Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

Chicago’s roads and highways are some of the worst in the nation. Whether racing along the Kennedy Expressway or crawling down Michigan Avenue or Lake Shore Drive at noon, you run the risk of getting rear-ended by another driver who isn’t paying sufficient attention. Fortunately, you’re probably entitled to financial compensation for your injuries—but only if you can show the other driver is at fault for hitting you.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions

It’s a myth that the rear driver is always responsible for a rear-end collision. Instead, a driver who didn’t exercise sufficient care while following you may face legal responsibility. In some situations, the lead driver may have committed a careless act. For example, a driver might cut off a vehicle behind him and then slam on the brakes, not leaving enough time for the trailing vehicle to slow down or stop. In these situations, the lead driver might face liability for the accident.

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Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago
Every driver has become impatient with other traffic at some point—especially when in a hurry or running late. Most drivers manage to handle their impatience appropriately—but some become aggressive toward other drivers. Aggressive driving is a major problem on almost every roadway, and Chicago drivers are notorious for their often aggressive maneuvers, which can lead to accidents.

Aggressive driving, however, can reach another level—one that Illinois law defines as “road rage.” You have likely heard the term numerous times, but many people do not realize it is the name of a specific criminal offense in Illinois. Road rage is defined under the law as intentionally driving a car with malice in an unlawful way that puts other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians in danger.

Road rage not only distracts and intimidates others, it can result in actual harm. Road rage is possibly more common than you think, and you may risk injuries from a road rage accident any time you set out on the road.

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Car Accident Attorney in Chicago
You pass through numerous intersections every time you drive your vehicle. Because of the amount of activity in intersections—cars may pass straight through or turn, all supposedly timed and organized by traffic signs or signals, and pedestrians may also cross the street in various directions, directed by separate walk signals to which drivers may not pay close attention—collisions are quite common in these locations. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) specifically studies the causes of intersection crashes and publishes reports on its findings. Basic statistics include:

  • An estimated 36 percent of all collisions take place in intersections
  • Error on the part of one or more drivers causes 96 percent of intersection crashes
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DUI Lawyer in Chicago
Drunk drivers cause about 40 percent of deadly car accidents in Illinois. While every driver knows that drunk driving is not only illegal but extremely dangerous, impaired people continue to get behind the wheel every single day. Drunk driving increases during the holidays along with drunk driving accidents and injuries, so all people need to know what to do in the event that they are the victims of drunk driving crashes.

First, when you encounter a driver after a crash, make note of any signs of intoxication, including:

  • Slurred words
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Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

Illinois law bans almost all use of hand-held cell phones while operating motor vehicles. All drivers are banned from texting while driving, and teens 18 years old and younger are not even allowed to use hands-free devices while operating motor vehicles.

Illinois is among the growing ranks of states that ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. While supporters of such bans contend it reduces driver distractions, opponents counter that talking on hand-held cell phones is no less dangerous than fiddling with a car’s audio system, eating burgers, or even talking on hands-free cell phones. These opponents say it is up to drivers to make sure they are driving safely, not up to police to pull over and cite otherwise safe drivers spotted using hand-held cell phones. Nevertheless, it has been illegal since 2013 to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in Illinois.

Despite the push to regulate cell phone use on the roads, research is murky as to whether requiring hands-free devices make roads safer. Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is funded by the insurance industry, have found little difference between drivers who use hand-held cell phones and those who use hands-free devices.

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Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago

Car accidents can range from minor fender benders to devastating crashes. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, you understand that the consequences can be physically, emotionally, and financially overwhelming. When a car accident leads to permanent disabilities, however, the stakes can be even higher—and an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can help.

Car Accidents: The Statistics

The Association for Safe International Road Travel shares some startling statistics related to car crashes in the United States:

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Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago
We all know that distracted driving is dangerous. Technology, however, just keeps producing better and better distractions—often in the form of ever-more interactive smartphones and tablets—for today’s drivers. When you hit the road, always make safety your top priority by diligently avoiding distracted driving and by being alert to those distracted drivers with whom you might share the road.

Distracted Driving

A distracted driver cannot pay full attention to the driving task at hand. Dangerous situations on the road can arise in the blink of an eye, and if drivers are not fully engaged, the results can be tragic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that distracted drivers allow their attention to become engaged in any activity other than driving. The NHTSA divides these distractions into:

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Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
News reports have indicated that poor road design or conditions played a role in more than half of all fatal automobile accidents in the United States, resulting in more deaths than any other single factor, including speeding, drunk driving, and not using seat belts. Despite such a dramatic impact on traffic safety, state and local governments frequently do not correct road problems or warn drivers of the hazards ahead. These design and maintenance flaws—combined with a lack of warning of hazards ahead—can lead to serious traffic accidents.

When two cars are in an accident or one car is in a single-vehicle crash, it is easy to want to blame one or more of the drivers involved. However, crashes can still occur when all individuals operated their vehicles in a safe manner and followed all traffic laws. Sometimes, it is important to look beyond driver error and examine the roadway where the accident happened to determine liability. An experienced car accident lawyer will know to look at every possibility to identify the cause of your crash.

Common Road Hazards

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Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago

People should save their aggression for video games, because getting behind the wheel is never a good time to get aggressive. Safe driving demands that you obey the rules of the road with a cool head. Nevertheless, we encounter aggressive drivers every day on the streets of Chicago. Arm yourself with the facts, know the signs of aggressive driving, and have a safety plan for dealing with dangerous situations. If you do become injured due to an aggressive driver, seek qualified legal assistance as soon as possible.

Getting Aggressive in Illinois

Illinois law defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” In fact, aggressive driving can come in many forms (some of which you may not have even thought of as aggressive driving):

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Rear End Accident Lawyers in Chicago

According to a report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end crashes are the most frequently occurring type of collision. About 29 percent of all crashes are rear-end collisions. These crashes result in a substantial number of injuries and fatalities each year.

In fact, roughly 1.7 million rear-end collisions annually take place in the United States, in which about 1,700 people die and another 500,000 are injured. These numbers constitute a significant portion of highway accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Paying Attention to the Road Is Key