Being in a serious car crash can set your life, health, and livelihood back in a major way. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle wreck in Illinois and believe that another driver who was careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent caused the accident, you may be able to seek compensation with the help of a Marion, IL car accident lawyer from Prince Law Firm. Our compassionate team is prepared to help you and your family through the legal process and can answer any questions you may have.
Illinois drivers have a legal responsibility to act as to not harm others when behind the wheel. When this duty is not followed and a car accident results that could have been prevented, a victim who is injured may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Injury lawsuits are civil actions and can be filed in addition to any criminal charges that may already be in place.
At Prince Law Firm, our Southern Illinois car accident lawyers have over 20 years of experience protecting the rights of victims who are injured by negligent individuals, corporations, and groups. We can help hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and will fight on your behalf in court if necessary to ensure you and your family are able to recover.
First, let’s go over some facts, statistics, and information about car accidents in Illinois, how they are often caused, and what injuries often result in a serious wreck:
Illinois Car Accident Statistics
According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 37,500 people lost their lives in car accidents across the United States in 2016. Every year we see more fatalities that happen on our highways and roads—despite the fact that vehicle technology is better than it’s ever been.
Here in Illinois, we see our fair share of fatal accidents. As reported by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) 1,078 individuals died in car wrecks in Illinois during 2016. This number is higher than the same statistics from both previous years. These deaths occurred in 1,000 fatal crashes total, amounting to a total fatality rate of 1.01 death per one hundred million vehicle miles traveled.
Common Causes of Car Crashes in Illinois
While some car accidents are circumstances of bad visibility, poor weather conditions, unavoidable vehicle failures, or delayed driver reaction times, most of the accidents caused in Southern Illinois, across the state, and nationwide are completely preventable. When an accident happens that could have been avoided or prevented, we say that it is caused by negligence or human error. Accidents caused by reckless or careless behaviors are also considered to be caused by negligence.
Here are just a handful of the most common causes of negligence-related car accidents in Illinois:
- Speeding – Speeding is a major factor in many accidents because it affects how much time a driver has to brake, slow, or otherwise react to a given situation. In 2015, 32% of all accidents that resulted in fatalities in Illinois involved one or more driver who was speeding.
- Aggressive Driving – Driving aggressively may cause a vehicle to turn suddenly or make unpredictable motions which can make it difficult for other drivers to react in time. Aggressive drivers are also more likely to speed or misjudge/fail to follow traffic rules or posted signs.
- Distracted Driving – Getting distracted from the task of driving by using a cell phone, texting, eating, picking up a dropped item, or even talking to a passenger can quickly cause an accident. These behaviors are completely preventable.
- Drunk Driving – Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs remains one of the top causes for car accidents nationwide as well as in our state. In 2016, 35 percent of the fatally-injured drivers that caused collisions in Illinois had a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
- Failing to Follow Traffic Laws – When a driver fails to recognize and/or follow posted signs or local traffic laws, they may cause an accident or cause events that may lead to a crash.
- Defective Vehicle and/or Parts – Sometimes, when a vehicle or auto part is defective, a crash may result that the driver cannot prevent. Common defective auto parts can include seatbelts, airbags, braking systems, pas pedals, or faulty tires. Cases involving defective parts are often handled under product liability law.
Common Car Accidents Injuries
While being involved in a car wreck can cause a wide variety of debilitating injuries, some injuries tend to be more common than others. Those can include but are not limited to:
- Burn injuries
- Abrasions, lacerations, friction injuries, and puncture wounds
- Broken bones and dislocations
- Internal organ damage, including internal bleeding
- Neck and back injuries which may result in damage to the spine or spinal cord
- Head and brain injuries
- Emotional trauma
After being in a car accident, it’s common for the body to experience a rush of adrenaline and resulting endorphins. These endorphins may mask pain or other injury symptoms, potentially causing an accident victim to feel better than their condition presents. Regardless of how a victim feels after a serious accident, getting prompt medical care is crucial. Some symptoms and injuries may present in a delayed manner yet will be evident to a medical professional or emergency response team.
If you’re thinking about contacting a lawyer and filing an auto accident claim in Southern Illinois, it’s also crucial to get medical attention as soon as possible to prove that your injuries were as severe as you’re claiming they are. By delaying medical care or not going to all your follow-up doctor’s appointments, you may jeopardize the compensation you need to make a complete recovery.
Losing a loved one in a motor vehicle collision that was not the victim’s fault can cause a family significant grief and financial distress. If you and your loved ones are in this predicament and feel that legal recourse is an option, you may be able to prove that your loss was a wrongful death with the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
How Can a Marion Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Under Illinois law, a driver who caused a car accident may be held liable for negligence if the victim, referred to as the plaintiff, can prove the existence of four elements: duty; breach of duty; causation; and damages. These four elementals are crucial to any car accident case and can be proven with a combination of solid evidence, third-party witnesses, and expert testimony that can accurately relay how and why the crash occurred and how the responsible party was negligent.
In the state of Illinois, a successful lawsuit may enable a victim of an accident and their family to potentially receive financial compensation that can go towards the following costs:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of income potential
- Property/vehicle repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or loss of enjoyment of life
- Other potential damages
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident that could have been prevented, you should get in touch with a car accident lawyer from Prince Law Firm as soon as possible. In the state of Illinois, your time to file a claim may be running out. Our injury lawyers will be happy to assist you in any way we can and utilize our 20 years+ of experience to make sure you and your loved ones have the freedom and peace of mind you need to move forward.