will tell you that leaving the scene of the accident almost always results in harsh criminal penalties, as well as, future civil claims. Under current Illinois statute - 625 ILCS 5/11-401, the driver of any vehicle involved in a collision resulting in personal injury or death of any person is required to immediate stop the vehicle and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident. Any person found in non-compliance of this statute may ultimately be found guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Any Chicago accident lawyer will tell you that in the state of Illinois, a Class 4 felony may carry an incarceration term approximately between 1 and 3 years. Additionally, any driver who leaves the scene of the accident may receive a monetary fine of up to $25,000. However, a driver who flees the scene of an accident may also be subject to civil liability. An accident victim may receive compensation for damages incurred if it is proven that the driver acted in a negligent manner during the course of the hit-and-run accident.

Specializing in civil litigation, our experienced accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have continued to fight for the rights of those who have sustained harm or succumbed to premature fatalities in motor vehicle accidents since 1992. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, please contact a Chicago car accident attorney to see what legal rights may be available to you.

April 20, 2012

Macomb Man Injured in Two-Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A 41-year-old Macomb man has sustained severe injury in a two-car motor vehicle accident that transpired earlier this week. According to a news report, posted on McDonoughVoice.com, the accident in question transpired Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of U.S. 67 and County Highway 25. At around 3:45 p.m. the victim was traveling northbound on U.S. 67 as he proceeded to turn west onto County Highway 25 – better known as the East Grant Street Extension.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers learned that as the 41-year-old attempted to make the left hand turn, a SUV driven by a 33-year-old Macomb man rear-ended the victim’s passenger vehicle. The accident caused substantial damage to the victim’s car and ultimately sent the vehicle into a ditch west of U.S. 67. Upon arrival of emergency personnel, it was discovered that the 41-year-old driver was entrapped in his vehicle.

In order to extricate the victim, multiple emergency workers – including fire personnel – worked together in order to remove the 41-year-old from his motor vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the victim was transported to an area hospital where he was subsequently treated and further transferred to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. As of press time, the victim has been listed in fair condition. The 33-year-old driver of the SUV remained unharmed in the accident and has been ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

When the driver of a motor vehicle operates in a negligent manner, for instance -- failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and a subsequent collision ensues resulting in personal injury or premature fatality – the driver may be held liable in a civil court of law. Any Chicago accident lawyer will tell you that the state of Illinois follows a modified comparative fault system when determining negligence.

Under this principle - 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the courts determine the amount of blame to be placed on each party involved and adjust the damages awarded accordingly. Therefore, the injured party in a matter may recover damages only in the event is which he/she is less that 50% at fault of the injury or damages. However, the recovered amount of damages may be reduced by the court in proportion to the degree in which the injured party has been found to be at fault.

Given the complex nature of motor vehicle collisions, our Chicago car accident attorneys cannot stress the importance of seeking legal guidance as soon as possible after your accident. Please contact our experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to help review

April 14, 2012

Illinois Road Repairs Get Early Start by IDOT

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier today, our Chicago accident lawyers read a news report discussing the early start the Illinois Department of Transportation has made on roadway projects due to the early months of warm temperatures. MyJournalCourier.com reports that officials at the Illinois Department have greatly benefited from this year’s warm temperatures and have been also to begin work on roadway projects – such as patchwork and filling potholes – much earlier. However, it was reported that larger projects require a later start date due to contractor’s schedules.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys learned that the Illinois Department of Transportation uses the Proposed Highway Improvement Project to manage roadway projects and construction funds to assign projects on a state or local level. The project, a multi-year plan stretching from 2012 to 2017, has a budget of $11.525 billion for the fiscal year 2012-2013. Additional funding has also come at both the state and local level, with expected funds varying from $132 million at the local level to $1.661 billion at the state level and finally $1.311 billion at the federal level.

With all of the received funding, the Illinois Department of Transportation plans to improve a total of 768 highway miles and 248 bridges between the state and local levels during the fiscal year of 2012. Additionally, around 60 safety and traffic control locations will receives repairmen, including modernizing traffic control signals, as well as, fixing or placing traffic signs. In a statement released by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s spokesperson, it was revealed that bridgework and repairing the current state of highways is a top priority that will consume most of the afforded budget. Additional areas the funding will cover includes repairing interstate highway ramps, adding or widening lanes, in addition to, implementing environmentally friendly travel paths.

Although roadway repair and construction often carries the burden of causing traffic delays, any Chicago car accident lawyer will tell you that the benefits of roadway repair outweigh any negatives. According to a study conducted by the Ohio Sierra Club, improving damaged roadways helps improve roadway safety, create jobs, improve the environment, as well as, help decrease traffic congestion. As a result of these improvements, the overall accident rate will decrease – resulting in fewer collisions resulting in severe injury or even premature fatality.

Our accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are pleased to learn that the Illinois Department of Transportation has implemented such a beneficial program to help repair our busy and congested Illinois roadways and subsequently making our roadways as safer place to travel for all motor vehicles.

April 8, 2012

April Marks Distracted Driving Month

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, MySuburbanLife.com released a news report confirming the month of April as Distracted Driving Month. In light of the emphasis placed on the harms and dangers associated with distracted driving, our Chicago car accident lawyers urge our readers to become more educated on the topic and its increasing epidemic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” More often than not, these distractions endanger the lives of the driver, passengers, surrounding motor vehicles, pedestrians, as well as, bicyclists that may be traveling in close range.

Any Chicago accident lawyer will tell you that some of the most common driver distractions include activities such as: texting, talking on a cellular telephone, reading roadmaps, adjusting the vehicle’s radio, as well as, eating/drinking.

Under current Illinois law, it is illegal for drivers of any age to text while operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, it is also illegal for driver of any type of vehicle to talk on a handheld cellular telephone while traveling through a school zone or a construction zone. Another aspect of Illinois law forbids drivers under the age of 19 from using wireless phones during vehicle travel.

The article points out that teen drivers are more likely than any other age group of drivers to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle collision in which driver distraction plays a prominent role. Recent statistics shows that 40 percent of teens in the United States admitted to being in a motor vehicle where the driver was using their cellular telephone in a manner that could ultimately cause an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Distraction.gov further highlights the dangerous nature of operating a motor vehicle in a distracted manner. Our Chicago auto accident lawyers learned that in 2009. 5,474 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving driver distraction, while an estimated 448,000 were injured in these accidents.

Sending or receiving texts messages also pose a severe danger to driver safety. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds - the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. Additionally, the University of Utah found that using a cell phone while driving – whether it’s hand-held or hands-free delays a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 – the legal limit.

April 5, 2012

Vermilion County Man Faces Felony Charges for Fatal Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A 23-year-old Georgetown man faces felony charges for his role in a fatal 2011 accident – according to a news report posted on Commercial-News.com. The accident in question transpired on November 19 just after 6 p.m. when the driver was traveling east on Mill Road – east of Georgetown. According to local authorities, the vehicle the 23-year-old was driving went out of control, ultimately going into a ditch and hitting a culvert. Subsequently, the vehicle then went airborne and struck the accident victim’s pickup truck almost immediately causing his premature death.

As a result of the tragic accident, both the 23-year-old driver and his front seat passenger were hospitalized for injuries sustained in the accident. Additionally, four children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old who were in the backseat of the defendant’s vehicle required advanced medical attention for their injuries. Our Chicago accident lawyers learned through subsequent police investigation, the driver was under the influence of alcohol as the time of the accident.

During the 23-year-olds arraignment proceedings Tuesday morning, he faces four felony counts, including the most severe – an aggravated DUI charge – a Class 2 felony, which cites it connection to a fatality. The article reports that the Class 2 fatality charge carries a substantial penalty and if the driver is found guilty, the charge is punishable by up to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The other felony charges include Class 4 felonies of: bodily harm to a child, great bodily harm to a child and driving an uninsured motor vehicle.

Our Chicago accident attorneys learned that as part of the 23-year-olds arraignment proceedings early Tuesday morning, he was remanded to the custody of the county’s sheriff’s department in lieu of a $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 12. It has been reported that a civil lawsuit stemming from this devastating collision has been filed by the accident victim’s son. The civil case, filed on January 11, seeks compensation for damages incurred.

Any Chicago car accident attorney will tell you that when drivers of motor vehicles operate in a careless or reckless manner, the outcome is almost always severe and life-altering. When a car accident transpires as a result of negligence on the part of one of the drivers involved, the party sustaining injury may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as, other damages for harm incurred.

If you have been in an Illinois car accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of negligent driver, please contact our experienced accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti to see what legal rights may be available to you.


November 29, 2011

Illinois Rear-End Accident Lawsuit Filed in St. Clair County

by Levin & Perconti

The Madison St. Clair Record reported that an Illinois car accident lawsuit was filed in a case involving a rear-end crash. The article reports that the defendant was “accused of rear-ending several cars while driving in Fairview Heights.” One of the injured victims who was sitting at a red light when the woman hit the car behind him, has filed a lawsuit against the negligent driver, claiming serious personal injuries and asking for over $50,000 in compensation.

Our Chicago rear-end accident lawyers know that these types of accidents are all too common and can lead to very serious injuries. Sites like Driverthink.com and ScienceDaily.com offer some useful tips on how to avoid these types of collisions. Drivers who spend a lot of time in traffic, for commuting to work, travel, etc., are at higher risk for this type of accident. ScienceDaily.com states that in 2006 there were over 1.8 million rear end accidents, and nearly 30% of all injury related car crashes in the United States involve rear-ending. Rear-end accidents are most like to happen when drivers are not paying attention to the car ahead of them, or when the car ahead of them is slowing down and the driver fails to slow down in time. The article states that some technologists are working on creating software that could help create a warning system to tell people to slow down when the car in front of them is slowing down.

DriverThink.com finds two main types of rear-end accidents: the “Dead Stop” and the “Quick Stop”. In the “Dead Stop”, someone is either stopped at a red light or a stop sign, and someone comes from behind and hits them. In the “Quick Stop”, someone suddenly has to make a quick stop, either because of traffic, obstacles in the round or other challenges, and the car behind them can’t slow in time. When a driver does a quick stop, often the driver behind them will not have enough reaction time to stop as well without hitting the car in front of them.

The site offers three basic tips you can use to avoid rear-end accidents such as the one mentioned above. First, always make sure that your brakes and brake lights are working well. Should you need to stop quickly; the lights will help the driver behind you notice your car slowing. Secondly, use the rearview mirror so you know who is driving behind you, and how they are driving. And finally, if someone on the road wants to pass you or is driving aggressively and following your car too closely, move away from him. With someone driving that closely behind you, it is hard to avoid an accident should you make a quick stop or brake.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys have successfully handled many cases in which a negligent driver rear-ended another driver, resulting in serious injury or even death. Most recently, we recovered a $6.5 million settlement for the family of a woman who was killed when the family’s vehicle was rear-ended by a semi truck. She died and her son and husband suffered serious injuries. The truck driver was found to be under the influence of drugs, and was operating an unsafe truck. This case highlights the fact that rear-end accidents can have devastating consequences for victims and their families, and therefore it is crucial to avoid them at all costs. However, if you or a loved one has been involved in this type of accident, please contact us to see how we may be able to help you.



November 6, 2011

Chicago Taxi Accident Injures Two Restaurant Patrons

by Levin & Perconti

Yesterday, our Chicago car accident attorneys read an article in The Chicago Tribune about a taxicab that crashed into a Wicker Park restaurant, injuring a customer. Although the customer suffered minor injuries, it still brings attention to taxi cab driver safety. The taxi driver crashed into numerous windows, and damaged both the outside and the inside of the restaurant. According to the article, after the accident one witness said that the taxicab driver showed no remorse.

In a previous blog post, our Chicago car accident lawyers discussed an article in The Chicago Tribune about taxi driver ticketing in Chicago. A study found that many times, judges dismiss tickets, regardless of if they are for speeding, failing to stop or follow traffic signs, or even pedestrian accidents. We believe that taxi drivers should be held accountable for their actions, and have to pay the price of not following the rules of the road. Because cab driver tickets are so easily dismissed, there is little motivation for cab drivers to follow the rules of the road, and this it creates a dangerous environment for not only drivers, but pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

In order to improve the safety of Chicago streets, we support the City of Chicago’s “three strike program”. The program creates a rule that states if a cab driver has had three or more violations, they can lose their license to chauffeur. We hope that this program will be enforced because it is reported that more than a quarter of all Chicago pedestrian accidents are related to taxis.

If you or someone you know have been injured or even killed in a taxi related accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to receive fair compensation for the harms caused. Taxi accidents are often caused by drivers who speed, text, talk on their cell phones, or disobey traffic signals. An accident of this type can result in serious injuries, and may lead to costly medical bills. It can also disable a victim from being able to go to work for an indefinite period time, or they may never be able to work again. Please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers to see how we may be able to help you.

October 15, 2011

Child Fatality in Illinois Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Last week, the State Journal-Register posted an article about an Illinois car accident involving a drunk driver who crashed his car, killing his daughter,7, who was a passenger. The driver was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, with a bond of $1 million. The driver drove his car off the road, and landed into a ditch with most of the damage occurring in the front part of the car. Although his daughter was sitting in a child seat and had a seat belt on, she died from the impact of the crash. The Illinois State Police are still investigating, but acknowledge that this was the driver’s second DUI and third offense involving alcohol.

According to MADD.com, endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol with them in the car should increase the driver’s punishment, and should be considered as child abuse. Many states do have laws that enhance fines and sentences for drunk drivers found with a child passenger. In Illinois, fines and penalties are worse for a drunk driver who has a passenger under the age of 16-years-old in the car.

The Illinois Statute states that anyone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit and causes an accident that injures a passenger under 16 is guilty of aggravated driving under the influence. The first offense for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a passenger under 16 years of age has an automatic and fixed fine of $1,000. This also results in at least 6 months in jail and several weeks of community service. These laws and regulations are used to protect children passengers who are unable to operate a car or find their own means of transportation.

Our Chicago accident attorneys want our readers to be aware of the dangers associated with driving under the influence. This article highlights the fact that this reckless behavior can not only affect the driver, but their passengers, or other drivers on the road. Injuries to children as a result of DUIs are serious crimes, but are completely preventable. Our Illinois car crash lawyers have successfully handled many cases involving careless drivers, so please contact us to see how we may be able to help you if you were seriously injured in an accident. Taking action can help you receive fair compensation for the harms caused, and also bring awareness to the severity of drunk driving.

September 15, 2011

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Results in Fatality of Child and Grandmother

by Levin & Perconti

Last week, our Chicago car accident lawyers read on ChicagoABCNews’ website about a tragic accident involving two pedestrians in Chicago. A two-year-old and her grandmother were pronounced dead after a van when a van failed to yield and hit them while they were crossing the street at a crosswalk. According to the report,

This incident made us think about a recent Chicago Tribune study surrounding Chicago pedestrian accidents at crosswalks. The study showed that 80% of pedestrian accidents in the City of Chicago happen at intersections, when people are crossing street while the walk signal is lit. In reviewing this statistic, along with others, the City of Chicago has since announced new ideas to address this public safety problem. This includes identifying dangerous intersections where city officials can concentrate law enforcement, identifying how to better engineer the infrastructure of crosswalks, and educating drivers and pedestrians alike. Chicago’s streets are crowded with cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians, so it is important that everyone on the road, regardless of their means of transportation, look out for each other in order to protect their safety, along with others on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that since 1998, pedestrian accidents in crosswalks have steadily increased.

Pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injury and possible fatality, as shown in the accident discussed above. Pedestrians have the right of way at cross walks and drivers are required to yield. Therefore, it is important that drivers avoid distractions in order to focus better on what is occurring on the road. Staying focused allows drivers to better pay attention to signs, traffic lights, others on the road, and better notice smaller vehicles and pedestrians. As we have noted before on our blog, pedestrian accidents can occur in the middle of the intersection at the crosswalk, but also in places that may not be expected, such on the shoulder of the road, or even on the highway. In order to avoid these accidents, drivers should be alert at all times and avoid driving while distracted or intoxicated.

When a driver’s negligence causes others to suffer serious personal injury or death, it is important that victims hold all wrongdoers accountable. This Chicago report did not elaborate on whether or not the victims’ families will take legal action, however there could be a cause of action since the driver failed to yield to the pedestrians. Unfortunately due to these mistakes, a family is now without a grandmother and grandchild.

Our Chicago accident attorneys support the City of Chicago’s initiatives to better protect pedestrians and smaller vehicles from the serious injuries that can occur from automobile-pedestrian or automobile-bicycle accidents. We also encourage drivers to be on the look out for others on the road and remind pedestrians to remain alert to in order to avoid any potential accident. If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one, please contact us to review your case and see how we may be able to help you.

September 13, 2011

Senior Citizen Dies in Fatal Dixon Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, WQAD reported a fatal Dixon Illinois car accident in which an elderly woman was killed whenshe pulled out in front of a truck on a highway on Saturday afternoon. She reportedly stopped at a stop sign and then drove her van into oncoming traffic and was struck on the side by the pickup truck. She was unresponsive at the scene of the accident, and later that evening was pronounced dead. The driver of the truck had a few minor injuries due to the crash.

HelpGuide, a source that helps with health challenges, issued an article that lists safety tips for seniors on the road. Driving abilities slowly deteriorate with age, which brings our attention to driving safety and adjustments that need to be made. Our Chicago accident attorneys encourage senior citizens to reduce certain factors so they can stay safe, and so other drivers on the road can stay safe.

All drivers should understand how aging affects driving. The site states that, “fatal crash rates rise sharply after a driver has reached the age of 70.” Aging results in a loss of strength, coordination, and flexibility, which are all crucial to operating a car safely. Our Illinois car accident attorneys are also aware that elderly people also have a tendency to have neck pain, which can make it hard to check blind spots, leg pain which can make it difficult to use the pedals and loss in arm strength, which can make it difficult to use the steering wheel. Reaction time also slows down, and it can also become more difficult to pay attention to the road, road signs, and other drivers on the road.

Many senior citizens do not realize or identify health issues that can lead to accidents. Some problems that require attention and awareness in order to be corrected include:

• Conflicting Medicine Combinations
• Vision Difficulties
• Hearing Difficulties
• Reflex, Reaction, and Range of Motion Difficulties
• Loss of Memory
• Confusion of Rules of the Road
• Increased Driving Tickets or Citations
• Close-Call Accidents

It is important for families to address these issues in order to maximize safety on the road, including the safety of the driver, and others on the road. Elderly people should take care of their health and use any appropriate driving aids that are necessary. Like everyone on the road, they should drive defensively and pay attention, and most importantly, elderly people should listen to the caring concerns of their family and friends.

Our Illinois accident attorneys encourage all senior citizens to take extra precautions when driving, to pay attention to the road and avoid distractions, and to also look for warning signs of unsafe driving. For any questions, please contact us.

September 12, 2011

$2.9 Million Settlement in Hit and Run Accident Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, PhillyBurbs reported on a settlement for the family of a girl who was killed in a hit and run accident in 2004 while crossing the street. Although the driver was driving intoxicated and on a suspended license, he was not criminally charged with a driving under the influence or hit and run because it was decided that the road were responsible for the crash. The driver pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence for up to six years.

This accident brings up two issues our Illinois accident attorneys see over and over again: hit and runs and drunk driving. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a very serious crime, as serious as causing the accident itself. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit and run accidents make up 15.8% of all pedestrian accidents, and alcohol and drugs play a role in 6%. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you should first call the police if you are able to, then use a camera of any type (even the one on most cell phones) to capture pictures of any damage that may be done in the accident. Next, you should go to the hospital and get examined by a doctor or nurse, not only to avoid possible insurance problems in the future, but also to make sure that you are not seriously injured.

A group dedicated to hit and run awareness, DeadlyRoads, reviews state laws, and serious injuries related to hit and run accidents. Like other states, leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is illegal, and that prosecutors have the authority to go after hit and run drivers. If you cause an accident, the best thing you can do is stay at the scene and help the victims by calling for medical assistance. Investigators have the ability to track down most hit and run drivers, and the punishment will be much worse for you if you flee. In addition to criminal charges, you can also be held accountable in a civil suit.

We were happy to see that this victim’s family was compensated for the careless acts the driver who took her life much too early. Lawsuits such as this help to ensure that justice is served and wrongdoers are held responsible. If you have been a victim in this type of accident, or have lost a loved one due to a negligent driver, please contact us to see how we may be able to help you.

September 9, 2011

Woman Arrested for DUI Dies in Chicago Pedestrian Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune reported a Chicago pedestrian accident involving a woman who was arrested for driving under the influence. Two hours later, she was released and thirty minutes after she was released, the woman was killed on the Eisenhower when a truck hit her while walking near the median . The victim's family questions why the police released her while she might have still been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, instead of keeping her held in custody until she was sober. When looking back on reports, police say that the woman appeared sober and alert when they dropped her off at a nearby gas station. Further investigation continues to determine why the woman was walking by foot on the Eisenhower after being released from the police station.

It is unclear in this case who is to blame, and whether or not the police should have released the woman. It makes our Illinois car accident attorneys question what is the proper protocol for releasing DUI drivers, even if they are able to post bond right away. If the police hadn't released her so close to her arrest, her death may have been avoided.

The story also brings up issues of pedestrian safety. Even though drivers on the highway probably would never expect to see a pedestrian on a roadway such as this, they need to pay close attention and avoid all distractions. In this case, if
the truck had seen the woman walking down the highway, he maybe could have
avoided hitting the walking woman. According to Directgov, "Pedestrians MUST NOT be on motorways or slip roads except in an emergency."

Our Chicago accident attorneys hope that readers take driving under the influence seriously and realize that it can lead not only to arrests, but to dangerous decisions that can lead to personal injury or death. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, a DUI accident, or a distracted driving accident, or have lost a loved one due to another driver's negligence, please contact our Illinois accident attorneys to see how we may be able to help you to receive fair compensation, and also some peace of mind. Lawsuits do not only help to receive monetary compensation, but also bring attention and awareness to the issue at hand. Please contact us to talk about your legal rights and a potential lawsuit.

September 6, 2011

Madison County Car Accident Brings Awareness to Seat Belt Safety

by Levin & Perconti

Yesterday, BND reported an Illinois car accident involving a woman who was driving south on a highway when her vehicle crossed the center line and was hit by a tractor-trailer truck. The victim was pronounced dead at the accident site. It was also reported that the woman was not wearing a seatbelt. There will be further investigation to see if there were alcohol or drugs involved in the accident.

This tragic accident alarms our Illinois car accident attorneys because the victim’s death might have been avoidable if the woman had been wearing a seatbelt. According to BuckleUpIllinois, it is state law that driver and front seat passengers and people under 18 years of ageare required to wear seat belts. It is also the responsibility of drivers who transport children between the ages of 8 and 16 to make sure that the children are properly fastened into a seat belt or other child seating system.

The Illinois Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Evaluation shows that close to 93% of drivers use seatbelts, and close to 92% of passengers do. However, the rate is lower in the City of Chicago and on residential roads. Also, during weekdays, it is shown that people wear their seat belt less. Although majority do wear seatbelts, it is crucial that all drivers and passengers wear a seatbelt because if an accident occurs, it could be life saving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, wearing a belt system reduces risks of serious injury or even death by half when used by the automobile’s driver and front seat passengers.

According to a study by James Madison University, 20% of all drivers will be in some sort of car accident or traffic crash this year. 75% of car crashes fatalities or injuries occur near the driver’s homeand more than 50% of all crashes involving injuries are usually when the driver is operating at a speed under 40 MPH. Knowing all of these statistics, our Illinois car accident attorneys cannot stress the importance of seatbelts enough. Seatbelts are lifesavers, and can seriously reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. Buckling up isn’t only the law, it is evident that it is effective and can help you should you be in a serious car accident.

Our Illinois injury attorneys know that at one point or another, most people will experience a car accident, and the possible devastation it may cause. Wearing a seatbelt can reduce the seriousness of injuries, or even prevent fatalities, when it comes to a car accident. Please buckle up.

August 30, 2011

Lake County Motorcycle Accident Illustrates Importance of Motorcycle Safety

by Levin & Perconti

Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported a Lake County motorcycle accident involving two passengers. A motorcyclist was driving, with his daughter as a passenger, when they hit a car while turning left. The motorcyclist was killed in the accident, and his young daughter was seriously injured.

Motorcycle safety information is not only important for motorcyclists, but also important for all drivers to be aware of how to operate safely when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Although in this accident it sounds like the motorcycle driver was at fault, in many instances motorcycle accidents can happen because drivers may not be able to see motorcycles, especially if their undivided attention is not on the road.

