Even the safest drivers can suffer auto accidents. Millions of injuries and fatalities result from car accidents in the United States. In large cities like Chicago, the dangers of urban traffic result in thousands of devastated lives each year.
With the help of a Chicago car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices, you and your loved ones can find the right path to recovery. Our law office has a record of success in complex personal injury auto accident cases nationwide.
We are committed to helping car accident victims in Chicago, IL who have suffered due to the negligence of another party. You are not alone after injury. Your path to justice starts here.
Find the Best Chicago Car Accident Lawyer To Represent You
After a serious injury, you need the help of a law firm you can trust to get results. It takes expert legal representation to make sure you obtain fair compensation. Car accident lawsuits can help families who suffered serious or fatal injuries reclaim their rights. Without a competent car crash attorney by your side, it can be difficult or even impossible to ensure you get maximum compensation—and are not taken advantage of by a dishonest auto insurance company.
Experiencing a car crash is challenging enough. When another party caused the accident, you shouldn’t be forced to deal with medical bills or a difficult insurance company on your own. At Thomas Law Offices, our Chicago auto accident lawyers handle every detail of your case with expertise and compassion. We take your personal injury claim or car accident lawsuit seriously because we know the outcome will change the course of your life.
When we take your car accident case, we start by asking and finding the answers to these questions:
- How did the auto accident happen?
- Who is liable for the accident?
- How much do you deserve to recover in compensation?
At our personal injury law firm, we take the time and effort to examine every detail of your car accident case. Unlike many law firms, we don’t rush through the process to move on to the next case. We treat your case with the dignity it deserves. It’s our goal to make sure your car accident settlement reflects the true and full amount you have lost. We won’t stop working until we see that you have been awarded maximum compensation.
After a collision, you may be asking: How do I determine liability in a car accident? Our Chicago car accident attorneys are experts in determining and proving liability. We will examine all evidence necessary to support your claim and prove your right to compensation, including
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness accounts
- The police crash report made at the accident scene
- Medical records and physicians’ reports
- Proof of your medical expenses, including ambulance rides, prescription medications, therapy, medical apparatuses, and any other costs
- Records of missed work hours and lost wages
- Vehicle or other property damage
- Traffic, surveillance, or dashboard camera footage
- Information from vehicle black boxes
- Cell phone records that can prove a driver was texting or using a device at the time of the crash
- Vehicle manufacturer records or recall information if a parts malfunction was involved
- Receipts, camera footage, witness statements, or other information that can prove alcohol consumption and drunk driving
We represent people in Chicago, IL who have been injured or lost loved ones in preventable car accidents.
If you suffered injuries in your car wreck, the financial costs of medical treatment can be impossible to bear without support. Your personal injury attorney from Thomas Law Offices will see to it that every one of your expenses and personal losses is included in your insurance claim or car accident lawsuit. We hold the at-fault party accountable when car accidents occur and protect injured victims from injustice.
How the Car Accident Lawyers at Thomas Law Offices Win Victories
In personal injury cases, you can’t win a fair settlement unless your attorney understands and calculates the full scope of your losses. Our Chicago car accident lawyers don’t just see what you’ve already lost, but also what you may lose in the future.
For example, we know that the medical treatment for a serious injury can require months of medications, physical therapy, and doctors’ visits. We consult with medical experts who can help us accurately determine how much financial compensation you need to cover your ongoing medical costs. If you suffered a catastrophic injury or permanent disability, we’ll calculate the total impact this injury will have on the rest of your life. If you were the primary breadwinner for your family, we’ll make sure your compensation makes up for the losses your family suffered as a result of your car accident injuries.
After your motor vehicle accident, your car accident attorney from Thomas Law Offices will sit down with you and discuss your best options for financial recovery. We’ll examine your insurance coverage and help you file a personal injury claim with your insurance company. Interacting with an insurance company on your own can be difficult, but you can rest assured that an experienced car accident lawyer from our law firm will take care of communicating with your and the other driver’s insurance company for you.
In some car accident cases, an insurance claim may not be enough, especially if the insurance company disputes liability or undervalues your claim. In these types of motor vehicle accident cases, filing a car accident lawsuit may be your best option to maximize compensation and achieve a fair outcome.
