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Joliet winter car accident injury attorneyThe first months of the year are typically when the Chicago area and Will County experience the most frigid winter weather. Depending on the day, temperatures can range between 40 degrees and well below zero. With these drastic changes in temperature, it is very important for drivers to use extra caution on the road, since winter conditions can often lead to potentially fatal car accidents. One common culprit in winter car accidents is black ice, which can be very difficult to notice when driving in low temperatures.

The Dangers of Black Ice

Black ice forms when the temperature at a road’s surface is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes water on the road to freeze, creating slippery conditions that can be difficult to recognize. When black ice is present, pavement will appear to be slightly darker and duller than other road surfaces. If, when you are driving, the road looks wet, and the tires of the cars ahead of you do not spray water, then there is cause for concern.

Bridges, viaducts, and overpasses are greatly susceptible to black ice, as they are exposed on both the top and bottom, causing them to cool faster and allowing ice to form. Black ice also often forms in areas that are heavily shaded. Roads that are traveled more often, such as major highways and interstates, are less likely to form black ice than rural roads and residential areas.

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Will County car accident injury attorneyWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may receive serious injuries which require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, even if you were in a car accident and did not immediately experience any pain or other medical issues, you should be aware of possible side effects that may not make themselves known until months after the accident.

Potential Long-Term Side Effects of a Car Accident

Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of a vehicle collision. The experience is terrifying for everyone involved, and it can cause physical and mental stress in the days that follow. Individuals involved in a car accident may experience the following side effects long after a car accident occurs:

  • Headaches - This type of pain can often develop several days after a car accident, and it can indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood clot in the brain.
  • Whiplash - Rear-end collisions which occur when cars are traveling at less than 14 miles per hour can result in shoulder or neck pain or stiffness. These types of injuries often require extensive physical therapy, and they can cause serious complications if not addressed immediately.
  • Back pain - This type of pain can develop at any time after a car accident and could indicate muscle, nerve, and ligament injury, or even damage to the vertebrae.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling - These symptoms, along with deep purple bruises, dizziness, nausea, and fainting, could indicate internal bleeding, which is a medical emergency that must be quickly treated.
  • Numbness - Loss of feeling in your arms or hands could indicate damage to the neck or spinal column.
  • Changes in personality, thought processes, or physical functions - These symptoms can include impaired memory, movement, problems with vision or hearing, or overall personality changes, and they may indicate that a brain injury has occurred.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Flashbacks and disturbing memories of the car accident can affect people well after an accident has occurred, and children are especially susceptible to these symptoms.

Contact a Plainfield IL Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you should seek medical help immediately, even if you were not hurt at the time of the accident. If you delay medical assistance, then you may develop side effects that can negatively impact your overall quality of life. At Flaherty Law, LLC, we understand the medical issues which can result from a car accident, and we are ready to provide effective legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free initial consultation, please call a Will County personal injury attorney at 815-577-7500.

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Plainfield car accident lawyer winter weatherAs we enter the cold winter months, the Chicago area has already begun to see some snow and ice. The winter weather can be unpredictable in Illinois, and before driving, it is a good idea to check the weather and plan ahead. Unfortunately, even when people take extra precautions, the winter weather greatly increases the risk of car accidents, and many serious injuries and deaths occur every year in Illinois as a result.

Winter Car Accident Statistics in Will County

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 13,824 reported car accidents in Will County in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Winter weather was involved in a significant number of these accidents, including: 

  • Over 1,000 car accidents involved snow. There were no deaths reported, but these accidents resulted in 160 injuries.
  • There were 396 car accidents that involved ice. There were 66 injuries and one death as a result of these accidents.
  • 76 reported car accidents involved sleet and hail. There were no deaths reported, and these accidents led to 16 reported injuries.
  • 2,190 car accidents were reported as a result of wet surfaces. These accidents resulted in six deaths and 482 injuries.

Preventing Winter Car Accidents

In unpredictable winter weather, anything can happen. Be prepared for driving in snowy and icy conditions by checking your car’s battery strength, windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze levels, tire pressure, and the amount of wear on tire treads. It is a good idea to keep at least half a tank of gas in your car to ensure that you have enough fuel to reach your destination and prevent the gas line from freezing. 

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Plainfield winter pedestrian accident attorneyAs we enter the holiday season, the weather is about to get colder, and the roads may start to get snowy and icy. These conditions increase the risk of car accident injuries for everyone who uses the road, but pedestrians are often in the most danger during the winter season. In cold weather conditions, both drivers and pedestrians should take extra care to prevent potential pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

  • In 2015, more than 5,000 Americans were killed in pedestrian accidents. On average, one pedestrian was killed in an accident every 1.6 hours. 
  • In the same year, approximately 129,000 pedestrians were admitted into emergency rooms for injuries related to car accidents. 
  • Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in a car at the time of the accident. 
  • People over the age of 65 accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian accident deaths and 13 percent of all injuries from pedestrian accidents in 2015. 
  • One in every five children under 15 years old who were killed in car accidents in 2015 were pedestrians. 
  • Drivers should be aware that driving at higher speeds increases the chances of a pedestrian being hit by a car and the potential of severe injuries or death. Pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur at night, in non-intersection locations, and in urban areas, so drivers should take care to watch for pedestrians in these situations.

How Pedestrians Can Avoid Accidents During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, pedestrians who are out shopping or attending holiday gatherings should be aware of the danger that winter weather can bring. In order to prevent an injury or death as a result of an accident, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street. Keep looking both ways until safely across.
  • Do not use a phone, headphones, or other technological devices when crossing the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or designated paths to avoid oncoming traffic. If there are no sidewalks available, walk as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Minor children must cross the street with a responsible adult.

Call a Plainfield Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact Flaherty Law, LLC. Attorney Daniel Flaherty has over 10 years of experience in personal injury law, and he will provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call a Will County pedestrian accident lawyer at 815-577-7500 for a free initial consultation.

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Will County winter car accident attorneyWe are almost at the end of the year, and that means that we will likely be getting at least a few inches of snow within the next few months. During the winter, the snowy and icy weather greatly increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Here are some tips to take care of your car this winter and to protect yourself from injuries caused by a potential collision:

Extra Time Means Everything

Driving becomes much more dangerous when there is snow or ice on the ground. Before driving anywhere, it is best to take some extra time to make sure defrosters, brakes, and mirrors are in good condition. Spending these extra few minutes to ensure that your vehicle’s systems are in working order can make a huge difference during the winter months.

Defrosting Is a Must-Do

If a car is kept outside overnight, then chances are great that condensation and frost may form on the mirrors and car. It is wise to turn the car on at least five minutes before preparing to drive, and it is also a good idea to keeping a towel available to wipe away condensation and an ice scraper to remove any frost. Checking for snow or frost build-up on the headlight and taillights is a good way to take make sure other drivers can see your vehicle.

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