Are There Limits On Illinois Car Accident Settlements?

car accident

Imagine driving near Antioch Theater or the Great Lakes Antiques Boutique near Chicago when you are rear-ended at a traffic light. You are hurt and cannot work. How will you pay your medical bills and living expenses?

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out in Illinois every day. Hundreds of people in Illinois are in minor and major auto accidents every month. Many are unable to pay their bills while dealing with debilitating injuries. If you were in an accident because of someone’s negligence, you might wonder about the size of the settlement to expect. Learn about this important topic below. If you have questions about a potential settlement, please call our Antioch car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., today.

No Limits On Personal Injury Settlements In Illinois

The idea behind limits or damage caps on personal injury claims and lawsuits is to reduce the compensation plaintiffs can receive. Every state handles damage caps according to its laws. However, Illinois no longer has caps or limits on personal injury damages. There was a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims, but the Illinois Supreme Court struck it down in 2010.

Who Can Receive Auto Accident Compensation In Illinois?

Anyone hurt in a car accident caused by someone’s negligence can receive compensation in a claim or lawsuit. This means you could receive funds if you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist who a negligent driver hurt. If you lose a loved one in an accident because of someone’s negligence, you also may receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Also, even if the other driver does not have insurance, you still could receive compensation. This is because Illinois requires every driver to have uninsured and underinsured coverage on their insurance policy.

If a driver hits you without insurance, your personal injury attorney can help you file a claim on your insurance policy. It is essential to have an attorney represent you in this type of claim. Even though it is your policy, the insurance company may attempt to limit your compensation.

You Only Have A Limited Time To File An Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit

While there are no limits on personal injury cases in Illinois, you have a limited time to take legal action. There is a statute of limitations of only two years for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This means you have only two years from the date of injury or the date you became aware of the injury. Therefore, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney in Antioch.

 Speak To Our Antioch Car Accident Lawyers Today!

Were you in a car accident that was someone else’s fault? You might be entitled to a car accident settlement to cover your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Please contact one of our Antioch car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today at (847) 395-2200. Our attorneys also serve the communities of Palatine, Antioch, Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, and Woodstock. 

Top 3 Reasons Your Insurance Company Can Use to Deny Auto Accident Claims

Personal Injury AttorneyThe U.S. insurance industry has trillions of dollars in assets and it pays its CEOs more than any other industry. However, this does not stop them from take advantage of policyholders. Most insurance companies try to up-sell policies to their clients, even though they may not need them, or deny claims to valid insurance holders.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of insurance claims in Illinois. However, you can prevent this from happening by thoroughly reading through your policy document. Even then, your insurance company may try and reduce your claim using the fine print in your policy or possible hidden clauses. Here are some ways your insurance company can try to reduce how much they pay you after a car accident:

Policy Limitations

Every insurance policy comes with limits, irrespective of the damage, so you won’t get any coverage that exceeds it. To ensure you are covered for most damages, carefully choose a plan. While paying for higher coverage can be expensive, it will pay off because your insurer will have to pay for damages that cover it.

Also, keep in mind the type of coverage you choose will determine the specific amount your insurance company will pay. For instance, if your policy does not cover collision damage, the insurer will not pay for it if your car is involved in a head-on collision. From a financial point of view, because Illinois is an at-fault state, getting the best coverage will be in your best interest.

Prior Injuries or Surgeries

One of the first things your insurance company will do is to ask you to sign a medical authorization form. This is the worst thing you can do without an attorney present. These forms are used to search through the claimant’s medical history to pinpoint prior injuries or surgeries, which can be used to compromise their claim.

In other words, the insurance company may claim your injuries were the result of a previous medical procedure or accident, not the one your asking damages for. They may also use the information you provide to argue your injuries are not severe enough to merit damages.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If you’re living with a pre-existing condition, the insurance company may try to blame it for the accident. They may say it caused your injuries, rather than the incident itself.

