Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft do not have to be professional drivers. They can be any person with a car and a smartphone. And while drivers may have their own personal insurance, it often does not cover business activities.

In general, drivers’ personal car insurance policies do not provide coverage when drivers are using their cars as transportation for companies like Uber and Lyft. And the companies’ insurance often does not cover them in all of their business-related activities—leaving them and other drivers at risk if they are involved in an accident.

For example, if a driver gets in an accident on the way to pick up a passenger, the company’s insurance may not cover the accident because no passenger was in the car at the time. This means that once the driver submits the claim to his or her insurance company, the insurance company could deny the claim because the driver was conducting a business activity. The ride-share company may also deny coverage because no passengers were in the car at the time of the accident. This could mean that the driver is responsible for paying for his or her own damages and injuries, as well as those of the other driver. If the driver is unable to pay, injured parties may have no recourse.

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Moll Law Group is dedicated to promoting education as well as injury prevention. By offering a semi-annual $1,000 scholarship award to the student who submits the best injury prevention essay, Moll Law Group wishes to help students alleviate the cost of college expenses. The following are the recipients of the Spring 2016 Moll Law Group Scholarship Award:

$1,000 – Winner – Evan Kaufmann

$100 – Finalist – Brittany Larsen

$100 – Finalist – Nathanial Kern

$100 – Finalist – Dwan Cowan

$100 – Finalist – Vanessa Infante

The Spring 2016 Scholarship application submissions were received from several different states across the nation. Only five finalists were chosen and ultimately only one winner was awarded the grand prize. As a consolation prize to the runner-up finalists who dedicated much time and effort to their entry, Moll Law Group awarded each a $100 award to be used towards college tuition and related expenses. Continue reading →

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In a recent case, a commercial truck driver alleged that another driver engaged in road rage, causing him to crash. However, after the jury found in favor of the defendant, the decision was vacated due to the defendant’s concealment of past traffic tickets.

The truck driver argued that the defendant cut him off and slammed on his brakes. The truck driver then had to swerve to avoid him, and he crashed his truck and was injured as a result. The truck driver testified that the other driver “gave him the finger” before the accident. The other driver fled the scene but was tracked by a witness. He was cited for making an improper lane change and pleaded no contest to the citation. But at trial, the defendant argued that he did not cause the accident and that he was falsely accused.

The jury found that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant negligently caused the accident. After trial, the plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the judgment because the defendant hid prior traffic citations during pre-trial discovery. The plaintiff argued that the defendant engaged in fraud, misrepresentations, or misconduct to get a favorable verdict. He said that the defendant hid evidence specifically requested in discovery and then presented evidence at trial contrary to the concealed evidence.

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Juries decide cases with respect to the liability of the parties and in regard to the damages owed. In a recent case, a jury found that a defendant was liable—yet it also found that the plaintiff should be awarded nothing.

After a woman was injured in a car accident, she and her husband sued her insurance company to recover damages for her injuries under the underinsured motorist provision of their policy. Prior to trial, the defendant admitted that the driver of the car that hit the plaintiff was negligent. However, the case proceeded to trial on the issue of causation and damages. At trial, the woman admitted that all of her medical bills had been paid. Accordingly, the plaintiffs were only seeking damages for pain and suffering.

The jury was required to determine the amount of damages the plaintiffs should be awarded. When the jury returned a verdict in her favor, but with an award of no damages, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a new trial. The motion was denied, and the plaintiffs appealed the decision. On appeal, the plaintiffs argued that a jury verdict for the plaintiff must necessarily include an award of damages.

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Each year in the United States, there are approximately 32,000 people killed in car accidents. Many more suffer severe and debilitating injuries that last a lifetime. Accidents occur for many reasons. There are snow storms and icy road conditions, and most drivers have at one point or another inadvertently drifted into another lane or not seen another driver hiding in his or her blind spot at some point or another.

Sometimes accidents are the result of drivers being tired, intoxicated, or distracted, often by texting or talking on the phone. When this occurs, injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and property owners can sue for negligence and be compensated for their losses. In Illinois, injured parties can recover for out-of-pocket losses, like lost wages and reduced future income, as well as less tangible injuries, like pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Some accidents are also the result of defective auto parts. In these cases, injured parties can sue for compensation, and they do not even have to prove negligence. If a part is defective, and the part was defective when it left the automaker’s possession, the plaintiff is entitled to recover for any injuries caused by the defect.

