Understanding Chicago Car Accident Laws

Car accidents can be a stressful and life-changing experience for everyone involved. Chicago, being one of the busiest cities in the United States, has its fair share of car accidents. Understanding the legal aspects of car accidents in Chicago is essential for those involved in order to make informed decisions and protect their rights. In this article, we will explore the key features of Chicago car accident laws and how they may pertain to your situation.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Following a car accident, you need to take specific steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. First, assess the situation and call 911 if anyone is injured or in immediate danger. It is critical to seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor, as some symptoms may not be apparent immediately following an accident. Medical records can also be valuable in supporting your case if you later decide to file a claim.

Next, gather information from the scene of the accident. This includes taking photos of the damage, obtaining the contact and insurance information of the other involved parties, and speaking with any witnesses. If the police are called to the scene, they will likely create a police report, which can be important evidence in your potential claim. It may also be beneficial to consult a Chicago car accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.

While you may be concerned about the cost of pursuing legal action, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they take their fee as a percentage of your final judgment or settlement, rather than upfront. This can allow you to obtain legal representation even if you can’t afford an expensive retainer fee. Talk to your lawyer about the fees they charge to learn more.

Overview of Chicago Car Accident Laws

Chicago, like the rest of Illinois, follows a fault-based system to determine the party responsible for a car accident. Under this system, the person who caused the accident is responsible for compensating the injured party for any damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The fault-based system allows for a thorough investigation to determine negligence and establish fault. This ensures that the injured party is compensated fairly for their losses.

There is a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Illinois. Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit and five years for property damage. However, there are exceptions to these time limits depending on factors such as the age of the injured party and whether or not a government entity is involved. Failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time may result in the loss of the right to pursue compensation.

When it comes to insurance coverage, Illinois follows a mandatory minimum liability policy. This means that every driver is required to carry insurance coverage that provides a minimum of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person, and $20,000 for property damage. If the accident costs exceed the coverage limits, the at-fault driver may be held personally responsible for the difference.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Chicago


As Chicago continues to expand and evolve, the potential for car accidents remains high. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Chicago include distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and weather. Distracted driving, in particular, has become a meaningful problem with the advent of smartphones and other digital devices, contributing to a rise in car accident-related injuries and fatalities.

Speeding and aggressive driving are also contributors to car accidents in the city. Speed limits are designed to keep traffic moving safely and efficiently, but drivers who choose to ignore these limits can endanger themselves and others on the road. Poor road conditions can also play a significant role in car accidents. Construction zones, potholes, and other hazards can lead to accidents, especially when drivers are not paying attention or driving at high speeds.

As you can see, understanding Chicago car accident laws is vital for anyone involved in an accident in the city. By familiarizing yourself with these laws, taking the appropriate steps after an accident, and enlisting the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. If you follow the advice in this article, then you’ll be able to win your case and take care of your health.


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