It takes an experienced car accident lawyer to successfully navigate a car accident lawsuit. Our law firm specializes in difficult cases like these. We have won many high-value victories for our clients in Chicago, IL, and we are prepared to do the same for you.
Don’t let the at-fault driver and their insurance company make you pay for damages you didn’t cause. The auto accident lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have what it takes to win even the most complicated car accident cases. Let our expert legal representation protect your future.
We Know How Much Your Chicago Car Accident Claim Is Really Worth
When we take an auto collision case, we always take into consideration the immense impact a serious injury has on a car accident victim’s life. If you suffered a catastrophic injury like spinal cord damage or paralysis, you will likely be facing a lifetime of medical bills.
The insurance company may only look at the immediate damages, such as your medical bills for visiting the emergency room or the cost of repairing your vehicle. But the car accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices know that severe injuries often take years to fully heal, or may never heal completely. Without a law firm to protect their rights, a car accident victim may be paying for their injuries for the rest of their life.
How much compensation can you get for your car accident injuries? When we calculate compensation, we look at all damages you have suffered as a result of the car crash, including both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include the bills and direct expenses you incurred, while noneconomic damages cover your less-tangible losses.
Economic Damages May Include:
- Medical bills associated with car accident injuries, including past and future expenses
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Cost of vehicle repair or replacement
- Other property damage
Noneconomic Damages May Include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium (in a wrongful death case)
Punitive Damages After a Car Accident
The damages listed above are considered compensatory damages, as they are meant to compensate you for your losses. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish behavior that is grossly negligent or willfully harmful.
Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases when a defendant’s actions extend beyond the scope of typical negligence. Because punitive damages punish wrongdoing, they can help prevent future instances of the same type of behavior. Punitive damages are more often applied in wrongful death or catastrophic injury cases—for example, if the at-fault driver was intoxicated and caused an accident that killed or paralyzed another motorist.
What Should I Do if I Lost a Loved One in a Car Accident?
When a loved one’s life is lost in a catastrophic auto wreck, the family members or loved ones may be able to file a car accident lawsuit on the deceased individual’s behalf and receive compensation that can go toward funeral costs, medical expenses, and other losses. These types of lawsuits are called wrongful death suits.
If you lost a loved one in a Chicago auto collision, our wrongful death attorneys can provide your family with the support to seek recovery on the behalf of the deceased. We handle every case with professionalism and care, giving your family the peace of mind and dignity you need during a time of tragedy.
What Are Illinois’ Comparative Negligence Laws?
Car accident victims should know that Illinois state law upholds a comparative negligence statute. This means that your amount of financial recovery can be reduced by any partial liability for the accident. In Illinois, you can still recover compensation as long as you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, but your compensation amount will be reduced in accordance with your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the crash, your amount of financial award will be reduced by 20%.
Because of Illinois’ comparative negligence laws, it’s even more important that liability be accurately assigned and adequately proven. By hiring a Chicago car accident lawyer with experience, you can defend your legal rights and be sure that you don’t receive less financial compensation than you deserve.
Insurance companies are known for exploiting comparative negligence laws in order to minimize payouts. If an auto insurance company can successfully manipulate facts to show that you were more at fault than you actually were, they can deny you thousands of dollars or more in compensation needed to cover medical bills and other expenses.
If you suffered injuries through the negligent actions of the at-fault party, your team of Chicago car accident attorneys from Thomas Law Offices will fight tirelessly to defend your right to full financial recovery.
We Are the Chicago Car Accident Lawyers With Experience
The car accident lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have years of experience successfully settling major and minor car accident claims across Chicago and the United States. Our results speak for themselves.
We understand that the process of filing a lawsuit can be nearly impossible without the right help and support. The caring and knowledgeable attorneys at our law firm are here to make the process less complex.
