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What to Do if You Were Injured in a Car Accident in Illinois but Live in Another State


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Being injured in an accident can lead to extensive medical care and expensive medical bills. If you were hurt in a car accident, you could also be left with expensive vehicle repair costs, and you could be too injured to work. If you were injured out of state, you could face additional challenges filing your case and getting the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured in a car accident in Illinois but live in another state, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover damages. Typically, lawsuits for injuries that occur in Illinois must be filed in Illinois. As such, you will also want to work with an Illinois car accident lawyer who is licensed in that state rather than a lawyer from back home.

For help with your case, call the car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore today. For a free case review, contact us at (219) 322-1166.

Where to File a Car Accident Case as a Non-Resident of Illinois

If you were injured in a car accident in Illinois, you will usually have to handle your case in Illinois. This means filing a lawsuit here rather than back home in your home state. Generally, you should do this with the help of an Illinois car accident lawyer.

Car accidents and other personal injury claims based on “negligence” are typically filed in the jurisdiction where the accident happened. Although there are some rules that let you file your case in a federal court, potentially in another state, other rules would typically set Illinois as the best place to file an Illinois car accident claim. More specifically, your case will typically be filed in the court for the county where the crash occurred – but your lawyer can help you with the specifics of what courthouse to file in.

Additionally, your accident will be governed by Illinois law. Laws vary from state to state, but traffic laws are typically pretty similar. Nonetheless, there may be specific Illinois traffic laws that are different than the traffic laws in your home state, and it is important to understand that the courts in Illinois will use Illinois law.

As such, it is important to file your case with the help of an attorney who is licensed to practice in Illinois. To be a member of the Illinois bar, you must know Illinois law. While you may be able to have a lawyer from another state work with a local attorney to appear “pro hac vice” to help with your case under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 707, you can also cut out the middle man and work with experienced Illinois counsel instead. Our Chicago car accident lawyers routinely represent car accident victims in Illinois who live in other states.

Illinois Car Accident Laws

If you are going to be filing a lawsuit for a car accident in Illinois, there are a few Illinois laws that are important to understand that might affect your case. Depending on what state you are from, these laws might be the same or different back home. In any case, our Illinois car accident attorneys can examine the facts of your case and apply the laws specific to Illinois to help you understand what damages you are entitled to and how strong your case is.

No-Fault vs. At-Fault Rules

Illinois is an “at-fault” or “tort” state when it comes to car insurance. This means that drivers carry auto insurance that will pay damages to the victim when they cause a crash. Victims can typically file a lawsuit alongside an insurance claim without needing additional proof of damages or seriousness before being permitted to file a lawsuit.

Some drivers may be from states with “no-fault” rules. In those states, your own insurance usually pays for injuries and lost wages without your needing to prove fault. Those rules also might limit when you can file a lawsuit, using either a dollar amount (“monetary threshold”) or a definition of “severe” injuries (“verbal threshold”) to limit when lawsuits can be filed. Illinois does not use these restrictions, so talk to a Milwaukee car accident lawyer about filing a lawsuit for damages after your crash.

Comparative Fault Rules

Many states use “comparative fault rules” that allow an insurance company or court to assign partial blame to each driver involved in a crash. Under some of these rules, victims can also be blamed for damages to a certain degree, yet they can still recover compensation from the other drivers for their fair share of the damages.

In Illinois, we use a comparative fault rule that does indeed allow each driver to be held partially accountable. This rule also allows victims to be held partially at fault, reducing their overall compensation by the same percentage of fault. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, victims can still recover as long as their share of the fault is not over 50%.

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a rule called a “statute of limitations” that bars lawsuits from being filed after a certain number of years have passed from the time of injury. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, plaintiffs generally have 2 years from the date of the accident to file their claims. However, if you were injured in a car crash, you should take steps much sooner than 2 years after the crash:

  • Evidence needs to be collected almost immediately after the accident
  • Medical care should be administered to treat your injuries as soon as possible
  • The accident needs to be reported to the police immediately
  • You should call an Illinois car accident lawyer within a few days of your initial injury

Call Our Illinois Car Accident Lawyers for Help

If you were injured in a car accident in Illinois, call our Indiana car accident attorneys today. For a free case review, contact Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166.

Proven Results


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***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

– Pat D.
"After being involved in a car accident, I was very fortunate to work with Don Wruck. He explained everything to me and my family and made me feel involved in all decisions. I was very happy with the result of my case and happy to have found this firm!"
– Kayla D.
"My case wasn’t very large, but they made it easy to recover damages when the insurance company didn’t even want to cover basic costs. The firm was responsive to my inquiries, and very clear about what was required and what could be expected, during every step of the process."
– Wayne M.
"From start to finish, Wruck Paupore PC Law were the best! Knowledgeable and straightforward, they explained the process, start to finish, and gave guidance while allowing us to determine the best course of action to take. We would highly recommend them and would certainly use them again."
– Chris V.
"We are so thankful with how the lawyers and staff handled our case. The folks at Wruck and Paupore were always pleasant and helpful in all their phone calls and letters. It was always a pleasure to get their calls. We were especially pleased with their tenacious pursuit of the goal of full recovery which was far greater than we could have imagined."
– Jay Zoellner
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations! The staff at his firm was helpful, responsive and caring during a difficult time following a life-altering experience. I highly recommend Attorney Wruck and his firm."
– J B
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi-truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations!"
– James M.
"Exceptional team. They took on my case and made sure that I was consulted on every issue. If it wasn’t for the caring staff and my legal team I don’t know what I would have done. Everyone did an awesome job thanks so much for your help."
– Rhonda M.
– Adriana
"Wruck Paupore was fantastic. I was informed every step of the way, they did all of the work, and I got my case settled."
– Idell J.
"It was awesome watching Donald Wruck at work during mediation. He really fights for his clients."
– Lisa L.
"Wruck Paupore did more than they promised and did all of the work. I was worried about bills and dealing with insurance people. They did everything while I recovered. They were not concerned about earning money but about helping me and my husband."
– Edithe P.
"Don did a great job on my case! Staff was amazing! Kept me in the loop the entire time. I highly recommend!!!!"
– Dana L.
"A great experience from beginning to settlement. Handled our case from start to finish. Explained every step and communicated very well."
– William H.

Your Legal Team

Your Legal Team

Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.

More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.

Best Indiana Auto Accident Lawyer
Understanding the Insurance Company:
Getting Results.

In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.

Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.

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More than 40 Years of Experience.
Still Fighting for Justice.

For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.

Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.

Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.

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Proven Results

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***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

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