Improper Passing Accidents
Motor Vehicle Crash Attorneys Helping People in the Schaumburg and Wheaton Areas
Passing another vehicle on the road is a common practice. However, when a driver passes another vehicle in an unsafe manner, devastating accidents can result. If you have been hurt in an improper passing accident, you need to consult a skilled Wheaton or Schaumburg car accident lawyer who can explain your options. At Therman Law Offices, we can thoroughly analyze your case and help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible for your needs following a head-on collision or side-impact crash caused by improper passing. We understand that dealing with an accident is extremely stressful, which is why we will try to make the legal process as seamless as possible for you.
Holding a Driver Accountable for an Improper Passing Accident
Illinois law requires that drivers use care and caution when passing others on the road. This means making sure that there is enough space to pass before doing so. Motorists are also required to use turn signals when passing to let others know of their intentions. Certain passes are against the law. For instance, blind passes, which take place when passing drivers do not have a full view of oncoming traffic (i.e., when going over a hill or around a sharp bend), are prohibited due to the potential for danger. In Illinois, when a motorist wants to pass a bicycle, he or she must maintain a safe distance between the vehicle and the bicyclist.
In addition to potentially receiving a traffic citation, drivers who improperly pass may be legally at fault for such conduct if it resulted in an accident and injuries. Fault is typically determined by using the legal theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person causes harm by failing to use reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. Thus, the plaintiff’s attorney in an improper passing accident case would need to establish the following elements in order to win the case: 1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; 2) the defendant breached the duty of care by improperly passing; and 3) the improper pass was a direct cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting harm.
What happens, however, if you were partially at fault for an accident? Consider the following scenario. The other driver engaged in an improper pass, but you were speeding at the time of the accident. In this case, the defendant may argue that you contributed to the accident. Under Illinois law, you may still be able to recover damages if you were less than 50 percent at fault. However, the amount that you could recover would be reduced to correspond with the percentage that you were at fault.
Once negligence is established, you may be able to recover a variety of damages. In the context of personal injury law, damages refer to a sum of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or injury. Some people tend to think that they can only recover compensation for the value of their car. However, this is not the case. Typically, plaintiffs can recover compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, costs of future care, disability, and disfigurement. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and the specific damages that a plaintiff will be entitled to recover will depend on the details of the case. In rare cases, the plaintiff might be able to recover punitive damages. These damages may be available when the other driver engaged in intentional misconduct or extremely reckless behavior, such as drunk driving.
Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Improper passing can lead to devastating accidents on the road. If you have been injured in an improper passing accident, you have a right to seek compensation from a driver or anyone else who was responsible for the crash. At Therman Law Offices, our injury attorneys can assist you with every step of the legal process. We proudly take on clients from Wheaton, Schaumburg, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook, Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, and Lisle, among other cities. For a free case evaluation, call 312-588-1900 or reach us online.