Were you injured in a car accident in Naperville?
Car accidents can leave a person feeling hopeless. With injuries and mountains of debt, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed after your accident occurs. However, an experienced car accident attorney can help you make the most of your accident. Your attorney will take the weight off your shoulders and help you to get the most compensation possible from your case.
Naperville, Illinois only saw 3 fatal accidents in 2017, and 4 in 2016, with a total of 7 fatalities over two years. For a town with a population of just under 150,000, that number is on the low side. Especially since in 2018 there were 948 fatal car accidents in Illinois that resulted in 1,031 deaths.
While Naperville, Illinois might not have the most fatal cases, many car accidents still occur there. It’s impossible to predict when a car accident is going to occur. There are many factors involved, and you can never know when another driver is going to behave dangerously on the road. A car accident can happen to anyone, at any time.
Common Causes of Naperville Car Accidents
In 2018 there were 37,000 car accident deaths in the United States. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the top three causes of those deaths were speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence.
Distracted driving can include:
- Talking on the phone
- Applying makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Looking for something
- Not paying attention to the road
Most often, we see distracted driving as texting or talking on the phone. Many people think texting while driving isn’t a big deal, and therefore it still causes a ton of accidents each and every year.
Drinking and driving is also a huge problem in the United States, and while there are laws in place to prevent it, it still occurs. Driving under the influence, if caught, will not only land the driver a personal injury case for your injuries, but a criminal case for breaking DUI laws. These cases often end with the driver losing their license for an extended time as well as owing fines, in addition to civil liability.
How Does a Car Accident Injury Claim Work?
We understand how stressful it can be to take legal action against the party who caused your accident. You may be unsure if it’s the right decision, or even if you’ll get anything out of it. When in doubt, it’s always best to speak to a car accident attorney for guidance on whether you have a case and what steps you need to take to pursue compensation. Your attorney can help you make the best decision and will let you know if they think you have a winnable case on your hands. If you haven’t been involved in a lawsuit before, you may be confused about how the process works. However, a good accident lawyer can explain the process for you.
Following a car accident
Your case begins the day that you are injured. If possible, you should try to document the scene of the crash. Take pictures of your car and any other cars involved. Take pictures of your injuries and speak to any witnesses if you can. Collect their contact information as well so they can be contacted at a later date. You will also want to make a police report. Do not skip this step, don’t let anyone persuade you to not involve the police.
Seek Necessary Medical Care
After documenting as much as possible, you should head to the emergency room to get your injuries checked out. Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, it’s important to get checked. Some injuries don’t begin to show themselves until hours or even days later. Upon seeing your doctor, you should make them aware that you were injured because of a car accident. This is important, as they can then notate this in your medical file.
Filing an insurance claim
Following your treatment, you’ll want your attorney to contact the insurance companies to file claims. The auto carrier, whether yours or the defendant’s, will start by giving you the compensation to fix your car, or pay for a total loss (depending on your coverage). However, it’s possible that an insurance company will dispute your claim. This is one reason to have a car accident attorney on your side. You will want him or her to handle negotiations on your behalf.
The at-fault party’s insurance company may attempt to contact you shortly after the crash. It’s important to remember not to give them a statement or sign any waivers. They may try to offer you quick cash, but don’t take it. This will always be some form of a settlement that is much less than what you are entitled to receive.
Meeting with a Naperville car accident attorney
You’ll want to choose a car accident lawyer ASAP so they can start working on investigating your case. This investigation will include obtaining any police reports, any necessary witness statements. They’ll also investigate liability and determine who was at-fault for the collision.
After you have completed your medical treatment, your lawyer will gather up all of your medical records and bills and put together a settlement demand package. They’ll reach out to the at-fault party’s insurance company and make a settlement demand. The insurance company will make their first offer after reviewing the demand material, and negotiations continue from there. These negotiations can go on for weeks or months, and will stop when the insurance company refuses to offer a higher number. If you’re satisfied, your case will settle. If you’re not satisfied with the settlement offer, your attorney will file a lawsuit.
Discovery will occur next, allowing both sides an opportunity to further investigate the case. After this period of time, your case may be brought to trial. There will often be opportunities for mediation and negotiation, but if this fails your case will be brought in front of a judge and jury.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
Illinois is one of many states that doesn’t have a cap on damages that you can receive from your case. This means that whatever the amount of your medical bills and lost wages, you can receive back, plus any award for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
There are two types of damages that you can receive, economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover medical bills (such as doctors visits, hospital visits, surgery costs, ambulance rides, and even therapy), and wages you may have lost while out of work and any wages you may lose in the future, or any in-home care you required.
Non-economic damages refers to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of earning capacity. To determine these damages, the insurance company (or judge if your case goes to trial) will look at the amount your life has changed before and after the accident. In general, the higher the change in your quality of life, the higher compensation you’ll receive. Other methods are used to determine these numbers, such as the multiplier and per diem methods, but there isn’t one universal method used.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?
Hiring a car accident attorney is the best decision you can make for your injury claim. An experienced attorney will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, check in on you when you’re receiving medical treatment, keep track of any bills you receive, and generally help to keep the legal weight off your shoulders while you’re recovering. An experienced attorney will also work on your behalf to secure you the highest possible settlement for your injury recovery, while at the same time negotiating to reduce your medical bills at the end of the case.
Schedule a Free Online Consultation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Naperville, Illinois, please contact our experienced car accident attorneys at Abels and Annes. We’re ready and willing to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your case so that you can get back to your everyday life. Please contact us online or at 312-924-7575 for more information or a free case evaluation.