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Jury Trials Experience Honor Awarded To Anthony R. Elman

Jury trials can be a critical avenue in achieving substantial vehicle accident injury compensation. As seen in many Will County accidents discussed on this site, many have caused serious accident injuries. Some of these accidents have led to one or more fatalities. Following these accident injuries, those who are injured due to the negligence of others often seek to get injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. In those instances where negligence has led to a fatality, relevant parties may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Anthony R. Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, recently received a lifetime achievement award testifying to his leading jury trials experience as a plaintiff trial attorney.

On October 24, 2019 more than 300 trial attorneys and Illinois judges attended the annual Trial Lawyer Excellence Award event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  This event is hosted by the Jury Verdict Reporter, a division of Chicago-based Law Bulletin Media.  The event recognizes the state’s top civil litigation attorneys.

An excerpt from the 2019 Trial Lawyer Excellence Award page:

Fifty-four professionals from both sides of the trial bar received individual Trial Lawyer Excellence awards in one of seventeen 2019 categories.

At this Trial Lawyer Excellence Award Event, Anthony R. Elman received the special Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter historical recognition for “the most reported jury trials as a plaintiff attorney” during the last 30 years.  This award, as well as other awards, verdicts and settlements indicates the level of experience and proven results that the Elman Law Group has achieved in Illinois personal injury lawsuits.

This level of jury trials performance has proven valuable to Elman Law Group clients.  Many clients have received substantially more money for their injuries after the Elman Law Group took their lawsuits to court after settlement offers proved inadequate.

Anthony Elman has been designated as a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. This designation, which is based upon various criteria encompassing lawyer performance and peer review, is granted to no more than 5% of attorneys.

Elman Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for over 25 years.  During this 25+ year period, the Elman Law Group has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases.  This breadth of experience and success in jury trials provides valuable insights in determining the course of action that will lead to the optimal resolution of a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Additional information concerning the Elman Law Group, including notable settlements and court verdicts, can be seen on the “Lawsuit Results And Illinois Court Trial Capabilities” page.

Semi Truck Crashes That Occur On Will County Expressways

Semi truck crashes occur in significant numbers in Will County. As discussed on the “Will County Truck Accidents” page, many factors – principally the amount of county truck traffic – contribute to a high number of trucking accidents.

Semi truck crashes occur as trucks are vulnerable to crashing due to various physical characteristics. Trucks tend to be heavy, especially if full. This weight can contribute to long stop distances, as well as various issues that can contribute to a loss of control. This vulnerability is increased at higher speeds, such as on expressways.

As well, as seen in various statistics, many truck accidents are the fault of the truck driver.

Will County accidents involving trucks that have caused injury (and in some cases fatalties) can be seen discussed in posts found under the “truck accidents” category.

There was a semi truck accident Thurday (December 26, 2019) on westbound I-80 near New Lenox. This crash caused a hazmat response.

The incident is discussed in a variety of media sources, including the December 26, 2019 NBC Chicago article (with video) titled “Semi Rollover Blocks I-80 Lanes Near New Lenox, Prompts Hazmat Response.”

An excerpt:

Officers responded to the crash about 8:30 a.m., in a construction zone in the westbound lanes of I-80 near mile marker 138, according to Illinois State police.

According to authorities, the driver of the tractor said he was trying to change lanes from the left to the right lane when the trailer began to “swap uncontrollably.” The driver lost control of the vehicle, striking the guardrail on the right side of the roadway. The trailer ultimately overturned, according to authorities.

As a result of this crash, the truck leaked roughly 100 gallons of phosphoric acid. Due to this leaking and the hazmat response, the expressway was closed until at least 3:00 p.m.

No injuries appear to have occurred.

Additional discussion of Will County semi truck crashes, as well as the I-80 crash mentioned above, can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Crest Hill Bicycle Accident Leads To Fatal Accident Injuries

A Crest Hill bicycle accident occurred early Monday (December 9, 2019) morning. This Crest Hill bicycle accident was a “hit & run” collision, i.e. a vehicle hit the bicyclist and then the driver left the accident scene.

Details regarding the reason for this crash are not publicly available at this time. The “hit & run” driver involved in this Crest Hill bicycle accident has not been apprehended at this time.

According to Crest Hill Police, the bicycle accident occurred shortly before 4 a.m. At the time of the collision, the bicyclist was riding home from Anthony’s Restaurant & Pub near Louis Joliet Mall. The accident happened in the 2400 block of Plainfield Road. The bicyclist was found by another motorist along the side of the road.

Police found the bicyclist with serious, life-threatening injuries. He was taken to AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for treatment of his accident injuries.

The bicyclist was identified as Dennis Ledenbach, Jr., 46, of Joliet. Among his injuries was brain damage. He was on life support and subsequently passed away.

