Illinois highways are often the scene of serious, multi-car pileups. Slick roads and bad drivers are a recipe for disaster. All too often, those involved in these accidents suffer long-term consequences that range in severity from injuries to death. In the most recent data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, over 1,200 wrecks resulted in fatalities in 2021. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a multi-car pileup, you need to speak with an Illinois car wreck attorney today.
Determining Liability in a Multi-car Accident
In Illinois, those injured in a car accident can seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. Fault can be attributed when someone exhibits negligent or reckless behavior on the road. Types of behavior that most often lead to car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Road conditions
- Vehicle mechanical issues
Often, several factors are present when severe multi-car accidents occur. In Illinois, the weather often plays a key role. The process of allocating fault is laborious and requires the help of a skilled auto collision attorney who can simultaneously pinpoint the at-fault parties while negotiating with the insurance companies.
One of the most challenging tasks in seeking compensation after a multi-car pileup is figuring out who’s responsible. Insurance companies understand this and leverage the stressful situation to reduce their payout obligations. When you’re injured, or if you’ve lost a loved one, the last thing you want to do is fight with insurance companies without the skilled guidance of a dedicated injury attorney.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence is an important rule in Illinois car wreck cases. Essentially, the doctrine allows a victim to seek compensation from an at-fault driver so long as the victim isn’t more than 49% responsible for the accident. Different states use different bars; some use a 50/50 rule. Illinois, however, is a 51/49 rule. Illinois car accident victims are entitled to compensation if they can prove the other party’s negligence constituted at least 51% of the fault.
Comparative negligence doesn’t just provide a bar to entry. This rule additionally serves to reduce your right to compensation proportionately. For example, if you’re 15% responsible for the accident, then your claim for $100 thousand would be reduced by $15 thousand.
Defense attorneys will work tirelessly to try and prove victims contributed to the wreck, so their clients don’t have to pay up. In multicar pileups, fault is notoriously tricky to pinpoint. Successfully doing so takes time and meticulous attention to detail. While this process can seem daunting, especially when it might be easier to take a settlement offer, victims should work with their attorneys to fight for every penny they’re entitled to.
Available Compensation for Multi-car Pileup Victims
Car accident victims involved in multi-car pileups can seek the same compensation as those involved in more minor wrecks. Often, the compensation sought is more extensive when more cars are involved because the damage is more significant. Accurately calculating your compensation isn’t always as straightforward as putting numbers into a spreadsheet.
Compensation can be broken out into two separate categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages pertain to expenses you incurred as a result of the wreck.
Economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Emergency medical bills
- Ongoing medical bills
- Loss of income
In addition to economic damage, you could be entitled to pain and suffering, which is designed to compensate victims for the emotional harm that results from the wreck. As you can imagine, it’s easier to calculate your economic damages because they come with a receipt. It’s just as vital to pursue compensation for psychological injury, even though it’s more difficult to calculate.
Speak to an Illinois Car Accident Attorney
Multi-car pileups happen every day. These traumatic events often result in severe injury or loss of life. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a multi-car accident, call the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630-898-7800, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are committed to helping victims understand their options for pursuing the financial compensation they’re entitled to.