Free Consultation: (312) 924-7575 Tap Here To Call Us
Abels & Annes, P.C. Abels & Annes, P.C.
We've collected millions for our clients.
Let us fight for you.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?

Car Accident Settlements Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Experiencing a serious car accident is a traumatic event that can leave you with devastating injuries and mounting medical bills. When the reckless actions of another driver change your life, you deserve justice. If your accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay for your injuries out-of-pocket.

A car accident lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. Personal Injury Lawyers can help you determine your best course of action for pursuing compensation. If you suffered serious injuries due to a negligent driver, consider contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

More than likely, after talking with you and investigating your accident, your car accident lawyer will estimate your damages—the amount the at-fault driver’s insurance company owes you.

Your car accident lawyer will proceed by reaching out to the liable insurance company and starting settlement negotiations. It’s generally in the best interest of everyone involved to settle the case out of court, because trials quickly grow expensive—but sometimes insurance companies will think that the risk of going to trial outweighs the cost of a reasonable settlement. They may not take you or your claim seriously and may offer you a lowball settlement.

A car accident lawyer with the right experience and evidence may convince the insurance company that such tactics will cost them more than a reasonable settlement offer, and allow you to avoid the delay and uncertainty of a trial as well as the trap of a lowball settlement.

In a nutshell, that’s how settlements work—with the plaintiff’s lawyer trying to cover his or her client’s expenses, and the insurance company lawyer trying to protect his or her client’s bottom line. If they cannot come to an agreement, they may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury may decide the outcome.

Why You Deserve Compensation

The time immediately following a car accident is probably one of great stress for you and your family. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to work or from ever returning to a career you once loved. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require a lifetime of medical and personal care. Examples of catastrophic injuries possible from a serious car accident include:

Spinal cord injuries – The spinal cord sends and receives messages to and from the brain that controls sensation and movement. When the spinal cord becomes injured in a car accident, you can feel little or no sensation or control movement below the point of injury.

The resulting paralysis may require a power chair for mobility, home modifications for the power chair, and accessible transportation. A patient will need to replace the power chair and accessible van or other types of transportation throughout the patient’s lifetime. Other expenses can include hospital bills, doctor visits, therapies, medications, and personal care at home or in a facility. Experts estimate the total costs associated with a spinal cord injury can reach millions of dollars every year.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define a TBI as a bump, blow, or sudden jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI from a car accident can leave you or your loved one with damage that affects:

  • Cognitive function: Your loved one may experience memory loss and have trouble focusing their attention.
  • Motor function: A patient with severe TBI often experiences muscle weakness and poor balance.
  • Sensation: Patients with severe brain injury experience problems with hearing, vision, taste, and touch.
  • Behavior/emotion: Changes in your loved one’s disposition are possible with a severe TBI. Depression and anger outbursts are common.

Your loved one may need more care than you can provide. Placing them in a skilled nursing facility is expensive, with an average cost of $8,365 per month.

These are just two examples of the types of catastrophic injuries that can change your life forever. A personal injury claim is your right under Illinois law, and if you or your loved one suffered a severe injury due to a distracted, drunk, or otherwise negligent driver, a lawyer can help you recover compensation. While each case is different, you may qualify for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Personal injury lawyers understand what an emotional time it is for you and they strive to keep you informed and to treat you with compassion.

Insurance Companies and Your Accident Injuries

When an accident places you in a hospital bed, an insurance company may offer you a settlement. The amount they offer may seem like a solution to your financial anxiety and stress. No matter how tempting the offer is to you, do not accept it. Chances are the amount is not enough to cover your future medical needs.

Once you accept a settlement offer, you forfeit your right to pursue civil litigation later should your medical condition worsen. There is simply too much at stake for you to take on insurance companies alone. Allow a car accident lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

There is no way of knowing the outcome of your case. Your legal team must prove the responsible party neglected to exercise a duty of care. Upon careful review of the evidence in your case, your lawyer can determine the best course of action for you.

Examples of important evidence that can help your case include:

  • Police reports.
  • Witness statements and contact information.
  • Accident scene photos and video.

Most personal injury claims settle out-of-court. If your personal injury lawyer cannot secure a fair settlement through negotiation, they must express readiness and willingness to go to trial. When you know you have legal protection protecting your best interests, you can better focus on your health and recovery.

The Statute of Limitations

State law restricts the amount of time allowed to file a civil action. This is true not only for personal injury lawsuits, but also for cases involving wrongful death. If you lost a family member due to a negligent driver, discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer now. You may be entitled to compensation for the decedent’s final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and more.

Dave Abels Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, Dave Abels

Don’t miss your chance to hold the person responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions. When another driver fails to share the road in a responsible manner, resulting in serious injuries for you, a personal injury lawyer is your best option for pursuing justice.

Recovering from the shock of the accident and your injuries takes time. Some patients must learn to live with a new reality of a catastrophic injury. This isn’t fair. If you experienced life changing injuries or lost a close loved one due to a driver who texted or drove drunk, give careful thought to pursuing civil action. Most car accident lawyers offer free case evaluations, leaving you nothing to lose by contacting one today.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

Is Car Technology Leading to More Distracted Driving?

Technology and Distracted Driving

In recent years, new car technology has made huge advances. Not only can drivers connect their phones to their vehicles to help stream music or integrate GPS data, they can also use the technology embedded into the vehicle itself to take care of driving responsibilities, including parking and collision prevention. Technological advances in the latest and greatest vehicles may also include advanced climate control options, 360-degree cameras, and GPS units integrated into the car itself.

All of these advances offer drivers the ability to control more of what happens on the road and in their vehicles than ever, but at a cost: Those advances can also lead to substantially more distracted driving. If you suffered injuries in a distracted driving accident, an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer.

Understanding Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs in one of three forms:

  • Manual distraction takes the driver’s hands off the wheel.
  • Visual distraction takes the driver’s eyes off the road.
  • Cognitive distraction takes the driver’s attention off the road.

When most people think of distracted driving, they imagine teens staring down at their cell phones while attempting to navigate traffic—or perhaps that mom in the minivan zipping off to her next appointment while needing to settle down unruly toddlers in the back seat.

