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McCarron Law Firm

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The Top 6 Causes of Car Accidents


Car accidents kill and severely injure millions of people each year, making our roads and highways some of the most dangerous places. Recognizing the various causes of these accidents is one simple step we can take toward preventing future tragedies. Here are a few of the most common causes:


1. Speeding

Ignoring the speed limit is one of the easiest ways to cause an accident. Traveling at higher speeds increases your vehicle's braking distance, the time it takes for your car to stop completely after you've hit the brakes. Speeding also increases the impact of the crash, which can result in more severe injuries or even death.


2. Drunk Driving

Alcohol reduces your concentration and coordination, slows your response time, and impairs your judgement, all of which are things necessary to safely operate a vehicle. Never get behind the wheel if your BAC is 0.08% or higher.


3. Distractions

Collisions caused by distracted driving are on the rise. One of today's biggest driving distractions is cellphones, which accounted for an estimated 1.5 million car accidents in 2017.


4. Adverse Weather Conditions

Rain, snow, and ice can cause slick roads and make it difficult to see. Although wintry weather is often most hazardous, even things such as sun glare and high winds can impact driving.


5. Drowsy Driving

Sleep is a necessity, especially before getting behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be equivalent to driving drunk, as it also impacts your ability to concentrate, your reaction time, and your decision-making skills.


6. Unsafe Lane Changes

An accident can occur when a driver changes lanes without checking their blind spot or using their turn signal. Merging onto the highway without paying attention to oncoming cars or jerking into the other lane are often to blame for these types of crashes.


If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to someone else's negligence, you deserve the proper compensation. Call McCarron Law Firm today at 309-820-1010 or visit us online to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. 

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The Top 4 Back Injuries Caused By Car Accidents


Car accidents occur every day, many of which result in serious injuries. Back injuries rank among the top injuries sustained in these types of accidents, and can significantly impact a person's everyday life. Here are a few of the most common:


1. Herniated Discs

Discs are rubbery cushions that sit between the vertebrae. The force of a collision can easily cause these discs to shift, which can irritate nerves and result in pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs.


2. Spondylolisthesis

This condition occurs when the spine slips out of its proper place and onto the bone beneath it. This can cause a variety of symptoms including numbness, pain, weakness, and difficulty walking, depending on the location of the displaced vertebrae.


3. Spinal Fracture

Spinal fractures often occur when the seat belt fails to secure the body properly. Often, these injuries are sustained when the lower body is secured, but the upper body is jostled around. There are many different types of spinal fractures, but burst fractures are the most common in car accidents. In a burst fracture, the vertebrae are crushed and fractured in multiple places due to severe trauma.


4. Spinal Cord Injury

This injury occurs when the vertebrae are broken or dislocated, causing pieces of the vertebrae to cut into cord tissue or compress the nerves that carry signals to the brain. Depending on the severity, this injury can result in life-long paralysis and neurological impairments such as respiratory, urinary, and gastrointestinal issues.


Keep in mind that most back pain does not always appear right away. Endorphins released after a collision can temporarily mask the pain, so it's important to look out for any discomfort following your accident. Be sure to visit your doctor if you experience even the slightest amount of pain.


Have you sustained a back injury or another severe injury in a car accident? You may be entitled to compensation. Joe McCarron is here to fight for you, and he's available 24/7. Don't wait, don't worry. Call today at 309-820-1010 or visit online to schedule an appointment.

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Sharing the Road: Safe Driving With Semis

Nearly 80% of all U.S. cargo is transported by trucks. No wonder you see them everywhere! Driving alongside semi-trucks is a daily reality that requires a great deal of caution for both car and truck drivers. Here are a few tips to stay safe while sharing the road with 18-wheelers:


1. Give Them Space.

Larger vehicles call for more space, especially since they need more time and distance to stop. Pass semis quickly and carefully, making sure that you can see the entire truck in your rearview before moving over into the right lane. Tire blowouts and weather conditions such as high winds, rain, and ice also require drivers to give trucks an extra amount of space.


2. Know the No-Zones.

Due to their massive size, trucks have several blind spots where small cars can easily disappear. Beware of driving directly in the front, rear, and both sides of the trailer, as these areas are the most dangerous. One rule of thumb for safe driving with semis is if you can't see the truck driver's face in their side mirror, they can't see you either.


3. Watch Out For Turns.

Stay as far away as possible when a truck is making a wide turn. When turning, a truck driver often must first swing the opposite direction in order to successfully make the turn. Truck drivers often cannot see nearby vehicles during these turns, so it's critical for other drivers to use the utmost caution and give them the space they need.


