Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
No one is ever really prepared for an automobile accident and the effect that it has on your life. Time missed from work and the damage to your vehicle are usually the least of your worries, but things you will have to deal with even in a minor accident. More often, you will face physical injuries, sky-high medical bills, and sometimes even the loss of loved ones.
As if all of that were not enough, legal issues will present themselves. You may have to fight the insurance company for the money that you deserve and need to cover your losses. You need the help of an experienced guide to take you through the process. The Chicago car accident lawyers at Harvey L. Walner and Associates, Ltd. will stand up to the insurance companies and help you get the compensation you deserve.
What to do After a Car Accident
Throughout the United States, automobile accidents are a leading cause of injury and death. Every 12 minutes, somebody is killed in a motor vehicle accident on roadways throughout our nation.
The Chicago car accident lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. know the horrifying impacts that car accidents can have on you and your family. We are dedicated to providing you with personal service that goes beyond our office walls, so you can focus on getting healthy while we concentrate on winning your case.
If You Are Involved in a Car Accident
If you are in a car accident, try not to panic. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance immediately. Here are some other things you should do in the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash:
Move vehicles from traffic: If you are able, move your vehicle to the side of the road so that it is not presenting a hazard to other drivers. If you are not able to move the vehicle, call a tow truck, put on your hazard lights and set out flares or any other type of warning device (if possible) to warn other drivers about your stopped vehicle.
Obtain contact information: Exchange information with the other parties involved. This includes the other drivers, passengers and witnesses. Collect their names, addresses and phone numbers along with the driver’s license number and insurance information (including policy number) of the other driver(s). Also write down the license plate number of the other vehicles involved, and the description of each car (year, make, model and color).
Document and photograph the accident: If you have a camera (a cell phone camera will work), take photographs of the scene. Besides the vehicles, take pictures of anything else that may have played a role in the accident. This includes weather conditions, obstructions, signs, landscaping and debris. Also write down what happened while it is fresh in your mind. If you are waiting for the police to arrive, this is a good time to take notes. Even if the car accident was clearly your fault, never admit you are responsible. This is a legal matter that will be determined at a later date.
File a report: Often times, especially in large cities like Chicago, police officers will not respond to accidents unless someone is hurt. If damage exceeds $1,500 or if someone was hurt, you must file an accident report. This report is also a helpful reference during the claims process.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injuries, call Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. immediately. Your first call will not cost you a penny. We will review your case for free and let you know how to move forward with your claim. If you live in the Chicago area, please contact our law firm today to learn more. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fee unless we win your case.
The insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying you the money that you need. That is how they stay in business. They use a variety of tactics to accomplish this. They may offer you a sum that is far below what you should receive. They may try to deny your claim outright, or they may delay the process until they have worn you down.
Too many people accept far less than they should receive, fearing that if they do not take the first offer they will get nothing. In most cases, once you take that offer you can no longer pursue further compensation, even if you deserve it.
Even if you do not plan to sue, you immediately gain an advantage by letting your insurance company know that you are working with an attorney. Never sign anything without showing it to an attorney first.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Chicago
In a busy metropolitan area like Chicago there can be any number of factors that go into an auto accident. Even seemingly simple auto accidents can become complex once all causes are identified, making it essential that you have an experienced Chicago auto accident attorney on your side as soon as possible.
While common causes of Chicago auto accidents may give the impression that a case is cut and dry, insurance companies will still do whatever they can to cheat you out of a fair settlement. Your Chicago auto accident lawyer will investigate the cause of your accident, identify all liable parties, and fight for the true compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an auto accident, please contact Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. or call 312-800-0000 today to schedule your free case evaluation with a dedicated Chicago auto accident attorney.
Leading Causes of Chicago Auto Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving plays a role in a majority of auto accidents. Driver distraction is often thought of as cellphone use such as texting but it can also include things such as changing a radio station, looking for a beverage holder, opening a food wrapper, and anything else that takes a driver’s eyes off of the road.
Other common causes of Chicago auto accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving or driving while on drugs
- Dangerous or unmaintained roadways
- Defective vehicles
- Weather hazards
In order to get proper compensation following an accident, its cause will need to be determined. Your Chicago auto accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to identify all contributing factors, thus enabling him to properly establish liability. Only with this information can a strong case be made on your behalf and the full compensation you are due be sought.
Auto accidents are not always as simple as they appear. Even when it seems obvious who is to blame, there can be factors involved that you are not aware of and those factors can have a big impact on your case.
A defective vehicle is often the true cause of an accident. This is most common in SUV rollovers, but can happen in any type of vehicle. Faulty tires, brakes, steering systems, and other components can cause an accident to occur. Even in accidents that truly were the fault of one or more drivers, vehicular defects can make injuries far worse than they had to be.
Accidents can also be caused by defective roadways. Faulty traffic signals are a good example. They can make it appear as if someone must have run a red light, when really neither driver was to blame. In some cases, if the defect that caused the accident is not revealed, an innocent driver can even face criminal charges and wind up in jail. That driver could be you if you do not have an attorney with the experience and knowledge to properly investigate the case.
Choosing an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered a serious personal injury in an auto accident, you need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you need to get your life back to normal. But choosing the right auto accident attorney can be difficult. Here are some tips for finding the right attorney for you.
Get Recommendations from Friends and Family
Chances are you are not the first person you know who suffered serious injury in an auto accident. Talk to friends and family that have gone through the experience about the attorney they worked with and whether they would or would not recommend him or her.
Make sure to talk with your friend or family member about the circumstances of their case to see whether it is similar to yours. It’s also worthwhile to ask about their process of choosing an attorney to know how carefully their choice was made.
Get Recommendations from Professionals
If you know other lawyers such as your family lawyer or environmental lawyer, talk to them about which auto accident attorney they might recommend, and why. Sometimes referrals are professional courtesies or because of longstanding friendships. You want to make sure that this referral actually speaks to the experience, training, and professional status of the attorney in question.
You might also talk to nurses, doctors, and physical therapists who treated you. They work with many accident victims and may be able to recommend someone who helped their clients.
Do Some Internet Research
Before talking with any attorney in person, you should visit their websites to see how they represent themselves. Check to make sure that the attorneys you are considering prioritize auto accidents. Some attorneys will handle auto accidents, but don’t especially care for the type of case, and may not give them the full care they deserve. You want an attorney who considers your case worthwhile and is eager to get you the compensation you deserve.
Make sure any potential lawyer has a list of successful verdicts and settlements. Past success is no guarantee of success in your case, but you want to make sure your lawyer is capable of success. Also consider whether a lawyer offers any help after a settlement or verdict to help you maximize the value of that victory.
After visiting the websites of potential auto accident attorneys, you should have narrowed your list down to a few you are considering. Most auto accident attorneys offer free consultations so you should not hesitate to schedule several consultations, but your time is valuable, too, so you don’t want to let the list be too large.
During your personal consultation, you want to try to find out how you feel about a lawyer. Most of all you want to trust them, but you also want to know that the lawyer shares your goals and values in the lawsuit. You want to make sure you will be comfortable with the amount of control you have over your lawsuit. You want to know who will be working on your case, and how free you will be to contact them.
Contact Experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, you need experienced legal help. Please contact the Chicago car accident lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. today. Your initial consultation is free and if we take your case, we only get paid if you win.