Car accidents happen every day in Chicago. In most cases, these incidents do not result in injuries, and if they do, those injuries are typically minor. In some cases, however, car accidents may cause major injuries, leaving accident victims dealing with high medical bills and possibly unable to work.
If this is the situation you find yourself in after a car crash, you may be able to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident to help pay for these costs. A Chicago car accident lawyer could help you deal with insurance companies, ensure a lawsuit is filed correctly, and work to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.
Like the rest of Illinois, Chicago operates under a tort—or at-fault—system. This means that when a person suffers injury in an accident, they must go through the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to claim compensation. Depending on the circumstances and how cooperative the insurance companies involved are, this may be extremely difficult.
Fortunately, the tort system also gives injured individuals in Chicago more options. Unlike other states that operate under no-fault auto insurance laws, an Illinois resident may still be able to file a lawsuit even when they have received insurance accident benefits. In order to do so, the injured individual must prove that another party was at fault for the accident, typically by proving that another driver, company, or person was negligent.
Legal negligence involves acting in a way that could cause harm to other people. In car accident cases, this may include irresponsible actions such as drunk driving, speeding, or simply not paying attention to the road and hitting someone as a result.
Proving in civil court that someone else acted negligently can be tricky, particularly while recovering from severe injuries that the defendant allegedly caused. A Chicago car accident attorney could help prove negligence on the part of another party by collecting evidence such as video surveillance from the scene, witness statements, and legally admissible documents such as medical reports.
In Chicago, injured individuals can be held partly responsible for their own injuries if a court finds they contributed to their own accident. This is known as comparative fault. In cases that involve comparative fault, the court determines the portion of fault assigned to an injured party.
If that percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, the injured individual may still pursue and receive compensation. However, that compensation would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault they were assigned. For example, if the defendant in a car accident case bears 90 percent of the fault for an accident and the plaintiff bears 10 percent, the plaintiff’s total recoverable damages would be reduced by 10 percent.
Car accident cases in Chicago can be very complex, as there are many laws pertaining to these types of claims that could greatly affect the outcome. However, the experience and expertise of a skilled attorney may be able to help.
If you were injured in a car accident, speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer who knows the relevant laws and could use them to build a strong settlement demand in pursuit of compensation. Hiring an attorney may give you the best chance at receiving the full amount of compensation you deserve, so call today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.