Distraction, however, can constitute conversing with people in the car, conversations via a cell phone, eating and drinking, putting on makeup, fumbling for something in the vehicle, and, yes, technology—including the technology offered by cars themselves.

How Does Car Technology Increase Distraction?

While much vehicle technology helps increase safety on the road, including lane departure warning systems and 360-degree cameras that provide full visibility around a vehicle, other technologies can pull drivers’ attention away from the road and prevent them from fully noting what happens around them.

Manual Distractions

Many of the technologies offered by modern vehicles require someone to operate them. Sometimes, that means the person in the front passenger seat. More often, however, the driver takes care of all those manipulations, from turning up and down the temperature in the vehicle to managing the music. Unfortunately, all of those changes require the driver to remove at least one hand from the wheel and two eyes from the road long enough to perform those actions.

Visual Distractions

Modern vehicles provide a host of visual distractions, especially if you connect your phone to the vehicle. Notifications from your phone may pop up directly on a big screen in the vehicle, displaying incoming phone calls, text messages, and even emails. Looking down long enough to read them can quickly result in an accident. Not only that, many modern vehicle controls rely on a touch screen, which means drivers can not just reach over and manipulate the controls without looking.

Visual distractions may also result from pop-up notifications from the vehicle itself, including warning lights that indicate a potential collision hazard. Drivers who connect a phone to the vehicle may also attempt to adjust music on that device.

In-vehicle or app-based GPS systems can also pose a potent visual distraction. These systems often provide real-time notifications about the road, which can provide drivers with incredibly valuable information that may help them recalculate their routes to avoid traffic snarls or remain aware of the speed limit. Unfortunately, these devices also cause drivers to look away from the road, which could lead to enough of a distraction to cause an accident.

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions can, for some drivers, prove even more dangerous than visual or manual distractions. When the driver’s attention drifts away from the vehicle, it often leads to substantial cognitive distractions, including loss of attention to the road and other drivers. Many of the technologies available in modern vehicles pose substantial cognitive distractions: music apps, which may lead to more daydreaming than traditional car radios; GPS input that can leave drivers thinking about the route instead of the road in front of them; information from dozens of different systems within the vehicle itself, all popping up at once.

Preventing Distraction Behind the Wheel

While modern vehicles certainly come with a host of potential distractions, they do offer some solutions as well. Modern technology aims to help prevent distracted driving, especially as it becomes increasingly common.

Technology includes:

  • Crash avoidance systems
  • 360 cameras and warning alerts
  • Automated driving systems
  • Distracted driver warning systems
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Drowsy driver detection

Users can also install apps that can help prevent distracted behavior. Some insurance companies offer apps that can help track driver behavior, making drivers more aware of their distractions behind the wheel. Other apps can turn off certain phone functions, including the ability to accept calls and texts, while traveling at or above certain speeds.

Driver behavior and choices, however, remain more important than apps and technology. Consider these important measures to help keep yourself safer behind the wheel:

  • Turn off your phone and leave it in a safe location, where you will not face temptation if it rings or buzzes with a text message.
  • Take care of any potentially distracting tasks before setting your car in motion. Turn on your preferred music and set a playlist that you can listen to all the way to your destination. Program your GPS before pulling out onto the road. Adjust temperature controls before you start driving. These simple measures take only seconds when you get in the vehicle, but they can substantially
    Dave Abels Lawyer
    Car Accident Lawyer, Dave Abels

    decrease distractions once you start driving.

  • Pull off the road if you need to deal with a distraction. Find a parking lot or a convenient shoulder, rather than addressing concerns while driving the car.
  • Do not use non-essential features of your vehicle or use the in-vehicle touchscreen while driving unless absolutely necessary.

Distracted driving poses a substantial risk to everyone on the road. Many drivers fall into the habit of trying to multitask from behind the wheel, which can increase their overall danger even more—and the technology available in many vehicles can pose a potent distraction that many drivers assume they can handle, since it comes along with the vehicle. With these steps and an experienced personal injury attorney to provide valuable legal advice, however, you can decrease distraction and keep yourself and everyone else on the road with you safer.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Recover?

Gary Annes Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

Depending on who is at fault in an accident, you might be reluctant to sue, particularly if you were a passenger in the car of a friend or family member who caused the accident. If you get into an accident while riding in a car with a friend or relative (other than a household member), you can sue to recover damages for your injuries.

Your friend or relative does not pay for your injuries and losses if they were at fault; rather, his or her insurance company pays. Even if you have to go to court because the insurance company denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement amount, your friend or relative is not likely to pay out of pocket.

Illinois Accident Statistics for Passengers

Of the 311,679 accidents in Illinois in 2017, 93,517 people sustained injuries, and 12,003 people suffered incapacitating injuries. Of this number, 1,090 suffered fatal injuries, of which 213 were passengers in motor vehicles. 23,840 passengers sustained injuries, while 61,514 drivers suffered from injuries in an accident. Of the passengers who suffered injuries, 2,703 suffered incapacitating injuries.

Potential Injuries

As a passenger, you could suffer from severe injuries in a car accident. Vehicles contain several airbags to hopefully protect passengers, including:

  • A front passenger airbag in the dashboard
  • Driver and front passenger knee airbags
  • Seat-mounted and roof-mounted airbags in the front and rear for the outboard passenger seats

Even with airbags, you could suffer from injuries, including injuries from defective airbags i. Injuries may include:

  • Death
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord and back injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Simple and compound fractures
  • Sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and other soft tissue injuries
  • Bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes

Any open cut has the risk of becoming infected, especially if you have underlying conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disease, or if you are on medications, such as chemotherapy, that lower your white blood cell count. In some cases, you might require surgery to repair internal injuries or a compound fracture; the open wounds from surgery may also become infected. Always notify the medical staff and your attorney if you have issues that may require additional medical care.

Time Limits

In most cases, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if a passenger is under 18 years of age, he or she has two years after his or her 18th birthday to file the lawsuit. If the claim is only for property damage, then you have five years under Illinois’ statute of limitations to file. Please note are some one year statutes of limitations for certain defendants, like a municipality, so it is better to consult with an accident lawyer as soon as you can after a collision.

