The various regions of Illinois have had disparate ordinances and regulations concerning the use of hand held cell phones. Some locations prohibited the use while others restricted hand held use under certain circumstances. Needless to say, drivers have been confused. On January 1, 2014, a new statewide ban on the use of a hand held device will go into effect. Once the uniform law is in place, drivers in Chicago and throughout the state who are pulled over for violating the law will no longer have the excuse that they did not realize the use of a hand held phone was prohibited.
Of course, some of the main reasons for implementing the law are the concern for driver safety and to reduce the number of car accidents on the roads. But enforcement has been a tricky situation. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the new state law will make it less complicated for officers issuing tickets to out-of-towners who plead ignorance of local ordinances. Up until now, the landscape of ordinances has been widely varied and inconsistent. After the first of the year, all drivers in Illinois must use a hands-free device or risk getting a ticket. The fine for first time offenders under the new law is $75. It is hoped that the fee will be enough to deter would be offenders.
Hopefully the law will make an impact in reducing the number of traffic accidents on Chicago roads. Car accidents represent the majority of personal injury claims in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the “NHTSA”), there are more than 1,700 fatalities and 840,000 injuries yearly due to vehicle crashes off public highways. Many people suffer serious injuries as a result of automobile accidents, such as cuts and abrasions, broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and many others.
A driver on the road is expected to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle. While accidents are caused by any number of reasons, distracted driving is a very dangerous one. A driver who causes an accident due to negligence from texting while driving may be liable to any victims for their resulting injuries. Other forms of negligence can include drinking and driving, and failing to follow traffic safety laws, such as speeding, not signaling, ignoring stop signs, and the like. A person who has been injured due to the negligent driving of another person may be able to recover damages for their suffering and losses. In such a case, the victim would bring a personal injury action in civil court against the driver, the insurance company and possibly other third parties.
Each state has its own set of laws and procedures that govern a personal injury action. It is important to make sure that the injury attorney you hire has experience handling car accident cases in your jurisdiction. The right attorney will know how to handle your case from beginning to end, from investigating the accident, knowing the laws applicable to your case, and negotiating a fair and just settlement.
The injury attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, P.C. have over 30 years of experience handling car accident cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Contact us at (800) 275-2529 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. The consultation is free and you do not pay us a fee unless you receive compensation.