If you've been injured in a car accident, seek advice from an experienced accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can help accident victims with insurance companies, settlements, and deadlines. Ask any questions that come up during the process, from accident lawsuit fees to legal issues.

Chris Ktenas, Chicago car accident lawyer

It's important to feel comfortable communicating with your personal injury lawyer so that you can tell your story effectively. At Ktenas Injury Attorneys, our car accident lawyers will answer any questions confidentially and protect your legal rights throughout your case. We are here to help auto accident victims of negligent drivers seek justice after an accident. Call our firm at 312-300-2515 to get started.

Questions to Ask During a Consultation

After a car accident, it's important to seek help from an attorney. The attorney can evaluate your case and make an informed decision on whether you can receive compensation for damages. They can also advise you on steps to protect your legal standing.

To ensure a thorough initial consultation, it is recommended to prepare a list of questions regarding coverage options, insurance policies, financial compensation, police reports, property damage, evidence collection, medical records, out-of-pocket expenses, process duration, and potential outcomes.

a gavel and car model on an attorneys desk

By asking these questions, the lawyer can make a thorough assessment of your personal injury lawsuit and provide appropriate guidance. Engaging in open communication with prospective attorneys guarantees that they know all pertinent information.

How Much Time Do I Have to File My Claim?

Knowing the deadlines for filing a lawsuit after a car accident is crucial. You can consult your car accident lawyer to get honest answers to all your questions regarding the deadlines you need to meet. It's important to ask when you must file a claim because different types of claims and locations may have different deadlines.

Also, the statute of limitations can limit the time you have to file a claim, which may impact your ability to receive compensation.

How Can You Help My Injury Case?

When seeking the services of a personal injury attorney for a car accident case, it is essential to inquire about their specific abilities to assist you. During the initial consultation, it is recommended to ask relevant questions about your case.

How Long Could My Case Take?

If you are considering hiring an auto accident attorney, one of the most important questions to ask is how long your case will take. It is important to understand that each case is different, so there is no “one size fits all” answer.

However, a skilled attorney should be able to provide you with a realistic time frame based on the circumstances of your case. The length of the legal process may also depend on whether or not you choose to settle the case out of court or if you decide to take it to trial. It is important to discuss your options with your lawyer and ask questions about how long each option will take.

What is the Likelihood of My Injury Case Going to Trial?

When determining the likelihood of an injury case going to trial, there are a few key factors that can help provide insight.

Ultimately, if the parties involved are unable to agree out of court, a trial may be necessary to determine how much damages should be awarded. It is important to discuss this possibility with your lawyer so that you can understand what to expect and plan accordingly.

What Damages Can I Get For My Claim?

When it comes to recovering damages after a car accident, the extent of what is recoverable can vary greatly depending on the type of accident and the amount of liability that each party holds. This is why it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer to determine what types of damages are available for recovery. A good question to ask a car accident attorney is “What is the extent of recoverable damages?”

a man meeting with a car accident attorney

The types of damages that may be available to you include economic and non-economic damages. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is important to discuss all the potential damages with your lawyer so that you can understand what is available and how much you may be able to recover.

What Should You Do When the Insurance Company Makes an Offer?

If you have been involved in a car accident and the insurance company makes an offer, it is important to consult with your lawyer for their advice. Your attorney can help you understand what the offer means and whether or not it is fair compensation for your injuries. They will also be able to explain any legal implications of accepting the offer, as well as any settlement options that may be available.

Call Us Today For Help After a Car Accident!

Are you looking for answers after being in a car accident? Ktenas Injury Attorneys is here to help. Our knowledgeable and experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers are ready to answer all of your questions. Whether you’re trying to understand the legal process or determine if you have a case, we can provide the answers you need. Contact us today to get started on your journey toward justice.

Call us at 312-300-2515 we will provide you with a free consultation and case evaluation. We are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation that you deserve.

Left-hand turn accidents are a common type of car accident in Illinois. In many cases, it is difficult to determine who is at fault for a left-hand turn accident because there may be multiple contributing factors. However, Illinois law dictates that the left-hand turning driver making the turn into a lane of traffic must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before completing the maneuver.

Chris Ktenas and the team at Ktenas Injury Attorneys

If a driver making a left-hand turn collides with an oncoming vehicle that has the right of way, they are typically considered at fault for the accident. For legal consultation after a left-turn accident t-bone collision, consider contacting the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers at 312-300-2515 to discuss your case.

Guidelines for Handling a Left Turn Accident Case

Left-turn car crashes can be traumatic and cause catastrophic injuries. The causes of these accidents include common traffic violations such as distracted driving, fast-moving oncoming traffic, crossing traffic lights on red, or reckless illegal maneuvers.

Immediately after the accident, it's important to establish the at-fault driver by filing a police report and taking photos and footage at the scene. Collect the insurance information from both parties and seek medical attention if necessary.

a sign that tells drivers that there are no left turns there

Obtaining guidance from an experienced accident claims law firm, such as Ktenas Injury Lawyers, can prove beneficial for accident victims and individuals involved in left-turn accident cases.