However, some insurance companies attempt to require that you file an uninsured or underinsured claim much sooner than that. The time frame available depends on the insurance company’s policy, so it is advisable to file a claim within a few days of the accident. If you contact your own insurance company, tell the representative that you were in an accident and give the representative the other party’s contact and policy information, as well as your attorney’s contact information. However, it is always recommended that you let your lawyer contact the insurance carriers.

Because insurance companies look for any reason to deny a claim or to offer the least amount of compensation possible, let your attorney talk to the adjuster regarding the particulars of the case. Otherwise, the insurance company will try to twist your words to lay the fault on you. Should you decide to take your case to court, the insurance company may also attempt to use your words to sway the jury.

Recovering Damages

If you are riding in a vehicle that caused an accident, your lawyer will contact that driver’s insurance company to make a claim. If the driver is a spouse or another family member of your household, in Illinois you still can sue the driver’s insurance company. The same applies if another friend or relative is driving, you can sue the driver’s insurance company.

If someone else caused the accident, your lawyer will contact that driver’s insurance company. Furthermore, if more than one driver is at fault, including the driver of the vehicle you are riding in, you may file claims with the insurance companies of all at-fault drivers.

Passengers can recover the same damages as a driver that suffers injuries in a car wreck, including special, general, and punitive damages, which are discussed in more detail below.

Special Damages

Economic damages, also known as special damages, involve expenses that an injured individual has had to pay out-of-pocket, including:

  • Past medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident
  • Future medical expenses for follow-up appointments and additional surgeries
  • Past and future therapy expenses for physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and/or psychological therapy
  • Past lost wages for the time you missed from work because of your initial injuries
  • Future lost wages for the time you will miss from work because of the injuries, surgeries, or long-term or permanent injuries
  • Replacement or repair of personal property
  • Burial and funeral expenses

General Damages

Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are those that do not have a price tag, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of use of a body part or function
  • Disfigurement

Punitive Damages

Courts order general and special damages in an attempt to make injured individuals whole again. Punitive damages are not intended to make such individuals whole again, but rather to punish a defendant’s grossly negligent or intentional behavior if that behavior caused your injuries. A jury might find the defendant grossly negligent if he or she was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting while driving or, in some cases, speeding excessively.

If you, as a passenger, suffered injuries because of a motor vehicle accident, a free consultation with a car accident lawyer can answer your questions and help you decide whether you have a good case.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

How Long Will I Feel Sore After a Car Accident?

Gary Annes Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

If you were in a car accident in the last few days, weeks, or months, it’s not unlikely that you still feel sore. Many different people will give you many different answers concerning how long you should be sore, ranging from a few weeks to several months or even years. However, no single timeline or rule can predict how long you will experience soreness, and you may feel sore for longer than you think you should after a car accident. In fact, many different factors, especially the type of injuries you’ve suffered, can impact the length of time that you feel sore after a car accident.

This guide provides information from our experience as lawyers about the types of car accident injuries that cause soreness and factors that impact the length of time you will feel sore. The information below does not constitute medical advice. If you are struggling with continued soreness after a car accident, you need to share your pain and discomfort with your doctor to ensure it’s documented in your medical record.

Car Accident Injuries That Commonly Cause Soreness

The force of impact from a car accident can cause many types of injuries to a driver or occupant. In some cases, soreness is a direct response to the injury, and in other cases, soreness can be a symptom of a specific type of injury. Below we provide an overview of some of the most common culprits of soreness after a car accident.

Neck and Back Injuries

Many car accident victims experience some level whiplash during an accident. You might already know that whiplash is a neck injury, but it specifically refers to soft tissue damage in the neck that occurs when the muscles and ligaments around the neck go beyond their normal range of motion from the impact of a car crash. Individuals who suffer whiplash typically experience soreness in their necks and sometimes shoulders. In mild cases, pain can subside rather quickly. However, in severe cases, pain may last for months and sometimes becomes chronic, drastically reducing a person’s quality of life when the pain interferes with their job and day-to-day activities.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Research shows that about one in five people who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) doesn’t completely recover and thus experiences chronic pain. Car accidents can lead to mild TBIs, more commonly called concussions, or severe TBIs. Even mild concussions, however, can cause symptoms for years.

The exact location of the pain and the extent of pain depends on what part of the brain was injured, but chronic headaches and soreness in the neck are the most common types of pain that TBI patients experience.

If you experience increased pain in your neck or headaches that don’t subside, see a physician immediately.

Back Injuries

Car accidents can lead to a wide range of disc-related back injuries. Once again, depending on the severity and type of injury, you may feel sore for weeks, months, or years. Bulged or herniated discs can cause soreness at the site of the injury and all around, which likely will not subside without corrective surgery. Even surgery doesn’t always eliminate soreness in the back for car accident victims. Sometimes, back injuries can result in pinched nerves, too. A severely pinched nerve can cause sharp pain, but mildly pinched nerves can cause a general soreness in the area of the injury.


If you broke one or more bones in a car accident, you may need surgery or you may just need to wear a cast or splint while the bones heal. You may experience pain during this time, which can last for months, but you might also have some residual pain after doctors remove your cast. In other situations, soreness in a specific area may be a symptom of an undetected break or hairline fracture. Severe fractures, especially compound fractures, sometimes don’t heal perfectly. This can leave car accident victims to struggle with soreness from arthritis near the site of injury for years after the injury.

Soft Tissue Damage

Damage to the soft tissues of the body, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, is one of the most common causes of soreness. Your muscles tense up during a car accident, which can lead to soreness for days or weeks. Sprains and strains also commonly occur during car accidents; you can expect most of the soreness from a sprain or strain to subside within six to eight weeks. More serious soft tissue damages, such as torn ligaments or tendons, can cause soreness for much longer.

The extent to which an accident victim experiences pain from these soft-tissue injuries depends on whether they completely heal or not. For example, a torn meniscus or torn ACL tendon may require surgery and physical therapy before soreness dissipates.

Internal Organ Damage

Most car accident victims assume that they will be sore in the days following an accident, causing some to avoid seeking proper medical treatment. Soreness that occurs soon after the accident, especially if it increases, can be a symptom of internal organ damage. Left untreated, damaged organs may in rare cases lead to death.

Factors That Affect How Long You Experience Soreness After a Car Accident

Sources of soreness in your body vary, and so can the time it takes to heal. Some types of injuries simply heal better and faster than others. Other factors may also impact how long you feel sore after a car accident.

