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Chicago, IL nursing home injury lawyerNo one wants to worry about the possibility that their elderly loved one may have been mistreated while residing in a nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common. According to the National Institute on Aging, around 10 percent of people over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or neglect. 

Family members can play a key role in preventing nursing home abuse by catching it early on. Visiting your loved one regularly and being familiar with the staff at a nursing home will help you notice any changes in your loved one’s behavior or appearance that could be indicative of abuse. It is important to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so that you can take action if you suspect that your loved one is being harmed.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes any type of physical force that results in pain or injury, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, or kicking. Signs of physical abuse may include bruises, cuts, broken bones, or other unexplained injuries. If you notice any of these signs on your loved one’s body, it is important to ask them what happened and report these issues to the nursing home staff immediately.

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Hyde Park drunk driving accident lawyerIt is no secret that drinking and driving do not mix. The dangers of drug or alcohol use by drivers are well known, yet many people continue to get behind the wheel even though they know that their use of these substances has made them incapable of driving safely. In fact, the number of people who are seriously injured or killed in these types of accidents is on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-related crashes claimed 11,654 lives in 2020, and this was a 14 percent increase from the previous year.

Car accidents caused by drunk driving can be very serious, and victims may suffer multiple types of serious injuries. Drivers who acted irresponsibly by using alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel will usually be considered to be at fault for an accident, and victims may pursue compensation for their injuries and damages, or a drunk driver may be held liable for someone's wrongful death. To ensure that they will be properly compensated, victims can work with a personal injury attorney who can protect their rights and advocate for their interests.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Alcohol or drug use can significantly increase the likelihood of an accident due to the following effects that drivers experience:

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IL injury lawyerIf you or a member of your family have suffered a serious injury, you may be unsure of how to proceed, especially if someone else was responsible. Making sure you receive the proper medical care can be confusing and difficult enough on its own, but if your ability to work has been affected, you and your family may be facing significant financial difficulties. To make matters more confusing, you may have been contacted by attorneys who claim that they can help you receive financial compensation, but you probably do not know how to choose the right attorney to help with your situation. By understanding the factors that may affect your choice of a personal injury lawyer, you can be sure that you are making the best decision for your case.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney

As you determine whether a lawyer will be the best person to represent you in your injury case, you will want to consider:

  • Does the attorney have experience in personal injury cases? Many lawyers and law firms provide multiple types of services for clients. While a firm may market itself as a provider of personal injury services, it may focus primarily on other areas, such as family law, criminal defense, estate planning, or real estate. To make sure a lawyer will be able to provide you with the representation you need, you will want to make sure they have the necessary experience and devote a significant amount of their practice to personal injury cases.
  • Does the attorney have experience in your type of injury? While an attorney may regularly provide representation for clients in personal injury cases, they may not have the necessary experience to address a particular type of injury. For example, a lawyer may usually assist clients with cases involving car accidents, and they may not have significant experience dealing with matters related to medical malpractice or nursing home neglect.
  • Does the attorney have a record of success obtaining verdicts and settlements for clients? You will want to make sure the attorney has previously achieved success when representing clients in personal injury cases. The lawyer should be able to provide you with information about their case results, including the number of cases they have handled, the percentage of those cases that resulted in a favorable outcome for their clients, and the amount of money they have been able to recover by negotiating settlements or obtaining jury verdicts.
  • Does the attorney provide legal services on a contingency basis? The costs involved in a personal injury lawsuit can be significant, and they may involve investigating the circumstances surrounding an injury, preparing and filing multiple types of documents, and hiring medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, or other experts. To ensure that you will not be required to pay these types of costs upfront, you will want to work with an attorney who handles cases on a contingency fee basis. When this type of fee structure is used, you will not be required to pay legal fees and expenses during your case, and your lawyer will only charge fees if they are able to recover compensation for you through a verdict or settlement.

Contact Our Hyde Park Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone close to you has been injured due to someone else's negligence, you probably have many questions about how you can address your needs and pursue financial compensation. At The Law Offices of David A. Kadzai, LLC, we can answer your questions and provide you with the assurance that you will have an experienced legal advocate fighting for your rights. To discuss your case with a South Side of Chicago personal injury attorney, contact us at 312-229-0050 and arrange a free consultation.

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chicago hazmat truck accident lawyerAn accident involving motor vehicles should not be taken lightly, more so if one of those vehicles is a hazmat truck. Since hazmat trucks pose a greater risk to those they share the road with, there are various federal regulations they must adhere to. Truck drivers and affiliated companies are responsible for accidents caused by equipment failure, unsecured cargo, reckless or distracted driving, as well as driving under the influence. If you have been involved in a hazmat truck accident, you may be in need of a personal injury lawyer.

