Schaumburg, IL Car Accident Lawyer

A car crash might be a major inconvenience or an outright disaster. Either way, you could have serious injuries and significant damages. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to get compensation.

Every day, people try to navigate the legal system on their own, but this is not the best idea. You should hire an experienced attorney with knowledge of laws and procedures that you can use to your advantage. To prove your claims, you need evidence showing that the defendant is liable and effective legal arguments to convince the jury of that. Numerous parties might be liable for a car accident, including drivers, businesses, or even government entities. Damages should account for the financial losses you experienced in addition to the mental and physical toll the accident took on your life.

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

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Schaumburg, IL

In Schaumburg, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is a legal time limit within which a victim of a car accident must file a lawsuit against the party or parties they believe are responsible for their injuries. According to 735 I.L.C.S. 5/13-202, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have a two-year window from the date of the accident to initiate your lawsuit against the liable party. Failure to file a lawsuit within the prescribed period will likely result in losing the right to sue for damages.

However, under certain circumstances, there are some exceptions to the two-year statute, according to 735 I.L.C.S. 5/13-211. For example, if the victim was a minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident, the clock on the statute of limitations might not start ticking until they turn 18 or regain competence. In such cases, the two-year period might commence from the date the victim turns 18 or regains competence.

Additionally, 735 I.L.C.S. 5/13-212 recognizes the “discovery rule,” which can extend the statute of limitations. This rule states that if the victim was not aware of, and could not reasonably have been expected to be aware of, the injury immediately after the accident, the two-year period might commence from the date the injury was or should have been discovered. This means that if the victim only learns about the injury after the two-year period has passed, the statute of limitations might be extended to allow for the filing of a lawsuit.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney for Your Schaumburg, IL Car Accident Case

Lawsuits are infamously complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating. People often worry that they will invest significant time and work into their case only to lose and end up with nothing. While this is a possibility, hiring an experienced lawyer might help you get the compensation you need and rightly deserve.

While we often think about dramatic legal battles in the courtroom when we think of lawsuits, this is only one small portion of the entire legal process. Most of the work is actually done long before we get to court. An attorney can help you assess your damages and track down evidence to support your claims in a car accident case before your complaint is even filed. Much of this work is required for the complaint and must be done early in your case. Because the work can be overwhelming and mired in legal complexities, it is best to get a good lawyer to help you with the heavy lifting.

Our car accident lawyers can help you find evidence at the accident scene and track down witnesses who might have valuable information. Additionally, we can meet to discuss your potential case in person or remotely, whichever is best for you.

How to Prove Your Claims in a Car Accident Lawsuit in Schaumburg, IL

When we file your complaint, we need to provide complete and specific details about where and how your car accident occurred. We must also explain why we believe the defendant or defendants should be held liable and what evidence we have to support your claims. Without this information, your case cannot go forward. This means evidence and arguments to prove your claims should be prepared well in advance of your court date.

Evidence often comes straight from the scene of the crash, although it might also come from various other places. Physical evidence like bits of the vehicles or even photographs of the vehicles themselves might be helpful in explaining the accident and your injuries. People in the area who saw the crash or have other first-hand knowledge relevant to the case might be called to testify as witnesses. If we find security camera footage depicting the crash, we can show exactly how the accident happened in a video.

Simply having evidence is not enough to convince a jury of your claims. Jurors are free to believe or disregard any evidence presented to them. Even if we have evidence of how the defendant caused the crash, the jury does not have to accept or believe it. As such, we need to develop persuasive arguments to accompany the evidence.

Liability for Schaumburg, IL Car Accidents

When you file a lawsuit for a car accident, it is crucial that we include the right people as defendants. Determining whom to name in your lawsuit can be tricky, as accidents are often complicated. Accidents involving multiple vehicles tend to be especially difficult to piece together, and we might end up suing several drivers before narrowing it down to only a few or just one.

We might need to consult with witnesses or even accident reconstruction experts to figure out whom to hold accountable. Eyewitnesses can help us determine which driver was doing what at the time of the crash. Perhaps one driver says they stopped at the red light before the crash, but an eyewitness driving behind them begs to differ.

Accident reconstruction experts can take evidence from the crash scene, like tire skid marks, information about how the vehicles were damaged, and details from police reports to scientifically recreate how the crash likely happened. Using this information, we can determine who should be held responsible.

