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This week, a man brought to light a case of shocking greed and callousness by Progressive Insurance Company. In 2010, the man’s sister was tragically killed when a driver ran a red light as she drove through an intersection. Because the driver was underinsured, the woman’s estate was woefully undercompensated for this loss.

The woman’s policy with Progressive covered her losses in the event that she was involved in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver. Yet, instead of honoring this policy, Progressive chose to fight paying the policy in court. Specifically, Progressive interjected itself into a lawsuit filed by the woman’s estate against the driver and tried to prove that the deceased woman, their client, was in fact at fault. Thankfully, the jury found the other driver negligent, which should result in Progressive finally paying the woman’s policy.

It is utterly disgraceful that Progressive refused to pay the policy it rightfully owed when it could have spared a family, already grieving from the loss of a loved one, one less headache. Next time you see one of those frequent Progressive TV ads where they try to paint themselves as a friendly, compassionate company, I want you to think of this woman’s poor family and the way Progressive treated them.

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According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), traffic deaths increased 17 percent in Illinois from January through July this year, compared to the same period in 2011. Specifically, Illinois has seen an increased in fatal accidents on interstate highways, state roads, and city streets.

Also, roughly half the traffic deaths in Cook County this year occurred in Chicago. State officials suggest that the increase in traffic deaths may have resulted from an increase in driving due to the unseasonably mild weather earlier this year.

This past week, Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider announced a “zero-fatality goal” on Illinois roads. Although this goal may be unrealistic, as a Chicago car accident attorney, I applaud our State’s ambition to address this serious public safety issue. To reach this goal, Illinois officials are increasing police enforcement of driving laws, considering redesigning intersections that are hot spots for crashes, and reevaluating emergency medical response procedures. Finally, we, as Illinois drivers, can also help the effort by making a concerted effort to drive more safely.

This past week, Ford announced that it was recalling approximately 421,000 Escapes manufactured from 2001-2004 due to a defect that causes unintended acceleration in the vehicles. The defect at issue resulted from cruise control cables being damaged during an unrelated recall earlier this year. The defect could prevent a fully depressed gas pedal from returning to its normal position, thus leading to an unintended acceleration.

According to Ford, this recall resulted from an investigation of an Arizona car crash in which the driver of a 2002 Ford Escape lost her life. Ford also said that owners of these vehicles could take their vehicles to dealers to have the cruise control disconnected until the necessary parts for the recall are available.

As a Chicago car accident attorney, I am urging all owners of Ford Escapes manufactured between 2001 and 2004 to get their vehicles inspected immediately. Unintended acceleration is a very serious defect in automobiles, which can directly lead to fatal car accidents. For your own safety and the safety of all others on the road, owners of this type of vehicle must treat this recall with the utmost concern.

Last night, a mother of three was killed on the South Side of Chicago when her bicycle collided with a truck. The driver of the truck received citations for driving while license suspended, operating a vehicle without insurance, and driving an unsafe vehicle. Family members of the deceased woman are questioning why the driver was not arrested and are asking any witnesses of the accident to come forward immediately.

The woman driving the truck has a long history of driving violations in Illinois, which include multiple speeding tickets. As a car accident attorney, this woman’s troubled driving history indicates that she may have been driving in an unsafe manner when she struck the bicyclist. Many unsafe drivers are either unwilling or unable to improve their driving habits even after multiple citations and/or accidents. Unfortunately, in some cases it is just a matter of time before a tragedy results from this unsafe driving. I hope the police are able to complete a full investigation of this accident, and if it is determined that the driver was at fault, do whatever it takes to keep her off the road

Earlier this week, fifteen people aboard a "party bus" were injured when their vehicle was sideswiped by a SUV on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago. Although most of the injuries were minor, one person suffered a broken leg. The driver of the SUV was later charged with a DUI. The driver of the party bus was cited for no valid insurance, a suspended vehicle registration, and overloading a bus as well.

Although the drunk driver was clearly at fault in this case, as a car and truck accident attorney, I question the safety of driving around Chicago in a party bus. Party buses are often offered by limo companies and include flat screen TVs, stereo systems, and in some cases, dance floors.

According to one passenger on this particular bus, when the SUV hit the vehicle, passengers were sent tumbling and flipping over each other. In my opinion, the passengers on this bus were lucky to escape with only minor injuries. Specifically, the passengers were in substantial danger when the bus crashed because they were not wearing seat belts, and worse, standing up. On top of that, the bus apparently was overcrowded.

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