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  • Toxins and the workplace: What you should know

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    Many Illinois employees face considerable health risks from toxins in the workplace. Common workplace toxins, including solvents, pesticides, fuels and chemical reagents, can cause lasting physical damage. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 55,000 American workers are temporarily or permanently disabled every year after exposure to poisonous materials or pollutants on the job. The hazards of toxic chemicals are impossible to eliminate completely, but Illinois employers and employees can decrease the risk of severe injury by following best practices in the workplace. Proposed new legislation would make these safety practices easier to follow.

    Decreasing the hazards of workplace toxins

    OSHA guidelines require employers to provide all of the following safety measures for workers who are in contact with hazardous materials:

    • Personal protective equipment, including masks, personal ventilators and protective clothing
    • Isolation and containment of toxic substances
    • Thorough ventilation of the workspace
    • Substitution of less toxic materials whenever an alternative is practical
    • Preventive maintenance of all machinery and equipment
    • Ongoing education about proper handling procedures and safety measures

    By following these six OSHA regulations, employers can cut the risk of toxic exposure in the workplace by more than 75 percent. Unfortunately, many Illinois employers neglect these practices, placing their workers at risk of injury, disability or death.

    New Illinois legislation aims to make the workplace a safer environment

    A new bill proposed in Illinois aims to make the workplace safer and decrease the risk of occupational disease from exposure to toxins. SB 2128, the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act, calls for a new safety training curriculum for all employees at high-hazard facilities. The act requires all workers who come into contact with toxins, including subcontractors and apprentices, to be thoroughly educated about the dangers and risks of the substances they handle. SB 2128 establishes a special fund for this educational work. This act also provides considerable penalties for employers who do not train their employees properly before allowing them to work with toxins.

    Know your rights as a disabled worker

    Workplace toxins can create many lasting problems, including skin diseases, burns, vision disturbances, loss of smell, severe headaches and psychological damage. If you have been disabled by exposure to toxic materials at work, you have the right to workers’ compensation in Illinois. Consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer today to learn more about the benefits available to you.

  • Tips on financially surviving the wait for Social Security Disability approval

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    By definition, people who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits cannot work gainfully. Many people in Illinois face significant financial hardships when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, the SSD approval process can be lengthy.

    The Social Security Administration mandates a five-month period between claim approval and benefit disbursal. The rigorous evaluation process can create an even longer wait between the application date and the date when benefits begin. Planning financially for this gap is essential for SSD applicants.

    Managing expenses

    Applicants should take advantage of any available financial resources. Unfortunately, collecting unemployment benefits or working on a limited basis can undermine an SSD claim. However, applicants may qualify for other forms of assistance, including Food Stamps and Medicaid. Applicants can also look into community housing or medical service programs to help low-income or disabled individuals.

    Next, applicants can make a monthly budget and identify unnecessary expenses. Frivolous expenses, such as dining out, should be cut back or eliminated. Applicants may be able to reduce monthly bills by changing service plans, switching providers or bundling services. Applicants should also consider switching to less expensive goods and commodities.

    Applicants should remember that downsizing might be necessary even with disability benefits. For 2014, the maximum SSD benefit is $2,642. As of August, the average benefit was $1,145.37, according to the SSA. People who used to earn greater monthly income may need to adjust their lifestyles. Moving to lower-cost housing, downgrading personal vehicles and selling other possessions can create income while reducing long-term expenses.

    Expedited claim processing

    Applicants facing extreme financial hardship may qualify for faster claim processing. The SSA considers a disability claim a “dire need” case under the following circumstances:

    • The applicant does not have the resources to obtain food.
    • The applicant lacks insurance or funding to receive needed medical care.
    • The applicant faces eviction or foreclosure, lacks utilities or is homeless.

    To request expedited processing, applicants may submit a dire need letter. Applicants should also include supporting documentation, such as eviction notices, medical bills or letters from utility companies.

    Unfortunately, a dire need request might have little effect on the processing of an initial application. Often, there is little that disability examiners can do to expedite the evaluation process. However, a disability hearing for a denied claim may be moved forward based on dire need.

    Severe disabling conditions may also qualify for faster processing, even at the application level. Medical evidence requirements are reduced for conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list, which are typically severe enough to merit automatic approval. Claims for terminal conditions are also expedited. Applicants with limited financial resources should check whether their conditions qualify for expedited evaluation.

  • Illinois crash data shows more fatal car accidents involve marijuana

    pTunnelTrafficBlurry_5010885_sStates across the nation have been legalizing marijuana use for years in an effort to help severely ill patients find relief. More recently, some states have begun to legalize the drug for recreational purposes. Since the incidence of use has increased, so too has the rate of lethal accidents involving drugs. According to a recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology, marijuana-related accidents are on the rise.

    Increased number of accidents linked to marijuana use

    CBS Seattle reports that the study indicates that fatal car accidents involving the use of marijuana have tripled in recent years. Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, used data from Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, Illinois, Rhode Island, and West Virginia to evaluate the prevalence of drug use in fatal car crashes. These states were used because each of them perform toxicology testing on all drivers involved in fatal accidents. In total, data on more than 23,500 drivers who passed away within one hour of a crash between 1999 and 2010 was used in the study.

    Researchers discovered that drugs have played an increasing part in impaired driving over the course of the examined decade. In 1999, drugged driving accounted for only 12 percent of car crash fatalities. By 2010, that number had climbed to 28 percent, an increase attributed mostly to marijuana. In 2012, marijuana contributed to 12 percent of fatal crashes, but that number was merely 4 percent in 1999, indicating a threefold increase. According to the study’s lead researcher, one in nine drivers that are involved in fatal car crashes today test positive for the drug. Alcohol use, however, remained steady throughout the study period, contributing to 40 percent of fatal crashes over the 11 year period.

    Potentially fatal results of driving under the influence

    A tragic accident recently occurred in Cass County, Nebraska, taking the lives of two Weeping Water residents. According to the Fremont Tribune, a 23-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were killed on a local highway when a Quincy, Illinois man was speeding behind them and struck their vehicle in the rear with his sedan. The crash was so severe that both Weeping Water residents were pronounced dead at the scene. The Illinois man was taken to a local hospital for treatment and was arrested upon his release. Authorities charged him with motor vehicle homicide, driving under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana-less than one ounce, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Authorities believe the driver’s drug use was a direct cause of the accident.

    Study researchers indicated that those who drive while under the influence of alcohol are 13 times more likely to contribute to a fatal accident than the sober drivers around them. If drivers add marijuana use on top of alcohol use, they are 24 times more likely to sustain or cause fatal injuries in an accident. Despite these well-known risks, many individuals continue to choose to drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

     

  • Taking an active part in your health care can prevent medical errors

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    Like many others from around the nation, patients in Chicago have often experienced the devastation that occurs when family members and other loved ones are affected by medical mistakes. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a medical error occurs any time a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional makes a preventable mistake that has the potential to cause harm to a patient.  Examples of medical error include misdiagnosis, incomplete diagnosis or treatment, injury, hospital-acquired infection, surgical error, and lab errors. These mistakes can occur anywhere throughout the medical system.

    According to A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital care, a recent study found in the Journal of Patient Safety, medical errors account for roughly 400,000 deaths each year in the nation’s hospitals. This figure does not take into account the medical mistakes made elsewhere, nor the errors that were not fatal. These staggering numbers have been a reality for decades, so patients should take an active role in their health care to prevent themselves from becoming the victim of malpractice.

    Prescription safety

    Prescription mistakes can easily occur due to the negligence of a prescribing doctor or a pharmacist. As with most cases, communication is key in preventing prescription errors. Patients should always make sure that all of their physicians are aware of the dosing schedule they are on for each medication they are using. This includes information for over-the counter medicine as well as vitamins, herbs and other supplements. Allergies and adverse reactions should also immediately be disclosed to both doctors and pharmacists.

    When a doctor prescribes a medicine, patients should ensure that they can read what it is and that they understand what it is being prescribed for. Patients can discuss dosing and side effects, potential interactions with other medicines and supplements, as well as any food, drink or activities to be avoided while on the medication, with both the prescribing doctor and pharmacist upon pickup.

    At the Hospital and in surgery

    When patients stay in a hospital, they are likely to catch an infection that they didn’t have when they were admitted. Patients can ensure they don’t catch another illness by being vigilant about hand washing, and asking all healthcare workers to wash their hands before touching them. Patients should also leave the hospital with a clear understanding of their discharge instructions and future treatment plan.

    Prior to surgery, surgeons should sign the site to be operated on to ensure that they make no mistakes. Patients should also make sure they understand the procedure they will undergo as well as its risks, potential complications, and their expected recovery.

    In any kind of medical setting, proper communication is the key to preventing mistakes. Patients should be comfortable asking questions and seeking answers from anyone involved in their healthcare, and if they are not, new providers should be found.

  • The long-term effects of brain injury

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    Brain injury and motorcycle crashes

    While people in a passenger vehicle are surrounded by steel, people riding motorcycles around Chicago only have their helmet and protective clothing to cushion them from injury in the event of an accident. Yet, a motorcycle crash lawyer will say that even the wearing of a helmet is not enough to protect cyclists from a traumatic brain injury.

    For many cyclists, a serious brain injury can leave them struggling throughout the rest of their lives. The brain is the control center of the body and so far, scientists have not yet discovered the information needed to fix that center when it suffers serious damage. This lack of knowledge makes it currently impossible for doctors to heal a brain injury or even predict how the injury will affect cyclists in the long term.

    Understanding variability

    The basic rule among medical professionals is the understanding that no two traumatic brain injuries are alike, and therefore, no two outcomes will be the same. The Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai states that those with TBIs vary in the following ways:

    • Severity of their initial injury
    • Speed and depth of healing
    • Various affected functions
    • How dysfunction affects the individual’s life and goals
    • Potential resources the individual could use to regain function

    Ultimately, every individual who has a TBI will have different consequences and different pain and suffering than found in other patients with TBIs.

    Potential outcomes

    After an initial healing and recovery period that could range from a few months to a few years, individuals become aware of any functional deficits that may exist. Deficits can be seen in any function that the brain controls. This includes sight, speech, hearing, motor functions, etc. Some patients exhibit only one or two deficits while others remain severely disabled for life.

    A common problem for moderate to severe TBI victims, as reported by Sinai, is a reduction of cognitive functioning. Many patients have difficulty paying attention, concentrating on regular tasks, or learning new information. Executive functions are also often severely affected by TBIs. This includes the ability to process large amounts of complex information in order to be creative, competent and independent. This may make it difficult or impossible for many individuals to function in their regular social roles, at work or in any capacity that requires decision making.

    Potential health issues

    According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, Individuals who have suffered a TBI are more likely to have a stroke or develop epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more common as people age. This can make it difficult for cyclists who suffer brain injury from an accident seek appropriate compensation and therefore it a good idea to seek professional legal counsel.

     

  • Study: Fail to yield often cited in motorcycle accidents

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    Lack of courtesy leads to motorcycle accident in Chicago

    Motorcycles are often a common sight on the streets of Chicago as they have increased in popularity. However, at the same time, a motorcycle accident in Chicago seems to be occurring almost every other day. In many cases, investigations show that the accident was caused by a lack of driver courtesy.

    A fatal motorcycle crash

    A 24-year-old Rock Island, Illinois motorcyclist was recently killed when the driver of a car failed to yield to the cyclist while making a left hand turn. According to WQAD, the motorcyclist was westbound in the 2800 block of West Locust Street when a 61-year-old motorist, who was headed eastbound on the same road, turned into the biker’s path causing him to collide with the car’s passenger side door. The motorcyclist was taken to a hospital, but later died from his extensive injuries. The driver of the vehicle, who sustained minor injuries, is currently facing charges for homicide by vehicle, failure to yield left turn, DUI, and no insurance.

    Failure to yield study

    A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that most crashes that occur between a motorcycle and motor vehicle involve the motorist’s failure to yield the right of way to the biker. The study, titled “Fatal Two-Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes,” aimed to determine why such a high proportion of motorcycle fatalities arise from two-vehicle crashes and the factors involved in these kinds of accidents. Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, researchers analyzed the data trends for vehicle, crash characteristics, and driver/operator role.

    Researchers found that over 85 percent of motorcyclists that were killed in two-vehicle crashes involved passenger vehicles. Of these fatalities, 90 percent were the bikers, 8 percent were motorcycle passengers, and 2 percent were passenger vehicle occupants. The research also showed that in 75 percent of cases, the motorcycle was the one who struck the vehicle. Additionally, 35 percent of passenger vehicle drivers involved in two-vehicle motorcycle crashes failed to yield right of way, while only 4 percent of motorcyclists showed a failure to yield to other vehicles.

    Localized studies corroborate results

    Researchers at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research analyzed 10 years of Florida motorcycle crash data in a recent study. Results show that 60 percent of motorists are at fault when they are involved in accidents with motorcyclists. Drivers of passenger vehicles, the study shows, often fail to yield to motorcyclists while making left hand turns.

    Prevention

    Researchers from both studies indicate that awareness is key in preventing these accidents. They urge motorists to look twice for motorcycles before pulling out into traffic to ensure that accidents don’t occur. Motorcyclists can also take steps to help protect themselves. Wearing bright colors or reflective clothing can help motorcyclists increase their visibility. They can also help reduce their chances of sustaining serious injury by wearing a helmet.

  • Selfies: The newest form of driver distraction

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    Auto accident attorneys see new trend

    When Chicago drivers take to the roads, they put an incredible amount of trust in the other motorists who surround them. Unfortunately, many of these motorists decide to put their own entertainment above the safety of every person they pass by using their smartphones. Auto accident attorneys are starting to see drivers use their cellphones for a new activity – taking pictures of themselves while on the road.

    Drivers snap a shot and then post the resulting picture to various social media sites without ever getting out from behind the wheel. According to the Huffington Post, the distracted driving trend is only gaining momentum; more than 3.1 million posts have been labeled with hashtags related to the potentially deadly practice, and additional pictures are posted every day.

    Distracted driving affects everyone

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers become distracted when they focus on any activity other than driving. Researchers and government officials have broken down the practice into three basic elements: manual, visual, and cognitive distraction.  Taking selfies while driving, like texting, is one of the most dangerous activities a person can do because it requires drivers to become distracted in all three areas. This results in motorists having little or no attention focused on the roads, greatly increasing the likelihood of an accident.

    A recent CDC report shows that 3,331 people died and 387,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in 2011, a sizeable increase from the previous year which government officials believe will continue. If drivers had just kept their hands, eyes and minds on the task of driving, it is possible that each and every one of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented.

    Those most likely to drive while distracted

    According to the CDC, people of all ages are driving while distracted. The results of one study indicate that as many as 69 percent of surveyed individuals admitted to talking on their cell phone within the past month. Another 31 percent of drivers admitted to one or more instances of texting while driving. While taking selfies was not included in the survey, CNN.com reports that the majority of people taking part in the new trend are young adults and teenagers.

    Potentially fatal

    A Clemmons, North Carolina woman was recently killed after she caused a severe accident due to her use of social media while driving.  The Huffington Post reports that the 32-year-old was taking selfies and posting them to various social media accounts just prior to her crash. According to investigators, the woman crossed the median of a major road and collided head-on with a large truck just moments after posting a message about a popular song.  Her post appeared with an 8:33 a.m. time-stamp and the first calls to authorities reporting the accident came in at 8:34 a.m.

     

  • FMCSA studying CDL training programs and truck accidents

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    A common sight for car accident attorneys

    Due to a truck’s large size, trucking accidents are usually some of the most devastating roadway collisions that can occur. Unfortunately, many car accident attorneys have seen the number of trucking accidents increase in recent years. In order to combat the problem at its core, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is studying commercial driver’s license training programs.  One recent study evaluated the effectiveness of using driving simulators in entry-level commercial motor vehicle driver testing and training.

