Anyone who operates a car or other motor vehicle in Oak Lawn has a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and to obey traffic laws. Drivers also have a duty to take reasonable measures to avoid accidents while behind the wheel.
When a driver causes an accident by engaging in dangerous and reckless behavior such as speeding, aggressive driving, or driving while under the influence, they may be considered legally negligent. If held up in civil court, this entitles an injured person to seek compensation for their injuries and losses.
If you suffered an injury in a car accident in Oak Lawn or the surrounding communities, contact an Oak Lawn car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury attorney could help hold negligent drivers responsible for your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage; they may even be able to help you recover for your pain and suffering as well.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Thousands of people in the United States suffer injuries in car accidents every year, and Oak Lawn is unfortunately no exception to this trend. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) last formal report released in August of 2017, there were 1,289 car accidents in Oak Lawn in 2015, and over 300,000 accidents statewide resulting in serious property damage, personal injuries, and even death.
Illinois negligence laws require drivers to exercise a certain degree of caution when they are behind the wheel. However, as evidenced by the number of accidents that occur every year, not everyone is as cautious behind the wheel as they should be. Some of the most common causes of Oak Lawn car accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Adverse weather conditions
- Distracted or drowsy driving
- Failure to abide by traffic signs and signals
When to Speak to an Insurance Company?
Many insurance companies engage in aggressive settlement offers and negotiations. After a motor vehicle crash, it is common for another driver’s insurance company to contact other accident victims either the same day as or within a few days of an accident.
Insurance companies often offer a seemingly reasonable settlement claim in exchange for not pursuing a claim or lawsuit against their client. However, it is not always wise to speak to an insurance company without an Oak Lawn car accident attorney’s counsel, as an offer that sounds attractive in the moment may in fact be woefully inadequate for a crash victim’s needs.
Shifting Liability and Insurance Companies
Illinois car accident and negligence laws follow a comparative fault theory of negligence. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116(c), an Oak Lawn court may bar an accident victim from recovering compensation for a car accident if the victim is more than 50 percent at fault for their accident and/or injuries.
Furthermore, a person’s own negligence could reduce the amount of compensation they are entitled to receive even if they are less than 50 percent at fault. Since the litigation teams for insurance companies are typically well-versed in this area of law, they often try to shift the blame onto another driver in an effort to avoid paying on a claim.
Speak with an Oak Lawn Car Accident Attorney Today
Choosing an Oak Lawn car accident lawyer to represent you is an important decision. If you retain someone with experience handling car accident cases, though, you could be confident that your attorney has the necessary skills to help you resolve your car accident case. To get started exploring your options, schedule an initial consultation today.