Alton, Illinois Car Accident Lawyers
The past ten years or so, there has been a significant increase in the number of car accidents across the country, and significant research was done to support the idea that one reason for this increase is drivers’ use of mobile phones while driving. While there have been numerous public service announcement campaigns to get people of all walks of life and all levels of driving experience to refrain from using their phones while driving, this reckless behavior persists, causing more and more accidents. There are many other distractions in modern cars, but mobile phone use is one of the biggest contributing factors to the increase in car accidents.
What to Do in Case of an Accident
The first thing you should do when you have been involved in an accident is to move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, usually onto the shoulder or the side of the road. That way, you minimize any risk to other vehicles that come upon the accident and do not have enough time to stop; this assumes, however, that you are able to do that without causing further damage to you or anyone else. Secondly, especially if you think or know that you or anyone else has been injured in the accident, call 911 to report the crash. Be prepared to give the emergency dispatcher your full name and contact information as well as the location and nature of the accident.
Next, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved; it is of the utmost importance for you to obtain their full names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and a physical description of them and their vehicle. This is where it might come in useful if you can take pictures to document the incident with your mobile phone or some other type of digital camera. Taking pictures of injuries and damages can be very helpful to you and the insurance companies.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Alton, Illinois
Whether you realize it or not, distracted driving causes or contributes to a huge number of car accidents every day – not just in the Alton area, but across the country. Individuals who text while driving gets in 23 times the number of accidents than those who refrain from writing and sending text messages when behind the wheel. If a law enforcement official catches you texting while driving, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines and even driving restrictions; it is a very serious violation of Illinois state law. In the moment, sending a text may take just a moment, but when you are driving a heavy vehicle – and are surrounded by many other heavy vehicles, and you’re all hurtling forward at great speeds – that moment could literally be the difference between life and death.
Car Accident Laws in Illinois
In Illinois, there are a number of laws concerning car accidents.
- Each and every driver who lives in and registers a car in Illinois is legally obligated to carry car insurance. You should have at least $25,000/$50,000 in coverage for bodily damage and $20,000 worth of property damage coverage. Visiting drivers are required to carry the minimum insurance according to the state laws in which their car is registered. Any driver who fails to carry adequate car insurance may be ticketed.
- If you are involved in a car accident, Illinois state law requires you to stop; if the other (possibly the at-fault) driver speeds away, make every effort to remember and take note of the car’s license plate number and description so that law enforcement officers can do their best when trying to locate the driver.
- In Illinois, if you are found less than 50 percent at fault, you may be awarded compensation for your injuries and damages; if, however, you are found more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you may not be awarded any compensation. Some insurance companies will decrease the amount they pay you by the percentage you were found at fault for the crash; for example, if you were awarded $1,000 but were found 25 percent at fault, you may only take home $750. This is what is known as a comparative fault.
- There is a two year statute of limitations on making claims on car accidents, which means that you have two years from the date of the accident to make any legal claims; failure to do so within that time allotment could mean the difference between having all of your medical bills covered by the at-fault driver’s car insurance company, and having to pay for it all yourself, regardless of your degree of responsibility.
Call an Alton, Illinois Car Accident Attorney for Your Free Consultation
If you were injured as a result of a car crash, you should talk to an attorney with the Walton Telken Foster law firm toll-free at (844) 307-7349. We offer free initial consultations so that you have an opportunity to tell someone your story and get immediate feedback regarding your options and rights, and what path your case may take.