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Posted on in Car Accidents

Plainfield texting and driving accident lawyerIn the past few decades, the use of the phones has greatly evolved in society. While phones used to be large devices connected to the wall with a cord, in which we communicated with others through a mouthpiece, they are now small, powerful computers which we carry in our pockets or purses, allowing us to call others no matter where we are. For many, the ability to send a quick text message through our fingertips is an even faster and more convenient method of communication. However, the constant presence of cell phones and the ease of sending a quick message has led many to attempt to do so while they drive, and this has proven to be a very dangerous activity that can greatly increase the likelihood of a car accident occurring.

What Is at Stake When Texting and Driving?

Many people believe that texting or using their phone while driving is not an issue, since they are so good at multitasking that they can do so without causing their driving ability to suffer. However, this type of distracted driving actually puts both themselves and others in extreme danger. 

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Posted on in Car Accidents

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_652901962.jpgFor many Americans, it is important to have a car to drive places. Being able to say that you can drive can be exciting enough, until you get feel drowsy behind the wheel. Car accidents as a result of sleeping behind the wheel are all too common, and these accidents have caused serious injury and even death. It is important to take action when you feel drowsy behind the wheel, so you can prevent a car accident more easily.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

Drivers who do not get enough sleep or have other outlying medical problems are most likely to drive while drowsy and potentially cause a car accident. Other drivers more likely to drive while drowsy include commercial drivers who have to cover a huge part of the United States in their driving route, drivers who work night shifts or long shifts, drivers with sleep apnea, and drivers who use medications to help them sleep better. 

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Joliet winter car accident injury attorneyThe first months of the year are typically when the Chicago area and Will County experience the most frigid winter weather. Depending on the day, temperatures can range between 40 degrees and well below zero. With these drastic changes in temperature, it is very important for drivers to use extra caution on the road, since winter conditions can often lead to potentially fatal car accidents. One common culprit in winter car accidents is black ice, which can be very difficult to notice when driving in low temperatures.

The Dangers of Black Ice

Black ice forms when the temperature at a road’s surface is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes water on the road to freeze, creating slippery conditions that can be difficult to recognize. When black ice is present, pavement will appear to be slightly darker and duller than other road surfaces. If, when you are driving, the road looks wet, and the tires of the cars ahead of you do not spray water, then there is cause for concern.

Bridges, viaducts, and overpasses are greatly susceptible to black ice, as they are exposed on both the top and bottom, causing them to cool faster and allowing ice to form. Black ice also often forms in areas that are heavily shaded. Roads that are traveled more often, such as major highways and interstates, are less likely to form black ice than rural roads and residential areas.

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Will County car accident injury attorneyWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may receive serious injuries which require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, even if you were in a car accident and did not immediately experience any pain or other medical issues, you should be aware of possible side effects that may not make themselves known until months after the accident.

Potential Long-Term Side Effects of a Car Accident

Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of a vehicle collision. The experience is terrifying for everyone involved, and it can cause physical and mental stress in the days that follow. Individuals involved in a car accident may experience the following side effects long after a car accident occurs:

  • Headaches - This type of pain can often develop several days after a car accident, and it can indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood clot in the brain.
  • Whiplash - Rear-end collisions which occur when cars are traveling at less than 14 miles per hour can result in shoulder or neck pain or stiffness. These types of injuries often require extensive physical therapy, and they can cause serious complications if not addressed immediately.
  • Back pain - This type of pain can develop at any time after a car accident and could indicate muscle, nerve, and ligament injury, or even damage to the vertebrae.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling - These symptoms, along with deep purple bruises, dizziness, nausea, and fainting, could indicate internal bleeding, which is a medical emergency that must be quickly treated.
  • Numbness - Loss of feeling in your arms or hands could indicate damage to the neck or spinal column.
  • Changes in personality, thought processes, or physical functions - These symptoms can include impaired memory, movement, problems with vision or hearing, or overall personality changes, and they may indicate that a brain injury has occurred.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Flashbacks and disturbing memories of the car accident can affect people well after an accident has occurred, and children are especially susceptible to these symptoms.

Contact a Plainfield IL Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you should seek medical help immediately, even if you were not hurt at the time of the accident. If you delay medical assistance, then you may develop side effects that can negatively impact your overall quality of life. At Flaherty Law, we understand the medical issues which can result from a car accident, and we are ready to provide effective legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free initial consultation, please call a Will County personal injury attorney at 815-577-7500.

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Plainfield car accident lawyer winter weatherAs we enter the cold winter months, the Chicago area has already begun to see some snow and ice. The winter weather can be unpredictable in Illinois, and before driving, it is a good idea to check the weather and plan ahead. Unfortunately, even when people take extra precautions, the winter weather greatly increases the risk of car accidents, and many serious injuries and deaths occur every year in Illinois as a result.

Winter Car Accident Statistics in Will County

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 13,824 reported car accidents in Will County in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Winter weather was involved in a significant number of these accidents, including: 

  • Over 1,000 car accidents involved snow. There were no deaths reported, but these accidents resulted in 160 injuries.
  • There were 396 car accidents that involved ice. There were 66 injuries and one death as a result of these accidents.
  • 76 reported car accidents involved sleet and hail. There were no deaths reported, and these accidents led to 16 reported injuries.
  • 2,190 car accidents were reported as a result of wet surfaces. These accidents resulted in six deaths and 482 injuries.

