Whenever someone gets behind the wheel of an automobile, that driver has a duty to ensure that she does not put other motorists and pedestrians at risk of harm through careless or reckless driving. However, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that more than nine people sustain injuries in motor vehicle collisions every hour, on average, while more than two people sustain fatal injuries in traffic collisions each day.
Given that Arlington Heights is situated near major highways like I-290 and I-90, large trucks often cause serious and fatal collisions on Illinois highways. At the same time, crashes can occur when you are driving in your neighborhood on a two-way street. In almost all car accidents, it is possible to identify the party responsible for causing the crash and to file a claim for compensation. An experienced Arlington Heights car accident attorney at SAM LAW OFFICE LLC can assist with your claim.
According to the IDOT, more than 15 percent of all injury crashes in Illinois are identified as “A-Type” injuries, or incapacitating injuries. The IDOT identifies some of the following as A-Type injuries:
Auto accident injury victims in Arlington Heights can also suffer debilitating and catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/13-202), an Arlington Heights plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to file their lawsuit. The statute of limitations typically begins “tolling” or “running” from the date that the accident happens, which is also the date on which the plaintiff sustained her injuries.
While it is essential to file your claim within the statutory time period, it is always a good idea to speak with an Arlington Heights car accident attorney sooner rather than later.
What is contributory or comparative fault, and how does it affect car accident plaintiffs in Arlington Heights? It comes into play in situations where the defendant alleges that the plaintiff also bears some responsibility for the collision. For instance, the defendant might argue that, although she ran a red light, the plaintiff was speeding at the time of the collision. In other words, it is a situation where the plaintiff’s own fault contributes to the accident and injury.
Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/2-1116), contributory fault is defined as “any fault on the part of the plaintiff . . . which is a proximate cause of the death, bodily injury to person, or physical damage to property for which recovery is sought.”
To be clear, contributory fault does not necessarily bar a plaintiff from recovery. As long as the plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault, then the plaintiff still can recover. However, the plaintiff’s damage award will be reduced by amount of their own negligence. For instance, if a jury finds the plaintiff 20 percent liable, they can recover damages, but the damage award will be reduced by 20 percent. If they are 51 percent or more liable, however, the plaintiff cannot recover anything.