Been In a Car Accident? Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents are currently the number one killer of people between the ages of 1 and 37 in the United States. Car accidents, crashes and collisions cause about 3 million injuries a year, 2 million of which are permanent and crippling injuries per year.
40,000 people die in car accidents every year in the United States alone. The Department of Transportation reports that most of these car accident deaths can be avoided. About 40% of car crash fatalities involve drinking alcohol and driving.
Many accidents involve some combination of alcohol and speeding. Additionally, seatbelt use is only around 68% despite the proven fact that seatbelts protect drivers and passengers and save lives.
In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Reckless and drunk driving is a serious offense and the law treats a car, when it causes injuries, such as a dangerous weapon.
When victims are injured and killed in drunk driving accidents, the driver can be charged the same as if he or she had attacked their victims with any other weapon, like a gun.
Many choose to forego hiring an attorney to save themselves some money. Sure, filing a personal injury claim against an insurance company is a cheap alternative to hiring a lawyer.
But an automobile accident can be a traumatic experience that can leave you with injuries and expensive medical bills. An attorney can help you in your fight for a settlement. Hiring one can provide you with big gains if you’ve suffered a personal injury.
A drunk driver who kills a person in a Chicago car accident can be sent to prison for murder. Such dangerous activities as drunk driving and racing are often treated casually by young people. However, they do not understand the inherent risks associated with this behavior.
After an accident, serious or minor, it’s very important that you contact a lawyer immediately. While it may feel like you have no one on your side, injury Lawyers will help change that.
When the insurance companies try to not play ball or minimize your situation your lawyer will take the lead and stop the nonsense. As the medical bills begin to pile up and you start to get overwhelmed, your injury lawyers can take charge and let you rest easy.
Remember, if you are involved in an accident, never to apologize or accept responsibility without consulting a lawyer.
Car crashes are scary, but apologizing on the scene can fix the blame on you even if the collision is another driver’s fault. A lawyer can help you work out the necessary paperwork and protect you from accusations and court proceedings.
If insurance companies have lawyers protecting their interests, shouldn’t you? We offer a free consultation. A good Chicago car crash lawyer is going to get you every element of damages the law allows you to collect, whether the other driver was drunk or just negligent.
Are you unsure if you are in need of an automobile injury attorney? Here are some telling signs that you might need to hire one.
Why Hire an Automobile Injury Attorney
Are you suffering after an accident? You might want to hold off before making a personal injury claim. A good automobile injury attorney can make all the difference when it comes to getting a proper settlement. But how do you know when to call one?
No matter what the situation, if you’ve been the victim of someone else’s negligence, then you most definitely need Car Accident Attorney Chicago. It’s important to find Car Accident Lawyers Chicago with good reputation that you can trust.
Find attorneys that will aggressively and relentlessly fight for your compensation and rights. A good team of injury Lawyers will also be very loyal to you and forthcoming about how things are progressing for your case.
The best thing you can do is assess the damage after your accident. If you have minor injuries, you might want to file a personal injury claim. This method helps to expedite the legal process. It’s commonly used by people that are in accidents with little to no injuries.
On the other hand, injury attorneys can be extremely helpful in cases with extensive injuries, medical fees, and emotional distress. Injury attorneys are prepared to walk their clients through the legal process step by step.
They are prepared to handle all of the proceedings and will work with you on the way to your settlement. Plus, most injury attorneys only get paid when you get your settlement.
When you call the attorney’s office, they will go over all the different payment options and help you find one that works for you. When looking for Car Accident Lawyer Chicago consider the amount they will get when you receive your compensation.
Most attorneys will charge a percentage of the total compensation plus any expenses they had to cover to win your case. Things like medical costs and fees for experts will be expenses that have to be covered when you receive compensation.
That means you don’t have to worry about any fees unless you receive a settlement. Even if the attorney charges a fee but they will also work to get you a much bigger settlement than if you were on your own.
