March 28, 2014

Multiple Lawsuits Expected to be Filed Following CTA Derailment

The Chicago Train Accident and Injury Attorneys are amongst the many residents that remain in astonishment following the recent CTA derailment, which many say mirrors the type of event that you would see only in movies. With more than 30 victims transported to area hospitals, and the operator’s recent admission that she “dozed-off” prior to the collision, in addition to doing so on a previous occasion, multiple lawsuits are expected to be filed as a result of this horrendous incident.

The accident occurred in the early morning hours on Monday, March 24, 2014. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a CTA Blue Line Train was pulling into O’Hare International Airport, when it jumped the platform, causing the front car to derail and travel up onto an escalator at the station. Officials estimate the train was traveling approximately 25 mph prior to the derailment, but it is unclear at this time how fast train was traveling upon reaching the end of the platform. It is also unclear why the train’s automatic braking system failed to stop the train.

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March 13, 2014

Chicago Man Killed in Roll-Over Accident

The Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. send our condolences to family and loved ones of Jason West, as they mourn the tragic death of a resident of our community.

According to authorities, the accident occurred on March 9, 2014 at approximately 1:25 a.m., as Chris West, 29, of Chicago, was traveling along Interstate 57, near West 99th Street. The victim, who was the sole occupant of a 2000 Ford Explorer, apparently lost control of his vehicle, causing it to crash and then subsequently roll-over.

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March 10, 2014

Increase in Crashes along Dan Ryan Expressway

The Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. have noticed a string of auto accidents recently occurring along Dan Ryan Expressway, including multiple-vehicle crashes, as well as roll-over collisions.

Amongst the most recent incidents was a four-vehicle collision involving a daycare van, a bus, a SUV, and another automobile, that occurred on March 5, 2014, and sent 8 children and an adult to the hospital, as stated in one of our previous posts, South Side Crash Sends Nine Victims to Hospital.

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March 9, 2014

Chicago Baby Killed in Hit and Run Accident

The Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of the tragic loss of 6-month-old baby boy that lost his life at the hands of a hit-and-run driver. As the members of our community mourn this loss, we remain certain that the same thoughts are shared---how could a motorist be so callous as to cause a collision and then leave the scene of the accident?

As attorneys, we wish we could provide the mother of 6-mos-old Yeshua Shaford, with an answer. To hold your child in your arms as the mother reported, ‘as he took his last breath,’ is simply unimaginable.

With the help of witnesses to the accident, including the boy’s father, authorities were able to identify the hit-and-run-driver. In what we see as a merely a partial redemption in justice, the hit-and-run driver did in fact later turn himself to authorities. It was also discovered that the motorist was operating his vehicle with a suspended license.

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March 7, 2014

South Side Crash Sends Nine Victims to Hospital

The Chicago Auto Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of a multiple-vehicle crash along Dan Ryan Expressway, in which eight children and one adult were transported to hospital. Illinois State Police say the accident occurred March 5, 2014, near 51st Street at approximately 7 a.m.

According to officials, the driver of a 2007 M35 Infinity M35 lost control of his vehicle, struck a median, veered back into oncoming traffic, and then collided with a daycare van that was carrying eight children. Thereafter, a Megabus, collided with the Infinity and daycare van, as well as a 2008 Honda Accord.

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March 5, 2014

South Side Crash Injures Three, Including Firefighter and Paramedic

The Chicago Accident & Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of South Side Collision that left three injured. The accident occurred on March 4, 2014 at approximately 10:40 p.m. in the Woodlawn neighborhood near Marquette Drive.

According to officials, a truck and an ambulance collided on Lake Shore Drive. Amongst the injured were a firefighter and a paramedic, who were transported to University of Chicago Medical Center for their injuries. A third victim also sustained injuries and was taken to Jackson Park Hospital.
Details regarding the cause of the accident were not immediately available, as the investigation continues.

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March 3, 2014

Two Injured Following Dog Attack in South Shore Neighborhood

Two victims are recovering from their injuries after they were bitten by a pit bull in Chicago’s South Shore community. The incident occurred on March 1, 2014 in the 6900 block of South Shore Drive.

According to Chicago Police Department, several individuals had called police over concerns that a pit bull was loose in the neighborhood. Sometime following the pit-bull’s escape, the dog bit two individuals, including a 17-year-old boy and a man of an unknown age.

When police arrived, in response to the numerous calls received regarding the loose pit-bull, officers were forced to shoot the dog, due to claims that it was “charging” towards them.

The two victims were transported to South Shore Hospital for their injuries, where police say they were listed in good condition. No officers were injured. No information was available on the dog’s condition. However, the dog was recovered by the city’s Department of Animal Control and Care.

As Chicago Injury Lawyers, Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. find the incidence rate of dog bites and dog attacks in our city to be a troubling concern. We feel that residents should be able to walk freely about their communities, without the fear or risk of being attacked by a dog.

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February 28, 2014

Tragedy Strikes Family Again Following Second Fatal Accident

In what can be called an unthinkable series of events, a family mourns the loss of another child, following a second fatal accident, which took the life of a remaining twin. Although the accidents occurred nearly 18 years apart, the irony of these tragedies is that occurred within 500 yards from one another, near Crete, Illinois.

The first accident, which happened on May 26, 1996, involved a hit-and-run accident that took the lives of three children—11-year-old Cari Sanaghan, 12-year-old Courtney Lauer, and 12-year-old Sheena Acres—and severely injured a 13-year-old boy, and Cari’s twin sister, Sarah Sanaghan. The driver, Richard Devon, who struck the children as they were walking across Plum Creek Bridge on Burville Road, was later convicted for leaving the scene of the accident.

