April 9, 2011

Appeals Court Affirms $23.75M Will County Tractor-Trailer Accident Award Over Man’s 2004 Illinois Wrongful Death

The Third Appellate Court has decided to affirm the $23.75 million Will County, Illinois semi-truck crash verdict awarded over the 2004 multi-vehicle traffic accident on Interstate 55 when a 40-ton tractor-trailer loaded with potatoes that crashed into stopped traffic. The 10-auto collision involved a number of large trucks. The total verdict amount is for three separate causes of action that were consolidated into one civil trial.

The family of Thomas Sanders was awarded $8.5 million. The jury awarded Naperville resident Joseph G. Sperl's family was initially awarded $7.25 million, although the trial court later lowered that amount to $7 million. Aurora resident William Taluc, who was critically injured and broke 17 bones during the Will County tractor-trailer accident, was awarded $7.7 million.

DeAn Henry, the trucker blamed for causing the multi-vehicle pileup, was sentenced to two and a half years probation after she pled guilty to the charges that she falsified her logbook and didn’t slow down her truck to avoid causing an accident. She also had to give up her commercial truck driver’s license for two years. Henry, truck owner CH Robinson Worldwide, and her employer Todd L. Dragonfly were the defendants of this Will County, Illinois semi-truck collision case.

Our Chicago 18-wheeler truck crash lawyers covered this case last year on our blog site. It is so important that victims injured in an Illinois semi-truck collision and their families receive the Will County personal injury or wrongful death damages that they are owed. So much is lost when a loved one dies unexpected. Obtaining injury won’t bring your loved one back but it can provide some relief.

Appellate Court affirms $8.5 million trial verdict, MyWeb Times, April 8, 2011

$24 million award upheld in fatal ’04 crash, Sun-Times, April 5, 2011

Will County Jury Awards $24 Million Illinois Truck Accident Verdict to Families of Victims and Crash Survivor with Serious Injuries, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 23, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

More Blog Posts:
Did a Weak Rear Guard Play a Role in Your Loved One’s Chicago Tractor-Trailer Crash Death?, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 31, 2011

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed in Pedestrian Death, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2011

Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed in Semi-Tractor Trailer Accident, Chicago Injury Attorney Blog, January 29, 2009

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March 24, 2011

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed in Pedestrian Death

Marilyn Headley is suing truck driver Kevin J. Cobb and Beelman Truck Co. Inc. for wrongful death. Her Illinois truck crash complaint is on behalf of Robert W. Schaefer’s estate.

Schaefer died last year after he was struck by a tractor-trailer driven by Cobb while walking across a Granite City intersection. The intersection was unmarked.

Headly contends that the defendants were negligent. She is seeking over $100,000.

Illinois Wrongful Death
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of injury to file your Chicago wrongful death claim. This may seem like a lot time from now, but in fact, there is a lot that your attorney will need to do to successfully pursue your Chicago semi-truck crash lawsuit and the sooner he/she gets started, the better. Your Illinois injury attorney may have to consult with accident and medical professionals to build your case and determine the full scope of your injuries and the damages you should receive.

Trucking companies can be especially tough when it comes to denying or diminishing liability. What cannot be diminished is the unquantifiable loss of someone’s life—especially when so unexpectedly and in such a traumatic manner in a Chicago tractor-trailer collision.

Pedestrians hit by a large truck will likely sustained serious, if not fatal injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, organ damage, and head injuries. Truckers owe a duty of care to ensure that they aren’t involved in any type of crash, especially as it is the other parties that are most likely to get hurt.

Beelman Truck sued over pedestrian fatality in unmarked crosswalk, The Record, March 24, 2011

Related Web Resources:
The Large Truck Causation Study

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

More Blog Posts:
Father and Son Injured in Illinois Truck Crash File $6M Federal Lawsuit, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2011

Chicago Family Sues Fedex Over Semi-Truck Crash that Claimed Three Lives, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 9, 2011

$5M Illinois Semi-Truck Settlement Reached Between Hospital Corporation and Attorney’s Estate, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2011

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March 9, 2011

Chicago Family Sues Fedex Over Semi-Truck Crash that Claimed Three Lives

The Chicago family of Victor Chacon, 26, Brianna Chacon, 10, and Tatyana Alvarez, 11 are suing FedEx and truck driver George Grimes Jr. over the deadly semi-truck accident that resulted in their wrongful deaths. The three victims died late last month when they were ejected from their vehicle on U.S. Interstate 65. Four other family members, Victor Chacon, 49, Melissa Gonzalez, Yaznylie Chacon, 2, and Victor Chacon, 5, were sent to the hospital for their injuries.

The family was driving back from Florida where the younger adult Victor had just gotten married to Melissa’s best friend when then the catastrophic truck accident happened. According to police, at around 3:30am on February 23, the FedEx semi rear-ended the Nissan Pathfinder SUV that was transporting the Chicago family. Per relatives, the elder Victor Chacon, who is married to Melissa and is the father of the three girls and the two younger Victors, broke two bones in his spine. Yaznylie broke her legs and suffered head trauma. Victor, 5, sustained serious injuries.

With their large trucks, Fedex drivers must be careful not to become involved in a collision. Yet, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over the years, there have been hundreds of truck crashes involving a FedEx truck. Often, it is the people involved that weren’t in the truck who end up getting hurt. FedEx companies that use large truck include, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground Package System Inc., FedEx Freight, Inc., FedEx Ground Package System Ltd, Fedex Supply Chain Systems, Inc., and FedEx National Ltl., Inc.

Regardless of who owns the large truck that you or a loved one was involved in a traffic crash with, it is important that you explore your legal options. Suing for Chicago truck accident damages is not the same as filing a car accident claim. Getting legal help increases your chances of obtaining the maximum recovery possible.

Crash kills 2 kids, man returning from Fla. wedding, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2011

Crash Kills New Groom, 2 Children, NBC Chicago, February 24, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues New Ejection Mitigation Rule, NHTSA, January 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:

$6.5 Million Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Goes to Family of Woman Killed on Halloween 2008, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2010

$1.5 Million Illinois Semi-Truck Accident Settlement Reached Over Tow Truck Driver’s Wrongful Death, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, September 7, 2010

$5 Million Truck Accident Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against PG & E, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 9, 2010

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February 28, 2011

$5M Illinois Semi-Truck Settlement Reached Between Hospital Corporation and Attorney’s Estate

The estate of Richard J. “Dick” Berry has settled its Illinois truck crash case with OSF Saint Francis Inc. for $5 million. Berry was killed on December 2009 in a two-auto collision at routes 23 and 17 close to Streator.

The deadly Illinois semi-truck accident happened when truck driver David A. deFrance did not stop at a stop sign. The large truck he was driving then struck Berry’s car. OSF Saint Francis Inc. owns the semi-truck that deFrance was driving.

Although nothing can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one, obtaining Illinois wrongful death recovery can assuage some of the costs and damages while allowing you to hold the negligent party liable. It doesn’t matter whether the liable party is held responsible in criminal court. Your civil case would be completely separate in terms of the legal process and its outcome.

Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy. In addition to the absence of that person in from life and all that is lost along with that—companionship, a life together, loss of a mother, father, son, or daughter—there also may be financial losses, such as those of income, benefits, retirement funds, etc., that your family member would have earned if his/her life had not been cut off so abruptly.

There are specific steps and strategies that can be employed when filing for recovery in a Chicago truck crash.

Lawyer's estate settles $5 million lawsuit, News Tribune, February 25, 2011

Related Web Resources:
OSF Saint Francis Inc.

