Call the Car Accident Lawyers at the Noll Law Office in Springfield, IL, to Learn More About Your Rights to Compensation
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental injuries in the United States. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents result in almost 39,000 traffic fatalities and over 2.28 million injuries. Unfortunately, these figures are creeping upward. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), each year, there are roughly 250,000 traffic accidents in the Land of Lincoln, resulting in over 52,000 personal injuries and almost 1,100 fatalities. The car accident lawyers at the Noll Law Office in Springfield, IL know that most of these motor vehicles are caused by the reckless, careless, and outright negligent conduct of drivers, businesses, government actors, and other entities.
That’s why the lawyers at the Noll Law Office have dedicated their practice to helping victims and their families who have been seriously injured due to the reckless and dangerous conduct of others. Unlike other personal injury law firms, the lawyers at the Noll Law Office personally handle each case. At your free initial consultation, you will meet with Daniel Noll or Sarah Noll – the attorney who will handle your case from start to finish. After a serious motor vehicle accident causes significant, catastrophic, or disabling injuries, or the wrongful death of a loved one, call the car accident lawyers in Springfield, IL at the Noll Law Office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights to compensation. They can be reached at (217) 414-8889.
Common Types of Car Accidents Handled by the Noll Law Office in Springfield, IL
Motor vehicle accidents can happen in a variety of ways. Even the best drivers who drive defensibly and below the speed limit may still be victimized by another driver who is acting recklessly. Unfortunately, most of the common types of car accidents in Illinois are preventable and result in completely needless injuries to an innocent person or family.
Some of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in Illinois include the following:
- Head on collisions
- Rear end crashes
- Side-swipe crashes
- Rollover accidents
- T-bone crashes
- Tire blowouts
- Jackknifed truck crashes
- Steering column failures
- Undercarriage accidents
- Brake system failures, and
- Other types of motor vehicle crashes that the experienced car accident lawyers in Springfield, Illinois at the Noll Law Office can handle for you.
Top Causes of Car Accidents in Illinois
There are many common causes of motor vehicle wrecks in Illinois. Most of these common causes are entirely preventable and due to the reckless, careless, and outright negligent conduct of another person, business, government actor, or another type of entity. These different classes of defendants can create very different issues when it comes to liability. Due to the way the law treats different defendants, it is strongly recommended victims and their families retain experienced and skilled car accident lawyers like those at the Noll Law Office in Illinois.
Common Causes of Car Accidents by Negligent Drivers
Other drivers who are reckless, careless, and outright negligent can cause a motor vehicle accident in a variety of ways. Some of the most common causes include the following:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel (especially truck drivers who may be violating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA] regulations governing hours of service rules)
- Drugged driving
- Mechanical defects
- Failure to yield
- Improper left turns or U-turns
- Unlicensed operation (including suspended drivers), and
- Other common causes may be due to the negligence of a driver.
Common Causes of Car Accidents by Negligent Businesses or Corporations
Liability against a business or corporation is different than cases against a private individual. Generally, these types of cases are based on liability in two ways. The first is that the business may be vicarious liability for the negligence of its employees that were acting within the scope of business (more specifically known as “respondeat superior”). That means a negligent truck driver may create a liability against the business he or she is employed with. This is a common way that liability can be proven against a business. That means any of the common causes listed above may be used to prove liability against a business too.
The second way is through the negligent actions of a business itself. Some of these common causes of car accidents in Illinois include the following:
- Negligent hiring
- Failing to maintain the vehicle
- Tire blowouts
- Unrealistic delivery schedules (common under the FMCSA regulations for truck drivers or buses)
- Steering column failures
- Negligent supervision
- Lack of training
- Unsecured loads or improperly secured cargo, and
- Other common causes of liability that may cause a car accident in Springfield, IL.
