Do I Have a Case? When to File an Automobile Accident Lawsuit
Car accidents are common in any state, and Illinois offers unique challenges to drivers due to crumbling infrastructure and Chicago area traffic congestion. IDOT reports that in 2016, 324,473 motor vehicle crashes occurred in Illinois, causing 66,703 injuries and 1,000 fatalities. If you are a driver in Illinois, you need to drive defensively at all times. Even then, you may well be involved in an accident. If you become the victim of a crash, you will benefit from the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Consulting with an experienced lawyer will help you decide what action to take when you’ve been in an accident. Your legal advocate will advise you if and when filing a lawsuit is necessary. While each case has its own particular circumstances, there are several factors in these collisions that indicate when legal action may be needed.
You can get a no-fault divorce, but accidents are different. Most collisions have someone to blame. In some accidents, determining fault (or negligence) is quite easy. The police arrive on the scene and document that the other driver ran a red light or pulled out in front of you. Perhaps there are traffic cameras or several witnesses to the incident. Maybe the other car clearly crossed into your lane and is still sitting there. In rare instances, the other driver may simply admit they are at fault.
Fault isn’t a question in certain types of accidents that are labeled “No Doubt” liability incidents. These crashes include rear-end collisions and left-turn accidents. If another vehicle plows into the back of your car, there is almost no doubt that they are at fault since they were clearly following behind you too closely. If a car making a left turn hits your vehicle, the same thinking applies. The other driver either didn’t see you coming or misjudged the distance between your vehicles. In these instances, determining fault is not an issue.
Of course, in many cases, determining fault is more complicated, leaving the insurance companies to battle over whose driver was to blame for the crash. Illinois has many rural areas where determining fault is difficult due to the road conditions and unclear right-of-way issues. In those situations, you will definitely need a lawyer’s advice on how to proceed.
The severity of your injuries may determine if legal action is necessary. When the accident has caused a serious injury with long-term physical and/or emotional effects, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to secure your financial future. You do have two years to file a lawsuit in Illinois after the accident occurs. Remember, some injuries don’t become immediately apparent after you’ve been in a crash. Back pain, soft tissue damage, head trauma and other injuries may develop symptoms weeks or months later, which can affect your legal strategy.
A crash can inflict a traumatic brain injury that causes permanent cognitive issues and makes it impossible for you to work. A compound leg fracture can mean you have to give up many of the activities you’ve always enjoyed and also affect your ability to do a job. Your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit if your injury has caused permanent harm and the insurance settlement offer doesn’t cover these medical expenses as well as pain and suffering, which can easily run into millions of dollars.
Whether or not to file a lawsuit also depends on what the insurance company is offering as a settlement. Not surprisingly, these companies will pay you as little as possible for your claim. Their biggest priority is to keep their bottom line healthy. That’s why you need an attorney to negotiate a settlement for you. Your legal counsel will determine what your case is worth based on your medical needs, pain and suffering, etc., and then try to get that amount from the insurance company.
You and your attorney may believe that your case is worth $60,000 – $80,000, but the insurance company might give you a pre-suit offer of $40,000. In that case, your attorney will probably recommend filing a lawsuit. On the other hand, the insurance company might make an offer of $65,000, which your lawyer would definitely advise taking. And even if the insurance company “low-balls” you, you might decide to settle. You may determine that taking $50,000 is better than risking getting less if you go to court. The key is finding an experienced and successful attorney and taking their advice about settling or pursuing a lawsuit.
WG Law Group
Chicago is a vibrant city with many cultural and entertainment offerings. Because the city is so popular, the traffic is challenging, even for long-time residents. Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid accidents in the busy Chicagoland traffic, particularly if the other driver is engaged in negligent behavior. These accidents are traumatic and can cause serious injury. If you are involved in a traffic accident in Illinois, contact Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. Their expert attorneys have successfully handled thousands of personal injury cases, including many car accident lawsuits.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works hard to get you the settlement you deserve. If necessary, they will take the other party to court so that you can get a just award. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until you win a settlement. The experienced attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. fight to secure your financial future. .For more information on car accident lawsuits, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. You should never battle an insurance company without an excellent attorney by your side.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.