Five Things to Remember About a Collision with a Semi Truck or Other Large Vehicle

July 24th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

By John Martoccio

semi truck accidentsColliding with a large vehicle, such as a semi truck, can be devastating for the driver and passengers of a smaller vehicle. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re on the road.

Remember the Law of Inertia

A large truck colliding with a smaller vehicle, even at a very slow speed, generates an enormous amount of energy. In other words, a large truck does not need to hit you at a very great speed in order to cause as much damage as a high-speed collision with another smaller vehicle.

I (John Martoccio) once had a case where the driver of a large Cadillac was behind a semi trailer and was rear-ended by another semi trailer. None of the vehicles were traveling at more than 15 to 20 miles an hour and his Cadillac was crushed to less than half of its original size.

Remember When large trucks collide with your car, truck or SUV, even at low speeds, the collisions can result in severe, catastrophic and life-altering injuries, or death.

If you are involved in a collision with a semi truck, commercial vehicle or other large vehicle your best protection is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our Attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio are highly skilled personal injury lawyers and have earned millions of dollars in recoveries for our injured clients. Let us be your DuPage County trucking accident lawyers.

Give a Truck Extra Distance

Since collisions with trucks are almost always serious, always assume that you need to put extra space, or more car lengths, between you and the truck if you are driving anywhere near it.

Drivers of Large Vehicles have Large Blind Spots

Drivers of semi trucks, commercial vehicles or other large vehicles cannot necessarily see you as well as you can see them. They have larger blind spots than automobiles. Even the best truck driver has difficulty keeping track of the vehicles around them.

Semi Trucks Need Extra Space to Turn

Many of us forget that trucks cannot turn in the same radius as a car; their turning radius is enormous compared with smaller vehicles. When you see a large vehicle turning, make sure you give them extra space.

Be Aware of Tired or Rushed Drivers

Drivers of semi trucks, commercial vehicles or other large vehicles may be paid depending upon how many deliveries they can make in the shortest possible time. These truck drivers are taught to drive quickly, make up time when necessary and work longer shifts. They may may be tired or inattentive and may not drive as safely as they should. As with drivers of any vehicle, it is your responsibility to drive safely and with caution.

If you were involved in a collision with a semi truck, commercial vehicle, or other large vehicle, you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries, including your pain and suffering, your past and future medical bills the loss of your everyday life, lost wages and other damages that Illinois recognizes.

Let the personal injury attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio be your Illinois truck accident lawyers. We have the skill, the experience and the compassion to handle your case on a personal basis and to obtain the best possible recovery. Call us now for free personal consultation. We do not charge you unless you collect from those responsible for your loss.

Slip and Fall Injury: Do I Have a Case?

July 24th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

By John Martoccio

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone’s property in Illinois, it is wise to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will help you determine whether you can collect from the landowner for your injuries and medical bills.

As personal injury lawyers, we at Martoccio & Martoccio know there’s a lot of laws out there that may help you collect what you are entitled to. Compensation can cover not only your expenses, but for the pain and suffering you had to go through. Our attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio have consistently recovered for our clients for more than 40 years.

Legal Basics of Slip and Fall

You should know, landowners are under a duty to use “reasonable care” in maintaining their property so as to avoid injuries to other people. So, what does that mean?

You can collect from a home owner, a shopping mall or another property owner if they allow a defective condition to exist as long as that the landowner could reasonably have discovered the defect and failed to fix it.

There are three key components to any slip and fall case. First,  you must know what caused your slip and fall.

  1. There must be a defect where you fell. A broken step, a hole in the concrete, torn carpeting, hidden depression, or something unexpected such as water or spilled liquid can cause you to fall. Finding that defect and identifying it to your attorney is important in determining whether you have a case. Take pictures, use your cell phone or have someone come back to the scene and do it for you.
  2. Find out how long defect was there. For example, if you fell on a broken stairway, do your best to determine how the stair was broken
  3. Determine the cause of the defect. In the previous example, you’ll need to figure out what caused the broken stair.

The answers to these questions are the proof you and your attorney will need to win your case.

