Articles Posted in Auto Accident

10416Death is an unfortunate part of life, but sometimes due to the negligence of others death comes too soon. When someone dies due to the fault of another’s recklessness or negligence their loved ones, under Illinois law, may be able to claim damages against the at-fault party.

There is no amount of money that can compensate fully for the loss of a loved one but damages can help families cover medical costs, funeral costs, and the cost of living after the loss of the loved one. This allows the family to focus on what matters most – healing. Damages can help a suffering family begin to move forward with their lives without the stress of financial debts hanging overhead.

Wrongful death claims can include a number of types of fatal accidents and can stem from most negligence claims, but most often these claims arise from motor vehicle accidents. A myriad of scenarios can give rise to wrongful death claims.

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10416The phrase “multi-car collision” typically is used to describe accidents with a large number of cars. However, it can mean anything from a crash with two or three vehicles to one with hundreds. These incidents happen most commonly in areas with heavy traffic, unexpected congestion, and in parts of the country where weather can be treacherous. Put simply, Illinois faces an incredibly large risk of being home to multi-car collisions at any time of the year but particularly during the winter months.

Like most types of car accidents, multi-car collisions can happen for a number of reasons and therefore can be difficult to prevent or avoid. One of the most common causes of these crashes is a vehicle following too closely for safety. A driver who keeps her vehicle too close to the vehicle in front of her is at risk for causing a rear-end collision, and if traffic is heavy, that initial rear-end collision may turn into a chain reaction crash involving several vehicles all being struck from behind. Areas like the Kennedy Expressway and the Eisenhower and known for having chain reaction collisions particularly during morning and evening rush hours.

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41316(2)Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most traveled times of the year in America. Those in Chicago are no exception to this as thousands both leave and enter the city each year, traveling to celebrate with friends and family and to give thanks for all they have in their lives. This year, AAA predicts that the roadways in Illinois and elsewhere will be congested as 48.7 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the weekend.

Experts believe that this will be the highest-traveled Thanksgiving holiday since 2007 and that approximately one million additional travelers will hit the road when compared to the numbers seen in 2015.

Travelers will be using numerous modes of transportation including planes, trains, and automobiles this weekend but AAA reports that the vast majority will travel by car. Nearly 90 percent of those leaving their homes this year will use a personal vehicle of some sort to get to their destination and relatively low prices of gasoline may be encouraging some of the driving.

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10416All kinds of accidents happen in the United States every year. If you drive in Illinois or if you happen to use public sidewalks, crosswalks, or areas near roadways, you face the risk of being involved in a car accident or other traffic incident with little or no warning. Some collisions are due to a driver’s lack of attention while others may be blamed on alcohol or drugs. In reality, thousands of factors can lead to and even cause a collision between one or more parties.

Chicago sees more than its fair share of traffic incidents every year. In 2014, the Illinois Department of Transportation noted that 143,943 accidents happened in Cook County, the majority of which happened within or immediately around Chicago’s city limits. Among those collisions, 27,075 caused injuries and 211 proved to be fatal, changing the lives of those involved and their loved ones forever.

Across the state that year, 296,049 collisions occurred which averages out to 811 traffic accidents every single day.

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11916What is the true purpose of a red light enforcement camera? Well, it may depend on who you ask. Though the publicly stated position is to limit the number of vehicles running red lights and therefore reduce the number of red light car accidents, many drivers feel that the motives may be less altruistic by local governments.

Some in Chicago have been very vocal about their views on red light cameras, stating that the cameras are designed to raise revenue through the issuance of tickets and not designed to improve safety. However, new information released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) may dispute this widely held belief as the research concludes that use of red lights is saving lives.

According to IIHS, red light camera programs in 79 large U.S. cities are believed to have saved nearly 1,300 through 2014 at a time when car accidents continue to be one of the major causes of unintentional death in America.

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619More and more people in the Chicago area are ditching traditional forms of transportation and opting to grab an Uber instead. Uber, a rideshare company based on the west coast, allows those who want to catch a ride to request one via an app, enabling a car or SUV to pick up the rider at the rider’s specified location. Unlike a city bus which follows a specific route, an Uber car can travel anywhere in an approved service area. And unlike a taxi cab which may be difficult to find, an Uber vehicle literally comes to the place where a rider needs it to be within a specified time frame. For many, long gone are the days when they waited on a corner in the rain, trying to grab a ride to make it to work or school on time.

