Chicago Car Passenger Injury Lawyer
As a passenger in a car is at the mercy of the vehicle operator to keep them safe from collisions. Errors made by a driver can quickly turn into tragedy when the vehicle collides with another car or is involved in a single-car accident.
Passengers can be seriously injured through no fault of their own when the driver of the vehicle or other cars or trucks on the road drive recklessly or negligently.
All passengers injured in motorcycle, truck, and auto accidents have the legal right to seek financial compensation for their injuries through the car insurance held by the at-fault driver who caused the crash.
The injured party can file a personal injury claim to pay for their medical bills, hospitalization expenses, time away from work, pain, and suffering.
Attorney Representing Injured Passengers in a Chicago, IL Car Accident
A passenger injured in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to pursue a cause of action against all negligent parties that caused or contributed to their injuries.
Illinois law holds that a passenger cannot be contributorily at fault for an accident. Put another way, as a passenger, you may have legal claims against the driver of your vehicle or other motorists, but unlike most car accidents, fault cannot be attributed to you.
A personal injury law firm working on behalf of injured passengers can determine who is at fault before seeking recovery for damages and injuries.
The driver of the vehicle or other motorists involved in the collision might be held legally and financially responsible for causing the crash.
It might be necessary to review the applicable coverage from insurance companies for all parties to maximize the amount of insurance coverage that is available, especially in cases involving significant injuries.
Claims Against Friends and Family for Negligent Operation of Vehicles
Let’s face it, most of us don’t ride in a strangers car or get on the back of a motorcycle of someone we just met. Most passengers are family members or friends with the driver of the vehicle.
As a result, many seriously injured passengers are hesitant to pursue a claim with the driver’s insurance carrier– let alone file a lawsuit against that person who was operating the vehicle involved in the collision.
Our personal injury attorneys are mindful of the delicate relationship between passengers and the drivers of the vehicle they are riding in. We always keep the lines of communication open and allow you to make decisions about how to proceed in terms of settlement or litigation.
The Role of Auto Insurance in Chicago, IL Car Passenger Injury Claims
Despite the initial awkwardness of filing a claim against a relative or good friend, the reality is that most motor vehicle claims are paid directly by the insurance company for the driver or owner of the vehicle and not out of the driver’s personal assets.
The motorist responsible for the collision is a party who must resolve a claim under the law. The driver’s insurance company has a contractual obligation to pay for all crash-related injuries that a passenger suffered — regardless of their relationship with the driver.
Consequently, as difficult as it may be to understand, a child/passenger in a car accident caused by a parent has a right to recover damages for their injuries including medical expenses, pain, and suffering as well as lost wages.
Similarly, one spouse has a right to recover damages from the other spouse if their negligence caused an accident. In some cases, the insurance company might be unwilling to settle the claim out of court.
However, auto and motorcycle insurance policies require that the insurance company provides an attorney for the driver (policyholder) to represent him or her in court.
The insurance companies must pay for any settlement or judgment against their insured without ever taking monies from the driver's personal funds.
In other words, if you are considering bringing a claim against a friend or family member for a car accident claim but were hesitant to do so based on your fear of taking money from them personally, their insurance will insulate them from paying anything personally.
Children Passengers Injured In a Car Accident
Sadly, children are often passengers who suffer the most serious injuries in vehicle accidents.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading killer of children in the United States. In 2017, 675 children under 12-years of age died and nearly 116,000 were injured in auto accidents.
Dealing with an injured child harmed in a car accident can be challenging for family members, friends, or caregivers. The emotional, physical, and financial toll can be life-altering, especially if the child was suffering from traumatic brain injury or disfigurement.
An experienced Chicago car accident attorney can handle negotiations involving the child's injuries like all other personal injury accident cases, even if the child's parent is at fault for the accident.
Our injury attorneys can create a buffer between the parents and the legal situation regarding financial compensation paid to someone close to them.
Injured Car Passenger FAQs
What Happens to Passengers in a car Crash?
There are essential steps to take if you or a family member have been hurt in a vehicle accident, including getting immediate medical treatment and care. Make sure the urgent care center or emergency room doctor performs comprehensive diagnostic tests to evaluate your condition and identify your injuries.If you remain at the scene of the accident, make sure you call local law enforcement to file a police report.Do not give a statement or talk to any insurance company or claims adjuster without speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your rights.
What Happens When You Get Injured in a car Accident?
If you are a passenger injured in an accident in a vehicle without insurance (or the driver did not have insurance), you may pursue an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.
When pursuing an uninsured motorist claim (UM) you are essentially bringing a claim against your own insurance company and are entitled to the same damages that you would be able to pursue if the driver if your vehicle was insured.
What are the Most Common Injuries in a car Accident?
As an injured passenger, you can recover all economic and non-economic damages recognized under Illinois law.
In most car accident cases, economic damages are for your medical care such as ambulance bills, hospital bills and physical therapy. Economic damages also refers to lost wages that you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Non-economic damages cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering and disability that you have endured in the past and are likely to experience in the future.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury, you may be entitled to substantial compensation if your treating physician believes that you will experience ongoing pain and disability.
In the case of a passenger who died in an accident, the family of the deceased may bring a wrongful death claim against the driver under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act to recover compensation for their loss of emotional and economic support.
Does Bodily Injury Cover Passengers in Your car?
A passenger injured in an Chicago, Illinois accident generally has two years from the date of the incident to settle a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Your failure to take legal action within this time will forever bar your ability to recover compensation. There are exceptions to this rule, so you should contact a law firm with experienced car accident lawyers as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are not compromised.
How do I get Money from a car Accident?
Any work-related motor vehicle accident would likely be covered under workers' compensation. Under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, you may recover lost wages and have your medical care paid for by your employer. You may also qualify for a lump sum payment for resulting permanent disability.
Some employers have corporate car insurance policies that may give your additional benefits than those provided under workers' compensation.
Consequently, it is suggested that you consult with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer who can evaluate the applicable insurance coverage and how it may apply to your situation.
How are Pain and Suffering Calculated in a car Accident?
Minor penetration wounds and damage to the soft tissue can take up to six months to completely heal. The healing process for deep lacerations and crushing injuries can take much longer.
Traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or spinal cord damage might never heal, creating life-altering problems for the victim who now faces challenges with moving, talking, walking, and thinking.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer for Passenger Injury Claim?
You will likely need legal assistance to help you through the process to ensure that all victims’ claims are paid. A Chicago car accident lawyer can protect your rights, file a claim on your behalf, and handle the entire process to ensure you are adequately compensated.
Dealing with a claims adjuster can be challenging. An injury lawyer working for you or a family member can cut through red tape to move the process along and ensure you receive maximum compensation for all your damages.
Contacting a Top-Rated Personal Injury Attorney for Passenger Injuries in Chicago, Illinois
If so, it is essential to receive immediate medical attention and speak to car accident attorneys who have experience in passenger personal injury cases.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has successfully resolved many cases on behalf of seriously injured passengers across Illinois.
Our rapid response and know-how help us gather crucial evidence and eyewitness accounts on how the accident occurred so we can determine who is at fault or responsible for the crash.
Contact a Chicago, Illinois car accident lawyer at our personal injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for real-time assistance.
Get a free consultation with our skillful Chicago car accident lawyers to discuss your legal options.
We accept all passenger injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures that we never charge a fee without obtaining fair compensation for you.
Your discussions with a personal injury lawyer will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Chicago, IL auto accident injury attorneys currently follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).