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Fisk & Monteleone Law Answers Your Personal Injury Law Questions

Our frequently asked questions page helps you to understand the topics most important to you. When it comes to Illinois personal injury law, you might feel overwhelmed. But, by reading the answers to questions people just like you have asked, you can benefit from the expert guidance of the Rockford personal injury lawyers at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm.

You’re riding on I-90 when the tractor-trailer in front of you begins to sway back and forth. Suddenly it corrects itself and seems fine again. Eventually, you have to drive alongside the truck to get to your exit. As you pass, you look up and see the driver actually nodding off. Surely, if this trucker falls asleep, he could cause a Rockford truck accident, but what can you do?

Gather Information

  • Gather all of the information you can off of the truck while making sure you stay safe. If possible, have your passenger write down the name of the company listed on the side of the truck, the license plate number, and any other identifying information. Also take note of where you are driving, including the road and any exits you are near.

Ensure Your Safety

  • If you are anywhere near a tractor-trailer that is operated by a drowsy driver, you are in danger. After you have gathered the information, do what you can to get away from the truck, even if that means pulling off on the side of the road. If the truck is driving out of control before or while you are collecting the information, do not endanger yourself by getting near the truck; get away as quickly as you can.

Call the Authorities

  • Alert the authorities and possibly prevent an accident from occurring because of the tired trucker by giving them a call. Call the non-emergency number for the police in your area and give them a full description of the truck, including all of the information you collected.
Truckers have difficult jobs, but that’s no excuse for causing a Rockford truck accident. Victims of these crashes are often left with excruciating injuries and costly bills, many of which the insurance companies will attempt to avoid paying for. The attorneys of Fisk and Monteleone are on your side and want to fight for your rights. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about how we can help you. If you like what you’ve read, we encourage you to share this with your friends on Facebook.

The loss of a child is traumatic for everyone involved, particularly other children. They don’t understand why this sort of thing happens, and often have a lot of questions and confusing feelings. Parents who have lost their child often don’t know what to do either, in order to help their children through the death. Here, a Rockford wrongful death lawyer offers advice for helping your children cope.

Encourage Your Children to Talk

When children are hurt or sad, many don’t know how to express their emotions, often clamming up. Instead of talking about how they feel, they may hold it all inside. Encourage your child to talk about what he is going through. Working out his emotions may help him get through this.

Keep Things as Normal as Possible

Children thrive on routine. Although having to change their schedule immediately after the death is understandable, try to resume normal activities as soon as possible. Taking him away from the things he likes to do will only make this time even more difficult.

Find a Therapist or Support Group

Speaking to a professional or other children in a support group who have experienced the same type of loss may help your child get through the death. He may feel more comfortable talking with them about what he is feeling than with you. If your child died because of someone else’s negligence, you’ll need the help of a Rockford wrongful death attorney on your side. If not, you may end up paying for bills you shouldn’t be held responsible for. The attorneys of Fisk and Monteleone want to help. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.

While we would like to provide you with a quick answer, determining the value of a motorcycle accident claim—or any injury claim for that matter—is a more lengthy and complicated process. Because every accident injury claim is unique and is dependent on the seriousness of the crash and the extent of the injuries involved, every case’s worth will be different. Before determining the value of your case, many factors will be evaluated, such as:

  • The type of injury
  • Disfigurement
  • Limited function
  • Permanent disability
  • Surgical costs
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Ongoing medical care
  • Lost income
For example, if you sustained a permanent injury that will never fully go away, your accident injury claim will be worth more than that of someone who will heal within six months. If a motorcycle accident on Highway 75 caused you the inability to drive, work, or take care of yourself—either temporarily or permanently—an accident claim should be pursued to the fullest. You may be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering, medical treatment, future medical care, lost income, future lost wages, and loss of the enjoyment of life, among other damages. However, the insurance company isn’t just going to hand over a large check. The goal of an insurance adjuster is to save the company money by settling claims for the lowest amount of money possible. In order to get the maximum compensation possible for your accident injury claim, you should work with a personal injury lawyer. As motorcycle accident attorneys, we would be happy to answer your additional questions and explain your legal options in a free consultation.

After an auto accident on Highway 2, you will most likely get a call from the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster on the other end of the phone may sound pleasant and nice. She may say she needs to ask you a few questions about the crash and would like to record your answer, or the adjuster may tell you that the phone call is being recorded for quality assurances. Although this may sound harmless, you need to know the insurance company’s intentions for doing this. Insurance companies are not in business to give out money, which means they don’t want to pay out on accident claims if they don’t have to. This is why they have insurance adjusters taking recorded statements. They are hoping that you will say something that could harm your case or limit their liability. If you do, they will be able to use your own words against you to deny your claim altogether or offer you a lot less than your case is actually worth. While your own insurance policy may require that you cooperate with your own insurance company, you absolutely have the right to decline to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you don’t even need to speak with the other driver’s insurance company at all. To make sure you are protected, we urge you to talk with an accident lawyer before speaking with any insurance company so that you understand your rights and know how to maximize your financial recovery. If you have additional questions about how to handle your accident claim, feel free to call us and take advantage of our offer for a free consultation.

Commercial drivers must comply with federal hours of service (HOS) rules. Currently, the HOS rules contain an 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour workday limit. New provisions went into effect on July 1, 2013, including the following:

  • Truckers are limited to a maximum average work week of 70 hours.
  • Truck drivers who drive for 70 hours in a week must rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights, before going back on duty.
  • Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of a shift.
Recently, the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill, which provides the Department of Transportation with funding, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate. It included an amendment, added by the Appropriations Committee, which would have suspended the two-night restart provision and the once-per-week restart limitation pending a study. However, when another amendment was filed to strip the bill of the Appropriations Committee amendment, the entire bill was pulled from the Senate floor. It is unclear when the bill will make it back on the floor for debate.

Those in Favor of the Rule Suspension

The trucking industry strongly supports suspending the HOS provisions as evidenced by the following quotes from trucking industry leaders:
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said, “Truckers have long pointed out the negative impacts of the 2013 changes on their ability to get rest, stay out of busy city traffic, spend time at home, and make a family-supporting income.”
  • American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Bill Graves stated, “Since these rules were proposed in 2010, ATA has maintained that they were unsupported by science and since they were implemented in 2013 the industry and economy have experienced substantial negative effects as a result.”

What Do You Think?

As truck accident attorneys, we have seen firsthand the injuries and devastation caused by drowsy driving accidents in Rockford and the surrounding communities. If you are concerned about fatigued truck drivers and the Senate amendment to roll back the HOS rules, we encourage you to contact Illinois Senator Richard Durbin or Illinois Senator Mark Kirk directly. And if you have been hurt in a truck accident, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

As part of the sales team at Woodward Inc., you travel all over the world to meet with clients. You spend a good part of your life recovering from jet lag and often drive from the airport to your home in Machesney Park when you feel exhausted.

Drowsy Driving Is Impaired Driving

This practice is much more dangerous than you realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, driving when you have not slept in the last 18 hours is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent—the legal limit. Just like drunk driving, drowsy driving slows down your reaction time, impairs your judgment, and increases your chances of causing a serious accident.

What You Can Do to Combat the Problem

Drowsy driving accidents are largely preventable. You can take the following steps to help prevent a serious drowsy driving crash:
  • Get enough sleep before you take to the road. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep in order to be alert enough to get behind the wheel.
  • Stop and take a break every two hours.
  • Travel with another driver so that you can share the driving.
  • Do not drink alcohol—even small quantities—before you head out on the road.
  • Do not take medication that can make you feel drowsy before you drive.
  • If you feel sleepy, stop driving. Find a place to spend the night, stop and get a cup of coffee, or pull into a rest stop and take a short nap.
Have you lost a loved one in a drowsy driving accident? Contact us today to learn how we can help you to get answers to your questions and the compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.

Driving in a dark or unfamiliar area can be confusing. Perhaps you visited a friend in Belvidere one evening. Later, on your way home, you had trouble navigating the Genoa Road entrance to the Jane Adams Memorial Tollway. Another night, you drove to the Coronado Performing Arts Center to see a show and got mixed up as you navigated the one-way streets in downtown Rockford after dark. Everyone gets confused at some time or another, but drivers must take great care to avoid wrong-way driving, or driving against the flow of legal traffic.

How Wrong-Way Driving Accidents Happen

Wrong-way driving is a serious error that often results in a fatal, head-on collision. Following are the most common ways these accidents occur:
  • Driver uses an exit ramp to enter a divided highway
  • Driver makes a U-turn across the median or uses an emergency turnaround to loop back to a missed exit
  • Driver attempts to pass a vehicle when there is not enough room to do so
  • Driver travels the wrong way down a one-way street

How You Can Avoid Becoming a Wrong-Way Driver

When you are driving, you can take the following simple steps to avoid becoming a dangerous, one-way driver:
  • Check the lines painted on the pavement. If there is no line on your left, or there is one on your right, you are driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Before turning on an unfamiliar street, check for ONE WAY traffic signs that will alert you to a one-way street.
  • Yellow lines separate lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions, while white lines separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. When you turn, look to see if there is a yellow line in the middle of the road. If white lines divide lanes, make sure traffic is flowing in the direction you think it is.
Have you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a wrong-way driver? Contact our knowledgeable legal team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a safety campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The campaign coincides with an increase in motorcycle traffic that occurs in the greater Rockford area each spring. The goal of the campaign is to help keep motorcyclists safe, whether they are riding to work at the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere or taking a scenic drive to Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve in Cherry Valley.

