Des Plaines, IL Car Accident Lawyer

Driving your car is likely an everyday activity for you in Des Plaines. While you might do your best to avoid an accident, sometimes you cannot avoid other people’s negligence.

When another driver’s negligence injures you, our lawyers can help you pursue compensation through a lawsuit. A legal claim is often the best way to determine the exact circumstances leading to the accident. A lawsuit will also allow our team to collect evidence not in your possession, which can further clarify how your accident occurred. In some cases, we might discover other individuals who share the blame and should pay some of your damages. Even if the driver fled your accident, we can explore options with you to keep your case moving forward.

For a free case assessment with our car accident attorneys, call Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.

Why Car Accident Claims Are Filed in Des Plaines, IL

There is no shortage of reasons why car accident lawsuits are filed in Des Plaines. However, the vast majority are the result of someone’s negligence. Obviously, car accidents do not simply happen on their own for no reason. Our car accident lawyers know that there is almost always someone who acted negligently and can help you prove how. Determining exactly how your accident was caused is important because it will inform the legal strategies we use in your case. The cause might also point to other parties who should be named as defendants. The following are the most common causes of car accidents our team sees in Des Plaines:

Distracted Driving

Many lawsuits are filed because another driver was distracted. While a driver should focus on the road and its surroundings, it does not always work out that way. Many drivers are overconfident in their ability to multitask and do not hesitate to take a call or send a text while behind the wheel. However, it only takes an instant for an accident to happen. Our team can get evidence, like the driver’s phone records, to see if they used it before or just before the collision.

We can also argue that the defendant was likely distracted if they were ticketed for running a red light or stop sign. If they had been paying attention, they would likely not have failed to see the traffic signal, thereby preventing the accident.

Illegal Turns

Illegal turns are also the cause of many accidents in the area. Some drivers never get into the habit of using their turn signals, creating a dangerous situation every time they change direction. If a driver fails to use a turn signal, you will not know if they are turning or stopping before it is too late. If they did not use their turn signal because the light was out, it should be cited in the police report. We can use a ticket for an unfixed turn signal as evidence of negligence in your claim.

Other accidents happen when drivers try turning from a lane not designated for it. For example, most major intersections have a turning lane for those going left. Sometimes, though, a driver will attempt the left turn from one of the continuing lanes of travel. The accident could be catastrophic depending on how many lanes the negligent driver was attempting to cross. However, surveillance cameras might have recorded the accident if the intersection had traffic cameras or there were nearby businesses with security cameras.


Speeding is a major cause of injuries and is responsible for many of the deadly vehicle accidents in Des Plaines. Speed limits are set to correspond with what is safe in that area. Speed limits are higher on highways because pedestrians are not allowed on them, and they rarely have intersections. On the other hand, speed limits will be lower in residential neighborhoods, so drivers have more time to react. When drivers speed, they limit the time they have to react before an accident occurs. They are also more likely to lose control of their vehicle and cause a multi-vehicle crash.


Lawsuits for tailgating can either be one of the most straightforward cases or deceptively challenging. In most cases, recovering compensation is not too much trouble if you were the driver who was rear-ended. There is a presumption that the driver following behind is liable when a tailgating accident happens. This makes sense, as they are the ones with the view ahead, and there is no expectation that drivers in front will be constantly aware of what is happening behind them.

These cases become more complicated when the driver in the back is not liable for causing the accident. The defendant is certain to claim that you were tailgating, but they might have contributed to or outright caused the collision. For instance, you would be more likely to hit them from behind if they failed to use a turn signal. Even if you were following too closely, this should prevent you from recovering compensation for the share of the accident that was the other driver’s fault.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime. However, you can also file a lawsuit in civil court for injuries caused by a drunk driver, regardless of whether they were prosecuted for the offense.

Victims of DUI accidents often need significant compensation to get through their recovery, which is why you will want to work with our attorneys to calculate the full range of your damages. We will be sure to account for your economic and non-economic losses and make a claim for punitive damages. Punitive damages are usually awarded in cases where the behavior went beyond mere negligence. Since driving under the influence is a crime, the court will likely award punitive damages to punish the defendant in civil court.

Poor Weather

Sometimes, bad weather is used as an excuse for a car accident. In many cases, poor weather contributes to an accident, but it cannot excuse another driver’s negligence. Des Plaines sees its fair share of inclement weather, including severe thunderstorms and blizzards. All drivers have a duty to drive with care, which includes adjusting to the weather. A road might have a 50 m.p.h. Speed limit, but that might not be a safe speed during a storm.

Hit and Runs

A hit-and-run accident can leave you feeling like you have no options to get justice. Fortunately, you can still file a lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver even if you do not know their identity. According to  625 I.L.C.S. § 10-301(a), claims against unknown hit-and-run drivers can be served on the Illinois Secretary of State. After that, our team can help you locate them to move your case forward.

Call Our Des Plaines, IL Car Accident Attorneys for Help Today

Our car accident lawyers at Rhatigan Law Offices can provide you with a free case review when you call (312) 578-8502.