Our Rockford personal injury and car accident law practice concentrates on car accidents, premises liability, slip & falls, workplace injuries, dog bite cases, and bad faith claims, and a host of other injuries. See our Personal Injury Page for more details.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in the Rockford area here are some of the immediate steps you should take if you’ve been hurt or injured generally to protect your rights:
In Rockford the most likely responding law enforcement agencies to a car crash in Rockford would be the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office at 650 W. State St. Rockford, IL 61102 or 815-319-6000 for a copy of your crash report, or if it’s the City of Rockford that responded to your scene you can contact their records division at 557 Newtowne Dr. Rockford, IL 61108 or at 779-500-6555. Or visit either location on the web at https://rockfordil.gov/city-departments/police/ or http://www.winnebagosheriff.com/ respectively. Likewise if you contact our office with help making your Rockford, Illinois Personal Injury claim we have access to the report database through Lexis Nexis and can order this without you needing to visit an area law enforcement records division.
Once you have contacted them for a copy of your crash report, if you provide this information to us we can begin your case by opening up a claim with the other insurance company, and/or your own insurance company to notify them that an injury has occurred, and to initiate a property damage claim for your vehicle. From there we can assist you and your family in the following ways:
Common injuries we handle in personal injury cases are broken bones, fractures, ligament strains, and concussions. If you have any injuries stemming from an auto accident the most important thing you can do is to seek treatment for all injuries. While we can never tell a client when they come in how much a case is worth, one way that we’re able to appraise the value of a case is how much medical treatment someone had to endure, and then discuss with the client how the injury impacted their day-to-day life. Were they able to play with their children, attend work, take a shower, pick up items to perform household chores, drive to medical appointments, etc. Once we discuss with you what a reasonable number might be, we submit that demand to the responsible insurance company that was covering the Defendant/Tortfeasor (person who caused your injury).
If they agree to pay the specified amount this is called a “Settlement”. If they refuse to pay what’s fair, or offer an amount lower than you wish to take this is when we would prepare a lawsuit, file it with our county circuit clerk’s office, have the defendant/tortfeasor served, and set the case ultimately for a trial so that a Winnebago County jury can determine what a fair recovery is for your personal injury case. There are key areas after a lawsuit is filed that may allow a settlement to occur even after a lawsuit is filed but the biggest threat an injured person has, is that their lawyer will drag the insurance company through the mud in front of a jury. Also, there are no hard and fast rules on what a fair amount might be for any case generally. Fair is ultimately what the client thinks is fair, and then adjusted to what previous cases may have been assigned at trial in their respective area. You may have heard that the value of a case is 3 times the total of medical bills. While that sometimes can be a standard metric on some cases, often times it falls critically short. For example if the injured party had a large income that was curtailed or reduced based on the permanence of the injury sustained, or if it’s a lifetime debilitating injury, a simple calculation of medical bills being multiplied doesn’t compare to the amount of financial loss a victim would suffer if that was the bench mark that was applied to appraising their claim.
As an example if your case involved a fractured sternum with a typical recovery, and a normal amount of medical appointments, we can typically find a similar case within the surrounding area and see how much a jury awarded in that real case. We can then provide that case information to the insurance company and say this is what we’re likely to get at trial, and we’re going to ask for even more because our case is distinguishable in these other ways, etc. Simply being prepared, and being willing to take cases to trial is one sure fire way to get a better recovery for all clients than what will happen if someone brings on a lawyer that does not file lawsuits or tries to handle their case on their own.
Get help from a skilled Rockford car accident lawyer who will protect your rights when you or a loved one is hurt or killed in a motor vehicle accident. We protect individuals in any of the following motor vehicle personal injury cases:
The most common type of personal injury claims involve motor vehicle accidents. This is not surprising since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)estimates that a traffic accident occurs in the United States every ten seconds, and the rate of auto accidents in Rockford is generally no exception to the overall nationwide rate. Accidents can happen in only a few short moments, but can have long-lasting effects on your life.
Illinois has more than 400,000 car accidents every single year. These include around 90,000 injures and around 1,000 fatalities every year. Even a minor collision can result in a trip to the hospital, lost wages, bumps, bruises, and scrapes, and the inconvenience of losing a vehicle for a significant period of time. If it’s a major car accident, it can have life-altering consequences for yourself and your family well into the future.
Every driver has the responsibility to drive safely for the sake of others on the road, their passengers, and themselves. Despite our modern technology that’s designed for motor vehicle safety, more and more accidents occur every year. Failure to drive carefully leaves drivers responsible for any consequences of resulting accidents. If they injure someone, they are obligated to pay for it.