Also, this example highlights the importance of helmet use for motorcyclists. Although motorcyclists are not required under Illinois law to wear them, our Illinois injury attorneys strongly support helmet use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008 in Illinois, there were a total of 121 motorcycle riders killed. Of those 121 riders, only 25% were wearing helmets, and 74% were not. Though helmets cannot protect motorcyclists from all accident related injuries, perhaps if some of these victims had worn helmets, they could have had suffered less serious injuries. The article continues to say, “Helmets are estimate to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders”. Motorcyclists are not protected by a hard exterior, like a car, so they must rely on their helmets and other gear (i.e. goggles, boots, gloves, denim, leather, etc.) for protection.

Another factor in this accident was that the motorcycle was making a left turn. Left turns are always tricky, especially at an intersection with a traffic signal. If a traffic light turns yellow while a driver is waiting in an intersection to turn left, there can certainly be a potential collision if drivers do not yield. The Illinois Rules of the Road claim that over half of all motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. They continue to say that the most common situation in which a motorcycle accident occurs is when an “oncoming automobile makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle.” Drivers should always watch for motorcyclists and other vehicles before turning left. Motorcyclists must follow the rules of the road just like all other drivers, and the Illinois Rules of the Road say that when turning left, always signal and follow traffic signs. The rules also say that motorcyclists should always yield the right-of-way to vehicles currently in an intersection, including checking oncoming traffic, even if it may be your turn to make the turn, in order to avoid an accident.

Continue reading "Lake County Motorcycle Accident Illustrates Importance of Motorcycle Safety " »

August 25, 2011

Reckless Driver Faces Charges in Fatal Naperville Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this week, the NapervilleSun, a Chicago Sun-Times publication, reported on developments surrounding a fatal Illinois car accident. A dentist from Naperville was indicted with two felony counts, both of reckless homicide, for the death of two people, a father and his daughter. The dentist is still in the hospital for injuries he acquired in the accident, but apparently he has a long history of driving charges on his hands. The night of the accident, he was reportedly speeding, crossed the center division, and was driving down the shoulder of the lanes when he drove towards oncoming traffic, striking the father and daughter’s vehicle. The article also continues to say that the Naperville dentist has been charged in previous years with having an open container of alcohol in his car, driving under the influence, and other traffic violations.

Our Illinois injury attorneys encourage all drivers to take all traffic violations seriously, and to acknowledge past mistakes in order to prevent them from occurring again. The reports do not indicate whether the driver was operating on a suspended license from his previous driver, but in some cases even a suspension will not stop someone who has no regard for his/her safety or the safety of others. In Illinois, first time DUI offenders must have a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed if they want to regain driving privileges and this device must be used for six months. However, this terrible accident came six months to the day after his previous DUI arrest on February 6.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also always preventable, and when paired driving recklessly, it is a recipe for disaster. It is crucial to stay focused on other drivers on the road to protect yourself, but victims are often powerless. If this driver had followed the rules of the road and not operated his vehicle under the influence, it is possible that this tragic fatal accident could have been avoided.

If you have been injured due to a negligent driver, or have lost a loved one, you may be able to receive fair compensation and peace of mind for your loss. When you are involved in a crash like this, it is likely that there will be expensive medical fees including doctor’s appointments, medication, surgeries, hospital costs, and other expenses. These costs can add up quickly and become a heavy burden while also in the midst of recovering emotionally and psychologically from the damages a car accident of this sort can leave behind. Please contact our Illinois car accident attorneys to see how we may be able to help you.

August 4, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Warn Against Driving Drowsy

by Levin & Perconti

According to KFVSNews, a young man who was driving at 5:45 a.m. caused a recent car accident. According to the report, the man had fallen asleep at the wheel, and while no other cars were involved, the car operator veered off of the road, hitting a mailbox and ultimately hitting a tree. Although the man was wearing a seatbelt, and no major injuries occurred, this incident highlights the fact that driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and has the potential to cause severe, even fatal, Illinois car accidents.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) breaks down the hard facts of driving drowsy, saying that driving drowsy or sleepy can slow the operator’s reaction time, lower awareness and focus, weaken judgment and can potentially cause a serious accident. The NSF cautions that it is difficult for officials to identify driving drowsy because there is no Breathalyzer or blood test that can be used to confirm that sleepiness was a factor in an accident. However, the NSF reports “several states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving if they have not had adequate sleep”.

NSF testimony tells the story of a family who was driving to dinner at a restaurant. On the way to the restaurant, a young driver who had not slept in over a day collided with the family’s vehicle. A young boy, one of his sisters, and his mother all passed away in the accident, leaving one sister surviving, without a family. This car accident resulted in the wrongful death of three people, and could have been avoided if the driver would have waited to be more rested to operate the vehicle.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys advise all drivers to make sure that you are well rested and focused when operating any motor vehicle.

What can you do to reduce the risk of injuring yourself or others?

• Get sufficient sleep…caffeine will not cut it
• Do not drink alcohol before you drive, especially if you feel fatigued
• Try to avoid driving late at night
• Make frequent stops on long trips
• Get a ride from an alert friend or family member

Driving drowsy can lead to fatalities, pedestrian injuries, or result in the operator of the vehicle themselves suffering severe injuries. If you have been a victim of a car accident of this nature, or have lost a loved one because someone else fell asleep behind the wheel, please contact us as we may be able to help you seek compensation for your loss or injuries.

August 3, 2011

Fatality in Montgomery County Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

KSDK reported on a recent Illinois accident in which a young woman was killed while riding on the back seat of a motorcycle with a friend when their motorcycle struck another motorcycle that was making a U-Turn. Both drivers involved in the accident were injured, and the female passenger died from a serious brain injury. None of them had been wearing helmets according to The State Journal-Register. KSDK says that the investigation of the accident continues, and there are possible charges.

Although the state of Illinois does not have laws that require riders to wear helmets, our Illinois accident attorneys always encourage the use of helmets to riders, in order to reduce the risk of serious brain injury. When reviewing motorcycle helmet use in 2010 overall, the National Highway Safety Administration showed the use of motorcycle helmets nationally dropped by 13%, a significant amount. In the Midwest alone, motorcycle helmet use has dropped almost 24%. Twenty-one states to date (including the District of Columbia) have laws requiring motorists to wear helmets, however, Illinois is not one of them.

An issue that could play a role in this fatal motorcycle was that the woman’s fellow biker made a U-Turn, causing this accident. According to a report prepared by CTC & Associates for The Bureau of Highway Operations, Illinois driving laws that limit U-Turns state, “The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic”. We do not know all of the circumstances surrounding the accident, but the other motorcycle driver may have performed an unsafe U-Turn.

We always encourage the use of safe driving practices for motorcyclists because they are especially vulnerable due to the lack protection these vehicles provide. The investigation in the motorists’ accident continues, but if it is found that either of the motorcycle drivers operated their bikes negligently, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for their loss.

Continue reading "Fatality in Montgomery County Motorcycle Accident " »

August 2, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Discuss Issues with Uninsured Driving

by Levin & Perconti

Commercial-News recently reported on the current state of drivers on the road, if they are insured or not. The article states that about one in every seven drivers on the road is uninsured, almost 15% of Illinois vehicle operators. The article continues on about how every driver will most likely be in a car accident at one point or another throughout their lifetime. However, what happens when the drivers involved are uninsured?

Due to the recent recession, the amount of uninsured vehicle operators has increased, the article states. The result of driving uninsured is forcing drivers who are covered by insurance to pay for the injuries and costs created by those who drive uninsured. Illinois has enforced a required insurance law, but just because the law exists, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all drivers in the state of Illinois are insured.

A State Farm Insurance representative suggests that when involved in an Illinois car accident with a driver who is uninsured, you should first ask them if they have insurance. Next you should call the police and file a police report. Make sure to also collect the other driver’s complete contact information including their name, address, phone number, and information about their vehicle, such as the make, model and license plate number. The Illinois Secretary of State office directs the victim of an uninsured crash to send in an Illinois Crash Report to the Illinois Department of Transportation Accident Report Office.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys encourage all drivers to have insurance, and to carry an insurance card in their vehicle at all times. Our Chicago accident lawyers have handled many cases involving victims of uninsured car accidents. In a recent car accident case, Steven Levin represented a pedestrian who was struck by a driver who happened to be an agent of an insurance company. The driver did not have enough insurance on his own policy to compensate the cost of the pedestrian’s injuries. A fellow attorney commenting on the case added, “You would assume that an insurance agent would understand the importance of carrying a sufficient amount of insurance.”

Continue reading "Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Discuss Issues with Uninsured Driving" »

July 31, 2011

Driving Under the Influence Results in Illinois Car Accident and Leaves One Dead

by Levin & Perconti

CarmiTimes recently reported about an Illinois car accident involving a drunk driver. A seven-year-old pedestrian was involved in the Lawrence County car accident. The driver, who was intoxicated and later charged with driving under the influence, had hit the child while he was on his bicycle, and the bicycle accidently went into the traffic lane. The accident lead to a pedestrian fatality of the seven-year-old child. The negligent driver involved in the Illinois car accident was not only charged with an aggravated driving under the influence, but also endangering the life of a child, failure to slow down in order to avoid an accident, and inability of driver to exercise due care, the CarmiTimes stated. The driver is in the custody of the county and currently in jail. The Illinois State Police, along with the county’s sheriff’s department are cooperating together to further investigate the Illinois car accident.

According to Illinois Drunk Driving Statistics in 2008, 35% of all traffic fatalities involved driving under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving is completely avoidable and preventable.

People who are injured in car accidents, including those involving driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, can potentially file lawsuits against the negligent driver. The cases may include wrongful death, personal injury, or pedestrian accidents. The victims or loved ones of the persons involved in these cases may have to deal with grief, expensive medical bills, doctor’s appointments and surgeries that can become unbearable and costly. Filing a lawsuit may result in compensation for their lost wages. Furthermore our Illinois injury attorneys have handled many cases of this nature successfully, and may be able to help a victim or the victim’s family members obtain justice and help them grieve.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers continue to draw attention to the severity and possible consequences that drunk driving results in. Too prevent these accidents, involving intoxicated drivers, we strongly support the message that no one should ever operate a motor vehicle while they have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

July 29, 2011

Pedestrian Fatality and Injuries in Lake Zurich Hit and Run

by Levin & Perconti

The Daily Herald recently reported a disastrous hit and run accident that occurred in Lake Zurich. The Illinois car accident seriously injured two teenage pedestrians, and led to a fatality of a young Lake Zurich woman. The three teenage pedestrians were struck from behind by the automobile while walking on the shoulder of a local street, across from the village’s high school. The motor vehicle has yet to be found, however police continue searching for leads related to the accident.

After the tragic wrongful death accident, the Village of Lake Zurich has begun discussing ways to avoid these accidents in the future. Due to the location of the school, many kids are often on the same street where the accident had occurred, a street that has no sidewalks. In addition to the traffic light at the entrance of the school, which will be installed in 2013, the village continues to consider new ideas to prevent this type of accident from repeating itself.

Pedestrian automobile accidents are extremely serious and not to be taken lightly. Although it is important that the village take action to prevent these types of accidents in general, it is dually important that drivers on the road do their job to prevent these types of accidents as well. Often these accidents are a result of distracted driving where the operator of the car is not focused on the road. In any type of accident, it is unlawful for the operator of one or any of the participating vehicles to flee the scene.

Our Chicago accident lawyers know that the majority of families associated with accidents of this nature feel unease and unrest. Families of the pedestrians injured or killed most likely deal with an immense amount of grief, and their lives are altered by the current physical state of their loved ones. Medical attention, necessary surgeries, and physical rehabilitation can be necessary and costly for the families. Families of wrongful deaths can feel an unbearable weight, and while legal action in wrongful death accidents will not alter the past, it can help bring peace of mind and justice.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Fatality and Injuries in Lake Zurich Hit and Run" »

July 28, 2011

Injured Victims File Lawsuit in St. Clair County Crash

by Levin & Perconti

A husband and wife who were both injured in a crash have filed an accident lawsuit in St. Clair County. According to the Madison-St. Clair Record, the couple sustained serious personal injuries when another driver rear-ended them while their vehicle was stopped at an intersection. An Illinois car accident lawyer filed the complaint on their behalf, asking for over $100,000 in damages to compensate the victims for lost wages and medical bills.

According to the report, the accident was a result of the defendant driver’s failure to stop at the intersection or obey the red light. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers frequently read about and represent clients in similar cases. In Illinois, any driver operating a car, truck, bicycle or any other type of vehicle must use reasonable care when operating their vehicle and strictly follow all signs, lights, and road markings accordingly. Lawsuits are often filed in cases where drivers run stoplights or stop signs, or travel in the wrong direction. This can happen for many reasons, but often it’s a result of:

• Distracted driving
• Drowsy driving
• Text-messaging or talking on the phone
• Intoxication

No matter the circumstances, anytime a driver fails to operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care and another person is injured or killed, the negligent party should be ordered to compensate the victim for damages.

Some car accidents may result in property damage. However, we typically handle cases where someone has suffered significant injury, disability or death in a crash. Along with the injury itself, these accidents can have long-term consequences on the victim and his or her family. For instance, if someone is seriously injured, they must undergo a significant amount of medical care and treatment. Doctor visits, medications, hospital stays, therapy and so forth can quickly add up, leaving the victim or family with thousands of dollars in medical bills. A car accident victim’s recovery can take months or years, and even then the victim may be faced with permanent disabilities. Additionally, when someone is severely injured, they might not be able to work or earn wages. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits cannot change what happened, but they can help victims receive compensation while holding wrongdoers responsible.

Continue reading "Injured Victims File Lawsuit in St. Clair County Crash" »

July 26, 2011

One Dead and Three Injured in Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Recently, the Belleville News Democrat reported on a tragic Illinois car accident that seriously injured three individuals and resulted in the fatality of a Madison County woman. The single car accident occurred near the intersection of Interstate 255 and 270. Reports state that the car began drifting off to the right side of the road when the driver tried to overcorrect it – ultimately causing the car to cross both lanes of traffic. The car struck the guardrail causing the vehicle to flip and roll over numerous times. One of the passengers was partially ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. The other three individuals sustained severe injuries and were transported to the nearby hospital. While the accident is still under investigation, it was affirmed that two of the passengers were not wearing their seatbelts.

An Illinois car accident can prove to be serious and life threatening, especially if the driver or passenger is not wearing their safety belt. Even though seatbelt use is seemingly on the rise, due to rigorously enforcement programs – like Illinois’s “click it or ticket,” many injuries and fatalities continue to result from failure to buckle up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that individuals ages 18-34 are far less likely to wear a seatbelt, even though seat belts reduce serious injuries and fatalities by 50%. It is highly recommended that everyone (drivers and passengers alike) buckle up, even if you are just going on a short trip.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys strongly advocate for safe driving practices. This includes buckling up every time you are in a vehicle, refraining from cell phone use during vehicle operation, never drinking and driving, in addition to, always paying attention to traffic. Too many lives have been lost due to unsafe or careless driving. If you or someone who know has been seriously injured in a car accident at the hands of a negligent or careless driver, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages you have incurred.

July 21, 2011

Illinois Accident Lawyer Files Suit On Behalf of Injured Victim

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois car accident lawyer has filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County on behalf of a woman who was injured in a crash causing by an alleged drunk driver. According to a report in the Madison St. Clair Record, the woman suffered a number of injuries in the crash. She is seeking over $50,000 in compensation for medical bills, her inability to work at her job and pain and suffering.

The report states that the car accident in Shiloh, Illinois occurred when the defendant driver failed to yield and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant failed to maintain a safe distance between vehicles, did not keep a proper lookout, was speeding and failed to lower his speed. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the negligent driver was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers hear reports daily of people who have been injured or die as a result of another driver’s carelessness. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s 2011 DUI Fact Book, in 2009 over 45,900 DUI arrests were made, but unfortunately 309 people were killed by a drunk driver. Additionally, the fact book notes that DUI accident deaths account for 36% of all accident fatalities in Illinois. With statistics like these, we feel that it is important to continue to raise awareness surrounding the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.

We have represented a number of individuals who have been seriously injured and families who have lost loved ones in alcohol-related car and truck accidents. Most recently, we filed a Chicago personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a man who was run down by an intoxicated city worker while standing on a sidewalk. Last year, we recovered a $6.5 million settlement for a family who lost a 32-year-old wife and mother when a semi-truck driver crashed into their vehicle. The truck driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash and was in possession of drug paraphernalia.

In both cases, our clients injuries and losses could have been prevented had the defendants not made the reckless decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Although an Illinois accident lawsuit will never make up for the loss of a loved one or someone’s life-changing injuries, these types of legal actions can ensure that wrongdoers are held responsible for their reckless conduct.

July 18, 2011

Report Examines Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago and throughout Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys recently read with interest a report titled Dangerous by Design released by Transportation for America. The report ranks Illinois the 27th most dangerous state in the U.S., and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area 38th most dangerous in the U.S. for pedestrians. The report highlights the growing issues surrounding pedestrian accidents throughout the country, noting that although pedestrian deaths account for 12% of traffic-related deaths, little has been done to increase pedestrian safety.

The report calls for more attention to the problems and funding increases to create safer roadways for pedestrians. This funding could be used to improve our nation’s sidewalks, trails and crosswalks to create a safer environment for people on foot. The full report can be viewed on Transportation for America’s website.

Far too often, we do not consider the dangers that surround us as we walk to our homes, work, and for entertainment purposes. However, throughout our practice, our Chicago personal injury lawyers have represented a number of injured victims and the families of people who have been wrongfully killed in Illinois pedestrian accidents.

Like other traffic-related accidents, pedestrian accidents can occur under many different circumstances. Sometimes it is a driver who is at fault. In other instances, the pedestrian themself is to blame for disobeying or ignoring traffic signals or due to distractions such as iPods and cell phones. When a driver is responsible for a pedestrian's injuries or death, the victim or his or her family can file a pedestrian accident lawsuit to recover damages and hold all wrongdoers accountable.

Since 1992, we have helped a number of individuals and families in pedestrian accident cases. Most recently, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of a young man who was severely injured while standing on a sidewalk in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. He was hit by a City of Chicago worker who was driving under the influence of alcohol.

We have recovered a number of million dollar settlements in pedestrian accident lawsuits, including a $10 million settlement for a young boy who lost his leg and half his pelvis when he was run over by a City of Chicago Fire Department truck, a $1.25 million pedestrian accident settlement for a 50-year-old hit by a bus at a crosswalk, a $1.25 million pedestrian accident settlement for a woman who was struck and required a right leg amputation, and a $900,000 settlement for a pedestrian with disabilities who was struck suffered leg fractures when he was hit by a truck.

We support Transportation for America’s mission to push for safer environments for pedestrians and hope that the organization’s efforts will help to reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed in pedestrian accidents in Illinois and throughout the country.

July 6, 2011

Chicagoland Teen Injured in “Car Surfing” Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Most are aware that Illinois car accidents are the leading cause of death for our youngest community members—particularly teens. Lack of experience, failure to appreciate risks, and reckless conduct makes teen drivers much more likely to get caught up in often deadly accident. Many teens and young drivers simply engage in conduct that is clearly unsafe, assuming that they will not fall victim to the risks. For example, this weekend the Daily Herald reported on a young man who was rushed to the hospital in critical condition following a car surfing stunt.

Shortly before midnight on Saturday the man was in the parking lot of a Walmart with friends when he began riding the rooftops of a vehicles. All told several area residents and at least three cars were being used in the parking lot for this “surfing” activity.

Police indicate that the man was riding on the exterior trunk and roof of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala that his friend was driving. The driver began swerving and making reckless maneuvers in an effort to throw the man from the roof. In addition, the car was darting in and around the other vehicles that were being similarly driven by the group. Eventually the young man was thrown from the vehicle, hitting his head on the pavement and suffering serious injury. He was rushed to local hospital where he remains in critical condition.

A police officer who responded to the scene noted that “what someone sees someone do in a movie or riding on a car at some acrobatic event, it’s not only not appropriate, it’s unsafe. The human body can’t withstand contact in a violent way with automobiles, concrete, or asphalt.”

Continue reading "Chicagoland Teen Injured in “Car Surfing” Accident" »

July 2, 2011

Deadly Illinois Motorcycle Accident Caused By Negligent Car Driver

by Levin & Perconti

A sad example of the drastic consequences of even minor driving mistakes was reported in the Chicago Tribune this week. A 24-year old Illinois man was killed after his motorcycle collided with an SUV in Island Lake.

The Illinois motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Route 176 and Hale Lane around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. It seems that the victim was traveling on Route 176 just as an SUV driver was on the same road but headed in the opposite direction. The SUV attempted to make a left turn onto Hale Lane, but he did so directly in front of the motorcyclist. The bike rider had had the right of way. As a result, the motorcycle collided with the car at near full speed.

As often happens in these types of accidents the bike rider suffered serious head and chest injuries. He was rushed to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The negligent SUV driver was cited for failure to yield.

Even seemingly brief moments of driving error can have fatal consequences—like failing to properly account for other travelers while making a turn. Even though it seems like a routine activity, the stakes are always high when one is behind the wheel. Appropriate care and caution respecting the risks are therefore a necessity.

Continue reading "Deadly Illinois Motorcycle Accident Caused By Negligent Car Driver" »

June 29, 2011

Illinois Construction Zone Accident on I-290 Injures Three

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Tribune reported this week on an Illinois car accident on Interstate 290 that injured three individuals, including two construction workers. The construction zone accident occurred shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday in the westbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway.

Police report that a 32-year old man was traveling on the highway near Route 83 in Addison when he suddenly drove onto the left side shoulder of the road in the middle of a construction zone. As a result, his minivan slammed into an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) truck and then spun around before hitting a second IDOT truck.

The minivan driver had to be extricated from the vehicle. The man was flown to a nearby hospital in serious condition. Two construction workers were also injured, though none of their injuries appeared life-threatening. Citations against the negligent driver were pending.

This accident reveals that very reason that traffic laws are different in construction zones. The lives of IDOT workers are on the line when drivers fail to use proper caution in these areas. Drivers who flaunt work zone speed limits are usually hit with substantial fines, beginning at $375 dollars. Repeat offenders are subject to a $1,000 fine and loss of license for 90 days. Anyone who hits a worker in one of these areas is subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 14 years in prison for their conduct.

The Illinois State Police Director explained that “As the work zone season is well underway, we want to remind motorists the importance of slowing down and staying alert when workers are present.”

Continue reading "Illinois Construction Zone Accident on I-290 Injures Three" »

June 25, 2011

Illinois Car Crash Kills Two and Injures Four

by Levin & Perconti

The State-Journal Register reported today on a tragic Illinois car accident that killed two and injured four.

The two-vehicle accident struck in southern Illinois about five miles north of Greenfield in Green County, Illinois. Police reports indicate that a Chrysler Town & Country van was headed southbound on Illinois 267 when the driver lost control of the van on the wet pavement. The out-of-control van eventually crossed the center line and collided with another van headed in the opposite direction.

The first van was struck on the front of the passenger side of the vehicle. The impact sent the errant van back into the southbound lanes before flipping over. The second van was forced off the road in the collision, eventually sliding down an embankment and coming to rest against a tree.

The driver and passenger in the van that slipped on the pavement were killed. Two children in the backseat were severely injured. The driver and a passenger in the second van were also seriously injured but are expected to survive.

Drifting across lanes on roadways such as this remains a problem. When traffic heading in opposite directions at high speeds is separated by nothing more than a painted line on the road, there is a real risk of dangerous collisions.

Continue reading "Illinois Car Crash Kills Two and Injures Four" »

June 23, 2011

Chicago Car Accident on Dan Ryan Kills Area Man

by Levin & Perconti

A deadly Illinois car accident struck on a local highway early this morning according to reports in the Chicago Tribune. Police explain that the car accident occurred shortly after midnight in the southbound local lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway.

A 34-year-old local driver was in the stretch of highway near the 63rd Street exit when he attempted to change from the far left lane to the far right. While doing so, he misjudged the speed of a car in front of him and rear-ended the vehicle. The collision sent both cars into a nearby guardrail.

Unfortunately, the driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. He suffered devastating injuries in the collision and was rushed to a local hospital. However, there was nothing that medical professionals could do, and he was pronounced dead a few minutes after arrival.

This latest Chicago car accident reveals the importance of keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. This common sense tip is even more important when it comes to traveling on the highway. Higher speeds mean that it takes more time and more distance for vehicles to slow down and come to complete stops. There is nothing that can be done to change the rules of physics. It is vital to plan ahead in case the vehicle in front of you stops without warning. The only way to do that is to give yourself enough room to bring your vehicle to a complete stop in time.

Continue reading "Chicago Car Accident on Dan Ryan Kills Area Man" »

June 21, 2011

Suburban Mother & Daughter Injured in Bus Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The Southtown Star reported today on a Chicagoland car accident involving a car and a Pace bus. Details remain sketchy at this point, but it was confirmed that the driver of the car and a young child passenger were both taken to a local hospital with injuries following the car accident.

