Distracted Driving Leads to Increased Risk of Car Accidents

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Arlington Heights distracted driving accident lawyerThe dangers of distracted driving are well-known in the United States, but even though many states have passed laws against texting or using a cell phone while driving, people across the country continue to put themselves and others at risk. The statistics are sobering; in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in car accidents involving distracted driving, making a total of 9.2% of all car crash fatalities. Every day, at least eight people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in these types of accidents. Yet despite the obvious danger of distracted driving, studies have shown that approximately 660,000 people use cell phones or electronic devices while driving on a daily basis.

The Risks of Distracted Driving

Modern cell phones are powerful computers that provide their users with the ability to easily look up information and communicate with others, and the ease of using these devices makes it tempting for people to do so while they are behind the wheel. While some people may believe that they are able to multitask and use a cell phone or complete other activities while driving, these types of distractions cause extreme danger to everyone who uses the road.

Use of electronic devices while driving is especially dangerous because it causes three separate types of distractions:

  1. 1. Visual distractions, in which drivers take their eyes off the road and are not aware of what is happening around their car.
  2. 2. Manual distractions, in which drivers take their hands off the steering wheel and are not in full control of their vehicle.
  3. 3. Cognitive distractions, in which drivers take their attention off their surroundings and are unable to quickly react to changing traffic conditions or hazards.

If a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, and they take their attention off the road for five seconds to read or send a text message, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed. 

Keeping one’s full attention on the road is incredibly important, but many drivers fail to do so. Distracted driving extends beyond the use of electronic devices; many drivers are distracted by adjusting their radio or environmental controls, eating and drinking, grooming, or communicating with passengers.

Contact a Schaumburg Distracted Driving Car Accident Attorney

Drivers who use cell phones or otherwise take their attention off the road while driving put themselves and everyone around them in danger. If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident that was caused by distracted driving, the skilled attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you recover the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. Contact our Barrington personal injury attorneys today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Dealing with Emotional Trauma After an Auto Accident

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Des Plaines auto accident lawyersCar accidents can cause more than just physical injuries. In fact, many victims experience emotional trauma in the weeks and months following an accident. Sadly, they may also face a difficulty when trying to cope with heightened emotions amidst the physical ailments and financial troubles that may accompany an accident. Learn how you can deal with emotional trauma after an auto accident, and what it could mean for your personal injury case, with help from the following information. You shall also learn where to find assistance with your claim. 

Why Trauma May Occur 

Most people assume that trauma is directly correlated with the severity of a crash or the injuries sustained. However, nothing could be further from reality. In fact, even minor accidents can cause heightened emotions and trauma. This is because trauma is often caused by fear, a lack of control, and a sudden or unexpected negative event. Car accidents contain all three elements. 

Another reason that trauma is common after an accident is the speed at which the events occur. One minute, you can be driving through an intersection, and the next, you are spinning in the middle of traffic because someone ran a red light and hit you. Your brain may not fully process everything at the time, so it may attempt to do so afterward. 

What Trauma Feels Like 

Trauma is different for everyone. However, most people experience similar symptoms. For example, someone experiencing trauma after an accident might experience: 

- Sleeplessness, 
- Night terrors, 
- Excessive irritability, 
- Mood swings, 
- Depression, 
- Panic attacks, 
- Night sweats, 
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating, 
- Inability to drive, 
- Excessive fatigue, 
- Difficulty relaxing, 
- Helplessness, 
- Social withdrawal or self-isolation, 
- Racing heartbeat, 
- Headaches or migraines, 
- Abdominal pain or discomfort, 
- Exaggerated startle response, 
- Forgetfulness, 
- Muscle tension or pain, 
- Crying spells, or 
- Flashbacks. 

Please note that this list is, by no means, comprehensive. If you experience any strange or new symptoms after an accident, speak with your doctor to determine if it could be related. 

How Trauma Could Impact Your Case 

If you are experiencing trauma after an auto accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Unfortunately, proving that the effect was, in fact, caused by the accident can be difficult. As such, victims are encouraged to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney. 

Known for protecting the interests of our clients, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC is the firm to call when you need help with your claim. Dedicated and experienced, our Des Plaines car crash lawyers will fight aggressively to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule your personalized consultation to learn more. Call us at 847-934-6000 today.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Most Common Types of Traffic Accidents

Web Admin - Thursday, July 21, 2016

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, just under 300,000 automobile accidents happened in 2014. More than 800 automobile accidents happen per day in Illinois, and more than two people are killed each day by automobile accidents. There were nine people injured every hour in Illinois automobile accidents. These are some startling statistics about automobile accidents on Illinois highways and roadways. It is dangerous to be on the road, and anyone could be involved in an auto accident at any time. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at our law firm are eager to assist you with your case today.

