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Illinois snowmobile accident lawyersIllinois offers a great number of outdoor recreation opportunities. During the winter months, many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy climbing aboard a snowmobile and cruising off into the wintery landscape. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as snowmobiling is, it can often be equally as dangerous. Snowmobile accidents are relatively common, and many of these accidents result in severe injuries or even death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a snowmobile accident, you may have incurred significant medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. If the injury was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for these and other expenses related to the accident.   

Top Causes of Snowmobile Accidents

It is estimated that about 2 million people ride snowmobiles each year in the United States. Of these snowmobile drivers, about 14,000 will suffer an injury in a snowmobile crash. Snowmobile accidents often result in broken bones, back injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Sadly, it is estimated that about 200 people die in snowmobile accidents every year. Some of these accidents are caused by a snowmobile driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not skilled enough to safely maneuver the vehicle, or traveling at unsafe speeds for the terrain conditions. However, many snowmobile injuries are not the fault of the driver. In some cases, another party’s negligent actions or inaction are to blame for the driver’s injuries.

Determining Fault in a Snowmobile Crash

When another party’s negligence causes someone to be significantly injured, the responsible party may be held liable for the economic and noneconomic damages that result from the injury. Negligence occurs when a party’s recklessness, carelessness, or other wrongdoing causes another party harm. If your loved one was injured in a snowmobile collision and the other driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the other driver may be legally responsible for the damages caused. If a malfunctioning snowmobile or snowmobile part caused the accident, the manufacturer of the snowmobile or defective part may be to blame. Determining fault in a personal injury case can be challenging, so it is essential that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer if you think your accident could have been caused by another party’s negligence.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThese days, we use cell phones for almost everything that once required the use of a personal computer. Modern technology allows us to watch the news, check our bank account balance, and even shop for groceries all with our smartphone. Unfortunately, the increasing functionality of cell phones also means more opportunities for distracted driving. Texting and driving has long been a major concern, but now motorists and pedestrians must also worry about drivers scrolling through Facebook, taking pictures of themselves, or even watching Netflix while driving.

Distracted Driving Concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nine people are killed in accidents involving distracted driving every day in the U.S. and over 1,000 are injured. When cell phones first gained widespread popularity among the general public, the main concern was texting and driving. Today, there are many additional dangers. In one study, nearly 20 percent of drivers admitted to checking social media accounts while driving. Even more surprising, 8 percent of drivers admitted to watching videos while driving.

Some experts estimate that distracted driving has become an even graver concern than driving under the influence of alcohol. Many people assume that distracted driving refers only to cell phone use, but electronic devices are not the only distractions that can cause deadly car accidents. Anything that takes your hands off of the wheel, your eyes off of the road, or your attention away from driving constitutes distracted driving.  

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Lake County personal injury attorneysCar accidents injure approximately 3 million individuals in the United States every year. While many of these injuries are minor cuts and bruises, traffic accidents can also result in severe injuries that affect the injured person for many months or even years. Sadly, many of these serious car accidents are avoidable. They may be caused by a driver who is not paying attention to the road, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or worse, intentionally chooses to disobey traffic laws.

When a person knowingly drives in a way that puts the motorists, passengers, and pedestrians around him or her in danger, he or she may be charged with reckless driving. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident caused by reckless driving, a personal injury lawsuit may help you hold the reckless driver accountable for their wrongdoing.  

Illinois Law Regarding Reckless Driving

The Illinois Vehicle Code describes the crime of reckless driving. A person can be arrested and charged with reckless driving if he or she:

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Lake County personal injury attorneysImagine this scenario: You are invited by a neighbor to party at his house. As you are walking up the stairs to the bathroom, the handrail breaks, and you fall down the stairs. You are seriously hurt and require emergency surgery for a broken bone. In a situation such as this, who is responsible for the costs associated with your injury? Read on to learn about how a premises liability claim can help you pursue compensation after an injury on a private residence.

When is a Homeowner Liable for Injuries on His Property?

Many, if not most, premises liability cases hinge on the concept of negligence. A property owner is negligent when he or she fails to uphold a “duty of care” owed to guests. Illinois law says that property owners and occupiers must take reasonable steps to prevent guests to the property from being injured. If a property owner fails to maintain a reasonably safe home and a guest is injured as a result, the property owner could be liable for the expenses incurred by that injury. Examples of unsafe conditions which could result in a premises liability claim include but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate security
  • Poor lighting
  • Broken stairs or handrails
  • Slippery or icy walkways
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Broken flooring
  • Inadequate smoke detectors or fire extinguishers
  • Failure to property contain hazardous or toxic materials

If a property owner has an unsafe condition on his or her property, he or she has a duty to warn guests of this danger. For example, if a homeowner is doing construction in a certain part of the house and there are unsafe electrical hazards, he or she must tell guests so they can avoid these hazards.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe vast majority of personal injury cases revolve around the concept of negligence. The term "negligence" refers to a party’s failure to act with an appropriate level of care. Anyone driving on public roads has a duty to drive responsibility and avoid injuring other drivers or pedestrians. An individual who drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more is breaking the law by driving under the influence (DUI). If a drunk driver causes an accident in which someone was injured or killed, the driver can be considered “negligent per se” and held legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

Understanding Negligence Per Se

In a typical personal injury claim, the injured individual and his or her legal counsel have the burden of proving how the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the injury. Generally, to win a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show:

  • The defendant had a “duty of care” to the injured person.
  • The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care.
  • The plaintiff was injured.
  • The plaintiff’s injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to uphold his or her duty.

Personal injury claims involving illegal actions like driving under the influence of alcohol are slightly different. “Negligence per se” refers to actions which are negligent because they break the law. If you bring a personal injury claim under the umbrella of negligence per se, you must only prove that that defendant broke the law and that the violation of the law caused your injury. Under the doctrine of negligence per se, a defendant is considered negligent if the following elements are present:

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