These include:

  • Age. Younger accident victims typically heal faster than older victims, especially when recovering from fractures.
  • Speed. The faster the vehicles were traveling when a car accident occurred, the more severe the injuries and the more time needed for the soreness to subside. High-speed accidents also increase the chances of chronic discomfort.
  • Safety devices. Seat belts and safety devices can save your life during a car accident, but they also can cause injury, including bruising and broken bones, which may extend the amount of time you feel sore after a car accident.

Soreness is a serious effect of a car accident and should not be taken lightly. If you were in an accident, seek medical treatment ASAP and consult an experienced auto accident attorney to help pay for those injuries.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in Illinois Causes Accidents

Gary Annes Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

Medical marijuana use has been legal in Illinois since 2014, and as of January 2020, recreational marijuana use is also legal. This includes a wide variety of substances made from the cannabis plant, including gummies, chocolates, and other edibles.

Legalization doesn’t mean that individuals who previously abstained are now headed to their local dispensary to stock up, but legalization may bring some new users into the mix. Regardless, more people are probably behind the wheel in Illinois while under the influence of cannabis.

Cannabis use while driving can land you in jail and result in a DUI conviction, the same way driving while under the influence of alcohol does. It can also result in car accidents that seriously injure passengers and other drivers.

Below, we discuss how cannabis use impairs drivers, some of the challenges law enforcement face with enforcing cannabis-related DUIs, and how all of this puts you at risk for accident and injury when you share the road with those under the influence of marijuana.

Cannabis Is Not Harmless—It Impairs Drivers

Cannabis in any form can impair drivers just as badly as alcohol. Several worldwide studies have addressed the dangers of using marijuana while driving.

Here is some recent research about marijuana and driving

  • Marijuana impairs judgment, motor skills, and reaction time.
  • A direct relationship exists between blood THC levels and driver impairment. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that gets users high—not to be confused with CBD, which doesn’t appear to impair driving.
  • Drivers with THC in their blood are about two times more likely to cause a fatal crash than those who have not used drugs.
  • Drivers with THC in their blood are three to seven times more likely to cause an accident than those who haven’t consumed drugs.

Enforcing Drugged Driving Laws Has Proved Challenging

If you get in a traffic accident, law enforcement typically comes to the scene of the accident. Officers may take note of many different things that indicate whether alcohol played a factor in the crash, such as the smell of liquor or beer on a driver and open containers in a vehicle. A police officer might choose to perform field sobriety tests on a driver and get the driver to take a Breathalyzer test. When properly maintained and used by trained officers, Breathalyzers are an effective tool to test the blood alcohol levels of drivers. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple for situations involving drivers under the influence of cannabis.

No simple tool exists for law enforcement to test for THC levels in a driver at the scene of an accident. Instead, an officer must bring the driver to the nearest police station and request that he or she agree to chemical testing. Police must administer these tests within two hours of the accident, and a medical professional must perform any blood tests.Drivers must comply if they don’t want their licenses revoked, and if drug tests reveal more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or more than 10 nanograms per milliliter of urine, drivers will lose their licenses.

The biggest challenge in testing for THC is that it can remain in a person’s body for months after a person consumes or smokes cannabis. This makes it difficult for courts to convict people of marijuana-related DUIs and much easier for defense attorneys to argue against conviction—but what does it mean for other motorists who don’t drive while high?

What to Do if You’re in an Accident With a Drugged Driver

If you are in a traffic accident in Illinois, you might not suspect that the other driver is under the influence of drugs. If the other driver is high, you might not find out until you see the official police report. Even if law enforcement charges the driver with a DUI, and a court convicts him or her of criminal charges, this doesn’t help you face the losses that often come with a severe accident and injury.

Depending on the severity of the accident, you might incur the following economic losses:

  • Medical expenses for an ambulance ride, emergency room treatment, doctor visits, diagnostic testing, surgery, aftercare, follow-up visits, and prescription medication
  • Lost current and future wages from missing work due to injury, hospitalization, treatment, and permanent disability
  • Costs of replacement services for things that you can no longer complete around your home, such as lawn care, childcare, snow removal, and cleaning

Suffering severe injuries in an accident caused by a drugged driver also comes with non-economic losses that include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse
  • Other non-economic losses that might apply to your circumstances

You can sometimes recover a portion of your losses from a drugged driving accident through insurance claims. However, severe injuries that require massive amounts of medical treatment and significant time away from work, and catastrophic injuries, can quickly exhaust insurance policy limits. You deserve full compensation when a negligent driver strikes you after choosing to get behind the wheel after using marijuana.

The best way to maximize your compensation is by consulting an experienced auto accident attorney. A skilled lawyer can not only help negotiate the best settlement for you or litigate when settlement isn’t an option, he or she can also negotiate your outstanding medical bills to put more settlement money in your pocket. He or she will know the ins and outs of the state’s new drugged driving laws as they pertain to cannabis use and car accident cases, and how to use them to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident

When your loved one dies in a car crash, it causes an immediate rift in your family’s social, emotional, and financial wellbeing. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act gives you a legal process for damage recovery if someone’s negligent actions caused the accident. The process is sometimes complicated. To avoid missing a critical requirement or deadline, you should consult with a legal representative for guidance on protecting your rights.

When a negligent driver causes your loved one’s death, grief and anger often disrupt everything you do. If the decedent is your spouse, you must handle your new financial and family challenges alone. It becomes your responsibility to get your family back on track to meet school, work, personal, and financial obligations. You must find new ways to accomplish daily tasks, often while adjusting to a reduced income.

Before your financial losses become overwhelming, it’s important to take the proper legal steps to recover the damages to which you’re entitled. While a financial recovery won’t lessen your grief or loss, it will help you provide a better future for you or your family. A car accident lawyer can help you through that process.

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act

When a negligent driver fatally injures your loved one, you have legal rights under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. You’ll find the provisions detailed under ICS, Civil Liabilities, 740 ILCS 180. The statute provides a legal recovery remedy for surviving spouses and next of kin. It allows you to recover the damages the decedent would have recovered had he or she not died before making a claim or filing a suit.

