Posted On: December 31, 2009

Mother and Young Daughter Seek Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Compensation

Cari Kleinschmidt is seeking compensation for serious personal injuries that she and her daughter sustained during an Illinois truck accident involving multiple motor vehicles. Kleinschmidt is suing Nicolae Valeanu, James Group International II, Challenger Motor Freight, James Group International, Motor City Express Inc., and James Group Midwest for over $200,000.

According to her Illinois tractor-trailer complaint, Cari and Tessa were stopped in the middle of traffic on Interstate 270 when truck driver Valeanu hit the auto next to them. That vehicle then hit Cari’s car, which went on to rear-end another 18-wheeler truck.

Cari is accusing the defendants of negligence, including allowing the large truck to be driven without a proper lookout and at a rate of speed that was excessive. She also is accusing the trucker of not yielding to the autos ahead of him and failing to slow down so he wouldn’t cause a truck crash.

Illinois Truck Accident Cases
Mental and emotional trauma, along with serious physical injuries, can impair a truck crash victim for years if not for life—especially when there is more than one large truck involved in the collision.

Determining Illinois personal injury liability can be tough unless you have legal representation. Truck records and evidence must be examined and key witnesses must be interviewed. Accident reconstructionists and medical experts must be retained to prove your case and the extent of injuries. There may be grounds for suing multiple parties even if some of them were not directly involved in the actual truck crash.

Tractor trailer caused multi-vehicle accident, suit claims, The Record, December 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Transportation Research Forum

Federal Highway Administration

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Posted On: December 29, 2009

Former UPS Trucker Charged in Deadly Delivery Truck Crash

A little over two months after a deadly UPS truck crash claimed the life of newspaper editor Tim Wheatley and left his young daughter with extensive injuries. Kevin P. Callahan, the trucker that was operating the delivery truck, has been charged with failure to obey a traffic device, failing to stop at a red light, and negligent driving.

Wheatley, a 48-year-old business editor for the Baltimore Sun, died instantly when the delivery truck hit his auto. His 9-year-old daughter Sarah sustained serious head injuries.

Following the tragic delivery truck accident, UPS placed Callahan on suspension. He was fired last month following a company probe that found him at fault for causing what the company is calling an “avoidable” traffic crash.

Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery trucks are often large-sized, heavy vehicles that can cause serious injury or death in the event of a truck collision. These trucks usually run on tight schedules that the truckers are required to meet. Many delivery truck drivers, especially those that work for next day delivery services such as Federal Express, UPS, and DHL, cannot afford to miss their delivery deadlines.

Common causes of delivery truck crashes involving negligent truck drivers:

• Failure to obey traffic laws
• Careless driving
• Failure to yield the right of way
• Neglecting to activate the truck’s parking brake before getting out of the truck
• Backing up the truck to stop in front of a specific address while failing to make sure there are no pedestrians, bicyclists, or other motor vehicles behind the delivery truck

Ex-UPS driver charged in crash that killed Sun editor, Washington Post, December 22, 2009

Tim Wheatley, Baltimore Sun Business Editor, Killed In Crash, Huffington Post, October 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Large trucks, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Truck Accidents Overview, Justia

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Posted On: December 23, 2009

Semi-Truck Driver Found Guilty of Causing Three Truck Accident Fatalities

A jury has found 38-year-old trucker Eli German Flores guilty of one count of causing great bodily harm by vehicle and three counts of homicide by vehicle for causing a deadly truck crash on October 28, 2008 that claimed the lives of Jessie Charles, 77, Louise Charles, 74, and Jacob P. Kendrix, 23.

Flores was driving his 18-wheeler truck on I-10 when he struck the Yamaha motorcycle that Kendrick was riding. The 23-year-old motorcyclist was thrown off his bike. Meantime, his motorcycle crashed into a Chevrolet Tahoe, which crashed through a fence, rolling over a number of times before landing on a road. Jessie and Louise Charles died from their injuries. A third passenger, 25-year-old Jessica Bruwer, was transported to a hospital for her extensive injuries. The Tahoe’s driver, 33-year-old LaRhonda Wilkins, sustained shoulder injury and must still undergo physical therapy. Two other passengers, ages 12 and 3, were also in the SUV when the catastrophic truck crash happened.

Flores allegedly told police the next day that he failed to slow at a construction zone and had been driving at 75mph (the speed limit for that portion of I-10 is 65 mph). He testified in court, however, that he was slowing down as he approached the work area. He says he lost sight of both the motorcycle and the SUV.

Investigators did not find truck skid marks on the road, which means that if Flores stepped on the brakes he did not do so hard enough to leave marks.

Illinois Truck Crash Lawsuit
If you were killed in a Cook County truck accident or a truck collision involving a tractor-trailer, an 18-wheeler, a big rig truck, a semi-truck, or another large truck in DuPage County, Will County, or Lake County, please contact Chicago, Illinois truck accident lawyer Steve Malman to schedule your free case evaluation.

