Personal Injury Lawyers

Alabama Accident with Senior Driver An Important Reminder of Risks for the Elderly

According to the Mobile Alabama blog, a 76-year-old Alabama woman was recently killed in an auto accident. The crash occurred at 6:30 in the morning when the woman drove across a median on Interstate 10. She crashed her vehicle into a semi-truck. Unfortunately, the accident was fatal for the 76-year-old driver. Two passengers in the vehicle, a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old, were also injured in the crash and taken to University of South Alabama Medical Center. Fortunately, the driver of the semi-truck was able to escape the crash without injury.

The investigation into the accident is still ongoing and it is unclear exactly what happened to cause the 76-year-old victim to drive her vehicle into the median and into the truck. However, our Mobile accident lawyers know that there are many situations in which seniors continue to drive past the point where it is safe for them to do so. When a senior is driving after he or she suffers from physical or cognitive impairments that make safe travel difficult, both the senior and everyone else on the road are in danger.

Seniors Need to Stop Driving When it is No Longer Safe

As people age, their vision, cognitive function, memory and physical reflexes begin to slowly deteriorate. Older people may not be able to see as well and they may not react as quickly when faced with stimuli. In the car, this can be a recipe for disaster. A senior driver might not see a hazard until he or she has come close to approaching it and may have slower reflexes and a delayed reaction time.

While not all seniors become incapable of driving safely, many do get to a point where they should no longer be driving themselves or passengers. In fact, research has shown that most seniors will stop being able to drive safely around six years prior to the time when they pass away. If seniors don't realize that they have lost the ability to drive, this means that there may be several years when they are behind the wheel and shouldn't be.

To combat this problem, both seniors and their family members need to be aware of the risks that elderly drivers can create and need to be watchful for signs and symptoms that suggest that driving is no longer safe.  For family members, this can sometimes be a difficult subject to broach. Talking to the senior's doctor could be the best way to deal with the situation as the doctor can evaluate the senior's health status and give an unbiased objective opinion on whether it is still OK for the elderly person to drive.

It may be unpleasant to realize that you or your older family member is no longer able to drive safely. Still, it is far better to have a difficult conversation or make a difficult choice than it is to lose a loved one in a car accident or to put other motorists at risk of losing their lives.

If you have been injured in an Alabama traffic  accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Kills Teen Girl

A 17-year-old Oakland park girl was struck by a vehicle around 5 on a Friday morning as she was reportedly walking in the roadway while intoxicated.

Our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers know that in a case like this, the pedestrian would most likely be found at-fault. However, the fact that this teen was intoxicated at all was a primary issue for investigators with the Olympia Fields Police Department.

Reports were that prior to the crash, the teen had been attending a local house party. There, she had been served alcohol provided by the 21-year-old resident. That individual has been arrested on one count of providing liquor to a minor and a second count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

This fact alone may make him liable for her death in a future civil lawsuit, should her family choose to file one.

The driver who reportedly hit the girl stayed on scene afterward. Had he not, he could have faced charges of hit-and-run.

Last year, the City of Chicago released a comprehensive report detailing pedestrian safety concerns, trends and precautionary measures. The analysis looked at all pedestrian-related incidents reported between 2005 and 2009.

Encouragingly, overall pedestrian accidents were down about 20 percent since 2001 and about 9 percent from 2005 to 2009.

But we're still looking at a number that is troubling. In  2009, there were 3,130 pedestrian crashes in Chicago that year, many of those resulting in serious injury and death. That year, more than 500 people were seriously injured and 34 people were killed in pedestrian crashes, researchers reported.

Those individuals with the highest rate of crashes were between the ages of 15 and 18.

In the Central Business District of the city, taxi cabs accounted for nearly 30 percent of pedestrian accidents.

For the most part, these crashes were occurring at high rates between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., with the second-highest time between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Nearly 80 percent of all pedestrian crashes occurred within about 120 feet of an intersection, while about half happened in the intersection itself.

Pedestrian crashes involving children under the age of 14 were most likely to occur on local streets, while nearly 80 percent of pedestrian crashes overall happened on collector and arterial roadways.

Meanwhile, pedestrians who are older are more likely to be struck in a crosswalk than in other age groups.