Slip and Fall Cases

We once represented a client who was leaving their friend’s condo building. The well kept building was along Lake Shore Drive and had recently completed the installation of a gray brick paver driveway. Unfortunately, the pavers were installed in such a way that the pavers abutting the sidewalk were level with the sidewalk, but the rest of the driveway was lower, by about three-quarters of an inch. Our client walked across the driveway in bright sunlight, not realizing there was a height difference in the pavers, and tripped and fell, sustaining major injuries.

We won his case on the basis that the condo association did not properly maintain or fix the driveway when they knew, or reasonably should have known, of the danger presented by the height difference of the pavers.

A careful, detailed investigation of a slip and fall incident is essential to the winning your case. Our attorneys as Martoccio & Martoccio have spent many years assisting those injured from slip and fall accidents. We win cases through hard work. That work can start as soon as you call the Hindsale personal injury lawyers at Marticcio & Martoccio at (630) 920-8876.

Look for our upcoming blog where we will examine slip and falls as a result of snow and ice.

Driving Advice for Black Ice Conditions

January 15th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

By Staff Writer

During the winter season, black ice is a phenomenon that makes the roads much more dangerous than during the summer. According to research based on news media reports, there can be upwards of 400 deaths as a result of icy roads each winter across the country. Winter road conditions can increase the chances that you might be involved in a serious car accident. Knowing how to handle your own vehicle can help you stay in control.

black ice & winter road driving IMAGEBlack ice can happen when freezing precipitation makes the road just look wet as opposed to coated in ice. It’s hard for drivers to tell the difference, which means that some might drive at a normal speed without their full attention on the road. Another danger of black ice is that it can be patchy over the course of a road, making it difficult to control a vehicle that suddenly enters a patch of black ice.

Those drivers who don’t proceed carefully can make the roads much more dangerous for everyone, because everyone should approach winter conditions with caution. Even individuals with a lot of experience with winter driving should be prepared to slow down or pull over if necessary. Black ice can even cause your car to spin out of control at speeds as low as 10 miles per hour.

Unfortunately, not all individuals are aware of the risk with black ice or take the warnings seriously. If you see a driver speeding through dangerous road conditions, you should pull over or even consider contacting the authorities. Major accidents can occur when it comes to collisions and black ice. If you note that icy conditions are in the weather forecast, consider postponing your travel until conditions are safer. If you’re on the road and start to feel like you are losing control, you should pull over and halt your travel until it’s safe to continue again. Don’t be an icy road fatality. If you have already been injured in a car accident, you need legal advice from an Illinois personal injury attorney today.

Illinois Cell Phone Ban for Drivers Effective Jan. 1

January 11th, 2014 at 10:35 am

By Staff Writer

Illinois cell phone ban IMAGEBeginning January 1, 2014 drivers in Illinois will be subject to a new law prohibiting them from talking on or using a hand-held cell phone while they’re behind the wheel. This new law is designed to make the roads safer, and prevent distracted driving car accidents in Illinois.

The law was signed by Governor Pat Quinn in August of this year and carries heavy fines and penalties for violators. Devices covered under the law include hand-held wireless phones, hand-held personal digital assistants, and portable or mobile computers. Drivers found violating the law can be fined up to $75 for a first offence, $100 for a second, $125 for a third, and $150 for subsequent offenses.

There are a number of exceptions listed within the text of the law, including:

  • Law enforcement officials using cellphones in the course of completing their duties;
  • A driver using a cellphone to report an emergency situation and communicate with emergency personnel;
  • A commercial vehicle driver reading a message displayed on a communication permanently installed in the vehicle. Screen must be smaller than 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide;
  • A driver using hand-free mode or a Bluetooth headset;
  • A driver using a cellphone while pulled to the shoulder of a roadway;
  • A driver using a cellphone while traffic is not moving or obstructed if the vehicle is in neutral or park.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident that was the result of distracted driving, contacting a professional personal injury attorney is the first step to getting any funds you may be entitled to. We can help you determine if your case should be heard in court, and ensure that you receive the money you need to pay your medical expenses and begin the road to recovery.

