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Plainfield, IL distracted driving accident attorneyA recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that phone use by drivers, such as texting, browsing the internet, and selecting song choices, has risen dramatically over the past few years. In the four-year span from 2014 to 2018, the number of people observed using their phones while driving rose by a staggering 57%. 

Distracted driving can be especially dangerous in urban and suburban areas. In the greater Chicago area, texting while driving and other types of distractions can put everyone at risk. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that was caused by distracted driving, you should work with an attorney to pursue compensation from the negligent driver. 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

As smartphone capabilities increase and people use their devices more and more often, drivers become tempted to use their phones while on the road, and this has led to the dramatic increase in distracted driving collisions throughout the United States. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 390,000 Americans were severely injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving in 2015, and approximately 3,450 people were killed due to the reckless actions of distracted drivers in 2016. 

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Joliet auto accident attorneyEvery single year, as many as 2.3 million Americans are sent to the emergency room after suffering injuries in a motor vehicle collision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents cost Americans approximately $44 billion every year in terms of both medical expenses and lost income. Those who have been injured in a motor vehicle collision should understand their legal options for recovering compensation from the negligent driver who caused their injuries. 

Common Forms of Negligent Driving

In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents, the cause of the collision can be traced back to the reckless and negligent actions of a driver. Throughout the United States, various forms of negligent driving seem to be on the rise. The most common types of negligent driving include:

  • Driving at Excessive Speeds: According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9,717 Americans were killed in car accidents caused by speeding drivers in 2017. Speeding impacts a driver’s ability to brake, change directions, and react to changes in traffic flow. If you notice a driver traveling at excessive speeds, keep a safe distance away from them. 
  • Drinking and Driving: Intoxicated driving is another common form of driver negligence. Despite increased traffic surveillance and substantial criminal punishment, thousands of Americans choose to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Common signs of a drunk driver include swerving, recklessly passing, and driving at sporadic speeds. Recognizing these signs and reporting them to local law enforcement can save lives. 
  • Distracted Driving: The past several years have seen an incredible rise in cell phone use while driving. Throughout 2016, distracted driving claimed over 3,400 lives, and this form of negligence accounts for around 25% of all motor vehicle collisions throughout the United States. While mobile phone use is the most common form of distracted driving, other common distractions include eating or drinking while driving, having conversations with passengers, or any other action that takes one’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel of the vehicle. 

Meet With a Plainfield Car Accident Lawyer

Car accident injuries can result in costly medical bills, expensive physical therapy, and loss of work hours during recovery. At Flaherty Law, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the full compensation they deserve after suffering car accident injuries. With years of legal experience, we are confident in our ability to aggressively represent you and help you receive the financial support you need and deserve. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Will County personal injury attorney, call our office today at 815-577-7500. 

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How are Diabetes and Car Accidents Related?

Plainfield car accidents and diabetes lawyerThere are nearly 20 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes, with a large percentage of them holding a license to operate a car. Depending on the severity of the person’s diabetes, they may be able to drive a car to work, classes, and social gatherings. In many communities, there are no other means of transportation, and the use of a car is the only option people have. Even though many people afflicted with diabetes can drive, there has been much debate on whether diabetes may be a big factor in determining if some people may or may not be fit for a driver’s license and whether diabetes is a factor in car accidents.

What is Diabetes and How Serious is it?

Diabetes is a medical condition that affects the pancreas. In people without diabetes, the pancreas releases a healthy amount of insulin to help store and use sugar and fat from food. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, or the body may not respond appropriately to insulin. In severe cases, people with diabetes may be up and walking one minute, and passed out on the ground the minute following. Although there are many ways to manage diabetes, there is no actual cure for the disease. On a day-to-day basis, people with diabetes can manage their blood sugar by avoiding sugary foods, taking medications to offset a high blood sugar level, and exercising.

Requirements for a Driver’s License for a Person with Diabetes

Since there are many different types of diabetes and levels of severity of the condition, there are several ways to determine the person’s ability to safely drive a car. To apply for a driver’s license, a person with diabetes must file a medical report form that is to be completed by a medical doctor. Every time they renew their driver’s license, a medical report form must be resubmitted to the Medical Review Unit. 

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Steps You Can Take after a Car Accident to Help Your Claim

Car Accident ClaimA car accident is a traumatic experience, and you are likely to have a lot on your mind in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Once you leave the accident scene and attend to your pressing medical needs, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure that your car accident claim moves smoothly. 

The truth is that there are many things you can do following an accident that will assist you and your attorney. These actions include:

  • Inform your insurer. Even if you do not believe that you were at fault, it is best practice to tell your insurer of the incident as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in the denial of a later claim.
  • Get a copy of the police report. If police came to the accident scene, there is usually a report. This report contains a lot of helpful information, including the personal information of the involved drivers, insurance details, and a summary of what transpired. The report may also include whether any traffic tickets were issued.
  • Write down property damage repairs. Keep track of what repairs were required to your car and any other damage to your property, such as trailers or objects you were transporting.
  • Create a log of your medical treatment and health consequences. Many accident victims quickly forget the amount of pain they were in or how the accident affected their life. It’s important to jot down a few notes each day on how you are feeling and what you are able to physically and mentally do. Missing work or life events are important details to record.
  • Check your social media privacy settings. Adverse parties will be looking for any statements you make online about the accident as well as how quickly you recover. It’s best to not comment online about your accident at all.

Call a Will County Auto Accident Lawyer

One of the most important things you can do is to contact an attorney to review your case. We find that many accident victims do not understand what compensation they are entitled to. Moreover, many accident victims underestimate the amount of compensation other, similar cases have received in the past.

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Doctors, Lawyers Most Likely Professionals to Have Car AccidentsAccording to one study, members of some professions are more likely to get into a car accident. The results suggest that working a profession that requires more education does not make someone a safer driver. 

Here are the professions with the greatest rates of car accidents, ranked from highest to lowest:

  1. Doctors
  2. Lawyers
  3. Architects
  4. Real estate brokers
  5. Enlisted military personnel
  6. Social workers
  7. Manual laborers
  8. Analysts
  9. Engineers
  10. Consultants

Experts say that professions that involve a lot of driving – like real estate agents and social workers – may increase the likelihood of accidents. Also, workers in demanding professions with long hours may be surviving on less sleep. Drowsiness is a huge risk factor for car accidents.

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drowsy driving, Plainfield car accident lawyerDid you know that 24 hours of sustained wakefulness has the same impairment on your driving skills as having a 0.10 percent blood alcohol content? While there are not the same laws in place for drowsy driving as there are for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, both are risky actions that can cause accidents with serious injuries.

Statistics

Studies show drowsy driving accidents most frequently:

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When a Car Accident Victim Can Get Punitive DamagesPeople who have been injured in car accidents usually want to know how much an insurance company will pay them or how big of an award a jury is likely to give. This is a natural question and one that a skilled auto accident attorney can give after the facts of your case a reviewed.

When people are thinking about damages, many wonder if punitive damages can be awarded. Accident victims are typically aware that punitive damages are often large sums that can greatly increase the amount of a damage award or settlement.

What Are Punitive Damages?

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