Car accidents are a common cause of injury. According to a report from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 63,834 car crashes that resulted in injuries in Illinois in 2019. Many crashes are unavoidable, but many more are caused by another driver’s distraction or carelessness behind the wheel.
Accordingly, victims who suffer injuries in car accidents may be able to recover compensation. If an accident was caused by a driver’s negligence, the negligent driver could be held liable for damages stemming from the accident. Our Rockford, IL car accident lawyers can help car crash victims recover the compensation they deserve.
To hear more about our services during your free initial case assessment with our car accident attorneys, call Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Car Accident in Rockford, IL
Determining who is responsible for damages in a car accident is not always a straightforward process. Our car accident lawyers can help you identify all parties responsible for your losses and hold them accountable for their actions. If the accident involved only two cars, you may be able to sue the driver who hit you for damages. However, if multiple drivers contributed to the accident, you may need to file a lawsuit against all of them. Additionally, if the owner of a vehicle allowed a careless or dangerous driver to operate their car, they could also be held liable. We will assist you in navigating these complex legal matters to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If the accident was caused by a commercial driver, their employer may be held responsible under the legal principle of respondeat superior. This doctrine states that employers can be held accountable for their employee’s negligent actions if the accident occurred while they were performing their job duties. In other words, if a commercial driver caused your injuries while on the job, you can typically sue both the driver and their employer, even if the employer was not present at the accident.
If you were injured while in a rideshare vehicle, companies like Uber and Lyft may also share responsibility. However, it is often difficult to hold these companies directly liable because their drivers are considered independent contractors. Despite this, you still have the right to sue the driver who caused the accident. Additionally, rideshare companies and their drivers generally carry higher insurance limits, which may be accessible in your case.
In rare cases, your injuries may be the result of a flaw in your vehicle’s design or manufacturing. Fortunately, manufacturers and designers can be held liable for defects in the vehicle that caused the accident. If your accident was caused by the negligence of a government agency, such as a city or state, they may also be held accountable. However, filing a lawsuit against a government agency typically requires additional steps, which we can help you navigate.
Elements of a Car Accident Lawsuit in Rockford, IL
Car accident lawsuits are a form of personal injury claim. Accordingly, there are four basic elements plaintiffs must satisfy before proceeding with a car accident lawsuit in Rockford, IL. Our Rockford car accident lawyers can help victims establish all of the following elements of their claim:
- The defendant had a duty of care.
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The plaintiff suffered an injury because of the defendant’s breach of duty.
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injury.
Each of these elements involves a specific set of rules and intricacies that will be applied to a car accident lawsuit. Car crash victims should consult with our Rockford car accident lawyers for help understanding the elements required to win a car accident case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Rockford, IL
Drivers are expected to use reasonable care and follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to appropriate standards behind the wheel. Drivers who cause accidents through their negligent conduct may be held liable for damages. The following are some common causes of car accidents in Rockford.
It can be very easy for drivers to lose track of their speed. Unfortunately, the chances of causing an accident are greatly increased at higher speeds. Furthermore, the injuries caused by high-speed accidents can be severe. Our Rockford car accident lawyers can help victims prove that their accident occurred because another driver was speeding.
Another very common cause of car accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving describes scenarios where a driver is operating a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity that takes their attention away from the road.
Furthermore, there are three types of distracted driving that can cause accidents: visual distraction, manual distraction, and cognitive distraction. Visual distraction involves a driver taking their eyes off the road, while manual distraction describes scenarios where a driver takes their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distraction occurs when a driver takes their mind off the task of driving. Some forms of distracted driving, like texting, involve all three types of distraction.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving drunk is very dangerous. When a person is impaired, their reaction times and decision-making abilities are inhibited. Drunk drivers will be held liable for damages stemming from any accident they cause. Our Rockford car accident lawyers can help gather evidence and build a case for any victims of drunk driving accidents.
