The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

Park Ridge Widow Sues for Bear Attack Death

Yolanda Evert has sued the federal government over the bear attack death of her husband, Erwin Evert, at Yellowstone National Park.

Erwin Evert was a botanist from Park Ridge. He spent part of every year at a cabin near the national park. In June 2010, Evert was hiking and came upon an angry bear. The 430-pound grizzly bear mauled the botanist to death, reports the Chicago Tribune.

So why would the national park be liable for his death?

Can I Sue My Lawyer for Being Careless?

If you think your lawyer screwed up your case by being careless, you may be asking, "can I sue my lawyer?"

Well, the answer is "yes." However, winning a negligence lawsuit against your attorney in a professional malpractice action is not easy.

How to Avoid Halloween Accidents Involving Cars and Kids

We've written before that Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. The danger is most prevalent with children and the mayor has even pushed for hidden cameras to catch speeders in areas filled with children like school zones and parks.

Halloween can be a particularly dangerous time for children as kids are out at night trick or treating, often running across the street to go from home to home. To decrease the chances of Halloween accidents, there are precautions that parents can take.

Rahm Emanuel Wants Speeding Cameras Near Schools

Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes the use of hidden speeding cameras and red-light cameras near schools to catch motorists violating traffic laws.

The amount of car accidents involving Chicago students has been staggeringly high, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. There were 861 crashes involving students for a four-year period ending in 2009. In addition, a study found that over 25 percent of drivers violated maximum speed restrictions in school zones and parks.

Pedestrian Hit in Skokie Cop Car Accident

A 33-year-old Chicago man was struck by a Skokie police officer as he walked on a sidewalk. The city could face legal liability for the cop car accident.

On Wednesday morning, an unidentified 25-year veteran police officer was checking speeds using a radar gun in a school zone, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. An SUV sped by and the police officer was set to give chase.

School Bathroom Policy Could Lead to Legal Liability

In an interesting twist to keep students in the classroom, Evergreen Park High School has instituted a school bathroom policy that will restrict the number of times students can use the bathroom.

Under the policy, students will be limited to three washroom visits during class each semester, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. If students have to go over this allotment, teachers can penalize them by requiring students to stay after school to make up missed class time.

Don't Eat and Drive? Oak Park Distracted Driving Ban Considered

Oak Park could be the first municipality in the country to ban eating while driving. The Oak Park distracted driving ban promises to be one of the most comprehensive laws of its kind if enacted and could restrict many more activities beyond talking on a cell phone while driving.

The proposed crackdown could ban everything from using hand-held cellphones to grooming to eating while driving, reports the Chicago Tribune. A proponent of the law calls the ban a “public safety measure” as distracted driving often involves a lot more activities than simply talking on a cell phone while driving.

Illinois Dog Bite Law

Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. What this means is that Illinois dog bite law generally holds the dog owner responsible for the damages resulting from dog bites regardless of whether the dog has bitten before or has ever shown violent tendencies.

Only in limited situations would a dog owner not be liable for a dog bite. This includes situations like self-defense or where the dog bite victim is trespassing or trying to commit a crime on your property. So, if a thief breaks into your home to commit burglary, and your dog bites him, you would probably not be liable for the dog bite.

Chicago Marathon Death; North Carolina Firefighter Dies

The first Chicago Marathon death since 2007 occurred over the weekend. A 35-year-old firefighter from Greensboro, North Carolina collapsed only 500 yards from the finish line and died less than two hours later.

The runner was later identified as William Caviness, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The cause of death has not yet been determined, and an autopsy is planned this week.

Derrick Rose Settles Lawsuit

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose agreed last year to pay $100,000 to University of Memphis basketball ticketholders in a settlement of a threatened lawsuit. Rose was sued along with his coach at the time, John Calipari, and the terms of the settlement were just released this week.

In 2008, Rose and Calipari led the Memphis Tigers to a NCAA-record 38 wins. The team eventually lost to Kansas in the championship. However, it was later alleged that Memphis knowingly allowed an ineligible player to play on the team. That player is widely believed to be Rose, whose low SAT scores would have made him ineligible, reports The Associated Press.

Coaches Liable for Fenger High School Fight?

Mob of football players attack two teens in Fenger High School fight. The victims of the beating say that the football coaches did nothing to stop the fight. But did the coaches have an obligation to do so?

Darion Jones, a 16-year-old student, was at home when a Fenger football coach stopped by questioning the teen about a football player who was supposedly jumped by Jones and had his flip-flops stolen, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Illinois Bicycle Laws, Hands-Free Law Applies to Bike Riders

In the newest Illinois bicycle laws, the hands-free law that applies to motorists will now also apply to bicycle riders. The hands-free law requires that drivers not talk on cell phones or text message unless using a hands-free device. And as many well-balanced bicyclists have been seen riding the Chicago streets while talking and texting, these laws are now also made applicable to them.

Bicycle riders are already subject to most of the same laws as other motorists, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. For example, they are to obey traffic signals and yield to pedestrians. But until now, bike riders were not subject to the hands-free law that had been applicable to motorists for years.