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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

The Chicago Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a decision handed down by the Illinois Appellate Court earlier this month, involving a claim for uninsured motorist coverage extending from a 2009 motorcycle accident that injured two. The case, State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co., v. Benedetto, 2015 IL App (1st) 141521, arises from the trial court’s entry of a ruling in favor of the injured motorcyclist. State Farm, filed its timely appeal, contending that both insurance and contract law warrant reversal.

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The bill’s goal is to reduce the risk of injuries to people already involved in an accident and emergency personnel that are attending to the crash. There have been several cases where emergency personnel have been injured by careless drivers too engulfed in a phone conversation to notice an accident scene ahead of them. With this initiative the flashing lights of any kind of parked emergency vehicle will mean Illinois drivers must hang up their phones.

Whenever a careless driver causes an accident the victim should not have to pay for the damage suffered. If the driver is using a company telephone and is carrying out a business-related conversation, the driver’s employer may be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. It is important to know your legal rights. If you have been involved in an auto accident contact Chicago personal injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer P.C for a free personal injury consultation.

The legislation would make it illegal for drivers to make calls with a hand-held phone within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have flashing lights, except for reporting emergencies. It also bans sending picture and video messages while driving at any time. The last thing could be logical because sending messages implies drivers looking at the cell phone instead looking at the road.

Early in February in “Children’s Safety Will Hit Your Wallet,” we brought to your attention Governor Quinn’s signing of bill S.B. 965, that allows speed enforcement cameras to be placed in Chicago within 1/8 of a mile from city schools and parks each weekday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel insists that this measure is all about improving safety around schools and parks. The Chicago Sun-Times now reports changes to the mayor’s original proposal. The mayor presented his proposed speed-camera ordinance to the City Council on Wednesday. Alderman as well as city residents are questioning whether the ordinance is really about creating a new way to get money for City Hall. Originally Mayor Emanuel said there would be speed cameras at 79 locations that already have a red light camera. The speed cameras would start recording on school days between 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on Friday. On Tuesday Emanuel’s aides didn’t acknowledge that there would be speed cameras placed where there currently are red light cameras. Also the hours the speed cameras would be tracking drivers was scaled back from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. speed cameras will also be up and running in park safety zones during hours when parks are open. Usually parks are open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Emanuel insists his priority is safety, “We’re gonna make sure it achieves the goal, which is to keep our kids safe near schools and parks.” Children’s safety is important, especially when it deals with the possibility of a pedestrian accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident contact Chicago personal injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer P.C for a free personal injury consultation.

The mayor’s aides said that the speed cameras would be installed first at only “a handful” of dangerous intersections within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks. The amount of speed cameras will slowly expand until a cap has been reached at no more than 360 locations. Drivers caught speeding between six and 10 miles an hour near schools and parks would face $50 fines and an additional $50 if the payment is late. The fine would increase to $100 for motorists caught going more than 10 mph over the limit. It’s possible drivers who speed through red lights could be hit with fines for both speeding and running a red light.

Wednesday morning around 4:20 a.m. two people were injured in a wrong-way crash on the outbound Kennedy Expressway. The crash was located in the northbound lanes of the Kennedy Expressway south of North Avenue, as stated by Illinois State Police District Chicago Trooper Mark Hall. A third vehicle had its side-mirror clipped however the driver of that vehicle was not injured. The driver of the car headed in the wrong direction and the driver of the vehicle he crashed with were taken to area hospitals in “very bad shape,” Mark Hall said. This accident occurs just weeks after 4 men were killed in another unrelated wrong-way crash on I-80 in south suburban Hazel Crest. Unfortunately police were not able to get to the drivers before the accidents unlike the video included above. The accident in Hazel Crest caused the I-80 to be closed as firefighters worked to control the fire and investigate the incident. If you or someone you know have been involved in a car accident contact experienced attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. for a free personal injury consultation.

The driver of the vehicle headed the wrong way was headed east on the westbound lanes and caused a fiery crashed. The crash killed the drivers in both vehicles involved as well as two passengers in the vehicle headed the wrong way. Incidents such as these are unfortunate but can be avoided if drivers take the necessary precautions while driving. Precautions that include following street signs and choosing a designated driver. The crash that occurred in Hazel Crest is believed to have been caused by alcohol as the 4 men in the vehicle travelling in the wrong direction were returning from a night of bar hopping, including the Skybox gentleman’s club in south suburban Harvey. The damages that resulted from the wrong-way driver’s negligence should not be paid for by the victims. Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. can help the victim know their legal rights.

