Although every driver in Illinois must obey traffic rules and operate their vehicle safely, some still engage in negligent or reckless behavior that ultimately leads to accidents. In 2017, the Illinois Department of Transportation recorded a staggering total of 311,679 accidents, with more than 10 people getting injured every hour.
While you may not have been able to prevent an auto accident from affecting you, you can take steps to mitigate your losses in the aftermath. Illinois car accident lawyers can give you legal advice and help you defend your rights in court. If a negligent driver has caused you injury, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your potential case.
How a Car Accident May Impact Your Life
Not every auto accident results in severe injuries, but when it does, you might find yourself dealing with expensive medical care and treatment. A debilitating injury or permanent disability can have significant physical and financial consequences. In some cases, your injuries could be debilitating, preventing you from working and moving about independently. You may even need long-term care that requires a therapist or a professional caregiver. Such injuries could include:
- Broken bones
- Strains or sprains
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
On top of the physical harm you could suffer, there is also the cost of auto repairs to deal with. A collision could leave you without a car for a while, and you may even have no choice but to purchase a new one. There are many scenarios in which a car accident can disrupt your life. Lawyers understand what injuries can do to victims and fight for fair compensation to make you whole. They know how to assess your situation to get the full picture of your present and future damages.
Why Car Accidents Happen
As long as there are careless drivers, accidents will continue to happen. The following are a few reasons car collisions occur:
- Distracted driving that usually involves the use of cell phones and other electronic devices
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield
- Running a red light
- Disregarding traffic signs
Although the majority of accidents are minor, serious ones can cause devastating injuries or even death. When another driver’s negligence is to blame for your suffering and losses, lawyers can determine the basis for seeking damages.
Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence Law in Illinois
If you were partly at fault for a car accident in Illinois, it does not mean that you would not receive compensation. Under Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law, 735 ILCS 5/2-116, you can still recover damages as long as your share of the fault is less than 50%. However, the court will reduce your compensation depending on the extent of your responsibility. For instance, if you suffered $50,000 in damages, but only 20% of it was your fault, you could only recover the $40,000. Keep in mind that you would not be eligible for financial compensation if you were more than 50% at fault.
Comparative negligence can complicate your case when the other party tries to place some of the blame on you, or even attempts to shift the majority of the responsibility. This situation can bar you from seeking damages and obtaining compensation for your injuries. Lawyers can prevent this from happening by investigating your case and making sure you receive the full amount you are due.
What a Lawyer Can Do for Your Case
A thorough and immediate investigation of a car crash is one of the best ways to preserve evidence. Car crash attorneys will collect relevant documents and other information, such as:
- Police accident report
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Photos of the crash site
- Videos of the incident
- Testimonies of expert witnesses
- Manufacturer information of the vehicle
In many cases, insurance companies will take every route available to absolve themselves of responsibility for the accident to avoid a payout. A lawyer can make sure they pay what is owed by determining the value of your case and taking swift action if the insurance company denies your claim. Aside from gathering evidence that could help establish your claim, Illinois car accident lawyers will also negotiate on your behalf to reach an amicable resolution. If a trial is necessary, however, an attorney will be ready to speak for you in front of the judge. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for help.
Know If You Are Eligible to Pursue a Lawsuit
Keep in mind that settlements out of court are typical in car accident cases. Nevertheless, there are times when you may decide to file a lawsuit against the responsible party when a settlement offer is not acceptable. Your attorney will lend a hand in weighing your options and provide you with objective advice. Lawyers will examine essential factors that play a crucial role in any car accident case, like fault, amount of damages, and insurance coverage. After a review of the facts of your case, your attorney will discuss the best available legal option.
Components of a Car Accident Claim
In Illinois, you may be able to receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Common examples of economic damages are medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost earnings. Intangible losses comprise non-economic damages and may include pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In situations where the other party was especially negligent, the court may allow you to pursue punitive damages wherein the goal is to punish the defendant to discourage such behavior.
Our Team Is Dedicated to Representing the Wrongfully Injured
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we fully understand how car accidents can leave your life in disarray and take a toll on your finances. Our Illinois car accident lawyers are committed to providing clients with respectful and compassionate legal services so you can understand your rights and obtain the compensation that can help you recover fully. They look forward to responding to your questions and guiding you on your legal journey.
Call our office today at (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about our services.