It seems that the car with the mother and child somehow rear-ended the Pace bus in Orland Park at the corner of 159th Street and 91st Avenue. Pace is the company that operates the suburban bus system network. Police have not confirmed what caused the collision, whether it was the negligence of the bus driver or some mistake made by the car driver. Fortunately, none of the ten Pace passengers was injured. Police report that the young child was not strapped into a car seat at the time, even though a seat was present in the car.

There is a reason why state lawmakers have passed legislation requiring seat-belt use for all drivers and passengers, with particular emphasis on the adequate restraint of children. Seatbelts are quite frequently the difference between walking away from an accident and suffering severe injury or death. Even when one is in a car for a short time, there is no excuse for not buckling up. That rule is even more apparent when it comes to mandating the proper use of child-safety restraints every time without exception.

Continue reading "Suburban Mother & Daughter Injured in Bus Accident" »

June 19, 2011

Police Enforce Road Rules for Bicyclists

by Levin & Perconti

Last week Chicagoist published a post on the increased enforcement of traffic laws against bicyclists. We have often reported on the need for cars to recognize bikes as legitimate travelers on our city’s streets. However, at the same time, it is vital that all bicyclists understand that their treatment must be mirrored by proper adherence to all traffic laws. Far too often area bicyclists are running red lights, peddling in crosswalks, and committing other violations of basic road rules leading to a Chicago bike accident.

Many area travelers know that an antagonism often exists between drivers and bicyclists. Each side often assumes that the other is unfairly using the roadways while failing to travel safely. The misunderstandings often lead to risky behavior by both drivers and cyclists, resulting in increased accidents.

Decreasing the amount of Illinois bicycle accidents requires a two-part approach. On one hand, all travelers must be made aware of the laws. For example, drivers must understand that they are required to give bicyclists enough room to travel and must look before opening their doors while parked. Similarly, bicyclist must know rules like their requirement to travel as far to the right as possible and walk their bikes in crosswalks.

Once the rules are understood, proper enforcement must be conducted to ensure that all travelers actually follow those known rules. In many cases, drivers and bicyclists know well what the rules are but are intentionally violating them—like when bicyclists drive through red lights or stop signs.

It is only by focusing on both elements will our streets be as safe as possible for the co-existence of bicycles and cars.

Continue reading "Police Enforce Road Rules for Bicyclists" »

June 15, 2011

Fatal Illinois Car Accidents Increase For Teens in the Summer

by Levin & Perconti

For most area teen age groups the number one cause of accidental death involves Illinois car accidents. Most parents know that the first few years after acquiring a driver’s license represent the riskiest period for new drivers. Many may not be aware, however, that the summer is actually the deadliest time of year for those young drivers.

The LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch reported late last week on a new AAA report which revealed that far more fatal teen driving crashes occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day than at any other time throughout the year. An average of 422 teen drivers are killed during each month in the summer. In the past five years, more than 7,300 teenage drivers have died across the country in the summer months alone.

The head of the Chicago AAA explained the danger, noting that “Parents should not underestimate the critical role they play in keeping their teens safe, especially during these high-risk months. Life feels more care-free when school’s out and teens have more opportunities to drive or ride care late at night with other teens—a deadly mix.”

Area advocates urge local parents to encourage road safety in their teen drivers. This may include limits on driving for unnecessary reasons and limits on the number of other friends that can be in the car at one time. In addition, night driving increases the chance of getting caught in a deadly accident, so that may be cut down upon if necessary.

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June 13, 2011

One Killed & A Dozen Injured in Three Weekend Chicago Car Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

WGN TV reported this weekend on a tragic string of Chicago car accidents that injured more than a dozen and killed one suburban teen. According to reports, a 17-year old girl from Orland Park was killed when her car slammed into a pole at the intersection of 135th Street and 88th Avenue. Another teenage girl in the car with her at the time was injured.

Separately, a car accident in the Little Village neighborhood injured seven area residents. That crash struck on the 3300 block of South Kedzie. A smaller car and a pick-up truck collided, sending several passengers who were not wearing seat-belts out of the car. Apparently five of the victims (including one child) were sent to the hospital n critical condition while two others were in good condition.

Around the same time an accident in the Austin neighborhood sent another seven victims to area hospitals. Two vehicles collided in that crash as well, which struck at the intersection of North Cicero Avenue and West End Avenue. Seven people were injured in that accident, including four who were listed in critical condition.

All told the three crashes have left fifteen people injured and one dead—a tragic single evening. As many readers may likely note, weekend crashes are all-too-common. With many community members traveling away from their homes for various activities, the possibility of becoming ensnared in a traffic accident increases. Of course the risk is exponentially compounded when substances like alcohol are in the mix, something that also happens much more frequently on weekend evenings.

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June 11, 2011

New City Ordinance Proposed In Response to Gold Coast Road Accident

by Levin & Perconti

On Monday, our Chicago accident attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of one of the victims of the high-profile Gold Coast pedestrian accident. Our client, Stephen Dewart, was one of eight people who were severely injured by a City of Chicago employee when he accidentally drove a city owned Streets and Sanitation truck off of the road and onto a sidewalk in the Gold Coast on Rush Street.

Authorities investigating the matter soon discovered that the city employee was drunk when the accident occurred. His blood alcohol level was well over the legal limit, and investigators also found an open bottle and brandy in the city truck.

Upon hearing news of the crash and injured residents, many community members were understandably upset. How could such egregious conduct have been possible by a city employee? After filing the suit for one of the victims our Chicago car accident attorney Steve Levin explained that the lawsuit will hopefully, “prompt the City to create more effective drug and alcohol screening processes for employees, especially those operating large vehicles and heavy machinery.”

That may in fact be exactly what happens, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The publication explained how two powerful city officials –Aldermen Edward Burke and Pat O’Connor—proposed on Wednesday a new ordinance which would require all city employees to be open to random drug and alcohol testing. Under current rules only police officers, firefighters, and commercial drivers are subject to these random drug tests.

As the officials explained, the goal of the changes would be to minimize the overall number of errors in judgment by city officials which far too often lead to harm to innocent community members, just like what happened in the Gold Cast tragedy.

Besides potentially saving lives the aldermen also explained how the new rules may also limit the total number of workers compensation claims filed by city employees for injuries on the job. To prove the point, statistics were highlighted from the National Institute of Drug Abuse which revealed that abusers of drugs and alcohol were five times more likely to file worker’s compensation claims than non-abusers.

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June 10, 2011

Passenger Injured in Illinois Car Accident after Driver Falls Asleep

by Levin & Perconti

An 18 year old woman is left in critical condition after an Illinois car accident early Monday morning, according to WGN-TV.com. At around 12:30 a.m. the 21 year old male driver fell asleep behind the wheel on I-57 near Robbins, Illinois, ultimately sending the vehicle off the road – striking both a tree and high voltage equipment. While the driver did not sustain any injuries, the female passenger was airlifted to a local hospital. There is still no word on her condition, although it is confirmed that alcohol did not play a role in the accident.

Unfortunately, “drowsy driving” is not an uncommon occurrence. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 Sleep in America pool, about 28% of Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving within the past year, in addition, more than half confirmed that they had driven while drowsy. Additionally, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year. It has been established that drivers all of ages, ranging from 16-59, are negatively affected from drowsy driving.

According to Chicago accident lawyer Steven Levin, “Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you feel tired, you should pull off the road and rest, or have someone else drive.” DrowsyDriving.org also provides more helpful tips to prevent accidents, such as this one, from happening in the first place. To avoid driving drowsy; drivers should get an adequate night’s sleep before travel, avoid driving long distances alone, take a break ever 100 miles or 2 hours, avoid medications that cause a drowsy side-effects, and lastly consume caffeine to stay alert.

With more people travelling during the summer months, it is important to remind family and friends of the risks associated with drowsy driving. We urge our readers to avoid this dangerous practice and help raise awareness.

June 9, 2011

Infant Dies Following Apparent Maywood Road Rage Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Last month we reported on the strange Chicagoland car accident that was reportedly caused by one driver who experienced a bout of road rage. It was explained how two brothers were killed in the Maywood car accident and several other were severely injured. Unfortunately, MyFox Chicago News is now reporting that an infant girl who was severely injured in that crash has passed away.

According to police reports the crash may have been caused by road rage or some form of “confrontation.” It was reported how the vehicle that caused the accident may have begun driving erratically after some sort of incident with a third vehicle. For reasons that can only be speculated, a Toyota began speeding and traveling in the wrong direction in the northbound lanes of 9th Avenue. While headed the wrong way down the street the vehicle collided head-on with a Nissan. In the Nissan were a young mother and father and their 5-week old infant. The impact was expectedly severe—the collision sent the Toyota airborne.

The two men in the Toyota, brothers, were pronounced dead at the scene, while all the others involved were severely injured, including the infant. Tragically, after fighting to stay alive since the accident, the 5-week old girl died on Sunday. Doctors initially thought that the girl would survive, but she took a turn a few days after the crash and her prognosis had been unsure ever since then.

This another case of tragedy caused by potential road rage that should give more reason than ever for all drivers to ensure that their emotions are kept in check by the wheel. As city travelers on a daily basis we all experience the unpleasantness that comes when another is less than courteous on the road. However, there remains no excuse for all adults to keep that initial anger in check and never allow it to lead to reckless driving. The costs—as the infant’s death vividly shows here—are far too high to do otherwise.

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June 1, 2011

Dislodged Debris on Highway Causes Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The Telegraph reported today on a tragic car accident that has sent a mother and her three young children to the hospital with serious injuries. Emergency authorities report that the woman was driving Tuesday afternoon on Illinois 255 with her 4 year old daughter, 2 year old son, and 5 month old son when she came upon metal debris in the road. To avoid the debris the woman swerved out of the way. The maneuver caused her SUV to careen out of control. It ultimately crossed the median, rolling over and landed on the opposite side of the highway. The 4 year old was ejected from the vehicle in the roll-over. After coming to a stop, the SUV was then hit by a northbound utility truck. All four family members were rushed to various medical facilities in serious conditions.

This case illustrates the importance of contacting an Illinois car accident lawyer to help work through the possible legal implications of the accident. For example, most car crash lawsuits are negligence actions, meaning they allege that an individual owed a duty of care to his or her fellow drivers but breached that duty causing injury.

Depending on the circumstances there are many ways that the duty of care could be breached. In many cases it is obvious—like when a truck driver is drunk or drifts into an oncoming lane of traffic. However, more subtle acts of negligence are capable of causing just as much harm. In this case, the vehicle that allowed the debris to fall onto the road may have acted unreasonably. It is highly forseeable that dangerous material left on a high-speed roadway might lead to a traffic accident. Knowing that the risk is there, it is likely negligent for anyone to do something that creates the risk.

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May 30, 2011

Weekend Chicago Car Accident Claims Life of Two Brothers

by Levin & Perconti

One local family suffered a tremendous loss this weekend as two brothers were killed in a Chicago car accident involving three vehicles. ABC News has the story of the deadly Maywood crash.

According to police reports the crash may have been caused by road rage. Information is limited but the accident apparently began when the relatives in a white Toyota began speeding and traveling south in the northbound lanes of 9th Avenue. While headed the wrong way down the street the vehicle collided head-on with a Nissan carrying a man, woman, and their young child. The impact sent the Toyota into the air where in landed on the car traveling behind the Nissan.

The two brothers in the Toyota were killed in the accident, and the baby in the Nissan was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Initially it was suspected that the child would be fine, but her injuries have worsened over the past few days and doctors remain unsure about her prognosis.

Police initially claimed that the accident may have been spurred by a confrontation that the brothers had with another vehicle not involved in the accident. This confrontation may have sparked the driving patterns of the Toyota which led to the accident. However, the authorities have yet to release any more information about the potential cause of the accident, and they continue to investigate to determine what actually happened.

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May 26, 2011

Chicago Hit & Run Accident Severely Injures 8-Year Old Student

by Levin & Perconti

There are many good reasons why traffic laws near schools and parks are often different from those in other parts of the city. As far too many suffering families know, a Chicago car accident that occurs near a ones of these areas often involves injury to some of our most vulnerable community members—our children. Young kids especially are less familiar with the norms of the road and therefore often fail to act as carefully as necessary when near traffic. The immaturity of young children necessitates the drivers remain particular vigilant when traveling near areas like schools and parks.

Unfortunately, even with added precautions, damaging accidents still strike in these locations.. ABC Local News reported today on just such an accident that struck on the city’s far south side yesterday morning. According to reports an area second-grader was hit after being dropped off in front of his elementary school. Witnesses report that a white vehicle ran into the child, sending him into the air and landing on the road.

Others in the area immediately called for help, and the child was rushed to a local hospital. He suffered severe head trauma, including bleeding on the brain. The driver of the vehicle that hit the child sped off after the accident. Police are still on the lookout for the driver and all involved are encouraging the individual to turn themselves in to authorities.

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May 24, 2011

Gang Activity May Be Cause of Fatal Chicago Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A tragic Chicago car crash struck early Sunday morning as two members of a nighttime cleaning crew were killed on the city’s northwest side. According to reports in the Chicago Tribune, the victims were two 57-year old Streamwood residents who were returning home from work when their car was blindsided in the intersection of Diversey and Kostner avenues. The impact sent their car into the wall of a check-cashing store nearby. They were rushed to a nearby hospital, but there was little that medical personnel could do. Both died from their injuries.

Investigations into the accident have shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the fatal collision. The car that ran a red-light and slammed into the victims’ car was apparently being chased by a third vehicle. The driver of the car that ran the red light reported that he was stopped at a red light at Fullerton and Keeler Avenue when a car pulled up beside them. Passengers in that car apparently started yelling gang slogans and then fired at least one shot at the car.

The surprising appearance of the vehicle caused the driver to run the red light and attempt to speed away. The second car pursed the first and a chase ensued. It was during that chase that the vehicle ran a second red light and smashed into the two unsuspecting victims.

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May 22, 2011

Chicago Worker Loses Control of Car, Hits Several Pedestrians

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on a frightening area car accident that involving a city worker and several pedestrians. The Chicago car crash struck on Saturday afternoon in the Gold Coast a little after 12 p.m.

According to reports a Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation worker was driving north in a city-owned vehicle on State street when he lost control of the vehicle near the three-way intersection at Rush and Cedar streets. The pick-up truck in which he was traveling veered off the road on to sidewalk and collided with several pedestrians who were nearby—a child, her caretaker, and models in a wedding photo shoot were some of the victims.

Police remain unclear what caused the man to lose control of the vehicle. Witnesses to the accident explained that the driver appeared “very disoriented” after the crash, and police appeared to perform a field sobriety test on the man. It remains unclear whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.

Several individuals were injured in the accident, some of them critically. In total six people were hit, with police reporting that two of them were in critical condition. A two-year old was injured, but she is expected to survive the accident. Her caretaker was one of the two critically injured pedestrians. The other critically injured man was the photographer from the photo shoot.

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May 20, 2011

Chicago Drink Manufacturer Named in Car Crash Wrongful Death Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Blog readers know that many Chicago car accident lawsuits are filed by the surviving family members of those who have been killed in a crash. Just as third-parties are often capable of suing on behalf of their loved ones, the specific entities that may be named as defendants in those suits are often much more varied that some suspect possible. In the end, the law is flexible in that it seeks to hold all negligent parties responsible for their actions which cause harm to others.

For example, the Chicago Tribune reported on Friday of a new wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed against the Chicago-based beverage company which produces a drink known as Four Loco. The family of a 15-year old Washington D.C. teen filed the suit against Phusion Projects—the maker of the drink—following the death of their son in a road accident last September.

The drink contains a very high amount of alcohol combined with caffeine, creating a potent mix for many drinkers. The victim in this case drank two of the beverages at a tailgating event for a concert. After returning home the teen became disoriented and was struck by a car on a highway near his house. He died the following day from his injuries.

The suit claims that the company was careless in creating the product which they report “desensitizes users to the symptoms of intoxication and increases the potential for alcohol-related harm.” The plaintiffs are also claiming that the drinks are marketed to college-age and underage individuals, increasing the risk of abuse.

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May 18, 2011

llinois Car Accidents Costs Over $1 Billion Annually

by Levin & Perconti

On this blog we often discuss the damaging effects of Illinois car crashes. Of course the costliest consequences of these accidents are the personal injuries and deaths that remain far too prevalent a problem. The problem is most prevalent for teen drivers in particular as these crashes continue to be the one of the leading causes of death for young community members. Each year more than 30,000 people lose their lives in vehicle crashes across the country.

There are many ways to calculate the losses from these accidents. As reported in Morning Call this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released information that shares the monetary cost of car accidents in medical and work losses alone. In total, the consequences of these accidents in those two measures amount to $41 billion nationwide.

Illinois suffers more losses from these accident than many other locations, as it is in the 10 states with the most medical and work losses. The data shows that the state loses $1.32 billion each year because of these car and trucking accidents. Medical costs are seemingly self-explanatory. The work loss information includes analysis of victim salaries, fringe benefits of household work, and expected loss of earnings.

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May 16, 2011

Chicagoland Traffic Safety Initiative Set to Break Record for Total Citations

by Levin & Perconti

Local law enforcement officials are always considering different ways to make our roadways safer. While deaths on highways and byways have decreased in the long-term, the total number of victims from these Chicago car accidents is far too high to ignore. State lawmakers often try to tackle the problem by passing new regulations which address various aspects of road safety, from seat-belt laws to distracted driving bans. However, those laws do not have the desired effect unless motorists are held accountable when they fail to follow the law.

That is at the root of an annual initiative conducting by over a dozen law enforcement agencies targeting road safety. The Naperville Sun reported on the cooperative road safety effort that took place on May 9th along a 65 mile stretch of Illinois Route 59. The effort was widely publicized in the hope that motorists would pay attention and understand their conduct behind the wheel would face particularly close scrutiny in that area on that day. However, despite the publicity, it seems that this year’s enforcement totals will set a new record for the project.

The Naperville police department alone issued 182 tickets —when other agency totals are added that figure may triple. Those totals are likely to surpass the 548 citations issued in the 2009 enforcement effort.

In total, 93 of the Naperville tickets were issued for seat-belt violations, 47 for speeding, 15 for no insurance, 4 to unlicensed drivers, and the remainder for a variety of other issues. One local law enforcement official explained that he was surprised by the total: “We’d actually like for the totals to have been lower. We were hoping people would pay more attention than this.”

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May 14, 2011

Five Vehicle Chicago Car Accident Temporarily Closes Elgin-O’Hare Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident attorney knows that typically the most damaging area accidents strike on our local highway system. The high speeds and often darting traffic is ripe for large accidents that ensnare several vehicles.

For example, the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this week on a five car accident that struck on Monday morning during rush hour. According to reports, the crash occurred shortly before 7:30 am on the eastbound Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. Apparently, a westbound car may have crossed over into the eastbound portion of the highway and directly into on-coming traffic.

Police are still piecing together what happened after that initial collision, which ultimately involved three other cars. By the time authorities arrived, one vehicle was stopped upside-down on the eastbound lane and four people were injured. Fortunately, all of the victims are expected to recover from the accident.

As this incident demonstrates, at first impression it is often difficult to determine what exactly causes certain crashes. However it is vital that full and complete investigations be conducted into the incident so that the victims are better appraised of their legal situation to help receive compensation for their losses. Depending on the circumstances a car malfunction, distracted driver, or other main factor may have been at play in this situation. Each possibility may present a different legal

It is impossible to fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities until a proper examination has been conducted into all facets of an accident. Experienced attorneys can help conduct that analysis and explain what it means in terms of the law.

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May 6, 2011

Criminal Charges Filed in Chicago Car Accident that Killed Woman in Streeterville

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Sun-Times reported today on a tragic Streeterville bus crash that took the life of a pedestrian. According to reports, a 47 year old man was behind the wheel of a tour bus in Streeterville when he attempted to make a right turn onto North Columbus Avenue. Unfortunately, a pedestrian was crossing the street at the time and was struck by the large vehicle. The 26 year old female bus crash victim had taken four to five steps from the curb when she was hit. She lived in the area and was only blocks from her home. Paramedics tried to save the victim, but nothing could be done.

The bus driver told authorities that he did not see the victim as he tried to make the turn. Later the man was tested and it was discovered that he was under the influence of cocaine while behind the wheel.

Further investigations revealed many other indicators about the man’s past which should have raised a multitude of red flags for the tour bus company that hired him six months earlier to drive the bus. Since 1988 the man has been ticked roughly 20 times for various traffic crimes. In addition, following the accident it was discovered that he was wanted for sexual assault of children. Two girls were apparently molested by the man when they were 6 and 7 years old in 2006 and 2007. The driver had previously spent time in prison for aggravated criminal sexual assault in 1992.

Tragic deaths in Chicago truck crashes remain far too prevalent an occurrence. It is particularly egregious when the negligent drivers of these large machines are under the influence of substances like drugs and alcohol. For example, just last October our attorneys at Levin & Perconti earned a record $6.5 million Illinois truck crash settlement for the surviving family of a woman who was killed when a truck driver rear-ended the family’s vehicle. The driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. In that case the truck owners did not perform drug tests on their employees nor did they perform background checks or obtain driving records.

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May 2, 2011

Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Shares Information About Vehicle Recall

by Levin & Perconti

A recall was recently announced that may affect vehicles currently used by area drivers. A Chicago car accident attorney knows well that the ultimate causes of many car crashes is traced back to problems with the design and manufacture of the vehicle itself. That is why when these recalls are announced it is vital that the dangerous machines be taken off the road and fixed as soon as possible.

This latest car recall was announced by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and includes over 58,000 Kia Spectra sedans from 2004-2007. The Associated Press reports that problems have been found with the straps that hold the fuel tank. Those straps are at risk of corroding. The corrosion is often caused by the road salt that is used during inclement weather. The salt enters the car, attaches to the straps, and causes their deterioration. When that occurs, the fuel tank may fall from the vehicle, hit the ground, and leak dangerously. Leaking fuel is an obvious and dangerous problem.

The recall effects cars sold and registered in several states, including Illinois. In June, all those who own these cars can go to a dealer to eliminate the problem. The straps are replaced by new hardware that is zinc-coated and resistant to corrosion.

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April 26, 2011

Distracted Driving Continues to Take Lives of Area Victims in Chicago Car Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago car crash lawyers, surviving victims, and many other advocates continue to call for changes to address distracted driving. This week My Fox Chicago published a story on the distracted driving issue. The story highlighted the painfully large number of victims and the ways in which legislation may address the issue to prevent future victims.

Our area recently played host to the Illinois Distracted Driving Summit, an awareness raising gathering that drew a wide range of safe driving advocates. The summit speakers explained how cell phone use remains the most prevalent form of distracted driving. Right now virtually one in four car crashes are caused by one driver whose attention was directed at a phone and not the road. Those reckless drivers who attempt to send a text message while driving are even more likely to be involved in accident.

Many advocates believe that more legislation is needed to curb the dangerous problem.

For example, Ray LaHood, the former Illinois congressman and current U.S. Secretary of Transportation believe that distracted driving is an epidemic needing remedy. Two pieces of legislation being considered by the Illinois General Assembly would call for a two-year study. Yet, most advocates believe that a study will provide little information that is not already known. Less studying and more action is needed.

For example technology already exists that sends cell phone calls directly to voicemail when the phone is in a moving vehicle. Unfortunately the technology cannot yet distinguish between a driver and a passenger. In truth no technology is needed to curb the problem. All drivers maintain the ability to turn off their phone while behind the wheel.

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April 25, 2011

Illinois To Begin Tracking Car Accidents Involving “Dooring” Collisions with Bicycles

by Levin & Perconti

Earlier this month we reported on a call being made by road safety advocates to enact changes to the tracking procedures of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Our attorneys often act as the Chicago car accident lawyer for victims of a variety of road crashes—including bicycle collisions.

Under the old rules the state agency charged with tracking road accidents did not include those commonly known as “doorings.” These involve a car door being opened in the path of a bicyclist on the sides of are roadways. These may constitute the most frequent type of bike accidents, and they often lead to serious injury or death. Previously the Illinois Department of Transportation was refusing to tally these accidents in their accident counting, because the cars in these situations are not moving.

However, according to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has ordered that the policy be changed. The new rules will take effect immediately and will require police departments to record these "dooring" accidents on traffic crash forums. Advocates are applauding the efforts as a good starting point in helping to eliminate these accidents. It was difficult to understand the problem and seek ways to improve the situation without an accurate report of the problem’s scope. With these changes, the problem will hopefully be alleviated.

Governor Quinn explained his decision by noting that “anyone who rides a bike can tell you that dooring is a serious issue. One of the best ways we can increase public safety is by making sure we’ve got the best and most comprehensive data possible. That’s why we’ve made this change.”

