Dealing with a car accident in Naperville, Illinois, might be challenging, especially since the shock of the accident might make you avoid taking any legal actions for a while. However, you have to consider that the statute of limitations for car accidents in Illinois is two years from the date when the accident occurred, and you also have five years’ time to file for property damage as well.
A statute of limitations is the legal timeframe for filing a claim against an at-fault party. If you miss the deadline for your claim, you might not be able to file a claim any longer and will never recover any financial compensation for your losses.
You should contact a Naperville, IL, car accident lawyer right away and have a consultation on your case to see if you missed the deadline for filing a claim, or file a claim right now and pursue the monetary compensations that you are entitled to.
Essential Steps to Take After Car Accident in Illinois
Taking the necessary steps after a car accident in Illinois is very important. They will be crucial to your car accident claim and settlement amount. If you delay your claim, you risk not receiving compensation because, as time goes on, witnesses become more unreliable or harder to track. If your car makes squeaking noise while driving, you should fix it as soon as possible.
The opposing party will use your late action against you as a means to justify that the injuries or damages you have incurred aren’t all that serious. They might even deny your claim because it will be harder for you to prove that the accident occurred. Here is what you should usually do when a car accident occurs.
When a car accident occurs, you have to contact authorities right away. If you are unable to do the call, ask someone else to do it. Request an ambulance and try to help those injured if you can, but only while staying on the line with emergency services, as they can instruct you on how to do it properly. Sometimes, moving an injured victim might do them more harm than good.
It is important to perform a medical check-up once the medics arrive on the scene because even if you feel alright, you might have some injuries that you aren’t aware of due to your adrenaline rush.
Apart from taking care of your health, doing a check-up will help you later in your personal injury claim because you will have reports to prove your injuries.
In car accidents, gathering evidence for your personal injury claim starts at the accident scene. If you are able, be sure to take some photos of your injuries, the damage on all the vehicles involved, road conditions, and everything that you think might be useful for your case. Ensure the pictures have good quality and are taken from various angles.
Once there, write down the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance provider, and license plates. Also, write down the contact information of all witnesses present and other drivers that might have seen how the accident occurred.
Analyze your surroundings for CCTV cameras. They might be helpful for your case as well. Later, when you pursue your claim, you should try to get a hold of those recordings. Once you are done, you should move your vehicle from the road if it is safe to do so.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
You can pursue a car accident claim on your own, but you should consider working with a personal injury lawyer as well. This is because the state of Illinois follows the 51/49 comparative negligence law.
This means that if the opposing party disputes your claim, they will try to shift the blame onto you. If you are found responsible for the accident, then a part of your compensation will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
In some instances, you can lose your compensation completely if you are more at fault for the accident. Work with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
A lawyer will be able to tell you precisely what laws work and what don’t, both in and out of court. They will prepare your case competently and intimidate the opposing party into accepting a settlement outside of court.
This is mainly so that you can receive your compensation faster. Your lawyer will also negotiate on your behalf to receive the highest compensation possible for your losses. If the opposing party doesn’t accept or denies your claim, you can always initiate a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are afraid that you missed the deadline for your car accident claim and the statute of limitations has expired, you should still contact a car accident lawyer to be sure. In some instances, you might still be able to pursue your claim, but it all depends on the circumstances of your case and the reasoning behind your delayed claim.