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Tinley Park traffic accident lawyersA typical car accident injury case is already complicated. When multiple vehicles are involved in a collision, the case becomes even more complex. If you or a loved one were involved in a pile-up accident, you may be curious about how these accidents are handled from a legal perspective. Is the driver of the vehicle that initially caused the collision liable for all of the other collisions? Am I liable for hitting someone else’s vehicle because I was rear-ended? Questions like these are what make injury claims involving pile-ups so difficult to navigate.

Seeking Compensation for Damages Through a Personal Injury Claim

Last month, smoke from a grass fire caused a multiple vehicle pile-up accident in Illinois. Nine vehicles and one semi-truck were involved in the collision. Several of the individuals involved in the crash sustained serious injuries and needed to be airlifted to the hospital. Accidents involving multiple vehicles often cause chain reactions that result in multiple severe injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one were hurt in a multiple vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Assigning Fault for a Multiple Vehicle Accident

Liability in a pile-up accident often falls to multiple parties. Understanding exactly how an accident unfolded and who is at fault is no simple task. Accident reconstruction is often a very useful tool in situations such as these. Your personal injury attorney may work with an accident reconstruction specialist to recreate the accident using computer programs, illustrations, and physical models. Evidence such as vehicle crash recorder data, traffic camera footage, and witness testimony is often key to understanding fault through accident reconstruction.

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How Are Expert Witnesses Used in an Illinois Car Accident Injury Claim?Car accidents are often caused by a complex combination of numerous factors. Drunk driving, distracted driving, poor road conditions, weather, and countless other issues may all contribute to serious auto accidents. If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be interested in bringing a personal injury claim against the liable party or parties and seeking compensation. However, in order to be successful, you will need to prove that the responsible party’s negligent or wrongful actions caused the accident and that you suffered damages as a result. In complex or multifaceted car accident cases, testimony from expert witnesses can be especially useful.

Establishing the Elements of a Negligence Claim

To win your car accident claim, you and your attorneys will need to establish four main points. First, you must show that the defendant, meaning the person against whom you are bringing the lawsuit, owed you a “duty of care.” All drivers owe a duty of care to drive in a safe, lawful manner. Secondly, you must show that the defendant breached this duty. The defendant may have neglected their duty of care by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, making erratic lane changes, failing to adequately secure truck cargo, or otherwise acting negligently. Next, you must demonstrate “causation” and show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Lastly, you must show that you suffered damages, or financial losses, as a result of your injuries.

Expert Witnesses Provide Testimony That May Bolster Your Case

There are many different ways that testimony from expert witnesses may be used to establish the elements needed to obtain compensation. Accident reconstructionists are professionals skilled in accident scene investigation and analysis. They use information from a variety of sources – including traffic signal phasing diagrams, event data recorders, and GPS tracking systems – to determine how an accident unfolded. They then use this information to recreate the accident and explain, in their own professional opinion, what they believe happened. Science and engineering experts may also weigh in how different factors contributed to the accident.

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Cook County personal injury attorney car accident

When a motorist drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), drives while distracted, or is otherwise negligent, the driver jeopardizes the lives of everyone on the road, including innocent children. In 2017, nearly 700 children died in car accidents and almost 116,000 suffered injuries. If your child was hurt in a car accident, you may justifiably feel angry, confused, and overwhelmed. You may be unsure of the steps you should take to hold the negligent diver accountable for his or her actions. You may also have concerns about how you will pay for the costs incurred by your child’s injury.

Insurance Companies Are Often Quick to Offer Inadequate Settlements

Car accidents can leave lasting physical and mental scars. A child who is severely injured by the negligent actions of another driver may suffer painful, debilitating injuries that require months if not years of medical treatment. When anyone is injured in a car accident, they may assume that the responsible party’s insurance company will reimburse them for the damages incurred in the accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies often offer compensation that only covers part of the injured party’s damages. In many cases, a personal injury claim is the best way to obtain the full compensation you and your injured child deserve. Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, disability, disfigurement, and more.

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Common Mistakes Made After an Auto AccidentUnderstandably, many people are in a state of shock after being hurt in a serious traffic accident. They may not realize that the actions they take immediately after being in an auto accident can mean the difference between receiving full compensation for the expenses incurred by their injuries and being saddled with burdensome medical bills and other costs related to the accident. If you or a loved one are ever involved in an accident, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Not Calling the Police: There are many reasons that a person involved in a car wreck may not call law enforcement to the scene of an accident. Perhaps the driver has had a negative interaction with a police officer in the past or does not realize how much a formal police report will benefit him or her if he or she ends up filing a personal injury claim. In some situations, a driver does not call the police because another driver involved in the accident suggests or outright demands that the police remain uninvolved. Do not let another driver convince you not to call law enforcement. Even if you do not plan on filing a claim, calling the police and getting a police report after an accident is essential.
  2. Underestimating Your Injuries: There are many injuries such as whiplash and traumatic brain injuries that are not immediately evident. You should always get checked out by a medical professional after a major auto accident – even if you think your injuries are only minor. If you do end up being more injured than you realized, receiving compensation for medical expenses or lost income caused by the injuries can be nearly impossible without an official record of these injuries.
  3. Not Gathering Evidence and Witnesses Information: After an accident, get the names and contact information of witnesses. These witnesses can be extremely helpful if you need other people to corroborate your version of the events in the future. Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, damage to your car, damage to the other car, and the position of the vehicles.
  4. Assuming You Cannot Receive Compensation if You Were Partially At Fault: Imagine this scenario: A man is driving down the highway when he is struck by another vehicle. He sustained major injuries in the accident, incurred massive hospital bills, and is left unable to work. However, he does not pursue compensation for these damages because he was speeding at the time of the accident and assumes that he cannot win a personal injury claim. This is a common misconception about personal injury claims. Under Illinois comparative negligence law, a plaintiff may still receive partial compensation for an injury as long as he or she was less than 51 percent at fault.

Contact a Joliet Car Accident Attorney

After an auto accident, you should always call the police, get evaluated by a medical professional, and gather evidence and witness information. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident and you want to learn more about your options for receiving compensation, contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law. Call our office at 815-723-7300 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

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What Should A Victim Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?Being involved in an automobile crash can be a life-altering event. Pain and suffering, serious injuries, extensive medical bills, and extreme property damage can leave a victim unsure of how to proceed. After an accident takes place, it is likely that everyone who was linked to the collision will remain at the scene, exchange information, and wait for the authorities to arrive. However, there is always the possibility that the driver at fault will flee the scene. Before reckless actions are taken, there are several “Do’s and Don’ts” that the victim of a hit-and-run accident should consider.  

Do: Gather as Much Information as Possible

Without risking injury or breaking the law, the victim of a hit-and-run car accident should look to collect any relevant information for the police. For instance, if the at-fault vehicle starts to drive away, the victim should try to remember:

  • A description of the vehicle, such as the year, make, model and color
  • The license plate number
  • A depiction of any exterior damage done to their car
  • The direction the motorist was heading
  • The time and location in which the accident occurred

In addition, any pictures or video footage taken could immensely help law enforcement catch the driver. New information can be found within the footage that might not have been originally noticed, such as the motorist’s race, age, and gender.  

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