A team of Car Accident Lawyer Chicago will know how to build your case. After an accident there are many steps in making sure that all of your rights are protected.
Once you have become a victim of someone else’s negligence or oversight, it’s very important to get the help of Car Accident Lawyer Chicago as quickly as possible. The big insurance companies will not be doing what’s best for you, but will do what’s best for their party.
In most cases accident victims that take on insurance companies get significantly less in compensation than those that are represented by Car Accident Lawyer Chicago.
Another benefit of finding and hiring an experienced car accident lawyer is that is shows the big insurance company that you are serious. Without an attorney most victims can’t take their case to court if they can’t reach a settlement.
With Car Accident Lawyer Chicago on your side, the people responsible for your accident know that you have the team necessary to go to court if you have to.
This can lead to higher amounts of compensations than when taking on the big insurance companies without Car Accident Lawyer Chicago.
To make sure your case receives the individual attention and professional treatment from the people responsible, you need the help of an experienced lawyer. They will take on the role of representing you and help get your medical care paid for.
Other expenses that Car Accident Lawyer Chicago will help you recover are rehabilitation costs and other future medical bills that can add up quickly. The total amount of the economic loss you suffer after an accident is difficult to calculate.
With the help of Car Accident Lawyer Chicago a professional economist can determine what the present and future costs to you will be. Good lawyers can quickly figure out the value of the injuries you received in your accident.
The insurance company will try to settle quickly but will not have your best interest in mind. They are looking out for themselves and their client.
When you hire Car Accident Lawyer Chicago they look out for you and can take on the big insurance companies to make sure that you and your family receive everything that you deserve.
Most insurance companies have Car Accident Lawyer Chicago working with them to minimize your compensation. Don’t take them on alone; get your own Lawyers to fight back.
Types of Injuries
It’s imperative to call an automobile injury attorney if you have a substantial injury. But how do you know if your injury is substantial? You should first consider the type of injury, recovery time, and cost involved.
Head, back, chest, neck and shoulder injuries are common in personal injury cases. You could also have an injury to an extremity that requires significant healing time. You should consult an automobile injury attorney if you have any medical bills.
Many injuries can lead to medical procedures, physical therapy, or long-term treatment. Be on the lookout for any signs and symptoms of long-term diseases. An accident can lead to brain injuries that might go unnoticed if you don’t look for the right symptoms.
Don’t ever underestimate your injuries. Find an attorney that offers free consultations if you’re unsure of your case. Doing so could save you thousands.
One telltale sign that you should hire an automobile injury attorney is if you suffer from a long-term injury.
In legal terms, a long-term injury is one that persists for over a year. These are also injuries that lead to a permanent or long-term disability. You should always consult an attorney if you believe your injury will linger for an extended period of time.
Remember to keep tabs on your financial and medical documents after an accident. Your attorney may need them to help you reach a maximum settlement.
Your finances can be severely impacted if you have to miss work or pay for a lifelong disability. An attorney can’t recover everything you lost from a major accident, but they can help you reach the settlement you deserve.
Not every personal injury case goes smoothly. That’s especially true in cases of disputed liability. Disputed liability occurs when an insurance company claims their policyholder is not at fault for the accident.
In these instances, the insurance company is not required to pay for damages. Disputed liability doesn’t necessarily mean the other policyholder is not at fault. It means that the insurance company feels there is not enough evidence to prove your case.
If you run into a disputed liability, you should consult an automobile injury lawyer. There’s no guarantee that you will get a settlement, but they can acquire as much evidence as possible to present your case.
Refusal to pay occurs when insurance companies deny your request for a settlement. There are many reasons why an insurance company may refuse your claim including an untimely complaint, a lack of medical proof and an avoidable accident.
Don’t give up if you encounter a refusal to pay. You can still consult an attorney and they will help you present the best possible case to the insurance company.
When to Call a Lawyer
Did you know that if you are the victim of an accident, you may be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation for any injuries, losses, property damage and lost wages? The problem many people face is that they do not take action to obtain the benefits that are rightfully theirs.