Common Causes of Car Accidents by Government Agencies or Actors
Motor vehicle accidents that may have been caused by a government agency or actor fall under a unique area of law in Illinois. There are special rules that apply to federal, state, and municipal actors which often shrink the length of time a victim has to commence a lawsuit. Other rules also create a condition precedent to filing a lawsuit, which means that there are certain steps that you have to take before filing a case.
Some common causes of car accidents in Springfield, IL that may be caused by a negligent government agency or actor include the following:
- Accidents caused by a worker that was within the scope of employment (vicarious liability and respondeat superior, like against a business)
- Failing to use cones, barricades, flaggers, and other safety precautions when performing roadway maintenance – especially when the roadway is being opened to create a deep hole or trench
- Other common causes of municipal, state, or federal actor liability.
Common Personal Injuries After a Car Accident in Illinois
There are many different types of personal injuries that may be caused by a motor vehicle accident in Illinois. These personal injuries can vary greatly in the amount of emergency medical care, treatment, and future disability that a victim may sustain. Although a defense lawyer or insurance adjuster will try to minimize your injuries – even if they are significant and life-changing – all injuries caused by a car accident in Illinois should be reviewed by a car accident lawyer in Springfield like those at the Noll Law Office.
Some of the most common types of personal injuries that their experienced personal injury lawyers can handle for you include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – also known as a TBI or simply a “brain injury,” a traumatic brain injury is any injury or damage that affects how the brain functions. All TBIs are significant, even if a doctor has labeled a TBI as “mild,” therefore all TBIs should be evaluated by a car accident lawyer. Some of the most common TBIs include concussions, diffuse axonal TBIs, penetrating brain injuries, brain hemorrhages, coup-contrecoup TBIs, brain bleeds, and any other injuries to the brain.
- Amputations or loss of a limb – all injuries resulting in the loss of a limb are significant and permanent. This type of injury is traumatic, permanent, disabling, and irreversible. Many times, there are also emotional injuries, including depression, anxiety, and a condition known as a “phantom pain system.”
- Spinal Cord Injuries – also known as SCI, all types of spinal cord injuries are significant. Some of the worst types of SCIs are those which result in paralysis such as quadriplegia or paraplegia. Other types of SCIs may cause impingement on the spine which affects how messages are sent between the brain and the rest of the body.
- Broken Bones – any type of broken bone or fractured bone is a very serious type of personal injury that often results in compensation for a victim. This is particularly true if a victim requires an “open reduction,” which is another name for surgery to clean the area of the break and to “set” the bones in place. Sometimes this requires the need for painful hardware like pins, screws, plates, rods, and other medical equipment to stabilize the area of the break.
- Shoulder Injuries – one of the most common injuries in a motor vehicle accident is a shoulder injury, including SLAP tears, rotator cuff tears, biceps ruptures (longhead), impingement, brachial plexus injuries, A/C joint damage, dislocations, separations, and other damages to the shoulder joint. Victims who have suffered any type of shoulder injuries should call the Noll Law Office.
- Knee Injuries – another common injury, a torn meniscus or ligament such as the LCL, ACL, PCL, or MCL often results in some form of disability for a victim. Individuals who have suffered serious personal injuries to their knees should call a car accident lawyer in Springfield for help.
- Internal Organ Injuries – any injury to the heart, lungs, kidney, spleen, liver, stomach, GI, or any other structure could be compensable under Illinois law after a car accident.
- Loss of Vision – whether it is partial or total blindness, any loss of vision or restriction in the field of vision may allow a victim to recover compensation under the law.
- Significant scarring or disfigurement – this includes burn injuries or surgical scars
- Dislocations or separations of any joints
- Nerve injuries – including cranial nerves or the brachial plexus
- Neck and back injuries – any type of neck injury or back injury, even if it was not disabling right after the accident, may become significant and disabling after several weeks or even years. Sometimes these types of injuries may even result in an irreversible spinal fusion which permanently restricts a victim’s range of motion.
- Other types of personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident are caused by a negligent driver in Illinois.
