Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

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Chicago Car Accident Attorney

One of the leading causes of injury and death in America is most often preventable. Motor vehicle accidents take the lives of 1,000 people in Illinois every year and injure over 80,000 more. Although some can be minor, others cause severe harm. If you are involved in a car accident, it’s important that you work with a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer to help you determine the steps for recovering compensation.

Between one-fourth and one-fifth of all traffic accidents in the state happen in Chicago and Cook County. Chicago traffic and weather combined with risky driving behaviors such as texting while driving, speeding or drunk driving create a dangerous mix for other drivers and pedestrians on the road who are doing their best to stay safe.

After a car accident, drivers who have damage to their vehicles, an injury, or other losses must file insurance claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Dealing with an insurance representative after a tumultuous and often traumatizing event is not easy, and it’s even harder when you’re in pain and recovering from a more serious injury. A skilled attorney is crucial for making this process easier.

Connolly Injury Law: Your Car Accident Claim Attorney

If another driver’s negligence or reckless driving caused a crash that injured you or a family member, you should be able to get compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and the pain and suffering their negligence caused you. Connolly Injury Law can take on this responsibility for you and see that you get appropriate compensation for your injuries and the damage done. We apply our nearly 15 years of experience to your individual case.

Insurance companies take advantage of people who don’t have a lawyer by paying them far less than what they owe or convincing the victim that their own negligence is behind the accident and they should get nothing. Insurance companies do not deal with attorneys the same way, as attorneys understand these tactics and how to combat them. This means that you’re able to get the settlement that you deserve.

As a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney, Mark Connolly has helped hundreds of accident and injury victims get the compensation they need and deserve. Mark’s successes have included significant payouts to motor vehicle accident victims who suffered severe injuries and permanent disability. This covers the long-term losses that these individuals suffer, including the loss of income and potential medical complications in the future.

At Connolly Injury Law, our Chicago auto accident lawyers understand what it means to your quality of life to get seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident. Mark Connolly is here for you during your most difficult time, professionally handling your case and making sure you get the medical care and compensation that reflects the harm done to you.

Chicagoland Car Accidents

Illinois drivers are required by law to carry liability insurance of at least $25,000 for personal injury and up to $50,000 if more than one person is injured.

Often, the insurance companies will try to get to you before you get a lawyer and be quick to write a check they say covers all your damages. This offer is far below what you could get if you had an experienced lawyer representing you, but once you take their money, you sign away your rights to recover anything more, even if you later find out you were significantly underpaid.

After an accident, you often find yourself facing significant bills and costs, combined with income loss, so it can be very tempting to take a settlement. An attorney can get you a much higher and more successful settlement that takes into account the total of your damages. This can provide you with much greater long-term benefits and limit the chances of financial hardship due to this accident or injury in the future.

Connolly Injury Law will not settle your case until all your damages are known, including present and future medical expenses, lost income for the time you missed from work or if you became disabled from working in the future, and the degree to which this accident has affected your quality of life, ability to care for yourself, and your relations with family members. We build a strong case that thoroughly documents your injuries and damages and proves the other driver’s liability to you. Armed with the facts and significant experience in both trials and settlements, Chicagoland car accident attorney Mark Connolly is equipped to resolve your case for the appropriate amount.

Chicago Uninsured Motorist Claims

Despite the Illinois law requiring drivers to carry liability insurance, more than one in ten drivers in the state are uninsured. So long as you carry the mandatory coverage yourself, you’ll also have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on your policy. With this coverage, you can make a claim with your insurance company when the other driver was uninsured. If the other driver has insurance but does not have coverage for the total of your damages, an underinsured motorist coverage policy may be helpful.

Connolly Injury Law can help you with this claim, the same as if you were going up against the other driver’s insurer. Don’t make the mistake that your insurance company is on your side and will treat you fairly. You’ll still need a skilled and experienced lawyer to recover substantial compensation after a serious accident. An attorney can also advise you on whether you can recover compensation through other methods, such as a civil personal injury claim.

Cook County Truck Accidents

Commercial vehicles far outweigh even the largest SUVs; not only are they built larger and heavier, but they are loaded down with cargo as well. A full tractor-trailer outweighs the average passenger vehicle by 20 times or more. When a car and truck collide, the occupants of the passenger vehicle always get the worst of it. Truck accident claims are more complicated due to extreme and catastrophic injuries, which are often fatal. These significant damages must be appropriately compensated in a claim.

