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Springfield, Illinois Car Accident Attorney

Decatur auto accident lawyer for insurance claims and injury lawsuits

Lawyers for Auto Accident Injuries in Sangamon, Champaign, Macon, and Peoria Counties

In the United States, a large percentage of the population drives on a daily basis. Getting behind the wheel is a necessary part of many people's lives, but even though the roads are generally considered to be safe, there is always the risk that a collision may occur. When crashes take place at high speeds, drivers and passengers can suffer serious or even fatal injuries, but even low-speed collisions and seemingly minor fender-benders can cause a person to suffer physical or emotional harm, as well as thousands of dollars in damage to their vehicle. When an accident is somebody else's fault, you deserve to be repaid for all the ways it has affected your life.

At Kanoski Bresney, our attorneys know the drastic effects that a motor vehicle collision can have on a person and their family, and we have more than 40 years of experience representing personal injury victims. We believe in fighting for the rights of those who have been injured because of other people's negligence, and we work to make sure our clients receive the respect, response, and results to help them recover from their injuries. With over $400 million recovered on behalf of our clients, we can provide you with the legal representation to make sure you are fully repaid for the damages suffered in a car accident.

How Many Car Accidents Occur in Central Illinois?

Every year, there are more than 300,000 car accidents in the state of Illinois, and these crashes result in over 65,000 injuries and more than 900 deaths. While the majority of these accidents occur in the areas surrounding Chicago, central Illinois also sees a large number of collisions, injuries, and deaths. For example, Sangamon County averages more than 5,000 accidents each year and close to 20 fatalities, while Peoria County has around 4,500 annual crashes and over a dozen deaths.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accident Injuries?

Many common causes of car accidents involve negligence on the part of drivers, but in some cases, other parties may be at fault, such as a city, county, or state government that was responsible for maintaining safe roads. We can assist with auto accidents involving:

  • Construction zones - Work zones or construction areas can often be hazardous due to closed lanes, narrow roadways, unfamiliar traffic patterns, and the presence of large equipment. Accidents in these areas can occur because drivers do not follow reduced speed limits or take extra care to avoid workers, equipment, or other vehicles, or a lack of adequate signs, traffic cones, or other warning markers may cause drivers to leave the roadway or collide with machinery.
  • Dangerous highways - Collisions can occur on interstate highways in central Illinois, such as I-55, I-57, and I-72, due to traffic moving at high speeds, drivers sharing the road with large trucks, and dangerous weather such as snow, ice, and strong winds. Accidents can also occur on state highways, especially in rural areas where visibility may be limited due to tall crops or when drivers must share the road with tractors and farm equipment.
  • Distracted driving - Drivers sometimes do not pay full attention to the act of driving, and taking one's eyes off the road or one's hands off the steering wheel can lead to dangerous collisions. Some forms of driver negligence that involve distractions include talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, drinking, or grooming while driving, as well as changing radio settings, conversing with passengers, or reaching for objects inside a vehicle.
  • Drunk driving - Intoxication by alcohol, marijuana, or controlled substances can make it impossible for a person to operate a vehicle safely, and this can cause a driver to be unable to avoid colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles.
  • Failure to stop - Speeding, failure of vehicle equipment such as brakes, or inattention to the road can cause a driver to be unable to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision.
  • Head-on collisions - Drivers may leave their lane and travel into oncoming traffic, and this can cause incredibly dangerous and deadly collisions, especially when cars are traveling at high speeds.
  • Open intersections - Rural roads may have unmarked intersections without signs or traffic signals, and navigating these intersections can be difficult, since drivers may be unsure about who has the right of way. Failure to pay close attention to traffic at these intersections can result in car accidents and injuries.
  • Rear-end collisions - In most cases, a person who strikes another vehicle from the rear will be considered to be at fault for the accident. Victims can suffer serious injuries such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries.
  • Rollover accidents - When a driver loses control of their vehicle and goes into a skid, a car or truck may turn over, and this can lead to injuries for the vehicle's occupants or anyone else involved in a collision. Rollovers often affect top-heavy vehicles, but they can also occur on rural roads where vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
  • Uber and Lyft rideshare accidents - Victims of car accidents involving drivers for rideshare companies may find it difficult to recover compensation, since these companies consider workers to be independent contractors rather than employees. In some cases, passengers or people in other vehicles may be injured because a company failed to screen out an unqualified or dangerous driver.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorists - If a person who was at fault in a car accident did not have enough insurance coverage, victims may be able to receive coverage under their own insurance policy, or they may have other avenues for pursuing compensation.

