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Crystal Lake IL personal injury attorneyLast year was difficult for everyone. COVID-19 hit early in the year, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths around the country, and job losses in Illinois and throughout the nation were rampant. Shelter-in-place orders were issued in the spring and kept many people at home for months, which kept people off of the roads. However, according to a new report, while there were fewer people on the road, there were also more traffic fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published statistics that show just how many people were killed on the roads, and they are pleading with the public to keep safety in mind when they get behind the wheel. If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, it is important to speak to an experienced lawyer who can help with your case.

Traffic Fatalities in Illinois and Around the Country in 2020

The statistics from the NHTSA encompass January through September 2020. In the first nine months of last year, there were 28,190 traffic fatalities across the country, an increase from 26,941 during the same time period in 2019.

The news in Illinois is not much better. Within the state, there were approximately 1,166 fatalities on the roads, which was an increase of 16 percent from 2019, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The 2019 figures also represent the most fatalities on state roads since 2007. The reason for the increase in both the state and the nation seems to be drivers acting recklessly behind the wheel.

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McHenry County personal injury attorneyMore than six million auto accidents occur in the United States each year. In those crashes, over three million people are hurt. Some injuries are minor, but others can have a significant impact on the life of the victim. In fact, about two million per year suffer permanent injuries in car crashes, and sadly, not all of these severe injury victims will receive compensation. This is in part because far too many of them do not seek treatment until it is too late. If you experience an accident, it is important to know how to avoid the same troubling fate.

Adrenaline and Injury Symptoms

When a crash happens, those involved often experience a rush of adrenaline. This natural response to trauma can mask the symptoms of an injury, leading the victim to believe they are fine. Even more troubling is that, even when symptoms do start to manifest, victims frequently do not directly attribute them to the accident. If they continue to overlook the connection and never seek treatment, their risk for long-term complications and/or fatality can increase dramatically.

Symptoms That Could Indicate a Serious Injury

One of the biggest reasons that victims may not immediately attribute their delayed symptoms to an accident is that, at first glance, the symptoms might not seem very serious. For example, a simple headache after a crash could be an indication of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a blood clot, or brain hemorrhaging. Pain and stiffness in the neck or shoulder area—which might be written off as stress from the accident or simply being “shaken up”—could be an indication of whiplash. Back pain could indicate a herniated disc or damage to nerves or muscles.

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McHenry County car crash attorneyAccording to the National Safety Council, approximately half of all teenagers will experience an automobile accident before they graduate high school. Many of them will walk away from their accidents with little more than a few bumps and bruises. Others will suffer severe injuries and may even be killed. Thankfully, parents can minimize their child’s risk by staying involved. It is important to take steps to keep your teen safe while on the road.

Continue Riding with Your Teen

Statistics indicate that teens who continue driving with their parents in the car are less likely to experience a crash than those who have little to no driving time with an adult after obtaining their license. There may be several reasons for this, such as a lower likelihood of engaging in risky behavior when a parent is present and more practice time with an experienced adult. Whatever the reason, the reduced risk makes spending time in the car together well worth the effort. As an added bonus, extra time with your teenager can strengthen your relationship as well.

Enforce Rules For Teens Driving on Their Own

Parents should also enforce strict driving rules for teens, and they should have clear consequences if the teen directly violates those rules. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration specifically suggests that parents expressly talk to their teen drivers about the dangers of speeding, alcohol use, cell phones while driving, extra passengers, and strict adherence to seatbelts. If you decide to place limitations, the consequences are completely up to you, of course, but you should be sure that they highly discourage risky behavior behind the wheel.

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Crystal Lake car accident injury lawyerAuto accidents can result in all sorts of injuries, many of which are severe. One prime example is a herniated disk. While they are not one of the more commonly thought of spinal injuries, herniated disks can still have a significant impact on the lives of car crash victims. If you have suffered a herniated disk in a car crash, a qualified personal injury attorney can help you understand the compensation you may be owed.

What is a Herniated Disk?

Between each of the vertebrae of your spine, there are small, donut-like disks. On the outside, they are thick and tough. On the inside, there is a soft, jelly-like substance. A herniated disk is one in which that jelly-like substance seeps through a tear in the exterior portion of the disk. This seeping can irritate nearby nerves, which may cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the limbs. It can also result in further degradation of the disk, which, over time, can lead to friction between the spine’s vertebrae.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disk

Herniated disks can result in a range of symptoms, but most are related to numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the legs and arms. While these symptoms may not indicate a severe problem, it is still important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing them. Any problems related to bowel and bladder dysfunction, pain in the neck, worsening symptoms, or progressive loss of sensation in the buttocks and upper legs—also known as saddle anesthesia—should be treated as an emergency.

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McHenry County personal injury lawyerWhile there are many injuries that a victim could suffer in a car accident, some are more severe than others. Life-altering and life-threatening injuries can result in extreme financial losses and may even cause financial devastation for the victim and their family, not to mention the severe physical and mental effects. If you have suffered a traumatic injury, a qualified personal injury attorney can help you recover the most compensation possible.

Severe Head Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common injuries in car crashes, and they can be deadly because they are easy to overlook. Victims may not have an open wound, bruise, or bump. In fact, a victim might not have even hit his or her head since a traumatic brain injury can be caused by a sudden jarring of the brain, not necessarily a blow to the head. If you notice symptoms of confusion, loss of consciousness, persistent headaches, or other strange symptoms, you should contact a healthcare professional immediately. A victim could also sustain a skull fracture or a penetrating head wound, both of which could be fatal, especially when not promptly treated.

Penetrating Chest and Abdominal Injuries

Any penetration of the body is typically considered a medical emergency, but those involving the chest or abdominal area can quickly turn into a fatal situation. The lungs, heart, bowels, liver, kidneys, and major blood vessels are all contained within these areas of the body. Injuries from a penetrating wound often require complicated emergency surgery to repair, and this can come with high expenses for which you may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

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