Personal injury lawyers can provide clarification on common misconceptions and ensure that your legal rights are properly represented. Dealing with insurance companies after a left turn crash can be daunting, and having a motor vehicle accident lawyer by your side for auto injury claims can offer valuable assistance.

When Is the Left-Hand Turn Driver Not at Fault in an Accident?

In most cases, a driver making a left-hand turn is considered to be at fault for any automobile accident that takes place. This means that they will usually be responsible for the property damage and any injuries caused by the crash. However, there are a few exceptions when the left-turn driver is not held accountable.

One of the primary instances in which this is true is when they make the turn due to following directions given by a licensed traffic control device or law enforcement officer. In these scenarios, it can generally be assumed that they reasonably believed they were turning at a safe interval and not putting themselves or others in harm’s way.

Additionally, if an unexpected event arises on their part — such as swerving out of the way to avoid hitting an animal or object — then they should also be free from liability for any resulting accidents. Furthermore, if their vehicle was struck from behind while waiting to make the turn, then it is likely that those behind them will bear responsibility for any potential outcomes of rear-end accident.

The Other Driver Was Speeding

Making a left-hand turn at an intersection can be a stressful task for a driver. When faced with oncoming traffic, it is important to err on the side of caution to avoid any potential catastrophic accidents. While making a left-hand turn does assume some responsibility for traffic safety, there is still the possibility that an intersection accident could have been caused by the other motor vehicle driver, such as if the other driver was driving above the speed limit or crossed when it was not a green light.

FAQ: How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

In this situation, the driver turning left cannot be deemed responsible for the reckless behavior of another driver. To establish their innocence and the unforeseen nature of the auto accident, it is necessary to provide evidence of the oncoming driver's speed upon entering the intersection.

This can often be accomplished by an accident reconstruction specialist through information gathered from traffic cameras, witness statements, skid marks, intersection cameras, or other available forms of documentation. However, proving that the other vehicle exceeded the speed limit and is the driver at fault in a collision can be challenging without sufficient evidence and expert witness reports.

The Approaching Car Violated a Traffic Signal

A stop sign or traffic signal is one of the most important aspects of driving. It is essential for all drivers to follow these laws, as failure to do so can lead to serious accidents and fatalities on the road.

When an oncoming vehicle fails to obey traffic laws by yielding at a stop sign or traffic signal, the left-turning driver will assume that the other vehicle will yield, leading to possible left-turn collisions when it does not. In such cases, the other driver is usually held liable for placing the left-turn driver in a dangerous situation and causing the subsequent collision.

Running a stop sign or red light is a serious offense. It indicates that a driver has ignored legal barriers and other road users. Drivers who are caught doing so can face penalties such as traffic violations, fines, and license suspensions. It is crucial for non-turning drivers to adhere to basic traffic rules for safety on the roads and to prevent potential accidents.

Establishing Liability in a Left-Hand Turn Accident

Left turns can place drivers in hazardous situations, and understanding the rules of the road is crucial to avoiding an accident. Generally speaking, if a driver attempting to make a left turn does not have a green arrow and oncoming traffic is still present, they must wait before turning.

As such, if there is an accident while they are trying to make their turn, they are typically deemed as the negligent party. In these cases, the liability may fall on them regardless of any potential issues with the other driver or vehicle involved in the crash.

a car turning left at an intersection, Fault for Left-Hand Turn Accidents

However, there are some potential exceptions to this general rule for left-turn accident case liability. If the other car was speeding or ran a red light to get where it was going, then liability may potentially fall on them instead. Also, if either driver had particularly reckless behavior that caused or contributed to a catastrophic car accident – such as drinking and driving or excessive speed – then it’s possible that both drivers would be held liable.

Ultimately, each situation must be assessed on its own merits to determine which party is ultimately responsible for a left-turn car accident case.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help With a Left-Turn Accident Case

Getting legal advice from a skilled auto accident attorney after a left-turn accident is important. Accident lawyers who specialize in left-turn accidents can help protect your legal rights and navigate the compensation process. They know insurance laws and can negotiate with the other party's insurance company. A lawyer can investigate the accident's cause, assist in avoiding fault without evidence, handle paperwork, file a claim for damages, and enable you to concentrate on recovery.

Seeking advice from an experienced left-turn accident lawyer is recommended. Ktenas Injury Lawyers is a reputable legal team with many satisfied clients, that specializes in personal injury lawsuits.

For potential clients, Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you through the personal injury claims process and ensure your legal rights are protected. our experienced accident lawyers can also make sure you receive the maximum compensation for any injuries, medical bills, or losses caused by the at-fault driver's negligence. Any information shared with a left-turn accident attorney will be kept confidential and protected. To learn how we can help call us today at 312-300-2515.

It is important to get treated quickly after a car accident in order to avoid any potential complications that could arise from leaving your injuries untreated. It is important to remember that the body’s natural adrenaline response can mask any pain or discomfort you may be feeling at the moment. Once this wears off, pain and tension in affected areas become more pronounced, and hidden injuries may become visible. 

After a car accident, it can be difficult to determine which type of doctor to visit immediately. If you are unsure of which medical expert to see, our Chicago personal injury attorney can provide advice on which doctor would be most suitable for your situation. Receiving prompt medical attention is necessary to provide legal documentation and detailed records of any injuries, should legal action be pursued.

