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Naperville Car Accident Lawyer

Trust a Lawyer with Experience. Trust Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy, LLC.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, your emotional and financial stress can sometimes feel worse than the injuries themselves. An automobile accident does not have to ruin your life! With representation from an experienced attorney, you may be able to get money to help with the costs of your injuries, as well as to make up for your pain and suffering.

A key aspect of moving beyond this accident is talking to a lawyer who can discuss your legal options with you and give you peace of mind. With help from one of our Naperville car accident attorneys, you will find that the legal process is not nearly as daunting and that you will feel more enabled to make smart choices that will lead to a more favorable result for you.

Contact Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy, LLC at (773) 906-4063 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Our legal team is accessible and attentive to your needs, offering personalized legal services for every client. We have recovered millions on behalf of injury victims and will charge you no fees unless we win your case. You can meet with us for a consultation at our office in Naperville or in Downtown Chicago.

Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

Even relatively minor accidents can result in significant injuries that can last months, years, and even a lifetime.

Car accidents can result in a wide variety of serious, life-altering injuries, including:

  • Neck injury
  • Brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Back injury
  • Scarring
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD
  • Hearing or sight loss

It is extremely important that after you are in an accident, even if you feel minimal symptoms or perfectly normal, you go to the doctor to identify any possible problems. Due to shock and the nature of many of these injuries, the painful symptoms may not be apparent until days later. Rather than risk your health and safety, it is always best to identify any problems as early as possible so that you can do what needs to be done to treat and fix them.

You can reach us today at (773) 906-4063. Get started today!

An Overview of Illinois Car Accident Laws

Illinois operates under a traditional tort system for car accidents, meaning that drivers are responsible for paying for any damages and injuries they cause to others in the event of a crash. While some other states employ a "no-fault" system which requires drivers to turn to their own insurance providers for compensation regardless of who caused the crash, injured parties in Illinois have the right to sue the at-fault driver directly.

Drivers in Illinois are required to purchase and maintain the following minimum amounts of insurance coverage to legally operate a motor vehicle on the state's roadways:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person per accident
  • $20,000 for damage to property of another person

As we all know, car accidents can be caused by a multitude of factors and can involve several at-fault parties. Because of this, Illinois combines its fault-based car accident system with a concept known as "modified comparative negligence" which allows an injured party to still recover compensation even if they were partially responsible for the crash, albeit at a reduced rate. As an example, say you were injured in a collision and the other driver is found to be 80% at fault for the crash. Under Illinois' comparative negligence rules, you would still be able to pursue compensation for 80% of your damages from the other party directly or their insurance company.

People generally take one of the following actions after a car accident in Illinois:

  • File a claim with your own insurance company, who will pay the claim and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurer
  • File a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or their insurance company

An attorney can review the circumstances of your case and pursue the most appropriate course of action.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Illinois

While a car accident can be caused by a seemingly endless combination of factors, many collisions can be traced back to some sort of human error. Some of the most common causes of collisions include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while drowsy
  • Driver inexperience (teenage drivers)
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Tailgating / following too closely

Some collisions are caused by factors outside of the driver's control, such as defective auto parts, tire blowouts, or potholes. In these situations, injured motorists may be able to pursue a claim against the defective part's manufacturer or the local government agency responsible for maintaining the roadways.

Illinois Car Accident Statute of Limitations

It is important to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Illinois. Like all other civil claims, car accident lawsuits are subject to a time limit commonly known as a "statute of limitations" which places a hard deadline on your ability to sue.

  • Car accident injury claims: Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202, you generally only have two years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in state court against the responsible party.
  • Car accident wrongful death claims: This deadline may be different if anyone was killed in the crash. According to 735 ILCS 5/13-209, wrongful death cases must be filed within the same time limit the state has set for the underlying case, or within one year of the date of the death. In other words, the family or personal representatives of the deceased have at least one year from the date of death, or as long as two years from the date of the actual accident, to file a lawsuit.
  • Car accident property damage claims: Finally, property damage lawsuits related to car accidents must be filed within five years of the date of the crash to be heard in state court.

Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired will typically result in your case being automatically dismissed, thereby preventing you from pursuing compensation. An attorney experienced in handling Naperville car accident lawsuits can help you understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Naperville

A car accident is a jarring experience and can cause even the calmest people to lose their composure. While you may be feeling shaken up in the aftermath of a collision, it is important to stay focused and be mindful of your words and actions. What you say and do can have a considerable impact on your ability recover compensation later on.

After a crash, be sure to do the following:

  • Stay at the scene: Assess if others are injured and call 911 immediately if anyone appears seriously hurt. Call the police and report the collision after.
  • Protect the accident scene: Leave your vehicles in their final positions until the police arrive. Turn on your hazard lights and set up road flares if you have any to increase your visibility to nearby drivers.
  • Tell the police your version of the events: You can be sure that the other involved drivers are going to tell the police what they feel happened. Make sure your side of the story is heard and recorded in the police report. Stick to the facts and avoid any uncertain statements or speculation. Do not apologize for the crash. If you are asked by the police if you are hurt, say that you won't know until you see a doctor.
  • Take photos: If you have access to a smartphone, take photographs of the damage to all involved vehicles, their positioning in relation to each other, tire tracks, your injuries, traffic patterns, weather conditions, and any other details that help paint the picture of what happened. The more evidence you collect, the better.
  • Exchange information: Get the contact information of all involved parties and witnesses to the crash, including names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, license plate numbers, and driver's license numbers.
  • Seek medical help: If you were not rushed to the hospital, go and see a doctor as soon as you are cleared to leave the accident scene. Injuries caused by car accidents are not always immediately apparent and may take days before symptoms first surface. Tell your doctor about any and all aches and pains you experience and tell them you were in a car accident. This will ensure they are as thorough in their evaluation as possible and establish a written record that you were treated. Follow your doctor's follow-up instructions closely and keep a record of all documentation related to your treatment.
  • Guard your rights: You will need to report the crash to your insurance company within a few days of the crash to be eligible for coverage. Before you talk to an insurance adjuster, however, it is important you consult with a skilled attorney to guard your rights and determine the most appropriate course of action. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available.

