Articles Tagged with Chicago Car Accident Attorney

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In congested traffic, the odds of a rear-end collision substantially increase. There are more drivers stuck in a smaller area. Not only is it more difficult to predict what those drivers are going to do, it can be difficult to maneuver in tight traffic. A moment’s distraction or inattention, and bang! Suddenly, you’re the victim of a rear-end collision. How do you proceed from here? What’s the right process after you’ve been rear-ended, especially in tight or congested traffic? While working with a qualified attorney is the most effective way to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process, it’s important to proceed carefully in the initial stages after the accident.

What to Do If You’ve Been Rear-Ended

You were stuck in traffic, unable to move forward. Suddenly, a jolt hit you from behind. You’ve been rear-ended. Now what? There are several key steps that you should take immediately after your accident.

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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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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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If you travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, as many people do, you need to exercise caution. While the days are longer with the onset of summer, and driving conditions are far better than during the winter months, there are good reasons to exercise caution during your Memorial Day weekend road trip. Better driving conditions, a three-day weekend, and hopefully good weather present an almost-irresistible combination to take to the road to seek out a sunny waterfront destination, such as a lake, river or beach.

While conditions for driving are generally good over Memorial Day weekend, the holiday tends to bring out a greater number of drivers under the influence of alcohol. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, drunk drivers are responsible for almost twice as many traffic fatalities during the summer months as during the entire rest of the year. Young drivers without much experience, especially teen drivers, are at even greater risk.

Memorial Day Weekend Is Especially Deadly

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Medical marijuana became legal in the State of Illinois on January 1, 2014. However, it is important to note that Illinois law applies strict regulations for using medical marijuana, especially when it comes to driving under the influence.

Driving while drugged can significantly alter the driver’s perceptions and reaction times, leading to serious accidents and catastrophic injuries. If you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drugged driver, a lawyer can determine whether or not you are eligible to recover monetary compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. may be able to represent you in your case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Driving While Under the Influence of Medical Marijuana

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Under Illinois law, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more. In fact, it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol generally, so it is possible to face DUI charges with a BAC of less than .08. Of course, these limits apply everyone on the road – including people who drive others for money.

Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ridesharing companies around. These companies have virtually cornered the market when it comes to inexpensive, reliable, and safe transportation. This is especially true for individuals who are traveling to and from airports, train stations, and other transportation centers. Uber riders can download an app onto their iPhones and other smart devices and when using the Uber app, a rider can request and pay for rides and keep track of a driver’s physical location at all times. Riders are also told the amount of their fare and can store their payment information online for added convenience.

Despite the advantages and convenience that ridesharing companies like Uber have offered consumers, there are always risks associated with getting from place to place – such as drunk or drugged drivers. Impaired drivers are at an increased risk of involvement in motor vehicle accidents, and, in the event that they are, serious injuries and damages may result to everyone in the vehicle. In these cases, several individuals, companies, and/or insurance companies may share in the potential liability to the injured passenger or passengers.

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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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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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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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In the classic car accident scene, one vehicle crashes into another and either one or both parties are at fault. However, many traffic-related accidents involve only one vehicle. A single-car accident can occur after a road departure, rollover, collision with a median or object, or a variety of other dangerous circumstances. Single-car accidents can be just as devastating as accidents involving multiple vehicles, and occupants of the car can sustain serious injuries.

Many people may assume that a driver who crashed independently did so because of a mistake. While this may be the case in some collisions, not every single-car accident is caused by the driver. The following examples demonstrate how third parties can cause single-car accidents.

Dangerous Drivers