Signs of Chronic Neck Pain

January 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm

By Staff Writer

chronic neck pain IMAGEAfter a critical car accident, it’s normal to that you might be treated for a variety of imminent injuries that you sustained in the accident. Cuts, scrapes, open wounds, and broken bones are some of common injuries sustained following an automobile accident. Unfortunately, however, many accident victims continue to experience pain and symptoms for months and even years after an accident has occurred. One example of these symptoms is chronic neck pain. Chronic neck pain can generate severe stiffness and even headaches, making it difficult for accident victims to continue on with their lives. Some individuals may even find it difficult to work after a car accident that led to chronic neck pain.

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you may wear a neck brace to help support the healing and comfort of your neck. One symptom that is associated with chronic neck pain is a dual aching feeling throughout the neck. You might not recognize chronic neck pain at first because it’s often associated with multiple other symptoms. For example, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, tingling, and swelling of your lymph nodes are all common side effects of chronic neck pain. Since untreated neck pain can often travel up the back of the spine, you might believe that the root of your problem is migraine headaches. Facial pain and pinching feelings are also symptoms that you need to visit with the doctor about the severity of your chronic neck pain.

Neck pain after a car accident should not be ignored or underestimated. When left untreated, chronic neck pain can make it difficult for you to work, participate in activities that you enjoy, and even relax. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a car accident and is currently experiencing symptoms of chronic neck pain, consult with your medical professional and then schedule an appointment with an Illinois personal injury attorney.

New Year’s Eve Driving Tips

December 29th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

By Staff Writer

Whether you’re headed out to an event this New Year’s Eve or just might have to run an errand that night, it pays to be safe on one of the most dangerous driving holidays of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while about 36 fatalities might occur on a given driving day, that number increases to 54 per day around New Year’s. Make sure you’re safe on the roads in order to avoid a major car accident and the serious injuries that can result from collisions.

New Year's Eve drivingPlan ahead by thinking about using alternative methods to get to your destination. Using public transportation or a cab takes all the pressure off of you as far as identifying a designated driver. Before you head out for the night, store numbers of a few cab companies in your phone so they are at the ready just in case. If it’s easier to just stay overnight, book a hotel close to your holiday party and skip driving that evening entirely.

If you are on the roads, mind your speed and keep your eyes out for any suspicious behavior. If you witness someone driving the wrong direction on the road, swerving in and out of traffic lanes, or other examples of erratic behavior, report it. The combination of winter weather conditions and increased drinking activity can be a deadly mix for pedestrians and vehicle passengers trying to share the road.

Make sure you keep an eye on family members and friends attending the same event as you and offer to include them in your getting-home plans. Don’t ever let a friend leave to drive home drunk. Drunk driving accidents can produce gruesome accident scenes with serious injuries. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you need the advice of a DuPage County personal injury attorney.

Next Steps In A Medical Malpractice Case

December 25th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

By Staff Writer

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, it’s important to understand the official definition of this negligence and the next steps you need to take with regard to your case. You should never enter into negotiations with the individual doctor, clinic, or hospital involved in your case without the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Remember that hospitals and clinics have a great deal of experience in managing malpractice cases and are not looking out for your best interest in this situation. This is why it’s essential to have your own representation as soon as you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice.

medical malpractice IMAGEIn Illinois, the official definition of medical malpractice is professional negligence in the form of physician failure to carry out an applicable standard of care. This is measured by considering what any other professional would have done in the same situation. In order to be successful in a medical malpractice case, you must be able to demonstrate that the physician or medical professional did not exercise a proper standard of care, leading to serious injury, complication, or death of a patient.

After you have consulted with an attorney regarding your case, you will need to find a medical expert to file a report on your behalf. This medical expert will be another individual who reviews your case and evaluates the impact that the negligence has had. This medical professionals responsible for providing their official opinion about a physician breach of care. Once as a partisan file, you will enter the discovery and motions stage of a case. This can be the most time-consuming part of a medical malpractice case since the defendant will also be getting their own evidence and experts to refute what you have brought forth. As you can see, a medical practice case can develop relatively quickly and enter the legal process immediately after the filing of the medical expert report. Hiring an Illinois personal injury attorney as soon as you realize injuries or damages is a crucial step towards the success of your case.

