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Peoria Personal Injury Law Blog

What to know about truck accident settlements

A person who is injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver could be entitled to compensation. In many cases, victims will file a civil lawsuit as a way to pursue that money. However, it is possible that a case will be resolved without the need to go to court or without the need for a judge or jury to rule if a trial begins.

Cases can instead be resolved through arbitration, mediation or negotiation. Any ruling that is reached through arbitration is generally binding on all parties. An injured victim could benefit from trying to reach a settlement as it can be faster and less expensive to do so. This is because the parties are generally willing to negotiate in good faith as there is no need for anyone to admit guilt. However, it is possible that an injured victim will receive less in a settlement than by going through a formal trial.

International Roadcheck to take place in June

From June 5 to June 7, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold its International Roadcheck for 2018. This year, the event will focus on hours-of-service compliance for truckers in Illinois and throughout the country and Canada According to the president of the CVSA, hours-of-service violations were the most common reason why trucks were taken out of service in 2017. The emphasis on hour-of-service violations comes as the Department of Transportation implements its electronic logging mandate.

In previous years, an average of 15 trucks or buses were inspected each minute during the International Roadcheck. In 2017, there were 15,000 trucks that were taken out of service, and there were more than 63,000 inspections during the 2017 event. Of out-of-service orders given, 3,000 were related to driver violations. The other 12,000 were related to vehicle violations. It is expected that most inspections this year will be of the Level I variety, which checks for both vehicle and driver violations.

Preventing distracted driving to save lives

Illinois residents might have inadvertently driven while distracted, unaware of the risk this behavior involves. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any behavior that takes the driver's attention away from the road, including using a cellphone to talk or type, eating while driving or playing with the various entertainment systems in the vehicle.

The most notable distracted driving behavior is the use of cellphones; the NHTSA estimates that at any given daylight time, there are 660,000 drivers engaging in cellphone usage while driving with the largest group doing this being adolescents. Distracted driving is so prevalent that in 2015, it resulted in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in car accidents involving distracted drivers. The dangers lie in the moment when a driver takes their eyes off the road as 5 seconds of looking away from the road while driving at 55 mph translates into driving the length of a football field without looking.

Autonomous cars trained by humans may have limitations

Self-driving vehicles have taken hold in the imagination of people in Illinois, but they do have some potential drawbacks. As the recent fatal accident involving an Uber autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian illustrates, the technology does have some limitations.

According to a computer science professor at the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University, one potential issue in the design of self-driving vehicles is that they are being developed to mimic human-like driving. Humans are training the vehicles how to drive, and humans are fallible. This means that some self-driving cars may be susceptible to making similar errors to human drivers.

Bruises: What to expect after an injury

Everyone has suffered from a bruise at one time or another. It's an easy injury to get, and usually, it's one that won't lead to lasting complications. Interestingly enough, some bruising is serious enough to require treatment. If you have significant bruising, it's something you should have a doctor examine.

After any kind of injury, it's normal to expect bruising. Small, broken blood vessels leak, discoloring the skin as blood gathers below the surface. Small bruises are normally nothing to worry about, but in some cases, there are reasons for concern. Here are a few kinds of bruises and what to expect.

Recalled smoke detectors could leave families at a loss

Consumers purchase and install smoke detectors to protect their loved ones, homes and possessions from the devastation of a house fire. Most people take great care to hang the devices in the proper place. You may even have a reminder on your phone to check the batteries once a month. You press the button to elicit a chirp, ensuring the device will work when you need it.

Sadly, even those devices with properly installed and charged batteries could fail families at the worst time. Mistakes by manufacturers could lead to malfunctioning devices, which, in turn, could cause severe injuries or deaths to people who depended on these devices, to say nothing of the incredible potential for property damage.

Highway deaths: the most common factors

A whole host of factors can contribute to accidents on the highway, especially fatal ones, so drivers in Illinois and across the U.S. should know what they are. That way, they can exercise greater caution while understanding that some situations cannot be avoided. For example, some geographic features make it impossible for roads to be built without a few hiccups in the design, such as blind intersections, tight curves, and narrow shoulders.

Road conditions can also become compromised through rainy or snowy weather, causing many drivers to veer out of control. In such weather, visibility is also reduced. However, the majority of fatal accidents on the highways are due to some amount of human negligence.

Study determines top causes of truck accidents

Each year, millions of commercial trucks travel throughout Illinois and the rest of the U.S. Unfortunately, many of those trucks become involved in serious truck accidents. Federal statistics show that truck crashes have been on the rise for years. Over the last decade, truck accidents have increased by 20 percent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration partnered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to find out what causes the most commercial truck crashes. Their study, which examined data from 120,000 fatal truck accidents over a 33-month period, found that 56 percent of truck crashes were caused by truck driver error. It also found that nearly 75 percent of truck accidents involved one or more other vehicles.

Why drowsy driving is common among truckers

Drivers in Illinois are probably aware that drowsy driving leads to accidents but may not be aware that the number is at least 100,000 annually in this country. When drivers fall asleep at the wheel, they can injure themselves by going off the road and injuring other drivers and pedestrians by swerving into the other lane. When the vehicle is a commercial truck, the injuries that result can be catastrophic and even fatal.

Commercial truck drivers are at the highest risk for drowsy driving. There are several reasons behind this. Truckers work long hours and face tight deadlines. Their employers may even pressure them into working without rest breaks in order to deliver their cargo. Some companies offer bonuses and other incentives to get truckers to deliver ahead of schedule.

How soft tissue damage occurs

Soft tissues are the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other non-bony parts of the body. These tissues are often damaged during car accidents when the impact and sudden braking causes harsh movements. Since soft tissue injuries are difficult for physicians to detect, victims of car accidents in Illinois should pay attention to possible symptoms.

The stretching of soft tissue can lead to strain, spraining and tearing. Victims usually report chronic aches and pains as well as bleeding and swelling. In some cases, they may experience the loss or diminishment of motor functions. Unlike hard tissue injuries (to the bone and cartilage), soft tissue injuries cannot be detected by X-ray. Also, symptoms may not appear until days after an accident. This can delay treatment and cause more harm.

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