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McNabola Law Group Obtains Record Results in Car, Truck Cases

Fatal Car Crashes Surged in 2020 Despite Pandemic Lockdowns

Traffic deaths in the U.S. rose in 2020 despite widespread coronavirus-related lockdowns that drastically reduced traffic.

“We think the big culprit is speeding,” Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), told the Associated Press. “A big factor here is the lack of enforcement. We are hearing from many states that traffic stops have declined during COVID-19. Drivers feel like they can speed and get away with it.”

More than 28,000 people died in traffic crashes during the first nine months of the year, up 4.6% from 2019, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Safety experts attribute the uptick to risky behavior including speeding, driving while intoxicated and forgoing seat belts.

“With fewer cars on the road and fewer police stops, the pandemic appears to have emboldened some drivers to take unnecessary and selfish risks,” McNabola Law Group managing partner Mark McNabola said. “We have witnessed drivers disregarding stop signs and treating roads like their own personal speedways. Because of COVID-19, drivers are aware that most of the highways do not have police actively ticketing. As a result, many of the freeways are wide open and allow for negligent drivers who create huge dangers.”

According to the NHTSA, 65% of drivers who sustained injuries in a crash in 2020 had drugs or alcohol in their system — up from just over 50% before the pandemic. And data from five trauma centers revealed a higher prevalence of alcohol, opioids and marijuana in crash victims, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Small Speed Increases Can Have Big Consequences

Speeding has long been a leading culprit in U.S. traffic collisions.

New research recently revealed that even small increases in speed can have dramatic effects.

A crash that is survivable at 40 mph, for instance, could be fatal at 50 mph, according to crash tests from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Humanetics.

In crash tests conducted at 50 and 56 mph, the crash dummy’s head broke through the deployed airbag and smashed into the steering wheel. In a human victim, that impact would likely cause facial fractures or severe brain injuries.

"Higher speed limits cancel out the benefits of vehicle safety improvements like airbags and improved structural designs," IIHS President David Harkey said. "The faster a driver is going before a crash, the less likely it is that they'll be able to get down to a survivable speed even if they have a chance to brake before impact."


“Our country has a speeding problem that has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “Thousands of people die needlessly on our roads because some drivers mistakenly think less traffic means they can speed and nothing bad will happen.”

The attorneys at McNabola Law Group have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving traffic crashes.

From motorcyclists to pedestrians, from physical trauma to brain injuries, our team has obtained numerous multimillion-dollar settlements for clients and their families following traumatic events. We fight for your rights.

Here is a look at some of our Illinois cases:

Red Light Crash Leads to Partial Paralysis

McNabola Law Group and lead trial attorney Mark McNabola obtained a $10.12 million record-high jury verdict for a 70-year-old woman who sustained debilitating spinal injuries in a crash. Defense attorneys offered to settle the lawsuit out of court for $1.8 million — but McNabola took the case to trial and secured a verdict worth more than five times that amount.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Route 53 and Hobson Road in Woodridge, Illinois. The 70-year-old victim was driving through the intersection when a pickup truck driver disregarded a red light and turned left into her vehicle.

As a result of the crash, the victim sustained fractured and dislocated vertebrae, requiring cervical fusion. She was diagnosed with incomplete quadriplegia with no functional use of her legs and diminished use of her arms.

“Before this horrific crash, our client enjoyed a fulfilling and active lifestyle,” McNabola said, “but the actions of a reckless driver left her trapped in a wheelchair and in need of 24-hour care. A police investigator and an independent eyewitness testified that our client had a green light and the right of way at the time of the crash. Sadly, this tragedy could have been avoided if the pickup truck driver simply slowed down and followed the rules of the road.”

Bus Driver Was Speeding Before Fatal Crash

McNabola Law Group and lead trial attorney Mark McNabola obtained a $9 million record-high jury award for the family of a 17-year-old girl killed in an interstate crash involving a Greyhound bus.

The girl’s family was traveling southbound on I-55 in Illinois when car trouble forced the family to park on the shoulder. Shortly thereafter, a Greyhound bus and a passenger car collided on the highway. The impact sent the car careening toward the shoulder, where the vehicle struck and killed the 17-year-old girl.

During a Cook County trial, partner Mark McNabola proved the Greyhound bus driver was negligent because he drove too fast for the road conditions and failed to avoid the initial collision with the passenger car.

City Negligence at Chicago Construction Site

McNabola Law Group and lead attorney Mark McNabola obtained an $8 million record-high jury verdict for a man who lost his leg after being struck by a car in a City of Chicago construction zone.

