Evanston, IL Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are so common that we often do not bat an eye at the scene of an accident along the side of the road. Injuries in car accidents can be severe, and injured drivers can sue for compensation.

Accidents are unpredictable and might be caused by various factors on the road and behind the wheel. Some common causes of car accidents are distracted drivers, traffic violations, and driving at unsafe speeds. To get compensation, most drivers initially file an insurance claim. Depending on where the insurance claim meets the injured driver’s needs, the driver might also file a lawsuit. You have to have evidence for either an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Our team can help you gather the evidence necessary to support your claims and hopefully get the compensation you deserve.

Call our car accident lawyers today for a free case review. Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.

Typical Reasons Behind Many Car Accident Cases in Evanston, IL

A big part of dealing with a car accident is figuring out how it happened. While the cause of an accident is obvious in some cases, it is more difficult to determine in others. Even when we believe we know the truth of what happened, the defendant might claim a different version of events. Our car accident lawyers can help you prove the truth of how your accident occurred.

Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of concern on the road today. Communication devices like cell phones and tablets are everywhere, including inside vehicles, and drivers must resist the temptation to make a phone call or check text messages. Even if a driver picks up a cell phone for only a minute behind the wheel, they might cause a serious crash because they are no longer focused on the road.

Traffic violations consist of incidents where drivers somehow break the rules of the road. Perhaps the defendant in your case ran a red light or did not yield at an intersection. These might sound like minor violations, but they are serious safety risks. Even a minor violation can lead to a catastrophic accident.

Speed is a huge factor in many accidents. Even if speeding was not the direct cause, it might significantly worsen the accident and your injuries. Even when drivers do not exceed the speed limit, the limit might still be very high, such as on highways and interstates.

How Soon You Should File Your Car Accident Case in Evanston, IL

A lot of accident victims do not file their claims about their car accidents right away. Many people take some time to consider all their legal options while resting and recovering. Even so, you only have so much time to file your claims. If you do not file your case on time, you might lose the right to sue for damages.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois can be found under 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/13-202. Under this law, a plaintiff has only 2 years to file a lawsuit before their claim expires. The clock begins counting down on the day of your accident. Considering that many plaintiffs wait a while before they even consult with an attorney and that many claims take months to prepare before they can be filed, it should be no surprise that the 2-year deadline is very narrow.

If you were a minor when the accident happened, your deadline to file might be further out. Minors are often unable to bring legal action on their own. As such, they cannot be expected to abide by normal statutes of limitations. For example, if a newly licensed 16-year-old is injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations might expire by the time they turn 18 and can sue. As such, the statute may be tolled for minors until they turn 18. This means the 2-year time limit does not begin until the injured plaintiff turns 18.

Recoverable Damages in Evanston, IL Car Accident Cases

Having an attorney to review your damages is incredibly important. Plaintiffs tend to focus more on larger injuries like medical bills and vehicle damage while overlooking smaller damages that might add up to significant compensation. To avoid missing out on damages and compensation, hire a lawyer with the experience and skills to identify and evaluate your damages.

Financial Losses

A huge part of how we calculate damages is your monetary losses. Car accidents are not cheap, and many people have a hard time covering the costs. First and foremost, we need to account for your hospital bills. Car accident victims are often badly hurt and need emergency medical care. This treatment can be very costly, especially for those with severe injuries in need of long-term treatment.

The cost of property damage should also be factored into our calculations. You might need to repair or totally replace your car. You might have lost personal items that were inside your car during the crash. Take some time to inventory all the items that have been damaged or lost in the accident, no matter how small the cost might seem.

People often do not immediately think about how the accident affects their job. While some people can take paid time off from work, others are not so fortunate. The longer you cannot work, the more income you might lose. Your lost earnings should be accounted for in your damages calculations.

Pain and Distress

Not all damages are derived from money or financial costs. Many damages are non-economic in nature. We should think about your pain and suffering, both physical and mental, after the crash. Car crashes tend to be trauma-inducing, and survivors often live with some degree of emotional distress for a long time. The physical pain from your injuries might also take a significant toll on you.

How non-economic damages are evaluated is somewhat hard to pin down. Since these damages often do not cost plaintiffs actual money, determining what kind of financial compensation they deserve is subjective. Juries typically have the final say, and they make their decision based on your evidence. It is crucial that we show them how much your injuries and the accident overall have negatively impacted your day-to-day life.

