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arlington heights personal injury lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use in the U.S. costs the country roughly a quarter trillion dollars per year. This number included costs caused by loss in workplace productivity, health care, criminal justice, and alcohol-related car accidents. Alcohol is often a factor in personal injury law cases, and many who are injured in alcohol-related accidents are eligible to receive compensation.

Alcohol-Related Injuries

Although many people use alcohol responsibly, alcohol is a very powerful drug. When a person consumes alcohol, their body is affected in several significant ways. Their reaction time is often decreased, and reflexes may become slower, their vision may become distorted or blurry, their ability to concentrate may be diminished, and they may find it hard to coordinate their movements. These side effects of alcohol make a person much more susceptible to an injury-causing accident.

Sometimes alcohol-related injuries are caused by something as simple as slipping and falling. This often happens in dimly lit bars or other places where alcohol is served and could be spilled. When a person has been drinking, he or she is less likely to be able to react to a slip as quickly as he or she might have been able to while sober. This makes serious injury a higher risk than if the person had not been drinking.

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schaumburg truck accident attorneyThe trucking industry is absolutely essential to the flow of goods across the United States. An estimated 80 percent of U.S. cargo is transported by hard-working men and women who drive tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks. Driving a semi-truck across the country can be a tedious and isolating job. Truck drivers are expected to endure harsh road and weather conditions, long periods of time away from family and friends, and erratic sleep schedules. Unfortunately, some truck drivers turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the strenuousness of their job. Considering how destructive truck accidents can be, the prevalence of drug and alcohol use in truck drivers is extremely concerning.

Fatal Truck Accidents Kill Thousands per Year

The same features that make 18-wheelers and other large trucks so useful for transportation make them deadly during a traffic accident. A large truck cannot maneuver through traffic the way an average-sized vehicle can. If a stalled vehicle suddenly blocks the road ahead, for example, cars may have enough time to dodge the stalled vehicle or come to a stop. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer takes approximately 20-40 percent farther to come to a stop than a small car does. This difference in stopping time can mean the difference between life and death. Data shows that there are more than 5,000 truck accident fatalities in an average year in the United States.  

Half of Truck Drivers Admit to Drinking and Driving

In an extensive worldwide study of truck drivers published in the Journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, it was found that half of truck drivers admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. Nearly one-third of truck drivers surveyed admitted to using amphetamines. When participants in the study were tested for drugs and alcohol, 12.5 percent of U.S. truck drivers tested positive for alcohol. Although many truck drivers are already required to submit to drug testing, many people are advocating for stricter rules regarding truck driver drug and alcohol use. If a truck driver causes a serious auto accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can be held liable for the damages caused.

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schaumburg pedestrian injury attorneyWarmer weather is right around the corner, and more people will be out walking for exercise, commuting to work, or running errands. However, what started as a healthy pursuit could turn dangerous if you are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. After years of falling pedestrian accidents and fatalities, numbers have risen again in the last five years, with hundreds of pedestrians injured every year. In 2021 alone, 215 pedestrians were killed in Illinois traffic crashes. Negligent drivers may be speeding, driving recklessly, distracted by cell phones or other devices, or simply not looking out for pedestrians.

Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities in Illinois

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, pedestrians have the right of way in the following circumstances. Drivers must come to a complete stop and then yield to a pedestrian:

  • When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk.

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palatine car accident injury lawyerWhen a person is injured in a car accident, it is important for him or her to seek medical care. In the United States, of course, medical care costs real money. One of the most common questions after such an accident revolves around which party or parties are responsible for these costs. Depending on the details that led to your crash, the at-fault party is likely to be responsible for your medical bills, but getting your medical bills paid may take a substantial amount of time. What are you supposed to do in the meantime?

Covering Your Costs

Filing a claim for compensation in a personal injury situation is an important step, but processing the claim takes time. It is not always immediately clear who was at fault, and even if liability is clear, insurance companies often do not pay out claims immediately.

Your health, however, is most important, so you should not wait to get the care you need. Therefore, you might need to start by covering your own costs or having your medical care billed to your health insurance. You could also file a claim with your own auto insurance company to ensure that your bills will be covered while you wait for your personal injury compensation to arrive. If the at-fault party’s insurance does come through, your health or auto insurance carrier can recover any money paid out in advance through a process called subrogation.

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rolling meadows premises liability attorneyWith the spring season right around with corner, people throughout Northern Illinois will soon be looking to stretch their legs and leave winter behind them. Stores and retail outlets are likely to see a boost in sales over the next few weeks and months, but with more customers out and about, there will also be an increased risk of shopping injury. Wet floors, tripping hazards like extension cords, and falling merchandise can all pose serious threats to shoppers. Fortunately, the legal system provides protection—known as premises liability—for those injured on the property of another. At its most basic, premises liability laws require landowners to make sure that their property is safe for other people to enter, but other complications do often arise.

Shopping Injuries

Although people do not often think of shopping as a dangerous activity unless they are lining up for a Black Friday sale, even “normal” shopping can result in a variety of injuries. The most common injuries are the result of slips and trips due to puddles, tripping hazards or poorly maintained floors. These sorts of shopping hazards can result in sprains, bruises, broken bones, and back injuries, but shoppers can experience even more severe injuries.

Many stores, especially warehouse stores and big box appliance retailers, will stack merchandise higher and higher to maximize their storage space. These towers of heavy boxes present serious dangers to shoppers, and many customers have suffered injuries due to this practice. The stacks of merchandise are often unstable, so the boxes can fall when a cart bumps into the rack or when a shopper or store employee tries to retrieve an item. If a falling box hits a shopper, it could result in traumatic brain injuries, which can cause concussions, headaches, nausea, vomiting, strokes, seizures, and even coma or death in more severe circumstances. When these sorts of injuries occur, it is important to understand the store's duties.

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