Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Sleep Tips for Commercial Drivers

If you are a commercial driver or you know one, it’s important to educate yourself about drowsy driving, what helps mitigate it, and what makes it worse.

1. Get Enough Sleep Before You Drive

Chances are, if you’ve watched enough television or movies, you’ve become familiar with a certain stereotype: a person who is involved a car accident where one vehicle is stopped and the other is going 2 mph. The person struck appears fine at the scene, only to reappear later in a massively bulky neck brace. Like many stereotypes, this one rarely reflects reality. The truth is that, even if you’re involved in a low-speed crash and even if the pain you feel doesn’t set in right away, that doesn’t mean that you weren’t seriously injured as a result of the accident and it doesn’t mean that you cannot recover compensation for the harm you suffered in that accident. Whether the wreck was high-speed or low-speed and whether your pain started immediately or had a delayed onset, make sure you fully explore your options by contacting an experienced Chicago injury attorney about your situation.

A recently settled case, originally reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, was an example of precisely this kind of scenario. J.D. was driving his motorcycle through a small Illinois town just east of St. Louis when he approached an intersection. J.W. was parked on the side of the road and was attempting to turn left into a parking lot. As J.W. turned his pickup truck left, he crossed into the path of J.D.’s motorcycle, according to the motorcyclist’s complaint. The impact allegedly caused the bike to topple over and pin J.D. underneath.

J.D. sued J.W. for negligence. Although J.D.’s accident was a low-speed one, the motorcyclist allegedly suffered significant damages. His complaint asserted that the accident caused him to incur “progressive and disabling injuries to his neck, back, and spine; left shoulder, hand and wrist; and pelvis.” These injuries allegedly caused the motorcyclist to incur substantial medical bills, in addition to a great deal of pain and suffering, according to the Record.

If you’re hurt in an accident where the at-fault driver was an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be concerned about getting a proper and full payout for your claim. Fortunately, rideshare companies like these offer liability insurance for their drivers. That coverage only applies in certain situations and, even if it does, it may require strenuous effort (just like in many other insurance situations) to get the insurer to pay up. To be sure that you are pursuing your claims in the right way, and getting the full payout that you deserve, be sure you have a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney guiding you throughout the process.

As it now stands, Uber and Lyft drivers in Illinois are generally considered independent contractors. As a result of that, if your injuries were the result of an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, the rideshare company may try to get the driver’s personal insurance to pay. Many drivers’ personal insurers, however, will refuse claims resulting from the driver’s Uber/Lyft activities unless the policy includes commercial coverage. That’s because most personal policies say that the driver must use the vehicle only for personal use and, if she/he doesn’t, then the insurer isn’t liable for paying claims based on that non-personal-use accident.

Fortunately, there is the insurance coverage held by Uber or Lyft. The amount of compensation that you may be able to seek depends on what the driver was doing when the accident took place. If the driver was not logged into the Uber or Lyft app at the time of the accident, then Uber or Lyft’s insurance will say that the driver was not operating as a rideshare driver at the time and will deny coverage. (Of course, if that happens, then you may be able to assert successfully that the driver was using the vehicle for personal use in that moment and pursue a successful claim against the driver’s personal insurance.)

We continue to hear a lot in the news about rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft. Too often, these stories involve riders or pedestrians being hurt. A case from Texas involving a severely injured Oklahoma college student is just the latest example of how your Uber or Lyft ride can go wrong. When your Uber or Lyft ride does go wrong in Illinois, be sure that you reach out without delay to contact an experienced Chicago injury attorney.

The case of S.M., an Oklahoma State University student, made headlines recently due to a verdict entered against the manufacturer of the van in which the student was riding when she was catastrophically hurt. Her case, though, offers an important view into how unsafe rideshare rides potentially can be, and how you can pursue important compensation if you’re hurt while riding with a rideshare driver.

S.M. was partying in Dallas with friends late one night and, because the group had been drinking, they hailed an Uber to take them to another location. The Uber driver, behind the wheel of a Honda van, ran a red light and got T-boned by a pickup truck. S.M., who was in the middle seat of the van’s third row, was seriously injured. Doctors ultimately diagnosed S.M. with a fractured neck. That injury meant that S.M. would be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life.

In an auto accident situation, there are many potential obstacles you could face. In many of those circumstances, the biggest roadblock might be an insurance company. Going up against an insurance company may be an essential part of getting full and fair compensation for your injuries. It is also a key reason why it is worth your while to retain an Illinois car accident attorney to represent you in your case. The insurance companies are well-equipped with skillful attorneys. You should be too.

One recent case from the North Side of Chicago was an example of such a battle involving an auto insurer. The injured woman, Eileen, was hurt in a late March 2014 accident. She was crossing Milwaukee Avenue in the Norwood Park neighborhood when a driver crashed into her. The driver, Ciprian, had consumed several alcoholic beverages that day. Ciprian was driving a vehicle that he borrowed from Kelly. Kelly knowingly allowed Ciprian to drive the vehicle, even though Kelly also knew about Ciprian’s alcohol consumption.

Eileen was critically injured in the accident. She later sued both Ciprian and Kelly for the harm she incurred from her serious injuries. In many varieties of auto accident cases, including those involving pedestrians, auto insurers can play an important role. In a case in which the at-fault driver was not the vehicle’s owner, you may be entitled to sue both individuals, which could possibly trigger a legal obligation by one of both of those people’s insurers to defend them in your lawsuit.

