Southern Illinois Auto Accident Attorney
Injured in a Car Accident in Illinois? Stop, Look & Listen
As a child, you may have been told to stop, look, and listen before you cross a street. The same advice applies to preventing auto accidents in Illinois.
When another vehicle strikes your vehicle, you need to stop and make sure you are okay. If not, do not move. Call for help and wait for it to arrive. If you can get out of your vehicle, look around to see who might have caused the auto accident and check for any witnesses.
Then, ask for their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Listen to what they tell you and take notes if you can. Exchange insurance information with the other driver but do not make any statements about how you feel or the cause of the accident except to medical personnel or police officers who come to the scene to investigate.
If you follow this advice, and speak with our dedicated Southern Illinois auto accident attorneys, you can be your own best witness when it comes time to file your claim or a lawsuit.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case
If a negligent driver has hit you, you have already been the victim once. However, if you attempt to negotiate with insurance companies after your crash on your own, chances are good.
You will end up being the victim twice. A car accident lawyer representing Southern Illinois can provide a wide range of services to protect your rights and maximize your eligible compensation after an accident.
Some of the many services an auto accident attorney can provide include:
- Thoroughly investigating the cause of your accident
- Collecting and analyzing evidence relevant to your case such as police reports, photographs of the scene, eyewitness testimony, vehicle “black box” data, and cell phone records
- Consulting with experts from a variety of fields, including accident reconstruction, engineering, medical care, and life-care planning professionals
- Closely examining the terms of all insurance policies applicable to your case
- Ensuring all documents are completed and filed on time
- Aggressively negotiating with the involved insurance companies on your behalf
- Presenting a compelling case to the court if litigation is required
- Handling any health care liens that may be attached to your monetary award to ensure you receive the amount you need to cover your losses in full
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
Car accident lawsuits are subject to a “statute of limitations” which places a hard deadline on how long you have to take legal action. In Illinois, personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents must be filed within two years of the date of your collision. Property damage lawsuits, such as those involving damage to your vehicle and other personal property damaged in the crash, must be filed within five years.
Filing a claim after these deadlines have expired will almost certainly result in the court refusing to hear your case, thereby permanently preventing you from pursuing further damages.
It is important to remember that insurance claims have a completely different timeline and must generally be filed with either your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurer within a few days or weeks of the crash to be eligible for coverage.
Since these deadlines can have such a massive impact on your ability to recover compensation, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer in Illinois right away to determine the best course of action.
Comparative Fault Explained
Illinois follows a traditional fault-based system for car accidents, which allows injured car accident victims to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. With that being said, your eligible compensation will be reduced if you are found to be partially responsible for the collision. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the crash, you will not be able to recover any damages.
For example, if a jury were to find you 25% at fault for a crash, you would only be able to recover 75% of your claimed damages.
This means that if you suffered $20,000 in damages, you would only be eligible to recover $15,000. Insurance companies understand these rules well and will often attempt to unfairly blame you for a crash to minimize their financial liability.
Having a skilled attorney by your side can help ensure you are treated fairly and maximize your chances of securing the level of compensation you deserve.
How Much Is Your Car Accident Case Worth in Southern Illinois?
Every auto accident is unique; therefore, every auto accident claim will be approached differently and have a different value.
The value of your case will depend on a variety of factors and cannot be determined without analyzing evidence regarding your injuries, the long-term effects of your injuries, the amount of income you lose due to your injuries, the cost of your medical treatments, the level of damage to your vehicle, and the events leading up to and immediately following your collision.
Car accident claims involving severe injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic injuries tend to have the highest value. It is important to discuss your case with a skilled auto accident attorney to get a more accurate representation of your eligible compensation.
I-57 Car Accident Attorneys: Local & Dependable
The Interstate 57 that runs north-to-south in Illinois, starting in Chicago, sees an inordinate amount of car accidents each year. As a major highway and the longest in Illinois, the I-57 has commuters, commercial trucks, and construction on it at essentially all times and in large numbers.
The odds of encountering a negligent driver on this busy freeway are, unfortunately, high. In fact, a recent study found that it was the single-most dangerous highway in Illinois, with more than a dozen deaths along it each year. (You can learn more about the study by clicking here and viewing a WSIL-3 ABC news report.)
If you get hurt in an auto accident along the I-57, know you can count on our lawyers for help. We are local and dependable, and we genuinely care about your future and well-being because we see you not as a case number, but as a friend in need.
Common Injuries from Auto Accidents in Southern Illinois
Any injury you may suffer as a result of a car accident should be treated by a doctor. Some injuries may at first appear to be minor but could worsen if left untreated.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you have any aches or pains resulting from an accident.
In addition to treating your injuries, seeing a doctor provides you with medical records that may be valuable if you decide to pursue an auto accident lawsuit from an injury in Illinois.
