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Abels & Annes, P.C. Chicago Injury Blog

When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

Chicago Auto Accident Lawyers

Finding yourself the victim of a car accident is truly no fun. Not only can it ruin your day, but in the worst of cases, it has the potential to forever alter your life. Depending on the type of car accident you were in and the injuries you suffered, your life may never be the same. What’s more frustrating is that it did not have to be this way: Your life has changed because someone else did not act reasonably or responsibly.

When you suffer injuries in a car accident, the last thing you may think about is hiring a lawyer. In reality, that should be one of your first actions. Your first thought should center around your health and physical recovery. Then, you should not wait to hire a lawyer to help you recover damages against the at-fault driver.

Using the services of a trusted car accident injury attorney can give you the peace of mind you need to know that even if the accident alters your life, you will not bear any financial burden as a result.

Lawyers Can Increase Your Recovery

Hiring a seasoned car accident injury attorney after you suffer injuries is important to ensuring you recover every dollar you deserve for your injuries.

Many car accident victims do not even realize all the damages to which they may be entitled, including:

Each of these damages can help to increase the amount of money you eventually receive. While no amount of money will bring your old life back or make your pain and suffering disappear, it will help to make sure you do not end up in financial hardship because of an accident you did not cause. Medical expenses can reach astronomical amounts. The biggest reason people file bankruptcy in the United States? Medical bills.

The best way to avoid this scenario for yourself is by speaking with a skilled car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. With every day that passes, witness memories fade and evidence is lost. Further, critical mistakes often get made by those without counsel. Give yourself the best chance of making a complete recovery by speaking with a lawyer today.

Proving Liability Presents Challenges

In just one recent year, more than 1,000 people died in Illinois car accidents. While not every car accident results in death, it shows the severity with which your life can change in an instant. To combat that change, as a car accident injury victim, seek compensation from the at-fault driver so you can live your life as best as possible without worrying about your medical expenses.

To prove the other driver was at fault, however, requires more than simply saying so. You need to show:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care to drive safely.
  • The other driver breached that duty of care by driving in an unsafe manner.
  • The other driver’s unsafe driving caused an accident where you suffered injuries.

Again, this might seem simple to you, but nothing in the law generally is so simple. Proving this will require a full investigation by your lawyer. They will speak with witnesses, possibly expert witnesses, review medical records and police reports, and make sure your case is filed timely.

To give yourself and your lawyer the best chance of proving the other driver is to blame for your injuries, get a lawyer on the case soon. The more time your car accident injury attorney has to review and investigate your case, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

Insurance Companies are Not on Your Side

We all pay our insurance premiums every month. We expect that, when we need that insurance money, we will get it. We also expect that if someone else causes us harm, their insurance will cover our needs, just like after a car accident.

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not like to pay out claims. In fact, insurance companies’ usual goal is to make you go away for as little as possible. They attempt to do this by offering you a quick, lowball settlement offer. They hope you get excited by the quick sum of money and do not have a lawyer at your side to tell you that the settlement funds are not enough to cover all of your medical bills.

When insurance companies do this, they hope you take the money and run. When that happens, months or even years later, you may realize the settlement funds have run out, but you still have more medical bills and lost wages to cover. By then, it’s too late. When you signed off on the insufficient settlement offer, you waived your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this accident.

Give yourself the best chance of avoiding this tragic situation by speaking with a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can negotiate with the big insurance companies for you. Your job is to get better. Let your lawyer deal with the insurance companies; but, the only way to do that is to pick up the phone quickly after your accident.

Insurance companies love it when accident victims forgo retaining counsel. This is because they believe they will be able to settle the case for much less money. You will want to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to avoid getting taken advantage of.

You Must Meet Strict Deadlines

The most important deadline for you to understand is the time you have to start your lawsuit. In Illinois, in most cases, you only have two years from the date of your accident to file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Further, you only have one year to file a lawsuit against certain defendants (municipalities, CTA, for example).

We do not expect you to understand all the nuances and strict guidelines that you must follow when filing a car accident claim. That’s what your car accident lawyer is for—to help manage the legal complexities. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries after a car accident, you deserve legal representation that has your best interests at heart.

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