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IL accident lawyerAccording to recent estimates, more than 10 percent of Illinois drivers lack the liability insurance required by state law. When one of these uninsured drivers causes a car accident resulting in property damage—or worse, bodily injury—it can make the process of recovering compensation more difficult for the victims. Fortunately, Illinois government is taking steps to address the problem of uninsured drivers, including implementing a new electronic verification system to identify drivers who violate the state’s mandatory car insurance laws.

How Does the Car Insurance Verification System Work?

The Illinois Secretary of State’s new Illinois Insurance Verification System (ILIVS), goes into effect on July 1, 2021. All vehicles registered in Illinois will be subject to at least two annual checks, conducted at random intervals throughout the year, to determine whether they are covered by an active liability insurance policy. The verifications will be conducted automatically using records from auto insurance providers throughout the state.

If the office of the Secretary of State is unable to verify a vehicle’s insurance coverage automatically, the driver will be sent a letter requiring them to provide proof of insurance coverage within 30 days. If the driver cannot furnish proof, the vehicle’s registration will be suspended, and the driver will not be legally permitted to drive it until they obtain liability insurance and pay a reinstatement fee of $100.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_rear-end-crash_20210606-173800_1.jpgFor many employees, driving is an important part of their work responsibilities. Commercial truck drivers, delivery drivers, employees who travel between work sites, and even employees who occasionally run errands for their employer during the workday will often find themselves on the road, and this comes with exposure to the risk of serious injury in a motor vehicle accident. If you are injured while driving for work, it is important to understand your options for recovering compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Through Your Employer

In many cases, a person who is injured in an accident while driving for work is entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits through their employer. Workers’ compensation claims do not require a demonstration of fault or negligence on the part of your employer, but in order to be eligible for benefits, the following must be true:

  • You must be classified as an employee, rather than as an independent contractor.
  • The injury must have occurred during the course of your work. Usually, this excludes accidents that occur during the commute to and from work.
  • The injury must not have been the result of your intoxication or a serious criminal violation on your part.

If you are approved for workers’ compensation, the benefits will cover all medical expenses related to your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could also qualify for temporary or permanent disability benefits to compensate for a portion of your lost wages.

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IL injury lawyerThe recent death of 32-year-old “School of Rock” actor Kevin Clark in a Chicago bicycle accident is a sobering reminder of the tragic consequences that bicyclists can face when they are hit by a motor vehicle. Each year in Illinois, more than 2,000 bicyclists are injured in car crashes, and unfortunately, some of them do not survive. You should be sure to take all reasonable safety precautions whenever you travel by bicycle, as well as be aware of what you can do if you or a loved one is seriously injured.

Promoting Bicycle Safety in Illinois

As a bicyclist, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from injury in a collision with a car or motor vehicle. These include:

  • Wearing a helmet - Helmets are not legally required for bicyclists in Illinois, but those who wear them are up to 85 percent more likely to avoid a traumatic brain injury.
  • Staying visible - Brightly colored clothing, lights, and reflectors all help make bicyclists more visible to drivers. This is especially important when you are biking at night or early in the morning.
  • Following traffic laws - Biking in the same direction as vehicle traffic, using hand turn signals, and obeying signs and signals at intersections can help you more safely share the road with motor vehicles.
  • Giving space to parked cars - A common cause of bicycle accidents is “dooring,” which happens when the door of a parked car opens into the path of a bicycle. Leaving a few feet of space between yourself and cars parked on the side of the road can help you avoid this.
  • Avoiding high-traffic areas - Serious bike accidents are far more common in urban areas. If you can avoid areas with excessive vehicle traffic, you may be more likely to avoid injury.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims for Bicyclists

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are sometimes inevitable because of a driver’s negligence, whether due to drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, or some other cause. If you are injured by a negligent driver, you should start working with an attorney as soon as possible to build a strong case for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you lose a close family member in a fatal bicycle accident, you may also be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver through a wrongful death claim.

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IL injury lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer, parents and child care providers will likely be spending more time outside with children, including on the many playgrounds throughout Illinois. Playground equipment can be a great way to keep children active and entertained, but unfortunately, it can also lead to injuries, some of which are serious. If your child is injured on a piece of playground equipment, it may be possible to recover compensation if there is evidence of negligence that contributed to their injuries.

Common Cause of Playground Injuries Among Children

Children can be injured on playground equipment in many different ways. Some common causes and contributing factors in playground injuries include:

  • Lack of proper supervision - Without a responsible adult keeping watch, children can easily injure themselves even on reasonably safe equipment.
  • Falls - Children using swings, slides, jungle gyms, and other equipment are often high off the ground, and if they fall, they can suffer broken bones, concussions, and other injuries.
  • Sharp edges - Especially with playground equipment made from wood or metal, sharp points, edges, or protruding parts can cause puncture and laceration wounds if children step on them or run into them.
  • Loose or rusted parts - Unsecured or weakened parts can cause equipment to break while in use and create an immediate injury risk.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

Some playground injuries are truly accidents, but in many cases, one or more parties are liable due to their failure to ensure the equipment is safe. Depending on the circumstances, negligent parties could include:

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IL accident lawyerAccording to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2019, more than 30 people died and more than 1,700 were injured in work zone car accidents. Drivers, passengers, and road workers are all at risk of injury in a work zone crash, and in many cases, the resulting injuries are severe and life-altering. In order to recover fair compensation for your injuries, it is important to understand how liability is determined in these accidents.

Possible Liable Parties

Depending on the circumstances leading to a crash in a work zone, a variety of parties could be found negligent. These include:

  • Drivers involved in the accident - As with most car accidents, negligent drivers are the most common at-fault parties in work zone crashes. Although work zones may present more accident risks, drivers are responsible for reasonably considering those risks and adapting their behavior accordingly. If a driver fails to reduce their speed or stay alert to lane shifts, construction barricades, and workers on the road, they can be liable for resulting injuries.
  • Construction workers - Workers are often the victims of road work accidents, but in some cases, they can be the cause. They may be liable if an accident happens because they do not perform their duties according to safety standards; for example, if a poorly operated piece of machinery impedes the roadway without warning.
  • Organizations responsible for the road work - Contractors and local or state governments who oversee road construction projects can be at fault for work zone accidents if they fail to ensure that the work zone is reasonably safe or display proper warnings to approaching vehicles.
  • Equipment manufacturers - Some work zone accidents are caused by machinery, equipment, or construction vehicles that malfunction or break down when traffic is present. In these cases, the manufacturer can be liable due to a defect that could have reasonably been prevented.

If you are injured in a work zone accident, an attorney can help you investigate the crash to determine the root cause, and from there, identify the party or parties that are at fault. You are entitled to compensation from any negligent party that contributed to your injuries. This can include payment of your medical bills, as well as compensation for lost income and pain and suffering in the case of long-term or life-altering injuries.

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