Turn to a Chicago Car Accident Attorney to relieve you of your burdens. Now that you know if you should call an attorney, you need to know when to call an attorney. It’s important to hire an automobile injury attorney as soon as possible.
That’s because the statute of limitations for personal injury varies from state to state. You also want to make sure you get your settlement as soon as possible when you’re faced with medical bills and missed work.
The general rule of thumb is to call within a few weeks of your accident. This way your attorney has time to handle all of the legal proceedings and compile a case for you.
What to Do After an Accident
You probably have lots of questions and concerns about your car accident injury, like:
Who is going to pay my doctor bills from my car accident case?
How will I make ends meet if I am off work?
Is the other guy’s insurance any good?
How can I make sure that I get everything the law says that I’m entitled to?
How can I be sure that I am hiring the right car accident lawyer?
These are just some of the questions that go through a person’s mind when they were involved in a car accident.
You probably have many more. But you’ve come to the right place. I have handled thousands of car crash cases in my career. The injuries have ranged from whiplash injuries all the way through surgery cases and even death.
Because of the tremendous weight of motor vehicles and the speeds that they can travel act, car accidents can expose your body to forces that your body was never designed to experience.
Neck and back injuries are probably the most common injuries I see in car accident cases. But shoulder injuries, broken bones, cuts and scarring, and leg and knee injuries are also common. A car crash can result in a variety of injuries.
My job is to make sure that the other driver is held 100% responsible for what they have done. I’d like to share with you the things that I tell my clients to do if they have been involved in a car crash.
These are the things that if you do them, can help us settle your case or if your case goes to trial, can make sure that we get you maximum value for your injuries.
If you fail to do these things, the insurance company for the other driver will thank you for the built-in defense you gave them.
Are There Any Bodily Injuries?
Was anybody in your car or anyone you know injured in the crash? If nobody was injured then it’s just a property damage claim and that’s something your insurance or the other driver’s insurance should be able to take care of for you automatically.
After all, that’s what you pay for insurance for. My advice to people who are involved in a Chicago car crash without bodily injuries and they’re concerned about getting their car repaired or getting a car rental, what I tell them is look at both insurance companies.
Look at your insurance company and its reputation and then the person who hit you, their insurance and its reputation. Then make the claim with the more reputable insurance company.
For example, if the guy who hit you has a substandard insurance that doesn’t return your phone calls, your path of least resistance is to call your insurance company if you have full coverage and have your insurance company fix your car.
Then they will make a claim against the substandard insurance company. If you get into a car accident that’s not your fault and your car is damaged, you shouldn’t have to suffer by making a million phone calls to an insurance company that’s not responsive.
So take the path of least resistance and get your car fixed that way.
Report the Crash to Police and Your Insurance.
If there are injuries involved in your car crash in Chicago then what I would tell you to do is make sure you get to speak with the police officer. Make sure the police officer makes the police report and blames the guy who actually caused the crash.
You can do this by remaining calm, respectful, and factual when you’re speaking to the police officer. If you had any other witnesses either in your car or out on the street or in another car who support your version of how the crash happened, make sure they speak to the police officer, too.
You might be wondering, “why do I have to report the crash if it was the other guy’s fault?” Well, your insurance company may require you to report the crash within 24 hours to local police, and if you do not, you may lose benefits under your insurance policy.
Also, the other driver’s insurance will expect a police report. Car crash cases where there is no police report are harder to settle. If there is a dispute as to how the crash happened, you might have to rely on your own insurance to repair your car.
Many car accident insurance policies require that you report the crash to your own insurance even if it was not your fault within a week. Failing to do so can make them suspicious.
I have never had a client insurance rates went up because they were involved in a crash was caused by someone else. So get a police report and notify your own insurance.
Getting an accurate police report which blames the correct party is an important part of the claims process when you’ve been involved in a car crash.
