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Winnebago County distracted driving accident attorneysHave you ever taken the time to look around at the other drivers while stuck in traffic? If so, you probably noticed that many of them were looking down at their smartphone. Whether it is electronic devices like cell phones, GPS units, and radios, or human distractions like children arguing in the backseat, distractions while driving are everywhere. Distracted driving has become a tremendous cause for concern in Illinois and throughout the United States. It is difficult to know for certain how many car accidents are caused by distracted drivers, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1,000 people are hurt in distracted driving accidents every day in the U.S. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident and you suspect distracted driving was a contributing factor, a personal injury attorney may help you recover compensation for your injuries..  

Establishing the Driver’s Negligence and Recovering Compensation

Car accidents involving distracted driving can often become “he said-she said” situations. Proving that the other driver’s irresponsible behavior caused your damages and recovering adequate compensation for those damages can be quite challenging. This is why many individuals hurt in distracted driving accidents get legal support from an experienced car accident injury attorney.

There are four main elements in a successful personal injury claim:

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Rockford car accident injury attorneysAlthough we rarely think about it, getting into a car is one of the most dangerous things we do on a regular basis. It is estimated that approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in 3 million injuries. Car accident victims may be other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or passengers. If you have been injured in a car accident and you were not the driver, you may have questions about your legal options. You may be left with expensive medical bills and other financial losses caused by your injuries. In many cases, a personal injury claim can help injured passengers obtain financial compensation for losses such as these.

Determining Fault for Your Car Accident

Before you can recover compensation for a car accident, the liable or at-fault party must be determined. In many car accidents, there is more than one party who is considered to be at fault. For example, one driver may have been speeding while the other driver was texting and driving or otherwise distracted. However, a passenger cannot be held liable for a car accident because he or she was not in control of a vehicle. If more than one party is liable for a car accident, you may need to file multiple claims in order to recover enough compensation to cover the full extent of your damages.

Personal Injury Claims When a Friend or Loved One Is At Fault

Many injured passengers find themselves in tricky situation because the liable party is someone that they are close to. If you were involved in a car accident and the at-fault party was your family member, friend, co-worker, or someone else with whom you have a relationship, you may be hesitant to bring an injury claim and pursue compensation. However, it is important to note that when you bring a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in a car accident, you are not usually expecting the driver to pay for your losses personally. The payments will most likely be made by his or her car insurance company.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorney car accident

Living without health insurance can be a large risk to take on, but you may feel as if you have no other option. It is no secret that the United States has some of the highest medical costs in the world, with many Americans uninsured. Luckily, many companies offer health insurance to their employees so that they are not financially destitute just for going to the doctor. The level of coverage varies based on the plan offered, meaning that some medical treatments will be covered by your insurance while others may require additional out-of-pocket fees. For those without health insurance, going to the doctor may be a last resort when injuries or illnesses begin to surface. While this may be acceptable for the common cold or flu, anyone who has been involved in a vehicle collision or workplace accident should seek immediate medical attention. Such accidents can lead to serious, and potentially fatal, injuries if left untreated. The fear of ongoing medical bills may have people thinking otherwise, but luckily, there are options for those without insurance who have been injured in an accident.

Will Doctors Still Treat Me?

Uninsured Americans may not realize that they are still eligible for medical treatments even if they do not have proper healthcare coverage. Hospitals are legally required to provide all patients with the necessary treatment, even if they do not have health insurance. After receiving any required medical treatments, you should speak with the hospital’s administrators to discuss your payment options. Oftentimes, these professionals will work with you to set up a payment plan so that you can pay off the bills over time.

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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 product liability attorneysGuardrails are barriers that are placed along the edge of highways and other high-traffic roads. The purpose of guardrail is to minimize the damage caused by a vehicle leaving the driving lane. They may be used to divide lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions, prevent vehicles from crashing into man-made structures such as buildings, and stop vehicles from rolling down steep hills. Although guardrails may look simple, their design and construction is the result of extensive research and innovation.

An important element of guardrails is that theys must be designed in such a way that they minimize the damage done to vehicles during a collision. Unfortunately, some guardrails actually do more harm than good. When a defective guardrail causes a person to be injured or killed, a lawsuit may help the injured person or the deceased person’s family to recover compensation.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Defective Guardrails

A guardrail should be designed and manufactured in a way that prevents additional vehicle damage or personal injury during a collision. If a guardrail does not accomplish this goal, the guardrail may be considered defective.

