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arlington heights personal injury lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use in the U.S. costs the country roughly a quarter trillion dollars per year. This number included costs caused by loss in workplace productivity, health care, criminal justice, and alcohol-related car accidents. Alcohol is often a factor in personal injury law cases, and many who are injured in alcohol-related accidents are eligible to receive compensation.

Alcohol-Related Injuries

Although many people use alcohol responsibly, alcohol is a very powerful drug. When a person consumes alcohol, their body is affected in several significant ways. Their reaction time is often decreased, and reflexes may become slower, their vision may become distorted or blurry, their ability to concentrate may be diminished, and they may find it hard to coordinate their movements. These side effects of alcohol make a person much more susceptible to an injury-causing accident.

Sometimes alcohol-related injuries are caused by something as simple as slipping and falling. This often happens in dimly lit bars or other places where alcohol is served and could be spilled. When a person has been drinking, he or she is less likely to be able to react to a slip as quickly as he or she might have been able to while sober. This makes serious injury a higher risk than if the person had not been drinking.

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IL accident lawyerA car accident is one of the most disorienting experiences a person can go through. You may find it hard to even think straight, let alone figure out the best course of action in the immediate aftermath, especially if you have been injured. However, the moments following an accident can have important implications for your health and safety, as well as for your chances of recovering compensation through a personal injury claim.

The better prepared you are for the possibility of a car crash, the more likely you may be to handle it in a way that leads to a more favorable outcome. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can be ready to protect yourself in the wake of a serious accident.

Steps to Take After a Car Crash

If you are injured in a car accident, try to keep these suggestions in mind to help you manage the situation:

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IL accident lawyer There are nearly an infinite number of issues that may cause a car accident. Driving under the influence, reckless driving, inattention to the road, and traffic law violations are some of the most common causes of auto accidents. However, in many cases, more than one factor leads to a car accident. For example, one motorist involved in an accident may have been driving over the speed limit while the other driver is texting and driving. You may wonder, “In car accidents involving shared blame, how is the at-fault driver determined? Can I still recover damages even if I am partially at fault for an accident?”

Comparative Negligence Laws in Illinois

The state of Illinois uses what is known as a “modified comparative negligence” model for shared-fault personal injury cases. In Texas law, this is referred to as “contributory fault.” This means that Illinois courts allow injured individuals to seek compensation for their injuries even if they were partially to blame for the injuries. In fact, as long as an injured party was not more than 50 percent at fault for the incident that caused the injuries, he or she can still bring a court action for damages.

In personal injury claims involving shared fault, the damages awarded to the injured person are reduced according to his or her percentage of fault. Determining each party’s degree of fault is a complicated process. Witness testimony, expert witnesses, physical evidence, and other forms of evidence may be used to determine fault.

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IL injury lawyerHead injuries are unlike other types of personal injury in that even a seemingly minor accident can have life-altering consequences. When a victim’s head is struck or moved in a violent or sudden manner, the brain may bump against the skull, causing severe injury. Brain injuries are often caused by car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, but they can also be caused by falls, workplace accidents, and more.

Regardless of how a brain injury occurs, the effects can be dramatic. Some who suffer brain injuries are unable to work or enjoy their lives in the way they did before the injury. In many cases, brain injuries incur substantial medical costs, including emergency room visits and ongoing doctor visits and tests. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence or carelessness, you might be able to receive compensation for your damages.

Brain Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many victims suffer brain injuries when they are involved in car accidents. If an accident was caused by a party who was driving recklessly or negligently, it is very likely that he or she will be liable for the accident. Distracted driving, including texting while driving, is often considered a negligent act, but proving that the other party was distracted can be challenging.

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IL accident lawyerThe sudden passing of a loved one leaves those left behind grieving and searching for answers. If the intentional or negligent behavior of another individual caused death, it is only right that the at-fault party is held accountable. The unexpected medical, funeral, and other associated costs can take a financial toll on even the most economically stable families. One possible option is to file a wrongful death claim against the person or persons responsible for the death. It is imperative to take action as soon as possible to better the chances of a strong case.

Statute of Limitations

Personal injury claims, including wrongful death suits, have a set limit within the state of Illinois during which you can file against a defendant. After the allotted time passes without a claim, no new litigation is applicable. Each state determines its statutes, and in Illinois, the statute of limitation for most wrongful death actions is two years from the date of the person’s death. If the death was caused by “violent intentional conduct,” the statute of limitations is five years from the date of the death. If the legal process begins before the limit passes, the suit may continue.

Integrity of Evidence

It is no secret that time changes everything. Waiting for two years until the end of the statute of limitations is ill-advised if it is preventable as a broken railing is replaceable, or a cell phone exchanged for a newer model. Many of the important factors necessary to win such a case become increasingly difficult to secure with each passing day. Unlike a homicide case, a wrongful death claim is not thoroughly investigated by local law enforcement, as it is not a criminal issue but a civil matter.

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