Bus Accidents

After An Auto Accident: What to Do to Protect You and Your Case

After you have been injured in an auto crash, you must take steps to protect you and your case right away. The insurance company for the other driver and its adjustors and private investigators launch into a defense mode to protect the insurance company and its money, not you. There are many things that you can do protect you and your case. You must:

1. Seek appropriate medical treatment

If you have been hurt, or don’t know if you have been hurt, then you should visit the local hospital Emergency Department right away. A trained medical professional should evaluate your head, neck, and back and obtain appropriate tests, such as x-rays and scans. If you don’t get evaluated right away, then the insurance company will later argue that you must not have been really hurt. When you are discharged from the Emergency Department, follow the recommendations. If you are supposed to follow-up with a physician, do so.

2. Make a Police Report for the Traffic Accident

If you are at the scene, call the police. If you left the scene, go to the local Police Department and make a report. If you don’t make a report, then an insurance company can deny insurance coverage or claim that the accident did not happen the way you say it did.

3. Take Photographs of Your Vehicle

A picture is worth a thousand words. A digital photograph taken with your smartphone will preserve evidence of the damage from the collision and prove how hard the impact was. Try to photograph the other driver’s vehicle at the scene, if you are able.

4. Keep All Your Medical Bills, Medical Appliances, Prescription Medication Bottles, and Medical Records

If your case goes to jury, all of these can be used as compelling evidence of your injury and rehabilitation.

5. Contact and Hire a Good Personal Injury Attorney

Consultations are usually free.  DO NOT DELAY!  Call us now at 773.838.8100.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how to interview and hire a good personal injury attorney.

An experienced attorney can act quickly to preserve evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence:

He can obtain interviews of an eyewitness and record it. This interview may make or break your case.

He can inspect your motor vehicle or the defendant’s vehicle for physical damage patterns and points of impact between the vehicles. Digital images of the physical damage can prove the nature and extent of the impact. If there is minimal visible damage of an impact, then the attorney may have an auto mechanic inspect it for structural frame damage that occurred but was obscured by the high-impact bumpers.

A good attorney may even download the event data recorder (EDR), also known as the “black box,” from one of the involved vehicles to prove its speed before impact and its braking distance before the defendant actually applied the brakes before impact.

car accident lawyer advice chicago il He may check the traffic controls at the intersection where a crash occurred, as well as the timing of the traffic lights.

Often, a municipal controlled traffic camera was located at or near the scene of a traffic accident and it captured the collision or the color of traffic light controls. This could ultimately win your negligence case. These include the request on the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) or Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). But obtaining this data requires an Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request under Illinois law 5 ILCS 120/1 (1966 & Supp 2010), which a good attorney knows how to request and obtain.

A FOIA document response may show:

  • Video recording of the collision or traffic light control colors, i.e. red, yellow or green;
  • What traffic controls were installed and why;
  • Pavement markings for traffic control and direction of traffic; and/or
  • Recent roadway construction at the scene and lane configuration.

While there is a lot you yourself can do to protect your case after an accident, there is no substitute for competent and experienced attorney who has handled such accidents before. So, while you should do all you can to preserve the evidence in your case, you should also consult an attorney soon after the accident.

Why Kurt D. Lloyd Is the Personal Injury Attorney For You

Kurt Lloyd, Chicago auto accident attorney Kurt has a win rate in his cases which is three times the average rate of other personal injury attorneys. As one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers for civil cases in the state of Illinois—15 years running—Kurt Lloyd has the knowledge and expertise to take your case all the way to trial and win big.

Other attorneys have rated him A+ for trial skills, and he has won a national award for his jury trial skills. Kurt has even written a book On Jury Selection for Illinois lawyers. With vast experience in auto accidents, chances are Kurt Lloyd has handled a case like yours. Call attorney Kurt D. Lloyd at Grazian & Volpe today at 773.838.8100, or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

The above article was written by Kurt D. Lloyd of Grazian & Volpe. Kurt Lloyd has been practicing personal injury law in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years and has helped his clients win more than $355 million in jury verdicts and settlements from insurance companies and corporations. Kurt helps his injured clients regain their lives after injury. The information provided comes from his extensive legal and medical research and years of experience trying injury cases in courtrooms throughout Illinois.

Auto Accident: How Do You Find A Good Personal Injury Attorney

After you have been injured in an auto crash, your life can feel upended—even desperate. So how do you find a good Personal Injury Attorney to help you get your life back again?

best Chicago car accident lawyer

Watch out for the smiling attorney on highway billboards with big $$$ signs, or the sharply dressed attorney on a TV commercial of promising big money. Did you know that some of these personal injury attorneys have never won a jury trial for a client in their careers? In fact, they have never been involved in a jury trial. Some of these TV lawyers don’t even know where the courthouse is!

