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IL injury lawyerIn a recent case in Lake County, a man is facing charges for allegedly causing a multi-vehicle accident resulting in injuries to one person and the death of another. Unfortunately, accidents involving several vehicles and injury victims are not uncommon in Illinois, and they can be some of the most complicated cases when it comes to recovering compensation for the victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, you may have many confusing details to navigate, and you can benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience with similar cases.

Is There Enough Insurance Coverage for All of the Victims?

In most personal injury cases involving car accidents, a victim’s compensation comes from the negligent party’s liability insurance. However, auto insurance policies have limits on the amount of payment this coverage can provide. In Illinois, when a driver has only the minimum liability insurance coverage required by law, these limits are $25,000 per injury victim and $50,000 per accident. If the same driver is responsible for injuries to several people who each file a personal injury claim, these limits may be insufficient, especially if any of the victims’ injuries are severe.

If you find that the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage for your damages, you may need to file a claim for additional compensation through your own underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is offered when you buy car insurance for your own vehicle, with minimum limits in the same amount as the minimum limits for liability insurance. However, you can choose to purchase coverage at higher limits to better protect yourself.

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IL accident lawyerThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) maintains a running total of traffic accident fatalities each year, which provides important data to identify trends and inform the state’s efforts to implement safety measures. Two years ago, we looked at the 2019 fatality statistics in Illinois and noted that there had been a decline in fatal accidents from the previous year. Unfortunately, this trend has reversed in the last two years, resulting in a troubling increase in accident fatalities. With this in mind, it is important to take all available safety precautions when you are on the road and to understand what you can do if you lose a loved one in a fatal car crash.

Fatal Car Accidents and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Illinois law enforcement reports that the rise in car crash fatalities has coincided with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, despite there being fewer drivers on the road overall, there was a substantially higher number of fatal accidents compared to 2019. Officers cite higher speeds and greater use of alcohol and drugs as contributors to this increase. Statewide, fatal accidents increased by 16 percent from the previous year, and in Chicago, fatal accidents increased by 45 percent. These numbers made 2020 the worst year for fatal Illinois car accidents in 13 years.

As the pandemic has continued into 2021, the number of fatal accidents has also continued to increase. As of this writing, there have been 727 traffic fatalities in Illinois this year, which is an increase of 55 from the same time in 2020.

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IL accident lawyerIf you have ever traveled on the interstate, you have likely seen a car stalled on the side of the highway and been thankful that it was not you. However, anyone could find themself in a similar situation, whether due to unexpected engine troubles, a blown tire, or some other cause.

Stalling on the highway is not just an inconvenience, it can also put you at risk of serious injury from passing drivers. Just last weekend, two people were injured in a collision on I-94 in Lake County after a woman’s vehicle broke down. You may be able to avoid similar injuries by understanding the safety precautions you should take if your own vehicle stalls.

What Should I Do If My Vehicle Breaks Down on the Interstate?

It is easy to be caught unaware if your car breaks down on the road. However, it is important to try to stay calm and consider taking the following actions to protect yourself and your passengers:

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IL accident lawyerRollovers are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents, accounting for 28 percent of vehicle occupant fatalities according to 2019 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Though the majority of rollover accidents involve only one vehicle, there are plenty of cases in which a rollover is caused by a collision with another vehicle, or in which a vehicle rolls over into the path of another vehicle. If you have been injured in a rollover crash, an attorney can help you determine whether another party was at fault.

Common Factors in Rollover Accidents

Research from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers important insights regarding the factors that commonly contribute to rollovers. Understanding these factors may help you avoid an accident or better understand the circumstances leading to your injuries. For example:

  • Rollovers disproportionately affect occupants of SUVs and pickup trucks when compared to smaller cars.
  • Many fatal rollover crashes are the result of an impact to the front of the vehicle, either by another vehicle or a stationary object like a barricade or utility pole. However, a large number of rollovers are not caused by any impact at all. Some of these no-impact accidents happen when a driver attempts to avoid a collision with another vehicle and loses control.
  • A substantial portion of drivers in fatal rollover accidents are speeding or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
  • Rollover accidents are also a risk for drivers of commercial semi-trucks, due to factors like speeding, driver error, and improperly loaded or secured cargo. Because of the size of the vehicle, a semi-truck rollover often harms occupants of other nearby vehicles as well.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

If you have been injured because of a rollover accident, one of the most important things you can do is get medical attention right away. This helps you better understand the nature and severity of your injuries so that you can get the appropriate treatment, and it can also help in your pursuit of compensation for your medical bills. If you believe another driver or some other party may have been at fault for your injuries, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you demonstrate negligence and represent you in a settlement or trial.

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IL accident lawyerAccording to recent estimates, more than 10 percent of Illinois drivers lack the liability insurance required by state law. When one of these uninsured drivers causes a car accident resulting in property damage—or worse, bodily injury—it can make the process of recovering compensation more difficult for the victims. Fortunately, Illinois government is taking steps to address the problem of uninsured drivers, including implementing a new electronic verification system to identify drivers who violate the state’s mandatory car insurance laws.

How Does the Car Insurance Verification System Work?

The Illinois Secretary of State’s new Illinois Insurance Verification System (ILIVS), goes into effect on July 1, 2021. All vehicles registered in Illinois will be subject to at least two annual checks, conducted at random intervals throughout the year, to determine whether they are covered by an active liability insurance policy. The verifications will be conducted automatically using records from auto insurance providers throughout the state.

If the office of the Secretary of State is unable to verify a vehicle’s insurance coverage automatically, the driver will be sent a letter requiring them to provide proof of insurance coverage within 30 days. If the driver cannot furnish proof, the vehicle’s registration will be suspended, and the driver will not be legally permitted to drive it until they obtain liability insurance and pay a reinstatement fee of $100.

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