As your Chicago car accident lawyers, we promise to:
- Listen to your story to fully understand how your life was changed by the accident
- Investigate every detail of the crash, its causes, and its outcome
- Gather the necessary evidence to support your claim
- Seek the expert testimony of accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and other specialists who can verify your right to compensation
- Examine all insurance policies relevant to your claim
- Conduct professional, timely communication with insurance agencies on your behalf
- Negotiate with insurance companies to reach a fair settlement amount
- Provide expert representation in court if your case goes to trial
- Maintain open lines of communication with you through every step of the process
- Take your individual needs and concerns into account in every matter
- Offer thoughtful legal guidance and emotional support from our first meeting to the resolution of your car accident case
When Should I Hire a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer?
In short, the best time to hire a lawyer is as soon as possible after the accident. While there may be factors that prevent you from getting in touch with an attorney immediately—for example, if you are being treated at a hospital for serious injuries—the sooner a lawyer can get started on your case, the better.
The main reason that time is of the essence is that vital evidence can disappear. It’s not usually possible to obtain photos of the accident scene or get an eyewitness’ testimony weeks or months after the crash. Gathering and preserving evidence is a critical part of a car accident lawyer’s work. Let an attorney begin working for you as soon as possible to give your case the best chance for a successful outcome.
As experienced Chicago auto accident lawyers, we at Thomas Law Offices encourage you to come to us for help, no matter where you are in the process of your car accident case. We have started work on car accident cases at all stages of the process and achieved winning outcomes. Our team is confident that our competence and experience can work for you in any situation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Chicago Car Accident Injury Case?
A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to take legal action after an accident. These deadlines work to ensure that legal matters are handled within an appropriate amount of time. If your lawsuit is filed past the time frame dictated by the statute, your case will likely be dismissed by the court.
In the state of Illinois, the statute of limitations is usually two years from the time of the incident. However, there are some exceptions which may give your attorney more or less time to handle your case. For this reason, it’s important to meet with a lawyer as soon as you can following your accident. Your Chicago car accident lawyer will be able to make sure that all matters are completed within the mandatory deadlines.
How Long Does the Car Accident Claim Process Take in Illinois?
It can take some time to settle a car accident claim. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it could be months or years until an outcome is reached. It’s in your best interest to contact us as soon as possible after the crash occurs. As a car accident victim, your focus should be on your own health and recovery. Let an experienced representative handle the legal side of things so you can devote your time to what’s important in your life.
What Causes Chicago Car Accidents?
Given the heavy traffic in most areas of Chicago, it is critical that operators of motor vehicles pay attention to the road, those around them, and the rules of driving at all times. When a driver fails to do any of these three, they increase the chances of a car accident.
Most Car Accidents Are Caused by Human Error
It’s a simple fact that human error causes most collisions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 94% of reported car crashes are caused by driver error. While some accidents are caused by multiple drivers, most are caused by one driver making a mistake that could have been prevented. When an individual or group causes a preventable mistake which results in harm—such as in the case of a serious car accident injury—that group or person can be held liable under civil law.
Our laws state that drivers have a duty to conduct themselves responsibly on the road and to not harm others if harm can be avoided. If a driver does not uphold that duty, attorneys like the Chicago car accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices can hold a motorist liable for the injuries they caused. This breach of duty is a concept referred to as negligence. When a driver is negligent, they put themselves and everyone else on the road around them in danger.
Ways that drivers in Illinois are negligent include:
CDC data shows that over 10,000 people die every year in alcohol-related driving crashes nationwide. Drunk drivers continue to be one of the top reasons accidents occur.
While fewer accidents happen due to drug impairment than alcohol intoxication, roughly 16% of crashes occur due to a driver being under the influence of illegal drugs or marijuana.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, an accident can occur. Distractions can include texting, talking on the phone, using a GPS or smartphone app, eating, daydreaming, or talking with passengers.
Reckless driving includes speeding, driving aggressively, driving too close to other vehicles, cutting other drivers off, and road rage. Insurance Information Institute (III) data suggests that aggressive driving is a factor in 56% of fatal collisions.
Failure To Follow Traffic Rules
A driver can be found negligent for speeding, failing to properly check blind spots when turning or merging, running a red light, rolling through a stop sign, making an illegal turn, or breaking other traffic rules.
Inexperienced drivers are generally more likely to cause an accident than drivers who have years of experience behind the wheel. While inexperience alone is not an indication of negligence, an experienced driver who makes a mistake that causes an accident may be held liable for injuries.
