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Cook County car accident injury lawyerMore than 37,000 people died and over two million were seriously injured in car accidents in 2017. Sadly, most of these deaths and injuries were preventable. In its 2019–2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identifies some of the top causes of highway accidents and ways to prevent these injuries. The ones discussed in this article are all possible factors which could support a claim of negligence or fault for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash.

Personal Injury Claims Against Alcohol and Drug Impaired Drivers

Alcohol impairment is a leading cause of car accidents. In 2016, one third of fatal car crashes involved a driver with alcohol in their system. While the current standard for DUI is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the NTSB would like to see states adopt a legal limit of 0.05 percent. This is something to keep in mind if you are ever injured in an accident with a drunk driver: even if the driver is not charged with being over the 0.08 legal limit, they could well be alcohol-impaired at a level of just 0.05 percent. 

The NTSB would also like all law enforcement agencies to collect “place of last drink” data as part of any accident investigation involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This could be another valuable data point for any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysWith just a few short days to go before Thanksgiving, and with the winter holidays fast approaching, now is the time to consider your strategy for preventing drunk driving-related arrests or, worse, injuries. The holidays are a time for families and friends to celebrate with festive gatherings that often include delicious meals, lavish desserts, and, in many cases, beer, wine, and cocktails. If your holiday plans involve alcoholic beverages, enjoy yourself, but make a plan to get home safely and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Seasonal Spike in Injuries

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact percentage of increased risk, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 725 people are killed or injured in drunk-driving crashes every day during the holiday season, with more than 25,000 total accidents. On any given day during the year, drunk driving plays a role in about 30 percent of highway fatalities, Around Thanksgiving, and for the rest of the year, that number jumps to 40 percent, tragically culminating over the New Year’s holiday, during which alcohol contributes to nearly 60 percent of roadway deaths.

Make a Plan…

The most important thing you can do to avoid drunk driving this holiday season is to be prepared. “Prepared” can mean different things for different people. You may choose to drink only a very modest amount or not at all, remaining sober and unimpaired for the drive home. Similarly, you may designate a driver who is not drinking at all. In some families, one designated driver may even be willing to make several trips to ensure that everyone is safe. Finally, alternative transportation may be another solution. Call a cab, even if you will need to wait for a while, or use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. Whatever the expense may be for a ride home, it pales in comparison to the potential costs of a DUI ticket or injury.

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Orland Park wrongful death lawyersApproximately 30,000 fatal auto accidents occur each year. In those crashes, there are victims—lloved ones who were taken from their families. Grief, anger, resentment, financial loss, and immeasurable emotional devastation are in the aftermath of that loss. Some immediately search for justice. For others, the thought of pursuing a claim seems like an insurmountable challenge—one best avoided until after the grief and pain have subsided. Unfortunately, by then, it may be too late. If you have lost someone you love in a car crash, understand why you should pursue a wrongful death claim, and how an attorney can help to ease your burden in the difficult journey ahead.

Compensation is Not Meant to Replace Your Loved One

Often, the families of victims are put off by the idea of a lawsuit because they feel it is pointless. Money will not bring back what was taken from them, and the grief of drudging it all up seems hardly worth it. They look at it as punishing someone else when, in reality, the compensation is about easing the burden they bear, and may continue to experience, as the months and years pass.

Death experienced during an auto accident creates unpaid medical bills. It takes away an income and makes paying for even the necessities of life more difficult. Sometimes, these accidents even leave behind dependents, including young children for whom the deceased parent may have been saving, in the event that they decided to go to college, or maybe to pay for that first car. True, some of these things may not be “necessities,” but they are losses, nonetheless. They were also the wishes, hopes, and dreams of the deceased. The love cannot be given back, and the hole left by their absence cannot be filled, but the monetary losses can be recovered. That is the purpose of wrongful death compensation.

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Will County personal injury attorneysMotor vehicle accidents do not just harm adults. In fact, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that car crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, with hundreds of children under age 12 killed each year. Many thousands more are severely or permanently injured. If you are a parent and facing such a situation, it is important to understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Injuries Commonly Sustained by Children in Car Crashes

Because of their smaller size and developing bodies, children are often more prone to severe injury than adults are. Even more concerning is that serious injuries may not always be immediately evident in young children. This is especially true for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which just so happens to be the injury most commonly sustained by children in a crash. Other common injuries include those to the thoracic area and spine. Children can also experience fractures, soft tissue injuries, and lacerations, much like adults can.

What to Do After a Crash

If you are involved in a crash and your child is with you, it is critical that you contact emergency personnel so that your child can be immediately checked for serious injury. You should also avoid moving your child if you have any suspicion that they may have experienced an injury to the head, neck, or spine (unless not moving them would likely cause more harm). If emergency personnel have cleared your child, you should still take them to their regular doctor or to a pediatric trauma center for further evaluation. Again, some injuries may not be immediately evident following a crash. The follow-up will help reduce the chances that an injury is missed.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyThe aftermath of any motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. Injured victims must determine how badly they are hurt and then deal with the legal, property, and insurance considerations related to the crash. When the accident involves a commercial truck, however, things can become even more complicated. Not only are injuries much more likely but there are often many additional factors that come into play when a commercial truck is involved. It is important to understand how truck accidents are different from “regular” car accidents so that you are fully prepared in the event of such a crash.

More Severe Injuries

According to federal estimates, the average passenger car, including minivans, and SUVs, weighs just over 4,000 pounds. The average tractor-trailer combination that you see on California roadways measures up to 70 feet long or more and weighs up to 80,000 pounds. The numbers are even more staggering for specially-marked “oversized vehicles.” This means that a commercial truck cruising at highway speeds can weigh up to 20 times or more than the cars around it weigh.

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