If you or a loved one suffered losses due to a car accident at no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for those losses. Contact an experienced Belleville car accident lawyer from TorHoerman Law to discuss your legal options.
Belleville Car Accident Lawyer: Your Guide to Lawsuits in Illinois
Just 30 minutes southeast of St. Louis and a hop over the Mississippi River, Belleville, Illinois is a growing city with a population of 41,641 as of 2017. With three active airports, a Metrolink station, and plenty of things to do around town, this bustling French town really does live up to the translation of its name: “beautiful city”. Travelers from nearby cities and towns make for plenty of traffic downtown and around the surrounding highways. Subsequently, a lot of traffic and people moving about, accidents are bound to happen. Car accidents are common in all large cities, but Belleville has one thing that other cities don’t: TorHoerman Law.
What Does TorHoerman Law Do?
TorHoerman Law’s team is a highly successful personal injury firm with offices in Missouri and Illinois. Five of our attorneys were ranked on 2019’s list of Super Lawyers: Eric Terry, Jacob Plattenberger, Kenneth Brennan, Chad Finley, and Tor Hoerman. In addition to that, the SuperLawyers top 100 Lawyers in Illinois also gave Tor Hoerman a spot on their list. We know that accidents happen, and we are here to help you get past it. You’ll be sure to drive confidently, knowing that we are on your side as your Belleville car accident lawyer.
Car Crash Statistics for Belleville, Illinois
With St. Louis just an easy drive southeast and three active airports close by, some popular roadways are crowded and traffic-jammed. Major highways 15, 159, 177, 13, and 161 run through the center of Belleville. Routes 64 and 255 are adjacent to the city. Having so many options so close makes some times of day dangerous. Rush hour can be a very crowded time of day as people try to hurry home to their families. In 2017, in Belleville, the fatal accident count rose to five people by the end of the year, just within city limits. Nine total vehicles were involved in accidents, with one of them driving under the influence. Seven crashes led to deaths, with 11 people involved. In 2018, IDot saw over 2 billion average miles of driving for St. Claire County, coming to rest at 2,815,295,626 miles. Neighboring Madison County surpassed even that, with 2,956,586,114 miles traveled. Keeping an eye on yourself and others can mean the difference between life and death on the road.
Belleville, IL Driving Tips
Distracted driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. Texting, talking on the phone, messing with music and air conditioning, and even eating while driving can take your attention off the road and focus it somewhere else. Laws in Illinois protect against some of these things. Illinois Secretary of State says the only time to use a cellphone or other electronic device while in the car is when the car is pulled to the shoulder or is parked or neutral gear. Hands-free technology and/or Bluetooth is allowed for persons ages 19 and older.
Driving under the influence is another cause of severe problems while driving. Drugs and alcohol are extremely dangerous to use before and during driving time. Both cause loss of focus, slowed reaction time, inability to read and stay within markers on the road, and reduce the ability to pay attention to the well-being of other drivers. Consequently, accidents where drivers who are under the influence can lead to the death of the driver and others. In addition to that, punishments for DUI drivers are often severe as well, involving the revoking of a license, loss of a job, and jail time. Contact a Belleville car accident lawyer if you were injured by a drunk driver.
Speeding and reckless driving are some of the most common causes of fatal accidents on the road. Going over the speed limit, tailgating, racing, and weaving through cars are all examples of reckless driving. Generally, reckless driving is fined as a misdemeanor (as opposed to an infraction) and, consequently, comes with harsher fines.
Poor vehicle maintenance can lead to problems stopping, slowing, and reacting to other people on the road. A poorly maintained car can be extremely dangerous to yourself and others. Regular oil checkups, cleanings, tire care, and basic maintenance can keep you and those around you safe from unwanted problems with your vehicle. Ask a Belleville car accident lawyer for more info.
Poor environmental conditions such as rain or snow may not be explicitly your fault in an accident. However, combined with any other of the aforestated occurrences, a lawsuit may be coming your way. Driving slower in rain with proper wipers may seem like common sense, but may pose a problem to others if not executed properly. Keeping an eye on the forecast for the day and preparing accordingly will mean that you can safely come home to family and friends all year round.
What To Do During and After a Car Accident in Belleville, IL
Stay put. Never leave the scene of an accident. Medical attention, if necessary, should be the only reason to leave.
Call for help. Call the police and medical care immediately, no matter how insignificant the accident may appear. Illinois State Law requires an accident to be reported if an injury or death has occurred. If the accident or injury resulted in more than $1,500 in property damage, it must be reported within 10 days. Otherwise, it is considered a felony.
Take notes. Photos are evidence. Everything- injuries, vehicles, road and weather conditions, and the like show how and why the accident occurred. Having these available will help you and your attorney. Write names and license numbers of everyone involved, including corresponding officers and medical teams.
Relax. Never admit fault to anyone. Telling another driver and/or their insurance company something is “all your fault” may lead to a possible lawsuit on your hands. This could lead to more cost and valuable time.
Documents. If you are injured, keep all your information, such as diagnoses and hospital discharge status in a safe place to use them later in your case.
Contact. Contact a Belleville Car Accident Lawyer. People who know the legal system in and out are necessary to get you on your way to receiving compensation.
How Does Insurance Work in Car Accidents?
Illinois Secretary of State requires all drivers to have their license and registration easily accessible at all times. Information is sent when a driver registers for a policy or a policy is renewed. If you are stopped for a traffic violation and do not have the necessary proof of insurance, law enforcement may also cite you for a traffic violation. Minimum requirements for insurance policies in the state of Illinois as stated by the Illinois Secretary of State are as follows:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for the injury or death of one or more people in an accident
- $20,000 for damage to the property of another person in an accident
Computers will also send out random surveys to motorists. These questionnaires are required for those who receive them and serve as another verification exercise. If the information filled out online cannot be verified by the state or the insurance company, a suspension may be put on your license. This means your license is invalid to drive with, and being caught driving with one may result in fines or revocation of your license. If you have been previously uninsured and attempt to purchase a policy, some companies may refuse to sell. If this happens, call a Belleville car accident lawyer. Making sure all the necessary requirements for insurance are met is important to driving safely and legally.
For more on how insurance works in lawsuits, see the following:
The Next Step: Contact a Belleville Car Accident Lawyer!
Every person, place, insurance company, and case is totally different. The State of Illinois statute of limitations is two years after the accident. Therefore, you have two years to file a civil lawsuit. Find a personal injury attorney to help you file as soon as possible so your lawsuit is still valid.
After your attorney has looked over the details, they may choose to accept your case. Not all attorneys will accept your case the first time around, so be patient and ask a lot of questions. Once it has been accepted, your attorney will guide you on filing a lawsuit. Then, a period of litigation discovery will begin. During this time all the damages, evidence, and depositions are brought forward and exchanged. This participation includes you, your opposing party, and any potential witnesses to your case.
When the discovery period is finished, both parties might try and resolve the case. This may close up your case in as little as six months. The evidence of the case, mostly regarding compensatory or punitive damages and liability, will determine how fast this goes. This will also show if there is potential for compensation.
If the parties involved can agree on a settlement, the liens and attorney costs are paid. After that, you may receive either a lump-sum payment or a structured settlement. Structured settlements are paid within a period of time, discussed with your attorney and the opposing party. If the parties involved cannot agree on a settlement, the case may go to trial. Cases involving death may be a wrongful death trial.
If that’s the case, your lawyer will be with you throughout the journey. A Belleville car accident lawyer is available for all your questions and concerns throughout the whole process. You can plan on TorHoerman Law to work hard for you and your case.
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