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Compensable Damages in a Car Accident Case

Posted on in Car Accidents

Waukegan personal injury lawyerThe financial costs and losses associated with a motor vehicle accident can be burdensome. In addition to the initial medical costs, there may be future costs associated with ongoing care. Many car accident victims are not yet healed - to the extent that they will heal - at the time their claim is settled, and yet, future expenses must be accounted for. For those whose income is needed to support themselves and their families, lost wages may be a major source of concern. Both future healthcare costs and lost wages may be compensable damages after a car accident claim. After a car accident, the not-at-fault party or parties may be able to recover a variety of types of compensation. The goal of pursuing compensation after a car accident is to place you roughly in the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred. It is critical to have the guidance of an attorney throughout the claims process. 

Damages Potentially Available After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Calculating the amount of damages to include in a demand can be a complex endeavour. Certain types of damages are not readily quantifiable, but plainly exist. Potentially compensable damages may include: 

  • Future healthcare costs - If your injuries have created a need for ongoing healthcare, such as further physical therapy sessions, home health aids, or planned surgeries, these costs can be accounted for in a demand for compensation. 

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waukegan product liability attorneyWhile motor vehicle accidents and product liability claims are frequently thought of as discrete concepts, sometimes, the clear cause of a motor vehicle accident is the defectiveness of a vehicular component. As the manufacturer of a culinary appliance may be liable should the heating element initiate a fire in which people are injured, so may the manufacturer of a car part be liable should a defect in that part cause a vehicle to crash, injuring occupants or others. Rarely is it the fault of a driver when he has unwittingly purchased a braking system, tire, or steering system with dangerous defects. Demonstrating that a vehicular collision was indeed caused by a defective car part can be complex and often necessitates a skilled investigation by a trained attorney. 

Product Liability Claims Process

The process of pursuing compensation may be altered in that rather than filing a claim against a car insurance company, the claim must instead be filedagainst a manufacturer or other party responsible for the vehicle defect. Litigation is more likely in cases like these. The remedy is more likely to be judicially imposed than secured by settlement when there is a question regarding the cause of the accident, especially in cases in which the mandated award could be substantial due to the severity of the harm caused or the number of injured plaintiffs. 

Thus, it is of particular importance that a skilled investigation take place promptly. While the expedient preservation and collection of evidence, particularly that which is found at the site of collision, is always a priority, it is of unique necessity when there is suspicion that a defective product was the proximate cause of the accident. 

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Seeking Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted on in Brain Injuries

lake county personal injury lawyer Traumatic brain injuries are commonly sustained in motor vehicle accidents, including those between a car and a pedestrian or bicycle rider. Suffering an often life-altering injury due to another party’s negligence can be devastating. You may be experiencing intense grief due to your altered path in life as well as rightful anger directed at the party who caused the accident. You may also be struggling to adapt to life with a traumatic brain injury. Many patients must stay in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility for an extended period. Some must relearn how to perform basic tasks, such as walking and even speaking. Traumatic brain injuries vary in severity, but all are very serious. If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident or another type of accident caused by another party’s carelessness, you should speak with an attorney. You may be able to recover significant financial compensation. 

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Affect You and How Compensation Can Help

The general purpose of laws enabling injured people to pursue compensation from the party who caused the injury is to leave the injured person in the same position they would have been in had the accident not occurred to the extent possible. Treating and living with a traumatic brain injury can be immensely costly. Effects of a traumatic brain injury and how pursuing compensation can help include: 

  • Earning potential - Those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury often experience a reduction in their lifetime earning potential. Compensation for reduced earning potential may also be possible depending on the extent of the injury. Calculating the difference in your earning potential before and after the accident may be difficult, particularly if the injured person was a young adult or child; however, there are strategies commonly employed by attorneys to do so. You may be eligible for compensation totaling the amount of this difference so that you do not experience an income reduction and subsequent alteration of lifestyle. 

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lake county personal injury lawyerFault in car accidents is not always readily apparent. There is hardly an infallible mechanism for making a concrete determination regarding what has occurred unless the accident was captured on film clearly enough to reveal each driver’s behavior prior to the accident. Even if video footage can be located, rarely is the picture sufficiently detailed and lengthy enough to show the movements of each driver in the minutes preceding the collision. Rather, cameras are limited in their range of view and may fail to capture critical information. 

Much of the events can be revealed through a skilled forensic examination of the accident scene. Your attorney may, in some cases, use an expert reconstruction or involve a private forensic investigator if there is a significant dispute as to the cause of the accident and scientific evidence is needed. However, to reap the full benefits potentially available from a forensic examination, it is critical to contact an attorney promptly, before cleanup efforts by first responders or even unfavorable weather patterns erase or conceal needed evidence. 

Potentially Available Evidence Located at the Collision Site

Attorneys who are experienced in pursuing compensation following a car accident frequently seek out evidence that may be available at the location of the motor vehicle accident in question. Information and evidence that may potentially be available at the accident scene includes: 

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wheaton car crash lawyerThe impact usually comes out of nowhere when the at-fault driver is drunk or high on drugs. Intoxicated drivers tend to make unpredictable, erratic movements, so you may not have even seen them coming. Then, when you make it out of your car and go to get the other driver’s insurance information, you are greeted by a clearly intoxicated person. Maybe you smelled the whiskey on their breath as you approached, or happened to notice that their pupils are the wrong size. Dealing with an intoxicated driver who has just caused an accident can be frustrating at best, and dangerous at worst. It is important that you use caution and call the police right away. Proving their intoxication may become a major part of your claim later. In Illinois, if you can show that the driver broke the law by driving drunk, he or she may be automatically considered negligent under a legal concept known as negligence per se. 

Steps to Take When You Have Been Hit by an Intoxicated Driver

It is important to prioritize your safety when you suspect that the driver who just hit you is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated people can become aggressive, and may lack the inhibitions to refrain from violence. Steps you should take right away if you suspect that the other driver is intoxicated include: 

  • Call 911 - An intoxicated driver causing an accident and hurting someone warrants a call to 911 rather than the non-emergency number. If your suspicions are correct, they have committed a crime and may be arrested. You will want the police and an ambulance to get there quickly for safety reasons. 

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