For instance, if you have a pre-existing back injury that was aggravated because of the accident, the insurer may try to claim your new condition did not result from it. How can you make sure this doesn’t happen? By hiring an experienced attorney who can see right through their lies.

Whether you have been injured in a car accident and want to sue the negligent driver for damages or want to take an insurance company to task for denying your claim, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. We will put a team of professional personal injury attorneys on your case who will ensure you get the compensation you deserve and need. We represent clients in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock and Antioch, Illinois.

How to Prove Negligence for an Auto Accident Claim in Illinois

Personal Injury AttorneyThe Illinois Vehicle Code protects individuals who are injured because of a driver’s negligence. Whether you were injured after getting struck by a speeding car or getting into a fender-bender when a driver rammed into your vehicle while texting, you have grounds for a negligence auto accident claim.

Proving Negligence Post Accident

Of course, you cannot prove the other driver was negligent without evidence and the help of an experienced attorney. A skilled attorney can use the following methods to ensure your best interests are not violated during the case:

By Proving the Driver Committed a Crime – It may sound ironic, but a conviction does not mean the other driver knowingly committed a crime. You will have to prove the defendant broke the law unreasonably, which lead to your injuries.

By Proving the Driver Acted Unreasonably – If you can prove the driver would have acted differently in another similar incident, you may be able to prove he/she acted in an uncustomary way during the accident. In other words, you can prove the accident was their fault because the other driver willingly acted unreasonably.

By Using Testimonies from Eyewitnesses – If someone witnessed the accident at the scene, you can use their testimony to strengthen your claim. It will give the jury and the judge a clear idea of what happened from the perspective of a neutral third party. Your attorney can also use the witness’ perspective to prove how the driver’s behavior was unreasonable.

By Using Expert Testimony – The best way to prove the other driver was negligent and displayed unreasonable behavior is through an expert’s testimony. This individual is qualified to determine what constitutes unreasonable and reasonable behavior standards and how the defendant’s actions differed from the latter.

Modified Comparative Negligence

An auto accident negligence case can backfire if the accident was partially the plaintiff’s fault, which is called modified comparative negligence and it holds that the plaintiff cannot get compensation if their degree of fault is more than 50 percent. If they do receive compensation, it will be reduced according to the degree of fault they hold for the accident.

You can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident whether they were texting, shaving, talking on the phone, or just not paying attention while they were driving. However, proving these actions caused your accident can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for in terms of evidence.

Personal Injury Attorney

This is where an experienced auto accident attorney from the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens can help. Besides reviewing your case, they will thoroughly go through your medical records, police reports and medical bills before determining the amount you deserve to be compensated for. This includes a detailed analysis of your injuries, the medical tests you had performed and how your injuries prevent you from making a living or cause you emotional distress. We represent clients in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock and Antioch, IL, so get in touch with us for a consultation today.

Essential Driving License Phases in Illinois

Personal Injury AttorneyIf you have lived in Illinois for a while, you know how bad the traffic can get – not just on the holidays or on snow days. Aggressive drivers are the norm in Chicago and so are accidents. However, the state also has strict licensing laws, which prevent potentially irresponsible drivers from getting behind the wheel.

This includes teenagers who might want to drive, but are likely to forget safety rules or underestimate hazardous situations. Fortunately, the licensing phases they must go through come with strict regulations, which can curb their excitement and make them responsible drivers. Here are the licensing phases your teenager will have to go through to get a valid driving license.

The Permit Phase

This 9-month long phase is for drivers who are 15. Their driving permit can be revoked if they violate these rules:

  • They must practice driving for at least 50 hours under the supervision of a parent or any adult who is older than 21 and has a driver’s license
  • They cannot text while driving or be charged with a DUI during the phase
  • They always must wear safety belts when they are driving – and this includes their passengers.
  • The number of passengers should not exceed one in the front seat.
  • They cannot use a cell phone while driving, except to make emergency calls.

