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IL accident lawyerRear-end collisions can be much worse than a typical fender-bender. Very hard impacts can occur when the driver behind was traveling at a high speed and failed to stop in time. Drunk or distracted drivers may not even manage to brake before impact. Injuries caused by rear-end collisions can be much more serious than a bit of minor whiplash. Many people who have been rear-ended suffer lasting injuries that can take them away from their jobs or keep them from performing the normal activities of daily living alone. If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you may be able to recover compensation for much more than just your ER bill. An attorney can help you calculate what your claim may be worth.

How Common Rear-End Collision Injuries Can Impact Your Life

Rear-end injuries can run the gamut from a sore neck that improves without treatment to a serious brain injury that requires surgery and extensive care in a hospital setting. Some common injuries sustained in rear-end crashes and the impact they can have include:

  • Wrist, hand, and arm injuries - These injuries tend to occur when occupants of the car in front anticipate the impact and instinctively brace themselves against the dashboard or the seat in front of them. No matter what line of work you are in, an injury that stops you from using one of your arms or hands is going to have an impact. Typing, scanning items at a cash register, or any type of manual labor is going to be very difficult if not impossible when you can only use one arm. You may need time off work - you may be able to recover lost wages as part of your compensation.
  • Whiplash - Whiplash is a broad term that can cover a number of different injuries to the head and neck when an impact knocks a person’s head forward and then backward rapidly and with force. Contusions - bruising of the brain - may occur in harder impacts, as the brain bounces inside the skull. This can cause permanent damage. Neck injuries from whiplash can cause long-lasting or permanent pain, often due to nerve damage. You may be able to recover compensation for loss of enjoyment in life.
  • Back injuries - Anyone living with chronic back pain will tell you that it is the absolute worst. Back injuries can occur due to the force of the impact causing your spine to bend in an unnatural way. Slipped or herniated discs may require surgery and can leave you in pain for a very long time. Many people have to leave their jobs because the pain or risk of further injury is not tolerable. You may be able to recover lost future earnings or compensation for your pain and suffering.

After a rear-end injury, it is important to keep in mind that injuries may not show themselves immediately. While you should seek immediate medical care after the collision, you should also return to the doctor or go to the ER if you notice new or worsening symptoms.

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IL accident lawyerDistracted driving has always been a problem. Even long before cell phones, drivers found ways to pay attention to things other than the road. Before they were texting, drivers were flipping through magazines, chatting with their passengers, or singing along to the radio. When car phones came along, drivers started splitting their attention between their phone conversations and their driving. Cell phones only made the problem worse. A shocking amount of drivers admit to doing anything from watching TikTok videos to texting while in control of a moving vehicle. Now, car manufacturers are increasingly adding distractions like integrated touch screen controls. These modern innovations may be increasing distraction rather than reducing it.

The Risks of Integrated “Infotainment” Systems in Modern Vehicles

Car manufacturers claim that adding voice controls, integrated GPS systems, and screens visible to the driver are meant to reduce the likelihood of a distracted driving accident, but it appears that they are doing the opposite. As a recent LA Times headline proclaimed, “We are killing people” by increasing drivers’ cognitive loads.

Cell phones are consistently responsible for thousands of fatal car accidents each year. Many car manufacturers - and even cell phone manufacturers, like Apple - seem to think that the solution is creating a better way for drivers to use phones while driving. However, this can be problematic. Even when a driver uses voice-to-text while operating a vehicle, they are still shifting their attention off the road, and they are highly likely to look at their screen to confirm that the transcription is accurate.

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Staying Safe After a Car Accident

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL crash lawyerJust because your vehicle has come to a stop after a car crash does not mean that the danger has passed. There is still a risk of what is called a “secondary” car accident. After you have been in a car crash, your vehicle is probably stopped in a rather unconventional place and you may not be able to move it. This can put you at risk of being hit again, either while still in your car or while on foot. There can also be danger associated with the other driver, especially if road rage was a factor in your accident. Knowing how to keep yourself safe in the aftermath of a car accident can stop a bad day from turning into a horrible one. After you have gotten to safety, your next step should be to contact an attorney for help recovering compensation.

