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Summer Pedestrian Accidents

At some point in one’s life, everyone is a pedestrian. However, on average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014). Injuries suffered in accidents include car accidents, road construction accidents and pedestrian vehicle collisions.

Pedestrian and bicycle safety has become a priority issue for the Department of Transportation. It has lead the Department to introduce initiatives to make roads safe for everyone.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) continuously work to raise awareness about the dangers to by moving vehicles. NHTSA provides some preventative measures to reduce pedestrian crashes.

Prepared Before Walking

A pedestrian should always wear clothes or materials that are visible to others whether its day or night. Bright color cloths help drivers slowdown from a distance. During the night, pedestrians should wear lights (white in front – red in the rear, just like a car). Before walking, plan a safe route. Walk near light traffics and  where vehicles move at low speeds. If possible, the pedestrians should separate themselves from traffic and use the sidewalks, paths or barriers.

Know the Rules

A driver should know all the rules and regulations of the road. Following the rules and laws not only keeps the pedestrian safe but also the driver. Laws and regulations are made to create a system so pedestrians or drivers can safely share the road without the fear of an accident.

Rules for pedestrians are:

  • To walk on the sidewalks, if there are no sidewalks, then walk as far to the left of the road and always face the traffic.
  • Look in all direction for traffic before crossing a driveway or road.
  • Cross in marked crosswalks, corners or at intersections. It can be inherently dangerous to disobey the law and walk past cars on a road.
  •  Obey pedestrian crossing signals.
  • Always look left and right for traffic while crossing and be prepared to get out of the way if a driver doesn’t see you.

Look for Traffic

When walking on the same road as cars or crossing the road with traffic, expect others not to see you. It is possible that some drivers may be distracted while driving. Do not step on the road until the driver has come to a complete stop or when the driver has acknowledged your intent to cross the road with a nod, waive or eye contact.

Walk Defensively

Pedestrians should always stay focused and alert. There is a greater chance of injury for a pedestrian then a driver in an accident. While walking and especially while crossing the road, pedestrians should avoid texting, listening to music, or anything that that may cause the pedestrians attention to divert somewhere other than the road. Drivers should be given extra time to slow down and come to a complete stop before pedestrians begin walking. During poor weather (ice, snow, rain) and during low visibility (dusk, dawn, for or night) pedestrians should be extra alert. Just because you see others doesn’t mean they see you.

Awareness

Know the causes of pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Being aware of the problem and the common types of crashes between pedestrians and vehicles can help pedestrians take causation to protect themselves.

If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with an insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf.

Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Children Pedestrians: Teach Your Kids How to Walk Safely

The daughter of Broadway actress Ruthie Ann Miles’ 4-year-old daughter Abigail Blumenstein died when a driver allegedly suffered a medical condition, lost control of her car and sped through a crowded crosswalk. Tragically, the family followed all of the safety rules that one takes when they walk on a crowded crosswalk.

However, although some tragic events occur, you need to teach your children how to safely walk so minimize any potential accidents. In 2015, one in every five children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.

How to Walk Safely

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends these seven safety tips for children pedestrians:

• Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking around until safely across.
• Walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
• Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult.
• Encourage kids to stay alert for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
• If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly-colored clothing and reflective gear.

Eliminating Distractions for Children Pedestrians

Distracted driving continues to be a major issue for driver. However, distracted walking can also lead to accidents. On average, cars hit 44 kids per day while they walk. And many of these kids have headphones on. Teach your kids to put the phones down as they cross the street. Additionally, if they want to listen to music as they walk, make sure they have a volume setting that allows them to hear the sounds of the roads. Ideally, they will listen to only the sounds of the birds as they walk instead of anything that will distract them.

But most likely, act like the pedestrian you want them to be. If you walk, leave your phone at home. Set the example for your children pedestrians. As you drive, do not use your cell phone or any other distracting device.

It will keep your safe as you travel. But it also will provide your kids with the role model for their own safety.

If you or a loved one has been injured and need help after an accident occurred while you walked, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf.

Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Des Plaines River Boating Safety

des plaines river

To stay cool in the summer, many take to the lakes and rivers. Near our offices in Arlington Heights, the Des Plaines River and the Cook County Forest Preserve offers boats many launch points. However, if you boat on the Des Plaines River, stay safe.

Recently, Baldur Kirsch Jr. lost his life after jumping into the water near Channahon. Family and friends say that Kirsch was an experienced and avid boater who knew the Des Plaines River inside and out. But this knowledge did not save him as he unfortunately lost his life. [Read more…]

Liability After an Amusement Park Accident

amusement park accident

Roller coasters, funnel cakes, and lots of laughter bring many families to amusement parks every summer. And you assume you don’t need to worry about anything. Families can have fun and stay safe. Every year families gather to go to water parks and amusement parks during the summer months all over the country. More thrilling rides attracts visitors to enter the parks with excitement and brings them back every year. Unfortunately, amusement parks can bring danger. If the rides at the parks are not maintained, they are no longer safe to ride for any age group. In fact, going on those rides could become a life-threatening event.

According to International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, approximately 375 million people visit a theme park each year in North America.  In a study done by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 92,885 children under age 18 were treated to emergency rooms due to injuries caused by rides at amusement parks. This averages to 4,423 injured per year on rides. The study also concluded that most of the injuries were head injuries due to hitting a hard floor.

Common injuries from a ride include head, neck and back injuries. Roller coasters that go in loops, backwards and sharp turns can create stress on a body which may result in the neck and back injury.

Injuries range from broken bones and concussion due to

  • Amputation
  • Electrocution
  • Paraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Wrongful death

[Read more…]

Wrongful Death Suits after a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

fatal motorcycle accident
After you have lost a loved one who was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may feel lost. You may not know what to do next. Every day, many motorcyclists and motorists share the same roads around the greater Chicago area with thousands of drivers. Many responsible people abide by local and state laws to ensure public safety on the road.  However, fatal accidents do occur. For example, on July 1, 2018, Lonie Krzywda, 57, of Des Plaines, was involved in the crash near Route 53 and Thorndale Avenue. She was taken to Lutheran General Hospital where she died from complications from injuries sustained in the crash.

During the summer months, many young and older adults residing in the greater Chicago area proudly ride their motorcycles in the roads around the city. However, many motorists driving cars and trucks apparently do not respect motorcyclists on the roads. Although motorcyclists have many safety tips and their own licensing, fatal accidents do occur often.

In many cases, a fatal motorcycle accident results from the negligence of another motorist. Although a fact based determination, if negligence played a role in the fatal motorcycle accident, you may have a civil action against the driver. These accidents can involve a car or a truck. Unfortunately, some motorcyclists, like Ms. Krzywda, have lost their lives in accidents due to an accident with a car.

Types of Compensation for Wrongful Death

The plaintiffs in motorcycle accident wrongful death claims can obtain compensation for:

  • Medical expenses that accumulated prior to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of support
  • Benefit Loss
  • Other monetary losses suffered as a result of the victim’s wrongful death
  • Non-monetary damages, including loss of companionship and affection

How to Find an Attorney After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Filing a lawsuit requires the assistance of a competent wrongful death suit attorney who specializes in:

  • Handling many complex cases in the Chicago area.
  • Helping you make sense of the untimely death of your loved one.
  • Explaining all of your options in order to receive compensation.
  • Mounting the strongest case possible on your behalf.
  • Bringing justice to the person who caused the tragic loss due to his or her misconduct or negligence.
  • Assisting you in receiving monetary damages to which you are entitled.

Consult with an experienced attorney who understands the laws pertaining to your case: the fatal motorcycle accident involving your loved one or friend.

If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with an insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf.
Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Waterslide Ends with Tragedy

VerructA tragic incident of a 10-year-old boy who lost his life at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City led to state inspection finding violations on 11 rides including the ride he was on. The audit listed 160 findings with 147 considered to be immediate actions to be taken to repair the rides.

