Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,It happens every year: as spring morphs into summer and the growing season begins, tractors and other large farm machinery take to the fields. They also take to the roads. Unfortunately, auto accidents involving farm machinery also increases during this time of year. Learn more about how to avoid such accidents, and what your options might be if one does occur, with help from the following information.

Sharing the Road with Farm Machinery

There is little more frustrating than being late for work or an appointment and finding yourself stuck behind slow-moving farm machinery. As your stress mounts, you may be tempted to go around. Be careful! This is one of the most common ways that accidents involving farm machinery occur. Hills, curves, stress, and limited vision all contribute to this devastating type of accident.

If you need to pass, take a deep breath, turn on your blinker, and look at the driver of the farm equipment to see if they notice that you plan to pass. Oftentimes, they will wave you past if it is safe. Alternatively, they may pull over toward the shoulder and let you by.

If you do not get a signal or pass from the farm machinery driver, slow down and place more distance between your vehicle and theirs. This should give you a little better line of sight. Avoid passing on curves, hills, or in no-pass zones. If all else fails and you cannot see, do not pass. Even as late as you might be, it is better to arrive late than experience an accident.

Another thing to watch for is the risk of machinery when you come over a hill. In rural areas, be prepared to see farm equipment. In residential areas and throughout cities, they may be less common, but they do still make an appearance. Either way, keep your eyes out for potential farm equipment while out and about this spring and summer.

When an Accident Occurs

Unfortunately, even the safest of drivers can experience an accident with farm machinery. Sometimes, this is because the equipment owner failed to take certain precautions. For example, they might have failed to see your vehicle and then pulled out in front of you. Alternatively, they may not have the appropriate light or reflectors on their vehicle to ensure proper visibility. In such situations, victims may be owed compensation.

While you can pursue a claim on your own, there are risks involved with doing so. For example, the insurance company may attempt to deny, delay, or reduce your settlement amount. Thankfully, victims who have an attorney often see improved recovery. Aggressive and experienced, Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. will protect your rights and pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your case. Schedule your consultation with a seasoned Lake County traffic accident lawyer by calling 847-662-3303 today.


Posted in Accident Liability, Car Accidents Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois pedestrian accident lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,Have you been injured by a car or bicycle as a pedestrian? Such an accident can leave pedestrians severely injured and may result in death. The good news is that Illinois law is often on the side of the pedestrian. In many circumstances, a pedestrian has the right of way, and it is the fault of the driver if a pedestrian is hit.

How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?

According to the most recent data available, there are 4,637 pedestrian-involved accidents a year in Illinois. Of these, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 126 were fatal. A vast majority of the accidents occurred on city streets in urban areas.

Nationwide, there were 4,884 pedestrians killed and 65,000 reported injured in 2014. This means that a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in this country.

Alcohol plays a role in about half of pedestrian accidents, with either the pedestrian or driver registering a high blood alcohol content level. Also, children younger than 14 and people older than 65 make up a large percentage of those who die in a pedestrian accident. Young children are more likely to be hit by inattentive drivers, and the elderly are more likely to have complications from their injuries.

What Rules Are Drivers Bound to Follow?

There are numerous laws drivers must follow with regard to pedestrians. For example, a driver must come to a complete stop and yield:

  • When a pedestrian is walking in a crosswalk;
  • When children are near a school zone crosswalk on school days;
  • When a pedestrian is crossing on the driver’s side of the street and there are no traffic signals;
  • When turning at an intersection; and
  • When a pedestrian is following traffic or pedestrian signals.

If you were hit as a pedestrian and the driver was not following the law, this is evidence of a driver’s unreasonableness. In court, you will have to prove that the driver acted unreasonably in hitting you. Even if a driver is not violating a law, he or she may still be liable for your injuries.

Contact a Lake County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured as a pedestrian, you have a limited time to bring your claim. Typically, you have two years, but in some circumstances, you may have less time. It is critical to speak to an attorney who has your best interests in mind before speaking to an insurance company.

Our firm seeks to have victims made whole again and to hold wrongdoers accountable. Contact a skilled Lake County pedestrian accident attorney at Salvi & Maher, LLC by calling at 847-662-3303.



