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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 lawyerYou can never foresee if or when you will be involved in a car accident. For some, they may experience their lives flashing before their eyes during a crash, while others may be caught in a number of accidents throughout their life. Whether you are the at-fault party or not, being involved in a car accident can greatly impact your life. For those who were not responsible for the crash and have resulting injuries, their financial savings, ability to work, and quality of life can all be diminished depending on the severity of the accident. For those responsible, the cost of compensating the other party can be difficult to manage. This is especially true for those who are uninsured and are required to pay these fees out of pocket. Regardless of your level of insurance coverage, Illinois requires those who are found at-fault to provide financial assistance to the other party.

Determining Who Is At-Fault

Like most states in the U.S., Illinois is considered an “at-fault state.” Under these laws, the drivers involved in auto accidents within the state of Illinois will be assigned a level of fault, determining who is primarily responsible for the accident and how much they will owe the other party. Understandably, you may assume that one party’s actions are what cause the accident, making them solely responsible.

Most accidents, however, are a bit more complex. For instance, if two cars are turning into the same lane from different directions and one car had the right of way, but was also found to be texting while driving, a portion of the blame for the accident may be taken off of the other driver since they were not driving distracted. While you are filing your claim, both attorneys will work to discover who was more at-fault for the accident and fight on their client’s behalf to secure compensation for any injuries, car damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

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IL accident lawyerAny type of head injury can be serious, since it usually impacts the brain. A concussion occurs when there is trauma to the head, which affects the brain. This type of trauma can include a blow to the head or violent shaking, both of which may occur in a car accident. Individuals who suffer severe or multiple concussions can have negative long-term effects. Receiving prompt and proper medical care is key to recovering and mitigating permanent damage. In some cases, a negligent party may be at fault for causing a vehicle collision. If you or your loved one is suffering due to a concussion injury after a crash, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your rehabilitation.

Future Problems

When two vehicles collide, the force of the impact can be devastating. Drivers or occupants in the automobiles can strike the dashboard, windows, or doors. In some instances, they can become pinned between the seat in front of them or even be ejected from the car. In all these scenarios, hitting their heads on a hard surface within the vehicle or on pavement cause a concussion.

Although some symptoms of a concussion may not seem that serious, they can develop over time and greatly hinder a victim’s ability to perform everyday activities. A few of the long-lasting conditions may include:

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IL injury lawyerUnfortunately, car accidents are a reality on our nation’s roadways. Regardless if it is a highway or a rural street, collisions occur on a frequent basis for a number of reasons. In many cases, a crash is due to the reckless behavior or negligent actions of another driver. If a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, the force of the impact when it collides with another vehicle or object can cause catastrophic injuries. Occupants can hit their heads on the windshield or dashboard, resulting in serious head trauma. Many head injuries also affect the brain, which can lead to a long recovery, including surgeries or months of rehabilitation. In some cases, a head injury can prove fatal. If you or your loved one suffered because of an automobile accident, it is crucial that you seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options for securing compensation.

Closed Head Injuries

An injury to the head that does not go through the skull is considered a closed head injury. Closed head injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. This type of injury can cause broken bones to the face or skull, in addition to significant damage to the brain, including:

  • Bruising of the brain
  • Concussion
  • Bleeding on the brain (intracranial hemorrhage)

Symptoms of a closed head injury may include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and more. These signs and symptoms can start immediately following an accident or even days later, and for some, they can last for weeks or months. In severe cases, a victim can be in a coma and may need to be put on life support.

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IL crash lawyerA car accident can range from a minor fender-bender to a catastrophic collision with serious injuries. In some cases, a car crash can even prove fatal depending on the severity of the impact and other factors, such as speed, seat belt use, and more. Common injuries suffered in a vehicle crash include fractured or broken bones, or severe bruising and swelling, often to the legs, arms, or hands. In some instances, this can lead to compartment syndrome, which can be acute or chronic. Acute compartment syndrome is usually caused by a crush injury and poor blood flow. Chronic compartment syndrome may be due to repetitive exercise. If you were hurt in a vehicle collision, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you determine liability for the accident and hold those accountable for any damages.

