Illinois Car Accidents

Illinois Car Accident Lawyers and Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident in Illinois, you will need a lawyer to help you recover damages for your medical bills and compensation for your pain and suffering. Please fill out all of the information requested below and we will refer your case to an attorney in our national network of counsel.Call 1-800-934-2921 for Illinois claims.
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Illinois Car Accident Claims

If you are involved in a car accident and wish to file a claim against the person you believe responsible for the incident in an Illinois court, you should make yourself aware of the basic laws the State of Illinois employs in determining liability and awarding damages to plaintiffs.

Every individual operating a motor vehicle within Illinois has a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of that motor vehicle. The burden of reasonable care makes drivers accountable for acts which they knew would likely result in personal or property injury and for acts which they should have known would likely result in personal or property injury. Illinois state law identifies a driver's failure to use reasonable care as negligence. Negligence represents the first requirement for a successful lawsuit.

Once you have established the negligence of a party, you must show that their negligence caused the accident that resulted in your lawsuit. "Causation," in a legal sense, can be a complex issue, but suffice it to say that if the negligence of the party resulted in the injury to person or property for which you have sued, causation exists.

Finally, in order to maintain a suit as the result of an automobile accident, you must prove that you have suffered damages. Damages include economic injury, such as lost income or wages, medical and funeral expenses, lost support and services, and replacement value or repair costs of personal property damaged in the accident. In addition, damages may include non-economic injuries such pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience as a result of bodily injury that result from the accident.

A court may reduce your damages, if the defendant can establish that actions on your part contributed to the accident. This principle, known as "comparative negligence," holds that a court can reduce your damage award by the percentage for which a jury found you responsible for the accident. For example, if you establish damages in the amount of $10,000, but the jury finds that your negligence constituted twenty percent of the reason the accident occurred, then your damage award would be reduced by twenty percent, to $8,000.

Illinois law also allows the reduction of damage awards by any amounts you might have received from public or private insurance to compensate you for your losses. Under this rule, known as the "Collateral Source Rule," if you received $1,000 from your auto insurer to cover your medical expenses after an accident, a court may reduce your damage award, if it includes medical expenses, by $1,000.


You should note that Illinois law requires a plaintiff to file suit within a specified period of time, depending on the type of claim the plaintiff makes. For claims concerning personal injury, seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, Illinois law specifies a two year statute of limitation. Regarding claims of property damage, such as damage to the plaintiff's automobile, or other property, Illinois specifies a five year statute of limitations. This means that for personal injury claims, you may only file your suit within two years from the date of the accident and for property claims within five years from the date of the accident. Illinois law prohibits any suit filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations. If you think that you might have a claim against another party as the result of a car accident, you should consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your suit is filed within the applicable statute of limitations.


Illinois law allows you to sue not only the operator of the vehicle but also the employer of the operator of the vehicle, if the operator was acting in his capacity as an employee. In cases where the owner of the vehicle was not the operator, you may also be able to sue the owner in addition to suing the operator. In order to sue the owner, however, you must establish that the owner was a passenger at the time of the accident, or that the operator acted as an agent of the owner during the time in which the accident occurred. Illinois law also holds owners liable if the plaintiff establishes that the owner knew or should have known that the person the owner allowed to operate the vehicle was a reckless, incompetent, or inexperienced driver.


Illinois law mandates a certain minimum automobile liability insurance coverage for all automobiles registered in the state. Depending on the terms of the individual policy, liability insurance typically covers the cost of property damage, including the cost of repair or replacement for any property damaged as the result of an accident. Liability insurance also pays medical bills and lost wages as a result of bodily injuries incurred in an accident.

Illinois law requires that each car registered in the state have a minimum of $20,000 in insurance coverage for one person injured in an accident, and a minimum of $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident. In addition, Florida requires a minimum $15,000 in coverage for property damage. Illinois law also mandates $10,000 in coverage for when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver.

Beyond this compulsory insurance, you may wish to purchase additional insurance coverage. As the owner of an automobile, a court may hold you personally liable for any damages in excess of your insurance coverage for any accident your vehicle caused through negligent operation. Purchasing additional coverage could protect your personal assets in case of a suit.

Basic Reparations or Medical Payments Coverage, Collision Coverage, and Comprehensive Coverage are three types of additional, optional insurance coverage. Basic Reparations Coverage covers bodily injury and medical expenses of an at-fault driver who does not have medical insurance. Collision coverage pays for damages incurred by the at-fault driver in accidents involving collision. Finally, Comprehensive Coverage pays for damage to a vehicle not caused by collision, including damages caused by theft, vandalism, flood, fire, and explosion

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