4. Turn Off the Brights.

Don't use your bright headlights when driving near a truck at night. Their extra large side mirrors reflect this light more so than a regular car's mirrors. This can temporarily blind the driver and potentially cause an accident.


If you or someone you know has sustained a severe injury in a truck accident, McCarron Law Firm is here to help. In these situations, it's critical to have an accomplished lawyer on your side to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us 24/7 at 309-820-1010 or schedule an appointment with us online. 

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National Motorcycle Week: 10 Tips for New Riders

If you're new to the motorcycle gang, chances are you want to ride in style. There are plenty of things to keep in mind before that first ride. Follow these tips to make sure you're ready to hit the road:


1. Adjust your mirrors before you hit the gas.

Adjusting mirrors on a motorcycle often requires a wrench, so it's important to make necessary adjustments prior to riding.


2. Know your gas tank.

Not all bikes have fuel gauges, so it's important to understand your bike's MPG and fuel capacity.


3. Beware of chrome.

Remember that chrome gets extremely hot in the sun, so if you're riding with chrome grips, you'll want to wear armored gloves.


4. Dress for the ride.

It's important to dress in layers to protect your body if you fall. Even if it's a hot day, highways speeds can make it feel ten degrees less than the actual temperature.


5. Review your state's operator manual.

Check out the Illinois manual here for answers to common motorcycle questions.


6. Drive defensively.

Always be on the lookout when sharing the road with other motor vehicles, especially at intersections.


7. Avoid road hazards.

Rocks, pot-holes, and other objects in the road may be barely noticeable in a car, but they can spell serious trouble for a motorcycle if hit head-on.


8. Use your head by protecting it.

Wearing a helmet is the smartest thing you can do to avoid sustaining a serious or fatal brain injury.


9. Practice turning.

Turning in a motorcycle requires you to shift your body weight and lean into the turn, referred to as "counter steering." Make sure you know how to do this safely.


10. Know how to stop.

Stopping a two-wheeler takes physical balance, as opposed to a car or truck. It's important to practice stopping properly.


Practicing motorcycle safety can significantly decrease the risk of an accident. If you or someone you know has sustained a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call McCarron Law Firm today at 309-820-1010 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

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Personal Injury Myths: 4 Things You Need to Know


Many have preconceived ideas about personal injury lawsuits, most of which are seldom true. It's always best to know the facts when you sustain an injury in an accident and seek a lawyer's assistance as necessary. That's why we're here to debunk a few myths regarding personal injury law:


1. Having insurance erases the need for a lawyer.

False.


You may have insurance to help cover medical bills and other costs. It's important to remember that insurance companies are "for-profit" corporations. The more money that they pay out in claims, the less profit they make. Often, they will try to settle quickly, offering amounts that are not appropriate for the situation, the injury, the time one has to take off of work, or the medical bills that follow. An attorney can help you avoid this and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.


2. You can file a claim at any time.

False.


Each state has statutes of limitations that specify the deadlines of when you can file your claim. The general time ranges from one to six years, but it's best to seek a lawyer's expertise as soon as possible after the accident.


3. Personal injury cases take forever to settle.

False.


Some are under the impression that these cases are incredibly time-consuming. However, 95% of personal injury cases are settled outside of court as soon as treatment is completed and all bills are compiled. Sometimes delays are a result of the insurance company's attempt to avoid payment.


4. Hiring an attorney will be too expensive.

False.


Most personal injury attorneys accept injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you do not owe them anything unless they acquire compensation for you.


Having an attorney can help you arrive at a fair settlement for your situation and get you the compensation you deserve. Joe McCarron is here for you 24/7 to guide you through the process. Don't wait, don't worry. Call McCarron Law Firm at 309-820-1010 or visit us online to schedule an appointment. 

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National Safety Month: The Top 4 Fatal Accidents at Work


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 5,000 U.S. workers died on the job in 2016.The majority of these deaths occurred in the construction industry, more than half resulting from what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls the "Fatal Four."


These four accidents at work include:


1. Falls

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries, as many manual labor occupations require employees to work from great heights on scaffolding, ladders, and other platforms. Many of these accidents occur due to a lack of proper fall protection equipment such as guardrails, safety harnesses, etc.


2. Struck-by-Object

Construction sites, warehouses, and other similar job sites are prime places to be struck by falling objects. Loads coming loose, flying debris, and falling equipment are just a few examples of potentially deadly situations.