The Truck Safety Coalition

More Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blogs:
Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit Says FMCSA Violation by Trucker Contributed to Man’s Wrongful Death, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, December 3, 2010

$6.5 Million Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Goes to Family of Woman Killed on Halloween 2008, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2010

Illinois Tow Truck Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Wrongful Death of Man and His Son, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 15, 2010

Continue reading "$5M Illinois Semi-Truck Settlement Reached Between Hospital Corporation and Attorney’s Estate" »

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December 3, 2010

Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit Says FMCSA Violation by Trucker Contributed to Man’s Wrongful Death

The family of Mark Kerper is suing semi-tractor trailer driver John Bahl for wrongful death. Kerper, 55, died in a tractor-trailer accident on July 17 after the trailer that had come unhitched from Bahl’s large truck hit the car he was in. Kerper’s family is also suing Russell Bahl, the semi-tractor trailer owner. for damages.

In their semi-truck crash complaint, the Kerper family is accusing Bahl of negligent operation, failure to inspect the connection between the tractor and the trailer, failure to make sure that the two were securely attached, violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, operation of defective equipment, and other violations. They are seeking damages for mental anguish, suffering, loss of income and earnings, loss of Mark’s future earnings, and burial expenses.

The defendants are denying that they were negligent. They have, however, admitted liability for the damages.

This is not the first deadly truck accident that Bahl, 73, has been involved in. Per an accident report, another man died and a woman was injured when a backhoe slid off a flatbed trailer he was operating in September 2003. He pleaded guilty to safety violations and paid fines over $500.

Tractor-Trailer Violations
With their heavy loads that they may be hauling, tractor-trailer drivers cannot afford to violate safety regulations. They must make sure that cargo is properly secure, the truck is properly maintained, and that their trailer or anything else that they may be hauling is correctly secured. Truck overloading is not allowed. Also, trucking companies are responsible for making sure that their truckers do all aspects of their job safely.

Unfortunately, every year there are people who are killed and injured in Illinois truck crashes because there are truck drivers who were negligent. When this happens it is often other people who end up paying the price.

Second fatal crash spawning lawsuit, TheOnline.com, December 1, 2010

Rules and Regulations, FMCSA

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety, AAA Exchange

Truck Safety, Public Citizen

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November 16, 2010

$6.5 Million Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Goes to Family of Woman Killed on Halloween 2008

The family of East Dubuque resident Tabitha Carroll has been awarded a $6.5 million Illinois semi-truck accident settlement. Carroll, 32, died on Route 47 in Huntley, Illinois on October 31, 2008.

Carroll, her husband Randolph, and son Gabriel, 3, were headed to Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch that Halloween day when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the pickup truck they were riding. According to a judge, trucker Jeffrey Repec, a Spring Grove man, was speeding at the time. The impact of the truck crash pushed the Carroll family’s car into a stopped IDOT truck.

While Carroll died at the Illinois tractor-trailer crash site, Randolph sustained a number of personal injuries, including facial fractures, spinal injuries, and respiratory failure. Gabriel sustained lacerations, two broken legs, and head injuries.

According to the family’s truck collision lawsuit, not only was Repec driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, as well as speeding, but also he did not keep a proper lookout. Police had determined that Rebec was high on marijuana when the Illinois tractor-trailer crash happened. The trucker eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence. He is serving 45 months at a correctional facility.

Meantime, the tractor-trailer’s owner, Geils Farms, is accused of violating the law by failing to conduct random drug tests on truckers, neglecting to perform employee background checks and not getting a copy of each truck driver’s driving record. Also, not only was the truck that struck the Carrolls’ vehicle overloaded, but five of its breaks were out of adjustment, the rear left turn signal could not be operated, and a number of the vehicle’s brake pads had grease or oil contaminating them, which prevented safe braking and stopping.

The Illinois truck accident settlement includes $4.7 million for Carroll’s wrongful death, $300,000 for Gabriel’s personal injuries, and $1.5 million for Randolph’s injuries to a minor.

Huntley crash victims are awarded $6.5 million, The Courier-News, October 31, 2010

Halloween Car Crash Results in $6.5 million settlement in wrongful death lawsuit, Lawyers and Settlements, November 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Trucking Accidents Overview, Justia

Michigan Center for Truck Safety

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Chicago Injury Attorney Blog

Continue reading "$6.5 Million Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Goes to Family of Woman Killed on Halloween 2008" »

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October 15, 2010

Illinois Tow Truck Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Wrongful Death of Man and His Son

Jessica Legens is suing tow truck operator Mark Ikerman, his employer Manheim Services Corporation, the owners of Sparky’s 397 Pub, and Mac & Mick’s Sports Bar for the Illinois wrongful deaths of her husband and son. Donald Legens Sr. and their 9-month-old son Donald Legens Jr. died from injuries they sustained when their stopped car was struck by the truck driven by Mark Ikerman.

According to Legens’ Illinois truck accident complaint, Ikerman was driving drunk and did not slow down when he hit the victims’ vehicle. The elder Legens, who was standing outside, was injured when the impact of collision pushed his car into him. He died that night. Donald Legens Jr., who was in the vehicle at the time, would die on November 14, 2008 from his injuries.

Legens is seeking at least $50,000 for each count against Ikerman, who is charged with two counts of failing to report an accident involving death or personal injury and two counts of aggravated driving while under the influence. She is also suing Mannheim for vicarious liability. She is seeking damages against the bar owners for knowingly selling the alcohol to the two truck driver before the accident.

Meantime, Mannheim is claiming that Donald Legens Sr. was partially responsible for the accident because he was outside his vehicle at the time, drinking, and did not make sure his gas tank was full enough that he wouldn’t run out of fuel.

Chicago Truck Accident Lawsuits
Losing someone you love is incredibly hard. It can be even more upsetting to know that your loved one would still be alive today were it not for another party’s negligence. There are ways to hold a negligent trucker and trucking company liable for your loved one’s truck crash death.

Summary judgment move in tow truck accident case to be heard Oct. 22, St. Clair Record, October 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration

American Trucking Associations

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September 15, 2010

Illinois Dump Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Damages for 68-Year-Old Woman’s Wrongful Death

The family of Arlene “Kay” Marshall is suing J. Fuentes Trucking and Medinah Inc. and trucker Juan R. Fuentes for Illinois wrongful death. Marshall, a 68-year-old woman, was killed on August 6 when she was struck by a Mack truck driven by Fuentes. At the time Marshall was pushing her bicycle across Main Street in Downtown St. Charles. She was pronounced dead at the Illinois truck collision site.

In their Illinois truck accident complaint, Marshall’s family is accusing the defendants of negligence. They contend that Fuentes was careless when driving and failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, neglected to drive at a speed that was prudent, and did not keep his large truck under reasonable control. Police, however, have decided not to charge Fuentes.

Marshall leaves behind three brothers. They are seeking unspecified damages for loss of companionship, society, attention, guidance, training, advice, instruction, sorrow, and grief.

Chicago Truck Accidents
In any Chicago truck crash involving pedestrians, it is the latter that will be at the mercy of the trucker when it comes to sustaining serious injuries. While there are steps that pedestrians can take to protect themselves from becoming involved in an Illinois Mack truck accident, sometimes, there is nothing the traffic crash victims can do to avoid getting hurt.

