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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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Decatur pedestrian injury attorneyThe COVID-19 pandemic has caused people throughout the United States to make changes to their lives and routines. Many people have shifted to working from home rather than commuting to an office. In their personal lives, people have stayed at home when possible to prevent the risk of infection, and they have avoided traveling long distances. Because of this, the amount of traffic on the roads has decreased. 

While it might seem like fewer vehicles on the roads would lead to fewer car accidents, this has not been the case. The number of motor vehicle collisions resulting in fatalities increased in 2020, and pedestrians have been especially affected. When compared to 2019, the number of people killed in pedestrian accidents increased by 8%. However, the total number of miles traveled by vehicles decreased by 16.5%, and because of this, the number of pedestrian fatalities per mile traveled increased by 20%.

Reasons for Increases in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

People have cited a number of possible reasons for why pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities increased even with fewer vehicles on the road. One explanation that has been given is that with less traffic, many drivers have behaved in risky ways. People have been more likely to drive above the speed limit, increasing the chances that they will be unable to slow down and stop in time to avoid striking a pedestrian who is crossing the road.

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