By Adam B. Lawler | February 13, 2024

Can You Sue if Someone Hits Your Car in Southern Illinois?

Can You Sue if Someone Hits Your Car in Southern Illinois?

If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Southern Illinois, you may want to know if you can sue the other driver for damages. The answer depends on the situation, including whether another driver caused the crash and the nature of your injuries.

Always discuss your options, including filing an injury lawsuit, with experienced Southern Illinois car accident lawyers.

Stay Calm After a Collision and Seek Medical Attention

Car accidents can leave you feeling shaken, but stay calm and composed in the aftermath of a collision. The steps you take - and do not take - can affect your options in the weeks and months ahead.

Even if you don't have any visible injuries, always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, might not manifest right away, and a medical professional can evaluate you for any potential issues.

A prompt diagnosis of your injuries informs you of your treatment plan, prognosis, and creates records to use in the event of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Never skip or delay this step following a crash, as you risk losing your standing to sue if you do not have a timely diagnosis of injuries.

Whether You Can Sue Another Driver Will Depend on Your Circumstances

Determining whether you have grounds to sue another driver involves evaluating several factors related to the accident. Let's explore these factors in more detail.

Two individuals engaged in a heated dispute following a collision on the roadway, in Southern Illinois.

Was the Other Driver at Fault?

One of the critical factors in a car accident claim is proving that the other driver was at fault. In Illinois, fault depends on negligence. If you can prove that the other driver acted negligently, such as by running a red light or driving under the influence, you may have a strong case for suing them.

Illinois is a Fault-Based State for Car Crash Liability

Illinois follows a fault-based system for auto insurance and car accident liability. This means that the at-fault driver compensates the injured party for their damages. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

Did You Suffer Injuries and Losses?

To have a valid case for suing another driver, you must have suffered injuries and losses due to the accident. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe conditions like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries. In addition to physical injuries, you may also seek compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost income, and medical expenses.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can have long-lasting effects on your physical and emotional well-being.

Here are some common car accident injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Psychological trauma

If you have sustained any of these injuries or others due to a car accident, it's crucial to consult a knowledgeable Illinois car accident attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

Discuss Your Best Options With a Southern Illinois Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of a car accident lawsuit can be challenging, especially when dealing with injuries and emotional distress. An experienced Southern Illinois car accident lawyer can explain your rights and determine the best course of action for your case.

Filing an Insurance Claim First

After a traffic accident, an insurance agent inspects a damaged car, while the customer signs the report claim form.

Before filing a lawsuit, it's generally recommended to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Your attorney can gather the necessary documentation and negotiate with the insurance adjuster to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer.

It's important to remember that insurance companies often aim to minimize their payouts, so having an attorney representing your best interests can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.

If You Do Not Receive a Fair Settlement Offer, Your Car Accident Attorney Can File a Lawsuit

If your insurance claim does not result in a fair settlement offer, your car accident attorney can proceed with filing a lawsuit on your behalf. This legal action holds the at-fault driver accountable for their negligence and seeks to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

How a Car Accident Lawsuit Works

When filing a car accident lawsuit, several steps are involved.

Let's explore the typical process:

  • Complaint: Your attorney will draft a complaint outlining the details of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and the damages you seek. This document is filed with the court to initiate the lawsuit.
  • Discovery: Both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include witness statements, accident reports, medical records, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Negotiation and Settlement: Throughout the discovery phase, your attorney may negotiate with the other party's legal representatives. The goal is to reach a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses.
  • Trial: If your lawyer cannot reach a fair settlement agreement, the case may proceed to trial. A judge or jury will evaluate the evidence, hear witness testimonies, and decide on fault and compensation.
  • Appeal: In some cases, either party may choose to appeal the court's decision, leading to a higher court reviewing the case for potential errors or misconduct.

Always Have the Right Southern Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Handling Your Claim

Finding the right Illinois car accident lawyer is important in ensuring a successful outcome for your case. Look for an attorney who practices personal injury law and has experience handling car accident claims in Southern Illinois.

A knowledgeable and skilled attorney can confidently navigate the legal process and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Consult a Southern Illinois Car Accident Attorney Today

If you are in a car accident in Southern Illinois and believe you have grounds to sue the other driver, contact a Southern Illinois personal injury lawyers near you. Remember, having the right attorney can make all the difference when it comes to your car accident claim. Trust a legal team to handle your case with compassion and a commitment to obtaining the best possible outcome for you.

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Adam B. Lawler

Attorney at Law / Partner

Adam Lawler is the founder of Lawler Brown. Adam is a 2004 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law. Adam worked for a local firm until founding the Lawler Brown in 2009. Adam’s practice areas focus in Personal Injury, Business, Real Estate, Probate/Trust/Estate Administration and general litigation.

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