orland park car accident lawyerPractically speaking, when a drunk driver is involved in a car accident, they are almost always at fault. It is rare - but not impossible - for a drunk driver to get into a crash they did not cause. In Illinois, drunk drivers are presumed to be negligent under a legal principle known as “negligence per se.” If you were hurt in a car accident involving a drunk driver, it is best to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later, and always before you give a statement to an insurance company. Even if it is abundantly clear that the drunk driver was at fault, a lawyer can represent you during settlement negotiations and ensure your rights are protected. 

What is Negligence Per Se? 

Negligence per se is a legal principle used to prove that a person was acting negligently simply by breaking a law that was put in place for safety reasons. The injured victim must also demonstrate that they were hurt because the negligent person broke that law. In drunk driving cases, this tends to be a straightforward analysis. Laws against drunk driving were put in place because drunk drivers risk hurting other people by crashing into them. A person who drives drunk is breaking the law. If a drunk driver injured you, you were hurt because the drunk driver broke that law, and you likely would not have been hurt if the other driver were sober or took a cab instead of driving. 

Usually, this is enough to show that the drunk driver is at fault. If the at-fault driver is convicted of driving under the influence, this will likely help your case. Consequently, calling the police is particularly important when you suspect that the other driver is impaired. A police report is a valuable piece of evidence in any insurance claim or personal injury claim. 


Posted on in Car Accidents

appleton car crash lawyerSince around 2016, vehicles with varying levels of automated driving systems have been hitting the roads in the Chicago area. Cars are getting smarter - most new cars on the market today offer some level of automation that was not available even five years ago. But these systems are not failproof on their own. Human error is still the culprit in most car accidents involving automated vehicles. If you have been hurt in a car accident where automation is involved, you will need an experienced attorney on your side to give you the best chance of recovering all the compensation you deserve. 

What is Vehicle Automation? 

There is a wide range of technology that falls under the umbrella of “automation” when it comes to cars. The term refers to much more than just the truly driverless cars many see as the future of transportation. Most “automated” cars you see on the roads still require some degree of human input and require a person to be in the driver’s seat, prepared to take over if necessary. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that you will step out of your vehicle after an accident to speak to the other driver only to find that there is no other driver. 

The more commonly available technology involves a car that is mostly driven by a human, but with some automated processes. For example, a car may feature automatic parallel parking, automatic braking when a rear-bumper camera detects that something is behind the vehicle, or even automatic lane changing, where the human driver simply activates the turn signal and allows the car to merge on its own. The problem is that these technologies sometimes fail and cause accidents, leaving questions about who is liable to the injured party. 


Posted on in Car Accidents

orland park injury lawyerApproximately 6 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S. and many of them result in injuries. Some vehicle accident injuries, like broken bones and lacerations, are immediately apparent. Other injuries, on the other hand, are not so obvious. That is why it is important to get medical attention promptly if you are involved in a car crash.

Car Accident Injuries That Are Not Always Apparent 

Certain car accident injuries do not always present symptoms in the beginning. In fact, some injuries may not show symptoms until days or weeks after. Here are several hidden injuries to look out for.

  • Whiplash - Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries and can occur when your head moves backward and then forward suddenly. Symptoms of this injury include neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, and shoulder pain. If whiplash is not addressed promptly, it can lead to complications in the near future, like severe neck pain and limited range of motion.


IL accident lawyerAt some point throughout the day, we are all considered pedestrians. We are all at risk of being injured in a motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian, which happens more often than you may think. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 79,000 motor vehicle accidents that occurred involving a pedestrian in 2019. When a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a vehicle, the results can be devastating and can inflict damage and trauma onto the pedestrian because of the sheer size and weight comparison. If you have been in a traffic accident as a pedestrian, you should get in touch with an Illinois pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your options for compensation.

Risk Factors for Accidents Involving Pedestrians

When you are walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting on a bench, or stretching out in the grass, you are a pedestrian. According to the NHTSA, pedestrian fatalities decreased between 2018 and 2019, but only slightly with a small 2.7 percent decrease. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, recovering compensation may be possible if you can determine who is at fault for the accident. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving pedestrians include:

  • Distracted drivers and/or pedestrians: A big cause of pedestrian accidents are distractions for both drivers and the pedestrian themselves. In today’s world of technology, there are more distractions that can pop up than ever before. Cell phones and other devices can take a driver’s attention from the road, putting pedestrians in harm’s way.
  • Speeding: Another reason why pedestrian accidents may occur is because of speeding drivers. If a driver is speeding, they may not see a pedestrian in time, or they may not calculate enough time to allow them to stop before the pedestrian is hit.
  • Alcohol use: Like distractions, alcohol use can be on the part of either the pedestrian or the driver. While it is not technically illegal for a person to have alcohol in their system in public, it does raise the risk of an accident happening and lessens your ability to react if it does. However, drivers who are intoxicated can face criminal charges, as well as any civil penalties for an accident.

Our Illinois Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

Being injured in a car accident can leave you with devastating injuries and major financial losses. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, you should speak with our skilled Orland Park, IL pedestrian accident injury attorney to determine whether or not you should pursue compensation for your injuries. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has helped numerous clients obtain much-needed compensation from many different types of vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrians. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 708-966-2408.


IL accident lawyerWe have all felt it before -- the feeling of annoyance mixed with anger and frustration that manifests and appears when we are behind the wheel of our vehicles. Driving can be a stressful activity for some people, especially those who experience extreme anger and frustration while driving. In some cases, aggressive driving or road rage can contribute to or even be the cause of some motor vehicle accidents, which can result in serious injuries. In many cases, damages sustained from injuries resulting from an aggressive driver can be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

In general, aggressive driving is considered to be any action taken by a driver that endangers the lives or safety of themselves or others. Aggressive driving can include any behavior that a driver deliberately engages in with ill intentions or a disregard for the safety of others on the road. It is important to note that there is a difference between aggressive driving and “road rage.” Even though both instances involve angry drivers, road rage only occurs when the aggressive driving elevates to the driver intentionally means to cause the other driver physical harm.

Aggressive Driving Behaviors to Watch Out For

Aggressive driving is a serious issue. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), aggressive driving behaviors played a role in 56 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents during a four-year period. The best way to protect yourself while driving is to watch out for other drivers who may be exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors. These can include:


James A. Payonk, Jr.

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Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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