Chris Ktenas, Chicago car accident attorney

If you are an accident injury victim, contact Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer who can advise you on the best medical care options.

What Type of Treatment Should You Get Right After a Car Accident?

Following a car accident, it is critical to seek treatment right away. This will allow medical professionals to assess your injuries, give you a proper diagnosis, and provide the necessary treatment.

Depending on the severity and type of injuries you have, you may need to visit an emergency room, an urgent care doctor, a medical specialist, or a personal injury doctor for diagnosis and treatment. It is essential that you receive proper treatment for the injuries sustained in your auto accident to ensure that you'll be on the road to recovery as fast as possible.

Emergency Room Doctor

The emergency room is an important resource when it comes to medical emergencies. Emergencies often require immediate medical attention, so it's important to get to an ER immediately if you have severe injuries or life-threatening injuries.

Even if you don't think your injuries warrant going to the emergency room, if your condition deteriorates after the accident, or if you experience pain symptoms of the injury minutes or hours afterward, make sure to go see an ER doctor right away. It's important that healthcare professionals make sure you don't have any serious internal injuries.

an exterior photo of an emergency room, Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident

In addition, having access to an ER doctor late at night is essential for those whose accidents happen outside of regular clinic office hours. If you don't have access to other available healthcare options besides the ER during these times, then it's best to head there right away and get assessed by a qualified doctor on staff.

Emergency care doctors will do their best to provide the necessary treatment without making you wait in agony until the morning. Remember: never put off seeking medical help no matter what time you find yourself in need of assistance.

Urgent Care or Primary Care Doctor

Depending on the type of care and how quickly you need to be treated, you may want to consider visiting either an urgent care center or primary care provider. An urgent care clinic usually has longer hours of operation than your regular doctor’s office and is better suited for common injuries or illnesses.

If your injuries can wait long enough, it would be more beneficial to call your primary care physician and make an appointment rather than going straight to the nearest hospital. It is advisable to alert them at the time of scheduling that you recently experienced a car accident so they can plan accordingly.

Learn More: Who is Responsible for Medical Bills After a Car Accident

When you visit the doctor, it is important to provide detailed information about how your body is feeling afterward and what areas are worse than others via physical examination. Be sure to talk about any ailments such as pain or numbness that came on suddenly and how it affects daily activities such as sleeping or exercising.

Your doctor may ask for documentation from an X-ray of broken bones, blood test, MRI scan, or other diagnostic tests. They may even recommend continued care with a medical specialist based on the type of injury you have suffered.

Medical Specialist

Seeing a medical specialist can provide invaluable insight and expertise for advanced and specific illnesses. Primary doctors rely on specialist doctors to assess the most effective treatments needed to manage or resolve a health issue so that you can be treated in the quickest and most accurate way.

When you are referred to a specialist by your doctor, it means they need additional advice, treatment, or testing which they cannot provide. It is always important to follow all instructions from your doctor and if they recommend seeing a specialist promptly, then you should definitely arrange an appointment as soon as possible in order to facilitate the best care plan.

When seeing a specialist, there could potentially be more rapid diagnoses of medical issues and treatments due to their advanced knowledge. This could lead to faster recoveries and better overall well-being for those requiring more intense medical attention.

Personal Injury Doctor 

In addition to emergency response physicians, personal injury specialists also provide specialized care for car accident victims. Personal injury specialists, or accident doctors, are specifically trained to address the unique needs of automobile crash victims.

a doctor ready to see you about your injury

Accident injury doctors will evaluate the types of automobile accident injuries incurred and develop an appropriate course of action that addresses a wide range of immediate and long-term issues associated with the crash. This includes prescribing medication, recommending physical therapy or occupational therapy, administering injections, ordering imaging or diagnostic tests when necessary, and making referrals for other services if needed.

Do You Always Have to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

When it comes to the topic of whether you should always see a doctor after a car accident, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Even if you feel perfectly fine at the time of the accident and appear to be unharmed, it is still best to visit a competent physician as soon as possible.

This is due to many car accident injuries not being visible or apparent until days or even weeks after an incident occurs. Examples of such hidden ailments include head and neck injuries like whiplash, concussion, brain blood clots, and other soft-tissue damage occurring on the back muscles, nerves, and ligaments.

Related Content: Best Chiropractors in Chicago

By getting early medical care and following your doctor's orders faithfully, you can help avoid any further complications arising from your condition while also providing legal protection for yourself in case of impending litigation.

When Should You Contact an Attorney? 

When you have been involved in an accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This will help ensure that you do not miss the statute of limitations, which would prevent you from filing a personal injury claim.

An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process of obtaining all the necessary evidence to prove the extent of your injuries, such as medical records and receipts. Additionally, they can help identify any potential parties that may be held liable for negligent or reckless behavior and work with them to seek appropriate financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

Call Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation about your specific case. One of our experienced car accident lawyers will help you understand the law regarding your specific case and can help you get compensation for your injuries.

While many people assume that reckless driving or speeding is to blame, the truth is much more complicated. The reality is that Illinois has some of the most dangerous roads in the nation, and these hazards can lead to fatal car accidents.

