Chicago Car Accident Lawyers
Throughout the United States, automobile accidents are a leading cause of injury and death. Every 12 minutes, a person is killed in a motor vehicle accident on roadways across the U.S. No one is ever really prepared for a car accident and the effect that it instantly has on your life and the lives of those you hold dear. Even a minor car accident can result in serious injuries, significant medical expenses, and losses that aren’t even quantifiable. Sometimes the loss is a cherished loved one.
Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident knows that there is no easy way to deal with one. And those that have had traumatic and painful experiences know firsthand how important an excellent Chicago car accident lawyer is in protecting you and yours.
What To Do After a Car Accident
The first thing anyone should do following a car accident in Chicago is to take an assessment of any injuries and call the police. Don’t take a chance on your livelihood or loss of earning potential. Police officers are trained to record, assess, and make determinations in these situations, so please allow them to do their job.
First, call 911! Then follow the next steps.
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, put on your hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic. Road flares and other safety devices will also work to alert drivers to your stopped vehicle. If you’re able to, call a tow truck to help safely remove your motor vehicle.
Obtain Contact Information
It’s important to exchange information with all parties involved in a car accident. This includes other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Collect their names, addresses, and phone numbers, along with the driver’s license number and insurance information of the other drivers. Also, write down the license plate number of the other vehicles involved, and the description of each car (year, make, model, and color).
Photograph The Accident
It’s a good idea to take photographs of the scene. Thanks to smartphones, that’s become easier than ever. Besides the cars involved in the crash, take pictures of anything else that may have played a role in the car accident. This includes weather conditions, signs, and debris. You should also jot down details you recall from the collision. This will allow you to provide those details to a responding police officer, creating more clarity for them to file their accident report. Remember, this is instantly a legal matter. Never admit that you’re the responsible party regardless of the situation.
File A Report
Oftentimes, especially in large cities like Chicago, police officers will not respond to accidents unless someone is hurt. If property damage exceeds $1,500 or if someone was injured, you must file an accident report. This report is also a helpful reference during the claims process.
Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injuries, call Walner Law® immediately. From your first call, we will review your case at no cost to you and let you know how to move forward with your accident claim. If it’s in your best interest, we will advise that you file a personal injury claim to pursue damages. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case.
Fighting Insurance Companies After Car Accident
With most car accidents, a victim will find themselves dealing with two insurance companies: your insurer and the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. This is just one of many reasons that you can benefit from the legal services of a Chicago personal injury lawyer. Regardless of the type of accident you have been involved in, the insurance company will attempt to twist your words. The best way to fight the insurer is to not answer them when they ask for a statement about your crash. Instead, work with an experienced Chicago auto accident attorney who can help you avoid shady tactics
Tactics Used by the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will work to avoid paying out the maximum amount of compensation after a car accident. They’ll use a variety of tactics to accomplish this. They may offer you some financial compensation that is far below what you should receive. They may try to deny your auto accident claim outright, or delay the process until you back down.
Too many people accept far less than they should receive, fearing that if they do not take the first offer, they’ll get nothing to cover their medical bills or vehicular damage. Once you take that offer, you likely can no longer pursue further financial compensation. Even if you do not plan to sue, you immediately gain an advantage by letting your insurance provider know that you are working with an attorney. A car accident lawyer will work with you to make sure you’re getting as much compensation as you’re entitled to, reading over documents before you sign on the dotted line.
Walner Law® is here to help.
The Chicago car accident lawyers at Walner Law® know the horrifying impacts that car accidents can have on you and your family members. We are dedicated to providing you with the personal service that your personal injury case deserves. Your legal claim becomes our priority, so you can focus on getting the medical attention you need and recovering with your family and friends by your side.
From negligence to property damage, legal issues always present themselves to accident victims. You may have to fight insurance companies for coverage on losses. With our decades of legal experience, our Chicago auto accident attorneys will stand up to any insurance company or entity to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Take a look at our client testimonials and see why we are the most trusted team of auto accident lawyers in Chicago.
