Chicago Car Accident Attorneys
There are over 11.5 million registered motor vehicles in the state of Illinois, and about 9.2 million licensed drivers. With this many drivers on the road, it is not surprising that car accidents are commonplace in Chicago or Illinois as a whole. In fact, Illinois has over 300,000 car accidents each year. As our Chicago car accident lawyers recognize, the reality is that nearly everyone has been—or will be—in car accident at one time or another in their lives. If you or a loved one were injured in a Chicago car accident due to the negligence of another, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Abels & Annes. We can be reached online or by calling (312) 924-7575.
Illinois Car Crash Statistics
To get a more clear picture of how car accidents are affecting the people of Chicago, and Illinoisans in general, let's take a look at some crash statistics.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were:
- 324,473 crashes in Illinois in 2016.
- Those crashes resulted in 1,078 deaths
- and 93,160 personal injuries.
Unfortunately, all this data leads us to two terrifying fact about car accidents:
- a person dies from a vehicle accident every ten hours in Illinois,
- and someone is injured in a vehicle accident every six and a half minutes in Illinois.
Automobile manufacturers and others involved in road safety are continually innovating and installing new and improved safety devices every year. Roads, intersections, and traffic lanes are being designed more wisely. Governmental bodies across Illinois are creating new and improved laws addressing drunk driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving while more vigorously enforcing these laws.
New technologies--such side-airbags, along with advances in road designs, maintenance equipment, and law enforcement--are helping drivers to avoid some auto accidents. But it seems that for every innovation and improvement, there is some countervailing factor that reduces the overall benefit of these developments.
Common Causes of Accidents
Car accidents are becoming more common which will continue to be a serious problem for everyone. Common causes of accidents include:
- more drivers on the road,
- more distractions in vehicles,
- electronic billboards,
- increased use of cellphones,
- prevalence of messaging, like texting and Snapchat,
- online browsing,
- and more.
The fact remains that vehicle accidents are going to continue to occur, no matter how many steps are taken to try to protect drivers and their passengers from accidents and injuries.
Thankfully, most vehicle accidents are relatively harmless, like a fender bender in a parking lot. But at the other extreme are serious accidents that cause serious injuries. And while many crashes involve only minor injuries or only property damage to cars and road barriers, the unfortunate reality is that some car accidents are serious, and can end up with tragic or even fatal results to motorists and their passengers.
And when you are one of those injured, or a family member is one of those killed in such an accident, it is important for you to get a car accident lawyer in the Chicago area on your side to make sure you can recover fully from your loss.
Damages in a Car Accident Injury Claim
Medical Expenses, like hospital visits, doctor appointments, physical therapy, ambulance fees, etc.
Pain and Suffering, which is defined as physical and mental anguish for which a person can seek compensation for in a lawsuit.
Lost Wages, most commonly from missing work after a serious injury. This can be one of the most financially damaging aspect of a car accident.
You may be entitled to recover the damages caused by a car accident. But in order to ensure you get what you deserve from your injury claim, don't delay getting the help of a legal professional. Get started today by contacting the experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes.Injured in a Car Accident in Chicago?
Learn What You Should Do Next If Injured in a Car AccidentA Serious Vehicle Accident Can End Up Being Extremely Costly to You
When it is serious, a car accident injury will not only result in expensive emergency care and a lengthy hospital stay, it can have tremendous short- and long-term financial and physical impacts. A serious injury may keep you away from your job for an extended period, or even make it impossible for you to resume your job. It may require extended care, such as costly home-care from a professional care-giver or therapist. It can require expensive medical equipment. It may even cause a permanent disability, particularly if the accident causes traumatic brain injury or a debilitating spine injury.
In addition, with all the sophisticated equipment on modern cars, a greater percentage of vehicles involved in accidents—nearly 20% by some estimates—are being are being classified by insurers as totaled—that is, the cost to repair them is more than the vehicles are worth. As a result, many vehicle accident victims can also expect to be out of the use of a car, and will need to confront the additional stress and expense of having to purchase another one.
Consequently, with all these burdens, even car accidents with injuries from which you can fully recover can be financially devastating not only to you, but to family members and others that may rely upon your financial support.Insurance Does Not Always Supply a Remedy
Although many people believe they can rely upon insurers to provide them with adequate compensation, unfortunately, this is not always true. Under Illinois law, a motorist needs to carry only $25,000 of liability insurance for the death or injury of an individual, $50,000 of liability insurance for death or injury per accident, and only $20,000 of property damage insurance. While most people show more responsibility and purchase insurance coverage above these limits, your accident may involve one of the less responsible motorists. If so, the other driver’s insurance company may cover only a very small proportion of your damage claims.
Even worse, despite the mandatory insurance law, some Illinois drivers operate without any car insurance at all. A study undertaken by the Insurance Research Council estimates that 1-in-8 US drivers are uninsured; in Illinois, that ratio is estimated to be 15%.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by one of these uninsured drivers, there will be no insurance coverage from the at-fault driver to pay for any of the damages you suffer. If you have been wise enough to purchase adequate Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own policy, then you will need to pursue a claim against your own insurer. And, as many people can attest, recovering from your own insurer can sometimes be as difficult as recovering from another party’s insurer.
This is where the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes can help. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident as the result of a negligent driver, our attorneys are prepared to handle all of your concerns, including evaluating and investigating issues such as who was involved and who is at fault, the amount of coverage afforded by the insurance policies of the party or parties involved, and calculating your out-of-pocket expenses, from medical care and lost income to your non-economic costs and long-term needs.Abels & Annes are Experienced in Assisting Car Accident Victims
Bear in mind that obtaining help from a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer may be critical, especially when an injury is serious. If your injury causes you to delay too long in following up with your claims, or if you fail to fully understand what you are entitled to, important rights may be lost, and important evidence may be forgotten, damaged, or destroyed. We know that when you are seriously injured, it is difficult to carefully and immediately assess how the accident occurred, to gather information, to speak to and identify witnesses and other drivers involved, or to talk to emergency personnel who were at the scene. Your attorney can shoulder that burden for you.
If you have been in a car accident and suffered an injury, or someone you love has been injured or killed in a vehicle accident, let the car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes help you to assess and understand your rights and potential remedies, and, if necessary, we will help you to obtain all that you are entitled to in order to fully recover, both financially and physically, if possible.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes have experience representing Illinois drivers and passengers injured in car accidents. We will independently investigate your accident, and do what is necessary to help you recover, while you concentrate on the important and difficult task of healing and getting your life back in order.Car Accident Injury Case Settlements
$460,000 - Chicago Car Accident. A Chicago area driver failed to yield coming out of a stop sign, hitting our client's vehicle. The plaintiff had to undergo surgeries to repair a herniated disc.
$600,000 - Wrongful Death Auto Accident. A passenger was killed in a contested liability car accident. Insurance policy limits of $500,000 was collected from one defendant, and the victim's uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000 was collected by our car accident attorneys for the liability of the other defendant who was uninsured.
$200,000 - Chicago Car Crash. Resolved accident claim for local resident who sustained two herniated discs after being struck by a drunk driver.
$220,000 - Chicago Auto Accident. Reached a policy limits uninsured motorist claim settlement for two minor children that were fatally injured in a north suburban car accident. The at fault driver was DUI and crossed the center line.
$250,000 - Illinois Car Accident. Resolved a case for a Chicago Area resident who was hit by an uninsured driver. The plaintiff suffered a herniated disc and had surgery. Our law firm made an uninsured motorist claim for him and we were able to collect the insurance policy limits.
See more of our car accident injury case settlements.Car Accident FAQ
People injured in car accidents often have lots of questions about their legal rights. Below we answer some of the questions we most frequently hear from clients here at Abels & Annes. If you don’t see an answer to your questions below, or if you would like to consult with an attorney about your accident, we invite you to contact us to learn more.
What should I do after a car accident?
Car accidents cause high stress. Having a plan for what you should do if you ever find yourself in a wreck can help you make good decisions. Here are some steps we recommend taking:
- Summon the police and medical first responders. Allow an EMT to look you over, even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt.
- If possible, collect evidence, including photos of the accident scene. Taking photos of the other driver’s license and registration will make it easier to find them later.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your regular doctor. The symptoms of car accident injuries can take days to emerge. Do not assume, if you feel fine immediately after an accident, that you haven’t sustained an injury.
- Contact your insurance company, even if you did not cause the accident.
- Contact an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer to learn about your potential rights to compensation.
Who has to pay for my injuries in a car accident?
Under Illinois law, as a general proposition, the party that caused a car accident has legal liability for paying damages to anyone harmed in the accident. That does not mean, however, that the party (or parties) with legal liability will automatically pay. The parties with potential legal liability may deny they caused an accident. Their insurers may question the extent of victims’ injuries. It often takes the skills of an experienced car accident attorney to convince those with legal liability to pay what they owe.
How much compensation should I receive for my car accident injuries?
There is no single answer to this question. Every car accident, and every car accident victim, is different. The amount of money which you may have the right to recover after suffering injuries in a car accident can depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries, your age, profession, and state of health immediately before the accident, the amount of insurance the other party carries, of the other party’s insurance policy, and the complexity of the facts surrounding the accident. An experienced car accident attorney will often work with a client to calculate the amount of damages the client can realistically hope to recover by taking legal action.
What happens if the other driver’s insurance policy does not cover my injuries or damage to my vehicle?
In some cases, the cost of your injuries or damage to your vehicle may exceed the amount covered by the other driver’s insurance policy--or that driver may carry no insurance at all. In this case, you may turn to your own insurance company for compensation, if you carry an underinsured motorist rider to your insurance policy.
If you do not carry uninsured motorist coverage, you may still have hope of recovering damages. With the help of an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer you may find that other parties, aside from the other driver, have legal liability to you for causing an accident. For example:
- A mechanic who recently repaired the other vehicle, but failed to fully complete repairs or failed to note another potential problem with the vehicle, ultimately causing the accident.
- An employer who required the other driver to work ill, excessively distracted, or for excessive hours.
- A bar or restaurant that over-served the other driver with the knowledge that he intended to drive.
How much will a car accident lawyer cost?
Many accident victims worry that hiring a lawyer will place more burden on an already stretched budget. That is an understandable concern. The good news is that most car accident attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis in which the attorneys only receive fees if the client recovers compensation as a result of their work.
What injuries commonly occur from car accidents?
Any injury sustained in a car accident counts as a car accident injury. Common injuries from car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Herniated, protruding or bulging discs
- Sprains and strains
- Severe lacerations
- Organ trauma
If the insurance company offers to send me a check immediately after the accident, should I take it?
Immediately after a car accident, the other party’s insurance company may make a fast compensation offer. Do not take this offer before consulting with an attorney, especially if you suffered serious injuries in the accident. Often, insurance companies will make a low settlement offer immediately after the accident. Accepting that offer would likely mean letting the insurance off the hook for paying any additional damages an attorney might conclude you should recover. Instead, make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries and what it will cost for you to get back on your feet as well as the compensation you deserve under Illinois law.
Illinois car accidents can leave you confused and out of sorts. We hope that the questions and answers above help to put your mind at ease. If you have additional questions, contact an experienced Illinois car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Free Car Accident Injury Consultation in Chicago
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Chicago area, request a Free Car Accident Injury Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a car accident attorney in the Chicago area today.