Having experienced car accident lawyers from Noll Law Office can make the difference between a full, fair settlement, and one that does not cover your medical bills. Along with your treating physicians, Daniel and Sarah Noll will help you get back on your feet—physically, emotionally, and financially.
What Should I Do Following a Car Accident in Springfield?
Many of us know the basics of what we should do following a car accident. Call 911, get immediate medical attention, and when able, take photos of the scene and obtain witness contact information. Once home, contact your insurer and write down any details you remember about the accident. But do you know what you should not do following a car accident? Below is a list of things you should never do following a Springfield, Illinois car accident:
- Contact your insurance carrier before talking to a lawyer – even if it is your insurance carrier, adjusters are trained to work against your claim be minimizing your damages and increasing your potential comparative fault. That means that anything that you say may be used against your claim. Always speak with a lawyer first like one of ours at the Noll Law Office, to ensure that your claim is properly submitted.
- You should never let the other driver persuade you not to call the police.
- You should never wait to go to the doctor.
- You should never admit fault—until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Never, ever speak to the other person’s insurance company without a lawyer.
- Accepting the first settlement offer from the insurance company is virtually never a good idea.
- Never provide a written statement to the insurance company or agree to be recorded (even if it is your own insurance carrier).
- Avoid posting anything about your car accident on social media.
- Never agree to allow anyone to access your medical records unless it is your lawyer.
What you should always do is seek medical attention and then consult with knowledgeable a car accident lawyer in Springfield, IL like one of those at the Noll Law Office as soon as possible following your accident. This will ensure your rights are protected.
How Do I Choose the Best Car Accident Attorney for Me?
When you are injured and in pain, it can be difficult to think of hiring car accident lawyers. There are some important factors to consider when hiring a car accident lawyer and some important questions to ask them before you sign a retainer. That includes the following:
- How long have they been handling car accident cases in Illinois?
- Have they handled a case with similar injuries before?
- How many depositions or trials has the attorney done?
- What percentage of the attorney’s law firm is dedicated to motor vehicle accident litigation?
- To personal injury litigation?
- When do I owe money and how is that calculated?
Once you have hired an attorney, you can focus on healing from your injuries. Your attorney will handle all the legal issues associated with your car accident. The Noll Law Office’s Springfield, IL attorneys are experienced and local. They will be with you throughout the case so you will not be shuffled from one attorney to another.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Car Accident in Illinois?
Victims and their families who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois may be entitled to compensation. This compensation, awarded as “damages” in a lawsuit, is meant to help make the victim “whole” again. To do this, the law looks at certain different types of harm that a victim in a car accident may face.
Generally, these types of harm are either economic or non-economic.
Economic Damages from a Motor Vehicle Wreck in Illinois
Economic damages are often the most straightforward type of damages that a victim in a car accident can recover. These are figures that are readily calculable due to accident or injuries. Some examples of economic damages include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Home or vehicle modifications
- Future medical or medication expenses
- Need for nursing care
- Property damage, and
- Other expenses that are proven.
In contrast, non-economic damages are those which are not so easily calculated. That means they are based on objective and subjective factors. The most common and important non-economic damage is known as “pain and suffering.” This is the compensation for the physical injury, agony, and actual pain based on the negligence of a defendant.
Pain and suffering are measured in two ways. The first way is known as “past pain and suffering” which is from the date of the accident/injury to the date of payment. The second way is “future pain and suffering” which is an amount awarded for the rest of a victim’s life. Establishing what pain and suffering are worth is based on the subjective complaints of the victim, but also objective factors such as what other victims in similar circumstances and with similar injuries had previously received.
It is important to recognize that pain and suffering are not just actual physical pain, but also include emotional pain and injuries such as depression, anxiety, fear, PTSD, and other emotional injuries related to an accident.
Can I Recover Compensation for a Car Accident if I Was Partially At Fault?