The man, 52, was working for a utilities company  when a city supervisor asked him to mark the locations of underground telephone cables at a construction site in the Logan Square neighborhood.

As the utility worker finished the job and began putting tools back in his truck, a confused driver lost control and drove into the worker — pinning him against the truck and immediately severing his leg.

McNabola Law Group alleged the driver was heading south on Milwaukee Avenue when he found his lane obstructed by construction equipment. The at-fault driver followed other traffic into the northbound lane to get around the construction zone but was forced to swerve back into his own lane as an oncoming car approached.

It was then he struck the 52-year-old worker.

Lead trial attorney Mark McNabola proved City of Chicago employees were negligent because they failed to safely mark the construction site, failed to reroute traffic using flagmen or barricades and failed to establish a buffer zone between workers and motorists.

“More than 100 construction workers are killed in traffic crashes each year,” McNabola said. “Those deaths can be avoided if cities, states and private companies work together to ensure worker and driver safety. Drivers must always slow down and be ready to adapt to changing road conditions.”

Motorcycle Result Makes Illinois History

The firm obtained a record-high $6 million result for an Illinois man and his teenage daughter after the two were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash.

The man, 45, was driving a motorcycle with his 15-year-old daughter as rear passenger on July 15, 2006, when they passed through the intersection of Houbolt and Mound roads in Joliet, Illinois. A Chevrolet pickup truck turned left into traffic and struck the motorcycle.

The girl suffered a broken right leg and ankle, which required multiple surgeries and skin grafts. Her father’s injuries included wrist and ankle fractures that required surgery.

Semi-Truck Driver Causes Multi-Vehicle Collision

McNabola Law Group obtained a $2 million result for a 24-year-old woman who was seriously injured when her car was forced off the road by a semi-truck on I-80 in Illinois.

The woman was driving westbound in the left lane on I-80 on Sept. 4, 2004, when the tractor trailer entered her lane from the right and forced her off the road. Her car flipped five times. The woman sustained severe injuries, including the degloving of her right arm, and required multiple surgeries.

The collision caused crashes with several other vehicles, including one that resulted in fatal injuries.

When tragedy strikes, it’s important to seek immediate legal assistance. An experienced attorney can help your family seek justice and receive the compensation you need for physical, mental, emotional and financial recovery.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

We offer a no-cost, no-pressure, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights

From our offices in downtown Chicago, our personal injury litigation attorneys represent clients in communities throughout Cook County and Illinois. Learn more about ways we can help you receive the compensation you need for your physical, mental, emotional and financial recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

$27

million

Product Liability - A married father of three was paralyzed in a boating injury when he fell from the upper deck of a yacht. The offer by the insurance company for the defendant was $3 million before trial and $25 million after 3 weeks of jury trial.

Trial Attorneys Mark McNabola, Ruth Degnan

$20

million

Construction Site Negligence - A man was demonstrating construction equipment known as a “man lift” and was elevated in the air. The lift collapsed and two men suffered permanent injuries. McNabola Law Group represented one of two men injured totaling $20 million. Prior to jury trial the offer was $3 million

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$14

million

Medical Malpractice - A young mother died during child birth when doctors failed to monitor her properly. Her newborn baby also suffered irreversible brain damage during the delivery at a Chicagoland hospital. 

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$12

million

Medical Malpractice - A 52 year old man suffered an anoxic brain injury following routine bowel surgery when doctors and nurses at a suburban hospital failed to properly monitor and treat him post-operatively. The offer before jury trial was $3 million. Case settled after it was set for jury selection.

Trial Attorneys Mark McNabola, Ruth Degnan

$10

million

Trucking Negligence - A young girl was killed when she was struck by a vehicle that had previously collided with a bus that was traveling too fast for conditions. After a ten-day jury trial, a Cook County jury returned a verdict in favor of the family. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this is a record high verdict for the wrongful death of a minor in a motor vehicle accident. There was no offer for settlement by the defendant.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$10

million

Trucking Negligence - A Cook County jury entered the verdict in favor of a 72-year-old grandmother rendered wheelchair-dependent after a car vs truck accident. The offer prior to trial was $3 million

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$9.8

million

Automobile Negligence - A 72 year old woman was paralyzed following an automobile accident. The defendant turned into the plaintiff’s vehicle causing her to sustain a spinal fracture and dislocation at C6-C7 requiring a fusion. She is wheelchair dependent. The offer for settlement before jury trial was $4 million

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$9.2

million

Medical Malpractice - A young woman suffered amputation of her legs as a result of complications following surgery at a suburban hospital. Doctors and nurses failed to develop and implement an appropriate plan to manage blood thinning medications pre and post-operatively leading to severe clotting and tissue death. The case settled during jury selection. The offer was $3 million before trial.    