FMCSA Truck Regulations 

It is important to note the danger a hazmat truck presents to the road. This additional level of danger can be credited to the obvious, hazmat trucks carry hazardous materials. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has defined 9 classes of hazardous materials a hazmat truck may be carrying; explosives, gasses, flammable liquid, flammable solids and spontaneously combustible materials, oxidizers and organic peroxides, toxic materials and infectious substances, radioactive materials, corrosive materials, as well as miscellaneous hazardous materials that are not included in the other categories. When materials such as gasoline and other combustible substances are spilled onto the road it may lead to slippery driving conditions or explosions. Incidents involving hazardous spills can result in car pile-ups, untreatable injuries, and fatalities. Even if you are not directly involved in the accident, airborne hazardous toxic gasses can travel miles away from the site of the leak, and exposure to these gasses can lead to lifelong respiratory ailments and neurological conditions. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim 

The good news is that there is help available in the event of injury. Physical, emotional, and vehicular damages may entitle you to compensation. With the help of a lawyer, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Because legal processes can be confusing, a personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, determine liability, and file a personal injury lawsuit if deemed necessary. It’s vital to do so in the timeframe of two years following the accident, as the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is just two years.

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chicago nursing home injury lawyerNursing homes and other long-term care facilities must ensure that residents are protected and safe. A crucial aspect of this responsibility is preventing accidental injuries. Falling is especially dangerous for elderly and disabled individuals. A minor fall accident can have catastrophic consequences.

Many residents cannot move around independently. They need assistance to get in and out of bed, use the bathroom, or go to common areas of the nursing home facility. When residents are not given the help they need, they may try to move on their own, leading to slip and fall or trip and fall injuries. Falling can cause potentially life-threatening head injuries.

If your loved one suffered a head injury or traumatic brain injury because of an avoidable nursing home fall accident, contact a nursing home injury lawyer for help.

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chicago personal injury lawyerIt is impossible to be fully prepared for a potential car accident, especially since you cannot predict the actions of others. Even if you obey all traffic laws and drive as safely as possible, other drivers may act negligently or recklessly, leading to dangerous collisions that can result in serious injuries and extensive property damage. To make matters worse, the person who caused an accident may be uninsured, making it difficult for you to receive coverage that will fully address your injuries and damages. Fortunately, one way you can prepare for this eventuality is by ensuring that your auto insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Reasons to Consider UM/UIM Coverage

If a driver who causes an accident does not have insurance, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will address the expenses related to the injuries that occurred in the collision. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will apply in situations where a driver has insurance, but the limits of their policy will be insufficient to address the injuries you have suffered. You should consider including these coverages in your auto insurance policy for multiple reasons, including:

  1. 11.8% of drivers in Illinois are uninsured. This means that you have more than a 1 in 10 chance of getting in an accident with someone who does not have insurance coverage. In these situations, you may have limited options for receiving compensation that will address your expenses.

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south-side-chicago-accident-lawyer.jpgAs the weather warms up in the spring and summer and people begin to spend more time outdoors, the number of pedestrians on the roads will increase. Unfortunately, this means that pedestrian accidents will be more likely to occur. Pedestrians who are struck by cars or trucks are likely to experience multiple types of severe injuries, and in many cases, these accidents are fatal. By understanding the reasons that these types of accidents occur, injury victims can determine who was responsible, and they can take action to recover financial compensation that will address their injuries and other damages.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Data released by the Illinois Department of Transportation for 2020 shows that while pedestrians were involved in only 1.3 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, these accidents accounted for 15.8 percent of fatal crashes and 5.8 percent of crashes involving injuries. The risks that pedestrians face are significant, and some of the most common factors that play a role in pedestrian accidents include:

  • Alcohol use - Around 46 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve some consumption of alcohol by either a driver or pedestrian. While pedestrians may be at higher risk of being injured if they have consumed alcohol, drivers who are intoxicated are much more likely to cause injuries to others. Drunk driving significantly affects a driver’s ability to notice and respond to pedestrians, and an intoxicated driver is much more likely to inflict serious or fatal injuries in a collision.

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chicago-car-accident-lawyer.jpgWhile there are many reasons that car accidents occur, driver negligence is often to blame for a collision. There are many different forms of negligence, including violations of traffic laws, aggressive driving, or failure to keep a vehicle properly maintained. However, distracted driving is one of the most prevalent issues that affects safety on roads throughout Illinois and the United States. Drivers who fail to fully pay attention to the road put everyone around them at risk. When drivers cause harm to others because of this type of negligence, victims who suffer injuries or other damages will want to determine their options for pursuing financial compensation.