Schedule your free consultation: (312) 410-8496
Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Will Fight for You
In a busy metropolitan area like Chicago, there can be any number of factors that cause an auto accident. Even seemingly simple car accidents can become complex once all causes are identified. That’s why having an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer on your side can help guide you through the complicated legal process of regaining economic losses due to your accident.
Your Chicago auto accident attorney will investigate the cause of your accident, identify all liable parties, and fight for the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
1. Duty of Care
Every single person who has ever operated a motor vehicle has a duty of care to avoid hurting others on the road. This can come in many forms, but the basics include following all traffic laws safely and driving defensively instead of aggressively. This is even more important if the aggressor of the accident was driving a company vehicle.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
Whenever a driver doesn’t act in a “reasonably prudent” way, and their behavior causes an accident, they have breached their duty of care. Your Chicago auto accident attorney will be able to argue that the actions of the person who cause the accident resulted in breaching this duty of care. Your lawyer will also be tasked with proving that this breach was caused by negligence or was a deliberate act.
3. Injury Caused By Negligence
Next, your lawyer will need to prove that your injuries and damages are claimed within the causation of the accident itself and not some other incident. Insurance companies try time and again to prove “pre-existing conditions” to get out of paying any amount of a settlement, but your experienced lawyer should understand these tricks and be able to defend you properly.
4. Damages Were Caused By the Accident
Your Chicago personal injury lawyer must then prove that you’ve suffered real, monetary damages as a result of the accident. Economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, and repair costs can be the easiest to repay, but non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, are hard to quantify and require legal skill and experience to ensure you get the maximum compensation owed to you.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an auto accident, please contact Walner Law®. Call (312) 410-8496 today to schedule your free case evaluation with a dedicated Chicago car accident lawyer.
Leading Causes of Chicago Car Accidents
Automobile accidents occur very frequently on highways in the United States, and Chicago is no exception. Even the most careful of drivers may find themselves involved in a car accident at some point. However, responsibility behind the wheel falls on all of us on the road. The other drivers on the road also play a vital role in whether or not we arrive at our destination safely. It is this fact that makes it virtually impossible to avoid an auto accident, even if you exercise the utmost safety while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is playing more of a role in serious car accidents than ever before. Driver distraction is usually linked to texting or calling someone on the phone. However, it can be little things from changing the radio station to looking at a traffic accident on the other side 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 auto accident, the cause will need to be determined. Your Chicago car accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into your crash to identify all contributing factors, thus enabling him to properly establish liability.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 2.5% of all fatal car accidents involve drowsy drivers. An additional 2% of car accidents that result in injury involve drowsy drivers as well. Drowsy drivers, like drunk or distracted drivers, place everyone on the road at risk for serious injury, even fatality. Only with this information can a strong case be made on your behalf and the full compensation you are due to be sought.
Hidden Complexities in a Car Accident Case
Car accidents may seem clear-cut as to who’s to blame, but there can be factors involved that you are not aware of that can have a big impact on your case.
A defective vehicle is a common cause of car accidents. This is most common in SUV rollovers but can happen in any type of vehicle. Faulty tires, brakes, and other components can cause an accident to occur. Even in car accidents that truly were the fault of one or more drivers, vehicular defects can lead to even more serious injuries than possible.
Car 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 car crash is not revealed, an innocent driver can even face criminal charges. That driver could be you if you do not have an attorney with the experience and knowledge to properly investigate the case.
Common Questions About Car Accident Claims
What does the average car accident claim look like when broken down into processes?
- Documentation: Strong car accident claims usually begin with thorough documentation. The more evidence you have collected at the scene of the crash, the better chance at the maximum compensation you deserve. Documentation from medical providers and first responders will prove helpful, too. Our attorneys like to gather as much documentation as possible before getting too far into a personal injury claim.
- Investigation: At some point or another, it is common for our car accident lawyers to want more information and evidence about what happened to better prove liability and calculate your damages. We can conduct careful traffic investigations as needed. We can also work with experts like medical doctors and accident reconstruction teams to better your claim.
