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Posted on in Accident Liability

IL accident lawyerIllinois winters offer a variety of recreational opportunities including skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. While snowmobiles can be an exciting and fun mode of transportation, snowmobile accidents can cause serious injuries. If you or a loved one were harmed in a snowmobile accident, you may wonder who is legally responsible for the accident. Often, the question of liability in a snowmobile accident hinges upon negligence. If your snowmobile accident was caused by the negligent actions of another party, you may have a valid personal injury claim. You could be entitled to damages.

Snowmobile Injuries Caused by Negligence

Thousands of snowmobile accidents happen in the United States each winter. It is estimated that accidents involving snowmobiles result in 14,000 injuries and 200 deaths each year. Snowmobile accidents can lead to fractures, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and other catastrophic injuries. These injuries may leave a snowmobile accident victim disabled or disfigured for the rest of his or her life. Many snowmobile accidents are preventable. Some snowmobile accidents are caused by snowmobile drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other times, driver inexperience or inattention causes an accident. Snowmobile accidents may also be caused by poorly maintained trails or paths. Manufacturing defects within the vehicle itself may also be to blame for an accident.

Determining Who is Liable for a Snowmobile Accident

If another party’s negligent or illegal actions caused your accident, you may be entitled to damages. However, you and your attorney will need to prove that the party’s actions were negligent and that this negligence led to your injuries. The liable party may be the company that designed, manufactured, or sold the snowmobile. Liability may also fall to the owner of the snowmobile or the party who was in charge of keeping the vehicle maintained. Another snowmobile driver, a driver of another type of vehicle, or the owner of the property on which you were riding may also be liable for your accident. It is possible that you share liability for your own accident. Fortunately, Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you may still be able to recover damages even if you share fault for the accident.

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IL injury lawyerMany parents struggle to find the balance between being too strict and too lenient when it comes to parenting their child. Some parents allow their child a few sips of alcohol before they are old enough to drink legally while others prohibit underage drinking entirely. In Illinois, supplying a minor with alcohol is not only a question of morality, but also legality. A parent who supplies alcohol to a minor may be held liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the minor’s intoxication. This “social host liability law” often applies to damages caused in a drunk driving accident but it may also apply to injuries and deaths involving fireworks, slip and fall accidents, or alcohol poisoning.

Illinois Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act of 2004

On June 15, 1997, a 16-year old was encouraged by two young adults to consume an entire bottle of potent Goldschlager liquor. The teen began vomiting profusely and quickly fell unconscious. She eventually passed away from alcohol poisoning. The teenager’s mother brought a wrongful death claim against the adults who encouraged her to drink but the claim was dismissed by the circuit court of Cook County. As a result, Illinois passed the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. Under this act, an individual over 18 years of age who serves alcohol to a minor can be held legally responsible for injuries or property damage caused by the minor’s impairment.

The Illinois Liquor Control Act also includes a section addressing adults who provide minors with alcohol. Under the Liquor Control Act, a person over 21 years old who purchases or rents a hotel room or other commercial property for the purpose of underage drinking may be liable for injuries caused by the underage drinkers’ intoxication.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysElectric scooters can be fun, cost-effective means of travelling. Unfortunately, these scooters can also be dangerous for both scooter riders and other people. Since electric scooters started increasing in popularity, emergency rooms have seen more and more scooter-related injuries. Scooters that are used improperly or left in walkways or sidewalks can be a hazard for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. If you have been injured because of a negligent scooter driver, you may be curious as to whether you can bring a personal injury claim for damages. Liability for scooter-related accidents can be tricky, so it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to get the help you need.

Scooters Can Cause Serious Injuries to Non-Riders

Ten e-scooter vendors distributed scooters throughout Chicago last summer as part of a pilot program. A survey was conducted to learn residents’ opinions about the influx of scooters. While 84 percent of scooter riders supported continuing the program, interestingly, only 21 percent of non-riders wanted the program to continue.

Although the survey respondents did not have the opportunity to list reasons for their opinions, it is very possible that many individuals opposed to the scooter program have concerns about the scooters being a hazard on roads and sidewalks. Unfortunately, some scooter drivers do not take this obligation seriously and drive in an irresponsible or reckless manner. Scooter drivers may also leave scooters in walkways where they present a falling hazard to pedestrians or bicyclists.

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Lake County accident liability attorneysConcerns about the coronavirus have caused many grocery store items to be much scarcer than they normally are. Items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bleach are flying off shelves minutes after being stocked. Store parking lots across the country are packed with hurried customers stocking up on supplies, so the risk of parking lot car accidents is especially troubling. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot, you may wonder who is legally responsible for the accident.

Liability in Parking Lot Car Accidents

Some people assume that parking lots are basically free-for-all zones which are outside the bounds of traffic laws. However, parking lots do have right-of-way rules that drivers are expected to follow. When drivers disregard these rules, serious vehicle or pedestrian collisions can occur. The two main types of parking lot lanes are feeder lanes and thoroughfare lanes. Feeder lanes are the smaller lanes between rows of parking spaces and thoroughfares are the wider lanes that typically exit to the main street. Drivers in thoroughfares usually have the right-of-way. However, regardless of the type of lane, all drivers must yield to approaching vehicles and pedestrians. Anyone entering or exiting a parking space is expected to yield to pedestrian and vehicle traffic around them and only move the vehicle if the coast is clear. If a driver causes an accident because he or she disregarded right-of-way rules, it is likely that this driver will be liable for the damages caused in the accident.

Common Issues That Lead to Parking Lot Accidents

Distracted driving is a major problem in parking lots. Children in the backseat, cell phones, GPS systems, the radio, or other distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road and can cause him or her to make dangerous mistakes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and inexperienced drivers are also responsible for a large percentage of parking lot accidents. Most of the time, if a driver strikes another vehicle that is legally parked, the driver of the moving vehicle is at fault. If both cars were moving at the time of the accident, fault may lie with one or both drivers depending on the circumstances of the accident. It is important to note that in Illinois, a person who is injured or suffers property damage in a car accident may still be eligible for limited compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysIn order to reach the emergency as soon as possible, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles may run red lights and drive in ways typically not permitted by law. Loud sirens and flashing lights alert the surrounding motorists to move over and make way for the emergency vehicle. While most motorists see the warning signs and safely move out of the way of  approaching emergency vehicles, others are not able to avoid the emergency vehicle and a collision occurs. A motorist may also hit something else while attempting to avoid an emergency vehicle.

Illinois Laws Regarding First Response Vehicles

Moving out of the way of first response vehicles is not only common sense, it is also mandated by law. Drivers are required to yield to any authorized emergency vehicle that is signaling an emergency. The driver is expected to pull over to the right side of the road and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes or the police directs the motorists to proceed.

Another law mandating motorists’ behavior with regard to first response vehicles is the “Move Over” law. The Move Over Law requires motorists to reduce speed, change lanes, and proceed with due caution when they approach an emergency vehicle stopped along the road. The law is also called “Scott’s Law” in memory of the death of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. Lieutenant Gillen was struck and killed by a drunk driver while providing aid at an accident site.

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