What To Do After A Car Accident in Glenview

what to do in a car accidentIf you are involved in a Glenview auto accident, you may have been the driver who caused the accident rather than the victim. What do you do if you get sued? Check out this blog article on what to do in a car accident. And call for a free consultation if you have any questions at 847-305-4105.

There have been a couple really bad Glenview auto accident cases in the past 60 days. In one accident, a Glenview teenager named Jun Yang was involved in a solo vehicle accident. He had a passenger in the car who was also injured. Yang was 16 years old. I am the father of three teenage daughters, one of whom drives and a second who is about to start driver’s ed. So, this story really impacted me.

Then at the end of June 2018, a construction worker was hit by a truck that was backing up near Crestwood and Carousel drives in Glenview.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the worker suffered serious injuries and was taken to the emergency room at Lutheran General Hospital.

If you are injured in a Glenview auto accident through no fault of your own, there are numerous resources on this website where you can find information on how to proceed. I will shamelessly suggest you should talk to a Glenview car accident lawyer about your case.

But what do you do if you caused the auto accident? In that case, you are the “defendant.” This is the situation we all dread because if you did, in fact, cause the accident:

  • Your car was likely also damaged
  • You have to pay your deductible to get your car fixed
  • You will have to spend a lot of time dealing with the aftermath of the accident, and of course
  • You cannot recover for your “pain and suffering”
  • Your auto insurance rates will likely go up

What are your defenses to have caused the accident?

Your primary defense to having caused a Glenview auto accident (aside from pleading innocence) is to argue that the other driver was comparatively negligent. In the state of Illinois, a driver can recover for their damages if they are not more than 50% responsible for the accident.

If you can prove that the other driver was even slightly drunk, or texting while driving, or otherwise distracted and that they, therefore, were partially at fault for the accident, you can diminish the amount of your responsibility for the accident.

What should you do?

Bottom line is, if you hit someone, call your insurance company immediately. That is why you have auto insurance. You’ve paid premiums for years just in case this situation arises. Let your insurance company and the insurance adjuster do their job. Believe me, they will look for every mechanism possible to deny or reduce your liability.

What if you don’t have auto insurance?

First, if you don’t have auto insurance, you can and likely will be cited by the police officer and will be required to appear in court.

You will be personally “liable” or responsible for the damages you caused. And you may very well get sued. Chances are if you cannot afford auto insurance you can’t afford to hire an attorney to defend you. In this case, you have to hope that the person you hit has adequate limits of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and collision coverage to get their vehicle fixed.

Regardless, you will likely get a letter from the insurance company which will seek to “subrogate” or obtains reimbursement for the money they paid to their insured.

The bottom line is that before you get in a Glenview auto accident, make sure you have adequate limits of auto insurance. If you want a free consultation on how to best protect yourself, feel free to contact me at 847-305-4105.

Glenview Attorney

Glenview Attorney
Glenview Lawyer

My name is Barry Zlotowicz and I’m a Glenview lawyer. I often hear jokes about lawyers. I’m a personal injury lawyer and as such, have often been called an “ambulance chaser.” I take no offense to these jokes. But what I do object to are outrageous claims made by attorneys to convince an accident victim to hire them. This gives all lawyers a bad name. If you want a fair assessment of your case, call us at 312-848-9783.

The Million Dollar Case

A couple months ago I received a call from a woman who was injured in an auto accident. She was climbing into the back seat of a co-worker’s car when suddenly the co-worker started to drive away. The victim was dragged behind the car for approximately twenty feet. In the process, she re-aggravated a pre-existing knee condition.

She started calling lawyers to obtain information. One lawyer she spoke to immediately told her that she had a “million-dollar case.” Most people when they hear that would get pretty excited. Who doesn’t want a million dollars? But she was a bit suspicious and called our office for another opinion.

“A million dollars” she told me. “Really,” I said. I asked her about her injuries and determined that there might be a case, depending on the severity of her injury. I asked her how much insurance the driver of the vehicle had and how much underinsured (UIM) insurance she had. She didn’t know.

Politely I told her, “if the defendant only has a $25,000.00 insurance policy, where is the other $975,000.00 coming from?”

