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Friedman & Bonebrake, P.C.

Chicago Wrongful Death Law Blog

Illinois man under arrest for death in car accident

In West Pullman, Illinois, a person was ejected from a car that crashed into a tree when fleeing from the police. The man driving the vehicle was charged with reckless homicide, aggravated fleeing and additional crimes that were in conjunction to the attempted escape that happened on April 10. The 23-year-old who was ejected died from trauma. The death is under investigation.

The fatal car accident happened at the 12300 block of South State Street. Leading up to the fatal accident, the 2009 Volkswagen Passat collided with another car that injured two of its occupants. This information came from police records.

Attorney conflict of interest: know your rights

If your attorney is representing you for injuries you suffered in, for example, an automobile collision case at the same time he is representing another party injured in the same accident (even a family member or friend of yours), there could be a problem. Often, the only significant source of recovery is one policy of insurance. This means that you and other injured parties will necessarily be seeking to recover your losses from the same, sole pot of money. What is awarded to other injured parties will not go to you. This is a concern when, for example, your injuries may be much greater than other injured parties but your attorney is seeking to settle the case by dividing up the money equally amongst his clients to make everyone "happy and equal."

GM needs to be held accountable for product liability issues

General Motors is facing backlash from the families of those who died in car crashes due to product liability issues. There was a problem with the ignition switches and air bags for 10 years before they recalled any vehicle. The families are calling it negligence and want prison sentences for some of the company's employees.

Families of those involved in crashes while driving defective cars attended hearings in Washington D.C. in which the new General Motors Chief Executive Officer was questioned. The evidence she was questioned on was related to defects to the switches that cause the car to turn off while in use and air bags that don't deploy in an accident.

Number of Injuries from Distracted Driving on the Rise

The number of injuries due to distracted driving increased from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 in 2012. There were also 3,360 deaths. And these are just the confirmed number of injuries and deaths due to distracted driving. The actual numbers might be much higher. In a recent survey, 77 percent of Americans admitted to using a hand-held cell phone while driving and 69 percent admitted to texting behind the wheel. However, most Americans support bans on texting while driving and tougher enforcement. The problem is that most people do not see themselves as the problem. Most people over estimate their ability to drive while distracted. Distracted driving does not just involve texting. It also applies to those who are eating while driving, entering information on their GPS device, and it even applies to people talking on their cell phone with a hands free device. Individuals who cause injuries in an automobile accident due to distracted driving are liable for the victim's medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Crosswalks Without Stop Signs or Other Traffic Signals

We are seeing in Chicago a new area of conflict between automobiles and pedestrians: painted crosswalks without a correspondring stop light, or other traffic signal. These crosswalks have existed for a long time, they are usually located mid-block, and advise drivers in small print to heed pedestrians. But what exactly are the rights and duties of both cars and pedestrians at these crosswalks?

Fatal car accident in Illinois

In a tragic accident, a drunk, 21-year-old man from Lincolnwood, Illinois, rear-ended another car and killed a Minnesota man who was driving. The car was speeding down the Eden's Expressway in excess of 100 mph. It is reported that the drunken individual was racing another care before hitting and killing the driver of a Geo.

He attended a hearing in Cook County Skokie Branch the morning of April 2 and the 21-year-old was charged with murder, aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He is being held in lieu of $125,000 bail for the death of the 26-year-old driving the Geo.

CHICAGOANS: LOOK OUT FOR HOLES UNDER THE SOD IN THE PARKWAY

Injuries are occurring in the City of Chicago due to concealed holes near the streets and sidewalks. If you live in one of the Chicago neighborhoods where the gas company has replaced gas pipes delivering gas to the homes in the area, or if the gas company has been digging in the parkway in front of your home for any reason, beware of concealed holes under the sod. When the gas company or its contractors excavate to place new pipe, they are required to fill the holes with soil and/or sand mixtures and to properly compact the soil before sodding over the area. This compaction process usually requires the use of equipment called tampers, which compact the soil to a density which prevents settling. Without tampering, erosion can occur which, over time, can cause dangerous holes to develop under the sod.

Leg length disparity a common result of failed hip replacements

One of the most common surgeries is a hip replacement, with 300,000 performed annually. With the aging of the baby boomer generation, by the year 2030, nearly double that will be performed at hospitals around the country each year. It's understandable that with that many procedures being done, some complications are likely to occur.

A common complication of hip replacement surgery is uneven leg length, which can account for almost five percent of surgical errors. Sometimes, there is a dramatic difference of leg inequality -- an inch or more, which not only makes walking difficult and with a noticeable limp, but leads to back and hip pain.

Off-duty Chicago cop killed in police chase

A 42-year old off-duty Chicago policeman was recently killed by a speeding driver eluding police on the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago's South Side.

According to a news reporter from a local CBS affiliate, the incident began at approximately 12:45 a.m. in suburban Calumet Park and ensued onto Interstate 57 for the next six miles before the car accident occurred at the crest of an exit ramp at 87th Street. There the woman behind the wheel of the van lost control and collided with the off-duty officer's Lexus.

Chicago cyclists strapping on helmet cams to document bad drivers

Savvy Chicago bicyclists have begun being more proactive regarding aggressive drivers around the city's highways and byways. Some have begun strapping video cameras atop their helmets to document potential incidents as they cruise along.

Jason Jenkins, an education specialist and crash support programs manager at Chicago's Active Transportation Alliance, said that the city was becoming more friendly to cyclists. Last year, the bike share program Divvy was launched in the city, and in the past couple of decades, city planners have designated more than 170 standard bicycle lanes and lanes marked for sharing.