Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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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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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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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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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A Chicago wrongful death lawsuit was filed against an Illinois woman for upwards of one million dollars in damages, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. The suit was filed against the woman who was driving and killed a man who was kneeling in the street early in the morning on Christmas Eve. The woman had been drinking alcohol prior to driving, and was cited with a DUI.

The suit was filed on behalf of the man’s mother, and involved claims of negligence, wrongful death, and a survival action. These comprise the total of the initial one million dollars. There is also a separate damages claim, of an unspecified amount, regarding the man’s estate and family members. The loss of a loved one often comes with severe financial and emotional burdens that can be extremely hard to overcome. Hopefully the fair resolution of the suit will bring the family some comfort moving forward.

Losing a loved one is a tragic occurrence, especially during the holidays when family is supposed to be together. Unfortunately, it is during and around the holidays that the most motor vehicle accidents occur. According to a 2005 Fox News article, six of the top ten days with the most accidents of the year were on or around holidays. These days included July 2nd-4th, December 23rd, January 1st, and September 2nd. The other four days all took place in August.
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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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As of late, there has been increasing political pressure on car rental companies to ensure that all cars are repaired before renting or selling them. Senator Barbara Boxer has spearheaded the political effort, reports PoliticalFix.com. Senator Boxer is currently promoting her pledge and is bringing forth legislation that would commit rental companies to repairing all cars before utilizing them again. Senator Boxer is asking the public to boycott car rental companies that do not sign the pledge.

The political consequences were caused by a 2004 crash, in which two young women were killed in a car accident while driving an PT Cruiser they rented from Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The PT Cruiser was in need of repair when it was rented to the women. In the wrongful death suit, the family of the two women won $15 million in damages. The mother of the two women has been working with activist groups attempting to raise awareness and pressure car rental companies.

In response to the mounting pressure, the Chairmen and CEO of Enterprise recently sent a letter to Boxer, in which he cited current company policies that require disclosure of needed repairs in all retail sales. Another spokesman for the company issued a statement that the company currently does not rent out any recalled vehicles, or those in need of repair.
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ArgusLeader.com reports that a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a 20-year-old driver for her role in a tragic motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a 101-year-old woman. Our Chicago accident attorneys learned that the accident in question transpired on June 20, 2010, when the driver’s motor vehicle barreled through the 101-year-old’s room at the woman’s nursing home. The force of the impact caused the accident victim’s bed to be propelled across her room and into the opposite wall.

As a result of the accident, the victim suffered physical pain for approximately two days before her death – which was ultimately determined to be caused by a combination of the impact, as well as, the victim’s advanced age. The family of the 101-year-old has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver – seeking the driver to pay the medical and funeral expenses of the victim. According to court documents, the lawsuit asserts that the driver “exhibited malice” in a reckless and wanton fashion on the night of the collision – which ultimately led to the woman’s untimely death.

Our Chicago auto accident attorneys learned that the 20-year-old driver was not criminally charged with manslaughter and was ultimately charged with careless driving and required to pay a $117 fine. In a statement released by the State’s Attorney, it was revealed that based on the location of the incident, the accidental nature of the incident, clear lack of criminal intent, as well as, the several possible contributing causes of death – a successful conviction would not be able to be obtain for a charge beyond what was cited on the scene.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed as the result of a devastatingly fatal accident that took the life of a Madison County woman in 2010 – according to MadisonRecord.com. Our Chicago accident lawyers have learned that the lawsuit primarily names Kia Motor Company as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit along with a handful of others. The family of the deceased asserts that a defective seat in the motor vehicle the victim was driving ultimately caused her premature death when she was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The accident in question transpired in March 2010 while the accident victim was a front seat passenger in a Kia motor vehicle.

As the vehicle was traveling east on Berm Highway/Illinois Route 143, it was hit from behind from an alleged drunk driver. Both the driver and the victim were allegedly found in their motor vehicle shortly thereafter the accident with both of their seats noticeably collapsed rearward, their seat belts still buckled, and both front air bags deployed. As a result of the tragic accident, both the driver and the victim required advanced medical attention for spinal injuries. In an unfortunate turn of events, the passenger ultimately succumbed to her injuries of a broken back and collapsed lung and died in May 2010.

The driver of the passenger vehicle, as well as, the family of the deceased asserts that Kia Motors knew of the vehicle’s defective seats that collapsed in rear-impact collisions and the “potential for those seats to cause serious injuries or death.” It is alleged that the makers of the vehicle’s front seats did not properly test the Kia Optima seat’s performance in rear-ended crashes. The plaintiffs argue that the companies who developed the seats have previously testified in court in connection with other civil litigation and admitted to having intended for their vehicles’ front seats to collapse upon rear-impact.

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.

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