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IL disability attorneyEven with fewer citizens commuting to and from their jobs on a daily basis because they are working remotely, Illinois roadways have seen an increase in vehicle-related fatalities recently. After months of staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are taking cross-country road trips instead of traveling by airplane. In some cases, reckless actions such as speeding or disregard for traffic laws have led to an increase in car accidents with injuries. Victims of automobile crashes may be confused and unsure of what to do in the aftermath of a crash. Seeking immediate medical attention for any injuries should be your first priority. Your next step should be talking to witnesses who saw the incident unfold. An eyewitness who provides a statement to the responding officer can offer a neutral third-party perspective of the collision and why it may have occurred.

Illinois Liability Laws

In any personal injury case, a victim must prove who was liable or at fault for the accident. The state of Illinois follows a fault-based system, sometimes referred to as a tort liability system. This means Illinois motorists who are responsible for causing a crash are responsible for paying for any damages related to the accident.

All Illinois drivers must carry auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage. Anyone who is hurt in a vehicle collision typically files a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, insurance companies are known for minimizing the payouts for injury victims. In certain cases, a driver or passenger could suffer serious injuries that require a lengthy hospital stay, surgery, or rehabilitation. That is why it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about how to go about filing a claim for your pain and suffering.

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IL crash lawyerThere are many factors that can lead to a car accident, including weather conditions, driver error, and fault equipment. Regardless of the reasons for a crash, the consequences can be devastating. Although many fender-benders result in only minor injuries, head-on and side-impact collisions can cause severe to even fatal injuries. Often referred to as a “T-bone” crash, a side-impact accident occurs when the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. These crashes are common at intersections, in parking lots, or on multi-lane highways. According to statistics, more than 3 million broadside crashes occur in the United States every year. Even at low speeds, side-impact car crashes routinely cause serious injuries to the occupants of the struck car.

Reckless Driving Behaviors

Drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road once they obtain their driver’s licenses. This includes operating their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. When motorists are acting recklessly or are impaired, this can increase the chances of them losing control and striking another vehicle. For example, an intoxicated driver does not have the same quick reflexes of a sober driver. Similarly, texting behind the wheel takes a driver’s eyes off the road for valuable seconds.

In other scenarios, defective equipment can cause the brakes or steering to fail. In those cases, the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries caused by a crash. The typical scenarios in which a T-bone collision occurs include:

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IL accident lawyerDespite national and local efforts to prevent car accidents, they still occur on a regular basis due to various reasons. There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of a vehicle collision, including driver behavior, inclement weather, and poor road conditions. Recent advances in automotive technology have been made to increase the safety of a car’s driver and passengers. From built-in cameras to visual and audible warnings, these can alert a motorist to a potential hazard near or approaching the car. Head-on crashes occur when two vehicles driving in opposite directions collide with each other. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported a 58 percent fatality rate for vehicle occupants in front-impact crashes in 2017. They can result in devastating injuries and even wrongful death for drivers and passengers depending on the circumstances.

Factors that Can Lead to a Head-On Car Accident

In many instances of a head-on or frontal crash, one of the drivers is traveling the wrong way or driving into oncoming traffic. This can be due to impairment from driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. The drunk driver may mistakenly merge onto a one-way street. Because his or her reflexes are delayed, he or she may not be able to stop in time before hitting an approaching car. Likewise, being fatigued behind the wheel can cause a motorist to swerve into oncoming lanes of traffic, especially if there is not a median to divide the lanes.

In other cases, when traveling over the posted speed limit, a driver may try to make it through an intersection on a yellow or red light. If there is another automobile making a left turn, they can hit each other head-on. In some cases, faulty parts may lead to brakes or steering to fail, which may result in a driver losing control of his or her car. Bad weather can also lead to reduced visibility so a driver is unable to properly navigate signs and traffic signals.

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IL crash lawyerTechnology is constantly advancing in an effort to make our lives easier and safer. The automotive industry uses these advancements to keep drivers and passengers safe by automating many vehicle components so they are hands-free. Thanks to sophisticated backup cameras and motion detection software, certain cars even park themselves now. Although this “driver assistance” technology has been shown to greatly reduce the number and severity of car accidents, not every vehicle has it, and not every driver practices safe driving. In some cases, the negligence of another motorist can cause a crash with minor to serious injuries.