Other Traffic Violations
Other traffic violations such as tailgating, failing to use turn signals, running stop signs, and failing to yield can also be considered negligence. Drivers who violate these laws can be held liable for accidents they cause. Our Rockford car accident lawyers can help victims prove that an accident was caused by these kinds of dangerous driving.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Rockford, IL
After experiencing a car accident, it is crucial to know what actions to take to safeguard your legal rights. It is typical to feel frightened and overwhelmed following the incident, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of receiving compensation in the future. Our car accident attorneys can take over once you have taken these initial steps and work to secure the compensation you deserve. To maximize your potential for recovering damages, follow these guidelines if you are ever in a car accident in Rockford:
Call the Police
If a car accident occurs, it is crucial to immediately contact the authorities. Regardless of the extent of damage or injuries sustained, law enforcement will arrive to investigate and speak with those involved. Once all relevant information has been gathered by the investigating officers, an official report will be created that outlines the specifics of the accident and any potential legal action that may occur. Our team can then help you in obtaining this report from the appropriate police department.
It is also important to exchange information with the other driver, including their insurance details, name, address, and phone number, if possible. This information can be used if a lawsuit is necessary. If the other driver refuses to cooperate, do not worry, as this information can usually be found in the police report. It is also wise to talk to any witnesses present at the scene as they may have observed important details that could be useful later on in court. Make sure to collect their contact information to prevent forgetting it later. While it is possible to win your case without witnesses, you stand a much better chance of success if others can provide statements about the other party’s negligence.
Before leaving the accident scene, consider using your cell phone to take pictures. This will help capture important details such as damages to the vehicles, debris on the road, the position of the vehicles after the accident, and any skid marks. Additionally, taking photographs can help to demonstrate where you were injured and preserve important information like the time of day and weather conditions. It is also crucial to document any injuries sustained as they may heal by the time of your court appearance, making them less visible. Taking pictures of your injuries will help to demonstrate their severity.
Get Medical Care
After a car accident, it is crucial to prioritize seeking medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort. You might have hidden injuries that may only surface later on. Consulting with medical professionals is necessary for your body’s healing process and to determine if you need additional treatment. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense and time-consuming to visit the emergency room after an accident, it is vital to have a record of your injuries if you plan to pursue compensation through legal action. Your medical records will serve as evidence that your current injuries were caused by the car accident you reported.
Contact Our Firm
We will work closely with you throughout the legal process to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the damages you have suffered. Our top priority is to help you secure payment for your medical expenses and lost wages while also safeguarding your legal rights. We can assist you in drafting important documents, such as your complaint, and communicate with other parties on your behalf. If negotiations fail to settle your case, we are fully prepared to present it to a judge or jury.
Common Injuries from Car Accidents in Rockford, IL
Car accidents can cause a wide range of devastating injuries. Injuries may depend on a variety of factors surrounding an accident, like speed and point of impact. However, some injuries are more common than others. The following are common injuries caused by car accidents in Rockford, IL:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Burn injuries
- Lacerations and punctures
- Dislocated joints
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damages
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injuries
Recovering damages for any injury can be complicated. Our Rockford car accident lawyers can help recover damages stemming from all injuries suffered because of car crashes.
Damages Available in a Rockford, IL Car Accident Lawsuit
The extent of damages suffered by car accident victims may vary. Accordingly, there are different kinds of financial compensation available to plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits. Our firm can help victims determine which of the following damages apply to their case:
Car crash victims may recover economic damages suffered because of a crash. Damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages are considered economic damages. Economic damages are often straightforward to calculate, but an experienced Rockford car accident attorney can still be of great assistance in helping you understand precisely what bills and expenses can be claimed as damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify. Car accident victims in Rockford may be able to recover non-economic damages for physical pain and emotional suffering incurred because of an accident. While these damages are harder to account for because there are no bills or statements associated with them, they are not any less severe. Our Rockford car accident lawyers will fight for victims to recover non-economic damages if they are available in their case.
Time Limits to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Rockford, IL
Under the Illinois statute of limitations, plaintiffs in Rockford have two years from the date of an accident to recover compensation for injuries stemming from the crash.
Victims can consult with our Rockford car accident lawyers for immediate assistance in gathering evidence relevant to their case. If you wait too long to collect evidence, evidence could be lost or destroyed. For example, witnesses might forget what happened entirely, or their stories could change. Traffic camera and security camera footage of the accident might be erased or overwritten. Even scars and injuries can fade over time, making it harder to prove their seriousness without photos and medical records.
If You Were in a Car Accident in Rockford, IL, Our Lawyers Can Help
Our car accident lawyers at Rhatigan Law Offices can offer you a free case review when you call us today at (312) 578-8502.