Car Accidents Attorney
in Chicago, Illinois

When a motorist gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and shares the road with others, they accept responsibility for their own actions. Unfortunately, not all motorists obey the law and drive carefully; some accidents are bound to happen.

As a car accident attorney at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C., our firm has seen first-hand the devastation that a motor vehicle accident can cause and its toll on victims and their family members. Our firm has extensive experience representing people who suffered injuries or lost their loved ones in fatal crashes. We assist victims of car accidents in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the state, including McHenry, Lake County, Kane, Cook, Will, DuPage, Grundy, and Kankakee.

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Liability for Car Accidents in Illinois 

Illinois follows the traditional fault-based system when determining liability for car accidents. The at-fault system means that drivers at fault for accidents are responsible for paying for the damages and losses caused by their actions.

Even if the other driver was responsible for causing the collision, Illinois law allows the victims to choose between making a first-party and third-party claim. A first-party claim means that the injured party is filing a claim with their own insurance provider, while a third-party claim is a victim filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. Alternatively, injured parties can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages.

Illinois Insurance Requirements

According to the official website of the Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois law requires all drivers whose motor vehicles are registered and operated in the state to comply with minimum insurance requirements. Specifically, Illinois law requires drivers to carry liability insurance coverage in the minimum amounts of:

  • $25,000 per person in an accident
  • $50,000 per multiple persons in an accident
  • $20,000 for property damage (caused to other people involved in the crash)

Illinois drivers are legally required to carry their insurance card in the vehicle and be willing to show it upon request by a law enforcement officer.

Illinois Laws Addressing Personal Injury Claims

Illinois has a number of statutes that may affect a victim’s ability to file a claim or recover compensation. Specifically, there are two laws addressing personal injury claims in Illinois:

  • Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time that parties have to file a personal injury claim. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for injury claims is only two years. For wrongful death lawsuits, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the death.
  • Comparative fault. Illinois adheres to a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to the assignment of the fault and the award of damages in personal injury cases. The law allows injured parties to recover damages as long as their percentage of fault is less than 50%, according to the official website of the State of Illinois. If the injured party is even the slightest bit responsible for their injury, their recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.

If you were injured in a car accident in Illinois, it is vital to speak with an experienced attorney to understand the laws that affect your ability to file a personal injury claim and recover damages.

Determining Liability After an Illinois Car Accident

When recovering damages after a car crash in Illinois, the injured party has the burden to prove the other party’s negligence. In Illinois, negligence can be established by proving the following four elements:

  1. The other party owed you a duty of care
  2. That party breached the duty (in other words, the person failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care)
  3. There is a connection between the breach and your injury
  4. You suffered actual damages because of the party’s negligence

The success of your claim hinges on the availability of supporting evidence in your case. A skilled attorney can assist you with gathering the necessary evidence to prove the other party’s negligence and help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Illinois has the Wrongful Death Act, which offers a pathway for family members to recover damages after the death of their loved one when the death is caused by another party’s negligence. Under the act, surviving family members are eligible to recover:

  • Economic damages: (funeral and burial expenses, the cost of medical care provided to the decedent before the death, and others); and
  • Non-economic damages: (grief, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of support, etc.).

While many states allow the decedent’s family members to initiate legal proceedings for a wrongful death lawsuit, Illinois is not one of them. Under Illinois law, wrongful death claims must be filed by the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative is typically appointed by the deceased before their death. If the decedent did not appoint a personal representative before their passing, the court will appoint one.

Car Accidents Attorney Serving Chicago, Illinois

As an experienced attorney serving car accident victims in Chicago, Illinois, and surrounding areas, our firm helps clients recover full and fair compensation in their cases. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, reach out for a free consultation. At the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C., we are committed to fighting for your rights and securing the best possible outcome.