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Car accident attributed to “Bird Box” challenge

One of the most common activities people, especially youth, participate in these days is an online viral challenge – specifically, an activity that social media users find entertaining, daring or outrageous. In the past, people have seen such challenges as the ice water challenge, which served the purpose of raising awareness for ALS, and the Tide Pod and cinnamon challenges, which seemed to have no purpose other than being funny to those who participated or watched – although both challenges were responsible for numerous injuries. Illinois residents may want to be cautious, however, as some of the dangerous actions associated with viral challenges can harm themselves or others.

One such example occurred in Utah recently, after a 17-year-old girl crashed her car into another vehicle while driving blindfolded as part of the “Bird Box” challenge. According to CBS News, this challenge involves people putting on blindfolds and walking around to imitate scenes from the popular Netflix movie Bird Box, while others film or watch their antics. Except for a few instances in which participants fell or ran into walls, this challenge seems mostly silly and harmless – unless a motor vehicle is involved.

Don't ignore symptoms that arise after a car accident

No matter how cautious and alert of a driver you are, you never can tell if a negligent or reckless motorist is going to interrupt your travel plans and turn an otherwise uneventful trip into a tragedy. You can adhere to every Illinois traffic law in the books; however, all it takes is one other driver to send a text behind the wheel or consume alcohol before driving to damage your vehicle and your health.

Concerning car accident injuries, your symptoms may not always be immediately apparent. It is a good idea to seek immediate medical attention in the aftermath of a collision, even if you think you are feeling okay. You'll also want to pay close attention to how you feel in the days and weeks that follow because not suffering life-threatening injuries upon impact in a crash doesn't necessarily mean you are injury-free.

Can a parrot bite be serious?

We Americans love our pets. However, as explained numerous times in this post, dog and even cat bites can cause significant injuries and illnesses. Dogs and cats are not responsible for all harmful animal attacks, though. Numerous varieties of birds of all sizes are also popular pets in Illinois and elsewhere – and you may not have considered that some can deliver serious bites.

Large parrots, such as macaws, cockatoos and amazons, have very strong beaks that can inflict bites that tear skin and even break bones. These hefty parrots are not the only type of pet bird that can injure you, however. The smaller beaks of cockatiels, lovebirds and parakeets can also be strong enough to break skin, and their claws can scratch hard enough to draw blood. The National Center for Biotechnology Information cautions that you should thoroughly clean and closely watch minor abrasions and cuts for signs of infection, since bird bites and scratches can spread bacterial illnesses.

The dangers truck rollovers present to other motorists

It is almost impossible to drive down the interstate without sharing the road with at least one big rig. At the Law Office of Kerley & Associates, we are aware of the many ways Illinois residents can become tragic statistics in collisions involving large trucks, and we seek to help you and others avoid this outcome whenever possible. You may want to be aware of the hazards of truck rollover accidents.

As you may know, rolling any type of vehicle can be dangerous, but semi-truck rollovers are especially devastating, due to a truck’s large size and the speed at which it can go on the freeway. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, most truck rollovers – approximately 78 percent, in fact – involve a driver error that could have been avoided. These may include rollovers that occur when a truck driver takes a turn too tight or is driving too fast for weather and road conditions. Truck drivers are often fatigued and some drive while intoxicated or distracted, which can further increase the risk of rolling or crashing. A truck can also roll if its cargo has been improperly loaded or secured, or if the brakes or tires have not been kept in good repair.

When a car crash results in a TBI

At the Illinois Law Office of Kerley & Associates, we represent numerous car crash victims who have suffered grievous personal injuries as the result of their accidents. A traumatic brain injury represents one of the most potentially catastrophic injuries from which our clients suffer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, unfortunately, over 286,000 people receive traumatic brain injuries in car crashes each year. The Mayo Clinic explains that a traumatic brain injury, a/k/a TBI, is a brain dysfunction caused by the impact of your auto accident making your head and neck jerk back and forth. The violence of these movements result in your brain “sloshing around” in your skull, thereby injuring its delicate nerves and tissues.

The dangers of voice-activated devices

As people become more aware of the dangers involved in distracted driving, cellphone and vehicle manufacturers look for ways to lessen the amount of distraction drivers’ experience while on the road. Voice-activated technology is designed to perform certain tasks when drivers speak commands. For example, a car equipped with voice-activated technology would allow people to call a contact, navigate the radio and even compose a text all while driving. A study released by AAA found that even though voice-activated technology reduces the amount of cognitive distraction caused by cellphone use, it still creates a significant amount of distraction, which may lead to a devastating car accident.

The study looked at different voice-activated technologies implemented in various vehicles and how they affected a driver’s mental workload as they performed a host of tasks. Drivers were asked to initiate voice commands, such as dialing a contact, changing the radio station and changing a CD, as well as listen to email and text messages, compose replies to email and text messages and use Siri to update social media statuses, send text messages, listen to text messages and make calendar appointments. While some systems had computerized voices used in the technology, others had more natural voices. Researchers measured driver reaction time, heart rate and mental workload while they performed the tasks.

What is a QDRO?

If you and your spouse contemplate obtaining an Illinois divorce and one or both of you have significant retirement accounts, you should familiarize yourself with QDROs. As reported in Reuters, QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order, the name of the document that most pension plans require you to have your attorney draft if either you or your spouse wishes to receive post-divorce distributions from the other’s retirement account.

QDROs can be, and usually are, complicated and complex documents. You and your spouse may wish to consider foregoing splitting up your retirement accounts and instead exchanging other marital property to fairly and equitably divide your marital assets between you via your property settlement agreement.

Icy roads are a definite possibility in Illinois. Are you ready?

During the winter months in Illinois, it's definitely possible that the road conditions could become treacherous. Anyone who has lived here for a winter knows that icy roads are always possible.

Icy roads are only present for a few months each year, so you may not be as familiar with how to drive under these conditions. Knowing how could save your life and the lives of those around you.

Can a car crash paralyze you?

As an Illinois driver, no one need tell you that car crashes happen all too frequently. Sometimes they can result in dire consequences. If you sustain a neck or back injury in your car crash, a good part of your body could become paralyzed, forcing you to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

As explained by Brain and Spinal Cord, the extent of your paralysis will depend on exactly which part of your spinal cord you injure. To understand this better, you first need to understand the following four regions of you back:

  1. The cervical region that goes from the base of your brain to the base of your neck
  2. The thoracic region that goes from the base of your neck to your waist
  3. The lumbar region that goes from your waist to your lower back
  4. The sacral region that goes from your lower back to your tailbone, a/k/a your coccyx

Who gets the dog in an Illinois divorce?

Once upon a time, Illinois courts treated pets just like any other piece of property in divorce and gave family animals to one side or the other. However, that all changed in January of this year, when lawmakers decided that judges who preside over divorce cases can take into consideration the welfare of companion animals when determining "pet custody."

According to a Chicago Tribune news report, Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, a self-proclaimed animal lover, sponsored the legislation. Her rationale was that judges should treat animals more like children in divorce cases. Illinois gained inspiration for this legislation from Alaska, which has a similar law.

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Law Office of Kerley & Associates
1118 South 6th Street
Springfield, IL 62703

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