Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of devastating injuries and losses across Illinois. When another party’s negligent actions are the cause of your injuries and damages, you can hold them accountable for their restlessness and recover the compensation you are entitled to. However, while you are still recuperating from your injuries, the thought of dealing with a complex car accident case may be more than a little overwhelming.
Fortunately, you do not need to worry about a thing when you have an experienced car accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law working on your car accident lawsuit and dealing with the auto insurance company. With our firm on your side, the claims process does not need to be intimidating.
Our Illinois personal injury lawyers will work diligently to identify those responsible for causing your injuries so they can be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Learn more about how the claims process works, the value of your car accident claim, and state laws that could have an impact on the outcome of your case when you contact our team for a free consultation.
What Sets Mike Agruss Law Apart from Other Law Firms?
When you need a powerful legal advocate that stands out from other car accident law firms and is willing to take on your case, look no further than Mike Agruss Law. We have settled more than 8,000 cases in favor of our clients. Our experienced, attentive, and qualified legal team is here to help you recover every single loss you experienced due to your traumatic car crash.
We have a deep understanding of the emotional, financial, physical, and psychological toll your car accident has had and will continue to have on your life. In fact, Mike Agruss Law has earned more than 1,400 5-star reviews across the Internet. With our 24/7 availability and an A rating as an accredited business on BBB, we have the unique skills and experience needed to win.
What to Expect When You Hire Our Illinois Car Accident Attorneys
Mike Agruss Law understands the overwhelming stress you are going through after your car crash. Our experience and professional personal injury attorney are here to help you fight for justice. We will work diligently to build a compelling case against the at-fault party so you can get the most out of your claim. Here is a basic rundown of the auto accident claims process when you hire our Illinois auto accident lawyers:
- You contact our legal team and schedule a consultation by email, phone, text, video conference, or website live chat 24/7
- We discuss our contingency agreement, which is 1/3 of whatever you win
- You hire our car accident law firm after signing your attorney-client agreement via DocuSign
- We start to investigate the cause of your accident by reviewing records, ordering copies of your crash report, speaking to witnesses, and gathering other valuable supporting evidence
- We ensure you receive the medical treatment and care you need to heal from your injuries
- Your auto accident attorney reviews the details of your case to determine whether you have the right to file an auto accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company
- Your experienced car accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- We will do everything possible to avoid going to trial by settling outside of court
- We will pursue your car accident lawsuit if the insurance company remains rigid and their decision to deny use the benefits you deserve
- Your car accident lawyer will go through discovery, obtaining copies of the defense’s evidence and giving depositions
- We will again attempt to resolve your case outside of court through mediation or alternative dispute resolution where possible
- If negotiations continue to be unsuccessful, we will advocate for your right to compensation for your car accident damages at trial
- Once we win, we will direct deposit your car accident settlement to your bank account, so you don’t have to wait
Common Types of Car Accidents in Illinois
Auto accidents can take multiple forms. We will need to examine the type of car accident you were involved in so we can analyze the cause of the collision and determine liability for the Injuries you sustained. Some of the most common types of collisions we see in Illinois include:
- Distracted driving accidents
- Rear end collisions
- Lyft accidents
- Highway accidents
- Red light accidents
- Stop sign accidents
- T-bone collisions
- Uber accidents
- Head on collisions
- Single car accidents
- Auto accidents involving bicycles
- Intersection accidents
- Fatigued driving accidents
- Drunk or drugged driving accidents
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Distracted driving accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles
- Car accidents involving pedestrians
- Rideshare accidents
Causes of Illinois Motor Vehicle Accidents
Once we know the type of auto accident you were involved in, we can figure out how the accident occurred. In the vast majority of Illinois car crashes, negligent driving is a prominent factor. Negligent driving can include any type of unsafe or reckless driving. Some examples could include:
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Failure to stop at a traffic light
- Making illegal turns
- Road rage
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
However, it is important to note that negligent and reckless driving is not the only cause of car accidents across Illinois. In fact, hazardous road conditions on both highways and city streets cause a substantial number of collisions. Dangerous road conditions can include a variety of factors, including:
- Improperly secured road construction zones
- Large potholes
- Missing street signs
- Lack of street lamps
- Defective traffic lights
- Missing highway signs
Furthermore, when auto parts are defective or malfunctioning, they can cause critical and life-threatening crashes. Some of the most common types of defective parts known for causing car accidents include:
- Airbag inflators
- Windshield wipers
- Gas tanks
- Wiring systems
- Ignition switches
Who to Sue for Your Motor Vehicle Accident Accident Damages
Once your car accident attorney understands who is responsible for causing the crash, we can then figure out who should be sued for your damages. For example, if malfunctioning auto parts cause your accident, several parties could share the blame, including:
- Auto parts designers
- Motor vehicle parts manufacturers
- Car dealerships and executives
- Vehicle maintenance workers
- Safety inspectors
However, in the event, your car crash was caused by dangerous road conditions. Instead, you might have grounds for a personal injury claim against the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the city where the accident occurred, and other parties who are responsible for road safety and maintenance.