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April 19, 2011

How Chicago Car Accidents Lawsuits Make Travel Safer

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident lawyer, like many other types of attorneys, is often caricatured as a stuffy man or woman in a suit who uses legal system maneuvering to enrich themselves and their select clients. Of course that unfair portrayal bears little resemblance to reality. In fact, Illinois car accident lawsuits play a key role in saving lives and ensuring improved safety on our city’s roadways.

An op-ed in the Washington Post recently explained the role of car litigation and improved traffic safety. As we have reported on the blog, U.S. traffic deaths dropped to their lowest level in over 60 years last year, even as Americans traveled 21 billion more miles in 2010 than the year before.

What has led to the steady decline over the last decade?

Most experts point to the improved safety of cars as the main factor in that decline. Amazing advancements in car safety have been coupled with more stringent regulations and better consumer information. In short, safer cars are being made and bought more—when accidents strike the damage is minimized now more than ever before.

But that answer begs a second question: what led to investment in safer car technology, improved regulations, and better customer information?

Litigation and the civil justice system played the pivotal role.

Pressure from car accident lawsuits have been consistent and relentless forces over the past several decades pushing car manufacturers to step up and take responsibility for their product. Legal efforts have worked to heighten safety standards, reveal hidden car defects, spur legislative actions to mandate changes, and deter negligent companies from cutting corners at the expense of traveler safety.

One recent example involves the use of dangerous power window switches. Seven children were killed in 2004 when they were strangled by a car window after triggering a power window rocker switch. A much safer alternative existed at little cost to manufacturers. However, no changes were made to most vehicles until 2006, when car accident litigation finally forced companies to accept the need for safety in this area.

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April 17, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Shares Information About New Illinois Seatbelt Law

by Levin & Perconti

Most local drivers should be well aware of the Illinois law which requires seat-belt use. However, modifications, additions, and alterations to all laws each general assembly cycle, often affect Illinois car accident law. An important job of a Chicago car crash lawyer involves keeping up to date with the legal changes and ensuring client interests are protected as they relate to these new requirements.

For example, the Illinois General Assembly recently passed a new related law to seat belt usage. The measure now added to state code at 624 ILCS 5/12-603 places an additional requirement upon all drivers. Specifically, the measure demands that all drivers properly ensure that vulnerable passengers have their own seatbelts fastened and properly secured. These vulnerable passengers are defined as those who are unable to properly secure themselves—most notably sick, disabled, and elderly individuals.

Of course current child safety belt laws also remain in place. In Illinois these laws require that all children under the age of 8 be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system.

An important implication of this law, and others like it, is how a court will consider it when involved in Illinois car crash lawsuits. For example, these suits typically involve legal “negligence”—or one driver failing to abide by reasonable standards of care when behind the wheel. A complication often arises when both drivers involved in an accident are negligent to one degree or another. The law has unique ways of handling these “comparative negligence” situations

The new Illinois vehicle safety measure requiring that drivers ensure vulnerable passengers are properly buckled is specifically listed in the bill as not evidence of negligence. What this means is that a party to a lawsuit will be unlikely to use the new law in an effort to make the claim that both drivers were negligent trying to trigger the “comparative negligence” analysis.

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April 15, 2011

Chicago Tollway Accident Takes Life of Local Man

by Levin & Perconti

Blog readers likely have noticed that a common trend in local car accident reports is that they frequently occur in areas of the road where traffic slows. This is particularly true on highways. Of course, many drivers have experienced the feeling of cruising along a highway at a particular speed only to be forced to slow suddenly. The cause of the forced slow zone often include rush hour build-up, back up from a previous accident, or set points like toll areas.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday on an Illinois car accident that fit that common model—strking in an area toll zone. A 42-year old man was driving a Dodge van southbound on Route 60 near a toll gate. He was in the left lane—usually reserved for faster cars or passing cars. However, the man suddenly came upon a Tollway emergency vehicle that was stopped in his lane. The man was unable to slow down in time and instead slammed into the vehicle.

The van driver was taken to a local hospital, but did not survive the crash. Two men in the emergency vehicle suffered minor injuries but are expected to recover.

The emergency vehicle was actually in the area to respond to a previous minor accident near the same toll both involving a semi-trailer. In that way, the situation involved two common factors in so many local car accidents—a toll zone and a previous accident.

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April 12, 2011

Illinois Man Killed in Motorcycle Collision

by Levin & Perconti

The Effingham Daily News reported on the tragic death of a local man following a motorcycle accident. The crash occurred in the southern Illinois county of Effingham, at the US 45 and Dutch Lane intersection.

The Illinois State Police provided more information on the deadly Illinois motorcycle crash. They indicate that a man was driving a pick-up truck westbound on Dutch Lane. He stopped at the intersection with Route 45 and then proceeded across the highway. Unfortunately he did not see the motorcycle being driven by a 31 year old Flora man that was traveling on Route 45 at the same time. A female passenger was also on the motorcycle.

Both victims were ejected from the bike upon the impact with the pick-up, as is prone to happen in these sorts of accidents. They were taken to a nearby hospital where the driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead. The passenger suffered serious injuries and remains in critical condition at the facility.

Local police cited the pick-up truck driver for failure to yield at the intersection. The motorcycle had the right of way at the time of the crash.

The accident caused traffic to build up along Route 45. While emergency crews were working on the motorcycle accident, another crash occurred in the line of built up traffic. A vehicle failed to slow down in time when approaching the accident site and rear-ended the car in front of it. The driver of the rear-ended car suffered injuries in the secondary crash and was transported to a hospital. The negligent driver was cited for failure to reduce speed.

Continue reading "Illinois Man Killed in Motorcycle Collision" »

April 9, 2011

Criminal Charges Filed in Deadly Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The Kane County Chronicle reported over the weekend on criminal charges that have been filed against a negligent area driver. The reckless driving prosecutions stem from a Chicago car accident that struck in late February that killed two people.

The victims were riding in their car on Peace Road in Maple Park around 5:30 in the afternoon. The negligent driver was traveling north on Main street, an avenue that intersects Peace Road. Unfortunately, when the two cars reached the intersection, they collided. The reckless driver’s car slammed into the driver’s side of the second vehicle, sending the car careening off the road. Both the driver and passenger were killed in the wreck.

Police have charged the surviving driver with criminal reckless driving because of the extremely aggressive way in which she handled her vehicle. She did not possess the right of way at the intersection. An investigation also indicated that she was traveling far too fast for the conditions at the time.

Of course, besides criminal charges, all victims of these sorts of accidents and their families have the option of contacting an attorney and filing an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit. These car accident lawsuits seek to compensate the victims for the specific suffering they incurred as a result of the mistakes of their fellow drivers. The law is clear in providing this remedy to surviving victims. It would be illogical for a negligent driver to get “off the hook” because their victim died in an accident. Consequently surviving family members can pursue claims of the deceased’s behalf.

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April 7, 2011

Melrose Park Man Killed in Fatal Chicago Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Tribune shared the story of a tragic local car crash that took the life of an area resident.

The 69-year old victim was driving his 1987 Oldsmobile last week around 6:30 in the morning. He was headed east on North Avenue just as a second car, driven by a 23-year old woman, was turning onto North from 22nd Avenue. The two cars collided. The right front corner of the Oldsmobile smashed into the center and passenger side of the second vehicle.

The Chicago car accident caused injuries to both drivers. The victim was rushed to a local hospital. Medical professionals were initially able to stabilize him, but his condition never improved as necessary. He was pronounced dead yesterday morning at the hospital. An autopsy has shown that his death was primarily caused by the car crash injury. A previous heart condition made the man particularly susceptible to complications from the crash.

Many accidents like this often spur Illinois wrongful death lawsuits. The common law generally applies a concept known as the “Eggshell Plaintiff” rule. It holds that a negligent individual may be held liable for the consequences of her actions even if a victim was someone particularly vulnerable to suffering injury. For example, in cases like this, the fact that the victim was an elderly man who suffered injuries that someone with a healthier heart would not have is likely of no consequence. The man’s vulnerability rarely diminishes the liability of one who negligently harms him.

The tortfeasor (person who is negligent) must take the plaintiff as he or she finds them. It is no defense to say that you didn’t realize the victim happened to be more susceptible to injury than the majority of community members.

Continue reading "Melrose Park Man Killed in Fatal Chicago Car Accident " »

April 5, 2011

Improved Safety Sends National Car Accident Fatality Rates Plummeting

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released encouraging new data recently that shows a steady decrease in the total number of deaths on American roadways last year. Reporting on the new data in the Globe and Mail explains how car crash deaths in the United States has reached its lowest level since 1949—totalling 32,788 in 2010. This trend also holds at the state specific levels with a decreased likelihood of suffering an Illinois car crash death than in the past.

The importance of the drop is even more vividly demonstrated when compared to miles driven each year as American now drive 800% more miles a year than 60 years ago.

A spokesman for the Traffic Safety Administration explains that the group has “worked very hard over the years in educating the public and working with both Congress and the states to enact laws that help keep our roads safer.”

The group went onto explain that the most important innovations that have led to the decrease are improved car seats for children an crumple-zones—both which help to limit damage when accident do strike. In other words, the statements suggest that many car crashes still occur, but the damage caused has been lessened with certain technology innovations.

However, that good news must be tempered by a new problem on the roadways, increased driver distraction. The spokesman highlights the contradiction by noting that “while technology has helped reduce fatalities, there are advances in technology that have led to other problems on our roadways—such as talking on phones and texting while driving.”

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April 3, 2011

Advocates Calling For Better Tracking of Illinois Bicycle Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago Tribune reported this week on a debate about bike safety being waged by local bicyclists and state officials. Local laws recently changed to improve bike safety on city streets, and advocates are hoping that the state will keep track of certain Illinois bike accidents. However, the Illinois Department of Transportation is refusing the honor the request.

Specifically, bike advocates are hoping that “dooring” accidents will be measured. These crashes involve a car door being opened in the path of a bicyclist. Many serious injuries and even death have resulted from these sorts of crashes in the past several years. But, these bike accidents will not be measured by IDOT, because the vehicles involved in these crashes are not moving.

An informal survey conducted by a bike advocacy group argues that more than half of all respondents have been involved in a “dooring” accident at least once. No formal polling or research has been conducted, however. As a result of the data void, it is difficult to apply for federal and state safety grants to address the problem. It is for that reason that advocates requested that IDOT report on these accidents.

Following IDOT’s denial, many bicyclists are pursuing state legislation which would mandate the reporting.

Continue reading "Advocates Calling For Better Tracking of Illinois Bicycle Accidents" »

March 28, 2011

Illinois Drunk Driving Victim Comforted After Reckless Driver Caught

by Levin & Perconti

We have frequently posted to the blog various accidents that kill or injure local citizens on our roadways each day. Far too many of those Illinois car crashes involve drunk drivers. It takes no more explanation for all to understand the extreme risk taken by those who get behind the wheel after drinking.

The Belleville News Democrat recently reported on one Illinois drunk driving victim who recently learned that the drunk driver who nearly killed him has been found. The victim is still recovering from the accident from May of 2009 on the Martin Luther King Bridge in Belleville. On his way home across the bridge, the victim’s car was smashed head-on by a drunk driver in a pickup. The reckless traveler had just left a local bar before getting in his vehicle, crossing the center line, and slamming into the innocent victim. It was lucky that the collision did not send crash didn’t cause either vehicle to careen off the bridge. The innocent victim was in a coma for over a month

Following the accident, the victim filed an Illinois car accident lawsuit against the tavern owners who had carelessly let the drunk driver leave in his vehicle. The dram shop act allows this sort of lawsuit to hold the bar owners accountable for the often deadly effects that their over-serving has on nearby roadways.

The negligent driver in this case fled the area following the accident. This driver’s fleeing made it difficult to continue with the lawsuit, because the man was needed to testify. However, he was recently found in a St. Louis jail—he had been arrested on rape charges. He can now testify in the Illinois drunk driving lawsuit regarding his actions before the deadly crash.

Continue reading "Illinois Drunk Driving Victim Comforted After Reckless Driver Caught" »

March 20, 2011

Ice, Drugs, and No Guard Rails Factored Into Deadly Illinois Car Crash

by Levin & Perconti

The Pekin Times reported last week on the finding of a coroner’s inquest jury following a deadly car accident that killed two area teens. According to the jury, while the teen driver had taken a pair of unnatural substances before the crash, the icy roads were the main cause of the Illinois car crash. The jury left open the possibility that a lack of safety rails at the site increased the seriousness of the injuries.

The incident occurred on I-74, where the driver and two teenage passengers were traveling in the westbound lanes early one morning in late January. At mile marker 125 tire track analysis reveal that the car veered into the median—it was a point in the highway where the road veers slightly right. Another vehicle was headed eastbound. The second vehicle was able to swerve out of the way, but not before causing the teen to lose control of his car. The out-of-control car clipped the end of a semi and then crashed into a school bus traveling in the same direction.

The inquest jury met to hear the information about the case and make an official determination as to the cause of death. Toxicology results reported that the teen driver had ingested marijuana and amphetamines hours before the crash. The jury determined that the main culprit in the accident was not the drug use, but the icy road conditions. Several other accidents occurred on nearby roadways around the same time as drivers struggled to handle the dangerous weather conditions.

Also at issue was the lack of guardrails present at the accident site. In the last three years, a total of five people have now died at the exact spot in the highway where the two teens were killed. The inquest jury decided to leave the question open as to whether the lack of guardrail was a main factor in the deadly crash. Illinois Department of Transportation officials are examining the issues to determine if safety changes need to be made.

Continue reading "Ice, Drugs, and No Guard Rails Factored Into Deadly Illinois Car Crash" »

March 14, 2011

Illinois Woman Killed in Single Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

In many ways improving road safety revolves around actions taken while on the road—traveling at a safe speed, obeying traffic lights, watching for stop signs, and similar actions. These calls for careful, safe driving are obviously focused on limiting the negligence on the road that leads to serious car accidents. However, the fact remains that no matter how careful one drives, there is always a consistent risk of being caught in the crosshairs of another driver’s own misconduct. Unfortunately, even the most careful drivers fall victim in deadly car accidents all the time.

For that reason, pre-emptive safety measures are of vital importance while traveling on the road. While you cannot permanently insulate yourself against reckless drivers, everyone can take steps to minimize the damage caused by run-ins with other vehicles. The most important and obvious pre-emptive safety measure is the use of seat-belts. The severity of injury is often drastically reduced when safety belts are used.

Unfortunately drivers are killed every day because of their failure to wear the appropriate safety devices. For example, KAIT 8 News reported on an Illinois car accident last week that took the life of a 78-year old woman.

The victim was traveling on US highway 63, near the Illinois-Missouri border, when her car ran off the road. The vehicle flew down an embankment on the side of the highway, hit a culvert, flipped into the air, and landed upside-down. The woman was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident and died as a result of her injuries.

Continue reading "Illinois Woman Killed in Single Car Accident" »

March 10, 2011

Chicago-Area DUI Crash Kills Two Women

by Levin & Perconti

Another impaired driver unwisely sat behind the wheel this weekend, leading to a deadly car accident that took the lives of two young women.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times the deadly Chicago car crash occurred on Sunday afternoon. A 23-year old man was driving his four-door Chevrolet around noon with two female passengers. Witnesses report that the driver had just come over a hill in the road when the vehicle began spinning out of control.

The erratic car had apparently hit an ice patch. It eventually spun off the concrete and into a tree on the side of the road. One of the female passengers was ejected from the car following the impact; she was pronounced dead at the scene. The second passenger survived the initial crash and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately her injuries ultimately proved too severe, and she died shortly after.

Police initially determined the accident to have been completely weather-related. However further investigation revealed that the driver’s impairment also factored into the crash. The male driver was ticked for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Continue reading "Chicago-Area DUI Crash Kills Two Women" »

February 26, 2011

Nineteen People Involved in Chicago Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

One of the risks of highly congested roadways is that even small accidents often ensnare many other drivers into the car crash. Highways filled with many cars filling up three, four, and five lanes of traffic are particularly apt for multi-vehicle accidents. The human injury and property damage often reach shocking levels in those events.

ABC Local News reported on one of those major Chicago car accidents that struck this evening. Reports indicate that 19 people were involved in a multi-car crash on the outbound Kennedy expressway. Specifically, the accident occurred in the express lanes of the highway near the Montrose exit. The myriad of vehicles involved in the crash means that it is difficult for police to piece together exactly what occurred.

Little is currently understood on the exact cause of the crash. However, early reports indicate that icy roads may have played a role. Wet snow falling rain, and windy conditions combined to create a dangerous driving situation.

What is known is that over a dozen people were injured in the incident. Six of them seriously, included two children. They were taken to local hospitals where their exact condition remains unknown.

Continue reading "Nineteen People Involved in Chicago Car Accident" »

February 16, 2011

Secrecy in Case Involving Texting Police Officer Who Caused Illinois Car Crash

by Levin & Perconti

The Belleville News Democrat reported last week on the latest developing in a worker’s compensation hearing involving a police officer who recklessly killed two teenagers a few years earlier.

The arbitrator involved in the hearing connected to the high-profile officer who caused the car accident is seeking to keep the case secret from the public. It is only through the newspaper’s use of Freedom of Information Act they were able to discover information about the hearing in which the officer sought to receive money from the public. The hearing was moved to a different location and moved up several days in hopes of being conducted “on the sly” without public knowledge.

Of course, the secret actions taken on the issue has raised the ire of legal leaders in Illinois. The Illinois Attorney General’s chief of staff explained, “It is completely unacceptable for there to be any discussion to minimize press coverage or to thwart the public’s effort to attend a public hearing.”

Many community members are interested in the hearing because of the outrage around the police officer’s previous conduct. The trooper was involved in a deadly Illinois car accident in November of 2007 while conducting a high speed chase. The officer was following a runaway vehicle while traveling 126 miles per hour. While traveling at that speed the reckless officer was also talking on his cell phone and sending emails through the phone. He eventually lost control of the squad car and cause an accident involving a car nearby. That nearby car was carrying an 18-year old a girl and a 13-year old girl. Bother teenagers were killed.


Continue reading "Secrecy in Case Involving Texting Police Officer Who Caused Illinois Car Crash" »

January 31, 2011

Weather-Induced Illinois Car Accidents Continue

by Levin & Perconti

Chicagoans awoke this morning to news broadcasts explaining a severe winter storm that is approaching our area. Initial estimates show that the developing weather system will begin hitting the city in the early evening on Tuesday. It will likely continue until the following afternoon. Up to 22 inches of snow is expected to fall in many places. Even worse is that high winds and drifting snow are expected to make traveling extremely difficult in many parts of the city and state.

The approaching blizzard will certainly affect all travelers this week.

Blog readers are well aware of the seemingly daily stream of Illinois car accident stories explaining the latest victims of weather related crashes. For example, an Illinois woman was killed last Thursday when she lost control of her car on a snow covered road. The Telegraph Herald explained that the victim of the car crash was traveling on Illinois Route 84 around 8 a.m. when she lost control of her vehicle. The car spun out, swerved into oncoming traffic and was hit on the passenger side by a pick-up truck.

Emergency officials rushed to the area, but there was nothing they could do. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Continue reading "Weather-Induced Illinois Car Accidents Continue" »

January 29, 2011

Icy Roads Kills Woman In Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The Quad City Times reported this week on a fatal car accident that struck in Carroll County.

The two-vehicle crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. on Thursday morning. A 44-year old driver was traveling south in his Ford pick-up truck on Illinois Route 84. Another 44-year old traveler was headed in the opposite direction at the same time in a Toyota Camry. Shortly before the two vehicles crossed paths on the road, the northbound Camry driver lost control of her car.

The vehicle spun erratically before sliding into the southbound lane directly in the path of the pick-up truck. The two collided, causing extreme damage to both vehicles. The female driver sustaining catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police are still investigating the accident to determine what might be at the root cause of this Illinois car accident. However, snow was falling in the area at the time of the collision. There were many reports of slick, dangerous road conditions, and it is therefore likely that weather played a role in the incident.

Continue reading "Icy Roads Kills Woman In Illinois Car Accident" »

January 27, 2011

High School Teen Killed in Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

KPLR News reported on a tragic car accident that struck in the town of Belleville, Illinois this weekend. On Saturday, a sophomore student at the local high school was headed to a cheerleading competition when she was involved in deadly single-car crash.

The girl was rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to a larger facility in St. Louis. Unfortunately there was little that doctors could do, and she passed away later that evening. Police are yet unclear what caused the crash; they are continuing their investigation in hopes of finding some answers.

The local school is pulling together in the wake of the tragedy. The counselor explains, “I think for many of our young people it’s very confusing, not understanding why this happened.” The principal revealed that for many students this was the first time someone close to them had passed away.

It is difficult to read these Illinois car accident stories and make sense of the tragedy. There are few things more devastating than the loss of young community members. Car crashes are the most common way that young people are killed. It is vital that everything be done to better understand and prevent these tragedies.

Continue reading "High School Teen Killed in Illinois Car Accident" »

October 14, 2010

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Illinois Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The St. Clair Record is reporting on a wrongful death lawsuit filed following a car accident that claimed the life of a father and his nine month old son. The mother and wife of the two victims filed the suit following the tragic deaths in November of 2008.

The man and his son had stopped their car on a local road in southern Illinois at the time of the accident. The father was standing outside of the car while the young child was inside. It was at that time that the car was struck by a man driving a tow truck. The stopped car was driven into the father, who died at the scene. The young child initially survived, but he died several days later at a local hospital.

It was later determined that the negligent driver was drunk at the time of the crash.

The lawsuit following the deadly accident involves several different potentials defendants. The driver of the truck himself is named as a defendant as are the owners of the towing company and the owners of the taverns that sold alcohol to the drunk driver.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are experts at understanding the various factors and legal issues that play a role in handing affairs following these accidents. We encourage all victims and their families to at least speak with an attorney following any type of car accident. Even if you are not sure about whose fault it was or what factors are important for a legal case, a car crash attorney will be able to help explain the legal landscape of the situation.

October 6, 2010

Illinois Man Gets Hearing Following Unique Traffic Accident.

by Levin & Perconti

CBS 2 Chicago reported yesterday on developments in the legal case stemming from a fatal traffic accident that struck in north-central Missouri involving an Illinois man. The Illinois man, Jeffrey Fleming, has been charged with hitting the back of a horse-drawn buggy, ultimately killing the buggy driver, 29 year-old Eli Borntrager.

The accident occurred in January of this year. Fleming told officials that he did not see the buggy in front of him while driving. When he did become aware of the moving vehicle, he claims to have made failed efforts to avoid hitting it. He denied being distracted by anything at the time. However, records uncovered by investigators following the crash revealed that Fleming sent a pair of text messages just two minutes before the crash. However, the driver still claims that he was not on the phone or texting at the exact moment of the crash that took the life of Bomtrager.

It should go without saying that sending text message while driving constitutes an extreme act of driving negligence. The act requires drivers to take their eyes completely off the road for a considerable length of time. In addition, the mental act determining what to say and how to type it into the phone means that the driver is not using all of his senses to look out for potential obstructions in front of him. Together, the combination is ripe for deadly accidents. They occur much too frequently on our local roadways.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti hope that all local drivers take time to consider the various accidents that occur each day. The tragic incidents should serve as steady reminders of the need for constant vigilance while on the road. With an endless amount of distractions bombarding us all the time—from cell phones to bright billboards—it is imperative that we all make a conscious effort to honor basic vehicle safety: proper speed, elimination of distractions, and careful observation of all road rules. It is only that way that we can stop the deadly car accidents like the one here.

August 31, 2010

Bike Accident Kills Man in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

Accidents on our roadways occur in a myriad of forms, at different times of the day, caused by various errors, and occurring between many different types of vehicles. The most damaging accident in terms of both physical injury and property destruction typically involves crashes where there is a clear size difference between the two moving objects. That damage is compounded as the speed of the crash increases. It is for that reason that truck accidents are particularly harmful. Also, for the same reason, damage skyrockets when smaller vehicles like motorcycles or bicycles are involved.

A recent bicycle accident struck on the north side of the city late on Sunday night that took the life of the bike rider. The Indiana Gazette reported on the tragic accident. Around 9:15p.m. that night, Christopher Hippchens was on his bicycle heading home from Soldier Field where he worked as a cook. He traveled about three miles north, around the 5200 block of North Sheridan and began trying to cross the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Unfortunately, while trying to make the crossing, Hippchens was struck by a fast-moving vehicle. Emergency personnel pronounced Hippchens dead at the scene.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti encourage all users of the roadways—whether in cars, trucks, bikes, or pedestrians—to take extreme care when traveling near other fast moving vehicles. Our city is filled with bike riders who use many of our roadways as their primary means of travel. Because of the size difference and exposure of the individual rider, the risk of injury is drastically increased when a bike rider is involved in a road accident. It takes only a split-second mistake to cause lifelong damage. If you have suffered at the hands of another driver who has made the mistake, please contact a Chicago accident attorney to learn about your rights.