Illinois Insurance Policy Requirements

In the State of Illinois, all drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000.00 in liability coverage. Very often, that is all the money there is to recover for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

As such, it is critical that you have enough uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – a minimum of $100,000.00, if you can afford it. You cannot control how much insurance the other guy has but you can take steps to protect yourself.

Personal Injury Settlements

The reason so many people fall for exaggerated evaluations – like the million-dollar case – is that huge verdicts are the only verdicts we hear about in the news media. It’s not sexy to report on the simple auto accident which resulted in a fractured arm and settled for $50,000.00. The media would rather tell you about the million-dollar Liebeck vs. McDonalds Restaurants hot coffee case.

Yet $25,000.00 and $50,000.00 recoveries are far more common and represent what most personal injury settlements look like. Sure, there occasionally are multi-million-dollar cases, but they are few and far between.

Fair and Honest Assessment

When attempting to determine how much your case is worth, you have to take into account a variety of factors. This includes the amount of your medical bills, the severity of your injury, what insurance company you are dealing with, and more.

If you contact our office, one thing we can guarantee is that we will give you fair and honest assessment of your case. We will help you establish reasonable expectations so that there are no surprises when the insurance company makes its’ first offer. We believe this is a good policy all around. It helps us meet our obligation to be honest with our clients and also gives our clients accurate information upon which to make decisions about how to proceed.

Small Claims Court

For many cases, you may not even need a Glenview lawyer. If your case is worth less than $10,000.00, which many soft tissue cases are (often those cases involving minor contusions, sprains and strains), you can even represent yourself by filing a lawsuit in small claims court. If we feel this is your best option, we will tell you.

Don’t fall for exaggerated claims. Call our office for a free consultation. We will take the time to discuss your case with you. You will talk to a Glenview lawyer, not just an admin person. Call us today at 312-848-9783

Get Medical Treatment If You Get Hit In An Auto Accident

We’ve recently signed up several new clients who we urged to get medical treatment right away. Stories below.

Many of the new cases have been auto accident cases (not many people riding bicycles or motorcycles right now in Illinois). However, I’ve noticed a trend recently. Mainly, that many clients are calling us up and they have no idea what their injuries are. Their ankle hurts or their knee or shoulder. They went to the emergency room right after the accident (sometimes the morning after) and were checked out. However, they realized quickly that an E.R. doesn’t provide optimum care. They will stabilize you and get you out to a specialist. As such, clients are coming home from the hospital not knowing what is really wrong with them.

Then they make the mistake of talking with the insurance company, telling them everything, and possibly even settling for a small amount. This is a mistake.

Two clients that come quickly to mind include “Rory” who got rear ended in an accident down near Aurora, Illinois. His shoulder which had pre-existing issues was thrust forward. Rory is a vet so his medical care is awful at the VA. They put him off and put him off until a couple months later they realized he suffered a fracture in the head of his shoulder.

Another client “Lee” who we recently signed up was injured near Des Plaines, Illinois. He was feeling pain in his neck but didn’t act on it right after his accident. We encouraged him to get to a doctor immediately and here we are a few weeks (and a cervical MRI) later and he in fact has a bulging disc.

Both these guys would have suffered the short end of the stick if they didn’t pursue further medical attention. They might have settled their case for a nominal amount or they might have waited six months to get any treatment which only would have opened the door for the insurance company to argue “gap in treatment.”

The bottom line – get in an accident, contact an attorney and get medical treatment.

If you have a question about your accident, call me at 847-305-4105. Barry Zlotowicz

Despite the attention, sports are not the leading cause of brain injuries

Slip and Fall AccidentsBrain injuries cause about 30 percent of the injury deaths in the U.S. each year, and many survivors in Illinois suffer permanent disabilities and must rely on state services to meet basic needs. Any blow or jolt to the head that interrupts brain function is diagnosed as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A force penetrating or fracturing the skull may also cause a TBI.

Much of the media attention about brain trauma has focused on sports injuries. However, blunt force trauma, which encompasses sports injuries to the head as well as many other sources, comprises only 15 percent of TBIs. Data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that falls and car accidents account for more than 50 percent of the overall number.

Continue reading “Despite the attention, sports are not the leading cause of brain injuries”