When a car accident is the result of the other driver doing something wrong – being distracted by a phone, driving too fast, being reckless or impaired by drugs or alcohol, for example – the at-fault driver can be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused as a result of their negligence.
The law requires every driver to carry insurance to cover any damages or injuries they may cause to another motorist, so most of us expect that our losses will be covered if we are involved in an accident. But what if the other driver chooses to drive without insurance or they don’t carry enough insurance? Even when a driver does obey the law and carry sufficient insurance, it can be time consuming, confusing, and frustrating to get the insurance company to treat you fairly and compensate you appropriately for your losses without help from a Clinton car accident lawyer.
If you have been involved in a car crash in the area, it makes sense to talk to a legal professional today to get help with your claim. An experienced attorney could help you understand your legal rights and build a case that will result in a favorable financial outcome for you.
What Should You Do Following a Car Crash
Car accidents are frightening events. Being prepared ahead of time can help you navigate the experience and also help you avoid making any mistakes that may cost you later.
- Address your medical concerns first and foremost. Get evaluated as soon as possible, follow any recommendations from your doctor, and seek the treatment that you need to guarantee that you recover as much and as quickly as you possibly can. Don’t try to “tough it out” – you’ll only be hurting yourself, and your chances of a full recovery and give the impression that you weren’t injured all that badly or even at all.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Keep in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is working to pay out as little as possible on your claim. Do not admit fault and never agree to a make a statement, either recorded or in writing, before you talk with an experienced local vehicle accident lawyer. They may tell you that they can’t process your claim without a statement from you or that it will speed the process if you comply – neither of these is true. They will use your statement to benefit their case, not yours.
- Carefully make record of every appointment and doctor that you see. For example, include any ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, rehab or physical therapy appointment, and home health care visit. Keep all your bills for prescriptions, medical equipment and any other cost associated with your accident.
- Also record all the other financial losses that result from your accident. Lost wages, paying someone to drive you or perform tasks around your house, care for your pets, the cost of a rental car – all of these will be useful for your attorney to use when establishing your losses.
- All of your medical bills should be sent to your own insurance company for payment. The at-fault driver’s insurance will likely ask you for copies of your bills, so you may assume they will be paying them. They won’t. They are just collecting information to build their case against you. You want to make sure your bills get paid on time to avoid problems down the road.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company may offer to pay out quickly if you sign a settlement agreement. Never agree to sign to settle a claim without first consulting with a Clinton attorney. In almost every case an attorney will be able to negotiate a much more favorable settlement on your behalf.
Damages That May Be Recovered Following a Clinton Car Crash
Your claim for damages will likely include things like property damage to your vehicle, any medical care you required following the accident or in the future as a result of your injuries, and any lost wages you experienced as a result of the accident. You may also seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, loss of the lifestyle you previously enjoyed, or wrongful death if a loved one was lost in the accident.
A skilled lawyer in Clinton who has successfully handled car collision claims could discuss with you the areas of compensatory damages that may apply to your individual case.
The At-Fault Driver Didn’t Have Insurance – Now What?
Drivers in Illinois are required by law to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Sadly, many drivers ignore the law and drive without insurance. But even if they do carry the minimum, it may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. You should check with your own insurance company to make sure you have an important coverage on your policy called Uninsured/Underinsured insurance to provide protection in the event this should happen to you. Contact your own agent today to add this coverage if you don’t already have it.
Even when the other driver is uninsured or inadequately insured, there may still be ways you can seek compensation. A nearby lawyer with auto wreck experience could discuss those options with you.
I Want to Hire a Lawyer – But What Does it Cost?
A consultation with an attorney should be at no cost or obligation to you. Personal injury attorneys generally take cases on a contingency basis, which means they don’t receive any payment unless and until they obtain a recovery on your behalf. You typically would not have to pay the lawyer any up-front retainer or by the hour. Contingency fee agreements should always be in writing.
Call a Clinton Car Accident Attorney Today
Being involved in a motor vehicle wreck is a distressing event. A Clinton car accident lawyer could help you navigate the process from filing your claim through a satisfactory resolution. Many car crash cases are settled without going to court, but if necessary we have the experience to represent you in court as well.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle collision that was not your fault, call our office today to discuss your options.