Elman Law Group, LLC Wins Big With A Stunning $621,000 Jury Verdict In Cook County (Chicago, Illinois) “Wrist Fracture” Car Accident Case

Anthony R. Elman of Elman Law Group, LLC has successfully achieved a $621,000 jury verdict involving a wrist fracture stemming from a Chicago car accident. The case, John Calhoun vs. Peter Ochoa, was tried in Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois.

Elman Law Group took the case to trial after there was a Last Offer to Settle by Defendant (American Family Insurance In House Counsel) of $45,000.

The case involved a 36-year-old plaintiff who was involved in a Chicago car accident, which happened when the defendant, insured by American Family Insurance Company, allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way when his car made a left-hand turn in front of the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff, who was the front-seat passenger in the car, suffered a wrist injury to his right arm when the deployed airbag hit his arm. The plaintiff had about 2-3 months of post-accident treatment for this wrist fracture. No invasive surgery was ever needed. The treatment consisted of pain medications, wearing a hand cast, physical therapy, and closed reduction non-invasive outpatient surgery. The defense was allowed to introduce into evidence that the plaintiff had a recent felony criminal conviction.

Plaintiff’s medical bills were about $21,000. Anthony Elman’s last settlement demand was $50,000.

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Woman Injured During Hit & Run Accident In Chicago’s Dunning Neighborhood

Chicago Police are continuing to search for the driver involved in a hit & run accident that happened on February 24, 2015 in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood.  The woman struck by the car was injured and admitted to a hospital in critical condition.

According to Chicago Police, the hit & run accident happened at approximately 6:25 p.m. in the 3400 block of North Harlem Avenue.  The woman hit was 55 years old, and she was struck while attempting to cross the street.

An excerpt from the March 2, 2015 dnainfo.com article titled “Driver Sought in Dunning Hit-and-Run That Critically Injured Woman“:

At the scene, police recovered parts of the blue, green, pearl-metallic colored 2000 or 2001 Toyota Camry.

Police said the passenger side headlight and passenger side front door are expected to be damaged.

Those with information concerning this Chicago hit & run accident are asked to contact Chicago Police at 312-745-4521.

Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the dnainfo article mentioned above, as well as the March 2 CBS Chicago article titled “Police Asking For Public’s Help In Finding Driver In NW Side Hit And Run.”

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Driving While Intoxicated In Illinois

Accidents caused by intoxicated motorists (DUI) continues to be a problematical issue in Illinois as well as nationally.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) 2013 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics (pdf) report, of the 895 fatal crashes in Illinois in 2013, 33.2% involved alcohol.  In addition to these fatal crashes, there were additional non-fatal crashes involving drivers who were intoxicated, involving a range of accidents between vehicles as well as those involving pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcycles.  Drinking while driving also appears to be a primary cause of “wrong-way driver” accidents as well as being a major factor in Chicago area hit & run accidents.

The reasons and contributing factors for these alcohol-related accidents are many.  There have been various steps taken to try to reduce drinking while driving, including increased enforcement efforts.

However, there remain reasons for concern over the way in which Illinois drunk drivers are handled and processed, as seen in the February 28, 2015 Chicago Tribune published an article titled “DUI paperwork mistakes allow thousands of drivers back on Illinois roads.”

An excerpt from the article:

Bureaucratic mix-ups have let thousands of drunken drivers avoid mandatory license suspensions and stay on the roads, a Tribune investigation has found.

In addition to discussing the issue, the article also provides various statistics regarding the problem.

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Fatal Car Crash On Chicago’s Northwest Side

There was a fatal car accident early Sunday morning (February 22, 2015) in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood (Northwest Side.)

According to Chicago Police, the crash happened at approximately 2:13 a.m. in the 2800 block of North Pulaski Road.  The crash happened after a woman, identified as Joanna Balbuena, 28, was driving south and for currently unknown reasons lost control of her vehicle.  The car drove into opposing traffic and collided with another car just to the north of North Pulaski and West Diversey Avenues.

No one else was hurt in the crash.

The crash is still currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Major Accidents Investigations Unit.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Chicago fatal car accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the February 22, 2015 Chicago Tribune article (with crash scene photo) titled “Woman, 26, killed in car crash on Northwest Side” as well as the February 22 dnainfo.com article titled “Woman Killed in Avondale Wreck.”

