Springfield, IL Car Accident Attorney
Access Springfield Car Accident Resources:
- What are the statute of limitations in Illinois for car accidents?
- How much is my Springfield car accident claim worth?
- When should I hire an accident attorney?
- How can an attorney prove negligence in a car accident claim?
- What is the legal process after a car accident?
- What are the Illinois car insurance requirements?
- What is the most common cause of car accidents?
- Illinois Car Accident Statistics
The CDC reports that, as of 2016, accidents – including motor vehicle accidents – were the number three cause of death in the United States. If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a car wreck, contact the experienced Springfield car accident attorneys at Kanoski Bresney. We offer extensive experience in auto collision claims and have been protecting the rights of injured people throughout central Illinois for more than 40 years.
If you’re currently searching for an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your car accident with, contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Statute of Limitations In Illinois Car Accidents
If a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident that the negligence of another driver caused, he or she must pursue the case within the statute of limitations. Otherwise, courts will refuse to hear the case and the at-fault party will not require the at fault party to compensate the victim for his injuries. The Illinois statute of limitations is as follows.
Currently no cap exists for damages awarded to injured parties in the state of Illinois, as the state has recently found caps to be unconstitutional. However, drivers who are partially at fault – though less at fault – for an accident may have damages limited.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
An experienced Springfield car accident attorney can help you fight for fair compensation after you’ve been involved in an accident at the hands of another’ negligence. Various types of damages can be pursued in a car accident injury case, based upon the condition of the victim. An accident attorney at Kanoski Bresney can help you obtain specific types of damages in a settlement or at trial, termed economic and non-economic damages for a range of losses. They include:
When Should I Hire a Springfield Car Accident Attorney?
Our Springfield, Illinois accident attorneys are committed to helping accident victims. While we have successfully obtained million-dollar verdicts and settlements in complex injury cases, we also represent victims against insurance companies who have smaller claims. Regardless of the severity of your injury, we are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you are owed.
Kanoski Bresney is the largest personal injury law firm in Springfield, Illinois. Our personal injury attorneys have obtained more than $400 million in compensation for accident victims. With offices in Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Macomb, Pekin, Quincy, Rushville, and Springfield, we can effectively serve clients throughout central Illinois. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Kanoski Bresney today at (217) 523-7742 or by email.
How Can an Attorney Prove Negligence?
Proof that driver negligence caused an accident requires the establishment of several pieces of evidence.
- The driver had to exercise care and drive safely, which the existence of traffic laws in the state of Illinois proves.
- The driver did not drive as a reasonable person would have to prevent the accident.
- The driver’s actions directly resulted in the accident.
- The plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the driver’s actions.
Illinois State Traffic Laws and At-Fault Determinations
Some types of accidents are often easier to establish fault in than others. Rear-end collisions, for example, are nearly always the fault of the driver in the rear, and the damage will often be evidence enough to show the positions of the two vehicles during the accident. Exceptions exist that apply fault to both drivers, including vehicles rear-ended because of tail light failure, rendering the struck vehicle impossible to see in the dark.
Left turn accidents are another type of accident that usually holds one party at fault over the other. Any vehicle turning left is required to yield to vehicles traveling straight, so accidents involving the two are usually the fault of the turning driver. Exceptions may apply for oncoming drivers who ran red lights or were speeding at the time of the accident, but these are often difficult to prove.
What is the Legal Process After an Accident?
After an accident in the state of Illinois, authorities will determine the at-fault party. The at-fault party is the driver who caused the accident; in some cases, involving multiple vehicles, there may be more than one at-fault party. For example, if one driver left his or her lane, resulting in another driver swerving to avoid an accident and hitting a third car, there may be more than one at-fault party.
Illinois is a moderate comparative negligence state, which means the driver that is more at fault must pay the driver less at fault the comparative percentage of the damages he or she caused. Therefore, if the court determines one driver to be 75% at fault for the damages, he or she must cover 75% of the costs the other driver incurred.
