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IL injury lawyerThe global pandemic that is COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of our lives this past year. Non-essential businesses have been temporarily closed throughout the country in efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Numerous essential employees who work in the corporate world have found themselves working remotely at home. The majority of people have been spending most of the past year at home. Although the roads are less crowded than they normally are, the rates of fatal car accidents have gone up.

According to reports from Top Driver, the fatality rate per mile driven increased despite many Illinois residents driving less due to stay-at-home orders. In the Chicago area, there has been a 14 percent increase in speeding, part of a dangerous trend of driving behavior during the coronavirus crisis. One reason for these statistics is due to the fact that some motorists feel as if they can speed now that there is not much traffic on their usual routes, including Interstates 90 and 294. However, traveling at faster speeds can increase the severity of injuries in the event of a collision.

 Speed Limits Are Established for a Reason

Speed limit signs are posted along roadways to alert drivers to the maximum speed they are allowed to travel on that roadway. Speed limits are designed to enhance safety by reducing the risk of a driver losing control and colliding with another vehicle, object, or pedestrian. School and construction zones are established to prevent speeding near a school since children are walking nearby and getting on and off school buses. Traffic fines are increased if drivers are found speeding in these areas. In addition, curvy or winding streets typically have slower speed limits to prevent motorists from taking turns too fast and flipping over.

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IL accident lawyerMotor vehicle collisions occur for many reasons, such as speeding, disobeying traffic laws, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, inclement weather, or poor road conditions. Determining liability in a car accident may not be as easy as it seems. In some cases, an objective third party can help establish who was responsible for causing the accident and who should pay for medical expenses related to any injuries. Accident reconstruction can assist with determining liability in a vehicle crash. In addition, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can hold those negligent parties responsible.

Examining Evidence at the Scene

In some accidents, there may be multiple vehicles involved, which can make it difficult to identify the at-fault driver. For example, if one motorist loses control of his or her car, it can cause a chain reaction, in which several vehicles hit each other, resulting in a multi-vehicle pileup. Injuries to drivers and occupants can range from minor to serious and even fatal.

An accident reconstructionist is a professional with extensive knowledge of physics and engineering as it relates to a crash scene. He or she may also have a law enforcement background with specialized training. Reconstructing the accident can reveal factors that led up to a collision, including weather and pavement conditions, visibility, as well as the vehicles’ speeds. These professionals will conduct their investigation starting with the final resting place of the vehicles. However, they will look at all pieces of evidence including damage to the vehicles and the passengers.

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IL accident lawyerIt is fairly common to be cruising along an Illinois highway, going a few miles per hour over the speed limit, only to be passed by an out of control, fast-moving vehicle. Despite posted speed limit signs, many Illinois drivers significantly pick up their speed as soon as they hit the highway. Without frequent stop signs or signals to keep them at bay, these drivers can weave in and out of lanes as they seemingly glide past the other cars on the road. These speedy drivers often feel on top of the world, only to find themselves the cause of a life-threatening accident an instant later. Despite a promising six percent drop in speeding-related deaths in 2018, a total of 9,378 people still lost their lives to this driving hazard, many of which were victims of other drivers’ speeding tendencies.

A September Speeding Accident

This past September, a six-vehicle crash left one person dead and at least three others injured on I-294. According to an ABC7 report, a Chevy Impala was allegedly driving at a high speed in the southbound lane when it lost control and swiped a car in the next lane over. The Impala then went airborne over the highway barrier, striking three other cars in the process. One of the injured passengers—a 64-year-old woman driving a Honda CRV—died after being transported to a nearby hospital, and four others suffered both major and minor injuries.

What Are the Consequences of Speeding?

According to data retrieved by the National Safety Council, those between the ages of 15 and 20 years old have the highest percentage of speeding drivers in fatal crashes, with males showing a higher tendency to speed. Because younger drivers have less driving experience and a higher tendency to speed, they are the ones who often experience these consequences first-hand. Driving over the speed limit is considered breaking the law, and depending on how fast the driver was moving among other circumstances, their penalties can range from a minor ticket to time behind bars. Aside from the legal repercussions that speeding drivers can face, there are a number of consequences that driving at high speeds can have on the driver and those around them, including the following:

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IL crash lawyerIf you are involved in any type of car accident, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your life. For instance, you may have the inconvenience of finding yourself suddenly without transportation and having to rent a vehicle while yours is in the repair shop to get to and from your job. In other scenarios, you can suffer serious injuries that require surgery or physical therapy to recover. Rear-end and head-on collisions can cause severe damages, and so can side-impact crashes, which are often referred to as “T-bone” accidents. These types of collisions can result in life-threatening to even fatal consequences even when traveling at slow speeds due to the location of the impact. In many cases, another driver may be held liable for causing a side-impact car accident due to his or her negligence.

T-Bone Crash Injuries

The most common body parts that victims of side-impact crashes hurt are the chest, head, abdomen, and pelvis. Since the impact of T-bone crashes occurs in close proximity to the driver or passenger, the impact can jerk the body around at a force strong enough to cause internal organ damage. In certain cases, signs and symptoms may be immediately noticeable, while it may take days or weeks to feel the full effect of an injury.

Here are typical injuries that occupants suffer when the vehicle in which they are riding is struck on the side:

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IL injury lawyerApril is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. National campaigns aimed at reducing the number of distracted driving incidents have recognized the seriousness of the issue. Distracted driving is defined as engaging in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road. This type of behavior behind the wheel has been shown to compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, pedestrians, as well as other motorists. According to the Illinois State Police, driver inattention is a factor in over one million car accidents in the United States each year.

Types of Distraction

There are three main types of distraction when it comes to driving:

  • Visual: Driver takes his or her eyes off the road
  • Manual: Driver takes his or her hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Driver takes his or her mind off of driving

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that when traveling at 55 mph, reading or sending a text message takes your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds, which is long enough for a car to cover the length of a football field. In these situations, it greatly reduces the driver’s stopping distance in the event the driver in front suddenly slows down or comes to a complete stop.

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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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