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The Chicago Department of Transportation released the traffic accident statistics for 2017, and they are not good news. The number of fatalities due to traffic crashes sharply increased from 2016 to 2017, indicating that the streets of Chicago are getting more dangerous. These dangers are not due to crime, but due to the everyday actions of drivers. The following are some statistics:

  • The total number of traffic-related fatalities in 2017 was 132, an increase from 119 in 2016
  • The number of occupants of cars who died in 2017 was 80, up from 63 in 2016
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Scaffolding is an integral part of many construction sites, elevating workers and materials during construction, maintenance, or repair projects. If you walk around downtown Chicago for just a few minutes, you will almost certainly see scaffolding on dozens of buildings. Unfortunately, when these structures fail, workers can sustain extremely serious injuries, including some that can result in permanent disabilities and long-term medical complications. Fortunately for people who are injured in scaffolding collapse accidents, Illinois law may entitle them to benefits or compensation for their injuries and other losses.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are dedicated to helping people injured in and around construction sites recover compensation. We thoroughly evaluate every case we handle and make sure that our clients get the full and fair value of their claim. To schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in Chicago, call our office today at (312) 924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Scaffolding Collapse Accidents Can Occur for a Number of Reasons

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Autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle technology has been making waves in the auto industry for a few years. From self-driving Ubers to self-driving commercial semi-trucks, many different companies are developing all types of vehicles with various features that eliminate the need for human operation. Not all self-driving cars are fully autonomous, however, as some vehicles have technologies that release human responsibility to varying degrees. One particular semi-autonomous vehicle has recently been in the news due to serious crashes while using the technology.

Tesla Under Investigation

Two models of Teslathe Model S and the Model Xare under investigation due to two separate crashes that occurred while the autopilot feature was engaged. Contrary to what you may believe, the autopilot feature is not fully autonomous and does not let a driver completely off the hook.

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Charter buses are convenient in many situations. Groups may rent a large bus to all travel together on excursions, to compete in athletic events, for social gatherings such as weddings, and more. Some people may also purchase tickets to ride charter buses as a form of long-distance transportation, as it can be more economical than flying, driving, or taking a train. While bus travel is known to be relatively safe, about 67,000 bus accidents happen each year, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If a bus accident causes you injuries, it is important to recognize the potential causes of the crash to determine liability for your injury-related losses.

Bus Driver Errors

While not every bus accident is the fault of the bus driver, driver error is a common cause of crashes and passenger injuries. Buses are commercial vehicles, so every driver must have a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) in order to operate any type of bus. Obtaining such a license involves taking a written test, passing a driving skills test, passing a medical examination, among other steps.

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The streets of Chicago can be chaotic, with streams of cars and pedestrians heading in every direction at nearly every hour of the day. Because of parking difficulties and often deadlocked traffic, many people choose to ride their bikes around the city. Biking is convenient and economical, but it can also be a dangerous prospect, especially in a city like Chicago.

The Chicago Department of Transportation recognizes the risks of biking in Chicago, particularly for children. Kids may not be aware of how to safely ride their bikes and parents may not understand how to fully teach their children. To help keep kids safe, the DOT provides information and guidance about bicycle safety for children. The following are some of the tips provided in these helpful materials.

When Riding on the Sidewalk

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Riding a bike is therapeutic for many people. It not only lets you enjoy the weather and scenery in Chicago, but also works your muscles and blood circulation. However, in many situations beyond your control, biking can result in a serious accident or even a fatality. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cyclists are more vulnerable to serious injuries—and fatalities—than people in other types of vehicles. This is mostly because cycling does not provide an exterior to protect the cyclist’s body from impacts. Because the biker is exposed to many dangerous injuries, it is extremely important to know your rights following an accident.

Step 1: Contact the Authorities ASAP

No one plans for an accident. It is normal to feel frazzled, confused, or overwhelmed following a crash. As a cyclist, your duties are similar to a driver in any other vehicle. Make sure to call the authorities as soon as possible. Safety should be your number one priority, as well as the safety of others. The adrenaline or shock from the accident can mislead you into thinking you are not injured and that you do not need to get yourself checked out. However, a lot of times due to the shock, the body does not experience symptoms from an accident until later. Calling 911 ensures emergency medical personnel are dispatched to assess and transport any injured individuals to the hospital, and ensures that traffic will be is diverted until the crash site can be cleared.

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If you have been involved in a traffic accident and suffered injuries, a number of questions immediately come to mind. Are you entitled to compensation? While your own insurance should cover the cost of your injuries, if you were not at fault in the accident it is possible that you might be entitled to compensation beyond what your own insurance might cover. What are the steps that you need to take to recover for those losses?

You may need legal assistance to pursue a claim for compensation. The complexity of the legal system makes it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue an injury claim without legal help. Pursuing compensation likely means that you will be going up against an insurance company for the other driver. You will be facing an insurance adjuster who is not on your side and has considerable experience in dealing with accident claims. You should have an experienced accident attorney on your side to guide you through the process. However, even before you retain an attorney, steps you can take include:

  • Get any necessary medical treatment: If you have been injured in a car accident, get any medical treatment you need, even if you don’t feel seriously hurt. If you delay treatment your injuries could get worse, and delay also makes it more difficult to prove that your injuries were a result of the traffic accident. If you receive treatment for your injuries but still have pain, follow up with another doctor to make sure you don’t have more long-lasting injuries.
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Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places. Construction workers are killed and injured on the job almost every day of the year. While employment in the construction industry accounts for only 4 percent of total employment, construction workers constituted 21 percent of workplace fatalities in 2015. Injuries also are more common in construction than any other industry — nearly 72,000 construction workers suffered on-the-job injuries in 2015. And in 2016, out of the 4,693 employee on-the-job deaths in private industry, 991 were in construction – once again, about 21 percent of all on-the-job fatalities in the private sector. In other words, one in five employees in the private sector who suffered a fatal accident on the job during 2016 was a construction worker.

Construction workers face tough odds when it comes to injuries. Almost all construction workers will suffer some sort of injury over the course of a career in construction, often more than one. The risks of on-the-job injuries for construction workers include:

  • Ten percent of construction workers are injured to some extent on the job every year.
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All too often, accidents cause broken bones. Serious fractures can end up costing thousands of dollars in treatment and lost work opportunities and should not be dismissed as minor injuries.

Broken bones commonly occur in traffic accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Symptoms of a broken bone can include:

  • Severe pain
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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal functions of the brain. A TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, but anyone who suspects they may be experiencing any degree of traumatic brain injury should seek immediate medical attention. TBIs may worsen if untreated and have a broad spectrum of symptoms with long-term and potentially deadly effects.

What Are the Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?

TBIs can result from many types of accidents or wrongful acts, including: