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Winnebago County truck accident lawyersMany people feel uneasy driving behind a large semi-truck or other vehicles carrying cargo. Looking past the steering wheel and seeing large crates or other objects strapped the vehicle in front of you can be unnerving to say the least. Unfortunately, these fears are not completely irrational. While most truck cargo is loaded and strapped down securely, loose cargo can and does sometimes fall out of trucks. The debris can easily hit another vehicle or cause an accident. Sadly, people have been seriously injured and killed due to improperly loaded or loose truck cargo.

Trucks with Unsecure Cargo Are in Violation of Federal Law

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that truck cargo is to be properly secured by using equipment like wedges and/or tie-downs so that it does not shift during transportation. The use of inflatable bags and similar materials as filler or padding between pieces of cargo or between the cargo and the trailer walls may be necessary to prevent cargo from moving within the truck and causing problems. Cargo that is not adequately secured can shift during transportation and easily throw an 18-wheeler off balance. This can result in a jack-knife accident or other serious collision. Loose cargo that falls into the road can also be a deadly hazard.

Transportation companies who do not take appropriate measures to secure cargo are not only in violation of the law, but also put the driver of the truck and other motorists’ lives in danger. Companies who fail to uphold proper loading procedures can be held liable for accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by the loose cargo.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a car crash can be terrifying. After the accident, an injured person may be left unable to work or enjoy their life and burdened with costly medical bills. If you have been injured by a person who was driving under the influence, you may have an opportunity to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury suit.

While insurance companies may offer some compensation for a car accident that was not your fault, insurance settlements are often too small to cover all of the damages the injured person endured. Suing the other driver or their insurance company is one way to help cover the costs of missed work, ongoing medical care, and other damages. There are certain steps anyone should take after being injured in an accident. If you plan to pursue compensation, it is even more important that you follow these procedures.

Always Go to the Hospital After an Injury-Causing Accident

Often, a person injured in a car accident does not immediately realize the extent of his or her injuries. Adrenaline and fear can mask the pain and cause an injured driver to underestimate the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, without formal medical records describing the injuries caused by the accident, it can be difficult to bring a successful personal injury suit.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysSmartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate with each other and get information about the world. Smartphones are so wonderful that some people have trouble putting them down, even while driving. The statistics about texting and diving are grim: over 1,000 people are injured every day in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. If you were injured or someone you love was killed due to the inattention of another driver, you may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Texting While Driving Is Reckless and Irresponsible

Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving because it integrates visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. Trying to text or otherwise use a cell phone while driving means that a driver takes his hands, eyes, and mind off the road. Someone who is texting and driving is essentially driving blind. If a driver is traveling at 55 mph and looks away from the road for only five seconds, he or she has already traveled the length of a football field.

 Because of the great danger it poses to other drivers and pedestrians, Illinois bans texting and driving by law. Illinois motorists may still talk on the phone while driving, but only using Bluetooth technology or a hands-free device. Recently, Illinois imposed even stricter penalties for distracted drivers which will start in July 2019. Those caught texting while driving will now face more serious penalties for violating the law including possibly having their driver’s license suspended.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysNews reports of fatal drunk driving accidents are sadly common. Poor road conditions and winter weather only increase the risk of alcohol-related traffic accidents. On average, approximately 30 people in the U.S. die as the result of drunk driving accidents each day. This adds up to over 10,000 lost lives per year. Monetary damages from accidents involving a drunk driver are estimated to be more than $44 billion annually. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver, you may be able to receive compensation.

Winter Weather and Poor Road Conditions Add to Danger of Intoxicated Drivers

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is always a reckless move, but it is especially dangerous during winter road conditions. Icy roads can lead to rear-end collisions when a driver fails to stop their vehicle in time. Multiple car pile-ups may be more likely to occur during adverse weather as well. The combination of an intoxicated driver and slippery roads can also increase the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and killed.

Negligent Drivers Can Be Held Liable for Damages

Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car has an obligation to everyone else around him or her to drive with care and attention. When a driver chooses to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit or while otherwise intoxicated, he or she is not fulfilling his duty to act with reasonable care.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysGetting hurt in a car crash or other accident can be an overwhelmingly emotional experience. In the moments after an accident, most people are in shock. They immediately start thinking about how to handle the situation and give little attention to their own well-being. Unfortunately, many people have decreased their chances at receiving compensation for their injuries because they delayed or skipped medical treatment after an accident. If you are ever involved in an accident and you are hurt, it is critical that you have a medical professional assess your injuries.

Adrenaline Masks Pain During Traumatic Events

Imagine you are driving down the highway with your family. Suddenly, another car veers into your lane, causing your vehicle to crash into the guardrail. After the impact, you will probably be more concerned with the other passengers in your vehicle than yourself—even if you are seriously hurt. This is partially due to a mechanism in the brain which helps block the feeling of pain in dangerous situations. In traumatic circumstances, an injured person’s bloodstream is flooded with a hormone called adrenaline. In addition to dilating the person’s pupils and increasing their heart rate, the hormone also blocks their brain’s ability to sense pain. This “stress-induced analgesia,” can trick injured people into believing they are less hurt than they really are. The injured person may cause further bodily damage by delaying medical treatment.

Delaying Medical Treatment Can Decrease Your Chances of Getting Compensation

Being involved in a serious accident can leave a person with burdensome medical bills and financial hardship due to missed work. Symptoms that do not become apparent until days or weeks after an accident can be more difficult to relate directly to the accident. As a result, insurance companies may try to evade liability. Getting compensation for injuries by means of a personal injury lawsuit may be a viable solution for some, but those without documentation of their injuries will have a much harder time making a successful claim.  

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