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Pedestrian Accident In Park Ridge, Illinois

Chicago and other Cook County pedestrian accidents and related statistics are discussed in a variety of pedestrian accident posts, as well as on the Chicago Pedestrian Accidents page.  Pedestrian accidents often result in serious accident injuries – as well as fatalities – and as such pedestrian safety is an important issue.  An excerpt from that page:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published pedestrian safety tips at its “Everyone is a pedestrian” site.  Walking safety tips are also provided for children and older adults.

If one is involved in a pedestrian accident, there are many steps that one should take – including getting a thorough medical examination by a qualified medical professional, as well as protecting one’s legal rights and attaining appropriate injury (and other harm) compensation.  Often, people choose to retain a qualified personal injury attorney to seek maximum compensation for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident.

Last night (February 18, 2015) there was another Cook County pedestrian accident in Park Ridge, Illinois.  This accident caused the pedestrian, a 73-year-old woman, to sustain injuries including those to the head, pelvis and ankle.  The injuries are considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Park Ridge pedestrian accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the February 19, 2015 Park Ridge Herald-Advocate (Chicago Tribune) article titled “Woman struck, injured while crossing Uptown Park Ridge street.”

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Kennedy “Chain-Reaction” Crash

There has been a massive “chain-reaction crash” on the Kennedy Expressway this morning, February 15, 2015 in which dozens of vehicles are reported to have been involved.  The accident happened during periods of occasionally  heavy snowfall and near-zero temperatures that combined to make slippery road conditions.

According to the Illinois State Police, the “chain reaction” accident happened at approximately 10:00 a.m. in the inbound express lanes of the Kennedy, between North Avenue and the Ohio Street exit off-ramp.

There are conflicting reports of whether there were any accident injuries resulting from this “chain-reaction” crash.

Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the February 15, 2015 Chicago Tribune article titled “Lake-effect snow makes for slippery driving” as well as the February 15 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Nearly 30 vehicles crash on Kennedy Expressway.”

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Crash Involving Police SUV In Chicago’s Loop

There was an accident in Chicago’s Loop Thursday night (February 12, 2015) involving a Chicago Police SUV and a sedan.

According to Chicago Police, the accident happened at approximately  8:45 p.m., as the police SUV, driving with its emergency lights on while in the 0-100 block of North Lower Wacker Drive, was struck by a southbound sedan.

The Chicago Police officer was hurt in the crash and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and later released.

The driver of the sedan, identified as a 28-year-old male, was also taken to Northwestern, where he was treated and later released.

An excerpt from the February 13, 2015 Chicago Tribune article titled “Officer hospitalized after Loop traffic crash“:

Police said citations against the 28-year-old driver were pending early Friday.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Chicago crash can be seen in a variety of media sources including the Chicago Tribune article mentioned above, as well as the February 13 dnainfo.com article titled “Two Injured, Including Police Officer, in Crash on Lower Wacker Drive.”

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Fatal Pedestrian Accident In Chicago’s South Shore Neighborhood

There was a fatal pedestrian accident early Wednesday morning (February 4, 2015) in which a man was struck and killed by a Chicago Police car.  The accident happened in the South Shore neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

The accident happened at approximately 1:15 a.m. in the 2800 block of East 79th Street, as an unmarked police car was traveling eastbound.  At that time, the man, said to be in his 60s, was struck.  The man was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

One factor that may have led to this fatal pedestrian accident was that the streetlights in the area were reportedly not working.

As well, as seen in the Chicago Sun-Times article of February 4, 2015, titled “Man fatally struck by unmarked police car in South Shore“:

A police source said the man was walking in the street and wearing all black.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this pedestrian accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Chicago Sun-Times article mentioned above, as well as the Chicago Tribune article (with video) titled “Man fatally hit by unmarked police car on unlit street.”

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Report On Chicago Area “Wrong Way Crashes”

“Wrong-way” drivers continue to pose a substantial safety risk to motorists.  This “wrong-way driving” has caused many crashes in the Chicago area.  Not surprisingly, these types of accidents often result in serious accident injuries and numerous fatal accidents, as many, if not most, of these crashes are “head-on collisions” at high speeds.  These types of accidents have been discussed on this site under the “Wrong-Way Driver Accidents” category.