Lawsuit filed in connection with St. Charles fatal accident, KCChronicle.com, September 15, 2010

Bicyclist's family sues over fatal crash, Daily Herald, September 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Michigan Center for Truck Safety

Rules and Regulations, FMCSA

Continue reading "Illinois Dump Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Damages for 68-Year-Old Woman’s Wrongful Death" »

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September 7, 2010

$1.5 Million Illinois Semi-Truck Accident Settlement Reached Over Tow Truck Driver’s Wrongful Death

The family of William B. Waite has reached a $1.5 million Illinois truck accident settlement with Double D Express and Spring Valley trucker Mark D. Boehm. Waite, a 49-year-old tow truck driver, died on June 23, 2008 after he was struck by the semi that Boehm was driving.

At the time, Waite and another man, Christian Henninger, were helping a tractor-trailer that had broken down on Interstate 80 close to Utica. That is when Boehm’s large truck hit them from behind. The truck driver told police that he was changing radio stations when the catastrophic Illinois truck collision occurred.

The family’s Chicago truck accident lawyer says that they chose to settle because they didn’t want to bankrupt Double D Express and add to unemployment in the area. He claims that the company failed to buy adequate liability insurance—a statement that the defendant disputes.

Earlier this year, Double D Express settled its Illinois semi-truck crash lawsuit with Henninger for $3 million. Henninger broke his vertebrae and sustained spleen and liver lacerations during the accident.

Distracted Driving
Seemingly harmless activities such as selecting a new playlist on the iPod that’s hooked up to the vehicle, conducting a MapQuest search on a PDA to get the right directions, calling a friend to let them know you are running late, or putting on makeup while the traffic light is red can turn into dangerous actions when they contribute to causing a catastrophic Chicago, Illinois tractor-trailer accident. You may even have grounds for a Chicago wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.

Tow truck driver's family settles for $1.5 million, NewsTribune, August 11, 2010

Man Settles Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit for $3 Million, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, June 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Fars Encyclopedia

Distracted Driving

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August 18, 2010

77-Year-Old Trucker Sued for Deaths in 2009 Truck Accident that Killed 10 Pleads Guilty to Negligent Homicide

Donald L. Creed, a 77-year-old truck driver, has pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor counts of negligent homicide for accidentally killing 10 people during a June 2009 tractor-trailer crash. He has been sentenced to one year probation for each count and must spend 30 days in jail. He also will no longer be allowed to have a commercial driver’s license and must use an electronic home monitoring system during the first year of probation. Meantime, the families of the victims are suing Creed for wrongful death.

According to police, on June 26, 2009 on I-44, Creed slammed his semi-trailer, which he was driving for Associated Wholesale Grocers, into a number of motor vehicles that were stopped for another traffic. Rescuers spent hours trying to free the victims from the mangled wreckage.

Killed in the semi-truck crash were 63-year-old Earlene Hooks, 69-year-old Oral Hooks, 42-year-old Antonio Hooks, 41-year-old Dione Hooks, Ernestia Reyes, her husband 39-year-old Ricardo Reyes, 35-year-old Shelby Hayes, her husband, 38-year-old Randall Hayes, their 7-year-old son Ethan Hayes, and her 55-year-old mother Cynthia Olson. The Reyes’ 12-year-old daughter Andrea suffered injuries.

Investigators have said that there is no evidence to indicate that the trucker tired to avoid striking the vehicles or even attempted to step on the brakes. Highway police have said that driver inattention on Creed’s part caused the semi-truck crash.

Chicago Truck Accident Victims
Losing even one family member in any kind of Chicago, Illinois truck accident is devastating. To lose more than one loved one is unimaginably life shattering. Unfortunately, trucker negligence, inexperience, inattention, carelessness, and recklessness continue to claim lives.

Truck driver guilty in crash that killed 10, Associated Press/Kansas City, August 2, 2010

Truck Driver Pleads Guilty to 10 Misdemeanor Counts for Deadly Turnpike Crash, News9.com, August 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, Cyber Drive Illinois

Distracted Driving, NHTSA

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August 1, 2010

Fifth Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Trucker Over 2008 Accident

Another truck accident victim is seeking personal injury recovery from trucker Jose Alberto Sarmiento and trucking company Spartan Logistics LLC over a deadly collision involving multiple vehicles that occurred on Interstate 81 in 2008. In this latest tractor-trailer crash lawsuit, William Morgan is seeking $500,000 for his permanent and serious injuries and the damages that his vehicle sustained.

Morgan contends that as a result of his injuries, he continues to experience “great pain” and cannot properly see to his personal and business affairs. He is accusing Sarmiento of operating his truck in a careless, negligent, and reckless manner.

Four other civil lawsuits have been filed over the deadly semi-truck collision. Earlier this year, the family of siblings Ivan Ryman, 4, and Maggie Ryman, 1, sued the trucker and his trucking company for wrongful deaths, as well as for the wrongful death of their grandmother Cordula Elma Lear, 80. The mother of the two children, 40-year-old Serena Vera Lear Ryman, is seeking damages for personal injury. She was driving the car that all of them were in at the time of the deadly truck accident. Separate jury trials for each case are scheduled.

Sarmiento, who admitted to three counts of reckless driving, was ordered to pay a fine and received a suspended jail term.

Lawsuit filed in accident on I-81, NVDaily.com, July 29, 2010

Bond Set for Sarmiento, WHSV, December 2, 2008

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

Insurance Information Institute

Continue reading "Fifth Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Trucker Over 2008 Accident" »

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July 9, 2010

$5 Million Truck Accident Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against PG & E

A $5 million wrongful death settlement has been reached between the mother of a woman who died in a 2006 truck crash and PG & E. Lisa Bernstein says she wanted to hold the utility company responsible for the truck accident death of her daughter Mary Bernstein, 20. Also killed in the fatal collision was Mary’s boyfriend Robert Conway.

The driver of the PG & E utility truck that collided with the vehicle that Bernstein and Conway were in was John Mayfield, who is diabetic. Mayfield did not test his blood sugar and blacked out while in the driver’s seat. He has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter for his role in the truck collision. Prosecutors said the truck crash could have been avoided if only Mayfield had tested his blood sugar level before driving the PG & E truck. The truck driver says the insulin injector was faulty.

Although the state’s privacy act prevents an employer from looking at a worker’s health records, Lisa claimed that the utility company should have known that Mayfield was hospitalized on two occasions because he didn’t properly manage his diabetes and that off the job, he had been involved in two other car accidents.

Per the terms of the wrongful death agreement, PG & E is agreeing that the resolution should be recorded as a judgment, rather than a confidential settlement. This will allow any future victims to look up the case when negotiating their personal injury settlements.

It was just last week that Verizon Communications was ordered to pay the family of another truck accident victim $7 million because employee Mark William Selander, who is also a diabetic, suffered a hypoglycemic attack while driving on the morning of September 2, 2009. Jose Raul Reyes Vega died from injuries he sustained during the truck crash.

Chicago, Illinois Truck Accidents
Even if your Chicago truck crash occurred because the truck driver suffered a medical emergency, you may still have grounds for a Chicago truck accident lawsuit. Diabetic attacks, heart attacks, seizures, fainting spells, and sleep apnea have been known to be the cause of tragic truck collisions.

PG&E to pay bereaved mother $5 million in wrongful death lawsuit, MercuryNews, July 6, 2010

Verizon to pay $7M in wrong-way driving suit, The Daily Sound, July 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Driving Q&A for People with Diabetes, DLife

Truck Accidents

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June 25, 2010

Family of Prison Inmate Fatally Struck in Dump Truck Accident Awarded $2 Million Wrongful Death Verdict

A jury has awarded the family of Rodney Jennings $2.025 million for his truck accident death in 2007. The 28-year-old, who was a prison inmate at the time, was struck by the truck while he was in a work detail picking up trash. The defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit are private dump truck driver Wayne H. Goss Sr. and the state’s department of public safety and correctional services.

