Abels and Annes is the Leading Car Accident Attorney for Elgin, Illinois
If you’ve gotten into a car accident, you may be feeling hopeless about your situation. After receiving medical treatment, you’re likely left with a mountain of debt. It can feel like you’ll never be able to pay it all off. If you’re thinking about hiring an attorney to represent you, continue reading to learn about the process of car accident cases, how much you can receive in compensation, and more.
In Elgin, Illinois, there were 7 fatal car accidents in 2017 and 6 fatal car accidents in 2016 for a combined 13 fatalities over the span of two years. Elgin’s population is around 110,849 as of July 2019. In comparison to other towns, like Naperville and Rockford, Elgin’s rate of fatal accidents is rather high. In Illinois alone, there were 948 fatal car accidents in 2018 that resulted in over 1000 deaths.
Process of Filing a Car Accident Claim
If you’ve never been involved in a lawsuit before, the process can seem overwhelming. A car accident injury lawsuit can take time to recover an appropriate settlement for damages. However, an experienced car accident attorney can help to ensure everything is taken care of correctly. They’ll also make sure that you don’t feel lost or alone during the process. They’ll check in on you often, offer updates on your case, and check to make sure you’re following your treatment plan.
After the accident
After your accident occurs, you should try and document as much as you can. You’ll want to take pictures of the scene of the accident, pictures of your car, any other cars involved, your injuries, and the location. If there were any witnesses, take down their contact information. That way, they can be contacted for a statement at a later date. You should also record a statement for yourself. This is important as it will help you to recall even little details of the accident to ensure you don’t forget anything later.
The most important next step is to get treatment for your injuries. The emergency room is the best place to go for this treatment. However, you can also make an appointment with your regular doctor if you prefer. Make sure to let them know that your injuries were caused because of a car accident. That way, they can notate this in your medical records. Even if you aren’t feeling any pain, you should get checked out anyways. Some injuries can be delayed by hours or days after your accident occurred, such as traumatic brain injuries and back or neck injuries. Make sure you follow your treatment plan exactly and complete any follow up care you may need.
Finding a lawyer and filing an insurance claim
Shortly after the accident, you’ll want to hire an experienced car accident injury attorney to look over your case. They’ll give you advice on whether or not they think it’s winnable, and discuss how much you may be able to get from a settlement. Your attorney will then begin an investigation into liability, determining exactly how the accident was caused. They’ll also receive all of your medical bills and records associated with your injuries.
Your lawyer will then want to file a claim with both your and the defendant’s insurance company. This will start by helping you get the compensation you require to fix your car or pay for a total loss of your vehicle. Your carrier or the at-fault party’s insurance company may try to contact you directly. Avoid giving them a statement or signing anything, even if they offer you quick cash in exchange.
Negotiating a settlement
After your medical treatment is complete and your lawyer has obtained all of your medical records and bills, the lawyer will prepare a settlement demand package to send to the insurance carrier. Soon after, the insurance adjuster will review the demand package and negotiations will begin. The opposing insurance company will make an initial offer, hopefully within 30-60 days after receiving a demand. The parties will go back and forth until you’re happy with the settlement offer or the insurance company refuses to go any higher. Negotiations can be lengthy, but your attorney will take charge of it all. If you’re unhappy with the final amount, you can refuse the settlement and take your case to trial.
Taking your case to trial
Before trial there’s a period of time that occurs called discovery. During this time, both sides will have the opportunity to investigate further with written and oral discovery. They may gather evidence by pulling medical bills and records, as well as propounding written interrogatories. They may take depositions of the opposing party, witnesses and medical experts. Again, it’s important to remember not to speak to the at-fault party or their insurance company without your attorney present.
Mediation or Pre-Trial Conference
The parties may choose to try to settle a case at mediation or a pre-trial conference before your case goes to trial. If a settlement can’t be reached at mediation or pre-trial, it will proceed to trial. Most cases are settled before trial.
Common Causes of Elgin Car Accidents
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the top three causes of fatalities from car accidents are speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. Distracted driving can include anything that diverts your attention from the road, like talking on the phone, texting, putting on makeup, eating, and even talking to passengers or looking for something between the seats. In general, anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road can be considered distracted driving.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
Compensation falls into two different categories of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things that have monetary value tied to them. This includes any medical bills due to the accident, any wages you lost, and even any necessary in-home care while recovering. If you had to pay for something because of your injury, save your receipts and bills, as you may be able to receive compensation back.
Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of normal life and loss of earning capacity. For non-economic damages, everyone has a different way that they like to calculate how much you will receive. Some use the per diem method or the multiplier method. However, in general, this number is calculated based on the change in your quality of life before and after the accident. The greater that change is, the greater compensation you’ll receive.
Contact an Experienced Elgin Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, speaking to an experienced car accident attorney can be the best decision for your case. Our Elgin, Illinois attorneys at Abels & Annes have years of experience winning car accident cases and receiving high settlements for car accident injury victims. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with our firm, please contact us online or at 312-924-7575.