One of the most dangerous areas for Chicago pedestrians is several miles that stretch between the Loop and Near North Side on the east all the way to Austin on the west. This area had the most number of fatal and serious pedestrian crashes in the city.

Also, a two-mile corridor along 79th Street is where four of the top 20 pedestrian crash intersections in the city are located.

Disturbingly, Chicago has double the number of hit-and-runs in pedestrian crashes than the national average. Here, 40 percent of pedestrian crashes involve a hit-and-run, while it's 20 percent nationwide.

Across the city, more than 50 percent of pedestrian accidents happened at intersections equipped with signals. Another 40 percent happened when the vehicle was turning left and 15 percent happened as the vehicle was turning right.

If you have been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Chicago Hit-and-Run Accident Leaves Many Unanswered Questions

On March 9, CBS Chicago reported on a tragic hit-and-run accident that sent a car tumbling down an expressway embankment. The 31-year-old-victim of the hit-and-run was killed at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Our Chicago accident attorneys know that hit-and-run accidents are far too common in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S. These accidents leave injured victims and families with questions unanswered, and sometimes leave victims without necessary emergency medical assistance that could save lives. Hit-and-run crashes can also result in family members or victims not being compensated for their injuries and having to cope with financial stress.

The Hit-and-Run Crash in Chicago

According to CBS Chicago, the 31-year-old accident victim was driving a Dodge Stratus, which was pushed through a fence, down an embankment and onto  I-57. The victim was ejected from the car onto the expressway. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The driver who caused the crash was believed to have been driving a Land Rover with temporary tags. The driver abandoned the SUV, leaving the car running and taking off before witnesses or police could identify or question him.

After the crash, an anonymous telephone call was placed to the niece of the deceased victim. Family members were informed of the crash and told that the driver was dead via this telephone call shortly after the accident. The family went to the scene of the accident and watched for two hours without being able to go and see their loved one, who was lying motionless on the street and covered with a sheet.

Police are still investigating the accident and attempting to find the driver responsible. The deceased victim left behind two daughters, who were nine and eleven years old, in addition to his parents and other family members.

Chicago Hit-and-Run Accidents

Unfortunately, Chicago hit-and-run accidents create many problems. First and foremost, when a driver hits and runs, he doesn't make sure the victim of the crash gets medical aid. In situations where there are no witnesses or when no one gets involved, a person might die as a result when he or she could have been saved if emergency responders had been called.

If the driver involved in the hit-and-run accident is never identified, then the accident victims and their families are also left without any type of closure.  When someone injures you or kills a person you love, you likely want to know who they are and why the accident happened. Law enforcement will investigate, since hit-and-runs are illegal, but there is no guarantee that drivers will be found.

Finally, when a driver hits and runs, it becomes impossible to take legal action against the driver unless/until he is found. Car accident victims or family members of people killed are supposed to be compensated for economic and non-economic losses by the driver whose negligence was a cause of the accident. Without knowing who the driver is, this cannot happen and medical bills and other losses may become burdensome.

Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage can, however, provide a solution in some cases by allowing injured victims to have their financial losses covered through their own insurance policy. Uninsured/underinsured policies mean your insurer steps in if you get into a crash with a hit-and-run driver or with a driver with no insurance or insufficient insurance. Your insurer pays, up to the policy limits, what the driver who caused the crash should have paid.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Alabama Traffic Safety - Drivers Must Follow Their Own Advice

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been sponsoring research since 2006 intended to better understand the culture of traffic safety. These efforts are important because auto accidents remain a top cause of death in America. AAA has released its most recent survey on cultural attitudes towards traffic safety and on how those attitudes impact people's behavior. The study is called the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index.

Our Alabama auto accident attorneys know the findings are somewhat surprising because they reveal that many drivers routinely engage in behaviors behind the wheel that they are fully aware present a danger. Unfortunately, when drivers do risky things, they put themselves in harm's way and also up the chances of innocent victims becoming involved in a car wreck.

