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 bloomington injury lawyerCar accidents often result in property damage, serious injuries, or even death. Victims and their families may be left with significant medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses. They may also be unable to work or complete daily responsibilities while recovering from car crash injuries. Fortunately, compensation for these costs and other damages may be available through a personal injury case. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in Illinois, it is important to understand how Illinois handles shared fault accidents. 

Modified Comparative Negligence

If you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Illinois personal injury cases are subject to a legal doctrine called “modified comparative negligence.” Under modified comparative negligence, if someone is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, they are barred from recovering anything. However, if a driver is 50 percent or less to blame for the accident, they may still be entitled to financial compensation for their damages. In cases of shared fault, a party’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

For instance, imagine that Driver A and Driver B are both at fault for a car accident. Driver A is 70 percent at fault while Driver B is 30 percent at fault. Driver B suffered $10,000 in damages. He will still receive compensation, but it will be reduced by 30 percent. Therefore in this example, he would receive $7,000. Now imagine that Driver A is 48 percent at fault for an accident but Driver B is 52 percent to blame. Since Driver B is more than 50 percent liable for the accident, he would be barred from receiving any compensation – regardless of his damages.

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champaign car accident lawyerDrivers are generally aware of the risks they face while using the roads. Car accidents can occur for many different reasons, and most of the time, driver negligence is the primary cause behind a collision. However, there are other issues that can affect safety on the roads, including conditions that lead to dangerous highways, such as cargo loads that have fallen from trucks. People in Central Illinois recently encountered a unique and unexpected issue when olive oil that had leaked onto the roadway affected vehicles’ ability to maintain the proper traction.

Olive Oil Spill in Farmer City

On July 16, 2021, several roads in Farmer City were shut down because they were covered with a slippery, oily substance. It was later discovered that a tanker truck that had traveled through the area had sprung a leak, causing olive oil to spill on the roads. While the largest concentration of olive oil was in a gas station parking lot near the intersection of State Route 54 and State Route 150, the truck continued to leak oil while traveling east on I-74 and continuing north on I-57.

Due to the spill, multiple roads and businesses in the area were closed. The Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation took measures to address safety on these roads, including spreading sand and salt on the roads to soak up the olive oil and provide traction for vehicles traveling through the area.

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champaign car accident lawyerThere are many different types of dangerous traffic violations. Driving above the speed limit is one of the most common ways that people violate traffic laws, and it can put multiple people at risk of being injured in car accidents. Victims of motor vehicle collisions have options for receiving financial compensation for their damages. By working with a personal injury lawyer, they can take the necessary steps to hold a negligent driver responsible for injuries caused by speeding or other traffic violations.

Car Accident Statistics

Over the last decade, speeding has resulted in between 9,000 and 10,000 deaths each year for motor vehicle drivers, passengers, and others, accounting for 25-30 percent of all fatalities in car accidents. However, in addition to fatal collisions, there are nearly 2 million car accidents every year that result in injuries. This means that around 500,000 people suffer injuries each year due to drivers who exceed the speed limit, or around 1,300 people per day.

The Dangers of Speeding

Speed limits are set at levels that are meant to be safe based on how roads are used, how often vehicles will need to stop or make turns, and the presence of pedestrians or slower-moving vehicles. When drivers exceed these speed limits, they become more likely to collide with others. 

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Decatur, IL drunk driving injury lawyer for dram shop liabilityDrunk driving presents a serious risk to everyone who uses the roads. Drivers who are intoxicated experience significant impairments to their ability to drive safely. These include vision problems that affect their ability to see other vehicles or people on the road, balance and coordination issues that affect their ability to control their vehicle, and delayed reaction times that may cause them to be unable to respond in time to avoid colliding with a vehicle or pedestrian. Since driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a form of driver negligence, those who have been involved in drunk driving accidents can usually hold a drunk driver liable for their injuries and damages. However, the laws in Illinois also allow an injury victim to take legal action against an establishment that sold or served alcohol to a drunk driver.

Dram Shop Liability in Illinois

Establishments that sell alcohol are sometimes referred to as “dram shops” because alcohol used to be sold in units known as “drams.” The Illinois Dram Shop Act states that if someone who was intoxicated caused injuries to someone else, the establishment that sold or served alcohol to the intoxicated person may be held liable for the victim’s injuries. That is, if a bar, restaurant, or liquor store provided alcohol that caused someone to become intoxicated, and the person went on to injure someone else, the victim can pursue compensation from the establishment.

To successfully recover compensation from an establishment, the plaintiff in a lawsuit must show the following:

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Champaign car accident lawyer for distracted drivingThe month of April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and during this time, public safety campaigns are working to make sure people understand how this issue affects everyone who uses the roads. Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of driver negligence, and it can lead to dangerous car accidents that result in serious injuries or wrongful death. In fact, across the United States, 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving in 2019. Non-fatal accidents are very common as well, with about 700 people being injured every day in accidents involving distracted drivers. People who are injured by distracted drivers will want to work with an attorney to determine how they can receive financial compensation for the injuries they suffered because of the driver’s negligence.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Most Americans spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel, and it can be easy for a person’s attention to wander, especially if they are driving on familiar roads as part of their daily routine. Unfortunately, a split-second distraction can be enough to cause a person to miss important details, and being unable to react in time to other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, obstacles, or other factors can lead to dangerous collisions.

Distractions can affect drivers in the following ways:

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