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Winnebago County car accident attorney burn injury

Burns are some of the most painful and debilitating injuries a person can experience. Although minor burns heal quickly and do not leave lasting damage, severe burns, especially third-degree and fourth-degree burns, can cause permanent disfiguration and nerve damage. The pain experienced by a severe burn victim is incomparable to anything else. If you or a loved one suffered a major burn injury due to the carelessness or wrongdoing of another party, you may choose to file a personal injury claim. Through an injury claim, compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages may be available.

Determining Fault for Your Injuries

In order to bring a personal injury claim and recover damages, you and your attorney will need to prove that the defendant caused your injuries. Many burn injury cases are the result of an individual or entity’s negligence. A serious burn injury can be the result of an electrical accident, house or apartment fire, construction accident, restaurant accident, car crash, or a number of other incidents. Determining who is liable for a burn-causing accident is often challenging. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence, gather witness testimony, and consult with experts who can testify to the defendant’s role in causing your burn injuries.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneyMost sighted people take their ability to see the world around them for granted. Sadly, it is often only after a person experiences vision loss or impairment that he or she recognizes the sense of sight as the gift it really is. When a person is blinded or sustains a serious eye injury after an accident, they might be unable to work or enjoy the same quality of life they had before. When a person or entity’s negligence causes another person a life-altering injury, the negligent party should be held accountable. Read on to learn about the most common types of eye injuries that can be caused by auto accidents.

Airbag Injuries Are More Common Than You Might Think

Many people incorrectly imagine airbags as soft pillows designed to cushion the driver and passengers in the event of a crash. Although airbags are tremendously helpful at reducing fatalities in car accidents, they can also be the cause of certain injuries.  Airbags contain nitrogen gas and other chemicals which are activated during a car crash in order to rapidly fill the airbag with gas. The average airbag deploys at a speed of up to 186 miles an hour and is filled within about 0.03 seconds. While airbags are designed to prevent more traumatic head injuries, they have been known to cause retinal detachment and traumatic cataracts.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Vision Problems

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are often caused by serious car accidents. TBIs are usually caused by forceful blows to the head. Head and skull trauma can also have a major effect on the eyes.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a car crash can be terrifying. After the accident, an injured person may be left unable to work or enjoy their life and burdened with costly medical bills. If you have been injured by a person who was driving under the influence, you may have an opportunity to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury suit.

While insurance companies may offer some compensation for a car accident that was not your fault, insurance settlements are often too small to cover all of the damages the injured person endured. Suing the other driver or their insurance company is one way to help cover the costs of missed work, ongoing medical care, and other damages. There are certain steps anyone should take after being injured in an accident. If you plan to pursue compensation, it is even more important that you follow these procedures.

Always Go to the Hospital After an Injury-Causing Accident

Often, a person injured in a car accident does not immediately realize the extent of his or her injuries. Adrenaline and fear can mask the pain and cause an injured driver to underestimate the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, without formal medical records describing the injuries caused by the accident, it can be difficult to bring a successful personal injury suit.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysNews reports of fatal drunk driving accidents are sadly common. Poor road conditions and winter weather only increase the risk of alcohol-related traffic accidents. On average, approximately 30 people in the U.S. die as the result of drunk driving accidents each day. This adds up to over 10,000 lost lives per year. Monetary damages from accidents involving a drunk driver are estimated to be more than $44 billion annually. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver, you may be able to receive compensation.

Winter Weather and Poor Road Conditions Add to Danger of Intoxicated Drivers

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is always a reckless move, but it is especially dangerous during winter road conditions. Icy roads can lead to rear-end collisions when a driver fails to stop their vehicle in time. Multiple car pile-ups may be more likely to occur during adverse weather as well. The combination of an intoxicated driver and slippery roads can also increase the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and killed.

Negligent Drivers Can Be Held Liable for Damages

Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car has an obligation to everyone else around him or her to drive with care and attention. When a driver chooses to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit or while otherwise intoxicated, he or she is not fulfilling his duty to act with reasonable care.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysGetting hurt in a car crash or other accident can be an overwhelmingly emotional experience. In the moments after an accident, most people are in shock. They immediately start thinking about how to handle the situation and give little attention to their own well-being. Unfortunately, many people have decreased their chances at receiving compensation for their injuries because they delayed or skipped medical treatment after an accident. If you are ever involved in an accident and you are hurt, it is critical that you have a medical professional assess your injuries.

Adrenaline Masks Pain During Traumatic Events

Imagine you are driving down the highway with your family. Suddenly, another car veers into your lane, causing your vehicle to crash into the guardrail. After the impact, you will probably be more concerned with the other passengers in your vehicle than yourself—even if you are seriously hurt. This is partially due to a mechanism in the brain which helps block the feeling of pain in dangerous situations. In traumatic circumstances, an injured person’s bloodstream is flooded with a hormone called adrenaline. In addition to dilating the person’s pupils and increasing their heart rate, the hormone also blocks their brain’s ability to sense pain. This “stress-induced analgesia,” can trick injured people into believing they are less hurt than they really are. The injured person may cause further bodily damage by delaying medical treatment.

Delaying Medical Treatment Can Decrease Your Chances of Getting Compensation

Being involved in a serious accident can leave a person with burdensome medical bills and financial hardship due to missed work. Symptoms that do not become apparent until days or weeks after an accident can be more difficult to relate directly to the accident. As a result, insurance companies may try to evade liability. Getting compensation for injuries by means of a personal injury lawsuit may be a viable solution for some, but those without documentation of their injuries will have a much harder time making a successful claim.  

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysFor many people, the upcoming six weeks are the best time of the year. Getting together with friends and family to enjoy a special meal, exchange gifts, or simply catch up is a cherished part of the holiday season. Many of these holiday gatherings will also involve alcohol. Unfortunately, this means that there are more alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads during the holiday season. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that on average, about a third of fatal car accidents involve an alcohol-impaired driver. During the winter holiday season however, an astounding 60 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve a driver who was drinking. This holiday season, make a commitment not to drink and drive and take steps to keep you and your family as safe as possible on the roads.

Make a Transportation Plan Before Drinking

One of the most misunderstood things about drinking and driving is that most individuals who are caught driving under the influence never intended to drive intoxicated. Often, auto accidents occur when drivers do not realize how impaired they actually are and overestimate their ability to drive a car safely. When a person consumes alcohol, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This results in lowered inhibitions, increased impulsivity, and diminished decision-making skills. It is extremely important to always have a travel plan in place before starting to drink. Waiting to figure out how you will get home from a holiday party after you have already begun drinking can be disastrous.

If You Are Involved in an Accident with a Drunk Driver, Act Quickly

The team at Mannarino & Brasfield hope that your holiday season is safe and enjoyable. However, if you are involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, make sure to take the following steps: Always call the police if you have been in a car crash with a person you suspect has been drinking. If you have been injured—even slightly—get checked out at the hospital immediately. Often, individuals involved in a car accident do not realize how hurt they really are until hours after the accident. Lastly, take steps to document the damage to your vehicle as well as any injuries you sustained.

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Rockford personal injury attorneyFrom the beginning of automobile manufacturing, auto manufacturers have worried about safety. Motor vehicles are constantly being redesigned with increasingly effective safety features. Components like seatbelts, safety glass, and padded dashboards were among the first efforts at increased automobile safety. Airbags designed to cushion passengers in the event of a car crash were another significant addition to automobile design. More recently, experts have been working to understand how these safety features work together to prevent passenger injury during a traffic accident. Insurance companies and automakers are continuously analyzing data in an attempt to answer the question, “Which seat is the safest to be in during a car crash?” 

The Rear Middle Seat Is Often the Farthest from Impact

Many people believe that the rear middle seat is the safest seat in an average automobile. This seat is the furthest away from the sides of the car. In the event of a crash, the passenger in the middle seat is theoretically less likely to come into contact with crushed windows and sides and suffer injury. Statistically, the rear middle seat has been found to be the safest seat during crashes that occur at intersections.

NHTSA Says Children Should Always Ride in the Back Seat

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officially recommends that parents place children under 13 years of age in the back seat. The rear middle seat is considered the best seat for children, but only if that seat is equipped with a functioning 3-point seat belt. The NHTSA also recommends the rear middle seat as the safest location for a child in a car seat. Studies show that placing a car seat in the rear middle may reduce the risk of injury by up to 43 percent.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Rockford car accident attorneyOf all the car accident injuries, whiplash is, by far, the most commonly reported in the United States. In fact, recent statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that some 66 percent of all claimants file an injury related to the neck, and over 800,000 whiplash injuries have been reported over the last 12 years. What can accident victims with whiplash expect after a crash, and what kind of compensation might they be entitled to receive? It is important to understand the dangers of this condition and what can be done about it.

What is Whiplash?

A soft tissue injury that involves the tendons, ligaments, and surrounding tissues of the neck, whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly and violently thrust backward, and then forward. It might sound as though it takes a high-speed crash to create this type of motion. However, whiplash is often seen in even low-speed crashes (perhaps as little as six miles per hour, if going by the cut-off limits in the UK). There is also a common misconception that whiplash occurs only in rear-end crashes, but front-on collision victims are also at risk.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Though the pain of whiplash may not show up immediately after the accident, victims are likely to notice symptoms in the coming hours, days, or weeks after an accident. Often hard to ignore, and typically far more painful than just a simple ache, these symptoms can include:

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