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Couple awarded $700,000 for injuries they suffered in 2007 crash

When someone is involved in an accident, the results can be devastating. Victims are often left with mounting medical expenses and other bills. However, people in these circumstances may be able to recover damages through personal injury lawsuits.

Recently, the state of Illinois paid $700,000 to a couple that was injured in a head-on collision with an Illinois state trooper. The accident, which occurred in 2007, caused catastrophic injuries to the couple and killed two other people. In a separate lawsuit, the state paid $8 million to the descendants of the two people killed in the accident.

The accident occurred when the state trooper was driving while talking on the phone and reading and responding to an email on his dashboard computer. The trooper lost control of his patrol car, which caused the car to cross the median into oncoming traffic. The trooper eventually pleaded guilty to reckless driving and reckless homicide.

While the case was concluded almost a year ago, it took considerable time for the state of Illinois to pay the settlement. The victims had to wait for the state legislature to pass an appropriations bill before the claim was settled.

Personal injury lawsuits can be time consuming. It may be several years after an accident when a victim receives all of the money they are entitled to. However, many personal injury lawsuits settle outside of court. A settlement out of court can result in a faster payment for serious injuries.

A faster resolution is one of the positive aspects of a settlement. Other people choose to settle because it avoids trial, which can be costly, time consuming and may not result in a favorable outcome.

Accident victims would be wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. After reviewing a case, an attorney can determine what the best course of action may be depending on an individual's specific situation.

Source: Bellville News-Democrat, "$700,000 settlement for couple in crash with trooper Matt Mitchell," Beth Hundsdorfer, Oct. 1, 2012

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