- Filing: Once the investigations are over, evidence is collected, and damages are calculated, the next step is filing a claim against the liable party or parties. The defendant will have to decide how they want to respond, and they will almost certainly deny any liability for the car accident.
- Negotiation: Avoiding litigation is usually in everyone’s best interests, so negotiations tend to follow initial filings and denials. Negotiations can be held privately through a mediator who will help move the legal process along, encouraging cooperation from all parties involved. If negotiations are successful, then you could receive a fair settlement for your injuries and additional expenses.
- Trial: Negotiations don’t always work. When the defendant will not agree to a fair settlement amount, the only option left will be to push to litigation in court. After a discovery process, both sides will go to court to bring their cases before a judge and, in some cases, a jury. The court will decide if the plaintiff has proven the defendant at fault for the accident or negligent in providing compensation for a car accident victim. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, they will determine the appropriate amount of compensation to be given in damages.
What are the most common causes of car accidents?
Car accidents are commonly caused by driver negligence — reckless driving, DUI, and distracted driving are all a consequence of careless drivers. In some cases, car accidents are caused by external factors such as road conditions or mechanical issues.
Some common causes of car accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Vehicle defects
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequately maintained roads
- Misleading road signs
Who is liable for car accidents?
Just as the causes of car accidents vary widely, so do the people who may be liable for car accidents. In most cases, a driver will be primarily liable for damages. Compensation can be pursued through a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through a personal injury claim, if applicable. Vehicle manufacturers, mechanics, and other parties can also be found liable, which a Chicago car accident lawyer will look into as they evaluate your personal injury case. Some attorneys have even pursued litigation against a driver’s employer, say in the case of a crash with a delivery truck. Other lawyers have pursued cases against businesses that serve alcohol if DUI was involved.
How are liability and compensation determined in a car accident claim?
To determine who is liable for your injuries and the extent of your damages, evidence from the scene of the accident and following the collision can be used. Photographs, the physical damage on your car, medical bills, police reports, and witness accounts are all helpful pieces of evidence for an attorney to work with. Additionally, our team of car accident lawyers in Chicago will contact expert witnesses to interpret this evidence and establish your claim.
What can I recover through a car accident claim?
Pursuing compensation through a car accident claim can provide coverage for the economic and non-economic damages that result from a collision. Accident victims may be focused solely on getting their medical bills covered, but car accident lawyers in Chicago will work with you to show the true value of your claim. You are entitled to compensation as it relates to income loss from being kept away from your job, transportation costs brought on by a lack of a functioning car, and emotional distress brought on by the traumatic experience of a car accident.
What do car accident lawyers do?
Our legal team understands the complexities of car accident cases and can guide you through the claim process. We will help you get the medical attention you require, the evidence you need, and the compensation you deserve. In addition to gathering facts on your accident and building a car accident case, we can represent you in any legal disputes that arise throughout.
When should I get a lawyer for my car accident?
After any accident involving personal injury, it’s important to discuss your case with a trustworthy Chicago auto accident attorney who can help you set your course for the future. Our team offers a free case evaluation without any obligation. By engaging an attorney from the start, you preserve the best opportunity to receive maximum compensation from a court settlement or lawsuit.
Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?
If you have filed a high-value claim, your car accident settlement may take longer than usual. If you have experienced a severe injury or extensive property damage, it may add complexity to the negotiations. This leads to a delay in achieving a settlement on a personal injury claim. In such scenarios, insurance companies may be drawing out the process as well.
Factors that may affect the time that it will take to settle your auto accident claim include:
- The determinations at fault: This takes into account the parties that contributed to the injuries and the extensity of fault of each of the parties.
- The value of the damages: The calculations of the damages.
- What recovery looks like for you: This takes both extensity and time into consideration.
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 auto accident attorneys at Walner Law® today. Your initial consultation is free and, if we take your case, we only get paid if you win.
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Send us a message or call (312) 410-8496 to speak with our Chicago car accident lawyers during a free case evaluation.