Wheaton Distracted Driving Accidents
Wheaton is a suburban city located in Milton and Winfield Townships and is the county seat of DuPage County. There are a number of attractions in the area that residents and visitors can enjoy, including the DuPage County Fairgrounds, the historic Grand Theater, the Chicago Golf Club, the Wheaton Park District, and the Wheaton Public Library. Interstate 355 runs to the east of the city and Interstate 88 to the south, while Routes 38 and 56 run directly through it. Unfortunately, as in every other Illinois city, distracted driving accidents are common. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a distracted driving accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries and property losses. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton distracted driving accident lawyers are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.Illinois Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
Distracted driving refers to the act of driving a motor vehicle while being engaged in another activity. Unfortunately, driver inattention is a factor in more than 1 million crashes in North America each year, resulting in serious injuries and deaths. Even though Illinois has laws against texting or using a cell phone while driving, data from the Illinois Department of Transportation reveal that in 2017, about 9 percent of Illinois motorists were observed using electronic devices while driving. In addition, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 42 percent of Illinois high school students text behind the wheel. This number was slightly higher than the national average, which was 38 percent.Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you have been injured or your loved one has been killed as a result of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim with the assistance of a distracted driving accident attorney in the Wheaton area. The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence. Negligence takes place when a driver causes an accident and resulting injuries by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably competent driver in his or her situation would have used. In order to win a negligence claim, the plaintiff (i.e., the injured party) must prove the following four elements:
- Duty: the defendant (the at-fault party) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- Breach: the defendant breached the legal duty owed to the plaintiff by acting or failing to act in a certain way;
- Causation: it was the defendant’s action or inaction that was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and
- Damages: the plaintiff suffered bodily harm or property damage.
For example, if a driver causes an accident because he or she was texting behind the wheel, that would most likely be considered negligent because a reasonably competent driver would not do such a thing, understanding the high risk of accidents associated with such behavior. A Wheaton distracted driving accident attorney can help a victim investigate whether the other driver was texting at the time of the crash.Illinois Contributory Negligence
In many cases, more than one party is to blame for an accident or the extent of the resulting damages in an accident. Under Illinois’ contributory negligence law, fault may be relatively apportioned among multiple parties. In other words, a plaintiff who contributed to the accident can still recover compensation, as long as his or her fault does not exceed 50 percent. For example, if the plaintiff is deemed to be 25 percent at fault for the accident, that plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by 25 percent, and he or she will go home with 75 percent of the total damages award.Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Drivers who are not paying attention to the road can cause serious accidents. If you have been injured as a result of the negligence exhibited by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled car crash attorneys understand how to navigate even the most complex claims. For a free case evaluation with a distracted driving accident lawyer in Wheaton, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.