How do I Know if I Have an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one sustain injuries or property damage in a crash caused by another driver in Illinois, you may be able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. However, understanding when to file a personal injury claim in civil court can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss what factors could possibly determine whether or not you have an auto accident lawsuit in Illinois.

How do I Know if I Have an Auto Accident Lawsuit

The Basic Requirements for a Car Accident Claim

When you are determining whether or not you have a car accident claim that will be successful, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Was another party at fault for the incident?
  2. Did the accident lead to property damage, injuries, or a fatality?
  3. Did the accident cause you to suffer from legally recognized damages?

To put this simply, you will have the best chance of success if another driver caused the accident, the accident caused an injury, and if you can show how the accident caused you to suffer from some form of monetary loss.

Will Insurance Carriers Help You?

It is important to point out that a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is not the same thing as an insurance settlement. The vast majority of vehicle accident claims in Illinois are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers before a lawsuit becomes necessary.

However, you should also know that the insurance carriers are not looking out for your best interests. If another driver caused the car accident that led to your injuries or property damage, it will be the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier to pay the expenses. You will likely receive a settlement offer from the insurance carrier, and it will probably be lower than the amount you should receive. Insurance carriers are looking out for their bottom line. They are not on your side. 

When Does a Lawsuit Become Necessary?

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court is an entirely separate step from filing the insurance claim. This significantly changes the ballgame, so to speak. A personal injury lawsuit will become necessary if:

  • The insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement
  • The insurance carrier denies the claim altogether
  • There is a dispute over who actually caused the incident

The Illinois personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that a car accident victim has a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame will result in the case being dismissed and the victim becoming unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.

Contact Your Attorney Today

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury or property damage in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver in Chicago, you need to speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer today. The number one way to know whether or not you have a viable auto accident lawsuit is to work with someone who has experience handling these claims.