PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS

SERVING CHICAGO ILLINOIS

Contributing Factors in Car Accidents

Experienced Chicago car accident lawyers explain common causes of car accidents.

Every car accident in Chicago and throughout Illinois is unique. But many accidents, from rear-end accidents in North Lawndale to intersection accidents on the North Side, share one or more contributing factors. In many instances, one driver may have done something to cause an accident with another driver who was abiding by traffic laws and safely sharing the road with others.

At The Deratany Firm, our experienced legal team understands that the causes of some car accidents are more common than others. Perhaps the other driver involved was speeding at the time of your accident, text-messaging or under the influence of alcohol. If you or a loved one was injured, or a loved one died as a result of the following contributing factors, you deserve a legal advocate who will work tirelessly on your behalf.

TThe experienced attorneys at The Deratany Firm know how to investigate the cause of your crash. We work hard to determine who is responsible. We routinely visit accident scenes, pore over medical and police records and interview witnesses on behalf of our clients. Whatever it takes to obtain the closure and compensation you deserve after an accident - you can expect more from The Deratany Firm. Contact us today.

Distracted Driving

The term "distracted driving" covers a wide range and dangerous behavior. In some instances, a driver may look away for a second at something other than the road ahead. It may be a cell phone, radio or GPS system. A distraction might involve a driver who looks at a passenger in the front seat, turns around to deal with children in the backseat, or glances at something outside of the vehicle. But in a matter of seconds, this distraction can lead to a missed traffic signal or failure to react to a vehicle ahead that stopped or slowed down - and potentially cause a rear-end or intersection accident. A pedestrian in a crosswalk may be struck and killed.

The experienced attorneys at The Deratany Firm are familiar with the most common causes of distracted driving accidents in Illinois. Cell phone use remains a top cause of driver distraction. Drivers who send and receive text messages, check email, browse social media sites or otherwise manipulate their phones while driving take their eyes off the road for seconds at a time. To make matters worse - despite texting being against the law in Illinois - many drivers have become accustomed to this dangerous behavior while behind-the-wheel. While drivers who ignore the law and text are not stigmatized the way drunk drivers are, there may come a day when everyone finds this type of behavior inexcusable. Some studies have found that texting while driving can lead to an impairment more dangerous than drinking and driving. And while drivers might feel safe using a hands-free device, studies have found that even the act of talking on a cellphone while driving can cause a cognitive impairment.

Other electronics besides cell phones also pose distraction risks. GPS systems and in-dash navigation systems meant to assist motorists can contribute to a distraction-related accident. A driver may take his eyes off the road to look at a small screen or buttons on an MP3 player that connects to a car stereo. Additionally, passengers may provide a cognitive distraction to drivers, especially teens who generally lack experience behind the wheel.

Proving fault after a distraction-related accident can be difficult without a knowledgeable attorney. The driver who caused your accident may claim she wasn't on the phone or texting. The at-fault individual's insurance company may try to find a way to blame you for the accident. But we know how to take aggressive measures on behalf of a client facing a complex case. Depending on the circumstances, we may examine cell phone records. We typically gather evidence and interview witnesses to the accident. We consult with experts who can support your case. The Deratany Firm's experienced legal team understands how to hold negligent drivers accountable for their careless behavior.

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Impaired by Alcohol or Drugs

The dangers of drinking and driving are well documented in Illinois. With one-third of all car accident fatalities involving alcohol in Illinois - not counting the seemingly countless car accidents resulting in injuries and property damage each year - attorneys at The Deratany Firm knows that drunk driving is a major public safety issue in Chicago and throughout the state. Over the years, we have handled drunk driving accident cases and have heard from victims. We have seen firsthand the devastating impact of these types of car crashes. The loss of a parent or child, a brother or sister, or a spouse can be unbearable. When the accident is caused by such a careless act, the pain can be overwhelming. That's why we work so hard to get justice for injured victims and families who lost loved ones. In addition to pursuing compensation for future lost wages and future medical bills as a result of injuries, we may seek punitive damages from the negligent individual. These are sometimes awarded as a way to punish the person who caused the accident and send a message to others not to engage in similar risky behavior. In addition, the supplier of alcohol, such as a bar or restaurant, may be partially liable.

What makes drunk driving so dangerous on Chicago's congested roadways? Drivers under the influence of alcohol experience a lack of coordination and loss of judgment. A drunk driving accident often involves a vehicle straying from its lane or failing to observe traffic signals, leading to rear-end, head-on and intersection accidents. When a drunk driver is driving recklessly and at high speeds, the results can be catastrophic and potentially fatal.