The dump truck accident happened on August 23, 2007. According to the other inmate crewmembers, Jennings and at least two other inmates were trying to cross the freeway ramp when a tractor-trailer and a dump truck approached and tried to go through the exit at the same time. While the tractor-trailer was able to get through, the dump truck went off the ramp and struck Jennings.

The dump truck driver, Wayne H. Goss Sr., said he “leaned on" his horn when he saw the three inmates. While two of them stayed in the grassy area next to the ramp, Goss says that Jennings ran across the ramp and directly in front of the dump truck. Jennings’ legs were crushed and he was knocked unconscious. A fellow inmate was able to revive him but he was later pronounced dead at a medical trauma center. He reportedly experienced severe pain prior to his passing.

Under state law, many civil jury awards have a $680,000 non-economic damages cap. However, the family’s truck accident lawyer says that his clients are likely to receive close to $1.4 million of the $2.025 million verdict because the jury found both the trucker and the state liable. Jenning, who was serving two years in prison for a drug distribution conviction, was scheduled to get out of jail in 2009.

Jury awards $2 million in highway death of Md. inmate, Baltimore Sun, June 24, 2010

Inmate on Work Crew Killed on I-495 in Pr. George's, Washington Post, August 24, 2007

Related Web Resources:
FARS Encyclopedia, NHTSA

Large Trucks, IIHS

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April 28, 2010

Children of Man Killed in Truck Crash Awarded Over $1 Million for His Wrongful Death

The young children of Vashawn L. Brinson, 5-year-old Amber and 6-year-old Jeremiah, have been awarded $1,003,750 in the truck accident death of their father. Brinson died in 2007 after he was struck by a truck while crossing I-75. His body was thrown 233 feet before being hit by other vehicles.

The 30-year-old paralegal had left his overheated vehicle in the emergency lane when he crossed the road to get water for the car. He was wearing dark clothing and at 6am it was still dark when trucker Richard D. King struck him.

During the wrongful death civil trial, witness experts attempted to show jurors that King had failed to move into the inside left lane, was speeding, neglected to step on the brakes to slow down, and failed to keep a proper lookout to avoid striking Brinson. King was never ticketed over the tragic truck crash.

The jury found transportation company Landstar Ranger Inc. liable and awarded each of Brinson’s kids $1 million for mental pain and suffering and $7,500 for funeral expenses. They agreed with the defense that Brinson was 50% liable. The judge upheld the jury’s verdict.

Chicago, Illinois Truck Accidents
The death of a family member is always difficult. Not only does it mean having to live without someone you love, but also that loss may place you and the rest of your family in financial hardship. If a trucker was responsible for causing your loved one’s untimely passing, you may be able to sue them by filing a Chicago truck crash lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company that employs him/her. Damages may include compensation for the death, funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of financial support, loss of benefits, and (depending on the specifics of your case) other losses.

Judge awards 2 Lee County children more than $1 million after father killed in I-75 crash, NaplesNews, April 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Road Safe America

Fatalities From Large Truck Crashes, SmartMotorists.com

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February 27, 2010

Jury Awards $4 Million Illinois Wrongful Death Verdict to Children of Couple Killed in Interstate 39 Truck Accident

A jury has awarded Adam and Eric Rautio $4 million in their Illinois wrongful death lawsuit over the truck crash that killed their parents. Faye and Donald Rautio died in a seven-vehicle crash on Interstate 39 in 2007.

The defendant in the Illinois semi-truck case, trucking company Heartland Express, had admitted liability because trucker William Hinds fell asleep at the wheel. This means that all the jury had to do was decide how much should be awarded in damages to the men.

After dozing off, Hinds’s semi-truck struck a Ford Taurus, killing the Rockford woman driving the vehicle and triggering a multi-vehicle La Salle County auto crash. One of the vehicles involved in the truck accident was the Toyota Camry that 67-year-old Donald Ratio was driving. The impact pushed his vehicle into another semi-truck, fatally injuring him and his 65-year-old wife Faye.

Hinds was also seriously injured in the Illinois truck collision. Originally named a defendant in the Rautio’s wrongful death lawsuit, his name was later dropped from the complaint.

Chicago, Illinois Truck Accidents Involving Drowsy Truckers
Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a common hazard when working as a commercial truck driver. Long hours on the road, not enough rest in between shifts, driving alone and without much scenery, and undiagnosed sleep apnea are some reasons why a trucker operating a vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds might become drowsy and fall asleep at the wheel. When this happens, the consequences to the truck driver and others on the road can prove fatal.

Family wins $4 million lawsuit over I-39 pileup, Newstrib, February 26, 2010

Former Minnesota educators die in Illinois car crash, Kare11, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Interstate 39, Interstate Guide

The Drowsy Driver

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February 26, 2010

$4 Million Wrongful Verdict Awarded to Family of Man Killed in Truck Accident

A jury has awarded the family of James Brashear $4 million in their wrongful death case against a construction company and one of its subcontractors. The 42-year-old father died late at night on October 1, 2007 when his car was rear-ended by a semi-trailer going at 70 mph.

Brashear’s vehicle was at the end of a line of cars that were stopped in traffic on Interstate 75. His son Tyler sustained serious injuries during the truck crash. One other man and at least nine other people were injured.

Brashear’s family has resolved their wrongful death case with the trucking company that employed trucker Pablo Merlos. The trucker was eating while driving and was not wearing shoes when the semi-truck crash happened. Merlos was accused of not making much of an effort to stop the large truck for 10.5 seconds as it proceeded to hit other vehicles. His truck left 27 feet of skid marks at the crash site.

This $4 million wrongful death verdict was awarded against Zep Construction and Traffic Control Systems Inc. The jury is deciding how much in punitive damages the two defendants should pay for consciously ignoring drivers’ safety on the highway.

The Brashears had accused Zep of failing to proper the proper safety procedures before stopping traffic. They noted that electronic warning signs, which Traffic Control Systems was contracted to provide for the bridge repair project, were not in place that night.

Zep’s attorneys tried to blame the semi-truck crush on Merlos, but the jury only found him 5% liable.

Chicago, Illinois Truck Crashes
There may be more than one party that should be held liable for your Chicago, Illinois truck accident case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your large truck crash, construction companies in charge of traffic zones, vehicle manufacturers, and government entities are just some of the possible liable parties.

Jury awards family $4 million for fatal accident, Herald Tribune, February 25, 2010

Efforts Lag to Improve Safety at Work Zones, The New York Times, December 21 2010

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accidents, Nolo

Road Construction, Getting Around Illinois

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January 31, 2010

Dump Truck Lawsuit Filed in Wrongful Death of Bicyclist

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over the deadly dump truck crash that killed bicyclist Gregory Siemion last May. The complaint was filed against truck driver Benny Branch and the city of Grand Rapids on behalf of Siemion’s estate representative and aunt, Norma Van Gessel.

According to the truck accident complaint, Branch was driving through a narrow alley or driveway between two buildings where the visibility was limited. As he turned out of the drive, he hit Siemion, who ended up under the dump truck and street-level plow blade. The large truck dragged him almost 30 feet.