Keep in mind: an attorney does not need to have a winning success rate in and out of court in order to buy a Billboard Ad or Smile on a late-night TV commercial. What is being advertised is quick cash. The defense attorneys know who these “TV talkers” and Billboard boys” are and, most important, so do the insurance companies which write the checks and decide for how much.

Instead, you need to find and hire an experienced, good Personal Injury Attorney who actually obtains well-earned settlements and wins jury trials.

Finding A Personal Injury Attorney: Know What to Ask

Personal Injury Attorneys offer a free consultation on your case. This is where and when you can determine whether the attorney is worth your case. You should ask:

  • What’s the attorney’s win rate in court for auto crash cases?

Make sure the attorney goes to court when necessary and that he wins more cases than he loses. Insurance defense lawyers know who these attorneys are and will often settle for the full value of your case with these injury attorneys.

  • How many auto injury cases does the attorney handle “hands-on” every year?

Make sure the attorney doesn’t hand-off his cases to paralegals and secretaries to be processed for a quick cash settlement.

  • How many cases did the injury attorney settle last year and for what average value?

Make sure that the attorney did not settle each of his cases for the cost of medical care. You want to know that the attorney settled each of his client’s cases for at least two or three times the value of his medical bills.

By asking these questions you will get a sense of the attorney’s competence and success and what his or her firm is like. This will enable you to make a more informed decision about who you will allow to represent you.

Why Kurt D. Lloyd is Personal Injury Attorney for You

Kurt Lloyd, Chicago auto accident attorney Kurt has a win rate in his cases which is three times the average rate of other personal injury attorneys. As one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers for civil cases in the state of Illinois—15 years running—Kurt Lloyd has the knowledge and expertise to take your case all the way to trial and win big.

Other attorneys have rated him A+ for trial skills. He has won a national award for his jury trial skills. Kurt has even written a book On Jury Selection for Illinois lawyers. With vast experience in auto accidents, chances are Kurt Lloyd has handled a case like yours. Call attorney Kurt D. Lloyd at Grazian & Volpe today at 773.838.8100, or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

The above article was written by Kurt D. Lloyd of Grazian & Volpe. Kurt Lloyd has been practicing personal injury law in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years and has helped his clients win more than $355 million in jury verdicts and settlements from insurance companies and corporations. Kurt helps his injured clients regain their lives after injury. The information provided comes from his extensive legal and medical research and years of experience trying injury cases in courtrooms throughout Illinois.

State Farm & Auto Accidents: Not Your Good Neighbor During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

For victims of auto accidents, the word is “No.” In Illinois, auto accident attorneys have learned that State Farm recently circulated an internal email to all of its claims adjustors instructing each of them to only offer up to fifty percent (50%) of the full value of an injured victim’s claim. Why? Since the Coronavirus pandemic has closed the Courts (except for emergencies), State Farm is thinking that attorneys for car accident victims are “strapped for cash” and will “settle short” because they cannot push their cases to trial. So, State Farm is gambling that your accident attorney will “settle short” of full value. Ah, don’t you love your neighbor?

At Grazian & Volpe, we’re ready, willing and able to weather the storm. Our last three (3) auto accident settlements against negligent drivers who were insured by State Farm Auto Insurance Company were for State Farm’s $100,000.00 policy limits—and that’s exactly the amount we won for our clients. Nothing short. Our attorneys work hard to make sure that our clients obtain full and fair compensation and nothing less. Unlike auto accident law firms, we have the financial resources to weather the storm. We’re here to help!

This has serious implications for victims of vehicle motor accidents. If you’ve just been in a traumatic car accident and were injured, you should not have to worry about whether your attorney is going to settle short for cash. You should have the confidence that your attorney is on your side and isn’t going to settle for anything less than what you are due.

Call us at 773.838.8100 or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.

2 school bus accidents take place in Chicago area

The school year has only just started in the Chicago area, but there have already been several reports of dangerous school bus incidents.

Last Friday, a school bus driver was arrested and charged with driving drunk while on duty in West Chicago. Also last week, on Tuesday, two school buses were involved in a crash in Antioch, and on Saturday, at least eight children were injured when a school bus got into an accident on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

It is very fortunate that none of these bus accidents resulted in serious injuries.

In the most recent incident in Chicago, a school bus that was southbound on Lake Shore Drive struck a vehicle that was stopped in traffic. That vehicle then struck the car that was in front of it, and a police car rear-ended the school bus. Eight children were hospitalized with minor injuries as a result of the crash.

In the West Chicago incident, a drunk school bus driver was taken off the roads thanks to a sharp school employee. The employee was talking with the bus driver at the school during a drop-off, and she thought she smelled alcohol on the driver. Police were notified and the bus driver was arrested.

In the Antioch crash, school officials did not perform so well. Two grade school buses collided with each other, but the school did not call police or immediately notify parents. Instead, another bus was dispatched to pick up the students, and parents were later sent an e-mail about the crash.

