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IL accident lawyerEveryone knows that speed limits are posted for a reason. The risk of a car accident resulting in serious injury or death increases as the speed of the vehicle increases. However, this does not stop a large percentage of drivers from driving above the speed limit.

Automotive technology has changed dramatically in recent decades. While self-driving cars are still a rare sight, more and more standard vehicles are coming equipped with technology like adaptive cruise control. Although this technology is intended to make driving safer, a recent study suggests that drivers are actually more likely to speed when their vehicle is equipped with this technology.

Safety Benefits May Be Overshadowed by Driver Negligence

Approximately three million people are injured in car accidents each year in the United States. These injuries incur more than $75 billion in medical bills and lost productivity. It is in everyone’s best interests for drivers to drive cautiously and follow traffic laws. Adaptive cruise control adjusts the vehicle’s distance from the vehicle in front of it and reduces the need for the driver to manually adjust the cruise control setting as traffic patterns change. Technology like adaptive cruise control and automatic lane-centering is designed to help drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, stay safe, however, it may have the opposite effect.

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IL accident lawyerWhen discussing the rights of those injured in auto accidents, we are often talking about injured drivers. However, passengers may sustain injuries that are just as severe if not more severe than drivers in a major collision. If you or a loved one were a passenger in a car accident, you may have questions about your rights. You may be facing significant medical expenses and other costs because of the accident and are curious about your options for seeking compensation. Personal injury claims involving injured passengers require the same basic elements as a case involving driver injuries but there may be additional considerations to think about.

When Do I Have a Claim?

A successful personal injury claim can enable someone to recover financial compensation for their medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, to be awarded a personal injury settlement or award, you and your lawyer will need to show that four main components are present:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  • The at-fault party breached the duty of care.
  • You sustained injuries in the accident.
  • Your injuries led to “damages” or financial losses.

How Can Liability or Fault Influence My Case?

Car accidents are most often caused by driver negligence. Drunk driving, distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and many other forms of negligent driving may have led to your accident. However, liability may also lie with a manufacturer of defective vehicle parts, the government entity that failed to maintain the road, a trucking company, or several other parties. Liability may also be shared by more than one party.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIt is against the law in Illinois, but it is not uncommon for a driver to drive through a steady red-light signal, and many drivers intentionally do so. This typically happens when a driver is in a hurry or the light abruptly turns red on them. Driving through a red light is dangerous as it can cause a car accident resulting in serious injuries or even death.

Illinois Law on Red Lights

Illinois law provides that a driver must come to a complete stop at a red traffic light. A driver must remain at a complete stop until an indication is given to proceed through the intersection, usually by a green light. If the driver’s intention is to turn right at the intersection, a driver facing a steady red-light signal may turn after stopping completely and ensuring that making the turn is safe. A driver can also proceed to turn left after stopping if he or she is on a one-way street and is turning left onto a one-way street.

However, a car facing a steady red arrow signal is not permitted to turn in the direction indicated by the red signal and must stop by a line marking the intersection stop point. If there is no such a stop line, a driver must still come to a complete stop before entering the intersection and remain stopped until the signal turns green.

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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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Waukegan Motor Vehicle Lawyer Head-on collisions between two cars are relatively rare compared to other types of car accidents, but they are much more likely to be fatal or cause serious injuries. In Lake County alone, there were 130 head-on collisions—more than two per week—in 2016, the latest year for which complete data is available. 10 of these crashes, 7.7 percent, resulted in a fatality. 33 of these crashes, 25 percent, resulted in serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention at a hospital emergency room. For perspective, there were 2.744 accidents where one vehicle was turning at the time of the crash. Just 0.5 percent of those crashes resulted in a fatality and 3.3 percent resulted in serious injuries.

Head-on collisions do not always involve another vehicle. They can also involve a car running into a tree or embankment. Out of 1,542 crashes involving a fixed object in Lake County in 2016, nine of them, 0.6 percent, resulted in a fatality and 64 of those crashes, 4.2%, resulted in serious injury.

Criminal Charges Help Support Claims for Damages

Excessive speed, improper lane usage, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and alcohol or drug impairment can all contribute to these types of crashes. When a driver is charged with a traffic violation in conjunction with an accident, that helps make the case that the driver was negligent and should be held responsible for financial damages to injured victims. A driver who was particularly reckless and caused a fatality can even be charged with the crime of reckless homicide. If the police do file criminal charges against the driver, that adds substantial weight to the passengers’ claims of negligence and their right for compensation.

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