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Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident? If so, you may wonder how auto insurance comes into play. In brief, Illinois is defined as a fault car insurance state. What this means is that the person who is found to be at fault for causing the car accident has to compensate people who were injured, or property damage, arising out of the car accident. Normally, in Illinois, the car insurance carrier of the at-fault driver will pay for these costs. There are various car insurance requirements in Illinois.  

Illinois’ Car Insurance Requirements

If you live in Illinois and have a registered motor vehicle in Illinois, the following laws/requirements apply to you. First of all, you, as a driver, must carry at least $20,000 in insurance coverage to cover for injury or death of a person involved in an auto accident (this includes yourself as well as others.)

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The holiday season is in full swing, and for many people, this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Over the coming weeks, many Americans will be attending or hosting more than one parties or get-together to catch up with their friends and family and celebrate. In this kind of atmosphere, there is no shortage of alcohol, and that’s one of the primary reasons why the period between Christmas Eve and New Years Day continues to be one of the most dangerous times to be on our nation’s roads.

Over the past decade, approximately 41% of all personal injuries and fatalities between Christmas (38% of all traffic deaths on Christmas involve a drunk driver) and New Years Day (54% of all New Year’s Day traffic fatalities involve a drunk driver) were alcohol-related. With that in mind, our lawyers want to remind you that, while we know everyone looks forward to celebrating the holiday season with those close to them, it is incredibly important that we all do so responsibly. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Our law firm want to make sure you and your family get home safely from your holiday parties, so if you are planning on attending one of these gatherings here are some important rules to follow:

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Do you enjoy listening to music while you drive? I certainly do. As enjoyable as it may be, you should keep in mind that listening to music in the car may be a distraction. Parents beware; this is especially true for beginner drivers. Studies show that listening to music behind the wheels tends to distract beginner drivers more than advanced drivers.

Distracted drivers frequently cause accidents. If a distracted driver crashes into you, it is important that you hire an attorney for your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

The Research on this Issue

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A couple weeks ago, two vehicles traveling on I-64 near mile marker 43.5, were involved in an accident. A Chevy truck rear-ended a Toyota Camry, pushing it off the road and eventually overturning it. The Camry’s driver was uninjured but his passenger was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. Unfortunately, the driver of the Chevy truck drove off immediately after the collision; investigation is ongoing at this time.

Hit and run accidents, such as this one, happen often. As a matter of fact, and according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), nearly 11 percent of all reported auto accidents involve at least one vehicle fleeing the scene. A lot of times they involve fatalities! Also according AAA, hit and run accidents result in about 1,500 fatalities every single year!

It is important to know and understand what to do if you are involved in a hit and run accident. First, however, if you, or a loved one, were involved in a hit and run, it is imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be eligible for compensation. Your compensation may include, but is not limited to, medical expense, lost wages, emotional distress and pain and suffering.

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Face it, something that you never want to experience is a rollover crash. However, please be aware that rollover crashes happen often. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 280,000 rollover crashes occur annually. These accidents, on average, claim more than 10,000 lives every year!

Just last week, a couple days before Halloween, a 19-year-old Illinois sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries in a rollover crash. The crash happened during rush hour around 5:30 p.m. This was a single vehicle accident. At the time of the accident, the young girl was driving westbound when her vehicle drifted onto the shoulder of the road. As novice drivers tend to do, this young driver overcorrected her vehicle causing it to overturn numerous times. The vehicle came to rest in the center of the highway. Luckily, this female driver was wearing a seatbelt. On the arrival of emergency crews, the female had to be extricated from the vehicle. She was then flown to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Given the severity and frequency of rollover crashes, it is important to understand how to avoid these accidents. If you are a victim of an auto accident at the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your resulting damages.  

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With Thanksgiving this week and the holiday season upon us, many will likely be making travel plans to spend time with friends and family. In fact, AAA is reporting that this year will see the most travel for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2007. This will probably mean more cars on the road and more traffic for drivers across the country to contend with as they navigate the roadways later this week. Experts are warning drivers to prepare for the biggest Thanksgiving travel rush in a number of years. Of course, with more traffic comes the possibility of car accidents, as well.