Preventing Winter Car Accidents

In unpredictable winter weather, anything can happen. Be prepared for driving in snowy and icy conditions by checking your car’s battery strength, windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze levels, tire pressure, and the amount of wear on tire treads. It is a good idea to keep at least half a tank of gas in your car to ensure that you have enough fuel to reach your destination and prevent the gas line from freezing. 

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Plainfield winter pedestrian accident attorneyAs we enter the holiday season, the weather is about to get colder, and the roads may start to get snowy and icy. These conditions increase the risk of car accident injuries for everyone who uses the road, but pedestrians are often in the most danger during the winter season. In cold weather conditions, both drivers and pedestrians should take extra care to prevent potential pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

  • In 2015, more than 5,000 Americans were killed in pedestrian accidents. On average, one pedestrian was killed in an accident every 1.6 hours. 
  • In the same year, approximately 129,000 pedestrians were admitted into emergency rooms for injuries related to car accidents. 
  • Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in a car at the time of the accident. 
  • People over the age of 65 accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian accident deaths and 13 percent of all injuries from pedestrian accidents in 2015. 
  • One in every five children under 15 years old who were killed in car accidents in 2015 were pedestrians. 
  • Drivers should be aware that driving at higher speeds increases the chances of a pedestrian being hit by a car and the potential of severe injuries or death. Pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur at night, in non-intersection locations, and in urban areas, so drivers should take care to watch for pedestrians in these situations.

How Pedestrians Can Avoid Accidents During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, pedestrians who are out shopping or attending holiday gatherings should be aware of the danger that winter weather can bring. In order to prevent an injury or death as a result of an accident, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street. Keep looking both ways until safely across.
  • Do not use a phone, headphones, or other technological devices when crossing the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or designated paths to avoid oncoming traffic. If there are no sidewalks available, walk as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Minor children must cross the street with a responsible adult.

Call a Plainfield Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact Flaherty Law. Attorney Daniel Flaherty has over 10 years of experience in personal injury law, and he will provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call a Will County pedestrian accident lawyer at 815-577-7500 for a free initial consultation.

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Will County winter car accident attorneyWe are almost at the end of the year, and that means that we will likely be getting at least a few inches of snow within the next few months. During the winter, the snowy and icy weather greatly increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Here are some tips to take care of your car this winter and to protect yourself from injuries caused by a potential collision:

Extra Time Means Everything

Driving becomes much more dangerous when there is snow or ice on the ground. Before driving anywhere, it is best to take some extra time to make sure defrosters, brakes, and mirrors are in good condition. Spending these extra few minutes to ensure that your vehicle’s systems are in working order can make a huge difference during the winter months.

Defrosting Is a Must-Do

If a car is kept outside overnight, then chances are great that condensation and frost may form on the mirrors and car. It is wise to turn the car on at least five minutes before preparing to drive, and it is also a good idea to keeping a towel available to wipe away condensation and an ice scraper to remove any frost. Checking for snow or frost build-up on the headlight and taillights is a good way to take make sure other drivers can see your vehicle.

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Plainfield train accidents attorneyEvery year, there are always a troubling number of deaths and injuries caused by someone crossing railroad tracks and being struck by a train. Unfortunately, too many people and families must deal with the death of a loved one from a train accident. Furthermore, when someone survives a train accident, they may have to deal with permanent, life-altering injuries sustained from the collision. Understanding the statistics of deaths and serious injuries caused by train accidents can help people avoid these accidents in the future.

Vehicle/Train Crashes By the Numbers

  • In 2015, 265 people were killed by a train in the United States. 
  • A train accident occurs every three hours in the United States, on average. 
  • 50 percent of all train accidents occur at crossings with active warning devices, including bells, lights, and railroad gates. 
  • In 2016, there were 120 train collisions in Illinois, with 22 of them resulting in death and 43 injuries.
  • In Illinois, the six counties in the Chicago area account for about 73 percent of the State of Illinois’ risk of a train/vehicle accident.
  • A train traveling at 55 miles per hour will take approximately 18 football fields to come to a stop. 

Suicide As a Factor in Train Accidents

As of July, there have been as many as 16 people who were killed in a train accident in 2017 in which the death was ruled to be a suicide, according to Metra, one of the largest commuter rail systems in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs and counties. Between 2013 and 2016, there have been, on average, 18 suicides reported each year from train accidents. 

As the awareness of suicide on train tracks has grown, several programs have been put in place to emphasize prevention efforts, with the goal of decreasing the number of suicides resulting from train accidents to zero as quickly as possible. Over 150 Metra employees have been trained in the company’s mental health and suicide awareness program, helping them learn to identify at-risk people at Metra stations or on train tracks and refer them to the appropriate authorities for further treatment.