The statute also includes provisions for damage recovery for “…grief, sorrow, and mental suffering.” Courts base your ability to recover damages on specified personal relationships with the deceased.

Other critical requirements apply:

  • The decedent’s personal representative–often the spouse–must initiate the lawsuit on behalf of all next of kin.
  • Next of kin include the decedent’s natural children and natural parents. Under the statute, an “adopting parent” and an “adopted child” have the same rights as natural parents and children.
  • Illinois courts distribute judgments and/or agreed settlements among the surviving spouse and next of kin. Courts base distribution upon a person’s “…percentage of dependency…” upon the deceased person. Damage calculations take into account all other beneficiaries’ damage percentages.
  • In the absence of a surviving spouse or next of kin, hospitals, medical providers, and others receive the proceeds of a decedent’s wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative also receives a fee for administering the estate.
  • In a wrongful death action involving an auto accident, the statute of limitations expires precisely two years after the date of the occurrence in most cases, however there are shorter one year statutes for certain defendants. If the personal representative doesn’t settle the claim or file a lawsuit by that date, the decedent’s family gives up its right to file a claim for damages.

Making a Wrongful Death Claim

The Illinois legislature constructed the state’s wrongful death statutes to provide financial support for a decedent’s family. Damage recovery is based on the decedent’s family’s ability to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. As with other liability cases, you must present evidence that proves the other driver was at fault.

When a driver sustains fatal injuries, civil courts must make their decisions based on the remaining driver’s testimony, available physical evidence, witness accounts, and police officers’ opinions. Courts have leeway to find negligence against both drivers, and still pay a portion of the decedent’s wrongful death claim.

Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Fatal Auto Accident

Judges and juries sometimes resolve wrongful death cases, but they often begin and end as liability insurance claims. When a fatal car accident occurs, insurance companies become involved immediately. Whether or not a court ultimately resolves a wrongful death case, insurance companies usually conduct the initial investigation.

If you and your loved one have separate insurance policies, you should locate the insurance policy and have your lawyer make the required claim report. To preserve the decedent’s policy rights, you should make a report as soon as possible. While this often seems inconvenient when you have so many other post-accident responsibilities, reporting an accident as soon as possible helps protect your right to make a claim.

Your Insurance Company’s Investigation

When you report an auto crash with fatal injuries, the insurance company contacts witnesses, drivers, and passengers. They also obtain official reports and conduct site investigations. When liability issues remain unresolved, some insurers hire accident reconstruction experts to provide an opinion based on physical evidence, traffic pattern analysis, debris, skid marks, and other key elements.

Insurance companies conduct comprehensive investigations to complete the following tasks.

  • Determine negligence and fault
  • Evaluate and pay for the deceased insured’s vehicle damages and address any lienholder interests
  • Examine and photograph vehicle damage, points of impact, and other physical evidence that might provide insight into the accident
  • Assess liability for the other driver’s vehicle damages and injuries, as well as injuries to occupants in the other vehicle
  • Determine if the deceased insured has a valid Uninsured or Underinsured or Motorist claim.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Claims

If the negligent party didn’t have liability insurance at the time of the accident, Uninsured Motorist coverage pays the damages the responsible party’s carrier would have paid. If the other party had liability insurance, but not enough to pay all of the wrongful death damages, the Underinsured Motorist coverage pays the difference between the other party’s limit and the UIM limit. UM and UIM coverages pay based on the other party’s liability. You have the same duty to prove fault.

Uninsured Motorist coverage is mandatory in Illinois. An insured must carry coverage in an amount equal to mandatory liability limits: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. An insured may request a lower or higher UM/UIM limit when purchasing a policy.

The Liability Carrier’s Investigation

The other driver’s liability insurance carrier will likely conduct its own investigation. Unless you were a passenger when the accident occurred, they realize that you have no direct information about what happened, but they will likely contact you anyway. If you are the decedent’s spouse, legal representative, or a close relative, they see you as a source for information. You have no duty to talk to the other driver’s insurance company or provide any of the requested information.

When a driver sustains fatal injuries, their case has a potentially high settlement value. If liability insurance carrier must reserve their case file without direct information, they rely on creative resources to help evaluate the damages. Beyond crash scene evidence, insurers conduct social media investigations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites. As families often forget to deactivate a decedent’s pages, they often become a rich source of personal and professional information.

Insurance companies may also conduct activities checks. While not common, a representative could visit the decedent’s neighborhood to view their home and document how they lived. They may also talk to neighbors seeking additional information to support their evaluation and settlement efforts.

A Negligent Driver’s Insurance Carrier May Offer a Settlement

Illinois courts provide a formal process for resolving wrongful death cases. That doesn’t prevent a responsible driver’s insurance carrier from attempting to settle your case. If their liability investigation determines that their insured is at fault, they sometimes approach the decedent’s representative to resolve the case before the family files a lawsuit.

Liability insurers do this for several reasons.

  • They can’t predict how much a judge or jury might award.
  • Insurance companies prefer to settle quickly as injury values often increase as time passes.
  • They want to avoid punitive damage awards. In some cases, an insurance company is responsible for paying punitive or exemplary damages.
  • They want to take advantage of the opportunity to settle your case for a low amount before you seek legal representation.

Do You Need an Attorney to Recover Wrongful Death Damages?

After losing a loved one, you may never feel like it’s the right time to take legal action. However, It’s important to learn your legal options so you can protect your rights before you lose the opportunity. Wrongful death attorneys work to resolve your legal, liability, and damage issues. They intervene with insurance companies, protect your rights, and prepare your case for courtroom presentation. They work to recover damages while you take care of your family.

An initial legal consultation is typically complimentary. You discuss your case with a lawyer, get to know your legal options, and may choose to pursue legal action. The choice to move forward is always up to you.

That being said, it’s recommended that you retain counsel as soon as possible.  Cases are often damaged by claimants trying to deal with an insurance carrier on their own.

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

You breathe a sigh of relief when you walk away from a car accident with no bleeding wounds, broken bones, or other visible signs of injury. Visible physical injuries get the most attention during an accident, but the injuries you don’t see are often just as severe. Pay attention in the days following a car accident. You’ll never really know how your body is reacting physically to a crash until a day or two later.

