In 2016, automobile accidents cost Illinois drivers an estimated total of $7.7 billion. More than 90,000 accidents killed 119 persons and injured 21,667 in Chicago alone in 2015. Auto insurance is supposed to cover the policy holder’s damages caused by an accident. Regardless of whether the insured driver was responsible for the accident, or another driver caused the accident, the insurance claims process is notoriously challenging.
If you were injured in an accident and are struggling to get the compensation you deserve under your own AAA policy, or under the liable party’s AAA policy—even though AAA grosses more than $422 million annually—hire an experienced lawyer to help you. Call Abels & Annes at (312) 924-7575 or write to us online to learn if we can help you.
Abels & Annes: Insurance Claims Results
The lawyers at Abels & Annes have a record of successfully representing personal injury clients who needed a strong advocate to protect their rights. We have experience negotiating and settling with insurance adjusters and representatives, including those from big-name insurance companies. When negotiation fails, our lawyers have skillfully litigated claims to get the best possible outcomes for our clients, including verdicts in excess of $1 million. A recent example of our success includes securing a $3 million settlement after a Chicago motorcycle accident.
While past results are not a guarantee of outcomes for future claims, our record demonstrates our tireless commitment to working for our clients. If we agree to take your case and pursue your claims, you can feel confident that we will fight for you.
What Injuries Do Auto Insurance Cover?
Insurance coverage should provide victims enough money to pay for medical care so they don’t suffer financial devastation in addition to physical injuries. Common motor vehicle accident injuries may include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
Who May Bear Liability for Accident Injuries?
If you were injured in an auto accident caused by another driver who is covered by insurance, that driver’s insurance company may bear responsibility for your medical bills and other damages related to the accident. However, if you carry your own insurance, your insurance company may also face some responsibility for your claims, depending on the facts of the case.
Determining which insurance company is responsible, in part or in full, depends on the specific policies, circumstances of the accident, and the establishment of liability. For example, in a case where both drivers are partially liable for the accident, the percentage assignment of fault may determine the settlement for a victim. If a driver who is 10 percent responsible for the accident will lose 10 percent of the maximum settlement or verdict.
Insurance Claim Coverage
Following a motor vehicle accident, victims commonly incur many expensive medical bills, and the financial burden can compound the difficulty of the physical effects of the accident.
Damages depend on the extent and severity of injuries, property loss, and future economic and medical consequences for the victim. Typical damages can be economic, non-economic, or both.
Coverage for your medical expenses. Such expenses may include:
- Transportation to the hospital via ambulance
- Immediate medical costs in the emergency room
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing medical costs
- Long-term care
Compensation for pain and suffering. Significant injuries from a motor vehicle accident can cause victims long-term pain and suffering. Insurance companies have specific formulas to determine worth. When the insurance calculations do not reflect reality, a lawyer may employ experts to generate detailed reports for the victim, and assign the actual economic, physical, mental, and emotional costs of the accident. Pain and suffering is notoriously difficult to quantify, but an experienced lawyer has the knowledge and skills to most effectively do that on behalf of a client.
Help with lost wages. A victim of a motor vehicle accident may not return to work immediately. Some victims are permanently disabled, diminishing or destroying their earning capacity. If you were seriously injured by an accident and subsequently face long-term economic consequences, the eventual settlement, or if litigation has become necessary, the verdict in your case, should include those damages.
Funeral and burial expenses. If a loved one died because of an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the insurance carrier may bear liability for the funeral and burial expenses of the accident victim.
Property damage. This may include the damaged or destroyed vehicle and any valuable property within or attached to the vehicle at the time of the accident. If another driver was responsible for the accident, that driver’s insurance carrier may bear liability for some or all of the property damage.
How Do Insurance Companies Try to Avoid Paying Full Claims?
Large insurance companies like AAA are notoriously difficult to negotiate with. Insurance companies frequently use the same tactics in their efforts to reduce the amount they must pay for an accident claim:
- Denying or shifting liability. Partial responsibility for an accident can reduce the settlement a victim recovers for injuries. In many cases, insurance companies may attempt to prove that the victim was partially or entirely at fault for the accident, reducing their own financial liability.
- Offering a lower settlement than you deserve. Immediately following the accident, a victim may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company that will permanently discharge further financial responsibility to the victim, once and for all. A victim who accepts this offer may lose the right to any future compensation, even if the injuries are more significant than initially believed, or if the damages are greater than first estimated.
A lawyer can stand up for the rights of motor vehicle accident victims and ensure that they are in a better position to receive the full compensation that they deserve from the insurance company. Avoid signing a too-low settlement offer, or getting into a situation where you are precluded from obtaining full compensation, by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect you.
Contact a Chicago Insurance Claims Attorney Today
Abels & Annes offers a free consultation to review a potential case and determine your best next steps. We generally handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we deduct any attorney fees or litigation costs from any eventual settlement or verdict. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.
If you’re struggling alone to get the compensation you deserve from an insurance company, don’t wait to get legal help. Speak to an experienced lawyer at Abels & Annes as soon as possible. Call us at (312) 924-7575, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation today.