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IL accident lawyerEven mild-mannered individuals sometimes experience aggravation or anger behind the wheel. Traffic jams, inattentive drivers, and other frustrations can make driving an exasperating experience. However, when a person allows their frustration to turn into road rage, dangerous or even deadly traffic accidents can result. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident caused by road rage, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. You could be entitled to compensation for your vehicle damage, medical expenses, missed work, pain and suffering, and more.

Car Accidents Involving Reckless Driving

Reckless driving puts the lives of other motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists in danger. Because of this, reckless driving is a criminal offense in Illinois punishable by heavy fees and possible jail time. According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a person commits the offense of reckless driving if he or she:

  • Drives with an intentional or reckless disregard for the safety of people and property or
  • Uses an incline to cause a vehicle to become airborne

Reckless driving may include traveling at speeds well above the posted speed limit, swerving between lanes without signaling, performing stunts like “donuts” on public roads, and driving aggressively.

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IL accident lawyerCar insurance is required by law, but unfortunately, that does not stop many drivers from driving without insurance. Typically, when a driver causes an accident, his or her insurance company is responsible for covering the costs incurred by that accident. If the driver does not have insurance or has too little coverage, the situation becomes more complicated. If you were hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, you may need to bring a claim against your own insurance company to obtain compensation.

Car Accidents Caused by Motorists Without Insurance

Driving without car insurance in Illinois is unlawful. If caught, a driver without state-required liability insurance may be fined up to $4,500 and have his or her driver’s license suspended. Driving while uninsured also puts a substantial burden on anyone who suffers injury or property damage in an accident caused by the uninsured driver. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you may be worried that you will be on the hook for all of the expenses incurred in the accident. You may be facing expensive medical bills, property damage, lost income from missed work, and other costs. Fortunately, you may be able to bring a claim against your own insurance company to recoup the costs caused by the accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Illinois car insurance companies must offer specific coverage for situations exactly like the one you or your loved one is facing. If you have “full coverage” car insurance, you also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UMI). To recover compensation for an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you will need to file a claim with your own insurer. This process is not always as straightforward as it may seem, however. Many insurance companies offer payouts that do not cover the full extent of the injured person’s damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you with the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, you may need to file a lawsuit.

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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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IL injury lawyerBeing involved in a car accident can leave major physical and psychological damage. Car accidents caused by distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), speeding, reckless driving, and other forms of negligence can lead to brain injuries, spine and neck injuries, broken bones, post-traumatic stress disorder, and much more. Injured parties may need expensive medical treatment and be left unable to work, enjoy hobbies, or care for their children. If you or a loved one suffered “whiplash” or other injuries during a car accident caused by the careless or criminal acts of another, a personal injury claim may enable you to recover compensation.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash is a term used to describe a neck injury caused by sudden force. During an auto accident, the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck may be stretched out in an unnatural way. This hyperextension can cause pain and stiffness in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, headaches, dizziness, and tingling and numbness of the arms. Difficulty concentrating, problems with sleep, memory loss, tinnitus, and fatigue may also be caused by a severe whiplash injury. However, these symptoms are often not immediately noticeable. Pain and other symptoms may develop hours or even days after the accident. Symptoms caused by a neck injury like whiplash typically last for a few weeks but may persist for several months or several years. Many people underestimate the damage caused to their body after being in an auto accident. Even a seemingly minor accident can cause damage to tissues, muscles, and connective tissues. This is one reason why it is so important to get medical treatment after being involved in a car accident.

Proving Soft Tissue Injuries Such as Whiplash is Often Challenging

Unlike a broken bone, a soft tissue injury such as whiplash will not show up on an x-ray. Therefore, proving that the injury has occurred is often quite difficult. Insurance companies may use this as an excuse to offer a settlement that does not even come close to compensating the injured person for his or her damages. If you have suffered a neck injury that has caused you financial hardship, the best way to recover compensation may be to file a personal injury claim. An experienced injury attorney will help you gather evidence that supports your claim. Expert witnesses such as doctors or medical specialists may also be called upon to confirm the extent of your injuries.

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