While you’re figuring out if you have injuries with delayed symptoms, it’s important to follow these simple post-accident rules:

  • Never say “I’m fine.”
  • Never reject the idea of a post-accident medical examination.
  • Always pay attention. A minor twinge or ache might be your body’s way of telling you that you’re injured.
  • Never admit fault. If you do, you may jeopardize your chances of negotiating a fair injury settlement.
  • Call a car accident lawyer for help recovering compensation.

Why Do Some Vehicle Occupants Sustain Injuries and Others Don’t?

How does it happen when there are two or more occupants in a car during a crash, and one walks away while another must seek emergency care? It’s true that speed, impact, points of contact, and vehicle size often affect the seriousness of crash-related injuries. Insurance companies rely on these factors when trying to establish a cause and effect relationship for accident-related conditions. Other factors are just as relevant, however, because they sometimes change the way a person’s body responds physically to a crash.

Pre-Existing Conditions

When a person is physically frail, sick, or has a pre-existing condition, an accident often causes more serious injuries or re-injuries than the vehicle damage indicates. This is sometimes a problem when a person has had recent surgery or a fracture reduction. Also, CDC statistics show that 5 percent of men and 65 percent of women over age 65 have osteoporosis or other bone-density disorders. Their bones are weaker than normal, and break more easily during an accident.

Rear-End Accidents

When a vehicle strikes your car’s rear, your body often endures a physical dynamic typically known as “whiplash.” The name comes from the neck’s whip-like flexion/hyperextension motion. Whiplash affects the neck, back, nerves, soft tissues, spine, and other body parts.

Whiplash injuries are often deceptive. They occur even after a low-speed impact and symptoms won’t always appear until a day or two after an accident. Whiplash injuries affect the neck and back but they sometimes resolve within weeks. Another person’s condition may worsen over time. They may have chronic pain, headaches, spasms, and physical symptoms that sometimes defy diagnosis and treatment.

Passenger Seat Location

When an accident occurs, a passenger’s seat location often determines if they sustain injuries and how serious the injuries are:

  • During a side crash, a passenger nearest the impact usually endures the most force and sustains the most severe injuries.
  • Front seated passengers sustain lower extremity injuries when severe front end collisions push metal into the lower front seat compartment.
  • Rear-seated passengers fare worse than those seated in the front. Glass and metal pushed into the passenger compartment cause serious head and upper body injuries. Seat belts cause internal constriction injuries when they’re activated upon impact. Rear seated passengers don’t have front airbags or side airbag curtains. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explains, rear seat belts lack the tensioners and force limiters found in front compartment seat belts. These mechanisms help secure passengers during impact and ease the tension when it becomes too great.

A Severe Impact

Vehicle damage isn’t always a predictor of injury severity. A severe impact against a reinforced vehicle door or a shock-absorbing bumper sometimes causes injuries. Brain injuries often occur when a crash jolts a passenger so hard, it forces the brain to slam against the inside of the skull. It’s important to be aware of post-accident dizziness, vision difficulties, light-headedness or other symptoms that indicate a brain injury.

Some People Are More Vulnerable to Accident Related Injuries

Anyone can sustain an injury in an accident, even at slow speeds and with minimal impact. Crash severity, vehicle size, and speed are key indicators of the potential for serious injuries. They also occur due to factors you might not anticipate.

Age: Adults 65 and Older

Seniors are more subject to serious injury even in a simple crash. As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains, the risk of accident-related injury increases with age. The CDC’s national 2017 statistics show that 7,700 older drivers died in car crashes and 257,000 sought emergency room treatment after an accident. Older drivers display safer driving habits but they are more vulnerable to injury as they are frailer than younger drivers and passengers.

Child Passengers

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 nationwide. Children are small and fragile so they require special precautions to keep them safe during an accident. Children sustain injuries when they don’t wear seatbelts. They also sustain injuries when they’re traveling in the wrong safety seat. In 2017, the CDC documented 116,000 auto-accident related child injuries and 675 deaths.

Young Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the CDC recognize that auto crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths in America. Distraction, speed, and alcohol consumption contribute to teen accidents and injuries. NHTSA’s national statistics show that 3,255 drivers age 15 to 19 died during one recent year from injuries sustained in car crashes. While five-year Illinois accident trends show that teen accident rates have gone down, 13,574 drivers ages 15 to 20 were involved in injury accidents during one recent year.

Pay Attention to Your Body

There’s often a lot of confusion after you’re involved in an accident. You must still make an effort to pay attention to your body. Pain, headache, or other symptoms are often physical reactions to stress, but they could also mean you have an injury that requires immediate attention.

If your child is in an accident, they might not know how to explain their internal pain. Children can be more vulnerable to injuries. It’s important to consider getting an emergency medical exam even when you see no visible signs of injury.

Do You Need an Attorney if You’re Injured in an Accident?

If you or a family member is injured in an accident, a car accident attorney works to protect your legal rights. Lawyers help you understand your legal options. They deal with insurance companies on your behalf and help you recover the damages to which you’re entitled.

An initial legal consultation is usually free. It allows you to discuss your accident with a legal professional who understands liability and damage issues. When you schedule a legal consultation, it’s an information-only discussion. An attorney helps you understand your legal options. When you’re ready, you decide if you want a lawyer to file a claim on your behalf.

However, we recommend finding a lawyer to fight for your interests as soon as possible. Personal injury cases often get ruined when an accident victim tries to handle his or her own claim against an experienced insurance adjuster.

The Most Common Causes of Collisions

No one wants to get in a wreck, and most people try to avoid accidents by driving carefully and keeping their eyes on the road. However, sometimes it is just not possible to avoid someone coming at you, no matter how hard you try. Either that person will hit you or force you into another vehicle or a stationary object such as a telephone pole, tree, barrier or even a house.

If that happens, a car accident lawyer might know if you have a good legal claim against the responsible driver.

Meanwhile, these are the collisions you’re most likely to encounter.

Types of Collisions

Illinois Department of Transportation reported that the state saw 319,146 accidents in 2018. Of those, 951, or less than 1 percent, were fatal and 67,453, or 21.1 percent, were injury crashes. Illinois also keeps statistics on A-injury crashes. These are crashes with injuries that keep someone from driving, walking or doing normal day-to-day activities. An A-injury could range from broken bones to catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries. Of 67,453 injuries, 13.4 percent were A-injury crashes.

