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IL crash lawyerAfter a car crash in Rockland or elsewhere in Winnebago County, it can be difficult to think about filing a claim for compensation when you are contending with the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries. Yet you may also know how important it is to file a claim in order to obtain the compensation you need. When another party was at fault for the crash, you also may be considering whether to file a lawsuit against that at-fault driver. For most people injured in car accidents, the first step is to file an auto insurance claim. But when an auto insurance claim does not result in an adequate amount of compensation, it may be time to file a lawsuit.

Many people who have been injured in car accidents caused by another driver’s negligence want to know if they should file a claim even if they might bear some responsibility for the collision. In most cases, the answer is yes. We will explain more.

Illinois Uses a Modified Comparative Fault Law

Every state has its own laws pertaining to comparative fault or contributory negligence, which are the terms used to describe a scenario in which a plaintiff files an injury claim but the defendant says the plaintiff is also at fault. Some states use a “pure” comparative fault system that allows a plaintiff to recover damages regardless of his or her percentage of fault (presuming, of course, that the plaintiff is not 100 percent at fault). In pure comparative fault systems, a plaintiff’s damages award is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Other states use a modified comparative fault system in which a plaintiff can recover as long as the plaintiff is not 50 percent or 51 percent or more at fault. Then, as with a pure comparative fault system, the plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by his or her portion of fault. In pure contributory negligence systems, a plaintiff will be barred from recovery if that plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault.

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Winnebago County car accident lawyersOn average, about 90 individuals lose their lives in car accidents every day in the United States. Even a non-fatal car accident has the potential to completely alter your life. You may be severely injured and require extensive medical care or face permanent disability. Medical bills and financial hardship caused by lost income can make recovering from a traffic accident even more difficult. Fortunately, some car accident victims are eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In order to preserve your ability to file a claim for damages after a serious car accident, always take these steps.

Step #1: Call the Police

If you are involved in a serious car accident that causes significant property damage or injuries, you need to contact police right away. Even if you do not file an injury claim, a formal police report that describes the accident is essential. This step creates an official record that the accident took place and gives insurance companies a starting point.

Step #2: Go to the Hospital

Car accidents can be extremely traumatic. When you are hurt in an accident, you may be tempted to simply go home after the exhausting experience and put off seeking medical treatment. However, it is crucial to be evaluated by a medical professional immediately. You may be much more injured than you realize. Furthermore, proving that an accident caused a person’s injuries is very hard without documentation of the injuries that was obtained soon after the accident.

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Winnebago County Concussion LawyerA concussion is one type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) which is usually caused by a sudden impact or shake to the head. The word “concussion” comes from the Latin word “concussio” which means "to shake violently.” When a person sustains a concussion, the impact can jar the brain, sometimes causing it to literally move around inside the skull. Traumatic brain injuries such a concussion can cause brain bruising, blood vessel damage, and injury to nerves.

Concussions are commonly caused by playing sports, car accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, work-related injuries, and falling. Although a concussion is usually considered a relatively minor brain injury, any brain injury can cause cognitive impairment and result in financial losses. If you or a loved one suffered a concussion after an accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim.

Symptoms of a Concussion May Not Be Immediately Obvious

One of the biggest misunderstandings about concussions is the assumption that they are immediately obvious. The majority of people who are concussed do not lose consciousness. The injured person might not even recognize that he or she has sustained a concussion. During traumatic events like traffic accidents, adrenaline can minimize the amount of pain a person experiences—or even mask pain and discomfort altogether. Many people who have been involved in serious accidents did not even realize they were severely injured until someone notifies them of their injuries.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysIt seems like just last week that Illinois residents were celebrating the summer with barbecues, fireworks, and family softball games. Almost without warning, the leaves have changed colors and, in fact, many deserted the trees on which they grew, leaving the branches exposed and looking like the dead of winter. Make no mistake, winter is on its way. That is why now is the time to get your car or truck ready for the cold and snow, taking every precaution to avoid dangerous and deadly winter auto accidents

Prevent Breakdowns

There are countless resources, both online and in auto shops, that will go into minute detail about the various points of concern for winterizing your vehicle. Not all, of course, are applicable to every car or truck, or even every driver, so check with your mechanic about your particular needs. There are a few basic things, however, that apply to anyone taking to the roads this winter, and by taking a few moments now, you can help to prevent unforeseen tragedy.

Among the primary considerations for your car or truck in cold weather are your battery and your antifreeze. Your car’s engine relies on the battery to start, so you will need to be sure it has the power to withstand the pressures of winter. Similarly, antifreeze ensures that the water in your car’s radiator does not form ice crystals which could cause a whole host of problems. Make sure your antifreeze levels are maintained properly and flushed, if necessary, to start the winter season fresh.

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Rockford personal injury attorneyThe moments after a motor vehicle crash can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you have been injured. It may be very difficult to keep the events straight in your mind and, then, to relay that information to the responding police officer. There may be a myriad of factors of which you were unaware that still played a significant role in causing the accident and your resulting injuries. In many cases, accident reconstruction is necessary in helping establish the true nature of the accident and exactly which parties may be held liable.

Get Started Immediately

For accident reconstruction to be most effective, it needs to begin as soon as possible following the crash. Any delay can result in the loss of evidence and telltale signs of what may have happened, such as skid-marks on the pavement, leaking fluids, and more. It is important to get an accident reconstructionist on site quickly, even if for just a short time, so he or she can take photos, make measurements, and observe any and all indications of what took place. He or she can also extract information from electronic data recorders, or so-called “black-boxes,” installed as a standard feature on many of today’s cars and trucks.

Applied Science

To complete the investigation, the accident reconstructionist will also analyze the damage caused both to public and private property and each vehicle. Combining this information with the available police reports and vehicle specifics, the reconstructionist will utilize his or her scientific training to apply mathematical formulas and equations to recreate the accident as it most likely occurred. An accurate accident reconstruction is much more in-depth than a simple police report and can be used to identify contributing factors such as malfunctioning traffic signals, faulty vehicle equipment, poor roadway maintenance, and many more.

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