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shutterstock_649067740.jpgIn the majority of vehicle accidents that take place, there is typically one driver who is found to be at fault for the crash. That driver is the one that, under the law, is responsible for the losses the accident causes, such as injuries or damage to property. If the driver who is at fault is a private citizen, then usually the victim files a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. If the at-fault driver was working for a business at the time of the crash, then the victim would typically file a claim against the company’s insurance company. When the crash involves a ridesharing vehicle, determining the at-fault party becomes much more complicated.

How Is Liability Determined?

In ridesharing crashes, the driver’s status at the time of the crash is what will determine how the accident claim will be filed. According to company policies:

If the ridesharing driver was at fault in the accident, did not have the driver app on, and had no passengers in the vehicle, then any accident claim needs to be filed against the at-fault driver’s own insurance company.

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shutterstock_510633088.jpgWhen a drunk driver causes injury to a victim, that victim not only can pursue damages from the drunk driver, but they can also pursue damages from the establishment that sold the alcohol to that driver. This action can be done under the Illinois Liquor Control Act. The majority of these actions occur as a result of drunk driving accidents; however, there are some other scenarios where the law could also apply.

Dram Shop Law

Under the Illinois Liquor Control Act, as referred to as the Dram Shop Act, any person who is injured (or the victim’s family if the victim is killed) due to the actions of an intoxicated individual can pursue legal action against any party licensed to sell alcohol who caused the intoxication by selling or giving alcohol to the individual. Affected parties can be:

  • An establishment, such as a bar or restaurant, that sells alcohol to individuals who consume the alcohol on the premises.

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glenview car crash lawyerMost drivers have had the experience of being on the road and suddenly hearing sirens or seeing red flashing lights. We pull over in time to see a fire truck, police cars, or other emergency vehicles go racing by. Emergency responders provide a valuable service and are generally the first on the scene when threatening and tragic events happen but getting caught in front or alongside them on the road can put you in a potentially dangerous situation, making car accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

Emergency Vehicle Accidents

Police, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) workers have the authority to go above speed limits and to disregard traffic signs and signals to protect the public and save lives in potentially dangerous situations. Unfortunately, these driving behaviors are among the leading causes of car accidents and injuries. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that emergency vehicle accidents pose enough of a hazard on roads and highways to warrant additional studies on how these accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them. In addition to the high rates of speed these vehicles travel in carrying out their duties, other factors involved in these accidents include the following:

  • Driver distraction: Emergency vehicles come equipped with the latest cameras and communications technology, allowing them to communicate with dispatchers and other first responders in their efforts to manage a crisis. Unfortunately, responding to communications and using visual aids are a major distraction, which is a leading cause of car accidents.

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IL accident lawyerMost people have busy lives, and it is understandable for a person to want to be able to complete multiple tasks at once, especially when they are engaged in routine activities that do not seem to require their full attention. However, multitasking while driving is not just a bad idea, but it can have deadly results. Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous practices that a driver can engage in, and it is far too common on the roads in the United States. These unsafe behaviors lead to thousands of fatal car accidents every year, as well as tens of thousands of non-fatal injuries. Drivers, passengers, or others who are injured by distracted drivers will want to understand their options for pursuing financial compensation that will address the damages they have suffered.

The Most Dangerous Types of Distracted Driving

While distracted driving can come in many forms, distractions that affect drivers can generally be grouped into three categories:

  • Visual distractions - These include any actions that cause a driver to look away from the road. This can cause a driver to miss important details, such as vehicles that are approaching an intersection, cars that have slowed down in front of them, pedestrians that are attempting to cross the road, or obstacles in a lane of traffic. Inability to notice these details may not allow a person enough time to respond and avoid colliding with a vehicle, pedestrian, or obstacle.
  • Manual distractions - These include situations where a person takes their hands off the steering wheel or takes other actions that cause them to not be in full control of their car. In these cases, a person’s reaction time will increase, since they will need additional time to regain control of their vehicle before they can react to conditions on the road. Even a split-second delay can affect a person’s ability to avoid a collision.
  • Cognitive distractions - Failure to fully pay attention to the road can affect a person’s ability to notice important details and respond correctly to changing conditions. Attention that is diverted to other tasks will result in a narrowed field of vision and longer reaction times.

While each of these types of distractions can be deadly on their own, actions that combine multiple types of distractions are especially dangerous. For example, eating and drinking while driving will often require a person to look away from the road and use their hands to hold food and beverages.

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IL injury lawyerDrunk driving is against the law for a very good reason - it is extremely dangerous. Sober drivers who make a mistake can sometimes still correct themselves and avoid an accident. Drunk drivers lack the reflexes to self-correct and are more likely to cause an accident. Plus, drunk drivers often make serious mistakes like going the wrong way on an interstate that sober drivers are less prone to. If you were injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, calling an attorney who can help you recover compensation would be wise.

What Types of Crashes Might Drunk Drivers Cause?

Drunk driving accidents can be more serious than accidents involving two sober drivers. The behavior of a drunk driver can be entirely unpredictable, both before and after the crash. Drunk drivers tend to cause these types of dangerous collisions:

  • Head-on - Drunk or drugged drivers are notorious for going the wrong way. Whether they’ve driven up the off-ramp on a highway, skipped a median, or missed a one-way sign, intoxicated people may cause a head-on collision with a driver who is on the correct side of the street. This presents an enormous danger, as there is little to shield the drivers from the force of the crash.
  • T-bone - Stop signs and stoplights may not have the same significance to a drunk driver that they would to everyone else on the road - it is not uncommon for a person under the influence to fail to notice or yield in time. This can result in t-bone collisions when the drunk driver does not stop and strikes another vehicle that was lawfully in the intersection.
  • Rear-end - Stopping in time to avoid hitting the car in front of you can be a challenge for drivers who are over the limit. Drunk drivers may also fail to take weather-related road conditions, like ice or snow, into consideration when calculating their stopping distance. What is so dangerous about rear-end collisions caused by drunk drivers is that their delayed reflexes may not allow them to hit the brakes and at least mitigate the force of the accident by slowing down. While sober drivers often skid into the vehicle in front of them, drunk drivers may collide at full speed.
  • High-speed - Serious spinal, head, and neck injuries tend to result from high-speed crashes. Drunk drivers are often reckless, operating at dangerously high speeds and taking turns too quickly. This can cause major problems for others on the road who may not be able to avoid an out-of-control vehicle going well over the speed limit.

If you were involved in an accident with a driver who appears intoxicated, make sure to use extra safety precautions after the accident and then contact an attorney as soon as possible.

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