Car accidents are some of the leading causes of injury and death in the U.S. every year. There are an average of 6 million auto accidents and 3 million deaths, and cost about $230.6 billion per year. Negligent drivers are dangerous because one decision could prevent victims from living comfortably, earning a living, or even supporting their families.
A Chicago car accident lawyer represents those who may have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. They also represent loved ones who may have lost someone in an automobile accident. Our Chicago personal injury law firm offers guidance and support for car accident victims who wish to recover their medical expenses and recuperate their lives after their accident.
The experienced Chicago auto accident lawyers at Mike Agruss Law can take the time necessary to explore your legal options. If you schedule a free consultation with us, we can discuss your case together to determine what are the next steps to getting your just compensation.
Common Car Accident Causes in Chicago
Cars have made some serious advancements over the years, but despite the evolution of automotive safety, human error and negligence still play a dominant role in the majority of severe car crashes.
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to a car accident claim. Here are some of the most common errors that can contribute to a car accident in Chicago:
Distracted driving occurs when a driver is not fully attentive. Those who practice distracted driving could miss critical hazards or events on the road. They also could abandon control of the vehicle due to their split attention. Contact a personal injury attorney who handles car accidents today if you’ve been injured due to a distracted driver.
Texting While Driving
The National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration reports that texting is one of the most alarming distractions to drivers. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, and at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Almost one-third of Americans admit to texting while driving, and this can be deadly.
Driving Under the Influence
According to the CDC, in 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Out of those 1,233 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2016, 17% involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
Other Common Accident Causes
There are many other common causes for accidents. Driver fatigue can have a tremendous impact on your ability to focus. Missing just a few hours of sleep could more than quadruple the risk of having an accident.
Exceeding the speed limit can recklessly endanger yourself, passengers, and other travelers sharing the road. Speeding also increases your risk of being injured or dying in the case of an accident. Lastly, drivers who do not appropriately maintain their vehicles could also put themselves and others at risk of an accident or injuries.
Common Illinois Car Accident Injuries
An automobile accident can have a profound effect on your life and those of your loved ones. Especially if you suffer one of the following severe injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Dental and mouth injuries
- Herniated discs
- Lacerations, cuts, bruises, and scrapes
- Spinal column and back injuries damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Working with a law office with experience consoling clients who’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury or wrongful death can make a big difference in your claim. A serious brain injury can take an immediate physical toll and damage your financial standing.
The Mike Agruss Law understands how detrimental these types of injuries can be, and that’s why we look to recover all damages available to you. We seek justice for you through lawsuits that cover your future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, outpatient treatment costs, medication costs, and any other expenses that may be associated with your recovery or motor vehicle accidents.
Steps To Take After Your Chicago Car Accident
The steps drivers take after car accidents can make all the difference in the outcome of their case. Your ability to recuperate damages after an accident injury will be dependent upon the steps you take. Auto accident lawyers recommend the following steps to help protect your motor vehicle accident claim:
Check for Injuries and Call 911
The first thing car accident victims can do to protect themselves is get their vehicle to a safe location when possible. Next, they’ll want to check themselves and their other passengers for injuries and call 911.
If you feel your crash is relatively minor, it likely needs to be reported to the police under Illinois law. It is against the law in Illinois to go without reporting an accident that includes injury, death, or property damage. Protect yourself and your claim by reporting to the police and obtaining a copy of that report.
If the police do not come to your car accident scene, you are responsible for filing the accident report within 10 days. If you need assistance with any part of the practice, consult with the adept Illinois car accident attorneys at Mike Agruss Law.
Get Medical Care
Your accident may not seem severe at first but it’s still important to have yourself checked. Seeking medical care can ensure that you take care of yourself and others. This also demonstrates that there is a clear link between your accident and your accident injury.
Gather Evidence and Exchange Information
Snapping lots of photos and videos, if possible, at the scene can help your auto accident attorney build your case. Make sure to get pictures of your damages, injuries, causes of the accident, weather, and traffic conditions from different angles. This can help make sure that you and your legal team get all the details you may have initially missed.
Also, it can be very beneficial to get the name and contact details of the other vehicle(s) and driver(s) involved, especially those who acted negligently. Also, it would behoove you to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash. These contacts can be even more valuable months later when the case is being negotiated or tried.
Notify your Insurer
It’s important to notify your insurance carrier after an incident to inform them that an accident occurred, where it happened, whether there were any injuries, and the names and insurance information of other drivers involved. Most insurers expect to hear from you within 24 hours after an accident.
