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Illinois car accident lawyersEvery teenager looks forward to the day they can have the independence of driving. Teenagers as young as fifteen can begin learning how to drive. Once the learning requirements are met, and the child reaches sixteen years old, they can test for an initial license. This license has restrictions like the number of passengers, and more strict mobile device usage while being the wheel. With up to thirty percent of motor vehicle accident costs are attested to teenagers and young adults, there is a chance you may get into an accident with someone driving as young as sixteen years old.

Getting A Driver's License

Anyone who operates a vehicle legally had to work to get a driver’s license. After obtaining a learner’s permit, the teenager must practice driving with a licensed adult for fifty hours. Ten of those hours must be done at night. Once the minimum of driving hours has been reached, and the permit has been active for at least nine months, a sixteen-year-old may receive an initial drivers license. A full license can be applied for between the ages of eighteen and twenty.

When a teen driver gets into a car accident, they are usually covered by their parent’s car insurance. In Illinois, the minimum liability insurance coverage for car accidents is $25,000 for bodily injuries per person, $50,000 total for bodily injuries per accident, and $20,000 for property damage. When adding a teen driver, some parents may increase their insurance above the minimum.

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Aurora drunk driving accident attorneysCar accidents are inevitable with human error. However, the likelihood of an accident is significantly higher when the driver behind the wheel is under the influence of alcohol. Approximately one-fourth of all fatal car accident victims in Illinois in 2016 were alcohol-related. There were also 29,528 DUI arrests in the same year, as reported by the Secretary of State’s office. A drunk driver perceives the road differently than a sober driver, and sometimes defensive driving is not enough to protect yourself.

What Is A DUI?

A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is when a person is operating a motor vehicle while under a mind-altering substance. DUI’s are most known for alcohol offenses, but they also include:

  • Drugs,
  • Marijuana,
  • Methamphetamines.

Whether a person is operating a vehicle illegally depends on the concentration of the substance in their system. A person is considered under the influence of alcohol in Illinois if their Blood Alcohol Content is .08 or more. A person with a lower level of alcohol in their system can still be charged if their driving is affected by the substance.

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Aurora bike accident lawyersOn the road, cyclists must abide by many of the same rules as drivers in Illinois. That being said, an accident with a bicycle should be handled similarly to that as an accident with another motor vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of car accidents involving a bicycle happen in non-intersectional areas of the road in urban areas.

Bicycle Specific Road Laws

  • Designated bike lanes are for bicyclists only. Cars are prohibited from parking, driving, or idling in these spaces, even when there are no bikes in the lane. Bicyclists are allowed to leave the bike lane and bike on the road, but for safety reasons, it is discouraged for cyclists to do so;
  • Bicyclists are prohibited on most expressways and highways, and any other marked road;
  • The right of way is granted to bicyclists the same as a motor vehicles;
  • Criminal charged may be filed if a motorists passes too close to a cyclist and the result is a crash.

An accident with a bicyclist may be more intimidating than with another vehicle. People on bicycles have little protection on the road, even with a helmet. In Illinois, adult riders can choose whether to wear a helmet or not.

What to do?

An accident with a vehicle can be deadly to a bicyclist, and any accident, no matter how small, can be jarring. It is important to stay calm and act promptly. Take a moment to react, but no matter what, do not drive away.

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Kane County hit and run accident lawyersAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 6,296,000 traffic crashes were reported to police. Out of those, 737,100 were estimated to have been hit-and-run accidents, or nearly 12 percent of all accidents. Hit-and-run accidents can leave you devastated and confused. Unforeseen medical bills and unplanned vehicle repairs can become costly very quickly. If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run car accident, your actions after the accident can be determinant of whether or not you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run Accident?

If a person is involved in a car accident, they are required by law to stop and give information to others involved in that car accident. If they fail to do so, they can be guilty of a hit-and-run accident. If they cannot return to the scene of the crime, or nobody is around to collect their information, they must report the accident to the nearest police department and provide their information at that time. If a report is not made within 30 minutes of the accident, they may be guilty of a hit-and-run.

Steps to Take After the Accident

Being in any car accident can leave you shaken up, but the actions you take directly after the accident can mean the difference between compensation and no compensation.

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4 Ways to Document Damage From a Car Accident

Aurora, IL auto accident lawyerUnfortunately for drivers in the United States, injuries from car accidents are not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million people were injured and over 40,000 people were killed due to motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Injuries from car accidents can range from mild to severe and can greatly impact your life. One of the most important things you can do to make sure you are in the best position to receive a favorable settlement is preserving and recording damages and evidence resulting from the car accident. Here are four ways to document the damage:

1. Take Your Own Notes of the Accident

By taking notes immediately after the accident while you are still at the scene, you are minimizing the possibility of memory loss. Chances are, your case will not be settled for months after the accident occurred, which is why it is important to document what occurred while your memory is still fresh. You should note:

  • Where and when the accident occurred.
  • What happened during the accident.
  • The road and weather conditions at the time.
  • The names, contact information, and insurance information of others involved in the crash.
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
  • Witnesses’ accounts of what they saw.