Naperville Car Accident FAQ

How much is my car accident claim worth?

Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy can help you determine a fair compensation amount that takes all costs into account. There are the "hard costs" that are easy to add up, such as medical bills and car repair/replacement costs. But what about pain and suffering? It's difficult to add up something that doesn't come with a receipt. Our experienced Naperville car accident lawyers can help determine the maximum amount you deserve after an accident by determining a fair dollar amount for injuries such as:

  • PTSD after the accident
  • depression, anxiety, and insomnia
  • memory loss
  • physical limitation
  • physical pain, whether permanent or temporary

Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?

While you are not required to get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn't your fault, having a competent Naperville car accident lawyer on your side may help you avoid liability if the other driver claims it was your fault. Additionally, an attorney can help you fight for compensation to cover medical bills, lost income, car repairs, and more.

A good question to ask your self if you are considering hiring an attorney is, "Are my injuries serious enough to consider filing a claim to get compensation?" If your answer is yes, then hiring a lawyer is beneficial. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay anything unless we win your case, so you have nothing to lose.

If a police officer gave me a ticket at the scene of the crash, does that mean I am at fault?

Not necessarily. While traffic tickets can be an indicator of fault, they do not always provide the full picture of what happened. It is entirely possible that an investigation of your collision may reveal additional evidence proving the other party was partially responsible for the crash. Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt, but rather an acknowledgement that you have received a notice to appear in court.

Should I accept the insurance company's settlement offer?

Don't accept any settlement the insurance company offers you without first discussing your situation with a skilled attorney. In many cases, the insurance company's initial offer is worth only a fraction of the true value of your losses. If you accept their offer, you will be bound to this amount and will not be able to recover any further compensation in the future. An attorney can evaluate the true value of your claim and help you fight for the full financial award you deserve.

If I hire an attorney, does that mean I have to go to court?

Not necessarily. The vast majority of auto accident cases are settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the involved insurance company. However, if we believe that there is a large discrepancy between what insurance company is offering and what we believe your case to be worth, we are fully prepared to go to trial if necessary to secure a secure a favorable outcome.

Is it really necessary to hire a lawyer after a car accident?

Not all car accidents require the assistance of an attorney. Generally speaking, crashes that result in little more than cosmetic damage and minor bruises typically can be handled on your own through negotiations with the involved insurance companies. However, it is in your best interests to hire an attorney if your collision caused you or your passenger to be injured, miss work, caused severe damage to your vehicle, or involves a particularly complex area of law. An attorney will likely be able to secure a more favorable result than you would be able to get on your own. If you are at all unsure about your situation, it is best to at least consult with an attorney so you are fully aware of your legal options.

What should I do if the driver that hit me doesn't have insurance?

If you were hit by a driver that does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your losses, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries under your own insurance policy. Under Illinois law, liability insurance policies automatically include uninsured motorist coverage at the legal minimum requirements for bodily injury or death. This ensures coverage if you are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured. It is important to keep in mind that UM/UIM coverage does not pay for damage to your vehicle; you will need to have separate collision coverage for vehicle repairs.

I was in a crash while driving without insurance. Can I still be compensated?

Possibly. Driving without insurance can carry severe penalties such as fines, increased insurance premiums, and a possible suspension of your driving privileges. If you get into an accident while driving without insurance, you will receive a ticket and face all applicable penalties regardless of who is at fault. If you are at fault, you will have to pay for all of the resulting damages out of your own pocket.

If the accident was not your fault, you may still be able to recover some compensation for your injuries under the at-fault driver's insurance coverage, albeit at a reduced amount. While driving without insurance does not negate the other driver's liability for the crash, you will almost certainly be penalized and unable to recover everything you would be entitled to if you had insurance.

What should I tell my insurance company?

Almost every insurance company requires you to contact them with the details of an accident within a few days to be eligible for coverage. Give them the basic details and enough information to open up a claim, but do not agree to give a recorded statement or sign any medical authorizations until you first consult with an attorney.

How long will it take to settle my car accident claim?

There are no laws that require a car accident claim to be settled by a certain time. Generally speaking, however, the length of time your case will require will vary based on the extent of your injuries, the cooperation of the involved insurance company, the opposition's percentage of fault for the crash, and whether or not your case goes to trial.

The settlement process will not begin until you have completed your medical treatment. Once you have completed all medical treatment for your injuries, your attorney will contact the insurance company with a settlement demand. If the involved insurance company fails to offer what we believe is a fair settlement, we may then file a lawsuit. If your case goes to trial, the time required to secure compensation will increase significantly.

Your Attorneys, Advocates, & Counselors

There are countless lawyers out there, but it can be hard to find a lawyer who sees you as more than just a client and sees personal injury law as more than just a job. Our dedicated Naperville car accident attorneys are committed to helping you succeed and see themselves as your biggest advocate and most trusted counselors.

They give honest advice and treat you with the respect, kindness, and compassion you deserve. We can even try to get more compensation than the insurance company promised for your lost or damaged vehicle. You deserve more!

Contact our Naperville car accident lawyers today for a case evaluation. We would love to discuss your case with you. Call us today at (773) 906-4063 to begin.

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