Naperville, IL Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are a common cause of personal injury lawsuits. Hundreds of people are injured each year in car accidents in Illinois, and the injuries they suffer can be severe or even fatal.

When one driver is injured because of another driver’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation. However, the process for recovering damages can be complicated. Car accident lawsuits in Naperville often involve gathering copious amounts of evidence and negotiating with insurance companies. Insurance companies may use the vast resources at their disposal to decrease the value of a plaintiff’s claim in a car accident lawsuit. You should always have a lawyer on your side to fight this pressure and work to get you the compensation you need.

If you have been injured in a car accident, get help from our car accident lawyers by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 964-8342 for a free case review.

Naperville, IL Car Accident Lawsuit Process

The process of seeking compensation for your car accident injuries can be long and tiresome. Understanding what to expect from a car accident lawsuit can help you navigate your road to recovery. Our car accident lawyers can offer guidance throughout the process and help you understand the following steps in a car accident lawsuit:

Dealing with the Aftermath

There are steps you can take immediately after an accident to protect your chances of winning a car accident lawsuit. The first step is to call 911 and get all injuries treated. If anyone requires immediate medical attention, the dispatcher can send an ambulance. Additionally, a police officer will need to visit the scene and make a report. The police report may be extremely helpful in building your car accident lawsuit.

The next step a driver should take after an accident is to exchange information with all other parties to the crash. Contact information and other details should be recorded for other drivers and witnesses, including the following:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses should be collected.
  • Insurance information for all drivers
  • License plate numbers of all vehicles involved
  • Make, model, and color of all vehicles involved

Pictures and videos of the scene can also be valuable when establishing circumstances surrounding the crash, such as weather and road conditions. Furthermore, pictures may be used to prove property damage. Lastly, it can be valuable for car accident victims to write down or record their personal recollections of the accident while their memory is fresh.

Victims should also be careful with what they say immediately after an accident. It may be natural for individuals to apologize after a car crash, even if it was not their fault. However, a simple apology can be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Our car accident lawyers can offer more in-depth advice regarding what to do after a car accident in your specific case.

Gathering Evidence

A crucial stage in any car accident lawsuit is the gathering of evidence. During this stage, a plaintiff will be tasked with accumulating evidence to prove their claim. Examples of relevant evidence in car accident cases include witness statements, police reports, medical records, and expert opinions. This evidence will be used to establish who was at fault for an accident and the extent of damages it caused.

The insurance company will also gather evidence of their own. They will often hire their own lawyers, doctors, and private investigators to disprove your claims or minimize the supposed impact of the accident. Our car accident lawyers can help you gather evidence to build a strong case.


The next step in the car accident lawsuit process involves negotiating with insurance companies. Insurance companies may make early, low-dollar settlement offers in the days following a car accident. It is important for car accident victims to take time to assess the full extent of their damages suffered before agreeing to any settlements.

Defense lawyers working for insurance companies will use various tactics to get car accident plaintiffs to accept these low-dollar settlement offers. Our car accident lawyers can lean on years of experience dealing with defense lawyers to help us negotiate a fair settlement in your case.


If a fair settlement offer cannot be reached, the parties to a car accident lawsuit will go to trial. Going to trial can result in greater compensation for the plaintiff, or it may have the opposite effect. Plaintiffs in car accident cases should consult with a lawyer to weigh the potential risks and rewards of taking their case to trial.

Damages Available in a Naperville, IL Car Accident Lawsuit

Multiple types of damages are available to Naperville plaintiffs in car accident cases. Some damages may be easier than others to prove. Furthermore, the process for recovering each category of damages can differ. In a free case review, our car accident lawyers can help you determine what damages may be available in your car accident case.

These damages are usually divided into two categories:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are often more easily accounted for. Economic damages are based on expenses and financial consequences you face because of the accident and can include the cost of lost wages, medical bills, property damage, lost future earning capacity, and other losses. These damages can be established with evidence like medical bills and pay stubs.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are losses that may be more difficult to explain or quantify because they do not have bills or financial statements attached to them. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, among others. Despite being harder to calculate, non-economic damages can be just as severe or even worse than economic damages.

Sharing the Fault for a Car Accident in Naperville, IL

It is not all that unusual for both drivers in an accident to share the blame. However, in many situations, one driver is far more to blame for the crash than the other. Even if you are somewhat responsible for causing the accident, you might still be able to sue the other driver for your damages.

