What to do after a car accident that was not your fault

Have you been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver?

Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence. On average, there are 15 every day in the U.S.000 car accidents. Some of these accidents are minor, but many are catastrophic. In fact, more than 100 people die in car accidents every day. The fact is, driving a car is dangerous. Therefore, when someone is negligent and makes driving that much more dangerous, they deserve to be held accountable.

Car accidents can greatly impact a person's life, depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries they sustain as a result. A car accident can change a person's life forever. Injuries from a car accident can range from bruises and scratches to permanent disability, paralysis or even death. People with serious injuries often have significant damages and piles of debt that seem too high to ever pay off.

If a car accident is not your fault, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is your best choice to get compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you suffered because of these injuries. Because these accidents can be life changing, the more severe your injury and the more it has affected your life, the more compensation you often need to rebuild your life.

In 2017, there were 34 in the U.S.247 fatal car accidents. Thereof occurred 1.005 fatal accidents in Illinois and 133 in Chicago. These statistics are alarming. Drivers who are distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving recklessly cause many of these serious or fatal accidents. Car accidents are always traumatic, even if the accident was not your fault. In any car accident case, contacting an experienced car accident attorney can help you determine your options.

If you're wondering what to do next, read on. Our talented attorneys are here to help you get back on your feet after your accident. If you are interested in speaking with an attorney during a free consultation, you can reach us by phone at (855) 529-2442, by filling out our online contact form, or by using the chat box below.

Causes of Illinois car accidents and negligence

The first step in your car accident case will be finding out who was responsible for your accident. If you weren't at fault, it's likely that another driver committed negligence that caused the accident.

Negligence is defined as a breach of another person's duty to protect others. As motorists, we have a duty to obey the law and drive safely on the roads. Violating this duty can cause an accident, and that crash can result in injury or death.

Negligence in car accidents can take many forms. It can be as simple as not paying attention, running a stop sign or entering another lane the wrong way. Accidents are also often due to texting while driving and driving under the influence.

While some negligent acts may be unintentional, like failing to see a stop sign, some acts are clearly reckless, like drinking and driving. However, it does not matter whether the negligence was committed intentionally or maliciously, it still holds the party responsible for the accident.

Injuries and complications from motor vehicle accidents

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries are injuries that damage connective tissue in muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is a very common type of auto accident injury. For example, whiplash is classified as a soft tissue injury. Whiplash occurs due to the back and forth motion in the neck when a car is hit. It can cause severe pain for the accident victim.

Cuts and lacerations

Loose objects and broken glass can cause many injuries. Cuts and gashes can also come from broken parts of the car if the car crashes. These injuries are often minor, but can be more serious if the cut is deep enough or if a vital organ is penetrated. Losing too much blood can lead to serious problems or even death if not treated immediately. These violations also occur alongside other violations, so that the problems can be aggravated.

Head and brain injuries

Brain and head injuries can be extremely serious and, under certain circumstances, can lead to coma, brain death, vegetative state and even death. Concussions from car accidents range from mild to severe. Sometimes they are treatable with little problem and sometimes they cause serious, lifelong complications. Head injuries are often referred to as "silent" injuries, as many don't realize they have one until it's too late. Because brain injuries can be incredibly serious, it's important to treat them as soon as possible.

Chest injuries

Chest injuries are often minor injuries that include bruising or contusions. However, more serious injuries can cause internal bleeding or severe damage to internal organs. Seatbelts often cause bruising in car accidents as well as airbags. Chest injuries can include broken ribs, as the small distance between the driver and the seat belt can cause a strong impact when a car is hit.

Arm and leg injuries

Arm and leg injuries are caused by the sudden movement that occurs when a car is hit. Depending on the severity of an accident, it could also result in an arm or leg being trapped in the crushed car. Arm and leg injuries include broken bones, bruises, cuts and even amputations for serious injuries. Sometimes fractures require surgery to repair.

Neck and back injuries

So many of us take for granted the use of our spines to check our necks and backs. But if someone's neck or back is severely injured in a car accident, it can change their life forever. Not only are these injuries extremely painful, but they can also lead to complications that can leave injury victims with long-term pain.

What are the insurance requirements in Illinois?

In Illinois, registered vehicles must be insured with the following minimum limits:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of a person involved in an accident;
  • 50.000 USD for the injury or death of more than one person in an accident;
  • 20.000 USD for damage to another person's property.

A motor vehicle registered in another state but operated in Illinois must also carry liability insurance.

What steps should I take immediately after a car accident?

An accident can leave you feeling traumatized and unsure of what to do next. Immediately after an accident, try to remain calm and proceed as follows:

Safety first

Move to a safe area as soon as possible. Turn on your car's hazard lights, and if you have warning devices such as flares or cones, place them around the accident scene. Do not drive away. Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law in every state. If the other driver leaves the scene, stay there and report the incident yourself.

