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How to Drive Safely in Fog

How to Drive Safely in FogFog is a thick, low-lying cloud formed as the air cools and condensed water droplets form. Although most commonly found along the coast, you can experience fog in Illinois during times of temperature fluctuation and especially along the lake.

Typically worst in the morning and at night, fog reduces visibility to below 1km (about .63 miles.) The best way to avoid the dangers of driving in fog is to avoid morning and evening trips. But if you do have to drive in the fog, keep these safety tips in mind to reduce your risk of getting in an accident.

Slow Down

Driving at posted speed limits in fog is dangerous. Your visibility is compromised, so slow down. Giving yourself more time to stop is the best way to avoid accidents in the fog.

Use Low-Beams, Not High-Beams

The water droplets in fog reflect and spread light. High beams can affect your visibility—and that of other drivers— by reflecting light. Your low beams and fog lights will not reflect light back at eye level but will help keep the road in front of you visible.

Stay Alert and Ready for Anything

Reduce distractions, and roll down your window to listen for cars if you can’t see them. Pull over if your visibility is so low that you can’t see the road. Drive with extreme caution and only when you have to.

Remember; it’s not just you out there in on the road. Other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and even wild animals can increase your risk of getting in an accident. To make matters worse, factors like fog and ice can potentially make determining liability more difficult.

You should speak with an attorney if you’ve been injured in an accident. A knowledgeable Arlington Heights auto accident attorney can help you through the complicated process of filing an insurance claim, establishing liability, and seeking fair compensation for your losses.

Fall in Illinois is beautiful and meant to be enjoyed. Don’t let fog and inclement weather keep you from enjoying a drive. Keep the above tips in mind when driving through the fog to keep yourself and others on the road safe.

 

If you’ve recently been in an accident and want compensation for your losses, 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.

 

 

 

The Rewards and Risks of Hockey Season

The Rewards and Risks of Hockey Season

Hockey season in Illinois is nearly upon us. Soon, the Chicago Blackhawks and countless junior hockey leagues will be hitting the ice and dropping their pucks. Hockey is one of those sports that come with the risk of serious injuries. For professional and peewee leagues alike, injury prevention is a top priority. Some of the most common injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones, all of which can require a long recovery.

Hockey Injuries and Insurance Claims

Typically, professional athletes sign releases in their contracts that limit the liability of the team as a legal entity (e.g., a franchise or an organization.) Thus, a professional player who is injured might not have grounds for a personal injury claim. The same goes for amateur and junior league hockey players. Once a release is signed, the player—or the player’s parent—then assumes responsibility for any and all injuries suffered when in practice or the game.

Exceptions to the Rule

Under certain circumstances, injured players can still seek compensation even if they signed a release. Injuries inflicted by negligent or malicious players—not uncommon in hockey—could result in civil liability. Teams aren’t necessarily responsible for every action of the players. So, when the gloves drop, liability isn’t as straightforward. Another situation where an injured player may be able to seek compensation is if his or her gear—such as a helmet—were defective. Unfortunately, these cases can be difficult to litigate.

Hockey injuries aren’t limited to the players. Even as a spectator, you could suffer serious injuries from a rowdy crowd. Indeed, hockey fans are notorious for their passion for the sport. A person who injured you could be liable if he or she were acting negligently, with intent, or were strictly liable for your injuries. The releases athletes sign often absolves the team itself of any strict liability. But if a player intentionally injures you—or your child—it helps to speak with an attorney to learn about your rights.

You’ll need the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney if you are seeking compensation for a hockey injury. Consult with a knowledgeable Arlington Heights personal injury attorney to discuss your case. An attorney can identify any liable parties and advise you on your legal rights. Again, contract releases and player agreements can limit the liability of the parties involved. This leaves the injured person with fewer options. But speaking with an attorney is the only way to know you’ve covered all your bases and can exercise all your rights.

Hockey Season Is Right Around the Corner

Stay safe this hockey season by being a considerate spectator and educating your junior leaguer on how to gear up properly, minimize the risk of injury when checking, and settle their disputes on the ice according to the league rules. Have a fun season, and let’s help the Blackhawks hoist the cup!

 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, 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.

 

 

Chicago Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Holiday Safe DrivingWe hear it every winter – this one is going to be bad. From the Farmer’s Almanac to local weatherpeople, Chicago prepares for the worst! However, even with bad weather, people like to travel and need holiday safe driving tips. People cross state lines to see their family and friends. To ensure that everyone has a safe and fun holiday, remember to drive safely and pay attention to weather conditions. [Read more…]

Car Insurance Rates Increase With Accidents


Got Car Insurance?Everyone has car insurance. Or at least the law requires everyone to have car insurance. But no one wants to use their car insurance! After a car accident, the driver files a claim with the insurance company if he or she wants to be reimbursed for the damages. Yet, when the damage is minor, a lot of drivers try to avoid filing minor claims. They fear a claim will trigger a higher premium for their car insurance.

Recently, analysts tied the rise in car insurance rates to an increase in accident rates. They point to distracted driving and drowsy driving as the cause. These conditions have led not only to higher insurance premiums, but also many fatalities. Drivers absolutely need to pay closer attention to the road when behind the wheel. [Read more…]

Who Pays? College Sports-Related Injuries

Sports-Related InjuriesThe roar of the crowd, the competition and comradery, and finally, the thrill of victory – the driving reasons behind why most college athletes join a sports team on top of being a student. Parents are usually excited that their child has the opportunity to be seen by professional scouts and attend school on a scholarship but lurking in the back of most parents’ minds is the possibility that it could all be taken away if their children suffer sports-related injuries. But at the end of the day, only 1% of college athletes continue on as a professional and only 2% of all high school athletes received a scholarship to play college athletics. Most college athletes are doing it for the love of the game.