School officials said that they did not call police right away because the accident was minor and no children reported injuries to the driver. Antioch’s fire chief has said the district should have handled the bus accident better.

School bus drivers are not qualified to assess students for injuries, and this is one reason fire and rescue should be called. Some parents reportedly may have taken students to hospitals for medical care after they arrived home.

When children are injured in school bus accidents, and when adults are injured in bus accidents, negligent bus drivers or bus companies may be held responsible for medical expenses and other costs. Bus drivers and bus companies are expected to take certain measures to protect their passengers, and when they fail to do so they should be held accountable.

Sources: 5 NBC Chicago, “8 Kids Injured in School Bus Crash,” Sept. 14, 2013
Wheaton Patch, “West Chicago School Bus Driver Charged With Aggravated DUI While on Duty,” Charles Menchaca, Sept. 14, 2013
CBS Chicago, “Students On Board In 2-Bus Accident in Antioch,” Sept. 11, 2013

Wrongful Death Settlement in Chicago Megabus Lawsuit

Wrongful death settlement for family of pedestrian struck in crosswalk.

We recently wrote of the increased dangers that elderly pedestrians face in urban areas. Wes Kruger, age 64 was in a cross walk on February 10, 2010 when a left-turning Megabus struck him and dragged him 30 feet before stopping. Kruger died soon thereafter at Northwestern Hospital. It appears that the bus driver simply did not see Mr. Kruger in the crosswalk. There was no failure of bus maintenance or driver training proven at trial.

The wrongful death suit was settled for $5.1 million. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Krugers and sincerely hope this settlement can provide some closure for this tragic traffic accident.

Van crashes into CTA bus on Chicago’s West Side

It was seemingly normal Saturday afternoon for two Chicago women driving home after spending the morning shopping for a baby shower. Their afternoon quickly turned chaotic, however, when a blue van came out of nowhere and ran into a Chicago Transit Authority bus stopped in the traffic lane next to them. The impact had so much force that the van spun and ran into them, causing damage to the car.

The women were not seriously hurt, but 14 other people were hospitalized in the Chicago area as a result of the bus accident. Two of these people, including the driver of the van that caused the accident, were admitted to Mt. Sinai Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said. An additional 12 injured bus passengers were admitted to various hospitals in good-to-serious condition, according to Examiner.com.

Depending on the situation, injured bus passengers might have legal recourse against a negligent driver who causes such an accident. If the driver of the bus itself is legally at fault, the passenger will generally be required to sue the public entity that operates the bus rather than bring a lawsuit directly against the driver.

For example, if the CTA bus driver had caused the accident, rather than the driver of the van, injured passengers would most likely have to bring a lawsuit against the CTA. In general, injured passengers will have an easier time seeking damages against the driver of a privately owned vehicle than against a public entity.

Source: Examiner.com, “Baby shower shopping leads to crash on Madison St.,” Travles Lane, April 21, 2012.

11 Texts and a Deadly Motor Vehicle Crash Pile-Up

The Chicago and South Chicago Car Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have written exhaustively about the deadly hazards of distracted driving. This fatal motor vehicle crash in Missouri should be a chilling reminder to all. Federal investigators have established that the 19 year old pickup driver sent six texts and received 5 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before his pickup crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer, beginning a deadly chain collision. The pickup was then rear-ended by a school bus which was in turn rammed by another school bus. The pickup driver and a 15-year-old bus passenger were killed and 38 others were injured.

The school buses were transporting high school band members to an outing at Six Flags amusement park in St. Louis.

The last text the pickup driver received was seconds before the crash. While it is not possible to know whether the driver was typing or reading at the time of the crash-it is quite clear that he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted.

The Chicago and Oak Lawn Car Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe hope all lawmakers are aware of the circumstances of this tragic motor vehicle crash and heed the December declaration of National Transportation Safety Board advising a total ban on cellphone use when driving.

Government Behind On Preventing Truck Accidents

The Chicago and Cicero Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are sorry about and frustrated by the failure of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide the data to Congress necessary for the implementation of tougher safety regulations fort he commercial carrier industry.

Highway crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses caused the death of over 3,600 people in the U.S. in 2009. The FMCSA began along with various state partners began a compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) program in 2004. This program is intended to identify and evaluate carriers and drivers posing high safety risks. The FMSCA expected to fully implement the CSA program by late 2010.

In late 2011, the GAO report found the new safety measurement system (SMS) promulgated by the FMSCA is still not in effect to get unsafe carriers off the road. The GAO found that the FMSCA has not completed the rule-making needed to implement the program and that the technology needed for implementation will not be ready until mid to late 2012.

In essence, the FMSCA has not provided the necessary information to Congress needed to make statutory decisions based upon the program despite the initiation of the program over 7 years ago!

