Uninsured drivers may drive without coverage for many reasons. They may have a lapse in car insurance because of missing a payment or their policy ran out. Some may forget to renew their policy. However, in the state of Illinois, it is illegal to drive without car insurance. If someone without car insurance is in an accident, they may not know what to do next, especially if they weren’t at fault. When these matters become complex, having the expertise of a Prince Law Firm lawyer can help.
While being an uninsured motorist who wasn’t at fault for an accident can be a nerve-wracking situation, it may benefit you to learn more about auto insurance laws in Illinois.
Even though we like to think vehicles are the only things allowed on roadways in North America, there’s usually nothing stopping wildlife from crossing roads, highways, and interstates. In Illinois, you might encounter smaller animals like foxes, raccoons, and skunks that don’t do a lot of damage if you accidentally hit them with your car. But bigger animals like bobcats and deer can be deadly if you collide with them.
Just over a million car crashes a year are caused by animal crossings, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III). The Federal Highway Administration further elaborates that up to 10% of collisions with wildlife result in injuries to drivers and passengers, which equals out to about 100,000 injuries per year. Most times these injuries are minimal, but sometimes they are serious or deadly.
Plenty of drivers in Illinois follow the rules and do their best to not break traffic laws. But of course, nobody is perfect. Drivers break the law every day, and some don’t even know that they’re doing something illegal. Or worse—they don’t care.
If you’re a driver and you don’t know every state traffic law, you should read the Illinois Vehicle Code and Illinois traffic offense list to know more about rules you need to follow every time you’re behind the wheel. While there are numerous laws broken by drivers that we could cover, below are the top five traffic laws broken by Illinois drivers.
AAA recently published a study that claims deaths caused by drivers running red lights are at a 10-year high across the country. In 2017 alone, there were 939 deaths from running red lights, which is a 28% increase since 2012, as reported by AAA. Of those deaths, about half were passengers or people in other vehicles, not the driver running the red light.
After a car accident, you may not think that you’ve sustained injuries because you can’t see any bruises, lacerations, or other evidence of bodily harm. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ve avoided injury. It’s entirely possible that you have internal injuries, which can be more difficult to detect. You also may be feeling fine because you’re in shock, which will mask symptoms of injuries. Those who believe they’re uninjured may soon experience more serious symptoms later because the injuries have worsened.
When an injury progresses because it hasn’t been treated, the entire nature of the injury can change. Something that could have been treated and gone on to make a full recovery may now be something that will cause chronic problems for the rest of a person’s life. Injury recovery windows often change depending on how quickly care can be administered– especially when it comes to internal injuries. This is why it’s imperative for you to get to the doctor as soon as possible.
Let’s look into how dangerous internal injuries can be:
When driving to a destination, responsible drivers are always aware of their surroundings and evaluating the conditions of the road. Impaired drivers, whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, on the other hand, are often unaware of what’s happening around them and have a higher chance of putting others at significant risk for harm by causing a car accident. In order to protect yourself from intoxicated drivers, it’s crucial to understand how substances affect the brain and be able to recognize the telltale signs of impairment.
How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Brain
While the signs of impairment are often similar if a driver is on drugs or has consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, the ways in which these substances affect the brain differs. The type of drug or the amount of alcohol can worsen impairment symptoms. Understanding how the brain is affected may discourage drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence.
Drugs interfere with the way neurons process, send, and receive signals. While some drugs like heroin or marijuana activate neurons because of their chemical structures and send abnormal messages to the brain, others like cocaine or amphetamine, can interfere with the communication between neurons. In general, the central nervous system and autonomic functions like respiration, blood pressure, and body temperature are impacted.
While you may assume you’ll be able to return to work quickly after a car accident, this isn’t always the case. Depending on your injuries, doctor’s recommendations, and treatment plan, you may have to take more time off than you’d like.
It’s important to understand that going back to work too early has the potential to worsen your condition. Unfortunately, you can’t rush the healing process. In order to feel comfortable about returning to work after a car accident, take these tips into consideration.
Immediately following a car accident, regardless of the severity, it’s imperative to evaluate yourself and the other involved parties for injuries. While in some cases you may just be able to schedule a doctor’s appointment with your primary care physician the next day, this isn’t always the case. You may need to call 9-1-1 to request the assistance of emergency medical responders.
Unfortunately, car accidents occur regularly in Illinois. Just in 2015, there were 313,316 motor vehicle accidents. Of those accidents, 21 percent resulted in injury. Of the crashes resulting in injury, 15.3 percent resulted in incapacitating injuries that prevent the injured individuals from walking, driving, or normally continuing the activities they were capable of doing prior to sustaining the injury. Many of those severe injuries included lacerations, broken bones, skull or chest injuries, or abdominal injuries.
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is a traumatic and frustrating experience. You don’t have the other party involved in the accident to own up to what they did, and the accident may have caused injuries and property damage. The good news is that you don’t have to face insurance companies alone. Commiting a hit-and-run accident is a crime, and legal help is available.
Let’s start by going over some basic information that’s vital to understand about hit-and-run accidents, what actions to take after you’re involved in one, and what the legal ramifications of such a crime are:
What Is a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident occurs when someone causes a car accident and then leaves the scene. The accident can be with another car, a cyclist, a pedestrian, or even a fixed object.
People usually commit hit-and-runs because they’re afraid of what will happen if they stay and have to own up to the accident and deal with insurance. Those without insurance may flee the scene because they know they won’t be able to afford it. But committing a hit-and-run has many more negative consequences and could affect the rest of your life forever.
The Illinois General Assembly has amended Statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. Under the amended law, individuals caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties.
The current law took effect in 2014. Under that law, there are fines for the first, second, and third texting while driving offenses; however, the first offense does not affect a person’s driving record or result in a moving violation. Those consequences are not doled out until the second offense.
Under the new law, which will take effect on July 1, 2019, drivers caught texting while driving will be issued a moving violation, and the violation will go on their driving record. In addition to receiving a fine of $75 to $100, the reported moving violation is likely to increase the cost of your auto insurance. Anyone convicted of three moving violation in a consecutive 12-month period may have their license suspended.