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As An Injured Passenger, Can I Sue For Damages in Illinois?

 Posted on January 21, 2024 in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerPassengers injured in a car accident can sue the driver for damages. In fact, a passenger can sue both drivers involved if both drivers were negligent in the crash. If a passenger is fatally wounded in a car crash, surviving family members can sue for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Of course, in either case, the injured party or family of the deceased would have to prove both liability and damage. An experienced attorney can help acquire the evidence needed to prove negligence in your claim.

What You Should Do After Suffering Injuries in a Crash as a Passenger

Seeking medical attention is your first priority for both you and any other injured parties. Once you are safe and law enforcement has arrived to take control of the scene, you can begin to gather much-needed evidence to support your future claim.

Evidence worth gathering may include:

  • The insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident
  • Recorded video or photographs of the accident scene
  • Recorded video or photographs of your injuries caused by the crash
  • The contact information of any eyewitnesses
  • A copy of the police report

Getting your hands on a copy of the police report could prove difficult. Ensure you get the incident number from one of the police officers on the scene. Once the report is complete, you can ask for a copy using the incident number. Identification will likely be required as well as some money for an administration fee.

You should keep detailed records of expenses and costs incurred while the lawsuit is being investigated. This can include:

  • Medical bills and procedures for injuries sustained in the crash
  • Loss of wages due to injuries sustained in the crash
  • Other costs as a result of injuries sustained in the crash

Knowing Who To Sue

In Illinois, it is required by law that vehicle owners have liability insurance. Illinois is also an at-fault state that requires the plaintiff to provide proof of the other party’s negligence that resulted in their injuries and the subsequent damages.

Drivers out on the road owe a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians. A driver who crashes into a car because they were speeding, being reckless, or driving under the influence, will have breached this duty of care and is considered negligent.

The drivers you, as the passenger, will sue must have owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and, as a result, caused your injuries, which led to damages. That driver could be the one who drove the other vehicle or the one in which you were sharing a ride.

Passengers may feel uneasy about suing a person they have a relationship with, family, friend, or otherwise, and be reluctant to file a claim. It is important to look past your relationship with the driver as the results of your injuries may have you missing out on wages or incur substantial medical bills.

Contact a Will County, IL Personal Injury Attorney

When the dust settles after an accident where you are an injured passenger, it is important to understand what your options are. The law office of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC can help you navigate the aftermath by providing a skillful Joliet, IL car accident lawyer to represent your interests. We offer a free consultation for personal injury cases, so pick up the phone and dial 815-727-0100 to set up an appointment.

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