How Motorists Can Help

Motorists can do much to help keep bikers safe on the road. As such, the NHTSA offers the following tips for sharing the road safely with motorcyclists:
  • Maintain a generous following distance behind a motorcycle. A three or four second following distance ensures that the biker has plenty of room to maneuver in a situation that requires him to stop quickly or get out of harm’s way. It also ensures that the following vehicle has plenty of room to stop and will not hit the bike from behind.
  • Use your turn signal to communicate your intention to make a turn or change lanes.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots before making a turn or changing lanes. Many accidents occur at intersections when a motorist makes a left turn into a motorcycle.
  • Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle—bikers have the right to use the full width of their lane.
  • Remember that turn signals on some bikes are not self-canceling. Watch to make sure the motorcycle is really turning before you proceed.
  • Never drive while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Practice distraction-free driving—do not talk on the phone, text, or eat while you drive.
Did this article give you something to think about? Share it with your friends on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter and help to keep motorcyclists safe.If you have questions about filing a motorcycle accident claim contact our motorcycle accident attorneys today for a free consultation.

Imagine that you are driving on I-39, traveling at 65 miles per hour, near Magic Waters in Rockford. You are in the right lane and there is a car in front of you traveling in the left lane. The car is moving at a steady speed and the driver gives no indication that he might want to change lanes. Then, in the blink of an eye, he changes lanes right in front of you, causing you to crash into him from behind.  This is an example of turn signal neglect. Turn signals are standard safety equipment on all passenger vehicles—they allow drivers to communicate their intentions to others who share the road. When motorists see a turn signal, they automatically adjust their course and speed to avoid running into the turning vehicle. Failing to use your blinker when you make a turn or lane change, or forgetting to turn your signal off once your turn is complete is called turn signal neglect. It is both dangerous and illegal.

Turn-Signal Study Results

Conclusions from a recent study, conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and published in April 2012, illustrate the scope of the problem:
  • 25 percent of drivers fail to signal when making a turn
  • 48 percent of drivers fail to signal when changing lanes
  • 48 percent of drivers forget to turn off their turn signals after changing lanes
  • More than 2 million crashes are caused by turn signal neglect
Using a turn signal is easy and it helps to prevent accidents. If you are lax about signaling, commit to changing that behavior today. And if you have been hurt in an accident caused by a careless driver, contact our office using the contact form on this page. We will evaluate your situation and help you to understand your legal options.

For those who live in the greater Rockford area, road construction is a fact. Orange construction barrels are everywhere as construction crews work to improve portions of I-90, I-39, U.S. 20, U.S. 173, and North Second Street. Road construction can result in narrow lanes, lane shifts, lane merges, speed-limit adjustments, and stop-and-go traffic—all of which can contribute to a dangerous traffic accident. However, when a truck driver makes a careless driving error in an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer in a work zone, the resulting injuries to occupants of the smaller vehicle can be catastrophic. According to the U.S. Federal Department of Transportation, nearly 30 percent of work zone accidents involve large trucks. Over the past five years, these accidents have taken the lives of more than 1,000 people and injured more than 18,000.

Work Zone Areas Are the Site of Many Truck Accidents

Road construction accidents often occur in one of the following work zone areas:
  • Advance warning area – Signs tell drivers how close they are to the work zone and what to expect in terms of lane closures and traffic shifts. Traffic is often stop-and-go in these areas, and large trucks are more likely to rear-end a smaller vehicle here.
  •  Transition area – Drivers are often merging down to one lane in this area. Traffic may stop and start suddenly, increasing the likelihood that a large truck will hit a passenger vehicle from the rear. In addition, a truck may also hit a smaller vehicle at an angle as it merges into a lane.
  • Activity area – Once drivers are in the area where the road construction is taking place, they are still at risk of a truck crash—either a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler traveling in the opposite direction or a rear-end accident in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Termination area – Although traffic resumes the normal traffic pattern in the termination area, it may still stop and start suddenly, causing a truck to rear-end a smaller passenger vehicle.
Did this article help you? Share it with your Facebook friends by clicking the “Like” button on the left-hand side of this page. You may help to raise awareness of work zone hazards and keep a loved one safe.Contact us if you have involved in a large truck accident for a free consultation.

Marijuana is a combination of dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers from a plant known as Cannabis sativa, or hemp. It contains an ingredient called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, that makes people feel relaxed and euphoric—high. Marijuana is much more potent than it was in the past because growers have genetically modified the plants to increase the THC content. In fact, marijuana users can get the same amount of THC from one puff today as they got from smoking an entire joint in the 1970s.

Marijuana Impairs Driving

A driver who is high on marijuana is more than relaxed and euphoric—he is impaired. He may have significant problems with concentration and focus, judgment, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and accurately perceiving time and distance—all critical abilities for someone driving a motor vehicle. In fact, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed data from nine epidemiologic studies to shed light on the link between marijuana use and fatal car accidents and found several disturbing trends:

Driving While Impaired Is Illegal

If a motorist drives while under the influence of marijuana and causes a wrongful death, he can be held accountable—both in criminal and civil court. Did you find this article interesting? Help promote awareness of the dangers of drugged driving by sharing this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.

You may think you are easy to spot on your motorcycle as you drive westbound on Morgan Street in Rockford, but many automobile drivers would not agree. In fact, many drivers who cause a motorcycle accident say they never saw the bike. Why?

Motorcycles Are Easy to Miss

There are several reasons why drivers may overlook a motorcycle:
  • Motorists are busy looking out for other cars—not motorcycles.
  • Dark-colored motorcycles tend to blend into the background, making them difficult to see.
  • Motorists tend to look for motorcycles during spring and summer but may not look for them during fall and winter.
  • Motorcycles frequently move around within a lane to avoid potholes and debris, so they may seem to appear out of nowhere.
  • Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than trucks, cars, or SUVs, so they are more difficult to spot.
  • Motorcycles sometimes travel in a car’s blind spot.
  • Motorcycles may seem farther away than they really are. It is difficult for automobile drivers to judge a motorcycle’s speed.
While all motorists have a responsibility to look out for motorcycles, it is the motorcyclist with the most to lose in a collision. After all, motorcyclists have only a helmet and their riding gear to protect them against an impact with a car, a nearby object, or the road. Therefore, to help prevent a crash, motorcyclists need to do everything possible to increase their visibility. What have you done to make your bike more visible? Share your ideas with us on Facebook or by sending us an email today. If you have been involved in an accident on your motorcycle due to the negligence of another driver give us a call today for a free consultation to see if you have a case.

Distracted driving means a driver is not focusing his full attention on the road. This is dangerous and irresponsible behavior for any driver, but when the driver is operating a fully-loaded 18-wheeler, he is a hazard to himself and everyone around him. Distraction comes in several forms—manual, visual, and cognitive. While all three are unsafe, researchers have found that cognitive distraction is especially dangerous because it increases the time it takes a driver to notice a potential driving hazard as well as the time it takes the driver to react to the situation.

Recent Steps to Combat the Distracted Trucker Problem

In recent years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken steps to reduce distracted driving by commercial truck drivers. In 2010, it banned all forms of texting and driving. Later, in November 2011, the FMCSA banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. The FMCSA continues to encourage truck drivers to avoid distraction behind the wheel and most recently offered the following tips:
  • Focus on driving. Fixating on signs, billboards, or the paperwork you need to complete can distract your mind, making it difficult to react to changing road conditions.
  • Avoid smoking. Finding a cigarette and lighter, lighting the cigarette, and holding the cigarette are all very distracting activities that take your hands off the wheel and your attention from the road.
  • Turn your cell phone off. Using a cell phone while you drive fits into all of the distracted driving categories. You have to use your eyes to find the phone, your hands to hold the phone, and your mind to carry on a conversation.
  • Avoid eating and drinking. Eating or drinking while driving requires you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel in order to juggle the food or beverage.
These tips, while intended for commercial truck drivers, are appropriate for any driver. Please take time to share them with your friends on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. Doing so may prevent an accident on I-90 near Rockford or even save a life. If you’ve been involved in a big rig accident call us today for a free consultation.

If you lost a loved one in a truck accident along I-39 near Rochelle or in some other accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you must first meet with an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out if you have a case. Once an attorney takes your case, he will investigate the accident, calculate the monetary value of your claim, and obtain the available insurance policy limits.

Negotiating a Fair Settlement

Many wrongful death cases settle out of court. In fact, to save time, your attorney may attempt to negotiate a monetary settlement with the insurance company both before and after filing your wrongful death suit. However, the insurance company may not be willing to negotiate in good faith. It may either present a lowball offer or it may not present any offer at all. If the insurance company does present an offer, your attorney can help you to decide if it is fair. You will then have the chance to accept, reject, or counter the offer. This process can go on until both sides agree. In addition to the more informal negotiation between the parties, judges often require both sides to go to formal mediation before they go to trial. This often results in a settlement—the mediator raises many of the issues that will come up in the trial, and both sides can see how the other side, as well as the mediator, views the case. A settlement can happen at any time during the legal process—even if the trial has started. However, if the parties are unable to agree on a fair settlement, a jury will decide the case and award the damages. Did this article help you? Share it with your followers on Twitter.

Spring is nearly here and many Rockford motorcyclists are getting their bikes ready for that first ride out Kilburn Avenue to the Four Lakes Forest Preserve. The drive is scenic and peaceful—until you get stuck behind some slow-moving farm equipment.

