Side-impact collisions are among the top fatal car accidents, accounting for more than 20% of recent incidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For side crashes where the point of impact was on your side, you are at an increased risk for severe injuries. If you suffered an injury because of another driver’s actions, you have the right to be compensated for your losses.
Consult a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to know how you can pursue a claim from those liable for the accident. Whether it was a sideswipe or angle crash, they will be able to establish liability, allowing you to collect the just amount of damages for your injuries. Reach out at 800-959-1444 to speak with a member of our team.
Essential Steps to Take Following an Accident
After a side crash, there are a few things you have to do to ensure that you can pursue a claim from those at-fault:
Even if you do not see or feel an injury, it is vital to seek medical attention after an accident. Some injury symptoms can show up later on—sometimes, years later. Injuries like whiplash and hairline fractures could go unnoticed after an accident, but they could worsen and turn into severe injuries if you wait too long to get treatment. Get examined and follow the doctor’s recommendations for treatment and follow-up care if you have not already. Your medical history will be the basis of your personal injury claims.
File a Report
In Illinois, the law requires those involved in the car accident to submit a written report to the police within ten days. Non-filing will have severe repercussions on your claims and license. If you have not filed a report already, ask your lawyer for advice.
Consult a Lawyer
Often, parties to the accident are unaware of their rights and responsibilities. It could help to work with a lawyer to understand what you can and cannot do about the situation. Supply your lawyer with any evidence you collected from the scene, such as the name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance of the driver that collided with you. If you have eyewitness contact phone numbers or photos of the accident, those can help your lawyer make a case for you.
For a free legal consultation with a side-impact collisions accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call 800-959-1444
Illinois Is an At-Fault State
Like most states, Illinois follows an at-fault system for its auto insurance policies. It means that the insurance company of the responsible party will pay for the incurred damages, but up only to the policy’s limits. Under state law, the minimum liability coverage is $20,000 for property damages and $25,000 for one person’s bodily injury.
If you suffered injuries because of a sideswiping or angle crash, you could seek compensation by filing a third-party claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. They will investigate the matter to establish their insured person’s liability on the accident. However, some insurance companies will attempt to reduce your claims by citing comparative fault—you were also partly responsible for the accident.
In auto accident claims, negligence is the most commonly used legal basis—one party breached their duty of exercising reasonable care while driving. However, there are instances when multiple parties contributed to the unfortunate event, making it difficult to pin the liability on only one driver. It is reasonable that those who played a role will share the burden or total damages.
Under comparative negligence, your degree of fault in the accident reduces the amount you can recover from other parties. In Illinois, if you were equally responsible or more, you cannot collect damages for your injuries.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company might argue that your share of the fault is 50% or above, allowing them to deny your claims. If you believe that it is otherwise, speak to a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Call us today to discuss details about your case, including your chances of recovery.
Chicago Side-Impact Collisions Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
Consider Filing a Lawsuit for a Denied Claim
It is not unusual for insurance companies to deny third-party claims where possible—a simple oversight or accidental admission of your fault in the accident gives them enough grounds to reject compensation. In this case, your next legal recourse is to file a personal injury lawsuit against liable parties.
A lawyer can tell you how you can recover economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, destroyed property, and pain and suffering, from the incident. They will help you establish liability by proving the at-fault driver’s negligence while on the road. Since the burden of proof lies with you, they will gather relevant evidence for the case. Moreover, your lawyer will ensure that you pursue litigation within the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims, or no later than two years after the accident, according to 735 ILCS § 5/13-202.
Liability Can Also Include Other Parties
In Illinois, liability in car accidents does not solely rest on the negligent driver. There are other potential defendants to your case based on either agency or negligent entrustment. Sometimes, it is essential to consider other responsible parties, especially when the insurance company denies your claim, or the at-fault driver has no insurance.
Under the agency theory, you have to prove that the driver was performing a task or work when the accident happened. You can hold their employer or the person who assigned the errand liable for your injuries. The same legal basis applies when a minor driver is involved in an accident while doing their parent’s request or errand.
On the other hand, negligent entrustment applies if the owner lends the vehicle while knowing that the borrower may pose harm to others. As such, the vehicle owner is liable for the resulting damages.
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Count on Us for Your Legal Rights
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyers can help you get justice in court. As a victim of someone else’s negligence, it is within your right to seek fair compensation for the damages you suffered. Our team will thoroughly investigate the matter to identify liable parties to determine the amount owed to you. They can assist you, whether you file a liability claim or pursue litigation for your case.
Get in touch at 800-959-1444 for a no-obligation initial consultation anytime, or visit the website to accomplish a free case evaluation.