High-Tech Advances in Automobiles

Many of today’s newer cars feature technological innovations that aid a driver when traveling. For example, forward collision detection is designed to prevent or reduce the impact of a crash. It uses a radar, laser, and camera to detect an imminent collision and GPS sensors can detect fixed objects, such as a parked car or stop sign.

Here are a few other examples of the latest in automotive technology:

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IL injury lawyerMany people take their physical health for granted until one day when it is unexpectedly taken away from them. This can occur after being involved in an automobile accident. The back is one of the most complex parts of the human body. It encompasses the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck and the shoulders. The main part of the back is the vertebral column, which holds the spinal cord in its spinal canal. Any time a person’s back is exposed to blunt force trauma or severe impact such as in a car crash, there is the potential for paralysis. In some cases, a victim may require assistance, extensive rehab, or a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is especially important to hold the negligent party responsible for a back injury accountable. In many cases, this is a negligent motorist.

Lasting Consequences of a Back Injury

Symptoms of a back injury may seem minor at first, with just a dull ache or pain. However, significant damage to the spine can also result in devastating consequences, often requiring surgery or substantial rehabilitation to regain even a small amount of mobility.

Below are a few of the conditions a victim of a back injury may experience:

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IL accident lawyerAnyone who watches the news knows that our nation’s roadways can be dangerous. Statistics show that approximately 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. There can be many causes for a vehicle crash, including inclement weather, negligent drivers, and poor road conditions. However, improper or incomplete maintenance on automobiles can also contribute to causing accidents. In some cases, an auto repair shop or the dealership may put in a faulty part from the manufacturer. In other situations, an untrained employee may not install a piece of equipment properly, putting a driver at risk for significant injury. Still more scenarios involve negligent drivers who disregard notices to replace recalled parts or do not properly maintain their cars.

Routine Service Affects Road Safety

It is important for vehicle owners to inspect their cars and perform regular maintenance, or they may be held responsible for collisions that are caused by failure to keep their vehicle in safe and proper working order. For example, a tire that does not have enough tread can cause a driver to slide on ice or snow and hit another vehicle or a pedestrian. A tire blowout can lead to a motorist losing control and sending his or her car careening into oncoming traffic.

A few common examples of issues that can cause a car to malfunction:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL car crash lawyerDriverless cars are the latest buzzword in the tech and car industries. This led the public to believe that soon the road would be filled with 100% autonomous self-driving cars. While many early adopters are excited at this prospect, many drivers are uneasy by this idea. It also creates interesting legal questions regarding who could be at fault for injury if an accident involving a driverless car occurs. Without a doubt, the driverless car could be the future, but it is unlikely that the first models will be entirely autonomous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has organized the types of driverless cars into six stages based on their level of autonomy.

Stage 0: No Automation

At this stage, the car is entirely dependent on the driver and offers no self-driving features. In other words, most, vehicles on the road today fit into this stage.

Stage 1: Driver Assistance

This includes some features like steering and acceleration to assist the driver. However, at this stage of automation, the driver has to remain actively aware of road conditions. The driver must still keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to operate the pedal

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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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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerMany people that drive are often guilty of some type of distracted driving, whether that be eating, drinking, or taking a quick peek at your cell phone. Another form of distracted driving is driving while drowsy or sleepy. If you are close to falling asleep, your reaction time will be slowed, you will be less likely to make good decisions while driving, and you will not be as attentive as you should be on the road. The combination of these factors significantly increases the likelihood of an automobile accident and personal injury.

The Statistics

Drowsy driving should be avoided to make sure your risk of collision and injury is lessened, but data shows it does happen occasionally. According to data analyzed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 adult drivers stated they have fallen asleep while driving in the 30 days before they were polled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also estimated that drowsy driving caused 800 fatalities in collisions in 2013. That statistic uses current data on drowsy driving, but the NHTSA believes drowsy driving is responsible for up to 6,000 fatal collisions each year.

Warning Signs and Prevention

Identifying the warning signs of drowsy driving and learning your body well enough to know when you are impaired is helpful when driving at any time, night or day.

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