Drivers Knowingly Do Dangerous Things

AAA looked at some of the most dangerous driving behaviors that are contributing factors to auto accidents. The data revealed that:

  • 14 percent of drivers may have driven drunk at least once in their lives, or at least driven when they felt like they were over the limit. 2.1 percent said they may have driven drunk in the month before answering AAA's survey questions. Yet, almost every single driver who answered the survey said drinking and driving was a serious threat and culturally stigmatized.
  • More than 66 percent of drivers had spoken to someone on a cell phone at least one time while driving in the month before answering the survey. However, almost all drivers viewed this as dangerous with 66.5 percent supporting restrictions on cell use and 48.6 percent expressing their approval of a complete cell-phone ban even if a hands-free device was employed.
  • 26.6 percent of drivers had, in the month before being surveyed, typed an email or typed or read a text message while driving. Yet, almost every single surveyed driver indicated this was a serious threat and most supported laws restricting or banning the behavior.
  • Speeding was viewed as worse in a residential neighborhood than on a highway. 89.1 percent reported a feeling that society disapproved of going 15 MPH over limit on a highway and 72.5 percent perceived disapproval of going 10 MPH over limit in a residential community. Yet 49.3 percent sped on a highway and 46.8 percent sped through a residential neighborhood in the month before answering AAA's questions.
  • 38.4 percent of drivers disregarded a red light even though a safe stop was possible and drove through the light instead. Yet, almost all agreed this was such a serious threat that the behavior was unacceptable.
  • Around 33 percent of drivers admitted to driving as they struggled not to fall asleep at some point in the month before answering AAA's survey. 45.9 percent said that at least one time over the course of their life, they had fallen asleep driving. Yet, the majority of drivers also viewed drowsy driving as a serious threat.

Unfortunately, the AAA study shows that drivers know that these driving behaviors are dangerous and bad behaviors that boost the chance of a crash but that this knowledge does not have a substantive effect on changing behavior. Until every driver stops doing things he or she knows are risky, auto accidents are tragically likely to continue being a top cause of U.S. deaths.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Chicago Traffic Accidents & Drowsy Drivers

When you are driving to work, to run errands or out to see a friend, you have the right to expect the drivers around you to behave in a reasonably cautious way so they don't hurt you. At a bare minimum, you'd think it would be reasonable to expect that the drivers around you would at least be awake. Unfortunately, a new study shows that a good percentage of them may not be.

Our Chicago accident attorneys believe that drowsy driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors that people engage in behind the wheel today. We urge everyone to pay attention to the new study and to be aware that there may be people on the road who are not only failing to pay attention but who are literally asleep at the wheel.

The Dangers of Drowsy Drivers

Studies have confirmed time and again that people who are too tired do not drive very well. In fact, most experts indicate that a drowsy driver is every bit as impaired by his fatigue as a drunk driver is by the six-pack he drinks before getting into his car. Both a drowsy and a drunk driver are much more likely to get into a crash, and both are making a bad decision that not only endangers themselves but that unfortunately makes the commute riskier for everyone else as well.

Despite this information, many people are driving drowsy. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to find out just how many people were falling asleep at the wheel. The CDC conducted a very large study - the largest of its kind - by interviewing 147,000 people in 20 different locations across the US (D.C. plus 19 states).

The CDC found that:

  • Of all drivers surveyed, a total of 4.2 percent had fallen asleep driving in the 30 days before answering the telephone questions.
  • Of all drivers surveyed in Illinois, 2.9 percent had fallen asleep in the prior 30 days.
  • Of all drivers surveyed in Washington, D.C., 2.6 percent had fallen asleep in the prior 30 days.

The CDC also found that there were certain people and certain age groups that were more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. For example, only around 1 percent of those drivers who were retired said they'd dozed as they drove compared to almost 5 percent of drivers in the 18-44 age group. Men were far more likely to be drowsy drivers than women, and people who snored or who got 6 hours of sleep or less were also falling asleep in greater proportions.  Educational attainment, however, did not have an impact on whether a person was likely to be dozing as they drove.

Being Aware of the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Unfortunately, the study shows that a lot of drowsy people are out there in their cars at any given time. You don't want to be one of them. You do want to be on the lookout for them so you can avoid them and stay safe.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Report Details Auto Accident Death Rate Trends in the United States

Look at any newspaper and you’re likely to see a headline about a distracted driver accident. With dashboard GPS and connectivity systems in so many new car models, it seems that driver distraction is only getting more prevalent. Certain cities and states, however, are clearly doing something right to help reduce car accident fatal injuries.

