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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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What Makes Rush Hour Driving Dangerous?For most people, rush hour is their least favorite time of day to drive anywhere. The periods between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays are when most people are traveling to and from work, causing heavy traffic congestion on roadways where you can normally travel at a high speed. Unfortunately, traffic crashes are common occurrences during rush hour because it combines several factors that increase the risk of getting into an accident. By being aware of these factors, you may be able to avoid your own traffic crash:

  1. There Is Less Room to Maneuver: Rear-ending a vehicle is one of the most common types of accidents during rush hour. Vehicles are often packed together, leaving less space than normal between them. When a vehicle in front of you unexpectedly stops or enters your lane, you have less time to respond and avoid an accident. You can better avoid hitting a vehicle by leaving extra space in front of you and driving cautiously.
  2. Everyone Is in a Hurry: Rush hour drivers are anxious to get to work on time or get home after work. Slow traffic makes many drivers impatient, which leads to speeding up whenever they get the chance and looking to change lanes in hopes that a different lane will be quicker. Though you may be in a hurry to reach your destination, your safety is your primary concern while driving. Avoid changing lanes unless it is part of your travel route. If slow traffic is a frequent problem, try leaving earlier to give yourself more time.
  3. Road Rage Can Flare Up: Some drivers’ reactions to rush hour traffic go beyond impatience. They may become furious at other drivers and the situation in general. Drivers with road rage are more likely to behave aggressively and make poor decisions. Try to remain calm and not engage with angry drivers.
  4. Sun Glare Is at Its Worst: Rush hour traffic often coincides with the times of day when the sun is rising and setting. Depending on the direction you are driving, you may have a problem with sunlight shining in your eyes and blinding you. It is important to use the sun visors in your vehicle and wear sunglasses.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering a vehicle accident during rush hour may cause serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. If another driver was at fault for the crash, a Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive compensation for your medical expenses and personal suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Recognizing and Guarding Yourself Against Drivers with Road RageAccording to a recent survey of drivers in the U.S., 82 percent confessed to having road rage in the past year. When you are in a bad mood, it is easy for the minor annoyances of driving to make you angry. Problems arise when road rage turns into aggressive driving. People who drive aggressively and fueled by anger are more likely to cause a traffic accident, which may seriously injure someone. It is important to be able to identify aggressive drivers on the road and to know how to protect yourself against them.

Signs of Aggression

Drivers who are experiencing road rage will often travel at high speeds and show little regard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving behavior may include:

  • Tailgating, which is following a vehicle too closely
  • Excessive use of the car horn
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Obscene or threatening gestures and language

In extreme cases of road rage, the driver may target someone and attempt to cause them harm, such as using a weapon or exiting their vehicle with the intent to start a fight.

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Can Ambulance Drivers Be Liable in Accidents?Illinois law requires drivers to cede the right of way to emergency vehicles that are responding to an incident as part of their duty. Obstructing such vehicles or getting into an accident can be a criminal offense. However, there are some scenarios with emergency vehicles that have less clear answers:

  • Can the driver of an emergency vehicle be liable for personal injury if he or she was at fault for an accident?;
  • What legal protections do emergency vehicles have if they are not using their lights and sirens?; and
  • Are ambulance drivers with a private service treated the same as those that work for a local government?

The Illinois Supreme Court answered these questions earlier this decade and found that emergency vehicle drivers do not have the same standard of negligence as other drivers, as long as they are on the job.

Liability Protection

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Motorhome Accident Leads to Injury Lawsuit Between SpousesDespite being married for more than 40 years, an Illinois woman is attempting to sue her husband for personal injury compensation. In the case of Hand v. Hand, the wife claims that her husband’s negligence caused their motorhome to crash into a concrete wall, resulting in her injuries. The couple was in Indiana at the time of the accident, traveling back from a visit to Florida. Because the incident happened in a different state than the couple’s residence, an Illinois circuit court applied Indiana state law to the case, which would prevent the woman from suing her husband. However, an Illinois appellate court overturned that decision, stating that Illinois law applies in this case.

Conflicting Laws

The court’s decision on which state’s laws it would use in the personal injury case was vital in determining whether there could be a case. Illinois and Indiana laws conflict on whether spouses are allowed to bring lawsuits against each other:

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