Barrington Injury Attorneys

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barrington car accident lawyerGetting into a car accident can be doubly frightening if you are a passenger. You have no control over either vehicle, and no opportunity to avoid or mitigate the crash. When you are hurt as a passenger, you may be unsure about what your legal options are. The good news is that you can recover compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. However, the process may look slightly different, and you will probably want an attorney to guide you through your claim. 

Who Can I Recover Compensation From for My Passenger Injuries?

Who you can seek compensation from depends on who caused your injuries. If the driver of the car you were riding in caused the accident, then your claim is against him (or his insurance company). However, if a third party caused the wreck, then that driver is liable to you regardless of whether you were driving or riding in the not-at-fault vehicle. In this case, you and the driver of the car you were in may be able to work together on your claims in some ways. The body of evidence you will need is going to overlap significantly.

If your claim is against the driver of the car you were in, however, you may be reluctant to call a lawyer and bring a claim. You probably do not often get into a car with people you do not know - odds are, the driver is someone you have a relationship with. Keep in mind that assuming your friend has insurance, it will be their auto insurance company on the hook for your damages, and not your friend personally. 

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Cook County personal injury lawyerAfter a car crash, your instinct may be to focus on the people who were directly involved in the crash. This makes sense - certainly, the first thing you need to do is to check whether anyone is hurt and call an ambulance if it is needed. It is also important to speak with the other driver to exchange information. However, the people who could become most important in your car accident claim may not be in either crashed vehicle. Third-party witnesses can be extremely important, especially in the event that your case goes to trial. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you should contact an experienced attorney who can help you with collecting evidence. 

Why Are Uninvolved Witnesses so Important in Car Accident Claims?

Physical evidence alone does not always show who was at fault in a car accident. If two vehicles collided in an intersection and both drivers claim it was their turn at the stop sign, the case may turn into a “he-said, she-said” dispute. However, if someone who was not involved in the crash saw what happened, courts and insurance companies may be inclined to take their word for it. 

A witness who was not involved in the accident has no stake in the outcome of your claim, and therefore has no reason or motivation to lie. Bystanders make very credible witnesses, especially when the drivers give differing accounts. Neutral witnesses are typically believed.

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Barrington pedestrian accident lawyerUnfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a daily occurrence in the United States. In fact, in 2019, 6,590 pedestrians were killed in accidents. If you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer promptly. Your lawyer can help you determine all the liable parties and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Responsible Parties for Pedestrian Accidents

If you were hit by a vehicle and suffered injuries, it is important to consider all the liable parties. Here are several parties that may be to blame for your injuries.

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Lake County car accident attorneyMost people greatly underestimate the effect that being sleepy has on their ability to drive. According to the National Safety Council, being awake for 20 or more hours straight has the same effect on driving as being intoxicated. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was too fatigued to drive safely, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the driver accountable and recover compensation through a personal injury claim.  

Negligent Driving Caused by Sleep Deprivation

Most adults have felt the effects of sleep deprivation at least once in their lives. Reduced attention span, increased reaction time, and difficulty making decisions are all common consequences of getting too little sleep. If a driver is too fatigued to pay attention to the road and drive cautiously, he or she should pull off at a rest stop or other safe location. Fatigued drivers may:

  • Drift between lanes
  • Run red lights or stop signs
  • React too slowly to avoid a collision
  • Fall asleep at the wheel

Truck Driver Fatigue Due to Falsified Logbooks

The drivers of commercial trucks are often especially at risk of fatigued driving. To reduce the incidence of truck accidents caused by sleepiness, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has instituted certain restrictions on how long truckers can drive. Truck drivers must keep track of the hours that they drive and when they take rest breaks in a logbook. However, some truck drivers lie about how many hours they have driven. If your accident was caused by a sleepy truck driver, the driver’s logbook and data from the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) may be used as evidence in your case.

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Barrington car accident lawyerBeing the victim of any type of car accident is stressful. However, when your accident is caused by an uninsured driver, the situation becomes even more complicated. If you or a loved one were in a car accident involving an uninsured motorist, you may be unsure of what to do next. You are likely concerned about how you will pay for vehicle repair costs, medical fees, and other costs incurred by the accident, and whether or not you are fully responsible for the costs. With the help of a reputable accident attorney, you will be informed of your options as an Illinois driver.

Car Accident Liability in Illinois

Typically, the insurer of the driver who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying the damages resulting from the accident. Car insurance is mandatory in Illinois, however, some people choose to drive without auto insurance and in violation of the law. Others forget to renew their policy or fall behind on payments and lose coverage. If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident, the people who sustained injuries and vehicle damage may assume that they are on the hook for the accident costs. However, there are options available to car accident victims that they may be unaware of.

Options for Pursuing Reimbursement for Accident-Related Costs

One option you have after an uninsured driver accident is to sue the at-fault driver. However, if the driver does not have car insurance, it is unlikely that he or she has the funds to pay a personal injury claim settlement or award. Another option is to file a third-party claim with your own insurer under the uninsured motorist policy. Illinois auto insurance policies automatically include uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist coverage. Unless you have specifically opted out of UM coverage, your policy should cover injuries resulting from an uninsured driver accident. Unfortunately, compensation from the insurance company may not be enough to cover the full extent of your past, present, and future damages. This is especially true if you sustained severe injuries that require considerable medical care and time off work. Furthermore, liability coverage may not include compensation for vehicle repair and replacement costs.

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Barrington Injury Attorneys

224 West Main Street, Suite 100, Barrington, IL 60010

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