Auto Accident Attorneys in Illinois
Injured in a Car Accident? 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 are able to get out of your vehicle, look around to see who might have caused the 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 Illinois auto accident attorneys, you can be your own best witness when it comes time to file your claim or a lawsuit.
Take Care of Yourself After a Crash
If you were injured in an auto accident in Illinois, whether it be on a busy highway like I-57 or city streets, 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 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.
Common Injuries from Auto Accidents
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-ending 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 Illinois auto accident injury litigator can help you win your claim and receive compensation for your medical bills.
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 wellbeing because we see you not as a case number, but as a friend in need.
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 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 an attorney right away to determine the best course of action.
How Much Is Your Illinois Car Accident Case Worth?
Every car accident is unique, therefore every car 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 attorney to get a more accurate representation of your eligible compensation.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case
If you have been hit by a negligent driver, you have already been the victim once. 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. An Illinois car accident lawyer can provide a wide range of services aimed at protecting your rights and maximizing 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 filed on-time and complete
- 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
Get a Good Car Accident Attorney in Illinois
Insurance companies have 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 attorneys at Sam C. Mitchell & Associates work exclusively for people injured in accidents. They make sure that you get all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Holding to a Higher Standard
Contact our Illinois car accident attorneys at Sam C. Mitchell & Associates today by calling (618) 505-1660 to begin your road to recovery now.
- Auto Accident FAQs
- Six Delayed Car Crash Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore
- Distracted Driving Awareness
- Common Types of Car Accidents
Hear From People We've Helped
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.