3. Electrocution

Electrocution is the third leading cause of workplace deaths, resulting in fatal burns and sometimes even workplace explosions. The use of defective electrical equipment and working with improperly insulated wires and cables are two major electrical hazards that workers often encounter.


4. Caught-in-Between

These accidents occur when a worker's entire body or body part is squeezed between two or more objects. Some working conditions that contribute to this hazard include: unguarded machinery, wall cave-ins, and working between moving vehicles or equipment.


Employee well-being should always be a top priority in any workplace. While fatalities occur, accidents of this type often end up causing serious injury. Workers' compensation insurance and laws exist to ensure that you are compensated for medical bills and lost work time. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one or has been injured due to workplace negligence, McCarron Law Firm is here for you. Schedule an appointment today. 309-820-1010

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Motorcycle Safety Awareness: 4 Tips to Protect Your Fellow Motorists

Spring is in the air, which means it's prime time for motorcyclists. Sadly, nearly half of all motorcycle fatalities result from crashes involving another vehicle. Since the majority of vehicles on the road are not motorcycles, most drivers are unaware of the safety precautions that should be taken when sharing the road with two-wheelers. Follow these tips to ensure the safety of you and your fellow motorists:


1. Be on the lookout.

A motorcycle's narrow profile can easily get lost in a car or truck's blind spot. Make sure to take the extra time to look for these vehicles when you're changing lanes or turning.


2. Allow for more following distance, especially at intersections.

Don't tailgate a motorcycle, as your car or truck cannot stop as quickly as they can. Also keep in mind that motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting, which does not activate the brake light. Keep careful watch of their speed, as they may slow down without a visual signal.


3. Predict that a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

Motorcycles are smaller than cars, which makes them look farther away than they are. It also may be difficult to assess their speed. Before turning at an intersection, backing out of a driveway, etc., assume they are closer than they appear.


4. Give them space.

You may have spotted a rider swerving in and out of lanes and labeled them reckless. While there are certainly dangerous drivers out there, many riders do this to avoid obstacles such as potholes, oil spots, roadkill, and other types of road debris, and their actions are wise. Leave them space to change their lane positioning according to the circumstances of the road.


If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, McCarron Law Firm is here to help. We're ready for you 24/7, providing legal service that will help you receive the maximum compensation possible. Call us today at 309-820-1010 or schedule an appointment online

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National Car Care Awareness Month: The Top 10 Ways to Love Your Car

April is the month when we honor our four-wheeled friends. They take us everywhere we go without complaint, so it's the least we can do to show them a little love. Don't just limit your love to April though; they need TLC year-round.


Love your car by:


1. Avoiding pot-holes and uneven roads as much as possible


2. Going easy on the brakes and gas pedal


3. Getting your oil changed regularly


4. Having your tires rotated every 5,000-10,000 miles


5. Lightening the load by cleaning out your trunk


6. Changing your engine's air filter


7. Remembering the parking brake when parking on an incline


8. Coming to a complete stop before shifting gears


9. Rotating and airing up your tires to keep your car driving straight and standing tall


10. Regularly adding fuel to your gas tank, so you're never running low


McCarron Law Firm understands the importance of caring for your vehicle since a well-maintained car is also safer for travel. However, when it comes to accidents, sometimes the vehicles aren't to blame. If you've recently been injured due to negligent driving or other unfortunate situation, Joe McCarron is the car accident attorney for you. Schedule an appointment today at 309-820-1010 or online.

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Distracted Driving Awareness Month: 3 Tips for Road Concentration


Distracted driving kills approximately nine people per day and injures over 1,000 in the U.S. Together, we can lower these numbers, but only if we decide to focus on driving every time we get behind the wheel.


There are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive.


Visual distractions cause your eyes to focus on things other than the road such as looking out your driver's side window at the scenery or looking for items on the floor of your car.


Manual distractions involve you physically taking your hands off the steering wheel. Some examples include: eating, drinking, or rifling through your wallet or purse.


Cognitive distractions occur when your mind is sidetracked while driving such as when you are daydreaming or experiencing road rage.


Here are three essential concentration tips that can help you and other drivers stay safe while on the road:


1. Keep your phone on silent and out of reach.

The best way to avoid being distracted is to eliminate the problem before you start the engine. Turn your phone on silent when you're in the car; even hearing the ringtone or notification sound can distract you. It may be helpful to put your cell phone in the glove compartment or in your purse/wallet where you can't reach it. The text messages and work calls aren't worth risking your life.