Trial Attorneys Mark McNabola, Ruth Degnan

$7.8

million

Medical Negligence - A woman presented herself to the emergency room on three consecutive days with worsening symptoms. Finally, she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis but suffered severe injuries due to the delay of diagnosis and treatment. The initial settlement offer was $3 million.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$6.9

million

Construction Negligence - A man lost his leg while working at a City of Chicago construction site. The man was working near his truck at the construction site when a driver struck him and pinned him against his truck. City workers failed to properly mark their construction site, failed to safely route traffic around the area, and failed to use flaggers to warn traffic to slow down and direct it to move one direction at a time. The offer prior to jury trial was zero. A Cook County jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$6.8

million

Medical Negligence - A 48 year old woman suffered severe brain damage at a Chicagoland hospital after surgery to alleviate sleep apnea. Her breathing tube clogged because of inadequate monitoring by the nursing staff. 

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$6.8

million

Construction Negligence - A 30 year old man suffered severe injuries from a 30-foot fall at a construction site and received blood thinning medication at the defendant hospital that was intended for another patient. The offer before trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$6

million

Motorcycle Negligence - A teenager and her father were injured in a motorcycle crash. The 15 year old suffered severe fracture to her right ankle which required multiple surgeries. Her father sustained numerous injuries including a fractured wrist and ankle.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$5.8

million

Automobile Negligence - A wheel assembly dislodged from the axel of a semi-trailer killing two seventeen year old boys.  McNabola Law Group represented the family members of one of the two boys. The extent of liability insurance coverage for both families was six million dollars.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$5.5

million

Automobile Negligence - A 29 year old woman suffered a fractured cervical spine and subsequently died after the car she was riding in crashed into a construction pit. The jury held the contractor liable for failing to place concrete barriers at the construction site. The offer prior to jury trial was $1 million.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$5

million

Product Liability - A man working in Will County was unexpectedly sprayed in the face with anhydrous ammonia when a house coupler failed to close properly. The incident caused severe eye injuries. During the investigation, the coupler was thrown away. The primary cause of this action was based on spoliation of evidence against the insurance adjuster. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this is a record high result for this type of injury. The offer prior to trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$5

million

Construction Negligence - A 27 year old man’s legs were crushed causing below the knee amputations when a wall fell onto his legs after an employee cut a steel beam while demolishing a Union Pacific railroad bridge. $5 million was the extent of the insurance policy limit. This case concluded after it was set for jury trial. 

Trial Attorneys Mark McNabola, Ruth Degnan

$4.9

million

Medical Malpractice - A young girl who suffered from cardiac arrhythmias due to a cardiac abnormality had a cardiac procedure. Four weeks after the procedure, she was cleared to resume sports and other activities, she collapsed in gym class and later died. The case settled prior to jury trial.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$4.7

million

Construction Negligence - A man was working on a ladder, painting a Chicago building, when his ladder came in contact with electrical wires. He suffered severe electric shock, broken ankles and ribs, and a fractured back. An Illinois utility company, ComEd, was called four times before the incident to shut off the lines but they never shut off the lines. The victim has undergone multiple surgeries and has not been able to return to his career since the incident.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$4

million

Medical Negligence - A young woman died at a Chicago hospital when doctors failed to timely diagnose symptoms of a pulmonary embolism. She had a cardiac procedure performed so that she could stop taking anti-arrhythmia medications. She was discharged from the hospital only to die two days later.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$3.6

million

Medical Negligence - A 12 year old girl was deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes during a routine surgical procedure. Plaintiffs alleged the surgical residents mismanaged the young girl’s airway and negligently allowed her condition to deteriorate before attempting intubation at the bedside. Following a two week trial the jury awarded $3.6 million. The offer before jury trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$3

million

Automobile Negligence - A man’s automobile was struck by a taxicab and he suffered permanent weakness in his legs and a laceration of an artery in his chest. The extent of insurance company policy limit was $3 million

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$3

million

Medical Negligence - A 60 year old man who suffered from uncontrolled diabetes and vascular disease was admitted to a Chicago hospital with an infected ankle wound. Doctors postponed the procedure and failed to timely readmit the plaintiff to undergo a procedure to reestablish blood supply to his leg. Plaintiff leg was amputated below the knee a month later.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2.9

million

Medical Negligence - A DuPage County record jury verdict for the family of a 5 day old baby who died when physicians failed to timely diagnose an obstructed bowel. The jury concluded physicians also delayed administering IV fluids, antibiotics and transfer to an institution with a pediatric surgeon available. The offer prior to trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2.7

million

Automobile Negligence - A 41 year old father and husband was killed instantly when the defendant ran a red light and hit his vehicle.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2.5

million

Medical Negligence - A 58 year old woman died after a radiologist from a Chicago hospital misread the patient CT scan and failed to identify her bowel obstruction. 10 days later another CT scan was done and the obstruction was located and emergency surgery performed. She suffered complications which resulted in her death.