Branch told authorities he did not know that he had hit the bicyclist until he heard a strange noise and saw the bicycle and body in his rear-view mirror. Siemion’s ribs and pelvis were broken and one of his ears was torn off. Yet he was conscious and spoke with a woman who tried to comfort him following the deadly bicycle accident.

He died from a number of injuries. However, police did not file criminal charges against Branch because they said that based on their investigation, they could not determine who was responsible for the deadly truck crash.

The dump truck accident lawsuit contends that the truck driver should have known that the road was one frequently used by drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists and that he could have driven down another road where visibility was better. The complaint cited 21 work-related driving accidents that Branch was involved in over the past 15 years.

The Secretary of State’s Office says the dump truck driver has a clean driving record at this time.

Dump Truck Accidents
Chicago, Illinois dump truck accidents can result in serious injuries. In many dump truck crashes, the truck may have a hard time staying upright. It is also harder for dump truck drivers to see everyone around them or maneuver their vehicles to avoid a truck crash.

Fatal crash lawsuit cites 21 driving incidents against City of Grand Rapids driver, Mlive.com, January 30, 2010

Dead Bicyclist's Family Sues City Of Grand Rapids & Dump Truck Driver, Fox 17 Online, January 30, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety Coalition

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

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January 24, 2010

Man’s Brother and Mother Sue Con-Way Freight and Trucker Over Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Family

The brother and mother of Brian Workman are suing trucking company Con-Way Freight and commercial truck driver Forest E. Stover for wrongful death. They filed Lake County truck accident lawsuit last week. Workman, 33, his wife Joanna, 31 and their three children, Ryan, 1, Tyler, 8, and Ashley, 13, were killed on June 26, 2009.

The deadly large truck crash happened at around 4am on I-65 close to US 231 when their pickup truck was smashed between two semi-trailers as traffic slowed. Stover, who was unable to stop in time, rear-ended the Workmans' pickup truck with his semi-truck, pushing it into the other large truck. Stover's semi-trailer was transporting 65,000 pounds of cargo, while the truck in front of the Workman's vehicle contained a load of coil rod weighing about 50,000 pounds. Following the collision, pickup truck caught fire.

The Lake County coroner said each family member died from blunt force trauma. They also sustained serious burn injuries on their bodies. The Workmans were going on a trip to see Brian’s mother and visit Disney World when the catastrophic truck accident happened.

Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuits
Losing someone you love—let alone multiple family members—in a traffic crash is tragic and ruins the lives of the victims and surviving relatives. It is all the more devastating to know that your loved ones would still be alive today if it weren't for another party’s negligent or careless actions—even if there was no malice intended.

Truck drivers are aware that the size and weight of their vehicles can place smaller vehicles at a disadvantage during a a truck collision. This is one of the many reasons why truckers must drive carefully and pay attention to the road and traffic around them.

Because so many truck crashes occur every year, trucking companies are prepared to deal with liability claims. You do not want to try pursuing Illinois wrongful death compensation from a negligent trucking company without legal help.

Mother, brother sue trucker, company, say driver was negligent, NWITimes.com, January 23, 2010

Fiery Crash Kills Mom, Dad, 3 Kids on Interstate, NBC Chicago, June 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:
The Dangers of Large Trucks, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Truck Accidents, Justia

Continue reading "Man’s Brother and Mother Sue Con-Way Freight and Trucker Over Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Family" »

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January 6, 2010

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Wrongful Death Recovery for Children of Motorcyclist

The guardian of minors Brittany and Mark Weihe is suing semi-tractor driver James Berna and trucking company Driver Logistics for the wrongful death of the siblings' father, James Weihe. The Illinois truck accident lawsuit is seeking a judgment of over $100,000.

According to the civil complaint, Berna’s large truck struck James’s motorcycle at the intersection of Illinois State Route 127 and Interstate 64 on November 23, 2006. James died from his motorcycle injuries.

The wrongful death complaint is seeking damages for the children’s loss of their father’s services, society, and support, as well as compensation for personal and pecuniary losses. The siblings’ guardian blames the truck driver for failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to control the vehicle, and failing to keep a proper lookout.

Losing a Parent in an Illinois Wrongful Death Accident
No child should ever have to lose a parent in a tragic accident. The emotional loss, the loss of companionship, loss of support, and the loss of an important guide and loved one can cause serious emotional injury to a child’s well-being, sense of safety, and identity.

A parent's death can also lead to loss of financial support and benefits for the child. While filing a wrongful death claim won’t bring a child's mother or father back, it can help provide financial support for the child's care, education, and upbringing, as well as help pay for the deceased parent's funeral and burial costs and related medical expenses. Illinois wrongful death compensation also allows holds the liable party accountable for negligence.

Minors cannot file their own Chicago truck crash lawsuits. However, a parent or guardian can file the complaint on their behalf.

Trucking company and driver named in wrongful death complaint, The Record, January 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo

The Large Truck Causation Study

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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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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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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, ABCLocalGo.com, 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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November 17, 2009

Widower Awarded $5.1 for Wife’s Wrongful Death from Fatal Truck Accident

A jury has awarded David Falkenstein $5.1 million for his wife’s wrongful death. 67-year-old Ingrid Falkenstein died instantly after the minivan she and her husband were riding in was struck by a tractor-trailer that was fully loaded on May 1, 2006. David sustained injuries, including a fractured pelvis.

While the defendants claimed the county was to blame because it neglected to replace rumble strips that were worn out and there was poor signage at the intersection, David’s lawyer argued that truck driver Christopher Angland ran a stop sign.

The jury found the trucker 60% liable for the tragic tractor-trailer crash. It found McMaster Sod LLC to be 40% liable.

The Falkensteins who were married 33 years had just retired when the deadly semi-truck crash happened.

A truck crash claim can be difficult to prove without the help of an experienced injury lawyer that knows how to successfully settle and win cases against large trucking companies. Obtaining financial recovery can help cover accident-related costs and provides some comfort to the victim and/or his/her family while holding the liable party or parties accountable.

In another truck accident lawsuit, a jury awarded a motorcyclist almost $ 2 million against a dump truck driver. Levon Babakhanian was fractured his pelvis, left hip, and left leg, while also sustaining multiple arm, hand, and facial injuries during a truck accident on an October 4, 2006. Trucker William Edgington was working for Cedar Point Construction.

The jury found Babakhanian 20% at fault for the crash and the defendants 80% at fault.

Jury awards $5.1M in fatal Flagler crash, News-Journal Online, November 17, 2009

Flagler widower wins $5.1 million verdict in deadly truck wreck, Jacksonville.com, November 13, 2009

Bonneville County Jury Awards Man Nearly $2 Million, LocalNews8, November 16, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Safety, AAA Exchange

Continue reading "Widower Awarded $5.1 for Wife’s Wrongful Death from Fatal Truck Accident" »

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November 13, 2009

Woman sues Specialized Transport for Illinois truck accident that allegedly caused daughter’s wrongful death on I-55/70

A woman whose daughter died from injuries she sustained during a rear-end collision with a tractor-trailer is suing Specialized Transport and one of its truckers for Illinois wrongful death. The truck crash occurred on I-55/70 on April 2, 2008.

Katrenia I. Travis was riding in the back seat of the vehicle that the large Freightliner truck, driven by truck driver Charles E. West Jr., allegedly rear-ended. Beverly J. Travis’s Illinois truck collision lawsuit accuses West of causing her daughter’s injuries and death when he crashed into the car she was in. Her complaint cites failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash, failure to exercise reasonable care, failure to properly activate the brakes, failure to yield the right-of-way, and driving too fast.