What Is Compartment Syndrome?

Compartment syndrome is a painful condition in which excessive pressure builds up near an enclosed muscle area of the body. The syndrome typically occurs as a result of swelling or bleeding after a significant injury, such as those sustained in a car accident. The sudden impact and force of a vehicle collision can cause an occupant to be slammed against a door, window, or dashboard. A driver can also be pinned between the seat and steering wheel.

High pressure caused by compartment syndrome disrupts blood flow to and from the surrounding tissue. A decrease in blood flow prevents nourishment and oxygen, which can severely damage nerve and muscle cells. In some cases, it can be considered an emergency, requiring immediate surgery to prevent permanent damage. If left untreated, a patient may need to have the affected body part amputated.

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IL crash lawyerPeople can hurt themselves in many different ways. Automobile accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries. Various factors can increase the likelihood of a crash, including inclement weather conditions, negligent motorists, and faulty work equipment. Depending on the circumstances, injuries can range from minor to serious to fatal. Catastrophic injuries may include severed limbs or significant damage that requires the amputation of a limb. This can alter a victim’s life physically and emotionally if he or she loses the use of a body part. In some cases, if another party’s actions are found to have caused the injuries, the negligent party may be held accountable.

Catastrophic Injuries

When a car passenger, a bike rider, or a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, his or her legs or arms may be crushed during the impact. Depending on the speed and force of the crash, these limbs can be severed. In other cases, being pinned or trapped between work machinery can compress the nerves and blood supply to different parts of the body, which can result in irreparable damage. Although certain injuries can be fixed with surgery or extensive physical therapy, some cannot be repaired. In these instances, a doctor may need to amputate in order to save the victim’s life.

A few of the major types of incidents that could potentially lead to the loss of a limb:

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IL injury lawyerMany people take their physical health for granted until one day when it is unexpectedly taken away from them. This can occur after being involved in an automobile accident. The back is one of the most complex parts of the human body. It encompasses the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck and the shoulders. The main part of the back is the vertebral column, which holds the spinal cord in its spinal canal. Any time a person’s back is exposed to blunt force trauma or severe impact such as in a car crash, there is the potential for paralysis. In some cases, a victim may require assistance, extensive rehab, or a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is especially important to hold the negligent party responsible for a back injury accountable. In many cases, this is a negligent motorist.

Lasting Consequences of a Back Injury

Symptoms of a back injury may seem minor at first, with just a dull ache or pain. However, significant damage to the spine can also result in devastating consequences, often requiring surgery or substantial rehabilitation to regain even a small amount of mobility.

Below are a few of the conditions a victim of a back injury may experience:

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IL accident lawyerAnyone who watches the news knows that our nation’s roadways can be dangerous. Statistics show that approximately 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. There can be many causes for a vehicle crash, including inclement weather, negligent drivers, and poor road conditions. However, improper or incomplete maintenance on automobiles can also contribute to causing accidents. In some cases, an auto repair shop or the dealership may put in a faulty part from the manufacturer. In other situations, an untrained employee may not install a piece of equipment properly, putting a driver at risk for significant injury. Still more scenarios involve negligent drivers who disregard notices to replace recalled parts or do not properly maintain their cars.

Routine Service Affects Road Safety

It is important for vehicle owners to inspect their cars and perform regular maintenance, or they may be held responsible for collisions that are caused by failure to keep their vehicle in safe and proper working order. For example, a tire that does not have enough tread can cause a driver to slide on ice or snow and hit another vehicle or a pedestrian. A tire blowout can lead to a motorist losing control and sending his or her car careening into oncoming traffic.

A few common examples of issues that can cause a car to malfunction:

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IL accident lawyerPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a frightening experience. A person may suffer from PTSD after being directly involved in a terrifying incident or even after simply witnessing it. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 39 percent of car crash victims develop PTSD.

