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 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 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.


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.

Mokena Motorcycle Crash Along La Grange Road Leads To Fatality

A Mokena motorcycle crash occurred Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The cause of the crash appears to be a motorcycle loss of control that occurred for a currently undetermined reason. The accident led to the death of the motorcyclist.

Details on this fatal Mokena motorcycle crash appear somewhat limited at this time. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The accident is discussed in a number of media sources, including the June 27 The Herald-News article titled “Man dies after motorcycle crash in Mokena.” An excerpt:

The crash happened while Mark L. Batka, a Bloomingdale resident, was traveling south on La Grange Road just south of Interstate 80 in Mokena, according to a news release from the Will County Coroner’s Office. He was thrown from the bike as a result of the crash.

Batka, 63, was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for treatment of his accident injuries. He was pronounced dead in the afternoon.

The accident is also discussed in the June 26 Mokena Patch article titled “Motorcyclist Injured In Traffic Accident in Mokena: Cops.” According to that article, witnesses say that Batka at some point “lay down his bike.”

This Mokena motorcycle crash is under investigation and an autopsy will be performed. An accident reconstruction is also planned.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Mokena motorcycle crash can be seen in the articles mentioned above.

Motorcycle accidents can happen for many reasons. The last couple of years has seen many fatal Illinois motorcycle crashes – including Will County motorcycle crashes – caused by a loss of control. These types of crashes can happen for many reasons. Some reasons are beyond the control of the rider. Among these reasons is defective motorcycle parts or components and road hazards.

Other loss of control incidents are due to motorcyclist error. Rider error includes taking a curve at too high a speed, or riding in an otherwise high-risk manner. These “risky” motorcycle behaviors are further discussed on the “High-Risk Motorcyclist Actions” page.

Southbound I-55 Car Crash Near Bolingbrook Leads To Fatality

A southbound I-55 car crash fatality occurred early Friday (June 21, 2019) morning. The crash involved a passenger car and Illinois State Police car. This southbound I-55 car crash involved an apparent loss of vehicle control near Bolingbrook. The accident happened in a construction zone just north of the Weber Road exit.

This southbound I-55 car crash is discussed in a number of media sources, including the June 21, 2019 article (with video and accident scene photos) titled “‘Please remember to be alert’; Illinois State Trooper injured, one dead after crash.” An excerpt:

Officials say the driver, a 33-year-old woman from Crest Hill, was driving a Fiat, lost control of the vehicle while traveling through the construction zone and overturned multiple times across the two left lanes. During this, the Fiat hit the rear of the trooper’s vehicle causing damage and injuring the trooper. The trooper had minor injuries.

Officials say the woman died from her injuries as a result of the crash.

The driver of the Fiat was identified as Danielle Nino, 33, of Crest Hill. She was declared dead at the accident scene by the Will County Coroner’s Office.

The accident remains under investigation.

Additional details regarding this southbound I-55 car crash can be seen in the article mentioned above as well as the June 21 article titled “Crest Hill Woman Killed, ISP Trooper Injured in Crash on I-55 Near Romeoville.”

Will County accidents involving loss of vehicle control are further discussed on the “Will County Loss Of Control Accidents” page. As mentioned on that page, there can be many reasons why a driver may lose control of a vehicle. Construction zones, such as that in the fatal I-55 car crash summarized above, can present a setting in which accidents are more likely to occur. Inadequate construction zone markings, sudden lane changes or lane endings, and other factors such as driving through a construction zone at excessive speed can increase the likelihood of a construction zone accident.

I-55 Fatal Collision In Shorewood Involving Two Vehicles

An I-55 fatal collision occurred in Shorewood Saturday (May 4, 2019) afternoon. This I-55 collision resulted in the death of a vehicle occupant.

Details regarding this I-55 fatal collision appear limited at this time.

An excerpt regarding the circumstances regarding this fatal Will County collision, from the May 6, 2019 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman killed in I-55 crash near Shorewood“:

Michelle D. McCombs, 58, was in a vehicle that was stopped partially in the left lane of northbound I-55 at 3:23 p.m., about a quarter-mile north of Illinois Route 59 in Shorewood, according to a statement from Illinois State Police.

A second vehicle, driven by a 16-year-old boy from Lockport, came around a curve and was unable to stop in time to avoid rear-ending McCombs’ vehicle, state police said.