Katrenia leaves behind a son, as well her sister and parents. Her family is claiming loss of financial support, services, labor, affection, care, love, guidance, supervision of education, and moral training. They also say they were left with medical and funeral expenses. They are seeking over $100,000 plus costs.

In another Illinois truck accident case, this one involving a parked semi-truck, DeMarco Nicholson is suing both Affton Fabricating and Welding Company and Parrish Leasing Company for personal injury.

Nicholson says that he sustained bodily injuries and a skull fracture, in addition to being made sore, sick, disordered, lame, and disabled, when he hit a semi-trailer that was parked in the middle of Industrial Parkway on June 29, 2008.

Nicholson’s truck crash complaint accuses truck owner Parrish of illegally parking the semi-truck in the middle of the road and of neglecting to warn him that it was there. He contends that Affton let the leasing company park the car there.

Trucking company and driver sued over I-55/70 fatality, The Record, November 12, 2009

Driver strikes parked semi, sues leasing company, The Record, November 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Trucking Accidents, Nolo

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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November 6, 2009

Tragic Truck Crash May Have Been Caused by Vehicle Defects and Poor Maintenance

Last week, truck driver Kyle Wentland was charged with negligent homicide with a commercial vehicle and failure to keep right on a curve over his involvement in the tragic April 3 truck crash that claimed the life of a 33-year-old woman. Wentland, 26, faces up to six months in jail and an up to $2,000 fine. The family of the victim, Heather Gunther, is suing Wentland for her wrongful death. The truck accident victim died of massive traumatic injuries.

According to police, Wentland and Gunther were driving their vehicles at speeds of over 50 mph on a slick road when Wentland’s tractor-trailer crossed the center line to strike Gunther’s sport utility vehicle.

Wentland has told police that he inspected the large truck before getting on the road that morning, but a State DMV inspector says the truck’s brakes were out of adjustment—which is grounds for grounding a truck. Court documents indicate that one of the truck’s tires was unsafe. In addition to faulty breaks, there was oil leaking on a brake line. On investigator says the vehicle shouldn’t have even been on the road.

One witness who saw the tragic tractor-trailer crash says it appeared as if the truck had blown a tire and its brakes were locked up. Another motorist says that when Wentland’s truck hit Gunther’s sport utility vehicle, the SUV’s back end rose about six feet.

According to Federal and state transportation records, the tractor-trailer isn’t the only vehicle belonging to Sysco Food Services that has been cited as unsafe in the last two years. In August 2007, a Sysco truck with a broken steering component crossed a ditch. In January 2008, a Sysco truck received a citation for a broken tail light. In November 2008, a Sysco’s truck latch was found to be improperly secured. Last month, a truck and a trailer had low tire pressure.

Records show trucking company in fatal Winsted crash had other unsafe trucks, Republican American, November 4, 2009

Man charged with negligent homicide in fatal accident, The Register Citizen, October 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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October 29, 2009

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Fatal Pole Truck Accident

The mother of a 28-year-old man who died after he collided with the back of a swinging pole truck load is suing the pole hauler, the pole maker, and the state of Oregon for wrongful death. Teri Stoffer is Jeffrey Little’s mother. The defendants in the truck accident lawsuit are truck company O’Malley Brothers Corporation, McCormick Piling and Lumber Company, the state, and the pilot car and pole drivers. Stofer wants the state to implement new rules that would prevent such a deadly truck crash from happening again.

Little’s death in 2008 is one of three pole-truck crashes to occur at the Intersection of Highway 30 and Bennett Road over a 5-month period. In April 2008, 82-year-old Evelyn Sanders sustained minor injuries during a collision with a logging truck. While truck driver Daniel Bunnell was turning, the pole truck swung out and a log crashed through her windshield. Two weeks after the deadly truck crash that claimed Little’s life, a third pole truck collision occurred at the same intersection.

All three large trucks involved in the accidents were headed for McCormick Piling and Lumber Company, located on Old Portland Road, and were turning onto Bennett Road when the collisions happened. In each case, a vehicle riding behind the pole truck collided with the swinging pole's load.

The truck crashes have raised concerns that the intersection’s basic design and the designated speed limits may have contributed to these collisions.

There are also questions about whether or not pilot car drivers are given enough training to safely operate their large trucks.

Mom of man killed in rig accident sues, Billings Gazette, October 28, 2009

Elderly driver injured when log crashes through windshield, Bend Weekly, April 4, 2008

‘Nothing was done to protect the public’, The Spotlight, September 24, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Wrongful Death, Nolo

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October 24, 2009

Judge Approves $2.3 Million Illinois Truck Accident Over 16-Year-Old’s Wrongful Death

The parents of a 16-year-old boy who died when in February 2008 when his car was rear-ended by a truck have reached a $2.3 million Illinois truck accident settlement with the defendants. Patrick and Linda McMahon had sued truck driver Matthew Yon and Odesco Industrial Services for Michael McMahon's Illinois wrongful death. Their civil lawsuit had been scheduled to go to court this week.

According to the McMahon’s complaint, which they filed last year, truck driver Yon was following too closely and driving too fast. They also accused him of failing to keep a proper lookout.

Illinois Truck Crashes
Contacting a Chicago truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash can give you some peace of mind as you find out about your legal options. Your Illinois truck collision law firm can send someone to the crash scene to gather and document evidence. They can also deal directly with the trucking company and its insurer so that you won’t feel pressed into settling before you know exactly how much you are owed.

If the person injured in the truck crash was a minor, a parent or guardian can file the Illinois injuries to minor lawsuit for the teenager or child. If the person died in the Chicago truck crash, immediate family members may be entitled to wrongful death recovery.

Trucker error is a common cause of truck crashes. Defective truck parts, defective roads, and negligence on the part of another motorist are also common causes of truck accidents.

An experienced truck collision attorney will know what to look for to prove liability. He or she can also determine how much it will cost for you to receive the medical care that your injuries warrant.

Crowder approves $2.3 million settlement in wrongful death suit, The Record, October 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
US Department of Transportation


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October 22, 2009

Jury Awards $49 Million Truck Accident Lawsuit for Traumatic Brain Injury

A jury has awarded a former college student $49 million for the traumatic brain injury he sustained during a 2007 truck crash involving two tractor-trailers. Drew Bianchi, then 21, was on his way to a camping trip when he was struck by one of the large trucks after the two other vehicles collided. Because of the injuries he sustained from the catastrophic truck accident, Bianchi now requires round-the-clock medical care.

The jury found Samuel Bimbela, the driver of the truck that struck Bianchi, 60% liable. It found the other truck driver, Michael Demma, and Gordon Trucking 35% liable. It also found the state of California 5% liable.

Bianchi was awarded $27.6 million for future medical costs, $3.4 million for past medical bills, $13.5 million for general damages, and $4.5 million for future lost wages.

The transportation department for the state settled with Bianchi for $10 million. Salazar Equipment, Salazar Construction, and Salazar Trucking settled for $2 million.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can seriously impair a person’s ability to live a normal, independent life. A TBI patient may not be able to hold a job, sustain healthy relationships with a spouse or children, take part in normal, daily activities, or enjoy the daily, regular experiences that everyone else gets to take part in. Loved ones and friends also experience the loss of the person as he or she was prior to the injury accident.

TBI’s are one of the common kinds of catastrophic injuries a truck accident victim can sustain during a serious truck crash. In Illinois, an experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer can make sure that all negligent parties are held liable.

