Top 7 Tips To Obtain a Car Accident Settlement in Chicago
It often takes years to obtain a car accident settlement in Chicago. Our approach in car accident cases is to aggressively pursue settlement options to avoid the costs and uncertainty associated with litigation. However, we are always prepared to engage our litigation counsel if necessary.
Below are my top 7 tips to obtain a car accident settlement in Chicago:
Tip Number 1
If you have been involved in a car accident, the most important thing is to receive proper medical care. If you suffered “permanent” injuries, no settlement in the world is going to accurately compensate you for your injuries.
As such, I always advise my clients to “Focus on Your Health, Not Your Case.”
Tip Number 2
This one might sound self-serving, but you should also consult with a Chicago car accident lawyer. I know what you’re thinking – of course he’s going to say that.
I don’t care whether it’s with me or someone else, but there are a lot of moving pieces after an accident and it’s important to get some guidance when you get started. If nothing else, do some research on Illinois law on YouTube or Google.
I’ve seen many things happen in the days and weeks after an accident. I’ve seen victims act out of emotion, giving damaging statements and waiving important rights. Such errors can have devastating consequences and prevent the victim from receiving a fair car accident settlement.
Tip Number 3
If a doctor tells you to do something, do it. I’ve seen several cases where my clients did not follow their doctors’ instructions. Believe me, that is going to come back to haunt you when you’re trying to settle your case. Insurance companies will use your failure to follow doctor’s instructions against you.
Once your medical treatment is finished, we will obtain all of your medical bills and records and review them in depth. We will submit this information along with a formal demand letter to the insurance company.
The insurance company will then analyze the medical bills and records as well. While we try to use the medical information to our advantage, they will try to use it against us. This means, capitalizing on gaps in treatment, failure to follow doctor’s orders, and of course, pre-existing conditions.
Tip Number 4
What are Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts in Illinois? Every case is different and I’ve seen insurance companies offer widely disparate amounts for the same injuries.
It’s really a sliding scale. In cases where the victim suffered significant and/or permanent injures and missed a substantial amount of time from work, the recovery will be vastly greater than someone who suffered a neck or back sprain.
Tip Number 5
Another important consideration in Illinois is who was at fault. Illinois is what is known as a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence seeks to allocate recovery based on the extent of the parties’ responsibility for the accident.
In short, if you are 50% or less at fault for an accident, you can recover for your injuries in Illinois. If you are 50.1% or more at fault, you are barred from recovering.
Establishing fault in a contested matter is just another reason why I highly recommend that you consult with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer.
Insurance companies will seek to reduce your recovery by placing blame on you for the accident. In order to receive the maximum car accident settlement in Chicago, you need an experienced attorney to disprove allegations of fault against you.
Tip Number 6
What if you get hit by an uninsured driver? Often, our clients are involved in auto accidents with another driver that either does not have insurance or has a small insurance policy.
I had a mini-van accident case like that recently. In that case, our client was struck while driving his mini-van in Hoffman Estates. He suffered an injured knee which was worth much more than the $25,000 in insurance the other driver had.
Fortunately, our client carried an underinsured motorist policy and we were able to seek $25,000 from the other driver’s insurance company and another $70k from our client’s insurance company.
Tip Number 7
How Long Does it Take to Receive a Car Accident Settlement? The time required to receive a settlement is a common and valid concern of our clients. Often, car accident victims suffer an immediate financial loss that can add to the stress and trauma of the auto accident.
In addition to medical bills, the cost of purchasing or renting another car and lost wages can take a major toll on clients. While every case is different, we will work to obtain the maximum possible recovery as quickly as possible. However, I don’t want to mislead you either. It’s going to take a while.
Thanks for checking out my blog on the top 7 tips to obtain a car accident settlement in Chicago. If you have been in an auto accident and would like to consult with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer, please contact us today for a free consultation.
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