Four Common Types of Car Accidents in Illinois

Four common types of car accidents in Illinois include head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents, and sideswipe collisions. These accidents account for many injuries and fatalities every year, and they are behind many car accident claims and lawsuits.

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident With Head In Hands. types of car accidents

If you get into a car accident of any kind, whether the cause is drunk driving, distracted driving, or another form of negligence, you may be able to recover compensation in a car accident case. To learn more about what the attorneys at Ankin Law can do for you, call 312-600-0000 to schedule a free consultation.

The Four Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Illinois

Car accidents are commonplace in Illinois and across the country. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there are around 1,000 fatal car crashes in Illinois every year, many of which involve one of the following types of car accidents:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end crashes occur when a vehicle collides with another in front of it, or when the vehicle in front suddenly stops or reverses. In most cases, the rear driver is at fault for a rear-end accident, often due to tailgating or inattentiveness. These accidents also occur more frequently in areas with high levels of traffic.

Common injuries resulting from these accidents range from minor whiplash to more severe and life-threatening injuries, including back and neck injuries and fractures.

T-Bone Accidents

These are accidents that involve one vehicle hitting the side of another head-on, forming a “T” shape at the accident. These accidents frequently occur when one driver fails to stop at an intersection as needed, often by running red lights when the intersecting traffic has the right of way.

The injuries suffered in these accidents are often severe and can include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, chest trauma, and cuts or scrapes.

Sideswipe Collisions

These accidents result when a vehicle swipes against another vehicle’s side. These types of accidents could occur if a negligent driver attempts to make a turn, change lanes, or otherwise maneuver around traffic without acknowledging surrounding vehicles.

When one vehicle strikes the side of another, various injuries could occur, including broken bones, soft tissue damage, and whiplash. Drivers of hit vehicles could also get into secondary accidents if the sideswiping vehicle forces the vehicle off the road or into other traffic.

Head-on Collisions

A fourth type of car accident to consider is a head-on collision. These accidents occur when two oncoming vehicles collide head-on. While these accidents are considerably rarer than rear-end collisions and other accidents, they’re often the most serious. The vehicles involved typically travel at high speeds, increasing the risk of severe injuries and fatalities.

Causes of Car Accidents

There are several common causes of car accidents. Depending on the situation, the following could be the root causes of a collision:

  • Driver fatigue: Drivers could get into collisions when they are tired. For example, drivers commuting to or from work, on long road trips, or who haven’t gotten sufficient sleep could experience fatigue. Fatigued driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, making it important for drivers to pull over when tired and avoid driving until rested.
  • Drunk driving: Another major cause of accidents is drunk driving, which involves a driver intoxicated by alcohol or another substance. In some cases, medications could also lead to intoxicated driving. Drunk drivers experience slowed reaction times and poor judgment that can lead to serious accidents. In Illinois, the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is 0.08 BAC, meaning drivers found with a blood alcohol content over 0.08% could face drunk driving charges.
  • Speeding: Drivers could cause serious accidents by speeding. They may attempt to rush to their destinations, get past slower traffic, or speed for other reasons that put themselves and others at risk. Speeding can increase the force of impact during a crash and reduce drivers’ reaction time.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers could experience distractions that increase the risk of getting into an accident. For example, drivers could experience visual distractions such as objects outside their window or on their dashboard. Other distractions include cognitive distractions, such as thoughts that take the driver’s mind from the road, along with manual distractions that cause the driver to take his or her hands off the steering wheel.

When to File a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit

After a car accident, including the types of car accidents described here, you may believe that another driver or another party is liable for the accident and injuries sustained. If you someone’s negligence caused injuries and other damages to you or a loved one, you may file a car accident claim or lawsuit to recover total compensation.

When you sue for a car accident, you hold liable parties accountable and have the chance to recover financially following an accident, but it’s important to act fast before you’re unable to succeed with your case.

So, how long after a car accident can you claim an injury? Like other types of civil cases in Illinois, car accident claims and suits have a statute of limitations in place. This statute dictates how long people have to file a case before they’re unable to pursue compensation. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the time of the accident, meaning you have two years to start your case before you’re no longer able to file.

With the help of a Chicago car accident attorney, you may be able to determine how much compensation you’re able to recover. Additionally, you’ll be able to more effectively and efficiently prepare your case to ensure you don’t pass the statute of limitations.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

In addition to whether you can file an accident case, you may wonder, “How much is my car accident worth?” The answer to this depends on the types and the nature of the damages involved.

The following are the main types of damages you may recover in an accident case:

Medical Bills

One of the main damages that car accident victims may recover is for medical expenses. These expenses could include the cost of immediate treatment, ambulance rides, and hospitalization, along with ongoing care such as physical therapy and rehabilitation. Car accidents often involve high medical expenses when they result in serious injuries.

Medical reports, receipts, and other documentation will help prove these damages.

Lost Income

Another type of damages you may recover is lost income, which you could experience if your injuries put you out of work for a certain amount of time. This compensation helps cover all income lost while unable to return to work, whether for appointments or overall recovery from injuries.

If you sustain a disability because of the accident, you may also be able to recover lost earning capacity if you are unable to return to work in the same capacity as before the accident.

Pay stubs and proof of lost income can show how your income suffered following an accident.

Non-economic Damages

In addition to the above damages, you can recover non-economic damages that account for the personal losses endured. For instance, you could experience physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disfigurement, and other personal damages that make recovery difficult.

A pain journal and other documentation can help show how a car accident and resulting injuries impacted your quality of life.

Wrongful Death Damages

If an accident results in the death of a loved one, his or her family can recover compensation for the loss. These damages could account for costs accrued while the victim was alive, including medical bills and lost income, along with funeral and burial expenses extending from the death.

Get Help from a Car Accident Attorney

Regardless of the type of car accident involved in your case, you may be able to successfully file a case to recover compensation with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Chicago. To learn more about how our lawyers might be able to help you succeed with a case against negligent drivers or other parties, contact us today. 

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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