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.