How You Can Stop Your Car if the Brakes Fail

auto accident attorneyImagine you are traveling at the maximum speed limit on the freeway and when you put your foot on the brakes – nothing happens. Your heart will start beating fast and you’ll start to panic. However, you can prevent a serious accident by following these tips.

Get Out of The Way of Traffic

Other drivers don’t know your brakes have failed so they won’t know you are in distress. Signal left or right if you want to switch lanes and try to ease into a gap. Try to maneuver your vehicle to the shoulder of the road, which is where you are least likely to be hit by oncoming traffic.

Pump the Brakes and Turn on Your Hazard Lights

If the brake pedal goes all the way down to the floor, pump it a few times and then push it all the way to the floor. It may slow down the car a bit. Turn on your hazard lights as well to warn other drivers to proceed with caution and to pay attention to what your vehicle is doing.

Take Your Foot Off the Gas

Take your foot off the gas to slow down your vehicle with gravity and friction. Also – if your cruise control is engaged, switch it off. It should turn off automatically as soon as you touch the clutch or the brake, but better to be safe than sorry.

Shift into a Lower Gear

If you are driving a manual vehicle, press the clutch and downshift into the next lowest gear to slow down the car. Do not ease up, even if you feel it slowing down. If you are driving an automatic car, shift to second gear with the gear selector and then to first gear.

Pull Over

Once the car has slowed down enough to ensure it won’t roll when you change directions, look for a place off-road to pull over. Your aim should be to limit the damage as much as possible so getting off the main road if your priority. If you find it, pull over to the shoulder onto a patch of dirt or grass.

Personal Injury Attorney

Besides brake failure, negligent drivers can also cause serious harm to you and your vehicle. If you have been involved in an accident and the at-fault driver refuses to pay damages, get in touch with us at the Law Firm of Robert T. Edens today. We offer our services in Chicago, Waukegan, Woodstock, Libertyville, and Antioch, IL.

Hit & Run Auto Accidents

Auto Accident AttorneyBeing a victim of a hit and run auto accident can be quite frustrating due to the lack of concern of the driver who did not even bother to stop to rectify his or her mistake. More importantly, it’s uncertain how you would get compensated for the damages to your vehicle and the injuries you may have suffered. It’s a really unfortunate situation to be in but luckily there are ways to deal with it.

Types of hit and run accidents

There are primarily two types of hit and run accidents:

  • The first one involves a situation where a car hits your car while it was parked and unattended and leaves, without sticking around to leave contact information. In a few cases, people do stick around and leave a note to the owner with their contact information through which damages can be collected. Most times though, the driver drives off without leaving any contact information.

  • The second type of hit and run accident is when a vehicle hits you and speeds off without bothering to check up on you. You may be compelled to chase him/her down but do not attempt to follow as it could lead to another collision as the other driver panics and tries to escape.

What should you do to get compensation for a hit & run accident?

If the car hit you while you were inside the vehicle or were walking on the pavement, try to memorize and note the make, model and the license number of the vehicle. This information can be extremely vital in augmenting your claim against the fleeing driver. On the other hand, if your car was hit while it was parked unattended you may ask around for potential eyewitnesses. In both cases, CCTV cameras can also help you identify the car and its license number. Consulting an auto accident lawyer can help you find the car and its driver in a much more efficient way.

Hit & Run accidents allow punitive charges

Under state law, not stopping after an accident which resulted in personal injury or death of someone is considered a felony. The offender can face up to 15 years in prison and pay fines as high as $20,000. Therefore, it is best to stop and provide insurance information rather than fleeing away and becoming a felon.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you were a victim of a hit & run auto accident and wish to schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

What to do When the At-Fault Driver Dies in the Auto Accident?

Car Accident AttorneyWhen you are involved in a fatal auto accident, the at-fault driver is liable to provide compensation to you for the damages under Illinois. From medical expenses to the costs of lost wages due to missed work days, you are entitled to make a claim on the other driver’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, some accidents result in death. What can you do if the at-fault driver died in the accident? Will you be able to recover damages from the accident?

Can you Make a Claim against a Deceased Driver?