Calif. Jury Awards $49 Million in Personal Injury Case, The Recorder, September 24, 2009

California Truck Accident Lawsuit Results in $49M Verdict for Brain Injury, About Lawsuits, October 15, 2009

Related Web Resources:
NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page

Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) Analysis Series: Using LTCCS Data for Statistical Analyses of Crash Risk, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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October 13, 2009

Wrongful Death Lawsuit by Woman Seeks Damages for 18-Wheeler Truck Accident that Killed Her Dad and 13-Year-Old Son

Melissa Hinkle’s life changed forever when she was seriously injured in a catastrophic tractor-trailer crash on July 5. Hinkle, her dad Gervious Dale Hinkle, and 13-year-old son Casey were riding a Ford Explorer on I-35 when their vehicle was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler truck as they were going into a construction zone.

Melissa’s father, 63, and son died in the truck accident while Melissa sustained serious physical and emotional injuries. She ended up in the ICU and must now cope with recovery and getting back to a life that her father and son will no longer be a part of.

In her wrongful death lawsuit, Hinkle is suing Refrigerated Delivery, the Texas Department of Transportation, truck driver Randy Crume, and KKM Construction Inc. for damages. A police officer says that Crume neglected to control the speed of his 18-wheeler truck before slamming into the Hinkles' auto and a number of other vehicles. The construction company is under contract with TxDOT.

Hinkle’s wrongful death complaint accuses KKM Construction Inc of causing the traffic to back up for miles on the interstate bridge. Almost a month later, on August 3, three people died in another tractor-trailer accident when the large truck drove into vehicles that were stuck in another traffic jam.

Truck drivers know that they have to slow down and even stop whenever they are driving through a highway construction zone. Failure to do so, especially when there are other vehicles and highway construction workers in the area, can lead to catastrophic consequences. That said, the parties in charge of a highway construction zone must also execute the necessary safety measures to prevent highway work zone accidents from happening.

Deadly Construction Zone Leads To Lawsuit, 33TV.com, August 6, 2009

Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Truck Accident Kills Two, About Lawsuits, August 13, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Work Zone Safety

Truck Safety Coalition

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October 6, 2009

Tractor-Trailer Collision Lawsuit Seeks Wrongful Death Damages for Families of 10 People

A 76-year-old truck driver, two insurance companies, Associated Wholesale Grocers, and G.D. Transport Inc. are just some of the defendants named in a truck accident lawsuit seeking wrongful death damages for the families of 10 victims who died when a tractor-trailer drove into a line of stopped vehicles on a turnpike on June 26. The truck driver, Donald L. Creed, was charged with 10 misdemeanor counts of negligent homicide. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

Police say that Creed’s tractor-trailer was set to cruise control and appeared to be moving at a speed of about 70 mph—5 miles under the speed limit for the turnpike—and he does not appear to have taken any action to prevent the truck crash from happening. The cars he struck with his truck were stopped because of another truck accident that happened earlier in the day.

Police attribute the deadly multi-vehicle collision to driver inattention on Creed's part. According to their report, Creed did not seem to be aware that he had struck anyone. He also allegedly said that he thought the autos had driven under his truck while he was parked.

According to the tractor-trailer accident lawsuit, Creed neglected to slow down and stay in control of his truck as he collided with stopped traffic. The complaint accuses Associated Wholesale Grocers of failing to properly choose, train, and supervise the elderly truck driver and for allowing him to work into the early afternoon (when the truck crash happened) even though he started work at 3am that day.

The truck crash fatalities: 69-year-old Oral Hooks, his 63-year-old wife Earlene, his two adult sons, Dione and Antonio, 39-year-old Ricardo Reyes, his wife Ernestina, (their 12-year-old daughter Andrea survived the catastrophic tractor-trailer accident), 38-year-old Randall Hayes, his 35-year-old wife Shelby, their 7-year-old son Ethan, and his 55-year-old mother-in-law Cynthia Olson.

Also named as defendants in the large truck crash lawsuit were driver Erin Alf and trucker Rajeev Sharma. The two motorists were involved in the earlier accident that prompted the other vehicles to stop.

Accident victims' families sue driver, Chron.com, October 6, 2009

Trucker Pleads Not Guilty in Deadly Turnpike Crash, News9.com, September 23, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Trucking Accidents Caused by Driver Error, Nolo

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September 30, 2009

$6.5 Million Cook County Truck Accident Settlement for Wrongful Death of Southern Illinois University Student Fatally Struck by “Rock of Love” Truck

One year after a 19-year-old Southern Illinois University student was fatally struck in a Cook County truck accident by a vehicle transporting equipment for the VHI reality TV show “Rock of Love,” a judge has approved the wrongful death settlement reached between the family of Kevetta Davis and VH-1 Music, Viacom, 51 Minds Entertainment, and truck driver Dennis Hernandez.

The Cook County truck collision occurred on September 26, 2008 on Highway 57. Hernandez, who had fallen asleep while driving, had crossed the road and crashed into the car that Davis was a passenger in. Also killed in the tragic motor vehicle crash near West Frankfort was Davis’s friend, 19-year-old Yasmin Jackson from Belleville.

Losing Someone You Love in an Illinois Truck Accident
Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy. Trying to fight for compensation from the liable party is likely not where you want to be focusing your attention during this difficult time in your life.

However, there may be evidence that needs to be examined and witness accounts that need to be gathered as soon as possible. This is one good reason why you should speak with experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer who can handle the Illinois wrongful death claims process for you and, if necessary, pursue you compensation in court. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your Cook County truck collision, there may even be multiple parties who should be held liable for the loss of your family member.

Related Web Resources:
Production suspended on Rock of Love 3 after crew member falls asleep, kills two while driving, Reality Blurred, September 30, 2008

$6.5 million settlement in death of college student struck by truck from VH1 series, Chicago Tribune, October 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accidents Overview, Justia

Rock of Love, VH-1

Continue reading "$6.5 Million Cook County Truck Accident Settlement for Wrongful Death of Southern Illinois University Student Fatally Struck by “Rock of Love” Truck " »

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September 16, 2009

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Sues Trucker and Two Transport Companies for Wood River Man’s Wrongful Death

The estate of David A. Jack is suing KDXpress LLC, truck driver Brian DeAngelis, and Diamond Rental Inc. for Jack’s Illinois tractor-trailer death. He died in November 2008 at the truck accident site.

Per the Madison County, Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, DeAngelis neglected to keep a proper lookout, did not reduce speed to avoid becoming involved in a truck accident, and was traveling at an unsafe speed considering the road conditions when his 2007 International Harvester tractor-trailer rear-ended the 2007 Chevrolet Impala that Jack was driving on I-57.

As a result of the deadly Illinois truck accident, Jack’s vehicle was pushed across the median into the path of two other vehicles, which resulted in another Illinois auto accident.

His estate is seeking over $50,000 from each defendant. Jack’s estate says the truck driver was acting as an employee of KDXpress when the Madison County, Illinois truck crash happened. Diamond Rental owned the large truck that DeAngelis was operating.

According to analysis put forward in 2008 by DriveCam Inc., rear-end collisions are one of the most common claims received by the majority of fleet operations. The analysis of seven million collisions showed that vehicles keeping a less than two second following distance are at higher risk of becoming involved in rear-end crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration even noted, based on its “Rear-end Large Truck Crashes” study, that truck-struck and truck-striking crashes make up 18% of all large truck accidents that occur every year.

DriveCam reported that many rear-end accidents involve the lead vehicle changing its speed or an interruption in the flow of traffic. The farthest right lane also appeared to be the lane where rear-end crashes were most likely to occur.

