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IL accident lawyerBy Illinois state law, you are obligated to file a police report if you get into a car accident that causes any type of injury or over $1,500 in property damage. That is enough of a reason to make sure you stick around after the crash to wait for the police unless your injuries indicate that you must be taken to the hospital right away. Aside from that, the police report may be absolutely vital to your claim. While quite a few people are understandably hesitant to interact with the police, it is important that you do not skip this step. A police report showing that you were not at fault for the accident can make or break your case when it comes time to seek damages. You have the option of calling a lawyer from the side of the road for further guidance.

Why is the Police Report so Important?

There are a number of reasons that people who have been hurt in a crash hesitate to call the police. However, failing to do so could make it very difficult for you to recover compensation. A police report can help your case in ways like:

  • Credibility - Right or wrong, courts tend to believe police officers. Having a neutral police officer document that they believe the other driver caused the accident can be enormously helpful. Your version of events and the other driver’s version of events may be wildly different. Whoever the police agree with is likely to succeed in court.
  • Less suspicion - If you fail to call the police after getting hurt in a crash, the court is going to wonder why. Failing to bring the police out to the accident scene can make the court believe that you are hiding something. It could open the door for speculation about why you did not want the police to come. The more the other driver protests your plan to call the police, the more you need them.
  • Prompt investigation - Police can respond quickly after an accident has occurred. This means that they can investigate before the accident scene is disturbed. They can document physical evidence like tire tracks, the positioning of the crashed vehicles, and where vehicle debris landed. These types of evidence may no longer be available by the time you are able to dispatch an attorney.

While dealing with the police always carries some level of risk, you are far better off allowing them to come investigate and take a report after an accident.

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IL injury lawyerFrom the moment you make it out of your crashed vehicle up until you have received your settlement, everything you do following a car accident could be important. In most cases, you are not dealing with the driver who hit you - you are dealing with their insurance company. Insurance representatives are trained to save their company money, not to make sure that people their clients carelessly injure get a fair deal. Saying or doing the wrong thing could ultimately hurt your case. Anything from an off-handed remark to a witness on the side of the road to a badly-worded social media post could ultimately cause you to lose out on part of the compensation you deserved. The best thing you can do after a serious motor vehicle accident is to call a lawyer sooner rather than later, and then follow their advice.

Actions to Avoid After Being Injured in a Traffic Accident

What you do not do is often just as important as what you do. If you were injured in a car accident, you should not:

  • Leave the scene - It does not matter how minor you think the accident was - you must stay there until police or first responders say otherwise. You do not want to discover several days later that your injuries were more severe than you initially thought when it is too late to have an officer investigate the scene. Leaving prematurely could also land you in legal hot water, even if you are not the one who caused the crash.
  • Post on social media - A social media post about the accident could be turned against you. Update your loved ones through more old-fashioned means until your case resolves.
  • Get aggressive - At best, getting into an altercation with the at-fault driver is entirely unhelpful. At worst, it could lead to you being arrested. It is better to remain as calm as you can until you are able to get away and contact an attorney.
  • Downplay what happened - There is such thing as being too polite after an accident. While you should not get into an argument, you also should not say things like, “it was only a light tap,” or “I am alright, do not worry.” The insurance company could use statements like these to accuse you of exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
  • Talk to insurance - The only thing you should tell the at-fault driver’s insurance company is how to get in touch with your attorney.

This can all be a lot to keep track of at what is often a very difficult time, but avoiding these few mistakes can help preserve your claim.

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IL injury lawyerWhen your child waves goodbye and climbs onto their school bus in the morning, you expect that they are going to make it to school and back safely. After all, school bus drivers know that they are carrying precious cargo. You would think that the safety training school bus drivers undergo would prevent most accidents and injuries, but this is not always the case. Just like city bus drivers, school bus drivers sometimes drive carelessly. Even if the bus driver did nothing wrong, issues like poor maintenance or other drivers can still cause accidents that injure children. Having a child get injured in a school bus crash or other accident can feel like a nightmare come true for many parents. If your family has experienced this disaster, you should turn to a skilled attorney for help securing compensation on your child’s behalf.

