bicycle accident victim, bicycle accidents, bicycle safety tips, bicycle traffic accidents, Orland Park bicycle accident attorneyThe warm weather has finally arrived in Illinois. Along with that warm weather comes warm weather activities. One of the most popular is bike riding. Many people take advantage of the summer months to commute to work or as an alternative to hitting the inside of the gym. Unfortunately, the warm weather also brings an increase in bicycle accidents and injuries.

According to national statistics, there are more than 700 people killed in bicycle traffic accidents each year. Another 50,000 are injured. And although you may think that the most vulnerable age group to bicycle accidents are children, the average age of bicyclists who are killed is 45. Additionally, most fatalities occur between the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. So how can bicyclists protect themselves from being in a bicycle accident?

Wear Brightly-Colored Clothing

One of the most common reasons why bicycle accidents occur is because the vehicle driver just did not see the bicyclist. Wearing clothing that is bright will help you stand out more, and increase the chances of driver visibility. It is also critical to wear reflective clothing if you are riding your bike after dusk.

Equip Bike with Reflectors and Lights

With regard to riding at night, you should also make sure that your bike has reflectors and lights so drivers can see you at night.

Follow Illinois Rules of the Road

People who ride bikes in Illinois need to follow the rules of the road—rules that Illinois has put in place and are also followed by motor vehicle drivers. You are required to follow traffic signals and signs, as well as yielding the right-of-way when it is required.

Ride in Designated Bicycle Areas when Possible

Bicycling popularity has been recognized by many communities, leading to municipalities creating designated bicycle lanes and/or areas. It is much safer for you to ride in those designated areas when they are available instead of driving directly on streets where you are competing with motor vehicles and pedestrians for space.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney

The most common types of injuries from bicycle accidents include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and facial injuries. Depending on the severity of the injuries, a bicycle accident victim may have expensive medical bills to deal with, as well as financial issues due to not being unable to work because of those injuries.

If you have been injured in a bike crash, contact a seasoned Orland Park bicycle accident attorney to discuss what your legal options may be for your pain and loss.


Posted in Bicycle Safety | Tagged , , , ,

personal injury, personal injury case, Orland ParkGetting a favorable judgment in a civil trial is a daunting task. Depending on the type of litigation you were involved in, it can also be a very expensive endeavor.  Many people are aware that you can recover damages for medical billslost wages, and pain and suffering. However, there are other avenues of compensation that are less readily known and include the following:

  • Fees for the subpoena of witnesses;
  • Statutory fees for witnesses; and
  • Fee’s associated with deposition administrative tasks.

What Other Costs May I Be Entitled To?

A skilled and experienced Orland Park personal injury attorney would be able inform you of any other costs to which you may be entitled. Different courts in Illinois have different rulings about what a prevailing party may recoup by way of court costs and fees.

For example, generally, in Illinois, courts will allow the winning side to collect the fees for digitally recording testimony used at trial. However, in the Third District of Illinois, this is not the case as the courts have disallowed recovery of those fees.

Generally speaking, courts in Illinois will allow recovery of the fees resulting from having a court reporter at the trial. However, the First District Courts of Illinois have barred recovery for those fees.

Is There Anything I Definitely Will Not Be Able to Recover?

Yes, there is a consensus among Illinois courts that there are certain costs that a losing party will not be responsible for to the winning side. These include but are not limited to:

  • The cost for the use of an interpreter;
  • The cost of a witness subpoenaed but not used at trial; and
  • The cost for an expert witness.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?

Usually, damages awarded in a civil lawsuit are not meant to punish the other side. The damages are intended to make the plaintiff whole again or in the same position as he or she was in before the defendant caused the injuries they did to them. However, in certain cases, the court may award punitive damages.

Punitive damages are monies awarded to a plaintiff because of the egregious behavior of the defendant. Sometimes they are awarded to send a public policy message to deter other entities from engaging in the same behavior.

Punitive damages are rare and often contested. It is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Illinois personal injury attorney to find out if you may have a case where punitive damages may be awarded.

Have a Case?

If you or a loved one has a civil lawsuit against another party that has caused you injury or damages, contact a skilled Orland Park personal injury attorney today. Our staff handles a wide range of civil issues including vehicle accidents, wrongful death, slip and fall accidents, and dog bite injuries. Contact our Orland Park office at 708-633-6005, and schedule a free consultation so we can get our staff working together to pursue your interests and defend your rights.


Posted in Personal Injury | Tagged , , , ,

seat belts save lives, Orland Park Car Accident AttorneyOne of the simplest—yet most effective—ways to protect yourself from injuries in the event of a car crash is to use your seat belt. Using a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to people in the front seat of a passenger vehicle by 45 percent. People riding in light trucks who buckle up reduce their risk of a fatal injury by 60 percent. Yet thousands of people are killed each year because they did not buckle up.

The National Numbers

According to national statistics, just under 36,000 victims were killed in crashes in 2015, and almost half of them—48 percent—were not wearing a seat belt. Crash studies have determined that almost 3,000 of those victims would have survived the crash if they were wearing seat belts. These studies also determined that almost 14,000 people who were involved in car crashes in 2015 did survive because they made sure they had on their seat belt.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been collecting this data since 1975. The 50 years of statistics show that seat belts have saved the lives of 344,448 people. Tragically, more than 381,000 people may have survived had they used their seat belts when they got inside their vehicles.

Using Seat Belts

Seat belts help keep drivers and passengers secure in their vehicle in the event of a collision. When a person is not wearing a seat belt, and his or her vehicle is hit with a strong impact, he or she can be thrown from the vehicle, which is often fatal.

In order to be effective, it is important that seat belts are used properly. Failure to properly use a seat belt so can be dangerous. To begin, the shoulder belt and the lap belt should be placed across your rib cage and pelvis, making sure the shoulder belt goes across the middle of your chest and is away from your neck area. Also, make sure that the lap belt does not go across your stomach. It should go across your hips. It is also critical to never put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.

Public Education Campaigns

There are currently several public service campaigns nationwide which educate the public on the importance of seat belt protection. Two of those campaigns—Buckle Up America and Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up—focus on education. The Never Give Up program is aimed directly at tweens (children between the ages of 8- to 14-years-old). A third program, Click It or Ticket, incorporates stepped-up seat belt enforcement by local and state law enforcement agencies.

Have You Suffered Car Crash Injuries?

The good news is that education does seem to be working. Nationally, seat belt use has increased from 71 percent in 2000 to almost 89 percent in 2015. The bad news is that even if you make it a point to buckle up every time you get in your vehicle, you can still be injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver.

If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a seasoned Orland Park car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. Call James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, at 708-633-6005 today for your free consultation.


Posted in Car Accidents | Tagged , , , , ,