Tips for Preventing Further Harm After a Traffic Accident

Keep in mind that not all tips will apply to all situations. Some steps that may help keep you safe from further injury after a car accident include:

  • Lights - Turn on your flashers so that other vehicles can see you more easily, especially when it is dark out.
  • Move vehicles - If your vehicle is still drivable, move it out of the roadway and onto the shoulder. This reduces the odds of an inattentive driver running straight into your car and potentially causing another accident. Stay out of the area your vehicle might be pushed into if it is hit a second time.
  • Stay visible - Avoid walking behind the damaged vehicles where other drivers may not be able to spot you. If it is very dark, consider turning on your phone’s flashlight so others can see where you are walking or standing. However, do not shine your flashlight at other vehicles - keep it low to the ground.
  • Deescalate - Do not argue with or show anger towards the other driver, especially if he seems eager to start a fight. Never provoke a driver whose road rage has already caused an accident. If you need to, walk away just far enough to get to a safer or more populated area to reduce the chance of an assault. Make sure you inform the dispatcher where you went and why you had to walk away when you call the police.

If a secondary collision does occur, you may also have a claim against the driver who caused the second crash. An attorney will be able to help you determine which parties may be liable to you for any harm that occurs after the initial accident.

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When Careless Drivers Pass the Blame

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerDrivers who have just caused an accident are often quick to blame anyone or anything but themselves. One common scapegoat is the weather. Another is the road itself. A negligent driver may even attempt to claim that the accident was all your fault when it was clearly on them. If the negligent driver who caused your car accident is trying to put the blame on anyone but themselves, you may worry about how it will affect your case. In most cases, it will not. Drivers are expected to adjust their driving to match the conditions of the road they are on. If it is you that they are trying to pass the blame to, you may have a bit more of a challenge, but a prompt investigation can help reveal the truth. Our attorneys will strive to help you make sure the right party is held accountable.

Road Conditions Negligent Drivers May Blame for an Accident

When road conditions are adverse, drivers should adjust the manner in which they drive to reduce the odds of a crash. If you hear the other driver blaming one of these conditions, they are highly unlikely to escape liability for doing so:

  • Weather - Rain, snow, and ice make the road slippery. This does not mean that drivers are not liable if they skid into someone. Drivers should slow down, increase their following distance, and start stopping earlier to compensate for slick roadways.
  • Hills and curves - Drivers should be aware that hills and curves can interfere with their ability to see into the distance. When approaching the top of a hill or the center of a curve, drivers should be prepared for the possibility that other cars may come into view.
  • Lane closures - If a lane is closed off, drivers should cooperate with others and merge. Some drivers who attempt to “cut the line” will claim that they did not know their lane was ending - this is not an excuse for causing a crash.

In the rare event that a road or its signage is truly designed or maintained in a way that is unreasonably dangerous even for cautious drivers, it may be possible to file a claim against the governing body responsible for the problems.

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IL injury lawyerA large percentage of car accidents happen at intersections. At an intersection, drivers are required to take turns using a common driving space to cross the intersection. There is plenty of opportunity for mishaps when multiple vehicles going in all different directions must share space. T-bone accidents and rear-end collisions are both very common around intersections. Some intersections are naturally more dangerous than others. Every city has at least one dreaded “malfunction junction,” and Chicago is certainly no exception. Dangerous intersections like those involving more than two intersecting roads, or multiple lanes controlled by a stop sign can become confusing and increase the odds of a crash. However, nothing plays a bigger role in intersection accidents than negligent drivers. If you were injured in a car accident, we may be able to help you recover compensation.

What Negligent Driving Habits Lead to Crashes at Intersections?

Drivers are responsible for taking reasonable care to avoid accidents. It is particularly important for drivers to use caution when faced with an intersection. Careless behaviors that may lead to crashes include:

  • Navigation struggles - Everyone has gotten lost at some point. GPS systems are not perfect. However, the middle of an intersection is not the place to go to battle with your navigation system. Drivers who have become turned around should follow their lane until it is safe to pull over rather than rapidly forcing their way into a different lane or making an abrupt turn.
  • Distraction - Drivers who are texting, emailing, or fighting with their GPS may not notice cars ahead of them stopping for a red light or stop sign. This can cause rear-end collisions. However, if the driver fails to notice an upcoming intersection due to their distraction, they may fail to stop entirely.
  • No signals - Good communication with other drivers is key. At intersections, this means that drivers must signal their intention. Other drivers may rely on a vehicle’s lack of turn signals and assume they are going straight when they are in fact turning.
  • Road rage - It can be very frustrating to deal with a driver who is not respecting the rules of the road. Some drivers have a bad habit of waiting too long to merge into the lane they need to be in and cutting others off. It is unsurprising that intersections, especially heavily trafficked intersections, tend to see a lot of crashes related to road rage.

If you were hit by a careless driver at an intersection, it is important to speak with an attorney before speaking to an insurance company.

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