Spike in Serious & Fatal Car Accidents Continues in 2021
Last year’s spike in serious and fatal car accidents was expected to be a blip — a momentary increase brought on by unusual times. Yet early indications for 2021 say that reckless driving behavior is still on the rise.
So far, in Illinois, 55 more people have died in car accidents this year compared to 2020 — that’s a nearly 10% jump in fatalities. (Overall, the number of fatal crashes is up over 6% from last year.)
With plenty of months still left in 2021, Illinois Department of Transportation officials say the data is preliminary and may change after a full-year analysis. On-the-street experience seems to support the early indication of a spike, as police officers in Illinois say speeding is a growing concern.
More and more, people in the greater Chicago area and across Illinois are having to deal with the aftermath of a bad car accident. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another driver, you are almost certainly due compensation—but the process of getting it is often far from easy.
Illinois car accident compensation basics
When a negligent driver causes an auto accident that results in injuries, the at-fault driver's insurance company is typically responsible for covering the cost of medical bills and other damages (accident-related expenses). However, there are occurrences in which more than the driver may be at fault.
Others who may be at fault for a car accident include:
- The vehicle owner (if different than the driver)
- The at-fault driver's employer (if the driver was on the clock)
- Defective parts manufacturers
- Negligent car manufacturers
- Multiple drivers (in a pile-up or chain reaction crash)
Each state has its own laws about car accident liability. Illinois is an “at-fault” state. To pursue compensation for your damages, you can file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. You also have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the driver (and their insurance company) to recoup expenses not covered by most basic insurance packages, such as lost wages.
Additionally, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company, depending on your policy. There are scenarios in which you may want to file a “first-party” claim with your provider. Through this type of claim, you could seek to recover compensation for things like medical treatments and car repairs. Your insurance company can then decide to go after the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to recover those costs.
How much is my car accident claim worth?
A lot of people want to know how much money they can get for their injuries, damaged property, and other losses. Every case is so unique, it is difficult to provide a general average accident award. The severity of your injuries, the behavior of the at-fault driver, and many other factors affect your final settlement or verdict.
Generally speaking, you may be able to pursue compensation for:
- All your medical bills, including the cost of future care
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Loss of earning capacity
- Replacement services
- Your pain and suffering (in some cases)
Understanding the true cost of your injury and coming up with an accurate tally of all your damages is one of the benefits of hiring an attorney to handle your claim. Keep in mind that once you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, you can't go back and ask for more money if the cost of your recovery ends up being more than you anticipated.
Experience matters when you need a lawyer
Coplan & Crane has a reputation in Oak Park, Chicago, and throughout the Midwest as aggressive advocates for the injured. It doesn’t matter how complicated a case might be—we hold people accountable for their reckless actions. Take control and contact us today for a free case review.
During your free consultation, we'll listen to what happened, answer your questions, and let you know how we might be able to help. There are no obligations, and if you do decide to hire us, we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means it costs you nothing upfront to retain our services, and you pay nothing unless we secure a settlement or court judgment on your behalf. See what we can do for you and contact our law firm right away.