Every day, hundreds of people suffer injuries and property damage in side-impact car accidents throughout Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were over 30,000 side impact accidents in 2015.
When someone causes an accident due to their own reckless and negligent actions, a skilled car accident attorney could work to hold legally responsible for the accident and any resulting injuries or losses, including the costs of medical bills and property damages. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a side-impact accident, a Cicero side-impact car accident lawyer could help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Side-impact crashes have some of the highest injury and fatality rates according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The reason why these accidents are so traumatic is two-fold and because of vehicle design and speed.
Generally, side-impact accidents can be broken down into two categories: sideswipe and broadside accidents. In a sideswipe accident, which generally involves one car traveling either in the same direction or in the opposite direction as the impacted car, the vehicles are often traveling at a high rate of speed. This can cause the other car to veer out of their lane and into traffic, subsequently leading to even more dangerous wrecks.
In a broadside accident, which is commonly called a T-bone accident, the vehicle’s design can cause injuries. This is because when a car T-bones another car, the impact is often focused on the doors. It is difficult for car manufacturers to design doors that can withstand the sheer force of a T-bone accident.
Side-impact car accidents can be complex and often involve multiple parties. This can complicate litigation in light of Illinois’ modified comparative negligence statute, listed under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116.
Under this statute, a court overseeing a car accident case must look at each driver’s degree of fault. If the court determines that one party is more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, that party will be barred from recovering compensation for their injuries.
This can be a critical aspect of many such cases, because it requires that the injured plaintiff prove the other driver was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident that injured them. An experienced side-impact car accident lawyer in Cicero could utilize accident reports, traffic cameras, and witness interviews to support their case, whether they seek to prove negligence by another driver or shift liability away from their own client.
After a side-impact car accident, it is critical to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, as Illinois has a strict statute of limitations for all personal injury actions. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, all personal injury actions “shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued.”
While two years may seem like a lengthy period of time, it is also important to note that Illinois is a fact-pleading state, and under Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure 735 ILCS 5/2-603, “all pleadings shall contain a plain and concise statement of the pleader’s cause of action, counterclaim, defense, or reply.” This means that in order to bring a successful claim, a plaintiff must have enough information about the accident to support their claim with facts, which often requires a thorough and diligent investigation.
If you were injured in a side-impact auto wreck, a Cicero side-impact car accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation to cover your medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other costs associated with a side-impact accident. To schedule a consultation and get started on your case, call today.