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Peoria Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

Tips for driving safely in a summer rainstorm

The summer months in Illinois bring warmer weather, as well as the possibility of rainstorms. If you find yourself behind the wheel when the rain begins to fall, you should immediately adjust your driving style to enhance your safety.

Here are five important tips to follow when driving in the rain:

  • Slow down: If you do nothing else, slow down to a comfortable speed. Not only does this help prevent hydroplaning, but it also allows you to stop more quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • Watch for standing water: Hitting standing water at a high rate of speed increases the likelihood of your tires losing contact with the road. This greatly increases the risk of an accident.
  • Increase your following distance: Driving too closely to the vehicle in front of yours is dangerous at all times, but this is particularly true in wet conditions. Give other vehicles more space, as this helps keep everyone safe.
  • Turn off cruise control: You should never use cruise control in wet conditions, as it can cause your vehicle to accelerate at an inopportune time, such as when driving through standing water.
  • Keep your windshield clear: It goes without saying that you should keep your wipers on, but don't forget to use your defogger as well. Precipitation on the outside of your windshield can lead to fog on the inside. This can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to see the road.

Three-vehicle crash kills one, injures three

Rural roads in Illinois pose several unique hazards, including relatively high speed limits, lack of passing lanes, blind curves and direct driveway entrances. These hazards combined with reckless driving in rural Peoria County to cause a three-car accident that killed one person and injured three.

An 18-year-old woman who lived in Elmwood was waiting on Route 116 to turn into her parents' driveway when her vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck. A third vehicle heading east on Route 116 then struck the pickup and the other vehicle. The driver of the turning vehicle died at the scene, and five people in the two other vehicles suffered various injuries and have been hospitalized.

Truck hits tractor, killing driver

As the farming season enters its peak, more and more farm vehicles are operating on county and state highways. Some farm vehicles, such as trucks and livestock trailers, can match the high speeds of other vehicles on these roads and not create much of a hazard. Many farm vehicles, such as cultivators and tractors, are designed only for slow speeds, and they create the potential for collisions with faster moving vehicles. A recent truck accident in McDonough County demonstrates how this speed differential can become deadly.

A 64-year old Macomb man was driving a tractor north on the highway when he was struck from behind by a box truck. The driver lost control of the truck, and it ran off the highway into the median, where it stopped. The tractor was heavily damaged, and the force of the impact threw the driver off the tractor. The tractor operator was flown to Peoria, where he died from his injuries at a local hospital. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Plant explosion kills three

Industrial explosions pose a serious risk for workers whose jobs require them to handle or mix volatile chemicals. Occasionally, an explosion will occur in a plant that uses chemicals that are generally regarded as non-volatile and non-explosive. Such an accident occurred in an Illinois plant operated by AB Specialty Silicones factory north of Chicago.

The plant makes various silicone-based ingredients for other products. The blast occurred at night. Nine workers were believed to be in the plant at the time. Three workers were killed in the explosion. Five workers appear to have escaped, and a ninth man is still missing.

What are hours of service regulations for truck drivers?

When driving down an Illinois freeway, a reader of this blog may have seen this scary sight: a massive truck barreling down the road and weaving from lane to lane as though its driver had lost control of it. Big trucks can be tough to maneuver, but the cause of swerving trucks is often one that is completely preventable. Fatigue affects truck drivers when they do not take enough breaks during their driving days and abide by the hours of service regulations that govern their actions.

Hours of service regulations are established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They apply to drivers of large cargo trucks as well as drivers of busses and other passenger-based vehicles. In essence, they determine how many breaks a driver must take during a day, how long those breaks must be, where the driver must go to sleep, and if the driver may return to driving during the same 24 hour period.

Defensive driving tips to avoid car crashes

You can't avoid all car accidents. Let's start there, because it's important to realize that even great, careful drivers get into accidents thanks to the mistakes others make. It's a constant risk that you face if you have to drive for work or for any other reason.

That said, there are steps you can take to make an accident less likely. Defensive driving can help you avoid some accidents and keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Contributory negligence in slip and fall cases

Personal injury claims are a necessary component of the civil legal system because they allow individuals who have been harmed by the negligence and recklessness of others to recover the losses that they have endured. Illinois victims of slip and fall accidents may use personal injury theories of law to sue for their losses and recover the damages that they need to become whole in the wake of their accidents. While some victims may be able to pursue their claims without any serious hurdles, some face claims of contributory negligence from the parties that they have sued.

Slip and fall accident victims generally sue the property owners of the properties where they suffered their incidents. These property owners have a duty to provide their guests and invitees with safe accommodations and to remedy any foreseeable risks that those individuals may encounter. If a property owner takes reasonable precautions and a person is still harmed on their property, they may claim that the victim caused their own damages.

What is the going and coming rule for a workers' comp claim?

Depending on where an Illinois resident lives they may have a significant workday commute. Individuals who live near their places of enjoyment may not understand the grind that many individuals take on just to get from their homes to their offices each and every day. Depending on factors like distance, weather, and traffic, it can take a Peoria resident hours each day just to get to where they are employed to do their job.

Most individuals are not compensated for their commutes which mean that they must do their drives on their own time and on their own dime. As such, most drivers may not file for workers' compensation benefits when they are injured in the process of driving to or home from their jobs. Unless commuting is a job responsibility of a person's employment they will likely not be able to seek benefits for injuries sustained during such times.

The role of the reasonable person in an auto accident case

When a person reacts in a dramatic or overly responsive way, they may be counseled to act reasonably so that they can appropriately reflect on the problem or situation that has confronted them. An unreasonable person may exhibit a lack of control over themselves or a failure to take appropriate actions given the circumstances of their situation. Each day on Illinois roads, new auto accident victims are made when they encounter drivers who behave unreasonably.

In fact, the legal theory of negligence revolves around the concept of reasonableness and how a reasonable person would react if subjected to a set of particular conditions. Negligence occurs when a person fails to meet their standard of care to others, and that standard of care is generally dictated by how a reasonable person would behave. For example, a reasonable person would not use a cell phone while driving because it is a distraction, and therefore a driver who did use a cell phone and caused an accident may be found negligent of the harm inflicted on others.

Confronting emotional support animals in public spaces

Not long ago a national news story may have come to the attention of Peoria residents regarding serious injuries sustained by a 5-year-old girl. The child was at the airport with her mother and preparing for her flight when she was attacked by an emotional support dog being handled by another airport patron. The pit bull was not in a carrier per the regulations of the airport and was not properly managed by its handler.

As a result of the attack the child suffered serious injuries to her face and eye that required surgery. Her family is seeking more than $1 million on her behalf and has sued the airport and others for the damages that she suffered. They have claimed that the owner of the dog should have known that the animal was dangerous and that it should have been secured in accordance with the policies of the airport.

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