Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

UnknownThe defendant Adolyne Dolmer was driving northbound on I-394 in Sauk Village, Ill., when she ran the red light at Sauk Trail Road and T-boned the eastbound car of Megan and Todd Bishop. The Bishops are husband and wife.  The impact was on the passenger side of the Bishop car.

The Bishops alleged in their lawsuit that the crash was heavy, that it spun their car almost 360 degrees and totaled their vehicle. Megan, age 34, was in the front passenger seat and suffered injuries to her cervical facet joints in her neck with accompanying headaches and radiating symptoms down her left arm. She  claimed permanency for the remainder of her life expectancy of 41.9 years. She was treated with 14 injections and 2 radiofrequency neurotomy procedures, designed to kill the nerves in the cervical facets. She also underwent physical therapy and pain medicine. 

Todd Bishop, who was driving, claimed loss of consortium for his wife’s injuries and no other damages.

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UnknownA Cook County, Ill.,  jury has found that the Double Tree Hotel Chicago was not negligent when its hotel shuttle bus improperly transported the plaintiff, Mary Larkin, to the upper level terminal at O’Hare Airport by dropping her off on an expansion joint in the roadway, which was unsafe. As a result, Larkin fell and sustained a trimalleolar fracture of the right ankle, which required open reduction internal fixation surgery followed by a second procedure to remove some of the hardware.

The hotel asserted that Larkin failed to watch where she was walking. She had filed an earlier claim against the City of Chicago, which settled with her for $55,000.

The jury in this case, however, sided with Double Tree Hotel Chicago and found it not negligent or a cause of Larkin’s injuries.

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UnknownOn July 18, 2010, Natalie Cozzi, defendant Sergio Ramirez and Caitlyn Hopkins were involved in a four-car crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway near Washington Street in Chicago, Ill.  The crash took place at about 1:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes.  The chain reaction started when a “phantom” black SUV came to an abrupt stop in front of Cozzi, who claimed that she was able to make a complete stop 3-4 feet behind the SUV.

But after Cozzi stopped, she was rear-ended at high speed by the defendant Ramirez, who was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck.  The impact pushed Cozzi into the rearend of the black SUV. 

The other defendant, Hopkins, then rear-ended Ramirez at high speed, causing a second rear impact to Cozzi’s car. The black SUV fled the scene after the crash. Cozzi, age 26, claimed that the crash injured her, causing a herniated or bulging disc at L3-4 with facet joint arthropathy and chronic low back pain. She had more than $23,000 in medical expenses and lost 7 ½ months of work as a union electrician. Cozzi’s claimed lost time from work was $53,328.

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Westpark_US59EntranceB_WB_LW_12Apr04_hresOn Sept. 2, 2007, Susan Soine, age 42, was driving her car northbound on Route 41 in Highland Park, Ill., when she was hit by a car driven by the defendant, Marian Kinzinger, at Clavey Road. Soine alleged in her lawsuit that Kinzinger chose not to properly merge into the highway from the Clavey entrance ramp and instead crossed over the solid white lines and clipped the front of a semi-truck and then veered into the left lane and hit the plaintiff’s front passenger door. 

Kinzinger’s pick-up truck then rolled over and hit the rear of the Soine car shattering her rear window. Soine was injured.  She sustained a C5-6 neck injury, which required fusion surgery two months after the crash. 

At the end of the trial, Soine’s counsel moved the court for a directed verdict, which was granted. The directed verdict dealt with only the negligence of Kinzinger. The jury determined the amount of damages.

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UnknownJose Bedoya, 43, was exiting westbound Interstate 90 at Lee Street when his car was hit from behind while stopped at the end of the exit ramp.  Bedoya was rear-ended by the defendant, Tina Raya, who was driving her GMC Yukon SUV. 

The impact, according to Bedoya, was heavy and pushed his car several feet forward. He said his head jerked forward and back. Bedoya was taken by ambulance to Resurrection Hospital with complaints of neck pain.

Although the crash was on Sept. 19, 2009, it wasn’t until August 2010 that an MRI showed that Bedoya suffered a large herniated disc at C5-6 requiring a surgical disc replacement surgery that took place in November 2010. 

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bicycles-941665-mMichael Harvey was riding his bicycle north on Ashland Avenue in Chicago in the right lane as he approached Foster Avenue.  It was Aug. 12, 2010 when Harvey, 26, claimed to be cut off by the defendant, Vanna Phillips, who was driving her car northbound making a sudden right turn directly in front of Harvey. The bicycle and car collided. On impact, Harvey was propelled into Phillips’ rear window which shattered. Harvey then landed on the ground. 

