One of the biggest complaints you’ll hear people in Cook County talk about is the amount of time it takes them to get to and from work. Reports indicate that the average amount of time Chicago commuters spend in a car is about 30 minutes, and the numbers are not decreasing. With a large number of commuters driving their cars on the roads in Cook County every day, it is no surprise that car accidents are relatively common.
People attempting to multitask on their way to work is a significant issue on the roads. Those who are frustrated by sitting in traffic can act out with road rage. Others might simply not be paying careful attention to the road. All of these behaviors can easily cause an accident. If you are driving in this heavily trafficked area, it is important to understand how to recognize a dangerous driver and what to do if you find yourself in a car accident.
Watch for Dangerous Drivers
In order to best protect yourself from being involved in a car accident, there are certain steps you can take to help identify dangerous drivers. Although you don’t have the ability to control the actions of other drivers, by watching for risky behavior on the road, you can potentially avoid a dangerous car accident. Some indicators to look out for include:
- A driver who is swerving in and out of their lane—this behavior is common in both drunk drivers and those who are driving while distracted.
- A car that is tailgating, or driving dangerously close to the car in front of it—this is especially risky in rainy or snowy weather when a significant amount of time is needed to safely stop to avoid hitting another car. Tailgating indicates that the driver might be demonstrating signs of road rage.
- A car that is driving way above the speed limit—again, it will take longer for a speeding car to stop in poor weather, and if the car in front of them hits their brakes, there is a good chance an accident will occur.
- A car that is driving far below the speed limit—this driver might either be too tired to operate their vehicle, could be intoxicated, or might simply not be paying attention to the road. In any event, this behavior is reason for concern, unless the rest of the traffic has slowed down as well.
If you believe there is a dangerous driver on the road, pull off and call highway patrol to report the details of the car. They can help to remove the driver and potentially avoid a serious accident.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries, some of which can be severe and have lasting effects. Some of the common car accident injuries that our clients have sustained include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is in your best interest to seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you have been seriously injured. Some injuries can take hours or even days to present symptoms. If you delay a visit to the doctor, the insurance companies will often assert that your injuries must not have been that serious or that they might not even be related to the car accident. Always keep careful medical records to document your medical care and related injuries.
The Benefits of Working with a Car Accident Attorney
After an accident, determining the best next steps to take can be confusing. After you have seen a medical professional and began to treat your injuries, the financial toll of the accident can start to feel overwhelming. Some people might attempt to work directly with the insurance company with hopes that they will receive a fair settlement. Although you pay for auto insurance every month in order to cover your expenses in the event of an accident, the insurance companies are out to make a profit. They will often attempt to undercut your damages and claim that your injuries were not that severe. An attorney can help you navigate the challenging process after an accident with the goal of attaining maximize compensation for your damages by:
Communicating directly with the insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. Often, in accident cases, the insurance companies will attempt to speak with you directly and try to find a way to confuse your testimony in order to reduce the value of your claim. An attorney who has experience dealing with the insurance companies can help prevent this from happening.
- Helping you put together the correct medical documentation to support your accident claim.
- Speaking to any witnesses who were at the scene of the accident to collect their testimony.
- Hiring medical experts to assess current and future medical damages.
Filing all paperwork on time—in Illinois, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years in most cases, though the statute of limitations can be shorter or longer in any given case. This means that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Your accident settlement can be the difference between financial stresses for years to come or the ability to pay for your medical treatment and other related expenses without worry. This is too important to leave to chance. Speak with a personal injury lawyer who can help you achieve the best chance of receiving fair compensation for the damages you incurred in the car accident.
Speak With a Cook County Car Accident Lawyer Today
A car accident can result in serious injuries for all those involved. If you have been hurt in a car accident and believe that another driver is at fault, it is advisable to speak with a car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights. The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C., is proud to work with clients in the Cook County area. We offer a free consultation to review the details of your specific situation. We are dedicated to advocating for the rights of our clients. Call us today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online.