Posted in Pedestrian Accidents Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,As many law enforcement officers and lawyers will tell you, drunk driving car accidents are a matter of negligence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in the year 2010 alone, there were 112 million reported incidences of adults getting behind the wheel after drinking too much. The CDC also tells us that alcohol-impaired drivers are behind at least one in every three reported crash deaths, and 85 percent of those drinking and driving episodes are due to binge drinking. Drunk driving is an ongoing problem here in the state of Illinois and nationwide, making it imperative now, more than ever, to inform and protect ourselves as we travel the roadways.

Who Is Usually at Fault?

When we think of drunk drivers behind the wheel, we may immediately picture young, underage teens who have access to alcohol at parties or those who struggle with alcoholism. While it is true that these are common scenarios for drunk driving accidents, the reality is anyone and everyone is at risk for making the wrong decision to drink and then drive. It is very common for even the most responsible driver to make one poor decision to get behind the wheel after they have had too much. The decision to drive intoxicated is an isolated one for some, while it may be an ongoing problem for others. Whatever the case, the CDC reports that there are certain groups of people who are more likely to get behind the wheel intoxicated, including the following:

  • Men, in general, are often found to be responsible for drinking and driving incidences. In a study done in 2010, men were found to be responsible for four out of five episodes, or 81 percent of all cases that year.
  • More specifically, young men between the ages of 21 and 34 were responsible for 32 percent of all drunk driving cases during the same year.
  • Binge drinkers are often at fault for a majority of alcohol-impaired car accidents. The aforementioned 85 percent of drunk driving episodes that were attributed to binge drinking involved men who consumed five or more drinks in a short period of time or women who consumed four or more drinks in a short period of time.

Your Best Defense

The very best way for you to protect yourself and your fellow passengers while operating your vehicle is to use seat belts every time you hit the road. By doing so, you can reduce the chance of serious injury and fatality by nearly 50 percent. It is also helpful to learn the signs of drowsy driving so you may remain alert and vigilant to them as you share the roadways. The moment you spot someone swerving, driving erratically, or jumping speeds, create distance between you and the suspicious driver, and pull over and report the incident to authorities if you suspect you or someone else is in danger.

Drunk driving will continue to be a danger on the roadways, but we can all do our part to stay safe and help others do the same. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured due to a drunk driving collision, speak with a skilled Lake County drunk driving accident attorney right away to protect yourself or someone you love in a court of law. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 to request a special consultation.



Posted in Accident Liability, Car Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,No matter where in the world we are commuting, whether we are traveling by car or by foot, there are certain areas on and around our roadways that tend to be hot spots for car accidents and pedestrian injuries. Traffic intersections remain at the top of the list when it comes to these problematic areas. Thankfully, there are multiple engineering efforts in effect on behalf of our roadway officials and experts, such as special geometric designs and the utilization of various traffic control devices. These efforts work as preventative measures to reduce accident and injury at our intersections, and they are ever-evolving, with new designs and strategies introduced periodically.

Your Role in Intersection Accident Prevention

Along with these collision prevention efforts, drivers and pedestrians are left to do their part in taking a proactive role in their own safety. Intersections will always be hazardous due to the nature of their surroundings. Pedestrians and motorists meet and converge at traffic signals for a number of activities, naturally producing opportunities for collision. There are certain steps we can take, however, that lower our chances of accident or injury significantly. Remaining alert as we drive or pass through an intersection is our very best defense against experiencing an accident.

Here are some common hazards that signal danger as we approach an intersection and how to spot them sooner, rather than later:

Drivers failing to yield – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that a common cause of angle and turning crashes at intersections are caused by the failure to yield to oncoming vehicles. Flashing Yellow Arrow signals (FYAs) have been implemented to address this problem. Watch out for drivers who are speeding through these flashing lights and failing to yield to you as you move in their direction. The moment you see this, slow down immediately and approach the signal with extreme caution.

Aggressive behaviors – Be on the lookout for any signs of other drivers displaying erratic or aggressive behaviors. For example, if you see someone speeding, tailgating, or swerving impulsively as you approach a busy intersection, slow down, do not make eye contact, and do not challenge the driver in any way. These are signs of angry, intoxicated, or unstable driving, and should be avoided at all costs. If you feel you are in serious danger or that the lives of others are in danger, do not hesitate to pull to the side of the road and notify the authorities.

