Chicago Car Accident Lawyers
When you are injured in a car accident, the last thing you want to do is spend hours upon hours fighting with the insurance companies trying to get what you are owed. It is important to hire a capable attorney who will be able to get what you deserve. If you have been involved in an accident, there are some very important steps you need to take to ensure that you will be fully compensated for your damages.
Steps To Take After An Accident
- Get to Safety- After your accident, if you can, always pull over and make yourself seen with cones and flares. If you are injured, do not move and wait for medical assistance.
- Collect Information- Write down the information of any other people involved. This includes the other driver and any witnesses that are on the scene. If you are unable to move, assign the task to someone.
- Do Not Apologize– It doesn’t matter if you think you may have been at fault. Do not apologize to anyone at the accident scene. Do not talk about what happened except to the police officer and paramedics.
- Seek Medical Advice- Make sure to go to the emergency room and visit a proper doctor after your accident. Even if your injuries were minor, it is always best to get a professional opinion.
- Call An Attorney- As soon as you are able to, contact an experienced accident attorney. They will able to guide you through the process of filing your claim, gathering important information, and advocate for you to be properly compensated.
How To Prove Fault In A Car Accident
Car accidents are caused by someone’s negligence. Illinois is a “fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. What this means is that the person who was at fault is fully liable for the costs of injuries and property damage that resulted from the accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always play fairly or ethically.
In order to prove fault and liability for the accident, you and your attorney need to collect pertinent information, or evidence. It is helpful to collect the following:
- Police reports
- Witness statements and information
- Photos taken of the accident and your injuries
- Your written recollection of events (to be provided to your attorney only)
Types Of Damages You Can Collect
When you are injured in a car crash, damages typically fall into two categories: general and special damages. They differ in the way they are calculated and the compensation they provide. Below is a basic overview of general and special damages.
General damages are said be a natural consequence of the defendant’s wrongful action. This means that the injury was the foreseeable result of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Even if the injury was not foreseeable, the victim could still recover. If the victim of the car accident has an existing injury or condition, and the accident exacerbates the existing injury, they can still recover even though it was not foreseeable. For example, if you had arthritis and the car collision caused by another driver’s negligence caused a severe aggravation of the arthritis, the at-fault driver would still be liable for those damages you suffered. General damages are subjectively calculated, as there is no exact formulation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, or disability.
Types of General Damages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
- Physical disability
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship (if wrongful death)
Special damages are to compensate the victim of the accident for any financial injuries that they have suffered as a result of the accident. Special damages differ from general damages in that they require documentation or proof of monetary losses. When you receive any bills as a result of the incident, make sure you make copies and provide them to your attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Special Damages
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Loss of property
Don’t Trust The Insurance Company
It is important to remember that the insurance company is not there to help you. They are a business and have their own financial interests in mind when they are dealing with your claim. That’s why you need a knowledgeable lawyer with the expertise in dealing with big insurance companies. Insurance companies will often give unrepresented parties the run-around. An attorney will be able to advocate for you to fight for the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Contact an experienced car accident attorney
There are serious time limitations on your claim. Before you file your claim, contact our car accident attorneys online or call us at (312) 766-1000. We will to listen to your story, provide a free consultation, gather the necessary information and put together a legal strategy so that your claim will be successful.