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Lake County Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety needs in spite of hands-free measures

Many Illinois drivers have stories of close calls as a distracted driver has made a last-minute correction. Others have unfortunate stories of injuries or even the loss of a family member because of an individual's use of a smartphone while driving. Efforts have spanned the nation as states and employers have attempted to reduce this serious wave of deadly accidents related to drivers' attention to electronic devices. Although hands-free solutions such as Bluetooth headsets have helped in facilitating communication needs while keeping a driver's eyes on the road, many motorists are unaware of the fact that their brains continue to be distracted regardless.

Vehicle manufacturers appear to be contributing to safer driving by including hands-free systems such as infotainment dashboards and voice-activated phone calling into their models. However, the presence of such systems does not necessarily mean that they are completely safe. Brain engagement during multi-tasking activity can interfere with a driver's concentration. While many such systems can enhance safety in some respects, they do not eliminate all dangers of distractions while driving.

Illinois woman dead after train strikes car

Preliminary investigations into a collision in an Illinois town between a train and a car have revealed that the vehicle likely drove into the railroad crossing, said a representative of the Chicago Transit Authority. The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed that a 62-year-old woman died. She had been in the vehicle, and medical personnel declared her dead after she arrived at an area hospital.

The police department in Skokie reported that firefighters had extracted two people from the twisted remains of the car. A spokesman from Evanston St. Francis Hospital said that a second female passenger from the car remains in critical condition.

By 2022, automatic braking should be standard

Automatic braking systems will be standard on most cars in Illinois and the rest of the country by 2022. These systems, which automatically brake the vehicle when the driver either fails to apply the brakes or doesn't use enough pressure to avoid an accident, have been shown to decrease the risk of accidents by 20 percent.

The deal was announced between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers that are responsible for around 99 percent of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. The automakers will receive more time to install the systems in certain cars, such as those with manual transmissions, because they pose greater technical difficulties.

Autonomous car records first at fault accident

Illinois motorists who are following the development of autonomous car technology may be interested to know that Google has admitted one of its self-driving vehicles was partially at fault for a minor collision with a city bus. The accident took place on Feb. 14 in Mountain View, California, and no one was injured in the accident. At the time of the collision, the bus was traveling at 15 mph while the car was traveling at about 2 mph

The autonomous vehicle was in the far right lane and about to make a right turn when it drifted back into the center of the lane in an attempt to avoid sandbags. The city bus that was behind the Google SUV then collided with its left side. A representative from Google said that the driver in the autonomous car thought that the bus would move for the car. Conversely, the bus driver most likely thought the car would yield to avoid a crash.

Traffic fatalities increase in 2015

Drivers on Illinois roads may be more unsafe than in recent years based on a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The report found that in 2015, for the first time in years, motor vehicle accident deaths were up.

There was a steady decline in fatalities of over 22 percent in total from 2000 to 2014. In the first three quarters of 2015, there were over 26,000 fatalities while in the first three quarters of 2014, there were 23,796. The overall increase varied regionally. The Southeast was up 16 percent, and the Northwest had a 20 percent increase. However, in the South Central and mid-Atlantic regions, the increase was just 2 percent.

Illinois car accident kills one

A serious car accident on Route 3 resulted in the death of a 34-year-old Waterloo woman on Jan. 31. The incident occurred at approximately 8 p.m. near the border of Monroe County and Randolph County. Three vehicles were involved, and many individuals suffered injuries, including four children.

The catalyst for the accident appeared to be the crossing of a Ford Explorer into oncoming traffic. The 63-year-old man driving the vehicle was heading east when he moved into the opposite lane and struck two other vehicles. The decedent was a passenger in a GMC Acadia. The vehicle's driver, a 36-year-old man, and four children were transported to an area hospital to be treated for the injuries suffered. Three teens were in the other vehicle struck by the Ford, a Mitsubishi Lancer, and they escaped unharmed. The resulting investigation and cleanup caused Route 3 to be closed for several hours. At this point, the driver of the Ford has been charged in connection with the incident pursuant to an inappropriate lane change and a lack of motor vehicle insurance. He also suffered injuries in the accident.

Auto accident causes injuries to several adults, kids

Several adults and children were recently hurt in a serious car crash in Illinois. The auto accident took place on a Tuesday morning. This crash involved several vehicles.

Police reported that a person was speeding in a Dodge Caravan on a street at around 8 a.m. The van failed to stop at a stop sign. Cars that were waiting at a red light did not see the van coming, so when the van approached them, the van caused multiple vehicles to collide with one another. The van then collided with a liquor store window.

'Senior cam' law could mean less nursing home abuse, neglect

If you are a Lake County resident with a loved one in a nursing home, you know that it can be tough. You count on the nursing home to provide the highest level of care possible. If you could, you'd probably be on site all the time to be sure that he or she was as safe and secure as could be. But that isn't realistic.

That opens the door to the possibility that the patient could become a victim of caregiver neglect. Worse yet, conditions in a facility could be such that the patient could suffer outright physical or mental assault or abuse and it might go unnoticed.

Looking at workers’ compensation death benefits in Illinois, P.2

In our previous post, we looked briefly at the topic of workers’ compensation death benefits, both as to what types of benefits are available through the workers’ compensation system and to whom they are available. Here we want to speak briefly about the connection between workers’ compensation benefits and wrongful death actions.

It is important to realize that, under Illinois law, workers’ compensation benefits are offered to injured workers and the surviving dependants of an employee killed in the course of employment on an exclusive basis. This is sometimes called the “exclusive remedy” rule. This means that injured employees and surviving dependants of deceased employees generally may not sue an employer for damages. In cases where an employee is killed while on the job by a negligent third-party, though, his or family may be able to pursue damages for negligence or wrongful death. 

Auto accident claims 2 lives in Illinois

Two people lost their lives in a recent Illinois motor vehicle accident. The auto accident occurred during the early morning hours on a Sunday. It took place along Illinois 127.

According to police, an 18-year-old woman was operating a car northbound on the highway shortly after 1:50 a.m. The car veered across the southbound highway lanes. It ended up hitting a tree.

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