Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
While most car accidents do not result in serious injury or death, they’re still no laughing matter. Many drivers adhere very closely to the training they received in driver’s education, while others throw caution to the wind and do things that lead to serious injuries for both themselves and others. From mild inconvenience to a fatal outcome, car crashes are highly unpredictable. On the one hand, there might be no damage to people or property. On the other hand, you could end up with tens of thousands in repairs and medical bills. You’re probably stuck wondering, “Is Illinois a no fault state?”
No matter how attentive and competent a driver you may be, car accidents are common. The best way to keep yourself safe is to practice defensive driving and follow the rules of the road, including Illinois tint law. If another driver’s negligence leads to a motor vehicle accident, you’ll likely need a Chicago car accident attorney on your side. Call Curcio Law Offices if you get into a Chicago car accident. We offer an initial free consultation, and we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t accept a cent until we secure a recovery for you. Contact us today at 312-321-1111 or fill out our online intake form.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Fighting for Injured People and Families
Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, with a population nearing 3 million people. We also see millions of visitors every single year. In other words, we see a lot of people on the road almost constantly. While it might not seem shocking that thousands of car accidents happen every year, it’s probably a surprise that fatalities have actually increased in the past year.
According to recent reports from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 2020 saw a significant increase in several alarming statistics. Below, we outline some of the most disturbing Chicago car accident statistics.
- 361 fatalities occurred in Cook County, which was an 18% increase from 2019
- Most of those fatalities involved semi-truck accidents
- Almost 30% of all car crash deaths in the state of Illinois happened in Cook County
- 2020 saw a 14% increase in speeding
- Most fatalities occurred on city streets
- Most fatalities were caused by speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving
Unfortunately, Cook County has become the deadliest county for Illinois drivers, as it sees the most auto accidents and fatal motor vehicle accidents. That’s why Curcio Law Offices stands ready to represent car accident victims in the Chicago area.
We Represent Those Who Have Been Injured or Lost Loved Ones in the Past
We understand that it’s impossible to control what other people do on the road. What you can control, however, is what you do after a crash occurs. Your recovery process can truly begin as soon as you contact a car accident lawyer you can trust. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers prioritize protecting your right to just compensation and taking the weight of a complicated case off your plate.
Our personal injury law firm has represented injured victims in Chicago since 1957. That’s over 60 years of service. We’ve recovered compensation for car accident victims, as well as those involved in catastrophic injury cases, Chicago truck accidents, and even premises liability cases. Our reputation speaks for us, as we’ve obtained millions of dollars on behalf of injured victims and their family members.
Have You Ever Been Involved in a Car Accident?
A car accident unfolds in seconds, but an injured victim can feel its impact for years, perhaps even a lifetime. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages often lead to serious questions about the future. At Curcio Law Offices, our attorneys are committed to winning maximum compensation for our clients for the physical, financial, and emotional injuries caused by car accidents. Our dedicated representation for our injured clients’ rights and interests has enabled us to win millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf. Reach out to us today to see what we can do for you in your car accident case.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
The easiest way to know whether or not you have a valid personal injury case is to speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Car accident injuries have the potential to affect you for the rest of your life. The injuries you might suffer vary greatly, and your medical bills are probably piling up. For all the pain, suffering, and financial losses you’ve experienced, you deserve to obtain fair compensation. Contact the Chicago auto accident lawyers at Curcio Law Offices to find out how we will fight for maximum compensation for you.
Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Illinois?
After any form of an auto accident or vehicle damage, it’s important to remember some key Illinois car accident laws. These state laws could have a significant impact on your personal injury claims.
- Two years from the date of the accident to file an accident injury lawsuit.
- Five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for property damage to your vehicle.
- Illinois has a modified comparative negligence law that lets accident victims seek compensation if they are less than 50% at fault for the accident.
- You also have two years from the date of death to file wrongful death claims in Illinois.
If you meet these requirements, you can file a lawsuit and attempt to recover fair compensation for your severe injuries.
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Car Accident Lawsuit?
In general, there are three basic requirements for filing a lawsuit for car accident injuries. We list these below.
- The at fault driver was negligent. Examples of negligence include distracted driving, drunk driving, brake checking, and ignoring traffic laws.
