Info From Your Trusted Chicago-area Car Accident Attorney
Thousands of car accidents happen on the roads of Illinois each year. While some cities are prone to higher accident rates, Chicago is surprisingly low on the list. In fact, Chicago ranks 150th for accidents, and most drivers will go eight years between collisions. In the city, a crash is 25.2 percent less likely to occur than the national average.
While you might go well over eight years without an accident on your record, or have never had an accident until now, it is important to know what you should do after a car accident. Acting appropriately could be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and having medical bills go unpaid.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Chicago Car Accidents?
Car accident injuries can vary and often come down to the circumstances that caused the accident and the speeds at which each vehicle was traveling.
Types of car accidents seen in Chicago include:
- Rollover Accidents – These can lead to traumatic injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), internal organ damage, lacerations, bruising, amputations, and permanent paralysis.
- Rear-End Accidents – Rear-end collisions can be just as traumatic, and in some cases victims will have chronic, long-term complications from their rear-end collision. Common injuries in rear-end accidents include whiplash, back injuries, airbag injuries, lacerations, broken bones, and bruises.
- Head-On Collisions – Head-on collisions often lead to some of the more serious injuries because both vehicles strike at such force in the center of the collision. These accidents can lead to TBIs, internal organ damage, back injuries, nerve and spinal cord damage, lacerations, broken bones, and more.
These injuries, even minor ones, can cost you significantly. Not only will you have the initial medical treatments, but then you will have follow-up care, prescriptions, medical equipment, and other costs that only add to the total medical costs from the accident. Furthermore, you will need time off work to recover from your injuries, which means income missed as probably vacation and sick leave used up. Eventually you may run out of compensation options.
What Should You Do after a Car Accident?
The sooner you act, the easier it will be to prove your claim in court. Injury cases are based heavily on the evidence collected. The more evidence you have showing that the defendant was negligent, the more likely you are to receive the compensation you deserve.
After your accident, here are five critical steps you should take:
- Take Photographs – If you can, take photographs of the accident scene. This includes the area where the accident occurred, road and weather conditions, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries to yourself that are present at the accident. When your injuries are too severe, have a friend or family member take the photos for you. Even then, try to take photographs of your injuries at the hospital or home shortly after. Showing the initial injuries will help paint a picture for the claims adjuster or jury regarding how serious they were at the time of the accident.
- Collect Information – Write down the name of the other driver, their insurance company, and their vehicle information. If there were passengers in that vehicle, write down their names and contact information too. Then, look for witnesses at the accident scene. You do not need their official statement right away but get their name and contact information so that you or your attorney can reach them later for an official statement.
- Be Patient – You will be contacted by the other party’s insurance company quickly. While you might be desperate to pay medical bills or receive compensation, do not accept anything. Also, do not sign any documents from the insurance company until you have talked with an attorney.
- Seek Medical Treatment – Immediately after an accident, even if you do not have severe injuries, seek medical treatment. You can go to the emergency room or visit your family physician, but the sooner you receive treatment the easier it will be to prove that your injuries came from the accident. The defense will do what they can to disprove injuries or try to make it seem like your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Therefore, avoid trying to “tough it out” and make sure you are checked out immediately after the incident.
- Contact an Accident Attorney – While you are recovering from your injuries, meet with an accident attorney. An attorney can explain your rights, explore options for compensation, and help identify the potential defendants in your case. Furthermore, they know how to negotiate with the insurance company and are more likely to get the settlement amount you deserve.
What Compensation Could You Receive?
When you follow the steps above, you increase the chances of a successful settlement. You might ask “what is in that settlement?” Here are some of the types of compensation you could receive for your case:
- Economic Damages – These are the basic types of damages that everyone receives because they cover tangible losses like your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs.
- Non-Economic Damages – These damages are harder to calculate because they focus on the intangible losses such as your pain, suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and the permanent emotional and physical effects of a serious injury.
- Punitive Damages – When a defendant’s behavior is unnecessarily negligent, the courts may allow for punitive damages. These do not compensate, but instead punish the defendant and serve as a reminder to the public of what will happen if they act in a similar manner.
Meet with an Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to meet with an attorney right away. Contact the accident team at Malman Law to explore your options for compensation. Schedule a free, no obligation meeting today at 888-625-6265 or request more information online.