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New technology is bringing rapid changes to society, and the law is almost always a step behind. To be more specific, Bluetooth and other hands-free electronic communications technology are changing the way we drive. Illinois law is struggling to catch up while the death rate for certain kinds of accidents continues to soar, particularly distracted driving. Illinois distracted driving law currently prohibits any use of a hand-held device while driving. Penalties include fines and a potential driver’s license suspension for repeat offenses. By contrast, using a hands-free Bluetooth device is not specifically prohibited unless you are under 19 years old, even though using hands-free communications devices has been shown to be even more dangerous than drunk driving.
There is no simple answer to that question. Although there is no law specifically prohibiting the use of hands-free devices for those 19 and older, a party to a lawsuit can try to prove that you were driving negligently even though you were not breaking any specific law. That is how the rules that apply in civil court differ from the rules that apply in traffic court. This loophole can pave the way for a party to argue that you were driving negligently due to your use of Bluetooth. He could then attempt to prove this claim by establishing certain facts – that you were weaving between lanes immediately prior to the accident, for example.
If you were injured in an accident, you can try to prove that the accident was the defendant’s fault due to his use of Bluetooth. On the other hand, if you were the one using Bluetooth, the defendant might claim that the accident was partly your fault. This could reduce or even eliminate the value of your claim.
If all of this sounds complicated, there is a reason why – because Illinois personal injury law is indeed quite complex. If you were injured in a traffic accident that you believe was someone else’s fault, now is no time to “go it alone” and try to represent yourself. Malman Law can help.
At Malman Law we refuse to accept mediocrity, and our track record proves it:
“The Malman Law team is exceptional. Knows personal injury law, very responsive to my personal workers’ comp case, recovered money I thought I would never see. And it happened twice as fast as I thought it would. Thank you, Malman Law.” – Malman Law Client “Two years ago, I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet.” – Malman Law Client
Car Accidents: Millions of car accidents occur every year, and hundreds of thousands of people suffer serious injury. Car accidents are usually somebody’s fault, and a compensation claim arises when the injured party is not the at-fault party. Texting and driving in particular is a rapidly increasing cause of car accidents. Personal Injury: Just about any type of accident qualifies as a personal injury claim if an injury occurred due to the wrongful act or neglect of another. This is also true of many other types of accidents, such as pedestrian/vehicle accidents, that are not specifically listed here. Wrongful Death: Just about any personal injury that results in the death of the victim can give rise to a wrongful death claim. In Illinois, the personal representative of the victim’s estate (named in the will or appointed by a court) may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of close relatives and, for certain expenses, the estate itself. Cell Phone Accidents: Pennsylvania’s distracted driving laws cover all usage of handheld devices, and even hands-free models for users under 19. Although breaking a traffic law and being found negligent in a civil lawsuit are two different things, a driver causing an accident through cell phone use is likely to be found negligent. This likelihood increases the odds that the defendant’s insurance company will be willing to settle the claim out of court. Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycles are probably the most vulnerable motor vehicles on the road, and accidents tend to be catastrophic. Such accidents are typically (but not always) the fault of an automobile driver, due to the disregard with which so many drivers treat motorcycles. Truck Accidents: Truck accidents are typically caused by driver negligence or the defective condition of the truck. When the accident can be traced to the truck, an astute personal injury lawyer will check to see if the accident can be traced to the violation of a trucking industry regulation. Underinsured Driver Accidents: Of what use is it to win a personal injury lawsuit against a driver who cannot afford to pay you because he didn’t carry sufficient insurance at the time of the accident? Fortunately, in many cases it is possible to secure full compensation from another source. Train Accidents: The city of Chicago maintains over 200 miles of local train tracks to transport over 750,000 people a day. Obviously, accidents are inevitable, and they are not always caused by the train operator — technical malfunctions as well as pedestrians and other vehicles can cause accidents as well. You are entitled to compensation, however, if the accident can be traced to negligence.