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries of various degrees of severity. Here are some typical injuries:
- Brain Injuries: These injuries occur from the force of another object hitting your head or the immediate deceleration and acceleration of the brain.
- Upper limbs: Fingers, hands, arms, and shoulders can suffer lacerations, fractures, and broken bones as a result of collision impact. Pain may be permanent and physical therapy and surgery may be required.
- Lower limbs: Legs, hips, feet, toes, ankles, and knees may be damaged in an automobile accident. Bones may be broken or fractured, nerves can be damaged, and surgery may be required, as well as physical therapy.
- Internal organs: The impact and speed of a collision can also damage internal organs. Kidneys, liver, spleen, stomach, heart, and lungs can be jostled, traumatized, and damaged during a crash. The ribcage and sternum can also be fractured or broken.
- Neck injuries: The most common example of a neck injury in Illinois is whiplash. It is often caused by rear-end accidents and results in damaged ligaments, nerves, and tissue, limiting the victim’s movement of their neck and causing pain. While whiplash is often a temporary condition, it can also be permanent.
Getting injured can cause physical and emotional pain, but you should never have doubts about seeking legal advice. A trained Southern Illinois personal injury lawyer can help you pursue your claim and work to receive compensation for your medical bills.
Take Care of Yourself After an Auto Crash
If you were injured in an auto accident in Illinois, whether it be on a busy highway like I-57 or a city street, this is no time to be brave or stoic. If someone, especially a police officer, suggests that you need to go an emergency room, do it.
Have your auto accident injuries checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. If the doctor prescribes medication or follow-up treatment, get it. Your medical bills, your time off from work, your pain and suffering, and your disability are all part of your personal injury case.
Documentation is an extremely important part of building an automobile accident case. Make copies of the following items and give them to your car accident lawyer in Illinois:
- Medical bills
- Auto repair bills
- Towing receipts
- Rental or replacement vehicle costs
- Your paycheck stubs
Keep these records even if your own health or automobile insurance paid for them. You or your insurance company might be entitled to reimbursement.
Likewise, you may be entitled to compensation for lost time from work even if you continue to be paid. You should not have to use your sick leave or vacation time to recover from an auto accident that someone else caused.
Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
Most insurance companies include in their settlement offers that no additional compensation, beyond the settlement amount, can be collected after an agreement is signed. This is true even if injuries become more serious in the following weeks and months following your accident, as is common with injuries sustained in a car accident.
If you have been offered a settlement, or if you have already signed one, call Sam C. Mitchell & Associates today to talk about your car case.
Get a Good Car Accident Lawyer in Southern Illinois
Insurance companies have auto attorneys to advise them regarding any claims. Make sure you also have a good, experienced, and reputable auto accident lawyer in Illinois to advise you.
The personal injury attorneys at Sam C. Mitchell & Associates work exclusively for people injured in an auto accidents. They can help make sure that you get all of the compensation you are entitled to.
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Hear from People We've Helped
I have been in an accident previously and used Sam C. Mitchell & Associates so I knew the great service I would receive. They do it all for you, in my case you need all your energy focused on getting well.
We've Helped Many
- $9,000,000.00 – Auto accident involving permanent injury to a mother and her unborn child
- $5,006,000.00 – Woman was severely injured in a car crash and her airbags failed to deploy in her vehicle
- $4,500,000.00 – Auto accident resulting in death and injury case
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Over 3,700 Cases Handled
Committed to Integrity Above All Else
Over $200 Million Recovered for Our Clients
Over a Century of Combined Legal Experience
Auto Product Liability Confidential
Auto Accident $125,000
A Mt. Vernon man was traveling on Route 15 when another vehicle pulled out in front of them. Our client suffered injuries to his neck, shoulder, and back.
Slip & Fall $1,050,000
Woman slipped and fell over a parking block at a local restaurant in Nashville, IL. She was left with a broken hip and a long recovery.
Workers' Compensation $57,000
A nurse was injured while working suffering a massive tear to her rotator cuff.
Pedestrian Accident $650,000
Client was struck on the head by a tree branch being cut by the defendant, leaving our client unconscious. He suffered a severe brain injury as a result.
Auto Accident $45,000
A West Frankfort, IL woman was involved in a collision on Interstate 57 that caused her vehicle to flip.
Workers' Compensation $100,000
A woman from Galatia suffered a tear to her Achilles tendon while she was working that required surgery.
Burn Victim $24,000,000
House explosion involving a gas leak causing serious and permanent injuries to the occupants.
Nursing Home Neglect $300,000
An elderly woman who broke her leg due to a nursing home’s negligent care.
Trucking Accident $2,500,000
Trucking accident which results in permanent injury to the client.