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What Are Common Injuries You Can Suffer in a Head-On Collision?A head-on collision may be the most frightening type of car crash you can be involved in. Seeing another vehicle coming at you in the same lane is startling, and you may not have the time or maneuverability to avoid the collision. The aftermath of a head-on collision can be just as scary for those involved, even if they were wearing safety belts and their airbags deployed. Head-on collisions are the most deadly type of crash because a collision between two vehicles heading opposite directions will have a greater force and cause more violent damage to the vehicles. If you are fortunate enough to survive the crash, you may suffer serious injuries with long-lasting effects on your life. Common injuries that people in head-on collisions sustain include:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injuries: Your brain is an area of particular concern following a head-on collision. During the collision, your head likely jerked forward while the rest of your body was held in place by your safety belt. This can cause brain injuries if your head strikes a surface or if your brain is jostled against your skull. Brain injuries can take longer for you to notice than other injuries, but the consequences can have a profound effect on your ability to think and function.
  2. Neck and Spine Injuries: Along with your head, your neck is not as secured as the rest of your body during a head-on collision, which can lead to whiplash. The collision can also potentially damage your spine through cracked vertebrae or a herniated disc. Spinal injuries can cause partial or total paralysis.
  3. Chest and Abdomen Injuries: Though the safety belt and airbags protect you from being propelled forward during a head-on collision, the force with which you are stopped can cause damage to your chest and abdomen. You may suffer cracked or broken ribs or internal organ damage if they are pierced by your broken ribs or an instrument in your vehicle.
  4. Lower Body Injuries: Your legs and feet will absorb much of the impact during a head-on collision, which can cause torn ligaments and broken bones. Those injuries may be worsened if your legs strike the instrument panel of your vehicle or are crushed in the vehicle wreckage.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

With the extensive injuries that can result from a head-on collision, it will be important to pursue compensation if another driver was at fault for the crash. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive damages that will cover your medical expenses and compensate you for your pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Does Not Wearing a Safety Belt Hurt Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?Buckling up while in a car is not only the law but potentially a life-saving practice. According to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration, 47 percent of the people who died in vehicle crashes in 2017 were not wearing a safety belt. Not wearing a safety belt or wearing it improperly puts you at risk of being thrown out of the vehicle during a crash or hitting your head inside the vehicle. In Illinois, all drivers and passengers age 8 and older are required to wear a safety belt, with a violation being a $25 fine. There is a separate car seat requirement for passengers younger than 8. Can you file a personal injury lawsuit if you were injured in an accident while not wearing a safety belt? Illinois law does not allow a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit to use the plaintiff’s lack of a safety belt as evidence that the plaintiff was negligent.

Seatbelt Defense

Illinois uses comparative fault to determine how much compensation a plaintiff will receive in a personal injury lawsuit. If the plaintiff was liable in part for the accident, their award in a lawsuit will be reduced. The percentage they receive from the award they request in the lawsuit will be equal to the percentage of fault that the defendant shared for the accident. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, they will receive nothing.

In some states, the defendant in a personal injury case is allowed to argue that the plaintiff’s negligence in not wearing a safety belt was partially responsible for their injuries. However, Illinois is one of the states that does not allow the “seatbelt defense.” Illinois’ law requiring safety belts includes a section stating that a violation of the law is not evidence of negligence and cannot limit someone’s ability to receive:

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 Distracted Truck Drivers Can Cause Serious CrashesGetting into an accident with a commercial truck can result in devastating injuries to the occupants of a smaller passenger vehicle. Drivers are taught to be cautious around trucks, giving them ample space and being aware of their blind spots. However, an error by the truck driver can create a dangerous situation that other drivers are unable to avoid. Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of driver error in truck accidents. You may be able to receive personal injury compensation if you can prove that a truck driver was distracted leading up to your accident.

How Do Truck Drivers Get Distracted?

Commercial truck drivers are often fighting fatigue and boredom during the long hours they spend on the road. The driver may try to break the monotony by finding other activities to do while driving, such as using their phones or eating food. There are several ways that this can impair their driving ability:

  • Holding the object means at least one of their hands is not on the wheel.
  • They may be looking at the object when they should be watching the road.
  • If they drop the object, their impulse may be to reach for it, further taking their attention away from the road.
  • Even if their eyes are on the road, the activity may be mentally distracting.

Both federal and state laws make it illegal for truck drivers to use a cell phone while driving unless it is with a hands-free device. However, some drivers still do not follow the rules, which sometimes leads to an accident. 

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Four Car Accident Injuries That Can Take Time to NoticeVehicle crashes range in severity from the catastrophic to the relatively minor. Though any type of collision can be startling, you may feel some relief if you came away from the incident seemingly unscathed. However, some vehicle accident injuries are subtle yet still serious. Delaying treatment of hidden injuries may cause your condition to grow worse and make it more difficult to connect the injury to your crash, which could work against you if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who was responsible for the crash. Here are four subtle injuries to watch for following an accident:

  1. Spinal Injuries: People often suffer whiplash after being in a front-end or rear-end collision. The force of any collision and the way it jostles your body can cause strain and damage to your neck and back. Even if your spine is not directly damaged, inflammation of your muscles can put pressure on your spine. Look for stiffness and soreness in your neck, shoulders, and back and numbness or tingling in your limbs.
  2. Brain Injuries: People can suffer traumatic brain injuries during a collision from whiplash or hitting their head. It can take days or weeks for symptoms of a brain injury to show, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea, sensory loss, memory loss, and unexplained mood changes.
  3. Internal Bleeding: Pain in your abdomen may not immediately seem related to your accident but could be a sign of damage to your internal organs. Internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening injury that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the symptoms can start out slow, catching people off-guard.
  4. Joint Injuries: A collision can cause trauma to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments connecting your major joints, such as your knees and elbows. You may tear or strain this soft tissue without immediately realizing it. However, the injury will become more noticeable in a couple of days after the tissue becomes inflamed.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The adrenaline your body produces after the shock of your vehicle accident can mask injuries that otherwise would have been noticeable. If you feel any pain or discomfort after being in an accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have an injury related to your accident. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you connect your injury to the negligent actions of the person who is liable for your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Breaking Down Illinois Vehicle Crash StatisticsThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported that there were more than 319,000 crashes involving vehicles in the state in 2018. About 21 percent of those crashes resulted in injury, and less than one percent involved fatalities. If you are one of the unfortunate people who are injured in a vehicle accident, you may be able to recover personal injury compensation if another driver was at fault. You can also file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence. You cannot predict whether you will be involved in a traffic crash, but IDOT’s 2018 Crash Facts and Statistics provides interesting information on when crashes most often happen, what types of crashes are most common, and who gets injured.

When Crashes Take Place

You might think that the majority of traffic crashes happen late at night on the weekends because that is when people are most likely to be drinking and driving. Actually, the two days of the week with the most crashes are Friday and Thursday, and more than two-thirds of crashes occur from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. There are more people driving during the daytime on weekdays, and rush hour traffic causes numerous crashes. However, crashes involving death or severe injury were more likely to happen from 4 p.m. to 3:59 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Types of Crashes

The most common types of vehicle crashes were, in order:

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