Seeking Justice For The Victims of Distracted Driving in Chicago
Distracted driving accidents tragically occur every day, killing over 3,000 individuals and injuring some 400,000 more, according to Distraction.gov, the Official United States Government Website for Distracted Driving. Many believe the true instance of distracted driving could be even higher due to underreporting and difficulties in detecting this dangerous behavior. Distracted driving has always existed, but it has reached new heights with the exponential bounds in mobile technology that we have seen in recent years. Americans today are glued to their cell phones, unfortunately even while behind the wheel. Distraction is never an excuse for causing an accident and drivers who injure others due to distraction should be held accountable.
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our Chicago car accident lawyers have assisted thousands of individuals injured by distracted drivers. Our firm has witnessed the uptick in distracted driving throughout Illinois with alarm and dismay. We understand the devastation a distracted driving accident can wreak on you and your family. As such, we vow to strive diligently to obtain the maximum compensation for your distracted driving accident.
HOW CAN I PROVE MY CASE?
When your Stein & Shulman personal injury attorneys file a claim on your behalf, we have to prove the basic elements of a negligence case, as set out by Illinois law. Generally, these elements are:
When we talk about duty, we mean the obligation people have to use reasonable care on the road. While driving, all people generally owe other motorists a duty to exercise the care of a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances. Drivers have an obligation to avoid placing other people at risk. The law does not ask people to anticipate completely out-of-the-ordinary scenarios, but rather, foreseeable consequences of certain actions. For instance, it is foreseeable that a driver will run into someone if he does not look in his mirrors or look over his shoulder while changing lanes. A reasonable person would make sure the lane was clear in that situation.
Breach means someone failed to use reasonable care. To determine whether someone failed to use reasonable care, we look at the possibility to act differently. The law focuses on what was done versus what should have been done. If someone could have acted differently with minimal burden to himself, he has breached his duty to use reasonable care while driving.
Next, we have to prove that you were harmed (legally referred to as “damages”), and that your harm was actually caused by another person’s negligence. So in the example above where a driver didn’t look before changing lanes, we have to prove you were injured in some way, and your injury was caused by that man’s negligent driving.
As you can see, while car accident law can sometimes seem cut-and-dry, it is actually quite complicated. The best way to protect yourself after an accident is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Stein & Shulman can investigate your potential claim to see if we can meet all the elements above and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
WHAT IF THE DRIVER IS A FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER?
Being injured in a car accident is stressful enough, but sometimes that stress is compounded when you know — or are very close to — the driver who injured you. Perhaps someone you know ran into you, or maybe you were the passenger in a family member’s car, and your family member caused a wreck that injured you. It can be traumatic trying to figure out whether you can or should seek damages for your injuries in this situation. You might feel extreme pressure to let it go, but you also have expensive medical bills piling up.
People might not immediately think to hire a lawyer in these circumstances for fear their friend or family member will become upset, but this is actually a time when a lawyer can be tremendously helpful. When you hire a lawyer, you can take yourself out of the emotional battle. You can focus on healing, rather than the legal ramifications of your injuries, and your lawyer can engage in discussions with the person who caused the car accident (or his or her counsel) and come to a reasonable resolution for you. When emotions run high like this, your lawyer can step in and take the burden off your shoulders. Everyone will benefit from a resolution that is manageable and that prevents you from going into medical debt.
If you are struggling to decide what to do following a distracted driving car accident, contact the skilled lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC, to discuss your options.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING IN CHICAGO
What is distracted driving?
Most people think of texting and talking on the phone when they hear the term distracted driving, and these are two of the most common forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving encompasses numerous other behaviors, however. Distracted driving is defined as driving with your attention diverted from the road. It can involve looking at your GPS, talking to passengers, changing the radio stations, eating, and the like. Quite often, mobile technology is the cause of distracted driving.
What is Illinois’ law on distracted driving?
Illinois has taken a strong stance against distracted driving by passing several laws that limit the use of mobile technology while you drive. The state has banned texting for all drivers, which includes emailing and similar communications, and the use of handheld cell phones. Cell phones, both handheld, and hands-free, are banned for novice drivers. Additionally, Illinois bans the use of cell phones while driving in school and construction zones. Those who violate cell phone and texting laws will face stringent penalties.
Is it ok to text or make a phone call while I am at a traffic light?
Many drivers have a misconception that while they are stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, it is acceptable to text or use their handheld device. This is patently false. It is never safe to text or use your cell phone while stopped at a light, as this can result in accidents if you do not realize the light has changed, or you go too soon due to inattention. You will face penalties for engaging in this activity.
I was injured by a distracted driver. What compensation could I receive?
Your exact recovery will depend on the specific facts of the accident and your injuries. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Consult with a car accident attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors of all time. The victims of distracted drivers deserve to obtain full compensation for their losses from the at-fault drivers that injured them. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, our experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC are here to help. Our firm has handled all manner of injury and accident cases, achieving over 40 million in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers at (312) 422-0506 or by filling out a free contact form online.