August 19, 2011

Calirfornia teen arrest for fatal auto accident

I am disturbed by the story of a recent arrest of a California teen. As a Chicago auto injury attorney, I am all too familiar with the deadly combination of teens, alcohol and reckless driving.

18 year old Ryan Armstrong was driving under the influence when he crashed his car, killing his passenger. According to Officer Robert Lehman of the California Highway Patrol, the Carmel Valley resident was arrested on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Armstrong’s vehicle drifted off of the edge of Tasajara Road, and rolled several times. His passenger, Keenan Lucero, 19, of Carmel, was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle as it flipped. Lucero died at the scene.

Lucero was a well-liked student-athlete at Carmel High School and went on to Chico State University.

Two other passengers suffer minor to major injuries.

This tragedy might serve as a reminder to all about auto safety. I strongly urge my clients to always wear seatbelts when travelling in a vehicle and to be cautious and alert -- not only as a driver, but also as a passenger. The family of Kevin Lucero and other victims of careless drivers have the right to seek justice for their losses, pain, and suffering.

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August 1, 2011

$6.5 million settlement for Chicago auto accident

The Chicago Tribune reports on a recent lawsuit settlement.To summarize: seven years ago, Gregory Jones, 8, and Datondra Mitchell, 11, were hit by an unmarked police car. Jones died shortly thereafter, and Mitchell suffered serious injuries.

The officer who hit the children claimed that he was in pursuit of a vehicle, after he had seen a man in the vehicle pointing a gun at a pedestrian. However, police investigation never located the suspect, or the car Officer Mark Delboccio was chasing.

Recently, the City Council Finance Committee awarded $6.5 million to settle the lawsuit as a result of this horrific incident – $590,000 to the girl, now 18, and the remaining to the boy’s family for their losses. The full council will vote on the settlement this upcoming Thursday.

As a Chicago auto incident attorney, I see tragic cases like this that may call for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims mean that a person, or an institution, wrongfully causes the death of someone else. Families who are dealing with tragedy of this sort have legal rights to financial compensation. A person who is negligent should be held accountable for their wrongful behavior that causes the loss of a loved one, pain, and suffering. A wrongful death claim may arise in many types of law including medical malpractice cases, nursing home cases, and like in case of Gregory Jones, auto accidents.

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