What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois?

Illinois is an "at-fault state," which means a driver who was responsible for a car accident may be held liable for the expenses of others who were involved. Drivers are required to maintain minimum liability insurance coverage, and accident victims can make a claim against the at-fault driver's policy. The minimum coverage requirements are:

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

It is recommended for drivers to maintain coverage that is higher than the minimum requirements, since the costs related to a car accident injury are often much higher than these amounts. Drivers in Illinois are automatically provided with uninsured motorist coverage at these minimum amounts.

Other types of non-mandatory insurance can provide additional coverage. Collision insurance covers damages to a person's own vehicle. Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for vehicle damage that is not caused by car accidents, such as vandalism or natural disasters. Medical or personal injury protection coverage addresses medical costs for an at-fault driver and their passengers, as well as funeral expenses and, in some cases, loss of income due to an injury. Some insurance policies will also provide policyholders with a rental car while repairs are being made to their vehicle.

What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?

Following a collision, you will want to make sure you and anyone else involved receives the proper medical care. If necessary, you should call 911 and have emergency medical personnel come to administer aid. The local police department should also be notified, and a police officer will come to the scene and make a police report. This can be helpful in establishing fault for the accident, although if possible, you will want to gather other forms of evidence, such as photos of the vehicles, the conditions on the road, and the injuries suffered, as well as the contact information of any witnesses who may be able to provide statements.

Your injuries and property damage may be covered by the insurance policy of the driver who was at fault for an accident, and you may also receive coverage under your own insurance policy. However, before contacting an insurance company or making a claim, we recommend that you contact Kanoski Bresney and have our attorneys speak to insurance companies on your behalf. We can make sure you do not provide any information that would lead an insurer to devalue your claim, and we will work to negotiate a settlement that will fully address all of the ways you have been affected by an accident.

If necessary, we can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident, as well as anyone else who may have been responsible, such as a city or county that did not correct a dangerous road or intersection or a manufacturer of defective auto parts. We can also help obtain any evidence to demonstrate negligence by a driver, such as footage from nearby security or traffic cameras.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Claim?

In cases involving car accident injuries that were caused by the negligence of another person or party, a claim must be filed within the statute of limitations. If a claim is not pursued within this time limit, courts will refuse to hear the case, and victims will be unable to receive compensation from those who were at fault. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years, and the statute of limitations for property damage is five years. There is no limit on the amount of damages that a person can receive, although if a victim was partially responsible for an accident, the amount awarded to them will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?

The amount that you may be able to receive for a car accident will depend on the extent of the injuries and property damage you have suffered. You should be fully repaid for all expenses resulting from a crash, as well as any non-economic losses you have suffered. These damages may include:

  • The costs of medical treatment, including emergency medical care and ongoing therapies or expenses related to a disability
  • Lost wages, including income that you were unable to earn while recovering and any impairment to your ability to earn income in the future
  • Pain and suffering, including physical and emotional pain experienced by you and your family, as well as loss of life in the case of wrongful death
  • Punitive damages meant to punish a person who violated the law or endangered others by acting recklessly, such as a drunk driver

Contact a McLean County Auto Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, the attorneys of Kanoski Bresney can provide the legal help you need to ensure that you are repaid for all of the ways the crash has affected your life. To schedule a free consultation, contact us by calling 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682. We provide legal help to accident victims throughout central Illinois, including Bloomington, Champaign, Pekin, Macon County, Schuyler County, Quincy, Springfield, Champaign County, Tazewell County, Rushville, Peoria, McDonough County, Macomb, Decatur, Peoria County, McLean County, Sangamon County, and Adams County.

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