Yes, victims of an Illinois car accident may be entitled to recover compensation for their personal injuries, emotional harm, and other property damages – even if they were partially at fault for a crash. This is because Illinois is a “modified comparative negligence” state, which means that a victim may recover compensation for personal injuries so long as he or she is not more than 50% at fault for the accident. Although other states may bar this type of relief, the Illinois Legislature has specifically protected this right for personal injury victims in any type of personal injury case or wrongful death matter.
The way this law works is that a victim’s fault is used to lower his or her recovery by a proportional amount. For example, if a victim was 30% at fault for the motor vehicle accident and recovered $100,000 from a jury, that victim’s final award may be lowered by 30%, or $30,000, for a total recovery of $70,000. As long as the victim’s fault is not more than 50%, the victim will be able to recover that amount from the defendant.
As a result of this scheme, defendants and their insurance adjusters or defense lawyers will often argue that 1) victims are not entitled to a lot of money, and 2) victims have a higher percentage of fault. By doing this, defendants are limiting the amount of compensation that they may owe the victim by attacking a claim on both ends – reducing the overall amount and reducing the total amount that a victim is entitled to. This is why it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer in Springfield to fight back to protect your victims.
What is the Car Accident Injury Claim Process?
Your car accident lawyers in Springfield will first establish fault in your car accident. They do this through police reports, reports from the insurance company, and their investigation. Once liability is proven, negotiations often begin. The lawyers will gather all the evidence necessary to build a strong case on your behalf. They will present a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and aggressively pursue a just and fair resolution for you and your family.
If the insurance company refuses to pay what your claim is worth, they will aggressively advocate for you. A judge or jury will determine the merits of your claim and, if successful, you will receive an award for your damages. When you have the car accident lawyers in Springfield, IL from the Noll Law Office by your side, your case will be zealously prosecuted through the civil justice system.
How Long Will My Car Accident Injury Claim Take?
The biggest determining factor in the length of a case is how long treatment takes to get you back to maximum medical improvement. Once treatment is done, negotiating a settlement usually will take a few months to complete. If a settlement is not able to be reached, a lawsuit will be filed which will extend the process. Once in the court system, most cases will be taken to trial within one to two years. If your attorney negotiates a fair settlement, you usually receive your check within six weeks.
If your case is decided at trial, you should also receive your check within six weeks of the verdict unless the case is appealed. The size of the verdict will be based on the evidence presented in court. Still, it should include reimbursement for all your present and future related medical expenses, as well as lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your exact recovery will depend on proving liability, the extent of your injuries, and how those injuries have impacted your life.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Like other states, Illinois sets the minimum level of insurance required for drivers. However, even minor personal injuries can often exceed those minimum levels of insurance. When a victim has a significant injury, especially a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, many times victims will be extremely limited in the amount of compensation that they can recover. This is because a defendant and their insurance adjuster or lawyer will quickly offer up the full policy, which might be just $25,000 if the minimum is purchased. As a result, victims and their families are often faced with serious financial repercussions in addition to both physical and emotional harm.
However, there are two ways that individuals can help to protect their rights and their families. These are known as supplemental insurance policies, sometimes called SUM, but more specifically called either uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). Both of these policies are in addition to the minimum requirements, and can further be purchased by an individual to increase coverage in an extra rider or policy to their auto insurance policy.
Unlike other types of auto insurance, both UM and UIM are policies that are paid by an individual and are only used to benefit that individual and his or her family. That means that the premiums and extra coverage go directly to your family in the event of a car accident, rather than being used to cover others (such as other drivers hurt in a crash).
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?
Although Illinois and other states require a minimum amount of auto insurance, some defendants do not follow the law and have no coverage. Despite the possible criminal and administrative penalties, this can leave victims in Illinois with no or limited civil remedies in a personal injury accident. By purchasing underinsured motorist coverage, or UM, individuals can purchase additional coverage in the event that a defendant is found at fault for a car accident, has no insurance, and the individual or the individual’s family has personal injuries and a claim for additional damages.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?
Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that covers injuries to individuals and their passengers for injuries or damages that are above the defendant’s policy. Said differently, underinsured motorist coverage is an additional layer of coverage. Again, this type of coverage only applies to the individual or the individual’s passengers – not to a third party.
For example, if a defendant has $25,000 coverage but a victim’s injuries are worth $75,000, a victim will only be able to collect $25,000 from the defendant but have an additional $50,000 in losses. If a victim has a UIM policy of $100,000, the victim will be able to recover that $50,000 from this policy.
How Much UM/UIM Coverage Should I Purchase?
Generally, it is recommended that an individual purchase as much UM/UIM coverage as is financially comfortable. As with other types of policies, the higher the policy, the higher the premium. However, with UM/UIM coverage, the benefit in an Illinois car accident is really applied right to the policyholder and his or her family.
Therefore, the car accident lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office recommend UM/UIM additional coverage up to $500,000. Ideally, if affordable, UM/UIM policies of up to $1 million are a good idea, especially for families with young children. This is partially due to the fact that these policy premiums are generally affordable, but also because the medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, and the conscious pain and suffering of a traumatic brain injury could eclipse most smaller policies.
Were You Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Illinois? Learn How the Car Accident Lawyers in Springfield, IL at the Noll Law Office Can Help You
The Noll Law Office has a long history of service to its community and neighbors. Attorneys Sarah and Daniel Noll have updated their bodily injury law firm to use modern technology coupled with old-fashioned face-to-face client communication. They believe in helping clients achieve their goals through honest communication, hard work, and experience. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Springfield or anywhere in Central Illinois, contact the Noll Law Office today. They are ready to help.
According to driving-tests.org, approximately 229,000 U.S. drivers drove more than three trillion miles in 2019. In the same year, there were 36,096 fatalities from car accidents. Many of today’s drivers are chronically distracted, tired, impaired, careless, or reckless while behind the wheel. This makes the roadways more dangerous and the average driver much more likely to be hit by another motorist. Consider the following car accident case illustration.
Tamara takes her children to school each morning and picks them up in the afternoon. As she leaves the school one morning, she remembers she needs to stop by the grocery store. Conscious of the fact that she is still in the school zone, Tamara carefully watches her speed and looks out for the children. Suddenly, a driver on her right runs the stop sign, causing a side-impact car accident. Jill, the driver of the other vehicle, and her children are shaken up, but unhurt. When Jill struck Tamara’s car, Tamara’s head slammed into her driver’s side window. She is bleeding from her head and unconscious when the ambulance arrives.
Hospital staff diagnosed Tamara with severe whiplash and a serious concussion. She will be in the hospital for several days and then will be allowed to go home. Concussions are a milder form of traumatic brain injury, occurring when the brain is slammed inside the skull. Concussions can cause loss of consciousness, headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, nausea, fatigue, slurred speech, blurry vision, confusion, and more. A serious concussion can result in difficulty with balance, problems controlling emotions, and memory issues. While the short-term effects of a concussion can last for weeks, long-term issues can persist for months, maybe years.
While Tamara does not work outside the home, she now finds herself unable to drive, go to the grocery, cook meals, and do any of the things she once did on a daily basis. She experiences lingering memory issues and finds herself unexpectedly dizzy and nauseous. Her headaches are debilitating, forcing her to spend time in bed. Tamara speaks to the car accident lawyers who are like the lawyers at the Noll Law Office. They immediately begin gathering information to hold Jill’s insurance company financially liable for Tamara’s injuries. Tamara can finally put all her energy into healing, knowing her future is protected.
If you or a loved one have had something similar happen to you, do not hesitate to contact them to learn more about your rights to compensation under Illinois law by calling the car accident lawyers in Springfield, Illinois at the Noll Law Office to schedule a FREE consultation.