A car accident has the potential to instantly change a person’s life. Even a low-speed accident can inflict serious injuries that may affect your health, mental wellbeing, and finances. Higher-speed collisions could render you paralyzed or leave you suffering from other permanent losses. Whenever another driver is responsible for an accident, an injured individual has the right to demand compensation. Unfortunately, the path forward is often blocked by stubborn insurance companies who may deny their clients’ liability or try to force a quick, undervalued settlement. A Lake County car accident lawyer may be able to help by working to protect your rights following a car wreck.
Whether you were driving your own car, riding as a passenger in another vehicle, or even riding as a passenger in the at-fault car, a skilled personal injury attorney could help you collect compensation. Call and schedule an appointment to begin assessing your legal options.
Proving a Car Accident Case
Most collisions between motor vehicles are accidents. This means that the at-fault driver did not mean to cause any harm, even though their actions did lead to a collision. Illinois law clearly states that any negligent conduct that causes an injury may leave the actor civilly liable for any damage that they cause.
To prove that a defendant driver was negligent, a plaintiff must prove three things. First, they typically must prove that the defendant had a duty to protect their wellbeing. This is always true in a car accident case because all drivers assume a duty to protect any other person that they may encounter while driving.
Additionally, a plaintiff generally must prove that actions taken by the defendant violated this duty. This is also known as a breach of duty. To demonstrate this breach, plaintiffs may introduce evidence that the defendant was speeding, texting while driving, or intoxicated at the time of the collision.
Finally, accident victims must be able to connect their injuries directly to the accident. This is most often completed by submitting an ER doctor’s report or by attending physical therapy sessions following the collision. A Lake County car accident attorney could help plaintiffs collect this vital evidence and use it to their advantage during the course of their case
Common Defenses Raised by Defendants
While the plaintiff in a car accident case bears the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent, defendant insurance companies and attorneys may also introduce evidence that the plaintiff contributed to the accident. Very often, insurance companies conduct their own investigation into the accident to gather evidence that the plaintiff was at least partially at fault.
Defendants may also argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the incident. One common tactic here is to find evidence that a plaintiff was complaining of their injuries prior to the accident’s date. While it is true that a plaintiff cannot claim a pre-existing condition in a car accident case, any worsening of an already existing condition is certainly something for which a plaintiff and their car accident lawyer in Lake County could seek compensation.
Finally, defendants may try to draw the case out and force the plaintiff to run out of time. This is because Illinois law follows a strict statute of limitations that controls when a court will hear a case. According to 735 ILCS 5/13-202, the plaintiff must bring their case to court within two years from the date of injury. As such, defendants may attempt to slow down the case with paperwork or extended settlement negotiations to run out the clock. A seasoned lawyer could help an injured individual file a claim within the statute of limitations.
How a Lake County Car Accident Attorney Could Help
The days and weeks following a car accident are usually a chaotic time. Even if an injured person is fortunate enough to not require hospitalization, they may be suffering from an injury that requires extensive rehabilitation. While undergoing this often-painful treatment, they may be missing significant time at work and enduring losses to their quality of life.
A Lake County car accident lawyer could help you both prove your claim for damages and deal with the administrative portions of the civil suit process. From the day that they are hired, your dedicated attorney could work to gather vital evidence, represent you before insurance companies, and pursue appropriate compensation with as little stress on you as possible. Contact an attorney today to see how what might be possible in your case.