Car accidents can be overwhelming, and navigating the legal process that follows can be equally daunting. One of the most important decisions you will make following a car accident is choosing the right lawyer to represent you.
Car accidents can significantly impact your life, leaving you with injuries and property damage. Dealing with insurance companies and navigating legal procedures can be overwhelming, which is why it is essential to have an experienced lawyer by your side. Our team can help you understand your rights so that they are protected while also working to secure the compensation you deserve. With our support, much of the stress that comes from dealing with a car accident can be mitigated.
For a free case review with our car accident attorneys, contact Rhatigan Law Offices by calling (312) 578-8502.
What to Do Following a Car Accident in Bolingbrook, IL
The steps you take following a car accident in Bolingbrook can significantly impact your ability to pursue legal recourse. By prioritizing the following steps, you can protect your legal rights and set the stage for a successful resolution to any subsequent legal proceedings.
Ensure Your Safety
After a car accident, the foremost priority should always be safety. Firstly, make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe and out of harm’s way. If it is safe and feasible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or out of traffic to avoid causing additional accidents. Turn on your hazard lights and use warning triangles or flares to alert other drivers. This will help prevent any additional accidents from occurring.
If anyone involved in the accident is injured, call an ambulance immediately. Keep in mind that some injuries might not be immediately apparent, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In case of a serious injury, it is best to avoid moving the person unless it is absolutely necessary to ensure their safety.
Report the Accident
Once everyone involved is safe, the next step is to call the police to report the accident. In Illinois, the law requires that any car accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500 be reported to the police.
When the authorities arrive at the scene, they will prepare a report detailing what happened. This report can be used later when filing an insurance claim. It is important to cooperate fully with law enforcement at the scene, providing an accurate account of events. However, it is also important not to admit fault or liability, as this could potentially harm your case.
Document the Scene
One of the most important steps is to document the scene thoroughly. This includes taking photographs of the vehicles involved from different angles, noting the license plate numbers, and recording the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident. It is also advisable to note any other relevant details, such as the time and location of the accident, the direction of travel, and the speed of the vehicles.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, it is essential to collect their contact information. This includes their name, phone number, and email address, if possible. Witness statements can be very helpful in determining fault and establishing liability in case of a legal dispute.
Another critical step is to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. This includes their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance company, and policy number. This information will be necessary to file a claim with the insurance company and pursue legal action if necessary.
Get Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, and internal bleeding, might not show any immediate symptoms but can have serious long-term effects if left untreated.
Seeking timely medical care can also help establish a link between the accident and any subsequent health issues, which can be important if you decide to pursue legal action or file an insurance claim or lawsuit later.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Your insurance policy might require you to report any accidents to your insurance company immediately. It is recommended that you provide them with accurate and concise details about the accident, including the time and location.
It is also advised that you avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault, as this could negatively impact your claim. Be sure to speak with our team before giving any statements about your case.
Consult with Our Team
If you have been injured in a car accident, seeking the help of our lawyers can make a huge difference in protecting your legal rights. We can provide you with valuable guidance and support as you navigate through the complexities of the legal process, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken within the prescribed time limit.
Our team can also help you understand your legal rights and the options available to you for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. We can also help you gather evidence, assess the strength of your case, and negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident.
Additionally, our firm can represent you in court if necessary, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and that your legal rights are protected throughout the entire process.
Common Types of Car Accident Cases in Bolingbrook, IL
Understanding the common types of car accident cases in Bolingbrook can help victims navigate the complexities of their claims. Each type of case presents unique challenges and considerations, making it crucial to consult with our team so you know what to expect. The following are common car accident cases our team handles in Bolingbrook:
Multi-vehicle accidents, commonly referred to as pile-ups, are road accidents involving three or more vehicles. These types of accidents are usually more serious than single-vehicle collisions and can lead to devastating injuries and even fatalities because of the force of multiple impacts. Multi-vehicle accidents often occur on busy highways, where high speeds, heavy traffic, and poor weather conditions can cause a chain reaction of collisions.
Determining liability in multi-vehicle accidents can be a complex and challenging process. This is because there are usually multiple parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and insurance companies. Each party might have different levels of fault, and determining which party is responsible for the accident requires a thorough investigation of the scene, witness statements, and all available evidence.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks or delivery vans, can be catastrophic because of their massive size and weight. The impact of such a collision can cause severe damage to property and result in life-threatening injuries or even fatalities.