For some reason, if you get a moving violation ticket (running a red light, failure to yield, running a stop sign, speeding) and you’ve got a bodily injury claim, you don’t want to go to court and plead guilty to those tickets.
Pleading guilty to a moving violation is an admission in the civil case. You’ve got to fight that ticket if you get a ticket mistakenly.
The last thing I’ll mention is, if you or somebody in your car’s been injured, even a little bit, you’ve got to get to a doctor and get checked out to make sure those injuries are documented.
Gap insurance is property damage insurance that you get for your car that covers you for the difference between what you owe on your car and what the cars’ book value is.
Without gap insurance, if your car gets totaled, the insurance company is only obligated to pay the book value of the car. In this day in age, most of us drive a car off a car lot and we owe more money than the book value of the car.
For example, if you own a car that you owe $20,000 on and the book value of the cars $15,000, without gap insurance, the insurance company will only pay you $15,000 for that car and you still owe $5,000 with no car. But with gap insurance, it covers that gap.
So same accident, you owe $20,000, the car is worth $15,000; with gap insurance, the insurance company is required to pay the full $20,000.
I always tell my clients and friends consider getting gap insurance on your car especially if your financing a car. It’s really the only way you can make sure you’re protected if your car gets totaled.
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. That is really true when it comes to car accidents. Almost everyone carries a phone which allows them to take pictures these days. Go ahead and take photographs of your entire car, focusing on the areas where damage was caused.
Being able to show pictures of the damage can prove force of impact, but can also help us prove that the crash was the other driver’s fault.
And if you have bruising, bleeding, a cast on a broken bone or a sling, you should get photographs of that as well.
It will help prove your injuries.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
The other driver’s insurance company will call you after your automobile accident. They will ask you if it is okay if they turn on a recorder so that they can record your statement.
They want you to give them all sorts of details of the crash and your injuries and they asked the questions in such a way as to lead you into answers that you may not agree with 100%.
I never let my clients give recorded statements after car crash without me being there to protect them, and you shouldn’t either. It only works to the benefit of the insurance company and it does not work to your benefit.
If you’re considering giving a recorded statement anyways, get a free consultation from an injury lawyer. Everything you tell an injury lawyer in a free consultation is privileged. It is attorney-client privilege. Nobody can know about it.
Even if you don’t hire that lawyer, that lawyer can give you good information in strategy on how to protect your rights while you’re deciding whether to hire a lawyer not.
So don’t give a recorded statement until you have spoken with a lawyer who is on your side and can fill in the details for you.
Do Not Panic
As drivers become more aware of their responsibilities and car companies develop safer vehicles, the percentage of deaths in car crashes has steadily declined.
When combined with safe, responsible driving techniques, such as acknowledging posted speed limits, wearing seatbelts and going out with designated drivers, these new cars and advanced roadways promise a safer driving experience.
Be Mindful of Your Body
I am contacted by a lot of people who don’t feel that bad immediately after accident. They don’t feel so poorly even a day or a week later. But as time goes by after the injury or after the accident, they start feeling worse and worse and eventually see a doctor.
The reason I’m telling you to be mindful of how you’re feeling is because my advice to everybody who’s been involved in an accident with an injury is to get it documented. Get everything documented even if you only suspect an injury.
It is essential to get it documented. This includes documenting your injuries by going to a doctor and making those complaints to a medical professional close in time to the date of the accident.
The reason is the same as what we were talking about before.
Just like insurance companies, a judge or jury is ultimately going to want objective third party information about how the injury occurred.
You need as much evidence as possible. Get documentation about when and where the accident occurred. Document the parts of your body that you’re claiming as having been injured by the first doctor you go to.
I always tell people who have been injured or suspect an injury to go in to get checked out. It can’t hurt and it may save your case.
Don’t Be Afraid of Free Consultation
In this day and age, virtually every personal injury lawyer offers a free consultation. That means you can talk to as many personal injury lawyers as you want.
You’re not limited to one. Each of these lawyers is required under attorney-client privilege to keep what you tell them completely private and secret.
