There are over six million auto accidents each year, with nearly 40,000 resulting in fatalities. Bad weather often contributes to car accidents each year, especially in regions where snow and ice are a factor. Most people would think that accidents are more frequent during the winter months, but statistics indicate there are more accidents during the summer months as motorists are more likely to drink and drive during this time. Contact the Elmwood Park accident attorneys for legal help if you have been involved in an auto accident.
Determining Who is at Fault
How to determine fault in an auto accident depends on a variety of factors. In order to be successful in proving who was negligent, it is important to collect evidence that will support your case, such as:
- Police Reports—In any accident involving injuries, the police will be called to perform an investigation. They may end up citing one or all of the drivers involved if they clearly violated a traffic law. If a citation was issued, the officer will write down the vehicle code pertaining to the offense. Investigators try to determine fault by interviewing the drivers, witnesses and observing the weather and road conditions at the time.
- Witnesses—Anyone that actually witnessed the accident may be helpful if their version of events supports yours. If you had a passenger in your vehicle at the time, they can tell what may have led up to the incident, such as the other driver ran a stop sign or was speeding.
- Take Pictures—Most people have a cell phone that has photo capabilities. If you are uninjured, take as many pictures as possible of the damage to the vehicles and the scene itself. Note whether the other vehicle failed to have their lights on at dusk or if they were under age and only allowed to drive during daylight hours.
Assessing Your Injuries
Most neck injuries occur in auto accidents and may take a day or two before the severity of the injury is realized. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain and/or stiffness in your neck
- Persistent or debilitating headaches
- Pain or numbness in your shoulders, hands and arms
- Inability to move your neck or reduced mobility
- Muscle spasms in your neck or back
Your physician may require you to undergo physical therapy, traction or refer you to a chiropractor. Accidents can leave the person’s spine out of alignment, which will need to be readjusted through a series of treatments.
Calculating Damage Amounts For Your Claim
If you can prove that you were not responsible in any way for the accident, the other driver’s insurance company will need to settle your claim. The type of damages you can recover include the following:
- Medical Care—The cost of all treatment provided by healthcare professionals. This often includes emergency room care, diagnostic tests such as x-rays, therapy or chiropractic treatments and prescription medications.
- Lost Time From Work—If your injuries prevent you from being able to work temporarily or longer, you can seek compensation for lost wages.
- Disability and Disfigurement—When the victim has been temporarily or permanently disabled as a result, they are entitled to receive compensation for future medical expenses and lost income.
- Pain and Suffering—This may be given for emotional, mental and physical pain and the severity of the condition and how likely it is to last may increase the amount awarded.
- Loss of Consortium—The uninjured spouse may claim that their husband or wife can no longer provide the benefits of marriage by showing affection, giving comfort or engaging in sexual relations.
- Damaged Property—Recovery for the value of the damage to the car or any other property lost during the incident.
When your injuries are severe or are likely to have a long-term impact on your health, you should consult the Elmwood Park accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for advice. They can negotiate with the insurance company to secure a higher settlement for your claim.
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