These cases are often complicated as they involve not only the driver but also the company that owns the vehicle and potentially other entities. Determining liability in such cases requires a thorough investigation of the accident scene, vehicle maintenance records, driver logs, and other factors.
Uber and Lyft Accidents
In recent years, the advent of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft has led to a significant increase in the number of accidents involving these vehicles. In the event of an accident, determining liability can be a complex matter, as it largely depends on whether the driver was actively working for the rideshare company at the time of the incident.
If the driver was “on the clock” and transporting a passenger or en route to pick up a passenger, the rideshare company’s insurance would typically cover the damages. However, if the driver was not working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident, their personal auto insurance would be responsible for covering the damages.
In situations where the driver was logged into the app but not actively working, the liability might be shared between the driver’s insurance and the rideshare company’s insurance. Determining liability in these cases can be a complex legal matter, which is why we recommend seeking the advice of our experienced team on how to proceed with the options available.
Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents
With the rise of e-commerce, the number of delivery vehicles on the road has increased significantly. While the convenience of online shopping has revolutionized the retail industry, it has also brought about some challenges. One such challenge is the increasing number of accidents involving Amazon delivery trucks. These accidents can be particularly complex, as the question of liability might rest with the driver, Amazon, or the third-party delivery service that Amazon contracts with.
Determining who is responsible for an accident involving an Amazon delivery truck can be a complicated process. If the driver was at fault, then they might be held responsible for any damages or injuries that were caused. However, if the accident was caused by a defect in the truck itself, then Amazon or the third-party delivery service might be held responsible. Furthermore, the question of who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident can also be a factor in determining liability.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians or Bicycles
Accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists have the potential to cause serious injuries or even fatalities. In such cases, drivers are generally expected to prioritize the safety of pedestrians and cyclists by yielding to them, especially when they are on or near crosswalks, sidewalks, or bike lanes. Failing to do so can result in legal liability on the part of the driver.
However, pedestrians and cyclists have a responsibility to follow traffic laws in order to minimize their own risk of accidents. This includes obeying traffic signals, using designated crosswalks or bike lanes, and remaining visible to drivers by wearing reflective clothing or accessories when traveling at night or in low-light conditions.
Accidents Caused by Design or Manufacturing Defects
In certain situations, car accidents can occur not because of the driver’s mistake but rather because of a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing process. Such defects could be related to the car parts, equipment, or the overall car structure.
In such cases, the automobile manufacturer or the part manufacturer could be held responsible for the injury or damage caused during the accident, as per the product liability law. This law is in place to ensure that companies are held accountable for any unsafe products that they release into the market, which could pose a risk to the public.
Drunk Driving Accidents
It is unfortunate that accidents caused by drunk driving are quite frequent and often have devastating consequences, resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities. In such cases, the drunk driver is typically held accountable for their actions.
However, it is worth noting that Illinois has enacted dram shop laws, which hold establishments that serve alcohol to the driver partly responsible for the incident. This means that in some cases, the establishment that served the alcohol might also face legal consequences for their role in the accident.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Dealing with accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists can be a complex and challenging process. In such cases, if you get hit by a motorist who does not have insurance coverage or has insufficient coverage to pay for your damages, you might have to file a claim with your own insurance company.
This means that you will have to rely on your own insurance policy to cover your losses, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. The process of filing a claim with your insurance company can also be a bit complicated and might require you to provide detailed information about the accident and your damages. You might also need to negotiate with your insurer to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses. To make things easier, consult with our firm before initiating the process so that your rights are protected.
Statute of Limitations in a Bolingbrook, IL Car Accident Lawsuit
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings might be initiated. This “clock” begins ticking from the date of the incident or sometimes from when the injury was discovered.
The statute of limitations matters because if you fail to file your lawsuit within the prescribed time limit, you will almost certainly lose your right to pursue legal recourse. Courts are typically unsympathetic to reasons for not filing on time unless rare exceptions apply.
In Bolingbrook, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you have been injured in a car accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Our Bolingbrook, IL Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
For a free case assessment with our car accident lawyers, call Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.