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Protecting Yourself from Injury While Riding Your BicycleAs the weather continues to improve and the daylight hours extend, more people will be enjoying rides on their bicycles – whether they are going somewhere or looking for recreation. In many situations, cyclists will be sharing the roads with cars. Cyclists know that they are more vulnerable to severe injury if they are involved in an accident with larger vehicles. While a cyclist can file a personal injury lawsuit against a driver who was at fault for the accident, it is always better to try to prevent injury. Here are four safety tips for riding your bicycle this spring:

  1. Using Safety Equipment: Illinois does not have a state law that requires cyclists to wear helmets. Some municipalities have their own requirements, but they may only apply to minors. All cyclists should wear helmets, as well as bright clothing if riding during the day or reflective clothing if riding at night. Bicycles should have reflectors, a front light if you plan to ride at night, and a bell or horn to alert others.
  2. Inspecting Your Bike: If this is the first time you have ridden your bicycle in months, you should look over your bike to see that it is still in working order. Check your breaks, handlebars, and seat so that they are both functioning and comfortable to use.
  3. Obey Traffic Laws: Bicycles must comply with traffic signs and signals in the same way as any other vehicle on the road. The smaller size and increased maneuverability of a bicycle tempt some cyclists to ignore stop signs or traffic lights, which puts them at increased risk of causing an accident. Cyclists have the added responsibility of staying as far to the right as possible and using arm signals when they are turning or stopping.
  4. Practice Defensive Riding: Drivers of motor vehicles may have more difficulty seeing bicycles and may not be expecting to encounter a bicycle on the road. Cyclists can protect themselves by staying aware of other vehicles and assuming that the drivers do not see them. Watch out for hazards in the road and behave predictably.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

Cyclists involved in crashes can suffer serious or even fatal injuries. Taking every reasonable precaution may not prevent an accident if the driver was negligent. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you gather evidence to prove that the driver is liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Four Car Accident Injuries That Can Take Time to NoticeVehicle crashes range in severity from the catastrophic to the relatively minor. Though any type of collision can be startling, you may feel some relief if you came away from the incident seemingly unscathed. However, some vehicle accident injuries are subtle yet still serious. Delaying treatment of hidden injuries may cause your condition to grow worse and make it more difficult to connect the injury to your crash, which could work against you if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who was responsible for the crash. Here are four subtle injuries to watch for following an accident:

  1. Spinal Injuries: People often suffer whiplash after being in a front-end or rear-end collision. The force of any collision and the way it jostles your body can cause strain and damage to your neck and back. Even if your spine is not directly damaged, inflammation of your muscles can put pressure on your spine. Look for stiffness and soreness in your neck, shoulders, and back and numbness or tingling in your limbs.
  2. Brain Injuries: People can suffer traumatic brain injuries during a collision from whiplash or hitting their head. It can take days or weeks for symptoms of a brain injury to show, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea, sensory loss, memory loss, and unexplained mood changes.
  3. Internal Bleeding: Pain in your abdomen may not immediately seem related to your accident but could be a sign of damage to your internal organs. Internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening injury that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the symptoms can start out slow, catching people off-guard.
  4. Joint Injuries: A collision can cause trauma to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments connecting your major joints, such as your knees and elbows. You may tear or strain this soft tissue without immediately realizing it. However, the injury will become more noticeable in a couple of days after the tissue becomes inflamed.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The adrenaline your body produces after the shock of your vehicle accident can mask injuries that otherwise would have been noticeable. If you feel any pain or discomfort after being in an accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have an injury related to your accident. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you connect your injury to the negligent actions of the person who is liable for your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Breaking Down Illinois Vehicle Crash StatisticsThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported that there were more than 319,000 crashes involving vehicles in the state in 2018. About 21 percent of those crashes resulted in injury, and less than one percent involved fatalities. If you are one of the unfortunate people who are injured in a vehicle accident, you may be able to recover personal injury compensation if another driver was at fault. You can also file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence. You cannot predict whether you will be involved in a traffic crash, but IDOT’s 2018 Crash Facts and Statistics provides interesting information on when crashes most often happen, what types of crashes are most common, and who gets injured.

When Crashes Take Place

You might think that the majority of traffic crashes happen late at night on the weekends because that is when people are most likely to be drinking and driving. Actually, the two days of the week with the most crashes are Friday and Thursday, and more than two-thirds of crashes occur from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. There are more people driving during the daytime on weekdays, and rush hour traffic causes numerous crashes. However, crashes involving death or severe injury were more likely to happen from 4 p.m. to 3:59 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Types of Crashes

The most common types of vehicle crashes were, in order:

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Holding a Gun Owner Liable for an Accidental ShootingStatistics on gun violence mostly focus on the number of deaths, but twice as many people are wounded by firearms. According to a recent study by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, more than 73,000 people are shot and injured in the U.S. each year. Shooting injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, including attempted homicides, self-inflicted wounds, and weapon malfunctions. It is also possible to be accidentally shot due to someone else’s negligence, for which you can receive personal injury compensation by filing a lawsuit.

Proving Liability

A person can be liable for causing an unintentional injury with their firearm, even if they do not face criminal charges. You will have a stronger case to hold someone liable if you can prove that the shooting was caused by negligence and not simply an accident. Examples of negligence by the gun owner includes:

  • Carrying or handling a firearm in a way that increases the risk of accidental discharge
  • Using a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Pointing a firearm at someone without intending to fire

Gun owners are expected to exercise reasonable care when handling their weapons. Witnesses to the shooting can help you establish that the gun owner showed a lack of caution that put you at risk of being shot.

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What Makes Rush Hour Driving Dangerous?For most people, rush hour is their least favorite time of day to drive anywhere. The periods between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays are when most people are traveling to and from work, causing heavy traffic congestion on roadways where you can normally travel at a high speed. Unfortunately, traffic crashes are common occurrences during rush hour because it combines several factors that increase the risk of getting into an accident. By being aware of these factors, you may be able to avoid your own traffic crash:

  1. There Is Less Room to Maneuver: Rear-ending a vehicle is one of the most common types of accidents during rush hour. Vehicles are often packed together, leaving less space than normal between them. When a vehicle in front of you unexpectedly stops or enters your lane, you have less time to respond and avoid an accident. You can better avoid hitting a vehicle by leaving extra space in front of you and driving cautiously.
  2. Everyone Is in a Hurry: Rush hour drivers are anxious to get to work on time or get home after work. Slow traffic makes many drivers impatient, which leads to speeding up whenever they get the chance and looking to change lanes in hopes that a different lane will be quicker. Though you may be in a hurry to reach your destination, your safety is your primary concern while driving. Avoid changing lanes unless it is part of your travel route. If slow traffic is a frequent problem, try leaving earlier to give yourself more time.
  3. Road Rage Can Flare Up: Some drivers’ reactions to rush hour traffic go beyond impatience. They may become furious at other drivers and the situation in general. Drivers with road rage are more likely to behave aggressively and make poor decisions. Try to remain calm and not engage with angry drivers.
  4. Sun Glare Is at Its Worst: Rush hour traffic often coincides with the times of day when the sun is rising and setting. Depending on the direction you are driving, you may have a problem with sunlight shining in your eyes and blinding you. It is important to use the sun visors in your vehicle and wear sunglasses.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering a vehicle accident during rush hour may cause serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. If another driver was at fault for the crash, a Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive compensation for your medical expenses and personal suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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