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Waukegan drunk driving accident attorneysDriving under the influence of alcohol is against the law in all 50 U.S. states, but, unfortunately, many people choose to drive while intoxicated anyway. Sadly, nearly 30 people die every day in the U.S. in alcohol-related traffic accidents and many more are seriously injured. If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your options for compensation.  

When is an Intoxicated Driver At-Fault for an Accident?

The majority of personal injury claims involve a party who was negligent or reckless in some way. It is typically up to the claimant and his or her attorney to prove that the responsible party’s negligence caused the claimant’s damages. However, in most drunk driving accidents, the intoxicated driver faces criminal DUI charges and could be presumed to have been negligent. If the person who hit you was arrested, charged with, and convicted of DUI, the presumption is created that the driver was acting negligently. You will only need to prove that he or she violated a public safety statute that is intended to protect you and that this violation caused your injuries. It is important to note that a successful personal injury claim is still possible even if the driver was not formally charged with driving under the influence.

What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

The term “damages” is used to describe the compensation awarded to injured people and their families in a personal injury case. If you were seriously hurt in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your emergency room/hospital bills, ongoing and future medical treatment, lost income, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, as well as compensation for your own losses.

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Lake County accident liability attorneysConcerns about the coronavirus have caused many grocery store items to be much scarcer than they normally are. Items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bleach are flying off shelves minutes after being stocked. Store parking lots across the country are packed with hurried customers stocking up on supplies, so the risk of parking lot car accidents is especially troubling. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot, you may wonder who is legally responsible for the accident.

Liability in Parking Lot Car Accidents

Some people assume that parking lots are basically free-for-all zones which are outside the bounds of traffic laws. However, parking lots do have right-of-way rules that drivers are expected to follow. When drivers disregard these rules, serious vehicle or pedestrian collisions can occur. The two main types of parking lot lanes are feeder lanes and thoroughfare lanes. Feeder lanes are the smaller lanes between rows of parking spaces and thoroughfares are the wider lanes that typically exit to the main street. Drivers in thoroughfares usually have the right-of-way. However, regardless of the type of lane, all drivers must yield to approaching vehicles and pedestrians. Anyone entering or exiting a parking space is expected to yield to pedestrian and vehicle traffic around them and only move the vehicle if the coast is clear. If a driver causes an accident because he or she disregarded right-of-way rules, it is likely that this driver will be liable for the damages caused in the accident.

Common Issues That Lead to Parking Lot Accidents

Distracted driving is a major problem in parking lots. Children in the backseat, cell phones, GPS systems, the radio, or other distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road and can cause him or her to make dangerous mistakes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and inexperienced drivers are also responsible for a large percentage of parking lot accidents. Most of the time, if a driver strikes another vehicle that is legally parked, the driver of the moving vehicle is at fault. If both cars were moving at the time of the accident, fault may lie with one or both drivers depending on the circumstances of the accident. It is important to note that in Illinois, a person who is injured or suffers property damage in a car accident may still be eligible for limited compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident.

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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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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIf you or a loved one have been injured, you may wonder whether or not you will be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. The vast majority of personal injury cases hinge upon the concept of negligence. The word “negligence” is typically understood to mean carelessness or recklessness, but the legal definition is much more specific. In order to prove that a party’s negligence led to your injuries, you will need to demonstrate several things..

Duty and Breach of Duty

When a party has a legal “duty of care” to another party, it means that there is a certain relationship between the parties. For example, doctors and nurses have a duty to provide reasonably competent medical treatment to patients in their care. Similarly, commercial property owners have a duty to keep premises safe for customers. When this duty is breached, it means that the party that owed a duty failed to uphold their responsibility, and such a failure could constitute negligence.

Cause in Fact and Proximate Cause

In order to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, you will also need to prove that the defendant’s action or inaction resulted in your injuries. This is sometimes referred to as “but-for” causation, meaning if it were not for the defendant’s actions, the injury would not have occurred. Medical records are often a crucial element in proving cause in fact. You will need to show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions and were not preexisting. 

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Lake County premises liability lawyersA serious fall accident can happen to anyone. Something as simple as an unsecured rug, spilled liquid, broken step, unstable handrail, or loose floorboard can cause an individual to fall and be seriously hurt. Fall accidents can cause injuries that require extensive hospitalization, surgery, and long-term physical therapy. A person who suffers a fall can also be left unable to work or enjoy life as he or she could before the accident. When a party’s negligence causes an individual to experience a fall accident, the party may be liable for the injured person’s damages. If you ever suffer a serious fall, there are three steps you should take.

Step 1: Go to the Emergency Room or Visit Your Doctor As Soon As Possible

Elderly individuals and those with disabilities are at an increased risk of being hurt in a serious fall.  However, even if you are a relatively healthy person, a slip and fall accident can cause you significant physical harm that results in long-lasting consequences. Traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries caused by a fall are especially concerning. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury are often subtle and the injured person may not immediately realize how hurt he or she actually is.

If you fall and hit your head or suffer any other bodily injury, get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Not only will getting medical treatment help prevent your injuries from worsening, it may also protect your ability to collect compensation in the future. Medical records detailing your injuries are almost always needed for a successful personal injury lawsuit.

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