Drivers in Chicago are aware that there is a ban on using cell phones while operating a vehicle and now that could extend to anyone operating a bicycle. If House Bill 3849 gets approved by state lawmakers police officers across Illinois will be able to hand out tickets to anyone caught either talking or texting on their mobile device while riding a bicycle. “This addresses beyond the road, this addresses the bike path as well,” Said Representative Kelly Cassidy of Chicago. Cassidy also says this bill is the result of bicycle safety groups calling for such a law. This law would be similar to the law already enforced on Illinois motorists. There was a 5-4 vote on Wednesday, February 8th where the House Transportation Committee endorsed the texting while biking ban with a goal of reducing accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident contact expert attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. for a free personal injury consultation.

The Bill needs to be approved by the full House, the Senate, and signed by the governor to go into effect. The bill will allow bicyclists to use hands-free devices while biking. With this Bill bicyclists can easily avoid a ticket if they pull over on the side of the road or path to text or make a phone call. Opposition to this law claims there are already enough laws. It seems that even with laws already in place car accidents and bicycle accidents still occur.
Victims of bicycle accidents should know their rights. Texting impairs motorist’s ability to focus on the road and can also have the same effect on bicyclists. When motorists and bicyclists take the necessary precautions and avoid distractions such as mobile devices, while operating either a vehicle or a bicycle, accidents can be avoided.

Earlier this week Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill allowing the City of Chicago to use cameras to catch speeding drivers near schools. The bill known as S.B. 965 will go into effect on July 1 and allows speed enforcement cameras within 1/8 of a mile, or one city block, around schools and parks between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. each weekday. The speed enforcement cameras are to be used within 1/8 of a mile around parks from one hour before the parks open to one hour after they close, which means cameras will be shut off only between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. It also allows using existing red light cameras and mobile cameras to catch speeders within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks in Chicago.

The Expired Meter website issued a Freedom of Information request on all calls, emails and letters from the public to the governor’s office to learn about the response to the legislation. So far it has been negative; of the 224 calls, letters, and emails about the speed camera bill, an overwhelming 91 percent were opposed to it. Governor Quinn’s response was, “You may get letters, perhaps emails. You know, you study each communication, but… I’m not sure that’s a scientific sampling of all the people of Illinois, I think there are some people who are for the bill and some aren’t for it and, you know, that happens in a lot of situations.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement on Monday morning thanking Quinn.

A Chicago man who crashed into a parked car in the Wicker Park neighborhood on March 21 died today. Vito Battista was critically injured at 6:00 am when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a parked car near 1400 North Western Avenue in Chicago. Medical examiner’s spokesman said that Mr. Battista suffered massive head injuries.

Illinois reported 110 fatal motorcycle accidents in nine months in 2008 and 113 in 2009. A high percentage of these fatalities occurred in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics suggest three ways that will reduce motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Increase helmet use:Helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41% effective for passengers (NHTSA 2009) In 2008, 41% of motorcycle rider fatalities and 51% of motorcycle passenger fatalities were of riders and passengers who were not wearing a helmet. NHTSA estimates that 823 of these motorcyclists would have lived if they wore a helmet.

Reduce alcohol impairment In 2008, 30% of fatally injured motorcyclists had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08 (NHTSA, 2009)

In a consolidated case that involved six drivers that drove cars that were insured by Founders Insurance or Safeway Insurance, the issue was whether Founders and Safeway should pay for injuries caused by a driver that drove the car without a license. Founders and Safeway argued that they did not have to pay because their policy excluded drivers who do not have a drivers license. Five of the drivers had no license, while the sixth driver had a suspended license.

The Founders insurance policy had several exclusions to its liability coverage. One of the exclusion stated that coverage does not apply “to bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use by any person of a vehicle without a reasonable belief that the person is entitled to do so.” Founders argued that a person without a drivers license or a person with a suspended drivers license cannot have a reasonable belief that they are entitled to use the vehicle.

The Safeway insurance policy had a similar exclusion. The policy excluded any person “operating an automobile without a reasonable belief that he or she is entitled to do so.”

A new law amends Section 625 ILCS 5/3-707 of the Illinois Vehicle Code making it a misdemeanor to injure someone while driving without insurance. Violators could spend up to a year in jail or face a $2,500 fine.

The amendment reads as follows:

625 ILCS 5/3-707

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