In Illinois, as in other states, people who are injured in car accidents can sue the person who caused the accident for negligence, and the injured person can receive a settlement. Of course, determining whether an injured person has grounds for a personal injury lawsuit and how much compensation if any, that person is entitled to receive, varies greatly from one case to another. Here are some answers to common questions about car accident lawsuits in Edwardsville, Illinois. If you still have other questions, the best things to do is contact a personal injury attorney who works on car accident injury cases.
MYTH: As Long as You File the Lawsuit Within the Statute of Limitations, You Are Fine
FACT: In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the time of the accident. Therefore, if you are going to file a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries sustained in a car accident, you must do it before two years have passed. There is more to the story, though. If you have signed to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, you have forfeited the right to file a lawsuit about your injuries from that accident. If you have accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company, then your personal injury lawsuit will not be accepted, even if you file it within the statute of limitations.
MYTH: You Can’t Sue in Regards to a Car Accident That Happened More Than 2 Years Ago
FACT: The two-year statute of limitations applies to personal injury lawsuits only. After those two years have passed, you can still file a lawsuit about the accident, you just cannot ask for damages related to your injuries or medical expenses. The statute of limitations for property damage lawsuits is five years. Therefore, if you are planning on filing two separate lawsuits about the same accident, one about your injuries from the accident and the other about the property damage, you should file the personal injury lawsuit first, because it has a shorter statute of limitations.
MYTH: You Cannot Be Awarded Damages If the Accident Was Partially Your Fault
FACT: If the court determines that you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still be awarded damages, as long as the accident was less than 50 percent your fault. Your share of the fault for the accident does, however, affect the amount of money you can receive. The court will first calculate how much money you lost because of the accident and put a dollar value on your non-material losses (your economic and non-economic damages), and then reduce it based on the percentage of responsibility you bear for the accident. For example, if you could have been awarded $100,000, but the accident was 20 percent your fault, you are only entitled to 80 percent of that amount, so you will get $80,000.
Contact Walton Telken, LLC About Car Accident Cases
A personal injury attorney can advise you on how best to pursue a car accident injury lawsuit. Contact Walton Telken, LLC in the Edwardsville, Illinois area to discuss your case.