The crash took place at about 11 p.m. while both plaintiff and defendant were traveling from separate bars. Harvey suffered  cuts to his chin, upper lip and required 29 stitches with permanent scars. He also had lacerations to his left forearm that required nine staples with scarring. Harvey also suffered from permanent left forearm nerve damage and numbness with pain. He may require future surgery to repair the nerve pain and plastic surgery for revision of the scars. 

Harvey was an actor and claimed difficulty getting roles after the accident due to his scars. He is now working as a waiter.

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13757607-back-painA Lake County, Ill., jury returned a $183,008 verdict in favor of Patricia Lewis, whose car was rear-ended by another vehicle at high speed. The crash took place on Nov. 7, 2008 on northbound Route 12 near Route 134 in Fox Lake, Ill.  The impact of the defendant’s collision with Lewis pushed her car ahead and triggered a five-car chain reaction.

Lewis, age 50, claimed that the impact and resulting injuries to her caused a herniated disk at C5-6 (neck) with radiculopathy into her right arm. She also claimed that she will need future neck fusion surgery. The Lewis claim for lost time from work as a medical administrator was barred by the court. Radiculopathy in the neck is often described as a pinched nerve. Some people complain that the neck pain radiates into the arm, like Lewis did in this case. 

Lewis’s husband testified that she had been his fishing partner, but she was no longer able to go boating after the crash because of her neck injury. The husband also testified that Lewis is now unable to cook family dinners, do normal household chores or do yard work. 

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pedestrian-crossing-2-1003282-mThe Illinois Appellate Court dismissed an appeal taken from the Circuit Court of Cook County. This case involved Isaiah DeLaCruz, who was hit by a car while crossing a Chicago street. An uninsured motorist was driving the vehicle that struck DeLaCruz. However, it was determined that the vehicle was used as a weapon to run over DeLaCruz, who later died of his injuries.

The plaintiff, Universal Casualty Co., had issued an insurance policy to Ana Ocampo, who was a relative of DeLaCruz. Universal claimed that because this incident was not an accident, but rather an intentional criminal act on the part of the motorist who struck DeLaCruz, it would not be responsible under its uninsured motorist coverage. 

Universal filed a declaratory judgment action in Cook County against the estate of DeLaCruz.In December 2011, the estate moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to §2-615 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. In March 2012, the trial judge in the Circuit Court granted the motion to dismiss. In that decision, the judge granted Universal’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint and the court’s order noted that the dismissal was entered without prejudice.

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imagesThe Illinois Third District Appellate Court has held  that the large hardware chain Menards was entitled to insurance coverage under the automobile insurance policy issued to the insured, the customer, who was injured while a Menards employee loaded her car. 

In this case, Ruby Bohlen purchased gravel and bricks from a Menards store in Champaign, Ill.  She brought her car around to the loading area where her car was to be loaded by an employee of Menards. While the Menards employee was loading the bricks, Bohlen tripped and fell on debris near her car and was injured. 

Bohlen filed a lawsuit against Menards claiming that Menards was negligent in failing to provide a safe place for its customers.  As part of the complaint, Bohlen claimed that Menards chose not to remove debris from the aisles, sidewalks and other areas of the store. 

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16598096-back-pain-silhouette-of-a-man-in-black-with-back-pain-depicted-by-red-circlesTwenty-two-year-old Bryan Widstrand was driving into a parking garage at Concordia University in River Forest, Ill., when 19-year-old Paige Kecseg backed out of a parking spot and hit the passenger side of Widstrand’s car. Widstrand contended that the impact caused him to suffer herniated discs at C5-6 and C6-7. In addition, he complained of headaches, neck/back and shoulder pain as well as numbness in his right forearm and two fingers. He also claimed the accident-related injuries caused him to become dependent on pain medicine resulting in rehabilitation at MacNeal Hospital for drug dependency.

The defendant denied that she was negligent and argued that the plaintiff was speeding. Kecseg contended that there were inconsistencies in Widstrand’s testimony at trial and denied that he was injured. She pointed to the fact that the plaintiff had gone on numerous trips since the accident, including two visits to Europe and a mountain hiking trip one month prior to the trial. 

This case was a one-day “stipulated facts” trial with Judge Michael Panter of the Circuit Court of Cook County. The judge read the medical treatment summary to the jury. The attorney for Widstrand reported that he asked the jury for approximately $150,000 while the defendant’s attorney reported that the plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for a verdict of $209,637. The offer to settle before trial was $4,350 with a demand to settle at $100,000.

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