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IL accident lawyerA personal injury claim may be used to seek compensation for damages, or financial losses, resulting from an injury. In order to be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim in Illinois, you and your attorney may need to show proof of the defendant’s negligence. If you were injured in a car accident, this may mean proving that another driver was at fault for your accident. Personal injury claims often become cases of “he said, she said” so proving that the other driver was to blame for your accident may be quite difficult. Accident reconstruction is one way that you may be able to demonstrate liability in a car accident injury claim.

Proving the Elements Needed to Win Your Case

Most personal injury claims are founded on an allegation of another party’s negligence. To win a claim based on negligence, you will need to demonstrate four main points. First, you must show that the defendant owed a duty of care. In the case of car accident claims, this is typically the easiest issue to prove because all drivers have a duty to drive in a lawful and safe manner. Secondly, you must prove that the driver breached or violated the duty of care. A driver may breach his or her duty by texting and driving, driving too fast for the conditions, or otherwise driving in a way that could endanger others. Thirdly, you will need to show that the driver’s negligence caused your injuries. Lastly, you must show that you sustained damages such as medical bills or lost income because of your injuries.

Reconstructing an Accident

Accident reconstruction is one tool that may be used to demonstrate how a driver’s negligent actions caused an accident. Accident reconstruction experts are usually highly-skilled in fields such as forensic engineering, physics, and mathematics. They may use evidence such as the location and severity of vehicle damage, skid marks, vehicle information from event data recorders, weather data, traffic patterns, and road conditions to determine what happened during an accident. This information may be used along with computer programs to “reconstruct” or reproduce the events that occurred during the accident in an easy-to-understand format. An accident reconstruction expert may offer assistance during the development of your claim or he or she may be called as an expert witness in court.

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IL accident lawyerBeing in a car accident can have a profound impact on your life. Injuries may lead to long-term pain and suffering, loss of functioning, reduced independence, and other negative consequences. In addition to the physical pain and emotional anguish caused in a serious car accident, being hurt in a crash can also lead to major financial harm. Neck injuries are very common in car accidents – especially rear-end and T-bone accidents. Even a low-speed accident can lead to neck injuries that cause months or years of painful symptoms. If you or a loved one suffered a neck injury in an accident or the accident aggravated an existing neck injury, you may be able to seek financial compensation.

What Types of Neck Injuries May Be Caused by a Car Accident?

Most people rarely think about it, but the neck has a tremendously important function. Not only does the neck control the movement of the head, but it also encompasses important nerves, muscles, and bones. An injury to the soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or vertebrae in the neck can lead to significant disability. Some of the most common neck injuries caused by car accidents include:

  • Whiplash – When the head suddenly moves forward or backward in a crash, the soft tissues of the neck can become significantly damaged. Whiplash can be extremely painful, but it is often difficult to prove because the injury does not show up on x-rays.
  • Injuries to spinal discs – The vertebrae of the neck and spine are sandwiched between fluid-filled discs that absorb shock and prevent damage to the vertebrae and spinal cord. A car accident can cause the discs to slip out of place, tear, rupture, or otherwise become damaged. Herniated discs can be severely painful -especially if the disc puts pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord.
  • Nerve damage – Nerves are responsible for sending signals throughout the body. Damage to nerves in the neck and back can cause significant disability. If nerves are stretched, torn, or otherwise harmed in a car accident, the victim may experience pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of function in certain body parts.

Damages in a Neck Injury Claim

If your car accident was caused by the negligent or illegal actions of another party such as a drunk driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. The most common damage in a car accident claim includes medical expenses, lost income from missed work, impairment to the victim’s future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. However, to recover compensation, you will need to show that:

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IL injury lawyerAlthough most rarely consider it, getting into a car is statistically one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis. Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other traffic accidents lead to severe injuries and death every day in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Americans spend over 1 million days in the hospital every year because of traffic accidents. In 2012, car accident injuries led to an estimated $18 billion dollars in expenses. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may wonder which medical expenses may be recoverable through a personal injury claim.

Past Medical Expenses

Being hurt in a car accident is a traumatic ordeal. After the initial shock caused by the accident wears off, an injured car accident victim may experience a secondary shock from the medical bills incurred by the accident. The first expenses may people encounter after a car accident are ambulance fees and emergency room bills. They may then accumulate medical bills related to hospitalization, diagnostic tests like laboratory blood tests, x-rays, or CT scans, surgery, and more. A personal injury claim may enable you to recover compensation for these medical expenses.

Ongoing and Future Medical Expenses

If your injuries are severe or have led to long-term or permanent disability, you may also be facing considerable future medical costs. A personal injury claim may allow you to recover compensation for the estimated medical expenses you will encounter in the future. This may include compensation for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or vocational therapy as well as ongoing psychological treatment. The cost of in-home health aides and nursing care may be recoverable. If your injuries required you to purchase assistive equipment like a wheelchair or hospital bed or make modifications to your home or vehicle, the costs of these items may also be recoverable.

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IL injury lawyerWhen most people think about car accidents, they picture accidents that occur on highways and roads. However, many car accidents occur in parking lots. Motorists in parking lots are often traveling at lower speeds than they would on the road, but serious and even deadly parking lot accidents still occur. If you or a loved one were hurt in a parking lot accident, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.

Liability for a Parking Lot Collision

A parking lot accident can leave an injured person with expensive medical bills, vehicle damage, and other costs. Before you can seek compensation for a parking lot accident, you and your attorney will need to establish how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Liability for a parking lot accident claim can fall to a number of parties. Often, another driver is at fault. However, if the parking lot accident was caused or exacerbated by defects with the parking lot itself, the owner of the parking lot may also be liable. It is also possible that the injured person shares fault for the accident. Fortunately, Illinois is modified comparative negligence state. This means that you may still be entitled to compensation for an accident even if you contributed to the accident. As long as you are not more than 51 percent at fault, you may still be able to recover partial damages.

Proving the Elements Needed to Win Your Claim

There are four main elements in a parking lot accident claim. First is that the defendant owed a duty of care. All drivers have a duty to watch out for pedestrians, yield the right-of-way when appropriate, and drive in a safe, responsible manner. The second element is the breach of duty. Next is causation. You and your attorney will need to show that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries. Finally, you will need to show that you sustained damages. Damages may include vehicle damage, medical bills, lost income from missed work, and more. Evidence such as security camera footage, police reports, eyewitness statements, and medical records are often used to establish each of these elements in a personal injury claim.

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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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