When a motor vehicle driver hits a barrier, an animal, or another vehicle while moving forward, the result is a front-end accident. Front-end accidents could cause extensive property damage to the vehicle and the person or object that was hit, and might cause injury to the driver. A collision between two forward-moving vehicles could cause severe injuries.
People who have suffered injuries in front-end car accidents in Hazel Crest might be able to receive damages from any party whose negligence led to the accident. Consulting with a forthright car accident attorney soon after the accident could help you make a firm decision about the right next step.
Anyone seeking damages after a motor vehicle accident must prove that someone’s negligence contributed to the crash. The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to others which they did not uphold. The plaintiff also must demonstrate that the accident would not have happened but for the defendant’s failure. Finally, the plaintiff must present proof of their losses and show that the wreck caused them.
The defendant in a car accident case could be another driver, but not always. If mechanical failure was a contributor, such as a faulty brake or a broken steering wheel, then the manufacturer of the faulty product could be liable. If shoddy road maintenance, confusing or absent signage, or poorly designed roads or crosswalks were a factor, the state or a municipal government might have responsibility.
A local front-end auto crash attorney could investigate the circumstances to identify parties who might have been negligent. The earlier in the process that the plaintiff’s attorney is able to secure evidence and interview witnesses, the stronger the case is likely to be.
Sometimes the party who is injured shares some of the blame for an accident. Many front-end car crashes in Hazel Crest result from a combination of factors that could include plaintiff’s negligence.
If a case goes to trial, the judge or jury will decide how to allocate fault among the parties. The defendants might attempt to blame the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney could present any available evidence to indicate that the defendant bears most of the responsibility.
According to 735 Illinois Compiled Statues §2-1116, a plaintiff who is less than 50 percent at fault for an accident can recover damages from other negligent parties. However, the law calls for damages to be reduced to reflect their percentage of fault. For example, a plaintiff who proved damages of $10,000 but was 20 percent at fault would collect $8,000 instead.
Illinois requires someone who suffers injuries in a car accident to file a lawsuit within two years of the of the crash. If the injured person was a minor at the time of the accident, they have until two years after their 18th birthday to bring suit.
A plaintiff who fails to file their suit in a timely manner loses access to the courts, no matter how strong the claim. Even if a person hopes to avoid court, it is vital to keep the statute of limitations in mind. The threat of a lawsuit often motivates defendants and their insurers to engage in good-faith negotiations to come up with a fair settlement.
If a defendant is the state or a municipal government, plaintiffs have only one year to file a formal notice of claim with the appropriate government agency. A notice of claim is not a formal lawsuit filing but a court will not hear a lawsuit against a government if the notice was not filed on time. A car accident attorney who works front-end crash cases could ensure this notice is filed timely to preserve all of an injured person’s rights.
Trying to reach a fair settlement with an insurance company is challenging at the best of times but it is even harder if you are recovering from a severe injury. You might be in a desperate economic situation and the insurance companies could take advantage. Protect yourself by handing the negotiations off to a lawyer who represents those involved in front-end car accidents in Hazel Crest. Call now to learn what is possible in your case.