Chris Ktenas, Illinois car accident attorney

Given the alarming rate of fatalities, it is only necessary to explore the causes of these accidents and how to ensure you are protected in the event of a tragedy. We understand how difficult it can be to lose a loved one in a car accident. Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys are here to help, call us today at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free consultation.

Top Causes of Car Accidents in Illinois

A car accident may be defined as an incident in which two or more vehicles collide, resulting in physical injury, death, and/or property damage. The incidence of car accidents has been increasing steadily in Illinois over the last few years and is a major concern for public health and safety.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2020, 78,486 collisions were reported in which at least one individual sustained property damage costing between $501 and $1,500. This goes to show that even the most trivial of collisions can carry financial costs or result in physical injury.

The cause of Illinois car accidents can be attributed to various factors. These are the top causes of fatal car accidents in the State:

Drunk Driving

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) has been identified as one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in Illinois. Drunk driving means operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level above the state’s legal limit. In Illinois, the blood-alcohol concentration limit is 0.08%. DUI could include anything from driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.

a woman on the ground injured after the cause of a fatal car accident

Every 45 minutes, 32 people in the US die in alcohol-related car crashes. The total financial cost of these fatalities was an estimated $123.3 billion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that nearly half of all motor vehicle fatalities in the state of Illinois involve alcohol consumption. In 2020, there were 1, 194 fatalities due to drunk driving accidents.

Distracted Driving

The next leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving. This refers to any activity that draws the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. It includes activities such as texting and emailing while driving, using a cell phone or other electronic device, eating, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, and more. Distracted driving accidents can be extremely dangerous and has been cited as one of the leading causes of car accidents in Illinois for several years.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that distracted driving caused by cell phone use or texting was a contributing factor in nearly 30,000 injury accidents nationwide—a staggering 9% of all motor vehicle crashes. The situation is even more severe where car crashes are concerned in Illinois, with an estimated 20% of all fatal car accidents involving distracted driving.


Speeding is another common cause of fatal car accidents in Illinois. Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit or drive recklessly are more likely to be involved in an accident. It is quite common to underestimate the speed of an approaching vehicle, thus leading to collisions.

When a vehicle is at speed, it takes much longer to come to a stop, resulting in collisions that are more severe and with higher fatality rates. With the number of speed-related fatalities rising in the state, it is essential to be aware of this hazard and drive responsibly.

Drowsy or Fatigued Driving

Drowsy or fatigued driving is another significant cause of car accidents. Drowsiness causes cognitive impairment in judgment, reaction time, and awareness, which increases the risk of being involved in a crash.  Tired drivers, who are speeding and disregarding the posted speed limit, contribute to a higher rate of accidents caused by traffic fatalities. Death from fatigued driving in 2020 was 633 in Illinois. 

When a driver is sleepy, their brain does not function properly and they may experience microsleeps that last several seconds without their knowledge. This can be extremely dangerous when driving and has the potential to cause fatal car accidents.

Weather Related Hazards

Admittedly, car accidents may not necessarily be caused by drivers’ negligence but may be unavoidable due to the conditions of the road. Weather-related hazards such as rain, snow, and ice can be extremely dangerous, making driving more difficult and increasing the risk of motor vehicle crashes. In fact, weather conditions represent a major hazard to road safety and are considered one of the leading causes of car accidents in Illinois.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Lastly, dangerous road conditions can be a major factor in fatal car accidents. Poorly maintained roads, potholes, construction sites, and other hazards that impair visibility or create obstacles can all lead to serious car accidents.

When the roads are not properly maintained, the chances of a car accident increase significantly. It is essential to be aware of this risk while driving and to always be vigilant of possible road hazards.

Legal Protection You Need in Case of a Car Accident

The legal consequences of a car accident can be devastating for all involved. If the accident was caused by negligence, recklessness, or other criminal behavior, one could be held liable for damages. The police officer may be called to the scene after a drunk driver causes a fatal accident resulting in severe injuries and bodily injury.

several cars in a pile up after a fatal cause to the accident

In the event of a fatal car accident in Illinois, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation from a qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury law. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and protect you against potential lawsuits.

It is also important to take measures to protect yourself in the event of an accident.

Help Be Part of the Solution, Keep Your Eyes on the Roads!

No matter how much effort is put in to minimize the number of fatal car accidents, the reality is that they still occur and it is important to be aware of the legal protections that are available. Knowing your rights and understanding the laws surrounding fatal car accidents can help you protect yourself in case tragedy does strike.

For example, if you are involved in a fatal car accident as a driver or passenger, the law dictates that all parties must be held accountable. Additionally, the surviving family members may be entitled to financial compensation for their loss through a wrongful death suit or other legal action "personal injury claim".

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive legal services to those who have been affected by fatal car accidents. We understand the struggles that victims and their families face, and our attorneys are dedicated to helping you move forward after such a devastating event.

Contact us today at (312) 300-2515 for more information on how we can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are protected.

A car accident is a scary and bewildering experience since it happens at unexpected times. People involved in these incidents usually don't know what actions to take afterward and may be thinking "How do I get a police report for my car accident?"

