Madison County Car Accident Lawyer

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Madison County Car Accident Lawyer

Madison County Car Accident Attorney

If you have been in a vehicle crash, the ramifications could feel overwhelming. Deciding to work with a Madison County car accident lawyer is a good move that helps ensure that your accident claim is handled in the way that is most protective of your rights.

Healing your body and getting your car back on the road might be your primary concerns, but the right lawyer can also help you determine who is responsible for paying for your losses. They can negotiate with insurance companies and gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your case. Bringing a seasoned personal injury attorney on board early in the process could lead to better results in the long run, ensuring that you receive fair compensation and justice while focusing on your recovery.

At-Fault Driver is Responsible for Damages

In the State of Illinois, the driver who caused an accident is liable to others who sustained losses because of it. Drivers might be at fault if they disobeyed traffic laws or were driving a vehicle that was unsafe because of poor maintenance or mechanical defects.

A police report can provide important information that helps determine fault. Other evidence that could offer clues to who was at fault in a crash includes:

  • Location and severity of damage to the involved vehicles
  • Skid marks
  • Debris patterns
  • Witness statements
  • Video footage from dash-cams and surveillance cameras
  • Black boxes, if available

Many accidents are not solely the fault of one driver. When two or more parties bear responsibility for a wreck, insurance companies try to allocate fault between them. Under Illinois law, an injured person who bears more than 50 percent of the fault cannot collect damages for their injuries.

The attorney for an injured driver who might be partially responsible for a collision could investigate the crash and collect evidence proving that the injured driver was not primarily to blame, thus preserving their right to collect damages.

What Evidence Can Prove Fault in a Car Accident?

Because the individuals ruling in your case were not at the scene of the accident, evidence will be crucial for everyone’s consideration. The quality of evidence is one of the most important aspects of a case to hold either driver accountable for their contributions to the incident.

These are the most common pieces of evidence that an auto accident lawyer will look into:

  • Police reports: These documents provide an official record of what law enforcement observed during their time at the accident scene. This could include information about traffic violations, the weather conditions, and perhaps whom the officer suspected was at fault based on their initial observations. There is no limit to what information an officer may have detailed on the report, so it’s always recommended to start here when collecting evidence.
  • Witness statements: If there was anyone nearby who saw the chain of events that led to the accident, their testimony is of value. This is especially true if the witness is an unbiased source of information that has no relation to either party in the accident. Because they were not in the accident and fearful for their life, they may have details that the other parties forgot or did not witness themselves. Some common elements found in witness statements include a description of the accident if they observed any injuries, and if they had any contact or conversations with either the prosecution or defense.
  • Photos and videos: Legal counsel and the jury will want to see photos of the damages, in addition to any injuries that either party sustained. Also, surveillance video can single-handedly be the most vital piece of evidence submitted, as it takes everyone to the exact scene to witness what happened and make their own conclusions on what events triggered the accident.
  • Medical records: If there were any injuries from the accident, a medical record can sometimes link a specific personal injury to the car wreck. It demonstrates the severity of injuries and how much treatment is required to restore the individual to full health. The medical record will also be important to justify any compensation claims for short or long-term injuries that may warrant financial support to help the individual move on.
  • Expert testimony: An expert testimony differs from witnesses as these individuals were not at the accident scene, but they have industry knowledge that can help piece together what happened. For example, an accident reconstructionist can be hired by a law firm to analyze the specifics of the collision and conclude who they believe is at fault. This can carry a lot of weight, especially if the professional has a history of successfully identifying fault in car accidents.
  • Insurance company records: Any statements made to insurance adjusters, recorded claims, and early determinations from an insurance company can be used as supporting evidence. An attorney will navigate this information cautiously, as insurance companies are known to minimize their liabilities as much as possible. You want to make sure you hire legal counsel who already has experience dealing with insurance companies, as the nuance involved in these claims could significantly impact how favorable the outcome of the case is.

