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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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IL accident lawyerBeing the victim of a rear-end collision can be a shocking experience to go through. Most victims are not aware of the imminent danger they are facing until seconds before the crash. Many suffer neck injuries such as whiplash, head injuries, facial lacerations, and other painful and debilitating injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a rear-end accident, you should know that you may have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, physical pain, disfiguration, and more.

What You Must Prove to Get Compensation for Rear-End Collision Injuries

The purpose of auto insurance is to compensate car accident victims for their damages. However, the compensation available through the at-fault driver’s insurer may be insufficient. In cases such as these, the injured party may choose to file a personal injury claim.

The four basic components that you must prove to get compensation through a personal injury claim include:

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IL injury lawyerWhen an individual is injured because of another party’s actions, the injured person may have a right to pursue financial compensation for their damages through a personal injury case. Many personal injury claims are brought against the at-fault party’s insurance company. While personal injury cases vary substantially from case to case, most personal injury cases involve the same basic steps. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall, or another injury-causing incident, speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about what may be involved in pursuing compensation for your damages.

Retaining Legal Counsel and Investigating the Cause of Your Injury

Once you decide on a personal injury lawyer, the first steps that he or she will likely take will be investigative in nature. Your lawyer will need to know how you were injured, the severity of your injuries, and whether another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing may have caused the injuries. Your lawyer will then begin to gather evidence to support your claim such as police reports, videos and photographs, and witness statements.

Demanding a Settlement

Many people assume that all personal injury cases involve filing a lawsuit. However, some injury victims are able to receive a settlement without needing to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will send a letter demanding compensation for your injuries to the insurance company or other opposing party. Typically, the opposing party responds with a counteroffer. Your lawyer and the opposing party may negotiate back and forth until a satisfactory settlement is reached. If the opposing party refuses to offer a reasonable payout, your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit.

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IL injury lawyerTruckers have a job that requires them to drive for long periods of time and cope with unpredictable sleep schedules. Trucking companies are under intense pressure to get truck shipments transported as quickly as possible. The combination of these factors can sometimes be disastrous. Truck drivers who are sleepy may make dangerous mistakes behind the wheel or even fall asleep while driving. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident and you suspect that a fatigued truck driver may have been to blame, it is important to know your rights.

Truck Drivers Are Required to Follow Rules Regarding Drive Time and Rest Breaks

Sleepiness may seem like no big deal. However, when you are operating a massive vehicle like a semi-truck, being sleepy can lead to catastrophe. When a driver is sleep-deprived, he or she takes longer to respond to a sudden emergency such as a stalled vehicle or other object in the road. Sleepy drivers may also make mistakes like forgetting to check their blind spots before changing lanes.

For these reasons, federal law places limits on the number of hours that a truck driver can drive the vehicle without stopping for a break. For property-carrying trucks, there is an 11-hour driving limit after 10 hours off duty. Drivers must not drive more than 14 consecutive hours after 10 hours off duty. Drivers are expected to keep track of the number of hours that they have driven in an electronic logbook. However, some drivers lie on their logbooks and drive beyond the limitations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There have even been instances of trucking companies coercing drivers to violate drive time and rest break rules by threatening to fire them for taking the legally-required breaks. This issue has been so widespread that the FMCSA now explicitly prohibits coercion and has instituted reporting procedures for drivers who have been forced to drive longer than they are supposed to.

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IL injury lawyerIf you are like most people, you probably get lost in your thoughts from time to time. Whether you are thinking about a work obligation, family issue, or simply your grocery shopping list, getting lost in thought or “daydreaming” happens to everyone. However, when a motorist daydreams while driving, the consequences can be deadly. Inattention is consistently associated with an increased chance of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, some studies suggest that daydreaming behind the wheel is an even greater issue than cell phone use behind the wheel.

Study Shows that One in Ten Fatal Collisions Were Caused by Daydreaming

By the time a motorist has been driving for a few years, driving becomes second nature. Most drivers do not have to consciously think about applying the brake when they see brake lights ahead or flipping the turn signal when changing lanes – they simply do it automatically. Unfortunately, this automation can lead drivers to become disengaged from the driving process.

Drivers who are lost in through or dreaming are more likely to make driving mistakes that cause an accident. One study conducted by Erie Insurance Group found that over 60 percent of fatal accidents were attributed to daydreaming. Other forms of distracted driving including using an electronic device or reaching for items in the vehicle also lead to a high percentage of injury-causing and deadly auto accidents.

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IL injury lawyerThe weather is finally starting to warm up in the Waukegan area. Some individuals are taking their motorcycles out for the first time this year. While enjoyable, riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous hobby. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle collision, it is important to know your rights. You could be entitled to financial compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation that you may recover may be influenced by a legal theory called “comparative negligence.”

Damages in a Motorcycle Collision Case

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you could potentially recover compensation for damages through a personal injury claim. Compensation for the damage to your motorcycle and other personal property, medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and pain and suffering may be recoverable. Damages in a fatal motorcycle accident may include the loss of your loved one’s income and services, the loss of companionship or guidance provided by your loved one, medical and funeral expenses, and more. However, in motorcycle accident cases, the legal concept of comparative negligence can reduce the compensation you are entitled to.

Contributory Fault on the Part of the Motorcyclist

If you or your loved one’s actions contributed to the motorcycle accident or to the severity of the injuries, this will reduce your potential recovery proportionally. For example, if you were speeding or ran a red light, you could be considered partially at fault for the incident. Another common complicating factor in a motorcycle accident case is not wearing a helmet. Although Illinois law does not mandate motorcycle helmets, it is generally accepted that wearing a helmet can mitigate head and neck injuries in an accident. If you were not wearing a helmet or other safety gear at the time of the accident, it may be argued that this decision worsened your injuries.

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