Car accidents are among the most common sources of personal injury claims. Despite this, many people are not aware of their rights when they are involved in an accident that is someone else’s fault. People injured in car accidents may have a claim against an at-fault driver for all their damages, not just for the cost to repair their car or for medical bills.

A Cicero car accident lawyer is dedicated to helping you pursue compensation for your car accident claim, and work to protect you against aggressive insurance companies and provide you with peace of mind. Contact a seasoned personal injury attorney today to get started on your case. En Español.

Assigning Fault

In Cicero, one driver must always be assigned blame in a car accident. There is never a collision between two vehicles for which no one is at fault. Assigning fault is key in a car accident claim since the at-fault driver is legally liable to pay for all damage caused by the accident.

Another way to think about this concept is to examine the accident through the lens of legal negligence. Negligence is a cause of action that people injured in accidents use to hold other people responsible. To prove negligence in a car accident case, a plaintiff must prove that:

  • The defendant owed them a responsibility to protect them, known as a duty of care
  • The defendant took action or failure to act, in a way that breached this duty
  • The breach of the duty of care directly caused injury to the plaintiff

The type of accident – such as side-impact, front-end, rear-end, or rollover accident – could shed light on who is at fault.

Determining a Breach of a Defendant’s Duty of Care

Drivers inherently assume a duty of care for other people around them whenever they drive any type of vehicle. For this reason, the first portion of negligence is always satisfied in a car accident case.

The crucial question in all car accident cases is whether the actions taken by the defendant breached this duty—in other words, assigning fault for the accident. Key evidence concerning this question may be found in the responding officer’s police report. This report often assigns outright blame for the accident or states that one of the drivers was issued a ticket. When this is the case, the law assumes that the defendant was at-fault based on the concept of negligence per se. A skilled lawyer can help the injured person gather evidence that will help assign fault.

One other important aspect of car accident law in Cicero is the statute of limitations. This statute states that all claims for a personal injury must be filed in court within two years from the date of the injury. This may seem like a long time, but the process of gathering evidence and negotiating a settlement can take many months, so it is wise to file a car accident case as soon as possible after an incident.

Damages

It is easy to assume that the damages that result from car accidents are limited to the physical, such as damage to their car and any medical costs associated with bringing injured victims back to health. These damages can be part of a claim, but plaintiffs in Cicero may also demand compensation for the full economic impact of the accident.

In the aftermath of many accidents, an injured person will be forced to miss some time at work. Whether this is because of an injury suffered in the accident or due to the need to visit therapists afterward, all the time missed from work can be compensable in a civil suit.

A car accident claim in Cicero can also include pain and suffering as a form of non-economic damage. To claim pain or suffering, a plaintiff must show they have sought treatment for mental symptoms from a professional. A car accident lawyer in Cicero can assist the plaintiff with figuring out the amount of damage the at-fault driver caused.

Car Accident Fatalities

If the negligence results in a fatality, then the defendant is responsible for wrongful death damages. The death does not need to occur at the scene of the accident in order to initiate this type of case. In fact, it is common for people to survive for a period of time until ultimately succumbing to their injuries days, weeks, or even months later.

Car manufacturers have designed vehicles to be much safer but no manufacturer can guarantee the complete safety of someone in a car crash. There are a couple of scenarios which result in a disproportionate number of traffic accident fatalities. First, accidents which involve vehicles traveling at high rates of speed will more commonly result in more serious injuries, including death. Another area where fatalities are frequent is when a car strikes a pedestrian or a bicyclist with the vehicle. If there is an accident which results in a fatality, it is important to contact a Cook County car crash lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.

Punitive Damages

Most automobile accidents are the result of negligence, which is the failure to operate a car with reasonable care. However, sometimes the behavior of the driver of the car can rise to a certain level of recklessness. For example, drinking and driving is an aggravating factor of automobile crashes. In these types of situations, especially when the accident results in a fatality, there might be additional legal remedies; namely, the at-fault driver may be charged criminally for their reckless behavior in driving. In a civil case, reckless driving can allow for the recovery of punitive damages, which are meant to punish the at-fault driver for their unacceptable behavior.

Learn More About How a Cicero Car Accident Attorney Could Help

An experienced Cicero car accident lawyer works with you to understand the full impact your accident has had on your life and demands appropriate compensation from the responsible party.

Whether you suffer an injury from which you quickly recover or endure a debilitating condition in the long term, you have the right to seek compensation. Call today to get started on your case.

Client Review

By: Patty G.

Title: Happy with the Outcome

The lawyers at McCready Law are the best, they helped me with my case and I was very happy with the outcome. Thank you to everyone at McCready Law.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars