Cicero, IL Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents happen every day, and while many are lucky enough to walk away unharmed, many people suffer serious injuries. Let an experienced attorney help you get compensation from the negligent driver who caused the accident.

Your car accident case might be worth a considerable amount of compensation, especially if you have high medical bills and other costs. A vehicle collision usually stems from negligent behavior behind the wheel. Distracted or intoxicated drivers are unfortunately common. Even seemingly minor traffic code violations can cause big accidents. Compensation might be possible through a lawsuit, but we can explore insurance claims and private settlements, if available. While other drivers are often at the heart of an accident, their employers or others might be involved, too. We need evidence like photos from the scene, witnesses, and records from the crash to help us prove the case. We also need evidence of the money the accident cost you and any psychological distress you endured. If the other driver fled the scene, we can work with the authorities to find them.

For a confidential case evaluation free of charge, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and talk to our car accident lawyers.

What is Your Car Accident Worth in Cicero, IL?

Damages in car accident cases may differ greatly, depending on numerous factors and circumstances unique to your situation. It is best to speak to an experienced attorney about your case to get an idea of your damages and what they might be worth. Compensation tends to be based largely on economic losses and non-economic injuries. Additionally, punitive damages might play a role depending on the defendant’s behavior.

Economic damages are rooted in money. Specifically, the money you spent to recover from the accident may be factored into your overall damages. A major financial burden for car accident victims is medical bills. If your injuries were severe, your hospital bills were likely also significant.

We must also account for the cost of your vehicle and personal property. Replacing a totaled vehicle and the various contents within can be expensive. Often, people lose valuable personal belongings in a crash, like laptops, phones, and jewelry.

Your injuries might prevent you from returning to work for a while, maybe even indefinitely. Our car accident attorneys can help you determine how much income you have lost and might continue to lose and factor it into your damages.

Non-economic damages are rooted in your more personal and subjective injuries. These damages are considered non-economic because they are not based on how much they cost but may still be financially compensated.

Emotional, mental, or psychological distress is a major factor here. People who survive traumatic accidents or live with long-term medical complications and scars might live with deep psychological pain and trauma. These experiences, while subjective, deserve compensation.

Claiming Punitive Damages in a Cicero, IL Car Accident Case

Most cases consider economic and non-economic injuries and losses when compensation is assessed in car accident cases. However, additional damages might be assessed if the defendant’s behavior was so shocking or abhorrent that it simply cannot be ignored. Punitive damages may be awarded as a financial penalty or punishment for defendants.

Punitive damages may be awarded if a plaintiff can establish by clear and convincing evidence – a difficult burden of proof to meet – that the defendant caused the accident through reckless indifference to the unreasonable risk of harm they have created or evil intent or motive. If you believe the defendant caused the car accident on purpose to hurt you, or perhaps they were so reckless behind the wheel as to cause shock and outrage, you should talk to your lawyer about punitive damages.

Punitive damages are somewhat famous for being substantial. Large damages awards that make news headlines often involve significant punitive damages. In Illinois, punitive damages are not unlimited. According to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1115.05(a), punitive damages on personal injury claims, like for a car accident, may not be more than 3 times the value of economic damages.

How Vehicle Collisions Often Happen Around Cicero, IL

How your car accident occurred is a major detail that will help your attorney determine who should be held responsible in court. Part of what makes car crashes so dangerous is that there are so many possible causes. Below are some common causes of vehicle collisions, although there are far more.

Distractions on the road have become a significant problem. Drivers today are often distracted by cell phones, GPS devices, and other communication technologies in their cars. Often, newer cars nowadays are made to sync with your phone, making distractions all the more likely. It only takes a moment or two for a driver to lose focus on the road and cause a serious crash. If the other driver was on their phone or fiddling with their GPS device or radio, they should be held liable for causing the crash.

Another major concern on the road is intoxication. Drinking before getting behind the wheel is not just incredibly dangerous, but it is also illegal, and drunk drivers may face criminal penalties for their actions. Alcohol-related collisions are often severe. Drivers may be speeding more than they realize, and their reflexes are so dull that they make almost no attempt to avoid a crash. As such, victims are often struck very hard and badly injured.

Although common traffic violations are, well, common, they are also incredibly risky and the cause of many crashes. Seemingly simple violations of the traffic code, like speeding or failing to signal a turn, might feel like no big deal. However, they quickly become a big deal when they cause an accident.

How You Can Obtain Fair Compensation for a Car Accident in Cicero, IL

When another driver causes a collision, you might be in serious need of financial help to keep up with various expenses. On top of that, feelings of injustice and violation must be compensated fairly. Our car accident lawyers will help you determine the best way to obtain the compensation you rightly deserve.