Faulty Auto Parts
Car accidents are sometimes caused by faulty tires, braking system failures, or other defective auto parts. In some cases, a driver may be liable for driving a vehicle in an obviously dangerous condition. But when a part was designed or manufactured with a flaw, it may be possible for a car accident lawyer to hold an auto part manufacturer accountable.
Common Types of Auto Collisions in Chicago
Our attorneys have experience in all types of personal injury accidents involving motor vehicles. In addition to passenger vehicle collisions, the personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices also handle:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents (involving tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks)
- Electric rental scooter accidents
But accidents involving passenger vehicles like cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs are by far the most common in our urban area. Here are some of the most common types of car accidents that occur in and around Chicago:
This is a common type of car accident that happens when a driver crashes into the back of another vehicle. These commonly occur when a driver is following too closely, and the leading car comes to a sudden stop. Distracted driving and speeding are often factors in rear-end collisions.
These occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide. This type of crash can result in especially deadly injuries when windshields shatter on impact.
Also known as a broadside collision, a T-bone collision happens when one car strikes the side of another. These generally occur when at least one vehicle is making a turn. They commonly happen at intersections.
A sideswipe happens when two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide due to improperly merging or moving out of lanes.
Parked Vehicle or Single Vehicle Accidents
Parked vehicle or single-vehicle accidents occur when one driver crashes into a parked vehicle or another stationary object.
Hit-and-runs happen when one driver leaves the scene of the accident without exchanging insurance information with the other vehicle’s owner. It’s illegal to leave the scene after an accident, but this happens with surprising frequency. If you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident, it may be possible for you to file an injury lawsuit against the driver who left the scene of the car accident in addition to any criminal charges which may already be in place.
In a busy city like Chicago, rideshare accidents are more common than many people believe. If an Uber or Lyft vehicle gets into an accident, the rider may be left with little to no options for receiving the amount of compensation they need to recover from their injuries. With the help of an experienced lawyer, that rider’s legal rights can be protected.
Common Chicago Car Accident Injuries
An auto collision can leave a victim with injuries ranging from minor to major. After a minor fender bender, injuries often include bruises, cuts, and muscle strains. In a more serious accident, injuries will vary considerably depending on the type and severity of the collision, the speed at which the impact occurred, and the sizes of the motor vehicles involved.
Common injuries from serious car accidents include:
Broken Bones and Fractures
Depending on the factors of the crash, one or multiple broken bones and/or fractures may be possible.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be extremely painful, potentially disabling, and occur most often in serious T-bone and rear-end accidents. Data shows that roughly 40% of all spinal injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Traumatic brain injuries are trauma-based injuries to the head that are forceful enough to damage the brain. Penetrating injuries can also cause a traumatic brain injury. CDC data shows that car accidents are the second-leading cause of brain injuries requiring hospitalization.
Soft Tissue Damage
Bruises, sprains, strains, and tears are common soft tissue injuries that may result after a car accident. Another common injury in automobile accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur when the head is quickly forced in one direction and then another, resulting in a whip-like motion. Auto accident victims may suffer the effects of soft tissue damage for weeks, months, or longer following a car wreck.
Burn injuries can result from a vehicle fire or from contact with overheated electrical components. These are critical, severe injuries requiring immediate care. Injured victims of auto accident burn injuries may need to undergo surgery, and are highly susceptible to infection and other life-threatening complications.
Due to the forceful impact of a car accident, internal organ damage may result, even when symptoms aren’t felt immediately.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Scars to the body and facial disfigurement can be permanent reminders of a crash. Surgery may be the only way to reverse the visible physical damage caused by a catastrophic accident.
Emotional and Psychological Injuries
It’s also possible for victims to experience mental health complications after being in a serious car crash. No matter how serious or minor the physical injuries, it’s not uncommon to suffer acute mental anguish, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and fear of traveling by car.
An experienced car accident attorney will understand how debilitating these emotional injuries can be. At Thomas Law Offices, our attorneys partner with experienced mental health professionals to get a full understanding of the extent of your injuries. From there, we can make sure you receive full and fair compensation for your losses.