Truck accident claims are also more complex than most car accident claims because they are often filed with the insurance provider of a commercial trucking company. These insurance companies have significant financial and investigative resources, and they use these resources to limit their liability for accidents. Connolly Injury Law has a record of going up against trucking companies and their insurers and recovering significant compensation for serious and catastrophic injuries.

There are many reasons why a truck driver and, by extension, their employer may be liable for an accident. Commercial vehicles like delivery vans and box trucks are constantly on Chicago city streets, and their numbers are only increasing. These unwieldy vehicles have numerous blind spots yet require frequent backing and stopping. When commercial drivers operate unsafely, or are not provided with the proper training, they are likely to cause a crash.

Meanwhile, 18-wheelers ply the highways and interstates to and from the Port of Chicago on their way across America. Semi-truck drivers are well-known to drive and work longer hours than is safe or legal, while a disgraceful portion of the nation’s truck fleet is riding on bad tires and broken brakes. Although drivers may be liable for driving long hours, their employer or other companies may be liable for unrealistic scheduling or encouraging these long hours. Trucking companies can also be liable for their failure to maintain trucks.

There are many other parties that may be held liable for a truck accident. Whether you are injured by a truck backing out of a driveway or a big rig barreling down I-90, Connolly Injury Law has the skills and experience needed to resolve a case against major trucking companies, businesses and their insurers.

Other Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Cook County

There are other forms of vehicle accident claims, which can have their own unique complications. Some of these include:

Motorcycle Accidents

When motorcyclists are involved in collisions, they often suffer the initial collision impact and then another impact when they are thrown from their vehicles. Motorcycle accidents can occur because drivers are not paying attention, do not slow down in low visibility conditions, or are not appropriately cautious around motorcycles. The lack of impact protection on motorcycles can result in severe property damage, injuries, and often fatalities. Motorcycle riders or their surviving loved ones can file a claim when the accident was another party’s fault.

Pedestrian Accidents

Accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians are frequently fatal for pedestrians. Surviving pedestrians can have catastrophic and disabling injuries. Even if a pedestrian has partial liability, they may still be able to recover a portion of a settlement under comparative negligence laws.

Rideshare (Uber and Lyft) Accidents

Accidents involving rideshare drivers can often be complicated. How insurance claims are filed depends on many factors, such as the party that caused the accident, whether the rideshare driver was working, and whether they had a passenger. Because of these complex requirements, it’s important to secure representation from an attorney who is familiar with the regulations if you are in a rideshare accident.

Determining Liability and Assigning a Percentage of Fault

For injured parties to secure compensation for their damages, fault and liability must be assigned. Depending on whether the case is handled in negotiation or litigation, either the court or the insurance providers and attorneys will divide the percentage of liability. Parties may be partially or fully liable due to negligence, intentional misconduct, or malice. The following facts must be proven for someone to be liable for an accident:

  1. They owed the injured party a duty of reasonable care for their safety.
  2. They breached this duty of care.
  3. The breach of duty of care was partially or totally responsible for the accident.
  4. The injured party suffered recognizable compensable damages from the accident.

Evidence from the accident site is essential for providing these elements and determining who was at fault. If you do not have an attorney by your side, the investigation of the accident and determination of fault may rest entirely on the insurance company. An attorney can help create a more complete account of the incident.

One driver may be liable for the accident, or multiple drivers may be. When more than one driver is at fault, they are each liable for their own percentage of fault. There are rare cases where a third party, such as an agency or manufacturer, is liable for the injuries.

How Does a Car Accident Attorney Help Me?

There are several benefits of having a skilled car accident attorney representing you. An attorney can help you with many aspects of your claim, including:

  • Investigating to determine the at-fault party
  • Gathering evidence of fault and of the damages you suffered
  • Talking and negotiating with an insurance provider for you
  • Keeping you informed of your options for compensation
  • Obtaining the highest settlement possible for your unique circumstances
  • Providing you with significant legal information relevant to your car accident
  • Answering any questions you have during the process
  • Providing you with legal and emotional support

What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?

