Distracted driving, driving while impaired, ignoring traffic laws, speeding or driving recklessly – any of these can cause an accident. If a driver is breaking a law and causes an accident, they will face the legal consequences. But the negligent act of another driver can leave you with serious bodily injuries or expensive damages to your vehicle. In that case you have the right to file a personal injury claim to be compensated for your damages.
What if the other driver has chosen to ignore the law and is driving without insurance? What if they don’t have insurance? What if the at fault driver does carry insurance but the insurance company is difficult to work with? A Pekin car accident lawyer has experience working with insurance companies and could help you answer these questions and maximize your potential recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or financial losses due to an auto accident that was not your fault, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney in Pekin to discuss your rights and to learn how you can get the justice you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Car Crash?
You never plan to be in a vehicle accident, but it is good to be prepared in case you are faced with the reality one day. There are things you should do immediately after and in the days following a car crash.
Your health should always come first. Seek medical care so you can be thoroughly evaluated for injuries and get the recommended treatment to get you back on your feet again as soon as possible. Follow your doctor’s advice to give yourself a good chance for full recovery.
Call your insurance company. Look out for your own interests, just as the insurance company will look after theirs. Notify your insurance company, but do not admit fault. They will likely ask you for a written or recorded statement – never agree to this without first seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Keep careful records of your medical care, every doctor you see, and every treatment you receive. Your attorney will use this information to determine the value of your claim. Consider the emergency room, ambulance, hospital, doctors, tests, rehabilitation, physical therapy, home health care as well as medical equipment costs like braces, crutches or wheelchairs.
What other ways have you been financially impacted by the accident? Do you have lost wages? Are you having to pay someone to do the things you normally would do around the house like lawn care, cleaning, or caring for pets? Did you need to rent a car? All of these will be important for your local car wreck attorney as a reference for developing your claim.
It is generally in your best interest to have your medical bills sent to your own health insurance company to make sure they get paid. The at-fault parties insurance company may ask for copies of your bills, but they are only gathering information. They will not pay your bills. Instead of giving the at-fault driver’s insurance company a HIPAA or medical record release, we recommend having your own attorney gather your medical records and review them for accuracy before providing them to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Never agree to a settlement without first consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney. An insurance company will often try to get you to sign an agreement quickly by making a low cash offer. In almost every case, an attorney who has experience working with insurance companies will negotiate a settlement that will be more favorable to you than anything the insurance company offers you.
What Damages Can I Recover?
A skilled Pekin attorney will understand the various types of damages that you can recover for following a vehicle accident.
Some of these include things like the cost of your medical care and recovery, both current and future, the cost of short or long term care, the loss of income or potential income as a result of your injuries, compensation for your pain and suffering or for the wrongful death of a loved one who dies as a result of an accident.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
The State of Illinois has minimum requirements for liability insurance for anyone who drives a car. However, not every driver lives up to this responsibility and instead choose to drive without insurance. And even if insured, they maybe not carry enough insurance to compensate you for the losses you suffer as a result of the accident they cause. To protect yourself and you family, you need to carry Uninsured/Underinsured coverage on your own policy. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have this important coverage.
However, there can be ways to recover damages even from an uninsured or underinsured driver. A car collision lawyer in Pekin would be happy to discuss these options with you in a free consultation.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost for a Car Accident?
Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means they are not paid unless and until you receive a settlement. Personal injury contracts must be in writing. Our Pekin motor vehicle accident attorneys will be happy to discuss the full cost of the services, but it is important to know that you aren’t expected to come up with any money down, any retainer, or to pay your lawyers by the hour in contingency fee cases.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the process of recovery can be stressful and complex. An attorney who has experience with car accident cases knows how to work with insurance companies, develop a strong case, make a claim for recovery, and could maximize your chances of reaching a successful resolution. Often this can be done without litigation, but if necessary, an experienced local attorney could take your case to trial.
Call a Pekin Car Accident Attorney for Legal Help
Don’t be overwhelmed on your own trying to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Call a Pekin car accident lawyer and take advantage of our knowledge of the law and experience negotiating with insurance companies and getting successful resolutions for our clients. Contact our office today to discuss your options in a free consultation.