Incorrect (or lack of) use of designated crosswalks – Another hazard to watch out for is a pedestrian crossing the road where no marked crosswalk exists or using a crosswalk incorrectly, such as walking when the signal tells them not to. Pedestrians who fail to obey the intersection signals and signs place everyone who crosses their path at risk for accident and injury. When you witness this, make sure you are not speeding and that you are prepared to stop suddenly.

If you have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in any kind of intersection-related collision, it is important to speak with a qualified Lake County car accident attorney to arm yourself with the resources you need to protect your rights in a court of law. The moment you are injured, call Call Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 and ask for a personal consultation.



Posted in Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,While many of us would like to have stunning new rims for upgraded tires as well as visually attractive trim work to make our vehicles stand out on the road (and make them easily identifiable in a crowded parking lot), sometimes there is added value and security in the basic model. Although legal, with each modification made to a factory car, comes the potential for an accident. Not only are many of the aftermarket car parts not up to the standards of the original manufacturer, creating inevitable accidents when they malfunction, but some are also downright flashy and distracting to drivers on the roads. At what point do these parts go from being a vehicle enhancement to liability in a car accident?

OEM Versus Aftermarket

The vehicle industry breaks into the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the secondary parts manufacturers, aftermarket. If you take your car to the dealership for repair, you are getting the original parts intended for the vehicle. If you take it anywhere else, you are getting cheaper, and perhaps sub-quality parts. Once drivers begin adding custom parts and colors to their vehicles, the accessories start leaning toward distracting other drivers.

How Can Parts Be A Distraction

It would seem that the flashy colors would make all other drivers aware of the presence of a vehicle, reducing the likelihood of its involvement in an accident. However, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. While most believe that preoccupation is always electronics related (which can occur, too), there are several causes of distracted driving. The five most prevalent causes of distracted driving include:

  • Cell phone usage,
  • Reaching for an object inside the vehicle,
  • Looking at something or someone else’s car outside the window,
  • Reading, and
  • Makeup application.

Paint Jobs and Fancy Accessories Causing Accidents

It is within the legal rights of a vehicle owner to paint their car and add modifications. However, Illinois does have regulations about lights, sounds, and parts that may distract or blind other drivers. If you were involved in an accident that involved a vehicle with aftermarket parts, it is advisable to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. If you would like to speak with a Waukegan, IL car accident attorney, Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. is available to help. We proudly offer four convenient locations and a free consultation to assist you. Call us today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a visit today.


Posted in Accident Liability, Car Accidents Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,Did you know that approximately 40 percent of all vehicle accidents are considered rear-end collisions? These statistics come out of data produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rear-impact accident occurs when one vehicle runs into the back of another vehicle. While the majority of these accidents occur at speeds less than 10 miles per hour (MPH), long and lasting injuries are still possible. Potential injured areas include the head, neck, and spine, which are among the most vital and used parts of the body. Recovery is important to retain the same standard of living. However, the cost of doing so may reach astronomical numbers. Who should be responsible for the accumulating medical expenses?

Common Causes of Rear-Impact Collisions

Rear-end collisions remain among the most common accidents throughout the United States. Many occur due to a driver’s failure to identify stopped traffic ahead. However, there are many common causes of these mishaps, including:

  • Distracted driving, such as reaching in the backseat or using a cell phone,
  • Excessive speed or not driving appropriately for the conditions,
  • Pressing the gas at an interchange when the light turns green and not enabling the vehicle in front to accelerate,
  • Driver fatigue,
  • Hazardous driving conditions, such as rain or ice, and
  • Following too closely.

Liability for Damages

The question remains of who assumes responsibility during a rear-end collision. Did the driver in front do something to make the driver behind them crash or was it the other way around? The truth lay in who owed a duty of care and failed to provide said care. In most cases–but not all– the driver who hit the front driver is commonly found at-fault, only because the state believes that the second driver should have left enough room between vehicles in case of an emergency. However, exceptions exist, such as:

  • If you were a victim of rear-end collision yourself and were pushed into the back of the car in front of you,
  • Driver negligence of the car in front of you, such as parking on a roadway or stopped without warning signals, or
  • The front driver is alcohol impaired.