Illinois’ modified comparative negligence rule can be found under 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1116(c). According to this rule, plaintiffs who were partly to blame for their accidents may still recover damages in a lawsuit. However, their damages are reduced proportionately to their share of the blame, often expressed as a percentage. For example, if you are deemed 15% at fault, your total damages may be reduced by 15%.

Additionally, there is a cut-off for how much a plaintiff may contribute to the accident before recovery of damages is no longer possible. If your share of the blame exceeds 50%, you are barred from recovery.

It is not uncommon for defendants to allege contributory negligence to hopefully reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay or even avoid liability altogether. Your attorney can help you defend yourself against such allegations and keep your compensation as high as possible.

Statute of Limitations in Naperville Car Accident Lawsuits

The statute of limitations is governed by state law and states how long plaintiffs have to file a claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years. Accordingly, car accident victims in Naperville have two years from the date of their crash to file a car accident lawsuit. However, people may forget what happened over time, or evidence can be lost. Our car accident lawyers can help you gather and preserve evidence and file your claim quickly to avoid running afoul of time limits.

Different Kinds of Car Accident Cases in Naperville, IL

There are as many different kinds of car accidents as there are drivers on the road. Understanding the nature of your accident may help you and your lawyer develop a more effective legal strategy. Below are some common kinds of accidents, but there are many others.

Rear-End Collision

Rear-end accidents are very common. They may range from minor fender-benders that can be worked out through insurance to severe collisions with extensive bodily injuries. A rear-end crash usually occurs when one driver comes to a complete stop, often at a light or stop sign, and a driver behind them fails to hit their brakes in time and hits them.

In many of these accidents, the driver in the back is at fault. They might be distracted, speeding, or otherwise driving negligently. In other cases, the driver at the front might be to blame if they stopped short with no brake lights, leaving the driver behind them little time to stop. This is sometimes called brake-checking and leads to numerous collisions.

Hit and Run

Hit and run collisions are among the worst accidents on the road because negligent drivers leave vulnerable victims alone on the road. A hit and run occurs when one driver in an accident leaves the scene before the police arrive.

While many people think of hit and runs as drivers fleeing the scene without stopping, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the other driver stops to check on the other driver, panics, and then flees. As long as they leave before the police arrive, it may be considered a hit and run.

The defendant who hit you might be criminally charged for a hit and run, and your civil case might be on the back burner for a while. The upside is that if the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, we can use that conviction as evidence in your civil lawsuit.

Blind Spot Accidents

Drivers cannot see absolutely everything on the road from the driver’s seat. While mirrors and windows might help drivers be aware of their surroundings, certain areas around the vehicle are blocked from view. If you are in another vehicle blind spots, an accident might occur if the other driver is negligent.

One possibility is that the other driver tried to merge into your lane but did not see you because you were in their blind spot. Blind spots must be checked using side mirrors and a quick look over the shoulder. Merging or turning drivers should also signal before they move so that other drivers have time to react and get out of the way. If these things did not happen, the other driver should be held liable for causing the accident.

Multi-Vehicle Crashes

Some crashes involve more than just two vehicles and drivers. Multi-vehicle accidents are not uncommon, especially in places where there is heavy traffic, like major highways. Some multi-vehicle accidents involve one negligent driver causing a domino effect accident where they hit one driver who hits another. Other multi-vehicle accidents involve several negligent drivers whose actions come together to cause the accident.

These kinds of accidents can be tricky as it might be difficult to understand who was negligent and who is another victim. You must also talk to your lawyer about the possibility of suing more than one defendant or working with other plaintiffs.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Naperville, IL

Unfortunately, many car accidents occur because of drivers’ negligent behavior. Our car accident lawyers can help determine if your collision stems from any of the following:

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous forms of negligence that leads to car accidents. When drivers operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their cognitive and motor skills become impaired, making them more likely to cause accidents. Alcohol affects a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to focus on the road, increasing the risk of collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. Drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities, leaving victims and their families with the devastating consequences of someone else’s reckless behavior.


Speeding is another common form of negligence that contributes to many car accidents. When drivers exceed the speed limit or travel too fast for road and weather conditions, they reduce their ability to react to unexpected situations and increase their stopping distance. Speeding accidents can be particularly dangerous because the force of impact is significantly higher at higher speeds, leading to more severe injuries. Speeding drivers may also lose control of their vehicles, especially on curves or slippery roads, causing them to collide with other vehicles or objects on the road.

