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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIn Illinois, individuals who are hurt in auto accidents caused by recklessness or intentional wrongdoing may choose to bring a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident. Often, people assume that car accident injury claims are brought by an injured driver against another driver. However, the claimant in a personal injury case may be an injured driver, passenger, or a pedestrian. A passenger hurt in an accident may bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver even if the at-fault driver was operating the vehicle the passenger was riding in. If you or a loved one were hurt in an auto accident caused by negligence, read on to learn about your right to pursue compensation.

Who is Liable for an Injury-Causing Accident?

Traffic accidents are rarely black and white. There may be a number of factors that led to the accident. Driver inattention, speeding or violation of traffic laws, driving under the influence of alcohol, hazardous weather conditions, and many other elements could all contribute to a serious wreck. It is also possible that more than one person’s actions may have contributed to the accident. 

If you were hurt while riding in a vehicle and the driver of the vehicle you were in is considered to be the at-fault party, you may be hesitant to file a personal injury lawsuit. The at-fault driver may be a good friend, colleague, or even a family member. However, it is essential to understand that an injury claim is not a personal attack on the at-fault driver. In the majority of personal injury claims, the injured party is bringing the claim not against the actual person but against his or her insurance company.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysWhen most people think of personal injury claims involving car accidents, they typically assume that the driver of one vehicle is bringing a claim against the driver of another vehicle. However, this is not the only type of situation in which a person may be seriously injured in an auto accident. Passenger injuries can be just as catastrophic, if not worse, than driver injuries. If you have been hurt in a car accident and someone else was driving, read on to learn about how you may be able to recover compensation.

Determining Fault in a Passenger Injury Claim

The person at-fault for a car accident involving passenger injuries may be another motorist or it may be the driver of the vehicle that the passenger was riding in. In many car accident cases, the fault lies with more than one party. Often, passengers injured in a car accident feel uncomfortable bringing an injury claim against the driver of the vehicle that they were in because they have a personal relationship with that person. If this is your situation, it is crucial to remember that a personal injury claim is not an attack against the at-fault driver. If you choose to file a claim, you will most likely be bringing the claim against the insurance company, not the individual. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries even if the liable party is your friend, relative, or colleague.

Recovering Compensation for Damages

In order to bring a successful injury lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to prove two main elements: liability and damages. A driver who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly, using a cell phone while driving, or otherwise acted negligently will most likely be considered liable for the accident. Damages refer to the economic and noneconomic losses you suffered from the accident. Emergency room bills, expenses related to ongoing medical treatment such as physical therapy, prescription medication costs, and other medical expenses are some of the most common damages awarded in car accident injury lawsuits. Many claimants also pursue compensation for lost income due to missed work. If you had personal property in the vehicle that was damaged or ruined in the accident, you may be eligible for compensation for these items as well. In many cases, a claimant is also awarded compensation for his or her physical pain and mental suffering.

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