Careless drivers are dangerous, and are the cause of many car, motorcycle or bicycle accidents. Holding a negligent motorist responsible for causing your injuries may be the best decision for you. The Chicago attorneys at Leopold & Associates have been protecting the interests of motor vehicle collision victims for over 30 years throughout Cook County and Illinois. We will inform you of your rights under the law, help you understand the legal process, and support you through the often confusing process of asserting a claim.Pursuing Your Claim Against a Negligent Driver
Victims who have been injured by another’s careless driving generally file a claim against the responsible party under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence by law is the failure to use reasonable care, which causes injury and damages to another person. In order to prove that a driver was negligent, the elements of duty, breach, injury, and damages must be established in your claim. In motor vehicle accident cases, the duty of the defendant is one to exercise reasonable care while driving a car. Breach of that duty is the failure to operate a car according to this standard of care. In most instances, a collision caused by the defendant’s violation of a public safety law, such as running a red light, driving while intoxicated, or falling asleep while driving, is generally sufficient to establish a preliminary claim of negligence, although the element of causation and damages must still be proven. Cherry v. McDonald, 176 Ill. App. 3d 471, 479, 531 N.E.2d 78, 82 (1988). Generally, personal injury claims arising out of a car collision must be filed within two years of the date of the accident although Illinois prescribes a number of exceptions that lengthen this time period. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/13-202. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine whether your claim may be timely filed.
Even if your actions contributed to your accident, you still may be entitled to compensation from the other driver. In Illinois, the contributory fault rule simply limits the amount of damages you may receive according to your proportionate fault in causing the accident. For instance, if a jury determines that the car collision was 25% your fault and 75% the fault of the other driver, the amount of your damage award will generally be reduced by 25%. However, this also means that you can still obtain compensation for your injury, even if you were partially responsible for the accident, as long as you were 50% or less at fault. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-1116.
Damages in personal injury claims may include several types of compensation. Aside from the physical harm caused by a car accident, you may have suffered lost wages due to a prolonged absence from work, or even due to your inability to perform your job. Compensation for such injuries may be available to you in the form of economic damages, which include both past and future medical expenses, lost income, and diminished earning capacity. Non-economic damages, such as past and future pain and suffering, disabilities and disfigurement, may be awarded as well, depending on the circumstances of your case. A victim’s spouse may also bring a claim for loss of services and loss of consortium in certain situations. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine whether other types of damages that are specific to your claim may be available.Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with Experienced Chicago Lawyers
Filing a lawsuit against the negligent parties after a car accident is an important decision and the legal process can seem daunting. The personal injury lawyers at Leopold & Associates in Chicago have the experience and resources you need to pursue compensation from the parties responsible for the accident. Our dedicated team serves clients from all over Cook County, from Chicago and Des Plaines to Skokie and Evanston. Contact us today at (312) 781-6261 or online to set up your free consultation. We will listen to your concerns and guide you through the steps necessary to bring your claim.