According to the Illinois State Police and Will County Coroner’s Office, McCombs, of Romeoville, was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. after being taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

The teenager was taken to a local hospital for treatment of accident injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening injuries.

No citations have been issued with regard to this fatal Will County collision.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this I-55 fatal collision can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the May 6 Romeoville Patch article titled “Romeoville Woman Dies In I-55 Crash.”

Accidents in which a vehicle is “rear-ended” can result in a range of injuries. Some of the injuries are relatively minor; however, other injuries can be far more serious in nature. Some can lead to fatalities, such as the I-55 fatal collision discussed above.

One of the most common injuries resulting from a vehicle being rear-ended is that of “whiplash.” Various aspects of whiplash – including the health problems that it can cause – are further discussed on the “Whiplash” page.

Stevenson Expressway DUI Accident Results In Fatality

A Stevenson Expressway DUI accident resulted in a fatality. This Stevenson Expressway DUI accident occurred early Sunday (April 28, 2019) morning and involved one car “rear-ending” another car which was operating as an Uber.

This I-55 fatal crash is discussed in a number of media sources, including the April 30, 2019 Chicago Tribune article titled “I’m so glad he didn’t get away with it…” as well as the April 30 NBC Chicago article (with video) titled “Man Charged With DUI, Fleeing Deadly Stevenson Crash That Killed Woman Celebrating Birthday.”

In this Stevenson Expressway DUI crash, the car that was “rear-ended” was a Hyundai operating as an Uber. It carried the driver and three passengers. While the driver and two of the passengers were able to escape the Hyundai after it was hit, one of the passengers, identified as Jamie Ann Poulos, 23, of Berwyn, was unable to escape the car after it burst into flames. She died at the accident scene.

The driver of the Uber and two passengers were hospitalized for treatment of their accident injuries.

The driver of the car (an Infiniti) that hit the Hyundai was identified as
Rami Matariyeh, 22, of Homer Glen. He fled the accident scene but was later apprehended.

An excerpt regarding this Stevenson Expressway DUI crash, seen in the NBC Chicago article mentioned above:

Rami Matariyeh, of Homer Glen, was charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash, leaving the scene of a crash that caused great bodily harm, aggravated DUI resulting in death, aggravated DUI resulting in great bodily harm and reckless homicide, according to Illinois State Police. 

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Stevenson Expressway DUI crash can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Additional discussion of Will County DUI accidents can be seen in posts found under the “DUI” category. As seen in those posts, accidents involving people driving while intoxicated has led to many accidents with injuries, and in some cases fatalities.

Bolingbrook Fatal Motorcycle Accident On Boughton Road

A Bolingbrook fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Wednesday (April 17, 2019) afternoon. This Bolingbrook fatal motorcycle accident happened on Boughton Road near Weber Road, in the 1100 block of Boughton.

Details on the accident appear limited at this time.

At the time of the accident, the motorcycle was traveling east when the motorcycle collided with another vehicle.

The motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the accident scene at 4:13 p.m., was identified by the Will County Coroner’s Office as Francis B. Avanzado, of Willowbrook.

An excerpt concerning this Bolingbrook fatal motorcycle accident, from the April 18, 2019 Naperville Sun article titled “Bolingbrook police chase…” quoting Bolingbrook Police Lt. Anthony Columbus:

It is believed the motorcyclist struck the side of the car, Columbus said.

An autopsy found Avanzado’s preliminary cause of death was multiple injuries due to motorcycle collision, the coroner’s office said.

A person in the vehicle struck by the motorcycle was treated and released for minor injuries, Columbus said.

The accident investigation is continuing.

Additional information and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above.

As seen in the Will County motorcycle accidents that are summarized on this site, many have resulted in serious accident injuries, and in some cases fatalities, to the motorcyclist and/or motorcycle passenger. While there are many reasons for these accidents, one main reason is loss of control of the motorcycle. These loss of motorcycle control crashes can happen for a number of reasons. While some loss of control issues are the fault of the motorcycle rider, other loss of control problems can be caused by factors outside of the rider’s control. As an example, a road hazard can cause the motorcycle to lose stability that can result in a crash. While there are many types of road hazards, one type of road hazard is a foreign object on the roadway. Often, these objects may be cargo that has fallen from another vehicle, or road debris such as a discarded tire tread from a semi truck.