Running Red Lights

Running red lights is negligent and poses a significant risk to all road users, including pedestrians and other motorists. When drivers disregard traffic signals and run red lights, they risk causing side-impact collisions with vehicles lawfully crossing the intersection. These accidents can be particularly dangerous because the side of a vehicle offers less protection to occupants than the front or rear, making injuries more likely to be severe.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a widespread issue on the roads today, primarily due to the increased use of smartphones and other electronic devices. When drivers engage in activities like texting, talking on the phone, using navigation systems, or even eating while driving, their attention is diverted from the road. Distracted drivers are less likely to notice potential hazards, react to traffic changes promptly, or maintain proper lane control, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and other types of accidents.


Tailgating, or following too closely, is a form of negligence that often leads to rear-end collisions. When drivers fail to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, they leave little room to react if the lead vehicle suddenly slows down or stops. Tailgating can be particularly dangerous at high speeds or in congested traffic, where sudden stops are more likely to occur. Rear-end collisions caused by tailgating can result in whiplash injuries, concussions, and other soft tissue injuries.

Illegal Lane Changes

Illegal lane changes are negligent driving behaviors that can lead to sideswipe accidents and collisions. When drivers change lanes without signaling, fail to check their blind spots, or make abrupt lane changes without sufficient clearance, they can collide with other vehicles. Illegally changing lanes can catch other drivers off-guard and create dangerous situations, especially on multi-lane roads or highways where traffic is moving at high speeds.

Improper Left Turns

Improper left turns are a common cause of car accidents at intersections. When drivers fail to yield the right of way or misjudge the speed of oncoming vehicles, they may turn left in front of another car, resulting in a collision. Improper left turns are particularly hazardous because they can lead to T-bone accidents, where the front of another strikes the side of one vehicle. These collisions can cause severe injuries, especially if the point of impact is near the driver or passenger’s door.

Areas Around Naperville, IL Where Car Accidents Can Happen

Many state and interstate highways run in and around Naperville, and car accidents are common. City streets are also breeding grounds for accidents and should be approached with caution. Our car accident lawyers are familiar with the streets and highways of the area and can help you after an accident.

Route 59, a state highway, runs right through Naperville. As a major highway and artery of the city, it sees its fair share of heavy traffic. Major highways like this tend to have higher speed limits, making accidents a bit riskier. If you are injured in a crash on the state highway, you will likely encounter the state police before getting transported to a hospital.

City streets can also be dangerous. While speed limits are usually a bit lower, city streets are often more narrow and restrictive, leaving less wiggle room for drivers. For example, you might be injured in an accident along 75th Street, which runs through most of Naperville.

Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Naperville, IL

Car accidents can produce a wide array of debilitating injuries. If you suffered any of the following, then you may be entitled to substantial compensation:


Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when the head and neck are jerked forward and then backward in a sudden, forceful motion. This often happens in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can cause neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness. Treatment for whiplash may involve rest, physical therapy, pain management techniques, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Broken Bones

The impact of a car accident can cause bones to fracture or break. Common bones affected include the arms, legs, ribs, and collarbone. Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the severity and location of the fracture but may involve casting, splinting, or surgical intervention to realign and stabilize the bone for proper healing.

Head Injuries

Head injuries in car accidents can range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The force of impact can cause the brain to hit the skull, leading to bruising, swelling, or more severe damage. Mild head injuries may require rest and observation, while more severe TBIs may necessitate surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Car accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, which can cause partial or complete paralysis. The spinal cord is a delicate and essential part of the nervous system, and damage to it can have life-altering consequences. Treatment for spinal cord injuries may involve surgery, medication, physical therapy, and assistive devices like wheelchairs to improve mobility and function.

Internal Injuries

The impact of a car accident can cause internal organs to be bruised or damaged, leading to internal bleeding or organ failure. Internal injuries are not always immediately apparent and may require medical imaging and diagnostic tests for accurate diagnosis. Treatment may involve surgery to repair damaged organs and close any internal bleeding.

Cuts and Lacerations

Broken glass, loose objects, or vehicle debris can cause cuts and lacerations in a car accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may involve cleaning the wound, stitches, and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Chest Injuries

The force of impact in a car accident can cause drivers and passengers to collide with the steering wheel, dashboard, or seatbelt, leading to chest injuries like bruising, broken ribs, or internal organ damage. Treatment may involve pain management, rest, and, in severe cases, surgical intervention to repair fractured ribs or damaged organs.

Psychological Trauma

Car accidents can cause emotional and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. Mental health support and counseling are essential to help accident victims cope with the emotional aftermath of the crash.

If You Have Been Injured Because of a Car Accident in Naperville, IL, Our Lawyers Can Help

If you suffered an injury because of a car accident, seek guidance from experienced Naperville car accident lawyers by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 964-8342 for a free case review.