With that many accidents, it stands to reason that a crash is not always between two vehicles. You could have a single-vehicle crash, two vehicles involved, or you might be a part of a multi-car pile-up. Different types of vehicles could come together with you in a car, on a bicycle or even if you are walking down the street. Depending on the type of accident, your injuries could be worse. For example, if a tractor-trailer truck hits a compact car, the damage and injuries are bound to be severe. If a compact car hits a pedestrian or someone on a bicycle or motorcycle, the person not in a car is likely to suffer more injuries or even catastrophic injuries.

Whether you are in a vehicle, on two wheels, or on foot, you always have to watch for other drivers who are not paying attention. Even then, you might not be able to get out of the way in time. Knowing the causes of accidents could help you avoid an accident in some cases. If you see someone driving erratically or speeding, you have a chance to get away from that driver before his or her driving gets out of hand.

Common Causes of Wrecks

While you might think car wrecks shouldn’t happen if people just paid attention, you’d be right, except for one thing: A medical emergency sometimes cannot be helped. Though a medical emergency is a cause of a car wreck, it’s not very common. Negligent behavior is the most common cause of vehicle crashes. Gross negligence, or willful and wanton conduct, is also a cause of accidents. Gross negligence sometimes comes with additional penalties for the defendant, such as punitive damages.

Both types of negligent behavior include:

  • Driving while distracted. Often, this is looked upon as gross negligence. A driver is distracted if he or she is talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, drinking non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverages, reading a book, texting, fiddling with the radio and other controls or even yelling at the kids in the back seat. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is considered distracting behavior. The courts might find some sorts of distractions, such as texting while driving, to be grossly negligent, while it might find glancing in the rearview mirror as you yell at the kids to be negligent.
  • Driving under the influence. This behavior is almost always considered gross negligence. A driver doesn’t have to be drunk to be charged with driving under the influence. He or she might be on legal prescription drugs, illicit drugs or high on chemicals, such as the high you get from huffing.
  • Reckless driving and speeding. Reckless drivers speed, constantly change lanes, ignore road signs, tailgate or even constantly speed up and slow down. Any of these behaviors could cause an accident that hurts innocent drivers. These drivers are not paying attention to the road and are often upset, angry or just focused on getting somewhere because they are late.
  • Speeding. This is a behavior that is often considered grossly negligent. The higher the speed a vehicle is traveling when it crashes, the more catastrophic the damage and injuries are in most cases. A drunk driver or someone evading the police and driving at excessive speeds does not have all of his or her attention on the road and is more likely to wreck.
  • Ignoring traffic signals. Whether it’s a yield sign, stop sign, stoplight, speed limit signs, or other driving instruction on the road, ignoring it could cause an accident. Common accidents at intersections are T-bone accidents, which could cause extensive damage and severe injuries.

All of these behaviors could catch you unaware, but in some instances, you might notice erratic driving. If you do see someone driving recklessly, get as far away from them as possible. If you are on a highway, slow down, so you are further behind that driver. On city streets, take a detour.

One of the common causes of accidents you might not be able to avoid is an accident because of the weather. As long as the other driver is driving carefully, you will never know if he or she will wreck because of ice, snow, black ice, rain or even wind. If someone is in front of you and going 35 mph in a 55 mph speed zone, and that person hits black ice and spins out, you will most likely get hit. Because of the road conditions, you might not be able to evade or stop fast enough to avoid that person—and that person, while driving under the speed limit, was still arguably driving too fast for conditions.

Further, if it is raining and someone is driving 60 mph in a 55 mph speed zone, you should back off. Transportation departments post speed limits for a reason—they determine what speeds are safe for dry conditions. It is easy to hydroplane in the rain, even at or below the speed limit. And, you can almost count on a speeder hydroplaning.

Finally, vehicle maintenance plays a part in accidents—although, like medical emergencies, it is not one of the most common causes of accidents.

Were you in a car accident? A car accident lawyer can help you determine the cause, no matter what it is, and help you decide whether you have a good case for seeking compensation.

What to Do After a Car Accident Injury

9 Steps You Can Take

When you are involved in a car accident, you may not know what steps you should take to not only ensure that you are not harmed further, but also to also preserve your rights under Illinois law. First, it is important to understand how many car accidents occur on Illinois roadways.

During the year for which the most recent statistics are available, 66,889 accidents occurred, resulting in 93,517 injured individuals. The more you know about protecting yourself after a car accident, the better.

  1. Protect yourself from further injury – Assuming you can do so, remove your vehicle from traffic flow and get as far off the road as possible. If you are seriously injured, however, do not do anything that will result in exacerbating your injury or causing you additional injuries. Should there be passengers in your vehicle, make sure they are not seriously injured. Finally, check the driver and passengers in other vehicles involved.
  2. Notify local law enforcement officials – Immediately after you have ensured everyone is safe, you or another involved party should contact law enforcement, assuming someone has not already contacted them. You’re required by law to report any car accident resulting in property damage or injury. Keep in mind, you may also have to file an additional report with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Also, there are a few auto insurance carriers that require police be notified within a certain amount of time for coverage to apply.
  3. Documenting the scene of the accident – You should obtain contact information for the driver of the other vehicles involved in the accident. Ask for proof of insurance from the driver, as all Illinois drivers are required to maintain mandatory levels of insurance in the event of an accident. Obtaining the names and contact information of passengers and witnesses to the accident can also be helpful to you later. Photographs of the location of the accident, any street signs, and damage to the involved vehicles will also be helpful.
  4. Discussing the accident with law enforcement – Despite being frightened and stressed, you should cooperate with law enforcement at the scene of the accident. Do not accept blame for the accident, simply describe what occurred as thoroughly and clearly as possible. The calmer you can remain, the better. Do not offer any theories or speculate about how the accident occurred.
  5. Seek medical care if needed – As tempting as it may be to avoid seeking medical care, that would be a mistake. Victims of car accidents usually suffer some form of trauma, and that trauma can mask injuries. Go to the emergency room after a car accident to make sure your discomfort is not a serious injury. This step can help ensure that you do not have injuries not readily apparent, like internal bleeding or similar injuries, which could cause you further health problems.
  6. Contact an auto accident attorney – After you seek medical attention, you should seek advice from a local auto accident attorney. Whenever possible, you should do this before being contacted by the other driver’s or your own insurance carrier. Remember, you can seek advice about what you should do by requesting a free consultation. However, until you discuss your case with an attorney, and hire him or her to represent you, it’s recommended that you refrain from speaking to insurance adjusters. And once you’ve selected an attorney, typically he or she will only allow you to have very limited contact with insurance adjusters, usually just to discuss property damage, with no conversations regarding liability or injuries.
  7. Keep track of your progress and setbacks – It will be important for you to keep track of your physical condition while you heal from your injuries. Keeping track of changes in your physical condition, including pain, setbacks, doctor visits, and any other information that may track your overall progress. You should also have a folder or an over-sized envelope to keep your receipts for prescription medications, doctor bill payments, and other costs, including travel to and from doctor visits. Your personal injury attorney will likely want to have copies of these documents, so you should speak with him or her about that.
  8. Keep track of other important information – You should also keep track of other information, such as the costs associated with the repair of your vehicle, the amount of time you miss from work, and any other information that your attorney suggests you track. This could be helpful if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries.
  9. Avoid signing any documents on your own – The responsible driver’s insurance company may send you documents to sign, or you may receive documents from your own insurance company. Never sign these documents without discussing them with your car accident attorney first. This is critical, because you could be forfeiting your rights under Illinois personal injury statutes.

