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IL injury lawyerRecreational vehicles (RVs) can be an enjoyable way to travel and see the country. During the pandemic, many families turned to RV travel as a safer way to take a vacation. However, these large vehicles come with an additional set of safety concerns that do not necessarily pertain to drivers of smaller personal vehicles. Although there is some debate regarding whether a special license should be required to operate such a massive vehicle on public streets, in Illinois, only requires those operating very large RVs or towing excessive weight to obtain a special license. For all other RVs, only a regular driver’s license is required. RV accidents can be every bit as serious and destructive as commercial truck accidents due to the heaviness of the vehicle and the strong forces involved in these collisions. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a recreational vehicle, an attorney may be able to help you obtain financial compensation.

Rules Pertaining to the Operation of Recreational Vehicles in the State of Illinois

While not all RVs are of sufficient size or weight to trigger the need for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), it is important for those who drive them to act in compliance with all relevant Illinois state road rules. As large vehicles can rapidly cause extreme harm to others, those driving an RV bear a special responsibility to drive safely. Illinois sets out the following road rules pertaining to RV drivers:

  • Obey posted size limits - Many roads are unsafe for RVs and other vehicles of a similar size and weight for a variety of reasons. Drivers may encounter posted traffic signs directing them to refrain from using a road if their vehicle is over a certain size, weight, or height. It may be unsafe for a driver to disregard such a sign. Anything from a road collapse to striking the top of a bridge may occur should an RV driver choose to use a road despite posted warnings.
  • Special lighting - If an RV is of a certain size, special lighting equipment may be required if the vehicle is operated outside of settled areas after sunset or before sunrise. The lighting requirements are critical for visibility purposes. In more rural areas at night, other drivers may struggle to spot an RV without the required lighting. This raises the risk of an accident.
  • Additional caution - Drivers of large RVs must take special care around tight turns, on hills, in inclement weather, or where pedestrians are present. Failing to use an appropriate level of caution in these circumstances can increase the risk of an RV driver crashing.

If you have been injured by a careless RV driver, you may be entitled to compensation.

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IL injury lawyerNow that warmer weather is approaching and children are out of school for the summer, a lot of families will be hitting the road in an RV for vacation. RV travel can be a great way to travel and see the country without spending a fortune on hotels or plane tickets. They can also make long drives much more tolerable for young children, who may enjoy the freedom of being able to move around in the back of an RV. This type of travel does come with a few risks, however. RVs are much more difficult to drive than a standard family car. The lack of seatbelts can also present an added danger in the event of an accident. If you are hurt in an RV collision, it is important to speak with an attorney to determine whether you may be able to recover compensation.

What Are Some Common Causes of RV Crashes?

While Illinois is a bit more particular than other states, requiring an upgraded non-commercial license to drive an RV over 16,000 pounds, these licenses are typically not difficult to obtain with minimal practice. This makes it relatively easy for just about anyone to rent or buy an RV and set off on an adventure. It also makes things a little risky for anyone on the road near an inexperienced RV driver. Some common causes of RV crashes include:

  • Inexperience - For someone who has only ever driven smaller personal vehicles, operating an RV might be a challenge. Inexperienced RV drivers may not be familiar with things like how long it takes to stop such a large vehicle. They may lack familiarity with the controls. It may be harder for them to judge how fast they can safely negotiate a turn.
  • Distraction - Children who are securely buckled up in the back seat of a car or SUV can create a significant distraction for the adult trying to drive. Children who are loose and running around in the back of an RV can be even more distracting. The same may be true of friends vacationing together. An RV driver cannot afford to get distracted - a very minor mistake can cause a very serious crash.
  • Drowsy driving - You have likely heard someone joke that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. Travel, even travel for pleasure, can be very tiring. Parents, in particular, may be exhausted by the end of an RV trip. Driving while very tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

If you were injured in an accident with an RV, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

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IL injury lawyerFor many Illinois residents, the winter season is an opportunity for skiing, sledding, riding a snowmobile, and other activities in the snow. However, many of these activities have a significant risk of injury or death. Snowmobile accidents kill an estimated 200 people every year and approximately 14,000 people are injured in snowmobile accidents annually. If you or a loved one were hurt in a snowmobile accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim for damages. You may be eligible for financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and more.

Inexperience and Unsafe Driving Top Causes of Snowmobile Wrecks

Snowmobiles are great for traveling in the snow or simply enjoying the Illinois countryside. However, these machines are also capable of reaching speeds of over 80 miles per hour. Snowmobile wrecks often lead to severe, life-changing injuries including paralysis.

Studies show that one of the top causes of snowmobile injuries and deaths is inexperience. Operating a snowmobile is not the same as driving a car, and some riders grossly overestimate their ability to safely operate a snowmobile. Excessive speed is another top contributor to snowmobile accidents. Riders who are racing each other or joyriding can lose control of the vehicle in a split second. Drug and alcohol use also contributes to many fatal and injurious snowmobile accidents.

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IL boating accident lawyerAs the weather heats up in Lake County, more and more people will be out enjoying the sunshine on a boat. Unfortunately, the increase in boating activity also results in an increased risk of boating injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one were hurt in a boating accident, it is important to know your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you or your loved one suffered as a result of the accident.

Who is Liable for Boat Accidents in Illinois?

A personal injury claim may allow for the recovery of medical bills, lost income, and other damages after a boat accident. For a successful boating accident injury claim to be possible, the injury or death must have been caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • BUI - Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is estimated to be a contributing factor in half of all boating accidents
  • Operator mistakes – Operating a boat takes skill and experience. An inexperienced boat operator may operate the boat in unsafe weather conditions or at excessive speeds, neglect important safety precautions, or fail to avoid collisions.
  • Inattention – Many people underestimate the importance of paying attention to their surroundings while operating a boat. Distracted boating can cause severe and deadly accidents.
  • Boat equipment malfunction – The boat operator is not always at fault for a boating accident. Sometimes, boat defects or inadequate maintenance is the cause of an accident.

The party who is liable for a boat accident may be the boat operator, the owner of the boat, the boat rental company, the company that manufactured or designed faulty boat parts, or another individual or entity.

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IL injury lawyerAll-terrain vehicles (ATVs), quads, or four-wheelers can be useful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also cause severe and often fatal injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in an ATV accident or you were hurt by someone riding an ATV, you may have questions about your legal rights. Are ATV accidents treated the same as car accidents? Do ATV riders have to carry insurance? Will I be compensated for my medical bills after an ATV collision? The answers to these questions will depend on many different factors, so it is important to speak with a skilled injury attorney for individualized guidance.

16-Year-Old in Lake County Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury in ATV Incident

In January of this year, a 16-year-old Lake County girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after being ejected from an inner tube being pulled by an ATV. She was unresponsive for several days following the accident but is now awake and relearning how to function. Although this ATV incident was atypical in that it involved a person being towed behind the vehicle, ATV accidents causing injury or death are not uncommon. In 2018 alone, there were over 81,000 ATV accidents in the U.S. Over a quarter of these accidents involved children.

Liability for an ATV Accident

In Illinois, ATV drivers are required to have liability insurance. This insurance, like typical auto insurance, is intended to compensate an injured person in the event of an accident. However, many ATV owners do not carry enough insurance to adequately compensate someone for injury-related losses. In cases such as these, a personal injury case may be filed against the at-fault party. The party who is liable for ATV injuries may be an ATV driver, the owner of the property on which the accident occurred, the manufacturer or designer of a defective ATV part, or another party. Fault may also be shared between the injured person and another party. Fortunately, in Illinois, individuals who are partly responsible for their own injuries may still be entitled to partial compensation for damages if they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

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