Should I Sue After a Car Accident?

Friday, June 28, 2024

Should I Sue After a Car Accident?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

You’re cruising down the highway, singing along to your favorite tunes on the radio. Out of nowhere, another vehicle suddenly swerves into your lane. Before you even have a chance to react, your car starts spinning. The sound of crumpling metal fills your ears, leaving you disoriented and battered.

Now, what do you do? In Illinois, you have the right to take action against the driver responsible for the accident. Is suing the right choice? This is when you need to contact a Chicago car accident attorney.

Together with your attorney, you can consider certain elements- such as the extent of your injuries, vehicle damage, and whether or not the other driver’s insurance company adequately covers your costs.

Determining Fault After a Car Accident in Illinois

Understanding who bears responsibility after a car accident in Illinois is essential in determining if you have grounds for legal action.

Take a look at the police report. The officer who responded will assign fault at the scene. If they find that the other driver was primarily at fault, it can bolster your case.

Speak with witnesses. Make sure to gather contact information from any witnesses and ask them to provide a written statement regarding what they observed. Witness testimony can be instrumental in establishing the negligence of the other driver.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with traffic laws. If it turns out that the other driver violated any traffic laws, such as running a light, disregarding a stop sign, or driving while distracted, you can use the information to file and proceed with a claim.

Additionally, check for any signs of recklessness. Actions like driving under the influence or engaging in drag racing activities automatically place liability on the other driver.

It’s important to review insurance policies well. In Illinois, having liability coverage is mandatory; therefore, if the driver who caused the accident possesses insurance, your lawyer can help you negotiate a claim. Your attorney will also help you file a lawsuit if what you’ll receive in insurance is not enough for your needs.

Your attorney may write a policy limit demand letter to help you get the compensation you require to help in your recovery.

In situations where determining liability is unclear, or the insurance company is denying or delaying your claim, your lawyer may find grounds for filing a lawsuit to recover compensation. They can handle all the proceedings on your behalf.

By examining all the details surrounding your accident and familiarizing yourself with Illinois traffic laws, you can construct a compelling case – a lawsuit that demonstrates and proves the negligence and liability of the other driver.

So, don’t hesitate to pursue an action for injuries and losses. By gathering the required evidence and having a competent lawyer at your side, you’ll have a more positive outcome.

Time Restriction for Personal Injury Claims

Also, it’s important to remember that time restrictions apply when it comes to filing a lawsuit after a car accident in the Prairie State. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations – the window of time that typically spans two years.

To ensure that your claim remains valid, you need to take action as soon as you’re able – ideally, within six to 12 months following the accident is best. The earlier you seek advice from an attorney, the better. They can thoroughly investigate the details of your case, determine liability, and initiate proceedings on your behalf before the filing deadline.

Can You Sue for Negligence Without Injury?

While most negligence cases involve some form of bodily injury, it’s possible to have incidents of negligence without injuries. In such cases, you can still sue for negligence without being injured, particularly if the case involves property damage.

This will call for a property damage-only lawsuit. Although such lawsuits are less common, they are still valid and can lead to legal recovery of the losses. For example, if someone negligently crashes into your parked car, you can file a lawsuit to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.

Furthermore, some injuries from car accidents, such as whiplash, concussions, or other soft tissue injuries, might surface days or even weeks after the incident. By consulting with a lawyer early on, you ensure that any latent injuries are accounted for and your legal rights are protected.

Understanding Car Accident Insurance Claims and Lawsuits

Handling car accident insurance claims and potential lawsuits involves understanding your immediate and long-term needs. After an accident, you must promptly report it to your insurance company. This will initiate the claims process, where you’ll provide details about the accident and any damages or injuries sustained.

Car accident injuries can be either minor bruises or severe conditions like broken bones, spinal injuries, or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The severity of your injuries is key in insurance claims as it will greatly influence your medical treatment and the potential settlement amount. The best way around this is to keep detailed medical records to easily counter any insurance company’s tactics of denying the claim or minimizing payouts.

If your claim is denied or unfairly low, you may need to file a lawsuit. This involves proving the other party’s negligence and demonstrating how their actions directly resulted in your injuries and damages. A car accident attorney will take up the litigation process and fight to obtain fair compensation for the accident-related losses.

What You Need To Prove to File a Car Accident Claim

Filing a car accident claim requires proving your case. You must demonstrate the following to prove your claim:

  • The driver owed a duty of care
  • The negligent driver breached that duty
  • the other driver’s actions primarily led to the collision
  • You actually suffered real losses due to the accident

Proving  these elements requires substantial evidence. Your attorney will help gather and present this evidence effectively to increase your chances of a successful claim.

Navigating the Car Accident Claims Process for Property Damage

Following a car accident, you need to accurately document and report the property damage to ensure you are seeking compensation that would cover the actual losses

Also, you need to document the accident scene right away. Armed with so much information about the incident, you can now report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible.

Next, you need to obtain estimates from multiple repair shops to understand the full extent of the damage and the associated costs. Insurance adjusters will assess the damage and offer a settlement based on their evaluation. If the initial offer is too low, your lawyer will further negotiate for a fair settlement.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Now

In Chicago, Illinois, contact Malman Law about your car accident claim now. Make sure you receive what you deserve in compensation. Don’t delay in claiming what you deserve for your personal injury claim.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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