Search
 

chicago car crash lawyerIt is still early in the fall, but the Midwest’s famous weather events will begin happening more frequently, and Illinois drivers should be prepared. Rain, snow, and sleet reduce visibility and make road conditions much more hazardous, increasing weather-related car accidents. All this may leave Illinois drivers wondering: If a car accident happens that is directly or indirectly caused by bad weather conditions, who is responsible? 

Negligence and Bad Weather Conditions

Whether or not a driver is responsible (or “liable,” in legal terms) for causing an accident is largely dependent on whether the driver acted negligently. Negligence occurs when someone fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do - or when someone does something that a reasonably careful person would not do - under similar circumstances. If a driver does not act reasonably in bad weather, they could be held liable for causing a car accident. 

But what exactly does “reasonable” mean in this context? Most people would agree that a driver is not obligated to creep along the main thoroughfare at three miles per hour just because the temperature is below freezing, and there may be a small chance of black ice. Despite the inherent difficulty in setting a strict definition as to what might be considered reasonable, courts and juries can make fair decisions based on the relevant facts. 

...

IL accident lawyerChicago is a great city for bicyclists, and it provides many people with the opportunity to use bikes to travel to and from work or for personal purposes. However, the city also sees quite a bit of heavy traffic, especially during busy times of the day. Even though many of the city’s streets have bike lanes and other features meant to protect bicyclists, collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles still occur. In many cases, bicycle accidents take place because drivers act negligently and fail to operate their vehicles safely, and injured bicycles will want to understand how they can pursue financial compensation from a negligent driver.

Bike Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence

Drivers are required to treat bicycles the same as other vehicles. When drivers fail to respect bicyclists’ rights to share the road, they are more likely to strike a bicycle or cause collisions that can seriously injure others. Some forms of driver negligence that are likely to lead to bicycle accidents include:

  • Illegal turns - Drivers should always check for bicycles before turning at intersections or into alleys or driveways. When making a left turn, drivers should yield the right of way to bicycles approaching from the opposite direction. Drivers should also avoid making a right turn in front of a bicycle. Failure to follow these rules could cause a driver to strike a bicyclist or cause a collision by blocking a bicycle’s path.
  • Illegal passing - Drivers should always make sure there is at least three feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing a bicyclist on the left. Passing too closely or attempting to pass a bicycle within the same lane may cause a collision or force a bicycle off the road.
  • Following too closely - Tailgating can be dangerous in any situation, and following closely behind a bicycle may make it impossible for a driver to stop in time if a bicyclist needs to brake suddenly. Striking a bicycle from behind can lead to serious bodily harm, especially if the bicyclist is thrown forward into an intersection and struck by other vehicles.
  • Distracted driving - Drivers who take their attention away from the road are more likely to fail to notice the movements of bicycles near their vehicle. Actions such as texting while driving or looking away from the road to adjust the radio may cause a driver to strike a bicycle when making a turn, changing lanes, or proceeding through an intersection.
  • Dooring - After parking near a bike lane or a road where bicycles are traveling, a driver or another person in a vehicle may open their door into the path of a bicycle. When a bicyclist collides with a car door, they can be thrown to the ground, or they may even be pushed into traffic, leading to dangerous collisions with other vehicles.

Contact Our Cook County Bike Accident Lawyers

The lawyers of Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC provide legal help and representation for bicyclists who have been injured in collisions with motor vehicles. We work to ensure that negligent drivers are held liable for the injuries they have inflicted and that victims are fully compensated for their damages. Contact our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys by calling 312-236-6324 to arrange a complimentary consultation.

...

Chicago, IL car accident lawyer for subsequent medical negligenceMany personal injury cases are relatively straightforward. When a person or organization is directly responsible for someone else’s injuries, they may be held liable for the damages the victim has suffered. For example, a driver who is at fault in a car accident may be held responsible for the damages experienced by those who were injured in the crash, including the costs of medical treatment, the income they lost, the damage to their vehicle or other property, and their pain and suffering. However, additional factors can sometimes complicate these types of cases. What if a person was injured in a car accident, and when receiving treatment, they suffered further injuries due to medical malpractice? In these cases, victims will want to work with an attorney who can help them determine who was liable and hold those parties responsible for all of their damages.

Successive Negligence in Car Accident Cases

Most of the time, injuries from car accidents or medical malpractice are two separate issues. A negligent driver may be held responsible for injuries caused in a car crash, and a negligent medical professional may be liable for injuries caused to patients. However, these types of cases may become combined if additional medical malpractice injuries occur during treatment for car accident injuries or if a person’s injuries are aggravated because of medical negligence.

Even though it may seem that these are two separate types of cases, Illinois courts have found that if a person is found liable for someone’s injuries, they are also liable for any subsequent injuries that occurred when the victim was receiving medical treatment. This is true even in medical malpractice cases where additional injuries occurred because of the negligence of a health care provider. However, courts have also found that a defendant may only be held liable for injuries that were a “reasonably foreseeable” result of their negligence.

...

Chicago drunk driving accident attorneyThe holiday season can be a wonderful time to enjoy parties and gatherings with friends and family, and the festive atmosphere of joy and cheer is often enhanced by the consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, some people do not act responsibly during this season, and they may choose to violate the laws against driving under the influence. Drinking and driving can lead to dangerous or fatal car accidents, and victims in these cases may be left struggling to pick up the pieces after a tragedy.

The Dangers of Holiday Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous at any time of year, but it can be especially deadly during the holidays. During this time, there are often large numbers of vehicles on the roads because people are traveling to spend time with family or because they are taking shopping trips. This increased traffic, when combined with the trickier driving conditions that come with the colder winter weather, can result in very serious motor vehicle collisions.

The increased risk of drunk driving accidents during the holidays has been demonstrated in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2017, 885 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers throughout the month of December. In addition, there were 267 fatalities in drunk driving accidents in the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day, and this fatality rate was higher than in any other holiday period in 2017.

...

Chicago winter car accident lawyer

Every year, Chicagoans brace themselves for the bitter cold, strong winds, and snowy and icy conditions that they must deal with during the winter months. As the temperature begins to drop, and we start to experience inclement weather, one concern that is on many people’s minds is the increased possibility of car accidents. Drivers will want to take additional care to protect their safety during winter weather, and those who are injured in a collision should be sure to understand the forms of driver negligence that may have led to their auto accident.

Safety Measures When Driving in the Winter

It can be very easy to lose control of one’s vehicle during winter weather. To reduce the likelihood of a collision, drivers should do the following:

  • Perform proper vehicle maintenance - Drivers should ensure that all of their car’s safety systems are in working order. If tires are worn or bald, this can reduce traction, causing a vehicle to slide out of control when stopping or turning. Burnt-out headlights can reduce a vehicle’s visibility, and if windshield wipers or defrosters are not working properly, a driver may be unable to fully see the road around them. Failure to keep a vehicle maintained may be considered a form of negligence on the part of a driver.

    ...
American Association of Justice American Board of Trial Advocates Illinois State Bar Association Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top