Common Distractions That Affect Drivers

Distracted driving can take many forms, and it may include any actions that cause a person to look away from the road, take their hands off the steering wheel, or divert their attention away from operating their vehicle safely. Some of the most common types of distracted driving include:

  • Texting while driving - Many people find it difficult to put down phones and electronic devices and refrain from using them while they are behind the wheel. The desire to stay connected and in contact with others can lead people to read and respond to text messages when they should be paying attention to the road. This can be very dangerous, since using a smartphone will make a person much more likely to miss important details and become involved in collisions.

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South Side of Chicago Civil Rights AttorneyIn January 2021, Illinois’ landmark Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act began to go into effect. This massive law, inspired in part by George Floyd’s death in police custody and supported by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, enacted a wide range of criminal justice reforms. Now new additions are cracking down even further on police brutality and civil rights violations.

Noteworthy Provisions of the Original Law

Policing Reforms. By 2025, all law enforcement officers must wear body cameras for increased accountability. Anyone can now make a complaint against a police officer, even anonymously. Probationary officers now have to train on the use of force, de-escalation techniques, and mental-illness responses, as well as ethnic and racial sensitivity. Police also have more restricted justifications to use force during arrests and are required to stop other officers from using unapproved force.

Pre-Trial Court Procedures. Starting in 2023, Illinois ends monetary pre-trial bail. Instead, defendants will be released upon promising to appear in court (barring certain restrictions).

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Chicago's South Side Personal Injury LawyerSnow and ice are common issues that Illinois residents have to deal with during the winter months. When cold weather or winter storms result in slippery sidewalks, parking lots, or other walking areas, the risk of injury in a slip and fall accident increases significantly. Even though people are aware of these hazards and will usually take care to avoid injuries when walking outside during the winter, accidents can still occur. 

A fall on snow or ice can result in multiple types of injuries, including broken bones, sprained or dislocated joints, or traumatic brain injuries. People who have been injured may struggle with a variety of financial and personal issues during their recovery, and they will want to determine their legal options, including whether they may pursue financial compensation from the owner of the property where an accident took place.

Premises Liability and Unnatural Accumulations of Snow and Ice

When a person suffers injuries while they are visiting property owned by someone else, the property owner may be held liable for the person’s damages. Generally, premises liability laws will apply if an injury occurred because of hazards on the property that the owner should have known about and failed to take action to address. Property owners or tenants who manage and control a property must take steps to correct safety issues or provide visitors with warnings about potential risks. 

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Hyde Park truck accident lawyers18-wheeler trucks and other commercial vehicles are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Because of this, truck accidents are likely to lead to serious injuries or wrongful death. While there are many reasons why these types of collisions may occur, driver fatigue is one of the most common problems that can affect safety on the road. Drivers, passengers, or others who are injured in collisions with commercial trucks will want to determine who was responsible, and with the help of an attorney, they can take action to recover financial compensation for their injuries.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

Drowsiness and fatigue can be dangerous for any driver. If a person is drowsy, they will be much more likely to miss important details, and they may be unable to react in time to changing conditions on the road. If a person gets two fewer hours of sleep than normal, they will experience effects similar to drinking three alcoholic beverages, and going for 20 hours without sleep is generally considered equivalent to being legally intoxicated. Those who experience fatigue are three times more likely to become involved in a collision. For truck drivers who must remain in full control of a vehicle that weighs tens of thousands of pounds, drowsiness can be deadly.

There are many different reasons why truck drivers may become fatigued, including:

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Chicago nursing home injury lawyerCertain types of abuse that occur in nursing homes, like severe neglect or even assault, lead to immediate and obvious physical harm. Other types of nursing home abuse are more insidious in that they may not directly and immediately cause physical injuries - but can lead to long-term negative health effects, or be associated with other forms of abuse that do cause physical harm. If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home and suspect any type of abuse or neglect, it is important that you see that the matter is investigated. An attorney can help guide you through the next steps. 