In instances where you are injured due to a negligent driver, filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the driver that hit you may be appropriate. However, they are not the only party, so I could share the blame. For instance, if your car crash was caused by a drunk driver, you may have the right to file a claim against a social host or dram shop as well due to Illinois dram shop liability laws under 235 Illinois Compiled Statute 5/6-21. Here, businesses that sell or serve alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated can be held accountable if they go out to cause critical ortho car accidents.
Since so many different parties could share liability for your car accident, the best way to protect yourself and maximize the conversation you recover is to contact a car accident attorney at Mike Agruss Law, who can help you explore your legal options and ensure all parties who contributed to your injuries are held accountable.
Car Accident Statistics in Illinois
You may be wondering how often car accidents happen in Illinois. The statistics may shock you. Here are some of the most important car accident facts you should be aware of:
- In 2022, there were nearly 1,200 fatal car accidents and more than 1200 fatalities
- Nearly 400 of the fatal car accident occurred in cook county and Chicago
- Of these fatalities, there were 190 pedestrians, 146 motorcycles, 166 tractor-trailers, and 33 bicycle accident fatalities
- Unlicensed driving was involved in the early 220 fatal car accidents in 2022
- Improper seat belt use occurred in more than 300 car accidents
- In the Chicago area, crash trends have increased by as much as 7%
- In 2020, there were 37 work zone car accident fatalities
- According to the IDOT, Illinois state routes had 466 fatal car accidents while city streets had 419 fatalities
- Data suggests that as of 2020, the top causes of fatal car accidents were drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving, accounting for nearly 80% of all fatal car accidents
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
Depending on the type of car accident you were involved in, you may be stuck dealing with the physical implications of your car accident for years to come. Some of the most common types of severe injuries you may be able to sue for include:
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia
- Third-degree burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash from vehicle ejections
- Internal injuries and organ failure from seatbelts
- Lacerations when the car windshield or windows shatter
- Broken and fractured bones
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Herniated discs and other back injuries
These are just a few examples of the types of car accident injuries you might be diagnosed with. If you are coping with another type of car accident injury not included in the list above, you may still have the right to fair compensation for your losses. Explore your opportunities for financial relief when you contact our legal team at Mike Agruss Law for a 100% free consultation.
Compensation for Car Crash Victims in Illinois
After being involved in a car crash, you may be able to file a claim with the insurance company or bring your case to trial. Most victims do a combination of both. The idea is to ensure you receive compensation for every lawsuit experience. Most victims of car accidents need to pursue both opportunities as insurance does not cover every loss. In fact, the insurance company only covers specific types and amounts of damages.
You can only get the insurance company to pay out up to the highest limits of the policyholder’s claim. This means if the driver only had a minimum of $50,000 per accident in medical expenses payments, the insurance company will only pay a maximum of $50,000. If your medical bills were more than $100,000, you would have substantial medical expenses the insurance company does not compensate you for. Any damages the insurance company does not cover can be sought through your car accident lawsuit.