However, as the number of Uber rides and passengers continue to swell in Illinois, so do the number of Uber car accidents that result. Though some of these are minor, many have turned serious and caused injuries to the drivers and passengers involved, leading the victims to wonder where they stand legally and what options they have to get help if a crash affects their lives.

Passengers who were riding in an Uber car at the time of a collision may face a more complicated path to help than those involved in car accidents not involving such a major corporation. First, the victims will need to determine who is legally liable for the crash and whether more than one entity bears the blame. Typically, the driver of an Uber or another driver in another car will have made a mistake or error, leading to the impact between vehicles. However, in other situations, faulty mechanical work, a poorly designed car, negligent maintenance of a road or intersection, or even inclement weather may be blamed for an accident.

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91815%282%29.jpgOne of the biggest causes of injuries for those in Chicago each year continues to be car accidents and other traffic incidents that occur on local roads and expressways. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that 285,477 such traffic crashes happened in the state in 2013 alone. Of those, the official statistics report that 21.4 percent resulted in injuries to at least one person involved.

The percentage allocated to injury accidents likely is low, though, because it is based upon the self reports of victims immediately after they are involved in a collision. Typically, vehicles collided and a law enforcement official is sent to respond to the scene. That officer will ask the drivers and passengers involved if they are hurt and in need of an ambulance if an ambulance has not already been called to the area. There is a tendency among accident victims to underplay their symptoms right after an impact because they are in shock and unsure exactly how they feel. Often, their minds have not slowed enough for them to process what happened to them and the adrenaline rushing through their veins may delay the onset of pain.
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102215.jpgThe laws in Illinois are designed to protect the safety of all who call the state home, yet when individuals ignore or violate the law, that safety can be jeopardized. One area that receives little attention but makes a massive impact on others is in the arena of automobile insurance. If you live in Illinois and you own a personal vehicle, you are required to carry insurance on that car that meets or exceeds state minimum levels. The purpose behind this mandatory insurance provision is to protect the innocent victims of car accidents who are hurt by enabling them to obtain financial compensation, a form of relief that can help victims get the medical treatment they need as well as provider payment for all of their other expenses.

Though the law applies to all drivers, the fact remains that every day, motorists without valid insurance drive in an around Chicago, posing a serious threat in the event they are involved in a crash. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported that an estimated 13.3 percent of all motorists on Illinois roads in 2012 were uninsured, contrary to and in violation of state laws. Victims who are hurt by these uninsured drivers soon realize that there may be no insurance funds to provide for their damages, pay for their medical expenses, or even compensate them while they are forced to miss work.
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10816There is a fallacy among drivers that is widely held in Chicago: drivers tend to believe they are better and more skilled than other motorists on the road. Regardless of how long they have been operating a car, where they learned and how they learned to drive, whether they have been cited for illegal conduct or caused a collision in the past, or even whether they have had subsequent training since an initial driver’s education program, the majority of motorists describe their skills as “better than average” when surveyed.

In fact, many Illinois drivers have the educational basis to be very effective and safe on the roadways but in practice, these drivers often ignore what they consider to be good advice for others. A typical example involves texting while driving or other distracted behaviors while behind the wheel. A survey from last year found that 98 percent of adult drivers stated that texting while driving was unsafe yet shockingly, 49 percent of surveyed drivers admitted to texting while driving.

This “do as I say, not as I do” approach is not only ignorant but it can be lethal. Experts have concluded that using a cell phone increases the risks of a car accident by 400 percent and that many of these collisions result in injuries or death to those involved.

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10416It is basic human instinct to try and control the circumstances surrounding our daily lives and that often stretches to our driving habits. Most motorists will claim that they operate their cars in a reasonable and safe manner, desiring to keep themselves and others near them safe and accident-free. However, a deeper look into Chicago’s driving scene reveals that numerous drivers speed, tailgate, exhibit signs of road rage, weave in and out of traffic, and even drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol on an occasional basis. With so many threatening and reckless factors contributing to roadways safety, it may be surprising just how many people avoid a car accident daily.

Any type of traffic accident can be serious but a rollover collision always poses a significant threat to personal safety. In fact, rollovers are estimated to make up about three percent of all collisions nationwide but they are involved in about 30 percent of deaths among those in a passenger vehicle. The most troubling aspect of a rollover crash is that so many can be prevented when you realize that nearly half of rollover incidents involve one or more drivers who have enough alcohol in their systems to make them impaired.

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