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Waukegan Medical Emergency Car Accident AttorneyImagine this scenario: As car 1 is lawfully passing through a dangerous intersection, car 2 comes from their right, runs the stop sign, and T-bones car 1 on the passenger side. The passenger in car 1 suffers severe injuries that incapacitate them for months and leave lasting damage. In most cases, you could rightfully assume that car 2 is at fault for causing this car accident; therefore, the driver of car 2 and their insurance company will have to pay out thousands of dollars in damages to the car 1 passenger.  But is that always the case? No, not always.

In what situations would someone who runs a stop sign not be the at-fault driver in an accident such as the one described above?

One situation is a medical emergency. Suppose the driver of car 2, the one who ran the stop sign, suffered a heart attack or stroke that caused them to lose consciousness. This can happen with no previous warning signs. As long as the driver had no indications that they were not safe to drive, a sudden medical emergency is a defense against liability for the accident.

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Lake County Rear-End Collision LawyerWhen cars collide, one of the first questions that must be answered is, “Who was at fault?” The at-fault driver--or, more commonly, their insurance company--is liable for any damages caused to others, including personal injuries as well as property damage. In a rear-end collision, the driver in back is usually the one at fault.

The Rules of Safe Following Distance

When you are following another car, you have a duty not to follow too closely. If the car in front of you has to stop suddenly, you should have sufficient braking distance to halt your car before impacting the car in front of you. If you were tailgating, speeding, or simply not paying attention, a rear-end collision can be the result, and you will generally be deemed at fault.

The general rule of thumb for safe stopping distance is the three-second rule. You pick a sign or tree at the side of the road to serve as your reference point. When the car in front of you passes that point, you count out three seconds. If you pass the reference point before the three seconds are up, you are following too closely.  

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Lake County DUI lawyerUnderage drinking tends to rise in May and June due to graduation parties and other celebrations that mark the end of the school year. Unfortunately, intoxicated minors often make risky choices, which can result in catastrophic injuries from falls or car crashes. These young people may injure not only themselves but also other people, particularly in drunk driving accidents. These accidents can cause substantial financial and emotional damage as well as physical injury. Everyone looks for someone to hold liable for these damages.  

Most people have heard of dram shop laws, which make a licensed liquor seller who overserves a visibly intoxicated customer financially liable for injuries caused by that impaired customer, typically in a drunk driving crash.

What many people do not realize is that Illinois also has a set of social host liability laws that apply to parents and other adults. In specific situations, an adult who contributes to the impairment of a minor by alcohol or illegal drugs can be held liable for injuries resulting from that minor’s impairment.

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Waukegan Car Accident Attorney

When someone is seriously injured in a car accident in Illinois, one of the first questions they will be asked is, “How did it happen?” The answer matters for several reasons:

  • To help doctors provide appropriate medical care. For example, if a person lost consciousness while driving, they may have a medical condition that needs to be treated, apart from any injuries caused by the accident.

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Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

When a car crash in Illinois causes serious injury, you may wonder, “Who will pay these medical bills?” The short answer is, “You.” When you seek medical treatment, you are personally responsible for making sure the bills get paid. However, the longer answer is, “A combination of your own pocket, your health insurance coverage, your auto insurance coverage, the insurance of the at-fault driver, and the at-fault driver personally.”

In general, your own health insurance is going to be your first and best option to get medical bills paid as quickly as possible. At the same time, you must report the accident to your auto insurance company and the auto insurance company of any other drivers involved in the collision.

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