You are entitled to reimbursement for economic damages, which are financial and non-economic damages which are not. Non-economic damages cover the ways your life has been affected by your injuries, not out-of-pocket or financial expenses. Here are some of the most common types of damages recoverable for a car accident victim in Illinois:
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages do not have a financial value. However, these types of damages can have a significant impact on your life not only immediately after the crash but for years to come. In addition to compensation for your physical pain and chronic suffering, other types of non-economic damages can also be considered pain and suffering. This might include
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Psychological torment in distress
- Disfiguring injuries
- Embarrassing skin scars
- Permanent disability
- Damage to your reputation and driving record
Wage-Related and Income Losses
Wage-related expenses and lost wages are some of the most impactful types of economic damages you can endure following a car accident. Not only can you be compensated for the money lost when you had to take time off of work to recuperate, but if your injuries made it impossible or difficult for you to continue earning a living, the diminished earning capacity you experienced is also recoverable.
Additionally, if you received health insurance through your employer or your boss contributed to your 401(k) or retirement savings, these losses can also be recovered through your car accident lawsuit. You may be able to recover time lost for vacation, sick time, and other paid time off as well.
Getting your healthcare expenses covered after a car accident should be a top priority. Although you might be expecting the insurance companies to cover the majority of the damages, this may not always be the case. For example, if the liable party only has the bare minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, you may have significant health care costs the insurer won’t pay. Thankfully, you can recoup these losses when you file a motor vehicle accident case with help from a personal injury law firm against the at-fault party. Some examples of potentially recoverable medical bills after an Illinois car accident include:
- Costs of prosthetic limbs
- Home accommodations
- Hiring a home health aid
- Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines
- Medical treatment, including surgery
- Your ambulance pills
- Transportation fees
- Your hospital stay
- Ongoing physical or occupational therapy
- Group therapy or mental health counseling
What About Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not unusual in car accident cases. This is especially true if the driver that hit you has a history of drunk driving, traffic violations, or other unsafe driving practices. However, punitive damages are not a guarantee, nor are they compensatory losses you are entitled to. They are only awarded in cases of malice, intentional misconduct, or egregiousness. While punitive damages may be possible, they are only awarded when the Illinois civil courts find it appropriate to punish the defendant for their conduct.
Illinois Car Accident FAQ
The car accident claims process can be confusing. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect next. For this reason, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding car accident lawsuits and insurance claims below. If you have additional questions we do not address here, be sure to reach out to our Illinois car accident attorneys to discuss your specific concerns further.
How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Illinois?
The law allows a maximum of two years to pass before the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits expires under 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Generally, the two-year statute of limitations deadline passes two years from the date of the accident. However, the exact amount of time you will have can vary if your minor child suffered injuries or if your injuries were not diagnosed until sometime after the collision. If your child was injured, the two-year statute of limitations will still apply, but it will be temporarily tolled or stopped until your child reaches 18 years of age. This gives you enough time to determine how substantially your child’s life has been affected and may continue to be affected as they go into adulthood. In the event you suffered delayed symptoms or a delayed diagnosis, the statute of limitations may not begin until the official date you were diagnosed with injuries relating to your car crash. However, if you reasonably should have known you suffered injuries related to the collision, the statute of limitations will begin on the discovery date and end two years later. Since the statute of limitations is often confusing for car accident victims in Illinois, speaking with a reputable car crash attorney to get clarity may be in your best interests.