Unfortunately, from sprains, strains, and pulled muscles to runner’s knee, concussions, and heat-related illness, there are a wide range of injuries that have become commonplace in college athletics. Due to added media pressure based on concussions and college athlete fatalities, new regulations and precautions have been implemented by the NCAA to minimize the frequency of sports-related injuries but eliminating them altogether, especially in contact sports, is impossible. An athlete who suffers a sports-related injury may need surgery, physical therapy, or ongoing treatment to restore him back to health, let-alone to be able to play again. This raises an important question: when college athletes get injured, who pays?

 

 Who Foots the Bill when College Athletes get Injured?

 

2000px-NCAA_logo.svgAccording to the NCAA bylaws, student-athletes are required to obtain insurance coverage for sports-related injuries with limits up to $90,000. Individual colleges are obligated to verify that their athletes have sufficient coverage before they are permitted to play. Regardless of the severity of the injury, once the student-athlete incurs eligible medical expenses exceeding the NCAA’s $90,000 deductible, their Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program will pick up the bill, up to $20 million. Covered events include games or competitions, official team activities, practices that are organized by the school, and conditioning. Nevertheless, financial and legal issues can arise when the injury requires long-term care that is not covered by NCAA insurance, especially if it prevents the student-athlete from playing or working. Additionally, serious legal implications follow when a coach or member of the athletic department pressures a player to return from an injury before he is fully recovered. Recently, at the University of Illinois, after a report was released that found extensive mistreatment of former football players by a former coach, the athletic director was fired.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a smaller college association, offers a similar catastrophic insurance plan for all of its students who participate in club or intramural sports. The student must meet a $25,000 deductible first but the NAIA has no provision mandating that student-athletes have insurance. That means an uninsured, injured student-athlete could potentially have to pay $25,000 out-of-pocket before the NAIA’s $5 million policy will pick up the rest. The NAIA does offer an exclusive insurance plan for its students and athletes that aims to provide an affordable means of obtaining comprehensive health insurance coverage.

 

Common Sports-Related Injuries and How to Prevent Them

 

Concussions

football-557565_960_720Arguably the most publicized of the sports-related injuries, concussions have topped the list of injuries that the NCAA is trying to create plans to protect their players. A concussion is a serious brain injury that can occur in any sport when the athlete suffers from a blow to the head or body.  Although a concussed patient who does not lose consciousness may not even realize he has suffered from a concussion, often student-athletes do not report their injury for fear of losing play time. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has published rules to help protect players from concussions, especially in football where concussions are most common.  It requires all players wear both helmets and mouth guards and declares that the play is immediately ‘dead’ if the ball-carriers helmet comes off. The Association has also impressed the manta, “when it doubt, get checked out” to all of its student-athletes in order to encourage reporting.

Heat-related Illness

A more common sports-related inury is caused by the heat. Intense exercise in hot and humid weather conditions can cause dehydration and increase the risk of exertional heat injury. Although deaths from heat illness are rare, exertional heat stroke is the third leading cause of on-the-field sudden death in athletes. A student-athlete with a history of exertional heat illnesses or who has is not in great shape, has a higher percentage of body fat, or is reluctant to report medical problems is especially prone to heat-related illness. To prevent heat-related illness, monitor your fluid intake while engaging in physical activities to ensure that you are staying adequately hydrated. Be aware of the warning signs of exertional heat injuries including excessive dry mouth or thirst, dizziness, fatigue, or ceasing to sweat in conditions that would normally cause you to. These are all signs of heat injuries that should be recognized and reported quickly to ensure that a more severe illness, such as heat stroke, does not result.

Winter Sport Safety

As the snow falls, skiing and snowboarding season begins and with these winter sports also comes great danger and responsibility. There are dangers besides the icy roads and potholes. Winter enthusiasts typically enjoy skiing and snowboarding because of the enticing thrill and risk that coincides with the sport. Skiing and snowboarding require skill and experience that can take years to acquire. While acquiring these skills, misjudging your skill level can lead to collisions and injuries. However, based on technology and new safety measures, injuries and collisions have drastically decreased over the past few decades.

Skiing and snowboarding roughly result in 50 serious injuries and 54 deaths annually. Considering that most people only engage in winter sports over two months out of the year,it’s crucial to be aware of safety precautions. Most fatalities and injuries occur in the population of people who engage in high-risk behavior. On average, the victims are predominantly males in their late teen to early 30s.

[Read more…]

Snowmobiling Safety Tips

While the rest of us were stuck in traffic behind plows, many were snowmobiling across portions of Illinois and the Midwest. With winter snowfall accumulations approaching 70 inches, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago are slated to have had the 5th copious amount of snow has been welcomed by some. At the top of the list of excited Illinoisans: snowmobilers. In recent years snow accumulations have lulled, but the 2013/2014 winter season did not disappoint, and snowmobilers were out in force. With a renewed interest in this winter activity, it is always good to know how to keep safe on these vehicles, and what sort of laws Illinois has in place for its snowmobiling enthusiasts. [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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