Personal Injury

In Illinois, Who Has the Right of Way in A Crosswalk?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 150 pedestrians were killed in 2015. This is the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities since 2007 when 171 pedestrians died. The State of Illinois has several laws governing what a crosswalk is, who has right of way, and what parties are responsible for different types of crosswalks. Defining a Crosswalk Illinois recognizes pedestrian crosswalks as designated areas between roads that may or may not be marked by the lines or signs. If a sidewalk is intersected by a street, it is understood that this is a crosswalk, even if there are no other indicators. Crosswalks can appear … [...]

Sensor Technologies in Autonomous Vehicles Could Reduce Vehicular Heatstroke

Advances in sensor technologies could significantly reduce deaths from vehicular heatstroke. The tragedy often happens to responsible, loving parents in a flash of human error when a child is unknowingly left in a vehicle or somehow gains access to it. Even at moderate temperatures as low as 55 degrees, heat in the interior of a car can rise to above 107, hot enough to kill a child. Despite initiatives like Safe Kids, program support from automakers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 30 children die from heatstroke each year across the United States. Who Is Responsible Conventional Vehicles Existing … [...]

When Objects Fall Out of the Sky

OSHA records more than 50,000 incidents of workers being struck by falling objects each year. However, not all incidents are reported and investigated. Nationwide, the agency estimates that there are approximately 143 incidents per day. These objects include everything from hand tools and fasteners to steel beams and wooden trusses. When dropped from heights, even light objects have the potential to cause serious personal injuries to the person they strike. Injuries Caused by Falling Objects Falling objects can cause concussions, contusions, lacerations, and broken bones. They can also cause more serious injuries including Traumatic Brain … [...]

When the Ride Doesn’t Go Smoothly

Many people are turning to ridesharing services to save money on taxis and travel expenses. For many consumers, this convenience comes at a considerable price to physical safety. As these services grow and expand throughout the state, it is a good bet that the number of reported accidents and injuries caused by ridesharing services will rise. Dangers of Ridesharing Uber, Lyft, and Vugo have minimal requirements for their drivers. They are not required to go through advanced drivers safety training or demonstrate that they can safely operate a motor vehicle. Drivers may operate their vehicle while intoxicated, they may have a habit of … [...]

Understanding Black Ice & The Dangers It Presents

Black ice is a leading cause of accidents and injuries in the winter months. Created by light rainfall onto frozen surfaces or by freeze-thaw cycles, it is difficult to see and dangerous to travel across. It is especially dangerous in Chicago, where winter weather conditions and the proximity to Lake Michigan create ideal conditions for the formation of black ice. Time of Day & Weather Changes Can Increase Black Ice Risk Black ice typically forms in the early evening as the temperature cools and refreezes any ice that has thawed during the day. It also occurs in the morning or early afternoon after it rains and the temperature drops … [...]

CTA Blue Line Crash Leaves 30 Injured

The Chicago Tribune reports that around 2:50 a.m., an O'Hare bound CTA Blue Line train jumped the platform and was traveling at such speed as to force its way onto the escalators at the end of the track.  Though the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, it is already known that the train was traveling at a high rate of speed upon approaching the station.  More than thirty people are reported injured.  Doctor Douglas Propp, of Lutheran General Hospital Emergency Department, observed that many of the injured parties appeared to also suffer emotional distress. In September of last year, the CTA Blue Line train was the subject of … [...]

Exclusionary Clause Deemed Against Public Policy by Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that exclusionary auto insurance policies, such as one an elderly driver might have as an owner who does not drive his own vehicle, are against public policy.  (American Access Casualty Company v. Anna Reyes, 2013 IL 115601).  This is an interesting and noteworthy opinion because it is rare that the court will invalidate a contractual obligation based upon public policy. The facts and injury in Reyes are indeed extreme:  defendant Anna Reyes was driving the car that was involved in an accident that killed a four-year old boy.  Though Ms. Reyes was the named insured, she signed an exclusionary … [...]

Injured? Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment

Imagine the following:  you are in your car, sitting in stopped traffic, cars lined up ahead of you so far that the stoplight ahead looks like a tiny light on a Christmas tree.  Suddenly, before you can even process what is happening, there is a loud crash and your entire car jolts forward, whipping your head and neck along with it.  As you massage the area where your seatbelt fortunately kept you from flying through the windshield, your first thought might be to get out and survey the damage.  Or perhaps you have passengers, and your thoughts go to their safety.  Maybe you just roll your eyes and silently curse at the unfortunate luck of … [...]