The details of a truck accident case can be overwhelming. There are many things that have to happen—and that have to happen on time—in order for your case to be heard and in order for you to make a legal recovery. If you have been injured in a truck crash, then you need to know how these lawsuits work in Illinois and how to protect your rights before your opportunity to make a fair financial recovery is lost forever.
Eight Things You Need to Know to Get Started
As you begin the process of recovering from your truck accident injuries, it is important to know:
- Who the potential defendants may be in a truck accident case. Truck crash cases can involve more than one defendant. A full investigation must be done to determine if the trucker, the trucking company, the mechanic, or a manufacturer was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries.
- How long you have to file a truck accident case in Illinois. The statute of limitations determines how long you have to file a truck accident lawsuit. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident (or the date you knew or should have known you were hurt) to file a case. In specific circumstances, the time limit may be extended.
- Whether you have the legal right to file a truck accident lawsuit in Illinois. This is formally known as standing to sue. You have standing to sue if you were the one who was hurt, if you are the parent of a minor or legal guardian of someone who was hurt, or if you are the administrator of the estate of someone who died in the truck crash.
- What happens to your potential lawsuit if you were partly to blame for the accident. Illinois law allows you to recover damages if you were partly at fault for the accident as long as you were not primarily responsible for the crash. If you bear more than 50% of the responsibility for the accident then you cannot make a legal recovery. If, however, you were responsible for less than 50% of the crash then you may make a legal recovery, but your recovery will be reduced by the amount of fault attributable to you.
- Whether you need expert witnesses if you file a case. Expert witnesses can help prove why the accident happened, the extent of our injuries, and the value of your damages. However, not every truck accident case requires the same expert witnesses. A truck crash lawyer can help you determine if you need one and, if so, can help you find one.
- Whether you need an attorney if you file a case. You have the right to file your truck accident case on your own, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Instead, you may choose to work with a lawyer who has experience representing truck accident victims. Before you make a decision, however, you should talk to a lawyer to fully understand the potential benefits of hiring one.
- How to deal with insurance adjusters after a truck wreck. Insurance adjusters have a job to do and that job is to get you to accept as little as possible in a settlement so that they maximize profits for their employer. Accordingly, you should be extremely cautious when dealing with insurance adjusters after a truck accident or have your lawyer communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
- How truck accident settlements work. Settlements require negotiation. In order to be in a strong position to negotiate, you will need reliable evidence and you will need to make convincing arguments to the insurance company.
Of course, there are other important details that you need to be aware of if you are going to pursue a fair recovery for your truck accident injuries. Whether or not you decide to hire a lawyer to help you, it is important to take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney so that you can make an educated decision about whether a lawyer can help you. To learn more, we invite you to contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Illinois truck accident lawyers.