Get Medical Care After a Car Accident
Some of the most dangerous types of auto accident injuries are those that aren’t immediately obvious, such as whiplash or internal injuries. A wreck’s initial impact may cause severe bruising and even internal bleeding, which can be extremely dangerous if medical care isn’t received right away. Whiplash also tends to develop symptoms slowly that may not be felt within the first few days following the incident.
For this reason, it’s critical for anyone who has been involved in a car accident to get a medical assessment following the crash—even if they don’t feel pain. Symptoms of injury, including pain, may also be masked by endorphins which are released from the body during a traumatic event. Endorphins can make accident victims feel a rush of adrenaline. This can be useful for surviving a dangerous situation, but it can also temporarily dull pain receptors.
Steps To Take After a Car Accident in Chicago
What do you do after a car accident in Chicago? Immediately following a motor vehicle wreck, your body may be in a state of shock. It’s important to remain calm and take the following steps:
Even if you’re unsure of the extent of everyone’s injuries, first responders should be called as quickly as possible. Even when there are no serious injuries, you will need to notify the police if property damage is significant.
Move Your Vehicle Out of Danger
If it’s safe and you’re able to do so, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic. If you notice smoke or leaking fluid around the car, move away from the vehicle and leave it where it is. These are signs that a fire might occur.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
If you are physically able, ask for the other driver’s insurance company, policy information, name, address, phone number, and driver’s license information. Be careful not to bring up fault or assign blame at this point.
Get Information About the Other Vehicle
Write down what you know about the other vehicle, including its license plate number, make, model, and the damage it sustained. Information like this can be useful to ensure everything in your claim process is handled properly.
Pictures of the scene of the accident can strengthen your claim, especially if something is questioned later. Good photos include images of the damage your car sustained, the other driver’s vehicle, and the scene of the crash itself, including any road debris, skid marks, or identifying features like an obscured road sign or broken guardrail.
Get Witnesses Information
If there are any witnesses nearby, ask them if they’re comfortable issuing a statement regarding what they saw happen. If they agree, get their contact information for later.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Now is the time to contact your auto insurance agency and report the accident. Tell them the facts, but don’t agree to any early settlement offers before speaking to your attorney.
Contact a Chicago Car Accident Attorney
If the accident occurred in Chicago and you’re currently questioning who is liable for the collision, feel you need more compensation than is being offered, or are being treated unfairly by an insurance company, reach out to a Chicago car accident lawyer at your earliest convenience. An experienced injury lawyer will be able to tell you about your legal options and how to build a strong case.
Illinois Car Accident Statistics
From the period of January to the end of May, statistics show that 2021 saw 20% more automobile accident fatalities nationwide than 2020 during the same period, and 16% more fatalities than 2019.
This increase in fatalities can be seen in the state of Illinois, even though not all states experienced an increase. Illinois saw an estimated 408 motor vehicle accident fatalities from January to May 2021. During that same 5-month period in 2020, there were only 325 fatalities. In the same period in 2019, there were 330. This amounts to a 26% increase from 2020 and a 24% increase from 2019. These percentages are higher than the national average.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2018, 62% of all injury-related traffic collisions occurred in urban areas, including state routes, interstate roads, and city streets and roads. In Cook County, which includes Chicago, there were 31,404 injury-causing auto crashes in 2018.
Chicago Car Accident Statistics
Cook County, unsurprisingly, is where most auto accidents in Illinois occur—by a significantly large margin of more than 50%. Anyone who has driven in Chicago can attest to the fact that the increased traffic alone in certain parts of Chicago leads to an increase in crashes.
Speeding is a factor in a significant number of accidents that occur in Chicago. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, officials saw a 14% increase in speeding-related incidents in Chicago in 2020 compared to 2019. Other contributing factors include alcohol and drug impairment, driver distraction, and broken traffic laws.
Contact Thomas Law Offices Today
At Thomas Law Offices, our car accident attorneys in Chicago are on your side. We have the experience—both inside and outside of the courtroom—your case deserves. We will fight for your right to file a legal claim against a negligent driver. We make sure insurers treat your case fairly.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an auto wreck, contact us today. Our compassionate legal team is ready to help you and your family find peace of mind.