A motor vehicle crash can be a sudden and devastating event for a driver and passengers to go through. The aftermath of a car accident may include injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, or whiplash. However, victims can also exhibit characteristics of PTSD in the days, weeks, or months following the crash. This can significantly affect their day-to-day living. That is why it is imperative to seek medical treatment and legal guidance for pain and suffering, especially if the accident was due to the negligent behavior of another driver.

Symptoms of PTSD

Many people who are involved in automobile accidents are able to recover from their injuries in a few weeks. For example, a fractured or broken leg can be fixed by wearing a cast for approximately 30 days. It is normal to feel some anxiety after being involved in an auto collision. Some crash survivors, however, suffer emotionally and mentally for an extended period of time due to the traumatic nature of a crash.

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IL accident lawyerMany people may not think a wrist injury would be that serious. Injuries sustained to the hand or wrist are not typically considered life-threatening. However, any injury to a body part can have devastating consequences. For example, if a person breaks or fractures his or her wrist, he or she may not be able to continue working depending on the industry or profession. Someone who uses his or her hand every day to perform essential job duties will likely not be able to return to the same occupation after a wrist injury. Some of the more common causes of wrist or hand injuries include falling or car accidents. Regardless of how someone suffers such an injury, it may be possible to seek damages for medical bills or lost wages.

Incidents That Can Cause a Wrist Injury

Wrist pain can be caused by sprains or fractures as a result of an accident, but it can also be due to repetitive motion or use. Because the wrist is a joint, it can take a long time to heal and may require extensive physical therapy or even surgery. In some cases, muscle or nerve damage can be permanent. Below are the ways in which a person can suffer a serious hand or wrist injury:

Car accident: During the impact of a car crash, a driver’s hand can become pinned in between the steering wheel and dashboard, crushing the bones of the wrist.

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IL injury lawyerTraffic laws, such as maintaining an appropriate speed, wearing seat belts, and not operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be followed by elderly drivers compared to younger motorists. Furthermore, elderly drivers often avoid difficult driving conditions, like rush hour, driving at night, or driving in poor weather conditions.

According to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 2016 recorded 41.7 million licensed drivers over the age of 65. Breaking that down, out of the 221.7 million licensed drivers in the United States, almost one in five drivers are 65 years or older. While elderly motorists are considered to be safer drivers, they are at a much higher risk of car accident injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an experienced lawyer could advise you on the best course of legal action.

Why Are Car Accident Injuries More Common for Elderly Drivers?

As our bodies continue to age, certain vulnerabilities start to become more prevalent and noticeable. The act of operating a motor vehicle requires quick reflexes, increased awareness of your surroundings, good vision and hearing, and the ability to make immediate decisions. As the aging process continues, several factors can contribute to an increased risk of car accident injuries:

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IL car crash lawyerTraveling by car has become a way of life for a majority of U.S. citizens; millions of people hit the road every day either as a driver or a passenger. However, how many of these motor vehicle occupants are involved in car accidents? Based on recent statistical trends, it is estimated that there are roughly 4.5 million people injured from car accidents in the United States per year, including about 40,000 deaths. These accidents can be physically and emotionally draining on all parties involved.

If you or a loved one is hurt in a vehicle crash, you might be entitled to compensation if the accident was due to another driver’s reckless behavior. Taking certain actions immediately following the accident can help with seeking damages.

Potential Injuries From a Vehicle Crash

The aftermath of an auto accident can produce lasting effects for every party involved, including serious injuries. Depending on the circumstances, some of the most common consequences of car crashes include:

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IL injury lawyerDaylight savings time is a practice put in place in the United States in 1918 and has long since been a topic of heated discussion and debate. Advocates say having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings during the spring will help people be more active and will keep the roads safer because it is lighter longer. Detractors say it decreases productivity and can make people sick. Regardless of which side you are on, daylight savings time is a part of most people’s lives in the United States. However, there is evidence that daylight savings time is actually hazardous to the general public, due to an increased risk of car accidents following the clock change in the spring.