Chris Ktenas and the team at Ktenas Injury Attorneys

In Illinois, it's essential to report vehicle crashes to the necessary authorities. Not only is this recommended but it's often required--this article will explain why reporting the incident is in your best interest. For more information about getting a police report for your car accident, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney today!

What is the Process for Obtaining a Police Report in Illinois After an Accident?

When involved in a car accident, it can be confusing to know what to do next. After checking that the police and medical attention have been notified, it's essential to get an official police report ready.

If you choose to find the assistance of a car accident attorney, they will gather evidence in order to build a case so that you can get what is rightfully yours should you have been wrongly harmed. Even though the bulk of the proof for your claim will be collated by them, it is useful to learn how to acquire a police report after an accident in Illinois. The lawyer and both insurance firms will largely require the information noted by the police officer throughout the collision. Every state has its own approaches to executing this procedure, and comprehension of how it works in your state can hasten the legal course of action.

a Police Report for My Car Accident in Illinois

Should you wish to acquire a copy of the police report by mail, you can do so. A pristine version of the automobile accident report can be obtained through this method, as opposed to obtaining it via E-Pay. To get a copy of the document, you will need to submit a request accompanied by either a subpoena or court order that has been signed by a judge.

Details such as the incident number, facts about when and where the accident happened, and the names of those involved should all be included in your application. Remember to include a check and address an envelope with postage on it.

In order to get a police report (other than vehicle-related) via FOIA, you can either complete the Police FOIA form or use another option available.

For the Records Department to correctly process your request, please include as many details as possible (mainly dates, times, names, and addresses) on the form. Providing any report numbers you have can potentially help expedite the process.

Copies will not be available straight away, since the reports need to be evaluated and allowed before being released. Because of the law, it will take us 5 work days to satisfy your request. When finishing up your order, we will reach out to you with an email or whatever communication method was indicated on your form. Generally speaking, FOIA requests come without a fee attached. Still, there are exceptions; if there is a great deal of materials to copy, charges may apply.

How to Decide When to File a Police Report After a Car Crash

In Illinois, a police report can be accessed after an accident only if one was submitted. Drivers are obligated to file a crash report when the incident involves bodily injury, death, or property damages of more than $1,500 (or more than $500 when one or more drivers are uninsured).

When a police officer is sent to the location to record what happened, give your own view of events without offering any apologies. Although it may be natural to feel sorry about an upsetting episode, an apology can be seen as you admitting responsibility if it wasn't your fault.

It's only possible for a police officer not to show up at the scene of an accident if there is property damage that does not keep the vehicle stationary. In such cases, the person should report to the local police department, sheriff’s office, or Illinois State Police as soon as possible after the event happens.

FAQ: What damages can I collect after a car accident in Illinois?

The first document created after a car accident of any kind is a police report. This report is generated by the police officer who comes to the accident scene to investigate the circumstances of the motor vehicle accident or it’s generated at the police station once you report the accident should the law enforcement officer not come to the scene of the accident.

The police report aims to memorialize all relevant details regarding the car crash. It captures all information including but not limited to the names of all drivers involved in the accident, contact information, and addresses of all drivers and witnesses. The report also details weather conditions, points of contact on the vehicles, and whether any traffic tickets were issued.

Filing a Police Report

It is important to obtain a police report so that the accident is meticulously documented. Normally, officers will come to the scene and assemble the report. But if they don't, then any of the drivers must file an Illinois crash report within ten days when someone has experienced death or bodily harm due to it or if the total property damage from the collision surpasses $1,500, but all parties have coverage.

If one does not have insurance, then a written declaration needs to be submitted in cases of a loss greater than $500. You must get a copy of this newspaper for your insurer or else your claim could be denied by the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI). If needed, a car accident attorney from Chicago can help handle this task for you.

Get Medical Help Now

Regardless of how seriously you're hurt, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel like your injuries are minor, going to a hospital or clinic is important. Often, the symptoms of injury don't surface until much later. You must have proof of your initial examination and any expenses that accrued from it.

person taking pictures after an accident with their car in Illinois

Seek Out Eyewitness Accounts

It's a good idea to ask any witnesses for their accounts for the police report if there is potential for a disagreement about what happened. Even in cases that are straightforward, like when a car crashes into you and it's clear they don't have the right-of-way, having witness statements can help in making your case.

Reach Out to Your Insurance Company

It's essential to alert your insurance firm about the car accident and any losses it caused. Provide information about the damage caused to the vehicle plus any potential injuries sustained in the crash.

While talking with your insurer about the accident, refrain from hiding anything, or suggesting it is not that serious. They could ultimately find out, and dishonesty may slow down the claim as well damage your relationship with them.

Become Familiar with Your Insurance Policy

Thoroughly read your policy so that you understand what you are and aren't covered for. Doing this will help you anticipate what to expect from your insurer. After gauging a cost approximation for mending, then you can begin bargaining with your insurer. Be aware that your insurance may not be willing to pay the entire cost of repairs and thus, you might need to foot some of the costs independently.

Establish a Good Relationship with the Insurance Adjuster

Stay in touch with the insurance adjuster to ensure that no essential information or appointments are missed. Provide the insurer with all of the required details promptly and keep them informed of all important updates.