Insurance Coverage Could Affect Damages

Like most states, Illinois requires drivers to carry liability insurance. 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/7-601 mandates minimum coverage of $25,000 for injuries or death of one person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 for property damage.

All policies sold in the state include uninsured motorist coverage with the same limits as the underlying policy. Drivers can purchase uninsured motorist coverage with higher limits for an additional premium.

Sometimes, an at-fault driver’s coverage does not adequately compensate an injured person for their losses. At other times, the at-fault driver’s insurer might not make a reasonable offer. In either case, the injured driver might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Plaintiffs should consider whether a lawsuit is likely to yield collectible damages. Insurers will not pay more than the coverage limits, so if a damages award exceeds the at-fault driver’s coverage, the plaintiff will need to collect from the driver’s personal assets.

A seasoned legal professional could investigate all potential sources of insurance coverage that might help the plaintiff obtain fair and appropriate compensation for their injuries.

Prompt Action Preserves Rights

Illinois allows injured people two years from the date of their accident to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. Although most car accident claims settle before the injured person brings a lawsuit, it is important to keep the two-year deadline in mind.

The threat of a lawsuit often acts as an impetus for insurers to offer a reasonable settlement, but when the threat is no longer viable, they lose any incentive to deal fairly.

In general, the earlier an injured person begins working with a professional advocate, the stronger a case is likely to be and the better their negotiating position.

A knowledgeable accident attorney could investigate a crash and secure important evidence showing how the accident happened and who was to blame. They also could help an injured person calculate their damages and fight for an amount that will provide appropriate compensation for all their losses.

The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention After a Car Accident

If you are in a car accident, you should get medical attention, even if you think that your injuries are mild. Internal injuries, like whiplash and concussions, may not be immediately noticeable. Sometimes, they won’t appear until hours or days after the accident. If you don’t treat them properly, you could experience long-lasting problems.

It is important to have your injuries documented by a doctor. They can provide an objective record of what the accident did to you and can help prove that you are not exaggerating your injuries to get compensation. Timely medical attention also helps with your recovery and prevents minor injuries from becoming major ones. It also counts as critical medical evidence that might be useful for proving your pain and suffering claims. When you receive timely medical care, you are taking steps to protect your physical well-being and legal rights.

FAQs

Q: Can You Sue Someone for a Car Accident in Illinois?

A: Yes, it is possible to sue a person for causing a car accident in Illinois. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the accident, they could be held responsible for some or all of the damages. You may seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. You should contact a lawyer if you’ve been involved in a car accident to protect your rights.

Q: After a Car Accident in Illinois, How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

A: When you’re injured in Illinois in an automobile accident, you will generally need to file a claim no later than two years from the date of the accident. That timeframe is known as the statute of limitations. It’s crucial to act within this period to preserve your legal rights and seek compensation.

Q: Is Illinois a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

A: No, Illinois is not a no-fault state for auto accidents. Illinois uses a fault-based system, which means that whoever caused the auto accident is responsible for the damages and injuries. You must file a claim with that person’s insurance company to pursue necessary compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Q: Can You Get Compensation If the Accident Was Your Fault in Illinois?

A: Yes, you can get compensation if the accident was partially your fault in Illinois, per the Illinois’ comparative negligence rule, but only to the extent that you were not responsible for the accident. The degree of compensation will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. You may not recover any damages if you are more than half at fault for the accident.

Turn to a Committed Attorney to Handle Your Vehicle Accident Claim

If you have been in a wreck, you are probably feeling a lot of stress. Do not add to it by dealing with insurance adjusters and defense lawyers whose sole job is to pay you as little as possible. Team up with a wise professional who will take that burden off your shoulders and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

A Madison County car accident lawyer can help protect your rights if they are involved from the beginning of the case. Let us help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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JERSEY COUNTY

105 N.State Street
Jerseyville, IL 62052

phone: (618) 498-0001

fax: 618-266-2845

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