In this way, you get to enjoy two great opportunities:
The first is you get these free consultations that don’t cost you anything. There is no obligation. So if you don’t want to hire the lawyer, you don’t have to but the lawyer is still going to give you insight about what is important in your case and what your chances would be.
The other benefit is that you can get more than one free consultation. You can talk to more than one lawyer and decide which one you like best, should you decide to hire one.
So it’s really a win-win for you.
You get more educated about what you have to prove in your claim and you get to talk to different lawyers to decide which one you like best. Definitely consider a consultation if you’ve been injured in an accident.
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How Family Doctors Treat Injury Cases
Family doctors are fantastic for colds, infections, to get antibiotics or for physical examinations and things like that.
Some of them are indeed very good at treating you after an injury case.
But many of them are not.
They can be sceptical or they tend to want to write you a script for pain medicine and then see you in sixty days.
The problem with that is that there’s no medical injury or condition in the world that benefits from a delay in quick treatment.
So if you’ve been involved in an accident and your family doctor seems to be putting you off, just feeding your pain pills and giving you follow-up visits, you might want to consider seeing a doctor who has more experience treating people who’ve been injured in an accident.
Those kinds of doctors are going to give you thorough orthopedic clinical exams in the office.
Then if it’s warranted, they’ll send you for X-Rays, CT scans, MRIs to get to the bottom of exactly where your pain is coming from and how to fix it.
You shouldn’t have to go 60, 90, or 120 days taking pain pills and not really being treated for your injuries. You deserve to get a diagnosis right away. It’s better for you physically and it would be better for your injury cases anyway.
What Is My Case Worth?
You know, the number one question I get from everyone, no matter what kind of case they have, is:
“What is My Case Worth?”
And that is definitely true for car accident cases. So this is NOT legal advice, but it is super valuable information that gives you sort of the guidelines so that you will know if somebody is offering you money on a case, whether the money should be taken or whether you should hold out for more money.
What we are going to talk about now are the general guidelines that affect how much a car crash case is worth. To really get a good idea, you need to consult with a car crash lawyer who has experience and who has all the facts of your case.
Or even if you have a lawyer, you can consider whether what that lawyer is offering you is something you should take.
So really, the value of a car crash is based on percentage fault, medical bills, wage loss, and whether the injuries are serious or permanent. So let’s jump in right now and talk about it.
So the way we evaluate these cases is, at the end of the case, if it does not settle, the judge and jury are going to evaluate what percentage fault each person in the crash has.
So if you are a passenger, you are obviously not going to be at fault. They are just going to evaluate the drivers involved.
If there are two cars that are involved in the crash, maybe one car is responsible for 100% at fault and maybe the other driver 0%.
Maybe its 50%-50%, or any combination of that adding up to 100%.
So why is this important?
Let’s say that there are two cars involved in the crash. Both of the cars have some fault. Car 1 is 20% at fault and Car 2 is 80% at fault and you win $100,000.
That fault determination means that Car 1, that was at 20% at fault, pays $20,000
and the car that was involved in the crash, Car 2, that caused 80% has to pay $80,000.
Now if you are found to be partially responsible and you are found to be more than 50% responsible, you cannot recover for your injuries.
Percentage fault is definitely a major thing you need to consider. You have to evaluate your case to determine what a fair settlement value would be.
The higher the medical bills, the more valuable the case. The lower the medical bills, the less value the case.
Now that comes with some caveats.
If you have had surgery or you require ongoing medical care for your injuries sustained in a car crash, that obviously increases the value. This is not a hard and fast rule.
For example, in a case where somebody has a scar or permanent ongoing injury for which there is not a lot of medical care that they can give you, your medical bills may be quite low, but the value of the case may be quite high.
Were you working at the time of the accident? And if so, have you lost time from work?
If you’re working around the time of the crash and you are not required to take any time off from work, that sends a powerful message to the jury that your injuries were not that serious.