Prevent Further Damage

The insurance company is responsible for the damage caused by the accident. However, if any additional damage is caused by your neglect, such as not covering a broken window and allowing rain to get inside the car, you will be held accountable.

File Your Claim Within Illinois' Time Limit.

When filing for a personal injury claim in the state of Illinois, you are allowed up to two years from the time of the incident.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit for someone who died in a car accident is two years.

Related Content: Everything You Need to Know About Illinois' Statute of Limitations

Document the Progress

It is essential to document anything involving the incident after it takes place. Collect any related paperwork you may obtain. Record all conversations you have and any fees you are charged. Also, track any expenses associated with the accident such as medical bills, car repairs, rental cars or anything else that you were obliged to pay because of the event. Having this information available will make it possible for you to receive reimbursement from your insurer.

What Could Happen if an Accident isn't Reported?

If false info is given on a police crash report, it is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and $50 fines.

Even though Illinois law does not demand drivers to inform their insurance company of a car accident, their insurance contract necessitates that they do so quickly. If they fail to report the incident within several days, the insurance company may turn down their claim.

A police report can serve as evidence to help you if the property damage is serious, so it would be a good idea to file one. Additionally, for serious injuries caused by the accident, consulting a Chicago car accident lawyer would be advisable.

How to Get an Illinois Traffic Accident Report

Typical police reports for car accidents include the following data:

Get in Touch with Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Now

Contact Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a free case review of your automobile accident. A personal injury lawyer for auto accidents will go over the traffic crash report with the vehicle owners, just call (312) 300-2515 today.

Different lawyers will charge different rates for accident claims. The complexity of the case and the type of payment plan or structure used by the attorney can drastically alter the amount they charge to offer you legal consultation or provide you with legal representation throughout your claim. This can be troubling news to hear for those pursuing their own personal injury lawsuit, particularly as these types of cases can put you under enormous financial pressure. The good news, however, is that the majority of accident attorneys will work for a contingency fee. This means that they do not collect their payment unless they are able to successfully negotiate a settlement on your behalf or win a financial award in a trial.

One of the most significant benefits of having an attorney who bills through a contingency fee is that it offers them more incentive to get the maximum compensation for you. They will be paid from a percentage of your claim award, and the larger the number they can win for you reflects directly on their own paycheck for the case. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or through the negligence of another you should find a dedicated personal injury lawyer to work with as quickly as possible.

Chicago car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas speaking with a client

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers our experienced lawyers have an established track record for getting our clients the compensation they are due. Our team will help you understand the process for filing your injury claim, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and prepare an aggressive legal strategy in the event that your case goes to trial. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

How Lawyers Get Paid

There is no industry standard that regulates how attorneys are paid for their work. Every law firm will likely structure its payment plans a little differently than others, and within the same law firm, different attorneys can work at different rates. The best way to know how much an attorney will cost you is to set up a meeting to breakdown their fee structure.

There are, however, several different types of payments that lawyers tend to use for billing. These are:

  1. Contingency Fees: a payment structure in which your attorney receives a specified percentage of your financial award.
  2. Hourly Fees: some attorneys will bill by an hourly rate, so the longer and more complex your case the more expensive it will be.
  3. Flat Fees: a payment plan in which the attorney bills you a specific price in exchange for a particular service.

Accident injuries often leave the victim in a difficult financial position, making it difficult for victims to afford attorney fees. Because of this, many accident attorneys will work for a contingency fee. This means that the attorney will be paid if and when they are able to get you a settlement, at a rate agreed on by both parties before the attorney begins working on your case.

When you have found the lawyer you want to represent you throughout your accident claim, make sure you understand their fee structure before moving forward. Ask them any questions you have regarding how they get paid and what services they can expect in exchange. They shouldn't have any problem breaking their pricing down for you to understand.

person consulting with a lawyer, How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Accident Claims

FAQ: How do I find a good car accident lawyer?

What You Are Paying a Lawyer For

Now that you know how lawyers get paid, you need to understand what exactly you are paying them for. Attorneys tend to wear quite a few different hats throughout a case, offering several important services to help you. It is common for a lawyer to do any of the following for their clients:

Lawyer Contingency Fees

The vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This is good news for many accident victims as they are frequently left facing financial difficulty due to medical bills, property damage, and lost income. When an attorney works for a contingency fee, they only collect their fee if they succeed in getting their client financial compensation. With this format nearly all of the financial risk is removed from the client, making it far easier for many people to afford attorneys even after a severe injury.

When you hire your lawyer they should give you a breakdown of their fees and fee structure. Be sure you understand the payment plan before you sign it, and ask questions about anything that is not clear. The contingency fee agreement will spell out terms for how your attorney will get paid, including what percentage they get and how that may change if certain terms are met. If you receive financial compensation for your injuries it will come in one of two forms:

  1. A settlement resulting from negotiations with the insurance company.
  2. A financial award given by the judge hearing your trial.

The contingency fee percentage will vary from one lawyer to the next, and will also often change depending on how your case unfolds. For example, one accident lawyer might charge 25% for easy cases that are able to be quickly settled via negotiation, and 35% if the same case requires a trial. This allows the lawyer to offset the difference in the amount of time each of those situations requires.