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration recent revision of their latest “Traffic Safety Facts” publication, many regions are showing drastically reduced auto accident fatality rates. In the District of Columbia, which has some of the country’s most dense traffic, collision deaths went down between 2009 and 2010 by a whopping 17%, from 29 to 24 fatalities. In Maryland, traffic crash fatalities dropped 10%, with 493 crash deaths in 2010 compared to 549 the previous year. And in Georgia, there was a 3.7% decrease in fatalities linked to car accidents, truck crashes and motorcycle wrecks overall, down from 357 in 2009 to 315 the following year.

In many states, however, the news was not good. For instance, Alabama’s motor vehicle accident deaths increased 1.7%, to 862 fatalities compared to 848 the year before. Illinois traffic deaths rose by 1.8%, from 911 to 927 deaths during that same time span.

Whether your area is showing a reduction or increase in auto wreck deaths, Chicago personal injury attorneys at the Mike Slocumb Law Firm urge all drivers to drive cautiously, particularly because of new in-dash technologies. It’s also important to remember that every area presents its own unique traffic hazards. In urban areas, rush hour traffic is often where rear-end crashes occur, while winding country roads and long stretches of highway are where auto accident injuries such as head-on brain or spinal cord injuries are more likely.

There are many factors that influence car accident causes. Nationally, the NHTSA report details accident statistics pertaining to everything from age to time of day. For instance, fatalities among motorcyclists 50 and older increased by 119, whereas motorcyclist fatalities for drivers under 50 declined by 84 deaths. Nighttime auto accident fatalities went down, which is a surprise, considering that poor visibility is always a risk on the road; of the 998 fewer total fatalities nationwide in 2010, there were 857 fewer fatalities in nighttime crash rates.

The study is a great resource for anyone considering moving to a new part of the country. It could be helpful in determining which cities or states may have safer roads, especially for families with child passengers and/or teen drivers. No matter where you are, drive safely.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident or you lost a family member due to an auto crash wrongful death, you need a tough, reliable personal injury attorney on your side. Call Chicago personal injury lawyer Mike Slocumb at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We can help.

Mike Slocumb Law Firm

Aon Center

200 E. Randolph Street Suite 5100

Chicago, Illinois 60601

Just how safe are drivers in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C.?

Laws regulating auto accidents in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore might seem strict. But how tough are they? And how do they compare with other states nationwide?

A recent nationwide study gives a grade to each state for injury prevention. The top states nationwide for injury prevention are California and New York, which each received a score of 9 out of 10. Maryland was close behind with a score of eight. Washington, D.C., and Illinois each received a grade of seven. Alabama and Georgia earned a score of six.

The scores were based on 10 different injury prevention indicators. These include whether the state has a primary seat belt law, mandatory ignition interlocks for a convicted drunk driver, universal helmet laws for motorcycle riders, booster seat laws and regulations regarding bicycle helmet usage.

"There are proven, evidence-based strategies that can spare millions of Americans from injuries each year,” said Jeff Levi, Executive Director of The Trust for America's Health, which co-authored the study with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  "This report focuses on specific, scientifically supported steps we can take to make it easier for Americans to keep themselves and their families safer.”

Chicago drivers face all sorts of hazards every day. Just recently, four mothers died in a fatal auto accident in Chicago shortly before Mother’s Day when their vehicle hit a support column for an elevated Green Line track, according to the Chicago Tribune.

At the Mike Slocumb Law Firm, our Chicago auto accident attorneys work closely with each client and develop a strategy that’s right for you. Laws vary from state to state. That’s why our knowledgeable lawyers in Illinois, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Alabama and Georgia can design a defense tailored to suit your specific legal needs.

Auto accidents can be complicated. Knowing what to do can confusing, including whether to file an auto accident lawsuit in Chicago.

Statistically, the roads in cities like Baltimore and Chicago might be safer than the streets in other states. But you live there and know just how hard it can be sometimes to avoid an auto accident.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, take back control. Contact a Chicago car accident lawyer who will fight for your rights. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm, Aon Center, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, Illinois, 60601.

