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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 attorneySummer is typically the time for construction on America’s streets and roads because of the nice weather. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Organization (NHTSA), work zones on U.S. roadways have become increasingly dangerous for both workers and motorists. A work zone is a designated area or stretch of highway or road where work takes place, typically to improve the pavement or roadway conditions. This may involve lane closures, detours, and tractors or equipment. Car accidents can happen at any time and anywhere, especially if there is a change in the normal flow of traffic. It is important to be even more aware when driving in work zones in order to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, you cannot control other drivers on the road who may not be paying attention.

Drive with Caution

There are steps a driver can take to be better prepared for traveling in work zones. Practicing safe driving tactics, such as slowing down, can help reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident. Here are a few other safety precautions every motorist should take during road construction season:

  • Expect the unexpected in designated road construction zones.
  • Be alert and pay attention to the signs.
  • Comply with the directions given by the flagger or electronic signage.
  • Be patient in road construction zones.
  • Use the “Take 10” technique to change lanes.
  • Slow down; do not drive too fast for conditions.
  • Drive defensively; other drivers can be reckless.
  • Do not follow the vehicle ahead of you too closely.
  • Obey the posted signs until you leave the work zone.
  • Plan ahead and leave early for your destination in anticipation of delays.

Most of the above safety tips are common sense, such as driving slower in work zones. The “Take 10” method to change lanes involves putting on your turn signal at least three seconds before beginning to change lanes and allowing at least seven seconds to complete the lane change while checking your side and rearview mirrors during the maneuver.

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IL crash lawyerVehicle collisions are often traumatic incidents which can cause injury or death. Car accidents themselves are bad enough, but if your vehicle rolls over it can be even more traumatic. Safety measures have advanced greatly in recent years, but a rollover is still one of the most deadly types of serious crashes.

Even though vehicle rollovers only happen in about 3% of major crashes, they cause around 30% of deaths in passenger vehicles. Injuries or death due to vehicle rollovers can be decreased with more people wearing seat belts, better safety measures, and vehicle designs that focus on rollover avoidance. Until more of those measures are put in place, drivers should focus on learning what causes rollovers and how to prevent them.

Causes

Most rollovers are caused by a vehicle swerving onto something such as a median, curb, or pothole. When a vehicle swerves onto a pothole or something similar, it is called “tripping” because the vehicle is tripping over the obstacle and rolling over. When vehicles “trip” over obstacles, they are thrown off balance and much more likely to roll over.

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IL accident lawyerAutonomous vehicles are no longer only present in science fiction. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly looking for new innovations and ways to sell their product, and self-driving vehicles are on their radar. Many manufacturers already boast some basic self-driving mechanics, such as automatic lane change or self-park features, but a true and fully autonomous vehicle is not common on the automobile market yet. The reason for a lack of fully autonomous vehicles is most likely a combination of factors, such as technology limitations, cost considerations, and the general sentiment in America about self-driving cars, fearing that they are more likely to cause injury than a car they can drive themselves.

A Tough Sell

A recent survey by Gallup, a polling and research company, indicated that many Americans do not plan on using a driverless vehicle even if they become common in the next 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the people who were polled indicated they would prefer to own or lease a car they personally drive instead of a driverless vehicle.

The breakdown of demographics showed quite a difference in people’s opinions on driverless cars.  Fifty-three percent of men surveyed said they would use a driverless vehicle at some point, while only 40 percent of women said the same. Age is a factor as well, with 55 percent of adults younger than 50 stating they would use driverless technology either as soon as they could or after waiting a period of time.

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IL injury lawyerAccording to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 1,090 traffic fatalities in 2017 in Illinois. Traffic fatalities may occur for multiple different reasons, but one of the most common reasons is traveling over the speed limit. Speeding decreases the time drivers have to react to events around them, and the faster a vehicle is going the harder it is to stop. Drivers who speed are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident which may cause fatal injuries.

Why Do So Many Drivers Speed When Driving?

Each person may have a different reason for driving above the speed limit. Some of the most common reasons are listed below.

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IL injutry lawyerBeing involved in an automobile accident can be a traumatic experience. If you have been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, you should be aware of the statute of limitations for the lawsuit. Different types of lawsuits have different time limits, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the types of lawsuits and how long it is possible to file them. Once the time limit has expired, it is extremely rare for the court to consider the lawsuit unless some mitigating factor can be explained.

The main types of lawsuits that relate to vehicular collisions are the following:

  • Personal injury: A personal injury lawsuit is filed because the victim was injured in some form during the incident. Occasionally, the injury or trauma may not present itself until much later on. This can be something as simple as whiplash, or more serious injuries. In most cases, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit for a vehicular accident is the same as any other personal injury lawsuit, which is two years.
  •  Wrongful death: This type of lawsuit will be filed when a representative of a deceased person believes a person was killed due to the legal fault of the defendant. The representative may be a family member, spouse, or child. The statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits is one year after the death of the deceased person.
  •  Vehicle damage: Vehicle damage is included under Illinois law as personal property damage. If you are seeking damages due to an automobile collision there is a time limit of five years from the date of the collision for the lawsuit to be filed.

