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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most adults, you probably do not get as much sleep as you wish you did. Whether it is a crying infant, noisy neighbor, early morning work meeting, or other factors, getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night can be a challenge. However, being sleep deprived can significantly lower concentration, attention, reaction time, and cognitive functioning. Because these are the exact skills needed to drive, sleep deprivation dramatically reduces a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The problem is so bad that one in five fatal car accidents are thought to involve a fatigued driver.

The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Driving Ability

By now, most people have heard about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and distracted driving. However, little attention is given to the hidden risks of fatigued driving. According to a study conducted by AAA, drivers who get one to two hours less than the recommended amount of sleep at night are twice as likely to be involved in a car accident. Divers who get three to four hours less than the recommended amount of sleep are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash. If a driver sleeps for less than 4 hours during a 24 hours period, he or she is an astounding 11.5 times likelier to be in a collision. The level of impairment caused by severe sleep deprivation is comparable to being over the legal blood alcohol (BAC) limit.

Personal Injury Claims Involving Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving

Getting behind the wheel when you are too sleepy to drive safely puts yourself and other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in danger. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident or truck accident caused by a sleep-deprived driver, you know just how dangerous drowsy driving can be. You or your loved one may have suffered severe injuries that required extensive medical treatment and time off of work. The financial losses incurred in the accident may have left you or your loved one nearly bankrupt. One option that may enable you to recover compensation for these and other damages is a car accident injury claim. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more.

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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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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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Lake County personal injury attorneysThere has been a sharp increase in the number of vehicles affected by safety recalls in recent years, not just in Illinois, but across the country. The number of such recalls sharply increased from almost 13 million recalls in 2011 to over 51 million in 2016. Vehicles are recalled if there is new information that shows a vehicle has a safety issue or problem that must be fixed. It is important to have the problem fixed because failure to do so can lead to a serious motor vehicle accident.

Vehicle Recall Procedures

A recall may be issued by an automaker on the manufacturer’s own initiative or by operation of law. A recall usually means that the vehicle in question has a design, production, or operation flaw. This decision is often based on the manufacturer’s own studies or data from accidents involving the vehicle subject to recall. The latter, meaning data from accidents, is gathered and shared by agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can order recalls without the manufacturers’ concurrence.

If a recall is ordered by the NHTSA, the manufacturer is required to send instructions on what should be done in a letter via first-class mail to all owners, dealers, and outlets which sold or is selling the vehicle subject to recall. The letter must also include directions for resolving the safety issue. Any required repairs must be offered at no expense to the owner.

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Lake County Car Accident Attorney

When you drive on 94 or 41, do you ever feel like you are dodging terrible drivers right and left? You may think your city has the worst drivers in America, but you would be wrong. The rates of car accident claims and hard-braking events are relatively low in most of the Chicago metropolitan area relative to the rest of the country, according to the Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report 2019. Five Chicago cities were included on this year’s ranking of 200 American cities, and you may be surprised to learn how they placed.

Among Illinois Large Cities, Rockford Has the Safest Drivers

Four Chicagoland cities placed in the top third for driver safety. Rockford ranked 32nd, with the average driver making an auto insurance claim every 10.9 years and experiencing 23.7 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven. For perspective, the national average is 10.6 years between claims and 19 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles driven. 

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