Those with information concerning this Crest Hill bicycle accident are asked to contact Crest Hill Police Investigator Joel Steen 815-741-5115. Tips can be left on an anonymous basis with Will County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-323-6734.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this “hit & run” accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the December 15, 2019 The Herald-News article titled “Injured cyclist dies after apparent hit-and-run” as well as the December 12 Joliet Patch article titled “Joliet Hit-And-Run Victim On Life Support.”

Further discussion of bicycle accidents, especially those that have occurred in Will County, can be seen on the “Bicycle Accidents In Will County” page. As discussed on that page – and seen in various Will County bicycle accidents – such bike accidents often result in serious injuries. Many such injuries are life-threatening, which in many cases have led to a fatality.

I-55 Accident Involving Truck Failing To Stop In Time

Failing to stop in time to avoid an accident is a common reason for truck accidents. Semi trucks failing to stop in time to avoid hitting vehicles ahead can occur for many reasons; one reason is the weight of trucks. Because of this weight, as well as other physical dynamics, stopping a truck can take significant time and distance. This is especially so if the truck is driving in adverse weather such as rain, snow or ice.

There was a fatal I-55 accident involving a semi truck allegedly failing to stop in time. This Will County truck accident occurred in Wilmington and involved three trucks and two cars. The accident happened on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at approximately 9:30 a.m.

This truck accident is discussed in a variety of media sources, including the November 11, 2019 wspynews.com article titled “One Person Killed & Several Others Injured in Interstate 55 Crash.”

An excerpt:

The Wilmington Fire Protection District said it was determined there were three semi tractor trailers and two passenger vehicles involved in the crash near Wilmington. One of the semis and both passenger vehicles sustained heavy damage.

The Illinois State Police said a semi driven by 46 year-old Shabbir Patel of Brampton, Ontario allegedly failed to yield to traffic that was stopped for construction, which then caused a chain reaction crash with four other vehicles.  Patel was taken to an area hospital.

One man involved in the accident, Kenneth C. Bloor, 34, of St. Peters, MO, was declared deceased after being taken to Amita Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

Other people were also injured during the crash. The type and extent of their injuries does not appear to be publicly disclosed.

Another excerpt from the wspynews.com article:

Patel was cited for Following Too Closely & Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

Additional details and possible updates concerning this incident involving a truck failing to stop in time can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the November 8 Channahon-Minooka Patch article titled “Victim ID: I-55 Semi Crash Fatal At Lorenzo Road.”

Snow And Ice Conditions Often Cause Serious Accident Injuries

Snow and ice often lead to a variety of accidents and accident injuries. Among the types of accidents that can occur due to snow and ice are vehicle accidents. As seen in many posts on this site, there have been many days when adverse winter driving conditions have existed in Will County. Such conditions typically include much snow and ice, and possibly “black ice.” Will County vehicle accidents that occur in these conditions include spinouts, “slide-offs”, and various types of collisions including when one vehicle “rear ends” another. Depending upon the type of accident, a broad range of injuries can result. These injuries range from minor injuries to those that can be life-threatening in nature.

Other types of accidents can occur due to snow and ice. For example, someone may slip and fall when walking due to ice accumulation. A broad range of injuries may result. Among the most common types of injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident include back injuries and leg injuries. If the person hits their head, a wide range of head injuries can occur. These head injuries can vary in type and severity. In the worst case scenarios, head injuries can be life-threatening in nature. The subject of traumatic head injuries are further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries” page.

These accidents that occur in snow and ice can lead to injuries that may require hospitalization and associated required testing, other diagnostic procedures, and testing. Follow-on medical treatment may involve rehabilitation, such as physical rehabilitation and occupational occupation.

Despite the medical care and rehabilitation, the injured person may suffer from temporary impairments or permanent injuries. These impairments and injuries can not only lower the quality of life, but also prevent the injured person from working. As well, physical and/or mental impairments may prevent the person from being able to normally function in everyday life.

Because of the hardships caused by accident injuries, those who have been injured due to the fault of another person may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit. The subject is further discussed on the “Lawsuits Over Will County Vehicle Accident Injuries” page.

Pedestrian Crashes And A $775,000 Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlement

As seen in Will County pedestrian crashes summarized on this site, pedestrian crashes can lead to a range of serious accident injuries. Many such injuries are serious enough to be potentially life-threatening in nature. Some lead to the death of the pedestrian, either at the accident scene or at some time afterward. For those Cook County pedestrian crashes that are not fatal, extensive medical treatment, including hospitalization, is often required. This is especially the case if the injuries are permanent injuries that require ongoing medical care.

For those that have been hit by a vehicle, the injuries can present many challenges. In addition to the trauma of being injured in an accident and the associated medical issues presented, there can be substantial medical bills. As well, there can be other financial pressures that occur, such as if the injured person can not work for a time after the accident.