How Does Daylight Savings Increase Car Accident Risk?

A study in 2014 at the University of Colorado Boulder examined data regarding the prevalence of car accidents in the time period six days immediately following the change in clocks every spring. The results of that study found an increase of 6.3 percent during the six days after we change our clocks. The data was collected over a 10 year period. The reason for this increase in fatalities is because our bodies have a natural clock, known as the circadian rhythm. When the sudden shift in time occurs, it throws our natural clock off temporarily, and our bodies take time to readjust because of the sleep deprivation. This data is also corroborated by a study from Manitoba Public Insurance, an insurance agency in Canada. They found there was a 20% increase in car accidents the day after daylight savings time began compared to the other Mondays of 2014.

How Can This Be Prevented?

If you are worried about your drowsiness affecting your ability to drive a motor vehicle, you should take steps to lessen the likelihood of sleep deprivation. Making sure to go to bed early when you know the clocks will change, staying well-rested, and keeping an eye out for those drivers who were not as prepared as you were will help you stay accident-free after the time change.

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IL crash lawyerAutomobiles today have many different styles and variations. When buying a vehicle there are a multitude of factors to consider, such as gas mileage, how old the vehicle is, and whether or not you like the look of the vehicle. One of the most important factors that should be considered when buying a vehicle is how safe it is in the event of a collision. Vehicles have varying degrees of safety depending on a variety of factors, and one of those factors is the type of vehicle. There are three main vehicle types for passenger vehicles: small cars (sedans), pickups, and SUVs. Each of these types has a vastly different body type than the others, which impacts the likelihood of a collision causing an injury or death.

Head-On Crashes and Vehicle Type

Most crash test scores will simulate two vehicles which are the same size hitting each other. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo found that car size also impacts the result of a crash. It would make sense that a larger vehicle is going to do more damage to a smaller vehicle, but the study by the University of Buffalo illuminates how much of a mismatch there is between the two sizes.

When a car crashed head-on with an SUV in this study, the data indicated that the likelihood of death was 7.6 times higher for the car driver. If the car possessed a better crash-test rating than the SUV, the car had a small increase in the likelihood of survival, but they were still 4.5 times more likely to pass away than the person driving the SUV.

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IL injury lawyerWhen children grow up, many of them are excited to receive their driver’s license. To them, it represents a sense of freedom and exploration they have not had before. Finally being able to go where they want when they want is something many children look forward to for quite some time. However, parents may view teens driving a little differently. Parents may worry about their children driving for a variety of reasons, including their safety. Below we discuss some statistics regarding teen drivers and their likelihood to be involved in a crash or incident.

Statistics on Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a sheet of statistics regarding “young drivers.” They classify “young drivers” as those between the ages of 15 and 20. There were 221.7 million drivers with licenses in the US in 2016. Of those, young drivers were 12.1 million or 5.4%. The good news is that total fatalities in vehicle collisions with young drivers have declined from 2007-2016. During that time period deaths among young drivers went down by 40%, fatalities for passengers with young drivers declined by 50%, and fatalities of occupants of other vehicles involved in a crash with a young driver went down by 27%. However, over the last two years of that data period, 2015 and 2016, there was an increase or no change in those same statistics.

The involvement of young drivers in fatal crashes has also decreased in the 2007-2016 time period, by 36%. Nine percent of fatal crashes involved young drivers, but young drivers are 5.4% of all drivers with licenses, so there is a discrepancy in the rate in which young drivers are being involved in fatal car accidents. The statistics also indicate that male drivers who are young are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to females in the same age group.

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IL injury lawyerDriving a vehicle is dangerous for a number of reasons. Other drivers, road conditions, or mechanical failure are just some of the things that can cause a car accident while driving. The injuries or deaths due to many car accidents are preventable, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is constantly working to improve road safety to reduce these injuries and deaths.

