If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident you probably have many questions. These questions may vary from who will pay my bills, what type of damages can be recovered, how does the insurance company or court determine who is at fault and what is my claim worth. A large part of our practice involves representing persons in car accident claims.
We can provide you sound advice concerning your car accident claim and answer your questions relating to your claim.
In Illinois the statutory rules of the road establish the duties drivers owe to each other. These rules include the duty to obey traffic control devices (i.e. stop at a stop sign or red light), the duty to reduce speed to avoid an accident, the duty to drive your vehicle in the proper lane of traffic and the duty to refrain from driving a vehicle if you are under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. Most accidents occur because a driver fails to obey the rules of the road and causes an injury.
While we all generally know the rules of the road and understand the responsibility we have to others while driving motor vehicles, accidents happen. Most accidents are the result of a person’s negligence. If you have been injured in a car accident, you will typically be dealing with an insurance company who is providing coverage to another driver under the liability portion of a car vehicle policy. An insurance company will not pay you damages under the liability portion of their insurance policy unless they believe you would be able to prove that the person they insure was negligent.
In order to prove negligence in Illinois, you need to prove four separate elements of your claim. These elements include proving:
1. That another driver owed you a duty;
2. That the other driver breached a duty;
3. That you suffered injury as a result of the breach of the duty; and
4. That you suffered damages as a result of your injury.
Injuries from motor vehicle accidents range from death to minor property damage. The type of damages a person can recover in the State of Illinois for a car accident include the reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment and services received and the present cash value of the reasonable expenses of medical care reasonably certain to be received in the future. Additionally, you may be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering experienced and reasonably certain to be experienced in the future as a result of the injuries. A person may also recover the value of earnings lost and the present value of earnings you are reasonably certain to lose in the future.
Severe accidents may result in death. If a person dies as a result of someone’s negligence, a person may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Determining the amount of your damages includes a detailed analysis of the factors in your car accident claim. The amount of damages will be related to the conduct of the defendant that caused the accident and the severity of the objective injuries as documented by medical providers. Other factors that will go into calculating the amount of damages in your claim include how the injuries have affected your ability to enjoy life and any restrictions the injuries have put on your ability to perform daily activities.
At Rehn and Skinner one of the first things we do for a client pursuing a car accident claim is to obtain documentation relating to the accident. This may include obtaining photographs of the vehicles and photographs of injured parties when appropriate. Additionally, we will typically obtain a copy of the police report documenting the accident from the investigating agencies and contact the appropriate insurance companies.
We are experienced in dealing with the various avenues of obtaining recovery for our client. It is important to choose an attorney who understands all possible sources of recovery from insurance providers.
The attorneys at Rehn & Skinner have tried personal injury cases involving car accidents. However, most cases do get resolved through settlement. A settlement eliminates the risk for both sides relating to a trial. In order to maximize you settlement negotiations, both sides should have knowledge concerning how a jury will likely evaluate your case. Our experience handling car accident claims provides us with the knowledge to effectively and successfully resolve your claim.At Rehn & Skinner our goal is to help you with your car accident claim. By allowing us to take care of the legal issues relating to your claim, you are allowed to focus on your recovery and have a peace of mind that you have attorneys who are experienced in car accident claims providing you advice and assistance. If you have questions concerning a car accident claim contact Rehn & Skinner.