Illinois Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits
Car accidents generally fall under personal injury actions which follow the theory of negligence.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Illinois -- whether as a driver or passenger -- it’s crucial to understand what to expect if you decide to make a claim for injuries or seek compensation for vehicle damage, whether through an insurance claim or via a personal injury lawsuit.
This page provides a guide to Illinois resources on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, including some of the key Illinois laws that could affect your car accident claim, and tips on contacting an Illinois car accident lawyer to get help if you need it.
Illinois Car Accident Laws
After a car accident in Illinois, if you decide to file a claim against the at-fault driver, there are a few state laws that you need to know about, beginning with the time limit for getting lawsuits started in civil court (this kind of law is called a statute of limitations, and every state has one).
Here are the deadlines for filing a lawsuit after a car accident in Illinois:
- two years after the accident for filing a personal injury lawsuit (this law can be found at 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202)
- five years after the accident for filing a lawsuit over vehicle or property damage (you’ll find this law codified at 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-205).
Learn more about Illinois’s car accident lawsuit filing deadline -- and other state laws that could impact your case -- in Car Accident Settlements in Illinois.
Illinois Car Insurance Rules
After any car accident in Illinois, car insurance coverage will almost certainly come into play, whether you’re making a claim under your own policy or with the other driver’s carrier (the latter is known as a third party car insurance claim). Here is a quick snapshot of Illinois car insurance rules:
- Illinois is a “fault” car insurance state, so after a car accident you are free to file a liability insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
- The minimum car insurance coverage requirements for drivers in Illinois are: $20,000 for the injury or death of one person, $40,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident, and $15,000 for vehicle and property damage.
- Illinois requires all car insurance policies to include uninsured motorist coverage with limits equal to the policy's injury liability coverage (unless a lower limit is chosen in writing
For more in-depth information, check out our article Illinois Car Insurance Laws and Regulations.
Contact a Illinois Car Accident Lawyer
You may not need to hire an Illinois car accident lawyer if your case is fairly simple and straightforward. For example, if you’re in a fender bender where the other driver’s insurance company accepts liability and offers a more-than-fair amount to settle your claim, you may be wise to handle the matter yourself.
But if the other driver’s insurance company is saying you were at fault for the car accident, or if you suffered significant injuries, a lot more might be at stake, and it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer.
A good car accident attorney knows how to handle the back-and-forth of settlement negotiation, how to anticipate and avoid obstacles in the process, and the best way to protect your rights at every stage in the case, including filing a car accident lawsuit in the Illinois civil court system if it comes to that.