August 17, 2010

Man Intentionally Drives Car Into Oncoming Traffic

by Levin & Perconti

An 80 year old Chicago area man was taken into police custody yesterday after a bizarre act of felony driving that led to a serious car accident involving three vehicles and resulting in severe injury to an innocent driver.

As Fox News Chicago reports, a week and a half ago, George Smith, a St. Charles resident, was driving east on Illinois Route 38 when he suddenly veered his car onto the other side of the road, directly into westbound traffic. Mr. Smith was driving a large SUV, and the vehicle collided head-on with a Volvo, which subsequently hit another smaller car.

The driver of the third car was uninjured, but the Volvo driver remained stuck in his vehicle with severe injuries following the crash. It took emergency crews using special extrication equipment to release him. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital where doctors are still treating his injuries. The intentionally reckless driver, Mr. Smith, was also injured in the car accident. He broke several vertebrae, both legs, shattered his hip, and suffered head trauma leading to bleeding on the brain.

The shocking circumstances of the car crash symbolize in the most egregious way the sad reality that even the more careful drivers are not completely safe while on the road. The decades of legal experience of our car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have shown that often the most severe vehicle accidents involve one negligent driver who takes other innocent drivers and passengers in their wake.

Rarely will someone come upon a driver so suicidal that they are willing to drive head-on into oncoming traffic. However, virtually everyone will share the road with drivers who go too fast for conditions, become distracted while on the phone, or make risky lane changes in an effort to save a few seconds.

There is only so much care that a single driver can take to avoid deadly car accidents, because no one can control the negligent drivers around them. All it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a risky fellow driver may cause untold destruction. If you or someone you know has been the unfortunate victim caught in the crosshairs of a negligent driver, please contact our office today to learn more about your rights.

July 27, 2010

Teen Dead in Flip-over Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident on July 24th on I-80 left a teenager dead. The fatal car crash occurred when the teen's sports utility vehicle blew out a tire and she crashed into a median and flipped over. The teen driver was thrown from the car and her personal injuries were so great that she passed away. According to the Southtown Star, the passenger that was in the same car was injured and taken to a local hospital but is expected to recover from his injuries. The young girl was not wearing her seat belt at the time the accident occurred, and it is likely that the lack of a seat belt is what caused her to be thrown from the car when the crash occurred. To read more about this Illinois car crash, please click on this link.

This accident serves as a reminder of how important seat belts are at all times while driving a car. Even if you think you are a safe driver and that because of that wearing a seat belt is not necessary, remember that unexpected events can occur, such as a tire blowing out or another driver that is not paying attention, that can cause you to lose control of the car regardless of if you are being a cautious driver. Because of situations like this, and the possibility of a car crash, Chicago injury attorneys ask all drivers to always wear their seat belt regardless of how short of a trip you are going on or how safe of a driver you feel that you are. In Illinois the seat belt law requires that all front seat passengers always wear their seat belt, that all passengers of drivers under 18 always wear their seat belt, and that all passengers that are under the age of 16 always wear their seat belt regardless of who is driving and of where they are seated in the car. Given that it is the law in the State of Illinois and that simply wearing a seat belt can make the difference between life and death in many situation, please make sure to always wear your seat belt when you get behind the wheel.

July 25, 2010

Illinois Teen Admits to Texting When He Struck a Pedestrian

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois teen has admitted to text-messaging at the time that he struck a pedestrian in May of this year. The fatal car accident happened when a pedestrian was crossing the street, not in a crosswalk, and the teen driver failed to see him and struck him with his car, causing him to die as a result of the personal injuries that he sustained in the accident. According to News-Gazette, the teen driver has admitted that he was in fact texting at the time the accident occurred, which is likely a a major part of the reason that he did not see the man crossing the street. Shortly after the accident the teen was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and for texting while driving. At this time it is unknown whether the family of the victim will file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death against the driver or if the State will press criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter. To read more about this tragic pedestrian accident, please click on this link.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, in which you believe that another person involved acted negligently, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against that person seeking damages in connection with the accident. If you would like to talk to an attorney about what possible actions you have against a negligent driver, please contact an Illinois injury attorney today. This story further reminds drivers the importance of paying attention to the road at all times while driving and the dangers of taking your eyes off of the road for even one minute.

July 21, 2010

Safety Tips to Prevent Bike Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Bicycle riders need to make sure that they are aware of and follow all of the appropriate laws that are in place to protect both bike riders and other drivers on the road. Similarly, drivers need to be aware of the laws regarding bike riders to also help ensure the safety of all those that are on the road together. One important rule for bikers to always remember and always follow is that bicyclists must travel in the same direction as vehicle traffic and whenever it is safely possible should travel directly to the right of cars, and this is so that everyone is traveling in the same direction which hopefully makes it less likely that a bike and car will get into a collision.

Chicago accident attorneys remind drivers of vehicles to remember a few simple rules regarding bikers so they can do their part to keep the streets safe for everyone. First off, drivers need to make sure to always keep a safe distance and to allow about three feet of passing space between their car and a biker, and make sure to always give them this adequate room in order to keep them safe in the event of a sudden stop. Additionally, when making a turn make sure to check to make sure a bicyclist is not passing on the right or the left before you make your turn, and always use a turn signal to allow the biker to know of your plan to turn, in order to help prevent accidents. Lastly, make sure after parking your car to look out for bikers before possibly opening your door into their pathway. To read more about simple tips to help avoid a bike accident, please click on this link. These few simple safety measures taken by bikers and drivers could make all the difference in preventing biking accidents !

July 15, 2010

Older Man Killed in Wheaton Crash

by Levin & Perconti

An elderly man died on July 12th following a car crash in Wheaton. The accident occurred when the elderly man attempted to make a turn and another car hit the driver's side of the elderly man's car. The victim was immediately taken to a local hospital but unfortunately was unable to recover from his personal injuries. At this point in the investigation, which is still underway, the DuPage County police has not arrested anyone or issued any citations in connection with the fatal car crash. According to My Suburban Life, the portion of the road where the crash occurred was closed for about three hours while the scene was being investigated. To read more about this tragic Wheaton accident, please click on this link.

While it is still unknown what caused this tragic accident, many times in accidents that involve elderly drivers the drivers may be unable to react as quickly as they once could which may place them in serious danger in driving situations where they must act quickly so as not to be struck by another vehicle. Illinois accident attorneys remind elderly drivers to always make sure that you have a vision and hearing test regularly and never drive with an expired license. Additionally, if as an elderly driver you ever feel, in any sense, that you are no longer comfortable on the road or that you may not be able to handle certain driving conditions, please make sure to ask for a ride and never drive in a situation that makes you feel unsafe.

July 11, 2010

Chicago Crashes Leaves Two Children With Severe Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

A South-side Chicago car accident occurred on June 10th in which 6 people, 2 of which were children, suffered personal injuries. The accident occurred when a car and a sports utility vehicle crashed into each other near the West Elsdon area of Chicago. The four injured adults are at a local hospital and luckily all are either in good or fair condition. According to Chicago Breaking News, the two children suffered more serious injuries, however they do not at this time time appear to be life-threatening. At this time little information is known about the accident, but please click here to read the full article about this Chicago traffic accident.

Although, it is unknown if the children in the car were wearing seat belts, the fact that the children suffered more serious injuries than the adults demonstrates how important it is for children to always wear their seat belts, being that they are more susceptible to injury due to their size. While the general seat law in Illinois requires only that front seat passengers have to be belted, the Illinois law for children under sixteen requires that seat belts must be worn regardless of where they are seated in the car. Chicago accident attorneys remind readers that children that are small are more likely to get thrown in the event of an accident and that seat belts are what often time mean the difference between life and death in a crash. Additionally, while Illinois law allows adults traveling in the back seat to decide whether or not they want to wear a seat belt, the law acknowledges that children may not always choose to and therefore makes it a requirement that all children always wear a seat belt given the huge safety precaution that seat belts create.

July 9, 2010

New Bicycle Safety Law Signed in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Legislation was signed in Illinois on July 5th in which Governor Quinn promised to offer more protection to bicyclists that ride their bikes in Illinois. The goal of the bill is keep both bicyclists and motorists safe on Chicago roads and lead to a decrease in the number of injuries and accidents that occur each year involving bicycles. One of the main steps that will be taken to increase safety is the creation of new penalties to punish motorists that are caught driving either recklessly or too close to bikers. According to Chicago Breaking News, the hope is that creating penalties will create a deterrence to drivers to engage in this type of risky and unsafe behavior, in turn resulting in less bike-related accidents. Another change that will be made under this new piece of legislation is the creation of special "Share the Road" license plates that show the driver's support of bike safety and of which the money generated from the purchase of these plates will be used to pay for biker and driver safety educational programs. To read more about this recently signed bill that is aimed at reducing bike accidents, please click on this link.

Illinois accident attorneys remind all drivers how important it is to watch out for bikers, anytime you are driving in the city. Given the often heavy congestion of the streets in the city of Chicago, as well as the prevalence of bikers in the city, bike accidents occur far too often. While legislation of this sort is definitely a step in a positive direction in helping to ensure that both drivers and bikers remain safe, one of the best steps both drivers and bikers can take is to be alert and aware of their surroundings and not let distractions take your focus off of the road.

July 5, 2010

Man Fleeing Cops Kills Woman

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago woman was killed when a man was trying to escape from a police car, that was trying to get him to stop his vehicle, and then struck the woman's car. This fatal accident occurred on July 3rd in Bronzeville on South King Drive shortly after the police attempted to stop a car for a routine type of traffic stop. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the driver that was being stopped refused to stop and tried to flee from the police, at which point the driver speeding off struck the woman's car. The young woman suffered such severe personal injuries that she died as a result of the accident. At this point of the investigation process the death has been ruled an accident and charges are still pending against the driver that caused the fatal car crash. To read more about this Bronzeville accident, please click on this hyperlink.

Many people get worried about getting pulled over for various reasons, ranging from not having proper documentation to not wanting to pay a fine, all of which can lead drivers to try to get away from the police when they attempt to pull them over. Many of these drivers fall to realize what serious and much more severe trouble they may get in to if they try to flee the police, and that they will almost always end up getting caught by the police in this type of situation. Illinois accident attorneys ask all drivers to always stop for a police officer when pulled over and never attempt to outrun them or to get away from the police officers. The result from fleeing the police could not only be larger fines and possibly jail time, but as seen in this terrible accident, could also place others in harms way.

June 30, 2010

Driver Found Guilty in Car Accident Trial

by Levin & Perconti

A drunk driver that was responsible for the death of five teenagers back in 2007 has been found guilty of five counts of reckless homicide, as well as of sixteen counts of aggravated driving under the influence. The car accident occurred when the woman was driving eight teens, who had been drinking, home from a party in a car that was only intended to seat five. The driver was then distracted by one of the teens, according to her account of the accident, and turned around to see what was going on at which time she lost control of the car and crashed into a utility pole. Five of the teens in the car died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the accident, and three others plus the driver suffered personal injuries from the accident. While the driver claimed that she drank a little bit earlier that evening and that it did not affect her driving, the toxicology reports that showed she was significantly over the limit may have been inaccurate because she suffered liver damage in the accident and that may effect the testing. Regardless of the toxicology reports, the jury found the Defendant guilty of all counts of reckless homicide as well as the driving under the influence counts. To read more about this Illinois car accident verdict, please click on this hyperlink.

This accident is a tragic reminder of why it is so important to not allow more passengers to travel in a car you are driving than there are seat belts in the car. Overcrowding a car can cause an accident that could have been minor to become a tragedy. Illinois accident attorneys remind you to always make sure that not only all of your passengers have a seat belt, but also that they are all always wearing the belts while the car is moving. Even on short trips accidents can occur and seat belts can safe lives.

June 29, 2010

Two Teenage Girls Killed and Three Injured in Northside Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Two Northwest Chicago teenage girls were killed in a fatal car accident that occurred on June 28th. The car accident occurred when the car that the two girls were in struck a tree. There were three other passengers in the car who were injured, however it is unknown at this time who was driving when the car accident occurred. According to the Chicago Tribune, the two girls that were killed in the accident were best friends, and were almost inseparable and the girls and their friends were out celebrating one of the victim's birthdays when the accident occurred. At this point no charges have been filed against the driver, who is unknown but was not one of the victims, but they still could be filed pending the results of the accident investigation. To read more about this tragic accident, please click on this hyperlink.

While it is unknown whether this car was caused by an intoxicated underage driver, teen drunk driving results in a great number of deaths each year. Drunk driving is the leading cause of teenage death and about one person is killed in the United States every forty minutes as the result of a drunk driving accident. Chicago accident attorneys remind you of how preventable drunk driving deaths are and to never get behind the wheel even if you think you are okay to drive but have been drinking. Additionally, please make sure if you have a teenage driver that they understand that it is always a better idea to call for a ride than to drive drunk. The difference in making the choice to not drive after drinking can make all the difference in saving a life, so please always choose to not drink and drive!

June 25, 2010

Teenage Girl Run Over and Killed by Friend's Car

by Levin & Perconti

A teenage girl from Chicago was killed when she was run over by a car driven by her friend after a gang fight broke out. As she was trying to get away from the fight she fell down and was struck by her friend's car and was dragged a distance. The victim died as a result of the serious personal injuries that she incurred when she was run over by the car. At this point the police believe that a gang fight broke out and the teenage victim was accidentally struck by a car while the car tried to get away from the fight, however, according to WGN TV, the mother of the victim has heard from people that saw the accident that it may not have actually been an accident. At this point, the accident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed. Although, the victims mother claims that people at the scene told her that her daughter's death was no accident, the police reports show no evidence of any witnesses claiming this. This makes the investigation process difficult and what really happened may be hard to uncover. It is important to understand why telling the truth of what you see during a car accident is crucial, because without truthful statements by the witnesses of the accident the police may never know what happened and if someone was at fault, they may never be charged. Please always tell the police exactly what you saw if you witness an accident and if you realize you were not completely accurate when you spoke to the police at first, please amend your statement. If you would like to read more about this tragic Chicago accident, please click on this link.

June 15, 2010

Teenage Driver Causes Galesberg Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Galesburg car accident occurred on June 13th in which five people had to go to local hospitals for treatment. The accident was caused by a teenage driver that claims to have not seen a car approaching the intersection as she pulled into the intersection. This oversight resulted in a car accident and the young girl's two fifteen year old passengers were seriously injured. Both of the young girls, one of who was the younger sister of the teenage driver, have been listed in fair condition and are expected to fully recover from their personal injuries. The driver of the other car and his passenger, as well as the teenage driver, were all sent to local hospitals but were released shortly after arriving. According to Galesburg's News, tickets in connection with the accident are pending at this time. To read more about this teenage Illinois car accident, please click on this hyperlink.

Teenage driving accidents are unfortunately very common and are the leading cause of death among United States teens. According to the Center for Disease Control's teen driver's fact sheet teen drivers are four times more likely to get into a car accident that adult drivers. The main reasons for the higher incident of car accidents in this age group mostly stems of inexperience. These drivers have just received their drivers licenses which require some practice and training, but does not always seem to be adequate to prepare these kids for the realities of the road. In addition to the lack of experience, young drivers often to not realize the importance of paying complete attention while driving, and are more susceptible to distractions while driving. Additionally, teens often engage in riskier driving behaviors such as speeding, drinking or doing drugs and driving, and not wearing seat belts. Illinois accident attorneys ask you to talk to your kids or any other young drivers you know and remind them of the importance of practice, playing attention and driving safely, because making teenage drivers aware of safer driving could be what saves lives!

June 13, 2010

Illinois Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A motorcycle accident that occurred on June 11th caused one man to die from the severe head injuries that occurred when he was thrown from his bike. The accident occurred near Oak Forest on Interstate Highway 57 when the motorcycle driver attempted to pass a car and the front wheel of the motorcycle went off the edge of the pavement and dropped about 3 inches, causing the driver to lose control of the bike and crash. The victim was unfortunately not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and that caused him to suffer severe head injuries which he was unable to recover from. According to Chicago Breaking News, there were no other people or cars involved in this accident. To read more about this Illinois motorcycle accident, please click on this link.

Motorcycle accidents can be very dangerous, mostly because the driver or passengers have nothing surrounding them to protect them if they crash. This is the reason why it is so important for motorcyclists and their passengers to always wear a helmet when on a moving bike. While many motorcycle riders believe that an accident will not occur when they are just going for a quick ride in the neighborhood or that since they have not crashed before that they will not crash now, according to a study funded by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most motorcycle accidents occur on short trips and close to the point of trip origin. Illinois accident attorneys remind you that even though Illinois does not require adult motorcycle riders to where a helmet, that accidents can easily occur even on a short trip and that the best way to protect yourself and your passengers is to require helmets everytime the bike is moving.

June 9, 2010

Proposed Legislation Aimed at Higher Safety Requirements for Vehicles

by Levin & Perconti

Recent legislation is currently underway on a federal level to address the issue of the safety standards with automakers. These actions are in response to the recent issues that the Toyota Corporation has faced due to their cars' acceleration problems. The new laws that are being proposed are attempting to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create, as well as enforce, stricter safety standards for all automakers in an effort to hopefully reduce the number of car accidents that occur due to unsafe vehicles. This new act is called the Motor Safety Vehicle Act of 2010 and would require set standards for electronic components in cars, as well as increased penalties for car companies that fail to maintain the safety standards that are in place.

The bill, as it stands now, has been amended and changed some from the original proposal and may go to the U.S. House as soon as later this week. According to The Washington Post, some people who are strong advocates of the original bill contend that the bill as it stands now does not impose the level of safety standards that are needed to keep drivers safe and argue that the original bill is what is really necessary. Regardless of what the bill says, there is no doubt that new safety measures and requirements need to be implemented in light of the recent safety issues with Toyota vehicles that have led to several fatal car accidents. To read more about the proposed federal legislation known as the Motor Safety Vehicle Act of 2010, aimed at creating safer cars and reducing auto injuries and fatalities, please click on this link.

June 7, 2010

Two Injured in Illinois Motorcycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Fieldon,IL motorcycle accident occurred on June 6th when a motorcycle driver tried to pass a car and the car being passed veered into the motorcycle's lane. The motorcycle then scraped against a guardrail and turned onto its side, causing the driver and passenger to be thrown from the bike. Both suffered serious personal injuries and were hospitalized in Jerseyville. The car who swerved into the path of the victim's motorcycle was not involved in the accident itself and did not even stop at the scene. According to The Telegraph, no citations were issued in connection with this Illinois motorcycle accident. To read more about this Illinois accident, please click on this link.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's Annual Traffic Safety Facts report, in 2008 over 5,000 motorcycle riders were killed in motorcycle accident and accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in that year. Our Illinois injury attorneys remind riders that they are at a higher risk for being seriously injured in an accident because they are not protected by anything, like a driver of a car is. Therefore, it is very important for motorcyclists to be aware of cars' blind spots and be extra cautious when driving next to a car or passing a car. Similarly, we ask truck and passenger vehicle drivers to be cautious and always do head checks so as not to hit motorcycles which can easily be hidden in a car's blind spot. These small steps can make all the difference in the number of motorcycle accidents that occur each year, and can help keep motorcycle riding a safe and enjoyable activity for many.

June 6, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Leaves One Seriously Injured

by Levin & Perconti

An Aurora man suffered serious personal injuries in a car accident that occurred on June 5th on Route 25. The car accident occurred when the victim crossed his car into the lanes of oncoming traffic and struck another car head on. The driver and passengers in the car that was struck by the victim's car did not suffer any serious injuries. At this point, the Kane County Police Department is still investigating the crash and are not sure what caused the driver to cross into oncoming traffic. According to Suburban Chicago News, alcohol and drugs have not been ruled out as factors so far in the investigation. The Route on which the accident occurred was closed for several hours following the crash for clean up. To read more about this Kane County car accident, please click on this link.

Many accidents occur in Illinois everyday that are the result of distracted or impaired drivers. It is very important for drivers to never drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if they are too tired or do not feel well enough to be behind the wheel. Illinois accident attorneys also remind drivers that even if you are not impaired while driving, that allowing distractions to take your focus off the road can be just as dangerous. Never talk on your cell phone, send or recieve texts, let the radio distract you, or try to do other things such as eating while driving. These seemingly minor distractions can be enough to lead to a car crash.

June 4, 2010

Lake Shore Drive Accident Due to Drunk Driver

by Levin & Perconti

A Lakeview Chicago car accident that occurred on June 3rd was likely caused by a drunken driver who lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a three foot divider on Lake Shore drive. Luckily, no other cars were involved in the Chicago accident and the driver only suffered minor personal injuries and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of those injuries. According to The Chicago Sun Times, following the accident the driver was temporarily stuck in his car, but was able to be extracted and was not seriously injured. No one else was traveling in the car when the accident occurred and at this time it is unknown what charges are likely to be filed against the driver. If you would like to read more about this Lakeview car accident, please click on this link.

While luckily no one died in this drunk driving accident, many people are injured or killed at the hands of drunk drivers every year. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thirty two percent of all highway fatalities were caused by impaired drivers. These accidents are completely avoidable because no one should ever get behind the wheel after they have been drinking. Our Illinois injury attorneys remind readers that even "buzzed" driving is drunk driving and ask that you do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. It is always better to be safe than sorry so please hand the keys over to someone else or call a cab or another ride. Illinois police will charge you with drunk driving if you are pulled over and are found to be over the legal blood alcohol limit, so please err on the side of safety to protect yourself, your loved ones, along with other passengers and pedestrians on our streets and highways.

June 2, 2010

Young Boy Fatally Injured in Rogers Park Crash

by Levin & Perconti

A young Rogers Park boy was killed when he was crushed between two sports utility vehicles while trying to cross the street. The deadlypedestrian accident occurred on May 30th after the young boy and his sister got out of their father's car to cross the street to go to their aunt's house. An allegedly drunk driver crashed into the back of one of the two parked cars causing that car to crash into the parked car in front of it, trapping the young boy between the two. According to The Chicago Tribune, the boy's younger sister who was crossing the street with him was not hit and did not suffer any personal injuries. The suspected drunk driver is still in custody pending charges for this horrific incident. To read more about this terrible Rogers Park accident, please click on this hyperlink.

This is one of the many accidents that are the result of drunk drivers during holidays such as memorial day weekend. Given the holiday weekend, the number of accidents greatly increases, the traffic on the road becomes more dense and busy, and the number of drunk drivers on the road increases. Chicago injury attorneys remind drivers not only to make sure to never drink and drive, but remind pedestrians and drivers to be even more aware and cautious of drunk drivers during holiday weekends. While the Chicago police do try to take extra measures to ensure the safety and well-being of Chicago residents, they can not be there to stop every drunk driver, so if you see a driver that you believe may be under the influence of alcohol, please call 911 immediately. Your vigilance may help to prevent others from being harmed or killed by an impaired driver.

May 31, 2010

Chicago Cab Accident Victims Face Caps on Damages

by Levin & Perconti

A recent study has shown that Chicago cab companies have a complex system in place that may limit the amount that passengers are able to collect in the event of a personal injury or wrongful death resulting from a cab accident. The way the system is structured, a person injured is likely to never recover more than the $350,000 minimum required by the City of Chicago, even in cases where the injured party requires lifetime medical care or when the family is suing on behalf of a victim that was killed as a result of an accident.

According to The Chicago Sun Times, this change in damage recovery resulted about twelve years ago when Chicago stopped cab companies from being able to have a monopoly on owning cabs within the city, and as it stands now, no one company can own more that twenty five percent of city-issued taxi medallions. Prior to this, two Chicago cab companies had a complete monopoly on the system and typically held multiple layers of insurance, which would be available to protect the company in the event of a lawsuit and provide higher monetary damages for victims. The new system allow companies to argue that the driver is a private agent and without being able to show that the driver is an agent of the company, the recovery can be much lower for victims. While the legislature coming in to stop monopolies is good for cab companies and clients alike, these changes made it harder for injured victims of Chicago taxi accidents to recover the amount they deserve for the harm or injury caused. To read more about the damage recovery caps for cab accidents in Chicago, please click on the link.

May 27, 2010

Tips for Safe Traveling this Holiday Weekend

by Levin & Perconti

With the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, many more people will be on the road than usual and according to AAA about 28 million people are expected to be traveling by car this weekend. With the wave of travelers, it is important to remember certain safety tips if you are going to be on the road this weekend. Even before you leave there are certain safety precautions to take to avoid car accidents. Always make sure to be well rested, because being tired can distract your focus from the road and making driving very dangerous. Additionally, if you feel too tired while driving please stop and rest before resuming driving. Before you leave make sure to inspect you car, making sure the oil and fluid levels are where they should be, the brakes are working, tires are full, and any other minor maintenance is taken care of. You would not want to get stuck on the road because of a small problem that could have been taken care of before you left. When you are ready to get on the road, make sure that all of you passengers are wearing their seatbelts and never drive with a suspended or expired license or if you have been drinking. When you are driving make sure to not let distractions take your focus off of the road. This can include using your cell phone, adjusting the radio, or trying to eat while driving. All of these activities take your focus off the road, if even just for a second, and can result in a car crash.
The increase of drivers over holiday weekends, and in the summer in general, make accidents more frequent and likely, so please be extra cautious and alert while driving this holiday weekend. Chicago injury attorneys bring you these tips to have a safe and fun holiday weekend and to remind you that these few simple steps can make all the difference in having a safe and easy drive.