Most Common Types of Auto Accidents In Illinois

Some types of automobile accidents happen more frequently than others. In terms of collisions that cause injuries, the top five types of automobile collisions include:

1. Accidents where one vehicle rear-ends another vehicle. In Illinois, the leading type of automobile accident involves one vehicle rear-ending another vehicle. There were more than 18,000 rear-end accidents in Illinois in 2014 that produced injuries. This make sense since there are so many different ways that a rear-end accident could occur. A driver in the front could suddenly hit the brakes, or an inattentive driver could not be paying attention to the road and could run into the rear end of a vehicle that is stopped, waiting for a light to change, for example. 

2. Accidents that happen due to a vehicle turning. The second most frequent type of automobile accident that happens is an accident involving turning. There were more than 10,000 turning accidents that caused injuries in 2014. A driver may fail to use their turn indicator, or a driver might not be paying attention to a turning vehicle and could cause an accident. 

3. Accidents that occur at an angle. One of the most difficult things to determine when you are behind the wheel is when another driver is going to go at an angle rather than straight or a 90 degree turn. Multiple-way stops and circles are difficult to navigate, especially when other drivers are trying to navigate them as well. Nearly 8,000 accidents in Illinois in 2014 involved a vehicle being hit at an angle. 

4. Collision with a fixed object. One of the more common single-vehicle accident types involves collisions with a fixed object, such as a tree or lamp post. Nearly 8,000 accidents in 2014 were attributed to a vehicle striking a fixed object. 

5. Accidents involving hitting a pedestrian. Unfortunately, the fifth most common type of automobile accident in Illinois in 2014 involved striking or hitting a pedestrian. There were nearly 4,200 accidents involving injured pedestrians. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident, contact one of our experienced Illinois accident attorneys today. Our firm serves the communities of Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Inverness, Deer Park, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington and Arlington Heights. Please do not hesitate to call us at 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team.

Ken Apicella
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Insurance Claim After an Automobile Accident

Web Admin - Friday, July 31, 2015

insurance claim, Illinois car accident lawyer, insurance disputeIn a perfect world, we would not need insurance because we would never have any accidents. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a wonderful place. If you have never been involved in an automobile accident, you may not be familiar with the process of making an insurance claim. Though we hope you never have to go through this process, understanding what to expect if you do can be helpful.

Illinois Fault-Based Insurance

When it comes to automobile accidents, Illinois is a fault-based state. This means that whoever is legally at fault for the accident is responsible for paying those individuals injured by the accident. Usually, this means that the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will pay for the damages. An individual involved in an accident caused by another driver has three options:

  1. 1. File a claim with his or her own insurance company, which will then pursue a subrogation claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company;
  2. 2. Pursue a claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company; or
  3. 3. File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Pursuing Insurance Claims

Usually, automobile accidents involve claims with insurance companies. The requirements on automobile insurance are codified under the Illinois Insurance Code. After a claim is filed, a claims adjuster will be assigned to the case. The adjuster may contact the insured person to obtain more information about the accident. In addition, the adjuster may do the following:

  1. 1. Request a copy of the police report;
  2. 2. Contact the other driver involved in the accident;
  3. 3. Contact any known witnesses to the accident;
  4. 4. Inspect the car for damages (this may include the adjuster taking photographs of the vehicle); and
  5. 5. Contact healthcare providers for information in relation to any injury expenses.

If the accident resulted in no injuries, the only issue will be repair to the vehicle. Resolution of claims made for vehicle repairs usually involves one of the following options:

  1. 1. Use a body shop approved by the insurance company: these shops are already approved to perform automobile repair by the carrier; the claimant simply takes his or her car in for an estimate and the work is subsequently completed;
  2. 2. Obtain quotes: the adjuster may request that the claimant take the vehicle to several shops in order to obtain estimates to compare; or
  3. 3. Claimant uses their own shop: claimants may decide to use a shop of their choosing. But, this may result in the claimant having to pay the difference in cost between the shop he or she chooses and what the insurance company determines is the fair price of the work.

If injuries occur as a result of the accident, resolving the insurance claims becomes more complex. It will be necessary for the claims adjuster to receive evidence of all medical bills. This may require the claimant to sign a waiver granting the insurance company access to his or her medical records. Further, personal injury can add significant costs on top of the cost to repair the vehicle. This added cost may make coming to an agreement on who was at fault and for what amounts much more difficult and time-consuming.

Making claims against insurance companies can be difficult and frustrating. For assistance with your insurance claim, call an experienced Illinois insurance dispute attorney at 847-934-6000 today. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC proudly provides representation for individuals throughout the northwest suburbs, in communities such as Crystal Lake, Barrington, Deer Park, Inverness, and Schaumburg.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

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