Is it Safe to Pass?

Knowing how to pass safely is an important skill for any motorcyclist to have—it takes experience and familiarity with the capabilities of your bike. So, before you pass any vehicles this spring, consider the following important safety tips:
  • Pass only in clearly marked passing zones.
  • Before passing, always look over your shoulder to ensure that nobody has entered your blind spot. Repeat the head check before you return to your original lane.
  • Do not attempt to pass if you are approaching hills, curves, or dips in the road. Also, avoid passing near pedestrian crossings or intersections. These areas could mask a high-speed vehicle approaching from another direction.
  • Pass a line of slow-moving or stationary vehicles with care, since they reduce visibility. In addition, the drivers may not see you and accidentally open the door in front of your bike.
  • Do not assume that other drivers will slow down and allow you to overtake them. In fact, they may actually speed up.
  • When riding with others, make your own passing decisions instead of blindly following the group.
If you are new to riding, are a little rusty, or have a new bike, consider waiting until you have more experience before passing. It may take a little longer to get to your destination, but you will live to ride another day. If you found this article helpful, please share it with other motorcyclists on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. If you’ve been involved in an accident on your motorcycle due to the negligence of another contact us for a free consultation.

Everywhere you go, from going to work at Woodward Governor Company in Loves Park or shopping at Cherryvale Mall in Rockford, you see distracted drivers—eating, applying makeup, shaving, talking, texting, or fiddling with the radio. They fail to recognize that this behavior takes their focus away from their primary task of driving, putting them at risk of a serious accident. Effective January 1, 2014, Illinois prohibits the use of handheld devices while driving. Many people now use a hands-free device to talk and text, but are they safer that way?

Current Research Says Hands-Free Devices Are Not Safer

According to the results of a study conducted by the University of Utah on behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the answer is no. In an innovative study that utilized laboratory simulations and instrumented vehicles, researchers evaluated the cognitive workload associated with specific tasks by measuring brain activity and assessing specific driving performance indicators to come up with a rating scale. Following are two significant findings:
  • Risks associated with talking on the phone—whether the driver held it in his hand or used a hands-free device—were very similar. Talking on the phone while driving was deemed to be a moderate crash risk.
  • Risks associated with texting using a voice-to-text application posed an extensive risk of a crash.
According to the lead author of the study, University of Utah psychology Professor David Strayer, “These new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver’s attention and impair their ability to drive safely. An unintended consequence of trying to make driving safer—by moving to speech-to-text, in-vehicle systems—may actually overload the driver and make them less safe.” For now, you may want to think about avoiding the use of hands-free devices while you drive. What do you think? Express your opinion in the comments below. If you have been in an auto accident caused by the distracted driving of another contact us for a free consultation.

An epidural hematoma can occur when an accident victim hits his head in a crash. The jolt causes the brain to crash into the side of the skull, tearing a blood vessel. The blood leaks out slowly into the space between the dura mater—the protective tissue that encases the brain—and the skull, where it forms a clot. This clot, or hematoma, puts pressure on the brain and pushes it against the side of the skull. If left untreated, the accident victim may suffer brain damage or even death. Trauma doctors call this injury “talk and die syndrome” because patients may walk away from an accident seemingly uninjured—talking and feeling fine. Minutes or hours later, they experience headache, blurred vision, vomiting, or seizures, before losing consciousness. This type of injury is a medical emergency, but some patients refuse medical treatment—thinking that they are fine. However, if treated promptly, many patients recover with no lasting ill effects. When a doctor suspects an epidural hematoma, he will perform a neurological assessment and a physical examination as well as other diagnostic tests—which may include blood work, an EEG, CT scan, MRI, or X-Rays. Treatment varies, depending on the severity of the injury.

Treating an Epidural Hematoma

Following are the most common treatments for an epidural hematoma:
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce intracranial pressure.
  • Non-surgical aspiration of a small clot using suction through a small burr hole in the skull.
  • Surgery, known as an open craniotomy, to suture the blood vessel that is bleeding and remove the blood clot.
When the accident victim receives prompt treatment at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center or another Rockford-area hospital, the outcome is generally quite good. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact our office—we will answer all of your questions during a confidential and free consultation.

Now that spring is here, you may be thinking about getting your bike out. After all, taking your bike for a spin on U.S. 20 before you head to work at the Belvidere Assembly Plant is a fun way to start the day. You have already checked out your motorcycle and taken it to the dealer for its recommended service. Now, you are just waiting for a nice day.

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items

Before you head out on the road, though, be sure you have the right gear stowed on your bike:
  • Cell phone – When you go out for a ride on your motorcycle, be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone with you. It can be invaluable if you have mechanical problems or get into an accident and need assistance.
  • Toolkit – You never know what will happen on the road, so it is important to carry a compact set of tools with you when you ride. You may wish to consider including flat and Phillips screwdrivers, pliers and cutters, a basic set of combination wrenches, cable ties, safety wire, lubricant, a spark plug wrench, Allen wrenches, a pressure gauge, and a shop towel in your toolkit.
  • First aid kit – Motorcycle accidents can be serious, so it is important to carry a basic first aid kit with you. You can purchase a first aid kit at a discount store or pharmacy or put one together on your own.
  •  Motorcycle manual – Be sure to bring your owner’s manual with you when you ride. It can help you troubleshoot mechanical problems and may even help you to solve minor problems.
  • Tire-repair equipment – A flat tire is not a common occurrence, but it can stop you dead in your tracks if it happens. A simple flat-repair kit and a small pump can be a lifesaver—allowing you to get your bike to a tire to a repair shop for a permanent fix or a new tire.

Many people like the new roundabout near Greenwood Cemetery at North Main Street and Auburn Road because they move through the intersection more quickly than before. However, to others, roundabouts are confusing, and they feel apprehensive about using them. Education and a little bit of practice is the key to learning to navigate a roundabout. As you approach the intersection, you get into the appropriate lane, based on the direction you want to go—left to turn left, right to turn right, and either lane to go straight. You then wait for a break in traffic in the circle—yielding to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motor vehicles—and enter when it is safe to do so. When you approach your exit, you turn on your right-hand turn signal and exit the roundabout. It is that simple.

What Not to Do in a Two-Lane Roundabout

However, when it comes to a roundabout, knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing what to do. The following tips can help prevent an accident:
  • Do not change lanes. Many accidents occur when a driver realizes he is in the wrong lane for his exit and tries to change lanes inside the circle.
  • Do not drive next to trucks, buses, or other large vehicles. These vehicles can straddle both lanes and cause a sideswipe accident.
  • Do not stop. Once you are in the roundabout, you should only stop in order to avoid a collision. Other cars are not expecting you to stop and could rear-end your vehicle.
If you found this article helpful, share it with your Facebook friends by clicking the like button on this page. You may help your friends and family avoid a crash in the roundabout. If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault call us for a free consultation.

In short, the answer is no. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the United States Department of Transportation, only regulates driver hours for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that is involved in interstate commerce and meets certain weight and cargo specifications. So, how do you know if a truck is a CMV?

Is the Truck Engaged in Interstate Commerce?

A truck that is involved in interstate commerce, which means it transports raw materials, products, or other goods to or from another state or country, may be a CMV if it meets additional weight and cargo specifications. A vehicle that transports cargo within a single state is not engaged in interstate commerce and, as such, is not a CMV.

Does the Truck Meet Weight or Cargo Specifications?

A vehicle that engages in interstate commerce and meets one of the following descriptions is a CMV:
  • Weighs over 10,000 pounds, including the cargo.
  • Transports hazardous materials in a quantity that requires a placard, or safety permit.

CMV Drivers Must Comply With Hours-of-Service Rules

CMV drivers are required to track their hours in a daily logbook, called the “record of duty status” and must comply with the FMCSA hours-of-service rules at all times. These rules include the following:
  • Drivers can drive for 11 consecutive hours per day and be on duty for 14 consecutive hours. After that, they must rest for 10 hours before they can go back on duty.
  • Drivers are limited to 60 hours on duty in a 7-day period and 70 hours in an 8-day period. Once they hit these limits, they must rest for 34 hours over two consecutive days.
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident caused by the negligent actions of a trucker, you need an experienced attorney to investigate the crash, obtain critical evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and take your case to trial if necessary.  Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation and be sure to check out our truck accident blog to learn more about obtaining compensation for your accident.

We have all been caught driving in dangerous weather conditions. Getting stuck in the snow during a storm or when it is extremely cold outside can be a frightening experience—it can even be life-threatening. Following are some tips that can help keep you safe until help arrives:

  • Stay in your car unless it is an easy walk to safety. Your car will shelter you from the wind and help to keep you warm and dry. In addition, rescuers will have an easier time finding you if you stay near the car.
  • Wipe snow from your headlights and taillights to make it easier for rescuers to find your car.
  • Clear your tailpipe of ice and snow to prevent toxic carbon monoxide fumes from entering your car when you run the heater. The fumes can kill you very quickly.
  • Don’t spend time outside the shelter of your car. Wait inside the car, with your seat belt buckled, in case you are hit from behind.
  • Run your heater for 15 minutes every hour, with your back window cracked to ensure poisonous fumes do not linger in the car. This will keep you warm while conserving fuel in case you are stranded for a long time.
  • Do not eat snow—it will lower your core temperature too quickly, causing hypothermia. Let it melt in the car near the heat vent before drinking it.
When it is stormy outside, it is best to stay home and wait for conditions to improve. If you must drive, however, be sure to prepare for the drive by carrying a winter survival kit. Driving conditions have been difficult in the greater Rockford area. Click on the Like button to share this information with your Facebook friends. They will thank you for it.

Truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to deliver their loads on schedule. The pressure is more intense during winter weather when snow, ice, and wind make driving conditions difficult and it takes longer to get from point A to point B. Following are some of the challenges that professional truck drivers face during winter:

  • Poor Visibility – High winds and blowing snow can make visibility very poor. Truck drivers may have a difficult time seeing cars and other obstacles on or near the roadway.
  • Ice – Roads can warm up during the day, partially melting the snow, only to freeze at night when temperatures drop. This creates dangerous, icy conditions. In addition, black ice can form when the road temperatures are below freezing and rain, fog, or mist is present. Black ice is especially treacherous because drivers have a difficult time spotting it.
  • Wind – Strong, gusting winds can cause a truck to roll over—especially on wet or slippery roads.
  • Stopping Distance – Trucks cannot stop on a dime—they need plenty of time and space. In slippery or wet winter weather conditions, the distance required to come to a safe stop increases even further.
Driving an 80,000-pound vehicle such as an 18-wheeler takes concentration and skill—especially when weather conditions are less than ideal. Motorists can do their part to help prevent a winter truck accident on I-39 in the Rockford area by slowing down, staying out of a truck’s blind spots, and giving trucks a wide space cushion. If you want to learn more about sharing the road safely with large trucks, check out our blog.  If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck and suffered injuries contact the truck accident attorneys at Fisk and Monteleone for a free consultation.

A criminal case differs greatly from a wrongful death lawsuit—a type of civil case. For example, suppose a Machesney Park man drove down North Second Street while under the influence of alcohol, fell asleep at the wheel, and crashed head-on into another vehicle—killing the driver. Once police arrest and charge the perpetrator with one or more crimes, the prosecutor will work on behalf of the state to see that he is punished for his crimes—typically with prison time or probation. While the prosecuting attorney may be very sympathetic to the deceased victim’s family, his job is to protect the interests of the state. In order to obtain a conviction, he might bargain with the defense team—reducing or even dropping certain charges. A wrongful death lawsuit is different in that the purpose of the suit is not to prove criminal guilt or innocence or to imprison the at-fault party. The purpose is to establish that the perpetrator was responsible for the accident that caused the wrongful death and to compel him to pay monetary damages to compensate the victim’s family for the loss. The burden of proof differs as follows between the two different types of cases:

  • In a criminal case, the burden of proof rests solely on the prosecution. The courts presume the perpetrator is innocent until the prosecution proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, every element of the charges.
  • In a wrongful death case, the standard of proof is much lower than the standard for a criminal case. Liability for wrongful death must be proven by a fair preponderance of evidence, meaning that the more persuasive side wins the suit.
If we can answer any questions for you during this stressful time, do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email. Our consultations are always free.

You are crossing the Rock River—driving over the Whitman Street Bridge—headed towards North Second Street when a car enters your lane of traffic and strikes you head-on. A car drifts into your lane of traffic on Perryville Road in Machesney Park—sideswiping your SUV. You are stopped at the light at the intersection of North Alpine Road and Spring Creek Road when a pickup truck plows into the rear of your car. These are all situations that can cause severe injuries or even death to you and the other occupants of your car. So, what advanced crash protection features are available to help keep you safer in an accident?

Advanced Crash Protection

  • Advanced frontal airbags protect the driver and front-seat passenger in a frontal crash using sensors to determine when and at what power to inflate the airbags based on the size of the occupant, the position of the seat, whether the occupant is wearing a seat belt, and the severity of the crash.
  • Side airbags and curtains protect the head, neck, chest, and pelvis during a side crash. They use sensors to evaluate crash severity and determine whether the side airbags should inflate. They inflate in a fraction of a second and may stay inflated for a few seconds in order to protect occupants during a potential rollover.
  • Seat belt pretensioners and load limiters enhance seatbelt effectiveness. Pretensioners retract the seatbelt to remove excess slack when they detect a crash, preventing the occupant from jerking forward. Load limiters allow the seat belt to release in a controlled way—guiding the occupant towards the airbag—when the force upon the belt is too great.
  • Advanced head restraints protect the head and neck to reduce the incidence of whiplash and other serious head and neck injuries.
If you are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle, be sure to review the crash test results for the models you are considering. If you have been hurt due to the negligent actions of another driver, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

Truck underride accidents are some of the most deadly, occurring when a car or SUV slams into a truck and slides underneath. These wrecks are often serious—even at slow speeds—crumpling the front end of the smaller vehicle, shattering the windshield, and caving in the roof. The passengers inside are in serious peril and often suffer severe, life-altering injuries and even death. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that approximately 20 percent of fatal truck underride accidents are rear crashes, 20 percent are side crashes, and the majority are front crashes. Truck underride guards, horizontal bars installed on the back of many types of large trucks, prevent rear underride in many cases. So, if these guards are effective in preventing rear underride, why don’t we install them on the front and sides of large trucks?

  • Side guards would reduce injuries and save lives, according to IIHS crash analysis. However, there are still some design issues to resolve. First, side guards must be placed so that they do not interfere with the wheels. Since many trucks have sliding axles that can be adjusted according to the size and weight of the load, this is a difficult issue. Second, since side guards have to cover a large area, they are heavy, which reduces fuel economy and affects the bottom line.
  • Front guards, according to the IIHS, would probably not change the outcome of a front underride crash involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck driving at moderate to high speeds. The extreme difference in size and weight of the passenger vehicle and the truck means there is a high probability that a front underride crash will be fatal.
To learn more about our efforts to prevent serious truck accidents, read our truck accident blog. If you’ve been involved in a large truck accident give us a call for a free consultation.

From the details provided, it sounds as though you may have a solid wrongful death case against the at-fault driver. However, you should discuss the details of your situation with a wrongful death attorney who can make that determination. If you do file a wrongful death suit, it will likely consist of two actions: a wrongful death action and a survival action. The wrongful death action encompasses damages that occur as a result of your spouse’s death including loss of companionship, loss of economic support, and grief. It does not cover damages that are personal to your deceased spouse. Damages resulting from a wrongful death action are paid directly to the surviving next of kin—typically the spouse or children. In order to obtain these damages, your attorney must review the medical evidence and prove that your spouse’s death was a direct result of the accident.  In addition, your lawyer must prove that if your spouse had not died, he would have been entitled to make a claim for personal injury damages. The survival action makes a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver on behalf of your deceased spouse. It covers the period between the accident and your spouse’s death and allows his estate to recover damages including medical bills, lost wages, disability, disfigurement, and conscious pain and suffering. These damages are distributed according to the terms of the will, if one exists, or according to the rules of descent and distribution in the Illinois probate code, if a will does not exist. Medical evidence is key in a survival action. In order to obtain damages for conscious pain and suffering, your attorney must prove that your spouse was able to perceive pain and discomfort during the time leading up to his death. Losing a spouse or other beloved family member is painful. Let us help you with the legal aspects of this tragedy while you focus on your family. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a compassionate and experienced wrongful death lawyer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcycle fatalities have risen dramatically in recent years—an increase of 6 percent between 2003 and 2012. Although it may seem like overkill, you should wear protective riding gear every time you ride—you never know when or where a motorcycle accident will happen. Wear the following for maximum protection:

Motorcycle Safety Gear

  • A motorcycle helmet is the single most important piece of safety equipment you can wear to help prevent a serious head injury or death. Be sure to wear a well-fitting, comfortable motorcycle helmet that adheres to the U.S. Department of Transportation FMVSS 218 Standard and is certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation.
  • Motorcycle boots provide protection for your feet, ankles, and calves. They protect against flying road debris and help reduce injuries when you fall over on your bike or are involved in a motorcycle accident. Be sure to wear a comfortable, sturdy pair of boots that go halfway up your calf and have a strong sole. They should also be waterproof to help keep your feet dry on wet days.
  • Motorcycle gloves offer comfort and protection for your entire hand—palms, fingers, and wrists—in the event of a fall or traffic accident. Choose gloves that will be comfortable in any weather to ensure that you will wear them.
  • Leather motorcycle jacket and pants, in addition to being fashionable, are the first line of defense in a crash. The material does not grab—it may even help you to slide instead of tumbling head over heel, thus reducing the severity of your injuries.
It is important to dress for the fall, not for the ride—even if you are only making a quick trip out to Kohl’s on East State Street. Wearing adequate motorcycle safety gear will provide the best possible protection against road rash, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and worse. Please email The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm if we can answer any questions for you. Remember, our case consultations are always free!

Truck drivers who talk on a hand-held device while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) put other drivers at risk. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says they are six times more likely to have a serious safety event, such as an accident, near accident, or unplanned lane departure, than drivers who do not talk on a hand-held device. On January 3, 2012, the FMCSA ban on hand-held mobile devices for drivers of CMVs went into effect, meaning that CMV drivers may not do any of the following:

  • Reach for a mobile phone in such a way that they are no longer seated in the driving position and properly restrained by the seat belt
  • Use their hands to hold a phone and make a call
  • Dial a phone number by pressing more than one button
Instead, CMV drivers may make or take a call using the following equipment:
  • Wireless mobile phone connection, using single-button controls on the steering wheel or dash, that works in combination with the speakerphone function of the mobile phone or earbuds
  • Push-to-talk mobile communication equipment—similar in function to a walkie-talkie—that does not require the driver to reach for, hold or dial a phone number while driving
If you have been seriously injured in an accident due to the negligent actions of a distracted truck driver, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to fight for your right to fair compensation. Contact the skilled and knowledgeable truck accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm to learn more about your legal options. The number is 815-962-0044 and the case evaluation is free.