If your accident was caused by another driver, then their insurance carrier will probably contact you after the crash. When speaking with them, it is important to keep in mind that their primary objective is to reduce the amount of money they’re responsible for paying to you in a settlement.
Car accident professionals recommend that you avoid giving a recorded statement and do not agree to sign over your medical records. Avoid the hassle by encouraging the claims adjuster to speak with your attorney.
Speak with an Illinois Personal Injury Law Expert
Many auto accident lawyers offer a free consultation for your personal injury case. That could include an automobile or even medical malpractice. You and the attorney can work together to decide the viability of your case.
With this knowledge, you can trot the best path to receiving maximum compensation for your damages. Car accident lawyers typically get paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay any legal fees until they have secured compensation for you in a settlement or court judgment.
Car Accidents and Fatal Crashes in Chicago, IL: What the Numbers Say
Chicago, IL, faces a significant challenge with road safety, as evidenced by the alarming statistics related to car accidents and fatal crashes. In recent years, the city has witnessed a substantial increase in the number of road incidents, prompting concerns among residents, authorities, and safety experts. We will examine a few key statistics that highlight the magnitude of the issue and shed light on the factors contributing to the rising trend.
Car Accident Trends in Chicago
Every year, Chicago contends with nearly 100,000 car accidents, and the situation seems to be escalating. In 2021 alone, the city recorded 98,563 crashes, marking a substantial 21 percent surge from the previous year. These numbers underscore the pressing need for effective measures to address and mitigate the factors leading to such incidents.
Fatal Crashes in Chicago
Fatal crashes in Chicago and the state of Illinois have had a disturbing increase, according to an analysis by the National Safety Council. In the first quarter of 2020, there was an 11 percent rise in fatal crashes compared to the same period in 2019. Cook County, where Chicago is located, witnessed 294 fatal crashes in 2019, and by August 2020, the county had already recorded 170 fatal crashes for the year.
Source: National Law Review
Safety experts attribute the surge in accidents to several factors, including speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving. Distracted driving, often linked to cell phone use and in-car technologies, has become a leading cause of concern. The Chicago Department of Transportation has issued warnings about a 14 percent increase in speeding on city roadways, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions to address these contributing factors.
Source: National Law Review
Impact of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving, particularly due to cell phone use, has been identified as a major contributor to accidents. In the United States, distracted drivers are responsible for 9 fatalities per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even in-vehicle technologies, such as voice-based texting, can distract drivers for over 40 seconds, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Chicago
Chicago experiences a variety of car accidents, each with its own set of circumstances and potential causes. Mike Agruss Law, with its experienced personal injury lawyer team, is well-equipped to handle a range of accident types, proving the liability of negligent drivers and advocating for maximum damages for injured victims.
Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. Common causes include distracted driving, tailgating, or sudden stops. The Chicago car accident lawyers at Mike Agruss Law will find evidence to hold the negligent motorist liable for your injuries and losses in a rear-end collision.
T-Bone or Side-Impact Collisions: These accidents happen when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, often at intersections. Determining liability is crucial, and Mike Agruss Law will investigate the circumstances of these incidents to prove liability.
Head-On Collisions: Considered among the most severe, head-on collisions involve the front ends of two vehicles crashing into each other. Factors such as impaired driving, distracted driving, or reckless overtaking can contribute to these accidents.
Multi-Vehicle Pileups: In high-traffic areas, multi-vehicle accidents involving multiple cars can occur and often lead to complex liability scenarios. Our Chicago car accident attorneys are skilled in untangling the complexities of these cases to pursue damages on your behalf.
Sideswipe Accidents: These accidents occur when the sides of two parallel vehicles come into contact. Determining fault in sideswipe accidents may require a thorough investigation, and the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law are well-versed in handling such cases.
Rollover Accidents: These involve a vehicle tipping onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents can result from various factors, including speeding, sharp turns, or collisions. Our legal team will prove fault and seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Intersection Accidents: Accidents at intersections are common, and determining the party at fault is vital. Mike Agruss Law can investigate the circumstances surrounding intersection accidents to establish liability and pursue appropriate damages.
Drunk Driving Accidents: Accidents involving intoxicated drivers often result in serious consequences. Our car accident lawyers are experienced in handling cases where drunk driving is a contributing factor, seeking appropriate compensation for victims.
Hit and Run Accidents: When a driver leaves the scene of an accident without providing information or rendering aid, it’s a hit and run. Mike Agruss Law can assist victims in identifying and pursuing compensation from the responsible party.
