Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

The Correct Action In Filing A Case In A Car Accident

Car accidents happen at the most unexpected times and are sometimes detrimental in more ways than one. In Illinois itself, car accidents are quite frequent. According to the most recent information from IDOH, in Illinois, there were 311,679 car crashes in 2017 alone. 93,517 people got injured, and 1,090 died.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

After being involved in a car accident, there are certain steps to ensure everyone is safe, all laws are followed, and the insurance claim process begins.

Immediately after a car accident, you need to:

  • Move to safety.
  • Call the police and get the police report.
  • Collect information that includes names, driver’s license numbers, vehicle plate license numbers, addresses, and auto insurance information. Gather evidence that includes the witnesses’ license information and photographs of the accident scene.
  • Notify the insurance companies.
  • Collect and retain cost and loss documents, such as medical bills.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Illinois car accident, you are entitled to seek compensation from the insurance company. If your case is not resolved through an insurance claim, you can file a car accident lawsuit in a small claims court with the help of a car accident attorney or a personal injury attorney.

If you wish to recover more substantial compensation than the Illinois small court claims limit, you can begin the pre-trial process. You can do this by filing your car accident case at the regular civil court with the help of an experienced auto accident attorney.

How to File a Car Accident Lawsuit

Once you have determined that it is now necessary to file a car accident personal injury claim suit, there are certain steps you should take:

  1. Break down the Illinois Laws Regarding Car Accidents

To pursue an auto accident injury case, you need to be confident in your understanding of the Illinois car accident claim laws and how the claims case process works. Obviously, at this point, you do not have all the time necessary to study and fully comprehend these laws. This is especially true because there are also Illinois statutes of limitations for filing car accident cases.

The best way to avoid wasting time while still gaining an understanding of these laws is to take advantage of the education and experience of an experienced injury attorney. Many personal injury attorneys and accident lawyers can translate these laws into layman’s terms so you can understand them and guide you personally through the case filing process.

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, there are certain Illinois laws and regulations you need to keep in mind, including;

The Illinois Auto Accident Statutes of Limitation

The statute of limitations is the state law that limits the time to file a lawsuit. These time limits vary depending on the type of harm suffered and the circumstances surrounding the case you are filing. There are three kinds of statutes of limitation in Illinois:

  • Car injury lawsuit statute of limitations
  • Wrongful death lawsuit statute of limitations
  • Vehicle damage statute of limitations

Proving Fault

Suppose you can prove that the other party was negligent in such a way as to cause you, the plaintiff, injury. In this case, the law entitles you to seek compensation against the other party in a civil lawsuit.

While many states have a no-fault system, Illinois is a fault-based state. This means that the person at fault for the car accident is liable for resulting injuries, losses, and vehicle damage, depending on their liability coverage limits. If you are at fault, Illinois has a comparative-fault rule where both parties share the blame for the accident.

  1. Filing the Complaint

The civil court case process begins when the plaintiff (you) files an initial document called the complaint. This can be done either in person at a courthouse or online. This complaint document lays out all the parties involved, states the facts that your allegations are based on, and outlines the supporting elements of each claim. Each claim is typically known as the cause of action.

  1. Process and Service

Once your court case file has been created, the court clerk will process the papers that will be served to the individual you are suing. This process includes the summons and a copy of the complaint. The subpoena requires the defendant’s answer and should be delivered to the defendant. Usually, for the warrant, it is much safer to hire the local constable or sheriff to serve the defendant on your behalf.

  1. Defendants Answer

After the defendant has been served with your complaint, they must respond with what is referred to as an “answer.” In this answer, the defendant brings up their legal defenses in response to the allegations you have made in the complaint. Some defenses may be ridiculous or may have no relationship with the case. However, there is no need to worry, as these are normally waived in court.

  1. The Pre-Trail Procedure

After all these initial documents are filed, the car accident case goes on to the discovery phase. This is whereby the two parties exchange information back and forth. This information includes:

  • Interrogation: Written questions and their answers
  • Deposition: Face-to-face questioning under oath.
  • Requests for documents, including medical records.

Attorney or No Attorney?

Whether or not to hire a lawyer depends on the kind of resolution you desire from the court. Each lawsuit usually has a prayer for relief where you, the plaintiff, can ask for something from the court.

Furthermore, lawsuits settled with the assistance of an experienced auto accident lawyer often result in a fairer, larger settlement. Rather than if you attempt to resolve the car accident claims case yourself.

Does all This seem A Little Confusing? Trust us as Your Illinois Car Accident Lawyers, Today!

Michael J. Brennan Injury Lawyers have been resolving car accident cases for residents of Cook County and the surrounding areas of Chicago, Illinois, since 1995. Our team of credited, licensed, and highly qualified car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers has over 25 years of experience getting a fair settlement for Illinois car accident and personal injury claims cases. You can call us at 708-694-9728.

Get a Free Case Evaluation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.