Most people understand that car accidents are caused by someone doing something that they should not be doing, such as driving too fast, ignoring safety regulations, driving while distracted by a phone, being reckless, inattentive or maybe even impaired by drugs or alcohol. If an accident is a result of a law being broken, the driver can be held responsible by the justice system.
Unfortunately, another person’s negligence can lead to expensive damages and devastating injuries. In that case, the injured person has the right to seek compensation. Most people assume insurance will cover their losses, but what if the at fault driver has chosen to ignore the law and drive without insurance? Even when the other party does carry insurance, it can be difficult, confusing, and time consuming to work with an insurance company to compensate you fairly for all of your losses.
It makes sense then, that if you are faced with injuries or losses from a motor vehicle crash you should consider working with a Pontiac car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney could explain your legal rights and fight to get the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Car Wreck
Being involved in a crash can be an overwhelming and scary experience, so it is important to be prepared for the steps you should take if it happens to you or someone you love.
- First, take care of your medical needs. Make sure you get evaluated for injury and get the necessary treatment. Follow any recommendations for care that your doctor gives to ensure you are able to make as full a recovery as possible.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Be aware that the goal of the insurance company is to pay out as little as possible on your accident – they are working for the best interest of the company, not you. Never admit fault and never agree to a recorded or written statement without first consulting with an experienced local attorney.
- Keep track of every health care provider you see. This will be helpful as your attorney seeks compensation for all of your expenses. This includes the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, rehabilitation, physical therapy, chiropractor, psychological care, and home health care. Keep your bills for prescriptions as well as medical equipment like crutches, braces, canes, and wheelchairs.
- Keep track of any other financial losses you may incur. If you were unable to work, you have lost wages. You may have to pay someone to do lawn care, clean your house, do household repairs that you would normally do yourself, or care for your pets. If you cannot drive your car, you may need to rent a vehicle. All of these should be recorded for your attorney to reference later.
- Many people make the mistake of trying to have their medical bills paid for directly by the at-fault party’s insurance company, especially if they are asking for your bills. They are only collecting information and will not pay your bills directly. Have the bills sent to your own health insurance company to make sure they get paid. This will also result in a better recovery for your medical losses when your attorney prepares your case.
- Under no circumstances should you sign for a quick settlement from an insurance company. The at-fault party’s insurance company (or even your own insurance company) will frequently offer a sum of cash if you sign a settlement agreement. Do not agree to this without first consulting with an attorney who has experience with settling auto accident claims in Pontiac. In almost every case, this will result in negotiating a better settlement in the long run.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
There are a number of areas of compensation related to damages suffered that can be negotiated by a skilled Pontiac attorney following a car accident.
These may include property damage, medical care now or in the future, lost wages or benefits while recovering or in the future, the cost of short- or long-term care, compensation for pain and suffering, loss of normal life or companionship, or wrongful death if a loved one was lost in an accident.
What If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
In the State of Illinois all drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance for bodily injury. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the law and carry insurance and, even if they do carry the minimum, that may not come close to compensating you for your injuries. Your own insurance should provide Uninsured/Underinsured coverage on your policy to protect you in the event this happens. Contact your insurance agent to make sure you have or can add this important coverage. There may still be ways to recover from an uninsured or underinsured driver, so be sure to contact an experienced vehicle crash lawyer in Pontiac for a free consultation to discuss those options.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for a Car Crash?
Dealing with the aftermath of a vehicle collision is complicated and can be stressful. A Pontiac car wreck attorney knows the law and has experience negotiating with insurance companies. Legal counsel could build your case, make your claim, and work to get a successful resolution. This can usually be done without going to trial, but when a trial is necessary, a lawyer could take your case to court and represent you.
Personal injury lawyers generally work on contingency, which means they receive a portion of any settlement you receive as payment for their work. Read any contract to understand the terms you are agreeing to before hiring a local attorney to represent you in your accident claim. They may also be entitled to reimbursement for costs associated with representing you – things like travel expenses, court costs, and witness fees. Ask any attorney you meet with to explain to you the full cost of their service.
Call a Pontiac Car Accident Attorney for Legal Help
A car accident is an overwhelming experience. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it on your own. A Pontiac car accident lawyer is dedicated to pursuing compensation on your behalf. Our team knows the law and understands how to negotiate with insurance companies for successful resolution for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, we encourage you to contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your options.