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Where a person files a claim can have a huge impact on the outcome of the case. Laws differ from state to state, and especially in today’s mobile world, often it is not clear which law applies. In a recent decision, one state had to decide this very issue—and the ruling meant whether the case was able to continue or whether the case was over.

According to the court’s written opinion, two Washington residents were involved in a single-car accident in Idaho. The plaintiff, a passenger in the car, filed a lawsuit against the driver, both of whom lived in Washington. The suit was filed in Washington more than two years after the accident. In Woodward v. Taylor, the issue that state’s supreme court had to decide was which state’s law applied. If Idaho law applied, the claim would have been dismissed because of the state’s two-year statute of limitations. If Washington law applied, the claim was permitted under its three-year statute of limitations. Ultimately, the court held that Washington law applied in this case, allowing the case to move forward.

The court noted that there was a presumption that a state’s laws apply where a claim is filed. In addition, the court found that a difference between statutes of limitations did not constitute a “conflict of law.” The court explained that a conflict of law means that the result of a case would be different under the laws of the two states. However, a difference between statutes of limitations was not considered in determining which state’s law applies. In determining whether a conflict existed, the court found that no conflict of law existed in that case because the relevant laws of negligence, speed limits, and comparative fault in the two states would have resulted in the same outcome. For that reason, the court stated that since there was no conflict of law, the law of their state applied, and the case could continue.

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In December 2015, a state appellate court held that a hospital owed a duty to other drivers to inform patients about the effects of medication administered at the hospital.

According to one news source, on March 4, 2009, a patient sought treatment at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY. As part of her treatment, the hospital gave the patient an opioid narcotic painkiller and a benzodiazepine drug. However, the hospital did not warn her that the medication impaired or could impair her ability to safely operate an automobile. After leaving the hospital and driving herself, the patient was involved in an accident that injured Edwin Davis. As she was driving, the patient’s car crossed a double yellow line and struck a bus driven by Davis. In Davis v. South Nassau Communities Hosp., Davis brought suit against the hospital, alleging that the crash was the result of the hospital’s failure to warn the patient about the effects of the medication.

The court held that the hospital owed a duty to other motorists to warn the patient that the medication administered to her either impaired or could have impaired her ability to safely operate an automobile. The court reasoned that the hospital’s employees were the only people who could have provided a proper warning of the effects of the medication.

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On most weekday mornings, yellow school buses carrying kids from kindergarten to high school flood the streets of Illinois. At the same time, drivers rushing to work are looking for ways to shorten their commute and make it to the office on time. This combination can be a recipe for disaster, especially in winter weather and icy road conditions.

Of course, all drivers know that the flashing red lights on a school bus mean “stop.” But many drivers think they are smarter than the lights and can squeeze past a bus in time to avoid any sort of accident. Equally egregious is the fact that buses are poorly equipped to keep children safe. Lax federal regulations allow bus companies to bypass upgrades that can prevent injuries and even save lives.

In Illinois, all drivers must take reasonable care when driving a motor vehicle. This means they have to drive at safe speeds, avoid known distractions like texting behind the wheel, and not drive while intoxicated, which includes the side effects of prescription medications. If a driver fails to take any of these precautions, they may be held liable for their negligence by anyone injured as a result.

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A 43-year-old man from Willowbrook was killed when a van he was riding in flipped over and landed in a pond east of Interstate 57, near Tolono. His wife, also from Willowbrook, was driving the van when the accident occurred. Eight other passengers in the van were injured during the accident, including the driver. Only one of the other eight passengers was injured critically. The rest sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

According to a local news report, the van was traveling north on Interstate 57 when the driver lost control. The van then veered off the interstate before rolling over several times and coming to rest upside down in the pond. Police indicated that all of the van’s passengers were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Firefighters from Tolono, Savoy, and Pesotum all provided assistance at the site of the accident, as did divers from the Cornbelt Fire Protection District in Mahomet. No firefighters or divers were injured in their rescue efforts.

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