Crashes and Accidents

Depending on the situation, a car accident can lead to extreme stress and piles of medical bills. Not only this but dealing with insurance companies who give low-ball offers can be incredibly frustrating. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may want to secure trusted legal representation. You could be entitled to compensation if the person who hit you was acting negligently. 

Illinois law requires negligent drivers and their insurance companies to pay fair compensations to the innocent victims they’ve harmed. To get coverage for your injuries, call Susan E. Loggans & Associates today. Our attorneys will collect evidence, file your claim and even litigate for you in court. Let us at Susan E. Loggans & Associates utilize our knowledge and resources and help you recover today.

Personal Injury Attorney for Car Accidents in Chicago, Illinois

Car accident litigation can be complicated and it can be it’s difficult for victims to get what they deserve. We recommend you contact the legal team at Susan E. Loggans & Associates. Susan E. Loggans & Associates is composed of successful and experienced attorneys who are passionate about personal injury. 

Contact us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a free consultation. We will sit down with you, answer your legal questions and outline a plan of attack for your case. You can visit us at our office in Chicago, but we practice throughout the greater Cook County area including Evanston, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg. 

Overview of Car Accidents in Illinois

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Car Accident Statistics for Illinois

Motor vehicles accidents happen nearly every day in the state of Illinois. In 2016, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released a report stating 324,473 car accidents happened that year. It also stated that 1,000 of those accidents resulted in fatalities and 8,053 of those crashes involved a pedestrian or a bicyclist. 

The following is some statistics collected by the IDOT in 2016. 

  • There were 324,473 accidents in the state of Illinois;
  • 96,576 of these accidents were rear-end collisions;
  • 2,724 of these accidents were head-on collisions;
  • 4,741 of those accidents involve a pedestrian;
  • 93,160 people were injured as a result of a crash;
  • 1,078 people because of injuries related to the car accident;
  • 148 pedestrians were killed in a motor vehicle accident; and
  • 20 motorcyclists were fatally injured in a car accident

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Types of Car Crashes Commonly Found in Illinois

The severity of your injuries typically depends on what type of car crash you were involved in. Listed below are the different types of motor vehicle collisions that could result in injury.

  • Single Vehicle Crashes – When a driver loses control of the vehicle it could result in a single vehicle accident. This can happen due to inclement weather, icy roads, and because of distractions that cause the driver to swerve into an object or building. In this situation, the driver is liable, and the passenger is within their right to file a claim for damages if they were injured.

  • Intersection Accidents – Some of the deadliest accidents occur at intersections. An intersectional accident normally occurs because a driver broke a traffic rule such as running a red light, failing to yield, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some examples of intersection accidents include head-on collisions, T-bone collisions and chain reaction collisions.

  • Rear-End Collisions – The most common type of accident is a rear-end collision. Rear-end crashes occur in both high and low speed situations. They can lead to neck and spinal injuries such as whiplash, which can develop days or weeks after the accident

  • Low-Speed Crashes – Car accidents do occur even at low speeds. Parking lot accidents or crashes with a person backing out of their driveway are common. While these accidents are much safer than a high-speed collision, a low-speed impact can still result in injury and vehicular damage. 
  • High-Speed Accidents – When an accident happens at high speeds it’s almost guaranteed that significant damage and injury will follow. High speed accidents occur on freeways and high-speed roads because of a variety of reasons. Some of these include distracted driving, inclement weather or driving under the influence. 
  • Side Swipe Accidents – Drivers merging into traffic or changing lanes are expected to check their blind spots. If they don’t, it could result in a side swipe accident. These accident’s damage varies depending on the situation, but it can cause a car pile-up if one vehicle causes another to spin out of control.

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Who is Liable in a Car Accident in Illinois?

To file a claim, you will have to find out who is at fault or whose negligence caused the crash. Normally, the culprit is the other driver who hit you. However, in some cases it could be a car manufacturer if the accident was due to a faulty car part. 

Negligence is when a person fails to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would in the same circumstances. Negligence can also include omissions of actions when there is a duty to act.

For example, it’s prohibited by traffic rules to text while driving. If you intentionally text and drive and it results in injury, then the court may deem you as negligent. This is because you were texting and driving despite the fact you were aware it’s against traffic rules and puts others at risk of an accident.

You will then need to send a demand letter to the liable person that states how they’re liable and a demand for compensation. If the defendant rejects your letter, then you can draft and file a legal claim to resolve the issue. 

Prior to trial, you will have a chance to obtain evidence from the opposing party. This stage is referred to as the discovery phase where both parties can access each other’s evidences via motion. This can be incredibly helpful since it gives you a chance to evaluate the other’s case.

There’s three ways to resolve a personal injury issue: mediation, motion or trial. You case could be resolved by the court via motion to dismiss if the judge thinks the case isn’t fit for court. However, most personal injury cases use mediation as a way to end a civil dispute. Mediation is an informal proceeding overseen by a mediator, who is usually a current or former judge. 

Mediation may be informal, but the final decision is as binding as a court order. Many people choose mediation over court because it’s cost effective and can be less stressful. If mediation doesn’t work, then your only option is to go to trial.

If this happens, then you will have to prove to the jury how the defendant was negligent. Both you and the opposing party will present your evidence to the jury. Once you’ve finished, the jury will deliberate on the result of the trial. 

The elements you’re burdened to prove in court include:

  • The defendant had a duty of care by following traffic protocols;
  • The defendant breached their duty by breaking traffic rules or being grossly unaware;
  • You were injured because of the defendant’s actions; and
  • You suffered as a result of your injuries

If you’re able to prove these elements, then the court will grant you a settlement. The compensation will be based on the losses you suffered because of your injury. These losses are referred to as damages in civil law. Listed below are some damages you may recover in a settlement. 

  • Medical bills;
  • Car repairs;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of enjoyment for life

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What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Illinois is an at fault car insurance state. This means whoever is responsible in an accident is legally liable for any property damage or injury costs related to the accident. However, when a driver doesn’t have insurance things can get a little more complicated.

Your insurance company is required to have a provision for uninsured motorist coverage. This provision ensures you have coverage even if the person at fault doesn’t. The only problem with this is that insurance companies may try to offer you undervalued settlements so they can pay you as little as possible. If this happens, it’s recommended you hire an experienced car accident attorney. You lawyer can collect evidence proving the value of your claim and negotiate with insurance adjusters for you.

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Additional Resources

Risky Driving Behaviors – Visit the official website for the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHTSA) to learn more about risky driving behaviors. Access the site to read how speeding, fatigue and using substances can affect your driving. 

2016 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics – Visit the official website for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to read more about the car accident statistics they’ve collected in 2016. Access the site to learn more about the different types of crashes, data regarding injuries and fatalities and more. 

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Car Accident Lawyers in Cook County, Illinois

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may want to contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates. Our attorneys have years of experience and can help you recover with quality representation. Contact us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a free consultation today. We will be sure to answer all your legal questions and give you insight into your case. 

Don’t wait another moment for coverage you deserve. Susan E. Loggans & Associates accepts clients throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area including Evanston, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg.

This article was last updated on May 31, 2019.