Illinois law is not lenient on drunk drivers. According to state drunk driving laws, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) or .08 or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers face further restriction, .04 percent, due to the size and weight of their vehicles. A BAC of .15 or higher constitutes grounds for a criminal charge.

An experienced lawyer at The Deratany Firm can pursue several types of damages after a drunk driving accident. We can analyze breathalyzer results, police records and collect evidence at the scene of the accident proving the driver who hit you was drunk.

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Speeding

The Deratany Firm is familiar with the dangers that speeding drivers pose to others using Illinois roadways. A high-rate-of-speed crash is among the most common cases we handle. Fatal accidents in Illinois often involve a speeding driver. With so many drivers willingly ignoring speed limits across the state, high-speed accidents are rarely minor and often result in serious or fatal injuries to drivers and passengers.

Speeding and other contributing factors often go hand-in-hand. A drunk driver who lacks judgment may not even be aware of how fast he is going. Speeding crashes also are often linked to aggressive drivers in a rush to arrive at their destination, reckless drivers engaging in illegal activity such as drag racing or even drivers who fall asleep while behind the wheel. Vehicles become more difficult to control and stop at high speeds, with accidents of all types - from rear-end accidents to intersection collisions - potentially turning catastrophic due to the force of impact.

If you were in a high-speed collision, you might know the cause of your accident is clear-cut. There may have been no skid marks at a stop sign or red light. Perhaps you were traveling safely in your traffic lane when another driver caused a head-on collision. However, you may find that the driver who caused your accident denies any wrongdoing. The at-fault individual's insurance company may even claim you contributed to the cause of the accident in an effort to diminish liability and avoid paying out the compensation you deserve.

Our firm's experienced legal team is highly skilled at handling such complex car accident cases. We understand what's required to prove fault in a high-speed accident. We collect evidence and interview witnesses. We obtain police reports. If necessary, we can even send an accident reconstruction team to the scene of your accident. Discover the difference our passionate legal advocates can make after your accident. We're ready to put our resources and experience to work for you.

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Aggressive Driving

It's a common sight on the roads and highways in and around Chicago: aggressive drivers who speed through yellow lights at intersections, weave through traffic lanes or follow other vehicles too closely. While it's common sense for other drivers to keep their distance and to safely share the road with all other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, some drivers make reckless choices. Their careless actions can be grave. Another driver, passenger or pedestrian may sustain a serious brain injury or spinal cord damage. Your loved one may get killed in an accident, which may be grounds for a  wrongful death lawsuit.

Accidents involving reckless or aggressive drivers can happen anywhere and anytime in Illinois, from high-speed accidents on busy interstate highways such as I-90 in Chicago to accidents at busy intersections in Franklin Park or LaGrange. These accidents often happen without warning and can leave accident victims facing long-term injuries resulting in medical bills, lost wages and other costs associated with the accident. We aggressively fight to hold the negligent party accountable. If you were injured or lost a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to The Deratany Firm today.

Aggressive driving in Illinois can occur under any of the following circumstances:

  • Speeding or racing
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Crossing double lines to pass a vehicle
  • Failing to move over for emergency vehicles stopped at roadside
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Passing a stopped school bus

Life can become complicated quickly after an accident involving an aggressive driver. You may submit a claim to the insurance company, only to find that the reckless driver denies any wrongdoing. The insurance company might try to argue you caused the accident, or may simply delay payment. The Deratany Firm can help. Our experienced legal advocates are well-versed in Illinois' laws and its legal system. As experienced aggressive driving accident lawyers in Chicago, we are intricately familiar with how to uncover the cause of such accidents. We have access to medical experts and accident reconstructionists. We leave no stone unturned in our representation.

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Driving While Tired

The term "fatigued driving" is a term typically reserved for accidents involving truck drivers who spend long hours behind the wheel of their vehicles. But in Chicago and across Illinois, the possibility exists for drivers of passenger vehicles to drive while too tired - potentially even falling asleep at the wheel - leading to a potentially catastrophic rear-end crash, head-on collision or T-bone accident at an intersection.

What makes driving while tired so dangerous on state roadways? Driving while fatigued causes cognitive impairment and delayed reactions similar to behavior exhibited by drunk drivers. A driver may fail to stop at a red light or veer out of his or her traffic lane on a highway. Unfortunately, the known risks associated with fatigued driving are often not enough to stop a motorist from getting behind the wheel when he or she is too tired.

The Deratany Firm has extensive experience protecting the legal rights of accident victims injured by fatigued drivers. Motorists who keep driving when too tired may be held legally liable if they cause an accident. We can collect evidence and examine police records proving that another driver was acting in a negligent way by driving while fatigued. When you've done nothing wrong, you shouldn't have to pay for another driver's careless mistake.

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