Check for injuries

If you or someone else is injured, call 911 or ask someone to call. You may think you weren't seriously injured, but some car accident injuries don't show up until later. It is always good to seek medical help after an accident.

Call the police immediately

Even if the accident was minor, it's good to get an official police report. You may need it for insurance purposes or other legal proceedings. There are now some insurance policies that require a police report or notice within a certain amount of time. When you talk to the police, state the facts to the best of your ability. When the police arrive, tell the officer exactly what happened. If you don't know the answer to a question, say so.

Submit a written report to the state of Illinois

If you have been in an accident for which a written report is required, you must contact the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten days. A report is required if the accident resulted in death, bodily injury or property damage of 1.Carries $500 or more, or $500 or more if vehicle is uninsured. The report you fill out is for statistical purposes only.

Trade information

All parties involved in the accident should exchange information. You should get as much information as possible from the other driver, including:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers;
  • Driver's license numbers;
  • License plate numbers;
  • Vehicle makes, models and years;
  • Get car insurance information; and
  • The location of the accident.

Collect evidence

It is important to collect as much evidence as possible right away. Obtain contact information from witnesses. Take photos of the accident scene from more than one angle. Add pictures of debris and traffic signs. Look for video cameras in the area.

Be careful with what you say

Avoid talking to anyone at the scene about mistakes. After the accident, the other driver's insurance company may contact you. If so, be polite, but be very careful. Don't make a recorded statement or sign anything without consulting your attorney. Your own insurance policy will likely require you to report your accident to your insurance company as well. If your insurer asks you to make a statement, contact an attorney first. If you decide to make a statement without the guidance of an attorney (which we would not recommend), do not discuss fault or say you were not injured. Just state the facts. Even your own insurance company may try to downplay your injuries in order to pay less.

Be careful when talking to others

You will likely discuss the accident with family or others you trust. Note, however, that conversations with friends and the public may not be confidential. Don't discuss your accident on social media.

Consult a personal injury attorney

Do not discuss the accident with representatives of an insurance company without consulting an attorney. Don't sign any paperwork or release forms without first seeking legal advice. For example, if you sign a medical release, others have access to all your medical records, including those before your accident.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

Under personal injury law, if you can prove that another person's negligence caused your accident, you can recover damages from that person for any injuries you suffered in the accident. The law generally defines negligence as "a failure to exercise the care that one of ordinary prudence would have exercised in the same circumstances." Therefore, guilt is a critical element of your lawsuit.

Illinois uses fault system, also called tort system, to decide who is financially responsible after a car accident. This simply means that the person a court holds responsible for the accident must pay damages for the harm resulting from the accident.

Which claims for damages can I assert?

When a court awards money damages, it's an attempt to make the injured party "whole," or like they were before the accident. The amount of compensation is based on the facts of each case and the extent of injuries or property damage caused by the accident.

If you were in a car accident that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for losses resulting from the accident, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and similar services
  • Lost wages due to lack of work
  • General pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Temporary and permanent disability
  • Funeral and burial expenses (if you lost a family member in the hospital) accident)
  • All other costs directly related to the accident

In personal injury cases, the two most common types of compensation are: economic loss and non-economic loss. Economic damages (also called special damages) refer to damages for which you have a billing form, z. B. Medical damages, home care, lost wages, or other expenses that were directly related to your accident.

Non-economic damages (also referred to as general damages) are damages that are not directly related to costs or bills, but are still considered damages. An example of non-economic harm is pain and suffering. In terms of general damages, if your case goes to court, the judge or jury will consider what your life was like before your injury and what it is like now. Based on this assessment, they calculate a monetary amount for pain and suffering, loss of health and loss of normal life. If your case doesn't make it to court and you settle instead, that number will be determined in negotiations with your attorney and the insurance company.

What can a car accident lawyer do for you?

A car accident lawyer can deal with insurance companies, properly file all paperwork and documents, accurately calculate your damages, and represent you in court if needed. At the time of billing, they often negotiate with your doctors to lower the amount of your medical bills. You do this to put more money in your pocket.

Once you have selected an attorney, you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Your attorney will handle the task of dealing with the insurance adjuster.

Like all other states, Illinois sets a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is called a statute of limitations. If you don't file your claim within the appropriate time, you risk losing the ability to sue, so consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This way you can make sure you get back all the compensation you need for your medical and other expenses.

Filing a claim for your car accident can be a stressful process, but with Abels& Annes we are here to help you take the weight off your shoulders. We're here for you every step of the way, working tirelessly to get you the best possible settlement deal. If your case goes to trial, we will use our decades of experience to win your case and get you back to your normal life as quickly as possible.

Hiring an attorney is the best first step you can take to get compensation for your injuries. For more information and a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at (855) 529-2442.