How to Get Compensation for Your Injuries After a Car Accident in Evanston, IL

The main goal of legal action after a car accident is to get compensation for damages. Damages and injuries in many accident cases are severe, and plaintiffs need financial compensation to cover various debts and expenses. Our car accident lawyers can help you advocate for the most compensation possible.


Often, the first thing injured drivers do after an accident is to look into filing an insurance claim. All drivers are required to have insurance in Illinois, so insurance claims are a normal part of the process when dealing with a car accident.

Illinois is a fault-based state, meaning injured drivers must file third-party claims with the other driver’s insurance company. Next, the injured driver has to prove to the insurance company that the other driver was at fault for the crash. Suppose the insurance company does not believe the other driver is to blame, or they suspect the injured driver partially contributed to the accident. In that case, they might reduce compensation or deny the claim.

If the other driver has no insurance, injured drivers might file claims with their own uninsured motorist coverage. MedPay can also be used to cover medical expenses from the accident.


Although insurance can help injured drivers recover some compensation, it does not always satisfy all of a person’s needs. Insurance often only covers certain economic damages, and many drivers’ injuries and expenses exceed the insurance policy’s limits. At that point, our lawyers can help you file a lawsuit to get the remainder of your damage covered.

A lawsuit can help you recover economic and non-economic damages related to the accident. Economic damages often include medical bills, lost earnings from missing work, and property damage. While some of these expenses might be paid for through insurance, not everything might be covered.

Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, both mental and physical, as well as negative experiences like humiliation or the overall loss of enjoyment of your life. These damages often do not involve money and are usually not covered by insurance. Often, a lawsuit is the only way to get compensation for these damages.

Searching for Evidence for Your Car Accident Claims in Evanston, IL

Collecting evidence for a car accident case can start almost immediately. If you can, take photos and record videos of the crash scene. Eventually, the police will arrive and begin clearing the scene away from the road, and much important evidence might be lost. Your photos and videos can help preserve details about the accident that we can use to prove your claims.

Car accidents often happen in heavy traffic, and many people might see the collision occur. These witnesses should be tracked down so they can provide testimony about what they saw. Witness testimony can be very persuasive even without physical evidence or recordings. If our car accident lawyers can find several witnesses who back up your claims, you might be more likely to get the compensation you need.

Why You Need a Lawyer to Assist You with Your Evanston, IL Personal Injury Case

People sometimes resist the idea of hiring a lawyer to help them after a car accident. The thought of legal fees on top of a lengthy court battle is not exactly appealing. The truth is that a lawyer might help you get greater compensation than you might on your own while making the legal process much smoother to deal with.

To begin, your attorney can help you explore your legal options. While a lawsuit is certainly on the table, it might not be your only worthwhile option. If the defendant is willing to work out a good deal, your attorney might be able to negotiate a settlement. This way, you can cover your damages without going to court. If not, your lawyer can work on preparing your lawsuit while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

As you prepare for your impending trial, your lawyer can determine the best way to present strong evidence and arguments. Your attorney should have the legal experience and training to understand what legal elements need to be proven and how to prove them in order to get you financial compensation. Effective legal strategy is one of the biggest reasons why people need attorneys.

What Happens if the Other Driver Fled the Scene After a Car Accident in Evanston, IL

Bringing the other driver to justice and getting fair compensation for your injuries is not always simple. For some, identifying the other driver is a long, frustrating, and emotionally exhausting journey. If the driver who hit you fled the scene before they could be identified, you might have trouble filing a lawsuit against them.

Under Illinois law 625 I.L.C.S. § 5/11-402(a), all drivers involved in an accident are required to remain at the scene of the accident until the authorities arrive. If a driver leaves the scene before the police arrive, they can be charged with a hit and run, a Class A misdemeanor.

Not only are drivers required to stay at the scene, but under 625 I.L.C.S. § 5/11-403, they must provide their information to the person they hit if the other person is injured. If the other driver refuses to identify themselves, they might be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

If you were the victim of a hit and run, we can work with the police to find the other driver. The police will likely want to investigate and try to track down the defendant. Any information you have about the accident might help the investigation. In the meantime, we can work on preparing a lawsuit for when the defendant is found.

Contact Our Evanston, IL Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review

Call the Rhatigan Law Offices today at (312) 578-8502 and schedule a free review of your case with our car accident attorneys.