What to Do After a Car Accident Injury Abels and AnnesUnder Illinois law, in most cases you generally have only two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. You may not know right away the full extent of your injuries, nor will you know what impact those injuries may have on your ability to return to work to financially support your family.

Remember, most personal injury lawyers will provide a free consultation to discuss your options with you before you hire one to represent you. You want someone who will be a strong advocate and who has a proven track history of obtaining fair settlements for their clients. Naturally, every case is different, and while an attorney may have a good history, it is not always a guarantee that he or she will be successful in your case.

When you are a victim of a car accident in Illinois, you will most likely have a lot of questions that need answers, which will allow you to make good decisions for you and your family. You can get those questions answered by contacting a Chicago car accident attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. You have rights as a victim, and a lawyer can help make sure those rights are protected.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

If You Have an Accident in Which Someone Is Injured, You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Gary Annes Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

Follow These Seven Steps

A trip to the mall or to an event with friends can turn tragic in a second due to the careless actions of another driver. When individuals abuse their driving privileges by engaging in reckless behavior behind the wheel, they place others at the risk of serious harm. If this happened to you and your friends while traveling in your car, contact a car accident lawyer today. By following these important steps, you can prepare your case for possible civil action.

1. Seek Medical Attention

It is important to immediately call 911 when there is an accident. If you and someone in your car have injuries, you need medical attention. Relay to your friends the importance of a medical evaluation, even if they feel fine. Delayed symptoms can have deadly consequences if there are certain injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding.

2. Document the Scene

Collecting evidence immediately following your accident may not cross your mind during all the confusion. No matter how chaotic the scene, take pictures and/or video and collect the contact information for witnesses. Do speak with law enforcement. A police report can serve as valuable evidence later. Don’t speak with the other driver, and if you are unsure what happened, don’t accept fault.

If your injuries prevent you from collecting valuable evidence, ask a witness to assist you. If someone witnessed the accident and he or she knows that it wasn’t your fault, chances are that he or she will offer to help you.

3. Notify Your Family

It is important to notify your family as soon as possible. If you are unable to text or to call a member of your family, ask someone to help you. In today’s instant news society, it’s possible that social media posts from a bystander may alert your family before you do. Try to find out what medical facility your family members should come tomeet you.

4. Tune Out Aggressive Insurance Representatives

As you learn to deal with your new injuries and check on your friends, you do not need the stress of aggressive insurance representatives. Most insurance companies like to settle cases quickly by offering the least amount of settlement possible. Their interest is not with you, but rather with their bottom line. Do not speak with them, and do not sign anything.

5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

A low-dollar settlement from an insurance company is most likely not enough to cover your future medical needs and it will not cover other damages that you are entitled to, such as lost wages and pain and suffering. By securing legal representation, you’ll rest better knowing someone is on your side and protecting your best interests.

The right personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. If he or she is unable to reach a fair settlement out-of-court, your lawyer shouldn’t be afraid to take your case to trial.

Trying to negotiate with an insurance company alone is a bad idea. The insurance company is simply too experienced and too skilled at what it does. Handling your case on your own will only leave you frustrated and disappointed.

Personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations and they don’t collect a fee unless they secure compensation for you. You have nothing to lose by collecting your evidence and scheduling a free evaluation.

Time is important due to the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. The timeline in Illinois is two years in most cases, and the clock starts the date of the accident. While 24 months may seem like a long time, it can pass quickly as you deal with your injuries.

6. Practice Patience

While it is easier said than done, practicing patience is important when waiting for the outcome of your case. Your injuries require time to heal, and civil litigation requires time, too. Not settling for less than you deserve is vital to protecting your future financial needs. While each case is different, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

7. Act Now

It is easy to put off contacting a personal injury lawyer. When you experience a serious injury and have friends who are seriously injured, contacting a lawyer may not cross your mind. An accident of any kind is usually so sudden and unexpected that the aftermath may overwhelm you.

Adjusting to new medicines, doctors, and procedures, along with trying to rest amidst the anxiety over your future, is hard. A personal injury lawyer can ease your experience by shouldering the legal burden of your case so that you don’t have to.

When You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

If You Have an Accident in Which Someone Is Injured, You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Abels and Annes

When you experience an injury due to the negligent actions of another individual, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, consider discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer. You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free case evaluation; however, you should do it soon. The statute of limitations can expire, leaving you a missed opportunity for pursuing justice.

Protecting your future medical needs is one of the most important reasons why you need a personal injury lawyer. Don’t belittle the circumstances of your accident. It is a smart idea to let a licensed legal professional decide if your case merits civil litigation.

No one should suffer physical, financial, or emotional stress due to the careless actions of someone else. Pursuing a personal injury claim may just hold the party that caused your accident and injuries accountable, hopefully enough so that he or she never risks careless behavior again.

Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575