An impact into the side of a car by another vehicle could cause extensive injuries to both the car itself as well as its occupants. Unlike front or rear-end collisions, there may be little protection from the colliding vehicle for the driver and passengers inside the struck car. If you suffered a severe injury following a car accident where the impact was on the side of the vehicle, reach out to a Cook County side-impact car accident lawyer.
When a reckless act by a driver causes injury or property damage, the harmed party may be eligible to file a lawsuit with an experienced car accident attorney’s assistance. They could work together to seek compensation for loss of income, medical bills, or property damage.
At times, driver error could be obvious based on the details of an accident, and the other motorist may even admit fault immediately. In many cases, though, the other driver may claim they had the right-of-way and put up a rigorous defense.
Fault in side-impact car accidents is typically based on negligence. Under Illinois’s modified comparative negligence system, an injured party may still recover reduced damages even if they had some degree of fault in their accident. However, there typically is a threshold of fault that, when surpassed, may automatically render a plaintiff unable to recover.
If the injured plaintiff is found to be more than 51 percent responsible an accident, the case may be settled in favor of the defense. For this reason, it may be of critical importance for plaintiffs to have a side-impact car accident lawyer in Cook County help argue in their favor and work to prevent liability from being forced onto them.
At the scene of the incident, the rules for a side-impact collision are largely the same as for other car accidents. A police report would be filed that may include preliminary determinations on who was at fault, contact information may be exchanged, and pictures of the damage and surrounding area should be taken.
A common complication in side-impact collisions cases can come in the form of defective vehicle parts. For instance, if side-impact airbags did not deploy during the crash, manufacturers or repair shops may be involved as parties that potentially share some liability for injuries sustained as a result of the wreck.
A statute of limitations generally is a state law that places a strict time limit on the right to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitations that pertains to side-impact car accident lawsuits is typically the same as the larger one that applies to general personal injury cases. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, the injured plaintiff—along with their Cook County side-impact car accident attorney— may need to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the car accident.
If someone was killed in the crash, a wrongful death lawsuit may need to be filed within the time limit the state has set for the underlying case, or within one year of the death of the deceased person. The family or representatives of the deceased may have between one and two years to file the lawsuit.
Conversely, if the lawsuit is over vehicle damage or repairs for damaged property only, 735 ILCS 13-205 often grants the plaintiff five years to file a lawsuit in court. If the plaintiff does not start the lawsuit before the deadline, the court may dismiss it, unless a rare exception applies to extend the filing deadline.
If you were injured in a side-impact motor vehicle collision, you may be eligible for financial recovery. A qualified Cook County side-impact car accident lawyer could help you learn more about your legal rights and fight to hold the appropriate parties accountable. To learn if you have grounds for a potential claim, call today to schedule a consultation.