Motor vehicle accidents can occur when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree or utility pole. In 2005 alone, there were more than 6.4 million motor vehicle accidents across the United States, with a financial cost of more than $230 billion. In one year, 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people were killed. Across the country, one person is killed in a vehicle accident every 13 minutes. Car accident statistics in Illinois are equally alarming. In 2010, 927 people were killed in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). An additional 88,900 suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
Car Accident Phone App
Common Causes of Chicago Car Accidents
There are many causes of car accidents in Chicago. At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, our accident lawyers frequently investigate accidents involving the following:
Driver Impairment Over 350 fatal car accidents in Illinois in 2010 were alcohol-related. Other forms of impairment include fatigue, illness and use of drugs, including over-the-counter medication, prescription medication and illegal drugs.
Defective Car Parts Faulty vehicle parts, such as brake failures or seat belts, can lead to serious and potentially fatal car accidents.
Poor Road Conditions Potholes or uneven pavement can lead to deadly accidents. Other potential hazards include substances on the road, foreign obstacles and icy roadways.
Speeding Driving at a speed that exceeds safe conditions based on the weather, traffic or road conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit, often causes car accidents throughout Illinois.
Distracted Driving While Chicago has laws banning forms of distracted driving, such as using a cell phone behind the wheel, thousands of drivers fail to abide by these laws and put others in danger.
Injuries Common in Car Accidents
Car accidents can lead to many injuries. While most accidents cause only minor injuries such as bruises and soreness, other accidents can cause devastating damage in a matter of seconds. Common injuries associated with Chicago car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which results from impact with an object, such as a steering wheel.
- Spinal cord injury, which can cause paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia and hemiplegia.
- Neck injuries, which are must likely to result from rear-end collisions.
- Broken bones, which often occurs when a victim braces for impact.
- Amputation. In serious car accidents, some victims suffer when a body part is completely severed. Other injuries, such as a crushed limb, require surgical amputation.
What to Do After an Accident
From turn signals to seat belts and airbags, safety measures are designed to prevent accidents and injuries when a car accident occurs. Following an accident, however, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. After a car accident does occur, however, it’s important to follow these steps, even if the accident seemed minor and you do not think you were hurt:
- Make sure everyone is okay. If anyone is injured, call 911.
- Notify the police.
- Do not apologize, as this may be seen as an admission of liability.
- Get information from witnesses at the scene of the accident. You will want the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved, including the driver of the other car, passengers, responding police officers, and witnesses.
- Take pictures, as having proof of damage to your vehicle will help with insurance claims and serve as evidence if there is a dispute. It’s also a good idea to take notes about the details of the accident and the nature of your injuries as soon as possible, as these details can be forgotten.
- Protect your rights. Finally, protect your rights. Following a car accident, you will likely have to deal with property damage claims, medical bills, lost wages, and multiple insurance adjusters. You may be wondering who is on your side. Don’t jeopardize your rights without speaking with a personal injury lawyer first. Knowing your rights will ensure you the best protection under the law.
Insurance Companies Are Not On Your Side
While many people believe they can trust an insurance company to give them adequate compensation, this is not always true. Motorists must carry just $20,000 of liability insurance for injury or death of an individual in Illinois, plus $40,000 of liability insurance for death or injury per accident and just $15,000 of property damage insurance.
Most people abide by the law and purchase coverage above these limits, but this is not always the case. Even worse, some drivers in Illinois drive with no car insurance at all. The Insurance Research Council estimated that 1 in 7 drivers in the U.S. are uninsured; this number is estimated at 15% in Illinois. If you are injured in a car accident involving one of these uninsured motorists, there will be no insurance coverage from the at-fault driver to pay for your damages.
Even when insurance is involved, don’t forget that insurance companies employ an army of their own attorneys and, as a company, it is their job to minimize pay-outs. Do not accept the first offer or estimate you receive, and do not speak with the other party’s insurance company without an attorney.
Compensation Following a Car Accident
Studies have found that insurance companies pay nearly triple the amount of money in cases where a victim is represented by an experienced car accident lawyer, on average. Every car accident case is unique, however, and the compensation you may receive depends on several factors. In general, you can expect to receive compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses and hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical expenses
Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Today
Proving negligence in a personal injury following a car accident can be very complex, and it takes a combination of resources, time and experience. It is also essential that you protect your rights following an accident to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve to safeguard the financial security of your family. If you were injured in a car accident, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation.
We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury in a car accident. Agruss Law Firm, LLC, will handle your case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-¬fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.