Injured in a Rockford Car Accident?
Getting into a car accident may make it seem like your has been completely flipped around. You may be recovering from serious injuries or even adjusting to disfigurement and permanent disability. With debt from all your medical visits, you’re probably feeling like there’s no way you can get out of your financial hole. Financial stress is a large problem for victims of car accidents, and it can be easy to fall into a depression because of your financial situation. Fortunately, an experienced car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your damages and more with a successful personal injury claim.
Rockford, Illinois had 8 fatal car accidents in 2017 and 16 fatal car accidents in 2018, for a total of 24 fatalities over the span of two years. Rockford has a high rate of fatal accidents for a population of under 150,000. In the entire state of Illinois, there were 948 fatal car accidents in 2018 that resulted in a total of 1,031 deaths.
What Can I Expect from a Car Accident Injury Case?
A car accident lawsuit may seem daunting, especially if you’ve never been involved in an injury case or lawsuit before. It can be a complex process that can become much easier with the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney. Your attorney will collect documents (such as medical bills and records) and handle the insurance company headaches on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Your lawsuit begins the day that you’re injured. After the accident occurs, call 911 and make a police report. Next, you should try and document as much as you can from the scene of the collision. It’s important to take pictures of the accident, your car and any other cars involved, as well as your injuries. You should exchange information with the other drivers involved and any independent witnesses. If possible, take photos of drivers’ licenses and insurance cards.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Immediately following your accident, you should receive medical treatment for your injuries. A delay in medical treatment can raise issues with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Even if you don’t believe that you’re seriously injured, you should still make a point to get checked out. You never know what injuries you could have until you are seen by medical professionals.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Following the collision, you’ll want to hire a car accident attorney. You should do this early in the process, and preferably before filing insurance claims. They’ll investigate your accident to figure out who was liable in causing the accident. They’ll also investigate your medical records and receive all bills for expenses related to your injuries.
File an Insurance Claim
The next step is for your lawyer to file a claim with any insurance companies so you can get your car fixed, or paid for a total loss. The opposing insurance company may reach out to you for a statement, or even ask you to sign a waiver in exchange for quick cash. It’s important that you don’t do this. You should avoid speaking to them at all without having a lawyer present.
When you have completed your medical treatment and your lawyer has obtained and reviewed your medical records and bills, he or she will reach out to the at-fault party’s insurance company to make a settlement demand and send the supporting evidence to the insurance adjuster. The insurance company will typically return with their first offer within a reasonable amount of time, and negotiations will move forward. This can go on for months or even a year. These communications are often done by phone or email. Negotiations will end when the insurance company refuses to go any higher. You and your attorney will either accept or reject the top offer. If your case doesn’t settle, it’ll go to court.
Taking Your Case to Trial
Before trial, there’s a lengthy period of time called “discovery”. Discovery allows both parties to investigate the accident further. They may pull medical records, police reports, contact witnesses, and take depositions. During the litigation process there could be mediations or pre-trial conferences to attempt to reach a settlement. If a resolution cannot be reached, your case will eventually go to trial.
What Can I Claim for Compensation?
Compensation can be claimed in two different categories, economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the compensation that you can receive for things like medical costs and lost wages, as well as any other monetary amount you may have lost because of your injuries.
You can also collect non-economic compensation for things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of earning capacity. Pain and suffering damages are calculated by looking at the amount your life has changed since the accident occurred. If you were an avid runner, but now have a disability that prevents you from running, your pain and suffering compensation will be much higher than someone who has recovered fully from their injuries.
Common Causes of Rockford Car Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the top three causes of car accident deaths are speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. We often hear distracted driving and think it only means texting while driving or talking on the phone, but it can refer to many other distractions, such as eating, applying makeup, talking to passengers or children, looking for something, daydreaming, or just generally not paying attention. Anything that takes your eyes off the road can be considered distracted driving.
Contact Abels and Annes, Rockford Car Accident Attorneys
Hiring an attorney is one of the smartest decisions that you can make for your case. Sure, many people represent themselves on a daily basis. However, the average person isn’t capable of getting high settlements from insurance companies like an experienced attorney is due to the cumbersome nature of negotiations. Not only that, but having an attorney will take the stress off of your shoulders to manage your legal case while you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, please contact our aggressive team of experienced car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes. We’re ready to help you get the compensation that you need for your injuries. Please contact us online or at 312-924-7575 for a free consultation.