If you are the victim of a car accident, you can endure serious physical and emotional damage and experience unexpected financial consequences. These accidents range from minor to catastrophic, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and medical expenses each year.
Under Illinois law, you can collect compensation for your injuries if you were not the one responsible for the collision. Filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver who was responsible for your claim can be a difficult process, but Duncan Law Group can help. Our attorneys have the skills and experience you need to build a compelling case for your compensation.
Illinois is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents, which means the person responsible for the accident must pay for the injuries you suffer. Under this system, you have three choices to collect compensation:
In most cases, your first step will be to file an insurance claim. Illinois requires all drivers to carry the following minimum amounts of insurance coverage to maintain this financial responsibility:
Illinois car insurance policies automatically include uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are in a collision with a driver who does not have insurance. If the insurance company denies your claim or offers you a settlement that is insufficient for your needs, you may proceed to the lawsuit stage.
During the lawsuit process, you and your attorney will exchange potential evidence with the at-fault party during the discovery period. After discovery, you may enter into negotiations with the at-fault party and attempt to come to a settlement. While most personal injury cases settle out of court, the at-fault party may refuse to negotiate or you may not come to an agreement.
If the negotiation is unsuccessful, you will enter the courtroom. During your trial, the judge and a jury will listen to your claims, as well as the at-fault party’s. The court will then decide whether negligence occurred in your case, if you should receive a settlement, and how much that settlement will be.
Car accidents can occur for many different reasons on Peoria roads — all it takes is for one driver to commit a negligent act. Some common causes of car crashes include the following:
If you are seeking compensation for your damages in a car accident, it is important to begin your claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long can cause you to lose your chances of collecting a settlement altogether.
This is due to Illinois’s statute of limitations, a deadline by which you must file your car accident lawsuit in civil court or the court will dismiss your claim. You have two years from the date of the collision to file this lawsuit.
Starting early is important for a number of reasons. Often, the first step to collecting compensation for a car accident is to file an insurance claim, not a lawsuit. If your insurance claim is unsuccessful, you move your case to trial. If you wait too long to file your insurance claim, you might not have enough time to file a lawsuit if you receive a denial or an insufficient settlement offer.
Filing your claim earlier also lends more credibility to your case. Waiting too long can cast doubt on the validity of your injuries, and by the time you file your lawsuit, important evidence may be impossible to find or damaged. If you have witnesses testifying on your behalf, their memories may not be as reliable as they would be if you filed sooner rather than later.
If you are the victim of a Peoria car accident, don’t wait to seek help. Contact Duncan Law Group today to discuss your claim and begin planning your next steps.
Our attorneys can provide a number of benefits for your car accident claim, from access to expert witnesses to a suite of investigatory strategies necessary to determine the cause of your collision. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our Peoria car accident lawyers.