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We understand that people who have been hurt in truck accidents have questions and that they need answers as soon as possible. Here, we have compiled some of the mostly commonly asked questions we receive and our responses to those questions.
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How long do I have to file a truck accident case in Illinois?
Each state, including Illinois, has laws known as the statutes of limitations. These laws limit the amount of time that an injured party has to file a lawsuit.
It may seem that the laws are unfair and that you shouldn’t be up against a deadline when you are suffering from a painful injury. However, the law is meant to protect both you and the defendant by providing a time by which the case must be filed. It provides the defendant with some certainty about how long he may be financially vulnerable to a lawsuit and, more importantly, it provides you better access to high-quality evidence. Additionally, the sooner that you file a case the sooner you may be able to make a legal recovery to help with your physical and emotional recoveries.
How Long Do You Have To File A Truck Accident Claim?
If you were hurt in a truck crash, then you have suffered a personal injury and the Illinois Statute of Limitations for personal injuries applies to your case. In most cases, this means that you have two years to file a lawsuit. The two years runs from the time that the injury is discovered or the time that the injury should reasonably have been discovered. Most of the time, the two-year statute of limitations will begin on the day of the truck crash.
In limited circumstances the statute of limitations may be extended. This may happen, for example, if you were under the age of 18 or mentally incompetent at the time of the crash and your parent or legal guardian did not file a case on your behalf.
What Happens If You Miss the Deadline To File Your Truck Accident Claim?
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, then you should expect that the defendant will file a motion to dismiss with the court. The court will grant that motion and your case will be dismissed without you recovering any financial damages.
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, learn how an Illinois truck accident case works and what you can do to protect your rights today by speaking with our experienced truck accident injury lawyers as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 for a free consultation.
Do I have the right to file a lawsuit after an Illinois truck accident?
You may have seen a truck accident happen and been traumatized, or you may love someone who was badly hurt or killed in an Illinois truck wreck. Either of these situations can be devastating and can have a significant impact on your life. However, they do not always give you the right to bring a lawsuit against the person who caused the crash.
Instead, in order to file a truck accident case in the state of Illinois, you must have legal standing. If you do not have legal standing, then the party that you name as the defendant will make a motion to dismiss your case—and the court will grant that motion.
Standing to Sue in Illinois Following A Truck Accident
Illinois law allows people to file personal injury lawsuits after truck wrecks when:
- They are adults who have been hurt in the crash.
- They are the parent or guardian of minor children (under the age of 18). Children do not have legal standing to bring their own lawsuits. If your child was hurt, then you may be able to file a case on behalf of your child. The damages in this type of case would be for your child’s benefit.
- They are the legal guardian of someone who was hurt in a truck crash. If you have legal guardianship of an adult, then you may have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit on that person’s behalf and for that person’s benefit.
- They are the administrator of the estate of someone who died in a truck wreck. In this case, they may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim for the benefit of the estate and its beneficiaries.
If you believe that you have standing to bring a case, then it is important to take action immediately by talking to an experienced truck accident lawyer. An attorney can explain how Illinois truck accident cases work and what steps you need to take to move forward with a lawsuit and a potential recovery. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free consultation.
What happens if I was partly to blame for the truck accident that left me injured in Illinois?
When a serious crash occurs, there is often more than one cause. Maybe one driver was speeding while the other driver was distracted. Perhaps, one driver was tired while the other driver under the influence of prescription medications. In these cases, more than one party may be at fault for the truck crash.
The percentage of fault that is attributed to each party must be negotiated during settlement talks or decided by the court, and the exact percentage is very important. It may determine the amount of money that you can recover in a legal case—or whether you can recover any money at all.
Illinois Contributory Negligence Law In Your Truck Accident
According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes (735 ILCS 5/2-1116 (c)):
- You cannot recover damages in a truck accident case if you are found to be 50% or more of the proximate cause of your injuries. In other words, if your actions or inactions made you primarily responsible for the accident, then you cannot recover damages from someone else.
- If you were partly at fault for the accident, but the percentage of your fault is found to be less than 50%, then you may recover damages for the injuries that you have suffered. However, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are found to be 25% responsible for the crash and the trucker is found to be 75% responsible for the crash, then you may recover damages—but your total recovery will be reduced by 25%.
For these reasons, determining the exact cause of your crash and the percentage of fault attributed to each party is very important.
Don’t Negotiate Liability on Your Own For A Truck Accident
An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate what happened to you and make compelling arguments to the insurance company or to the court to ensure that a fair determination of fault is made. For more information about how a lawyer can help you protect your right to a fair recovery and how Illinois truck accident cases work, please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.