Get Legal Assistance

If you have been involved in a car accident that involved a rear-end impact, you may not be financially responsible for your repairs or medical fees. If you are interested in having the right person pay for your suffering, contact a skilled attorney today. If you would like to speak to a Lake County, IL accident attorney, contact Salvi & Maher, LLC today by calling 847-662-3303 to schedule your risk-free confidential consultation. We proudly and conveniently serve our clients in four different locations.


Posted in Car Accidents Tagged , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,State Senator Jim Oberweis is the sponsor of a bill that would raise interstate speed limits to 75 mph. This concerns many traffic safety advocates who believe that speed is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents.

About the Proposed Law

The speed limit on Illinois interstates is 70 mph. Sen. Oberweis justifies his bill by arguing that 75 mph is a safe speed since the vast majority of people — he says 85 percent — drive that fast anyway.

Sen. Oberweis, who has pushed for higher speed limits in the past, argues that accidents are not caused by speed but rather variation in speed. Also, he believes that having a speed limit that few follow “breeds further disregard of laws.”

The bill also proposes raising the speed limit on non-urban, non-interstate roads from 55 to 60 mph.

Opponents of the Bill

Many accident experts associate higher speed limits with having a negative effect on roadway safety, however. Higher speeds add to the risks drivers must face and manage.

Another new risk for drivers are distractions brought by cell phones and in-car technology. Traffic safety experts say that limiting exposure to risks of all types helps increase highway safety.

Illinois’ Troubling Accident Statistics

Illinois traffic deaths are up from five years ago. Increased speed limits are thought to be one of the causes for the increased number of fatalities. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration says that about one-third of all roadway fatalities are speeding-related.

Contact a Lake County Auto Accident Lawyer

Car accidents in Illinois have become more common in recent years. Our firm believes that drivers who were not at fault should be compensated for all injuries. If you have been in a car accident, contacting an attorney is the first step you can take to make yourself whole after an accident.

In Illinois, you have a limited period of time to bring a car accident claim. In most cases, you must bring your case within two years from the date of the accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for the cost of your past and future medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering.

Call the skilled Lake County car crash attorneys at Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 to schedule your first meeting with our skilled attorneys.



Posted in Speeding Tagged , , , , , |

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,An alarming new study shows that drowsy drivers are four times more likely to get into a car accident than their well-rested counterparts. The research conducted by AAA found that missing just two or three hours of sleep quadruples the risk of getting into a car accident when compared to drivers who get at least seven hours of sleep.

This means that one night of bad sleep can jeopardize the safety of the driver and everyone else on the road.

Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Many car safety advocates believe that driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Driving with either impairment can mean that the driver will:

  • Be inattentive;
  • Use poor judgment;
  • Have slower mental processing; and
  • Display poorer reflexes.

Drowsy Driving Is a Prevalent Problem

According to the AAA study, 96 percent of people surveyed said they found drowsy driving unacceptable. Yet, in a different study, 60 percent of adult drivers report feeling drowsy while driving in the past year. In addition, 37 percent drivers admit to falling asleep while driving in the last year; 13 percent in the last month.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year about 100,000 crashes are caused by drowsy driving. These crashes cause an estimated 1,550 deaths and leave 71,000 people with injuries.

Shift workers and parents with small children are especially prone to driver fatigue. Drivers who often drive for longer hours on highways and interstates are also more likely to fall asleep.

How to Determine If Someone Fell Asleep at the Wheel

Accident investigators look for several signs that fatigue is to blame. First, investigators rule out that drugs or alcohol are to blame by conducting blood work or breathalyzer tests.

Next, investigators will talk to witnesses to determine what transpired before the accident. A car’s movements such as crossing over medians or neutral ground could be a sign that someone fell asleep at the wheel.

Finally, the existence of skid marks – which indicate that the driver was awake and attempted to stop – will be looked for at the accident site.

Contact a Lake County Car Accident Attorney

If you have been in a car accident caused by a driver who was inattentive, you may be entitled to damages. Because of the immense danger drowsy driving poses, courts and juries handle these cases seriously and often want to make accident victims whole again.

