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Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

The rise in popularity of larger and higher vehicles has raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on the road. These types of vehicles pose a unique threat to people on foot or on bikes because of their size and height, which can make it more difficult for drivers to see them and more dangerous in the event of a collision. The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer have seen some devastating

One of the biggest dangers that larger and higher vehicles pose to pedestrians and bicyclists is the difficulty they can have in being seen by drivers. These vehicles are often much taller than smaller cars and trucks, which can block the view of drivers and make it harder for them to see people on foot or on bikes. Additionally, the high hoods and large bumpers of these vehicles can also make it more difficult for drivers to accurately judge the distance between their vehicle and pedestrians or bicyclists, making it more likely for an accident to occur.

Another issue with larger and higher vehicles is the impact they can have in the event of a collision. These vehicles are often much heavier than smaller cars and trucks, meaning that they can cause much more severe injuries in the event of a collision. Furthermore, the high ground clearance of these vehicles can also make it more likely for pedestrians and bicyclists to be hit in the head or torso, which are the areas most likely to result in serious injury or death.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 11.4 Americans per 100,000 died in traffic crashes in 2020. According to a Bloomberg article of November 3, 2022, this number is significantly greater than most European nations and many other developed nations in the world.   More troubling, 2019 saw the most pedestrian deaths in the USA in 40 years according to data collected by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Urban researcher, David Zipper writes in the Bloomberg article that the higher death rates on American roads cannot be attributed unique characteristics of the United States landscape or culture but instead can be traced back to specific policy decisions to not prioritize traffic safety over other considerations, such as profit and convenience.

The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. were surprised to learn from this Bloomberg article that while traffic deaths in the USA have reached a 16 year high, traffic deaths in some European countries and Japan have hit levels not seen since 1940.

The most striking statistic cited by this article is that pedestrian, bike and scooter user traffic deaths rose 40% between 2010 and 2018 in the USA while in many European countries the number of deaths actually fell.

While it is hard to pinpoint specific causes for the rising death tolls on the road, one factor stands out to the personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer.  While in Europe and Asia, smaller passenger cars are prefered, the USA market is dominated by SUVs and heavy pick-up trucks. The predominance of SUVs and pick-up trucks on USA roads especially comes into play in pedestrian Continue reading

Car insurance is an essential part of owning a vehicle, and it is especially important in Illinois. The state requires that all drivers carry a minimum level of liability insurance to cover any damages or personal injuries that may occur in the event of an accident. However, simply having the minimum coverage may not be enough to protect you and your assets in the event of an accident.

When shopping for car insurance in Illinois, it’s important to know that there are different types of coverage available. The most basic form of coverage is liability insurance, which covers damages or injuries that you may cause to another person or their property in an accident. However, liability insurance does not cover your own damages or injuries. To protect yourself fully, you should consider additional types of coverage, such as collision and comprehensive coverage.  Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle if you are involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive coverage provides protection for damages caused by events other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

It’s also important to consider the level of coverage you need. Illinois has a minimum coverage requirement, but that may not be enough to protect you fully. If you have a newer or more expensive car, you may want to consider purchasing higher levels of coverage to ensure that you are fully protected in the event of a crash.

Late winter snow is always a hassle. No one wants to go outside on a cold winter morning and clear the snow and ice from their windshield, windows, and mirrors. It is so much more efficient to warm the car up, hit the road and let gravity do the work, right? WRONG. I only need to clean off my windshield, right? WRONG. I don’t need to brush off the roof, right? WRONG.  Avoidable automobile crashes in Chicago happen sometimes due to decreased visibility as a result of obstructions from the elements.

Illinois law states that “No person shall drive a motor vehicle with snow, ice, moisture or other material on any of the windows or mirrors, which materially obstructs the driver’s clear view of the highway.” 625 ILCS 5/12-503(d).

