How Can I Win My Chicago Car Accident Sideswipe Case?
Here's How You Can Win Your Chicago Car Accident Sideswipe Case.
I'm a car accident lawyer located in Chicago Illinois in case you didn't know, with my amazing host Amelia Finefrock. We have been answering questions that people send in and that's what we're doing today. Somebody was involved in a Chicago car accident who has a question.
"I have a question for the Chicago car accident lawyer. I was a passenger in a car on the bishop Ford Expressway. My husband was driving, we were in the left lane, another car was trying to change lanes and sideswiped us the other driver told his insurance that we were speeding. Now they told me they will not cover the damage to our car or for my hospital bills. I do not want to sue my husband or make a claim against my insurance. What do you think I should do?"
Here's the deal, the first thing is obviously this isn't legal advice and a lawyer has to order medical records, a police report, get witness statements before they can really evaluate a case a hundred percent. This is not the gospel but I can share some thoughts with you.
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The first one is, if there's somebody who's changing lanes in a car crash and the other person is staying in their lane it's the other guy's fault. So in other words it's usually the guy who's changing lanes, because there's a rule of the road that says you don't change lanes until it's safe to do so. Here it sounds like as is very typical, it might just be the insurance company adjuster lying to these people and saying that "Well our guy said you were speeding".
If I had a nickel for every time I had a good liability case, I would represent somebody in a car crash and it clearly wasn't their fault. Every time they always say "Well your guy was speeding" if they're in the left lane that's the passing lane you're supposed to be going faster in the left lane. Liability wise it is what it is, so I feel like on liability, pending. Other things we discover obviously. I feel like it's a pretty strong case from that standpoint.
Do Not Skip Follow-Up Care
The other thing that really comes to mind is that, if you've been involved in a crash like this, if you went to the hospital and that's it and you feel great, that's fantastic. It's a small case or claim, but a lot of people delay getting follow-up care. They either don't go to the hospital or they don't get follow-up care after a car accident. Any delay in treatment insurance company love it because if there's a delay in treatment they say, number one, "How bad could he be hurt?" number two, "If there's a gap in treatment is there some mysterious injury we don't know about?". And "Is he just trying to get paid on the car crash case?".
I've been doing this for 20 years I've never had that actually be true. But it's an excuse that they give to the jury and it creates doubt. So if you're hurt or you have ongoing problems, at least go to your family doctor or the neighborhood clinic to get the complaints documented so that there's not a huge treatment gap.
I feel like a lot of people, myself included, when I was in a car crash I put off going to the doctor because I was worried, it's just heinous but I was like "Oh like I'm being dramatic, I don't want to stir the pot" which was ridiculous. Nice people don't want to hire a lawyer, nice people don't want to get anybody in trouble.
However, the thing is, you get one life on this earth and one body and you have to protect yourself, and even if you are being nice and you do not want to make it a big deal, the insurance companies are soulless and they will look at the bottom line. If they can come up with a defense, even if they're sure it's BS, they're going to do it, and they're going to use it to either deny your case or offer you way less money than it's worth.
Make A Police Report
The last thing I wanted to bring up is, If you're in a car crash, especially if you suspect any injury at all, even a minor injury, definitely make a police report. First, if you're in a crash you're supposed to make a police report, under the law. A lot of people don't do it but especially if you've been injured, here's what a lot of people don't know about car crash cases. One of the first things injury lawyers do after a car crash when they sign up the case, is they get the police report. Why? I'll tell you why.
It identifies the driver of the other car, the owner of the other car, any witnesses to the crash, and it also discloses insurance information. That makes it so much easier to win your case. I need to know that stuff, if I don't know who hit you, we could still do what's called an Uninsured Motorist Claim, if it's a hit-and-run and you have insurance but the police report is a big deal because the police will obtain the owner of the car, the driver of the car, the insurance information, and that's essential info.
Here's what happens when people get into a crash, the last thing in the world they're thinking about is writing down all the details, especially if they're hurt. Which is why if you've had a crash, definitely make a police report and get a copy of it or at least get the report number and the agency. Here's the thing I'm like you, in my private life, I don't want to go to the doctor, I don't want to make a report, I don't want to get anybody in trouble.
However, here's the thing, these folks are in their car doing what they're supposed to do, somebody smashes into them and there's a doctor bill involved. Who should be responsible for it? Should they eat it or should the guy who's being careless and causes the injury be responsible? It's like when you go to a little store and they got that sign you break it, you buy it.
So same concept, you broke the glass unicorn, you knocked it off the shelves, guess what? You just bought the glass unicorn.
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