WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN CHICAGO


You can be as careful as possible, and still be involved in a car accident. Accidents happen in a blink of an eye. You hear screeching tires, broken glass and the crunch of bent metal. 


You ask yourself, whose fault was it?  Is the other driver okay? Who will pay my medical bills? 


Filing a lawsuit to recover your losses should always be on the table, depending on how much insurance coverage the other motorist has. 


In Illinois every year, more than 400,000 accidents happen on Illinois roadways and 90,000 people are injured with more than 1,000 deaths. 


A minor accident can be traumatizing, while a serious accident can have life changing consequences. 


Further, you may have to research complicated Illinois legal system to recover compensation. 


To assist our clients navigate through this complex procedure, we handle everything from start to finish. 

FIRST STEPS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

Even though it can be hard to remain calm after an accident, you should know the steps to take to protect yourself from possible legal action. Remember that you have to pull over after being involved in an accident. 

Illinois law requires that you give your name, address, and insurance information to the other driver, and remember to get theirs. Lend a helping hand to any other individuals and call for medical attention if necessary. 


Next, report your accident to the Chicago Police or local law enforcement. Don't disturb the scene if possible. If you must, you can move a vehicle after taking photographs of the scene and documenting its position. At this point, start gathering the names, addresses, insurance information, driver's license numbers, and license plate numbers of all involved, including witness. 


Remember not to volunteer any information about the accident until talking to a lawyer. Avoid admitting fault for the accident or apologizing for causing the accident. 


You can file a report with the Illinois Department of Transportation and pick up the required forms from any insurance agent or at our office. It is very important to file a report to avoid possible fines. 


The at fault motorist will be responsible for financial responsibility for the accident. The person liable for the accident is legally obligated to compensate anyone who was injured by the accident, typically through their insurance company. 


In Illinois all drivers are required to have a minimum of $20,000 coverage for bodily injury liability. If your injuries require more than $20,000, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit. 


TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUITS

Negligence lawsuits are the most likely outcome of a car accident that cannot be settled. Illinois law requires drivers to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle. It is easy to prove negligence if the other driver was reckless, breaking traffic laws, or intoxicated. Even if the accident was partially your fault, you can still recover damages for your losses. 


Illinois has a comparative negligence rule for distributing damages. A percentage of fault is assigned to each party and damages are reduced proportional to their degree of fault. For example, if you received $10,000 in medical bills for an accident which was deemed to be 10% your fault, you will be able to recover 90% of your damages, or $9,000. 


If the accident resulted in the death of a party, family members have a right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at fault party. The survivors are compensated for lost wages of the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. 

Filing a Lawsuit after a Car Accident

The statute of limitations in Illinois shields people from being sued after an old car accident injury. Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years after the accident. If you fail to file the lawsuit within two years of the accident, you will be barred from filing. 


To file a lawsuit, you first need to draft a personal injury complaint, detailing the bases for the lawsuit. This complaint is brief, but must be specific in details to show why you should win the case. 


At Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer, our experienced attorneys will draft the papers to initiate the lawsuit, gather all the proper evidence, and negotiate a settlement with the other party on your behalf. 


Chicago is a very busy city, car accidents are very common. In minor fender benders, the involved parties can exchange information and go on their way, other situations are more serious and will require legal representation. 


If you were involved in a car accident in Chicago land and need help figuring out what to do, call or contact our personal injury law firm to learn more about the legal implications. 

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