Whether it is just a small bump at low speed or a violent impact on the highway, any type of collision between multi-ton motor vehicles can lead to serious damage, not only to your car but also to your physical and financial well-being. If you were recently involved in a crash that you believe someone else caused, it may be worth talking to a Hazel Crest car accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney could examine the details of your unique situation and help determine whether you are eligible to file suit against another liable party for damages.
Illinois is a fault state when it comes to car accidents, meaning that people in Hazel Crest have multiple options for pursuing compensation immediately following a wreck. In a no-fault state, all accident victims seeking financial restitution must start with their own insurance policy, but in Illinois an injured party can instead start by filing a claim against another involved party’s insurance, or skip straight to civil litigation against the other party directly if they wish.
Regardless of which path is taken, almost all car accident cases start with the involved parties pursuing an out-of-court settlement, and most cases end with just such an agreement. However, insurance companies are well-known for offering low initial settlement amounts and for trying to take advantage of unrepresented plaintiffs, so retaining a car crash attorney is almost always a good idea following an accident in Hazel Crest.
If a case does proceed to court, any liability the plaintiff bears for their own injuries may negatively affect any damage award they receive. 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/2-1116 allows civil courts to reduce compensation owed to a plaintiff by whatever percentage of fault they bear, as well as to restrict from recovering any compensation if they bear more than 50 percent of the total fault.
A serious car accident may lead a victim with broken bones, severe lacerations, muscle damage, and—in the worst cases—permanent consequences like amputations and traumatic brain damage. Any costs related to medical treatment for these ailments, whether in the short term or the long term, generally form the foundation of a personal injury lawsuit following such a wreck.
However, these are not the only type of damages a car accident victim may be able to recover for with a Hazel Crest lawyer’s help. For example, if a severe injury sustained in a car crash requires someone to take time off work to recover, any short-term wages—or future earning capacity—lost as a result may be factored into a settlement demand.
Other damages that do not have an objective financial value may be recoverable as well. The term “pain and suffering” covers many of these types of damages, but more specific non-economic losses that a plaintiff could pursue include loss of enjoyment of life, loss of time with family, the negative effects of post-traumatic stress, and the lifelong harm associated with a debilitating injury or disfigurement.
Whether it happens at a busy intersection, on a crowded highway, or on a slow neighborhood street, a car accident can quickly and sometimes irreversibly change the trajectory of your life. In order to recover fully following such an incident, you may need to seek civil compensation from the person responsible for the wreck—and to do that effectively, you may need professional legal help.
A Hazel Crest car accident lawyer could explain your legal options, help you catalog all your injuries and losses, and use whatever legal means necessary to tirelessly pursue an optimal result. Call today to schedule a consultation.