The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that car accidents happen every 60 seconds. Here in Chicago and throughout Illinois, traffic accidents are an unfortunate part of urban life. These wrecks often lead to serious and permanent injuries that can dramatically affect the victim’s quality of life. In many cases, car accident victims die from their injuries and leave grieving family members behind.
When car accidents are caused by negligent drivers, victims and their families have the right to demand monetary compensation. But you can expect the at-fault driver to be defended by legal counsel, while the driver’s insurance company will likely attempt to deny you fair payment for your injuries. Count on the dedicated car accident attorneys of Hale & Monico to stand up for you.
Common Car Accident Injuries
If you’ve been in a car accident, there’s a good chance you’ve suffered injuries. Some may be minor, while others can change a life forever. These are a few of the most common accident injuries:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Head injuries
- Chest injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Arm and leg injuries
- Internal organ damage
These and other injuries may require hospitalization, surgery, repeat visits to the doctor, prescription drug medication, and more. Accident victims may also need physical therapy and rehabilitation as a result of their experiences. Still others must have adaptive medical equipment such as wheelchairs and other devices.
Medical injuries can mean significant costs, especially if the victim will need ongoing treatment for the indefinite future. But these are expenses that victims should not have to pay when a negligent driver is at fault for their injuries.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen in Chicago?
One of the most important steps victims must take after suffering a car accident is to determine how it occurred. The plaintiff bears the burden of explaining to a court, in detail, why exactly the at-fault driver should be held liable for the wreck. Therefore, understanding the common causes of car accidents is one of the most critical tasks you and your lawyer will work on.
Those causes include:
Distracted driving. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can be considered a distraction. Using the phone, talking with passengers, or even changing the radio station can cause distracted driving. Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and is responsible for countless accidents and fatalities every year.
Traffic law violations. Speeding, unsafe passing, running red lights and stop signs – these are only a few of the most frequent traffic law violations that cause car accidents. If a driver broke the law immediately before causing an accident, there’s a strong likelihood that person will be held liable in court.
Impaired driving. Impaired driving doesn’t just include driving under the influence of alcohol. Drug use, both legal and illegal, can also cause a driver to have delayed reaction times, vision problems, and cognitive issues that result in unsafe driving. Even if a driver has a valid prescription for a medication, he or she must not operate a vehicle while impaired.
Tailgating. Driving too closely to another vehicle can cause a rear-end collision leading to substantial injuries. Tailgating can also cause pile-up accidents, especially in heavy traffic. Drivers are expected to allow reasonable room between their vehicles and others to avoid causing a wreck.
Poor weather or traffic conditions. During bad weather, such as fog or snow, motorists should adjust their driving behavior by slowing down and exercising more caution. The same is true for heavy traffic. Drivers who disregard these conditions may be responsible for causing an accident.
Proving Fault After A Car Accident
In Illinois, there are generally four elements that a car accident victim has to prove to hold the at-fault motorist responsible. They are:
Duty of care. This means the at-fault motorist owed the victim a duty to operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care. All drivers are obligated to obey traffic laws and otherwise drive safely so as not to cause car accidents.
Breach. Next, the victim must demonstrate that by some act of negligence (e.g. drunk driving) the motorist violated, or breached, the duty of care. Among the elements of a car accident lawsuit, this one is often the most disputed between the parties.
Causation. Causation means the driver’s actions were the direct cause of the accident. This element is important because there are cases in which other parties may instead be liable. For example, a manufacturing defect in the vehicle may have been the true cause of the wreck.
Damages. Finally, the victim will have to explain to the court the damages he or she suffered as a result of the car accident. Damages typically include (among others):
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
How Hale & Monico Can Help Chicago Residents
Our experienced attorneys are ready to handle your car accident case and will get to work the moment you retain us. We understand Chicago, Illinois car accident law and how to show a jury that a negligent driver caused your accident. We also know how to value a case by relying upon expert witnesses who can discuss your damages and assign them a fair dollar amount. In addition, we have handled a variety of ridesharing accident cases largely dealing with Uber or Lyft.
You can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to offer you a settlement that is far below what your lawsuit is actually worth. Negotiating with the insurance company can be tricky and adjusters often take advantage of vulnerable victims. Let us handle these discussions on your behalf. If the insurance company will not negotiate in good faith, we will take your case to court.
Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Attorney Today!
Winning the compensation you need for your car accident can be an uphill battle. But with Hale & Monico, you have a skilled attorney who will advocate for you from start to finish. Call today to get started.