Automobile Accidents

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Daughter of Woman Killed in Illinois Crash Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Could you be compensated if your loved one was killed in a car accident?

As common as it is, driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors we can engage in.  Not only do we have to be concerned with our own driving, but we must be worried about all of the other drivers on the road.  When another driver or drivers act negligently and cause personal injuries or death, the person injured or his or her family might be entitled to compensation.  Recently an Aurora, Illinois woman was killed due to the negligence of other drivers and her family has agreed to a large settlement.

In April of 2013, Carmen Cantu was driving her Nissan eastward down Interstate 88 in Illinois.  She was rear-ended by another car driven by Spencer Johnson and then hit by a commercial truck operated by Duane Buell and owned by Breckenridge Trucking Inc.  Cantu died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.  Johnson was charged with traffic violations relating to his failure to slow down and was found guilty, while Buell was not held criminally liable.

Cantu’s daughter, Veronica Cantu, brought a wrongful death lawsuit, not only against Johnson and Buell, but also against Breckenridge Trucking. Both Johnson and Breckenridge are now paying out after reaching a $1.25 million dollar settlement. Of the $1.25 million dollars, Breckenridge will pay out $1 million while Johnson’s insurance company will be responsible for $250,000.  As Cantu had two daughters, Veronica and Evelyn, the court will decide how the proceeds from the settlement will be divided.

Automobile accidents happen every day and some are more serious than others.  If you have sustained personal injuries or your loved one was killed in an accident, it is imperative to obtain the advice of a seasoned attorney. The Chicago, Waukegan and McHenry personal injury attorneys at Ryan, Ryan & Landa have years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.  Call (847) 416-1989 for a consultation today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Truck Accident Caught on Camera Results In Wrongful Death Suit

Automobile accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States.  The presence of commercial trucks on the road makes driving even more dangerous.  Due to the size and weight of these vehicles an accident with a truck can have devastating results.  

Many parties can contribute to a trucking accident and many cases revolve around misconduct by the truck driver.  Truck drivers work long hours, usually by themselves, which can cause them to fall subject to fatigue and boredom.  These two factors often cause drivers to engage in negligent and reckless conduct while behind the wheel.  Now, many drivers are monitored using cameras installed in the cabs of their trucks.  A recent Illinois case is centered on footage recorded by one of these cameras.  

Jeanette Pivot, 64, was killed in an accident with a tractor trailer.  She was traveling down I-80 at night when she realized there was a car accident ahead due to the flashing lights of a police vehicle.  She stopped at the accident and was then hit in the rear by a tractor trailer traveling in the same direction who failed to stop in time.  A camera installed in the driver’s truck shows him with heavy eyelids and nodding off.  It also shows that he does not react to the scene until 1 second before colliding with Pivot.  

The driver has been charged with reckless homicide and accused of falling asleep at the wheel.  His attorneys claim that he did not fall asleep but was blinded by the scene ahead.  Pivot’s daughter has also filed a wrongful death suit against the driver and his employer, Black Horse Carriers, seeking damages for the death of her mother.  It is unclear how the video will be perceived in this case.

For now, the debate about the use of cameras in trucks and busses is ongoing.  While these devices can show what happened before and after a crash, it is unclear if they actually prevent accidents from occurring.  

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, you need an experienced attorney.  Contact the Chicago, McHenry and Waukegan, Illinois attorneys at Ryan, Ryan & Landa today by calling (847)416-1989.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Victim's Family Sues Drunk Driver and Bar That Served Him Alcohol

A drunken driving accident that caused the death of a 77-year-old man has now resulted to a lawsuit against both the driver and the bar that served him the drinks that led to his intoxication.

Josef Brzek's daughters, Pawe and Anna, and his wife, Ewa, are the plaintiffs in the seven-count suit filed in Cook County court.  It alleges wrongful death and negligence in Brzek's death.  Ewa was at the wheel and Josef was a passenger in their 2002 Ford Taurus when 42-year-old Nicholas Raspanti drove into oncoming traffic and hit the Brzek's car in a head-on collision.

The accident occurred at 6:45PM on July 1.  Josef Brzek died at 9:19AM the following morning.  The autopsy showed that multiple injuries caused his death, with heart disease cited as a secondary factor.  The medical examiner ruled the death an accident.

The wrongful death action seeks at least $350,000 in damages and names both Raspanti and the establishment that served him, Kowal’s Bar and Grill in Hickory Hills, as defendants.  According to Cook County Sheriff’s office and the police, Raspanti has been charged with two counts of aggravated DUI and is being held with bail set at $500,000.

Under Illinois law, plaintiffs can sometimes recover damages from a bar if they can prove, among other things, that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who harmed them; that the alcohol caused the patron's intoxication; and that the intoxication had a causal role in the harm the plaintiffs suffered.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by the negligent conduct of others, you may be entitled to damages, both from those directly responsible and from those who played a contributing role.  The personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Ryan, Ryan & Landa have experience handling all types of accidents and injury claims, including lawsuits for wrongful death after an automobile accident.  For a free consultation, call us today at (847) 416-1989.


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