When injured in a car accident, you could seek reimbursement from the liable party. Understanding the Illinois car accident claims process can help you secure compensation. This process can be complex, especially if the crash involves multiple drivers.
You could file a claim or lawsuit for damages, but you likely have questions about both actions. There is a lot of information to take in.
Illinois Follows a Modified Comparative Negligence Doctrine for Damages
Illinois is a fault state, which means the party responsible for a car crash pays for the damages. This is contrary to no-fault states, where victims use their insurance policy to cover damages before pursuing damages from the other driver.
When claiming compensation after an Illinois car accident, you must prove that another party is at fault. You could file for damages from all negligent parties if more than one other driver caused the accident.
Options for Claiming Car Accident Compensation in Illinois
Illinois presents you with three options for getting reimbursement after a car crash. The route you take will depend on how the accident occurred. One way to claim compensation in Illinois is by filing against your insurance policy.
This process occurs when you are liable for the crash. You can also use your own policy when an uninsured motorist hits you, or you are a victim of a hit-and-run. Alternatively, you could send a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurer. You will likely have to engage in negotiations with the insurer. Then, you would wait for the insurer to investigate and confirm the validity and value of your losses.
If you disagree with the compensation presented by your insurer or a third party, you could file a lawsuit. Here, you will need to gather enough evidence proving all four elements of negligence. You must also support your case with evidence indicating the financial expenses the crash caused.
Evidence You Can Use When Claiming Illinois Car Accident Compensation
When claiming reimbursement through any of the three options available to you, you must present evidence. This means that you need to understand each event that led to the crash.
Video Evidence Could Display the Negligence That Harmed You
One piece of evidence you may use for this process is video footage. This may come from CCTV cameras on buildings near the scene or traffic cameras. Watching and analyzing video footage of the crash will simplify your understanding of each driver’s behavior.
For example, you can identify if a motorist was using the wrong lane during the crash. You may also prove that they did not observe various road safety regulations, leading to the accident. Such violations could include:
- Not indicating before turning
- Using their mobile phone when driving
- Wearing headphones or earbuds
Your Medical Records Can Connect Your Injuries to the Accident
Further evidence you could use when filing a claim is your medical records. This can help you prove the physical injuries you sustained occurred because of the accident. It also supports the certainty of future medical expenses like physical therapy and pain medication.
More proof used in Illinois car accident claims we see is witness statements, car repair receipts, and police reports.
What Is Involved With Determining the Claim Value?
Car accidents can cause many losses, depending on various factors. For example, if you sustain severe injuries, you would get a higher settlement than a victim with minor bruises. If you need prolonged medical care, your claim for medical costs would also be more significant. More aspects that will determine the claim value are:
- The cost of replacing a totaled car
- If you need to buy medical devices like hearing aids and crutches
- The impact of the accident on your mental health
- Any lost income and career opportunities
Your Percentage of Fault Will Be Affected If You Are Partially at Fault
Another factor that will affect your compensation is if you were partly at fault. If the investigation proves negligence on your part, the insurer or court will lower your settlement by your percentage of fault. However, you might fail to collect any damages if your liability was more than 51% (735 ILCS 5/2-1116).
You Could Seek Wrongful Death Damages
If an Illinois car accident leads to the wrongful death of a loved one, you could seek related compensation. Unlike a personal injury claim, this will include damages like funeral and burial costs. It can also cover medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s passing, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
Like those from all personal injury cases, wrongful death compensation is hard to nail down an “average” settlement amount for. Your lawyer can valuate your losses, though.
Call The Kryder Law Group for Help with an Illinois Car Accident Case
Understanding Illinois car accident compensation can guide you in filing a claim. Still, you may need legal representation during a lawsuit or negotiations with insurance adjusters. At The Kryder Law Group, LLC, we have a team of attorneys to help you seek fair Illinois car accident compensation.
We will identify the most suitable claim process for you based on the nature of your case. Our team can also forecast future medical costs and assess non-economic damages. Contact The Kryder Law Group, LLC at (312) 223-1700 for a free case review and legal guidance. When thinking about a good car accident settlement, remember that it all depends on your specific losses.