May 25, 2010

Cops Plan Seat Belt Crack Down for Upcoming Weekend

by Levin & Perconti

In Illinois, cops are planning to crack down on seat belt usage this holiday weekend. The law in Illinois is that all drivers, all passengers riding in the front seat of a car, and all passengers under nineteen riding anywhere in the car, must be wearing a seat belt at all times the car is in motion. According to The Chicago Tribune, while this law is always in effect, Illinois state police say that they will be extra hard on people this weekend and be watching for seat belt violations extra carefully. The reason behind this crackdown is that holiday weekends are always a time of higher accident rates and more careless driving, so the cops want to make sure that everyone is wearing seat belts to try to keep the roads safer and any injuries less severe. To read more about the Illinois State Police’s safety plans to help keep people safe in the event of car accidents during the coming holiday weekend, please click on this hyperlink.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt usage has been steadily on the rise in recent years, and in 2008 was up to ninety percent. While these numbers are good and it is obviously good that the statistics continue to rise in this regard, it is important for everyone to wear a seat belt. Chicago injury attorneys remind readers that seat belts can safe lives and can be what keeps someone from receiving serious personal injuries if they are involved in a car crash. Please make sure to do your part to reduce traffic accident injuries and always wear your seat belt and make sure that your passengers always wear their seat belts.

May 23, 2010

Chicago Hosts Ride of Silence in Memory of Fallen Bikers

by Levin & Perconti

A group of about 100 bicyclists rode on what they refer to as the “Ride of Silence” which is a route that was created to commemorate those who have been killed in Chicago biking crashes. This is an annual Chicago event, and many that participate are people that have been directly or indirectly affected by one of these biking accidents. This event is not only to commemorate these fallen individuals and to honor their memory but also to try to raise awareness for bikers. According to Northwestern Medill, this is just one of the many similar biking events all over the country that have similar goals. To read more about this tribute to fallen bikers in Chicago bicycling accidents, please click on this link.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, between 2006 and 2008 15 cyclists were killed in Illinois. Many passenger car drivers and large truck drivers fall to beware of bikers, and while the number of fatal accidents is not very high, there are many smaller accidents involving bikers all the time. One bicyclist says that a common problem is pedestrians stepping into the street and not realizing they are stepping into a biker’s path, causing the cyclist to get knocked off their bike and oftentimes into traffic. Another common problem is people opening their car doors and not realizing they are opening it into a biker’s path. Bicyclists over the age of eleven in Illinois are required to ride on the street and not on the sidewalk, so these types of issues are often very prevalent in Chicago. Our Chicago accident attorneys encourage drivers and pedestrians to be alert and to try to help keep cyclists in Chicago safer!

May 21, 2010

Bus Accident in Old Irving Park

by Levin & Perconti

A car and bus accident occurred on May 20th in which ten people were taken to local hospitals for treatment of their personal injuries. The Chicago bus accident occurred in Old Irving Park Neighborhood on North Pulaski Road when a car tried to make a turn and ended up turning directly into the path of the bus. According to Chicago Breaking News, at least six ambulances arrived at the scene and of the ten people injured, six were listed in serious to fair condition, three were listed in fair condition and one was listed in serious to critical condition. While little more is known about this Chicago bus crash, please click her for an article about the accident.

While bus crashes can be very dangerous and result in serious injury when they do occur, they are still, for the majority of the time, a very safe way to travel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008 there were 247 total bus crashes that resulted in a fatality and only twelve of those occurred anywhere in the state of Illinois. This low number of accident compared to the number of car accidents in a given year show that bus travel is overall very safe. Illinois accident attorneys remind drivers to be careful when driving near a bus and to make sure to always give them an appropriate amount of safe. Busses are large and much more difficult to maneuver in emergency situations and also have much larger blind spots than a passenger car does.

May 19, 2010

Chicago Bus Accident Injures 12

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident occurred in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on May 10th that resulted in the injury of twelve people, two of whom suffered serious personal injuries. The accident occurred when a sports utility vehicle tried to pass a car that the driver felt was driving too slowly by getting into a lane in which a Chicago Transit Authority bus was traveling, causing the bus to hit another car while it swerved to avoid hitting the original sports utility vehicle that had cut into the bus’s lane. The bus then struck the side of the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy Building. The driver of the SUV tried to leave the scene, however he did not get very far because his car had suffered damage in the accident which caused him to have to stop about a block away. So far the driver of the SUV has been cited for following too closely. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the scene was not as bad as initially thought and many bystanders helped out by helping get the injured passengers of the bus. Of the twelve injured, none were children and two people have since been listed in critical condition, nine have since been listed in fair condition and one has since been listed in good condition. The accident occurred around four in the afternoon and while the bus routes on that street had to be rerouted temporarily, the buses were back on schedule by around seven that same evening. To read more about this Chicago bus accident, please click on this hyperlink.

May 15, 2010

Chicago Heights Faces Lawsuit for Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The city of Chicago Heights is facing a lawsuit in connection with the fatal car accident in which the Chicago Heights police handed over car keys to an apparently drunk driver who then got into a fatal accident, which resulted in the death of his girlfriends five year old son who was a passenger asleep in the back seat of the car when the accident occurred. The police gave the keys to the passenger to take the car home after pulling a woman over and taking her to the police station for driving with a suspended license. The woman claims that she informed the police that her boyfriend, who was the passenger, was intoxicated because she had been with him when he was drinking earlier that evening, and that the police ignored what she told them. According to The Chicago Tribune, the woman, who was also the mother of the young boy who died in the accident, has filed a lawsuit against both the City of Chicago Heights and against her boyfriend who was driving while drunk when the car accident occurred. The Illinois car accident lawsuit seeks over $50,000 in damages. To read more about this tragic car accident and the accident lawsuit that was filed, please click on this link.

Illinois injury attorneys remind you that if you or a loved one was injured in an accident that you believe was due to the negligence of another, you may have a claim against that person. If you would like to call an accident attorney to further discuss the options you have available to you, please click on this link.

May 13, 2010

Illinois Man Drives Drunk And Kills Young Boy

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois drunk driving accident that occurred on May 10th is the topic of major discussion, since the drunk driver was given the keys to the car by a policeman shortly before the fatal accident. The Steger car accident occurred shortly after the cops pulled over the child's mother for failing to use her turn signal and then took her keys from her because she was driving with a suspended license. The police then gave the keys to her boyfriend, who was in the passenger seat, to drive himself and her five-year-old son home.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Heights policeman involved claimed that he had no idea that the boyfriend had been drinking when he gave him the keys to the car. About 40 minutes after the police let the car back onto the road, the boyfriend, who was legally intoxicated, slammed the car into a tree, instantly killing the young boy. The drunk driver has been charged with felony driving under the influence and reckless homicide for the accident. Aside from the death of a young boy, there are questions as to whether the police officers who pulled the car over should have realized that the man was under the influence of alcohol. The police officers at the scene say that there was no evidence that the man was impaired and that they did not realize that he could be drunk when they turned the keys over to him. If you would like to read more about this Chicago accident, please click on this link.

May 11, 2010

Dangers With Teens Texting and Driving

by Levin & Perconti

The dangers of texting while driving are well known, however many teen drivers fail to let this stop them. Recently, a large sampling of teenagers were interviewed about texting habits many said that they are so used to texting while doing everything and claim that it is too hard for them to promise that they will not text while they are driving. Out of the approximately 800 teens questioned, on average they reported that they send about 50 text messages each day and over a quarter of them admitted to texting while driving. Many of these teens admit to knowing that it is bad and very dangerous, however many of them admit that they think that one text message at a stoplight wont hurt. Unfortunately, text messaging can be so distracting that even this type of thinking can lead to car accidents.

In 2008, over 6,000 people were killed and over 500,000 people were hurt in car accidents that were the result of distracted drivers. While many teenagers will not agree to never text while driving, it is very important to try to get through to teenagers as to how dangerous it is too text while driving, and that even just sending or reading one text message can distract a driver enough to lead an a dangerous accident. Parents are an important tool is showing kids how dangerous texting while driving is and in making it a priority to make sure their kids do not text while in the car. One young driver took it upon herself to show other teens the dangers of texting while driving and created a public service to combat teenage texting while driving. Please click on this link to see the PSA against teenage texting and driving.

May 7, 2010

East Alton Car Accident Lawsuit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident lawsuit was filed in connection with a June 2008 East Alton car accident in which a Wood river man was injured. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the driver that allegedly rear-ended him while he was stopped at a flashing red light. The victim claims that as a result of the accident he was suffered crushed and displaced neck bones and muscles, and he seeks monetary damages to cover his medical costs and money he lost as a result of the accident. The complaint alleges that the Defendant acted negligently when she failed to reduce her speed to avoid an accident, failed to keep her car under control, failed to keep a proper lookout in order to avoid an accident, for failing to obey a traffic signal and for driving without headlights on. According to The St. Clair Record, the plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

Often times car accidents are caused by a driver that fails to pay enough attention to the road and their surroundings. When a driver does not pay enough attention while driving and causes a car accident, they may be charged with negligence. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident where you feel another person involved acted in a negligent manner and were at fault for the car accident, please call an Illinois car accident attorney today to further discuss what options are available to you.

May 3, 2010

Fatal Hit-and-Run Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois car accident on April 30th left one man dead and is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver. The accident occurred on I-94 very early in the morning while the victim was doing road construction on this stretch of highway. The driver that struck the man fled the scene but his car was later tracked down and the damage to the car confirmed that it had been the one involved in the hit-and-run accident. The driver was then charged with driving under the influence and for leaving the scene of an accident.

According to Chicago Breaking News, the mother of the driver called police after seeing her son’s car and believing that he might have been involved in a serious accident. The area where the accident occurred was well marked and a couple lanes were closed off to keep the worker safe, but the drunk driver made an illegal u-turn in that area and struck the worker. The driver never stopped and that is why he is being charged with fleeing the scene.

Hit-and-run accidents are a very serious problem and if you are ever involved in an accident you should never flee the scene. Many people do because they are scared of getting into trouble, but the reality is that you face much more serious trouble if you are found to have fled the scene of an accident. Additionally, if anyone is injured you should stop and see if you can help them because it could be too late once the paramedics arrive and additionally if you do not call the paramedics to the scene because you flee, the person may not receive medical attention for way too long. To read more about this tragic hit-and-run crash, please click on this link.

April 28, 2010

Group of Illinois Teens Offered Hands On Defensive Driving Education

by Levin & Perconti

A group of Illinois teens were given the opportunity to take a defensive driving training course taught by professional drivers in order to help teach them how to deal with certain dangers of the road, such as skidding on the road and obstacles in the road. The reason that these young teens were able to participate in this program was as a reward for having one of the best teen driving awareness programs which works to try to reduce the number of teenage car accidents. This course was taught by professional race car drivers who knew how to handle the situations they were teaching the students. The defensive driving course has very hands on and would teach students how to deal with dangerous situations by showing them what would happen and then how to properly react in order to stay safe. While the students did say some of the things they were taught to do were scary they also said that learning how to react made them feel like it would keep them from getting into a dangerous situation in real life and when they were on the road all by themselves and hopefully helps them avoid car crashes. Parents of these students also agreed that this program was a great idea and that they hope that it will make kids more away of the potential dangers of driving. While parents know the dangers and can try to explain to their children how to avoid them, it can often be hard to explain it in a way that makes sense and parents of children that attended this course felt that this approach was a great experience for their children. To read more about the teenage defensive driving lessons, please click on this link.

April 26, 2010

Prom Driving Safety Tips

by Levin & Perconti

As prom season approaches, please make sure to discuss with your children the importance of safe driving on prom night. Teenage drivers are a very high risk group to begin with, as car accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged 16-19 years old. According to the Center for Disease Control, this age group is four times more likely to crash than older drivers. The high likelihood of teenage driving accidents is due to inexperience , distraction, and other issues common to young drivers. Since teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents generally, it is important to talk to them about the additional dangers that may present themselves on prom night.

On prom night, many underage kids may consume alcohol and unfortunately may still decide to get behind the wheel. Given the inherent dangers in driving while under the influence, it is crucial for teenage kids to understand that they should never try to drive even after one drink. Additionally, it is important to make sure that they understand that other kids may try to drive while drunk and that it is important to tell an adult or the police if that person insists on driving while under the influence in order to stop them from getting hurt or from hurting others.

An additional problem that presents itself on prom night is that teenage drivers may be driving much later than they are usually allowed to or are familiar with. Make sure teenage drivers understand that if they feel in anyway uncomfortable driving in any situation on prom night that they should call an adult to come pick them up. For more information on teenage driving, please click on this link. Please remember these important tips and talk to your child before prom to try to reduce the number of teenage car accidents this prom season!

April 22, 2010

Marengo Illinois Motor Vehicle Accident Result of Drunk Driver

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident that occurred on April 2nd left two Illinois men with serious injuries. According to the Rockford Register Star, the car accident occurred when the car they were traveling in left the road, crossed over the center lane and left the road on the other side causing it to roll over multiple times and crash into a tree. Both the driver and his passenger were taken to local hospitals for treatment of their serious personal injuries and it was found that the two men were only wearing chest belts and not lap belts.

The driver of the car involved in this accident was found to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. He has been charged with driving under the influence, driving while his license was revoked, improper lane usage, and for driving with no proof of insurance. To read more about this particular Illinois DUI car accident, please click on this link for more information.

Car crashes
caused by drunk driving are far more common than they should be, as this is a completely avoidable issue. If you or someone you know wants to drive home after consuming more drinks that the legal maximum, please do not drive and stop any person that is trying to. Driving drunk not only puts the driver at risk but puts anyone else in the car’s life at risk as well as anyone else on the road. Even if you have had below the legal limit to be considered able to drive, but do not feel like you should be behind the wheel of a car, please do not drive. Given how dangerous it is to drive drunk, it is always better to err of the side of safety.

April 20, 2010

Tragic Train Accident Kills Chicago Woman

by Levin & Perconti

A fatal train accident occurred on April 16th in which a Chicago woman’s car was struck by an Amtrak train and she was killed. Upon investigation it was discovered that the trains warning system (to alert drivers when a train is approaching) was not properly reconnected after the track had been worked on. Unfortunately, this meant that there was no adequate warning for the young woman whose car was struck to let her know the train was coming and to keep her from crossing. According to Chicago Breaking News, after the repair work was done on the tracks, the workers thought they had appropriately hooked the warning system back up but unfortunately had not causing the warning system to not go into effect with an approaching train. To read more about this tragic accident, please click on this link.

While this accident was a result of human error on the part of the train workers, it is important for all drivers to be very cautious when driving over train tracks. If there are safety alerts telling you a train is approaching, never try to cross even if you cannot see the train. Trains travel at very fast speeds and can approach much quicker than you may realize and could be very close even if you can not see it from the intersection. If you are at a train track and the warning systems are not activated but you can see or hear a train nearby wait anyway just to be safe. If you are ever not sure if it is safe to go at that time, in order to avoid a car accident, please err on the side of caution.

April 16, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of a Minor Victim

by Levin & Perconti

A car crash lawsuit has been filed by the father of a young car accident victim. The car accident occurred last May, when the minor girl was a passenger in a car in which the complaint alleges the driver had just bought alcohol and had been consuming it prior to the accident. The driver lost control of her car while driving in Fairview Heights, IL and crashed into a tree. The lawsuit alleges that the driver was driving negligently while under the influence of alcohol. According to the St. Clair Record, the lawsuit seeks damages of over $150,000 for the physical and emotional injuries that the young girl suffered, as well as for the loss of her being able to do her usual activities. To read more about this Illinois car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

According to Illinois DUI laws, the penalties for driving under the influence (with a blood alcohol content of over .08) are very severe, including up to a year in jail for the first offense (one year and a half if someone under 16 is in the vehicle), up to a $2,500 fine (more if someone under 16 is in the vehicle or if the driver’s blood alcohol content is over .16) and a mandatory license suspension of at least a year. The punishments increase exponentially if a person is caught driving under the influence more than one time. Aside from the possible punishments for drunk driving, a person should never drive under the influence of alcohol because not only are they placing themselves in extreme danger but are also putting anyone else on the road in danger in the event of a car crash.

April 14, 2010

New Guidelines for Dementia Patients and Driving

by Levin & Perconti

A recent study was done to help determine when people suffering from various types of dementia should no longer be legally allowed to drive. The issue with people with advanced types of dementia driving is that dementia affects the brain and memory and in its advanced stages can affect a person’s memory, attention, language, and ability to problem solve. This can be dangerous for a driver because paying constant attention to the road and being oriented to what is going on is crucial to be safe on the road and help avoid car accidents.

According to The American Academy of Neurology, new guidelines have been issued to determine at what level of advancement people with various forms of dementia are no longer safe when driving. A type of rating scale has been implemented that allows doctors to use a combination of information received from both a person with dementia’s caregiver and from an observation of the person themselves to determine what level of dementia they are suffering from. The reason that this testing scale is appropriate is that doctors have found that not all patients suffering from dementia are incapable of safely driving and that as many as 76 percent of patients with mild dementia are safe to drive.

It is important for caregivers to be alert and aware of dementia patients driving and if anything seems out of the ordinary such as car crashes, moving violations, avoiding certain driving conditions, or generally becoming more aggressive or impulsive, as these may be warning signs of dementia advancing or getting to a point that may make driving unsafe. If you notice these type of changes, please contact a doctor to the get the dementia patient tested for driving. To read more about the new guidelines for safe driving and dementia patients, please click on this hyperlink.

April 12, 2010

Illinois Accident Lawsuit Filed in Connection with Car Crash

by Levin & Perconti

The victim of a car accident has filed a lawsuit against the other driver after the driver allegedly crossed over the median and crashed into the victim’s car. The car accident complaint alleges that the plaintiff was driving on I-64 in Illinois when the accident occurred and the crash aggravated a pre-existing condition that he had which caused him great physical and mental pain and kept him from being able to do his usual duties. According to the Madison Record, the lawsuit alleges that the defendant negligently failed to keep his car under control, was driving too fast, did not keep a proper lookout, didn’t stop in time or slow down to avoid an accident, and failed to stay within his lane. The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages in addition to the costs of the lawsuit. To read more about this St. Clair County car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

A victim of a car accident has several options when filing a lawsuit against the driver they feel was responsible for the accident. The actual damages incurred in the accident, including medical expenses for the victim and the damage to property, are not always the only options available. A victim or the family of a victim can often seek compensatory damages which do not account for actual costs incurred but rather monetary damages to try to make the person whole again following the accident. These may be for future lost wages when someone cannot work in the same way they were able to work prior to the accident or in anticipation of future medical expenses that have not yet come about. Additionally, in the event that a victim in the car accident was killed, the family filing the wrongful death lawsuit can seek compensatory damages for having to live with the loss of their loved one as a result of the accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident and you would like to know more about what options are available, please contact a Chicago accident attorney at Levin & Perconti to discuss the details of your case.

April 10, 2010

Illinois Accident Lawsuit Seeks $100,000 in Damages

by Levin & Perconti

A St. Clair County car accident that occurred last August has led to the filing of a car accident lawsuit by one of the drivers involved that was hurt in the car accident. The car accident lawsuit alleges that one of the other drivers struck another car from behind and that second car then struck the plaintiff’s car causing the plaintiff injury. The complaint names both drivers as defendants in the lawsuit. The initial driver allegedly caused the crash and failed to maintain a proper lookout as well as other negligent actions, while the second driver allegedly also acted negligently when she failed to maintain a proper distance between the cars to avoid a car crash. According to The Madison Record, the lawsuit seeks over $100,000 in damages, which include medical bills, lost wage, suffered earning capacity and property damages. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, click on this link.

Often times car accidents may not be due only to one person’s negligent behavior but can be a combination of negligent actions taken on the part of multiple people. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident and you feel that the accident was caused by the negligence of one or more than one other person involved, please contact an Illinois accident attorney to see what options you may have in pursuing a lawsuit. Even if you are not sure if you have a case against another driver, please contact an attorney to discuss the possibilities available to you.

April 8, 2010

Illinois Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash on I-80

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man was killed in a motorcycle accident that occurred on April 7th. The accident occurred on I-80 when the motorcyclist tried to brake while rounding a curve and lost control of the bike, causing the bike to throw the rider off and hit a guard rail. According to The Southtown Star, at this point the investigation has shown that there was no sign of alcohol but that the driver was speeding at the time of the horrible one-vehicle accident. To read more about this tragic Will County accident, please click on the link.

Motorcycle accidents can be very dangerous and new safety measures are constantly being taken to try to make them safer for riders. A recent study by the Highway Loss Data Institute has shown that a recent effort requiring mandatory training for riders is not nearly as effective at preventing dangerous motorcycles accidents as was hoped. The study compared accident statistics in states that required training to those in states that do not, and the numbers were not significantly different. Some argue that even if these programs are not being offered to reduce accidents, they are still important to teach new riders how to operate motorcycles before allowing them on their own on the road. An additional argument showing why they may still be important is that there are certain types of risky behaviors, such as speeding like in the New Lenox crash, that often cause accidents that will not be eliminated no matter how well a person knows how to properly operate and ride a motorcycle. While it is unfortunate that these measures have not been found to help prevent accidents, the New York Times Wheels Blog mentions that certain precautions taken do help prevent fatalities, such as antilock brakes on bikes and helmets worn by riders. The Chicago accident attorneys of Levin & Perconti urge motorcyle drivers and passengers to remember to always ride at a safe speed and to wear your helmet to avoid serious personal injuries.

April 4, 2010

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving in Connection With Fatal Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man has pled guilty in connection with a drunk driving car accident that killed one person and injured two others last year. The fatal accident occurred when the driver crashed into a mailbox, car and two trees. The driver was going 77 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone and his blood alcohol level was .277. According to Suburban Chicago News, the crash did not involve any other cars but killed one passenger and injured two others. from the car involved in the crash. The sentencing phase of the trial has not occurred yet, but the driver can face anywhere between three and fourteen years in prison in connection with pleading guilty to this criminal charge. To read more about this Illinois car accident, click on the link.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk drivers accounted for over 30% of all traffic deaths in 2008, with over 11,000 victims to drunk drivers getting behind the wheel. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is so extremely dangerous because a driver’s reactions and ability to safely and defensively drive is lost when a person is drinks. While there is a legal drinking limit, if you are ever unsure of your blood alcohol level or feel that you are impaired and should not be on the road, hand over your keys and let someone else drive. With drinking and driving it is always better to err on the side of safety and not drive after consuming alcohol. Also remember that when you get behind the wheel after drinking, it is not only your own safety at risk!

March 31, 2010

Chicago Man Killed in West Side Bicycle Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago bicyclist was killed on March 30th when he was struck by a car on the West Side of Chicago. The biking accident occurred when the biker was riding on North Waller Avenue and a car failed to slow down and struck the biker. According to Chicago Breaking News, the biker’s injuries were so severe that he unfortunately was unable to recover and died shortly after the biking accident. The driver that struck the man was cited with negligent driving as well as failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. To read more about this tragic car accident, please click on this link.

While drivers must always be aware of bikers and be careful to avoid hitting them, there are also certain safety precautions that bikers can take to ensure their own safety. The Chicago accident attorneys at Levin and Perconti offer several tips for bikers to remain safe while on the road. First of all, bikers should always ride as close to the curb as possible and only veer more into the road to avoid other bikers or a dangerous situation in the road. Additionally, bikers should always have at least one hand on the handlebars and never being holding on to something that would make it impossible for them to use both hands when necessary to control the bike. Whenever there is a bike path adjacent to the street, the biker should always ride on the path instead of the street. Bike should never have more people riding that there are seats available. In addition to these safety tips, all bikes should be equipped with reflective lights to help insure cars can see them and should always have a working brake. Following these tips and making sure your bike is safe to be riding can help you have a safe and enjoyable ride!

March 29, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Caused By Black Ice

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman that suffered serious personal injuries in a car accident this past December has filed a lawsuit against the driver of the car who the victim alleges caused the accident. According to The Telegraph, the complaint alleges that the defendant was negligent in that he failed to keep his vehicle in control, failed to stop his car in time to avoid a car accident, failed to keep a proper lookout, and that he crossed the center line. The police reports from the car accident show that the defendant lost control of his car and caused the accident because his car struck black ice and he could not control the vehicle once it struck this very dangerous type of ice. To read more about this car accident and the lawsuit in connection, please click on this link.