Other Accidents: Car collisions with SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, or other vehicles can lead to severe injuries. Our Chicago car accident lawyer, truck accident lawyer, and motorcycle accident lawyer teams understand the nuances of these cases and can establish liability.
Mike Agruss Law’s commitment to proving the liability of negligent drivers and pursuing the largest possible compensation ensures that our clients receive the advocacy they need after a car accident in Chicago. If you have been a victim of a car accident, our dedicated lawyers are ready to fight for your rights and hold the responsible parties liable for the largest financial compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses.
Types of Evidence Our Chicago Car Accident Attorneys will Collect to Prove Liability
- Police Reports: We will obtain and thoroughly analyze the official police report filed at the scene of the accident. This document is a key starting point, providing information about the parties involved, witness statements, and the officer’s initial assessment of fault.
- Eyewitness Statements: Our attorneys will reach out to and collect statements from any eyewitnesses present at the scene of the accident. Eyewitness accounts can offer valuable insights into the events leading up to the crash and help corroborate your version of the events.
- Photographic and Video Evidence: We will actively seek and collect visual evidence, including photographs depicting the accident scene, property damage, and traffic conditions. We will also explore the availability of surveillance footage or dashcam recordings from nearby vehicles.
- Accident Reconstruction: When necessary, we will collaborate with skilled accident reconstruction experts to recreate the sequence of events leading to the accident. This detailed analysis can be instrumental in establishing the negligence of the other party.
- Driver Statements: Our Chicago car accident lawyers will ensure the collection of statements from all involved drivers. We will carefully document these statements, comparing them for consistency or discrepancies to strengthen our case.
- Medical Records and Expert Testimony: To establish the link between the accident and any injuries sustained, we will gather comprehensive medical records. Additionally, we may consult medical experts to provide testimony regarding the extent and causation of your injuries.
- Cell Phone Records: In cases where distracted driving is suspected, we will pursue access to cell phone records to determine if the other party was using their phone at the time of the accident.
- Traffic Violation Records: If the other driver received a citation for a traffic violation related to the accident, we will obtain and present it as evidence of negligence.
- Maintenance and Inspection Records: In cases involving commercial vehicles, we will explore maintenance and inspection records to determine if a lack of proper upkeep contributed to the accident.
- Weather and Road Conditions: We will consider the impact of weather and road conditions during the accident. This involves obtaining official weather reports and documenting any factors that could have contributed to the crash.
By collecting and presenting this array of evidence, our Chicago car accident attorneys at Mike Agruss Law aim to build a compelling case that clearly establishes the liability of the negligent party. Our commitment to a thorough and strategic approach is geared toward obtaining the maximum compensation you are entitled to for the damages resulting from the car accident.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Chicago
The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Chicago, Illinois, is generally two years. This two-year period typically begins on the date of the accident. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time frame, the injured party may lose the right to pursue legal action and seek compensation.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations in Chicago are as follows:
- Discovery of Injuries: If injuries resulting from the car accident were not immediately apparent, the statute of limitations may begin when the injured party discovers or should have reasonably discovered their injuries. This exception allows the two-year period to start from the date of discovery rather than the date of the accident.
- Minor Plaintiffs: If the injured party is under 18 years old at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they turn 18. The two-year period would then begin from their 18th birthday.
- Mental Incapacity: If the injured party is deemed mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they regain mental capacity.
- Defendant’s Absence from the State: If the defendant is not present in Illinois, the time they are absent may not be counted toward the statute of limitations.
- Fraudulent Concealment: If the defendant fraudulently conceals information relevant to the case, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the injured party discovers the fraud.
- Government Entity Involvement: The general notice period for filing a claim against a government entity in Chicago is typically within one year from the date of the injury or the date the injury was discovered. This notice requirement is outlined in the Illinois Court of Claims Act (705 ILCS 505/1 et seq.).
Why Early Representation from Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Matters
Here’s why having our Chicago car accident lawyers on our side soon after the accident helps in maximizing your claim for damages:
Preservation of Evidence
We understand the importance of preserving evidence. Our legal team will immediately start gathering key evidence like witness statements, photographs, and accident reports while the information is fresh and readily available. This helps build a strong case supporting your claim for damages.
Our lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident. By acting promptly, we can identify and collect evidence related to liability, such as traffic camera footage or any other information that may be time-sensitive.