Initial Licensing Phase

After completing the permit phase, drivers who are 16- to 17-years-old must pass the Initial Licensing Phase. This includes the same rules and regulations with a few changes such as:

  • They must maintain a pristine driving record for six (6) months before they turn 18. If they get a conviction during this phase, that restriction may get an extension.
  • For the first 12 months of this licensing phase or until the driver turns 18, the number of passengers they can have in their vehicles is limited to a single person who is younger than 20. The only exceptions include a sibling, a stepchild, or the child of the driver. Once this period has ended, the driver can have more than one passenger up front.

There are certain exemptions to these rules, which cover special circumstances.

Personal Injury Attorney

Whether you have a valid driver’s license or not, if you have been hit by a vehicle – you have every right to bring the accused to justice and get the compensation you deserve. Get dedicated auto accident attorneys from the Law Offices of Robert T. Eden in your corner to strengthen your case. We offer legal services in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock and Antioch, Illinois.

Bus Driver Requirements in Illinois and Compensations for Accidents

Personal Injury AttorneyWhether you take the bus to work or to school, according to state law, all common carriers must maintain the highest degree of care during transportation. All bus drivers must have a driver’s license, which is specifically for the operation of commercial vehicles.

Also, drivers who drive school buses have to fulfill the following requirements to be deemed eligible:

  • They must be at least 21 years of age
  • They need to complete their training via a certificate course for bus drivers
  • They must pass a medical exam, which will determine if they have any health concerns that can compromise their ability to drive safely
  • Pass a criminal background check

Compensation for a Bus Accident Case

A collision with a bus may leave you with life threatening injuries. Broken bones may be the least of your concerns – especially if the accident leaves you paralyzed. If that happens, you will lose your source of income as you remain bedridden for months and money you have saved will quickly deplete as your medical bills pile up.

If your injuries are serious enough to result in this scenario, you can file a lawsuit against the bus’s insurance carrier and ask for compensation. Besides your injuries, the insurance company will also have to pay for emotional trauma and physical pain you have suffered. If the driver’s negligence caused the accident, you can also file for punitive damages.

Gross negligence is often the main cause of bus accidents in Illinois. For more than two decades, Robert T. Edens has been fighting for accident victims and helping them recover millions in damages from negligent carriers. After contacting Bob, he will:

  • Ensure no stone is left unturned during the investigation
  • Not ask for payment until you receive compensation you deserve
  • Provide an unbiased evaluation of your case
  • Outline legal options for your case
  • Provide a FREE initial consultation to get to know you and the situation of your case

This also includes a clear and honest fee structure based on legal requirements and documentation surrounding your case. Do the smart thing and get aggressive legal representation that will ensure you get the amount you deserve. We currently serve victims in Chicago, Libertyville, Woodstock, Waukegan and Antioch, IL.

Social Security Disability Benefits after Auto Accident

Personal Injury AttorneyAuto accidents can lead to death and both temporary and permanent disabilities. Damage to nerves and the spinal cord, or long term trauma and depression might hinder an individual’s ability to join the workplace for some time. Although an auto insurance company might take care of the damages to your car, medical expenses might need special attention and support to cover treatments. Apart from medical insurance, another possibility is to seek Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

An expert personal injury attorney can be consulted, to not just help navigate the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) processes, but also claim medical compensation and damages due to an auto accident from the defendant. The following are some details on how to seek SSDI and SSI in Illinois.

Disability Determination Services

The determination services are the first step for citizens of Illinois in seeking SSDI and SSI.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance can pay benefits to an individual and a family member if all social security taxes to date have been paid before an application was filed. The Social Security Administration (SSA) closely monitors all medical conditions and approves applications based on authentic medical records.
  • To receive a supplementary security income, an individual should be either aged 65 or older, be disabled, or blind. For adults, disability means the inability to do a gainful activity, a condition that may result in death, or a constant condition that has lasted for a period of at least 12 months. For children, a disability means functional limitations, a condition that can result in death, or a condition that has lasted for at least 12 months. Additionally, SSI of up to $3,000 is only available to those who have limited income, or limited resources to cover basic needs,

Filling for Benefits

Fillings can be done through a local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office. Car injuries such as back disorders, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, anxiety disorder and bone or neck fracture are acceptable. In case of ineligibility, a residual functional capacity (RFC) is determined by SSA to see if an individual finds it difficult to do even the simplest of tasks, due to a disability. Individuals can also use a disability planner to asses if they need assistance, or meet requirements for SSDI and SSI.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about social security disability benefits and unusual injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Hand and Wrist Injuries Following a Car Crash

Auto Accident AttorneyThe most common injuries caused by car accidents are injuries to the hand and the wrist, which are often a result from the force of the impact. In some cases, hand and wrist injuries can prove to be very serious and can severely impact a person’s day-to-day life.

Some fractures heal and realign; therefore, they may not need a surgical incision. Severe hand fractures are treated with surgical procedures, wires, plates and pins to secure bones that are fractured in multiple places. Physical therapy may be used to ensure a full recovery from wrist and hand injuries.

Types of Wrist and Hand Injuries

There are several types of hand and wrist injuries, which include the following:

Joint Dislocation:

A human hand contains multiple joints that are prone to dislocation after a car accident. Joint dislocation needs proper treatment. Without treatment, permanent damage can have a lasting effect on a person’s quality of life. If you feel the defendant was responsible for your hand and wrist injuries, you are entitled to compensation. Speak to a competent personal injury and auto accident attorney to discuss your case.


A car accident often results in fractures and broken bones in the wrist and hand. The most common injury from a car accident is a broken wrist or a scaphoid fracture, where the small bone in the wrist breaks. If you are partly responsible, then you as the plaintiff might be liable for contributory fault.

Ligament Injuries:

Injuries to the ligaments and tendons can have a severe impact on moving your hand and wrist, such as grabbing and lifting objects. Ligaments can be seriously injured in an automobile accident.

Puncture Wounds:

Debris from the vehicle involved in an accident can pierce the skin on a person’s wrists and hand, resulting in severe damage. In order to prevent infection, proper treatment is essential with punctured wounds.

Hand and wrist injuries are painful, as well as expensive, due to expensive medical bills, physical therapy charges and other procedures. If you are unable to work, you may also suffer loss of wages. In rare cases, a person’s ability to perform work may also be permanently impacted.

The signs and symptoms of hand and wrist injuries are often spontaneous and may include swelling, bruising and pain. Injuries like hand and wrist injuries are usually diagnosed with X-rays and treated the same way as orthopedic injuries – the bones are immobilized, set and given time to heal.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about auto accidents or hand and wrist injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation by contacting the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Your Rights as a Passenger in an Auto Accident

Auto Accident LawyerIf you were injured in an auto accident as a passenger, it’s natural to be confused about your legal rights and obligations. After sustaining injuries in an auto accident as a passenger, to make a claim against the driver for damages, you might need to hire a skilled auto accident attorney to help with your case. An attorney will help you understand your rights as an injured passenger in an auto accident.

Determining Fault

Determining fault is the first step in claiming damages for any minor or serious injuries you suffered in an auto accident. Most people believe Illinois is a no-fault state, which is incorrect. Illinois follows comparative negligence, or a tort system.

Determining “fault” in an auto accident indicates the individual who is to be held responsible for the car crash is financially liable to compensate you for the injuries you’ve sustained. Compensation includes compensation for lost wages, emotional pain and trauma, medical expenses and property damage.

