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Waukegan car accident lawyerIn Illinois, it is unlawful to drive without auto insurance. Motorists are expected to carry their insurance cards at all times and may be asked by police officers to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident. Unfortunately, some people do not take this requirement seriously and choose to drive without insurance. If you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may be worried about how you will recover compensation for your losses. Fortunately, there may be a way to recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses even if the other driver does not have insurance.

Car Accidents Involving Uninsured Motorists

An uninsured motorist claim arises when a driver without insurance causes an accident thorough negligence or wrongdoing. Uninsured motorist claims often involve an at-fault driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly, or was too preoccupied with a cell phone or other distraction to drive safely. Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents may also involve an uninsured motorist. In many cases, an uninsured motorist claim results from a hit and run. The uninsured driver is likely fearful of the consequences of driving and injuring someone without insurance, which is why he or she fled the scene of the accident. If the at-fault driver in a hit and run cannot be identified, there is no way to seek compensation from his or her insurance company. Underinsured motorist accidents involve an at-fault driver who has auto insurance that does not cover the damages caused in the accident.

Bringing a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company

Car insurance companies in Illinois are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UMI). If you have purchased “full coverage” auto insurance, you also receive UMI. An uninsured or underinsured driver claim is brought against your own auto insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for offering payouts that do not even come close to compensating an injured person for his or her losses. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, do not settle for partial compensation. Speak to a personal injury attorney who can advocate on your behalf and get you the full compensation you need and deserve in order to properly recover.

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Wheaton personal injury lawyerThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that over 32,000 people are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States and approximately 2 million are injured. Although we rarely think about it, getting into a car is statistically one of the most dangerous things most people do on a daily basis. Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, much of the country has been ordered to stay at home during the last few months. While many states saw a decrease in serious motor vehicle accidents during quarantine, Illinois surprisingly had more fatal auto accidents in March than in the months preceding the quarantine.  

Increases in Speeding and Reckless Driving 

For much of the beginning of 2020, most nonessential employees were furloughed and asked not to come into work. A large percentage of workers were also required to work from home. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses closed their doors to customers in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic. Since so many people were staying home due to the quarantine, most would expect the frequency of fatal auto accidents to decrease. Indeed, some states did see a major decrease in roadway deaths. For example, fatal auto accidents were down 32 percent in Hawaii and down 28 percent in Iowa. However, Illinois experienced an 11 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents in March of this year. The National Safety Council has speculated that although the roads are emptier, they are more deadly. This may be due to an increase in speeding, reckless driving, and violation of other traffic laws as a response to fewer cars on the road.

What To Do If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Car Accident

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you are likely unsure of what to do next. You may be burdened not only by your personal loss but also by significant financial stress. Your loved one may have required expensive emergency room treatment and hospitalization between the accident and his or her death. You may also be struggling without the financial support your loved one provided. If your loved one’s death was the result of a negligent driver, a wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your losses. You could be compensated for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost income, and more.

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Waukegan car accident lawyerAmericans overwhelmingly do not get as much sleep as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours a night. However, busy work schedules, child care tasks, and other responsibilities often take precedence over sleep. The CDC estimates that 38 – 44 percent of Illinois adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, their brain is not functioning at an optimal level. This is why fatigue is such a large contributor to injury-causing car accidents.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Sleep deprivation can cause memory issues, difficulties with concentration and problem-solving, and slowed reaction times. Some sleep-deprived individuals even experience episodes of “microsleep” where they fall asleep for a few seconds without even realizing it. This makes drowsy driving extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drug use can significantly exacerbate the dangers of sleepiness behind the wheel. Shockingly, one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Drowsy Driving

Although driving while fatigued is not against the law like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, a fatigued driver may still be at fault for a car accident if his or her sleepiness contributed to the accident. Through a personal injury claim, an individual injured in a drowsy driving accident could be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. An accident victim may receive compensation for his or her medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and much more. However, in order to collect compensation, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove that the sleepy driver’s actions caused the accident. Proving fault in a car accident is often a very difficult task. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Demonstrating that a drowsy driver’s actions led to an accident may involve analysis of physical evidence as well as testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, engineers, and doctors.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIn Illinois, individuals who are hurt in auto accidents caused by recklessness or intentional wrongdoing may choose to bring a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident. Often, people assume that car accident injury claims are brought by an injured driver against another driver. However, the claimant in a personal injury case may be an injured driver, passenger, or a pedestrian. A passenger hurt in an accident may bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver even if the at-fault driver was operating the vehicle the passenger was riding in. If you or a loved one were hurt in an auto accident caused by negligence, read on to learn about your right to pursue compensation.

Who is Liable for an Injury-Causing Accident?

Traffic accidents are rarely black and white. There may be a number of factors that led to the accident. Driver inattention, speeding or violation of traffic laws, driving under the influence of alcohol, hazardous weather conditions, and many other elements could all contribute to a serious wreck. It is also possible that more than one person’s actions may have contributed to the accident. 

If you were hurt while riding in a vehicle and the driver of the vehicle you were in is considered to be the at-fault party, you may be hesitant to file a personal injury lawsuit. The at-fault driver may be a good friend, colleague, or even a family member. However, it is essential to understand that an injury claim is not a personal attack on the at-fault driver. In the majority of personal injury claims, the injured party is bringing the claim not against the actual person but against his or her insurance company.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of U.S. adults are sleep-deprived on a regular basis. Experts suggest that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night, but many of us are getting far less than that. Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on concentration, reaction time, and coordination. Driving while sleep-deprived dramatically increases a person’s chances of being involved in an auto accident. According to research from AAA, missing just one or two hours of sleep doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a car crash.

Drowsy Driving Thought to Be a Factor in 20 Percent of Fatal Car Accidents

When a driver is too tired to drive safely, he or she does not only put his or her own life at risk, he or she also endangers the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Sleep-deprived truck drivers are especially worrisome. Although federal law mandates that truck drivers get a certain amount of sleep and take regular rest breaks on the road, many drivers do not adhere to these standards. Drivers may be expected to meet tight deadlines and may therefore skip sleep in order to meet these deadlines. Some truck drivers and trucking companies even falsify log books in order to conceal the fact that truck drivers drive while dangerously sleep-deprived.

Lawsuits Involving Sleep-Deprived Drivers

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving a driver who fell asleep at the wheel or was too sleepy to drive safely, you may be considering bringing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Proving that a driver was too sleepy to drive safely can be difficult, but a personal injury lawyer can help. A lawyer can examine evidence, collaborate with experts such as accident reconstructionists, interview witnesses, and take other steps to gather support for your claim. Though a personal injury lawsuit you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you experienced as a result of the accident including compensation for medical bills, lost income, future medical costs, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more.

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