How Non-Physical Forms of Abuse Can Cause Physical Harm

In elder populations, mental health is closely associated with physical health. Nursing homes that will engage in any form of abuse or neglect are not putting their residents first, and it may be prudent to question the safety of those in their care. The following forms of abuse can ultimately lead to physical harm down the road: 

  • Verbal abuse - A resident who is being verbally abused may be reluctant to ask for help from staff when she needs it. This can lead to treatable health issues going untreated because a resident was fearful of raising her concerns. Nursing home residents often need assistance getting in and out of their beds or chairs or with other daily tasks like hygiene and toileting. An abused resident may hesitate to call for assistance and attempt to get up or perform a task alone, leading to a fall or accident. 
  • Financial abuse - Stealing from a nursing home resident can cause more harm than just the immediate financial impact. Seniors are often on a fixed income and have limited money to spare. If a nursing home is taking financial advantage of its residents, there is a very real risk that they will not be able to afford other necessities. If your loved one has money missing, you may want to take a deeper look into whether they are missing any needed supplies like medications or have skipped doctor’s appointments. Even if the financial abuse has simply led to a resident needing to cut back on outings or recreational activities, these things are vital to the continued health of elders. 
  • Sexual abuse - Residents who experience this horrific form of abuse may suffer extreme detrimental health effects,. Sadly, residents who are less able to communicate what is happening to them - or less likely to be believed if they try - are more vulnerable to this type of abuse. Physical harm can come about if a resident withdraws from social or physical activity or resists having certain hygiene needs met as a result. 

All types of nursing home abuse are to be taken very seriously. Quick action may be needed to protect vulnerable residents from further harm. 

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Posted on in Civil Rights

Chicago civil rights lawyersJails and prisons are designed to be unpleasant. They are punitive institutions, after all. However, just because you made a mistake and were sent to a correctional facility does not mean that you immediately lose all your rights. In the United States of America and in the state of Illinois, people confined in jails and prisons still enjoy certain constitutional protections. Being locked up may take away your freedom for the time being, but that does not mean you are entirely at the mercy of the guards. Treating prisoners in an abusive way or failing to meet their basic needs may amount to a civil rights violation that could be taken to court. If you believe that you or someone you care about has had their rights violated in jail or prison, speaking with an attorney should be your next step. 

What Rights Do People Have in Jails and Prisons?

The Eighth Amendment prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishments.There are limits as to what means can be applied to punish criminals. Inmates check some, but not all, rights at the jailhouse door. Even if you are locked up, you still have these constitutional protections: 

  • Humane conditions - Even if you have been convicted of a crime, you are still entitled to be housed in humane conditions. Significantly unsanitary or overcrowded conditions can amount to a violation. 
  • Medical care - People in jail cannot leave to secure medical care for themselves. Prisons are charged with the care of their inmates, including necessary health care. Medical treatment inside may not be as good or as easily accessible as it is on the outside, but it must be adequate. 
  • Discrimination - Correctional facilities may not discriminate against inmates based on their membership in a class that enjoys constitutional protections anywhere else. This means that if you faced discrimination based on your race, religion, age, or other such protected traits. 
  • Complaints - Inmates have the right to lodge complaints about prison conditions without fear of retaliation. If you were punished for complaining, your rights could have been violated. 
  • Cruel and unusual punishment - The exact definition of what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment can be elusive. Cruel and unusual punishment is a rather broad category. Acts like beating a prisoner who is not resisting or using starvation as a means of discipline certainly meet the criteria. Unfortunately, these are common examples of Eighth Amendment violations rather than extreme cases, as one would hope. 

Abuse of incarcerated persons is a serious issue, both in Chicago and across the nation. Guards may see inmates as easy victims with little recourse or believe that no one cares about the rights of prisoners enough to take action. However, there is recourse through the courts for inmate victims. Filing a civil rights claim can not only help you but also help other inmates who may suffer the same injustices you did. 

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Hyde Park Nursing Home Abuse LawyerEvery senior who relies on a skilled nursing facility for their daily care has the right to be treated with respect and to have their basic needs met, every day. Sadly, this is not always the case. If your loved one resides in a nursing home, you may be worried about how to make sure they are being adequately cared for. Now that many nursing homes are beginning to allow in-person visitation again after COVID-19 lockdowns, it may be wise to make note of a few subtle but common signs that a nursing home resident is being neglected. 

If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, contact a qualified attorney. Your loved one may be entitled to compensation, and an attorney will be able to help you navigate any steps you may need to take to protect them. 

What Signs May Indicate Neglect of a Nursing Home Patient? 

Signs of purposeful abuse, like major unexplained injuries or a loved one who reports being yelled at, may be clear. Signs of neglect can be harder to spot, at least until the neglect has caused major health problems for the victim. Here are some more subtle signs of nursing home neglect to look out for during your visits: 

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South Side of Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWe tend to think of car accidents as crashes between motor vehicles, but in reality, this is only one of the many ways that a motor vehicle can cause an injury. Some of the most serious car crash injuries happen when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle. In Illinois in 2019, pedestrians were involved in around 18 percent of fatal accidents, and around 12 percent of accidents resulting in incapacitating injuries.

