WHAT ARE YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS AFTER A CHICAGO CAR ACCIDENT?
A car accident can throw your life off balance as it comes at a high cost due to the physical and emotional damage. You may suffer a life-changing injury, which means you need more resources to adapt to the new way of living post the accident. Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer more than you have after a car accident in Chicago. You can take several legal actions to seek compensation for the injuries and damages suffered.
Your legal options
When you suffer a car accident in Chicago, you have three legal options to seek compensation.
Firstly, you can file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a Chicago car accident lawyer in a civil court against the at-fault driver. Here you must prove that the driver acted negligently, leading to the car accident. You should also be prepared to proceed to trial if you receive a low settlement offer or the harm you have suffered surpasses insurance policy limits. Thankfully, a car accident lawyer can help navigate through that.
Secondly, you can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company seeking compensation for the damages suffered. Thirdly, you can file a compensation claim with your insurance provider if you have enough coverage.
Navigating these legal options can be challenging on your own because insurance companies are known for tricking accident victims into settling for less settlement amount than they deserve. Therefore seeking the legal guidance of a Chicago car accident lawyer is advisable.
What damages can you recover?
You can recover two types of damages following a car accident lawsuit: economic and non-economic damage. Economic damage is the financial costs you have incurred due to the accident, while non-economic damage is the non-monetary loss you have suffered following the accident.
Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Property damage, in this case, the car.
- Disability accommodations when you have suffered a long-term injury.
- Lost wages during your recovery period.
- Physical therapy.
- Transportation costs.
Non-economic damage includes:
- Pain and suffering.
- Post-traumatic stress.
- Lost of future earning ability.
- Emotional suffering.
- Loss of consortium.
In some scenarios, you may be eligible for punitive damages in addition to your settlement amount. A court grants punitive damages to punish the negligent party for intentional, willful, wanton, or fraudulent actions. For instance, a car accident due to driving under the influence may constitute punitive damages in the lawsuit. Calculating the compensation costs can be challenging, so it is advisable to engage a knowledgeable car accident attorney.
What is the timeline for filing a car accident lawsuit in Chicago?
All civil lawsuits must adhere to a specific statute of limitations, failure to which you lose the right to seek compensation. In Illinois, you have a two-year period to file a car accident lawsuit from when the accident occurred. Therefore you should begin the claim process as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.
The bottom line
Engaging a Chicago car accident lawyer, whether you want to file a claim with your insurance company or court, is advisable to help you win the highest financial recovery possible.