Some motor vehicle accidents have a clear at-fault party. In other cases, it is less obvious, and an insurance company is more likely to contest any claims. A complete investigation is important to determine the cause of the accident. Finding the cause is the first step to determining what party is at fault. Common causes of accidents based on driver fault include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Speeding
  • Driving fatigued
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Breaking road laws
  • Failing to get vehicle repairs
  • Not adjusting their driving for the weather

Some causes of car accidents are unrelated to driver negligence, but these are less common. The potential at-fault parties in these cases include:

  • The public or private agency responsible for the design, maintenance, or upkeep of the road
  • A maintenance or repair shop that provided improper or faulty car repair
  • The employer of an at-fault driver if the employee is driving as a part of their work duties
  • A manufacturer or designer of an unreasonably dangerous and malfunctioning car component

A skilled attorney is essential to uncover the at-fault party or parties.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Chicago

In Illinois, you may still be able to file for compensation, even if you are partially liable for an accident. The state follows modified comparative negligence laws, which only bar a party from filing for compensation if they are 50% or more at fault for the accident. This is why determining the percentage of fault for each driver is so important.

Insurance companies often use comparative negligence to limit the compensation they must give you in a settlement or claim that you are ineligible for damages. If you are less than 50% liable, you are eligible, but your settlement is limited by your percentage of fault. If you are partially at fault, this can provide you with some level of compensation.

However, if an insurance company is claiming that you are more liable than you are, you need an attorney. They can help negotiate a fairer settlement. By lowering your percentage of fault, your attorney can maximize the compensation you are owed.

What Compensation Am I Entitled to in a Car Accident Claim?

If you do not have any percentage of fault, then you are entitled to the entirety of your damages in a car accident claim. The value of your final settlement is related directly to the severity of the damages you suffered. It may also be limited to the maximum coverage available based on the at-fault driver’s coverage unless you file with your own insurance provider or file a civil claim. An attorney is essential for helping you calculate your claim and determine the different avenues for compensation.

Car accident claims include compensatory damages, which are economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are monetary and objective losses, including:

  • Past and future medical costs, from surgeries and treatment to physical therapy and anticipated medical complications
  • Replacement household services that you must hire to do the things that you no longer can because of your injuries
  • Repair and replacement costs for property damage
  • Lost wages if you are not able to work or cannot work full-time while you recover
  • Lost earning potential if you are unable to ever work full time again or cannot engage in any gainful employment

Noneconomic damages are subjective losses that are recognized by the court as compensable losses. These include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Noneconomic damages and long-term economic damages are some of the hardest things to properly calculate. A personal injury and car accident attorney has significant experience calculating these damages. They can ensure that your settlement is fair and covers the maximum amount of damages.


Q: How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Illinois?

A: In Illinois, a civil personal injury claim has a statute of limitations of two years. If you are filing for property damage, that has a statute of limitations of five years. If you don’t file within that timeframe, you lose the ability to recover damages.

These time limits only apply if you qualify for a civil claim. Most car accidents are handled through insurance claims, which tend to have much shorter deadlines. Each insurance company has its own deadlines, but they tend to require injured parties to file a claim within a reasonable period of time.

Q: What Is the Car Accident Law in Illinois?

A: Illinois is an at-fault car accident state, so you can file a claim with another driver’s insurance policy when that driver is found to be at fault for the accident. Drivers are required to carry a certain minimum of car insurance. Illinois also uses modified comparative negligence laws, which may apply to car accident claims. If you are partially at fault for the accident, you can only file for compensation if you are less than 50% responsible. Your settlement is then reduced by your percentage of fault.

Q: What Is the Accident Rate in Chicago?

A: In 2022, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, there was a total of 85,917 crashes in the city of Chicago. Of these crashes, 82,323 involved motor vehicles, 1,386 involved individuals bicycling, and 2,208 involved individuals walking. Out of these total crashes in 2022, 2,215 resulted in people being seriously injured. 1,582 of those injured individuals were in motor vehicles, 171 on bicycles, and 462 people were walking. 21,747 people were injured or killed in the nearly 86,000 total crashes in 2022.

Q: Can Someone Sue You for a Car Accident in Illinois?

A: Yes, you can sue someone for a car accident in Illinois, but only in certain circumstances. These include:

  1. The driver who was at fault for the accident does not have the required car insurance or sufficient coverage for your damages. In that case, you could file with your own insurance policy or file a personal injury claim.
  2. A third party was at fault for the accident. This may include an agency responsible for the upkeep or design of the road. It could also be a manufacturer that sold a defective car component that caused the accident.

Help With Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries in Chicago and Cook County

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Chicago, Cook County or surrounding areas, call Connolly Injury Law at 312-780-0816 for immediate assistance. Our team can help you navigate an insurance or civil claim, and you can rest as we fight for the compensation you deserve. Your call is free, and there’s no fee unless our Chicago auto accident lawyers recover for you.


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