California trucker found guilty in fatal 2008 I-10 crash, Las Cruces Sun-News, December 18, 2009

San Diego man charged in Oct. 28 triple fatal on I-10 jailed in Luna County, ABQ Journal

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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Posted On: December 22, 2009

Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Family Crushed Between Two Tractor-Trailers

The surviving sons of 66-year-old Jose Ramirez have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a number of truck companies and truck drivers. Ramirez, his 51-year-old wife Wendy, and their 15-year-old son Robert died last year on November 9 when they were rear-ended by one semi-trailer, which caused their vehicle to drive under the tractor-trailer that was stopped in front of them.

As many as 13 autos were involved in this deadly truck crash on Highway 40 that also claimed the life of another woman and sent at least four people to the hospital. The plaintiffs say that the tractor-trailers shouldn’t have been on the road during the dust storm, which severely hampered visibility. They also contend that Midway Transportation trucker Randy Thomas Starks shouldn’t have been driving at 55mph in those weather conditions when he crashed into the Ramirez auto and did not appear to have attempted to stop. The Ramirez brothers are claiming that the J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. truck driver whose vehicle was stopped in front of the Ramirez car should have put up warning devices to indicate that the large truck he was operating wasn’t moving.

Although truck drivers have no control over the weather and the driving conditions that can result, it is their responsibility to adapt their driving to these factors so that they don’t cause a deadly large truck collision. Commercial truck drivers know how much more careful they need to be when driving in rain, fog, heavy winds, dust storms, rain, or snow, or when there is ice or water on the roads.

The truck crash plaintiffs are also suing the state of California, its highway patrol, and its transportation department for failing to properly warn motorists about the hazards presented by the weather conditions.

Lake Elsinore family files lawsuit after fatal crash, The Press-Enterprise, December 18, 2009

Canyon Lake family dies in desert crash, The Friday Flyer, November 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Safety Coalition

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Posted On: December 20, 2009

Truck Accident Lawsuit Blames Trucking Company and Driver for Wrongful Death of Teen Worker

T & T Trucking and trucker James Russell Hatfield are the defendants of a truck accident lawsuit over the wrongful death of 19-year-old Jeffrey Brian Thompson. The deceased and 18-year-old Cheyenne Dakota Burke died from injuries they sustained when a truck, driven by Russell, allegedly drove off the road and struck them on November 9. They were pronounced dead at the motor vehicle collision site.

Brasha Bowman, who is the mother of Thompson’s baby girl, is seeking $5 million for his wrongful death. There is no word yet on whether Burke’s family will file their wrongful death complaint.

Burke and Thompson were tightening cables when the tragic truck collision happened. They worked for Lu Inc.

Bowman’s wrongful death complaint accuses Hatfield of failing to properly control his vehicle and driving at an excessive speed. The lawsuit also alleges that the pickup truck driver either was driving under the influence of an intoxicant, asleep behind the wheel, or texting while driving. Criminal charges have not been filed against Hatfield.

According to the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawyer, he has a witness who says that Hatfield, who was not seriously injured during the collision, attempted to leave the accident site. The witness claims that as he attempted to stop the trucker from leaving, Hatfield bit him.

Thompson’s father, who was in a work truck nearby, reportedly saw the deadly accident happen. Hatfield claims he doesn’t remember the truck accident happening.

Truck Accident Lawsuits
Even if criminal charges are not filed against the trucker responsible for causing the truck crash, you still may be able to obtain personal injury recovery. Your compensation may include damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation bills, and other associated costs.

Lawsuit filed in I-75 fatalities, Oakridger, December 8, 2009

Driver may face charges after 2 workers killed on I-75, VolunteerTV, November 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Center for National Truck and Bus Statistics-CNTBS

Traffic Safety, NHTSA

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Posted On: December 17, 2009

Streator Man Killed in Illinois Semi-Trailer Truck Crash

57-year-old Richard Berry is dead following an Illinois semi-truck crash. Police say the Streator man was on Illinois 23 when he was struck by a semi-trailer at an intersection. The truck driver, David DeFrance, was cited for failing to obey a stop sign. The 50-year-old trucker is from Canton.

Truck crash injuries are frequently catastrophic for its victims. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and organ damage are just some of the more serious that can occur during a collision with a semi-truck, an 18-wheeler truck, a tractor-trailer, a dump truck, a moving truck, or another large truck.

Common kinds of truck crash include side collisions, when a large truck collides into the side of another motor vehicle, rear-end crashes, when a semi-truck crashes into the back of another vehicle, underride crashes, when the impact of colliding causes a vehicle to go underneath the large truck, truck crash pileups, when a truck crash involves multiple motor vehicles, and jackknife truck crashes.

Do NOT try to settle with the truck company’s insurance company until you speak with an experienced Chicago, Illinois truck accident law firm about your case. It can be difficult to immediately know how much recovery you will need and are owed. Because your emotions may be in turmoil and/or your ability to make clear decisions impaired while you deal with your injuries or cope with the death of a loved one, it may seem easier to get the case resolved right away so you can get on with your life. You may be entitled to more Illinois personal injury compensation or wrongful death recovery than you think.