Injured pedestrians and their families often feel at a loss when it comes to holding drivers accountable for their injuries. However, it is important to know that pedestrians have the right to safely use the road, and they may be entitled to compensation when their injuries are caused by driver negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you need.

Driver Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians are more likely to be injured in motor vehicle accidents at night and in urban areas. However, in addition to these environmental factors, some form of driver negligence is also often a contributing factor. Common examples of driver negligence in pedestrian accidents include:

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Chicago Civl Rights AttorneyA new report recently filed in federal court against the Chicago Police Department concluded the department was unprepared to effectively handle the massive protests that took place after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last summer. The report cites what is referred to as an “unprecedented number” of complaints against the department for excessive force and numerous other violations.

Lack of Preparation by Chicago Police

The report was prepared by an independent monitoring team put in place to ensure that the Chicago Police Department is in compliance with the federal consent decree put in place by the Attorney General’s office. The consent decree provides a detailed plan for reforms that both the City of Chicago and the police department must implement.

The report found that the department did not have the necessary policies and tools in place to respond effectively to the protests. The monitoring team found that not only did the department fail to predict how widespread the protests would be, but it also did not have the necessary training, equipment, reporting practices, community engagement, data analysis, or interagency coordination in place even if they had been prepared.

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hyde park car crash lawyerCar accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common causes of crashes include distracting driving behavior (i.e., texting and driving), driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or speeding or disobeying some other traffic law. In the majority of car accidents, fault lies with a driver who acted in a negligent or reckless manner.

However, not all car accidents are caused by another driver. Some crashes occur because of a defective or malfunctioning part or component in the vehicle. Over the past several years, car accidents that resulted in the death or severe injuries of victims have been caused by defective airbags, ignition switches, and fuel tanks. A recent recall for power steering issues on some General Motors (GM) vehicles could put the vehicle’s occupants and other commuters in danger of serious accidents.

GM Issues Recall

GM has issued a recall notice for almost 27,000 SUVs because of a software issue that could cause the vehicle’s power steering system to suddenly stop. According to the company’s announcement, if the system stops working, a driver should still be able to steer the vehicle but will likely need to use more effort to turn the steering wheel.

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dupage county car crash lawyerIt is a fact of life that no matter how safe a driver you are, your chances of being involved in a car accident are high. Insurance statistics show that the average driver will file an auto accident claim approximately every 18 years. Most people get their driver’s license in their late teens, so it is estimated that the majority of drivers will be involved in three to four accidents in their driving lifetime.

Illinois Car Insurance Requirements

When a person is injured in a car accident caused by another driver, the victim usually files a claim for damages with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In Illinois, every vehicle owner is required to purchase automobile liability insurance. The minimum requirement is:

  • $25,000 for injury or death for one victim

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Cook County nursing home injury lawyerWhen families make the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home, they are entrusting the facility to provide the care their loved one needs with compassion and dignity. While there are many facilities that do just that, there are also far too many nursing homes that fail at protecting residents and providing the most basic of needs. In Illinois alone, there are more than 20,000 cases of elder abuse reported each year, with many of those victims residing in nursing homes.

Because of the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect, both the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have safeguards in place that are supposed to protect seniors. But as one recent report issued by the Inspector General for the City of Chicago reveals, one city inspector failed miserably at their job.

Investigator Fails to Perform Nursing Home Inspections

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) is the agency that oversees nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. The agency employs elder protective investigators who are supposed to monitor cases of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of residents at these facilities.

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Cook County parking lot car accident lawyerWhen most people think of car accidents, they usually picture a crash scene on a road or highway. Many people would be surprised to learn that one out of every five car accidents occurs in a parking lot or parking garage. Another surprising statistic is that just under 15 percent of all vehicle accidents that end up causing damage also take place in parking lot crashes. In fact, according to data gathered by the National Safety Council, more than 500 victims die and another 60,000 are injured in the more than 50,000 vehicle accidents that take place in parking lots and garages each year.

Distracted Driving

One of the most common causes of parking lot accidents is distracted driving. This is usually because once a driver pulls into a parking lot, they tend to let their guard down. They are often not as focused on their driving as they would be if they were driving on a street. Instead, they become more focused on finding a parking space. Studies show that driving at the low rate of speed required in parking lots often gives drivers a false sense of security, making them feel they do not have to be as careful and alert to what is going on around them as they would when traveling on streets and highways.  

Many drivers also tend to grab and check their cell phones once they pull into a parking lot, even if they have not yet found a space and parked. One major survey found that more than 65 percent of drivers felt comfortable making a call on their phone while driving in a parking lot, while half of those drivers said they would feel comfortable texting and checking their social media while driving in a lot.

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