Chicago personal injury attorney

Three Mistakes You Must Avoid

If you’ve ever been in an automobile accident – and if you’re like most of us – you drive with extreme caution the first few times you return behind the wheel. Over time, you get a bit more relaxed and perhaps a little complacent. Human error is responsible for the overwhelming majority of automobile accidents, and since there’s no such thing as a perfect driver, every motorist can improve and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. While you’re working on self-improvement, if you’re injured in the Chicago area because of the negligence of another driver, discuss your legal rights and options – including a possible personal injury lawsuit – with experienced Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph M. Dooley. The best place to start being a better driver is with the three biggest threats to safe driving:

  1. Intoxicated driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2013 in the United States. If you plan to drink, don’t plan to drive. Use a designated driver, a cab, a limo, or even a bus. Staying over at a friend’s may not be your preference, but it beats a night in the jail or in the morgue.
  1. Speeding and reckless driving: Like alcohol, speed is a factor in about one out of three fatal crashes. If you tend to drive fast, try leaving for your destinations a few minutes earlier. Besides, tardiness beats never arriving at all.
  1. Distracted driving (including texting): Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the road. When you drive, turn off the cell phone, and keep take-out food wrapped in the bag. If you must have music when you drive, set up your sound system so that you aren’t constantly adjusting it.

Intoxicated Driving

Alcohol is a factor in 32 percent of the fatal traffic accidents in the United States, and even if you never drink a drop, there’s a good chance you’ll be affected by an alcohol-related accident. Three in every ten persons in the U.S. will be in an alcohol-related accident at some point in their lifetimes. Many of the thousands killed and injured in drunk-driving accidents are innocent drivers or passengers who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lying in a hospital, and not knowing how you will pay your medical bills or support your family, is no place to be. If you are injured in Illinois by an intoxicated driver, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim, but you’ll need legal help. Contact an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience representing the victims of drunk driving accidents. Contact Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph M. Dooley immediately.

It’s imperative to act at once after an accident that results in injuries. Your attorney needs to gather evidence and question witnesses before the evidence deteriorates and the memories fade. Illinois sets a statutory time limit of two years for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Attorney Joseph M. Dooley is committed to helping accident victims receive the best possible care. While most victims recover from most accident injuries, in other cases, victims can sustain catastrophic, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries – or other injuries – that lead to long-term or permanent disability. Those victims need the maximum available compensation for long-term treatment, care, and rehabilitation. If you or anyone you love is injured in an accident with an intoxicated driver, don’t wait. After any accident with injuries in or near Chicago, immediately contact Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph M. Dooley.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Although speeding and reckless driving can cause an accident at any time, it is more common to occur during foul weather. Adhering to these five safety tips may help you avoid accidents in foul weather and make your drive a safer one:

  1. Use your headlights. Illinois law requires motorists to use headlights in rain, snow, fog, or other poor weather conditions. Your headlights may not help you see better in the rain, but they help other drivers see you.
  1. Never use flashers when moving. When other drivers see them, they assume you’ve stopped and that they have to go around you.
  1. Stay in the middle lanes if you can. You are less apt to hit too much accumulated water and lose control.
  1. Shut off the AC and cruise control. Air conditioning can make windows fog up rapidly in the rain, and cruise control can become “lose control.” Turn them off when the first drop of rain hits.
  1. Brake lightly when it becomes safe to. When your brake pads are wet, they won’t stop your car. After driving through a large puddle, lightly tap your brakes to dry and test them.

Bad weather means drivers must be extra cautious. If, despite your best efforts at safety, you are injured in a Chicago-area traffic accident, seek medical treatment immediately.

Distracted Driving

Over a year ago, a new Illinois law was passed that prohibits a driver from talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. Illinois already had a law against texting while driving. Nevertheless, according to Illinois police officials, drivers are still talking and texting on hand-held cell phones, and these violations of the law are still causing accidents and injuries. In the Chicago area, if you are injured in an accident with a driver who was texting or talking on a cell phone, or if you are injured by a driver who was distracted in some other way, you have the right to receive compensation for your medical treatment and related expenses. However, to win that compensation, you’ll need to file a claim with the help of a good personal injury attorney.

Talking or texting on a cell phone is only one of the many distractions drivers face in the Chicago area. Adjusting a radio, tending to children or pets, eating, drinking, and grooming can all distract a driver just long enough to spark a tragedy. With so many possible distractions, everyone on the road is at risk.

Still, cell phones are probably the most dangerous distraction for drivers because using them requires your eyes, your hands, and your attention – the same things that driving requires.

After any traffic accident, protect your rights; do not admit fault or sign any insurance forms before speaking to your attorney. If possible, take photos of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. Keep and make copies of any insurance, police, or medical documents generated by the accident. Most importantly, if you are injured in or near the Chicago area, speak to experienced Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph M. Dooley as quickly as possible. Contact Attorney Joseph Dooley by email at [email protected] or call 312-236-7282.