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In the first five months of 2012, there were 315 fatal auto accidents reported in Illinois. More than 15 drivers and passengers were killed in third week of May alone. On May 12, 2012, traffic on the Interstate 57 at Mattoon in Coles County, Illinois, remained obstructed for several hours following a fatal accident involving a bus carrying the band and crew of singer Justin Moore and two other cars. Within a week of the incident, 14 people, including a teen and four moms, lost their lives in car accidents across the state. A collision between a school bus carrying 33 six-grade children and a tractor trailer near Litchfield on 14 May caused by speed and distraction by drivers resulted in injury to nine. On May 20, the Chicago Tribune reported death of two men and a woman in three fatal auto accidents in the Cook County.
Cook County accounted for 137,391 auto accidents and 236 deaths, the highest in the state, in 2010. DuPage, Will, and Lake Counties also registered more than 10,000 crashes while the numbers crossed four digit figures in Champaign, Kane, Lake, Winnebago, Sangamon, Peoria, Madison, St. Clair, and McHenry Counties. Among the cities, the highest number of auto accidents was reported from Chicago followed by Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, and Springfield.
About 53 percent of car accidents in Illinois occurred after drivers lost control of vehicles and veered off the roads, and intersection crashes were reported for 25 percent of accidents. Stationary objects, such as road-side trees, were found to be involved in 27 percent crashes. About 40 percent drivers involved in accidents had a higher alcohol and drug level in their body. Roll over, head-on collision, and read-end crashes contributed over half of the fatalities while defective vehicle design, distracted drivers, overspeeding, and driver behavior resulted in everyday crashes.
Illinois auto accident lawsuits can be filed seeking compensation from those responsible for accident or their insurance companies. It involves the following stages:
Comparative Fault Rules in Illinois
Compensation awarded in an Illinois accident lawsuit takes into consideration the modified comparative fault principle. The award is reduced by a percentage equal to the fault of the victim and the defendant pays the rest of the amount. However, if the plaintiff is found to have more than 50 percent responsibility for an accident, no compensation is granted.
All drivers and passengers in a car must wear seat safety belts.
With effect from January 1, 2012, all passengers in a car irrespective their seat must fasten seat belts.
Children below 8 years must be fastened with lap and shoulder belts and those above 40 pounds and 8 years and travelling on the back seat must wear a lap belt.
The driver is responsible for adherence of seat belt policy by passengers up to 16 years of age.
Passengers above 16 years are responsible for following the mandatory seat belt policy on their own.
In August 2011, a McHenry County jury ordered the defendant to pay $1.275 million to the family of a 25-year-old women killed in a head-on collision. Two Cook County men got $3.5 million in October 2011 in an accident lawsuit settlement. Both men were struck down by a bus while crossing a traffic signal. In April 2011, family of a motorcyclist fatally knocked down by a car won $1.25 million in compensation.
In April 2009, an Illinois man who suffered brain injury in a car accident caused by drunk driving won $575,000 in damages. In July 2011, a personal injury lawsuit filed in Belleville, Illinois, involving an uninsured motorcycle accident resulted in $130,000 compensation for the plaintiff.
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