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Il injury lawyerIn Illinois, you are required by law to file a police report after most traffic accidents. Aside from being the law, it is generally a very good idea to file a report anyway. Ideally, the police should respond to the scene and conduct their own independent investigation. The results of a police investigation can make or break a car accident claim.

Courts and insurance companies alike tend to take the word of police officers at face value. A report showing that you were not at fault and the other driver was can streamline the process of recovering compensation. If you are able to wait at the scene to give a statement, you should. If your injuries dictate that you must be transported to the hospital right away, do not worry. The police will be able to take your statement later. Your next phone call should be to an attorney.

3 Reasons the Police Report is Critically Important to Your Claim

While some people are understandably hesitant to interact with the police, doing so is a necessity after a motor vehicle crash. A few reasons you really do need to contact the police after a car accident include:

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IL accident lawyerEven at the slow speeds typically involved in parking lot collisions, getting hit by a car while you are walking can be incredibly harmful. A car does not need to be moving very fast at all to seriously injure a pedestrian who does not have the benefit of a car protecting them. Pedestrian accidents are very common in parking lots because vehicles and people on foot are expected to share space. There are no sidewalks in parking lots, so people have to walk through the same areas cars are driving in. Drivers should be well aware that there are people walking around and must take care to avoid them. If you were hit by a car in a parking lot, you should speak to an attorney to find out what rights you may have. You could be entitled to compensation.

What Do I Need to Prove in Order to Recover Damages?

One of the things you will need to demonstrate is that the driver who hit you was negligent. It is fairly rare for a driver who was using the appropriate level of caution to hit a pedestrian, but this is sometimes shown to be the case. Some common types of careless conduct that cause drivers to hit pedestrians in parking lots include:

  • Not looking behind them - Drivers should always be looking in the direction that their vehicle is moving. In parking lots, drivers typically need to back up to leave their spot. Careless drivers will sometimes glance behind them once to see if any other vehicles are coming and then back out without continuing to watch behind them for pedestrians. The driver may try to argue that the pedestrian was not visible to them.
  • Distraction - When leaving a location, drivers are often distracted. They may be looking through a shopping bag, returning a missed call, checking their email, reading over a receipt, or lighting a cigarette. Distracted drivers can easily hit a pedestrian before seeing them.
  • Lack of care - Some drivers majorly let their guards down in parking lots. They figure that they are only driving at slow speeds and do not need to be as careful as they might be on the main road. This is often a mistake.
  • Priorities - Fender-benders are common in parking lots for obvious reasons. Many drivers are very focused on not damaging their cars by colliding with another vehicle rather than watching out for vulnerable pedestrians.

Drivers often attempt to argue that they could not see the pedestrian because another vehicle was blocking their view, or because the pedestrian suddenly stepped behind them. A skilled attorney may be able to overcome this type of argument.

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Arlington height car crash lawyerAnyone who has experienced a Chicago winter can tell you how bad our weather can get. When our city gets a winter storm, the roads can become dangerous very quickly. Even careful drivers can sometimes hit a patch of ice and skid, but most accidents are preventable. During the winter, careful drivers take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of getting into a crash. Negligent drivers may act as if they have not noticed how bad the road conditions are. If you get hurt during a wintertime car accident, contact an attorney. Snow can quickly cover up critical evidence like tire tracks or even pieces of damaged vehicles very quickly. 

What Careless Mistakes Lead to Winter Motor Vehicle Accidents in the Chicago Area?

The first thing our attorneys try to do - after making sure that you are safe and getting any needed medical care - is identify the negligent behavior that caused the at-fault driver to crash into you. Some common examples of negligence we see during the winter include: 

  • Speed - Driving the posted speed limit can amount to negligence if the conditions make it unsafe to drive at that speed. When there is snow or ice or poor visibility, drivers are responsible for slowing down to an appropriate and safe speed. 

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shutterstock_733006537.jpg Car accidents in which a vehicle tips or rolls over are among the deadliest types of crashes. Many vehicles are not designed to handle being flipped over, which can result in very serious injuries for the occupants. Rollover accidents are often preventable. It often requires quite significant carelessness on the part of the at-fault driver to cause another vehicle to roll. If you are injured in one of these very dangerous accidents, you will likely need emergency medical care. 

As soon as you are able to, it is important to call an attorney. Evidence at these crash scenes is often disturbed very quickly, sometimes by first responders attempting to rescue victims trapped in an overturned car. The sooner your attorney is able to begin their own investigation, the more likely it is that they will find critical evidence at the accident site. 

What Types of Driver Negligence Leads to Rollover Accidents?

It normally takes significant force or speed to flip a vehicle over. Some types of vehicles that are top-heavy, such as jeeps, SUVs, and pickup trucks are more likely to be tipped or rolled, although rollover accidents can happen to any car as well. Common causes of rollover accidents include: 

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shutterstock_1863040405.jpgAs the victim of a car accident, you may be wondering where to turn for help and what your options are. The two most important steps to take after being in a car accident are to seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained and contact a personal injury lawyer after gathering the contact information of the other people involved in the incident. 

Once you reach out to a personal injury lawyer, the attorney you retain will start the claims process on your behalf. But what is a claim? And what does the process of filing a claim after being involved in a car accident really look like? We are going to explore the claims process today in order to shed light on what you can expect as the victim in a car accident.  

The Most Common Claims Filed by Car Accident Victims 

For starters, a personal injury claim is a legal declaration stating that you, the victim, are owed compensation for injuries you sustained and damage caused to your property as the result of a personal injury incident. When you hire legal counsel to represent you, your attorney will file a personal injury claim on your behalf. 

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