Transportation Accidents

Transportation Accidents

Transportation accidents of all types generally make up a large portion of any personal injury attorney’s caseload. Most common are automobile accidents, but Transportation Accidents also include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, common carrier (such as bus, cab and train) accidents, train grade crossing accidents, pedestrian/vehicle accidents and bicycle accidents.

One common thread that exists in Transportation Accidents is the fact that the harms and losses that result from these accidents are typically severe because Transportation Accidents occur with a tremendous amount of force due to the size and/or speed of the vehicles involved.

Nonetheless, each type of Transportation Accident is unique, and specific guidelines and procedures must be followed by an attorney representing an individual injured in such an accident. While a prompt and thorough investigation is mandated in almost all cases, the way that the investigation proceeds differs greatly depending on the nature of the wrongdoer, e.g. whether it is a large trucking company, an individual, a municipal entity, etc.

Steps must be taken to preserve evidence if possible and in many cases a well trained and experienced accident reconstruction expert must be hired and should be given prompt access to the scene to take photographs and measurements and to complete other tasks in order to begin his or her investigation into the cause of the accident.

If you or a loved on has been severely injured in a Transportation Accident, it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as practical after the accident to ensure that a proper investigation can be initiated. If you wait, the only investigation will be done by the insurance company’s investigators, and you and your attorney will have to rely on the information that the insurance company provides. This scenario rarely ends well.

If you are injured in a transportation accident that was not your fault make certain you do the following:

  1. Do not refuse transportation to the hospital. If you are in any pain at the scene, you should be examined by a doctor at an emergency room. Many times injuries that cause only minor pain at the scene are quite severe and the extent of the pain is not as noticeable at the scene because of the shock and distraction associated with the aftermath of the accident.
  2. Obtain a copy of the Illinois Motorist Report from the police officer.
  3. If the other driver is ticketed, take note of the date and time that the other driver must appear in court on the ticket. Place that date in your calendar and make certain that you attend the court hearing. In many cases, if you do not appear, the ticket will be dismissed.
  4. Report the accident to your own automobile insurance company (even if you were not riding in your own car at the time of the accident). You may end up accessing medical payments benefits under your own policy and/or you may end up making a claim against your own insurance carrier for underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits.
  5. You are required to give a statement regarding the accident to your own insurance carrier, but you are not required to give any type of a statement to the insurance company for the other driver(s). We encourage you to decline to do so. The statement will be taken by an experienced investigator or adjuster, who is trained to try to get you to say things in your statement that the insurance company will later use in an effort to deny liability.
  6. Take photographs of your injuries at all stages of the healing process. If your claim ultimately goes to trial, it will be years after the incident, and many of the initial visible injuries will have healed. A jury that is being asked to award you money damages for your injuries will appreciate being able to see photographs of those injuries.
  7. If possible have someone take photographs of the vehicles involved in the incident.
  8. Start a file with all police reports, medical bills, prescriptions, doctor’s orders, dated photographs and any notes or thoughts that you want to communicate to an attorney that you might hire.
  9. Consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims.

At the Law Offices of Evan A. Hughes, we have over 20 years of experience in representing individuals in pursuing claims for damages arising out of Transportation Accidents. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation.

Attorneys:  Evan A. Hughes

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