The Elman Law Group has handled many lawsuits concerning pedestrian crashes as well as other vehicle accident injuries. It recently settled a Chicago pedestrian crash lawsuit for $775,000.

The case involved an 80-year-old woman, Georgina Melendez, who was struck by a vehicle on March 11, 2017.  The accident occurred at 8:00 p.m. at the corner of Ashland and Leland.

According to the police report, the defendant and two witnesses both indicated that at the time of the accident the intersection was dark, and the plaintiff was wearing dark, non-contrasting clothing.

Claimed harm to Georgina Melendez included a dislocated left knee with a post-operative blood clot.  Specifically, the knee injury was an acute complete ACL rupture, with associated slight anterior translation of the proximal tibia relative to the distal femur.

After the operation, the orthopedic surgeon indicated that Georgina Melendez made a nearly full and complete recovery.

Medical bills related to the initial knee surgery were approximately $220,000.

The defendant was insured by State Farm Insurance.

Elman Law Group has achieved notable settlements and jury verdicts across a range of personal injury cases.  Over the last 25+ years, Elman Law Group has handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits.

During this time, Elman Law Group has established a reputation for its court trial performance.  As seen in many cases, the Elman Law Group’s ability to win court cases has often resulted in significantly higher monetary awards for its clients. Some of the more notable awards and accomplishments are highlighted in the “Personal Injury Lawsuit Results And Litigation Capabilities” page.

Anthony Elman, the Lead Trial Attorney for the Elman Law Group, has been designated as a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. This designation, which is based upon various factors including lawyer performance and peer review, is granted to no more than 5% of attorneys.

Accident Scenes As Potentially Dangerous Areas For Motorists And Others

Crashes that occur at existing accident scenes continue to be a major traffic safety concern. There have been many crashes in which motorists and other people have been injured or killed after a crash occurs at an existing accident scene.

There are many reasons as to why this type of secondary accident can occur. Often, those who have been injured in the original accident are anxious to get out of their vehicles, which may or may not be safe to do. As well, there can be a considerable amount of uncertainty at accident scenes, which may distract drivers of other vehicles. As well, there can be traffic actively passing accident scenes.

For the same reasons as discussed above, stalled vehicles can also present a traffic safety hazard for both the motorist of the stalled vehicle as well as other motorists. As well, those who attempt to fix or move the stalled vehicle may be at risk. These include tow truck drivers, police officers, and others.

There was a fatal accident in which a man was killed as he attempted to assist a stalled vehicle. This fatal accident occurred on Route 47 over the Illinois River Bridge in Morris on August 18, 2019.

An excerpt regarding this fatal accident, from the August 19 wspynews.com article titled “Off Duty Cook County Sheriff’s Officer Dies While Aiding in Crash on Illinois River Bridge in Morris.” An excerpt:

The Morris Police Department said a vehicle broke down in the southbound lanes of Route 47 and another vehicle assisted at the scene. That’s when another vehicle rear-ended the assisting vehicle causing a chain reaction.

Several people were injured at the accident scene and taken to hospitals. One of these people was an off duty Cook County Sheriff’s Officer identified as Ronald Prohaska, 50. He died after being flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove for treatment of his accident injuries.

According to the August 20, 2019 wgntv.com article titled “Cook County officer killed while helping stalled motorist in Morris” a motorist was cited regarding this “chain-reaction” crash. An excerpt:

Authorities say Matthew Taylor of Morris was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed. Morris police says the crash remains under investigation.

Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Interstate 80 Car Crash Involving Parked Semi Truck

A Interstate 80 car crash occurred Saturday (August 10, 2019) in Minooka. This Interstate 80 car crash resulted in the death of the driver of a car.

The accident happened in the westbound lanes, at the exit to a rest area. This I-80 car crash happened at approximately 10:30 a.m.

An excerpt regarding this Interstate 80 car crash, from the August 11, 2019 Kane County Chronicle article titled “St. Charles man dies in accident on I-80 in Minooka.” An excerpt:

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan reported Saturday afternoon that the preliminary investigation indicates a sedan, driven by Steven Raymond Shambora, 48, of St. Charles was heading west on I-80 when Shambora drove into the back of a semitractor-trailer which was parked on the shoulder of the roadway. The impact put the car under the trailer to the rear axle. Extrication was done by Minooka Fire.

Shambora was declared deceased at the accident scene. No other occupants were in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

The driver of the semi truck was not injured during the collision.

The accident investigation is being conducted by the Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Interstate 80 car crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the August 10 The Herald-News article titled “One person killed in car-truck accident along I-80 in Minooka.”

Additional discussion regarding I-80 accidents can be seen on the “I-80 Traffic Accidents In Will County.” Various accident statistics are seen on that page. As well, individual Will County Interstate 80 crashes are highlighted.

