Car accidents in Cook County frequently result in catastrophic—and sometimes fatal—injuries. In many cases, these accidents could have been prevented if drivers simply showed respect for the others on the road and followed the regular safe driving practices that most people use every time they get behind the wheel.
When the negligence or deliberate wrongdoing of another driver causes injuries, that driver should be held liable for the harm that results—and a qualified personal injury attorney could help you do just that. If you suffer harm from an auto collision, an experienced Cook County car accident lawyer could assist you with pursuing all the compensation to which you may be entitled. En Español.
Time Limits on Filing Claims
For most cases where the victim of negligence or wrongdoing seeks to recover damages from the party causing the harm, Illinois law sets limits on the time within which a lawsuit must be filed. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. If a claim is not filed within the statutory limitations period, in most cases a plaintiff’s case would be time-barred, and there is no further chance for recovery.
In the case of personal injuries—as well as wrongful death claims—arising from auto accidents, the statute of limitations period is two years, according to 735 ILCS 5/13-202. The proverbial clock starts running at the time “the cause of action accrued”—in other words, two years from the moment the collision happened.
This time period may remain the same even if the full extent of the victim’s injuries do not become apparent until sometime after the accident. For that reason, retaining a Cook County car accident lawyer as soon as possible may be a prudent move, in order to avoid missing this or any other related deadlines for filing a civil case.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Cook County
Even though the statutory limitation period may suggest that someone injured in a car accident has plenty of time to wait before filing a lawsuit, that does not mean it not important to take certain actions soon after the accident.
The most important action needed is to treat all injuries and establish a relationship with a physician who can document the injuries and their effects. Recovery should be the number one priority, but ensuring all physical injuries and losses are well-documented could be critical to recovering appropriate damages from any subsequent lawsuit.
In addition, 625 ILCS 5/11-406 requires all those involved in a traffic accident to file a crash report if the incident caused a death or injury or if it caused more than $1,500 in damage, or $500 if an uninsured driver is involved. If a police officer does not arrive on the scene of the accident, the report should be filed with the local police, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, or the nearest headquarters of the Illinois State Police as soon as possible.
Types of Compensation That May Be Available
In Illinois, the party responsible for causing a car accident may be held liable for damages resulting from the accident. A party suffering injuries or property damage may recover by filing a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver or their own insurance company.
Alternatively, they may file a lawsuit to recover for costs such as:
- Medical bills
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earning capacity
A lawsuit headed up by a seasoned car accident lawyer in Cook County may also enable someone injured in a car accident to receive monetary compensation for intangible harm such as pain and suffering.
How a Cook County Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Car accidents may be common in Cook County, but no two cases are alike. If you or a loved one suffered serious injury in a car accident, you may not be certain how to answer questions or whether to accept a settlement offer.
An experienced Cook County Car accident lawyer could provide advice and answer all your questions as you work to seek compensation for your damages. To get your case evaluated, call today to schedule a consultation.