Most Frequent Causes of Traffic Accidents

Web Admin - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

causes of traffic accidents, Illinois Personal Injury AttorneyAnyone can find themselves involved in an automobile accident. Even a safe and courteous driver can can quickly become the victim of someone else’s negligence on the road. When an accident occurs, injured victims can suffer from any number of personal injuries or property damages. Therefore, these individuals deserve to be compensated for medical expenses, treatment, lost wages and lost property. 

Why Do Traffic Accidents Occur? 

There are several reasons why drivers are negligent behind the wheel. The most commonly cited causes for traffic accidents include the following: 

1. Distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in Illinois. While it is illegal to text and drive in Illinois, many drivers still do it and end up causing accidents. However, fiddling with a cellphone is not the only way that a driver could be distracted while behind the wheel. 

Drivers can be distracted by passengers (e.g., unruly pets, distracting children, talking passengers, etc.), eating or drinking while driving, or searching for items that are on the floor, in the glovebox, or are in a purse or backpack. Drivers who do not stay focused on the task at hand—driving safely—are negligent and are responsible for any accidents and injuries that they may cause. 

2. Driving while tired. All too common in large truck accidents, drivers may get behind the wheel and operate a vehicle while they are too tired to drive safely. A driver may accidentally doze off at the wheel or lose focus on the road. Droopy eyelids and inattentiveness make overly tired drivers unsafe drivers. Moreover, dozing off at the wheel is negligent driving. 

3. Speeding. Most people speed as some point when they are driving; sometimes it is to pass another vehicle and sometimes it is on accident. However, there are drivers who frequently make it a habit to drive at unsafe speeds. Additionally, speeding is commonly cited as a cause of many accidents in Illinois. 

4. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a driver decides to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, then he or she is exercising bad judgement and is placing himself or herself, a well as other drivers, at risk of injury or death. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is clearly negligent, and drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence should be held accountable for their poor judgement and negligent actions when others are hurt.

Speak with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in traffic accident, then it is important that you speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer immediately. We will work to help you obtain the maximum possible recovery to which you are entitled by thoroughly examining the scope and extent of your injuries, identifying all of the potentially liable parties, and diligently investigating your claim. 

With offices located in Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness and Deer Park, our experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys are here to help ensure your best interests are met. Please call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team today.

    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.




Premises Liability

Web Admin - Friday, November 13, 2015

premises liability, Crystal Lake Personal Injury Attorney Premises liability allows a person who lives on or visits another person’s property to recover for injuries sustained while on the property, if the owner was negligent. A property owner has a duty to keep the premises or property in a reasonably safe condition. A property owner may be negligent in several ways, including allowing a sidewalk to become icy or a liquid spill to be left in the aisle of a store. 

Hurt on Another Person’s Property 

Traditionally, an invitee was owed the highest level of care. An invitee is a person invited to enter or remain for the commercial benefit of the property owner. This includes a person entering a store to shop or a tenant renting an apartment or house. 

As opposed to an invitee, a licensee is someone who has permission to be on the property, but who is there for his or her own personal purposes and not for business purposes. Guests at a party or family members with an open invitation to visit are considered invitees. Under common law, a lesser standard of care was provided for licensees than was provided for invitees. 

Under Illinois law, the common law distinction between invitees and licensees, in regard to the duty owed, is no longer recognized. Instead, an owner of property owes all entrants a duty of “reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them.” In order to impose liability on an owner or possessor of property, a person injured while on the property of another must establish that the owner: 

1. Knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known of the dangerous condition and should have realized that it involved an unreasonable risk of harm;

2. Should have anticipated that the entrant would not have discovered or been aware of the danger, or would not have taken precaution against it; and

3. Failed to exercise reasonable care in providing protection against the danger. 

Importantly, trespassers are not provided the same protections as entrants who have express or implied consent to be on the property. Generally, owners or possessors of property only need to avoid willfully or wantonly injuring trespassers. Willful conduct involves an actor having actual knowledge of the danger of the act being performed in conjunction with a conscious failure to avoid the injury. A wanton act is one that is performed with a reckless indifference to the potential for harmful consequences. 

Helping Victims 

If you have been injured while you were on the property of another person, it may be possible for you to recover damages from the owner. For more information, contact a skilled Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our firm represents individuals throughout the northwest suburbs, in communities such as Crystal Lake, Palatine, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

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.



Illinois’ Dram Shop Act

Web Admin - Friday, October 16, 2015

Illinois' Dram Shop Act, Crystal Lake personal injury attorneyWhen an intoxicated individual harms another person, the injured party may seek recovery from the bar, restaurant, or other licensed alcohol establishment that sold the intoxicated person alcohol. These “dram shop” laws allow personal injury claims for damage to property or the injury or death of a person. Frequently, these claims arise as a result of automobile accidents involving intoxicated drivers; however, they also may arise in other situations as well.   

Liquor Control Act 

The dram shop law is found within the Illinois Liquor Control Act, which is intended to promote the health and safety of people through the regulation and control of the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcohol. Under Illinois law, any person who is injured by any intoxicated person has a cause of action against any person, licensed to sell alcohol, who, by selling or giving alcohol caused the intoxication. Liability can be extended to: 

1. An establishment, like a bar or restaurant, that sells alcohol to individuals who consume the alcohol on the premises;

2. A person 21 years of age or older who pays for a hotel room with knowledge that it will be used for the consumption of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age when such alcohol is consumed on the premises; and

3. People who own, rent, lease, or permit occupation of a building or property with the knowledge that alcohol will be sold at the property when such alcohol is consumed on the premises.   

The action can be for the loss of means of support of the loss of society, but not both. The loss of society is defined as the mutual benefits each family member receives from the continued existence of the other member. These benefits include love, affection, comfort, guidance and protection. In addition, claims can be made for damage to property, injury or death. In order to be successful, an injured person must prove that the: 

1. Establishment sold alcohol to the person who caused the damage or injury;

2. Establishment was the proximate cause of the person becoming intoxicated;

3. Injuries or damages were caused by the intoxicated person; and

4. Intoxication was at least one cause of the resulting damage or injury. 

It is important to note that there is no requirement under Illinois law that the establishment knew or had reason to know that the person was already intoxicated before serving them alcohol in order to hold the establishment liable. 

The amount of damages that can be recovered is limited. Illinois law requires the Comptroller to adjust the liability limits in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the preceding 12-month calendar year. For property damage, injury, or death that occurred on or after January 20, 2015, the amount of damages recoverable cannot exceed $65,511.99. Claims for the loss of means of support or society cannot exceed $80,070.21. 

Personal Injury Claims 

If you have suffered injury or damage to property as a result of an intoxicated person, there may be several options to seek recovery for your losses. For more information, reach out to an experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorney today. Our firm proudly presents individuals throughout the northwest suburbs, including communities such as Des Plaines, Palatine, Schaumburg, Crystal Lake, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park. 

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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