Get help from a skilled personal injury attorney in Rockford who will protect your rights when you or a loved one are hurt or killed in a motor vehicle accident. We protect individuals in any of the following motor vehicle personal injury cases:
- Drunk driving
- Uninsured driver or underinsured driver
- Distracted or careless driver of a passenger vehicle
- Inattentive truck drivers
- Drivers of commercial vehicles with unsecured, or improperly loaded cargo, or other equipment or trucking violations that caused a motor vehicle accident
- Drivers of buses, vans, cabs, shuttles, or various other public transportation
- Vehicle rollovers
The most common type of personal injury claims involves a motor vehicle accident. That is not surprising since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a traffic accident occurs in the United States every ten seconds — and the rate of auto accidents in Rockford is no exception. Accidents can happen in only a few short moments but can have long-lasting effects on your life.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Car Accident?
Illinois has more than 400,000 car accidents every single year. Of those about 90,000 will involve injures, and around 1,000 fatalities. Even a minor fender bender can result in a trip to the hospital, lost wages, soft tissue damage, and the inconvenience of losing a vehicle for a period of time, and if it’s a major car accident, it can have life altering consequences for yourself as well as your family well into the future.
- First, assess the situation and call the police to report the accident, exchange insurance information with the police officer (if available) or the other driver.
- If possible, preserve as much evidence of the scene as possible if you can do so safely, this can be done by taking video or pictures with a mobile device. If you must move your vehicle pay very close attention to where your vehicle is relative to any other involved automobiles as it will be very important to address these issues when litigating your claim later especially if pictures or other media are not available.
- Gather names, addresses, and if possible the plate numbers and license numbers of the other involved drivers and their vehicles. If you see witnesses that stop, make sure you ask for their name, address, and contact information.
- Do NOT make any admissions such as making apologies if you feel you were at fault in the car crash.
- As soon as you are able to, write down everything you remember about the accident. This time period is when things are freshest in a driver’s memory and as the months go on, it helps to have a recollection of what you may remember from the exact day of the accident.
- If you are injured, it is best both for your personal well-being and your eventual case, that you seek proper medical treatment as soon as possible. If you cannot afford medical treatment there are providers that will treat victims of motor vehicle accidents without payment up front. It is significantly more difficult to litigate a claim if medical treatment is sought after a large gap in time from the date of the crash to the seeking of treatment. This is something a qualified personal injury attorney can give you guidance on so as to preserve as much medical documentation as possible that details the full extent and severity of any injuries you may have suffered in the car crash.
How Are Motor Vehicle Injury Cases Governed?
Motor vehicle accidents are governed by the law of negligence. In general, drivers must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” A deviation from this standard of care may require the at-fault party to pay for the damages caused. However, who is determined to be the at-fault party is not always clear and can quickly turn into a case of “he said, she said.” It can be difficult to know what actually happened and who is legally at fault. A consultation with a personal injury attorney can give you a clear and unbiased opinion of liability in your case and help you better understand your options.
Damages are the monetary compensation awarded to an injured party after an accident. They can include medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, permanent impairment, lost wages, property damage, etc. Consulting an attorney early on in your case is the best way to ensure that your damages have been properly documented so that you receive fair value for your claim.
Have a Question? Call or Text Our Office
At the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett, we understand that car accident victims may have questions about their legal rights following a motor vehicle accident. We are committed to helping injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians understand these rights and how they may be able to obtain compensation to cover damages such as medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the details of your crash, you may be able to seek compensation through insurance claims or a lawsuit against a negligent driver.
For a free consultation to discuss your Rockford auto accidents case, call the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 to set an appointment, or contact us securely through our website. We are a Rockford, Illinois-based law firm, serving clients in Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park and Winnebago County.