Comparative negligence is a legal theory that provides guidance on how to distribute compensation when more than one party was at fault for an accident. A court will assign a percentage of fault to each party. Then it will allow the party who is less at fault to recover compensation from the more at fault party – minus his own percentage of fault. For example, let’s assume that there are $100,000 in damages for Driver A. However, Driver A was 40 percent at fault and Driver B was 60 percent at fault. Then Driver A could recover damages, but not the full $100,000. Instead, 40% would be deducted from his recovery due to his percentage of fault in the accident – and he would walk away with $60,000.
Yes. Illinois drivers must carry at least:
No. In fact, you should refuse to do so if they request one, because they will be looking for something they can use against you. Instead, issue the at-fault driver’s insurance company a written notice with the following information only:
Direct all further attempts at communication to your lawyer.
No, not automatically. If you broke a safety law, that fact can be used to shift the burden of proof onto you. In other words, you would now be responsible for proving that you were not driving negligently, even though you broke a safety law. Although that is not good news, it might still be possible to avoid liability.
If the infranction concerned the accident that injured you, you can use it as evidence against him in a personal injury lawsuit (although such evidence will not decide the case in your favor all by itself). If the driver pleaded not-guilty but was convicted anyway, you cannot use his conviction against him.
Yes, as long as you can prove the relationship between your injuries and your lost wages. Theoretically, you could be entitled to decades of lost wages if your injury was so serious that you are forced to abandon your career. The problem you might run into here, however, is that such a large claim would probably exceed the defendant’s insurance coverage limits.
You can if a court appoints you as guardian ad litem for the purpose of filing the lawsuit. Since a minor cannot file a lawsuit in his own name in an Illinois court, someone will have to be appointed – and that person is likely to be a parent or other close relative.
Yes, we will. As your attorneys, we would be under a solemn legal and professional obligation to keep all of our communications absolutely confidential unless you give us permission to release certain information. In almost any case, we would even be entitled to refuse a court order to divulge confidential client information.
Probably not. Since most truckers are independent contractors, not employees, the trucking company is probably not responsible for the driver’s negligence. You might be able to support a claim if the trucking company itself was negligent in some way that contributed to the accident.
No. Although you may have an uphill battle establishing your claim. It would be up to you to prove that the accident was not your fault (instead of the other driver having to prove that the accident was your fault). If the other driver’s brake lights were out at the time of the accident, for example, you might have a workable defense.
Theoretically, punitive damages are available in Illinois personal injury lawsuits. The are unlikely to be awarded, however, for a distracted driving accident. To win punitive damages you would need to show – by “clear and convincing” evidence – that the defendant’s conduct was outrageous in some way. A DUI accident might qualify, but a road rage incident would be more likely to qualify.
If the accident victim dies from the accident, Illinois wrongful death law allows the personal representative of the victim’s estate to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Liability would have to be proven in much the same way as it would for a personal injury claim. Any damages awarded would go to the victim’s next of kin and to his probate estate.
We work on a contingency basis – if we take your case, your fee will be calculated as a percentage of your actual compensation. Although 95 percent of our clients win compensation, remember this – any percentage of zero is still zero. This means that you will owe us precisely nothing unless we win compensation for you.
They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
- Britany Weaver
I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!
- Cheryl Wagemann
I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!
- Elvira G.
I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
would do everything they could for me.
- Tony S.
I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!
- Devin Jones
Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
- Annie Ong
Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
- Eugenia Cathery
They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.
- Omolewa Snyder
I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
- Trevor Harris
Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
- Ernest Pitts
Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.
- Ariel Fleming
I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!
- Carmen Rivera
Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
- Greg Gustafson
Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.
- Malak St.Clair
Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.
- Devri Lott
I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
- Adrian Lopez
A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
- Vanessa Leon
Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
- Nyah Vuljanic
This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker
- Jeff Walker
Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.
- Steve Acosta
Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
- Jose Cruz
Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!
- Meagan Cruz
- Eddie Villarreal
I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!
- Madissen Miller
Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!
- Christina Ocon
Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!
- Adriana Martinez
So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!
- Virgil Sanner
I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!
- Jazlyn Caraballo
My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
- Ashley Jenkins
ALL FIELDS REQUIRED
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim