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Aurora, IL auto accident lawyerUnfortunately for drivers in the United States, injuries from car accidents are not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million people were injured and over 40,000 people were killed due to motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Injuries from car accidents can range from mild to severe and can greatly impact your life. One of the most important things you can do to make sure you are in the best position to receive a favorable settlement is preserving and recording damages and evidence resulting from the car accident. Here are four ways to document the damage:

1. Take Your Own Notes of the Accident

By taking notes immediately after the accident while you are still at the scene, you are minimizing the possibility of memory loss. Chances are, your case will not be settled for months after the accident occurred, which is why it is important to document what occurred while your memory is still fresh. You should note:

  • Where and when the accident occurred.
  • What happened during the accident.
  • The road and weather conditions at the time.
  • The names, contact information, and insurance information of others involved in the crash.
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
  • Witnesses’ accounts of what they saw.

2. Take Photos

Taking photos of damages to your car and injuries that you or a passenger sustained will be key in proving your case. Before anything is moved or any injuries are treated, try to take as many photos as possible from as many different angles as you can. Take pictures of exterior and interior damage for all vehicles involved, their license plates, the area surrounding the accident, and injuries of any parties involved.

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Naperville distracted driving car accident lawyerWe are a society of multitasking--rarely do we ever focus on one thing at a time. Studies have shown that the human brain cannot actually multitask efficiently, meaning that even if you think you are paying attention to more than one thing at a time, you are not. This is why is it so dangerous for drivers to pay attention to anything other than the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving leads to more than 420,000 injuries and 3,100 deaths each year across the United States. It is important to realize that distracted driving causes car accidents and is something that can be easily prevented.

External and Internal Distractions

Distractions can be classified into many different categories, and one of them is based on whether or not the distraction is inside or outside the vehicle. Many people think that distractions only take place inside a vehicle, but many things outside a vehicle can also divert your attention. External distractions can include:

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Aurora car accident injury attorneyWhen you get into a car accident, figuring out what to do next can be confusing. If you have been injured in a collision, you can file a personal injury claim to recover expenses related to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In order to file a claim, you must prove negligence, which consists of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.

1. Duty of Care

The first element you must prove in a car accident personal injury claim is the duty of care that the other driver had on the road. The duty of care is the agreement that every driver makes to operate their vehicle in a safe manner by obeying all traffic laws and other precautions used to protect drivers. Examples of duty of care include:

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Aurora weather-related car accident lawyerCar accidents can be very scary, and they can have a major physical, mental, and even emotional impact on the people who are involved. Weather-related car accidents are absolutely no exception, and accidents which take place in the winter may be even more nerve-wracking than accidents in warmer weather. Every year in the United States, there are an average of nearly 5,900 deaths caused by weather-related car accidents, and over 445,000 injuries are reported. If you have been involved in a weather-related car accident, you may find yourself confused about who is at fault and how to receive compensation for your damages.

Who Is at Fault?

If one person is involved in a weather-related car accident, such as when they lose control of their vehicle and run into a guardrail, snow bank, or tree, they are automatically at fault, even if law enforcement does not issue a ticket. When a claim is filed regarding the car accident, points will be added to the driver’s record, most likely increasing their insurance premiums in the future. The driver will also be responsible for paying their collision coverage, which requires a deductible to be paid to get the car repaired. 

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Kane County car accident lawyer car seat safetyHere is a sobering statistic: the leading cause of death in U.S. children ages three to 14 is car accidents. In 2014, 121,350 children aged 12 and younger were injured in a car accident, and in 2015, more than 663 children died in a motor vehicle accident.

Studies have shown that consistent use of a car seat for young children can help prevent severe injury in the event of a car accident. However, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in a single year, more than 618,000 children aged 12 and under rode in a car without the use of a car seat, booster seat, or a seatbelt. 

The proper use of a car seat (also called a child safety seat) is essential in preventing children from being severely injured during a car accident. Here are six tips that outline how to properly use a child safety seat:

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Aurora personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident is frightening, confusing, and stressful. A thousand thoughts run through a person’s head after they have been involved in a crash. Is anyone injured? Should I call the police? Am I at fault? While you are surveying the situation following a car crash, it is important to check yourself for injuries. Car accidents can cause soft tissue damage, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. Many individuals are quick to conclude that they are not injured after an accident even though they may be. The reality is that car accidents can be very dangerous. Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital due to car crash injuries, and it is estimated that 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year.

You May Be More Hurt Than You Realize

It is important to understand the way adrenaline affects a person’s body following a car accident or other potentially traumatic event. Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. After a frightening or dangerous event, adrenaline floods a person’s bloodstream. The hormone raises the individual’s heart rate, dilates the pupils, and increases sweat production. The purpose of the hormone is to prepare the person to deal with the hazardous circumstances.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of a fatal car wreck is highest for younger drivers. This comes as little surprise to most people, considering the overwhelming access we have to various technological devices, paired with the general inexperience most teenage drivers have when it comes to operating a vehicle. Texting while driving and lack of experience are not the only causes behind the staggering accident and injury statistics for young drivers, however. There are many other factors that put this particular age group at increased risk for injury and death on the roads.

In the year 2014 alone, over 220,000 teenagers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2015, over 2,000 teens ranging from ages 16 to 19 years of age were killed in auto accidents. These numbers represent a vast group of young drivers who experienced injury or fatality for a variety of reasons and a diverse set of risk factors.

Why Young Drivers Are More Prone to Crashes

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Kane County personal injury attorneysSpring has finally reached the American Midwest, bringing with it the promise of new beginnings. Leaves are reemerging on trees, the grass is turning green once again, and animals are returning from their winter retreats. Of course, springtime also means seasonal changes in the weather, including increased rain and warming temperatures. The warming pattern, however, is often inconsistent and rapid changes in temperature and humidity levels can lead to the development of fog around area roadways. Fog, of course, can drastically reduce driver visibility and contributes to hundreds—if not thousands—of traffic accidents each year.

Safe Driving Tips

There is little question that heavy fog requires adjustments in driving. Motorists must always operate their vehicles in ways that are appropriate for the weather conditions at that time. How you drive on a clear sunny day is different from how you should drive during rain, snow, or fog. To remain safe when driving in fog, be sure to:

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Kane County car accident lawyersAfter your car has been towed and you have been to the doctor comes the part of an auto accident that most people hate the most: dealing with insurance. While every car accident is different, there are several common mistakes that people make when they have a car accident claim.

Not Doing Your Own Research

If the insurance company has declared your vehicle a total loss, the value of your car must be determined. The insurance company will almost always attempt to determine the value, but be wary of their estimate. The mistake many people make is to simply accept the insurance company’s value without doing their own research. An offer from the insurance company is just an offer. If you can demonstrate your car was worth more than they are offering, you may be able to get more for your car.

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Kane County auto accident lawyerTypically, accidents that receive compensation for a head injury are those that result in concussion, but is this truly the baseline for trauma? A recent study on young football players suggest it may not be. In fact, even players who never received a concussion diagnosis had subtle changes to their brains. This suggests that head injuries in all types of accidents, including those sustained in auto accidents, may deserve a closer look when deciding whether a victim may be owed compensatory damages.

About the Study

Conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the study examined a small sampling of young football players – just 25 of them, all of whom were between the ages of eight and 13. Images of their brains were taken prior to the start of the football season and then again at the end. The team also installed sensors into their helmets to record data on the frequency of head impact. What they found was that, even among those that had not received a concussion during the season, slight and subtle changes had occurred within the brain over the course of the season.

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