Articles Posted in Current Issues

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.)

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

At this time of year, the weather can be pretty unpredictable in the Midwest, and the same can be said for the road conditions. In December, a brisk 40-something degree-day at noon can easily transform into foggy, rainy, icy conditions by nightfall, and these conditions can result in tragedy in the wrong circumstances.
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Automotive design defects injure thousands of people each year, and many of them are the result of negligence on the part of a manufacturer. Federal laws require all automotive manufacturers to alert the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety-related design fault or lack of compliance within 5 business days of its discovery, in order to expedite the recall process and minimize harm to the consumer. When auto companies fail to take proper action to recall dangerous vehicles and components, they place their own customers in danger, along with everyone else on the road. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

According to federal prosecutors, General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a fine of approximately $900 million in order to settle criminal charges related to the ignition design defects in their cars, which have been linked to more than 120 deaths.
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Just five years ago, many crash-avoidance systems were options that could only be found on a small number of luxury models. Yet, as time and technology has progressed, many automotive brands have started to spread innovative safety features throughout more of their models, promising to save thousands of lives – and billions of dollars in the public, as well as private sectors.
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It’s been a rainy April in Chicagoland. Now the grass is getting greener, and flowers and trees are in bloom, as nice weather is breaking through. However, rainier weather means wet roads and decreased visibility. Therefore, it’s important that drivers act with extra safety and caution when on the roads to prevent car accidents. Heavy rains can make roads slippery and for it to be harder to see. While we understand that rain cannot keep people from their everyday obligations like work and school, we do stress to take higher precautions than normal when driving. Remember to slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

According to an article by ABC 7, rainy Chicago weather led road closures and traffic collisions. As rain fell throughout the Midwest, especially over the Chicago area, accidents occurred. This includes a semi-truck that jackknifed on I-94. The driver was trapped in the wreckage, but emergency responders were able to get him out. In another crash that occurred on I-57, a person was thrown from a car. Additionally, several vehicles were recently involved in a crash that closed Cicero Avenue on Chicago’s northwest side from Montrose to Lawrence.
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While many of us dread waking up for work after vacations or weekends and hearing that alarm buzzer sound, most of us have to stick to a schedule for our “daily grind”. That is why we should all get a good night’s sleep. In fact, not only does being well rested increase your productivity and help you create a better work product, but it will make your commute to work a lot safer.

However, there are many conditions and factors that prevent some people from getting the sleep they need to function well at work and safely on the road. Maybe you live in a noisy downtown area and struggle sleeping through the noise of the city and the traffic. Perhaps you have a child whose cries interrupt your sleep in the middle of the night. You might also have a medical condition that stops you from being well rested, having deep sleep, or sleeping long enough.

A recent study revealed that those who suffer from sleep apnea have a more than double the risk of others on the road of a car accident from their drowsy driving. According to an article by Medical Daily, the risks of sleep deprivation are similar to those of alcohol intoxication when driving a car. This means that driving when not properly rested is very similar to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when drunk. According to the study, people with obstructive sleep apnea were found 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in an accident than people without the sleep disorder. One doctor explained that excessive daytime sleepiness is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, which causes the individual to wake up in the morning feeling tired and unrefreshed despite having slept all night. In fact, insufficient sleep has been classified as a public health epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control, and nearly 40% of people report unintentionally falling asleep at least once per month. That is an especially high percentage, especially when you consider the fact that the once per month or more could happen behind the wheel of a car.
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Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience helping clients seek compensation for catastrophic injuries suffered because of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, and that includes design defects. It’s a scary thought to know that there have been 390 million vehicles recalled for design defects since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. That’s a pretty massive number, and from it one could certainly infer that there are millions of cars out there that are being poorly made. However, at Levin & Perconti we choose to look at the glass half full; our attorneys see this huge number as a sign that regulatory agencies and automotive companies alike are doing what is right and keeping our nation’s drivers safe. Automotive recalls have saved countless lives, and continue to be a crucial cog in the building of company-client trust. Still, in order for these recalls to save lives, people need to remain informed, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come up with a plan to help them do just that.
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It’s a new year; resolutions have been made, and people are looking to the future, wondering what 2015 might have in store. At the very least, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes that key technological advances will bring a year with fewer traffic injuries and deaths. The NHTSA is our country’s preeminent automotive regulatory agency, and they are always working on one project or another to improve public safety on the road. At any one time the NHTSA is conducting dozens of research-intensive projects aimed at making our lives safer. According to recent reports, one such venture could yield more than $3 billion in profits for the United States economy, and prevent some 300 fatalities every year.
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Product liability lawsuits are those that focus on recovering compensation for injuries and deaths that have been caused by dangerous and defective products. This can mean negligence on the part of a manufacturer, a seller, or a multitude of other parties, but when these accidents do happen, they can have severe and life altering affects on their victims.
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