Driving with your windshield, windows or mirror obstructed by snow is not just illegal, it is dangerous. Most vehicles perform far worse in winter conditions in the key areas of stopping distance and handling. In slippery winter conditions drivers must begin braking much earlier and make slower more controlled turns, both of these practices require even greater awareness and visibility than in dry conditions. Beyond the performance of their own vehicles, drivers must also be on the lookout for other drivers. How often have we all seen vehicles slide all the way through an intersection in an ice storm, despite having their foot planted on the brake? How often have we seen vehicles attempt to make turns, but just slide forward?

The personal injury law office of Zneimer & Zneimer is receiving increased volumes of calls involving snow-related car crashes in Chicago and the suburbs.  Driving in snowy conditions can be challenging and dangerous, but with a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of a car accident and personal injury.

It is important to check the weather forecast before heading out on the road. If you know that snow is expected, it is best to avoid driving if possible. If you must drive, make sure you have the proper tires for the weather condition, as well as enough fuel and an emergency kit that includes a blanket, snacks, and water.  Bear in mind that a reasonable driver will slow down when driving on snow even if the speed limit may permit a higher speed and therefore, give yourself extra time.

Before you start your car, clear all the snow and ice off the windows, mirrors, headlights, and taillights. Make sure your windshield wipers and defrosters are working properly, and top off your windshield washer fluid.  When driving in snowy conditions, it is important to slow down and leave extra space between you and the car in front of you. Snow and ice can greatly reduce your visibility and make it harder to stop or turn. Remember that on bridges and overpasses, the road will freeze before the rest of the road.

Even if the posted speed limit is higher, it is important for drivers in Illinois to slow down when driving in winter conditions to avoid accidents. This is because snow and ice can greatly reduce visibility and make it much harder to stop or turn. Additionally, the roads may be slippery and uneven, making it more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. When driving on snow-covered or Continue reading

Tailgating, or following too closely behind another vehicle, is a common cause of car accidents in Illinois and throughout the United States. When a driver follows too closely, they reduce the amount of time they have to react to sudden stops or unexpected events on the road, increasing the risk of a rear-end collision.  The Chicago car accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer has seen many crashes as a result of tailgating.

The law is not ambiguous. In Illinois, if a driver causes an accident while tailgating, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. They may even also face criminal charges such as reckless driving or negligent driving. These charges can result in fines, jail time, and suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” 625 ILCS 5/11-710 (a).  What is “reasonable and prudent” includes consideration of weather, lighting conditions, road conditions, and others. Continue reading

AAA estimates that the U.S. will see about 112.7 million people travel 50 miles or more this holiday season from December 23 to January 2. This is the largest increase since the pandemic and will be the third highest number of drivers on the  road.  Here in Illinois, about 5.8 million are projected to continue to travel during the holiday season.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys have observed based on the calls we receive that many people do not slow down despite the weather conditions.  The rules of the road require all drivers to maintain reasonable speed, and often the speed limit may not be reasonable if the weather conditions are difficult.

Unfortunately, as many people geared up to travel across the country, we experienced some of the coldest temperatures we’ve had during a Christmas since 1983. Many people’s holiday travel plans were impacted by the weather. The snow, ice, frigid temperatures and wind gusts up to 45mph made traveling particularly difficult for those who attempted to get on the roads and travel. Although snow measurements were relatively low in the Chicago area, winds made visibility poor, as the winds picked up snow and carried it across the roads. The extreme weather made roads and bridges slicked and accident prone.

As winter is just getting underway, we can expect to have more days of frigid temperatures and poor weather conditions. At personal injury law firm Zneimer and Zneimer P.C. we encourage drivers to take the necessary precautions to drive safely, which may even mean not hitting the roads based on the weather conditions.

When the weather can pose a problem, the National Weather Service issues specific statements regarding the weather and advising the public on how to act. It’s important to pay attention and listen when these statements are issued to plan accordingly. To do that though we must understand what the different type of statements are and what they mean. Continue reading

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Injury Lawyer Chicago IL

Physical injury has a domino effect on our ordered lives. After an injury, first comes the pain, then the need for medical care, and later come medical bills.  Hiring a good personal injury lawyer is an important step to discover and secure evidence and to ensure that medical debt does not negatively impact creditworthiness.

