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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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IL accident lawyerIf you have ever been in a serious motor vehicle accident, you know just how disorientating the experience can be. In the span of only a few seconds, your world is completely turned upside down. Understandably, it can be difficult to remember exactly what happened during a major car accident. This is especially true if you suffered a head injury or went into shock during the accident. Accident reconstruction is a process through which experts investigate and analyze evidence to draw conclusions about the events that led up to an accident. Personal injury attorneys often work closely with accident reconstructionists to establish what actions were taken by motorists involved in the accident and when these actions occurred.

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim

Proving that the defendant’s actions led to the plaintiff's injuries is often the most difficult part of winning a personal injury lawsuit. Many personal injury claims involve a great deal of “he-said-she-said.” For example, a truck driver may claim that he started braking immediately after seeing a stopped car on the road while the driver of the stopped car insists that the truck driver hit his car at full speed. An accident reconstructionist can use physical evidence such as skid marks, the location of debris, leaked vehicle fluid, and the data from the truck’s event data recorder (EDR) to determine when the truck driver applied the brakes. The accident reconstructionist may be able to show that the trucker only applied the brakes seconds before the collision occurred. Conclusions reached through accident reconstruction along with data from the truck driver’s cell phone may show that distracted driving played a major role in the collision. This is just one example of how accident reconstruction may be used to support a personal injury claim. Accident reconstructionists may also use 3-d laser scanning, computer models, and other tools to investigate exactly what happened during a car accident.

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

The sooner your lawyer can start gathering evidence through accident reconstruction, the better your chances of proving the responsible party’s negligence and winning your personal injury claim. Whether you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, or another type of car accident, delaying the investigation can significantly reduce the quality of the evidence available. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney today. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 to get started.

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IL crash lawyerBeing involved in an auto accident can result in severe physical and emotional damage. However, this damage may not always be immediately evident. The trauma of a major car crash, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian accident may put the victim in a state of shock and disorientation. The “fight or flight” hormones released in his or her body can have an analgesic effect, numbing the pain the individual feels from his or her injuries. This is why it is vital to always seek medical treatment after a car accident – even if you assume that your injuries are only minor.

Signs That You May Be More Injured Than You Realize

If you are hurt in a car accident, you may be left with injuries that require expensive ongoing medical treatment. You may need pricey hospital care, prescription medication, surgery, physical therapy, psychological counseling, or other interventions to manage the harm caused in the accident. These problems may also negatively affect your ability to earn a living. In situations such as these, a personal injury claim may enable you to recover compensation for the expenses incurred by the accident. However, a successful personal injury claim is only possible if there is documented evidence of your damages. This is why it is essential to receive prompt medical treatment if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, and back: Neck and spine injuries can cause significant long term suffering. Many people who get whiplash or other neck injuries after an accident may not feel any pain at the time of the accident but then later develop serious, debilitating symptoms.
  • Swelling or pain in the abdomen: Car accidents often result in damage to internal organs. If you experience pain or swelling in your abdomen after an accident, it could be a sign of internal bleeding.
  • Difficulty carrying out everyday tasks, confusion, or impaired thinking: Traumatic brain injuries can cause physical symptoms such as headache, lightheadedness, and blurred vision as well as emotional and cognitive symptoms.
  • Anxiety and fear: Car accidents can have profound psychological effects. If you are experiencing flashbacks, phobias, nightmares, or significant anxiety after a car accident, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

If you were hurt in an accident involving drunk driving, distracted driving, reckless driving, or negligence, a personal injury claim may enable you to recover compensation. To learn more about your legal options following a car crash, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney by calling our office at 847-662-3303.

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Waukegan car accident lawyerIn Illinois, it is unlawful to drive without auto insurance. Motorists are expected to carry their insurance cards at all times and may be asked by police officers to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident. Unfortunately, some people do not take this requirement seriously and choose to drive without insurance. If you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may be worried about how you will recover compensation for your losses. Fortunately, there may be a way to recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses even if the other driver does not have insurance.