- Their negligence led to serious injury or even wrongful death. In this case, the burden of proof rests with the auto accident victims.
- The accident resulted in legally recognizable damages. This includes factors like hospital bills, medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.
If you and your Chicago car accident attorney can prove the above three factors, you likely have a strong case.
How Do I Determine Liability in a Car Accident?
When attempting to establish liability, attorneys and courts will look at several factors. We list these factors below.
Other Drivers’ Liability
- Failing to follow traffic signs and signals
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Driving too fast for the current weather conditions
- Passing carelessly
- Drunk driving or distracted driving
- Improperly changing lanes
Equipment and Vehicle Manufacturers’ Liability
In cases where an accident happens because of malfunctioning equipment, the parts or vehicle manufacturer could be liable. These are product liability lawsuits, and we list examples below.
- Defective tires
- Fires in the vehicle
- Defective brakes
- Unintentional acceleration
- Defective cruise controls
- Faulty transmission
- Defective airbags
Government Bodies’ Liability
State and local governments hold full responsibility for maintaining roadways. When they fail to do this, roads suddenly become very unsafe. Unsafe road conditions lead to a higher likelihood of car accidents, especially in a bustling city like Chicago IL. This opens the door for auto accident lawyers suing the government. Examples of government liability include the following.
- Traffic signs that are missing
- Traffic lights malfunctioning
- Overgrown trees, bushes, or shrubs that obscure road signs and vision
- Poor or absent lighting
- Worn down lane markings
- Poorly placed signs and lights
What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you decide to file a lawsuit, we recommend speaking with your attorney right away. They will help you understand the process and explore every possible solution to ensure that they put you in the best position possible.
Let’s assume that your attorney determines you have a valid case and you suffered injuries. They will file an official complaint with the court. This complaint usually includes the allegations you have against the at-fault driver, as well as the amount you’re seeking as a fair settlement.
The defendant in your case has a specified amount of time to respond to this claim. They may reject your car accident claim and give a counteroffer or claim. Both your attorney and the insurance coverage provider will investigate the incident.
Your attorney will also reach out to witnesses and experts to consult with about the accident scene. This helps them gather substantial evidence to show both your innocence and the other driver’s culpability.
Many proposed personal injury cases settle before they ever go to court. This is because litigation can be costly for both sides. However, if the other side refuses to offer fair and adequate compensation for your medical expenses, you can take the case to trial.
The process can be highly complicated, and many plaintiffs become exhausted by car accident injury cases. However, hiring an experienced car accident attorney from Curcio Law Offices makes the process smoother. With our wealth of experience on your side, you won’t feel overwhelmed as a car accident victim.
Compensation You Can Recover After a Chicago Car Crash
If you suffered injuries as a car accident victim, you deserve maximum compensation to cover your medical expenses and other losses. Personal injury lawyers are invaluable in car accident injury cases because they know how to best fight for that compensation. Below, we list the various damages that your car accident attorney will seek in your claim.
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Future medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
How Long Does It Take to File a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
It’s not possible to estimate how long a car accident claim will take without evaluating it thoroughly. Even then, the claims process can be complicated and even unpredictable at times. Every auto accident is different, and it takes more time to resolve more complex cases.
Simple cases might take only a few weeks or months to resolve, while others will take much longer. For example, a car accident involving wrongful death could take several years to resolve. Your attorney can explain the complexity of your case during your initial free consultation, but it is unlikely they can predict when it will resolve.
What Can a Car Crash Lawyer Do for a Car Accident Claim?
A car accident attorney can offer a wealth of knowledge to help in your case. Below, we list many of the different benefits that car accident lawyers will offer you.
- Gathering evidence to prove who was at fault in the accident
- Speaking directly with the insurer of the other driver
- Organizing your bills and medical records
- Working with doctors to ensure that they give you the proper paperwork to prove your injuries and damages
- Talking with health care providers to gather missing medical records
- Presenting the evidence in a transparent manner will show liability
- Negotiating settlement offers with adjusters and defendants
- Negotiating with lien holders to possibly achieve a reduction on the liens
How Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
At Curcio Law Offices, we pride ourselves on offering only the very best in legal representation. Not only do we have the resources and experience of a large firm, but we also provide the care and attention of a small firm. If you want an experienced car accident attorney handling your case, we’ve got just what you need.