Black ice can be even more dangerous that other types of ice because it is more transparent, appearing the color of the ground below it, making it at times impossible for drivers to see. This type of ice occurs when very few air bubbles get trapped inside the ice which is what makes the ice so transparent. This type of ice can be very dangerous on the road to drivers and is also often a danger to pedestrians that may also not notice it while they are walking.

According to the United States Department of Transportation website, icy pavements cause close to 200,000 car crashes yearly and account for 3% of all motor vehicle accidents each year. When the pavement condition is altered, such as when there is ice or black ice, the vehicle performance and driver’s capability to handle the vehicle are both compromised. Because of these problems that occur with ice it is important for drivers to be extremely cautious when driving in icy conditions, preferably choosing not to drive if possible. If you must drive be sure to drive slowly and very cautiously while always paying extra careful attention to the road.

March 27, 2010

Bicyclist’s Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

The family of a bicyclist that was killed in a car accident in 2008 has had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car. The car crash occurred while the driver was text messaging and got distracted, causing the driver to crash into the bicyclist. The driver, in his distracted state, failed to stop at a stop sign and was ticketed for causing the accident in which the young man was killed. According to About Lawsuits, the lawsuit alleged that the driver was grossly negligent when he intentionally took his eyes off the road while driving. To read more about this accident and car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

Many states have chosen to deal with the dangers of texting while driving by enacting laws that make it against the law to text message while driving. Illinois is one of the states that have enacted anti-texting laws. In Illinois a law was enacted on January 1, 2010 that makes it against the law to compose or read text messages while driving or at any type the car is in drive, and carries a fine of $75 per offense. Unfortunately, while this law is a great attempt to try to curb the presence of texting while driving, Illinois officers have said that this law is actually very difficult to enforce. The law does not ban drivers from scrolling through their contact lists on their cell phones or for dialing numbers, and both of these acts look very similar to text messaging. At this point the Illinois law is proving hard to enforce however hopefully drivers knowing they may be ticketed for texting will make them reconsider doing it and realize the danger that it creates.

Whenever you are behind the wheel remember how distracting text messaging is to a driver and how much focus it takes off the road. Always refrain from texting while driving and if it is a matter that must be taken care of immediately, please pull off the road while you are texting. This simple act of refusing to text while driving will make you safer on the road and may prevent car crashes.

March 25, 2010

Illinois Teenage Girl Struck and Killed by Elderly Driver

by Levin & Perconti

A Southern Illinois car accident that occurred on March 24th injured two teenage girls and left a third girl dead. The tragic accident occurred when the three girls were bike riding on the side of a road in Gallatin County and an elderly man crossed over the center line striking the three young girls. According to The Associated Content, while one girl suffered injuries so severe that she died as a result, the other two girls were hospitalized with their injuries and will hopefully recover fully. To read more about this horrible Illinois car crash, please click on the link.

Unfortunately, the elderly population makes up for close to 15 percent of all traffic accidents even though the elderly population makes up only about 9 percent of the overall population. Elderly drivers and the families of these drivers should make sure that any elderly driver has a current driver’s license, has had their vision and hearing checked recently and that their reflexes are quick enough for driving. It is important to make sure that elderly drivers are in a safe position to be on the road alone, to help keep them safe as well as other drivers they may encounter.

March 23, 2010

Other New Illinois Driving Laws

by Levin & Perconti

The new texting ban that went into effect in Illinois earlier this year is not the only new cell phone law aimed at reducing Illinois car accidents that Illinois drivers need to be aware of. In addition to the texting ban, the Illinois legislature also passed a law that makes talking on a cell phone while in a school zone or construction zone against the law because of the possible danger in causing car crashes in these areas. This goes for all times of day and is in effect even during hours where children and construction workers are not present. The construction zone law also apples to temporary work areas as long as a speed reduction sign is posted. The law does not ban blue tooth use, speaker mode, or emergency 911 call in these restricted areas.

Some police officials have issues with these laws now that construction season is about to start in Illinois. The public has not been made aware of these laws in very much depth and certain officials believe that it is unfair to ticket without proper warning. The hope with these officials is that officers will only issue warnings to people until the public is better informed of the new law at which time there will be a zero tolerance policy. To read more about these new laws in Illinois, click here.

March 21, 2010

Three Illinois Teenagers Injured in Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident on March 17th left three Illinois teenagers injured. The Peoria car accident occurred when the young driver waved to people in another car and lost control of his car and crashed into another car. According to PJ Star, the driver and the two passengers in the car were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their personal injuries. The driver and passengers in the car that was hit were not seriously injured. The teenage driver of the car that caused the accident was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. To read more about this Peoria car accident, please click on this link.

Accidents like this are unfortunately more common than one may think. According to the CDC website, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens and while the ages between 15-24 only make up for about 15% of the population, this age group accounts for about 30% of car accidents. Texting, radio playing and talking to friends can easily distract young drivers. Young drivers often lack the experience necessary to drive safely on the road and often get into accidents caused by not paying attention to the road and other drivers or by inexperience and not knowing how to handle certain situations. It is important to try to help teenage drivers understand the importance of paying attention while driving and not letting distractions keep then from focusing on the road.

March 17, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Kills Construction Worker

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois construction worker was killed on March 16th when he was struck by a car on Interstate 80. The victim was patching potholes on the highway when he was hit by a car at such a high speed that the victim was forced through the windshield. According to The Chicago Tribune, the driver of the car fled from the scene of the car accident and is still being sought out. Many hit-and-run accidents occur every year when people either get scared and don’t know how to handle the situation or think they can avoid the consequences caused by their negligence. If you are ever involved in an a car crash, make sure to stay at the scene for the police.

The accident occurred in a construction zone that was clearly marked. The construction zone signs are intended to protect both the construction workers as well as the drivers. It is important to always be aware when driving and make sure to take note of construction zones and follow the construction zone special rules. According to the Illinois Tollway website, first of all pay attention so you know where the construction zone begins and ends as well as what the reduced speed limit is in that area. While in the construction zone, obey the reduced speed limit whether you can see workers or not. The penalty for hitting a construction worker may be up to $10,000 and up to 14 years in jail. To read more about this car crash in which a construction worker was fatally injured, click on the link.

March 13, 2010

Illinois Woman Killed in Early Morning Crash

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman was killed earlier this morning when her car was struck by a passenger van. The North Side Chicago accident occurred when a van struck her car, and she was pronounced dead shortly after the accident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a result of multiple personal injuries sustained in the crash. According to Chicago Breaking News, this car crash is still under investigation and there is no information at this point if any citations were issued or if any charges will be filed. To read more about this Chicago car accident, click on the link.

If a loved one was killed in a car accident and you believe that the driver that caused the car accident may have been negligent, or was responsible for the car accident in some other way, you may be entitled to compensation on the part of your deceased loved one. Even if charges were not filed against the driver in connection with the accident, there may still be civil options available to the family of the victim and a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate to compensate the family of the victim. If you would like to discuss possible options following an accident in which a loved one was killed, please contact a Chicago accident attorney today.

March 11, 2010

Chicago Woman Dies in Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago woman died in a car accident on March 9th in which a woman lost control of her car, drove of the highway and struck a light pole. The driver and her nine year old daughter were taken to Christ Medical Center for treatment of their personal injuries and are both expected to recover fully. According to South Town Star, a passenger in the car suffered fatal injuries. The driver of the car has been charged with drunk driving. To read more about this Illinois crash, please click on the hyperlink.

Drunk driving in a very serious crime and in Illinois drunk drivers can face up to a year loss of driving privileges, possible jail time of a year, and a $1000 fine. According to the Illinois State Police’s website, this punishment is just for the first offense and the punishment gets much more severe with more than one DUI conviction. Always remember that drunk driving is very dangerous and can hurt not only yourself but others and that in Illinois the legal limit is a .08 blood alcohol content to be considered under the influence and in turn subject to drunk driving tickets.

If you see a driver that you believe may be impaired please call 911 immediately to give the police the location of the driver. Make sure to stay out of the way of the vehicle but also keep an eye on it to give the police the most accurate description of where the car is on the road. Additionally, if you know that someone is getting behind the wheel and they are intoxicated, please try to stop them and offer them a ride to where they are going. If they insist on driving, please take note of their license plate number and call the police to inform them of the intoxicated driver.

March 7, 2010

Illinois School Bus Accident Injures Eleven

by Levin & Perconti

A Hanna City car accident occurred on the morning of March 4th in which three vehicles were involved, including a school bus full of eighteen students ranging in ages. According to PJ Star, eleven people were injured in the car accident that occurred when the school bus was stopped to pick up a student and another car was stopped behind the bus and a third car struck the stopped car from behind, causing that car to strike the bus. Between the three cars there were multiple injuries and the victims were taken to local hospitals for treatments of their personal injuries. To read more about this Illinois bus accident please click on the link.

Luckily, buses are built to stand up to accidents well and are one of the safest vehicles to be riding in at the time an accident occurs. This is likely why only several of the children on the school bus suffered injuries and none of them seemed to be too severe since all children were reported to have been released from the hospitals later that same day. While the statistics show that school bus accidents result in less injuries, there are still safety measures that could be implemented on school buses to further improve safety. According to Web MD, one major improvement would be a mandatory seat belt law for school buses and another very helpful improvement would be compartmentalized seating that would better protect the kids in the event of a bus accident. While school buses are safer than some other vehicles, it is important to always be aware of stopped school buses to avoid accidents. School buses stop frequently so make sure to always be paying attention to the road, and pay extra attention in areas where you know school buses often travel.

March 3, 2010

Chicago Woman Strikes Police Officer

by Levin & Perconti

On February 27th a Chicago woman got into a car accident in which she struck an Illinois police officer on I-94. The accident occurred when the police officer was pulled over on the side of the highway and was standing outside of her patrol car and was then hit by the Chicago woman. According to Chicago Sun Times, the victim was conscious when emergency crews arrived and is believed to have suffered multiple broken bones but is expected to recover fully. To read more about this Chicago pedestrian accident, please click on the link.

The driver has been charged with aggravated reckless conduct for her failure to notice the police officer in time to avoid striking her. In Illinois there is an additional penalty for driver’s who fail to yield to emergency vehicles or cause accidents or injuries to public safety personnel. According to the Illinois State Police website violation of this law, Scott’s Law, can lead to up to an additional $10,000 in fines and a suspension of driving privileges for up to two years. In addition to the reckless conduct charge, the driver in this car accident was also charged under Scott’s Law, cited for improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed and operating an uninsured car. Driver distraction can be very dangerous and can lead to very serious car crashes. It is important for all drivers to be alert and pay attention every time they get behind the wheel.

March 1, 2010

Chicago Taxi Accident Injures Two People

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago taxi accident occurred early on the morning of February 28th in which both the taxi driver and the passenger suffered personal injuries. According to Chicago Breaking News, the car accident occurred when a car traveling on Clark Street crossed over the center line and crashed into the taxi carrying the victims. The car that caused the car accident then sped off and the car was later found abandoned near the crash. Both victims had to be extracted from the taxi and were hospitalized with personal injuries. For more information on this Illinois taxi accident, please click on this link.

Hit-and-runs like this accident are when a driver hits another car and then flees the scene, rather than staying at the scene to talk to the police or the other driver. Many drivers get nervous after an accident and their instinct may be to leave immediately, but it is important to always stay to make sure everyone is okay and, if there are any injuries, that the police and emergency personnel are called. If you were in a hit-and-run accident and would like to talk to a Chicago car accident attorney about what your legal options may be, please follow the link.

February 27, 2010

Chicago Woman Files Lawsuit Against Taxi Driver

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago woman who was injured in a taxi accident has filed a car accident lawsuit. The accident occurred several months ago when the victim was the passenger in a taxi and the driver lost control and crashed into a tree. The victim was in a coma for a month after the crash and her husband was told she had less than a one percent chance of survival. Luckily, the victim has since recovered. According to ABC local, the victim and her husband have since filed a lawsuit against the taxi driver to cover their doctor’s bills of close to one million dollars. The taxi driver is claiming that the car sped up on its own and this is what caused the accident, and not his negligence, however the black box for the taxi that would store this data seems to have gone missing. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, please click on the link.

Taxi drivers are often involved in car accidents and if the victim believes that the driver may have been negligent and caused the accident, the passenger may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver. If you or a loved one have been involved in a taxi accident and feel that the driver may have been at fault and that you are entitled to compensation, please contact a Chicago car accident attorney.

February 21, 2010

Chicago Taxi Accident Leaves Three Seriously Injured

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident occurred early on February 20th and left three Illinois residents seriously injured. The accident was at the intersection of Clark and Division and was caused by a car crashing into a taxi as it was going through the intersection. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the taxi then hit a pole and the car that caused the accident crashed into another taxi. Three people were listed in serious to critical condition and two were in good condition following the accident. At this point it is not known whether any of the victims were pedestrians or if they were all passengers in the cars. To read more about this Chicago car accident, please click here.

Given the high frequency of taxis in the city, taxis are often involved in car accidents. As a passenger in a taxi, you should always wear a seatbelt to protect yourself in the event of a taxi accident. While many people ignore seatbelts in taxis or find it not as important and necessarily to wear a seatbelt in a taxi as they do in a car, an accident can be just as dangerous so seatbelts are very important. Please make sure to always make a conscious effort to wear your seatbelt while traveling in a taxi, and encourage others to as well.

February 19, 2010

Wrongful Death Suit Filed on Behalf of Elderly Woman Killed in Pedestrian Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection with the death of a Illinois woman who was killed when struck by a vehicle in October of this past year. This pedestrian accident occurred in Evanston when the elderly woman tried to cross Sheridan Road and the car accident lawsuit alleges that the driver was negligent because she failed to keep a proper lookout in addition to driving too fast given the weather conditions. According to The Pioneer Local, the suit seeks over $200,000 in damages. To read more about this tragic accident, please click on the link.

While there has been a decrease in pedestrian deaths over the last decade, this is still a serious problem that drivers and pedestrians need to be aware of. In 2007, 170 pedestrians were killed and 1000 were injured in Illinois. Pedestrian accidents are much more common in urban areas, so residents of Chicago need to be extra cautious when walking and when driving. The best way to try to avoid pedestrian accidents is to make sure you are always alert, paying attention to the road and following street signs while either driving or walking. To read more about pedestrian accident rates and ways to avoid these horrible accidents, please click on the link.

February 17, 2010

Illinois Family Files Wrongful Death Suit over Son’s Death in Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The family of a young Illinois man who was killed in December has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car that killed their son. The car accident occurred when the Defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol and caused the crash in which the young man was killed. According to The Southtown Star, the family is seeking over $50,000 in damages in connection with this accident. The Defendant is also facing criminal charges for drinking and driving and is currently undergoing treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. He has also had his license suspended until 2013. To read more about this tragic accident and the wrongful death lawsuit, please click on this link.

Drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal car accidents and these types of accidents are very preventable. Please make sure that you never drive when you have had too much to drink and always try to encourage others to stay out of the driver’s seat when you feel they have been drinking. Drunk driving causes so many deaths a year, see here, and it will help greatly if everyone does their part to try to keep less drunk drivers off the road.

February 15, 2010

Illinois Woman Faces Charges for Failing to Pay Attention While At the Wheel

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman is facing criminal charges for a car accident in which an Illinois motorcyclist was killed. According to Suburban Chicago News, the woman was allegedly painting her fingernails at the time she struck the man and is being charged with six counts of reckless homicide. The car accident occurred last May at the intersection of Route 12 and Old McHenry Road, when the Illinois woman struck the motorcyclist who was stopped waiting for the light to change. To read more about this Illinois car accident and the charges the woman is facing, please click on this link.

This accident is yet another example of why it is so important to always pay attention while driving. As seen by the cell phone ban going into effect all over the country, distracted drivers are the cause of a great deal of car crashes. Many people think that it is okay to take your eyes and focus off of the road when stopped in traffic, stopped at a light or when you are driving slow but being distracted at any point while the car is on the road can be very dangerous and it is important to always stay focused.

February 13, 2010

Cell Phone Distraction More Likely to Cause Accident in Heavily Congested Areas

by Levin & Perconti

A recent study has found cell phone distraction is more likely to cause car accidents in densely populated areas. The study looked at the rates of car accidents in densely populated areas before and after the cell-phone ban laws went into effect. The results of the study showed that there was a higher drop in car accident fatalities in the heavily congested areas, as well as a higher drop in non-fatal car accidents. According to Science Daily, the reasoning that the conductors of the study believe that there is such a difference based on the congestion of the city, is because in a higher traffic area it is much easier to hit a car when distracted by a cell phone, because the cars are so much closer to each other. In other words, if you are driving on a road with no traffic and you get distracted and lose control of your car for a second, there is a much lower chance you will hit something than when you are stopped right behind another car in a heavily congested area. To read more about this study, please click on this link.

This study is very relevant for drivers in Chicago, because the city of Chicago is very densely populated and the streets are often very congested. To read about car accident rates in the city of Chicago, please click on this link. While the cell-phone ban is currently in effect in Chicago, many drivers still ignore the law and continue to use their cell phone while driving in the city. In addition to the law and potential citations you an receive for using your cell phone while driving in the city, this study offers an additional reason to not let yourself be distracted by your cell phone while driving in a heavily congested area.

February 9, 2010

Family of Chicago Car Accident Victim Files Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

The family of a Chicago baby that was killed in a fatal car accident last week has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car that caused the crash. According to the Chicago car accident attorney who filed the case, the accident occurred when the plaintiff was fleeing from a previous crash at 100 miles per hour with headlights that were not operating correctly. According to Chicago Breaking News, the accident occurred at the corner of Parker and Cicero Avenues in Chicago and while the baby’s parents survived the crash, two of their friends who were passengers in the car were also killed. Read the report about this deadly Chicago car crash.

The driver who fled the scene but was later detained. He was released without criminal charges but faces several driving violations. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the baby’s parents seeks an unspecified amount of money for both their baby’s death and their own injuries sustained in the collision. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident and feel that you may be entitled to compensation by the person responsible, please contact an Illinois accident attorney to further discuss the case and the possible options you may have.

February 7, 2010

St. Clair Car Accident Lawsuit Filed 12 Years After Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man has filed a car accident lawsuit in connection with an accident that occurred back in 2002. The lawsuit alleges that when the Illinois plaintiff was just a teenager he was struck by the Defendant’s car while he was a passenger in a car driving out of a parking lot. According to The St. Clair Record, the accident occurred in St. Clair County on Illinois Route 159 when the Defendant allegedly cut Plaintiff off while he was waiting to turn out of the lot. The complaint seeks over $50,000 in damages for pain and suffering as well as loss of normal enjoyment of life. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

While this lawsuit was filed many years after the car accident occurred, this may be done in many types of accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, even if it was many years ago, and you feel like you may be entitled to damages please contact please contact an Illinois accident attorney to discuss your case and see what your possible options may be.

February 5, 2010

First Cook County Lawsuit Filed in Connection With Toyota Recall

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois resident has filed a lawsuit against Toyota, the maker of the rented car that he was driving and got into an accident in. According to The Chicago Tribune, the car accident that occurred in St. Charles at the end of last year is believed to have been caused by the sticking gas pedals in many Toyota models that have been the source of recent Toyota recalls. This faulty pedal problem makes it difficult for drivers to stop their car in time to avoid an accident which is what this specific car accident lawsuit alleges happened. Although over 5 million vehicles are believed to be affected by this safety issue, the car accident attorney that is representing the victims believes that this lawsuit is the first of its kind to be filed in Cook County.

This specific lawsuit alleges that the driver, who had rented a car from a Chicago car rental, was unable to stop his car in time to avoid hitting another car which was caused by the stuck gas pedal. The car accident lawsuit also names the car rental company as a defendant, for failing to stop renting the vehicle after Toyota had recalled that specific model. The complaint seeks over $50,000 in damages. To read more about this car accident lawsuit and the Toyota recall, please click in this hyperlink.

February 3, 2010

Toyota Recall Leaves the Company in Serious Trouble

by Levin & Perconti

Many people are concerned with the way that Toyota is handling their recent recalls in the past couple weeks. The problem that have been identified in several Toyota models involve an safety issue where gas pedals have been sticking. This is a huge safety issue as a stuck gas pedal can lead to severe car accidents if the driver is unable to control their vehicle. The more recent concern is not just over the fact that this safety issue exists but that Toyota has been slow in their response to address the problem. To read more about the Toyota recalls, please click on this link.

According to Yahoo News, the Transportation Secretary says that it took Toyota awhile to recall the vehicles once the problem was initially discovered and that the government is considered penalizing Toyota for their delay. Toyota is suffering a big blow to their image with these recent safety issues, with their stock falling, and the company that has always prided itself on safety, losing business to other companies that are stepping up in the wake of these Toyota safety issues. To read more about other companies stepping in, please click on this link. For additional info on the trouble that Toyota may be in for their slow responses, please click here.

These types of safety issues in vehicles are very important to deal with because of the severity of what these issues can cause. Many car crashes may result from these faulty gas pedals and other similar safety oversights, and this is why it is so crucial for car companies to be very thorough in their quality checks and to immediately address any issues that so come up. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of negligence on the part of a car company or another driver, please contact an Illinois accident attorney to discuss your case and see what your possible options may be.

February 1, 2010

Snowy Weather Leads to Chain-Reaction Accident in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

A chain reaction car accident occurred in Chicago today, which was initially caused by the snow fall earlier this morning. Very early this morning an intoxicated driver lost control on the snowy roads and hit a median on the highway, and then a truck struck the car after it hit the median. According to Chicago Breaking News, another truck trying to avoid the accident was struck by another truck traveling behind it and jack-knifed across all the lanes of traffic. The highway had to be closed for several hours to deal with this horrible mess of cars. To read more about this Chicago accident, please click on this link.

While the city of Chicago does try to prepare for the weather and reduce car accidents by clearing the snow as soon as possible, drivers need to be cautious because all roads usually cannot be cleared in time for the morning commute. Drivers need to be aware of the weather and drive slower and more cautiously given the harsh conditions. If the roads have a lot of traffic make sure not to follow others cars too closely as it is much harder to stop quickly in icy road conditions. Also keep in mind that right when snow (or rain) begins to fall is when the roads may be the most dangerous because the roads are just becoming slick.

January 30, 2010

Madison County Bus Accident Results in Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

A Madison County car accident occurred in January of last year when a Madison County Transit bus driver hit the back of an Illinois driver’s car. The driver and passenger in the car have filed a car accident lawsuit against the bus driver as well as the transit company. The lawsuit alleges that the bus driver is responsible for the accident for failing to yield the right of way to the car, driving too fast, following too closely, and multiple other violations. The plaintiffs are seeking over $450,000 in damages for their injuries. To read more about this Illinois bus accident, please click here.

As you can see given this type of accident, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings while driving and to be sure to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and to be extra cautious when sharing the road with mass transit vehicles. This type of cautious driving can help prevent car accidents. If you were in a car accident that you feel like was the fault of the other party and would like to file a car accident lawsuit, please contact a Illinois car accident attorney for more information on how to go about this.

January 24, 2010

St. Charles Residents Injured in Elgin Crash

by Levin & Perconti

An Elgin car accident that occurred on January 23rd on Route 31 resulted in the injury of two St. Charles residents. According to The Daily Herald, the car accident occurred when the car in which the two victims were in was struck by another car. At this point the condition of all the people involved in the accident is unknown but both of the St. Charles residents, as well as the driver of the car that struck them, were taken to Provena St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of their personal injuries. The road was closed for about an hour following the car accident and the driver that caused the accident received several citations. To read more about this Elgin car accident, please click on this link.

January 23, 2010

Illinois Man Killed in Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A fatal car accident that occurred on January 21st resulted in the death of one Illinois man and seriously injured another Illinois man. The fatal car accident occurred when one of the drivers lost control of his car and struck the victim’s car that was traveling in the oncoming lane on Illinois Route 16 near Illinois Route 100. According to The Telegraph, both drivers were extricated from their cars and one of the men was pronounced dead shortly after the accident. The driver that caused the car accident has been charged with driving under the influence and improper lane usage in connection with the car accident. For more information on this tragic accident, please click on this link.

January 22, 2010

Elderly Chicago Man Killed While Crossing Street

by Levin & Perconti

An elderly Illinois pedestrian was killed on January 21st when a vehicle struck him in Albany Park. The driver of the car responsible for the car accident was unlicensed and was ticketed for driving without a license and for striking a pedestrian failing to exercise due care. According to Chicago Breaking News, the victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Medical Center but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. To read more about this tragic Chicago car accident, please click here.

January 21, 2010

One Dead in Drunk Driving Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A northwest Chicago car accident resulted in the death of an Irving Park man early on the morning of January 19th. The fatal car accident occurred when a drunk driver, who also was driving without car insurance, lost control of his car and hit another vehicle. According to Chicago Breaking News, the drunk driver’s passenger was thrown from the car and died as a result of the car accident. To read any more about this Chicago car accident, please click on this link.

