When involved in an auto accident or other motor vehicle accident, you can be left not only physically injured but emotionally devastated as well, especially if the collision resulted in catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one.
The Chicago car accident attorneys at Sklare Law Group understand how difficult the recovery process can be, and are committed to helping victims recover costs that may be associated with medical expenses, loss of wages, and additional damages.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Chicago, Cicero, Berwyn, Oak Park, or any nearby community, call our expert car accident lawyers at (312) 471-7777 to schedule a free consultation. For convenience, we are available to make home and hospital visits to save you the hassle of getting downtown.
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Common Car Accident Injuries
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving
- Texting and Driving
- DUI Accidents
- Your FREE Car Accident Consultation
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening incident that may occur at any time. If you are involved in an auto accident, our experienced Chicago car accident attorneys are here to help you in your recovery.
After an accident, it is important to remain calm and take the necessary actions needed to obtain vital information. Below is a general list of steps that one should keep in mind after an accident:
After a Car Accident - Check for Injuries
The safety of everyone that may have been involved is the top priority of any accident. Make sure that no injuries have been sustained. If anyone happens to be injured you should call for medical assistance immediately. Even if there are no visible injuries, make a point to still get evaluated by a physician for any injuries that may not be evident.
After a Car Accident - Contact the Police
When injuries are sustained, you are required to call the police. If no injuries are present, it is still advisable to call the police and file a report. The accident report may be needed for insurance purposes and may also help our Chicago car accident lawyers with your case, as it typically includes the officers’ determination of fault.
After a Car Accident - Exchange Information
Make sure to get the other vehicles make, model, license plate, and VIN number. Most importantly, take down the other drivers insurance number, as well as their name and license number.
After a Car Accident - Obtain Witness Information
If there are any witnesses to the accident, make sure to collect their full name and all of their contact information. Witness statements can help to clarify the details with your case.
After a Car Accident - Gather Evidence
After an accident, pictures can help provide evidence of what happened and assist in determination of fault. Make sure to also photograph and document any scars, bruises, or cuts immediately, as these will heal and proper documentation will be necessary in proving their existence.
After a Car Accident - Contact Your Insurance Company
Always notify your insurance company. You are required to report an accident, even if you were not at fault.
Common Car Accident Injuries
In some cases, a car accident results in mainly damages to the vehicle. Unfortunately many times we see these wrecks result in severe injuries that are not only costly, but require long-term medical care and treatment as well. Some of the most common injuries our Chicago car accident lawerys see include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Knee injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Psychological damage
When it comes to car accident injuries, there are two broad categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries occur when a part of the body has impact with part of the car's interior, such as hitting your head against the dashboard. A penetrating injury is commonly a cut or a scrape that is often caused by shattering glass or loose objects in the car that may have hit the driver.
Depending on the severity of the injury, certain injuries may resolve themselves without medical treatment, while more serious injuries may leave behind permanent damage.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Even with the latest technology and safety standards in the automobile industry, car accidents are an everyday occurrence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver error is the leading cause of car accidents across the United States. Additional causes of accidents that are common include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Adverse weather conditions
- Aggressive/reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
Though not all accidents cannot be prevented, following the proper safety precautions can help reduce the risk of a collision occurring.
As the victim of an accident, you're entitled to two broad types of compensation: personal injury compensation and property damage compensation.
Personal injury compensation includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Repayment of damages for medical expenses
- Reimbursement for lost wages or other economic damages
- Compensation for loss of normal life
- Compensation for any permanent difigurement or disability
Property damage compensation includes:
- Repair of automobile
- Rental expenses
- Payment for fair market value of car if it is a total loss
- Towing expenses
- Storage expenses
Of course, every case is unique, and we cannot promise you a specific result of monetary settlement. You should arrange a free consultation to discuss your case and what compensation you can pursue.
Distractions are anything that take your eyes, hands and mind away from the task of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 were killed in accidents involving distracted driving in 2015, which is the last year such data was available. The most common types of distraction behind the wheel are:
- Talking on a phone
- Adjusting GPS or audio
- Arguing or having an emotional conversation with a passenger
- Eating or drinking
- Applying cosmetics, shaving and other personal grooming
- Reaching to the floor or the other seats in search of some object
In Illinois, it is illegal to text behind the wheel. You are also prohibited from using any handheld communication device while behind the wheel, including cell phones. Hands-free devices like Bluetooth are allowed for drivers who are at least 19 years of age. Here are the exceptions – you can use a cell phone that is not hands-free when:
- You have to report an emergency
- You are parked on the shoulder
- You are stopped because of obstructed traffic, and the vehicle is in neutral or park
Even when you are following the law, you should know about all the sources of distraction. Although reaching into the back seat in an attempt to break up a quarrel between your children is not prohibited by Illinois law, it is dangerously distracting and can cause an accident.
Remember the dangers of distraction and remain focused on the task at hand. If you have passengers, do your best to limit your conversation with them while you are driving. Put your phone away or, even better, turn it off completely until you arrive at your destination. If you are tempted to primp or get ready for work in your car, there may be a time management issue that needs to be addressed. Make sure you prioritize getting to where you are going safely and without distraction.
Texting and Driving
Texting remains a very dangerous form of distraction. It involves all of the types of distraction: visual, cognitive and manual. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when you read or send a text, if you were looking at that screen for a mere 5 seconds while driving 55 mph, it would be the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Don't try to text while driving, even if you think it's safe to read a text. Reading is just as distracting as typing a message.
Drunk driving remains a leading cause of accidents not only in Chicago, but across the entire United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29 people die in drunk driving accidents in America every day. That's equivalent to one person killed every 50 minutes. These accidents claim 10,000 lives every year.
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, but even a driver buzzed to the slightest degree is less alert than if they were driving completely sober. Drunk driving affects the ability to drive in many ways:
- Impaired judgment
- Poor muscle coordination
- Blurry vision/double vision
- Poor reasoning
- Slowed reaction time
If someone chooses to drive a vehicle while inebriated, they aren't just putting their own lives at risk. They are risking the safety and lives of everyone sharing the road with them, which could include you and your passengers. This type of careless behavior is unacceptable, but unfortunately, it occurs across the country every day. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, or if a loved one was killed in this way, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-471-7777 for a FREE case review.
With many years' worth of experience, we have handled a lot of cases involving the victims of drunk drivers. We know how to investigate your case to determine whether laws were broken and what factors contributed to causing the crash that injured you. Our attorneys work tirelessly in pursuit of the best possible outcome to your case.
Your FREE Car Accident Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another, you may be due compensation. Please contact the experienced Chicago car accident attorneys at Sklare Law Group to schedule a free consultation. We are committed to helping you receive the justice that you rightfully deserve. Call us at (312) 471-7777 to schedule your no-cost consultation today.