Teen drivers in Chicago and Washington, D.C. put people at risk in summer

Teenage drivers kill thousands of people every year. For every mile driven by an adult, a teenager driver 16 to 19 years old is four times more likely to get into a car accident, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while any time of year can be dangerous on the road, teens are more likely to be involved in an auto accident in the summer. A recent study of accident statistics discovered that more deadly auto accidents involving teenage drivers happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of year.

What would you do if you were injured in an accident caused by a teenager? How would you pay your medical bills? How would your family survive? You need an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer on your side. You need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Serving clients throughout Illinois, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Alabama, Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, our experienced Chicago car accident attorneys are renowned for their first-class service and precise attention to detail. We pour over the evidence and routinely consult with experts to build a rock-solid case for our clients. Put your trust in a Chicago personal injury lawyer who puts people first. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

The number of fatal accidents caused by teenage drivers is startling. In 2008, fatal crashes involving drivers 15 to 20 years old killed 164 people in Illinois, according to official statistics. Similar figures were equally astounding for other states serviced by our law firm. In Alabama, 172 people were killed. In Georgia, 233 people. In Maryland, 103 people.

Accidents happen fast.  Your life can change in an instant. Knowing what to do after an accident caused by a teenage driver can be confusing. We can help. Our professional, experienced attorneys can help guide you through this complicated process. We’ve handled numerous cases and know what to expect. Choose a law firm focused on producing results. Choose the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. We’re on your side.

Financial impact of a fatal car crash in Chicago and Baltimore can be devastating

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study documenting the financial impact of motor vehicle crash-related deaths for the entire country. The findings were startling. Each year, such accidents cost families more than $41 billion nationwide in medical costs and lost work.

What would you do if you lost a loved in a fatal car crash? In some cases, you should file a wrongful death claim. But knowing how to do so can be difficult. Take the confusion out this complicated situation. Get straight answers from an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Serving clients throughout Illinois, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Alabama, Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, our experienced Chicago auto accident attorneys can give you the attention you rightfully deserve. Don’t leave your future to chance. Count on a Chicago auto accident lawyer with years of experience fighting for clients. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

The CDC’s study provides state-by-state breakdowns of the financial impact of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Here’s the annual statistics for states serviced by the Mike Slocumb Law Firm:

  • Georgia: $1.53 billion in lost work, $17 million in medical costs (4th highest in the nation)
  • Illinois: $1.31 billion in lost work, $15 million in medical costs (8th highest in the nation)
  • Alabama: $1.07 billion in lost work, $8 million in medical costs
  • Maryland: $570 million in lost work, $6 million in medical costs

Car accidents involving fatalities raise a wide variety of issues. Different states have different rules governing who can and cannot file a wrongful death claim. Let us help you take out the guess work. Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for clients dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. We’re ready to work with you.

Chicago drivers! Uninsured drivers often cause accidents. You prepared?

What would you do if an uninsured motorist hit your vehicle in Chicago? The risk of an accident with an uninsured motorist may be higher than ever due to the economy.  Routinely, the higher the unemployment rate, the more uninsured drivers there are on the road. According to a recent study, each time the unemployment rate goes up 1 percent, the number of uninsured drivers increases by an estimated 1 percent.

What would you do if you had an accident with an uninsured driver? You need a determined car accident lawyer in Chicago on your side. You need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Serving clients throughout Illinois, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Alabama, Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, our experienced auto accident attorneys in Chicago can give you the attention you rightfully deserve. Don’t leave your future to chance. Count on an auto accident lawyer in Chicago with years of experience fighting for clients. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

The number of uninsured motorists on the road is frightening. An estimated 1 in 7 drivers do not have auto insurance, according to several studies. Why do so many drivers not have insurance? The reasons include:

  • Drivers who lose their license due to drunk driving or another offense.
  • Irresponsible drivers who fail to get insurance.
  • Drivers who cannot afford insurance

Uninsured motorists create chaos on the roads. If an uninsured motorist crashes into your vehicle, getting the money you rightfully deserve can sometimes be a nightmare. Insurance companies can be unresponsive. The uninsured motorist may even try to blame the accident they caused on you!

Serious accidents demand serious attention. Take back control. Contact a law firm that means business. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

The lawyers at the Mike Slocumb Law Firm have years of experience fighting for drivers injured by irresponsible uninsured motorists. Get your life back on track. Call us today: 1-800-HURTLINE.