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Orland Park wrongful death lawyersApproximately 30,000 fatal auto accidents occur each year. In those crashes, there are victims—lloved ones who were taken from their families. Grief, anger, resentment, financial loss, and immeasurable emotional devastation are in the aftermath of that loss. Some immediately search for justice. For others, the thought of pursuing a claim seems like an insurmountable challenge—one best avoided until after the grief and pain have subsided. Unfortunately, by then, it may be too late. If you have lost someone you love in a car crash, understand why you should pursue a wrongful death claim, and how an attorney can help to ease your burden in the difficult journey ahead.

Compensation is Not Meant to Replace Your Loved One

Often, the families of victims are put off by the idea of a lawsuit because they feel it is pointless. Money will not bring back what was taken from them, and the grief of drudging it all up seems hardly worth it. They look at it as punishing someone else when, in reality, the compensation is about easing the burden they bear, and may continue to experience, as the months and years pass.

Death experienced during an auto accident creates unpaid medical bills. It takes away an income and makes paying for even the necessities of life more difficult. Sometimes, these accidents even leave behind dependents, including young children for whom the deceased parent may have been saving, in the event that they decided to go to college, or maybe to pay for that first car. True, some of these things may not be “necessities,” but they are losses, nonetheless. They were also the wishes, hopes, and dreams of the deceased. The love cannot be given back, and the hole left by their absence cannot be filled, but the monetary losses can be recovered. That is the purpose of wrongful death compensation.

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Will County personal injury attorneysMotor vehicle accidents do not just harm adults. In fact, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that car crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, with hundreds of children under age 12 killed each year. Many thousands more are severely or permanently injured. If you are a parent and facing such a situation, it is important to understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Injuries Commonly Sustained by Children in Car Crashes

Because of their smaller size and developing bodies, children are often more prone to severe injury than adults are. Even more concerning is that serious injuries may not always be immediately evident in young children. This is especially true for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which just so happens to be the injury most commonly sustained by children in a crash. Other common injuries include those to the thoracic area and spine. Children can also experience fractures, soft tissue injuries, and lacerations, much like adults can.

What to Do After a Crash

If you are involved in a crash and your child is with you, it is critical that you contact emergency personnel so that your child can be immediately checked for serious injury. You should also avoid moving your child if you have any suspicion that they may have experienced an injury to the head, neck, or spine (unless not moving them would likely cause more harm). If emergency personnel have cleared your child, you should still take them to their regular doctor or to a pediatric trauma center for further evaluation. Again, some injuries may not be immediately evident following a crash. The follow-up will help reduce the chances that an injury is missed.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyMost of us can remember when we were first learning how to drive. Whether in a formal driver’s education class or just in a friend’s or family member’s car, when we were taught how to drive, we learned certain rules. One of these rules was to keep both hands on the steering wheel at “10 and 2.” However, as we became more comfortable driving, many of us started experimenting with driving one-handed while doing things like eating, texting, or attending to children’s needs. Today, we have named this type of behavior “distracted driving.” Sadly, distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents. Motor vehicle crashes in the United States involving distracted driving accounted for 3450 deaths in 2016.

An Escalating Problem

While distracted driving has been present since the invention of the car, in today’s technology-dependent society, there are more ways than ever to be distracted behind the wheel. One of the most notorious problems is using a phone while driving. When drivers take their eyes off the road, they are essentially driving blind. They will be unable to react appropriately if an expected hazard were to appear. At 55mph, a car travels the length of a football field in only five seconds. At high speeds such as these, a distracted driver becomes a threat to themselves and everyone around them. One study has shown that distracted driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Orland Park personal injury attorneysCar accidents can happen for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, one or more drivers share fault in causing the accident. Other times, the entity who is at fault for the accident is not even on the scene of the accident because the party at fault is the manufacturer of the vehicle. Motor vehicles are extremely complex machines and because of this they frequently have malfunctions which can put the passengers in the car, other motorists on the road, and pedestrians at risk of death or serious injury.

Anti-Lock Brakes Can Malfunction

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a computer-assisted braking system which prevents the brakes from locking up. ABS have come into widespread use in production automobiles since their adoption in the 1970s. In addition to anti-lock brakes, modern motor vehicles also often have electronic control of the front-to-rear bias, traction control, electronic stability control, and emergency brake assist. These computer-assisted features are supposed to make the car safer and more easily controlled. Unfortunately, computer systems in cars can malfunction just like other computer systems.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a car crash is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. It can happen in the blink of an eye. In the moments after a car crash a driver may think, “Am I injured? Is anyone else injured? What should I do now?” After a car accident, it is important that everyone involved check themselves for injuries. Car accident injuries can result in broken bones, concussions, neck and back injuries, and damage to soft tissue. Many individuals who get into car accidents quickly determine that they have not been injured, however, it may be hard to know this for sure in the moments following an accident. Car crashes are extremely very dangerous and may lead to disability, reoccurring pain, and even death. Between 20 and 50 million Americans suffer injuries in car accidents annuallyr, resulting in over 1 million days under hospital care due to these accidents.

“Fight or Flight” Hormones Masks Pain

If you have ever been in a car accident, you know the gut-wrenching feelings that can overcome you immediately after the accident. After a traumatic event such as an accident, adrenaline floods a person’s system. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone and is responsible for readying our bodies to face danger. Also called epinephrine, adrenaline increases the production of sweat, dilates the pupils, and elevates the heart rate. One of the most important functions of adrenaline, however, is blocking the recognition of pain.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Orland Park car accident attorneyEvery time a person gets in a vehicle, he or she is are taking a risk. Although we often do not think about it, driving or riding in a motor vehicle is a dangerous activity. Advances in vehicle safety have helped, but car accidents do still happen. There is no way to completely eliminate the risk of being in a car accident, but making sure your car is ready for the winter is one way you can lessen it.

Experts suggest that drivers take the following steps in order to keep their car maintained adequately for the winter:

  • Read the owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule;
  • Keep your gas tank filled and add a bottle of fuel deicer in your tank once a month during the coldest months. This can help prevent moisture in the fuel line from freezing, which can cause issues;
  • Have your battery checked and consider keeping a set of jumper cables in your car. If your car has had problems such as stalling, hard starts, rough idling, or reduced power, get it serviced immediately. Cold weather can make these problems worse;
  • Examine tires for adequate tread depth and check that there are not tears, cuts, or uneven wearing. Do not forget to check your spare tire as well.
  • Replace dirty air, fuel, and PCV filters;
  • Get your oil and oil filter changed regularly. This is a step that many people forget or wait too long to take. Regular oil changes are essential in protecting your engine;
  • Make sure that the heater and defroster work correctly. A nonworking defroster can become a serious hazard when a driver cannot see out of their windshield due to frost. Always carry an ice scraper;
  • Flush and refill your cooling system at the frequency dictated by your owner’s manual. A mix of antifreeze and water is recommended, and the exact mix may vary by your vehicle’s make and model;
  • Replace old windshield wiper blades and keep the washing fluid filled, as you will use more of it in the winter.
  • Have your brakes and transmission checked regularly. Do not wait until there is a serious problem to have brakes serviced; and
  • Always carry an emergency kit with you. In it pack blankets, warm clothes, drinking water, snacks, flashlights, extra cell phone chargers, flares, reflectors, and sand or kitty litter.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

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