Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

Car Accidents Basic Moments

Car accidents are a common occurrence in Chicago. They can have serious consequences physically, emotionally, and financially for everyone involved. To obtain legitimate compensation and successfully navigate the complex legal process, you need to seek the help of experienced Chicago car accident lawyers. This will outline the basic steps you should consider following a car accident in Chicago.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in Chicago

There were 97,388 car accidents in Chicago in 2022, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Of these, 181 were fatal accidents and 16,830 were accidents in which participants were injured.

Car Accidents that Most Often Occur in Chicago

Front to Rear
A rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle crashes into the vehicle directly in front of it. Most rear-end collisions are caused by a distracted driver. Rear-end crashes are more likely to occur when drivers encounter traffic jams, intersections, or stop signs.

Parked Motor Vehicle
Accidents of this type can be considered trivial. A moving vehicle crashes into a vehicle that is not moving. Although in such a situation there may be nuances. For example, parking in the wrong place or a stationary car makes it difficult to see.

Sideswipe Same Direction
If two cars travel in the same direction a side-by-side collision occurs. The reason for this is the vehicle leaving the lane. This could be when changing lanes or merging.

Turning
Often such accidents occur due to the fault of drivers turning left. An accident can occur due to obstructed vision, driving into blind spots, or misjudging the speed of another driver or the distance at an intersection.
Angle
A corner collision is a situation where one car hits another at an angle greater than 90 degrees. Most often, such accidents occur at intersections when one driver does not give way, or if the driver decides to ignore a prohibiting traffic light.

Recent Injuries in Car Accidents in Chicago

The Illinois Department of Transportation provides statistics on three injury categories.

Disabling injuries AAny injury, other than fatal, that prevents the victim from walking, driving, or normally continuing activities that he/she was able to perform before the injury.
Non-disabling injuries BAny injury, other than fatal or incapacitating injury, is obvious to observers at the crash scene.
Reported injury/unobvious CAny reported or reported injuries not listed above. This includes short-term loss of consciousness, complaints of non-obvious injuries, lameness, complaints of pain, nausea, and hysteria.

According to statistics for 2022, there were 2,312 type A injuries, 13,830 type B injuries, and 7,136 type C injuries. The most common injuries were:

  • back and neck injuries
  • whiplash
  • bone fractures
  • knee injuries
  • soft tissue injuries
  • concussion
  • spinal cord injuries
  • facial injuries

Features of Car Accident Insurance in Chicago

Liability Insurance – Will pay out if a car accident results in bodily injury to another person or property damage. There are two types of liability insurance:

  • Bodily Injury (BI) – Costs associated with the injury or death of a pedestrian or person in another vehicle, as well as passengers if they are not members of your household. The BI limit must be at least $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 in total per accident.
  • Property Damage (PD) is the cost of damage caused to another person’s vehicle or property. PD’s liability limit is a minimum of $20,000 per accident.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Bodily Injury Coverage – Covers you for bodily injuries caused by a driver who does not have auto liability insurance.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Bodily Injury Coverage – The difference between your UIM limits and the at-fault driver’s liability limits only if they are lower than your UIM limits.

Benefits of Hiring Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

Providing initial legal advice. Allows you to assess the degree of complexity of your case and the possible level of compensation.
Professional investigation of the case and collection of evidence. This ensures that all the nuances of the case will be taken into account and will serve as a strong basis for further proceedings.
Negotiations with insurance companies. These negotiations most often result in fair compensation. An experienced lawyer will not allow the insurance company to underestimate the level of payments due to you.
Representation in court. During litigation, they work to maximize compensation for their clients.

Basic Requirements for Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

License: Being licensed to practice law in your state is a requirement for a lawyer.

Specialization: Specialization in the area of personal injury law, particularly automobile accident litigation, is essential.

Experience: Previous experience in winning car accident cases or personal injury claims is a good criterion.

Negotiation Skills: Most cases are successfully concluded during the negotiation phase, so the lawyer must have strong negotiation skills.

Litigation experience: Some cases may still go to trial, and experience presenting court cases will help.

Resources: A good lawyer should have extensive access to resources, such as legal research databases, expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, and medical professionals.

Reputation: A positive reputation in the legal community is achieved through successful case outcomes and ethical practice.

Where Can I Find the Best Chicago Car Accident Lawyers?

  • Referrals: Ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or co-workers who have hired Chicago car accident lawyers.
  • Bar Associations: Contact the Chicago Bar Association or the Illinois State Bar Association. These organizations can provide recommendations for qualified car accident lawyers.
  • Online directories: Use online directories such as Avvo, FindLaw, or Martindale-Hubbell. These directories contain information about lawyers, client reviews, and contact information.
  • Law Firms: Look for law firms in Chicago that specialize in personal injury or car accident cases.
  • Consultations: Schedule a consultation with car accident lawyers in Chicago. Discuss your case, fee structure, and experience handling similar cases.

If I Got into a Car Accident in Chicago

Check everyone involved in the accident for injuries. Seek medical attention if necessary.
Move to a safe place.
Call the police and report the incident.
Exchange information.
Document the scene of the accident.
Record information about witnesses.
Consult a lawyer.
Notify your insurance company.

Actions that Can Weaken Your Position After a Car Accident

After a car accident, try to avoid rash actions and make hasty decisions. This may have a negative impact in the future when settling your case. Such actions may include:

  • Admission of guilt. This may distort the true picture of the incident and put you at a disadvantage.
  • Quick resolution of the incident. A quick settlement may result in you receiving less compensation than you deserve.
  • Delaying seeking medical help. All injuries and deterioration in your health must be recorded immediately. This will increase your chances of receiving adequate compensation for your suffering.

Understanding Compensation in Car Accident Cases

The amount of compensation depends on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident. The court may consider three categories of damage:

  • Economic damage is the direct financial consequences of an accident for the victim. These costs typically include lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses that can be supported by invoices and receipts.
  • Non-economic damages are awarded for psychological or intangible losses such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages are rarely awarded. They are not intended to compensate the victim. Punitive damages are awarded if gross negligence is proven.

Do This to Avoid a Car Accident

Stay focused: pay full attention to the road and your surroundings.
Keep a safe distance: Then you will have enough time to react to changing situations.
Follow the rules of the road: obey speed limits, traffic lights, and road signs.
Use turn signals: Signal your intentions in advance when changing lanes or turning.
Stay sober: Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists: Be aware of pedestrians crossing the road and cyclists sharing the road with you.
Be prepared for emergencies: Keep your car in good condition and make sure you have everything you need.
Take breaks during long trips: Be sure to take breaks if you feel tired.

FAQs

How long do I have to file a Chicago car accident claim?

In Chicago, there is a statute of limitations within which a car accident claim must be filed. The claim must be filed within two years from the date of the incident.

What if the accident was partially my fault?

Under Illinois comparative fault principles, if you were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. Compensation will be reduced depending on the degree of your fault.

When should you contact a car accident lawyer in Chicago?

A lawyer can advise you about your rights, help you gather evidence, and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Therefore, it is recommended that you contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Or immediately if you suffer injuries or significant property damage.