Suit filed in Wood River man's death, The Telegraph, September 14, 2009

Analysis highlights rear-end crash causes, Fleet Owner, August 18, 2008

Related Web Resources:


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July 13, 2009

Family Settles Truck Accident Lawsuit for $16 Million

The family of a woman that was crushed in a tractor-trailer accident has agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit for $16 million. Rhonda Henson died on September 11, 2008, when oil field equipment fell of a tractor-trailer, crushing her motor vehicle.

Police say that the truck driver, Daniel Armstrong, failed to regulate his speed. They also say the truck’s load was not secured correctly. Investigation by the plaintiff revealed that the 21-year-old trucker was not legally qualified to operate the truck and that some of his truck driver qualification documents were falsified, fabricated, or backdated by trucking company employees after the tragic accident.

Pioneer Drilling Co., the wrongful death defendant in the case, settled with the plaintiffs before the jury issued a verdict. Pioneer Drilling Services, Ltd., owned and operated the 18-wheeler truck that involved in the deadly truck load accident with Henson’s motor vehicle.The defendants in the truck accident case were Henson’s parents, husband, and children.

Improper Truck Loads
Improper truck loads are a common cause of 18-wheeler truck crashes. A load becomes hazardous to other motorists and pedestrians when it is not properly secured, overweight, or not properly balanced. An improperly balanced load can make it harder for a truck driver to steer, slow down, or stop the truck.

Truckers must make sure that the loads that their trucks are carrying are secured properly. In the event that thousands of pounds of heavy cargo drops onto the road or falls onto another vehicle, serious injury accidents can happen.

Complex issues can be involved with Chicago truck accidents that were caused by improper loads.

Conflicting testimony leads to $16 million settlement, Cleburne Times-Review, July 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:

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June 10, 2009

Chicago Tractor-Trailer Driver, Named as Defendant in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Unsecured Load, Charged with Woman’s Death

Robert S. Kostadinov, a 29-year-old Chicago truck driver, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle over the truck accident death of Michelle Lamaze. The deadly tractor-trailer collision occurred on November 18.

Police say that Kostadinov’s trailer was carrying a cargo that exceeded the maximum height allowed on Route 22. His container rammed into an overpass, fell off the trailer, and landed in front of Lamaze’s SUV. The container ripped off the roof of her car. The 44-year-old woman sustained blunt force trauma to her neck and head and died at the crash site.

Authorities claim that the Chicago truck driver neglected to properly secure the container’s lower corners. Other charges against Kostadinov include reckless endangerment, careless driving, reckless driving, and motor carrier violations.

Last January, Lamaze’s brother sued Kostadinov and Vidov Trucking Inc. for her wrongful death. Joseph C. Lamaze contends that the defendants violated state law with the container that had a height that went beyond what was legally allowed. His complaint also claims that the trucking company did not have the permit necessary for transporting an over-sized load.

Improperly secured truck loads can be very dangerous. They can lead to motor vehicle accidents involving falling debris or other large pieces of cargo that can come off the truck, obstructing the path of oncoming traffic or striking other motorists or pedestrians that may be in the surrounding area. This can lead to catastrophic, even fatal injuries.

In Illinois, an experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer will know how to determine why a load fell off a truck, what should have been done to properly secure the load, and who should be held responsible for the unsecured load accident. Steel roads, cargo containers, and other materials have been known to fall of large trucks, causing injuries and deaths.

Chicago trucker charged in fatal SE Pa. accident, Fortmillstimes.com, June 9, 2009

Family sues trucking company for fatal crash in Whitehall Township, Lehighvalleylive.com, January 14, 2009

Woman Killed When Cargo Container Slides off Truck, 69 News, November 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Rules & Regulations, FMCSA

Hazards to Truck Drivers Loading and Unloading (PDF)

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June 4, 2009

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit Invokes “Dead Man’s Act” on Defendant’s Behalf

A man who was seriously injured in a 2006 Illinois truck accident while riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle is suing the estate of the deceased for his personal injuries. Russell Martin was riding in the car driven by David Groves on the night that the latter collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Jose Velazques. Also named as truck accident defendants are Proctor and Gamble manufacturing, trucker Jose Velazques, and his employer.

Now, however, the attorneys representing Julia Groves, who is the special representative of the estate of David Groves, have invoked the “Dead Man’s Act” to prevent evidence that Groves may have been driving drunk at the time of the catastrophic truck crash from being presented at the personal injury trial.

The Dead Man’s Act keeps conversations and certain incidents involving deceased from being used as evidence and may be applied decedents in Illinois civil lawsuits that were filed after 1973. The act is related to the premise that dead people cannot contest evidence used against them. However, evidence from a disinterested third party can be brought in.

The remaining defendants in the truck accident lawsuit want the judge to reconsider her decision to allow the act to keep certain evidence out of court. They says that there is outside evidence that Groves may have been drunk, including blood alcohol serum tests performed at a hospital after the accident. They say that this fits the description of evidence coming from a disinterested third-party.

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuits
There are many reasons why Illinois truck accidents happen. However, determining cause and liability takes time, experience, hard work, and the right team of qualified experts that know to examine the evidence and trace responsibility back to the party or parties that caused the deadly catastrophic Illinois truck collision.

Common causes of truck crashes:

• Driver negligence
• Driver inexperience
• Drunk driving
• Distracted driving
• Overloaded trucks
• Defective truck or truck parts

'Dead Man's Act' keeps witnesses mum in Illinois civil trials, The Record, June 3, 2009

Dead Man's Act, Justia

Related Web Resource:
Truck Driver Regulations, FMCSA

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March 23, 2009

Will County Jury Awards $24 Million Illinois Truck Accident Verdict to Families of Victims and Crash Survivor with Serious Injuries

In Will County, Illinois, a jury has awarded $24 million to the families of two people who were killed in an April 1, 2004 truck crash and a survivor who was seriously injured. This is reportedly the highest verdict amount involving a Will County civil case in at least half a century.

42-year-old Seneca resident Thomas Sanders and 67-year-old Naperville resident Joseph Sperl were declared dead at the Illinois truck crash site. William Taluc, a 35-year-old Aurora man, broke 17 bones.

The defendants in the Illinois truck accident case included freight broker C.H. Robinson Worldwide and truck driver De An Henry. Henry was operating a semi-trailer full of potatoes on Interstate 55 close to Plainfield when he caused a 10-vehicle crash involving six cars and three tractor-trailers.

Common reasons why truck accidents happen:

• Driver fatigue
• Driver is trying to meet a delivery deadline and is in a hurry
• Driver doesn’t see vehicle or pedestrian in blind spot
• Vehicle malfunction
• Defective truck parts
• Truck is overloaded
• Speeding
• Poor driving conditions
• Drunk driving
• Driver inexperience

You do not want to try to represent yourself in an Illinois personal injury case against a truck driver and his or her trucking company, which will likely have the manpower and resources to deal with and minimize your truck crash liability claim. Truck accident cases may often involve more than one liable party, such as the shipper, the contractor, the driver, the owner of the trailer or truck, the trucking company, or the truck manufacturer.

$24 million award in fatal truck crash, ChicagoTribune.com, March 24, 2009

Naperville man dies in I-55 accident, Goliath/Daily Herald, April 2, 2004

Related Web Resources:
C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Center for National Truck and Bus Statistics, UMTRI

Continue reading "Will County Jury Awards $24 Million Illinois Truck Accident Verdict to Families of Victims and Crash Survivor with Serious Injuries" »

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