Steps to take after an accident are also discussed, including legal considerations such as medical considerations and the possible filing of a personal injury lawsuit.

As stated on the page, I-80 has a lot of truck traffic, and as such accidents involving semis and other trucks tend to frequently occur.

Minooka Motorcycle Collision Leads To Fatal Accident Injuries

A Minooka motorcycle collision resulted in fatal accident injuries to the motorcyclist. This fatal Minooka motorcycle collision occurred on Saturday (July 13, 2019) morning.

Details on this Minooka motorcycle collision appear limited at this time. The cause of the collision, which involved the motorcycle and another vehicle, is not publicly disclosed.

The accident happened at Ridge Road and Prairie Ridge Drive.

An excerpt regarding this Minooka motorcycle collision, from the July 15, 2019 The Herald-News article titled “Plainfield community officer dies after Minooka motorcycle crash“:

On Saturday morning, Tyler Dufour of Channahon was driving a motorcycle when he collided with another vehicle at Ridge Road and Prairie Ridge Drive, according to the DuPage County Coroner’s Office. Dufour was airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was pronounced dead. Minooka police are investigating the crash but could not be reached for comment.

Dufour, 22, was a Community Service Officer for Plainfield.

Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the July 13 Plainfield Patch article titled “Plainfield Community Service Officer Killed in Motorcycle Crash.”

Motorcycle accidents can happen for many reasons. A discussion of these reasons is seen on the “Motorcycle Accident Injuries And Fatalities In Will County” page.

An excerpt:

Generally speaking, there are two reasons for motorcycle accidents.  Motorcycle accidents can be caused by the actions of the motorcyclist (i.e. the motorcyclist was at fault in the accident) or the motorcycle accident can be the fault of another party, such as a motorist who is driving negligently.

As discussed on that page, riders who have been hurt during a crash that was not their fault can likely pursue injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. For fatal motorcycle accidents, relevant parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent (motorcyclist and/or motorcycle passenger that was killed in the crash.)

What Is Scott’s Law – aka The Illinois “Move Over” Law?

Scott’s Law is an Illinois law that is also known as the “Move Over” law. It dictates the lawful operation with regard to passing a stopped emergency vehicle. It is a regulation aimed at increasing traffic safety and avoiding accidents.

Scott’s Law is discussed on the Illinois State Police page titled “Scott’s Law” (pdf) subtitled “The Move Over Law.” It can also be considered the “Rules Of The Road” when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

The two main directives from the law is to slow down and move over when there is a stopped emergency vehicle, or a maintenance or construction vehicle with flashing lights. These flashing lights can be of various colors, as discussed on the page. Applicable emergency or maintenance vehicles include fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, tow trucks, maintenance and construction vehicles.

If possible, the oncoming driver should change to a lane away from the stopped vehicle and proceed with caution.

An excerpt from this Scott’s Law page:

As of January 1, 2017, the Move Over Law now applies to all vehicles that display flashing emergency lights, including commercial trucks and cars; the law is no longer limited to authorized emergency vehicles — i.e. police cruisers, ambulances, and fire trucks.

Another excerpt, from the Illinois State Police news release of March 25, 2019 titled “WITH SURGE OF CRASHES INVOLVING ISP TROOPERS, GOV. PRITZKER AND ILLINOIS STATE POLICE URGE MOTORISTS TO FOLLOW “MOVE OVER” LAW“:

The Move Over Law requires motorists to approach with caution and yield to emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles displaying oscillating, rotating or flashing lights. Drivers must change lanes if they can do so safely or reduce speed and proceed with caution if unable to change lanes.

 Though not an exhaustive list, this would include police, fire, emergency medical system, construction and towing vehicles. As of January 1, 2017, the law was also updated to include the general public when they are roadside with their emergency four-way flashers activated.

Violators of the Move Over Law are mandated to appear in court. Additionally, they can be fined not less than $100 or more than $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years if the violation involves injury to another.

The law was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. He was fatally struck by a drunk driver as he was assisting at an accident scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway. This fatal accident occurred in 2000.

Scott’s Law does not currently specify to what speed the driver should slow to – nor does it specify how much room to leave when passing the stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck, maintenance vehicle, or other applicable vehicle.

Scott’s Law is getting greater attention (and greater enforcement) as there have been numerous Illinois accidents in 2019 in which vehicles have struck Illinois State Police (ISP) Troopers. A surge in such accidents occurred in early 2019, resulting in 14 State Troopers being struck as they were pulled over to respond to highway incidents. In all of these instances, emergency lights were activated.

Scott’s Law aims to protect police officers, firemen, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other workers when they are parked on the side of the road.

Additional details regarding this traffic safety regulation can be seen in the sources mentioned above.