Results of Your Lawsuit

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Il injury lawyerCar accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 7,277,000 motor vehicle crashes that were reported to the police in 2016. Head injuries are common after car crashes, especially concussions, which can take days or even weeks to manifest. Many people who are suffering from a concussion do not even know that they have one because they do not know what signs to look for.

What Is a Concussion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect your normal functioning. A concussion occurs when you receive a violent blow to the head that causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your skull. Concussions can be serious and can cause bleeding in or around the brain, which can lead to death if untreated.

Signs of a Concussion

Rarely, a concussion causes you to lose consciousness. Most of the time, concussions can be hard to detect if you do not know what you are looking for. If you have been in a car accident, be sure to look for these signs that you might have a concussion:

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IL accident lawyerUnfortunately, in the United States, car crashes are not uncommon--and the majority of crashes are caused by driver error. In the U.S., 34,439 fatal car crashes occurred in 2016, taking 37,461 lives. Even if you are a responsible, safe driver and obey all traffic laws, you cannot assume that other drivers are doing the same thing. If you have been in a car crash that is not your fault, you should not be held responsible for the damages or loss of life that happen due to the crash. Understanding the common causes of crashes can help you to drive safely and can aid in filing a car accident claim if a crash resulted in damages.

1. Distracted Driving

Each year, distracted driving is the cause of more crashes. Information published by New Virginia Tech found that when drivers engaged in behavior that distracted them from driving, it more than doubled their chances of crashing. Distracted driving behaviors include:

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 Illinois injury lawyerThe weather is getting warmer and that means that motorcycle enthusiasts are waking their bikes from their winter hibernation. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and is desperately needed in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, nationwide motorcycle accident deaths have dropped 5.6 percent since last year, while the rate of motorcycle accident deaths has continued to increase in Illinois, with 162 in 2017.

What Drivers Should Know about Motorcyclists

A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) of Illinois is an organization that supports the education of all motorists to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving motorcycles. In response to Motorcycle Awareness Month, ABATE has the following facts for drivers to consider when they encounter a motorcycle on the road:

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Illinois injury lawyerWith the increased availability and use of ride-sharing services, the question of who is liable for an accident and injuries sustained during the accident is becoming more common. Pursuing a claim as a result of an automobile accident injury is something to consider carefully as part of ensuring the cost of medical treatment, future care needs and lost wages are covered.

Determining Who Is Liable

While the thought of pursuing a big claim against one of the country’s large ride-sharing companies, the likelihood of doing so is usually quite rare. In most cases one would file a suit with the driver of the vehicle:

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Illinois car accident lawyerAs technological advances are made at increasingly higher rates, manufactures in a number of industries are racing to implement those advances to enhance the user experience of their products. Automobile makers are no exception, as the promise of self-driving cars appearing on roadways not only intrigues the public but has raised questions over matters of fault and liability stemming from injuries suffered in traffic accidents involving self-driving cars.

At This Point … More Questions Than Answers

While the roads are filled with vehicles that include a variety of semi-autonomous features such as parking assistance, blind spot detection and automatic braking, the vehicle that is fully self-driving has yet to hit the streets. As manufacturers work to introduce the self-driving car to the public, questions from drivers, law enforcement agencies and insurance groups relative to accidents and liability swirl.

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Illinois wrongful death attorneyWhile it may be true that sometimes accidents just happen, it is also true that many accidents are avoidable. When wrongful death occurs due to the negligence of others, there are legal avenues one can pursue to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

Examples of Wrongful Death and Liable Parties

Frequent incidents of deaths to road workers occurring on Illinois highways forced the state to enact stricter laws punishing motorists who strike and injure or kill construction or highway workers. However, regardless of the criminal outcome, the driver can still face a wrongful death suit in civil court.

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Illinois accident lawyer, Illinios car crash attorneyAmerica’s opioid abuse has reached crisis level with many first responders and doctors reporting a significant spike in deaths and complications due to the drug, which includes prescription painkillers. Another sign this type of drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions is the recent report that the number of drivers who died in car crashes under the influence of these drugs has increased sevenfold.

This comes as little surprise to those familiar with the statistics on opioid use. Prescriptions for the drugs oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine have risen by four times since 1991. In 1991, there were 76 million prescriptions written for these drugs, and in 2014 there were almost 400 million.

Thus, experts are not surprised that these drugs are now contributing to roadway deaths as these drugs can cause drowsiness, distorted thinking and decreased reaction times.

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DuPage County auto accident attorney, car accidentCar accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. However, your odds of getting into a car accident are higher at certain locations and certain times of the day. Being aware of these risk factors can help you avoid accidents and practice defensive driving.

When Do Car Accidents Occur?

Nighttime accidents are especially dangerous. About 49 percent of fatal crashes occur at night. That means that the fatality rate per mile is three times higher at night than in the day. A key factor in the number of fatalities at night is seat belt use. Of nighttime fatalities, about 65 percent of motorists were not wearing a seat belt.

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