What You Need To Know After A Car Crash In Illinois
None of us plan to get in a car accident. Unfortunately, car accidents happen every day to all kinds of people. So, it is helpful to understand what to do, the process and what to expect. At Cassian & Carter LLC, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about when and how to seek compensation when another driver’s negligence causes an accident. We’ve compiled a list of these questions and answers to help.
Don’t see the question or answer you need here? We offer a free consultation for accident victims. Just call our Joliet office at 815-714-7118.
Does fault play a role in an Illinois car crash?
Yes, because Illinois is a “fault state” for insurance purposes. Whoever is at fault for the crash can be held liable for damages. If you were less than 50% at fault, you can still sue. You will be eligible to receive the total damages minus your percentage of fault. In Illinois, you may sue your own insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company (in some cases, the insurance company of the driver of the car you were in if you were a passenger) or file a civil suit against those who caused the accident.
How do I know if I should accept a settlement offer from my insurer after a car accident?
In most cases, it is not in your best interest to accept an insurer’s first settlement offer. Here is where working with an experienced attorney can really benefit you. An experienced personal injury attorney will have handled many similar cases and will know what a reasonable offer looks like. Why? Because an attorney who handles personal injury cases will know how much your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, equipment and other expenses are likely to cost. Some offers seem very appealing at first but are often not enough to even cover the actual costs the accident incurred.
What should I do after a car accident to protect my personal injury claim?
Immediately after any motor vehicle accident, be sure to get medical attention. Also take photos of all damage and injuries or have a family member or friend do this as soon as possible. Be sure to get all of the contact and insurance information of all parties involved in the accident. Ask for a copy of the police report as well.
Do not speak with any insurance adjusters without having an attorney present. Why? Because the adjuster’s job is to get the payout as low as possible. Most of these adjusters are very good at what they do. They may even have you believe that they are truly concerned about you, and that’s why they want to know how you are doing. The truth is, even if you offhandedly remark that you are “fine,” this could be used against you.
Should I hire a personal injury lawyer after a car accident?
It is very likely that you will recover significantly more in compensation and better understand your rights and options if you partner with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.
What should I do if an insurance adjuster calls me after a car accident?
Say as little as possible. Be polite, but after confirming that you are the victim and that the accident happened, offer no details and do not confirm or deny anything. Do not sign anything. Do not agree to be recorded. Do take notes. Remember that whatever you say can be used to negatively affect a settlement offer or even the verdict at trial. It’s best in these instances to have your attorney present to protect your rights, or to speak on your behalf.
Can I pursue punitive damages against the other driver after a car crash in Illinois?
Yes. If the other driver’s behavior was egregious, meaning they took unnecessary risks or intended to do harm, then pursuing punitive damages may be prudent.
If I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, can I still file a personal injury claim?
Generally speaking, yes. Here again, an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through what is likely to happen given the circumstances of your particular accident and any potential contributory negligence issues.
We Will Help You Know What To Expect
At Cassian & Carter, all we do is Illinois personal injury. Our mission is twofold: to simplify the process and to pursue maximum compensation for you. Call 815-714-7118 to set up a free consultation. You can also send us a brief summary of your issue via our website contact email.