Injury Lawyer Serving Victims of Chicago’s High Incident Auto Accident Areas
Auto accidents are always a shock, but it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. If you’ve been involved in a collision, you need the expertise of a Chicago auto accident attorney on your side. Don’t wait until it’s too late—the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better off you’ll be, and Malman Law can help.
Contacting an Auto Accident Lawyer
Only an experienced Chicago auto accident attorney understands how complex these cases can be, so you should contact one as soon as possible. Before you do, gather as much information related to your accident as you can—take pictures of the scene, for example, and seek medical treatment right away. An auto accident attorney uses information like this to build your case.
By reaching out to a Chicago auto accident attorney early, you can make your case stronger. At Malman Law, for example, we can inspect the scene of your accident to collect evidence, and our staff physician can determine the legal ramifications of your injuries and the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Common Chicago Auto Accidents
This city is home to some of the country’s busiest streets, and the Chicago auto accident attorneys at Malman Law have seen firsthand how serious an accident here can become.
Every year, more pedestrians and bicyclists are injured and killed by careless, negligent drivers. Uninsured and underinsured drivers, too, can cause the type of serious damage that leads to legal battles. When you need to prove that another driver was at fault, you need the assistance that only a seasoned Chicago auto accident attorney can provide.
Whether you’re a driver, pedestrian or cyclist, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident, don’t wait to take action. Contact our offices today for more information and a free consultation, and learn what our team of Chicago auto accident attorneys can do to help you recover.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I give a statement to the insurance company?
You may be required to provide a certain amount of cooperation to your own insurance company. You are not obligated, however, to provide any kind of statement to the other driver’s insurance company, and you are not obligated to turn over your medical records. You should consult with your attorney before even providing a statement to your own insurance company.
Remember that when you are making a claim, the insurance company is your adversary, even your own insurance company, since they make money by maximizing their intake from premiums and minimizing their payment of claims. Further, insurance company adjusters, whose job it is to save their employers money, are experts in asking questions in a manner so as to induce you to make statements that they can use against you later – by denying liability altogether, asserting that the accident was partly your fault, or minimizing the amount they have to pay out on your claim.
How does it affect my claim if the other driver was uninsured?
It depends. If you have uninsured motorist coverage (not required in Illinois), then it simply means that you will have to make your claim against your own insurance policy. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, you could end up with a problem. You will likely have to sue the other driver directly, and there is no guarantee that the other driver will possess the personal resources to pay out your claim.
Of course, you might get lucky if you were hit by a commercial driver – if the other driver was an employee of the company he or she worked for (rather than an independent contractor), you will probably be able to sue the employer.
How does it affect my claim if the other driver’s insurance company denies liability?
It is routine for an insurance company to deny liability, even when the driver they insured is liable. In fact, you can expect an initial denial of liability in all but the most clear-cut cases of liability, such as when the police report clearly indicates that the other driver was at fault. Treat a denial of liability like an initial bargaining position – as the starting point of negotiations, not the end. As long as you have a good Illinois car accident attorney on your side, there is no reason why an initial denial of liability couldn’t mature into a generous settlement offer down the road.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
First of all, don’t apologize, either at the scene of the accident or later on, because an apology will certainly be used against you to prove that the accident was your fault. Even if the accident was partly your fault, under Illinois comparative negligence law you can still recover damages as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault. In this case, your damages would be reduced in exact proportion to your percentage of fault – by 35 percent if you were 35 percent at fault, for example.
Although a court will decide your percentage of fault if you file a lawsuit, in negotiations the parties will try to estimate what percentage of fault a court would assign, and resolve the claim on that basis.
I feel fine. Can I skip going to the doctor to save money?
No. Skipping a doctor visit could cost you a lot of money in the long run if it turns out that you really were injured after all. In many cases, a car accident injury will be latent, meaning that you may not experience any immediate symptoms. If you turn out to have been injured later, it will hurt your case that you did not go immediately to the doctor to document your injuries while they were still fresh.
Can I recover for emotional distress?
As long as you can prove a physical injury, you should be able to recover for “pain and suffering,” which is based on the amount of physical pain that you suffered. In cases of serious injury, the amount you recover for pain and suffering could end up to be far more than the amount you recover for medical bills. Other types of intangible non-economic damages, such as mental anguish damages, might apply if you suffered a serious debilitating injury. If you suffered no physical injury, however, you cannot recover for these types of damages, no matter how badly the accident “shook you up.”