January 19, 2010

Two Illinois Teens Dead Following Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A fatal Bensenville car accident that occurred on January 18th resulted in the death of two teen boys. The car accident occurred when the single car in which both boys were in lost control and slammed into a tree. Both boys were pronounced dead shortly after the car accident. According to Chicago Breaking News, police believe that the car was racing another car shortly before the fatal accident or at least was traveling at too high of speeds for the street. To read more about this fatal car accident, please click on this link.

January 18, 2010

One-Vehicle Chicago Car Accident Injures Four

by Levin & Perconti

A January 16th Chicago car accident injured four people, one of which was severely personally injured. The car accident occurred when the car in which the four people were in tried to cross several lanes of traffic, lost control and flipped. The accident only involved one vehicle and all four injured were in that vehicle at the time of the car accident. According to Chicago Breaking News, it seems that the driver was under the influence at the time of the crash. To read more about this Chicago car accident, please click on this link.

January 17, 2010

Madison County Car Accident Lawsuit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident lawsuit has been filed in connection with an Illinois car accident in which the Plaintiff’s claim they have suffered constant pain ever since. The car accident occurred on Illinois Route 4 when the Defendant allegedly negligently failed to reduce his speed when going through an intersection and crashed into the car in which the Plaintiff’s in this car accident lawsuit were the driver and a passenger. For more information from the Madison St. Clair Record on this car accident lawsuit, please click on this link.

January 16, 2010

Lawsuit Filed in Madison County Over Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Madison County car accident that occurred in January of 2008 is the subject of a car accident lawsuit that was just filed earlier this month. The Plaintiff alleges that the Illinois Route 157 accident in which the Defendant failed to yield the right of way to the Plaintiff causing the accident that resulted in the Plaintiff’s severe and serious personal injuries of which she is still dealing with. To read more about this Illinois car accident lawsuit, click on the hyperlink.

January 15, 2010

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Connection with Kane County Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident lawsuit had been filed in connection with a car accident that occurred in West Dundee in August of 2009. According to The Daily Herald, the wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a East Dundee woman that was killed when she was hit by a car while crossing Route 31. The complaint alleges that the Defendant failed to honk his horn and was not paying attention or driving safely. The plaintiff’s attorney is looking into the Defendant’s cell phone records and the speed the Defendant was going at the time of the fatal car accident. If you would like to read more about this terrible Kane County accident, please click on this link.

January 14, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Closes Lanes on I-290

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident that occurred on I-290 on January 13th resulted in three lanes of the highway closing for a little while shortly after the car accident, however the lanes have since reopened. According to The Chicago Sun Times, one person was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. At this point it is unknown if more vehicles were involved in the car accident. To read more about this Illinois car accident, please click on the link.

January 13, 2010

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Connection with Chicago Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection with a car accident that occurred on December 20th. The car accident occurred on the West Side of Chicago when an off duty Lockport police officer drunkenly drove into the victim’s car, causing the victim to die as a result of his severe injuries. According to Chicago Breaking News, criminal charges have already been brought by Cook County, but this wrongful death claim is against the bar in which the cop was drinking the night of the fatal Chicago accident. If you would like to read more about this tragic car accident and the lawsuit that was recently filed, please click on this hyperlink.

January 12, 2010

St. Clair Car Accident May Be Caused by Victim’s Heart Attack

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident involving four vehicles, may have been caused by one of the drivers having a heart attack and then crashing into the back of the car in front of him. According to BND, the Illinois police now believe that the driver that caused the Interstate 55/70 St. Clair County car accident may have had a heart attack and died prior to the accident, in turn causing him to lose control of the car and crash into another vehicle. No one else involved in the car accident suffered life-threatening injuries. If you would like to read more about this car accident, please click on this link.

January 11, 2010

Illinois Car Accident Leaves One Teenager Dead

by Levin & Perconti

A tragic car accident that occurred on January 7th left an Aurora teenager dead and her parents and sister with severe personal injuries. According to Suburban Chicago News, the car accident occurred on I-57 when the family lost control of their car after attempting to pass another vehicle and ended up skidding off of the roadway in Marion County. Both of the victims parents are listed in critical condition at Saint Louis University Hospital. The young victim was a high school student that was well liked by her classmates. If you would like to read more about this Southern Illinois car accident, please click here.

January 10, 2010

Young Girl Killed in Tragic Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Hamilton, Illinois car accident that occurred in December of 2009 resulted in the death of a young child. The six year old was not in a booster seat or a child safety seat at the time of the tragic car accident. The car accident occurred on Illinois 96 South when the car that the young children was riding in was struck by a trailer that became unhooked from the vehicle on which it was attached to. According to Connect Tri-States, the driver of the vehicle was charged with leaving the scene of the accident. If you would like to read more about this terrible car accident, please click on the link.

January 9, 2010

Madison County Car Accident Leaves One Dead

by Levin & Perconti

A young Edwardsville man was killed in a Madison County car accident that occurred on Illinois Route 157 on January 2nd. The young man was a member of the Illinois Army National Guard and was home for the holidays at the time of the fatal car accident. According to Suburban Journals, the young man is survived by his mother, father, stepfather, brothers and sisters. If you would like to read more about this tragic car accident, please click on the link.

January 8, 2010

Teenage Boy Charged in Connection With Fatal St. Charles Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident lawsuit has been filed in connection with a June 14th West Chicago car accident in which a recent high school graduate was killed. According to the car accident lawsuit complaint, the accident occurred when another young graduate was driving under the influence and crashed the car in which the victim was riding. According to The KC Chronicle, the family of the victim are suing the young man that was driving, who had a BAC over the legal limit as well as marijuana in his system, for more than $6 million dollars. The driver has already pleaded not-guilty to criminal charges of aggravated driving and reckless homicide. The family of another passenger in the vehicle, who was not killed but suffered serious permanent personal injuries, previously filed a lawsuit in connection with the car accident. For more information on this St. Charles car accident lawsuit, click on the link.

January 7, 2010

Young Illinois Woman Killed in New Year’s Oak Forest Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Oak Forest car accident on January 1st resulted in the death of a young Illinois woman. The car accident occurred when the driver of the car was driving under the influence and heading west on 147th Street, struck a light pole and ended up rolling over with the car ending up in a ditch. The young victim was the passenger in the vehicle and was killed instantly, and the driver only suffered minor personal injuries and was treated and released from Advocate Christ Medical Center shortly after the car accident. According to The Chicago Tribune, the driver and the victim were in a relationship and the father of the driver claims that the victim was distracting the driver at the time of the car accident, however the driver is currently being held in custody for aggravated driving under the influence (the driver’s BAC was three times over the legal limit) and reckless homicide. To read more about this fatal Cook County car accident, please click on the hyperlink.

January 6, 2010

Belleville Car Accident Lawsuit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

A lawsuit has been filed in connection with a car accident that occurred in January of 2008, in Belleville. The car accident occurred at the intersection of Illinois Route 159 and Illinois Route 3. The car accident complaint alleges that the driver of the car that was struck has suffered not only his physical injuries but also mental anguish and great financial loss because of his inability to work. According to The St. Clair Record, the Plaintiff’s car accident lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, please click on this hyperlink.

January 5, 2010

Lawsuit Filed in Connection with Fatal Kane County Accident

by Levin & Perconti

The wife of a man that was killed in a Kane County car accident is suing the police department, claiming that if the police had detained the motorist responsible for the crash when they stopped her shortly before the accident, then her husband would not have been killed. This wrongful death lawsuit is in respect to a car accident that occurred on March 20th in which a woman, that had been pulled over for driving erratically just moments before the Illinois Highway 47 accident, crashed her car into the victim’s car, killing the driver. According to The Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit alleges that the driver of the car that was responsible for the accident was under the influence. To read more about this Kane County car accident lawsuit, click here.

January 4, 2010

Illinois Man Killed in One Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident that occurred on January 2nd, left an Edwardsville man dead. According to The Telegraph, the single-car accident occurred in Illinois Route 157 when the victim lost control of his car and left the road, entering a ditch and flying through the air before striking a culvert, flipping and catching on fire. By the time the firefighters arrived, the car was completely engulfed in flames. Police officials have noticed that a great deal of car accidents have recently ended in extreme fires, and all of these fiery Illinois car crashed are still under investigation. To read more about these Illinois car accidents, please click on the hyperlink.

January 3, 2010

Champaign Accident Leaves Chicago Woman Dead

by Levin & Perconti

A Champaign car accident leaves a Chicago woman dead. The car accident occurred earlier this morning when the victim’s car struck a train. The accident occurred on East Bradley Avenue and the victim was immediately take to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana but unfortunately her personal injuries were so severe that she died several hours later from these injuries. According to News-Gazette, the accident is still under investigation by the Champaign police department. If you are interested in further information about this fatal Illinois car accident, please click on the link.

January 2, 2010

Wheeling Woman Dies Weeks After Car Accident As Result of Her Personal Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman died the night of December 27th following injuries she suffered in a Deerfield, Illinois accident on December 7th. The victim was a Wheeling resident and suffered major personal injuries in the one-car accident. According to Chicago Breaking News, the Deerfield police are still unaware as to what caused the victim to crash her. For more information on this fatal Illinois accident, please click on the link.

December 30, 2009

Three Car Accident in Swansea

by Levin & Perconti

A Swansea car accident involving three cars that occurred on December 27th, left one man with serious personal injuries. The accident occurred at Illinois 159 and Frank Scott Parkway when a pickup truck tried to make a left turn and failed to yield to another car, causing the pickup to flip over and hit another car. The driver of the pickup truck had to be extricated from the vehicle and was airlifted to a local hospital, and his current condition is not known. According to BND, the car accident caused a major backup on the Illinois 159 northbound. To read more about this Illinois car accident, click here.

December 29, 2009

Green County Car Accident Injures Two

by Levin & Perconti

A Greene County car accident involving two cars, on December 26th, left the driver of one of the cars and his young passenger seriously injured. According to My Journal Courier, the car accident occurred on U.S. 67 when the injured driver lost control of his car and went into the lane of oncoming traffic, colliding with another vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle only suffered minor personal injuries but the driver that caused the accident and his teenage passenger were left in much more serious condition in local hospitals. The original driver was cited for improper lane usage and operating an uninsured vehicle. If you would like more information on this Illinois car accident, please click on this link.

December 28, 2009

Young Boy Injured in Hit-and-Run Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident occurred on December 26th in which a driver of a pickup truck sideswiped a young boy, causing the boy to be hospitalized in serious condition. The accident occurred on South Kostner Avenue, and after the car hit the boy the car drove away. The boy then walked home and did not go to the hospital until later that evening when he complained that his head hurt. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Police are looking for the hit-and-run driver and ask anyone that has any information in regards to the car accident to please contact them as soon as possible. If you would like to read more about this terrible car accident, please click here.

December 27, 2009

Texting Ban Going into Effect in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

A new law will go into effect on January 1st in which it will be illegal to text on a cell phone in the state of Illinois. This law includes outlawing texting while at a stop sign or stop light as well as when the vehicle is in motion. According to Review Atlas, hopefully this will reduce the number of car accidents caused by people not paying attention and texting while driving. While the law is directed at all ages, young drivers seem to be most at risk for getting in texting related car accidents and advocates of this law hope that this new law will encourage parents to talk to their teenagers about paying attention while driving. The importance of parents incorporating this advice in a talk about safe driving to their children is that texting can be very dangerous, but the new law may still make it hard to police officers to catch texters while driving. If you would like to read more about this texting ban in Illinois, please click on this link.

December 26, 2009

Ice and Accidents Lead to Closure of the Chicago Skyway

by Levin & Perconti

Due to the high number of car accidents resulting from ice on the Chicago Skyway, the highway was closed in both directions on December 23rd. Several accidents occurred over the course of the day and due to the ice getting worse officials decided to close the Skyway until conditions improved. According to Chicago Sun Times, officials were urging drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible when snow turned to ice on the roads. To read more about this highway closure, click here.

December 25, 2009

Ice Causes Many Accidents on Chicago Roads

by Levin & Perconti

Ice on Chicago roadways led to a number of car accidents on the evening of December 23rd. One accident occurred in Oak Brook on a ramp onto the I-294. A number of people were taken to local hospitals following another accident on the Chicago Skyway. The Skyway was closed following the multi-vehicle accident. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the accident was not the first on this highway that day and several other accidents occurred nearby.

December 24, 2009

Car Accident Lawsuit Filed in Connection With Illinois Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman from Braidwood has filed a car accident lawsuit against the other driver involved in a May accident in Coal City. The Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck when the Defendant’s car attempted to turn and hit the other car. According to Morris Daily Herald, the car accident complaint alleges that as a result of the accident the Plaintiff was thrown from the vehicle. To read more about this Illinois car accident lawsuit, click here.

December 23, 2009

Drop-offs Causing Many Fatal Car Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

While the number of car accidents resulting from pavement-edge drop-offs remain high, little efforts are being made to improve the roads safety. These drop-offs cause about 160 deaths a year and injure thousands more, and according to The New York Times, the drops are easily fixable. The drop-offs are common in construction work zones and cause a great deal of car accidents along with other safety hazards at work sites. Unfortunately, the laws and regulations governing safety measures in work zones are virtually non-existent and what precautions are in place are rarely followed. To read more about the issues with dangerous work zones, please click on this link.

December 22, 2009

Fatal Accident Involving Police Officer

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago car accident on the Stevenson Expressway on December 20th left one man dead. The car accident occurred when an off duty police officer’s car veered onto the shoulder of the I-55 and struck a barrier and then flew over the median and struck two vehicles going in the opposite direction. The driver of one of the vehicles was killed in the accident and the police officer and third driver did not suffer life threatening injuries. The area of the I-55 where the car accident occurred was shut down for about five hours to clean up and for police to investigate the crash. The Lockport Police Department, where the off duty police officer worked would not say more than that he was involved in the crash and at this time according to Chicago Breaking News, it is unknown if the police officer’s blood alcohol count was over the legal limit. To read more about this tragic Illinois accident, click here.

December 21, 2009

Sheriff Charged in Cook County Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Cook County sheriff that was charged in connection with a Chicago car accident in which an Illinois Department of Transportation worker was hit has had a charge of reckless driving added against him. The car accident occurred when the sheriff was off duty on September 2nd and the sheriff initially faced no citations, however the driver struck by the car felt that no citations were issued at the time because the sheriff was wearing his uniform when the car accident occurred. Later that month, police issued the sheriff a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield. According to Chicago Sun Times, the reckless driving charge was just resulting added. To read more about this Chicago car accident, click here.

December 20, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Leaves One Dead

by Levin & Perconti

An Alsip man was killed early this morning after the driving was driving on Hoyne Avenue in Chicago and struck a parked car. According to Chicago Breaking News, the Morgan Park accident left only the one man with injuries and we was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the car accident. At this point the fatal Chicago car accident is still under investigation, but if you would like to read more about the accident please click on the link.

December 19, 2009

Edgar County Car Accident Kills One

by Levin & Perconti

A single car accident resulted in the death of a Crisman man early on the morning of December 16th. The car accident occurred in Edgar County on Illinois 1 when the driver drove off the road into a ditch, hit a culvert and flipped his car. According to the Gazette, the driver was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the car accident and was thrown from his car causing him to die of fatal wounds. To read more about this fatal accident, please click on the link.

December 12, 2009

Drunk Driver Injures Five in Evanston Car Crash

by Levin & Perconti

A man has been charged with a DUI after he injured five people in a car accident on December 11 in Evanston. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the drunk driver blew through a red light and collided with another car. Three passengers in his car were injured, along with two people in the other vehicle. No one suffered critical personal injuries, but the victims were taken to local Chicago hospitals following the crash. To learn more about this car accident in Evanston, click on the link.

December 11, 2009

Metra Train Accident Kills One in Bensenville

by Levin & Perconti

On December 10, a man was killed when his SUV was struck by a westbound Metra train in suburban Chicago. The train accident occurred when the man’s vehicle stopped on the Metra tracks. The victim’s wife escaped the SUV, but he did not make it out in time and the impact of the collision killed him. A report in the Chicago Tribune did not say why the man’s car was stopped on the train tracks. The Chicago commuter train's service was delayed by three hours as emergency workers cleared the accident. Read the full account of this Chicago Metra accident by following the link.

December 9, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Kills One

by Levin & Perconti

A North Side Chicago car accident on December 8th resulted in the death of one man. The car accident occurred at the intersection of Hollywood Avenue and Sheridan Road and was caused by a woman rear-ending the victims car at a stopped traffic light. According to Chicago Breaking News, the victim was having a heart attack and therefore did not go when the light turned green and then the woman’s car then struck his and pushed it through the intersection and into a light pole. The victim was alive following the car accident but then died shortly after being taken to a local hospital. The woman that rear-ended the man was cited with following too closely. If you would like to read more about this Chicago car accident and the victim’s life, please click on the hyperlink.

December 8, 2009

Chicago Man Faces Felony Charges in Connection with Chicago Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man faces felony charges in connection with a fatal Chicago car accident that occurred on December 6th. The Gage Park accident occurred when the driver was driving under the influence and was driving the wrong way on 58th Street, entered the California Avenue intersection and struck a car. According to Chicago Breaking News, the victim was in the car struck by the aggravated driver, and the driver and his passenger refused treatment. The driver was originally ticketed for driving without insurance, driving the wrong way on a one-way street, reckless driving and failing to yield, but upon finding drugs and alcohol in his system the felony charges for aggravated driving under the influence were added. To read more about this Chicago car accident, click on this link.

December 7, 2009

Pedestrian Hit by Vehicle in Chicago

by Levin & Perconti

Very early this morning, a pedestrian was struck by a car in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago. According to Chicago Breaking News, three other people were injured in this Chicago car accident and all four injured were taken to local area hospitals. The car accident occurred near North and Central Avenues on the West Side of Chicago. At this point little is known about the conditions of the victims. To read more about this Chicago pedestrian accident, please click here.

December 6, 2009

Chicago Woman Dies After Driving Into Lake Michigan

by Levin & Perconti

A young woman has died after her car crashed into Lake Michigan earlier this morning near downtown Chicago. The Chicago car accident occurred when the driver drove east on Randolph and through the entrance of the harbor and into the water which was about 12 feet deep at the point of entry. According to Chicago Breaking News, there is no evidence of the woman trying to stop her car before the car accident occurred. The victim was alive when the help crews pulled her from the water, but died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital shortly after being taken there. If you would like to read more about this tragic Chicago car accident, please click on this link.

December 5, 2009

Illinois Department of Transportation Tips for Safe Holiday Driving

by Levin & Perconti

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has offered several tips to help keep families safe over the holiday season, hopefully reducing the number of Illinois car accidents this season. IDOT first recommends to make your vehicle winter ready by assuring that you regularly check all car equipment and make sure everything is running smoothly because the Illinois winter weather can be very tough on vehicles. Next, it is important to have an emergency survival kit in your car, in the event of a car accident or other car trouble. This kit should include items such as an ice scraper and other items to clean an icy windshield, jumper cables, antifreeze, shovels, tire chains, salt and other basic tools that could come in handy in an emergency. In the event that you get stuck in your vehicle it is important to have blankets, extra coats, gloves, hats, food, candles, fire extinguisher, flashlights and flares. Also remember to always have a cell phone, preferably with a backup battery source on you at all times when traveling in a car. Whenever you are planning a trip somewhere in horrible weather, make sure you are only driving in these terrible conditions at times when it is absolutely necessary, because so many car accidents happen at times when people should not even be driving in such dangerous conditions. If you must travel check the weather conditions along the route prior to departure to give you a better idea of what to expect. Current road conditions can be found at www.dot.il.gov and Interstate rest areas are equipped with monitors that display this current road condition information as well. Also make sure to always let others know where and when you are leaving and make sure to let them know when you safely arrive. If you are planning to travel to an unfamiliar area try to travel in daylight areas and bring detailed maps along with you. Also, as in any driving situation, make sure you have proper personal identification, car registration and insurance and a full gas tank. When you are on the road make sure to always have your seat belt fastened and drive cautiously, always willing to seek refuge if weather conditions become too severe to continue driving. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you do become stranded make sure to pull off as far of the road as possible to try to avoid a car accident and do not panic! Use your best judgment to determine if you should leave your vehicle to try to seek help (be aware of the temperature outside) and if you decide to stay in your vehicle and wait for help make sure to stay moving when possible to increase body heat. Please follow these tips to avoid car accidents and have a safe holiday season! For more IDOT tips, please click on this hyperlink.

December 4, 2009

Elderly Chicago Heights Man Dies Days After Being Struck by Car

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago Heights man has died after suffering serious personal injuries when struck by a car in a Chicago Heights car accident that occurred on November 28th. According to Southtown Star, the victim was crossing Chicago Road at 15th Street when he was hit by a car that was headed southbound. The man was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn following the car accident and passed away from his severe personal injuries four days later. At this point Chicago Heights police are not commenting on the accident. If you would like more details about this terrible Chicago Heights accident, click on the link.

December 3, 2009

Illinois Woman Struck and Killed by Car While Investigating Minor Accident

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois woman was struck and killed by a car while she was out of her vehicle on the corner of 209th Street and Western Avenue in Chicago Heights investigating a minor car accident that she had just been involved in. According to The Southtown Star, the Illinois woman and another woman involved in the minor accident were outside of their cars inspecting the damage when another vehicle hit the two women. One Illinois woman suffered fatal injuries and the other driver, who was a teenager suffered a broken leg when struck by the other car. The South Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating this fatal car accident, and for more information please click here.

December 1, 2009

Southern Illinois Football Coach Dies in Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A single car accident near Effingham resulted in the death of an Illinois man that was the assistant football coach as Eastern Illinois University. According to The Chicago Tribune, the car accident occurred on November 28th, and happened while the coach and his family and another coach were driving back from a playoff football game in Carbondale, when the driver served to miss a deer and rolled over. The coach was the only person fatality injured, but two other people involved in the crash were hospitalized. The coach is survived by his wife and two young children. If you would like more information on this Illinois car accident, please click here.

November 30, 2009

South Side Accident Injures Eight Including Six Children

by Levin & Perconti

A South Side of Chicago car accident that occurred on November 27th left eight people injured, including six children. The car accident occurred on Garfield Boulevard when the driver of the car swerved off of the road and struck a tree. According to The Chicago Sun Times, all of the victims were either taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County or Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of their personal injuries. At this time it is unknown whether any of the passengers were wearing seat belts and if the children were in car seats. The car did only have five seat belts, and it is very important for all passengers in car to wear seat belts, especially children, and for their to be one seat belt per passenger in order to avoid serious injury in the event of a car accident. For more information on this Chicago car accident, please click on the link.

November 29, 2009

Seven Car Chicago Accident on I-94

by Levin & Perconti

A seven car accident on Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway that occurred on November 21st just south of Downtown Chicago, caused the northbound express lanes to be shut down temporarily. According to The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Police Department and Illinois Department of Transportation were available to assist with traffic control, and they said that drivers were getting frustrated and turning around on the expressway which was causing more traffic problems. At this point no injuries have been reported, but the details of the car accident was not completely known. For more information on this Cook County car accident, click here.

November 28, 2009

Chicago Woman Killed in One Car Accident

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago woman died in a car accident that occurred on November 25th in the South Austin area of Chicago. The car accident occurred when the driver of the car lost control and crashed into an abandoned church. According to Chicago Breaking News, the driver was taken to Loyola Medical Center and is listed in critical condition and the victim that died from personal injuries sustained in the crash was the passenger in the vehicle. For more information on this West Side crash, click here.

November 27, 2009

Decrease in Illinois Deer-Car Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

A trend has emerged in Illinois in which car accidents involving deer have decreased. In 2008 there were 814 fewer deer crashed that the year people and the number of people injured in these deer and car accidents has also decreased. According to The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), people need to remember that that deer accidents are hard to avoid, and more likely to occur in the fall at dawn and dusk, that it is crucial for drivers to be alert, wear their seatbelt and for motorcyclists to make sure to wear helmets. For more information on the decrease in deer and car accidents and more tips to avoid these types of accidents, please click here.

November 26, 2009

Madison County Car Accident Trial Set

by Levin & Perconti

The trial in connection with a Madison County car accident that occurred in 2006 is set to begin later this week. The Plaintiff is suing Defendant for personal injuries he suffered when Defendant struck Plaintiff’s car on Illinois State Route 159, and allegedly failed to control his car, keep a look out, sound his horn all while he was speeding. According to The Madison St. Clair Record, the Defendant is denying all allegations. The Plaintiff and his car accident attorney seek damages for Plaintiff’s pain, lose wages and medical costs incurred. To read more about this car accident lawsuit, please click the hyperlink.

November 25, 2009<