    Study information

    In order to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation training, researchers compared the results of four types of entry-level training offered to commercial drivers. These include the following:

    • Conventional training – includes classroom and behind-the-wheel training. In order to reach Professional Truck Driver Institute certification, these programs must include 104 hours in the classroom and 44 hours behind the wheel.
    • Simulator training – Classroom and BTW training are included, however 60 percent of the BTW training was done within a simulator.
    • Informal training – this training occurs in a non-structured setting. A family member may perform the training, but no requirements are met, and the trainer may not be certified.
    • CDL-focused Training – includes BTW and classroom training but is usually completed in much less time than conventional training. Curriculum is tailored to the basic information and skills required to obtain a CDL instruction permit and pass the Department of Motor Vehicles’ road test.

    The simulator provided students with a tractor-trailer in which 5 60-inch screens with projected images surrounded a generic truck cab. This provided the participant with a clear 225 degree forward field of view. All equipment within the cab was original and working, and the simulator provided real-time responses to environmental driving conditions, such as heave, roll and pitch. Various scenarios, such as a truck accident, could be programed into the simulator for inclusion in the training program.

    Study participants were scored on road and range tests performed at the Delaware Technical and Community College testing facility and within the simulator. Results from tests performed by the DMV prior to CDL certification were also included. All tests were performed in the same scenario using DMV criteria.

    Results

    While conventional and simulator training groups had little variation in results, they had higher DMV road test scores than both informal and CDL-focused programs. CDL-programs also had the lowest scores for the DCTT range tests, and simulator groups scored highest on the simulator tests. In almost every test, conventional and simulator training groups out-performed both the informal and CDL-focused programs.

    Based on these results, researchers believe that simulator-based training may not only be feasible, but highly effective in preparing new CDL holders for the rigors of the road. However, until these programs are put in place and negligence is reduced among truckers, accidents will likely continue to occur at increasing rates.

     

  • Connecting an illness to one’s employment

     

     

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    Not all work-related disability is caused by sudden accidents. Many Illinois workers are permanently or temporarily disabled every year by occupational illness. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 150,000 employees missed at least one day of work because of a job-related illness during the year 2011. Workers who suffer from an occupational illness are eligible for financial benefits. Many of these illnesses develop gradually, making such cases more complicated than workers’ compensation claims involving traumatic injury. Employees must show that the disability is directly connected to their employment. By learning more about the most common occupational illnesses and the process of reporting them, disabled workers can safeguard their own right to compensation.

    What is an occupational illness?

    According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an illness can be considered work-related if it is caused by a harmful event in the workplace or exposure to harmful substances in the workplace. An illness is also work-related if conditions in the workplace significantly aggravate an already existing health problem. It is crucial for disabled workers to remember that a pre-existing condition does not automatically disqualify them for workers’ compensation. If employees can demonstrate that their condition has become substantially worse after workplace exposure, they have exactly the same right to benefits as workers who have broken a leg or suffered a traumatic head injury on the job.

    What are some of the most common occupational illnesses?

    Every job has its own physical hazards, and OSHA has identified more than 150 occupational illnesses occurring in American workplaces. The most common problems can be summarized in the following categories:

    • Skin diseases and disorders
    • Respiratory diseases
    • Poisoning by harmful chemicals
    • Noise-induced hearing loss
    • Environmental illnesses such as heat stroke or decompression sickness

    These categories may overlap in some cases: for example, a worker may face both respiratory problems and skin irritation after exposure to harmful chemical substances in the workplace.

    Respiratory problems on the job

    Work-related respiratory illnesses can take a wide variety of forms. Miners and other workers exposed to harmful dust may develop life-threatening conditions such as pneumoconiosis (also known as black lung disease), silicosis or asbestosis. Exposure to toxic fumes can cause inhalation injuries and chronic obstructive bronchitis. These illnesses can arise after as little as one day of exposure on the job and may lead to permanent total disability. It is crucial for employers and workers to follow OSHA procedures by documenting all exposure to hazardous respiratory agents. If respiratory illness develops, this documentation will help workers make a strong case for compensation.