Charles Thomas Schwab, 10 years old, died riding the “Verruct” slide when the raft went airborne. The raft then hit a metal pole causing him severe injuries. Traffically, he died due to his injuries in August 2016.  Charles complied with all the rider instructions. But the ride still costed him his life regardless of him obeying the instructions. Along with Charles, two other women on the same raft as him, were also severely injured. One women suffered a broken jaw. The other a broken bone in her face.

[Read more…]

New Chicago Party Bus Safety Measures

Unlike the school buses that you may remember, many people have begun enjoying the benefits of a party bus. If you’re heading to Six Flags or a Cubs game, you and your family or friends can rent a vehicle that will bring you there with all of the accommodations you could dream of. Many of these vehicles have large televisions with stereo systems. Modern interiors that can include fun light systems and provide you will fully stocked bars. And of course, you get the benefit of a chauffeur.

However, Chicago has doubled down on plans to increase enforcement of these popular vehicles. Recent incidents have caused the city and potentially the State of Illinois to consider more strict regulations. For example, a man on a chartered coach bus shot and killed three fellow passengers with a rifle while the bus was traveling in Rockford.

[Read more…]

Protect Your Family From Bug Bites

Bug Bites

You’re enjoying your fire pit on a beautiful summer evening. But then you hear a buzzing around your head. A small mosquito lands on your arm and you’re too slow to swat it away. Although the resulting bump may get itchy, unfortunately, bug bites could lead to more serious issues.

Bugs, including mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies, can spread diseases like Zika, dengue, and Lyme disease. Unfortunately, many of these cannot be prevented or treated with a vaccine or medicine. But you can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

  • Avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active
  • Avoid playing in or around standing puddles of water or flowerbeds
  • Wear thin, long sleeved shirts and long pants to minimize skin exposure

What Kind of Bug Spray Should I Use?

Generally, bug spray is okay to use. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET.

However, follow these instructions for applying repellent on children:

  • Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Children should not touch repellent. Adults should apply it to their hands and gently spread it over the child’s exposed skin.
  • Do not apply repellent to children’s hands because they tend to put their hands in their mouths.

Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Additionally, children should never apply it on their own. When applying insect repellent to your child’s face, spray it into your hands, and then rub it onto your child’s face. Make sure to avoid their mouth and eyes. Lastly, never use repellents on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

Beware the Ticks

When children play in a wooded area, they should wear protective clothing like long sleeves to avoid ticks. Bug spray helps, too, but with ticks, clothing is the best defense. Although they don’t cause the bug bites we all think of, they have become more prevalent in the Northwest Suburbs.

A government study recently stated that to prepare for summer protection from ticks, wear clothes  pretreated with permethrin. Permethrim is a synthetic form of an insect-thwarting compound from the chrysanthemum flower. You can find it in insecticide sprays and shampoos and creams that treat lice and scabies.

Doctors worry about ticks because they can cause illness, like Lyme disease. Parents should check kids’ heads and bodies to look for ticks. Remove a tick with a tweezers. Lastly, if you need assurance that your children are safe, some doctors’ offices can test the bug.

 

MCLE and Illinois’s New Requirements

MCLE

MCLE stands for minimum continuing legal education. Most states requirement CLE so that attorneys maintain an up-to- date knowledge of the law. Typically, states require attorneys  to take thirty credit hours every two years. Newly admitted attorneys must complete a total of 15 MCLE hours. The hours include 6 hours of basic skills course, which must be completed prior to being sworn into the bar and 9 hours of general or professional responsibility, which must be completed within 1 year after being sworn into the bar.

[Read more…]

On The Road with the Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists have reputations as having either a “bad boy” attitude or a “rich boy” attitude. But the truth is that there is no “attitude” at all. All types of people enjoy jumping on a motorcycle. For some people, a freedom from metal and the enclosure of a car  gives the rider a sense of being different. Not better, but different. As you drive to your summer hot spots, remember that motorcyclists have the same rights of the road.

[Read more…]

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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