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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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3 Most Common Causes of Driver Distraction

Posted on in Car Accidents

waukegan personal injury lawyerEven though cell phones only became commonplace in the fairly recent future, drivers have been getting distracted as long as humans have been driving. That does not mean that someone who causes a crash and hurts someone because they were distracted has an excuse. Student drivers are taught from day one that they must keep their eyes and focus on the road at all times. It only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause a serious car crash. Distracted drivers can fail to notice a line of cars braking ahead of them and cause a rear-end collision. Perhaps scarier, distracted drivers can fail to notice a red light, stop sign, or pedestrian. Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone on or near the road. If you were injured by a distracted driver, then you may be entitled to financial compensation. 

Top 3 Distractions That Can Lead to Crashes

Any number of different things can take a driver’s attention off the road long enough for an accident to occur. Although cell phones are now a leading cause of distraction, they are not the only thing that distracts drivers. Some are avoidable, and others are less so. Either way, drivers are responsible for keeping their attention where it belongs. Top causes of driver distraction include:

  • Passengers - Anyone who has ever taken a turn at being the designated driver for a group of friends knows that passengers have the potential to be very distracting. Even as passengers, intoxicated, excited, angry, or rowdy people can create danger on the road. Young children can also be a great source of distraction. They may kick seats, scream, or throw things. Parents and peers alike would be best advised to pull over until calm has been restored to the vehicle.

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Top 3 Causes of Intersection Accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerIf you have the green light, you should be able to proceed safely through the intersection. When you have the red light, you and everyone else in your lane should stop - on time. Everyone who is old enough to sit in the front seat knows the rules. In a perfect world populated by cautious drivers, this is exactly how it would work. Unfortunately, in the real world, drivers are often not as careful as they should be when crossing an intersection, even if there is a red light camera. Statistically, you are more likely to get into an accident at or near an intersection than you would be anywhere else, even on the highway. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 40% of all motor vehicle accidents happen at intersections. If you were hurt in a car accident at an intersection, an attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation.

Common Reasons for Accidents at Intersections

When drivers make the kind of careless mistake that typically leads to intersection accidents, there may be a number of reasons behind their behavior. They may have been distracted, in a state of road rage, or drunk. Or, they could just be on “autopilot.” Some of the most common ways that negligent drivers cause car crashes in and around intersections include:

  • Running the light - There are very, very few good excuses for running a red light. Unless your mechanic installed your brakes backward or something of the like (in which case the mechanic could be liable), if you are capable of driving, you should be capable of stopping for red lights. Drunk or high drivers are far more likely to do this, often without noticing until after they have already crashed.
  • Stopping too late - Aside from knowing that all drivers are required to stop for red lights, actually stopping on time to avoid hitting other drivers is an essential skill. Some inattentive drivers will see that a light has turned yellow, but fail to see that other cars between their current position and the light are also going to stop. This often leads to rear-end collisions. Pile-ups can occur if the car in front is pushed into the stopped car ahead of it, or worse, into the intersection.
  • Unprotected left - When making a left turn without a green left arrow, a driver is responsible for making sure that it is safe to proceed. If your view is obstructed by other traffic or scenery, this may mean patiently waiting a moment until you can see that there is no one coming. Failing to do so can easily lead to a t-bone or multi-vehicle accident.

Determining who the liable party is may be tricky in some cases, especially if your crash involved multiple vehicles. If you are involved in an intersection accident, it is important to call a lawyer as soon as you can.

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