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IL DUI lawyerAll car accidents are devastating, but car accidents that involve alcohol are especially tragic. Drunk driving accidents are almost entirely preventable and can be some of the deadliest accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 10,874 deaths from alcohol-related car accidents in 2017. Those nearly 11,000 deaths equated to around 29 percent of all car accident fatalities in 2017.

The question of liability in these crashes is an ambiguous one. If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit because of injuries sustained in an alcohol-related car accident, you have a couple of options when it comes to pinning the fault on an entity. Many people immediately think that the driver is the entity at fault, but what they might not know is that you can also hold the establishment that provided the alcohol at fault too.

What Is the Dram Shop Act?

The Illinois Dram Shop Act (formally known as the Liquor Control Act of 1934) allows certain establishments and bars to be held liable for injuries that are caused by an intoxicated person that they have sold alcohol to. The Act allows third parties who have suffered damages and injuries as a result of actions of an intoxicated person to place liability for the accident on the establishment that provided the intoxicated person with alcohol.

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IL injury lawyerMost Americans rely on vehicles to get them from place to place in their daily lives. Unfortunately, cars can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37,133 people were killed in car crashes in 2017 and millions more were injured. Car crashes can result in serious and extensive injuries, but the type of injuries you can get from a car accident vary depending on a number of factors. Here are a few injuries that are common in those who have been in a car accident.

Whiplash

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, whiplash is the most frequently reported injury in car accident insurance claims. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs most frequently during car accidents, but that can also occur from sports accidents, physical abuse or other traumatic events. Whiplash occurs when the head is forcefully and quickly thrown back and forth and can injure bones in the spine, discs between the bones, nerves and other tissues in the neck. Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness;
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck;
  • Headaches;
  • Fatigue;
  • Dizziness; and
  • Blurred vision.

Concussions

Concussions can also occur when you get into a car accident. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can happen when your brain slides back and forth and hits the walls of your skull. Concussions happen commonly from car accidents, but they can also result from violent shaking of the head or contact sports, such as football. Symptoms of a concussion can take a while to show up, but can include:

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IL defense lawyerAutomobiles are perhaps the greatest invention of the modern age -- they simplify life and enable us to live more efficiently. With all of that innovation comes danger, as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 37,133 people who died in car crashes in 2017. Though the number of fatal traffic accidents has been steadily decreasing, car accidents still remain a problem. There are things that you can do to protect yourself on the road that can greatly decrease your chances of getting into an accident. Here are a few tips you can follow to help keep your chances of getting into an accident down:

Pay Attention to the Road

Try not to let other things distract you from the task at hand -- driving. Distractions can appear both inside and outside the vehicle and they are all equally as dangerous. Cell phone use is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, but you can also become distracted by changing the music, adjusting the air conditioner, reaching for an item you have dropped or by other passengers in the vehicle. Keep your eyes and mind on the road and you should be safe.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance

This can (literally) be a lifesaver, especially in inclement weather conditions, like rain or snow. You should try to keep the following distance of at least two seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This means that it should take you about two seconds to reach any given landmark after the vehicle in front of you reaches the same landmark.

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IL injury lawyerIn 2016, there were nearly 12.5 million large trucks registered in the United States, accounting for billions of vehicle miles traveled. Unfortunately, accidents involving large trucks accounted for around 13 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the United States. What is even worse, is that even when truck drivers are at fault for accidents, 8 out of 10 people killed in crashes involving large trucks are people who were riding in the other vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is dedicated to understanding the causes of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles and putting measures into place to prevent them. The FMCSA, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has determined a few top causes of commercial truck accidents in the United States.

Critical Reasons and Critical Events of Truck Accidents

There are two different causation variables for truck accidents: critical reasons and critical events. Critical events are the actions or events that put the vehicle into a situation in which a collision is unavoidable. Critical reasons are the immediate reason which caused the critical event. There are three types of critical events that were assigned to trucks:

  • Running out of the travel lane;
  • Loss of control of the vehicle; and
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle.

There are also three types of critical reasons that are assigned to truck accidents, which include driver errors, vehicle failures, and environmental conditions. Driver errors are by far the most commonly cited critical reason, accounting for 87 percent of truck crashes.

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IL injury lawyerIn every state, there are laws in place that state you must stop and stay at the scene of any car accident that you are involved in. Unfortunately, not everyone makes sure all is well after an accident. In the event that you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you will probably be feeling frustrated, angry and lost. Hit-and-run accidents must be handled differently than normal car accidents, mostly because the other party is not always known. Even though it will be more difficult to pursue compensation for damages and injuries, it is not impossible. Fortunately, there are things you can do to mitigate the negative consequences of a hit-and-run accident.

Gather as Much Information as Possible

Information is key to having a successful hit-and-run claim. Having as much information as possible will increase the chance that the police will catch the driver who fled the scene and it will also help your insurance company make a decision about your claim. If it is possible, you should get information such as:

  • The make, model and color of the vehicle that hit you;
  • The license plate number of the other driver;
  • A description of damage to the other vehicle; and
  • What direction the other vehicle left in.

Look for Any Possible Witnesses

Witnesses can help you file a report with the police and they can also give you information about the other driver that you might not have known. If you are able to find witnesses to the accident, make sure you write down information such as their name and contact information. They may be able to add some depth to your case.

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