Chicago Personal Injury And Family Law Blog

Testers report problems with new Tesla Autopilot setting

Many self-driving safety features in newer vehicles can help prevent accidents. However, some automated systems may also have a downside. According to a Consumer Reports test, Tesla's newest Autopilot update could put drivers in danger. Illinois drivers who use the automatic lane-changing feature could end up cutting off other cars or committing passing violations.

The system has to be activated by drivers, and the operator can override it. However, researchers with Consumer Reports say that it's more stressful to monitor and correct the system than to just manually drive. The report likened it to letting a child drive a car.

What happens after a workers' comp claim denial?

The rules of workers' compensation insurance seem easy enough. If you suffer an injury on the job, your employer's insurance covers your medical bills and lost wages. Fault is not an issue since workers' comp exists to prevent lawsuits from clogging up the courts every time a worker gets an injury on the job.

This insurance may have been what you were counting on when you filed a claim for workers' comp after your workplace accident. However, if you recently received a letter from the insurer explaining that they had denied your claim for coverage, you may be confused and even concerned about your future.

Operation Safe Driver Week takes on deadly threat of speeding

Operation Safe Driver Week will include law enforcement agencies in Illinois and throughout North America. The annual event organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance plans to target both commercial and private vehicles exceeding the speed limit. Organizers selected speeding as this year's top priority due to its significant contribution to motor vehicle crashes and traffic fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding plays a role in 94% of traffic accidents. The death toll from ignoring speed limits or not reducing speed for conditions is significant as well. In 2017, accident data showed that speeding drivers were involved in 26% of all crashes that killed people. The 2016 report about large truck and bus statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration named speeding as the most common driver behavior that caused accidents.

Distracted driving poses a serious danger

Most motorists in Illinois are aware of that fact distracted driving kills. At the same time, large numbers of people continue to drive their cars while using their mobile phones to talk, text or even watch videos. In one online study involving thousands of American drivers, almost half of the participants saw distracted driving as the biggest threat to roadway safety. At the same time, these survey participants spent an average of 13 minutes a day behind the wheel on their own mobile phones.

Distracted driving kills thousands of people in car accidents every year and injures many more. In many states, it is the leading cause of serious motor vehicle collisions. Many expect the problem to get worse as smartphone technology continues to improve. While many of the early laws restricting mobile device use focused mainly on handheld conversations or texting, people are now taking part in a range of entertaining activities while driving. Participants ranked the types of activities that were likely to draw their attention away from the road. Over half said that group chats and texts were a major distraction.

The dangers of distracted driving at accident scenes

Motorists who slow down to take photographs or shoot videos of accident scenes or traffic stops in Illinois and around the country are a serious threat to the safety of first responders according to a recent survey. A worrying 71 percent of the American drivers polled by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute and National Safety Council admitted to engaging in this dangerous behavior, and an equally alarming 16 percent said that they had almost struck a police officer, paramedic, or firefighter as a result.

The April 3 release of the poll was timed to coincide with the beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While slowing down to capture images of rescue personnel at work is dangerous enough, it is what motorists do next that leads to the most car accidents and injuries. Two-thirds of the respondents said that they attach the images or videos to emails and 60 percent admitted to posting them on social media. They also admitted that they do this while still behind the wheel.

How companies can guard against lawsuits

Premises liability lawsuits are something that companies in Illinois and throughout the country need to remain aware of. If an employee is injured, he or she may have to file a workers' compensation claim. However, if a customer is injured, that person may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. The most common type of premises liability claim relates to slipping and falling.

This type of accident can occur when a person trips on a torn carpet or runs into an object because of poor lighting. A wet floor, a narrow aisle, or an icy parking lot could also cause a person to fall and get hurt. In a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the accident was caused because a business owner was negligent. Furthermore, the plaintiff must also show that he or she was acting in a careful manner when it occurred.

Have you lost someone to a medical error?

Going to the doctor when you are sick or suffering from a serious injury is essential for your health and well-being. But could it also be putting you at risk for further injury or even death? Medical errors are a serious problem in the health care industry, and the problems are so entrenched that it might be difficult to find a solution any time soon.

Medical errors can occur in virtually any health care setting. From hospitals to outpatient treatment centers to pharmacies, the problem is widespread and hard to quantify. Unfortunately, because major government agencies do not track medical errors, no one is really sure just how big this problem is.

Exposing the dangers of driving while fatigued

Residents of Illinois and every other state across the U.S. would likely agree that sleep deprivation has a negative effect on a person's body and mood. It can be difficult for most people to concentrate when they are tired. While the negative effect that sleep deprivation has on the body is well understood, some people feel that driving while drowsy is not as dangerous as it really is.

A popular vehicle manufacturer decided to highlight some of the dangers that a person is exposed to when they get behind the wheel when fatigued by allowing young drivers to wear a "Sleep Suit." This was done on March 15, 2019, designated as World Sleep Day. It gave young people a much better idea of how fatigue can play a major role in car accidents.

Distracted driving fatality rates linked to state cellphone laws

Illinois residents should know that their state has the 10th highest rate of distracted driving fatalities in the nation. This is based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. DoT's Federal Highway Administration. In all, from 2015 to 2017 there were more than 1,400 car crash fatalities that involved at least one driver using a cellphone.

The findings were gathered by analysts at ValuePenguin and go like this. Tennessee saw the highest rate of distracted driving fatalities (7.2 people per 10 billion miles traveled). This was followed by Delaware (3.28), Wyoming (3.22), Texas (3) and Montana (2.91). Tennessee's rate is nearly five times the national average, which came to 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles. These five states together accounted for 31 percent of all fatalities.

Dealing with a Netflix account during divorce

We all have one person on our Netflix account who pays for zero of the cost but watches all the new shows before you. If we do not have that one person, we are that one person. But what happens if that one person is our ex-husband or wife?

The digital age brings new concerns to divorcees including who gets the Netflix account, what to post as your relationship status on Facebook and is your browsing history coming up in divorce proceedings. Luckily, there are ways to navigate the internet during a separation.

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