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Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyer,It is no secret that car accidents are extremely expensive, for all parties involved, especially if someone is killed. According to AAA, the average cost of a single motor vehicle fatality is $6 million, when accounting for property damage, lost household production, medical costs, and highway delays. Accidents that resulted in serious injury averaged $126,000. In 2011, car accidents accounted for nearly $3 billion in urbanized areas alone, more than three times the cost of traffic delays in the same time period. This number was a vast increase from 2005, the last time that statistics were compiled, when the average cost of a single traffic fatality amounted to almost half that, $3.24 million. The average cost of a car accident that resulted in a serious injury came to significantly less as well, $68,170.

One reason that car accidents are so costly, of course, is the insurance claims. According to the Insurance Research Council, the average collision claim in 2012 was nearly $3,000, while the average liability claim for bodily injury was nearly $15,000. This is bad news for drivers. According to a recent report, filing any auto insurance claim of $2,000 or more now results in a driver’s insurance premium being increased by 41 percent on national average. Bodily injury claims can increase a premium payment by as much as 45 percent.

The average car insurance premium in the U.S. is $815. This means that if a driver has an accident, he or she is facing an additional $330 annually in his or her premium payment. One analyst noted that many drivers are unaware that making an insurance claim will affect their finances for years to come. If a driver makes a second insurance claim, his or her premium will skyrocket a whopping 93 percent by national average.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

In early January, an 18-year-old woman walking in Chicago’s Chinatown was hit by a car and sustained serious injuries, according to the Chicago Tribune. The driver of the car stayed at the scene of the accident after the crash, and the woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The Chicago Police Department’s Major Accidents Unit is investigating the incident, though no foul play seemed to be involved. Still, it is a tragic accident that highlights, again, just how often pedestrian accidents occur on the streets of Chicago.

According to Chicagoland’s Active Transportation Alliance, merely crossing the street in the Windy City could be the most dangerous activity that residents do all day. In October of last year, as a result, the Alliance launched Safe Crossings, a “pedestrian-focused campaign designed to raise awareness about intersection safety.” Lists were compiled upon the suggestions of more than 800 residents to pinpoint and make suggestions for the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections and the 10 most dangerous intersections in suburban Cook County. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Transportation head Gabe Klein announced a similar initiative in May of last year to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero by 2022.

Regardless of the city’s goals to make it safer for pedestrians, being hit while walking is still a very serious concern. If you hit a pedestrian while behind the wheel, the most important thing to do is to stay at the scene, like the driver who hit the 18-year-old in Chinatown earlier this month. Lawsuits are civil, not criminal, matters, and a driver can be sued for hitting a pedestrian even if the driver was not in the wrong.

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Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, car wrecks,According auto insurance industry statistics, American drivers will get into an accident—or file for insurance collision claims — every 17.9 years. This means that, statistically speaking, all insured drivers will get into an accident before they turn 35, and have about three to four accidents over the course of lifetime. The good news is that these accidents are not likely to be fatal, but even minor injuries sustained in a car accident can have long-lasting effects. Knowing what to do immediately following a car accident can mitigate not only the effects of injury, but legal and financial consequences as well.

Illinois state law requires that all persons involved in an accident in which injuries were sustained remain on the scene of the crash until police arrive. All drivers — if not incapacitated — involved in the accident can exchange insurance information while waiting, but if anyone is injured someone should call 911 immediately. When police arrive, be sure to get the contact information of the officer who arrived on the scene, and ask how to obtain a copy of the police report. If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information as well — especially if a driver involved leaves the scene. There is usually a relatively tight statute of limitations as to how long you can wait to contact your insurance company to make a claim. Be sure to know your policy specifics.

Reviewing this information, and a basic crash course in accident procedures, is especially important during the holidays. As more people take to the roads for holiday travel, there is an increase in holiday season accidents. This also means traffic fatalities understandably increase. This is exacerbated by the fact that drinking and driving also spikes during the holiday season, and that people tend to travel longer distances. The average Christmas or New Year’s trip is 275 miles, compared with a national average of 261 miles for the rest of the year.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, car wrecks, Some of the grisliest car accidents on major interstates are those in which a car rolls over, known as a rollover crash. In late November, just before Thanksgiving, five people were injured in a single-car rollover accident on I-90, according to Illinois State Police and as reported by CBS Chicago. Police said the two children in the car were ejected from the vehicle when it rolled over, and they were both taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Neither did the adults suffer life-threatening injuries. This, of course, is a rare occurrence; all involved in this accident were extremely fortunate to have not been hurt badly.

According to SaferCar.gov, an initiative of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), these types of crashes account for 33 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities, amounting to more than 10,000 people per year. This is a higher fatality rate than other types of highway crashes. The chances of being involved in a rollover crash are much higher if the driver has been drinking or is driving very fast.  Taller and narrower vehicles are more likely to rollover if the driver is not observing the speed limit or has been drinking. According to a different NHTSA report, as SUVs have become more popular, the number of rollover crashes has steadily increased—more than doubled since 1991, “growing faster than any other class of light trucks,” according to the NHTSA.

According to SaferCar.gov, there are two types of rollover crashes: tripped or un-tripped. A tripped rollover is by far the most common, accounting for 95 percent of these types of accident. A tripped accident is one in which the vehicle leaves the road (either because the driver is drifting or because of a rear-end collision) and the tires of the vehicle dig into soft soil on the side of the road or strike an object, such as a guardrail or curb, that causes the car to catapult. Un-tripped rollovers are common with a top-heavy vehicle, and “usually occur during high-speed collision avoidance maneuvers,” according to the NHTSA.

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right to compensationA motor vehicle accident can be a painful experience, one a person often wants to put behind them as quickly as possible. A car accident victim may not immediately think about contacting an attorney to help with their personal injury claim. However, individually settling a claim with an insurance company may not result in the full amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.

A compensation award can help pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs directly related to the accident. Often injuries immediately arise at the time of the collision, but there are some that may take days or weeks to manifest.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 22 percent of the nation’s injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents. Common injuries include:

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