Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Ordinarily, a person who is injured must seek a remedy from the person who caused the injury. However, the doctrine of respondeat superior provides an exception to that rule, in that a principal may be held liable for the actions of an agent who causes an injury.

Edward Grinyov was installing dispatch equipment in taxicabs at the local garage of dispatch company 303 Taxi. Grinyov was injured when another taxicab driver backed his vehicle into him pinning him against the fence.

The driver of the other cab was bringing the car to the 303 Taxi garage following the directions of a 303 Taxi manager. Because of Grinyov’s injuries, he brought a lawsuit against the driver of that cab, the owner of that particular taxicab and 303 Taxi.

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Luisa Cruz Mezquital was driving her Mazda minivan when the oncoming 1995 Jeep Wrangler, driven by the defendant Abdulmohsen Almassud, lost control, crossed the center-line and crashed into her minivan. The Cruz driver-side window shattered.  Cruz’s left hand struck the Jeep as it scraped down the side of her minivan.

Cruz, who was 29 at the time, suffered serious injuries to her hand and arm, including a degloving injury to her left, dominant hand with significant loss of skin, muscles, nerves, tendons and fascia. In addition, she suffered severe, open fractures of multiple bones in her hand and closed fractures of the ulnar radius of the left arm.

She underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery to repair the forearm fractures that included installing plates and screws. Her middle left finger was amputated. A four-stage reconstruction surgery to her hand was undertaken, which included a split-thickness skin graft from her upper thigh.

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Each year, 3,000 people on average die and 450,000 are injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. Ten percent of all drivers who are 15 to 19 years of age involved in fatal crashes were distracted when the car, truck or motorcycle crash occurred. The significant safety problem of distracted driving has grown very rapidly over the past ten years.

Without regard to where it may rank on the list of the most distracting and dangerous activities drivers engage in, there is no dispute that using a cell phone, sending or receiving texts, or trying to use hand-held devices while driving are high on the list. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating cell phones while driving.

There are three main types of distractions while driving:

  • Visual: The driver actually looks away from the roadway.
  • Manual: The driver temporarily removes his or her hands from the wheel.
  • Cognitive: The driver’s mind is taken off of driving and goes elsewhere.

 

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Christopher Wardwell was employed by the defendant, Union Pacific Railroad Co., as a switchman and conductor. On Aug. 9, 2008, Wardwell was riding in a railroad van, going from a railway yard to a train in East St. Louis, Ill., driven by the railroad’s agent, Regina Goodwin.

The van was rear-ended by Erin Behnken’s vehicle. Wardwell suffered a severe back injury and can no longer perform his duties at work. He is now employed by the railroad as a security guard at significantly reduced wages.

Wardwell filed suit under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. 51, alleging that Goodwin had negligently cut in front of Behnken’s vehicle and that Goodwin’s negligence caused the accident.

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Joann Wallseck, 77, was a passenger in a car being driven by John Wallseck on Feb. 10, 2014.  John Wallseck made a left turn on River Road and Camp McDonald Road in Mount Prospect, Ill., when their vehicle collided with the oncoming car driven by the defendant, James D. Murges, who was heading straight through the intersection.

Joann Wallseck suffered a traumatic brain injury, fractured right pelvis, fractured right clavicle, fractured right scapula and five broken ribs during the collision.  The defendant, Murges, claimed that he had a solid green light and denied liability. The defense for Murges also disputed Joann Wallseck’s claimed traumatic brain injury.

A third-party claim was made against John Wallseck by James Murges. The third-party defendant John Wallseck testified that he had a green turn arrow.

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On Jan. 27, 2011, there was a multi-car crash on Interstate 294 in the Chicago suburbs. Kevin Boyd George drove his car into the rear of another car and that car was in turn pushed into a car driven by the plaintiff, John Larkin.

Larkin’s car was pushed into the car in front of him. He filed a lawsuit on March 1, 2012 claiming that he suffered “numerous injuries” due to the negligent driving by the defendant, Kevin Boyd George.

At the scene of the crash, Larkin did not report any injury, but on the following day he did go to an urgent care center reporting pain in his left ankle. Larkin ultimately had to undergo two orthopedic procedures to correct the pain and reported continuing pain, which prevented him from participating in family and recreational activities that included golf and basketball, which he claimed to have participated in regularly.

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Gabriel Pablo was riding his bicycle westbound on 26th Street and traveling in the designated bike lane near St. Louis Avenue when a city of Chicago employee, Harry Sanders, opened the door of his parked car into the bike lane. Pablo and his bike collided with the opened door. This incident took place on July 24, 2013.

Pablo, 38, was transported by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago with injuries to his head, back, left arm and left shoulder. He was diagnosed with partial tears of the labrum and rotator cuff in his shoulder, eventually requiring arthroscopic repair surgery, which left four surgical scars. Pablo argued that he still suffers ongoing pain and limitations in his left shoulder and back.

He produced $112,287 in medical expenses. Sanders was ticketed and pled guilty to failure to yield. The court records indicate that Sanders was dismissed from the case shortly before the start of this jury trial.

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Cornell Smith, 38, was driving on a highway when he stopped for the traffic ahead. Traffic was backed up from an off-ramp exit. While he was sitting in his stopped SUV, he was rear-ended by Ross Keys, who was driving a cargo van for Tri-Cal Distributors LLC.  On impact, Smith was wearing a seatbelt, but he was thrown upward in his seat and struck his head on the roof of his SUV. He felt immediate head and neck pain. Smith was transported to the nearest hospital. He was diagnosed there with a concussion and cervical sprain.

In the months following the crash, Smith developed chronic headaches, neck and mid-back pain and numbness and tingling in his fingers. The radiology imaging revealed cervical disk and facet damage, including an indentation of the ventral cord at C5-7.

He underwent conservative treatment and medication, but the pain interfered with his ability to perform his job as a police officer.

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On March 9, 2013, the defendant Roy H. Verdin was driving eastbound on 159th Street in Orland Park, Ill.  His vehicle rear-ended Christina L. Barron’s car at 94th Avenue and pushed it into two other vehicles ahead of her.

Barron, 46, maintained that she suffered a torn rotator cuff injury along with soft tissue sprains. She lost one week of work as a retail sales clerk. Her medical expenses were $40,000.

The defendant argued that the crash was only a “fender bender.”  It was maintained that no airbags deployed and that the plaintiff’s rotator cuff tear was not related to this occurrence.

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On May 23, 2008, the plaintiff in this case, Carla C. Hudson, 43, was stopped at a red light on northbound Walnut Lane at Golf Road in Schaumburg, Ill.  The pickup truck driven by the defendant Barry McDonald, a Schaumburg Park District employee, was stopped directly in front of Hudson’s vehicle.

The pickup truck was hauling a rowboat, which stuck out several feet behind the truck’s tailgate, blocking McDonald’s view.

Hudson contended the truck suddenly reversed without warning and backed into her car causing her injuries. She sustained ruptured tendons and 4th and 5th fingers of her right hand, which required surgery.  She also claimed an unoperated knee surgery and cervical/lumbar spinal injuries. Hudson brought a lost time from work claim of $9,540 as a Navy reservist. Her medical bills were $81,627.

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