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Springfield, IL motorcycle accident lawyerSpring is here, and summer is approaching, and this means that many motorcyclists will be looking to enjoy the warmer weather as they hit the road. In recognition of the increased motorcycle traffic during the spring and summer months, safety advocates have highlighted May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. 

While motorcyclists are encouraged to follow the proper safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet and keeping their motorcycles properly maintained, the fact is that other vehicles are the primary danger to motorcyclists. When drivers act negligently around motorcycles, this can lead to motorcycle accidents that are likely to inflict serious injuries on motorcyclists or lead to a person’s wrongful death. A motorcyclist who is injured in a motorcycle accident may be able to take legal action to recover financial compensation from a negligent driver.

Motorcycle Safety Practices Drivers Should Follow

Because motorcyclists face high risks of injury if they are struck by a motor vehicle, drivers should take extra care to notice motorcycles around their vehicles and take additional precautions to prevent collisions. Drivers will want to:

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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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Champaign personal injury attorney car accident

While car accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons, adverse weather conditions are one common factor in collisions that take place in Central Illinois. Winter weather can be especially dangerous. Of the 1.2 million weather-related car accidents that occur every year in the United States, 29 percent take place on icy, snowy, or slushy pavement, and 18 percent occur while snow or sleet is falling. Studies have found that Illinois is one of the deadliest states for winter driving, with an average of 27 fatal car accidents taking place during the winter each year. In some cases, a personal injury claim can provide compensation for injuries suffered in a winter auto accident caused by a negligent driver. 

Causes of Winter Vehicle Crashes

Winter weather presents a number of risks that can affect drivers, and accidents can occur if drivers fail to account for winter conditions or do not take steps to drive safely in inclement weather. Collisions may take place during the winter because of:

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Bloomington personal injury attorney car accident

Most adults struggle to get enough sleep at night. Whether it is a tight deadline at work, child-related responsibilities, insomnia, or another cause, studies show that a large percentage of Americans are sleep-deprived. Inadequate sleep can have a major impact on a person’s physical and mental functioning. When a sleep-deprived individual gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she is significantly more likely to be involved in a car accident than someone who got enough sleep. Vehicle crashes caused by fatigued drivers lead to thousands of injuries and deaths each year.

Do Not Underestimate the Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Driving

Healthy habits like eating vegetables, exercising, and getting enough sleep are often hard to maintain. Life circumstances often get in the way of our good intentions. However, getting behind the wheel of a car when you are too sleepy to operate it safely not only puts your life in danger but also the lives of those around you. Sleep deprivation negatively affects a person’s reaction time, problem-solving skills, coordination, and other cognitive processes. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that driving after being awake for 20 hours or more is equivalent to driving drunk in terms of impairment. People who are severely sleep-deprived may even experience instances of “micro-sleep.” These short bursts of sleep are involuntary and often occur without the person’s knowledge. Although fatigue is linked to approximately 1000,000 car accidents each year, many people underestimate the effect sleepiness has on their ability to safely drive.

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Champaign personal injury attorney car accident

When a traffic accident occurs, everyone involved usually has an interest in establishing which party caused the accident. This determination is generally used to establish who will be financially responsible for the damages caused by the collision. Sometimes, the fault is quite clear, such as in a case where a careless driver crashes into the rear of a vehicle that is sitting at a traffic light. In other cases, determining blame is more complicated, as any number of drivers could have played a part in causing the crash. If there is more than one party with at least some fault for a car accident, the liability for any resulting injuries or damages could be shared also.

Types of Shared Fault Models

Each state maintains its own laws regarding how liability may be shared when the plaintiff in a personal injury case is partially at fault for the incident in question and states generally use one of three basic models. The first model is called “pure contributory fault,” which is used in just four states, as well as Washington, D.C. Under this rule, the injured party can only collect compensation as long as the victim had no fault at all for the crash. Even if the defendant was 99 percent at fault and the plaintiff was 1 percent to blame, the plaintiff is barred from collecting damages.

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