Negotiations with Insurers
We will handle all communications with insurance companies for you. Early involvement allows us to handle the complex process of dealing with insurance adjusters more effectively, ensuring that your rights are protected and you do not inadvertently provide information that could be used against you later.
Timely Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention after the accident is crucial for your health and your legal claim. Our attorneys can guide you through this process, while helping you collect medical records and document your injuries and pain and suffering.
Early Assessment of Damages
Our legal team will work to assess the full extent of your damages, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This early evaluation helps formulate a comprehensive claim for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Adhering to Legal Deadlines
Chicago has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. By involving our lawyers early, you ensure that all legal deadlines are met, preventing the risk of losing the right to pursue a claim due to a missed deadline.
Legal proceedings in car accident claims can be complex, and mistakes made in the early stages may harm your case later. Having our attorneys involved from the beginning helps prevent common pitfalls and ensures that your case is built on a solid foundation.
Negotiating from a Position of Strength
Early involvement allows our Chicago car accident attorney to negotiate with insurance companies from a position of strength. By presenting a well-documented case early on, we increase the likelihood of reaching a fair settlement that reflects the true extent of your injuries and losses.
Comparative Negligence Rule in Chicago for Car Accidents
Chicago, IL follows a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to car accidents. This rule is specified in the Illinois Compiled Statutes (735 ILCS 5/2-1116).
Modified Comparative Negligence: Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means that even if the injured party is partially at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages. However, the amount of compensation they receive will be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault, and there is a bar on recovery under certain conditions as explained below.
50 Percent Bar Rule: There is a limitation on recovery if the injured party is found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident. If the injured party’s fault is 50 percent or more, they are barred from recovering any damages.
The harsh 50 percent bar rule introduces complexities in determining liability and assessing the degree of fault. Our attorneys are well-versed in these rules and will proactively counter the insurance company’s attempts to shift 50% or more of the fault to you. We will ensure that your damages are accurately assessed and that you receive the compensation you deserve, preventing unwarranted attempts to shift blame.
Why Choose Us?
With decades of combined experience in the field, our seasoned Chicago car accident attorneys at Mike Agruss Law bring extensive knowledge and expertise to each case. We have successfully handled numerous cases, demonstrating our ability to navigate the complexities of personal injury law.
Positive Client Reviews
Our clients speak for us through their reviews. With over 750 five-star Google reviews, we have a strong reputation for providing dedicated and effective legal representation. Our clients’ testimonials highlight our commitment to fighting for the rights of injured car accident victims in Chicago.
Thousands of Cases Handled
At Mike Agruss Law, we have successfully handled over 8,000 cases, which speaks to our skill and ability to navigate a wide range of car accident personal injury claim scenarios. Our track record reflects our dedication to achieving the most favorable outcomes for our clients.
Millions Recovered for Clients
Our commitment to obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients is evident from the large settlements and verdicts we have won on their behalf. We tirelessly advocate for their rights, ensuring they receive the maximum financial recovery or insurance claim in car accident cases.
Trial Preparedness and Negotiation Skills
We approach every case with a trial-ready mindset, even during negotiations. This approach signals to opposing parties, including powerful insurance companies, that we are fully prepared to take the case to court if necessary. We use our negotiation skills to secure the largest compensation based on solid evidence and legal arguments.
Our experienced car accident attorney team places a strong emphasis on evidence-based advocacy. The moment you sign up with us, we move fast to collect and analyze evidence, building a robust foundation for your case. This evidence-driven approach strengthens our position in negotiations and potential litigation.
Ability to Take on Powerful Insurance Companies
We have a proven track record of taking on large insurance companies and achieving favorable results for our clients. Our experienced car accident lawyer team in Chicago is not intimidated by powerful defendants, and we fight vigorously to ensure your right to compensation is fully protected against any opposition.
FAQ About Chicago IL Car Accident Law
Working through the legal process of a claim can be difficult. However, finding the right Illinois tort law professional to support your claim could ease your burdens. Consult with Mike Agruss Law today if you have any further questions.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve gotten about Chicago car accidents:
How much time do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Illinois?
The statute of limitations defines how long an injured car accident victim has to file a lawsuit. In Illinois, if your lawsuit is filed too late, you could be denied from receiving compensation. The typical statute of limitations on car accident injuries is two years, but there are some exceptions.
When should I file my car accident lawsuit?
According to car accident law professionals, your accident should meet three requirements before you file a claim. The responsible party acted negligently in your accident. Their negligence led to your injuries. Those injuries resulted in damages like medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering.
What are the damages?