What Are the Most Common Causes of School Bus Accidents?

You would expect that at a minimum, the person tasked with driving groups of children to school each day would be well-trained and sober. You would also expect that the bus carrying your child is in good condition. You may be surprised to learn that common causes of school bus accidents include:

  • Driver intoxication - While is it rather rare for a school bus driver to be drunk very early in the morning, it is less uncommon for a driver to be using illicit stimulants. Like some long-distance truck drivers, some school bus drivers will use drugs with the false belief that the effects will keep them awake and alert. Instead, it makes them more likely to crash.
  • Poor training - While all school bus drivers have undergone some form of specialized training, these training programs are often not as thorough or intensive as they should be. Many school bus accidents are caused by a driver being put into a situation they have not been properly trained to handle.
  • Other traffic - Even the best school bus driver in the world could still get into a crash caused by another, more careless, driver. It is surprisingly common for school buses to be rear-ended by drivers who were distracted and failed to notice the bus stopping.
  • Maintenance - It generally falls to the county or school district to make sure that all school buses are well-maintained and safe to ride in. However, school bus maintenance issues do sometimes fall through the cracks. Anything from brake failure to a tire blowout can become very dangerous to the occupants.
  • Distraction - As you can imagine, driving a bus full of young children can be extremely distracting. However, drivers are expected to have control over their passengers.

These are just a few of the most common causes of school bus accidents. Your attorney will want to investigate to determine what type of negligence - and on whose part - caused the accident.

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Il injury lawyerChicago plans to bring several thousand electric scooters to city streets this spring. Scooters can help reduce traffic congestion, decrease the burden on public transportation, and even cut down on pollution. However, these scooters also have drawbacks. Scooter-related injuries can occur from collisions between scooters and motor vehicles, trip and fall accidents caused by discarded scooters, and injuries from falling off of the scooters.

When the Chicago scooter pilot program first launched in 2019, many people voiced concerns about safety issues. Steps have since been taken to reduce the chances of scooter-related injuries, but it is still unclear if enough action has been taken to address electric scooter dangers.

Are Electric Scooters Safe?

Scooters are fun, affordable, and more environmentally friendly than cars. However, scooters also present hazards to riders, motorists, and pedestrians. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), emergency room visits caused by accidents involving scooters and other micro-mobility products have increased 70 percent in the last few years. Even more concerningly, more than one-third of these emergency room visits were for head injuries.

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IL injury lawyerAmericans eat out more now than they ever have and that trend seems likely to continue. While the vast majority of restaurant visits are safe, restaurants have many potential hazards that can result in serious personal injury. Even with the best care, not all of these injuries can be prevented; however, negligence on the part of a restaurant owner, manager, or staff can cause injuries that could have been avoided with proper care. If you were hurt as a customer or visitor at a Waukegan restaurant because of conditions caused by a restaurant’s failure to meet the duty of care they owe their patrons, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer.

What Are the Most Common Restaurant Injuries?

A surprising variety of injuries can occur at a restaurant, both in and around the premises. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Slips from spilled food and drink
  • Falling downstairs
  • Uneven pavement
  • Cuts from broken glass or ceramic
  • Burns
  • Food poisoning
  • Inadequately lit parking lots
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dangerous actions by employees, such as assault

A restaurant is responsible for providing a duty of care to visitors, which means they must keep the premises safe and clean. Even if someone is merely using the bathroom in the restaurant and is not actually purchasing food or drink, the restaurant still owes this duty of care. If a hazard exists, such as a wet floor, and cannot be immediately remedied, a restaurant must warn visitors of the hazard. Poor maintenance, inadequate supervision of the premises, and even failure to conduct appropriate background checks on employees can make a restaurant liable for injuries that occur on-site.

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