In 2016, the people of Illinois were involved in over 300,000 car accidents. About 20 percent, or 60,000, of these crashes resulted in a serious injury. And about 1 percent, or 1,000, of them ended in death. A mix of nasty winter weather and dense urban traffic make for a dangerous driving environment.
If you were involved in one of these accidents or any other accident, you need a car accident attorney in Illinois. Our car accident attorneys know the impact of even a small car accident and can help you get the relief you need.
Common causes of car accidents
Car accidents can happen for many reasons. Accidents can happen when two people are driving safely, but usually they occur because of one driver’s negligence. Here are some common reasons for accidents:
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Drowsy driving
• Distracted driving
• Disobeying traffic laws or signals
• Aggressive driving
• Bad weather
Also, here some common indicators of fault:
• Not stopping at a stop sign
• Backing out and hitting another car
• Driving without legally required glasses
• Driving without headlights on at night
• Driving distracted by texting, being on the phone, eating, etc.
• Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
If the other driver was doing any of these, it’s likely the accident is their fault legally. Of course, there are more factors that are considered when determining fault, but this is a good start.
If you had a car accident that was not your fault
The first thing people do after they get into a car accident that wasn’t their fault is hire an attorney. They almost always hire a local attorney: so, if you live in Champaign, you need an attorney in the Champaign area.
An attorney will help the process go much smoother for you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Here’s what our attorneys will do:
• Understand the accident to find out its cause
• Make it clear that the person who caused the accident is responsible for the accident
• Find the best source of compensation from insurance
• Learn about all your medical needs and recommend a doctor
• Count all your financial and non-financial losses
Our attorney’s will get the compensation you need for all your losses.
This process can be confusing for most people; an attorney will take care of the whole process and make it easy for you, but an example will clear up how the process works.
(Truck accident? Read this.)
Jim gets in a car accident with Sally when Sally makes a left turn into the front left side of Jim’s vehicle. Jim had a green light and Sally had a green light for yield. The accident is Sally’s fault. Jim gets all of Sally’s contact information and goes to the hospital for serious back injuries. At the hospital Jim racks up $25,000 in medical bills; he goes to an attorney as soon as he gets out of the hospital. The attorney listens to the case and then determines the best source of compensation. Sally works a minimum wage job. But she has an insurance policy worth over $100,000. This is an important note, whether the attorney sues Sally or the insurance company, generally, Sally herself won’t pay the money, her insurance company will.
Jim’s attorney files a claim against Sally’s insurance company. Instead of taking the matter to court, the insurance company agrees to settle the matter for $35,000. If Jim had filed a claim without an attorney, the insurance company may have only given him $25,000 maximum because they would not have taken him as seriously. Jim didn’t pay the attorney anything upfront and only now that Jim gets paid does the attorney get paid: the attorney gets paid a percentage of the settlement amount.
This is a routine process. An insurance company will give a self-represented person less every time. Hire an attorney and the process is easier and you will be compensated with what you deserve.
How much is a car accident claim worth?
Here are some real car accidents that happened in Illinois and the real amount the plaintiff (the person suing) received.
Dislocated collarbone from car accident
Where: St. Clair County, Illinois
Facts: The plaintiff was 14 years old and driving with his mom. His mom turned left in front of another car — both with green lights — they collided. The plaintiff’s collarbone was dislocated and cost $1,100 in medical bills. Ultimately, the jury sided with the defendant, because the plaintiff was making the left turn, and the plaintiff got nothing.
Where: Madison County, Illinois
Facts: The plaintiff was driving and was rear-ended while stopping to turn right onto a small access road. The defendant was speeding. The accident caused neck bone, tissue, and nerve damage and resulted in $3,000 in medical bills and $500 in lost wages. It went before a jury and the jury awarded $6,720 to the plaintiff.
Death by head injury
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: 28-year-old Hurley was driving down the road when a tractor-trailer pulled out in front of him. Hurley’s car went right under the trailer, tearing the roof from the car. He didn’t survive. His wife brought the lawsuit against the tractor-trailer company. The company settled the matter for $1.4 million.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, our car accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve, so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact our Champaign office to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our qualified attorneys, and let us discuss the legal options that are available for your specific incident.
If we decide to take on your case, there are no upfront fees.
Call 1-800-642-1227 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
In 2016, pickup trucks were involved in the second highest number of accidents after passenger cars, in Illinois. Altogether, there were over 63,000 vehicles involving trucks of all kinds — just in one year. Accidents with trucks are more dangerous than those between cars.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck, you need a truck accident attorney in Illinois. Our truck accident attorneys know the gravity of a truck accident and can help you get the relief you need.
(Read the official car accident report here.)
What causes truck accidents?
Truck accidents happen for all the same reasons as car accidents. But one thing is for sure: the person not driving the truck is the person in the most danger. Only 21 percent of the people injured in truck accidents were the people in the truck, 77 percent were in the other vehicle, usually a car. Also, only 3% of all accidents in Illinois involve large trucks, but 10% of deadly accidents are with large trucks.
Here are some common causes for large truck accidents in Illinois:
• Speeding – Illinois has more than the normal amount of accidents from speeding: 39 percent of deadly accidents in Illinois were from speeding, whereas the national average is 28 percent.
• Drowsy driving – truckers have a legal limit on how many hours they can drive a day. Sometimes they exceed that limit.
• Distracted driving – eating while driving is common among truckers. This could also include driving while texting, drinking, or talking on a cell phone.
• Driving under the influence – this could include alcohol of course, but also prescription drugs.
• Not enough driver training – sometimes trucking companies undertrain their drivers.
• Unrealistic delivery schedules – sometimes drivers are under the pressure of intense delivery schedules. This can lead to poor decisions and accidents.
(For more on car accidents, go here.)
Whose fault is a truck accident?
A “truck accident” can include anything from pick-up trucks to three-trailer semis. Oftentimes people use it to refer to an accident with a commercial tractor-trailer or semi. These accidents are unique because it involves more parties, or groups, that can be responsible. Parties include:
• The truck driver
• The employer of the truck driver
• The maker of the truck
(Want to know what to do after an accident? Read this.)
How much is a truck accident claim worth?
Here are some real truck accidents that happened in Illinois and the real amount the plaintiff (the person suing) received.
Pelvic fracture caused by a truck accident
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: This was a case of suing the wrong person. 18-year-old Williams sued the City of Evanston, claiming its truck had hit him while he was walking across the street. He then held onto the truck until one of the passengers kicked him off. Pretty messed up. But Williams’ license plate number he provided did not match any of the city vehicles. He piled up $5,400 in medical bills and the jury gave him nothing.
Leg fracture caused by a truck accident
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: Kruse was driving when her vehicle was hit by a commercial truck. The company admitted fault and settled for $1.5 million. Kruse had multiple leg and facial fractures and scarring and had tallied $200 thousand in medical bills.
(Want to see our case results? Go here.)