2. Just pull over.

When in doubt, just pull over. This can be the best decision to make when you're tired or upset, as it puts you in a safe place to re-energize and calm down. It's also an easy way to control unruly passengers, adjust dashboard settings, etc.


3. Be a planner.

Developing your planning and organizational habits can help you stay focused during important situations like driving. Being prepared (leaving for work earlier, keeping appointments and deadlines in a calendar, etc.) can lessen physical and emotional stress, thus letting your brain focus on the task at hand.


Help create awareness in your community by signing up to receive Distracted Driving Awareness Month materials and sharing them on social media.


Have you been involved in an accident caused by distracted driving? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. McCarron Law Firm is here for you 24/7. Call us today at 309-820-1010 or visit us online.

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3 Harsh Realities of Brain Injury Victims

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and McCarron Law Firm wants to acknowledge the many challenges victims face on a daily basis. Approximately 2.5 million people experience a traumatic brain injury, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. These people not only experience physical difficulties but must learn to overcome emotional and relational problems as well. Brain injury victims deal with a variety of:  


1. Physical Challenges

Brain damage patients can experience extensive amounts of bodily pain along with impaired hearing, vision, feeling, and/or speech. Brain injury can lead to complications such as seizures and sleep disorders, paralysis, etc.


2. Psychological Alterations

This type of injury can impact a person's ability to communicate, reason, and memorize, and cause a variety of mental health issues. After the accident, survivors often have different personality characteristics and fears. Some may be unable to control their emotions and impulses, and some may struggle with things such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder


3. Relational Changes

The combination of physical and psychological effects can put pressure on a patient's relationships. With a brain injury comes changes in responsibilities, roles, and communication between the victim and the people closest to them. Families and friends must learn and balance new tasks as they figure out how to best care for the victim. Decision-making roles may be switched to couples and families and new communication styles may need to be enforced. 


A brain injury can lead to intense stress for both the victim and their loved ones. Motor vehicle accident attorney Joe McCarron wants to provide relief through obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know is suffering from a traumatic brain injury due to a vehicular accident, contact McCarron Law Firm at 309-820-1010 or schedule an appointment online using the Live Chat feature.

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National Sleep Awareness Week: 6 Steps to a Better Night’s Rest

It's time to get some shut-eye! National Sleep Awareness Week is March 11th through the 17th. According to the American Sleep Association, drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries each year in the U.S. Make it a priority to improve your sleeping habits with these steps: 


Stick With A Routine

Stay in tune with your body's internal clock by going to sleep and waking up at the same time on a consistent basis.Waking up without relying on an alarm clock is a good sign you're getting enough sleep.


Try To Avoid Napping

  You'll spoil your good night's sleep if you nap earlier in the day. You don't want to be all hyped up when bedtime rolls around, so try to keep your eyes open as best you can. 


Exercise During The Day

Watch What You Eat

  Avoid eating spicy and acidic foods in the evening, as this can cause heartburn during the night hours. Limit the amount of caffeine you drink as well as your consumption of sugary foods.


Reserve Your Bed For Sleeping

Set your laptop aside. Turn off the TV. Put away your cell phone. Make your bed a zone for sleeping only and you'll be surprised at how your quality of sleep increases. 


Keep Your Room Cool

Your bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees to ensure the best possible sleep.

Start a new habit this week by making sure you get your eight hours of sleep. Your body will thank you for keeping it healthy and safe.


Have you been injured in a car accident due to drowsy driving or other related cause? McCarron Law Firm is here 24/7 to help you get the proper compensation. Schedule an appointment today for a free initial consultation online through our live chat or over the phone at 309-820-1010. 

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5 Things to Know About Workers’ Compensation

Worker's compensation or "workers' comp" is insurance dedicated to employees who experience an injury at work. Its purpose is to provide employees with wages and medical benefits. You may be entitled to compensation if you are injured while at your workplace or become ill because of work conditions. Here are a few things to note:


Where You Live Can Affect Your Benefits

Each state differs in its level and type of coverage. Certain kinds of injuries and employees may not be covered. Knowing Illinois's rules and qualifications ahead of time can prevent a not-so-good surprise later.


Workers' Comp Is Designed To Avoid Lawsuits

Employees Can Still Collect Benefits

Employees can still collect benefits even if they weren't on-site when they were hurt. For example, if you are injured while running an errand for your boss, you're covered. 