The second accident occurred on February 27, 2014, as 29-year-old Sarah Sanaghan traveled west along Burville Road, near Crete. According to officials, Sanaghan’s Chevy Cruz collided with a tanker truck that was headed south on Illinois 394. Although the truck driver was not seriously injured as a result of the collision, Sanaghan sustained blunt force head trauma, which the coroner’s office reported was the cause of her demise.

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February 4, 2014

Illinios Truck Driver in Fatal Crash Accused of Driving 36 Hours Straight

The Chicago Sun-Times reports an Illinois truck driver named Renato V. Velasquez has been criminally charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired or fatigued, making a false report of record and duty status, and driving beyond the 14 and 11 hour rules, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield to a stationary emergency vehicle.

Illinois State police Police allege Mr. Velasquez, the trucker, had been on the road driving for more that 36 hours when his truck crashed into emergency vehicles that had been stopped on the right hand lane and shoulder on I-88 near Aurora. The vehicles had been were helping with a broken down semi. Vincent Petrella, an Illinois Tollway worker who was on the scene helping out was killed and Illinois state trooper, Douglas J. Bader was critically injured. The 36 hours that Mr. Velasquez was driving far exceeded the federal time limits a truck driver is allowed to spend behind the wheel at one time. Truck driver's shifts are limited to 14 hours with only 11 hours actually on the road under federal rules.

According to a Chicago Tribune story entitled "Did trucking rules fail?" that appeared on January 30, 2014, the United States government has tried for years to require that drivers use electronic logbooks which are harder to falsify than paper logbooks. Velazquez is accused of falsifying his paper log book.

The article quoted Ian Savage, a transportation economist at Northwestern University on this topic. "I'm just amazed that years have gone by and we haven't been aggressive on electronic log books."

Stephen Keppler, the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which represents motor safety officials, stated in the same article that, "Falsification of log books has been a chronic problem in the industry for years... they continue to be a major violation. We believe electronic logbooks will certainly help curtail that activity."

Large trucking companies that already use e-logs and industry groups such as American Trucking Association support requiring all truckers to use e-logs.

The Chicago truck accident lawyers of Zneimer and Zneimer P.C. also support this requirement given the danger that a semi-truck driver posses to other drivers on the road. The fatal truck crash that killed Vincent Petrella is tragic example of why this requirement is necessary.

January 25, 2014

Subcompact Cars Fail Crash Tests

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The Chicago personal injury law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. takes note of a crash test study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which found that many of the subcompact cars sold in the United States failed the crash test.

The IIHS tested 11 subcompact cars and mini cars in crash tests and only one car rated even reasonably well, the Chevrolet Spark. None of the 12 subcompacts got the highest rating of "good" from the IIHS. The Chevrolet Spark got an "acceptable" rating. The cars earning the lowest "poor" rating were the Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius, Hundai Accent, The Misubishi Mirage, Fiat 500 The Honda Fit, the Mazda 2, the Kia Rio the Toyota Yaris and the Ford, Fiesta.

The overlap crash involves a car hitting a barrier at 40 mph on just the side of the bumper. Many cars that do well on crash tests directly to the front of the bumper do poorly when the impact is to the side of a bumper or to the front corner of the car. Statistics show that a quarter of the crashes causing serious injuries or death are these type of front crashes.

The IIHS report noted that by hitting only part of the front end makes it harder for the subcompacts to absorb the impact. In many of the subcompacts, the entire structure of the car collapses which makes the risk of injury to occupants greater since air bags, seats and other parts of the car get knocked out of position.

"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That is why it is even more important to choose one with the best protection." according to Joe Nolan, IIHS's senior vice president for vehicle research.

The Chicago auto crash lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. urge car buys to do crash safety research before buying a new car to make sure the car they buy is crash safe.

January 14, 2014

Study Finds Teen Drivers Distracted

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The Chicago injury law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. notes a study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine which notes that novice drivers are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors over time as they become more accustomed to driving. The study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute compared the driving habits of experienced drivers vs. novice drivers. The drivers were videoed and drove cars equipped with data collecting computers.

The data from the study showed that during the first six months driving novice drivers engaged in tasks like texting, dialing, reaching for a phone, reaching for other things, eating and adjusting controls less than the experienced drivers. During the period between 7 months and 15 months, the novice drivers matched the experienced drivers in the amount of distracted behaviors. Then, during the period of 16 months and 18 months after starting to drive the distracted driving behaviors shot up two-fold.

The study had significant findings that have important implications as far as Illinois driving laws. The study found that tasks involving hand -held cell phones increases the risk of crashing by three times. Equally important, use of hands-free cellphones is not that much safer than hand held phones. It is interesting to note that Illinois banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving beginning in January of 2014 but still allows the us of hands free cell phones while driving.

January 7, 2014

Illinois Has New Driving Laws For 2014

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The Chicago auto injury lawyers of Zneimer and Zneimer note that new laws changing the way people drive on Illinois roads went into affect at the beginning of 2014. Starting January 1, 2014, a new Illinois law makes it illegal to use a handheld cellphone while operating a motor vehicle. Residents of Chicago already had an ordinance which forbid handheld cellphones while driving but now the practice is forbidden statewide. However, a driver may still legally use a hands free headset, speaker phone or other hands free device when using a cell phone while driving.

Another new law passed by the Illinois General Assembly would raise the speed limit on interstate expressways to 70 mph outside of metropolitan areas. In metropolitan areas around Chicago, St. Louis and Springfield the speed limit will remain 55 mph.