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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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Gathering Evidence for a Dog Attack Injury ClaimThe injuries you can suffer from a dog attack are painful, whether they are from a bite or being knocked down. As uncomfortable as the situation may be, it is sometimes necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. Illinois’ strict liability law makes the process easier than in some states because you do not need to prove that the owner was negligent. The only situations in which the owner is not liable are if you provoked the dog or if you were trespassing on the property. Gathering evidence is still important in order to prove the severity of your injuries and to connect those injuries to the dog attack. There are several details you must collect in a dog attack lawsuit:

  1. Owner Information: In order to file a dog injury lawsuit, you need to know who owns the dog. If the owner is not present, you can ask nearby property owners if they recognize the dog. Once you have found the owner, you need the contact information for them and their insurance company, if they have one. 
  2. Police Reports: It may be necessary to call 911 after a dog attack if your injuries are severe or you believe that the dog may be a danger to others. If police or animal control are dispatched to the scene, they will create a report on the incident and the action that they took. You can obtain a copy of that report as evidence of the details of the attack.
  3. Witness Accounts: You should talk to anyone who may have seen the dog attack and ask them to provide testimony during your case. A witness could tell what happened during the attack and refute a claim that you provoked the dog.
  4. Physical Evidence: Having the presence of mind to document and save physical evidence of the attack will be useful during a lawsuit. Have someone take pictures of your injuries, including bite marks. Save clothing that was torn during the attack.
  5. Doctor’s Reports: You should seek medical attention after a dog attack to treat your injuries and check for other injuries that you may not have noticed. Your doctor’s report will establish the extent of your injuries and how they are related to the dog attack.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

You have two years after your dog attack incident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner, but it can be helpful to start the process well before then. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can explain how much compensation you may be able to receive in your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Recognizing and Guarding Yourself Against Drivers with Road RageAccording to a recent survey of drivers in the U.S., 82 percent confessed to having road rage in the past year. When you are in a bad mood, it is easy for the minor annoyances of driving to make you angry. Problems arise when road rage turns into aggressive driving. People who drive aggressively and fueled by anger are more likely to cause a traffic accident, which may seriously injure someone. It is important to be able to identify aggressive drivers on the road and to know how to protect yourself against them.

Signs of Aggression

Drivers who are experiencing road rage will often travel at high speeds and show little regard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving behavior may include:

  • Tailgating, which is following a vehicle too closely
  • Excessive use of the car horn
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Obscene or threatening gestures and language

In extreme cases of road rage, the driver may target someone and attempt to cause them harm, such as using a weapon or exiting their vehicle with the intent to start a fight.

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