According to Illinois laws, you can make a claim against a driver who was responsible for the accident and died as a result of it. Death does not change laws and regulations pertaining to personal injury claims and you still are entitled to receive compensation for your damages. You may be worried about the financial situation of the other driver’s surviving family, but when you file a claim against the responsible party, it is made on their insurance policy. The insurance company pays the damages to the plaintiff, which means that the surviving family will not be affected by your claim.

You may feel wrong or guilty in doing this, but you should look at it in this way: they died because of their mistake, and you are lucky that you survived the fatal accident. If the negligent driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, using cellphone, or engaged in a dangerous driving behavior, they would likely have faced serious legal consequences in addition to providing compensation to you.

Making an Auto Accident Claim Against the Deceased’s Estate

In some cases, insurance policy is not enough to cover all the damages, while in others, the at-fault driver does not have an auto liability insurance. In such situations, you can try and get compensation by making a claim on the deceased’s estate. When people die, they leave behind their worldly possessions which is generally divided among heirs and beneficiaries. There is a chance that the deceased driver had substantial estate. Your attorney can help you file a claim that allows you to recover your damages from that estate.

However, the rule of thumb is that people with large estate generally have premium insurance policies in place, allowing you to cover all damages from them. On the contrary, people who are underinsured or with no insurance at all tend to have little to no estate. If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage and small estate, you will likely have to bear the expenses or make a claim on your own uninsured motorist insurance.

Personal Injury Attorney

Being in an auto accident in which the at-fault driver passes away can be a traumatic event. You may be able to make a claim on the descendant’s insurance policy or on their estate, but in the absence of both of these options, you may have to turn to your own insurance coverage. It is advisable that you hire an experienced auto accident attorney, who can help you with the best course of action in your particular situation. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

When Should You Opt to Get Legal Representation in an Auto Accident?

Auto Accident AttorneyMany people often believe that the only time they need legal representation is when the auto accident has been severe enough to cause great personal injury. However, that is not always the case. On this false assumption, people often tend to overlook getting an attorney for an auto accident, until it is too late.

In such cases, it is extremely difficult to ensure that justice is meted out properly. If you’re wondering when you should get legal representation to strengthen your case in an auto accident, the following are some scenarios:

Issue in Determining Fault

In some cases, it can be extremely difficult to determine the fault, or you might be facing opposition from the other party regarding where the true fault lies. For this reason, it can be beneficial to have legal representation since they are able to identify the fault for the auto accident with ease.

In some cases, based on the state and federal laws that apply to particular jurisdiction, determining the fault can also mean facing a fine for your share in the fault. Based on this, it means that even if you win recompense, you might be faced with a fine too.

Serious Injury

While some auto accidents do not cause bodily harm and people have walked away unscathed from complete car wrecks, they can still cause serious injury. In the event of broken bones, stress, shock and trauma or other afflictions that greatly hamper you from your job, school or other responsibilities, it is a good idea to get legal representation.

An auto accident attorney can help you from the start by collecting all physical evidence and legal data needed to process your auto accident case. In many instances, this greatly facilitates the case and produces a good result that both parties can agree on.

Having Confusions

In an auto accident, not every situation is clear cut and you might be stuck in one where you are unable to determine whether the scenario calls for proper representation of an auto accident attorney or not. In such instances, you can seek legal advice from a seasoned attorney to determine exactly where you stand. Getting legal advice can actually work in your favor. It can work wonders for your case should you decide to sue the other party since the longer you wait, the weaker your case becomes and less evidence and other proof you have on hand.

Filling for Insurance

Oftentimes, it could be your insurance that is giving you trouble when you put in a claim for an auto accident. Getting a legal attorney ensures that you’re not unnecessarily harassed during this delicate time. A legal attorney can skillfully gather all the data required to file a claim with the insurance company and will greatly speed up the process.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you’re looking for an experienced auto accident attorney, contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 to get a free consultation for your auto accident.

Auto Accident at IL Rte. 21 and Gages Lake Rd. in Gurnee, IL

There was an auto accident in Gurnee, IL, on November 8, 2016. The accident occurred at IL Rte. 21 southbound at Gages Lake Rd.


The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens is a Lake County personal injury law firm with offices located in Antioch. Contact us today for a free consultation.


The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.