The Illinois DOT strategic highway safety plan has five main categories in their mission to make roads as safe as possible, which are explained in depth below.

Engineering

The engineering aspect focuses on working to improve the roadway itself and the safety features on the roadway. Evaluating and updating the infrastructure of roads is key in this step since the road needs to be safe in order for the drivers to be safe. Some examples of engineering working to make roads safe are the implementation of rumble strips in the center and shoulder of more roads, updating and implementing more markings on roads, and adding more roundabouts.

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IL accident lawyerAutonomous vehicles are no longer only present in science fiction. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly looking for new innovations and ways to sell their product, and self-driving vehicles are on their radar. Many manufacturers already boast some basic self-driving mechanics, such as automatic lane change or self-park features, but a true and fully autonomous vehicle is not common on the automobile market yet. The reason for a lack of fully autonomous vehicles is most likely a combination of factors, such as technology limitations, cost considerations, and the general sentiment in America about self-driving cars, fearing that they are more likely to cause injury than a car they can drive themselves.

A Tough Sell

A recent survey by Gallup, a polling and research company, indicated that many Americans do not plan on using a driverless vehicle even if they become common in the next 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the people who were polled indicated they would prefer to own or lease a car they personally drive instead of a driverless vehicle.

The breakdown of demographics showed quite a difference in people’s opinions on driverless cars.  Fifty-three percent of men surveyed said they would use a driverless vehicle at some point, while only 40 percent of women said the same. Age is a factor as well, with 55 percent of adults younger than 50 stating they would use driverless technology either as soon as they could or after waiting a period of time.

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IL accident lawyerAutomobile collisions can be as simple as a fender-bender, or cause fatalities. Thousands of pounds of metal colliding with each other at high speeds can be a recipe for disaster. Usually, car crashes are one vehicle hitting another, but occasionally there are multiple vehicle pile-ups or collisions. When multiple vehicles are involved in the collision, it may be difficult to determine who exactly is at fault and needs to pay damages. Determining the fault in a collision is key to a court case, and is made more difficult in multi-vehicle situations.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Fortunately, Illinois law has a system which helps determine the fault in collisions with multiple vehicles, called modified comparative negligence. With the modified comparative negligence doctrine, jurors can assign a percentage of fault to each party responsible and divvy up the damages based on the percent the plaintiff is responsible. If the plaintiff is not at fault at all, they will get more money, if they are at fault 20%, they will get 20% less than they normally would. This goes all the way up to 50%. If the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault or negligent, they do not receive any damages.

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Il injury lawyerCar accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 7,277,000 motor vehicle crashes that were reported to the police in 2016. Head injuries are common after car crashes, especially concussions, which can take days or even weeks to manifest. Many people who are suffering from a concussion do not even know that they have one because they do not know what signs to look for.

What Is a Concussion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect your normal functioning. A concussion occurs when you receive a violent blow to the head that causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your skull. Concussions can be serious and can cause bleeding in or around the brain, which can lead to death if untreated.

Signs of a Concussion

Rarely, a concussion causes you to lose consciousness. Most of the time, concussions can be hard to detect if you do not know what you are looking for. If you have been in a car accident, be sure to look for these signs that you might have a concussion:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerThe last thing anyone wants to deal with is filing a car accident claim. Car accidents are scary business and can leave you with not only physical injuries and pain but also emotional trauma. Though not all accidents can be prevented, many accidents can be avoided through safe driving practices. Injuries sustained during car accidents can be extensive, which is why you should try to avoid risky situations in the car at all times. Here are four tips to follow to help reduce your chances of a car accident:

  1. Keep Your Attention on the Road

One of the biggest causes of accidents is distracted driving. You can be distracted by almost anything, but you should try to keep your attention on the road at all times. Many times, drivers are distracted by their cell phones, but the distraction is not always digital. Drivers can become distracted by other passengers in the vehicle, things outside of the vehicle or even something as simple as changing the air conditioning in the car.

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