Car Accident Claims Against Friends and Family
An added layer of complexity can be added to your car accident case if a close friend or family member was the at-fault driver. If this has happened to you, it may seem uncomfortable to pursue damages against a friend or relation, even if their actions have caused you substantial harm and financial loss. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident attorneys have extensive experience in Illinois injury law, and are familiar with how to bring car accident claims against friends and family. We understand how these situations can affect your relationship with those closest to you, which is why we are here to support you every step of the way.Accidents Involving Family and Friends
If your friend or family member caused an accident that injured you, it is possible to file a claim for compensation to cover certain expenses related to that accident. While you may feel guilty about pursing a claim against your family or friends, you may still have a need to pay your bills and move on with your life. You should keep in mind that your friend or family member will likely have auto insurance, which will pay the compensation claims so it will not be coming out of their pockets, although their premiums may go up.
In addition, if you do not pursue an accident claim against a friend or family member, you could be cutting off a source of compensation that you are rightfully owed. In other words, failure to pursue a claim against the at-fault family member or friend could mean only receiving a portion of the total damages award you deserve. We understand the dynamics of pursuing car accident claims against friends and family can be complicated, which is why our attorneys approach the matter with great sensitivity and try to highlight to the family members that the claim is not personal; it is simply an avenue for compensation.Holding Negligent Parties Accountable
If you are a passenger in a crash, you can potentially pursue a personal injury claim against all responsible parties, including family and friends. The friend or family member who was driving the vehicle could be responsible for paying you damages if his or her negligence was the direct cause of the crash. If the friend or family member was partially to blame for the accident, he or she could be partially liable for compensating you.
The vast majority of car accident cases in Illinois are pursued under the legal theory of negligence, which is a common law cause of action recognized by Illinois courts. In order to prove negligence in a particular case, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:
- The defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care (i.e., the defendant was legally required to act in a certain manner);
- The defendant violated the duty owed to the plaintiff (i.e., the defendant failed to act in accordance with the standard of conduct owed to the plaintiff);
- The defendant’s violation was a direct cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered injury or damages as a result.
It is important to note that there can be no recovery without establishing negligence. In other words, the plaintiff will be able to recover compensation for his or her harm only after proving negligence. Typically, the amount of compensation a plaintiff is able to recover will pay for ongoing expenses arising out of the accident such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other bills.Car Accident Attorneys Serving Schaumburg and Wheaton
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a friend or relative, we may be able to help. At Therman Law Offices, our highly skilled injury lawyers provide trustworthy legal counsel for car accident claims against friends and family. We understand this is a stressful time, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion. You should note that we represent clients in Schaumburg and Wheaton, as well as other areas including Arlington Heights, Streamwood, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Wood Dale, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, and Roselle. Call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.