Machesney Park motorcycle crash cases can be difficult—wrongful death lawsuits involving a motorcycle are even more so. Your particular situation is complicated by the fact that your spouse voluntarily laid the bike down and then suffered fatal injuries. However, that does not mean that you have no rights to compensation. Only a Machesney Park wrongful death attorney can review your case and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Keep in mind, however, that Machesney Park motorcycle crash cases can be complicated by the fact that juries are often biased against motorcycle riders—believing that they are daredevils, who drive with little regard for the safety of other drivers. In addition, because many jurors do not ride a motorcycle, they have little experience with concepts like laying down a bike to avoid a crash. It is up to an experienced Machesney Park motorcycle accident attorney to weed out jurors who have negative opinions about motorcyclists and to dispel the myth that motorcyclists are not safe drivers. In addition, a skilled attorney will educate the jury on the basics of riding a motorcycle and explain what laying down a bike means and why a rider might choose to do it. Finally, an accomplished Machesney Park motorcycle crash attorney will paint a picture for the jury, showing jurors that the accident victim did everything possible to avoid a crash and escape serious injury. Contact the compassionate Machesney Park wrongful death lawyers at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm today to schedule a free case consultation. They will review your situation, answer your questions, and help you decide what to do next. Contact them at 815-962-0044 or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

As Rockton motorcycle crash lawyers at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we often work with motorcycle accident injury victims. The injuries are severe—broken bones, burns, limb amputations, paralysis, and brain damage—and the effects can last a lifetime. Cold-weather riding can be treacherous, so it is important to take the following additional precautions when you head out on your bike this winter:

  • Dress for the weather – It is not just a matter of comfort or protection against frostbite. If you are cold, wet, and miserable, you may not be as sharp and responsive to what is going on around you. Slower reaction times can result in a Rockton motorcycle crash.
  • Take it easy – Roads may be wet and icy and weather conditions may be windy and rainy. Slow down and be sure to stop and warm up often if you have a long way to go.
  • Keep in mind that the weather affects everyone – Motorists may have a more difficult time seeing you in the winter due to dirty, foggy, or icy windshields. Pedestrians may not see you if they are walking with their heads down to stay warm and dry.
  • Increase your following distance – Increasing your distance will ensure that you have more time to stop on wet or icy roads.
  • Make sure drivers can see you – Wearing reflective clothing will help drivers see you—especially on dark mornings, at dusk, and in the evening.
  • Signal your intention to turn earlier – Extra time will give motorists have more time to react.
  • Check your lights regularly – Make sure they are clean and in good working order.
Winter riding can be more challenging due to changes in lighting, weather, and road conditions. Awareness and preparation can help ensure that your winter ride is a safe one. If you are hurt in an accident that was not your fault, a Rockton motorcycle crash lawyer may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Compassionate, skilled, and experienced, the Rockton motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you to understand your legal options—all during a free consultation. Contact their office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule your complimentary appointment. You will be glad you did.

As Machesney Park car accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we know firsthand that speed is a factor in many car wrecks, causing serious injuries and even death. Many drivers, when surveyed, say that speeding seriously threatens their safety. However, those same drivers admit to speeding themselves. Why do they do it? Following are some of the most common reasons:

  • They are late for work, school, or an important meeting and are in a rush to get to their destination.
  • They are distracted or not paying close attention to their driving.
  • They enjoy driving fast.
  • They are bored.
  • They do not think they will get caught.
  • They do not think traffic laws apply to them.
  • They do not understand the dangers of speeding.
Speeding is prevalent among drivers, but that does not mean it is harmless. Speeding increases stopping distance, makes it difficult to navigate curves or steer around objects, increases the severity of a crash, and increases the odds that a crash will cause permanent injury or death. Speeding costs society a tremendous amount in terms of dollars spent and lives lost. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the economic cost of speeding-related accidents is more than $40 billion per year. In 2011, speeding contributed to more than 30 percent of fatal crashes, claiming the lives of 9,944 people. Clearly, speeding is not harmless behavior. If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident in Machesney Park due to the actions of a speeding or otherwise aggressive driver, you need an experienced Machesney Park car accident attorney on your side. Honest and skilled, the Machesney Park car accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm will work tirelessly to help you obtain fair compensation for your serious injuries. Call our office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.

If your spouse died due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, you should talk to a Machesney Park wrongful death attorney at your earliest opportunity. Trucking accidents are unique and require the skills and knowledge of an experienced attorney for the following reasons:

  • Truck accidents can cause severe injuries and even death due to their immense size and weight and the force with which they strike a smaller passenger vehicle.
  • Trucking companies are responsible for hiring professional truck drivers, properly maintaining their trucks, and following the appropriate state and federal trucking rules and regulations.
  • Trucking companies are required to keep extensive documentation regarding driver work hours and truck maintenance. This information can be very helpful in proving negligence—on the part of the driver, the trucking company, or both.
  • Trucking companies are required to comply with various state and federal regulations.
  • Trucking companies are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance. Many firms carry several layers of insurance, making the coverage much higher.
Because the financial stakes are very high for insurance companies, they often have teams of lawyers, photographers, accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and investigators, working to defend against a Machesney Park wrongful death lawsuit. Trucking companies may destroy documents related to the accident as soon as they are legally able to. You can even the playing field by hiring a Machesney Park wrongful death attorney to fight for your rights. The Machesney Park wrongful death lawyers at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm are experienced accident attorneys who are not afraid to go up against big insurance firms. They understand the trucking industry, as well as the laws trucking firms, must follow. They will work to document the accident and gather the evidence required to pursue your case. Contact them today at 815-962-0044 to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

There is no helmet statute in Illinois—riders are free to ride without a helmet. However, there is no doubt that wearing a helmet is a smart choice. As experienced Machesney Park motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we regularly work with accident victims who have suffered severe head injuries. Many have permanent brain damage that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Research shows that helmets reduce the risk of head and neck injuries. Following are some helmet facts you may not know: A head or neck injury occurs in one out of five motorcycle crashes.

  • Head and neck injuries account for the most serious motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities.
  • Most crashes occur on short trips—only a few minutes from where the rider started.
  • Most crashes occur when the motorcycle rider is going less than 30 miles per hour. At that speed, a helmet cuts the number of head injuries as well as the severity in half.
  • At any speed, a rider wearing a helmet is three times more likely to survive a head injury than a rider who is not wearing a helmet.
These facts, published by the Illinois Department of Transportation, clearly show that helmets save lives and reduce the severity of head and neck injuries. However, even if you are wearing a helmet, you cannot control the actions of the other drivers. If you have been seriously injured in a Machesney Park motorcycle accident due to the careless behavior of another driver, you need an experienced Machesney Park motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. Compassionate, skilled, and driven to help our clients, the attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you decide what to do next—all during a free case evaluation. Contact us today at 888-716-7336 to schedule your complimentary appointment.

As Loves Park auto accident attorneys, we have experience with many different types of crashes—they are all dangerous. However, one type of Loves park car accident, the head-on collision, stands out due to the incidence of severe injuries and even death. A head-on collision occurs when the front end of one vehicle crashes into the front end of another, usually because one vehicle enters a lane of oncoming traffic. This can happen intentionally when a driver is trying to get around a slow-moving vehicle and misjudges the distance required to pass safely. It can also happen unintentionally when a driver is intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy and drifts into the lane of opposing traffic. When a head-on collision occurs, both vehicles stop quickly, but the occupants continue to hurtle forward in the vehicle. Because vehicles rarely crash squarely, rotation occurs and passengers slide off the airbags or miss them entirely. Impact with the interior of the vehicle can cause severe injuries including internal bleeding, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fractures. Many times, victims of a head-on collision do not survive. In 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,323 people died in head-on collisions. Countless others were seriously injured. If a negligent driver hit you and caused serious harm, a Loves Park car accident attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. We will answer your questions and explain your legal options in a language you can understand. Call today—we are here to help you.

An underride truck accident in Machesney Park is a very dangerous accident for occupants of a car or other light-duty vehicle. When a car strikes the back of a box truck, trailer, or semitrailer, the impact crumples the front end. As the car continues to move forward, sliding under the truck, the windshield shatters and the roof collapses. Vehicle occupants are severely injured or even killed as a result. An underride guard—a metal bar attached low on the back of the truck—is designed to prevent a car from sliding underneath in a truck crash. It is standard safety equipment on most trucks.  However, underride guards often fail—either because they are not strong enough to withstand the impact of a truck crash in Machesney Park or because design limitations make them ineffective in certain situations. In fact, recent crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that when 30 percent of a sedan’s front end hit the back of a trailer, most underride guards failed to prevent the car from sliding underneath. Following are three tips to help prevent an underride truck wreck in Machesney Park: Do not drive in a truck’s blind spot or No-Zone. There is one in the front of the truck, one on each side, and one in the rear.

