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Common Types of Car Accident Injuries in Lake County

Head injuries, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are some of the most common types of car accident injuries. Any accident, regardless of its severity, can cause injuries that affect your health, well-being, and finances for years or the rest of your life. Below, you’ll learn more about the common injuries sustained in Lake County car accidents, how they can affect your life in the long term, and what you can do to ensure the compensation you pursue covers your current damages and future costs associated with the injuries.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Illinois

Most accident cases in Illinois involve driver negligence. The most common causes of accidents include:

  • Distracted driving: Distractions that take a driver’s attention away from operating his or her vehicle safely can cause dangerous accidents. Driving distractions include cell phone usage, operating GPS navigation systems, adjusting the radio and climate controls, grooming, eating and drinking, and dealing with pets or children.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Alcohol and drugs play a role in many accidents. They can impair the judgment, vision, coordination, and reaction time of drivers, making it harder for drivers to operate vehicles safely.
  • Speeding: Speeding gives drivers less control over their vehicles and reduces the time drivers have to react to dangerous situations on the road. High-speed impact crashes can cause bad car accident injuries.
  • Fatigued driving: Fatigue reduces a driver’s alertness and responsiveness to driving events and could even make a driver fall asleep behind the wheel, leading to accidents.

Who Pays for Medical Bills After an Accident?

After an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s normal to worry about who pays for medical bills after a car accident. If you’re injured in an accident in Illinois, the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident should cover the costs of your medical bills. Your health insurance will help you pay your medical bills quickly while you follow the legal process of claiming compensation from the responsible driver’s insurance company.

What Are the Most Common Injuries From a Car Accident?

While injuries vary from one car accident to another, some injuries are more common than others. Here’s a closer look at injuries that commonly occur in accidents in Lake County.

Head Injuries

You may sustain injuries when you hit your head on the dashboard, steering wheel, window, frame of the vehicle, airbag, or another hard surface or object inside the car during an accident. Some head injuries are immediately visible, such as a black eye, facial cuts, bruises, and bleeding. There are instances where a head injury may not be immediately apparent, such as when a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force jolts the brain. TBIs vary from mild concussions to severe injuries that could lead to brain damage. TBIs aren’t always easy to detect. The initial symptoms of a TBI may include headaches, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abnormal speech, and sleeping problems. These symptoms can appear soon after the crash, or several days or weeks later. A TBI can have long-lasting effects, such as issues with balance and coordination, personality changes, chronic headaches, cognitive impairment, and paralysis.

Head injuries may affect an individual’s ability to perform job duties and day-to-day activities. A victim may require extensive treatment, rehabilitative therapy, and ongoing care. A car accident attorney plays a crucial role in helping you understand all the harm suffered and the compensation that will fully address it.

Neck and Spinal Injuries

The neck is at great risk of injury during motor vehicle accidents because of its location and range of motion. Whiplash, a common neck injury, describes the neck’s movement when an impact makes the head move back and forth or side to side violently. Whiplash incidents can cause soft tissue injuries without breaking any bones.

Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, neck stiffness, shoulder pain and stiffness, jaw soreness and stiffness, pain or weakness in the arm, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

An injury to the spine can cause loss of muscle function, movement, and sensation below the injury site. Spinal injuries from a vehicle accident can lead to paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis of the arms and legs). Victims may lose bladder and bowel control. They may need assistive devices, home and vehicle modifications, and long-term medical care.

Spinal cord injuries can still cause long-term challenges, even when they don’t cause paralysis. Victims may require extensive physical therapy, lose income while recovering, and may permanently lose the ability to perform work at the same level as before the accident.

Broken Bones and Fractures

High-impact accidents can cause broken bones. Wrists, arms, legs, ribs, collarbones, hips, and the skull are common sites for fractures resulting from accidents. Fractures, including minor ones, can take months to heal.

You’ll incur medical expenses from the specialized treatment, physical therapy, and assistive devices that may be needed to heal the injury and restore full range of motion. Depending on the location, you may be unable to work while recovering. For example, broken bones in the arms can limit your ability to perform activities that require fine motor skills, such as writing and typing. Leg fractures may affect your ability to walk, and you may have to reduce your work hours. In all these cases, you’ll lose income.

In some cases, broken bones can lead to secondary conditions and permanent disability, affecting a victim’s future earning capacity.

Psychological Trauma

Not all car accident injuries are physical. Car accident victims often suffer psychological injuries due to the traumatizing incident and physical injuries sustained. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD among non-military persons. Psychological trauma can manifest in several ways, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty driving or traveling in cars

These psychological effects can last for several months or years. They can affect the ability to engage in daily life activities and cause loss of enjoyment of life. They should be considered when calculating a victim’s damages from a motor vehicle accident.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Knowing what to do after a car accident is crucial, especially if you intend to file a personal injury claim. You should seek medical care as soon as possible to ensure your injuries are properly treated and documented. You should also report the crash to the police. Gather as much information as you can after the crash, such as photos of the crash scene and contact information and statements from witnesses. It’s in your best interest to discuss your case with a car accident attorney.

A car accident attorney protects your interests when hired before you make a claim, settle with, or give statements to an insurance company. Insurance companies are profit-driven. They frequently employ underhanded tactics to get information that they can use against injured victims to pay out as little for car accident claims as possible. An attorney will communicate and negotiate with insurers on your behalf, spot and circumvent their tactics, and protect you from providing information that could make the companies devalue or deny your claim.

Your car accident lawyer will provide guidance and support throughout the car accident claims process. A car accident lawyer develops a solid case for you to maximize the value of your claim. He or she thoroughly investigates your accident to determine all the responsible parties and collect and promptly preserve the necessary evidence to prove your case. Your lawyer will calculate the full extent of your damages and review settlement offers to ensure they adequately cover them.

How Your Lawyer Can Help You Calculate Damages in Lake County

Accurately calculating damages requires that you know all the losses recoverable in car accident cases and the dollar value of the damages involved in your case. A car accident lawyer will go to great lengths to calculate the total damages, including both economic and non-economic damages.

When adding up your economic damages, a car accident lawyer will consider your current and future needs. For example, in the case of medical expenses, your lawyer will evaluate your current medical bills, as well as the cost of any medical treatment you’ll need in the future. For lost wages, your lawyer will include the income you didn’t earn because you were recovering from the injuries and the income you’ll be unable to earn for the rest of your lifetime because of an impairment resulting from the accident. Car accident lawyers work with other experts, such as neurologists, physical therapists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and life care planners, to determine future costs more accurately.

Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of consortium, lack direct monetary values. In most cases, an attorney will apply a multiplier to your economic damages to determine the value of your non-economic damages. The multiplier used will depend on the severity of your injuries.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association – 1974-Present
Lake County Bar Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Lake County Bar Association Civil Trial and Appeals Committee
Federal Bar Association – Northern District of Illinois
Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States – May 28, 1991
Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association – 1974-Present
Lake County Bar Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Lake County Bar Association Civil Trial and Appeals Committee
Federal Bar Association – Northern District of Illinois
Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States – May 28, 1991

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