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Motor vehicle accidents: What can you do about driver negligence?

Navigating an Illinois roadway can be dangerous whether you are driving, riding as a passenger or walking. Motor vehicle accidents often occur suddenly, with little to no notice, resulting in serious, even life-threatening injuries. Perhaps, you were sitting at a red light when another car crashed into your vehicle from behind.

This type of accident is common, and is often caused by drivers who were distracted instead of focused on the task at hand. Someone reading a text message may not notice that traffic has slowed or stopped entirely. Alcohol consumption is another common factor of collisions at traffic lights or intersections. It is not your responsibility to make sure a stranger does not get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content that exceeds the legal limit.

Workplace accidents more likely in factories

Illinois residents who work in factories are at great risk for injury. Factory work, construction, commercial fishing and many other types of jobs are prone to workplace accidents that result in serious, often life-threatening injuries.  Any number of issues may increase a safety risk, including lack of proper training or equipment.

An employer is obligated to inform every employee of all known risks associated with a particular position. If there is equipment available to help a worker carry out his or her duties in a safer manner, then the employer is also obligated to provide the equipment. Even when employers fulfill their obligations, workplace accidents can still occur.

Which workplace injuries do Illinois workers suffer most often?

Some jobs in Illinois are more dangerous than others. Nearly every worker in every type of industry can suffer a personal injury on the job. There several workplace injuries that are most common in the average job setting. Even if a person works behind a desk in an office, it pays to have a basic understanding of the workers' compensation claim process in case an injury or legal problem arises.

Heat-related injuries such as burns are among the most common across the country. Nearly 16,000 workers suffer thermal injuries every year. Such injuries typically necessitate taking six or more days off work to recover. Those who are regularly exposed to the elements as well as those who work near chemicals and other hazardous substances are at risk for these types of injuries.

Motor vehicle accidents: Seeking aftermath support in Illinois

The day another driver ran a red light and T-boned your vehicle in an intersection is likely a time in your life you'd rather forget. However, especially if you suffered injuries in the collision, details of the crash may be deeply etched in your mind forever. Illinois motor vehicle accidents often happen so suddenly and unexpectedly that even cautious and alert drivers do not have time to safely react to avoid disaster.

When a motorist fails to adhere to traffic laws, the court can hold him or her financially accountable for damages caused by his or her negligence. This is why many recovering accident victims file personal injury claims in civil court. If you file such a claim, you are tasked with convincing the court that another person, who owed you a fiduciary duty, was negligent in such a way that resulted in your injuries.

Workplace accidents: Will Illinois mines be safer now?

There are approximately 13,000 mines in the United States, some of which are located in Illinois. The mining industry is prone to workplace accidents. In fact, it is known to be one of the most dangerous industries of all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has come up with a way to keep miners safer on the job.

As many as 6,000 workers are injured in mines every year. While some miners suffer injuries in unexpected accidents, others develop lung diseases and other illnesses due to exposure to toxins in the workplace. The CDC claims that failure to implement safety procedures and adhere to regulations increases the number of worker injuries that occur in the mining industry.

Motor vehicle accidents: When to suspect brain injury

Many Illinois travelers will be involved in collisions before this year ends. Issues that cause motor vehicle accidents vary; however, many collisions are caused by driver negligence. The sudden impact of a crash occurs under such force that severe or, even, fatal injuries might occur, especially injuries to the brain.

Traumatic brain injuries are not always immediately apparent. Symptoms may be subtle or late-developing. Close observation is necessary for all accident victims, especially those who remember hitting their heads upon impact. In fact, if a brain injury is suspected, hospital officials will often keep accident victims there overnight to watch for signs of a worsening condition.

Motor vehicle accidents sometimes due to smartphone addiction

Like most other states, Illinois roadways are often highly congested with traffic that is moving at highway speeds. It often takes great caution, alertness and swift reactions to avoid a collision. When drivers are addicted to smartphones, they tend to use their phones while driving, even when there are laws prohibiting it. In fact, many motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted drivers who were using smartphones at the time.

One can often recognize a smartphone addict by certain symptoms. For instance, a person who becomes angry or agitated upon losing access to his or her phone is suggestive of addiction. This person might also have trouble sleeping at night due to too much blue screen light during the day. If he or she also has trouble keeping still without looking at his or her phone every few minutes, it is logical to assume that the individual has become addicted to the phone. 

Motor vehicle accidents: Driver inexperience often a factor

Illinois travelers are often at risk for injury on or near the state's roadways. Pedestrians, especially, must be cautious when crossing roadways or walking in areas where motor vehicle accidents can occur. Even if an on-foot traveler is paying close attention to surrounding areas, if a nearby driver is negligent, disaster can strike in an instant.

Sadly, a pedestrian tragedy occurred on a recent Saturday night. A 55-year-old woman who was walking along had no way of knowing it would be the last walk she'd ever take. A motor vehicle that was reportedly heading in a westbound direction at the time suddenly struck the woman.

Illinois workers' compensation issues led to litigation

An Illinois food supply worker was seriously injured on the job. As a result, he filed a workers' compensation claim. Sometime later, when he learned additional information that implicated fault on the part of someone other than his employer, he filed a lawsuit against that person.

The worker was employed at a food supply company and was performing maintenance on a fudge mixer when the accident occurred. While he was working, someone turned on the mixer, which caused severe hand damage to the worker. He lost several fingers in the tragic incident.

Motor vehicle accidents: Know where to seek support

One never knows what will happen on an Illinois highway at any given moment. Some days, travel is rather uneventful, with little to no traffic and all motorists carefully adhering to traffic laws and safety regulations. However, that can all change in an instant if a distracted, intoxicated or reckless driver gets behind the wheel. Motor vehicle accidents are often sudden and disastrous, which is why it's critical to know where to seek support if injuries occur.

First responders typically help assess the immediate aftermath of a collision. If you need medical attention, police and rescue workers will likely be the ones to help you get it. It's always a good idea to obtain a medical examination after an accident, even if you think you feel okay.

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