    Work-related hearing loss

    Many jobs involve exposure to dangerous levels of noise. Work-related hearing loss is tragically common in American workplaces, affecting thousands of workers every year. According to OSHA, noise-induced hearing loss is defined as a loss in hearing of 10 decibels or more in either ear. The loss must occur in frequencies between 2000 and 4000 hertz, the most important frequency range for understanding speech and hearing the proper functioning of equipment. Loss of hearing must be directly traceable to excessive noise on the job. If employees were profoundly deaf when they began work—with a total hearing level lower than 25 decibels above zero—they are not eligible for workers’ benefits after further hearing loss.

    Environmental illnesses

    Workers can become severely ill after exposure to heat, cold, radiation, pathogens or changes in atmospheric pressure. The effects of adverse environmental conditions range from frostbite to decompression sickness. Exposure to pathogens on the job can cause illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis, brucellosis and anthrax. As in other cases of occupational illness, it is important to record the duration and level of exposure to guarantee full access to benefits.

    How do workers with occupational illness make the case for compensation?

    In cases of work-related illness, the testimony of doctors and other medical professionals is crucial. Employees must provide their medical records for the entire period under question. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission or the employer’s insurer may call for further medical examination to determine the current status of the illness. The employer must also cooperate in showing evidence of exposure to harmful conditions at work. In the case of pre-existing illnesses, the burden of proof is on employees and their legal advisors to show that the condition became worse after exposure to hazards on the job.

    What rights are guaranteed to workers with occupational diseases?

    Illinois law recognizes that occupational diseases can develop slowly and insidiously. According to the Illinois Occupational Diseases Act, employees can report a work-related illness up to three years after the final exposure to the harmful environment or substance. This is a more generous provision than standard Illinois workers’ compensation law, which was written primarily with traumatic injuries in mind and offers a period of only 90 days to report work-related disability. Workers have the right to update their claims if an illness becomes more severe. They also have the right to ongoing medical evaluation at the expense of their employers. If their claim for workers’ compensation is denied, they can appeal their case as far as the Illinois Supreme Court.

    Occupational illness can be as traumatic and disruptive as a serious accident on the job. Illinois law is designed to help workers recover and support their families in these difficult situations. To find out more about your rights as an employee facing a job-related illness, consider speaking with an attorney today.

  • Common causes of car accidents

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    The best car accident lawyer in Illinois would say that he or she has seen an increase in fatal car accidents. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, a total of 991 individuals lost their lives in fatal crashes in 2013, keeping the state on par with the rest of the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an estimated 9,363,840 passenger vehicles were involved in reported traffic collisions in the U.S. in 2012.

    As a result of these crashes, 2.09 million passengers were injured, and 21,667 lost their lives. This equates to nearly 60 deaths a day. While these potentially deadly accidents are caused by a variety of situations, the one of a few common underlying themes is usually found to be the cause of most passenger vehicle collisions.

    Intentional driver error

    While people do not want to believe that they made a conscious decision that led to an auto accident that is exactly what happened in many cases. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that drunk driving was responsible for the deaths of 321 people in Illinois in 2012, and every day another 28 people die due to the direct choices of inebriated drivers across the nation.  Aggressive drivers are also to blame for many accidents every year. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as when a driver commits more than one moving traffic offense to intentionally endanger other people or property. This can include the following behaviors:

    • Tailgating
    • Flashing lights at other drivers
    • Disregard for traffic signals
    • Frequent, unsafe lane changes
    • Refusing to yield the right of way

    Speeding is also among the most common causes of accidents in the nation. This offense reduces reaction time and increases the likelihood that any accident that does occur will be more severe.

    Fatigue and Distraction

    Driver fatigue can be a serious issue for many drivers. While it is most common between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. it can occur at any time of the day. Over 100,000 accidents are attributed to drowsy drivers every year according to the NHTSA.

    Distracted driving remains one of the most common and potentially damaging causes of car accidents in the nation despite heavy campaigns by local, state and federal governments aimed at reducing its occurrence. In a 2011 report, the NHTSA indicates that distracted driving contributed to 17 percent of all injury crashes and 10 percent of all fatal crashes that year. Distractions include smart phone use, looking at objects outside the vehicle, adjusting the radio, and talking with passengers.

    Those who have been involved in a collision and are dealing with the aftermath should contact an attorney. An attorney can help victims receive the compensation they need in order to heal from their injuries and move on with their lives.

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Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.