Insurance Claims

Insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers. You cannot operate a vehicle on the road without being insured. As a result, drivers almost always explore legal options through insurance after a car accident. While many people believe they can handle a car insurance claim on their own, the process can be more difficult than you realize. Hire a lawyer to help you stand up to ruthless insurance companies when they refuse to pay you what your damages are worth.

Illinois operates under a fault-based insurance system, and injured drivers usually file claims with the other driver’s insurance company. This does not automatically mean you are covered. You must prove to the insurance company that their customer caused the accident. If the insurance company believes you are partially to blame, they might reduce potential compensation or just flat-out deny your claim.

Having a lawyer might put some pressure on the insurance company to play fair. Often, insurance companies look for any excuse to wiggle out of paying injured drivers to save money. Your lawyer can help you assert your rights and get compensation.


Injured drivers often pursue lawsuits when insurance claims are denied or otherwise do not play out as they hoped. If the insurance company denies your claims or the other driver is uninsured, your attorney can help you sue for compensation.

Like an insurance claim, a lawsuit requires you to present evidence of the other driver’s fault. However, lawsuits tend to involve higher evidentiary standards and strict legal procedures. Deviation from proper procedures could cost you the case.

A major highlight of lawsuits for car accidents is that the defendant’s insurance policy does not limit the plaintiff’s damages award. When you file an insurance claim, you may receive financial compensation up to the limit set by the defendant’s policy. There is no such limit in a lawsuit, and your attorney can help you recover the full value of your damages.

Private Settlements

Sometimes, you need to get compensation for your damages, but a lawsuit might be too lengthy, frustrating, or costly. Working out a settlement agreement with the other driver might be possible. A private settlement may be worked out outside the courtroom but may still be legally enforced by the court.

In a settlement, the defendant may agree to pay for your damages, and you may agree to drop your claims and waive your right to bring the cause of action. How much compensation you get is to be worked out and agreed upon by the parties. A lawyer can help you negotiate for the best possible settlement.

How to Get Evidence to Support Your Claims in a Cicero, IL Car Accident Case

You need some sort of evidence to support your claims in a car accident case. In fact, you need to show the court you have evidence backing up your claims when you file the initial complaint, although more evidence may be gathered later.

While important evidence is often located at the crash scene, this evidence might be quickly lost when the authorities clear the scene away. Drivers commonly take pictures and videos after an accident, often for insurance companies, and these recordings may be entered into evidence in a courtroom.

While the crash itself might be cleaned up fast, security cameras in the area might still contain video footage of the collision. We can check with nearby homes and businesses to see if any security cameras caught the crash on video. We can also use dashcam footage of the accident if it exists.

Testimony is a huge component of nearly any case. Not only should be talk to witnesses about what they saw during the accident, but your own testimony might be extremely important. Witnesses can shed light on how the accident happened, often from different viewpoints. You may testify about how the accident impacted you and the extent of your damages.

Recoverable Damages You Should Discuss with Your Attorney in a Cicero, IL Personal Injury Claim

Damages often represent the monetary costs of a car accident in addition to the mental toll it takes on the victims. Car accidents are not just painful to endure. They are also very expensive. You might be left with huge hospital bills, vehicle repair costs, and the expense of replacing various lost personal belongings that were in your car or on your person.

On top of all that, your injuries might have additional economic impacts on your life. You might be too injured to continue working for a while. In such a case, you can claim the value of your lost income. If your injuries are severe, you might have long-term or even lifelong medical needs that will continue to rack up big bills. Your future expenses related to your injuries should be estimated and accounted for.

Even your injuries that do not have a price should be compensated. Car accidents have a way of being psychologically damaging and distressing. People often have a hard time coping with how their injuries have affected their lives. For others, the feeling of life-or-death can be overwhelming and extremely painful. The mental scars of a bad car accident can last for years, and you should be compensated for all that you endure.

What Do I Do if the Other Driver Fled the Scene After a Car Crash in Cicero, IL?

Not all drivers stick around the accident scene. Unfortunately, many drivers do not stop at all. If you were hit by a negligent driver who then fled the scene, your case might be more complicated than you realize. Not only is it harder to sue the other driver, but your civil claims might take a backseat to criminal proceedings.

When a driver is involved in a crash and leaves before the police arrive, they might be charged with a hit-and-run. The bad news is that you cannot sue someone you cannot identify. While courts might allow you extra time to file your case because the defendant fled before they could be identified, time will eventually run out. The good news is that, since a hit-and-run is a serious criminal offense, the police will likely investigate and hopefully find the other driver.

For Help with Your Case, Call Our Cicero, IL Car Accident Attorneys

For a confidential case evaluation free of charge, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and talk to our car accident lawyers.