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Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C.

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IL truck accident lawyerThere is no denying that the Midwest has some of the most extreme weather, from hot and humid summers to bitter cold winters with a rainy season in between. Illinois winters have a reputation for exhibiting some of the worst conditions. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on traffic and cause serious problems for motorists. Truck drivers need to be extra cautious due to the size and volume of their vehicles. It is a proven fact that it takes longer for a truck to come to a complete stop than a car. In blizzard-like conditions, a truck accident can result in serious to severe injuries for the truck driver as well as the occupants of a car after a collision.

Safety Measures for All Drivers

When the seasons change, Illinois motorists need to change their driving habits. Regardless if you are operating a semi-truck or a compact car, precipitation of any kind warrants slowing down and taking other measures. Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when traveling in hazardous weather on the highway:

  • Stay calm: If you feel yourself panicking behind the wheel, try to relax and take deep breaths to calm yourself down.
  • Slow down: Drive only as fast as your abilities and the capabilities of the vehicle permit for the road conditions.
  • Control your actions: Your behavior on the roadway needs to be controlled and deliberate. Maintain a consistent speed, create more space between you and the car ahead in case that vehicle stops unexpectedly. Do not slam on the brakes, and steer gently.
  • Turn on your headlights: Make sure to turn on your headlights even during the daytime if the weather is bad so other motorists can see you better.
  • Use your turn signals: Do not make lane changes without alerting other drivers of your upcoming movements by signaling first. When getting off at an exit, for example, put on your turn signal before you start slowing down.
  • Be aware of tire spray: Be aware of water spraying from a truck’s tires. A significant amount of spray means the roads are wet. If the pavement appears wet, but there is not a lot of spray, the precipitation is turning to ice. If the road looks wet but there is minimal to no spray, that could mean black ice.
  • Watch other drivers: Pay attention to what the truck drivers are doing and if they are slowing down, you should too. This will help avoid a pileup in the event you have to brake suddenly.
  • Do not stop: If visibility is poor, do not stop in the middle of the road because you will be hit from behind since the driver behind you cannot see either. Proceed along slowly until you can safely move your car off to the shoulder. Wait out the storm until you can see clearly ahead of you.

Even when the above safety tips are followed, accidents involving a truck can and still do happen. In some cases, another driver may have been distracted or intoxicated, which led to the crash. It is important to contact an experienced attorney to determine who is at fault in order to seek compensation for damages.

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IL injury lawyerWhen a person falls or is struck by an object, the resulting injury can range from minor to severe. Shoulder injuries are very common regardless of an individual’s age. This type of injury can occur if someone slips and falls and lands on his or her shoulder, causing a fracture, broken bones, or torn ligaments. Damage to the arm and shoulder can also be the result of an automobile, motorcycle, or bicycle accident. This is especially common in cases where another driver or rider was distracted or operating his or her vehicle recklessly. It is imperative to know your rights to compensation if your shoulder injury was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person.

Damage to the Rotator Cuff

Torn rotator cuffs are some of the most common shoulder injuries. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the top of your upper arm bone secured in the socket of the shoulder. Torn rotator cuffs can begin with a dull ache, but if they do not heal properly, they can require surgery to repair and significant rehabilitation.

A tear in the shoulder’s rotator cuff can be caused by repetitive motion, or it can result from a sudden and unexpected impact or trauma.

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IL accident attorneyWith fall upon us and winter approaching, parts of the country are already experiencing inclement weather. Heavy rains and winter storms can wreak havoc on driving conditions and pose a real danger to Illinois motorists. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur every year. Approximately 21 percent of those involved hazardous weather. Slippery or icy roads can lead to a driver losing control of his or her vehicle, resulting in car accidents with serious injuries or even fatalities. That is why it is even more important for everyone on the road to be extra alert during bad weather and drive responsibly in order to avoid a potential collision.

Weather Factors That Can Lead to Crashes

There are various conditions that bad weather causes, and it often depends on the temperature outside. Based on how warm or cold the air is, precipitation can result in fog, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. If the air temperature drops, water on pavement can turn to ice, a significant driving hazard. Below are some of the major weather conditions that occur in Illinois, which can increase the chances of an auto accident:

  • Rain and flooding: The average automobile can be swept off the road in one foot of moving water. In addition, streets covered by water can collapse. Attempting to drive through water can also stall a car’s engine, possibly leaving you stranded.
  • Snow and ice: Icy pavement lacks friction and vehicle maneuverability, increasing crash risk. It can take up to 10 times longer to stop on an icy road as it does on a dry one. Experts suggest allowing 20 seconds of time behind the car in front of you.
  • Low visibility: Foggy conditions reduce the distance a driver can see ahead of the car.
  • Strong winds: Higher vehicles are most affected by high winds, but sudden gusts can blow any automobile off course. Also, striking any type of debris that is blowing in the wind at a high speed could be fatal, so it is imperative to travel at a slower speed.

Driver Behaviors That Can Cause Collisions

Today’s traffic enforcement patrols promote safe driving techniques in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents. From posted speed limits to DUI checkpoints to electronic signage alerting drivers of slow-downs ahead, they are all meant to keep our highways safer.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_pedestrian.jpgSome people may think walking is a safe way of getting to and from places. However, a pedestrian traveling down the street or in a designated crosswalk can be at risk of being struck by a vehicle, motorcycle, or even a bicycle. The sheer force of the impact in any type of pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries or possibly death. The majority of pedestrian deaths take place on local streets at night, suggesting the need for safer road crossings, signage, lighting, in addition to distracted driving prevention measures. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nighttime collisions made up more than 90 percent of the total increase in pedestrian fatalities in the last 10 years.

Types of Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian accidents can occur when someone is going for a run, taking a stroll, or simply standing on a sidewalk. Regardless if a pedestrian is struck by an automobile, motorcycle, bus or truck, injuries suffered are likely to be much more severe than if the person was a passenger in a car. For a pedestrian, there is no protection between the body and the vehicle to soften the blow. In some cases, a victim may need surgery, extensive rehabilitation, or even amputation. A person is often unable to return to work because of chronic pain or brain damage, which results in hardship due to lost wages. The most common types of injuries a pedestrian can suffer after being struck by any type of vehicle or cycle include:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Neck injuries resulting in whiplash or fractured vertebrae
  • Back/spinal cord damage or paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to joints, shoulders, or knees

Causes of Pedestrian Injuries

The risk of a pedestrian accident is heightened at night compared to daytime. The increase in nighttime pedestrian fatalities may be attributed to poor street lighting or a lack of traffic enforcement patrols. There are many dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted/impaired driving that can also put pedestrians in harm’s way.

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IL injury lawyerTraffic laws, such as maintaining an appropriate speed, wearing seat belts, and not operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be followed by elderly drivers compared to younger motorists. Furthermore, elderly drivers often avoid difficult driving conditions, like rush hour, driving at night, or driving in poor weather conditions.

According to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 2016 recorded 41.7 million licensed drivers over the age of 65. Breaking that down, out of the 221.7 million licensed drivers in the United States, almost one in five drivers are 65 years or older. While elderly motorists are considered to be safer drivers, they are at a much higher risk of car accident injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an experienced lawyer could advise you on the best course of legal action.

Why Are Car Accident Injuries More Common for Elderly Drivers?

As our bodies continue to age, certain vulnerabilities start to become more prevalent and noticeable. The act of operating a motor vehicle requires quick reflexes, increased awareness of your surroundings, good vision and hearing, and the ability to make immediate decisions. As the aging process continues, several factors can contribute to an increased risk of car accident injuries:

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