Be sure to remember that this percentage is just the attorney fees, and any expenses that add up during the case will be separately billed. Make sure you have a copy of the contingency fee arrangement and fully understand how everything will be calculated for your case.

Additional Fees to Consider

Your case is almost certain to require a few extra costs along the way, and these are billed in addition to the agreed-upon percentage that makes up your attorney's fees. These are generally just the costs that come from opening a legal case including filing fees, court costs, cost of materials, expert witness fees, and further litigation costs. The total amount can vary widely from one case to the next depending on its complexity and how long it takes to conclude.

Once again, it is critical for you to understand the payment structure before you hire an attorney. This will tell you if you or the lawyer will be expected to cover any upfront costs for the case, and if so which ones. Additionally, it will allow you to understand if the law firm will waive these costs or if they will be paid back from the financial award.

When Should I Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident?

You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can following an accident injury. This will allow them to take the time necessary to gather information on your case and build an aggressive strategy for settlement negotiations. And if negotiations are unsuccessful their familiarity with your case will allow them to develop the strongest possible case to present to the judge.

two toy cars hitting each other with a gavel and lawyer in the background

FAQ: What happens if I'm at fault in a car accident in Chicago?

Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you have been injured in a car accident it is absolutely worth it to hire an experienced car accident attorney. They will offer a variety of legal services to help you claim your fair accident settlement, including filing your personal injury claim, negotiating with insurance companies as your representative, and handling any legal communication for you.

Lots of variables factor into attorney costs, and this is particularly true for car accident attorneys. Fortunately, many accident lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis, allowing you to pay your legal expenses out of whatever financial award you receive. Our dedicated legal team at Ktenas Injury Lawyers knows what it takes to get you the maximum compensation for your case, and will fight tirelessly to get it. Contact us today at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free initial case consultation.

When you’re in a car accident, there are many worries and concerns that arise, as approximately 5 million car accidents happen yearly in the U.S. One important aspect of this process is understanding how compensation works and what you can expect to receive. So, it is critical to know what damages you can collect for a car accident.

Chicago car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

In this blog, we’ll discuss the different types of damages you can receive after a car accident and provide some tips to help make navigating the compensation process as smooth as possible. For more information, call our Chicago accident attorney at Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation!

What are the Damages in Car Accidents?

Damages refer to the losses that have resulted from a car accident. These losses can be financial, physical, and/or emotional. When the other driver is at fault for the accident, they may be held liable for these damages. Generally, the more serious the injury or damage caused by the accident, the greater the compensation will be.

car on a highway after an accident, Damages Can I Collect For a Car Accident

Differentiating Types of Car Accident Damages

It is very common to hear people refer to all car accident damages as “financial compensation.” While financial compensation may be available, there are actually two main types of damages available in a car accident case:

  1. Economic Damages - this includes money that you have to spend as a result of your injuries, such as medical costs, lost wages, and car repairs.
  2. Noneconomic Damages - This includes compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-financial losses.

Generally, here are the types of damages that you may be able to recover after a car accident:

Medical Expenses

Medical care expenses can include any costs related to treatment for physical injuries caused by the accident, such as hospital visits, medication, and rehabilitation. 

You may also be able to recover costs associated with mental health services and long-term care if your injuries resulted in lasting physical or emotional trauma.

FAQ: Is it worth hiring a car accident lawyer?

An injured person should always keep detailed records of their medical treatment in order to receive a fair settlement for any bodily injuries or wrongful deaths caused by the accident.

Lost Wages

If you were unable to work due to your injuries, you may be able to recover lost wages. This can include both past and future income that was impacted by the accident.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a non-economic damages awards. This means that the court can assign a monetary value to the physical and emotional pain that the accident caused you. This can include costs related to physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other psychological injuries caused by the incident.

Property Damage

If your car or other property was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover costs associated with repair or replacement. This can include expenses related to parts, labor, and rental cars while your car is being fixed.

Punitive Damages

In addition to these types of damages, you may also be able to recover punitive damages from the at-fault driver. These are meant to punish the defendant for their reckless or negligent behavior and can include additional costs related to medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

When evaluating what sort of compensation you may be entitled to after an accident, it's important to consider all of your damages and consult a personal injury lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand the laws in your state and fight for the maximum compensation possible. With the right legal representation, you can ensure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

two cars after a catastrophic accident

When seeking compensation after a car accident, make sure to keep accurate records of all the expenses associated with your injuries. This includes medical bills, receipts for any medication or treatments you underwent, and statements from any doctors or psychologists who evaluated you. By keeping detailed records, you can provide your car accident lawyer with all the necessary evidence to help you recover the maximum compensation available.

Understanding the laws in your state, as well as the specific compensation that may be available to you after a car accident, is a crucial step in the process of recovering your losses. With the right legal representation through your personal injury attorney, you can make sure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve for treatment costs or future wages.

If You Want to Get Compensated For Your Car Accident, What Do You Need to Prove?

It is important to understand that there are certain steps you must take in order to recover damages after a car accident. In order to receive compensation, you must be able to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This means that you must show that the other driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident.

Additionally, you must be able to prove that your injuries and losses were directly caused by the other driver’s actions. In some cases, a police report and eyewitness statements can help you make your case.