  • Do not tailgate. If you are following a truck and cannot see the mirrors on either side of the cab, you are following too closely. If the truck has to stop rapidly, you may run into the back.
  • Watch for slow-moving trucks. When driving at highway speeds in the dark, it may be difficult to determine how fast a truck is moving. If a trucker has significantly reduced his speed because of a mechanical problem, you may realize it too late and run into the back of the truck.
Truck accidents are complicated – They require in-depth experience in personal injury law as well as significant knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations. If you have been seriously hurt in a truck accident, a Machesney Park truck accident attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm may be able to help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case consultation.

As a Machesney Park motorcycle accident lawyer, I often get asked about motorcycle safety. While fall is a gorgeous time of year to ride, it can also be dangerous due to changing weather conditions. Following are some tips to help you stay safe on the roads this fall:

  • Be Observant – Although the scenery is beautiful and relaxing, it is important to stay alert, scanning for potential dangers as you ride. This extra awareness will give you plenty of time to react to potential danger and prevent a motorcycle accident in Machesney Park.
  • Refresh Your Riding Skills – Your riding skills can diminish if you do not ride regularly. If it has been a while since your last ride, find an open area or deserted parking lot to practice slow-speed maneuvering and braking before you head out on a longer ride to take in the fall colors.
  • Dress for the Weather – Weather changes rapidly in fall. During the day, it can be warm and sunny. Once the sun goes down, it can get very cold. If you are too cold, you may become distracted, which could result in a motorcycle accident in Machesney Park. Carry some warm gear with you to be sure you are comfortable in any weather.
  • Be Prepared for Rain – Slow down in wet weather. Road conditions can quickly become slippery as oil accumulates on the surface of the road.
  • Watch for Fallen Leaves – Reduce your speed when riding on a road full of fallen leaves. They can be slippery regardless of whether they are wet or dry.
  • Keep an Eye Out for Frost – Although daytime conditions may be sunny, temperatures can drop rapidly at night, causing frost to accumulate on bridges and other higher elevations. Watch for these slippery areas—especially in the early morning hours.
  • Be on the Lookout for Ice – As fall progresses, cold temperatures become the norm. Ice can accumulate in spots on the road due to frost, fog, car exhaust, and other fluids—even if it has not rained or snowed. Be on the lookout for these icy patches—they can be very dangerous for a motorcyclist.
  • Scan for Deer – Fall is a time when deer are more active and more likely to gather in areas along the side of the road. Scan both sides of the road, especially at dawn or dusk, to watch for deer that might dart out in front of your motorcycle.
The tips listed above will help to keep you safe as you ride this fall. However, if you are injured in a Machesney Park motorcycle accident due to the carelessness of another driver, a Machesney Park motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact the experienced Machesney Park motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm for assistance. We will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and advise you on your next steps—all during a free case evaluation. Give us a call today at 815-962-0044 to schedule your obligation-free meeting.

As a Machesney Park car accident attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, I regularly work with accident victims, some that have been involved in rollover crashes. Unfortunately, the injuries are often quite severe, sometimes resulting in death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rollover accidents are a leading cause of fatalities in passenger vehicle accidents. In 2010, they accounted for 35 percent of all passenger vehicle accident deaths—more than 7,600 people. Many driving events can lead to a rollover crash, including the following:

  • Driving too fast for weather conditions
  • Losing control of a vehicle on a slippery road
  • Taking a curve at a high rate of speed and overcorrecting
  • Being hit in the side by another passenger vehicle
  • Driving onto an embankment at a high rate of speed
Many rollover accidents are single-car accidents that occur due to driver error. However, a substantial number occur due to the careless actions of other drivers. Following are some of the ways a negligent driver can cause a rollover accident:
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road, causing another driver to swerve sharply and rollover
  • Clipping another vehicle from behind, causing another driver to lose control and rollover
  • Cutting another vehicle off, causing the driver to slam on the brakes, swerve, and rollover
If you have been hurt in a rollover crash or some other type of Machesney Park car accident that was not your fault, an experienced Machesney Park car crash lawyer at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm may be able to help. Compassionate, skilled, and driven to help our clients, you can trust us to help you obtain the best possible financial outcome—either at the negotiating table or in the courtroom. Contact our office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a free case evaluation.

At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, our Rockford truck accident attorneys often work to obtain compensation for accident victims. We have seen, firsthand, the life-altering injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, limb amputations, and disfiguring burns that result from a truck accident in Rockford. Drafting is a form of tailgating, which is dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, when you tailgate, you are following too closely. If the truck swerves or stops suddenly, you will not be able to respond in time and may run into the back of the truck, causing a serious truck accident in Rockford. Second, when you tailgate, you are in one of the truck’s “No-Zones,” or blind spots. There are four No-Zones around a large truck—one in the front of the cab, one on either side of the truck, and one in the rear. If you are following so closely that you cannot see the mirrors on either side of the cab, the truck driver cannot see you. In effect, your car is invisible to a trucker when you follow too closely. A safer way to share the road with large trucks is to stay out of the No-Zones and keep your distance from large trucks whenever possible. Drafting to save a few pennies in gas is not worth the risk you take. If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident in Rockford that was not your fault, contact a skilled and experienced Rockford truck accident attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation. We will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you to understand your legal options. Call us today at 815-962-0044—we are here to help.

As Rockford wrongful death attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we are very sorry for your unimaginable loss. As you may already know, Illinois drivers are required to purchase bodily injury insurance in the amount of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident to pay medical bills and funeral costs for those they injure or kill in a car accident in Rockford. However, these amounts are woefully low to compensate a family that has suffered such a devastating loss. An experienced Rockford wrongful death attorney will explore the following additional avenues of compensation in a wrongful death case:

  • If the at-fault driver was driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, we will investigate whether he became intoxicated at a restaurant or bar. Under the Dram Shop Act, an establishment that serves liquor may be liable for the injuries caused by its patrons.
  • If the drunk driver was a minor, the person who provided him with liquor may be held responsible for the injuries he caused.
  • If the at-fault driver was doing something employment-related at the time of the Rockford car accident, the legal doctrine of respondent superior may apply. This doctrine holds employers responsible for the negligence of their employees.
  • An umbrella insurance policy carried by the at-fault driver may provide additional compensation for a wrongful death claim.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage carried by the deceased accident victim may pay the difference between the amount of coverage the at-fault driver had and the amount of the underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Rockford, you may be struggling emotionally and financially. You may feel guilty thinking about money at a time like this, but the reality is that you have outstanding medical bills and funeral costs to pay in addition to your mortgage and household expenses. Money will not bring back your loved one, but it will help to keep your family afloat while you pick up the pieces. Contact a compassionate, smart, and experienced Rockford wrongful death lawyer at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm for the guidance you need to pursue your wrongful death case. Our Rockford wrongful death attorneys will take the time to analyze your situation, answer your questions, and help you to understand your legal options. Call our office today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a free case evaluation. We are standing by to help.

Black ice is a serious winter hazard, especially for motorcyclists. It develops when the roads are wet and the temperature of the pavement is below freezing, often at night or in the early morning. Black ice is nearly impossible to see until you are sliding across the top of it. Imagine that you are riding down Genoa Street in Cherry Valley and hit a patch of black ice. The following tips will help to keep you safe:

  • Remain calm, steering straight ahead while your bike passes over the ice. If possible, do not accelerate, turn, or brake until you reach dry pavement.
  • Depending on conditions, it may make sense to ease your way to the shoulder where fresh snow, sand, dirt, and road debris may provide some traction.
  • If you have to turn, remain as upright as possible. Leaning into a turn requires lateral traction—something you do not have when road conditions are icy.
  • If you have to brake, use your rear brakes so that your front wheel will continue rolling and connecting with the pavement.
You may also wish to mount a studded tire in front to maximize steering traction when it is icy outside. While it does not help much in deep snow, it provides a great deal of traction on ice or hard-pack snow. Always check the weather forecast before you ride and be sure to follow the tips listed above if you hit a patch of black ice on your bike this winter. If you have questions about an accident-related matter, contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Drunk drivers may drive erratically—weaving in their lane, making wide turns, accelerating and decelerating repeatedly, driving on the wrong side of the road, and driving in the dark without headlights. These drivers are very unpredictable and dangerous and can easily cause a serious Loves Park car accident. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious problem in Winnebago County—in 2011, 1,289 drivers were arrested for the offense. If you spot a driver whom you think may be intoxicated, you should take the following steps to keep yourself and your family safe:

  • Be sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt.
  • If the drunk driver is in front of you, stay behind the vehicle, following at a safe distance. Do not attempt to pass—the drunk driver may swerve into your car.
  • If the drunk driver is behind you, turn right at the next intersection so that the car can pass.
  • If the drunk driver is approaching head-on, pull over as far to the right as you can and stop, sounding your horn to get his attention.
  • Find a safe place to pull over and dial 9-1-1 to report the driver.
Taking these steps may help you to avoid a potentially serious Loves Park car accident. It may also be a good idea to stay off the roads between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. on weekends, if possible, due to the increased number of impaired drivers. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident because someone chose to drink and drive, you deserve compensation for your loss. While money cannot change what has happened, it can help you to pay outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, and provide for your family while you work to pick up the pieces. Compassionate, experienced, and driven to obtain justice, a Loves Park wrongful death attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you to plan your next steps—all during a free consultation. Contact our office today at 815-962-0044 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your no-obligation appointment.