Report: Streator man dies in fatal crash after semitrailer runs,, December 17, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Trucking Accidents: Common Causes & Liability, NOLO

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Posted On: December 15, 2009

Tractor-Trailer Driver Awaits Sentence for Fatal Truck Crash Involving Mobile Restaurant

A judge has found tractor-trailer driver Devin Scott Lewis guilty of criminally negligent homicide over his role in a fatal truck crash that claimed the life of another motorist last December. Lewis had waived his right to a jury trial. The 27-year-old trucker’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 29.

In December 2008, Lewis, who was driving a 2001 Mack tractor-trailer rig on Highway 18, rear-ended a mobile home that had been converted into a restaurant. The mobile home was driven by Miguel Perez Martinez, 40.

The impact of the truck collision pushed the mobile vehicle into oncoming traffic and it was struck by another large truck, a 1998 Kenworth log truck operated by Michael Olson. Martinez died at the truck crash site. Lewis was not injured. Olson sustained minor injuries.

Truck Accident Lawsuits
Illinois truck accident victims and their families can sue for personal injury or wrongful death. This type of civil complaint is separate from any criminal case that prosecutors may choose to pursue against a negligent motorist.

Truck collision cases are not like other motor vehicle crash cases. There are truck logs to examine and evidence and documents may have obtained from multiple parties, such as the trucking company, the party that hired the truck, a contractor, a leasing company, and other entities. Truck companies are equipped to combat truck crash claims filed against them, which is why it is so important that an experienced Chicago truck accident law firm represents you.

Truck driver convicted in fatal crash, NewsRegister, December 13, 2009

Police Investigate Fatal Traffic Crash West of McMinnville‏, Salem News, December 2, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Trucking Accidents: Common Causes & Liability, Nolo

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Posted On: December 13, 2009

57-Year-Old Woman Sustains Serious Head Injuries During Lake County Semi-Truck Crash

Kathleen Moller, A 57-year-old Lake Bluff resident, sustained serious head injury in a Lake County semi-truck crash on December 2. The Illinois traffic crash occurred close to Vernon Hills at the Illinois Route 60 and St. Mary’s Road intersection.

According to initial reports, the woman was heading west on Route 60 when she tried to turn left onto St. Mary’s Road. The approaching truck, a 1994 Mack semi-tractor trailer carrying clay, struck her car before going off the road some 30 feet and hitting a traffic light pole. Lake Zurich trucker James Poteracki did not sustain injuries during the Illinois truck collision.

Illinois Truck Accidents
Our Lake County, Illinois truck accident lawyers know how frightening it can be to get seriously hurt in an Illinois traffic crash. If someone else was responsible for causing your motor vehicle crash, you may be able to obtain Illinois personal injury compensation.

While some truck collisions happen because another motorist was negligent, many of them occur because a trucker, a trucking company, a truck rental company, or another party was negligent. Determining negligence in a semi-truck case is not a task that you can do without the help of an experienced accident law firm.

Many trucking companies have teams in place to minimize liability in the event of a semi-truck accident, which is another reason why it is important that you retain your own legal team to assist you. Getting injured in an Illinois truck crash can be a life-altering experience. Obtaining personal injury recovery can provide you with the funds that you need to cover medical expenses, recovery costs, lost income, and other losses.

Car vs. dump truck accident sends Lake Bluff woman to hospital, PioneerLocal, December 4, 2009

1 hurt in crash with dump truck and car near Vernon Hills, Libertyville Review, December 3, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Head injury, Medline Plus

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Posted On: December 11, 2009

Two Men Receive Maximum Sentences for Truck Accident that Killed Three UC Berkeley Students

The two men who in July 2005 caused the driver of a big rig truck to fatally strike a car carrying three UC Berkeley graduated students have received the maximum sentences for their convictions. 25-year-old Stanley Jacks, Jr., 25, and 28-year-old Eric Barnes are ordered to serve eight years and eight months in prison, each for three counts of vehicular manslaughter.

UC Berkeley's Safe Transportation Research and Education Center researchers say Jacks and Barnes were racing each other in separate cars on Interstate 80 at speeds of over 100 mph when their actions caused a large truck driver to lose control of a big rig, which crashed into the center divider before catching fire. The truck then went into the opposite lanes of traffic where it crashed into the car that was carrying 29-year-old Jason Choy, 26-year-old Giula Adesso, and 27-year-old Benjamin Boussert. All three truck accident victims were graduate students at UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry.

Truck Accident Lawsuits
Filing an Illinois truck accident lawsuit is different from presenting an injury claim for a car crash, which is why it is so important that you speak with a Chicago motor vehicle crash law firm about your case. There may be more than one negligent party who can be held liable for your truck collision injuries. Obtaining financial recovery allows you to hold the responsible party or parties accountable and can provide you with the funds you need to pay for medical expenses, recovery care, and lost income.

Do NOT settle your Chicago, Illinois truck accident claim without first exploring your legal options.

Max. sentence for 2 that caused fiery, fatal crash,, November 21, 2009

Two Men Sentenced in Crash That Killed Students, Daily Californian, November 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety Coalition

Transportation: Motor Vehicle Accidents and Fatalities, US Census Bureau

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