The torrent of medical bills begins very soon after medical treatment for personal injury. A visit to the ER typically results in at least two bills: one from the ER and another from the ER physician.  If the ER doctor orders X-rays, the radiologists will send a third bill for reading the films. If the ER doctor needs a consultation with a specialist, the specialist will send the fourth bill for the consultation.  If an ambulance took the personal injury victim to the ER, the ambulance ride will generate a fifth bill for the day.  Further treatment for the injuries brings more and more bills, loss of wages, decrease in credit score, and loss of the peace of mind.  At some point people start feeling helpless and lost and start asking around how to find a good personal injury lawyer to help them sort out the bills, the property damage, the loss of wages.  They search for “injury lawyer near me” and rely on search engines or referral of friends or family to find the best personal injury lawyer.  We often receive referrals from former clients who send us their friends or family to help.

When the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer meet with injury clients for the first time, we often receive folders or large envelopes stuffed with unpaid medical bills.  We organize the bills chronologically by date of service to determine whether we have a comprehensive picture of the medical treatment to date.  We also start investigating the facts of the accident to determine whether there are witnesses, cameras, or other facts that can help to identify all responsible parties. We research the applicable law, and the responsible parties’ insurance to determine whether there is insurance coverage for the personal injury accident.  Sometimes, insurance companies may have exclusions and finding insurance coverage may become a challenge. Continue reading

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The Chicago personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer have seen an increase in serious car crashes that involve the use of pot. Recently the Chicago Sun Times reported that Illinois traffic deaths increased by 24%.  According to the organization Parents Opposed to Pot, since 2016, when Illinois legalized marijuana, traffic deaths increased from 1078 to 1091 in 2017, to 1038 in 2018. This increase has some people wondering if there is a correlation between the decriminalization of marijuana and the state rising the authorized limit of THC from 0 to 5 ng of THC.

Even though under Illinois law use of marijuana may be legal, driving stoned at any level is not safe.  From young age we learn that drinking and driving is a lethal combination.  We hear commercials and radio advertisements, and see signs deterring us from sitting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol.  Yet there is a paucity of advertisements or signs or warnings discouraging smoking pot and driving.

The fact is that pot-related driving under the influence represents a threat to the citizens of Illinois.  Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous.  Research shows that marijuana impairs reactions just like alcohol does.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction delay. Several meta-analyses of studies found that the risk of being involved in a crash significantly increased after marijuana use and in some cases, the risk doubled or more than doubled. Continue reading

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An estimated 9,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide during the first three months of 2022.  This number represents a 20% jump from the same period in 2021 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  This number also represents a 20 year high in deaths.  The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. sadly note that the NHTSA has reported the increase in motor vehicle fatalities was  even higher in Illinois.  Illinois has had 280 fatalities during the first 3 months of 2022 which represents a shocking 24% increase in deaths over 2021.  According to the National Safety Council there has been a long term trend of rising traffic deaths in Illinois.  In 2010 there were 927 traffic deaths in Illinois compared with 1,194 deaths in Illinois in 2020.

The personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have observed that the blame for these increases have been placed on the usual suspects of drunken driving and speeding.  On top of these two causes and quickly becoming the top cause of traffic fatalities is distracted driving.  Almost everyone today has a cell phone and is constantly receiving text messages and e-mails.   Many drivers cannot resist  talking on their phones or checking in coming text or e-mails that ping on their phones.  Just a moment of distraction that takes a drivers eyes off the road is all it takes to cause a driver not to  see a pedestrian crossing the road or see a red light that has just turned or see a car that has made a sudden stop in front of their car.  It only takes a moment’s distraction to cause a life changing and tragic injury causing crash.  The lawyers of Zneimer and Zneimer P.C. urge all drivers to not use their cell phones when driving.

 

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