The state of Illinois requires all drivers to purchase auto insurance—bodily injury and property damage coverage as well as uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. The bodily injury and property damage insurance covers you if you cause a car accident in Rockford that hurts someone or damages someone’s vehicle or other property. The uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance covers your injuries and property damage if an uninsured, at-fault driver causes the accident. Insurance experts recommend purchasing more than the state-mandated minimums for bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance. In addition to these insurance requirements, you may wish to consider purchasing the following optional types of auto insurance coverage:

  • Comprehensive – covers your vehicle for damages that result from something other than a car accident in Rockford. For example, if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by a storm, comprehensive coverage will pay to have it repaired or replaced. This coverage is subject to a deductible that you choose when you purchase the insurance. If you are making payments on your car, your lender may require that you carry comprehensive coverage.
  • Collision – pays for damage to your vehicle that occurs when you collide with another vehicle or object in a car crash in Rockford. This coverage is subject to a deductible that you choose when you purchase the insurance. If you are making payments on your car, your lender may require that you carry collision coverage.
  • Medical Payments – also known as Med Pay pays the medical bills, up to a specified amount, for you and your passengers, no matter who caused the Rockford car accident.
If you were severely injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you need solid legal advice. Our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys regularly help accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries—they may be able to help you too.  Contact The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm today at 815-962-0044 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a highly qualified Rockford car accident attorney.

You may be under a misapprehension about who, exactly, will be paying for your medical bills if you sue this teenager (and, if she was underage at the time, possibly her parents as well). In most cases, the liability insurance attached to the teenager’s car—or even her parents’ homeowners policy—will cover any payout from a successful lawsuit, even a substantial one amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not as if the parents will have to sell their home and pull their daughter out of college! (What if the teenager has no liability insurance, and the parents have no homeowners insurance? Then you may well be out of luck, since if they have no insurance, they may not have much in the way of assets, either.) Of course, being the subject of a civil suit will not be a pleasant experience for the texting driver, and you may feel guilty for bringing the full weight of the law down on her head. But look at it this way: if she gets off lightly for this offense, what’s to prevent her from continuing to text while driving, and possibly being involved in an even worse accident resulting in fatalities? You will have missed the opportunity to teach her an important lesson, and you’ll also be putting innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. And, don’t forget, you still have those medical bills to pay—and why should you drain your own bank account rather than holding the offending party responsible? At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we know that traffic accidents caused by texting drivers have to be treated with the utmost gravity. Questions? Call our Rockford car accident attorneys at 815-962-0044 for a free consultation today.

Well, you can hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who won’t take “no” for an answer!  The fact is, no corporation involved in an accident will respond to civilian requests for information; often, the only way to obtain the crucial files is for a district attorney to file a subpoena or for a state regulatory agency to threaten the company with hefty fines or a shutdown of its business. A customer service rep will have no compunctions about making up a story to deter you—and an important file being lost is certainly a story. Attorneys are used to dealing with this kind of stonewalling. There are all sorts of reasons why the repair and maintenance history of that truck are claimed to be unavailable: there was a fire in the warehouse, a computer malfunctioned, an intern pressed the wrong key and erased all the records. More likely, of course, the records are right there on the executive’s desk, but the information in them is so incriminating that he refuses to give them up short of an official investigation and a subpoena. Let’s say that the 18-wheeler involved in your crash had a known defect in the cables connecting the cab to the trailer that went unrepaired; if this information comes to light, the trucking company may be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages. When it comes to investigative work in the wake of an accident, you need to hire a professional who’s used to dealing with intransigent company representatives and knows how to get the job done. Questions? Contact the Rockford truck accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm 815-962-0044 for more information today!

It’s impossible to give a precise number, or even a ballpark estimate since wrongful-death damages are unique to the circumstances of any given case. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll be awarded a substantial amount of money because of the simple fact that your father was elderly, presumably retired, and didn’t have many (if any) productive years remaining in the workforce. When courts and insurance companies calculate wrongful death damages, they usually look at the economic harm suffered by surviving family members. If your father had been in the prime of life, and supporting you, your mother and your siblings on a high-six-figure salary, the damages in a wrongful death claim would be calculated according to his projected loss of earnings because of his early death, and the financial distress suffered by your family. Since your father was well on in years, the economic losses you suffered because of his death may be minimal. What about punitive damages? Well, despite what you see on TV, these are very rare and are usually handed down to make an example of a particularly negligent or reckless individual (or corporation). If your father died in an ordinary traffic accident, the other driver’s behavior will probably not rise to the standard of extreme recklessness required for punitive damages (if he simply failed to signal when changing lanes, for example, punitive damages will be off the table—but if he drank two bottles of whiskey and sped down the highway at 100 mph with two kids in the back seat, you might have a better case). Are you contemplating pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit? Contact the Rockford wrongful death attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm 815-962-0044 for a free consultation today!

Well, the first thing you need to do is to hire an aggressive personal injury attorney who will investigate the details of your accident and determine exactly where the fault lay. That SUV driver is using a tried-and-true technique: since so many people assume that bikers are reckless, antisocial hooligans, he has nothing to lose by claiming that you were flouting the rules of the road and helped precipitate your own injuries. If he shouts loud and long enough, he may even be able to convince a judge, jury, or insurance adjuster that he was not to blame for the accident, and therefore does not have to pay for your medical bills. In this situation, a police report—and the testimony of other drivers—can be your best friend. When the police arrive on the scene, they will survey the crash debris, interview the parties involved, and come to their own preliminary conclusions about who was at fault (and, if necessary, issue a ticket to one or both parties for reckless driving). If the police report places responsibility for the accident on the driver of the SUV, that makes your personal injury lawsuit stronger. Even if the police claim that you contributed to the accident (say, by speeding), your lawyer can examine their evidence, depose witnesses, and potentially demolish that story in court. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to make sure that your medical bills and time off from work are covered by the responsible party. Want to learn more? Contact the Rockford motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm 815-962-0044 for a free consultation today!

Only after examining your case can we can tell you for sure, but the answer is “probably not.” It’s understandable that, in the wake of your accident, you wanted to get the whole unpleasant experience behind you as soon as possible and settle with your insurance company for the apparent damages to your car. But your big mistake was accepting this settlement before you had a chance to have your vehicle thoroughly checked out by a mechanic, who could have told you that the damage went much deeper than a few surface bumps and scratches. You should never allow an insurance adjuster to give your car a quick once-over, all by himself, and diagnose the repairs that need to be made. In most cases, once you’ve accepted that lowball check proffered by your insurance agent, your goose is cooked—your insurer has contractually met its obligations and is unlikely to pay for further repairs. Sadly, you settled too quickly. Occasionally, though, with the aid of an aggressive attorney, you may be able to demonstrate that your insurance rep behaved unethically or even illegally, and you can thus go back and demand full payment for all the damage your car sustained. This can be a difficult trick to pull off, though, because your insurer will argue that the “additional” damages you’re claiming were actually sustained after the accident, or that you simply made them up in order to get a bigger check. You should always have a lawyer at your side when settling with a car insurance company, no matter how trustworthy that company seems. Questions? Contact the Rockford car accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm 815-962-0044 for a free consultation today!

No! Illinois does NOT require its hospitals to carry malpractice insurance. Anyone getting behind the wheel of a car in Illinois must have insurance coverage. But hospitals caring for hundreds of people at a time are not. In fact, doctors aren’t required to carry insurance either. This is a dirty little secret in Illinois and it’s one that should be exposed. Only then will politicians do the right thing by requiring basic insurance coverage for all healthcare providers and facilities.

If a loved one has died in Illinois due to the negligent or unlawful actions of another, you should consider filing a wrongful death claim. A negligent or unlawful act may include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Rockford car accident or motor vehicle collision
  • Manufacturing a dangerous or defective product
  • Poor building construction
  • Medical malpractice
If your loved one died as a result of any of these actions, call a Rockford wrongful death lawyer—you may be eligible for compensation. The following parties may file a wrongful death claim:
  • Spouse
  • Child, parent, or next of kin in the event that a spouse is deceased
  • Executor of the estate
Note that an executor must file a wrongful death suit—if warranted—in order to protect the interests of the beneficiaries. Distant relatives are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim. If a loved one suffered prior to dying, the family member or the executor of the estate may also file a claim for survivorship. This claim covers medical bills incurred between the time of the accident and the death that are not covered by a wrongful death suit. Nothing can bring back your loved one and no amount of money will ease the emotional pain you are suffering. However, compensation may ease the financial burden you are suffering due to your tragic loss. If you lost someone due to the negligence or carelessness of another party and need help, contact a Rockford wrongful death attorney at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm for assistance. Our caring, compassionate, and experienced lawyers will review your case during a fast and free consultation and help you to understand your legal options. Call us today at 815-962-0044—we are here for you!

Whether the at-fault driver had insurance may not be immediately known. True, insurance coverage is mandatory in Illinois, but did you know that fifteen percent of all drivers still don’t have it. And even when they do, many have just the minimum… $20 thousand. By the way, that number may soon increase to $25,000 if the governor signs newly passed legislation. The police most likely responded to the scene of your motor vehicle wreck, and if they did, they would have asked each driver for the name and policy number of the insurance company providing coverage for the car. Many times people cannot immediately produce an insurance card, so the police report will be blank. This doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t insurance. On the other hand, sometimes people produce “proof” of insurance at the scene, and it is later learned that the coverage had lapsed and no coverage was in place. Bottom line, don’t trust the police report as the final word on whether the at-fault driver had insurance coverage. Any competent attorney who specializes in personal injury law would be able to tell you if the at-fault driver had coverage on the date of your wreck and, if so, in what amount.