Types of Car Accident Cases Our Lawyers Handle
There are many different motor vehicle accidents out there, and we handle even the most complicated ones. Below, we list some of the practice areas that we litigate related to motor vehicle accidents.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- I-94 Accidents
- Airbag Injuries
- Brake Checking Car Accidents
- Whiplash Claims
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Amazon Truck Accidents
- Garbage Truck Accidents
- Post Office Vehicle Accidents
- Ridesharing Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Tractor Trailer Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Texting and Driving Accidents
- Fatal Car Accidents
Injuries We Commonly See in Chicago Auto Accidents
Car accidents are no laughing matter, and neither are the injuries associated with them. From minor bumps and bruises to life-threatening injuries, car accidents can be highly deadly. Below, we list the most common injuries our car accident lawyers see in their cases.
- Bruising and contusions
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Seat belt syndrome, and
- In some cases, blindness
- Tinnitus or hearing loss
- Partial or complete paralysis
Chicago Car Accident FAQs
The first step to figuring this out is to examine your insurance policy. Maybe you have the minimum amount of insurance required by the state of Illinois. If so, then your coverage should include accidents caused by uninsured motorists.
Generally, Illinois requires drivers to at least have liability insurance. This pays for any injuries or damages that you cause to other people. Therefore, car accident victims usually seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
Unfortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that over 12% of drivers do not have the insurance required by Illinois law. In this case, you can take advantage of any uninsured motorist coverage you may have. Your coverage ultimately depends on the current plans you pay for.
Therefore, if you have coverage that applies to your situation, it’s likely that you can collect money from your insurance company.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is important that you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case. Not only will your attorney help ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries, but they will also take care of the extensive legal process that goes into the case.
For example, our firm will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene. This includes photographing skidmarks and the debris field, taking witness statements, and, when necessary, preserving the wrecked vehicles for trial. We work with a variety of specialists to help us document evidence at the scene of the accident and prove the cause of the accident. From private investigators and accident reconstructions to medical experts and vocational rehabilitation specialists, Curcio Law Offices is committed to building the strongest possible case for each client.
It is important to remember to never discuss a car accident with an insurance agent or insurance adjuster before talking to one of our skilled attorneys. Insurance companies aggressively seek to protect their own interests and minimize their liability. They will do everything in their power to avoid blame and will likely attempt to use your own words against you. That is why you need skilled legal representation to assist you with your insurance claim and protect your rights and interests in the process. Curcio Law Offices can provide that representation.
It depends. Even if you partially contribute to an accident, you might still be able to recover compensation for your damages. It ultimately depends on what percentage you were at fault for the accident.
Illinois has a modified comparative negligence system, which means you are eligible for compensation so long as you are less than 50% to blame for the accident. However, your recoverable damages will also be reduced by the percentage of the blame you share. If you hold more than 50% of fault for the accident, you may not recover compensation.
Comparative negligence sometimes causes issues when negotiating a settlement with your insurance company. The best way to avoid receiving less than you deserve is to have a qualified car accident lawyer help you.
As with many other personal injury law firms, the car accident lawyers at Curcio Law Offices refuse to accept payment unless we secure a recovery for you. To put it simply: We get paid when you get paid.
This is what is known as a “contingency fee,” meaning the legal fee is contingent on our firm obtaining results for you. When you enter into a contract with our firm, the contract outlines a certain percentage that the firm takes from the settlement.
It’s important to note that Curcio Law Offices has a stellar reputation and track record handling personal injury cases in Chicago. We begin every single case with a free initial consultation, and any information you give us will be confidential. This will allow us to review your case’s facts and determine the best course of action for you.
Even if all parties involved in a crash have insurance, it’s unlikely that your case will be smooth sailing. After all, an experienced car accident lawyer will have the knowledge and training to do the following.
- Calculate what the insurance company should pay for the car wreck
- Understand the elements of damage to claim for your car accident settlement
- Calculate the value of your case
- Know how to appeal your case if the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim
The car accident attorneys at Curcio Law Offices know how to ensure that no insurance company succeeds in taking advantage of you. Because of our litany of experience in dealing with insurance companies, our legal team understands how to handle profit-driven insurance adjusters and companies. Rather than allowing them to get away with a lowball settlement offer, we fight for maximum compensation for accident victims.
