Located approximately 40 miles southwest of the bustling Chicago metropolis, Joliet, IL has a fairly dense population and consequently, its fair share of pedestrian, bicycle, truck, and car accidents. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in any car accidents in Joliet IL, here’s what to do.
According to Auto Accident Statistics for Joliet, IL, in 2014 (the last year for which data is available) there were a total of:
- 3,204 vehicle crashes
- 787 total injuries
- 2,408 instances of property damage
- 9 fatalities
While the number of fatal accidents has steadily declined in Joliet since the mid-1970s (likely due to improved vehicle safety standards and other factors) car accidents in the city are still common.
COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN JOLIET IL
From driver error to environmental conditions to vehicle (mechanical) malfunctions, the causes of accidents are varying. Let’s look at each of these in more detail:
- Driver error. This can include driver inattention caused by distractions (both inside and outside the car). Driving too fast for the conditions (rain, snow, etc.) or the curve in the road can also lead to an accident. Illegal maneuvers (such as doing a U-turn in the middle of the road), misjudging the distance, speed or actions of another car are another major cause of road accidents. In addition, poor directional control, sleep deprivation and driving while intoxicated are also common causes of accidents.
- Environmental conditions. Anyone who has ever driven in dense fog or heavy snow knows that driving in difficult environmental conditions can be challenging and nerve-racking. Slick roads, glare from the sun, fog, sleet, snow, rain, hail, blocked or missing signs and signals and poor road design are all common causes of auto accidents.
- Mechanical malfunctions with the vehicle. Problems with a vehicle’s tires, brakes, steering column, suspension, transmission, engine and mechanical problems associated with faulty parts from the manufacturer, are also common causes of accidents.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT
Before an accident:
- Make sure you have a copy of your auto insurance information in your vehicle at all times.
- Also, ensure that you keep a document in your vehicle indicating any medical conditions you or your family members have. This is in case you become incapacitated in an accident.
Immediately after an accident:
- Firstly, do not leave the scene of the accident.
- Try to remain calm. Getting angry or panicking will not help the situation.
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call 911 for an ambulance if needed.
- Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights to alert other drivers. Also, if you have warning flares in your trunk, use them.
- If the accident is minor, move your vehicle off the road.
- Call the police, even in the case of minor accidents.
- Most importantly, never admit fault.
- Wait until the police arrive and let them help with the exchange of insurance information.
- Do not sign any documents unless they’re for the police or your own auto insurance company. State only the facts in the documents—do not admit fault.
- Also make sure that you take notes right away about the accident—how and where the accident happened, witness information, etc.
If the police can’t get to the scene or are delayed and the other party needs to leave, ask for their registration, driver’s license and insurance information. Copy that information down. Be sure to include their insurance policy number, license plate number and the color, make and model of the other vehicle(s). Also, gather witness information.
SEEK HELP FROM A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and/or property damage from any car accidents in Joliet IL, it’s important to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the situation. The expert attorneys at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. have years of experience helping people in Joliet and the Chicago area, get the compensation they deserve after an auto accident. Call us today for a free consultation.