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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 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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McHenry County traumatic brain injury attorneyEach year in the United States, an estimated 2.8 million people experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI), including many whose conditions were caused by car accidents. Of those, approximately 50,000 do not survive their injuries, and another 280,000 are hospitalized and ultimately released. The rest are treated in emergency rooms and then released home to heal. What makes the difference between these three groups of people? Sometimes, it is the severity of the injury itself, but being able to recognize the early signs and symptoms can also be crucial for both the short- and long-term prognosis of a victim.

Early Detection is Crucial

In situations involving a severe brain injury, time can mean the difference between life and death. However, even in cases of mild or moderate TBI, early detection can be important. It ensures that the victim does not do things they should avoid, such as tasks that involve concentration and activities that can result in a secondary injury. Early detection can also ensure that victims receive proper treatment.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Although a traumatic brain injury can be caused by any jolt, blow, or sudden and violent movement of the head, traffic accidents and falls are the most common causes. In addition, traffic accidents are among the leading causes of TBI-related death. As such, all car, truckbicycle, and pedestrian accident victims should know the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.

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Can I Collect Compensation for a Car Accident If I Was Partly at Fault?One major misunderstanding about personal injury lawsuits is believing that the issue of fault is usually cut and dry. In reality, determining who is to blame for an injury-causing or fatal accident is often the hardest and most time-consuming part of an injury suit. Sometimes, the person at fault for an accident is obvious. However, many personal injury suits involve situations in which several parties share fault for the injury-causing accident. Fortunately, you can still receive compensation for your damages even if you were partially at fault for them. Doing so, however, requires an understanding of Illinois’ “comparative negligence” laws.

Modified Comparative Negligence Basics

Illinois courts rely on a doctrine known as “modified comparative negligence.” This means that you may be able to recover compensation for your losses even if you are partially to blame for the situation in which your losses occurred. As long as you were not more than half at fault for the accident or incident that caused your injuries, you can still pursue compensation.

For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, it may seem obvious that the driver of the other vehicle is to blame. However, what if you were speeding when the accident occurred? In situations like these, the courts will assign a percentage of blame to each party involved in the incident. The amount of compensation you can receive will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. However, if you are found to be 51 percent or more to blame for the accident, you cannot recover anything.

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