Articles Posted in Car Crash

In this case, the quarrel was over setoffs for settlements that totaled $395,000 paid by two under-insured motorists who were claimed to have caused a crash that seriously injured Erin Tufano. Tufano was insured under an Illinois Emcasco Insurance Co. policy that provided $500,000 in under-insured motorist coverage (UIM).  A Cook County judge agreed with the insurance company’s argument that it owed only $105,000 based on the policy’s plain language.

The two insurance companies that insured the tortfeasors offered their policy limits ($100,000 and $295,000).  The Emcasco policy said the limit of liability for the UIM coverage “shall be reduced by all sums paid because of the ‘bodily injury’ by or on behalf of persons or organizations who may be legally responsible.”

By arguing that “all sums paid” provision of the insurance policy, Emcasco persuaded the trial judge that Tufano was entitled to receive only $105,000 in UIM benefits (a single $500,000 – $395,000).

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Vanity Mack was injured in 2010 and submitted an under-insured motorist claim to Allstate Insurance Co. In addition to the claim, Mack filed a demand for arbitration under the rules of the Federal Arbitration Act.

In December 2010, Allstate informed Mack that she was required to execute the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorizations as well as appear for an oral examination under oath.

These requirements were covered under Allstate’s insurance policy. Mack did not complete the HIPAA authorizations, and she did not appear for her oral examination despite multiple requests for her to do so. Continue reading

A 60-year-old Los Angeles, Calif., attorney was a passenger in the back seat of the taxicab driven by the defendant Abdulkhair Haq on June 28, 2013. The cab and the L.A. attorney, David Kenney, were traveling southbound on Michigan Avenue when they were broadsided by the westbound SUV driven by Tyranesia Johnson in the middle of the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street in Chicago’s Loop.

Kenney suffered a mid-shaft fracture of the humerus of his right arm, which required placement of a permanent plate and 13 screws. His medical expenses were $69,800.

The crash was captured on video from the cab with both internal and external views. Kenney’s expert accident reconstructionist testified that the cab driver was going 44 mph before the crash which is 14 miles per hour over the legal 30 mph speed limit. The cab driver was also claimed to have not been paying attention to the developing traffic patterns ahead.

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Karen Ann Whitaker was 60 when she started home from the church where she worked as a daycare teacher. Driving alone, she exited the church parking lot and turned onto the adjacent road. As she entered the northbound lane, southbound trucker Clarence Risher, who was driving a tractor-trailer while under the influence of methamphetamine, lost control of his truck.

The Risher truck jackknifed and crossed the center line. In doing so, the truck broadsided Whitaker’s car. She died on impact. She is survived by her husband, four adult children and five grandchildren.

Earlier on the day of this crash, Risher had delivered a load of chickens for House of Raeford Farms Inc., which had hired his employer, CRE Trucking LLC, as an independent contractor, to transport the chickens. Risher pleaded guilty to DUI involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and operating without a valid driver’s license, among other serious criminal charges. He was also sentenced to 4 years in prison for this accident.

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On May 4, 2006, Thomas J. Diorio was driving westbound on Lake Street (IL Route 20) in Bartlett, Ill.  He was traveling at a speed of 35 mph when the defendant, Matthew J. Pattelli, rear-ended Thomas’s car near Park Boulevard. The crash caused about $2,300 in damage to the plaintiff’s 2005 Lincoln Navigator and $2,950 in damage to the Pattelli sedan. Photos of both of these cars were admitted into evidence by the court.

Diorio is a business owner. At age 58, he suffered a herniated disc at C4-5 with cervical radiculopathy, which is nerve pain traveling down the neck and spine. He also had neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. His medical expenses were more than $29,000. There was no claim for lost time as Diorio had retired.

The defendant, Pattelli, 28, was drunk at the time of the crash. His blood/alcohol level was .199, which is more than double the Illinois legal limit for intoxication.

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On June 12, 2013, the plaintiff, Andrew Gunderson, 14, was riding as a passenger on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) being driven by another teen, the defendant Cody Fanter, also 14. Cody was driving the ATV on a dead-end street in a rural subdivision in Athens, Ill.

