Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

th-5On Oct. 30, 2009, Filberto Meza, 37, was traveling eastbound on 25th Street at Central in Cicero, Ill., when his car crashed into the rear end of a stopped motor vehicle.  Juan Magana and Raquel Magana were driver and passenger in that car.  Juan Magana, 27, a custodian, suffered aggravation of a pre-existing herniated disc at L5-S1, his low back and sacrum.  He had been receiving treatment for that herniation during the previous year. He had undergone physical therapy and was scheduled to be discharged from care after his next scheduled appointment three days later.

Because of this crash, Juan returned to “square one,” which required additional medical treatments including injections.  Juan’s wife, Raquel, suffered soft tissue injuries in the crash.

The defendant, Meza, admitted that he was negligent, but maintained that both Juan and Raquel were not injured to the extent that they claimed.  At the close of evidence, the jury deliberated for two hours before reaching a verdict of $14,809.  $10,947 was the verdict for Juan made up of the following damages:

  • $10,947 for medical expenses;
  • $0 for pain and suffering and disability.

The jury returned a verdict for only medical expenses for Raquel Magana as well, which totaled $3,862.

The attorney representing the Magana family was Lynne Plum Buffey.

Before trial, the demand to settle the case was $15,000.  The only offer made before trial was $1,500.

Juan Magana and Raquel Magana v. Filberto Meza, No. 11 L 11285 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling automobile accident cases, bicycle accident cases and motorcycle crashes for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Alsip, Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Brookfield, Broadview, Blue Island, Burr Ridge, Calumet City, Dolton, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Flossmoor and Willow Springs, Ill.

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th-4On Dec. 15, 2000, Patrick Broderick was driving southbound on Schoolhouse Road when icy conditions caused him to lose control of his car.  His vehicle came to a rest on a snow bank on the east side of the road.  A good Samaritan stopped at the scene to help Broderick, parking his car in the northbound lane of traffic.  Supposedly, the good Samaritan’s hazard lights were on and working, but that fact was disputed.

Caroline Semanic was traveling northbound on Schoolhouse Road when she approached the scene.  Semanic said she saw no flashing headlights on the good Samaritan’s vehicle and testified under oath that she saw only tail lights that she thought were attached to a moving vehicle.  Semanic’s car slid into the good Samaritan’s car while attempting to avoid crashing into that parked car, pushing the vehicle into the plaintiff Broderick, who was standing in the roadway with his back to northbound traffic.

Broderick maintained that the force of the impact caused him to be thrown 75 feet.  The thrust of the impact resulted in a closed head injury, mild traumatic brain injury and soft tissue neck injury.  Broderick claimed that he now has impaired cognitive function, loss of prior math skills, inability to concentrate, memory deficits, altered personality, word-finding difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder, inability to follow directions, chronic insomnia, increased flare ups of temper, headaches, neck pain and depression. He is currently working as a fraud analyst.

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UnknownNasrath Sawa-Malik, 52, was driving northbound on Interstate 55 (Stevenson Expressway) on June 18, 2010 when her car was rear-ended by a car driven by the defendant, Terry Cornwell, which struck Sawa-Malik’s car at a high rate of speed.  The impact caused Sawa-Malik to crash into the vehicle ahead of her.

The plaintiff sustained soft tissue injury to her neck and back.  She underwent injections recommended for pain.  Sawa-Malik maintained that before this car crash and her injuries, she accepted a contract to work as an Arabic interpreter for a U.S. defense contractor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Sawa-Malik said she was about to start the new job at the time of the crash but was unable to do so because of her injuries.

Cornwell admitted liability, but argued that Sawa-Malik could not prove her lost income for the translator job that she had never started.  Cornwell did not attend the trial.

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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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