Illinois Car Accident Laws

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A car crash can leave a victim seriously injured and cause other damages that are hard to recover from. That is why when someone is at fault, the wronged party wants justice.

To do that though, one must know the specific accident laws that apply because they differ from state to state. When an individual gets into a collision in Illinois, the specific personal injury and car accident laws will determine what kind of compensation one can demand and how to proceed with filing the claim.

When dealing with a particularly complex accident case, it is wise to retain a qualified auto accident attorney in Rockford or elsewhere in Illinois, but it also helps when an individual knows the relevant Illinois car accident laws.

Vehicle Insurance Requirements

The first consideration after a car collision is whether the parties involved meet the necessary insurance requirements. At-fault rules apply in Illinois, meaning that the insurance of the responsible party has to pay for the damages caused by the policyholder.

It is why the state requires every driver to carry a policy that covers $25,000 to $50,000 in bodily injury and $20,000 in property damage. Drivers in Illinois can also have first-party coverage, which kicks in to cover the policyholder’s medical expenses, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured motorists.

Statute of Limitations

Every accident case has a limit on when the plaintiff can file a claim. The statutes of limitations are different in every state, and according to Illinois car accident laws, the victim has two years to initiate a personal injury suit and five years for a property damages case.

However, in vehicle accident claims where the defendant is a public agency, then the limit is one year. It means that after this period has passed, the victim will not be allowed to file an accident claim seeking personal injury damages in Illinois.

Type of Damages to Claim

The extent of a motor vehicle collision usually determines what type of compensation to ask for when filing a claim. Illinois car accident laws require the plaintiff to identify the damages that the defendant will be paying for.

Damages can be economic, meaning expenses such as medical bills, a wrecked vehicle, and lost wages, among others. They are also classified as non-economic, which refers to the consequences that cannot be quantified, like pain, emotional suffering, and loss of affection or companionship.  

Comparative Fault Rule

Illinois is a comparative fault state, so if the victim had a part to play in the collision, that fact will be considered during the settlement. In instances where both parties possess blame, the plaintiff must carry less than half of the fault to receive compensation. Comparative fault laws state that the damages awarded to the victim will be less his or her share of the fault. It means that if the plaintiff contributed 15% fault to the accident and the settlement is $20,000, then the final amount will be ($20,000-15%).

When an individual decides to file an accident claim in Illinois, he or she must be prepared to prove it before getting compensation. Proving a claim, according to Illinois car accident laws, requires the plaintiff to show that the at-fault party failed in his or her duty of care, which led to the accident that resulted in the damages.