We handle accidents occurring on all interstate and state highways in Rockford, Illinois, and surrounding areas. If you have been hurt or injured in a highway or interstate accident, it is important that you seek an attorney who has the experience and diligence to investigate not only the cause of the accident, but also every underlying reason it may have happened. For example, if a tire blows out on the interstate, thus causing a vehicle swerve into yours, and your attorney becomes aware that there have been fifty similar highway accidents with the same make/model tire, he or she should investigate those similar claims to decide whether you have a viable claim against the manufacturer of the tire.
Obviously, there is a wide variety of ways in which an accident can happen, but it is important to note that the reasons for highway accidents often go beyond simple explanations such as “car A swerved into car B.” If you end up with a lawyer who doesn’t investigate other potential issues at play, those sources of compensation may not be attached to your eventual lawsuit if they remain undiscovered. To give you an example, Paul Marriett personally lost a family member in an interstate highway accident in which a U-joint from a semi-trailer broke off and flew backwards into oncoming traffic. This caused a fatality by striking the driver of a vehicle several hundred feet behind the at-fault semi-trailer. These cases are fact-specific (there are a lot of variations and steps that can go wrong and cause a high-speed accident with a large amount of traffic in a close space).
Accidents that occur on interstate and state highways have a greater chance of being fatal or involving more significant injuries than the more routine injuries within city or municipal limits for a variety of reasons:
- There are heavier, larger vehicles in commercial traffic (e.g., semi-trailers, buses, cargo transports, and various other commercial cargo vehicles)
- The speed limits are faster
- Inattentive drivers: If someone is looking at a cell phone and has to stop in an emergency, it takes a significantly longer period of time to stop going 75 miles per hour than it does if someone is traveling at 30 miles per hour
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo vehicles that may or may not have other equipment or safety violations that can lead to a motor vehicle accident
- Tire failures (commonly referred to as “blow-outs”)
- Improper training, or not following restrictions on work hours for commercial vehicles
- Alcohol or other drugs that can impair a motorist and lead to a motor vehicle accident
What to Do if Involved in a Highway Accident
It can be difficult to handle a highway accident right when it happens and when trying to recover compensation from the at-fault driver. The first thing individuals should do is get to safety, which means out of the way of other vehicles. However, the results of a serious collision can make it difficult to do this. People are less likely to be able to move a vehicle to a shoulder and are more likely to be trapped in their vehicles. These factors mean that individuals rely on other drivers on the highway to go around the incident slowly and not cause another accident.
Due to the nuances of driving on a highway, it may be hard to prove which driver was at fault. Individuals may also face insurers that argue they are more than half responsible for the crash, which would bar them from recovering damages.
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
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.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Call for a Free Consultation
We are up to the task and will not stop fighting until you have received everything you deserve so that you and your family can move on. For a confidential, compassionate, in-depth, free, and, most importantly, thorough consultation with a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer about a highway accident case in Rockford, Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, Oregon, Loves Park, Byron, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton, or elsewhere in the State of Illinois, call or text message us at (815) 391-0089, or e-mail us 24/7/365. We fight for your recovery both in and out of the courtroom, offer in-office consultations, and routinely make visits to clients’ homes, hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other off-site locations to make retaining our services as easy as possible.