Parties that Can Be Held Responsible for a Car Accident in Schaumburg, IL

The process of identifying the responsible parties in a car accident is an intricate one that depends on several factors. In fact, several parties could be held liable for a car accident, including the driver, the vehicle owners, the manufacturers of the vehicles or their parts, and even public entities responsible for road maintenance. Determining who is at fault can be straightforward sometimes, but in many cases, less obvious parties might share liability. The following are parties commonly held liable for a car accident in Schaumburg:

The Other Driver

When it comes to determining liability in a car accident, the most apparent party that could be held responsible is the other driver involved in the collision. If their negligent or reckless behavior caused the accident, they should be held liable for the damages.

Negligent behavior could include failing to obey traffic rules, disregarding road conditions, or driving while distracted. Reckless behavior, on the other hand, often involves speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in road rage. The extent of liability will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident.

Multiple Drivers

Of course, it is possible that more than one driver might be at fault. When this happens, Schaumburg adheres to a comparative negligence rule, which means that the liability of each driver is determined based on their percentage of fault.

In other words, if multiple drivers were involved in the accident, each driver could be held proportionally responsible according to the degree of their contribution to the incident. This system ensures that all parties involved in the accident are held accountable for their actions and that damages and compensation are awarded fairly.

Vehicle Manufacturers

In the event of an accident where one of the vehicles involved was found to have a defect, the manufacturer of the vehicle might be held legally responsible. This could happen if the defect, either in the design or manufacturing process of the vehicle, was a contributing factor to the accident. Additionally, if the manufacturer was aware of the defect and failed to warn consumers of the known issue, they could also be held liable.

Vehicle Parts Manufacturers

Similarly, manufacturers of specific car parts can also be held accountable if their product is found to be faulty or defective and contributes to the occurrence of an accident. This includes a wide range of components that are critical to a vehicle’s safe operation, such as brakes, tires, airbags, and many others.

In fact, any part that fails and plays a role in causing an accident can be subject to legal action. This helps to ensure that manufacturers maintain high standards of quality and safety in their products, ultimately helping to protect drivers and passengers on the road.

Government Entities

Car accidents can happen because of a variety of reasons, such as poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or even driver negligence. In situations where the accident is caused by poorly maintained roads or inadequate signage, the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads might be held accountable for the accident.

However, pursuing a claim against a government entity involves a different set of rules and procedures and typically has a shorter timeframe compared to filing a claim against an individual driver. In Schaumburg, a formal claim must typically be filed within one year of the accident. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal advice promptly, as there might be strict deadlines for filing a claim against a government entity.

A Commercial Driver’s Employer

In situations where an accident occurs because of the fault of a driver who was on the job at the time of the incident, the legal responsibility might extend beyond the individual driver. This is particularly true in cases where the driver is employed by a company, such as a delivery driver or a commercial truck driver. In such cases, the employer of the driver might bear some measure of responsibility for the accident.

This legal liability is based on the principle of respondeat superior, which holds that companies are responsible for the actions of their employees that occur during the course of their employment. This means that if an employee causes an accident while performing work duties, the company can be held liable for any damages or injuries that result from the accident. However, if the driver was acting in a personal capacity, you might not be able to hold the company accountable but can still sue the individual driver.

Possible Damages in Schaumburg, IL Car Accident Cases

Damages should include all the losses and injuries you incurred because of the car accident. While many damages are rooted in monetary losses and expenses, others are related to the pain you endured after the crash.

Economic damages might be significant in car accident cases. Medical treatment is infamous for being expensive. If you do not have health insurance, there is a good chance that a bad car accident will ruin you financially. You should also claim the costs to repair or replace your vehicle. If personal belongings inside the car were damaged, you can also claim them. On top of all that, you might have lost work because of your injuries. Any income you missed out on should be added to your economic damages.

Non-economic damages are often not rooted in money or financial losses. Instead, they are more subjective and based on the negative impact the accident had on your life. Physical pain and emotional trauma are common in car accidents, and you deserve compensation for those experiences. You can also claim humiliation, damage to your reputation, and an overall loss of enjoyment from your life. Since these damages do not have price tags attached, the jury ultimately decides what they are worth.

Contact Our Schaumburg, IL Car Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Claims

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