But if your injuries are such that you can never return to work, that sends a powerful positive message that the injuries you sustained were really serious and really affected your life. The value of your case goes up.
Condition of Your Injuries
So obviously, a temporary injury is worth less money than a permanent injury.
Take a minor injury that is maybe 1-2-3 out of 10 on the 1-10 pain scale versus a serious injury, 6-7-8-9 on the 1-10 pain scale. Obviously, the minor pain scale is worth less money and the more serious injury is worth more money.
Effect on Your Life
Jurors are allowed to give you pain and suffering and disability damages in a trial and that is something we ask for in a settlement as well.
So consider whether the injury has affected you.
Let’s say you love to play football, basketball, or soccer, and you can never play that sport again. You are not making money from it, but it really added to your life.
If the injury has really affected you and has stopped you from doing what you really enjoy doing in life, that definitely adds value to the case.
The next thing is, definitely talk to a lawyer.
Once again, I want you to understand that these are general guidelines and you need to talk to an attorney and give that attorney all the facts they need. This will give you 100% of valuation on your case.
If you have been involved in a car crash, do not give the insurance company a recorded statement until you get a chance to speak to a lawyer who will represent your interests.
Injury lawyers offer a free consultation. I offer a free consultation. Why not talk to a lawyer? You don’t have to hire them if you don’t want to but at least you will have some information that you did not have before.
And finally, if you have any concern that you have sustained an injury, absolutely go see a doctor.
Your Personal Injury Case
An automobile accident can leave you with unwanted expenses, pain, and suffering. So it’s important to make sure you get the most out of your settlement. The aftermath of an accident can leave anyone in shock. Victims are left wondering what to do and who to turn to.
As serious as the accident may have been, the residual effects can leave victims in a state of panic and feeling overwhelmed. Regardless of the type of accident or where it occurred, you are not alone.
When you have been injured in a Car crash in Chicago, your personal injury case in Chicago or in Illinois turns on the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code. If you or a loved one have been injured in the Chicago, Illinois area, there is hope and help available.
Call a qualified Car accident attorney in Chicago immediately or check out other pages of my website or check out my Youtube Channel for information videos which explain how Chicago Car Accident cases work.
Every personal injury case involving a car accident in Chicago turns on the Rules of the Road because the injured person has to prove that the accident was the other guy’s fault.
When evaluating whether you have a good car accident injury case, both you and especially your Chicago Car Crash Attorney, must be familiar with the Rules of the Road in Illinois.
Individual cities like Chicago, have their own ordinances regarding trucks, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. So you need a Chicago Car Accident lawyer who knows what Rules to apply to determine who had the right of way and therefore, who was at fault for your accident.
In accidents involving semi-trucks, Federal regulations and laws apply to trucks and truck drivers. At the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo, you can rest easy knowing that you will have a Chicago Car Crash lawyer in Chicago on your side fighting for your rights.
Our representatives are dedicated to taking care of every aspect of your case, from helping you with lengthy paperwork to speaking directly with insurance companies and even contacting your employer.
We take pride in representing you and will always be available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Make sure you do your due diligence and hire an automobile injury attorney if you have a major accident.
You should also consult an attorney if you run into a dispute with an insurance company. They can help you get the representation and financial settlement you deserve.
Were you in a recent accident? We can help.
Contact us today to get a free case evaluation. The Chicago Car Accident attorney at The Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo is dedicated to protecting the rights of Chicago Car accident victims.
If you have been involved in a Chicago Car Accident, we can help you. So if you still have questions, give me a call at 1-888-HURT-318. I offer a free consultation in person or by telephone, your choice. I can answer all of your questions with no obligation.
If you aren’t ready for that, I’d be happy to send you a copy of my FREE injury DVD video which answers the most common questions injured people have. It can be delivered electronically to you at your e-mail address or if you would like a hard copy/physical copy, I will mail that to you for free.
Providing good information to injured people is the mission of my law office. If I can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call. If you have been hurt and have questions, call me for a free consultation. I hope this information has helped you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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