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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 lawyerNot all school bus-related injuries are the result of a crash. While motor vehicle accidents involving a school bus are not as rare as one might hope, children are actually in more danger when they are getting on or off the bus. Additionally, a school bus does not need to be in an accident for a child to get hurt while riding on it. As you probably know, most school buses lack seatbelts, creating additional risks for children. If your child was injured while taking the bus to or from school, we may be able to help you recover the compensation your child needs and deserves. The first step will be to identify the liable party - it may or may not be the school district or bus driver.

School Bus Dangers Other Than Crashes

Children are not only at risk when the school bus gets into an accident. They can be injured in other ways associated with being a bus rider. Common ways that children are injured while taking the school bus include:

  • Being thrown - Without seatbelts, there is nothing holding a child in their seat when the bus makes a sudden movement. If the driver has to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision or has to swerve to dodge an obstruction in the road, a child can be tossed out of their seat. This can cause children to suffer injuries like broken bones or concussions.
  • Getting on and off - Children are not as graceful as adults. School bus steps may be steep, and handrails are not always easy for young children to use, especially when they have their hands full with school supplies. Falls while boarding or disembarking are common.
  • Crossing the road - Many children have to cross the street to get between their homes and the bus. This is by far the most dangerous part of a bus rider’s journey to and from school. If your child is hit by a car near the bus stop, it is very likely that the driver was disregarding a safety law or being careless and will be liable.

Recovering After a School Bus Crash

Children are not as well protected in the event of a collision as they probably should be. Your lawyer will first need to determine whose fault the crash was. If the bus driver was negligent in causing the crash, then your claim will be against the school district.

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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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IL accident lawyerCar versus pedestrian accidents can be incredibly devastating. People who are on foot have no shielding when a negligent motorist crashes into them. Even if a pedestrian sees a car about to veer off the road and strike them, they can almost never move quickly enough to avoid being seriously harmed. A driver who hits a pedestrian is almost always going to be considered negligent. Exceptions to this rule are rare. Especially in downtown areas like Chicago, walking is often the most convenient way to get around. Drivers should be very well aware that people are walking around and take reasonable precautions to avoid hitting one. If you were hit by a car while walking, you can likely recover compensation with an attorney’s help.

How Can I Recover Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident?

In most cases, the responsible driver’s insurance company will compensate you. The process is similar to what it would be had you been driving when you were hit. Your best bet is to have an attorney help you with the claims process. It can be a bit complicated, and the driver’s insurance company has more interest in making a profit than making sure that you get the compensation you need.

You will need to be able to show that the driver who hit you was being careless. This is usually the case in pedestrian crashes. Pedestrian accidents typically occur when a careless driver:

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Il accident lawyerWhen you have just been hit by a careless driver, you expect them to at least stop and exchange insurance information. When they instead take off and vanish, it can be very frustrating. You are stuck on the side of the road, injured, and the responsible party just keeps driving as if nothing happened. Hit-and-run accidents are very common, particularly in cities like Chicago. There are a number of reasons that drivers may flee the scene after causing a crash, ranging from not wanting to get a DUI to having an active arrest warrant. The good news is that you may have more options for recovering compensation than you think. An attorney with experience in hit-and-run accident cases can likely help you recover compensation, with or without catching the responsible driver.

Locating the Hit-and-Run Driver Who Fled

Even twenty years ago, hit-and-runs were much more difficult to solve. Cameras were less ubiquitous. Now, they are nearly everywhere. Some techniques your attorney might use in an effort to find the driver who injured you include:

  • Using cameras - There are traffic cameras at most major intersections, which may have captured the responsible driver fleeing in a damaged vehicle, or even the crash itself. Even if your accident happened on a residential side street, a resident may have a security camera outside their home that could contain helpful footage.
  • Working with police - Fleeing the scene of an accident - especially if you caused the accident and injured someone - is a crime in Illinois. The police may be interested in solving the crime. In that case, it may be best to cooperate with them in order to help identify the liable driver.
  • Identifying witnesses - Unless your crash happened in the middle of nowhere, odds are that someone saw something. Locating a witness can provide missing details that can be used to identify the driver who hit you.

If the at-fault driver can be identified, you can then pursue compensation from them as you normally would.

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