Illinois Auto Accident Attorneys
Dedicated and Experienced Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
In 2019, over 600,000 drivers in Illinois were involved in an accident, resulting in over 89,000 injuries. Roadways and streets can become dangerous places when drivers are not following security or traffic standards, however, even when a person is being attentive, an unexpected accident can instantly and dramatically change someone’s life.
Motor vehicle accidents are extremely common and happen daily. Motor vehicles include cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks. Pedestrians could also be victims of a motor vehicle accident, or themselves cause an accident. In 2019, the rate of injury from car accidents in Illinois was greater than 10 people per hour, costing Illinois residents and taxpayers nearly 6 billion dollars in that year alone. According the the National Safety Council:
- Each fatality was estimated to cost around $1,704,000. A “fatality” is an occurrence of death as a result of an auto accident.
- An incapacitating injury was estimated to cost around $98,000 per instance. An incapacitating injury is an injury that prevents the injured person from functioning normally in a way they could have in the past, such as no longer being able to walk. Some injuries that are commonly referred to as incapacitating include amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and paralysis, to name a few.
- A non-incapacitating injury was estimated to cost around $29,000 per instance. A non-incapacitating injury is an injury which is apparent and known at the scene of the crash in which the injury occurred, but does not necessarily incapacitate or otherwise prevent the person from functioning normally. Non-incapacitating injuries can include bruises, lacerations, abrasions, and similar typically “minor” injuries.
- A possible injury is estimated to cost around $23,500 per instance. The terminology “possible injury” is used to describe any injury reported or claimed that was not made evident or identified at the scene of the accident. A “possible injury” can oftentimes include minor non-incapacitating injuries, or even trauma or emotional distress caused as a result of the accident.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim can include a variety of physical and non-physical injuries to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation. Personal Injury Claims can very quickly become complicated and stressful situations without proper guidance, as every piece of your claim must be demonstrably proven in order to obtain and recover damages. Personal injury law is designed to help and protect those injured or harmed because of the negligence of another driver.
Required actions such as the determination of fault or calculation of damages can make an auto accident injury claim extremely complex. Determination of fault can become one of the most troubling issues when presenting a personal injury claim, as effective presentation requires the use of physical or non-physical evidence. In many cases, both types of evidence prove to be equally important.
Physical evidence is evidence that can be physically seen and understood by a jury. This type of evidence can be extremely impactful and allows members of a jury to see damages with their own eyes. Types of physical evidence can include viewing the victim’s injuries sustained as a result of the accident in person or in photographs.
On the other hand, non-physical evidence is just a crucial to the formulation of a strong personal injury claim. Sometimes, physical evidence can be limited due to either its complexity or lack of availability. Luckily, there are many other ways of presenting evidence, some of which include:
- Police Reports: Police Reports are one of the most unbiased and official pieces of evidence, and are quintessential to helping determine fault, when available.
- Medical Records and Bills: Getting medical help can be extremely expensive and bills can be used to demonstrate an evaluation of the value of damages. Medical records can also be used to demonstrate the damages done to your body, and how these damages may affect you long-term.
- Witness Testimony: Witnesses who provide testimony on the stand can describe their perspectives and provide the information they have as to the incident that occurred, which can help bolster your personal injury claim.
- Expert Testimony: Experts in particular subject matter may be able to provide an expert opinion on the situation, or synthesize otherwise convoluted evidence in a way a jury can understand.
- Depositions: Depositions are sworn testimonial statements made by witnesses under oath outside of the courtroom.
What are Some Common Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents?
A motor vehicle accident can cause injury in virtually any part of the body, depending on the severity and location of impact during the collision. Some of the most common types of car accident injuries include soft tissue injuries, burns, fractures, broken bones, internal injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord and nervous system injuries, limb loss, or amputation. Victims of auto accidents oftentimes develop non-physical damages as well, such as emotional distress.
The Role of Insurance
A quintessential piece of information for any auto accident occurrence is the presence of auto insurance. Car insurance provides you with financial protection in case of an auto accident. In Illinois, all drivers are required by law to carry at a minimum liability auto insurance covering injury up to $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for multiple people, as well as $20,000 in property damage. Auto insurance coverages are priced differently depending on the person, their driving record, age, and similar. Coverage amounts can vary greatly and be individualized to fit every budget and all needs.
In the aftermath of an auto accident and during the process of filing a personal injury claim, it may become apparent that your medical expenses are higher than what the insurance policy in question will cover. Often times, in cases where the at-fault driver has not yet been identified, the victim’s health insurance will step in to assist with medical expenses. When the at-fault driver is later identified, your insurance company may choose to seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver through a process known as subrogation.
How Long do I Have to Make a Personal Injury Claim?
Generally speaking, a person must file a lawsuit for a personal injury incident no later than two years after the day of the accident. It is important to file a claim quickly since injuries incurred from a motor vehicle accident can be highly costly, with extensive medical treatment and hospitalization in some cases. Filing a Personal Injury Claim is one of the best ways to receive compensation for damages, both physical and emotional, that you may have been subjected to as a result of your auto accident.
Need a Hand?
On its face, being involved in a car accident can be extremely stressful, even if it is not exceptionally severe. There are nearly 10 million licensed drivers in Illinois, and thousands of them every year are seriously or fatally injured on the roads due to the negligence of other drivers. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, and are wondering whether you may have a Personal Injury claim, the experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys at Trent Law Firm are here to help. Contact our office today to discuss your case and learn how our tenacious team of attorneys may be able to help you. Call (866) 599-8601 for a free and confidential consultation, or use our online portal.