Reasons for Increased Traffic

Those planning on traveling this holiday should expect to be on the roadways a little longer, according to a projection by auto club AAA. AAA is anticipating a 4.2 percent increase in travel as compared to last year, with 46.3 million people expected to travel at least 50 miles from their homes during the holiday weekend. If correct, this would be the highest traffic volume reported since the year 2007. Experts are saying that more people are willing and able to travel this year as compared to recent years past due to an improved economy, a larger amount of disposable income, lower gas prices, and overall consumer optimism. With increased consumer confidence, they say, comes an increased desire to travel for the holiday season.
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Recently, in Kane County, Illinois, two 16-year olds were killed in a car accident. The accident happened around 5:00 p.m. this past Saturday, north of Elburn, Kane County, near Meredith and Beith roads. The two teenagers were traveling westbound in a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. Their truck stopped at an intersection stop sign. From here, the truck slowly crept into the intersection right in front of a southbound 1979 Peterbilt tractor-trailer carrying corn. The tractor-trailer crashed into the teens’ truck killing the two teens.  

Teens and Auto Accidents

This may not surprise you, but teens are responsible for a high number of auto accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reports that 221,313 teens visited the emergency room in 2014 for injuries they incurred in an auto accident. During that same year, 2,270 teens died because of a car accident.

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Speeding, or driving over the posted speed limit, continues to be a common cause of car accidents, sometimes fatal accidents. According to the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is among the most frequent causes of car accidents. This is certainly true here in Illinois, too.   

A couple weeks prior to this post, at around 5:30 p.m., a black Toyota Camry was speeding above the posted speed limit on I – 94 North near 87th Street. This vehicle was occupied by its driver and one passenger. Suddenly, this speeding Camry moved slightly out of its lane of traffic. It powerfully struck a stop sign and, unfortunately, struck a concrete barrier head on. The vehicle’s two occupants were not wearing their seatbelts. They were rushed to a nearby hospital. The car’s driver, 24 years of age, was pronounced dead at the hospital and the passenger, 31 years of age, remains in critical condition.

Speeding poses major costs to our society. The NHTSA estimates that speeding-related crashes costs our society around $40 billion. In the year 2012, speeding was a cause in nearly 30 percent of all fatal car accidents. In that same year, 10,219 traffic fatalities were caused by speeding out of a total 33,561 traffic-related fatalities.        

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It does not take much snow to cause serious traffic problems. As you may remember, earlier this January here in Illinois, on one particular rush-hour snowstorm, it snowed less than one inch of snow but caused traffic chaos. The snow was mixed with ice and reduced visibility. This created a cocktail for disaster. The storm led to several car crashes and the death of a pedestrian when an out of control car struck him. An Illinois state trooper was also injured in a car crash. Witnesses said that, despite the conditions, people were driving too close to other vehicles.  

This article will list ways of avoiding accidents when driving in the snow. First, if you were involved in a car accident, it is important that you hire an attorney for your case.

How to stay Safe in these Conditions

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While there is no remedy for the significant size discrepancy that exists between a passenger vehicle and a semi truck, there are many ways that we can all do our own part to reduce the number of large truck accidents on the roads while also keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe.

Stay Alert and Always Practice Defensive Driving—It is always best to use extra caution around large trucks and tractor-trailers. These vehicles are very different to operate compared to other cars and SUVs, and they behave quite differently as well. At highway speeds, and especially in adverse conditions, make sure to give trucks space to maneuver, stop and turn. Don’t cut trucks off to reach an exit or nearby turn, and respect truck drivers.

Avoid the Blind Spots of Large Trucks—Semi trucks and other large tractor-trailers have enormous blind spots, and this makes driving around these vehicles especially dangerous. Roughly 1/3rd of all truck accidents are a result of a car driving in the blind spot of a semi. In this respect, the best rule of thumb is: if you can’t see a truck driver’s side mirrors, you know for a fact a truck driver can’t see you either.