Despite the risks, and even when faced with the possibility of so much loss, people continue to make risky decisions when behind the wheel. According to data evaluated by the Insurance Information Institute, the following types of driver behavior are commonly involved in severe car accidents:
The Illinois Department of Transportation records indicate that 1,097 people were killed in car accidents in 2017. 1,017 people were killed in auto accidents throughout the state in 2016. Cook County saw the highest number of collisions, fatalities, and severe injuries compared to any other part of the state, with 211 deaths and 27,075 reported injuries, of which 3,223 were deemed significant. Meanwhile, in the same year, more than 40,000 people across the United States were killed in traffic-related incidents. According to assessments made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accidents amount to a massive $871 billion in damages each year.
The NHTSA has determined that distracted driving accounts for 25% of all crashes involving teenage drivers. This was affirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reported that drivers under the age of 20 are at the highest risk of distracted driving-related crashes.
We all know how connected teenagers are to their phones. In many cases, this connection continues when teenagers take to the wheel. A study released by the CDC in 2011 revealed that nearly half of all American high school students aged 16 and over texted or emailed while driving. That study also showed that teenagers who text while driving are almost two times as likely to get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. These teens are also five times as likely to drink and drive under the influence. The results of these behaviors are tragic. They destroy lives. They destroy families.
In 2013, almost one million teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in motor vehicle crashes. These accidents resulted in 2,865 deaths and 383,000 injuries nationwide. Mobile phone use (e.g., talking, texting, or searching for information) were implicated as a cause for 12% of teen accidents. In more than half of the rear-end crashes involving mobile phone use, the distracted teen driver had no idea he or she was about to be hit.
While there is no denying the impact of an injury or loss of life caused by an accident, we are committed to making the legal process that follows as stress-free as possible. We understand that the trauma of a motor vehicle accident itself is difficult to shoulder, and are committed to relieving your anxieties about a legal battle. We fight for our clients and their rights to recovery.
According to Illinois Department of Transportation data 84,652 people were injured to some extent in a vehicle-related incident in 2014. 11,755 of those individuals sustained a significant injury that prevented them from participating in the normal day-to-day activities that they enjoyed before the accident. This is categorized as an “A-type” injury crash. Some of these life-changing injuries include:
Regardless of the scope of your injury, we can help you. We understand that no accident is the same, and will treat you with respect and individualized attention from your consultation and beyond.
By law, all Illinois drivers are required to carry liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, according to the Illinois Secretary of State. Despite these requirements, more than 13% of drivers on Illinois roads and highways operate vehicles without any liability insurance, according to data from the Insurance Research Council.
So what happens if an uninsured driver causes a crash that injures you?
Recognizing how pervasive uninsured drivers are, most automobile insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage (often referred to as UM coverage). In these situations, after it has been established that the at-fault driver did not carry any insurance at the time of a crash, a claim may be presented to the injured party’s insurance company, which essentially stands in the place of the person who caused the accident.
While the logistics of presenting a claim to your auto insurance company for an accident that you did not cause may seem strange, you are entitled to the same types of damages that you would have had the offending driver carried insurance.
On a similar note, when a driver who causes an accident has insufficient liability coverage to compensate an injured party for their injuries — either an underinsured motorist claim or UIM claim — may be made with the insured party’s auto insurer.
Motor vehicle accidents are governed by the law of negligence. In general, drivers must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” A deviation from this standard of care may require the at-fault party to pay for the damages caused. However, who is determined to be the at-fault party is not always clear. This can quickly turn into a case of “he said, she said.” It can be difficult to know what actually happened and who is legally at fault. A consultation with a personal injury attorney can give you a clear and unbiased opinion of liability in your case, and help you better understand your options.
Damages are the monetary compensation awarded to an injured party after an accident. They can include medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, permanent impairment, lost wages, property damage, etc. Consulting an attorney early on in your case is the best way to ensure that your damages have been properly documented so that you receive fair value for your claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Rockford, Illinois, or in a surrounding community, there are essentially two ways to recover compensation for your injury.
The car accident settlement process roughly flows in this order:
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.
The qualified personal injury law firm of Marriett and Murati can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
For an honest, free, and compassionate consultation about your Rockford personal injury case, feel free to call or text message us confidentially at 815-315-4967 or contact us here. Remember our service is absolutely no cost to you unless we earn a recovery on your behalf. Let the trusted pro’s at Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers: Marriett & Murati 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.