Car accidents are a part of daily life, especially in large metro areas like Chicago that have lots of traffic. It is helpful to understand the process of how lawsuits following car accidents work if you have been injured or involved in a crash.
Multiple car accident closes down Dan Ryan Expressway
A severe car accident on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago resulted in two vehicles bursting into flames and multiple victims who required treatment.
The Illinois State Police released a statement that five vehicles were involved in the crash in total, and at least 6 people will require medical treatment, including one minor. However, they believe that none of the injuries are life threatening and all victims are expected to survive.
The accident occurred in the outer lanes at about 3:30 pm near the 18th Street area. A vehicle completely rolled over onto its top and caught on fire, while a second vehicle nearby also burst into flames. The occupants of those vehicles were able to safely escape. The Chicago Fire Department closed all lanes in the area for about an hour and a half to extinguish the fires and secure the area before that section of the expressway was reopened. An initial cause of the crash was still unknown and local authorities were investigating the cause of the fires and collision.
Car accidents and tort law
Many lawsuits following motor vehicle accidents are part of an area of the law called tort law. This is the part of the civil law that allows people who have been wronged through the intentional acts or mistakes of others to collect money to pay for their inconveniences. All personal injury cases are tort law cases.
As a general rule the money, or damages to use the legal term, paid out is relative to the amount of harm the victim has suffered. Damages are an important aspect of lawsuits following car accidents because victims will have to pay for repairs to the vehicle, treatment from medical professionals, hospitalization, and other costs which can be traced back to the initial accident. This is a huge area of the private practice of law because things like car accidents and mistakes made by businesses cause injuries to people every single day.
Rules regarding negligence lawsuits
Negligence cases are the specific kind of tort law action that will follow car accidents. This type of lawsuit basically says that a driver was not careful enough, and when they breached this duty of care on the roads they caused injuries to one or more other people. It is essentially a way of establishing fault and making the person responsible pay for the problems they cause. Most states now also have laws called comparative negligence, which allow fault to be divided. Many different parties to an accident can sue each other as long as the defendant is at least partially responsible for the accident. While there can be some complexities involved in negligence cases, you only need to give your attorney information about how your accident happened and they can handle all of the relevant legal doctrines.
The value of accidents and damages
The final element of any negligence case is to prove damages. This is because a victim must suffer some kind of actual harm to prevail in a negligence claim. Damages are also important because they assign a monetary value to injuries and property damage, which is why most people decide to sue.
There are two kinds of damages. They are economic and non-economic. Economic damages are related to the specific, known harms a person suffered from an accident such as medical expenses, needing to pay for car repairs, and missed time from work along with lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, because they allow an attorney to make an argument for assigning a value to the long term emotional pain and trauma that is tied to an accident. These amounts can become very large if the victim sustains a severe injury or permanent disability.
The value of any accident is highly dependent on exactly what the victim has to endure in the immediate aftermath. If someone requires only minor repairs to their car and does not sustain any kind of injuries, the value of an accident is generally going to be low and insurance claims alone will usually handle the process. Before making any conclusions, it is always best to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney.
Speak with a local lawyer following an injury
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in the Chicago metro area, there is help available. Contact Budin Law Offices for advice about how to proceed with your case and collect compensation for your injuries.