Meanwhile, the co-defendant, Cody Ingram, was driving a Jeep Cherokee with two teenage passengers coming toward the ATV riders from the opposite direction. Andrew Gunderson contended that the ATV was traveling on the right side of the road when the oncoming Jeep came around the curb, crossed over the center line of the road and entered into their lane of travel. This caused Cody Fanter to suddenly turn to his left to avoid running into the Jeep. As a result, the Jeep broadsided the ATV in the Jeep’s lane after Ingram corrected his path of travel.

The Jeep’s bumper struck Andrew Gunderson’s lower leg and the force of the direct T-bone impact caused Andrew Gunderson to be thrown off the ATV. He sustained a comminuted transverse complete fractures of the tibia and fibula, which required an open reduction internal fixation surgery; plates and screws were inserted. Medical expenses for Andrew Gunderson totaled $108,162.

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Angela Rogers, 45, was driving when she slowed her vehicle for traffic ahead. She was at a virtual stop when a Hertz Corp. employee driving a company car rear-ended Rogers’ car while traveling at about 60 mph.

Rogers suffered serious injuries which included bilateral labral tears to her hips. The crash also triggered spinal stenosis, causing her to suffer neck pain and impingement in her right arm and hand. Rogers continued to work for nearly 3 years while undergoing conservative medical treatment. When debilitating pain made it impossible for her to continue at work, Rogers was placed on leave. Soon thereafter she underwent bilateral hip surgery.

Rogers continues to live with chronic pain and she likely will require a cervical fusion to address her neck pain. Her past medical expenses totaled more than $390,000 and her future medical expenses are estimated at $600,000.

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Christopher Arnold was 19 years old and riding in a pickup truck driven by Jonathan Ortiz when a friend traveling behind them called to say that furniture had fallen off the friend’s truck. Ortiz pulled the pickup truck onto the road’s shoulder, preparing to make a U-turn so he could go back and help his friend. As Ortiz pulled back onto the road and began turning, a van coming up behind him struck a glancing blow to the pickup truck. The truck spun around and came to rest with Arnold’s side facing oncoming traffic. Moments later, Robert Sims, driving a pickup truck for Weatherford U.S. L.P., struck the truck’s passenger side.

Arnold was not wearing his seatbelt. He suffered multiple injuries, including a burst fracture at L-1, resulting in paraplegia. He suffered spinal fractures at T7-9 and T-12. He also had two rib fractures, a collapsed lung and lacerations to his spleen. Arnold was hospitalized for more than a month and underwent a spinal fusion at T12-L2 among other procedures. He has undergone extensive rehabilitation. He now uses a wheelchair and requires assistance with daily living activities.

Arnold’s past medical expenses total about $345,900 and his future life-care costs are estimated at $5.85 million.

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Rosalina Dionisio, 62, was driving home from work on the highway when her car suddenly lost electrical power. She was able to drive the car to the far right lane, but as she attempted to pull her car off the road, she discovered that the overgrown bushes took up most of the shoulder. That left her very little room on the shoulder and off the highway. Although she pulled off the road as far as she could, half of her car still was on the highway.

About 9 minutes after she stopped her car, another motorist, Stephen Taylor, moved into the right lane to exit the highway. Allegedly he saw her car ahead of him but failed to realize that part of the car was in his lane. Taylor’s car struck Dionisio’s car while travelling at 70 mph.

As a result of the crash, she suffered multiple injuries, including brain hemorrhaging, a spinal fracture at T2, fractures to her pelvis, sacrum, ribs and left humorous of her arm. She also had pulmonary contusions, a lacerated kidney and a torn left rotator cuff. Dionisio underwent open reduction internal fixation of the spine, pelvis and arm.

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Gwendolyn Abasta was driving to an intersection when the traffic light turned yellow. Jose Alvarado was traveling in the opposite direction and turned left in front of Abasta’s car, which resulted in their collision.

Abasta struck her right knee against the dashboard and was thrown into the air bag. Abasta required emergency knee surgery and was treated for disk herniations, broken ribs and other injuries. She required four additional knee surgeries over the following three years plus epidural spinal injections. Her medical expenses alone were $460,000.

Abasta filed a lawsuit against Texas Automobile Leasing Inc. claiming that Alvarado was driving in the scope of his employment when this crash occurred. Therefore, Abasta sued the employer of the driver, claiming that employment relationship and agency. The defendant argued that the plaintiff ran a red light that caused the crash. Before trial, the parties settled the case for $1,750,000.

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