Contact the skilled Lake County auto accident attorneys at Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 to schedule your consultation about your case.


Posted in Fatigued Driver Tagged , , , , , |

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,You have a couple of options if an insurance company told you that you were partially at fault in a car accident. Fault is important because it is the first consideration in getting a victim compensated for injuries. If you are found to be at fault or mostly at fault, you will not be able to recover.

Option 1: Challenge the Fault Determination

If you got into a car accident with another person, the other driver’s insurer is interested in finding you to be at fault. If you are at fault or partially at fault, the insurance company will pay out less money to you.

It may be that you are not at fault or should not bear the amount of fault that the insurer says. A car accident attorney with knowledge of traffic laws will be able to re-examine your accident. If necessary, the attorney will enlist the help of a car accident reconstructionist who can better ascertain fault.

If the parties cannot agree on fault, the case may go to trial, where fault will be determined by a judge or jury.

Option 2: Recover a Percentage of Your Damages

If you are ultimately determined to be partially at fault, you can still recover. In Illinois, the law of modified comparative negligence provides that so long as you are less than 50 percent at fault you can be awarded a percentage of your damages.

For example, if you were found to be 25 percent at fault in your car accident and you proved $100,000 in damages, you would be awarded $75,000. However, if you were found to be 50 percent at fault, you could not recover.

Damages in Comparative Fault Cases

If you are partially at fault, it is crucial that you prove every damage possible in order to maximize your reduced recovery. Accident victims are often eligible for many types of damages, some of which may be overlooked by a lay person.

Damages in car accident cases may include:

  • Medical bills, past, and future;
  • Lost earnings, past and future;
  • Property damage to your vehicle and other property;
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Disfigurement.

Contact a Lake County Car Accident Lawyer

In Illinois, you have two years to bring a lawsuit for personal injury from car accidents. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you do not lose your rights.

Our firm works tirelessly to get the compensation that accident victims deserve. A seasoned Lake County car accident attorney at Salvi & Maher, LLC will review the facts of your case and explain your options to you. Call 847-662-3303 to schedule a free case evaluation.



Posted in Accident Liability Tagged , , , , , , |

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,In some cases, deciding fault in a car accident is an open and shut case. If you were rear-ended or had the right of way, fault is easy to assign.

But what if fault is not so clear cut? In these cases, a car accident lawyer can help and can make your best case.

How Fault Is Determined Under the Law

The law of negligence decides who is at fault for a car accident. The central question in deciding who is negligent – and thus who is at fault – is deciding if the driver was acting reasonably.

If there is evidence that the other driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident, that is strong evidence that he or she was at fault. These days texting and driving causes many accidents. A lawyer could be able to subpoena the phone records of the other driver. If it is proven that the driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident, your case will likely be resolved in your favor.

Our firm does not just stop with investigating other drivers. We also look at defects in the roadways and signage as well as defects in car design or car parts.

How to Prove Fault at Trial

One of the benefits of retaining a lawyer is that he or she has a team of experts ready to examine your case and testify as to which driver was at fault.

Traffic accident experts will decide fault based on:

  • Traffic and safety laws;
  • The location of damage to the vehicles;
  • The driving conditions at the time of the crash;
  • Damage at accident scene, such as skid marks;
  • The type of roadway the accident happened on; and
  • Obstructions at the scene, such as buildings or greenery.

These experts will reconstruct the accident and determine what each driver was doing in the moments leading up to the crash. The expert’s report is vital to settlement talks. Based on the report, a case may settle.

In addition, an expert will likely be needed at trial. Often, insurance companies have their own experts, so accident victims may also need to present an accident reconstruction witness.

Contact a Lake County Car Accident Lawyer

Contacting a lawyer does not mean that you have to bring a lawsuit. Many people are adverse to lawsuits because of the time involved. Where possible, our firm seeks a quick resolution of cases.

However, our attorney will never advise a client to accept an insurance settlement that is too low. In these cases, going to trial may be the only way to get the compensation you deserve.

To speak with a skilled Lake County auto collision attorney at Salvi & Maher LLC, call 847-662-3303. We will review your case and share an assessment with you.


Posted in Accident Liability Tagged , , , , |