Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers DeKalb, Illinois
The Best Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers in DeKalb
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in DeKalb, we can help.
Our personal injury practice has helped people in 30 of Illinois’ 102 counties to fight for their rights. While our home office is located in Rockford, Illinois we routinely are called upon to represent victims that have been injured due to the negligence of others and extend that protection to citizens in the DeKalb, Illinois metro area. With a variety of state highways and an interstate running through the county there are frequent motor vehicle collisions both in the county, and within DeKalb itself, that the services of a personal injury law firm are warranted.
Car Accident Reporting Agencies in DeKalb
If your injury stems from a car accident, the responding law enforcement agency will prepare a crash report based on Illinois Statute. If you obtain this crash report not only can we get a snap shot of what the first responding officer observed, but also obtain valuable information to initiate a claim against the driver who hurt you by seeing their listed insurance information. If you or a loved one were hurt in DeKalb or in DeKalb County, these are the two most likely agencies to have responded to your crash scene:
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department at 150 N. Main St. Sycamore, IL 61078, 815-895-7260 or on the web https://dekalbcounty.org/ or the DeKalb City Police Department at 700 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL 60115, 815-748-8400, or
If you have been injured in a car accident in DeKalb, Illinois, or in a surrounding community, there are essentially two ways to recover compensation for your injury.
The “law and order” type path, where a suit is filed and a judge or jury ultimately rules on liability and/or damages at a contested trial. You would be present, and the insurance company would provide an attorney for the other involved party to your accident. Testimony would be taken on all sides, and then a decision would be rendered on your case. Certainly, some cases must go to trial; perhaps liability is questionable as to who caused the accident. However, in some cases with severe injuries and high monetary (money) damages, some insurance companies would rather pay for a civil defense firm to litigate the case to try to avoid what’s fairly owed to the victim of their driver’s bad act.
This leads us to option, which is litigating your claim through the Illinois Car Accident Settlement Process, which will be described further on this page.
Section 5/11-401 of the Illinois Vehicle Code says you must report any car accident that results in injury to or death to a person. If you are injured, you must let the responding officer or police agency know about your injury. It is required by statute, and the officer on scene will be a key component in not only requesting medical assistance (e.g., an ambulance), but also in formulating a crash report on how your accident happened. Having information regarding the extent of your injuries in a police report is a good starting point when your lawyer begins to investigate your case.
Under Illinois’ mandatory insurance law, all drivers of a motor vehicle in Illinois must be covered by the following minimum insurance requirements: i. $25,000 for an injury to or death of one person in an accident, ii. $50,000 for injury to or death of more than one person in an accident, and iii. $20,000 to cover damage to property of another person.
It’s easy to see that because of these low minimum standards, it is a wise decision to ensure that you not only have a comprehensive insurance policy of your own to cover uninsured motorists who may collide with your vehicle, but also a policy to cover underinsured motorists who may have only a minimum policy for an injury of $25,000. In practical effect, without covering yourself with such a policy, you risk a two-fold injury to yourself or your family. Imagine you are driving through an intersection and someone with minimal insurance runs a red light and drives into your door at 45 miles per hour. Perhaps the resulting injury causes an injury such as a crushed foot or leg that will never return to normal after the accident, and you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, or that you have small children who you regularly engage in play with. Not only will you never be the same physically, but you’ll also never be the same mentally or emotionally; you likely will never be able to return to the same job with the same duties you had before, and you may never be able to engage with your children the same way as before either. With medical bills alone, it’s hard to imagine that an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage of $25,000 is going to cover your medical bills, let alone the pain and suffering someone would endure in the aforementioned situation.
Car Accident Settlement Process
The car accident settlement process roughly flows in this order:
The accident occurs.
You seek treatment and a lawyer (we can refer you to various healthcare providers if you don’t have your own providers).
You work on getting better through treatment (physical recovery). Yes, this can be a time-consuming process, but we take care of everything with your insurance, and handle your property damage claim to get your vehicle fixed in as short a time period as possible.
We investigate your claim, and perhaps bring on an accident reconstructionist or other useful experts to build your case in preparation for a jury to hear your story.
When you are back to how you were prior to your accident, or as close to 100% as your doctor believes you will get, we start to compile your medical bills.
We then compile any of your lost wages (e.g., time missed from work for medical appointments, time lost to various treatments, and time you were out of work from the injury).
We then assess how your quality of life has been impacted from your accident. So, if you can no longer participate in the activities you did prior to the accident, if you can’t pick your children up anymore, or if you have problems grocery shopping, among other limitations, we start to formulate what we may be seeking in pain and suffering amounts for an accurate idea of what to ask an insurance adjuster or jury to award you.
We then submit what is known as a “demand” letter to the other driver’s insurance company, requesting a specific amount to avoid litigation. From there, they have the choice to accept the demand, counter offer a different amount, or reject settlement.
If we cannot arrive at a resolution that you are satisfied with, the next step is to pursue a trial. Steps 2-9 can occur while a lawsuit is pending. If negotiations don’t work, we move into a trial or arbitration stage of your case, in which we make an argument to a DeKalb County judge, jury, or panel of arbitrators, and argue over liability (i.e., who caused your accident) and/or what a fair amount of money is to resolve your case (i.e., damages).
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
In most cases in Illinois, there is a two-year time limit on personal injury lawsuits.
Illinois sets a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state is generally two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
Contact Us, We’re Here to Help – Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers
For an honest, free, and compassionate consultation about your DeKalb, Illinois personal injury case, feel free to call or text message us confidentially at (815) 964-8303 or contact us using the form on this page. Remember, our service is absolutely at no cost to you unless we earn a recovery on your behalf. Let our trusted professionals help you or your loved one navigate the legal side of your case and fight for your financial recovery, while you focus on your physical recovery.