Effingham Car Accidents
Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Helping Victims in Effingham
Effingham is a city in Illinois that serves as the county seat for the county of the same name. It is located at the intersection of I-57 and I-70. Routes 40, 45, 32, and 33 also run through Effingham. Car accidents can have devastating consequences. If you suffer injuries or a loved one is killed in a collision, you should consult an Effingham car accident lawyer. Immediately after the crash, it may not be clear how serious your injuries are. It may take a full year to completely understand the full extent of the injuries and the related losses. However, you may be contacted by an insurance adjustor for the other party fairly quickly after an accident. Often, insurance adjustors for other parties are simply trying to get information that can be used to show that you were partially to blame or to reduce the damages to which you are entitled.
Bringing a Claim for Compensation After a Car Accident
Although it can take a full year to know the full extent of your injuries after a car accident, you should consult a personal injury attorney right away. You have two years after your cause of action accrues to sue, which usually starts from the accident date. However, immediately after an accident, insurers may start gathering evidence. Time causes memories and other evidence to fade, and it can be important for your attorney to have the same opportunities to examine the accident scene and hire experts as the insurance defense attorney does.
Often, car accidents are caused by driver negligence. To show that the other driver was negligent, a car accident attorney in Effingham will need to show the other driver’s duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. The other driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care in many different ways, such as by driving drunk, texting while driving, speeding, tailgating, weaving, driving aggressively or recklessly, or failing to obey traffic signals and signs. For example, if you are driving down a one-way street, and a car suddenly turns onto the one-way street going the wrong way so that you crash into each other head-on, it is likely that you would be able to show that the other driver’s breach of the duty to use reasonable care caused your injuries. For another example, if a driver is weaving through traffic and cuts you off with insufficient room, you may be able to establish negligence.
When a driver is in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident, it may be possible to hold the employer vicariously liable. For example, if you are rear-ended by a pizza delivery guy who is in a rush to deliver a pizza, an Effingham car accident attorney may be able to hold the employer vicariously liable for your damages.
Not all accidents are the fault of only one driver. If a defendant raises the issue of comparative negligence, the jury will examine your fault as well as the defendant’s fault. It will determine the amount of damages and assign a percentage of fault to each of you. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages are $100,000, and you are found to be 20% responsible, while the other driver is 80% responsible, you may be able to recover $80,000 from the other driver. However, in Illinois, if the jury finds that you are more than 50% to blame, you cannot recover damages at all.
Sometimes there are several different drivers or parties responsible for a car accident. For example, a car accident could be caused by defective road design, a drunk driver, and a driver who is texting. All of these factors could combine together to cause an accident. The jury would assign a percentage of responsibility to each party alleged and proven to be responsible. If a jury finds that a defendant is less than 25% at fault, it will only be severally liable for noneconomic damages. Any defendant that has 25% or more of the fault will be jointly and severally liable for noneconomic as well as economic damages.
Consult an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Effingham
If you were injured in a car accident in Effingham, you should consult the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about the viability of a lawsuit for damages. Call us at 312-724-5846 for a free consultation.