chicago personal injury lawyers

How do accident lawsuits work in Illinois?

February 5, 2021

A car accident can change someone’s life in an instant. Crash victims often don’t know where to turn when faced with medical costs, damage to their cars, and other crash-related losses. Insurance companies often offer no help. They care more about saving money on their end than compensating crash victims and their families.

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash, the Chicago car accident lawyers at Coplan + Crane can help you recover damages through a settlement. In fact, the majority of car accident cases are resolved when an attorney can reach a settlement agreement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This isn’t always the case, however.

Why your case might go to trial

Sometimes, an agreement can’t be reached between an attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company. In other cases, the insurance company acts in bad faith or can’t determine who was at fault. If our legal team has a strong case against the at-fault driver and their insurance company, we won’t stop fighting for you. We’ll be prepared to take your case to trial and pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Car accident lawsuits are civil cases. This means that rather than proving guilt of the at-fault party, a car accident lawsuit is focused on recovering damages for the crash victim.

Going to trial can be a very complex and overwhelming process, but it’s important not to be discouraged. The legal team at Coplan + Crane has real courtroom experience litigating car accident cases and getting the best possible outcome for our clients. We have fought to help our clients recover millions of dollars from court verdicts.

Types of damages you can recover

As with a settlement, your attorney can help you recover crash-related damages through a court verdict. These include:

  • Medical expenses – current and future
  • Lost wages if you’re unable to work
  • Damage to your car or other property
  • Assistance with daily tasks while you recover from your injuries
  • Home modifications to assist you while you recover
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and mental anguish
  • Punitive damages if your crash was the result of recklessness or intentional harm
  • Additional legal costs related to your lawsuit

What to expect from a car accident lawsuit

When your case goes to trial, both the plaintiff and defendant will have an opportunity to present each side of the story. This is where your attorney will present evidence proving that the other driver acted negligently and that your injuries were directly related to the crash.

The evidence our legal team will present includes:

  • Statements from witnesses
  • The official car accident report
  • Physical evidence from the crash scene
  • Medical records and statements from your doctor
  • Video footage, if obtainable
  • Cellphone records from the at-fault driver’s mobile provider
  • Receipts from bars or restaurants, if the crash was caused by a drunk driver

The at-fault driver’s insurance company (defendant) and their lawyer will likely object to this evidence. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, it’s possible that the defendant can appeal the court’s decision. This can drag the process out even further.

Some car accident cases can take a year or more to resolve, but it’s well worth the wait. Whether we’re negotiating for a fair settlement or fighting for a verdict in your favor, we’ll fight to maximize your compensation. If you’ve been injured in a crash, our lawyers would be honored to go over your legal options during a free case evaluation. To get started, contact our Oak Park or Rockford law office.