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Springfield personal injury attorney car accident

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the crash. Drivers, passengers, and anyone else involved may need emergency medical treatment, and their injuries may continue to affect them for some time to come. Expensive vehicle repairs may also be needed, or a vehicle may be “totaled,” in which case it will need to be replaced. Addressing the costs related to medical treatment, property damage, and other accident-related issues can be a complex undertaking, but it can be even more difficult if the driver who was at fault for the collision did not have auto insurance. In these cases, victims will want to work with an attorney to determine the other sources of financial compensation that may be available.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Drivers are required to maintain liability insurance on their vehicles, and these policies will provide minimum coverage for injuries, wrongful deaths, and property damage suffered in a collision. Even though a person can face criminal consequences for driving without the required auto insurance, some drivers fail to maintain the proper coverage. In some cases, even if a driver does have liability insurance, their policy may not fully cover all of the damages suffered by victims. This is often the case in accidents that result in severe injuries, disabilities, and extensive property damage.

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Champaign personal injury attorney car accident

While car accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons, adverse weather conditions are one common factor in collisions that take place in Central Illinois. Winter weather can be especially dangerous. Of the 1.2 million weather-related car accidents that occur every year in the United States, 29 percent take place on icy, snowy, or slushy pavement, and 18 percent occur while snow or sleet is falling. Studies have found that Illinois is one of the deadliest states for winter driving, with an average of 27 fatal car accidents taking place during the winter each year. In some cases, a personal injury claim can provide compensation for injuries suffered in a winter auto accident caused by a negligent driver. 

Causes of Winter Vehicle Crashes

Winter weather presents a number of risks that can affect drivers, and accidents can occur if drivers fail to account for winter conditions or do not take steps to drive safely in inclement weather. Collisions may take place during the winter because of:

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Springfield personal injury attorney truck accident

Flatbed trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks haul everything from building materials to hazardous chemicals to household products. Most of the goods we use on an everyday basis were transported by truck at some point. When truck cargo is not properly loaded and secured in the truck, the results can be horrific. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident caused by loose or fallen truck cargo, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. However, you may need to overcome certain obstacles in order for your claim to be successful.

Proving an Accident Was Caused by Loose or Fallen Cargo Truck

Truck accidents can lead to costly property damage and severe or even deadly injuries. A personal injury claim may help you hold a negligent party accountable for a truck accident and recover compensation for damages. However, to win your truck accident claim, you will need to prove that the defendant’s negligent actions caused your injuries and that you sustained damages. Proving that an accident was the result of loose or fallen truck cargo is rarely easy. For example, you may have been involved in a car accident while swerving to avoid fallen truck cargo. Other individuals involved in the accident may even try to pin fault for the accident on you. Issues like these often make fallen truck cargo claims even more complex than other types of truck accident claims.

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Bloomington personal injury attorney car accident

Most adults struggle to get enough sleep at night. Whether it is a tight deadline at work, child-related responsibilities, insomnia, or another cause, studies show that a large percentage of Americans are sleep-deprived. Inadequate sleep can have a major impact on a person’s physical and mental functioning. When a sleep-deprived individual gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she is significantly more likely to be involved in a car accident than someone who got enough sleep. Vehicle crashes caused by fatigued drivers lead to thousands of injuries and deaths each year.

Do Not Underestimate the Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Driving

Healthy habits like eating vegetables, exercising, and getting enough sleep are often hard to maintain. Life circumstances often get in the way of our good intentions. However, getting behind the wheel of a car when you are too sleepy to operate it safely not only puts your life in danger but also the lives of those around you. Sleep deprivation negatively affects a person’s reaction time, problem-solving skills, coordination, and other cognitive processes. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that driving after being awake for 20 hours or more is equivalent to driving drunk in terms of impairment. People who are severely sleep-deprived may even experience instances of “micro-sleep.” These short bursts of sleep are involuntary and often occur without the person’s knowledge. Although fatigue is linked to approximately 1000,000 car accidents each year, many people underestimate the effect sleepiness has on their ability to safely drive.

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Champaign personal injury attorney car accident

When a traffic accident occurs, everyone involved usually has an interest in establishing which party caused the accident. This determination is generally used to establish who will be financially responsible for the damages caused by the collision. Sometimes, the fault is quite clear, such as in a case where a careless driver crashes into the rear of a vehicle that is sitting at a traffic light. In other cases, determining blame is more complicated, as any number of drivers could have played a part in causing the crash. If there is more than one party with at least some fault for a car accident, the liability for any resulting injuries or damages could be shared also.

Types of Shared Fault Models

Each state maintains its own laws regarding how liability may be shared when the plaintiff in a personal injury case is partially at fault for the incident in question and states generally use one of three basic models. The first model is called “pure contributory fault,” which is used in just four states, as well as Washington, D.C. Under this rule, the injured party can only collect compensation as long as the victim had no fault at all for the crash. Even if the defendant was 99 percent at fault and the plaintiff was 1 percent to blame, the plaintiff is barred from collecting damages.

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