You’re driving west on Euclid about to take a right on Arlington Heights Road when suddenly and without any notice you get rear-ended. An auto accident can be as simple as a fender bender or you may have been in an accident that changed your life. Either way, reach out to Arlington Heights auto accident lawyer the Chicago Legal Group for free advice about how to handle your claim.
What Is A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury law is a very generic term and not all traffic accident attorneys are the same. Personal injury might include everything from medical malpractice to bicycle accidents to collisions involving an 18-wheeler.
Still, there are certain things that make all personal injury cases similar and that is (most if not all) that they are based on the standard of negligence – basically meaning that the accident was not intentional. If it was intentional, it may still fall under the concept of personal injury it is just not measured by the negligence standard.
An auto collision lawyer can help you figure out whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. There is a standard that must be met – in short – in every car crash in Arlington Heights there must be a determination of who is liable for the accident and an assessment of the damages caused by negligence. Negligence basically means that someone (in this case the other driver) failed to exercise care that a reasonable person would take in the same situation.
In the example above, a reasonable person would have applied their brakes in time and not rear-ended the vehicle in front of them.
Elements of a Negligence Case
For you to prove that the other driver was ‘negligent,’ you must show:
Duty basically means that we all as drivers have a ‘duty’ to exercise care while driving our vehicles so that we don’t injure someone else. The standard is different in different types of negligence cases. For example, the same level of duty is not owed in a medical malpractice case as is owed in a simple car crash. If you are looking for auto accident attorney in Arlington Heights, reach out to us at 1-847-305-4105.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Take the example above – the driver who caused the rear end accident breached his duty of care. Once there is a breach of duty and you can connect it as described below, you are half way to recovering for your damages.
Causation Between the Breach and the Damages
If the rear-end accident resulted in the driver in the front car suffering whiplash, then you can allege causation between the breach and the injury. This is often a contentious issue between auto accident victims and insurance companies. The insurance company will argue that the accident did not cause the injuries the victim is seeking compensation for.
This often arises when there are pre-existing conditions that are aggravated or exacerbated in an accident. We’ve also seen it arise often in cases where a victim is suffering back pain and gets an MRI which reveals a disc bulge for example. How do you ‘prove’ the bulge was caused by the accident? With prior x-rays, testimony of experts and the victim’s testimony. Winning a case like this is why you need an Arlington Heights auto accident lawyer to assist you.
Damages from the Accident
When we say damages, we are referring to the injuries the victim suffered. Note that damages don’t necessarily mean just physical injury. Damages can also refer to recovery for lost wages, property damage and your pain suffering.
You will see your lawyer refer to a few different types of damages:
General damages: general damages are what we refer to when we say ‘pain and suffering.’ It could also include other things but P&S is primarily what we think of.
Special damages: special damages are intended to compensate an auto accident victim for the financial damages they suffer. This includes the lost wages, medical bills, property damage and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Punitive damages: Often accident victims will say that they want the driver who hit them to suffer because of their actions. What they’re referring to are punitive damages. Note that punitive damages are NOT permitted in a negligence case.
If you are searching for a car accident law firm to represent you for injuries suffered in a collision, please reach out to us at 1-847-305-4105.