A driver who directly caused the accident, regardless of the reason, must compensate the injured parties. If he or she is adequately insured, the injured parties may do one of the following.
- File an insurance claim with their own insurance company, who will settle the claim with the driver’s insurance company
- File a third-party claim directly with the driver’s insurance company
- File a personal injury suit in civil court if they believe the driver acted negligently
Illinois Car Insurance Requirements
Illinois is an at-fault state, meaning that a driver determined to be at fault in a motor vehicle accident is liable for the expenses other drivers incur. Expenses may include personal property damage and medical bills, as well as any undue pain and suffering the other party experiences. If the driver has adequate insurance, as required by state law, the driver’s insurance company will remit compensation for the accident claim.
Like most other states, Illinois requires a minimum liability insurance, which drivers must maintain to provide compensation for damages other parties may incur if they cause an accident. Liability coverage in Illinois is as follows.
- A minimum of $25,000 to cover injury or death of a single party
- A minimum of $50,000 to cover injury or death of multiple parties
- A minimum of $20,000 to cover property damages
It is good practice for drivers to maintain liability coverage higher than the minimum, in the event that damages exceed the minimum coverage amounts, as drivers will be responsible for the remainder.
Illinois automatically provides customers purchasing minimum liability insurance with uninsured motorist coverage in the same amounts. For this reason, if an uninsured driver causes damages to property or injuries to another driver, the insured driver’s company will cover the financial damages.
Other, Non-Mandatory Insurance
Collision coverage is not mandatory but provides coverage for the driver’s own vehicle in the event they cause an accident that results in damage to their vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is also not a requirement, but many Illinois drivers opt to include it. It provides coverage for non-accident-related damages such as hail and wild animal damage.
Medical or personal injury protection coverage allows for medical payments for the at-fault party as well as any passengers. This coverage also pays for funeral expenses for the above parties. In some cases, personal injury protection also covers missed wages and other aspects of missed work. Finally, some insurance policies provide a rental car for those the accident affects, but Illinois law does not require residents to maintain this insurance.
What Causes Most Car Accidents in Illinois?
Accident causes, such as drunk driving, distracted driving due to cell phones, and driver fatigue, continue to be prevalent in the area, though accident causes are typically broken down into two categories: those that drive error cause, and those that other elements cause. Other elements that cause accidents can include weather-related accidents, poor roadway-related accidents, and vehicle failure accidents. Even under circumstances where other elements caused the accident, courts may still hold drivers partially responsible if investigators find that they were driving unsafely. We recognize that a car wreck can occur anywhere. However, there are a few factors that increase the chances of being involved in a Springfield car accident:
- Narrow and winding rural roads
- Two-lane roads
- Unmarked intersections
- High corn in the summer
- Slow-moving farm vehicles
- High speeds on I-55 and I-57
- Distracted or drunk driving
Driver error causes many of the accidents in the Springfield area. Distracted driving can result from cell phone usage, food consumption while driving, music playing, or other individuals in the car causing a distraction. Other poor driving issues, such as driving while intoxicated, failure to maintain control, following too closely, and others, can result in accidents due to failure to obey traffic laws.
Illinois Car Accident Statistics
In 2018, the state of Illinois saw 961 fatal vehicle crashes, resulting in 1,047 deaths statewide, as reported by the IDOT – on a par with previous years. In Springfield alone, the number of crashes for 2016 – the most recent year statistics were released – was 3,862, with a total of ten deaths and 1,360 injuries. The Springfield crashes involved a total of 7,441 vehicles, resulting in property damages to 2,913.
Accidents in the Springfield area have been decreasing in the past few years, though fatalities appear to be fluctuating. This figure can change drastically due to the types of accidents, the types of vehicles involved in accidents, and the changing weather conditions. Particularly dangerous roadways in the area continue to include the intersection of Sangamon Parkway and Dirksen Parkway, as well as entire stretches of Interstates 55 and 72.