Auto accidents can change your life forever in a matter of seconds. Tens of thousands of Americans die in auto accidents every year and many more suffer severe or catastrophic injuries. Apart from the devastation of losing a loved one in a crash, surviving victims and their families may never fully recover from the physical and emotional impacts of the accident. Sometimes, these crashes are unavoidable, but more often than not, auto accidents are caused by the mistake or negligence of one of the drivers involved. A little more vigilance, a little more caution, and it all could have been avoided.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Sklare Law Group in Chicago understand how much these accidents affect the lives of the victims and their families. We represent innocent people who suffered severe injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence and misconduct. We know how to successfully pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
If you've been hurt in an auto accident in the Chicago, Illinois area, we urge you to speak with our lawyers as soon as possible. Please call the Sklare Law Group today at (800) LAW-0300 for a FREE consultation. We serve clients throughout Northern Illinois.
There are many factors that come into play during an auto accident claim, and it’s important for you to know these details:
- What to Do After an Auto Accident
- Illinois Auto Accident Laws
- Types of Auto Accidents
- Common Causes of Auto Accidents
- Why It’s Important to Have an Auto Accident Lawyer Represent You
What to Do After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents have a jarring effect on everyone involved. Time seems to slow down and speed up all at once, and shock may leave you thinking your injuries are minimal.
You should be prepared for an auto accident and follow these steps:
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately: No matter how minor your auto accident is if anyone seems injured, or sustained a head, neck or back injury, you need to call emergency personnel to ensure you are indeed safe and out of immediate medical danger.
- Contact the Police: In any accident, you will need to call the police in order to file an accident report. Whatever you do, do not leave the scene of the accident. It’s vital that you wait for a police officer to arrive to go over the details of the crash. However, if severe injuries are involved, going to the hospital is your top priority.
- Exchange Information With the Other Driver: While you wait for the authorities to arrive, take this time to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). This should include:
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance companies
- Insurance policy numbers
- Make, model, year of all vehicles
- Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
- Photograph the Damage: Use your phone to document the damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle. This will help immensely when it comes to dealing with both insurance companies. Our lawyers can use the photographs to reconstruct the accident and determine what circumstances may have led to the accident in the first place.
- Keep Track of Your Losses, Expenses and Injuries: Your car may be damaged or totaled, which is important to document, but your injuries can quickly add up, as well as any emotional distress caused by the traumatic event. Keep close track of your medical expenses, and see a medical professional for any injuries you notice in the days or weeks following the accident. Your damages could also include:
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Illinois Auto Accident Laws
Each state has specific laws regarding auto accidents and who is at fault. Illinois is a “fault” state when it comes to car insurance and lawsuits, meaning the party (driver) found to be responsible for the accident is held liable for paying for any damages incurred by the driver not at fault. Essentially, the driver that is found to be at fault must pay for your injuries and any property damage from the accident.
You can begin this process by filing a claim with your insurance company, and a representative will then approach the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can also accomplish this by calling the other driver’s insurance company directly, but the best route to take is to speak with one of our Chicago lawyers about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver—this ensures that you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve instead of the settlement amount the insurance company chooses.
Under Illinois law, you are also required to have liability insurance for your registered vehicle. The minimum coverage all drivers must carry includes:
- $15,000 in property damage coverage
- $20,000 for one person’s injury or wrongful death (whether a pedestrian, a passenger or another driver)
- $40,000 for more than one person’s injury or death involved in the accident
If the at-fault driver who caused your auto accident didn’t have insurance that covered your total damages and expenses, we can legally pursue them to hold them personally liable. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage is required in Illinois.
Our lawyers in Chicago can help you through the process of filing a claim against the driver who caused your injuries or the death of a loved one to hold both the at-fault driver and their insurance company accountable for your pain and suffering.
Types of Auto Accidents
The process of auto accident claims varies depending on the type of motor vehicle involved, especially if a corporation owned the vehicle. We know the unique challenges of these categories of auto accidents and are ready to represent any individual hurt in:
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
The tragic reality of operating a motor vehicle is that you can do everything right and still end up in an accident. You can only control yourself—you can't influence the way other drivers behave, which means you're at the mercy of the worst driver on the road.
Some of the most common causes of auto accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving while tired
- Substance abuse
- Texting and driving
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Construction zones
It's a terrible irony that the reckless, negligent drivers often suffer fewer consequences for their actions than their victims do. Well, our auto accident attorneys can't change the past and prevent the accident from ever taking place. But, we can provide you with the representation you deserve and make an argument for accountability.
Why It’s Important to Have an Auto Accident Lawyer Represent You
It’s easy for auto accident claims to become convoluted, and you may find yourself with less than what you’re owed when the dust settles. Injuries can hinder you for the rest of your life and require long-term medical care as well as harm to your quality of life and ability to earn a living. Insurance representatives may attempt to convince you to settle your case quickly before you realize the full extent of the damage to your person and/or property. Additionally, when auto accident claims involve the death of a loved one, it’s impossible to put an adequate number on your loss.
There are many more reasons to reach out to our auto accident attorneys in Chicago following your accident including:
- We offer experienced auto accident representation with only your best interests in mind.
- You have the potential to receive a higher settlement amount than if you were to speak directly to the insurance company.
- You will have peace of mind knowing you are in good hands so you can focus on recovering from your accident or coping with the loss of a loved one.
- An uninsured driver was responsible.
- The accident involved a commercial vehicle or pedestrians.
When you choose the Sklare Law Group, you don't just get the advantages of our decades of experience and proven track record of success. You also get a law firm that is committed to putting your needs first, listening to your concerns, answering your questions and representing you with skill, passion and determination.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident, please call our Chicago lawyers today at (800) LAW-0300 for your FREE consultation. Sklare Law Group serves clients throughout Northern Illinois including Chicago and surrounding areas.