If you’re injured in a car accident, at no fault of your own, then you may be awarded monetary compensation in court. This compensation is called damages, and it’s meant to help you recuperate your losses. These losses may be financial, emotional, or personal.
Compensatory damages can help make you whole again. It may be difficult to recover your losses when you’ve suffered a serious or permanent injury, but in these cases, your awarded damages can provide value to help you get the best possible quality of life available. Speak with a professional car crash attorney today about your accident injury.
How do Illinois courts determine who is at fault in my car accident?
Determining who’s at fault for your accident may seem clear to you but proving that in court may prove a bit more difficult. Numerous factors occur when an accident happens. Working with an Illinois accident law expert can help you discover what caused your accident and who’s liable.
Proving fault in your car crash is vital. The at-fault party’s car insurance company will be responsible for paying repair costs for other vehicles involved in the accident. If others are injured in an accident, the at-fault party could be liable for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
Is Illinois a no-fault state?
Illinois is a fault, tort law, insurance state. This means that all the parties involved in your collision will look to the at-fault party to recover their damages. As a victim, you and your attorney will determine who was at fault for your crash and file a claim with that party’s insurance company.
What is No-Doubt Liability?
Insurance companies collaborate with their claims adjusters and the police reports to determine who is financially liable for the accident. No doubt liability accidents occur when it is obvious who is at fault. An example of this could be drivers who were found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit at the time of the accident. Insurance companies can use this information to help establish fault in your claim.
What is Comparative Negligence Law?
Oftentimes who is at fault is not clear, and that’s where your car accident attorney comes into play. Your attorney can investigate the physical and circumstantial evidence to determine who was to blame for an accident.
Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law compensates victims for injuries in proportion to fault. So, when you are involved in a car accident in Chicago, being compensated for your injuries doesn’t mean the defendant needs to be completely responsible.
Due to Illinois law, you are only entitled to compensation if you are found to be 50 percent at fault or less. If you or your loved one are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, Illinois prohibits you from recovering damages.
What are the four elements necessary to prove liability for a car accident in Illinois?
Illinois laws require duty, a breach, causation, and damages to prove liability in a car accident. Duty means the defendant owed you a duty of care. Next, the defendant must have breached their duty of care to you. Then you’ll be responsible for demonstrating that the breach caused your accident and that accident made you incur damages.
Where hazardous road conditions cause a car accident, can the municipality be held liable?
If poor roads and hazardous driving conditions caused your car accident, your attorney could use this as evidence to seek reconciliatory damages for your claim. This can include your property losses and personal injury damages.
Even if you are partially at fault, you may pursue compensation for the portion of damages caused by the other party, including a municipality. However, keep in mind that the statute of limitation may be different when municipalities are involved, so speak with an experienced Illinois personal injury law professional about your claim before it’s too late.
How long will my car accident case take?
Every car accident claim is unique. However, several factors can have a marked effect on the length of your case. Auto accident attorneys recommend waiting until you’ve fully healed from your injuries before seeking damages for your medical bills.
The length of your case will be dependent upon all of the different variables in your claim. Generally, no-doubt liability cases could be resolved in as little as six months, while complex comparative negligence cases could take two or more years to resolve.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Charge?
Many car accident attorneys handle their cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless they successfully resolve your case, you will not pay anything for their time. If they can obtain a financial settlement or verdict on your behalf, then they will deduct their fees directly from the award based on an agreed-upon percentage. At Mike Agruss Law, our injury contingency fee is always ⅓, and that’s not changing.
Although hiring a Chicago car accident lawyer won’t cost you anything unless you receive compensation, not hiring an attorney could be detrimental. Many car accident claimants in Illinois recover more with a Chicago car accident law office representing them. Insurance companies have even offered higher settlements when they discover you’ve hired a reputable attorney.
Why should I hire a Chicago, IL car accident lawyer?
Every auto accident case is unique, and there are no guarantees about a particular outcome in any claim. However, when hiring an injury accident attorney, it’s important to find someone who is steadfast, devoted, and fully attentive to your needs.
Car accident litigation can be intricate, and obtaining fair compensation without the help of experienced Chicago car accident attorneys may prove difficult. Insurance companies often take advantage of victims who are not represented by experienced car accident trial lawyers.
At Mike Agruss Law, we handle your case from start to finish. We provide the hands-on personal touch necessary to see that your claim is successful. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We represent individuals (and their families) who have been injured in an accident in Illinois statewide. We can handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way.
We will not hesitate to go to trial for you when necessary. Lastly, we are not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. There is no risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.