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What to Do If in a Car Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?Getting into any type of car accident can be a very unpleasant experience. Depending on the situation, you could be facing extensive damage to your vehicle or even serious injuries to yourself or your passengers. If you are in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, the complexity of your situation increases quite a bit. Every driver in the state of Illinois is required to have a certain amount of coverage for collisions that are their fault, but not every driver obeys that rule. According to a 2017 study from the Insurance Information Institute, around 13 percent of drivers in the United States did not have any type of car insurance. This can be problematic for everyone involved in an accident, especially if you are a victim.

Dealing With an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Usually, when you are in a car accident, the insurance company of the driver who is found to be at fault pays for the costs associated with the accident. When you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, it can become a problem when trying to get your own insurance company to pay for damages. Even if a driver does have insurance, they may not have the right amount of insurance or enough to cover the costs of the damages. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You Should Immediately Call Emergency Services: Obviously, you should call 911 if anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured. However, it is always a good idea to call the police to the scene – even if there were no injuries – so that the accident can have an official record.
  2. Get the Other Driver’s Contact Information: If the motorist stops after the accident, you should ask them for their insurance information. They may or may not tell you if they have insurance, but even if they do not, you should get their contact information such as their name, address and phone number.
  3. Begin Gathering Evidence: This step can be crucial in any claim that involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist. You should collect as much evidence as you can when you are still at the scene of the accident. Try to take photos of any obvious injuries to yourself or others, any damage to your vehicles, their license plate number and vehicle, and the surrounding area.
  4. Consult with an Attorney Before Talking to Your Insurance Company: Before you contact your insurance company, you should contact an attorney. Your attorney will be able to provide you with all of the available options for obtaining compensation after your car accident, even if there was an uninsured or underinsured motorist involved.

Our Cook County Car Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Getting into a car accident can be devastating, but things can be even more stressful when the other driver involved in the accident does not have insurance to cover your damages. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how difficult it can be to obtain compensation for your injuries, even in situations in which the other driver does have insurance. Our skilled Tinley Park, IL, car accident injury attorneys will work with you and your insurance company to help you get the most out of your claim. Call our office today at 708-942-8400  to schedule a free consultation.

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Three Ways You Can Help Prevent a Dangerous Winter Car AccidentAs Old Man Winter stretches his legs across the United States, cold temperatures and snowfall begin to appear in the weather forecast. While snow makes for a pretty landscape, it can be deadly for drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 17 percent of all car accidents occur during times when winter weather conditions are present. Wintery roads bring about many dangers to drivers, such as slippery surfaces, snow, wind, black ice, and slush. Though weather conditions are out of drivers’ control, drivers are still responsible for their actions, especially when a traffic accident occurs. Here are a few ways you can be proactive this winter to help you avoid a car accident:

  1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is In Good Condition: The first thing you should do when the cold weather rolls around is to perform a maintenance check on your vehicle or take it to a mechanic who can perform a check. It is a good idea to make sure all of your headlights, taillights, and blinkers are working. It is also a good idea to make sure your car battery is in good condition and has a decent charge. Be sure to check the tread on your tires and their air pressure.
  2. Stay Alert While Driving: It is important that you are more alert than usual when you are on the road in the winter. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, so it is crucial that your eyes, ears, and mind are all focused on the task at hand. Be aware of other drivers around you and always yield to others, even if you do not have to.
  3. Avoid Risky Driving Behaviors: It is also extremely important that you do your best to minimize any risky driving behaviors during the winter months. You should never be texting and driving, but it can be especially dangerous in the winter. Do not speed; the ice and snow can make it difficult to slow down suddenly if a car is stopped in front of you.

Have You Been Injured in a Winter Weather Car Accident? Contact Our Will County Personal Injury Lawyer

Though most people hope for a white Christmas, snow and ice can make for dangerous driving conditions. If you have been injured in a winter-weather car accident, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable Joliet, IL, car accident injury attorney for assistance. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how serious car accident injuries can be and we are confident that we can help you get the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 708-942-8400.

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Pursuing Compensation After an Illinois Car Accident Involving a Drunk DriverIt is illegal in all states to operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yet, this does not stop people from doing just that. Driving while you are intoxicated increases the chance that you will get into a car accident and unfortunately, DUI-related traffic accidents are common in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths caused by drunk driving accidents in 2018, accounting for around 29 percent of all traffic deaths that year. Even if you are not killed in a drunk driving accident, you can be seriously injured. The state of Illinois gives you a few options when it comes to pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident.

The Illinois Dram Shop Act

In Illinois, it is possible to pursue compensation from different responsible parties. Not only can you pursue compensation from the drunk driver themselves, but you may also be able to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the driver his or her alcohol. The Illinois Liquor Control Act (also known as the Dram Shop Act) is the legislation that allows bars, restaurants, and other establishments to be held liable for damages and injuries caused by a drunk driver that they served.

Pursuing a Case Under the Dram Shop Act

In order to prevail in a case where you are holding an establishment responsible, you are required to prove certain elements. The burden of proof lies with you, meaning you must convince the court that the establishment was responsible. To do this, you must prove the following is true:

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What is Comparative Negligence in an Illinois Car Accident Case?When it comes to car accidents, there are few instances in which the fault of the accident can be entirely blamed on one person. In many cases, the actions of all those who are involved contributed in some way to the accident, meaning there is more than one person to blame for the outcome of the accident. In some personal injury cases, it is even possible for the person seeking compensation to have contributed to the accident in some way. Some people may think this bars them from recovering any type of compensation, but that is not necessarily true.

Determining Fault for the Accident

Aside from making sure everyone’s injuries are attended to, one of the first things that must be done when attempting to claim compensation for a car accident is determining who was at fault. This can prove to be difficult because to determine whose fault the accident was, you have to piece the events of the accident together from witness statements, your own recollection of the accident, the other party’s account of what happened and the police report.

To determine the fault of the accident, you have to prove that someone acted negligently and that their negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injury. Sometimes, there may be more than one other driver who committed a negligent act that led to harm. In some cases, the person who is claiming compensation for damages could have committed a negligent act that contributed to the accident. In those cases, the idea of comparative negligence comes into play.

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Tips Everyone Can Follow to Help Prevent Pedestrian AccidentsAt some point during the day, we are all pedestrians. If you are not in a motor vehicle, you are a pedestrian. During the warm-weather months, the number of people walking from place to place greatly increases. Unfortunately, so does the risk that they will be involved in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2017. Though this is less than the number of pedestrians killed in 2016, pedestrian fatalities still remain a large issue in our country. 

Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, if not death. A 150-pound human is no match for a 3,000-pound car, especially if the vehicle is traveling at a relatively high rate of speed. Fortunately, pedestrian accidents can be avoided with a little effort from both drivers and pedestrians.

Tips for Drivers

In many areas, pedestrians have the right of way, meaning you must yield to them while they are in the street. Even if the pedestrian does not technically have the right of way, you are in a vehicle while they are unprotected; you could cause serious damage to them. Here are a few tips to help avoid a pedestrian accident:

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