Orland Park, IL auto accident attorney PTSDJune is National PTSD Awareness Month. PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is defined as a mental health condition in which an individual has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Examples of incidents that can cause PTSD include pedestrian or vehicle accidents, assault and battery, death of a loved one, and more. Statistics show that roughly one in five survivors of traffic collisions suffered from PTSD in 2018. In some situations, the negligent actions of another motorist may cause a car accident with injuries. Occupants can sustain minor bumps and bruises, or they can suffer serious to fatal injuries depending on the circumstances surrounding the collision.

Typical Symptoms of PTSD

The signs and symptoms of PTSD may not surface until weeks or months after the accident. In many cases, certain things can trigger or enhance the anxiety a car crash victim is already feeling after the accident. The sound of screeching tires, emergency sirens, or horns blaring may cause a victim to have a panic attack. He or she may be afraid to travel in a car either as a passenger or a driver. The condition can be debilitating, to the point where it interferes with work or family duties.

Below are a few of the most common symptoms of someone with PTSD may experience:

  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Irritability or anger toward others
  • Physical reactions to reminders of the trauma
  • Recurring nightmares or flashbacks
  • Self-destructive behaviors (alcohol or drug abuse)
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Feeling emotionally detached from friends and relatives
  • Avoidance of places that are reminders of the event
  • Difficulty concentrating

It is important to note that if symptoms worsen over time and feelings of despair turn to suicidal thoughts, PTSD sufferers should seek medical attention by talking to a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Emotional Distress

Illinois law allows for the recovery of emotional damages. When another party’s negligence inflicts physical injury, any mental conditions that accompany the injury may also be included as part of the personal injury claim. PTSD can also be classified as “emotional distress.” In certain circumstances, a person can recover damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress even if he or she has no physical injuries.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

An auto accident can leave passengers with not only physical injuries but emotional ones as well. In some cases, mental scars can take much longer to heal than broken bones. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has more than 30 years of experience in resolving personal injury and criminal matters. Our qualified and dedicated Orland Park, IL car accident attorneys will carefully review the circumstances that led to your collision to determine liability. You may be entitled to compensation if you are suffering from PTSD and can no longer work. Learn more by calling our office today at 708-966-2408 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-401

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779792/

Posted in Car Accidents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Illinios accident lawyer,  Illnois personal injury attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyerCoronavirus has changed our daily lives over the past several months. The global pandemic led to stay-at-home orders across the country, including Illinois. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), speeding and reckless driving during the crisis have led to a higher number of car accidents and fatalities on U.S. roadways recently. Reports show that even though many Americans are driving less because of stay-at-home orders, the fatality rate per mile driven increased by 14 percent compared with March 2019. Motorists may be speeding since there are not as many cars on the road now. During the first few months of 2020, Illinois alone saw an increase of 11 percent in vehicle-related deaths.

Reasons for Reckless Driving Behaviors Amidst COVID-19

Chicago is typically known for bumper-to-bumper traffic, but with so many employees working from home now, the highways are much less congested, giving drivers a false sense of security and freedom. Some motorists figure police are busy dealing with COVID-related calls or enforcing public gathering limits that they are not as focused on speeders. In other cases, people may think that law enforcement is limiting direct contact with drivers so they are not pulling over motorists or issuing as many tickets for speeding or other traffic violations. However, speed limits are put in place for a reason, namely to prevent crashes. Traveling 20, or 30 mph over the posted speed limit can cause a driver to lose control and collide with other cars, trucks, pedestrians, or even crash into cement medians or buildings. The force of the impact when going that fast can lead to severe to life-threatening injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or burns to the skin if a vehicle explodes.

Distracted driving may also be more prevalent since there is less traffic. Drivers might be practicing less caution since there are fewer cars on the road. Falsely thinking that they have more time to react, motorists may be texting or using their cell phones while operating their vehicles, which is dangerous at any speed. A blatant disregard for obeying traffic laws such as failure to stop at stop signs or going through red lights can lead to T-bone or rear-end collisions.

In addition, COVID-19 has affected citizens in many ways, including their emotional and mental health. For those who are out of work, turning to alcohol or drug use could be a way of coping with the uncertainty of these unprecedented times. After feeling cooped up from being under a stay-at-home order, they may hit the road after drinking or taking drugs. Statistics have shown that intoxicated or impaired driving is known to reduce a driver’s reaction time and judgment. Therefore, they cannot stop in time, which can directly cause an accident, often with serious to fatal injuries.

Contact an Orland Park, IL Personal Injury Attorney

Despite the fact that more people have been staying home over the past few months, auto crashes have been on the rise in Illinois. This may be due to an increase in reckless driving behaviors by negligent motorists. After being involved in a vehicle collision, you may be suffering from serious injuries that lead to not only expensive medical bills but lost income as well. It is in your best interest to consult with a qualified Illinois car accident lawyer who can fight for your rights to the compensation you need and deserve. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has more than 30 years of experience in handling personal injury and criminal matters, successfully defending clients in both federal and state courts. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 708-966-2408.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2020/05/20/us-roadways-more-lethal-during-pandemic-lockdown-national-safety-council-data-shows/

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/04/20/speeders-take-over-empty-roads-with-fatal-consequences

Posted in Car Accidents | Tagged , , , ,

Illinios accident lawyer,  Illnois personal injury attorney,May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month. Part of being a responsible driver involves being aware of others on the road. It is important for motorists to understand that motorcyclists share the road with them. Simply noticing motorcycles can go a long way in preventing accidents with injuries. Due to the lack of protection for a motorcycle rider, injuries suffered in a crash can range from serious to fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to lose their life in a collision per vehicle mile traveled. That is why it is imperative to practice safe driving techniques in an effort to mitigate the chance of being the victim of a motorcycle accident.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Due to the difference in size and weight of motorcycles compared to automobiles and trucks, motorcyclists are often at a disadvantage in the event of an accident. In some instances, vehicle drivers do not think motorcycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as them. However, in Illinois, motorcyclists must obey the same traffic laws as passenger car drivers. This includes not driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol or driving distracted. Even if motorcyclists follow the rules of the road, they cannot control what other motorists or riders do when they get behind the wheel. In some cases, a reckless driver can collide with you if they are not paying attention and do not see you until it is too late.

Despite the actions of other motorists, there are certain safety precautions that can help reduce the chances of being in a motorcycle crash and also being severely injured. One of the most important aspects of riding a motorcycle safely is being visible or seen by others on the roadway. Although Illinois law does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets, studies have proven they can save lives by protecting riders’ heads if riders are thrown from the bike and hit the pavement.

A few of the main preventative measures a rider may take include:

  • Take a motorcycle safety course
  • Wear a helmet
  • Use eye protection
  • Dress in bright and reflective apparel
  • Be alert and sober while riding
  • Drive defensively
  • Obey traffic laws and signals
  • Turn on headlights at all times
  • Leave adequate space between vehicles
  • Perform routine maintenance on the cycle

It is worth noting that if a motorcycle has a defective part, the manufacturer could be held liable if the malfunction caused a crash. For example, if the brakes or engine failed due to no fault of a rider, the company that made or sold the parts can be found negligent.

Contact an Orland Park, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. However, it does not come without risks. Several factors can cause a motorcycle accident, including weather, faulty equipment, or reckless behaviors. If you or your loved one was hurt by the negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has more than 30 years of experience in handling personal injury and criminal legal matters. Our skilled Illinois motorcycle accident attorneys will fight for your rights so you can recover physically and emotionally. Call us today at 708-966-2408 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&SeqStart=22050000&SeqEnd=22150000

https://cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x140.pdf

Posted in Motorcycle Accident | Tagged , , , ,