Articles Posted in Helpful Resources

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Chicago roads become difficult to traverse in the winter. Consider these three tips when taking your car out in the snow:

1. Only go out if you absolutely have to. Reducing the number of trips you take reduces your exposure to winter driving hazars. The best way to avoid an accident is to avoid being out on the road.

2. If possible, drive only during daylight hours. This may not be possible for people who have to commute to and from work in the evening or early morning, but reducing night time driving in the winter, when possible, can make for safer travels.

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Anyone who has driven in the snow knows, winter roads can be treacherous. Here are some safety tips From the Klest Injury Law Firm that could help you avoid injury and perhaps save your life.

• Be sure to get regular oil changes. It’s recommended that you change your car’s oil every 5000 miles or every 3 to 6 months. Changing your car’s oil is the most important thing you can do for your car’s maintenance. Oil becomes less effective as a lubricant over time, and this causes parts of the engine to wear out. Regular oil changes will also save you money in the long run by avoiding large mechanic bills later on.

• Check your windshield wiper blades. Drivers have the most trouble seeing the road in the winter months. Replacing your wiper blades before the first snow hits can save you the trouble of having to change them in the cold.

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An overnight snowstorm left many Chicago area drivers stranded last night as the City was pounded with a blizzard of potentially historic proportions. Illinois State officials have closed portions of several major interstate expressways as of early Wednesday morning in order to reach stranded motorists or abandoned vehicles. One of the most affected areas was Lake Shore Drive where multiple car accidents and stranded cars and buses left some motorists trapped in their cars until early Thursday morning. According to reports, a CTA Fullerton Ave. bus was stuck on Lake Shore Drive behind a Chicago car accident while crews were unable to access it. The bus was converted into a warming station for stranded motorists. Some reports indicated that conditions were severe enough to halt even snow plows from operating.

Many suburban expressways and highways have also been severely hampered or completely shut down as a result of the storm. According to Illinois State Police, Interstate 57 in Kankakee was completely shut down as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Other road closures include portions of I-80, I-88, I-74, I-39 and I-155. For more information on weather related road closures Chicago motorists should contact the Illinois Department of Transportation or check the IDOT message boards. Chicago drivers are urged to avoid travel in all except emergency circumstances.

If you have any questions about winter driving in Chicago or would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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As the temperature drops and snow begins to fall on Chicago roadways, the Klest Law Firm blog would like to share some safe driving tips with its readers. It is especially important to drive carefully when road conditions are snowy and/or icy. The following winter driving tips have been published by AAA:

• Do not warm vehicles in enclosed areas i.e. garage • Ensure that you have proper tire inflation • Do not mix radial tires with other tire types • AAA recommends keeping your gas tank half full during colder months to ensure that gas lines do not freeze • Do not use cruise control on icy or snowy roadways • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow or ice to ensure that carbon monoxide does not flow into the passenger cabin • Allow yourself more time for braking and keep a greater distance between vehicles while driving in the winter

In addition, AAA also has special driving tips for long distance winter travel. Chicago motorists should make sure to keep blankets, extra gasoline, food, water, and a cellular phone when undertaking winter travel. Snowbound drivers should make sure to stay with their vehicles and not expend too much energy trying to dig out of snow or ice. Following these tips can help to avoid car accidents during the winter months.

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The purpose of this article is to persuade Illinois drivers that don’t carry uninsured(UM) or underinsured motorist(UIM) coverage or who have very low UM-UIM policy limits to consider amending their automobile policies to the highest policy limit. Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection for drivers that are incur damages from drivers that do not have automobile insurance or as the result of hit and run car accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage provides coverage where the injuries suffered are in excess of the at-fault driver’s policy limits. For example, let’s say you are involved in an automobile accident that results in medical bills of $60,000.00. Let’s also assume that the other driver was at fault in the accident and that the at-fault driver carried a 20/40 liability policy ($20,000 per individual and $40,000.00 per occurrence – the state minimum in Illinois). First, the at-fault party’s insurance should cover the policy limit of $20,000.00. At that point, your underinsured policy should kick in to cover the remaining $40,000.00. However this example assumes that you carry sufficient underinsured motorist coverage. If your underinsured policy is only $20,000.00 then you are left with $20,000.00 in damages for an accident that was not your fault.

Many Chicago drivers assume they are protected if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. However, many of these drivers also carry minimum policies. The worst part is that large amounts of UM/UIM coverage are often available at a very affordable price. For about a gallon of gas a month, an Illinois driver can upgrade from a UM/UIM policy limit of 20/40 to 250/500 for both uninsured and underinsured coverage. As the above example illustrates, this simple upgrade in policy can save you and your family years of financial hardship.

If you have any questions regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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If you have been injured by the fault of another in Chicago or anywhere else in the State of Illinois you may be confronted with large medical bills. You might also be missing work due to an injury and therefore you might find it hard to pay for your necessities, let alone your medical bills. It is this type of all too common scenario that has allowed case loan companies to flourish throughout Illinois and the rest of the country. A case loan provides up-front cash to an injured party with a pending lawsuit. Most of these case loans are issued to victims of automobile accidents, workplace injury, wrongful death, or medical malpractice. Case loan advances are particularly attractive to individuals with bad credit as case loan outfits will approve loans without a credit check. The case loan company concerns itself only with the merits of a pending lawsuit in approving a loan.

Injured persons looking for a means to pay bills are inevitably attracted to case loans as they typically come in the form of non-recourse cash advances. In other words, the injured person does not have to repay the advance if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Additionally, if the ultimate settlement or verdict is smaller than anticipated, the amount that is repaid to the loan company will not exceed the settlement or verdict. While these case loans are very attractive to injured parties looking for a way to pay their bills, they almost always carry devastating interest rates. For example, an injury victim that takes out a $20,000 dollar loan against his or her case could end up owing the loan company $100,000 after fees and accrued interest. If the case settles for that amount, the loan company will end up taking monies awarded for future medical and/or permanency in profit.

In conclusion, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Case loan companies that offer advance non-recourse cash on a pending injury case thrive by making profits off monies that should go to a personal injury victim on the back-end. If you have any questions regarding personal injury case loans or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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Act quickly to protect evidence and find witnesses who can help you prove your case to an insurance company.

The first few days immediately following an accident are often the most important for finding and preserving evidence of what happened — and documenting your injuries. You should take the following steps as soon as you are able.

Return to the Scene

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If you intend to file a claim for your injuries, it’s important to notify potential defendants after the accident.

You don’t have to know who was at fault for your accident; you must simply think about who might have been at fault. And in the beginning, you don’t have to give the people involved, or their insurance companies, any detailed information about the accident or your injuries. All you have to do is notify them that there was an accident at a certain time and place, that you were injured, and that you intend to file a claim.

Determine Who Might Be Responsible

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Writing down the details is far easier — and more accurate — than relying on your memory.

One of the first things you should do after you are injured is write down everything you can about your accident, including details of your injuries and their effect on your daily life. These notes can be very useful two or six or ten months later, when you put together all the important facts into a final demand for compensation. Having notes to remind you of the details of what happened, and what you went through, is both easier and more reliable than counting on your memory.

Get into the habit of taking notes on anything you think might possibly affect your claim and carry it through the entire claims process. Whenever you remember something you had not thought of before — while you’re in the shower, just before you fall asleep, as you’re biting into a pastry — write it down and put it with your other notes. Here are some specific things about which you should make notes.

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