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Filing a negligence claim after an accident

The word ‘accident’ can be misleading, as it implies that the incident was unavoidable. However, that is not often the case. Many car accidents are caused by driver negligence, which is completely preventable. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may file a personal injury suit against him or her to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.

As an Illinois motorist, you have a legal duty to other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians to abide by all traffic laws and operate your vehicle in a safe manner. A breach of that duty constitutes negligence. In other words, any sort of traffic violation, including speeding, texting and driving, running a red light, or following too closely, could be considered negligent behavior behind the wheel. Violating a specific traffic law or statute could be referred to as ‘negligence per se.’

If you are filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver, you will need to do more than just prove that they were negligent. You will also need to show that the driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries. You can show that the accident was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the negligent driver’s actions and that the accident would not have occurred but for the driver’s negligence.

Once you have established negligence and causation, you will need to prove the nature and extent of your injuries and damages. Your medical bills, employment pay stubs, and vehicle repair invoices will help the jury or judge determine how much you should recover in economic damages. Additionally, you may recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangibles.

Filing a legal claim for negligence after a car accident can be challenging, particularly if you are still physically and emotionally recovering from the accident itself. An attorney in your area can help you with each step of the filing process and represent you throughout your case.