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Elk Grove Village personal injury lawyer for car accident reconstructionIn the blink of an eye, a serious car accident can absolutely devastate a person’s life. Car accident victims not only deal with agonizing injuries, but they are also often left with massive financial stress as well. If you were hurt in an accident, you may be facing steep medical bills and vehicle repair costs as well as the financial burden caused by being out of work. These and other damages may be recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit. Accident reconstruction is often a crucial element of bringing a successful case.

How Can Accident Reconstruction Benefit My Case?

Car accidents are rarely straightforward. The at-fault party or parties may deny responsibility for the crash or even blame the victim for the injuries caused in the collision. Pile-up and multiple-car collisions are often especially confusing. Accident reconstruction is a process of evaluating evidence and data and “reconstructing” the accident scene. An accident reconstructionist may generate reports, models, diagrams, or computer animations that your lawyer can use to explain the accident and demonstrate liability. Accident reconstructionists may also provide expert testimony during a personal injury lawsuit. Statements and evidence from a well-respected, experienced accident reconstructionist will carry significant weight in a complex case.

What Is Involved in Accident Reconstruction?

Accident reconstruction starts with gathering data and evidence. Physical evidence like the position of the vehicles and the location of vehicle debris, guardrail damage, or skid marks are important clues in accident reconstruction. Many modern vehicles are equipped with accident data recorders (ADR) or event data recorders (EDR) that capture information about the force of the impact, the vehicle’s speed, brake application, and other vehicle data. Camera footage and photographs are also crucial pieces of evidence. The accident reconstructionist pieces together these clues to understand how the accident occurred and develop a timeline of events.

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Cook County product liability lawyerIndividuals above a certain age may remember news stories about a woman suing the McDonald’s restaurant chain because her coffee was too hot. The 1994 lawsuit made international headlines and became the go-to example of “frivolous” lawsuits. For almost 30 years, the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit has been touted as the epitome of American litigiousness. However, the real story behind the infamous product liability lawsuit may surprise you.

The Real Facts of Stella Liebeck’s Hot Coffee Claim

If you are like most people, you may remember reacting to the “hot coffee” lawsuit by rolling your eyes in disbelief. After all, everyone knows that coffee is hot. You may remember hearing that the woman spilled the coffee on herself because she was attempting to simultaneously remove the lid while driving. You may have also heard that the woman received an exorbitantly high payout for the incident.

Unfortunately, the real story is much more disturbing. The coffee that the 79-year-old plaintiff spilled on herself was not just hot – it was outrageously hot. The coffee was approximately 190 degrees Fahrenheit. That is only 22 degrees shy of boiling. At temperatures this high, coffee is capable of causing full-thickness burns in less than three seconds. Furthermore, the woman was not driving at the time of the incident. She was in the passenger seat, and the vehicle was parked. When she took off the lid to add sugar to the coffee, the coffee spilled on her lap. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns down to the fatty tissue and muscle on nearly 20 percent of her body. Her burns were so severe that she required multiple surgeries and years of recovery. McDonald’s had also received hundreds of reports of the coffee burning customers previously, but the company did not lower the temperature at which coffee was served. Liebeck eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.

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DuPage County personal injury attorney

When another party’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing causes someone to be injured, the negligent party may be liable for damages. This means that the injured person is entitled to compensation for the losses they sustained. Financial compensation may be available for the actual expenses incurred by the injury as well as the non-financial losses like pain and suffering. The amount of compensation available in a personal injury claim varies significantly from case to case, but the same basic factors are typically used to determine the compensation awarded.  

The Severity of Your Injuries Will Impact the Value of Your Case

As anyone who has ever received a hospital bill can attest, the cost of medical treatment in the United States can be astronomical. Even seemingly minor injuries such as a laceration or a small fracture can incur steep medical bills. Compensation for past medical bills as well as future medical expenses may be available in a personal injury claim. If your injuries require multiple surgeries, ongoing rehabilitative care such as physical therapy, and other costly treatment, this will increase the potential value of your claim.

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When you go to the doctor, you expect him or her to listen to your concerns with compassion and make thoughtful diagnoses and recommendations. You also probably expect that when you get admitted to the hospital or get surgery, you are in the capable hands of a devoted staff of medical professionals.

Unfortunately, this is not always the experience people have. Too often, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are burned out and fail to provide a standard level of care.

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Crashes involving a large commercial vehicle are among the most catastrophic accidents that occur across Illinois. These trucks are heavy and enormous, and in a collision with a car, the smaller vehicles - and the people inside them - typically suffer the worst damage.

Considering how severe these crashes often are, truck drivers and trucking companies should make every effort to ensure they are operated safely. This could soon be easier just by putting on a hat or vest.

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