The convenience of modern technology is often wonderful. We can use technology to do everything from adjusting our thermostats to turning on the porch lights to maintaining our grocery lists. One area that may offer great benefits, but also currently carries significant risk, is self-driving vehicles. As major ride-hailing services like Uber explore the possibility of using self-driving vehicles, it is important to be aware of the risks driver-assisted or self-driving vehicles can pose. If you’ve been hurt by a self-driving vehicle, whether you were in that vehicle or an outside one, it is possible that you may have legal claims against various entities based on that crash. You should contact a skilled Chicago injury attorney to discuss your situation and your options.

Uber is recognized as one of the leaders in autonomous vehicles, alongside Tesla and Google’s Waymo. Each of the entities have had to deal with injury-causing accidents. Last year, a pedestrian in Arizona died after a self-driving Uber vehicle did not try to evade her, but instead plowed into her at 40 mph, according to a Business Insider report.

Recently, the news stories have involved Tesla. Back in March, CNBC reported that a Tesla vehicle was involved in a fatal crash in South Florida. The Tesla Model 3 was traveling at 68 mph when it slammed into a big rig’s trailer. The Tesla’s occupant died in the crash. The vehicle’s autopilot was on at the time the crash took place, and reports said the driver had taken his hands from the wheel for eight seconds. The accident report indicated that neither the autopilot system nor the driver “executed evasive maneuvers,” according to the report.

If you have been injured during the performance of your job, you may have a variety of options for obtaining compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You may be entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit. In some circumstances, you may be entitled to do both. With any option will come certain benefits and certain possible complications, so you should be sure you have representation from a skilled Chicago injury attorney to help guide you through the process.

C.A.’s case was one in which he pursued both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit. C.A. was a semi-truck driver who, one day in March 2015, was traveling along a highway in Grundy County when an accident occurred. D.R., another semi-truck driver, crashed his truck into C.A.’s truck. The accident caused C.A. to suffer substantial injuries.

The collision allegedly caused C.A. to suffer back, shoulder and knee injuries. In addition to filing a lawsuit in Illinois, C.A. also filed a workers’ compensation claim for benefits in Pennsylvania, which was where his employer was based. Eventually, C.A. settled the workers’ compensation case. In the settlement agreement that ended that action, the document stated that C.A. suffered a right knee strain – and only a right knee strain – as a result of the accident.

Driving an Uber or Lyft vehicle can be dangerous business. MarketWatch recently reported on the results of research conducted by a team from a university in Texas and the Chicago Booth School of Business. The results showed that the frequency of fatal or serious accidents has gone up by 3% in major U.S. cities in the time period since rideshare services went online. The researchers concluded that the total economic loss that this increase in serious and fatal accidents has wrought in terms of lives lost was approximately $10 billion.

If you’re hurt behind the wheel of an Uber or Lyft, you may be entitled to certain forms of compensation. One of the forms available to certain workers is an award of workers’ compensation benefits. To find more about whether or not you may be able to pursue a claim successfully, be sure to reach out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

In Illinois, the law does not require you to demonstrate that your employer acted in a way that was careless or negligent in order for you to receive an award of benefits. What you do need to show is that your injury happened while on the job or occurred as a result of activities you performed while at work.

Back in February, reported on an Uber driver who seriously injured two people when he crashed into a banquet hall in suburban Chicago. The accident caused substantial harm to a valet and a bystander standing at the front of the banquet hall in Streamwood.

This accident may trigger you to ask, what can you do legally if you’re injured by an Uber driver or a Lyft driver? Can you sue the rideshare service or is going after the driver alone your only option? Does your ability to sue the rideshare service go away if the rideshare driver was off-duty at the time of the accident? A recent case from here in Cook County offers potentially good news. As with any injury scenario, if you find yourself in that situation, you should reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney promptly to discuss the details of your accident.

In the recent Chicago case ruling, an injured man was able to proceed against a rideshare service, even though the rideshare driver was off duty at the time of the accident. In that circumstance, the injured man was allegedly struck and injured by M.H., a driver for Uber. The injured man sued the driver and also sued Uber Technologies, Inc.

Whether you are on a city street or traveling along one of Chicago’s expressways, you are often at risk of being involved in a multi-vehicle crash. When you are injured in a multi-car accident, there may be various different methods available to you for getting compensation for the harm you suffered. Achieving the best possible result for getting the compensation you need for your injuries often requires detailed evidence, a clear understanding of exactly what happened in the crash and an in-depth knowledge of the law of liability. If you find yourself hurt as a result of a multi-vehicle accident, you should act without delay and contact a knowledgeable Chicago auto accident attorney.

The Chicago area has seen multiple fatal multi-car accidents this year. Early in the summer, a six-vehicle crash left one man dead and 12 people injured, according to a Journal & Topics report. In that accident, a 20-year-old man who allegedly was under the influence of drugs was driving northbound on Arlington Heights Road in Elk Grove Village at a high rate of speed when he entered the southbound lanes and crashed into five cars. The driver of the second of those cars died as a result of his injuries, according to the report.

Earlier in the year, ABC 7 Chicago reported on a nine-vehicle chain-reaction accident in the South Loop that also left one person dead and 11 people hurt. According to police, the driver of a white Mercedes suffered an apparent medical emergency while exiting the Eisenhower Expressway and then slammed into the rear of a Cadillac at a “high rate of speed.” The driver of the Cadillac was the crash’s single fatality, ABC reported.