Comparative Negligence

To be compensated for your injuries as a passenger, you will need to prove the negligence of the driver with assistance from an accomplished auto accident attorney. To receive compensation, you will have to prove the driver of the vehicle was:

  1. Distracted while driving i.e. texting, eating or attending a phone call
  2. Speeding or aggressive driving
  3. Tailgating
  4. Driving under the influence
  5. Road rage

To prove negligence, your attorney will need to prove any single – or some, of the aforementioned driver’s behavior. If you are a passenger, you should be aware Illinois has a comparative negligence law where each party bases the compensation on the percentage of fault. For example, if you were a passenger and the other vehicle that hit you is found to be 50% responsible, then the other party is only eligible to pay 50% of the compensation. Similarly, if the driver of the vehicle you were in is held 80% responsible for the auto accident, then the driver is required to compensate 80% of your expenses.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about personal injuries as a passenger in an auto accident, schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

What To Do If You Are Involved In A Hit And Run Auto Accident

Hit And Run Auto AccidentAuto accidents are a common occurrence in the United States. On average, more than 6 million auto accidents take place around the U.S. in different states every year. According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 27,000 fatalities caused by an auto accident were recorded in the first 9 months in 2018.

While most car accidents don’t result in fatalities, auto accidents account for other types of injuries and property damage. If you ever have the misfortune to be involved in a hit and run auto accident, then there are particular measures you can take to protect yourself and your interests. Here is a short list of things you should do if you’re involved in a hit and run auto accident.

Call 911

Your first response after a hit and run auto accident is to call 911 and talk to a dispatcher. Request an ambulance if you or anyone else was injured. If you’ve seen the other driver and you’re able to recall the vehicle type, make and other details, share it with the dispatcher. Try to recall as many details as possible, staying calm and focused is crucial. The information you shared on your 911 call will prove as key evidence for your hit and run case in court. If you did not make a 911 call, It’s essential to report your crime to the police. Make sure to speak to a skilled hit and run accident attorney or a police officer.

Get an Estimate of the Damage

Hit and runs occur when another driver hits your car and then flees the scene of the accident. It can happen on the road, the parking lot, or any other location. If you’re involved in a hit and run accident, make sure to get an estimate of the damage to your vehicle. If you or other passengers travelling with you suffered injuries, they should be accounted for in the accident. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to sort out evidence collection and estimate damage.

Check if Anyone Saw the Hit and Run

Find out if there were any witnesses to your hit and run case. There must be someone who saw the accident. The police could help in the investigation. A skilled attorney will help you use the witness’s testimony to your advantage.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Elements of a Negligence Case in an Auto Accident

What is an Element?

Auto accidents are distressing and become even more challenging for the plaintiff to win a negligence lawsuit following an unfortunate auto accident. It’s essential for any plaintiff to prove every single “element” that represents and proves the negligence of the defendant.

Elements that Need to be Satisfied

In order to hold the defendant liable, it becomes necessary to prove these following elements to get compensated for your injuries and vehicle damage. Here are the basic elements a judge or a jury would need to satisfy, apart from testimony and evidence when deciding on a verdict in a negligence case in an auto accident.

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of Duty
  • Cause in Fact
  • Proximate Cause
  • Damages

 Duty of Care

Duty is the first of the five elements that needs to be satisfied to prove negligence on part of the defendant. An experienced auto accident attorney will help determine the outcome of the negligence case by proving the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Driving laws in Illinois indicate all drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers on the road to be safe, drive carefully and lawfully and to abide by traffic rules at all times.

Breach of Duty

Once the duty of care has been satisfied, it’s essential for the jury and judge to satisfy the breach of duty element. The plaintiff and their experienced auto accident attorney have to prove the defendant was in breach of duty as the individual drove aggressively and did not abide by traffic rules, hence breached the duty of care.

Cause in Fact

The cause, in fact, is also termed as “but-for” causation. It indicates the defendant’s actions led to the injuries and vehicle damage of the plaintiff. If the defendant actions were prevented, or if the defendant did not act the way he/she did, then the plaintiff would not have suffered any injuries in the resulting auto accident.

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause is related to the actual scope of the responsibility, which falls upon the defendant in an auto accident negligence case. The defendant is only held responsible for the harm and damage they could have foreseen through their actions.

Damages or Harm

Another element a judge or jury need to satisfy is ‘damages’ you or your loved ones have suffered if you were involved in an auto accident. These damages will include any loss of life, severe or minor injuries and damage suffered by vehicle and other personal property.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with a skilled auto accident attorney.