If you own a motorcycle, you probably love the open road and the freedom that comes with riding in Illinois. You may also want to share your passion for riding with your family—including your children. As you probably know, riding on the back of a motorcycle is not the safest form of transportation—especially for children. They are especially vulnerable in a motorcycle crash, due to their small stature. If you plan to take your little ones out on a motorcycle ride, be sure to follow the safety tips listed below:

  • Children should wear protective riding gear including pants, a jacket, gloves, and boots
  • Children should wear a properly-fitted helmet
  • Children should wear proper-fitting sunglasses
  • Children should know the rules of the road
  • Children should learn how to handle themselves when they are on a bike
  • Children should let you know if they become tired—you do not want them falling asleep while riding on the motorcycle
The tips listed above will help to keep your children safe when riding on a motorcycle. If despite your best efforts, you or your child are hurt in a motorcycle crash, a Rockford motorcycle crash lawyer at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm can help you to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our office toll free at 815-962-0044 today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have the experience you are looking for to get you through this difficult time.

More than 50 percent of all accidents caused by truck drivers can be blamed on truck driver fatigue. Unfortunately, a crash with a semi-truck can be devastating—even deadly. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a trucker in Northern Illinois, The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm is prepared to help you through the stressful process of determining the cause of the accident and negotiating a settlement or heading to trial. Our Rockford truck accident lawyers regularly help those injured in semi-truck accidents and know from experience that truck driver fatigue is often a major factor. The primary causes of truck driver fatigue include:

  • Several days in which the truck driver does not get adequate sleep
  • Long drives entailing hours and hours on quiet roadways
  • Boredom and monotony
  • Driving at night instead of sleeping at night and driving during the day
  • Driver compensation corresponds directly with the number of deliveries
  • Lack of rest between shifts
  • Hot weather
  • Poor health
Despite U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours-of-Service Regulations governing the number of hours a trucker can drive without rest, not all truck drivers abide by these regulations. At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, our Northern Illinois truck accident attorneys want you to be safe on the roadways. If you or someone you love is injured in a semi-truck crash, call our law office at 815-962-0044. We will work tirelessly to help you recover for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

Illinois police take speeding very seriously as it has been the cause of a number of catastrophic accidents throughout the state. Not only can speeding result in a serious motor vehicle crash, but it can also cost you a great deal in terms of fines and points on your driving record. Points are issued for several different types of moving violations and can result in the suspension or revocation of your license. The length of the license suspension or revocation depends on the number of points you have amassed. Following are the penalties associated with points on your record if you have multiple offenses:

  • 0-14 points – no penalties
  • 15-44 points – license suspension for four months
  • 45-74 points – license suspension for six months
  • 75-109 points – license suspension for 12 months
  • Over 109 points – license revocation for 12 months
If you are a first-time offender, the penalties are less severe. For example, if you have an offense that carries 15-44 points, a first-time offender would only face a license suspension for two months. Speeding is a dangerous driving habit that can lead to serious injuries and death. Our experienced attorneys regularly represent clients involved in catastrophic accidents that stemmed from another driver speeding and losing control of the vehicle. If you have been injured in a crash, contact The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm at 815-962-0044 to speak with a Rockford car accident attorney about your case. We will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, vehicle damage, and other losses.

While obtaining information at the scene of a car accident in Illinois is important, the Northern Illinois car crash attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm know that it is not always possible. A car accident victim should never sacrifice critical medical treatment in order to document a motor vehicle crash. If you were seriously injured in a car wreck and unable to collect contact information, take photographs, and gather additional pertinent crash scene data, there is no cause to worry—you are under enough stress as it is. Our Rockford auto accident lawyers can obtain the information required to build a strong case. One critical piece of information to start with is the police report.

What does a police report include?

  • Names and contact information of all parties involved in the crash
  • Accident location and time of the accident
  • Weather conditions
  • Damage to the vehicle(s)
  • Insurance information
  • Preliminary investigation results including the police officer’s opinion as to how the accident occurred
Rest assured—if you are unable to obtain information about your accident at the scene, all is not lost. Our Rockford car accident attorneys at The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm will help you gather the information you need to protect your rights. If you or someone you love has been in an accident in Northern Illinois, call our office at 815-962-0044.  We will help you through the entire process and work to get you compensated for your pain, suffering, and losses.

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, there are many do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind following the collision. As Northern Illinois bike crash lawyers, we know just how devastating the results of motorcycle wrecks can be.


Assuming that you are able, here are some things you should do at the scene of the accident:
  • Call 911 or ask someone else to do so.
  • Get evidence as soon as possible. Take pictures and/or video of the scene with a cell phone or camera. Be sure to include pictures of injuries to people and the damage to vehicles involved.
  • Get information from others. Remember to trade insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as you can and report that the accident happened. But be careful what you say. Just give the information they need, no more.


  • Don’t discuss the accident with anyone but a police officer and never give more information than is required of you.
  • Don’t admit fault, even if you think you may have played some part in the cause of the accident. There is a good chance that something you are unaware of caused the wreck; it is even possible that more than one party will be found negligent.
  • Don’t ever give a recorded statement or detailed information to any insurance company—yours or the other driver’s. What you say could be twisted and turned against you.

And One Final DO:

  • Call an attorney when you are able. By doing so, you will ensure that your rights are upheld and you will have someone to speak for you. It is especially important for you to contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer if there were injuries in the accident. Insurance companies have many tricks up their sleeves and you can end up without help when you most need it.
At Fisk & Monteleone Law in Rockford, we help the victims of Illinois motorcycle accidents to regain their lives, their losses, and their peace of mind. Call us toll-free today at 815-962-0044 to schedule a free consultation.

As Rockford wrongful death attorneys, we understand how difficult this time is for you. The decision to join a Winnebago County grief support group is a very personal one. However, we can tell you what this type of group has to offer so you can make an informed decision. Some of the benefits include:

  • Helping you to combat the loneliness of grief. Many people, even when surrounded by family, friends, and co-workers, still feel as if no one understands their feelings. Grief after the death of a close friend or family member brings an intense feeling of being alone. A group of people with the same needs can often provide the help that others can’t.
  • Providing a safe place to discuss difficult feelings. Our culture is often reluctant to talk about intense feelings. Grief support groups provide a nonjudgmental safe zone for those in mourning. You can say things in the group that you do not feel comfortable saying in any other setting.
  • Giving you a chance to understand others’ pain. Not only do the other members of a group support you, but you are also able to experience compassion for others who also suffer.
  • Making you feel less helpless. When faced with the wrongful death of a loved one, feelings of helplessness can be overwhelming. A support group teaches you new strategies to deal with your pain and even eventually to reawaken your zest for life and the future.
Many of our former clients have found attending grief support meetings to be a positive part of the grieving process. A grief support group is not for everyone, but if you decided to join one, you may well find some relief for your suffering. Meanwhile, if you have questions about your legal options or anything else relating to wrongful death, please give The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm a call toll-free at 815-962–0044. It is our business to help.

As Rockford truck accident attorneys, we urge you to contact a lawyer right away. Do not agree to anything before you have done this. Too often, victims of Illinois trucking accidents find themselves strapped for cash due to mounting medical bills and loss of wages. Insurance companies know this and try to avoid a personal injury lawsuit by getting these victims to settle quickly. It would be a big mistake to settle now, especially since the driver may have been under the influence. By enlisting the help of an attorney, you will protect your rights and ensure that you get the money you need to cover the damages you have suffered. At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we can do many things to help people like you including:

  • Getting the maximum amount of compensation to cover not only today’s costs but also those you may not expect down the road.
  • Giving you personal attention and direct contact with a lawyer, not a clerk or paralegal.
  • Offering you up-to-date, comprehensive legal expertise and a strong reputation for success.
  • Helping you to get your financial needs met now, while we work on your case.
  • Talking to you when you need advice, listening to you when you need support, and taking care of both you and your family.
Call us today in Rockford for a free truck accident case consultation.

While cars crash every day in Rockford or the surrounding areas, every time it happens the circumstances are different. Since you do not specify the details of your accident, we can’t tell you exactly what to do. But, as Rockford auto accident specialists, we can tell you that successful personal injury lawsuits usually require that negligence be proven. So, what is negligence? Here are some basics for you to consider:

  • Negligence, in law, means that someone has acted thoughtlessly, unreasonably, or carelessly and caused someone else harm.
  • Examples of personal negligence in car wrecks include running red lights, speeding, and drinking and driving. Other examples are road hazards like poorly marked roads, surfaces in disrepair, and road debris.
  • Unless the defendant can be proven guilty of negligence, you might not be able to win your case.
Negligence claims all have some things in common that must be proven. You must be able to prove that:
  • The defendant did not exercise what is called the “duty of reasonable care.” It is expected that all drivers will be reasonably careful while behind the wheel.
  • The defendant breached the “duty of reasonable care.” Simply, this means that he or she did not act the way a reasonable person might have acted.
  • The injuries that you, the plaintiff, sustained were caused by the defendant’s behavior. For example, if the defendant ran a red light and hit your car, he or she could be held responsible for any injuries. However, if the stoplight was defective, your case might well deal with the person(s) responsible for maintaining it.
Finally, you must be able to prove that you suffered property loss or injuries. This seems obvious, but without evidence of loss, a lawsuit cannot proceed. If you want some expert legal advice about your Northern Illinois car accident lawsuit, please contact The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm. We can answer your questions and uphold your legal rights.

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