Illinois Company Fined 10k for Lack of Workers Comp Insurance

December 21st, 2013 at 11:37 am

By Staff Writer

A Chicago company president has become the second employer to plead guilty to a Class 4 felony for failing to obtain workers compensation in Illinois, and has been ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC).

workers compAccording to the Insurance Journal, the fine has been levied against John Linek as an individual employer and as the president of SMS Logistics of Chicago. The Insurance Compliance Unit of the IWCC had been working the case against the trucking firm since 2010 in conjunction with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Cook County State Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division.

The IWCC also obtained a Class 4 felony conviction against Ahmed Ghosien, d/b/a of Ghosien European Auto Werks in Hometown, IL for failing to obtain workers compensation insurance in the same case. That conviction was obtained when Ghosien pled guilty to the charges on July 25, 2013, and represents the first conviction of its kind in Illinois. Authorities have stated that both individuals had been given numerous opportunities to obtain the required insurance, but both persistently refused to comply with IWCC requests.

According to Illinois law, a Class 4 felony carries penalties of up to three years in the state penitentiary and/or fines of up to $25,000.

According to Illinois state law, every employer involved in construction, transportation, mining and certain industrial work is required to carry workers compensation insurance to cover employee injures received in the course of their duties. Filing a workers compensation claim may be intimidating, but there is no reason to try to navigate the process alone. Contact a qualified Illinois personal injury attorney today. We can help you correctly file your claim to ensure that you can receive the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and any time off work you’ve had to take.

Roxana Refineries Deny Benzene Allegation

December 17th, 2013 at 10:29 am

By Staff Writer

The Roxana refineries named in a personal injury lawsuit which claims they released benzene into the soil and air, have declined to settle the case and are requesting a jury trial, said the Madison-St. Clair Record.

According to the Madison-St. Clair Record, the claim names Shell Oil Company, BP Products North America, ConocoPhillips Company, WRB Refining, and Cenovus GPCO as defendants. The plaintiff, Betty Cox, claims that the refineries operated in such a way that they released benzene into the soil and air, which then entered her home through an open drain in her basement and cracks in the cinder block basement wall.

Cox alleges in her complaint that benzene is classified as a highly toxic chemical and human carcinogen, and has been released into the soil in such a way that it contaminated the groundwater in the area. She believes that the release of this chemical near her home has caused her to develop cancer. She is seeking compensatory damages for more than $200,000.

The companies have responded by requesting jury involvement, stating that they have followed all federal regulations regarding the operation of the refineries. They also state that they have obtained permits that authorize them to release limited amounts of certain chemicals into the air. They have stated that the claims filed against them are preempted by federal and state laws, including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, and the Compensation and Liability act.

If  a company were to mishandle hazardous materials or follows improper procedure, it could be very easy for someone to get hurt. Regardless of the outcome of this case, if you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury as the result of corporate or industrial negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney right away. They can ensure that your side of the story is fairly represented in court and help you get any funds you may be eligible to receive.

Avoid Personal Injury Liability at Your Holiday Party

December 13th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

By Staff Writer

illinois personal injury lawyerAs we head into the holiday season, many are preparing to host friendly gatherings and parties. Unfortunately, these parties may also lead to personal injuries that you could be liable for. If you are considering throwing a holiday party this year, there are several things you need to consider.

Update Your Insurance

Before you throw that huge holiday bash, cover your bases financially and contact your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider to make sure your policy covers you in the even you are found liable for any injuries that occur on your property during the party.

Put Up Your Pets

According to KHQA, animal bites are one of the most common claims filed against homeowner policies during the holidays. If you are planning a holiday party this year, plan to put your dogs and cats in a room away from where the action will be.

Decorate Carefully

Avoid trip and fall injuries by carefully securing any cords or trailing decorations. You should also avoid open flames like candles, as guests may accidentally drag a scarf or sleeve near them and get burned. If you do choose to have them, be sure to keep them out of the way where they won’t get knocked over.

Serve Alcohol Responsibly

A cocktail can be fun, but have some other activities for guests as well. You should also be careful to avoid inadvertently serving alcohol to anyone under 21, as you may be held liable for them under Illinois social host laws.

Throwing a holiday party can be a fun experience for everyone if it’s done responsibly. If you are injured during a holiday party, however, it can be difficult to know whether anyone should be held liable for your injury. If you or someone you know has been injured at a holiday party, contact a qualified Illinois personal injury attorney today. They can help you determine who, if anyone, should be held responsible.