Car accidents can cause devastating injuries that leave you suffering not only with physical pain, but also with the mental anguish of mounting bills.
If you lost a loved one in an automobile collision, you might also experience both the emotional and financial burdens of their death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cost of death related to car accidents in Illinois exceeded $1.4 billion, including $13 million in medical expenses and more than $1.3 billion in lost wages.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death due to someone else’s negligent driving, a Chicago car accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC might be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today at 800-598-7557 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Determining Fault in Car Accident Cases
Illinois drivers must obtain at-fault insurance policies. Unlike no-fault policies, in which the insurance companies pay for injuries regardless of who was at fault, at-fault policies require the determination of the extent of each driver’s responsibility for the accident. Their respective insurance companies must then pay to the extent that each driver is at fault.
Insurance companies often fight the validity of claims to avoid paying the injured party. Additionally, the other driver may be uninsured or underinsured. Our attorneys know the tactics defendants use to evade payouts, and we can help you seek the accountability and compensation you deserve. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to speak with our team.
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Types of Car Accident Claims
If you suffered an injury or the death of a loved one because of a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation through several types of claims. If your injuries left you unable to pay your bills, caused you to miss work, or otherwise contributed to financial instability, a Chicago car accident lawyer might be able to help you.
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In ideal circumstances, the insurance company would pay the affected driver and passengers to the fullest extent based on their injuries. Unfortunately, victims often struggle to receive adequate compensation. If you believe an insurance company did not offer you an adequate settlement for your claim, based on the accident’s effects on your health and financial well-being, you can turn it down.
The Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) outlines the statute of limitations for insurance claims, which vary by type.
- Bodily Injury: Within two years from the date of the accident or two years from the victim’s 18th birthday, if they were underage at the time of the accident.
- Property Damage: Within five years from the date of the accident.
- A Government Entity: When you file a claim for bodily injury or property damage against the government, the respective jurisdiction’s statute of limitations applies.
Because Illinois is an at-fault state, the court may allow you to file a negligence claim against the driver of the other vehicle if you suspect that the driver failed to use a reasonable level of caution while driving. Types of negligence may include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Driving while fatigued
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In some cases, defects in the vehicle cause accidents that result in injuries. Manufacturers can make vehicles with defective designs or faulty features available on the market, leading to the injury or death of drivers and passengers.
If the company discovers these unintended issues after the manufacture of the vehicles, they must issue a recall, in which drivers can take their vehicles to a service center to resolve the problem at no charge. When accidents occur due to manufacturing defects for which the company did not issue a recall, those injured in an accident may hold the manufacturer accountable.
A Chicago car accident lawyer can gather the information necessary to prove that the condition of the vehicle made it dangerous and that you used the car as it was purchased and intended.
State and local governments have the responsibility of keeping Chicago roads safe. However, roads often require maintenance that does not receive timely attention, and the existing deterioration can lead to car accidents that cause serious injury and death. Our law firm can help you hold the proper authorities accountable in court if you fell victim to faulty road designs, such as:
- Unmarked hazards
- Defective traffic control
- Damaged surfaces
- Unsafe inclines
In addition to the emotional toll caused by the unexpected passing of a loved one, you may suddenly experience financial insecurity. If you suffered the death of a loved one due to a vehicle crash, and you believe the other driver maintains fault for the accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the driver of the other vehicle. Our legal team can help you seek compensation for your loss of monetary support.
Compensation for Car Accidents
In many cases, the amount of money insurance companies agree to pay victims of car accidents fails to cover the financial losses they suffer. Based on the specific details of the accident, your circumstances may entitle you to different types of financial awards, including compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
Your attorney may also ask the court to impose punitive damages, extra fines the responsible party must pay in addition to your compensation as a form of punishment for their negligence.
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Proving fault in a car accident can be difficult in court, especially when you must push back against major corporations and government organizations that use well-rehearsed tactics to avoid responsibility. Your lawyer can use the information in the police report to establish fault and liability. Per 625 ILCS 5/11-406, you must file a police report if an accident results in any injuries, deaths, or property damage exceeding $1,500. Additionally, following an accident, you must pull over and exchange contact information with the other driver, according to 625 ILCS 5/11-401.
We know that no amount of money can replace your loved one or make up for the life-changing circumstances caused by your car accident. However, we can help you seek justice, accountability, and the compensation you deserve to assist you in re-establishing your financial stability. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-598-7557 to discuss your car accident case with our team.