The Chicago and Oak Lawn Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are frustrated by the lack of urgency exhibited by our government in addressing remedies for a serious and growing number of truck accidents due to poor standards, regulation and enforcement. We invite all to write or call their elected representatives and let them know that we value the safety of our highways!

Government Held Liable in Serious Bus Accident

Every personal injury attorney knows how difficult is is to hold any government, whether local, state or federal in a personal injury lawsuit. Even if a plaintiff is able to survive the immunity defenses the difficulty in proving the standard of negligence often leaves a very seriously injured plaintiff with no recourse and no reward. A recent New York jury awarded a 13 year old boy approximately $6.78 million after the youth suffered a degloving injury to his right lower leg and fractures to his fibula and heel bone. The boy underwent numerous surgeries and required several months of exhausting and painful rehabilitation.

According to the court records, the boy was running alongside the bus before it began to move and hit the side of the bus to alert the driver of his presence. As he approached the bus’ middle wheels, he tripped and his legs fell under the bus. The bus began moving and rolled over his legs resulting in his serious injuries.

The jury found the Transit Authority negligent in that the bus driver failed to note that the boy was near the bus and negligently moved the bus when the boy was in the zone of danger.

As Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys of over 25 years, we have handled numerous causes of action against private and public bus services (see myaccidentlaw.com/blog articles categorized “bus accidents”). As Chicago residents of equal time, we have noted on many occasions the reckless and negligent driving habits of some (not all) bus drivers for the CTA and the private bus companies. We have also noted that private bus services have fewer defenses to their negligence than public bus drivers and this leads to a disturbing increase in the serious personal injuries suffered by pedestrians, persons in cars or on bicycles and bus riders involved in bus accidents with publicly run bus services. We applaud the jury in New York and believe holding drivers and municipalities culpable for reckless and negligent bus operation inures to the benefit of the public as a whole.

Grazian and Volpe has studied this lawsuit closely and hopes to successfully employ the concepts of liability established in the case for the benefit of our clients who are victims of bus accidents as well as for the furtherance of safe and responsible bus operation.

Bus Accidents: Beware the Low-Cost Carrier

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)  has found that so-called curbside bus companies, which pick up riders on sidewalks rather than in terminals, are involved in bus accidents involving fatalities at seven times the rate of traditional carriers like Greyhound. On September 8, 2011 Grazian and Volpe wrote of a recent NTSB study finding that bus accidents involving fatalities were greater than expected and appeared to be under reported (myaccidentlaw.com/blog 9/8/2010). As the initial report involved all bustypes,this latest study is more disturbing because it focuses on only”curbside” buses. The curbside carriers first gained popularity in urban areas, such as Chicago, by offering frequent rides betwen major cities for as little as $1 a seat. Popularand catering primarily to students and budget-conscious travelers, these carriers have racked up an alarmingly high number of fatal accidents and safety violations over the last few years. While the report found that low-cost bus companies were a safe mode of travel and that accidents happened infrequently, the bus accidents that do occur, were far more likely than traditional carriers to result in serious injury or wrongful death.

The report suggests that the reasons for the increased rate of serious injury and wrongful death is related to the disproportionate (by industry data) larger number of violations issued to these companies relating to driver fatigue and training errors. In addition, the industry has exploded due to the depressed economy. Regulators indicate that it is more difficult to inspect low cost buses because they do not park in traditional terminals and officials must locate and inspect these buses on crowded street corners. Since they are barred from inspecting buses in the middle of a scheduled trip, it is difficult to conduct the surprise inspections necessary to determine the true operating procedure of any motor carrier. Apparently, many drivers and owners of low-cost bus companies do not speak English, and their records are often kept in other languages. Officials are concerned that this language barrier may mean that some owners and drivers do not fully understand the federal regulations and how to comply.

We reported in our previous article (myaccidentlaw.com/blog) that the Transportation Department, which has oversight of the motor coach industry, had nearly doubled its safety inspection on buses in the past five years and recently issued rules banning bus drivers from talking on cellphones or sending text messages while driving. However, this increase in enforcement and regulation is not applying to the low-cost bus carriers.

Grazian and Volpe has advocated for the rights of victims of bus crashes in Chicago and South Chicago for over 25 years. We have noted an increase in clients who are involved in bus crashes involving low cost carriers. Fortunately, we have not seen a wrongful death but have noted that the injuries sustained are serious injuries often involving brain injury and/or spinal injury. We hope this report will act as a wake-up call to Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board and more inspections and pro-active regulations are promulgated to protect the lives of those using these low-cost providers. Please follow Grazian and Volpe on website or on WCIU, You and Me in the Morning the first Tuesday of every month where we take questions and inform out viewers on how to stay safe and if they have been involved in an accident-how to make sure they obtain the best compensation possible.