Car Accidents Involving Uninsured Motorists

An uninsured motorist claim arises when a driver without insurance causes an accident thorough negligence or wrongdoing. Uninsured motorist claims often involve an at-fault driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly, or was too preoccupied with a cell phone or other distraction to drive safely. Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents may also involve an uninsured motorist. In many cases, an uninsured motorist claim results from a hit and run. The uninsured driver is likely fearful of the consequences of driving and injuring someone without insurance, which is why he or she fled the scene of the accident. If the at-fault driver in a hit and run cannot be identified, there is no way to seek compensation from his or her insurance company. Underinsured motorist accidents involve an at-fault driver who has auto insurance that does not cover the damages caused in the accident.

Bringing a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company

Car insurance companies in Illinois are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UMI). If you have purchased “full coverage” auto insurance, you also receive UMI. An uninsured or underinsured driver claim is brought against your own auto insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for offering payouts that do not even come close to compensating an injured person for his or her losses. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, do not settle for partial compensation. Speak to a personal injury attorney who can advocate on your behalf and get you the full compensation you need and deserve in order to properly recover.

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Wheaton personal injury lawyerThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that over 32,000 people are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States and approximately 2 million are injured. Although we rarely think about it, getting into a car is statistically one of the most dangerous things most people do on a daily basis. Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, much of the country has been ordered to stay at home during the last few months. While many states saw a decrease in serious motor vehicle accidents during quarantine, Illinois surprisingly had more fatal auto accidents in March than in the months preceding the quarantine.  

Increases in Speeding and Reckless Driving 

For much of the beginning of 2020, most nonessential employees were furloughed and asked not to come into work. A large percentage of workers were also required to work from home. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses closed their doors to customers in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic. Since so many people were staying home due to the quarantine, most would expect the frequency of fatal auto accidents to decrease. Indeed, some states did see a major decrease in roadway deaths. For example, fatal auto accidents were down 32 percent in Hawaii and down 28 percent in Iowa. However, Illinois experienced an 11 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents in March of this year. The National Safety Council has speculated that although the roads are emptier, they are more deadly. This may be due to an increase in speeding, reckless driving, and violation of other traffic laws as a response to fewer cars on the road.

What To Do If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Car Accident

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you are likely unsure of what to do next. You may be burdened not only by your personal loss but also by significant financial stress. Your loved one may have required expensive emergency room treatment and hospitalization between the accident and his or her death. You may also be struggling without the financial support your loved one provided. If your loved one’s death was the result of a negligent driver, a wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your losses. You could be compensated for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost income, and more.

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Waukegan car accident lawyerAmericans overwhelmingly do not get as much sleep as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours a night. However, busy work schedules, child care tasks, and other responsibilities often take precedence over sleep. The CDC estimates that 38 – 44 percent of Illinois adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, their brain is not functioning at an optimal level. This is why fatigue is such a large contributor to injury-causing car accidents.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Sleep deprivation can cause memory issues, difficulties with concentration and problem-solving, and slowed reaction times. Some sleep-deprived individuals even experience episodes of “microsleep” where they fall asleep for a few seconds without even realizing it. This makes drowsy driving extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drug use can significantly exacerbate the dangers of sleepiness behind the wheel. Shockingly, one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Drowsy Driving

Although driving while fatigued is not against the law like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, a fatigued driver may still be at fault for a car accident if his or her sleepiness contributed to the accident. Through a personal injury claim, an individual injured in a drowsy driving accident could be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. An accident victim may receive compensation for his or her medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and much more. However, in order to collect compensation, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove that the sleepy driver’s actions caused the accident. Proving fault in a car accident is often a very difficult task. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Demonstrating that a drowsy driver’s actions led to an accident may involve analysis of physical evidence as well as testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, engineers, and doctors.

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