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Driving a car or being a passenger within a car is a daily experience for most people. Yet as common as driving is, car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in Illinois, Wisconsin, and throughout the Country. If you have been in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need an attorney. At Claim Your Justice, we are happy to review your case free of charge and provide you with a recommendation on the value of your case.

As you read the following, keep in mind that our lawyers are available to serve you and that even in minor car accidents, at least consulting with a lawyer is usually in your best interests.

Factors That Increase the Complexity of a Car Accident Claim

Whether or not you need an attorney to represent you during your car accident claim depends on whether you want to maximize your recovery. Working with an attorney in a serious crash can improve the outcome of your case. Consider the following factors and call Claim Your Justice with any questions you might have.

  • Fault is disputed. When fault is cut and dry in a car accident claim and all parties agree about who should be held responsible, recovering a settlement will be a lot easier. On the other hand, if fault is disputed, then your claim may be denied, or you might be offered less than you deserve. What’s more, if a thorough investigation hasn’t been conducted, then you may simply not know who is at fault and against whom you should file a claim. Until you know who is at fault, and have evidence to prove it, you’ll have difficulty recovering the settlement you deserve.
  • A claim is low-balled. Even if all parties involved recognize the fault of the other, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll receive a settlement offer that fairly compensates you. In fact, one of the jobs of an insurance adjuster is to save an insurance company money. This means that the insurance adjuster may offer you a low-balled settlement offer. If this happens to you, know that you have rights, including the right to reject the settlement offer and negotiate for something that’s fair, as well as the right to contact an attorney for representation.
  • Injuries are severe. You will want someone on your side who can aggressively represent your interests. When injuries are serious and you’re suffering losses, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress, recovering a settlement that’s fair will have a huge impact on your future. Don’t risk it when so much is on the line – call Claim Your Justice and get an attorney who will fight for you.
  • The other party doesn’t have insurance. If the party who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance, you may be panicked about what you’ll do and how you’ll recover compensation for your injuries. While this certainly does complicate things, there are options available. Working with an attorney from Claim Your Justice can help by identifying other avenues for recovery and even do things like work with the hospital to have a portion of your medical bills forgiven.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help – The Role of a Lawyer in a Car Accident Claim

When thinking about whether you should hire an attorney, it’s important to know what an attorney does. The following outlines some of the basic jobs of a car accident attorney when representing a client after a crash.

  • Investigating the accident. One of the most important roles of a car accident lawyer is that of investigating an accident. Your attorney will possibly travel to the scene of the crash, talk to eyewitnesses, get a copy of the police report, request access to vehicle electronic control module data, and hire accident reconstruction experts in order to determine exactly how the crash occurred.
  • Gathering evidence. Throughout the accident investigation phase, your attorney will also gather evidence to support your claim, including eyewitnesses’ testimonies, experts’ opinions, photos of the accident scene and vehicle, and more.
  • Determining fault and liability. After an investigation has been completed and evidence has been gathered, your attorney will analyze the evidence and make a determination about whose fault caused the crash and therefore who should be held liable for any damages that have resulted.
  • Issuing a demand letter. As part of the process, your attorney will also calculate the value of your damages, both economic and non-economic. After liability has been determined, your attorney will issue a demand letter to the responsible party requesting compensation for the full value of your damages.
  • Reviewing a settlement. Once a demand letter is issued, the insurance adjuster will likely make a counteroffer in the form of a settlement. Do not accept the first settlement offer! Your attorney will review the settlement and determine if it is fair.
  • Negotiating a settlement. If a settlement offer is too low, your attorney will enter settlement negotiations on your behalf. This process can take weeks or months.
  • Preparing a case for court. Finally, if a settlement is reached, then the case will be concluded; if an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached, then you will need to file a lawsuit if you want to continue to pursue a greater damages award. An attorney can prepare your case for court and represent you during litigation.

Frequently Asked Questions a Lawyer at Claim Your Justice Can Answer

Our lawyers receive many questions about the car accident claims process and the role of an attorney. Consider the following answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear.

1. How much should you get for pain and suffering in a car accident?

Pain and suffering damages are damages for the physical and emotional distress caused by an injury and are a form of non-economic damages. Pain and suffering damages are not capped in Illinois, which means that you can seek maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. How much you will recover for pain and suffering damages depends on the extent of your injuries and for how long you are expected to experience pain and suffering.

2. How can I prove my pain and suffering?

There are multiple types of evidence that can be used to establish pain and suffering. In addition to photographs of your injuries, a personal journal detailing how you have been impacted, testimony from friends and family who can speak to your life before and after the accident, and current medical documents, the testimonies of experts can be especially valuable.

For example, medical professionals may be called upon who can offer an opinion about your injuries and for how long your injuries are expected to last and how they may impact you into the future, as can psychological/mental health professionals.

3. How much is pain and suffering worth?

How much pain and suffering are worth varies on a case-by-case basis. If a person is totally disabled by their injuries and will never be able to regain the same level of mobility or quality of life they had before the accident, their noneconomic damages will likely be valued higher than someone who is only partially disabled temporarily and whose injuries are expected to heal in full.

4. How is pain and suffering calculated in an accident?

There are different methods for calculating pain and suffering. Using the per diem method, a monetary value is assigned per day, and then that number is multiplied by the number of days for which the individual is expected to experience pain and suffering. There is also the multiplier method, which involves assigning a number 1-5, and then multiplying that number by the economic damages suffered.

A higher number on the 1-5 scale is based on the nature of the injuries, disfigurement, and disability, psychological trauma, for how long injuries are expected to last, and more. At Claim Your Justice we use the method that will maximize your recovery.

5. How long do you have to accept a settlement offer?

Just because a settlement offer is made does not mean you have to accept the offer – you can reject it and ask for a better offer, which may go on for months in some cases. With that in mind, note that you only have two years in Illinois and three years in Wisconsin from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit.

Call Claim Your Justice Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you have more questions about working with a Schaumburg, IL car accident attorney after a car crash, please feel free to call our office directly for a free consultation. We are available to start working on your case immediately.

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We are highly experienced personal injury lawyers. We know how to help accident victims receive the full financial compensation they deserve. Our Winning Team is focused, dedicated, and sensitive to each of our client's needs. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Our Location 1990 Algonquin Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60173