Trial Attorneys Mark McNabola, Ruth Degnan

$2.5

million

Trucking Negligence - A 31 year old man was hit by a flatbed truck after he stopped and exited his car to gather a loose dog from the roadway. He suffered degloving of his left leg above and below the knee, vascular and nerve injuries. Plaintiff has been unable to return to work.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2.3

million

Trucking Negligence - A woman was killed while driving on I-88 when an upraised backhoe on a flatbed trailer hit the underpass and fell on top of her car.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2.2

million

Medical Negligence - A 42 year old high school teacher died of severe coronary atherosclerosis after a Chicago hospital failed to recognize or timely provide treatment for high cholesterol and hypertension.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$2

million

Trucking Negligence - A woman driving on I-80 was cut off by a truck driver, forcing her off the roadway. Her car flipped, causing de-gloving of her right arm and serious injuries.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.8

million

Construction Negligence - A 39 year old man sustained bilateral hip fractures, shoulder dislocation, and a torn rotator cuff during a fall from inadequate scaffolding at a construction site.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.8

million

Negligence - A railroad worker was injured when he was working underneath a train car. The train car moved resulting in injuries to his shoulder, knees, hip and neck. The accident was caused by miscommunication between employees and the company that managed railcar movements in the yard.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.8

million

Product Liability - A settlement against a furniture company in the case of a 3 year old who died when a poorly-constructed dining room chair toppled over. The front legs of the chair were one half inch longer than the back legs. The child suffered a seizure, became unconscious and died the next day at a Suburban hospital.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.8

million

Trucking Negligence - An 81 year-old woman was struck by semi-tractor trailer resulting in multiple fractures to her right femur, left tibia, left ankle and right hip. The defense had two witnesses who claimed the plaintiff walked into the back of the trailer while crossing mid-block outside the crosswalk. The case settled during jury trial. The offer before trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.7

million

Automobile Negligence - A young man was driving on a highway when his vehicle was struck from behind by a sports utility vehicle. Plaintiff suffered injuries to his back which required surgery.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.6

million

Record High Jury Verdict - A college student suffered burns on her face, arms and chest in an incident at a campus bar at the University of Iowa. A bartender poured grain alcohol into the bar well and lit it on fire. The flames went out of control and into the crowd.  After a six-day jury trial, in Iowa City the jury returned a verdict in favor of the victim. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the award is one of the largest in Johnson County history. The offer prior to jury trial was $200,000.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.5

million

Construction Negligence - A 37 year old mason was working on a construction site when a forklift struck a crossbar of the structural steel frame, dislodged unsecured concrete planks, and fell killing him instantly.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.3

million

Automobile Negligence - Three plaintiffs were in an automobile that struck and hit a construction barrel on I-94. The passengers took off their seat belts and one of the passengers exited the car. The defendant then struck the vehicle and the vehicle hit the passenger who exited the vehicle throwing her onto the CTA tracks. She suffered a brain bleed, fractures to her ribs, pelvis, tailbone, jaw and ankle. The plaintiffs that were in the car was ejected and died. There was a limited amount of insurance coverage.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.1

million

Medical Negligence - An 8 day old baby died on the operating table when the anesthesiologist improperly managed the baby’s anesthesia during the surgery. The anthologist failed to advise surgeons of the baby’s low blood pressure and abnormal blood gas readings.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.1

million

Medical Malpractice - A woman suffered a stillbirth despite having carried her baby to term through a healthy pregnancy as a result of the failure of the nurses and physicians to properly monitor and to timely reverse signs and symptoms of significant fetal distress.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1.1

million

Construction Negligence - Plaintiff fell from a temporary staircase in his new home suffering a hip injury. Investigation of the staircase concluded it was not properly re-installed and secured after hardwood flooring was installed.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola

$1

million

Record High Settlement - After seven days of jury trial, the parties agreed to settle a work injury case involving a reflex sympathetic dystrophy injury to a 37 year old man. The plaintiff slipped on an unnatural accumulation of ice and water at the Bismark loading dock at Navy Pier, fracturing his right leg. The injury resulted caused RSD. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this is the highest result on record for this type of injury. The offer before jury trial was zero.

Lead Trial Attorney Mark McNabola