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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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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in 2018. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from operating his or her vehicle safely is considered a form of distracted driving. This may include texting or other cell phone use, eating and drinking while driving, adjusting the radio or GPS system, and much more. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be left with overwhelming financial losses. Fortunately, a personal injury claim may help you recover compensation.

Distracted Driving Is Against the Law
The act of texting and driving has been against the law in Illinois for over a decade. However, this has not stopped people from using their cell phones behind the wheel. Many drivers have admitted to texting, browsing the Internet, updating social media, and even watching videos while operating a vehicle. Recently, a new law went into effect in Illinois that allows the Secretary of State to revoke or suspend an individual’s driver’s license if he or she causes an accident resulting in bodily injury while using an electronic device. Although using a cell phone while driving is still a major concern, this is not the only type of distracted driving that results in serious auto accidents. Talking to passengers, reaching for an object that has fallen on the vehicle’s floor, attending to children in the backseat, and countless other acts may constitute distracted driving. If a motorist violates Illinois traffic laws or drives in a reckless or negligent manner, he or she may be liable for any damages caused in an accident.

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