How, where, and when you can have your car fixed after an accident is often decided by your insurance company. Your insurer likely has requirements when filing a claim. This includes damage and repair estimates.
Before your car is taken to a shop or somewhere to be repaired, we recommend contacting your insurance company. It’s highly possible that they have restrictions on where you can have work done on your vehicle. If you have a shop that you already trust, they might agree to let you see them for the repairs.
If you have uninsured motorist insurance, you can use it at this time. Additionally, there’s always the option to sue the other driver and have them pay out of pocket for repairs. However, in many cases, there’s no way that they could afford to pay for the damages they caused if they themselves don’t have insurance. Speak with your attorney about the best course of action in this situation.
Motor vehicle accident cases and lawsuits can be extremely complicated. They can also be expensive and time-consuming. If you find that your settlement negotiations are stalling and your medical bills, lost wages, and car repair bills are piling up, it might be time to sue.
Generally, people decide whether or not to file a car accident claim based on whether or not they feel they’ve been offered a fair settlement, whether this is for injuries sustained or if you're seeking compensation for death from a car accident. If the settlement offer will cover their expenses, they will likely accept. If not, then they can proceed with their personal injury claim.
Right away. While there’s no legal requirement for having a car accident attorney, it’s a good idea to get in touch with one as soon as you can after an accident. Keep in mind that getting an attorney doesn’t guarantee a favorable outcome. It will, however, make it more likely that settlement negotiations go in your favor. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when (or whether) to get an attorney after a motor vehicle accident.
It is advisable that victims of car accidents call the police as soon as possible after the incident to report it. Most times, a police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident and file a written report there. However, if an officer does not come to the scene, you must still file a report with your local police department or the Illinois State Police as soon as possible.
According to Illinois state law, car accidents must also be reported to the state if the accident causes death, bodily injury, or results in property damage of more than $1,500. A driver must file the report no later than 10 days after the accident occurred. The report should be filed with the Illinois Department of Transportation within this specified period of time. Failure to report within 10 days may result in penalties such as fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or even jail time.
Many times, your car accident case will likely settle outside of court. However, there are some instances that might require you to attend car accident court in Chicago. For example, if the other party involved in the accident disputes fault or if the insurance provider refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, you may have to appear in court.
If you do need to attend a hearing, your lawyer will prepare you for what you should expect. They will cover the type of questions you will likely be asked and walk you through everything you’ll need to know.
When it comes to other preparations, your lawyer will do most of the work for you. Our Curcio car accident attorneys will interview potential jurors before trial to ensure they hold no bias against you for any reason as well as examine key witnesses to the accident. Long before the case reaches trial, your lawyer will also have collected and prepared evidence to present to the court to help establish the validity of your claim.
It is common for clients to question how long it will take for them to reach a settlement from a car accident in Chicago. However, there is never truly an easy, solid answer to this question, as it depends on multiple different factors. The biggest factors that determine the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement include the following.
- The type of injuries sustained
- The extent of the injuries sustained
- Whether or not the defendant admits blame or contests liability
- The compliance of the insurance companies involved
With all of these factors (and more) in mind, there is no set timeline for how long a resolution may take to reach. Some cases may be resolved in a matter of months, while others may even take years.
According to Illinois law, you have a specific window of time in which you must file a legal claim for a motor vehicle accident. The first step after a Chicago car accident is to report the crash to your insurance provider. If you fail to complete this step in a reasonable amount of time, you risk losing your eligibility for compensation.
The Illinois statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident cases is two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file your personal injury claims by this time will permanently bar you from pursuing compensation for that accident.
For personal injury claims related to property damage, you have five years from the date of the accident to file.
Contact Curcio Law Offices Today
At Curcio Law Offices, we see all types of motor vehicle accidents and car accident cases come into our law firm. Every single car accident victim deserves the care and attention of a small law firm while receiving the benefits that a large firm has to offer. That’s what we strive to achieve every single day in our office. For more information about the legal services we offer, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 312-321-1111 or fill out our online intake form today. Read our blog for helpful driving tips for winter in the Windy City.