As the Holidays approach, I read more and more news articles regarding drunk driving accidents. Over the year, I have reported on numerous drunk and drugged driving accidents. To me it remains a mystery, why someone would choose to drink and drive? As a victim of a drunk driver over 25 years ago, I understand the challenges faced by the victims. I have spent the last two decades supporting groups that educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving. Save a life this holiday season, don't drink and drive. Choose a designated driver or take public transportation. The life you save may be your own!
Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys reported on the driver of a tour bus charged with a DUI after striking and killing a woman in the Streeterville neighborhood. The driver of the tour bus, David Soto, 47, tested positive for drug use (cocaine) after he struck Justyna Palka as she was crossing the street on Columbus at Illinois. She was walking in a designated crosswalk. The driver worked for the Pontarelli Group Charter Company. He was employed by them for six months. Several witness reported that the traffic lights on Illinois were green at the time of the fatal bus crash. That would mean that pedestrians had the right-of-way to cross Columbus. The tour bus driver told police that he did not see the victim as she crossed the street.
Chicago bus and truck accidents continue to take lives and cause serious personal injuries to Chicago area residents. It is hard to call these crashes accidents when there is one party that clearly acted in a negligent manner that lead to the crash. According to Illinois wrongful death attorney David Nemeroff, deaths and injuries caused by drugged and drunk drivers are not accidents, but are the result of an individual's willful conduct. In this case, the label of “accident” obscures the causative factor of drug abuse. Many times driving under the influence fails to get recognized as a violent crime.
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Nemerofff Law offices worked on a drunk driving truck accident crash earning a $6.5 million Illinois truck accident settlement for our client, a 31 year old woman. The victim was traveling in her car on a stretch of North Ave. in Lombard, IL. The victim was involved in a head-on or frontal impact crash with a drunk driver. After the crash with the drunk driver, she was then rear-ended or hit from behind by a commercial semi-truck. One can only image the destruction to her car, and the massive injuries suffered by the victim.
The victim sustained injuries such as multiple fractures of her arms and legs, and pelvis. The injuries required several surgical procedures. The victim spent many months in the hospital recovering from her injuries. To this day, she has difficulty walking and has multiple scarring over 95%t of her body. Both the commercial semi-truck driver and the drunk driver were found responsible for the accident and her injuries by a Cook County, IL jury. The victim was awarded $6,521,000 by the jury. A Dram Shop settlement was reached with the establishment where the drunk driver was served alcohol for an additional $60,000.
Source: Tour Bus driver charged with DUI and sex crimes, Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2011
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