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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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Plainfield car accident lawyer mechanical failuresIt is not always readily apparent why a car accident occurred, but most are attributed to driver error. However, accidents can also be caused by poorly maintained vehicles. It is important to be aware of common mechanical issues and correct any issues that you find. Properly maintaining your car will help avoid accidents caused by mechanical failures, and if you are in an accident, you may be able to prove that you are not at fault and receive compensation for your injuries.

Common Mechanical Failures

1. Tires and wheels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire problems account for 35 percent of accidents where a vehicle failure was the cause of the crash. Tire problems can include blowouts (which are especially common in 18-wheeler accidents) or worn tire treads that impede a driver from maintaining proper control.

2. Brakes. Brake issues comprise 22 percent of accidents where vehicle failure was the cited cause of the wreck. Brake issues include faulty or worn brake lines, Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) malfunctions and worn brake pads that should have been replaced.

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Plainfield Uninsured Motorist Car Accident LawyerIf you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, the insurance policy of the at-fault driver is a key factor in your case and in your recovery. The type of policy the other driver has (or does not have) could limit the amount of money you are able to receive. 

Typically, if the other driver’s insurance policy is insufficient for your injuries, or if the other driver does not have an insurance policy in place at the time of the accident, your own car insurance policy will provide coverage through uninsured or underinsured insurance provisions.

These provisions come with requirements for the injured driver and are technical in nature to invoke. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate these requirements and receive the coverage you need.

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Plainfield motorcycle accident injury lawyerAccidents involving motorcycles almost always involve bodily injury, as bikers are not as protected as motorists riding in cars. In fact, motorcyclists in Illinois are not legally required to wear helmets, which can protect against injury.

Despite being at a greater risk for injury, motorcyclists still have rights on the road. If they are in an accident that is caused by another driver, their injuries should be treated at the cost of the at-fault party and their pain and suffering should also be compensated.

In 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in the United States. These are some common injuries sustained by motorcyclists:

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Daniel R. FlahertyWill County attorney Daniel R. Flaherty marked the second anniversary of his firm, Flaherty Law, on July 31. Each anniversary is important to Daniel Flaherty, as it represents another year of growth, both professionally and personally.

Plainfield, Illinois, attorney Daniel R. Flaherty has practiced law for 10 years. He started his career as an insurance defense litigator in personal injury and property damage cases. In 2010, he decided to focus on representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. He gained experience in the field while helping clients recover millions of dollars in damages, which was crucial in his choice to start his own practice.

Flaherty Law represents clients who have suffered injuries due to varied causes. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents are a large part of the practice because of their prevalence. However, the firm can also help clients who have been injured as a result of: 

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truck driver fatigueTransportation safety experts have determined that undiagnosed or inadequately treated obstructive sleep apnea in drivers can lead to accidents caused by sleepiness or inattentiveness. Two agencies in the United States Transportation Department had been pushing for more testing to be required of truck drivers and train operators for this disorder.

However, that initiative was recently dropped. The Transportation Department says that the condition is still an “on-going concern,” but that it can be addressed using existing regulations.

When the effort to regulate sleep apnea testing began, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration stated that untreated obstructive sleep apnea "can cause unintended sleep episodes and resulting deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, and memory, thus reducing the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive duties."

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Bicycle accidentBicyclists can be severely injured after being hit by a car or truck, even if proper safety measures are being followed. In the wake of an accident, the worst thing a cyclist can do is to shrug off any aches or pains and avoid seeking medical care.

Common bicycle accident injuries include: broken limbs, brain injuries, nerve damage, and dental and jaw injuries. These can be extremely painful, they can take months or years to heal, and they can be expensive to treat. 

Be on the lookout for these conditions, which may indicate that there is a serious problem:

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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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Why It Matters If the Person Who Caused Your Accident Was on the PhoneBy now, all drivers should be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. According to the Illinois State Police, distracted driving is present in more than one million car accidents every year in North America. The economic impact of these accidents reaches nearly $40 billion annually, some experts estimate. 

Distracted Driving is Likely a Factor in Your Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is possible that the person at fault was distracted in the moments leading up to the accident. While there are many potential distractions, driving safety advocates have drawn attention to cellphone use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

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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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Illinois truck accident lawyerA truck driver responsible for the deaths of five people was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. The deadly truck accident occurred in northern Illinois.

The truck driver pleaded guilty to five counts of reckless homicide. He also pleaded guilty to falsifying logbook records tracking how many hours he had worked.

The 2014 accident occurred on Interstate 55 near Channahon when traffic slowed down in a construction zone. Four of the fatalities were adults, and one 11-year-old also died. In one car, the accident claimed the life of a father, but his three children survived.

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Illinois bike accident lawyersA law that recently went into effect provides that motor vehicles and bicycles are to receive the same rights on the road in right-of-way situations. The law went into effect on January 1, 2017. This is an important change that is meant to enhance the protections given to bicycles and may be helpful is bike accident lawsuits brought by cyclists.

Background of Dennis’s Law

The law is named after an Illinois resident, Dennis E. Jurs, who died in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident in 2015. The driver of the vehicle was issued a traffic citation for his failure to yield to the right-of-way to the cyclist.

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Plainfield, IL 60544

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