2. Take Photos

Taking photos of damages to your car and injuries that you or a passenger sustained will be key in proving your case. Before anything is moved or any injuries are treated, try to take as many photos as possible from as many different angles as you can. Take pictures of exterior and interior damage for all vehicles involved, their license plates, the area surrounding the accident, and injuries of any parties involved.

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Determining Negligence in Car Accident Personal Injury Claims

Aurora car accident injury attorneyWhen you get into a car accident, figuring out what to do next can be confusing. If you have been injured in a collision, you can file a personal injury claim to recover expenses related to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In order to file a claim, you must prove negligence, which consists of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.

1. Duty of Care

The first element you must prove in a car accident personal injury claim is the duty of care that the other driver had on the road. The duty of care is the agreement that every driver makes to operate their vehicle in a safe manner by obeying all traffic laws and other precautions used to protect drivers. Examples of duty of care include:

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Avoiding Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Kane County motorcycle accident lawyerSpring and summer bring long-awaited warmer temperatures in Illinois, and many motorcyclists will be taking advantage of the pleasant weather and spending more time on the road. While motorcycles provide a great sense of freedom, cyclists should be aware of the dangers that come with sharing the road with larger vehicles.

Without the safety features provided to the drivers and passengers of cars and trucks, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in auto accidents. In fact, even though only three percent of registered vehicles in the United States are motorcycles, motorcyclists account for 14% of all car accident fatalities, and motorcyclist fatalities occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities of drivers or passengers in other vehicles. In order to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, cyclists should be sure to take the proper safety precautions.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

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Kane County personal injury attorneysSpring has finally reached the American Midwest, bringing with it the promise of new beginnings. Leaves are reemerging on trees, the grass is turning green once again, and animals are returning from their winter retreats. Of course, springtime also means seasonal changes in the weather, including increased rain and warming temperatures. The warming pattern, however, is often inconsistent and rapid changes in temperature and humidity levels can lead to the development of fog around area roadways. Fog, of course, can drastically reduce driver visibility and contributes to hundreds—if not thousands—of traffic accidents each year.

Safe Driving Tips

There is little question that heavy fog requires adjustments in driving. Motorists must always operate their vehicles in ways that are appropriate for the weather conditions at that time. How you drive on a clear sunny day is different from how you should drive during rain, snow, or fog. To remain safe when driving in fog, be sure to:

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Kane County personal injury attorneyThe winter holiday season is fast approaching. This is a time when millions of Americans are expected to travel to various destinations. A significant portion of the population finds traveling by personal vehicle the most beneficial to their situation. In previous years, AAA estimated that 98.4 million drivers were on the road throughout the end of the year holidays, traveling over 50 miles each direction. The staggering number of vehicles on the road is not only impressive, but it also increases the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents due to negligent drivers.

What Constitutes Negligence?

When another driver’s actions or inactions lead to an accident which causes injuries to you or your loved ones, you are entitled to collect compensation. A lapse in attention or judgment while behind the wheel by the other driver may constitute negligence, leaving him or her responsible for the subsequent damages. Negligent driving may include:

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Kane County personal injury attorneyAuto accident injuries are frightening and alarming for anyone to experience or witness. However, young children are especially prone to catastrophic injuries, partly because their size and developing bodies make them more prone to certain injuries, but also because young children are unable to communicate when or where something hurts. Even more alarming is that some injuries cannot be seen, and parents may unwittingly make the wrong decision after an accident. Atlanto-occipital dislocation, or internal decapitation, is one such injury.

Internal Decapitation – What is It?

Internal decapitation is not an actual decapitation. In fact, the neck itself often appears to be intact. However, beneath the intact flesh, neck ligaments may have been severed or stretched. If not handled correctly and treated immediately, the lower part of the brain stem – a vital part of the brain that controls breathing – can be damaged and ultimately lead to death. The only chance at survival is the complete and careful stabilization of the neck and head. But even then, survival is not guaranteed, and the risk of permanent paralysis is extremely high.

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negativity, Kane County car accident lawyersPessimism, or a negative bias, has an impact on almost every aspect of your life, including your mood, relationships, and even your health. Now, science has added a new potential risk for those that see the world as a half empty glass: they may be more prone to experiencing motor vehicle accidents.

Negative Bias Increases Response Time to Negative Stimuli

In the study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Psychology interviewed 38 drivers with at least three years of driving experience. Using the number of penalty points on their driving records, the participants were then split into two groups – 23 were considered “safe” drivers and 15 were considered “dangerous” drivers.

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concussions, Kane County personal injury lawyersEach year, around 2.5 million Americans suffer from a concussion. Around 50,000 die from their injuries while the remaining victims suffer from a variety of symptoms for weeks, months, years, or possibly even longer. Most of those symptoms include temporary issues, such as difficulty concentrating, personality changes, confusion, balance problems, and headaches. However, a recent study has linked concussions to potentially lifelong and life-altering complications.

New, Lifelong Risks of a Concussion

Over the past few years, researchers, doctors, and scientists have more closely examined concussions and their propensity for long-term complications. Links to a variety of lifelong and life-altering issues have been uncovered in a number of studies, including an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, suicide, and other psychiatric disturbances. Some of the evidence is said to be merely circumstantial at this point, but most healthcare professionals now maintain that a head injury is more sinister than previously thought.

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