After getting injured in a car accident, you probably have questions about getting compensated for the losses. If injuries are severe, you may need long-term medical care, and the costs could pile up in no time. Being away from work could mean an additional financial burden. In this post, learn more about car accident laws in Illinois.
Illinois is a fault state
Unlike a few states that follow the no-fault rule, Illinois has a fault-based system. If a driver is liable for your injuries, they are also responsible for the losses. The usual route is to file a claim with their insurer, and the insurance company will pay financial compensation to the extent of coverage or your losses, depending on the circumstances. However, you have the responsibility of providing evidence of the other driver’s reckless or negligent behavior.
The statute of limitations
The statute of limitations is a special rule that sets the time cap for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In the case of car accidents, Illinois laws give you two years to file a direct civil lawsuit. For instance, if the insurance amount is inadequate or when your claim is denied, you can sue the other driver. If you wish to sue for vehicle damage, your deadline is five years.
The “comparative fault” system
If you and the other driver are liable for the same car crash, the “comparative fault” system in Illinois will decide who gets compensated. When your fault share, measured in percentage, is 50 or more, you cannot sue the other party for compensation. The “comparative fault” rule is complex but governs the outcome. The insurance company and the court will rely on the evidence and investigation details to determine the settlement amount. Also, your compensation will be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you were 20% at fault and got $10,000 in a settlement, you can now recover only $8000.
Get an attorney
An attorney specializing in injury laws in Illinois with expertise in car accident lawsuits is your best bet for recovering a settlement. Remember, you cannot deal with the insurance process alone, as claims adjusters are often unfair and scrupulous. Also, if you decide to file a lawsuit, you need a legal expert. Most law firms will not ask for an upfront fee for car accident claims as they get a share of the settlement, also known as the contingency fee.
You can check online listings to find law firms for car accident cases in Rockford.