Is Illinois a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
In no-fault states, when auto accident victims are involved in a car accident, you are protected as you are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or no-fault insurance coverage. No matter who is responsible for causing the accident, you file a claim with your own insurance company in a no-fault state. However, Illinois is not a no-fault state. It is a tort state or fault state for car accidents and personal injury claims according to 625 ILCS 5/7-601(a). Instead of filing a claim with your insurance company, you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Under Illinois law, all motorists are required to purchase the following minimum amount and types of auto insurance coverage:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $20,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
- $25,000 per person in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per person in underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
Although Illinois motorists may not be obligated to purchase comprehensive, collision, rental car coverage, gap insurance, or other types of optional coverage, doing so can only protect you if you are ever responsible for causing an accident. The at-fault party is responsible for covering the cost of the victim’s damages, so the greater your insurance protection, the less you may need to pay out of your own pocket if you are liable.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Immediately after a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be suffering from catastrophic injury and then have no idea what to do next. Although every person’s case is different, here is a general idea of the steps you should take immediately after an Illinois car crash:
1 – Call 911
In a minor car accident; the liable party may attempt to convince you that you don’t need to call the police. We see this less often in catastrophic car accident cases. However, having law enforcement arrive at your accident scene can only help your case. With law enforcement at the scene, you can get a detailed account of how the accident occurred via an official police or crash report. This will often detail who is responsible for causing the accident, the circumstances surrounding the case, and other valuable evidence that can be used against the liable party.
2- Collect evidence at the car accident scene
While you wait for 911 and emergency responders to arrive, collect as much evidence as you can. Now might be a good time to get the contact information of witnesses to the accident, write down a detailed description of how the accident occurred, so you are accounting for even seemingly minor details that you might forget later on, take photos of your serious injuries, and take photos and videos of any damage to property at the accident scene.
3 – Get medical attention
The shock and adrenaline of your car accident may prevent you from feeling the extent of your catastrophic injuries. Although you might initially feel as though you only suffered minor injuries, the last thing you want is to be bleeding internally or have a severe brain injury that could prove fatal if left untreated. Get medical help as soon as possible so you can begin creating medical evidence to support your case against the liable party.
4 – Hire a car accident attorney to help you get justice
Whether you have a chance to do so at the car accident scene or need to call a lawyer once you have been stabilized at the hospital, the sooner you get an experienced car accident attorney working for you, the better. Much of the evidence we need to prove the defendant’s liability may only be available for a short amount of time. For example, if your collision occurred at an intersection, the sooner we can request copies of traffic cam videos, the better. This footage may only be available for several days to as much as a couple of weeks, depending on the intersection or government agency regulations. Your lawyer can ensure we start building a compelling case against the liable party from the start so you can increase your chances of her covering maximum compensation for your damages.
What if My Child Was Injured in a Car Accident?
Child injuries are far more common than you might think. When a child is injured in a car crash, their lives could be permanently changed. If your child is dealing with serious car accident injuries or substantial emotional trauma, you may have the right to take legal action against those responsible for causing the collision. Your child has the same right to compensation as an adult would, and as their legal guardian or parent, you are entitled to pursue their claim on their behalf.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
It is difficult to say whether your case will need to go to trial. Most car accident cases do not go to court. This is because you may be able to recover the compensation you deserve through an insurance claim or settlement outside of court. However, if the liable party is unwilling to settle your claim reasonably or their insurance coverage is insufficient, it may be necessary to move forward with your personal injury lawsuit so you can recover your losses in their entirety.
What Does it Cost to Hire an Illinois Car Accident Attorney?
The amount you can expect to spend when you hire an Illinois car accident attorney to take on your case can vary widely. However, when you go with Mike Agruss Law, you will not have to put any money down to hire a legal advocate. We work with our clients on contingency agreements. Our fee is 1/3 of whatever you win. However, if we do not win your case, you do not pay anything for our legal services. We will also be out the costs of pursuing your case; this might include deposition fees, court filing costs, And the costs of hiring expert witnesses to review the evidence and testify on your behalf. After everything you have been through, you should not have to worry about how you will afford to fight for the compensation you are entitled to.
Meet With an Illinois Car Accident Attorney Today
Your auto accident injuries are likely to have an impact on your life well into the future. Make sure you do not get stuck covering the costs when you are not primarily to blame. You can get a dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced car accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law on your side when you contact our team for a free, no-obligation consultation. We may be available for virtual consultation or in-person case reviews at any of our locations across Illinois, including Chicago, Aurora, Naperville, Elmhurst, Joliet, Springfield, or Peoria. Contact our team today to learn more about what’s next for your car accident claims.