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Crystal Lake IL personal injury lawyerThe winter holiday season, with its increased traffic, congestion, activity, and inclement weather, is a time of exposure to increased risk of personal injuries. Whether driving to visit family and friends or shopping in busy malls and stores, auto accidentsslip-and-falls, and mishaps with defective holiday gifts and other products are all possibilities. Any type of injury can upend not just holiday plans but also your employment and educational goals and responsibilities.

As the holiday season draws to a close, hopefully you and your loved ones have stayed safe. However, if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of the negligent or intentionally wrongful conduct of an individual, business, or institution, one of our experienced personal injury lawyers will advocate for your legal right to compensation for the harms and losses you have suffered.

Negligence is a Common Cause of Personal Injuries

With so many Illinois residents on the state’s roads and highways in late December, even amid the COVID-19 health crisis, there is an increased opportunity for auto accidents. The dangers are especially great under conditions like rain, fog, snow, or ice. Importantly, no matter the amount of traffic or severity of the weather, all drivers owe a duty of safe driving to one another. This duty includes driving in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road and never getting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications.

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McHenry County speeding accident lawyerAmerica is full of busy people. There are workers rushing to their jobs, and parents shuffling their children off to school and soccer practice. Then there are those who are running late to a doctor’s appointment, or in a hurry to get to the airport. Unfortunately, all that hustle and bustle means that some drivers are going faster than they should. That can increase their risk of causing an accident, and may also lead to more serious injuries for victims. If you or someone you love has been injured, you should know your rights—including your right to pursue full and fair compensation. 

Respect for Speed Limits is Deteriorating

While most people do recognize that speed limits are the law, not a suggestion, researchers suggest there is an erosion of respect for those laws. In fact, a 2002 study found that one-third of drivers admitted to regularly driving at least 10 miles per hour faster than other road users. These were all self-reported incidents, which suggests the actual numbers could be much higher. 

In a more recent study, researchers from Purdue University asked 988 drivers a single question: at what point did they feel like speeding became a personal threat to them or their family. They were given three options to choose from: 5, 10, and 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Nearly half (43 percent) said they felt safe driving up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Another 36 percent asserted that safety did not become a concern until they exceeded 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. 

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Pedestrian AccidentsDrivers are often reminded to pay attention while driving to reduce the possibility of traffic accidents. When drivers are distracted, they are more likely to cause accidents resulting in injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Pedestrians are especially more vulnerable when involved in a car accident, and are one and a half times more likely to be killed in a car accident than a passenger. While thousands of pedestrians die each year nationwide, hundreds of thousands more suffer injuries that require serious medical attention as a result of car accidents. The elderly and children, as well as intoxicated and distracted pedestrians, are most likely to be involved in a car accident.

Pedestrians have rights and obligations under Illinois law just as drivers do. Pedestrians crossing a road at a clearly marked crosswalk when the light allows crossing generally have the right of way. Drivers who wish to enter the intersection must stop and wait until all pedestrians have crossed before proceeding. However, pedestrians crossing when the pedestrian lights are red, or running across at the last second can expect cars to be moving and may be injured as a result.

If a pedestrian is involved in a car accident, his behavior can become the focus of the subsequent negotiations with the driver's insurance company. If a pedestrian was on the phone, reading a book, or engaged in any behavior that would have distracted them from crossing the street safely can be used against the pedestrian to reduce the compensation they seek. In Illinois, a person whose actions contributed to causing the accident by more than 50 percent cannot recover damages for any injuries suffered as a result. A pedestrian who is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident may still recover for injuries; however, any amount awarded is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them.

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texting while driving, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysThe Centers For Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nine people are killed daily as a result of distracted drivers, and thousands of others injured. The types of distractions that cause these deaths and accidents are summarized as visual, manual, or cognitive.

A driver can be distracted while driving due to driving while eating, changing stations on the radio, applying makeup, and using a cell phone. Distracted drivers can cause accidents and injuries to drivers, cyclists, and even pedestrians.

Text messaging often meets the definition of distraction under each category—when most people manually compose and send a text message while driving, their eyes are often off the road, as are their minds and at least one hand. Texting and driving is not limited to teens either, as more and more adults are engaging in the same behavior.

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Illinois jackknife accidents, Illinois Truck Accident LawyerSemi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles operate on Illinois highways and interstates on a regular basis. These vehicles are capable of hauling thousands of pounds of goods and materials from place to place and perform a critical role in the modern United States economy.

Unfortunately, large commercial vehicles  also expose other motorists to a significant risk of involvement in a truck accident. In fact, data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that there were approximately 95,000 people injured in accidents in 2013 in which a large truck was involved. When these accidents are the result of truck driver negligence, victims are often able to recover significant compensation.

 Articulated Vehicles Can Jackknife

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