Worker's Compensation Covers More Than Just Injuries

Coverage extends to more than just physical injuries. People suffering from psychological trauma resulting from a work incident are also protected. 


Recurring Conditions Don't Go Away

Repetitive motion injuries, heart attacks, strokes, and other physical or mental conditions are often considered work-related. It's smart to talk with an attorney to see additional information.


Being injured on the job is hard enough; you shouldn't have to deal with the financial burdens that follow. McCarron Law Firm wants to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 309-820-1010, live chat, or contact us online for more information.

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McCarron Law Firm 24-Hour Call or Chat Now Available

When you are involved in a car accident, experience a work-related injury, or other harmful situation that calls for a lawyer, you need help, and you need it fast. You shouldn't have to wait until the next morning to make an appointment for legal services. McCarron Law Firm stands ready when you need help. We make it easy for you. Call us anytime, 24-hours a day, or reach us online now.

"Don't Wait. Don't Worry. Just Call!"

Joe McCarron
 

The Importance of Being an Accessible and Responsive Attorney in the Midwest

Accessibility is crucial when it comes to legal issues. Clients should be able to call or email any time without being stuck in voicemail. One should be able to schedule appointments within a matter of seconds and overall, feel that they've received the best customer service possible. You should know that your lawyer lists your wellbeing as a top priority.


Responsiveness, on the other hand, is not just returning phone calls or emails within a certain amount of time, it's available always and delivering the appropriate information when needed. Accessibility and responsiveness go hand in hand; when the person you need is accessible, they have an opportunity to be immediately responsive, which is essential when you need help in a pinch.


Reach McCarron Law Anytime, Anywhere and Schedule an Appointment Online Now

McCarron Law Firm is here for you 24/7, 365 days a year, offering help when you need it most. Joe McCarron provides you with hope and support. As an experienced personal injury accident lawyer, Joe has devoted his life to offering injury compensation results to those who were injured because of a car, truck, or motorcycle collision. His cases also range from severe back, neck and spinal injuries to wrongful death claims, even social security disability insurance, and worker's compensation support. If you're in need, call McCarron Law Firm at 309-820-1010 or schedule an appointment online today!  Look for the "Live Chat" icon to the right, or call 1-866-7RIGHTS.


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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Winter Weather and Car Accidents

It's always important to be a cautious driver, but it's especially important to use caution during winter weather. Twenty-four percent of weather-related car accidents occur on icy roadways each year. Record-breaking low temperatures in Bloomington-Normal paired with snowfall and ice are a recipe for black ice accidents and other ice-related crashes. Winter seemed to be delayed in early December, but ramped up after the holidays. Now, road crews are preparing for dangerous road conditions and so should you! Here are four things you should know as winter weather hits the Twin Cities:


  1. Although they do an excellent job of clearing our streets and highways, snow plows can also be a significant cause of accidents. Driving right behind a snowplow can be dangerous, especially when snow is light and fluffy. It makes it difficult to see as it is kicked up onto other drivers' windshields. It is recommended to stay at least 40 feet away when sharing the road with a plow.
  2. Black ice, an almost invisible layer of ice caused by re-melted snow, is a hidden danger when driving on winter roads. It tends to form in the early morning and evening and has a smooth, glossy appearance. Watch the cars in front of you; if they swerve, it's possible that black ice is ahead. Utilizing extreme caution and adjusting your speed when necessary can help lower your risk of a black ice accident.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, most serious crashes are not the result of careless drivers. Most accidents are caused by a lack of advanced warning signs before encountering an ice hazard. Caution signs should be posted before bridges and other areas that are prone to ice build-up. However, sometimes there are no signs, and it is up to the driver to watch out for ice patches. For more information on winter weather conditions and winter roads, visit http://www.gettingaroundillinois.com/.

It's common to wonder whether to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. If you or someone you know is involved in a weather-related accident, please don't hesitate to call McCarron Law Firm at 309-820-1010 or contact us online. We'll ensure that you understand your rights and receive the attention for your situation. If you've been seriously injured in a car accident in McLean County or within central Illinois, call personal injury attorney Joe McCarron. 

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National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day 2018: 4 Ways to Show Support

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January 9th is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and McCarron Law Firm wants you to “take the “L.E.A.D.” by showing your support! Our law enforcement officers not only keep our cities safe but also preserve our peace of mind. It is critical that we encourage our cities’ protectors, especially with all the negativity surrounding them nowadays. This national day presents us with the opportunity to come together for a great cause. Here are four ways you can show our officers some appreciation:

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