This evening (February 3, 2015) NBC Chicago featured an investigative segment concerning “wrong-way drivers” in the Chicago area.  The segment is titled “Wrong Way Crashes Stand Out in Chicago Area” and includes an article and video as well as an interactive map showing the locations of crashes involving people driving in the wrong direction.

A couple of excerpts from the article:

An analysis of state records shows more than 50 people have been killed and nearly 300 injured as a result of wrong-way crashes in Illinois since 2005. Those records indicate there were 198 crashes on Chicago’s interstates and expressways, where wrong-way driving was listed as a primary cause, between 2005 and 2012. Information on wrong-way accidents between 2013 and the present is not readily available, however, the state now estimates approximately 10 to 15 wrong-way collisions in Illinois each year lead to fatalities and/or serious injuries.


The majority of wrong-way crashes involve a driver who has been drinking, with the majority taking place in the early morning hours in urban areas, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The article also highlights a recent fatal “wrong-way driver” crash on the Eisenhower Expressway, and mentions four fatal crashes on Lake Shore Drive since 2013 in which motorists were traveling in the wrong direction.

Also mentioned in the article is tips on what to do if you find a “wrong-way driver” traveling toward you.

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Hazardous Driving Conditions Expected For Cook County

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued a news release (“Heavy Snowfall, Strong Winds to Create Hazardous Conditions Tonight and Super Bowl Sunday”) on January 31, 2015 regarding expected hazardous road conditions caused by high anticipated snowfall, including blizzard conditions.  While heavy snowfall is expected throughout Illinois, the highest level of snow should fall in the Chicago area, including Cook County.

A few excerpts from the release:

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that a winter storm anticipated to deliver heavy snowfall, strong winds and the potential for blowing and drifting snow will create hazardous driving conditions tonight and Sunday. Motorists should be alert for slick roadways, take extra precautions when driving and consider traveling only if it is necessary.


National Weather Service forecasters are predicting 8 to 10 inches of snow across much of northern Illinois starting tonight and into Sunday, with 10 to 14 inches in the Chicago area, 3 to 6 inches in the central part of the state and 2 inches or less in southern Illinois. Gusty northeast windsSunday afternoon and evening could produce blowing and drifting snow, significantly reducing visibility. Throughout the day today, IDOT has been pretreating bridge decks and elevated driving surfaces that are susceptible to icing.


“Public safety is every driver’s responsibility. Motorists should take every precaution, reduce their speeds and avoid unnecessary travel to help keep roads safe,” said state police Col. Mike Zerbonia. “Avoiding distractions and keeping extra distance between vehicles will help when navigating through snow and ice conditions.”

The news release also contains a variety of recommended safety tips, including a warning concerning “black ice.”

Additional details can be seen in the IDOT news release mentioned above, and details regarding the anticipated snowstorm, including blizzard and potential “whiteout” conditions, can be seen in the February 1 Chicago Tribune article titled “Blizzard warning expected for Chicago area; Hundreds of flights canceled” as well as the Naperville Patch article of February 1, 2015 titled “‘Extraordinary Dangerous’ Travel Conditions as Blizzard Warning Issued for Chicago Area.”

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Chicago Crash

There has been an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of William Brunson, 39, who died during a Chicago crash on January 26, 2013.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday (January 22, 2015) against the driver of the vehicle (Delia Aguila) who fatally struck Brunson as well as his girlfriend, Victoria Means, 34.  The underlying fatal accident on January 26, 2013 is described in the January 29, 2013 dnainfo.com article titled “Humboldt Park Woman Charged with DUI in Fatal Crash.”

The lawsuit is described in the January 22, 2015 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman sued for 2013 fatal hit-and-run crash.”  An excerpt:

Aguila pleaded guilty in December 2013 to reckless homicide and leaving the scene of the accident, the Sun-Times previously reported. She never had a driver’s license and didn’t have one at the time of the crash, prosecutors said.

The suit filed Thursday is asking for $50,000 in damages for the crash, blaming Aguila for Brunson’s wrongful death. The suit claims Aguila failed to keep a proper lookout or sound a horn when her vehicle approached the couple.

Additional details regarding this Illinois wrongful death lawsuit as well as the underlying accident can be seen in the Chicago Sun-Times article mentioned above.

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