There are over ten million registered motor vehicles in the state of Illinois, and about 8.8 million licensed drivers. With those kinds of numbers, it is not surprising that car accidents are commonplace in Illinois. The reality is that nearly everyone has been—or will be—in car accident at one time or another in their lives.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 281,788 crashes in Illinois in 2011. Those crashes resulted in 918 deaths and 84,172 personal injuries. By comparison: in that same period, there were 721 murders and 55,247 violent crimes in Illinois. In other words: driving can be a very dangerous activity. In fact, in Illinois, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Applying fatality and injury numbers across a timeline, the stark reality is that, on average, someone dies from a vehicle accident every ten hours in Illinois, and someone is injured in a vehicle accident every six and a half minutes.
Automobile manufacturers and others involved in road safety are continually innovating and installing new and improved safety devices every year. Roads, intersections, and traffic lanes are being designed more wisely, and laws addressing drunk driving are being more vigorously enforced.
Yet, while new technology such as anti-lock brakes, advanced snow tires, and side-airbags, and roads, equipment, and law enforcement enhancements are helping drivers to avoid some accidents or to avoid serious injuries from the accidents that do occur, it seems that for every innovation and improvement, there is some countervailing factor that reduces the overall benefit of these developments when it comes to making roads safer: more drivers on the road, faster vehicles, and the modern distractions of flashing electronic billboards, cellphones, texting, web-surfing on 4G devices, talking GPS, and DVD movies to insert and play for the children.
The fact remains that vehicle accidents are going to continue to occur, no matter how many steps are taken to try to protect drivers and their passengers from accidents and injuries.
Thankfully, most vehicle accidents are relatively harmless: a fender bender, perhaps, or a parking lot mishap. But at the other extreme are multiple-vehicle accidents, like the 11-car pile-up that occurred in Schaumburg in January, 2013, when an icy road forced one car and then another to spin out of control. And while many crashes involve only minor injuries or only property damage to cars and road barriers, the unfortunate reality is that some car accidents are serious, and can end up with tragic or even fatal results to motorists and their passengers.
And when you are one of those injured, or a family member is one of those killed in such an accident, it is important for you to find someone on your side to make sure you can recover fully from your loss.Injured in a Car Accident in Chicago?
Learn What You Should Do Next If Injured in a Car AccidentA Serious Vehicle Accident Can End Up Being Extremely Costly to You
When it is serious, a car accident injury will not only result in expensive emergency care and a lengthy hospital stay, it can have tremendous short- and long-term financial and physical impacts. A serious injury may keep you away from your job for an extended period, or even make it impossible for you to resume your job. It may require extended care, such as costly home-care from a professional care-giver or therapist. It can require expensive medical equipment. It may even cause a permanent disability, particularly if the accident causes traumatic injury to the head or spine.
In addition, with all the sophisticated equipment on modern cars, a greater percentage of vehicles involved in accidents—nearly 20% by some estimates—are being are being classified by insurers as “totaled”—that is, the cost to repair them is more than the vehicles are worth. As a result, many vehicle accident victims can also expect to be out of the use of a car, and will need to confront the additional stress and expense of having to purchase another one.
Consequently, with all these burdens, even car accidents with injuries from which you can fully recover can be financially devastating not only to you, but to family members and others that may rely upon your financial support.Insurance Does Not Always Supply a Remedy
Although many people believe they can rely upon insurers to provide them with adequate compensation, unfortunately, this is not always true. Under Illinois law, a motorist needs to carry only $25,000 of liability insurance for the death or injury of an individual, $50,000 of liability insurance for death or injury per accident, and only $20,000 of property damage insurance. While most people show more responsibility and purchase insurance coverage above these limits, your accident may involve one of the less responsible motorists. If so, the other driver’s insurance company may cover only a very small proportion of your damage claims.
Even worse, despite the mandatory insurance law, some Illinois drivers operate without any car insurance at all. A study undertaken by the Insurance Research Council estimates that one in seven drivers (that is, 14%) of all the drivers in the United States are uninsured; in Illinois, that ratio is estimated to be 15%. If you are involved in a car accident caused by one of these uninsured drivers, there will be no insurance coverage from the at-fault driver to pay for any of the damages you suffer. If you have been wise enough to purchase adequate Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own policy, then you will need to pursue a claim against your own insurer. And, as many people can attest, recovering from your own insurer can sometimes be as difficult as recovering from another party’s insurer.
This is where attorneys at Abels & Annes can help. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident as the result of a negligent driver, our attorneys are prepared to handle all of your concerns, including evaluating and investigating issues such as who was involved and who is at fault, the amount of coverage afforded by the insurance policies of the party or parties involved, and calculating your out-of-pocket expenses, from medical care and lost income to your non-economic costs and long-term needs.
Bear in mind that obtaining help from a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer may be critical, especially when an injury is serious. If your injury causes you to delay too long in following up with your claims, or if you fail to fully understand what you are entitled to, important rights may be lost, and important evidence may be forgotten, damaged, or destroyed. We know that when you are seriously injured, it is difficult to carefully and immediately assess how the accident occurred, to gather information, to speak to and identify witnesses and other drivers involved, or to talk to emergency personnel who were at the scene. Your attorney can shoulder that burden for you.
If you have been in a car accident and suffered an injury, or someone you love has been injured or killed in a vehicle accident, let the Illinois car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes help you to assess and understand your rights and potential remedies, and, if necessary, we will help you to obtain all that you are entitled to in order to fully recover, both financially and physically, if possible.
Call us toll-free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or locally in Chicago at (312) 924-7575, or use the confidential online case evaluation form here on this site. Your consultation is free, and, if we agree to take your case, we will not charge you any fee unless and until you make a financial recovery. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes have experience representing Illinois drivers and passengers injured in car accidents. We will independently investigate your accident, and do what is necessary to help you recover, while you concentrate on the important and difficult task of healing and getting your life back in order.Car Accident Injury Case Settlements
$460,000 - Chicago Car Accident. A Chicago area driver failed to yield coming out of a stop sign, hitting our client's vehicle. The plaintiff had to undergo surgeries to repair a herniated disc.
$600,000 - Wrongful Death Auto Accident. A passenger was killed in a contested liability car accident. Insurance policy limits of $500,000 was collected from one defendant, and the victim's uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000 was collected by our car accident attorneys for the liability of the other defendant who was uninsured.
$200,000 - Chicago Car Crash. Resolved accident claim for local resident who sustained two herniated discs after being struck by a drunk driver.
$220,000 - Chicago Auto Accident. Reached a policy limits uninsured motorist claim settlement for two minor children that were fatally injured in a north suburban car accident. The at fault driver was DUI and crossed the center line.
$250,000 - Illinois Car Accident. Resolved a case for a Chicago Area resident who was hit by an uninsured driver. The plaintiff suffered a herniated disc and had surgery. Our law firm made an uninsured motorist claim for him and we were able to collect the insurance policy limits.
See more of our car accident injury case settlementsFree Car Accident Injury Consultation in Chicago
If you have been injured in an car accident in the Chicago, IL area, request a Free Car Accident Injury Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a car accident injury attorney today.