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Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C.

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IL car accident lawyerWith a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed across the country, many people are looking forward to venturing out more now after staying at home this past year. Illinois roadways may soon see more traffic, especially with the warmer weather upon us. In addition, travelers may not be ready to fly on airplanes just yet and instead opt for taking road trips in their cars. Whether you are driving to another state or just a different Chicago suburb, anytime you get behind the wheel you run the risk of getting into a car accident. Rear end crashes are common on local streets as well as highways, and they can cause serious damage to a vehicle and its passengers.

Whiplash and Other Injuries

The injuries suffered in any car accident can range from minor bumps and bruises to severe and life-threatening conditions. One of the most common types of injuries in a rear end collision is whiplash. When the head suddenly moves backward and then forward, whiplash affects an individual’s neck and can have lingering effects. Depending on the speed at which vehicles are traveling, occupants may hit their head on the car’s dashboard or windshield when struck from behind. This can result in deep cuts or lacerations, in addition to fractured or broken bones.

The Role of Negligence in Car Accidents

There are various reasons why vehicle crashes occur, including bad weather, poor road conditions, and driver error. In many cases, reckless or negligent behavior or actions are the main cause of a collision. Typically, the motorist in the back is the at-fault driver, but this may not always be the case. According to Illinois law, a person can pursue compensation for damages sustained in a car accident as long as their comparative negligence is less than 50 percent.

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IL injury lawyerThe difference between driving on a clear, sunny day compared to a rainy, snowy, cold day is striking. Inclement weather conditions can cause all sorts of problems on Illinois roadways. Any precipitation can make it difficult to see clearly when behind the wheel. In addition, wind only adds to the visibility problems. When the temperature drops below a certain level, water turns to ice. Black ice is a transparent coating of ice, found on a road or other paved surface. It can form after precipitation develops and then temperatures fall below freezing. This condition can be extremely dangerous for drivers because it often is not detected until it is too late. Car accidents involving black ice can be catastrophic. Drivers should take extra precautions during winter weather to avoid causing or being involved in a crash with severe injuries.

The Hidden Dangers of Black Ice

What makes black ice so hazardous is the fact that it is nearly impossible to see. Because it is transparent, motorists have a hard time detecting black ice at any time, but particularly at dusk or nighttime. In addition, it is more likely to develop on bridges and overpasses.

Below are a few key facts about how black ice forms and why it can be so treacherous:

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IL accident lawyerThere are many factors that can cause a car accident, such as drunk or distracted driving, weather or road conditions, and speeding. In some cases, a vehicle crash could be caused by a combination of those things, which can lead to confusion when recognizing the at-fault party. However, determining liability is important if anyone got hurt. Victims of automobile collisions can suffer injuries that impact them for days, months, or even years. That is why it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible about the accident, including how it happened as well as how it has impacted you. The more proof there is to support a claim for injuries or damages/losses, the better chance you have of receiving a fair settlement.

Documentation Is Key to Proving Negligence

The immediate aftermath of a crash can be chaotic and disorienting, filled with adrenaline and emotions. Drivers and passengers alike may be frightened, angry, and in pain. The first thing to do is call 911 if paramedics are needed and then call the police so they can fill out an official report of the accident.

Although Illinois drivers are required to carry auto insurance policies in the event of an accident, insurance companies typically only pay for vehicle damage and rental car fees if a car is totaled. A civil lawsuit or claim can alleviate the financial burden caused by physical and emotional injuries. However, as a plaintiff, you are responsible for proving another party’s negligence caused the accident and your subsequent damages, including lost wages if you are unable to return to work. In some cases, the other party involved may be driving for work, so it is important to get the name of his or her employer.

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IL injury lawyerResearch shows that there are many reasons why a car accident may occur. Some of the factors that increase the likelihood of a collision include weather conditions and driver error, which can include operating a vehicle while distracted, drunk, or drowsy. In many cases, a motorist believes he or she is sober or awake enough to drive when in reality, he or she should not be behind the wheel. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately half of motorists in the United States admit to driving while feeling tired. Shockingly, more than 40 percent of American drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in their driving careers. Despite less traffic on Illinois roadways due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there has been an increase in vehicle fatalities, partly due to fatigued drivers. If you are suffering as a car accident victim, it is important to explore your legal options with a skilled personal injury attorney.

The Impact of Drowsy Driving

Micro-sleep refers to short, involuntary periods of inattention. Although these can last as little as four or five seconds, when a driver experiences micro-sleep while traveling at a high rate of speed, the vehicle can travel the distance of a football field. This translates to not being able to stop in time if the car ahead suddenly stops. A rear-end collision at fast speeds can cause life-altering and even fatal injuries. Simply losing control of a vehicle for a few seconds can be catastrophic, with significant head trauma, internal bleeding, and spinal cord damage.

Drowsy driving is similar to driving under influence (DUI) of alcohol in the following ways:

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IL accident lawyerThis year has been like no other due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. With many restrictions issued to prevent the spread of the contagious virus, people may be struggling financially and emotionally. Certain non-essential businesses have been temporarily closed, while many employees have been allowed to work from home the past eight months. Although the holidays are upon us, health officials are urging folks to stay home or practice social distancing if they do venture out. For those who are feeling cooped up, going for a walk has become a popular pastime.

In the winter months, daylight hours are shorter, so it gets dark much earlier in the day compared to summertime. Combined with motorists who may get behind the wheel after a few too many drinks while celebrating the holidays, the likelihood of cars hitting individuals who are out walking is increased. If you or your loved one was struck as a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation if a negligent driver is at fault for your injuries.

Catastrophic Injuries

The sheer nature of a vehicle hitting a person while walking can be devastating. This is partly due to the force of the impact and the fact that a pedestrian does not have any protection compared to passengers in a car. In some cases, a person who is struck by an automobile can sustain life-altering injuries, including paralysis or brain damage, which can impact the rest of their life.

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