In addition to proving fault, you must also be able to prove the extent of your damages. This means showing that your losses were caused by the accident and that they were substantial. For example, you must be able to show how much money you lost in wages due to being unable to work. In addition, you should be able to demonstrate how much money was spent on medical treatments and repairs for your car or other property.

FAQ: How long does a car accident claim take to settle?

Finally, you must be able to show that your physical and emotional pain and suffering were a direct result of the accident. With the right evidence and legal representation, you can recover the compensation you deserve after a car accident.

What Determines the Size of Your Car Accident Settlement?

The amount of money you are entitled to for your car accident settlement is determined by the specific details of your case. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the more money you are likely to recover. However, there are other factors that can also affect your settlement amounts such as the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, the extent of damage to your car and other property, and the laws in your state.

It is also important to remember that every case is unique, so it is impossible to estimate the exact amount of your settlement without knowing all the details of your particular situation.

Getting Legal Help for Personal Injury Claim

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process of filing a personal injury lawsuit and recovering compensation. They can also provide valuable advice on how to proceed with your case, what evidence you need to prove your case, and how much money you can expect for a settlement.

Whether you were the accident victim of a hit-and-run, a drunk driving accident, or any other type of crash, you can trust us at Ktenas Injury Lawyers to help you get the justice and fair compensation you deserve. Don't hesitate to contact us today at (312) 300-2515 for a legal consultation and to learn more about your legal rights after a car accident.

As the winter season approaches, black ice on the roads becomes a real threat for drivers. The reason is that black ice is often hard to spot, thus, leading to damage to vehicles and bodily injury or deadly accidents. In fact, every winter, snowy, slushy, or icy pavement is responsible for more than 116,000 injuries and more than 1,300 fatalities in the United States. But when a black ice car accident occurs, who is actually liable for the damages? What can you do to protect yourself from black-ice car accidents?

Chicago car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

First off, let's define black ice. Black ice forms when water on the roadway freezes, creating a thin, transparent sheet and patch of ice. This makes it difficult to spot and can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, resulting in accidents.

Who is the Faulty Party in a Black Ice Accident?

When it comes to determining whose fault a black ice accident is, it often depends on the specific circumstances of the crash. So, it would be necessary to assess who was negligent in their actions:

The Driver's Responsibility

The determination of fault for black ice accidents can be complicated. Generally, the driver is ordinarily expected to exercise caution while driving, particularly in inclement weather conditions. However, black ice can often be difficult to spot, leading some to argue that the driver cannot always be held fully responsible for an accident involving a black patch of ice.

a road covered in snow and ice, Black Ice Car Accidents

For instance, the driver who lost control on the black ice may not be held entirely responsible if they did not exhibit reckless behavior or negligence. Such negligence is determined by the court based on factors such as the driver's speed if they were distracted or under the influence, and whether they were properly maintaining their vehicle.

In essence, to establish negligence, it would be assessed whether a duty of care exists to determine a negligent driver or the degree of fault. Did the driver exercise reasonable care? Was the driver at fault? These answers would determine liability or otherwise.

Government Agencies or Property Owners

There are some situations where black ice accidents can be traced back to negligence on behalf of a government agency or property owner. For example, if a city failed to adequately treat the roads for black ice or a property owner did not properly clear their sidewalks, they may be held responsible for black ice accidents occurring on their property.

This is a case where these poor road conditions pose a significant danger to drivers. Therefore, assessing all parties who may have contributed to the black ice accident is essential before determining fault.

Insurance Companies and Black Ice Accidents

In these cases, insurance companies may determine if a government entity should have taken steps to prevent black ice, such as salting the roads. However, it's important to note that an insurance provider may try to avoid paying for damages in black ice accidents. Where they have to pay will ultimately depend on the specific policy and circumstances of the accident.

The driver's insurance might cover damages if they were not found negligent in causing the black ice accident. However, the driver's insurance may not cover damages if they were found to be negligent or if another party (such as a government agency or property owner) is held responsible for the black ice accident. It's crucial to have proper car insurance, understand your coverage, and consult with a lawyer if necessary.

It is worth mentioning that in some cases, black ice car accidents are considered "acts of God" and are not the fault of any individual. This means that no one can be held responsible for the accident, including the insurance provider. So, you may have to bear the cost of damages out of your pocket.

Common Reasons Why Black Ice Accidents Happen?

Certain factors cause black ice accidents. These include the following:

Speeding or Reckless Driving

More often than not, it has been discovered that black ice accidents occur when drivers are speeding or driving recklessly. Due to this behavior, they lose control on black ice and cause accidents. For example, a driver may swerve to avoid black ice and end up causing a collision with another vehicle or a multi-car crash.

Poorly Maintained Vehicles

If a driver's vehicle is not adequately maintained, it can lead to black ice accidents. This includes having tires that are improperly inflated or worn down ("worn tires"), as well as faulty brakes. It's essential for drivers to regularly maintain their vehicles to ensure safety on the roads, especially during winter weather conditions - the coldest months.

Poor Road Maintenance

Government entities, such as the Department of Transportation or Roads, ensure that roads are safe for drivers. This includes properly treating black ice on the roadway. Failure to do so can result in black ice accidents. In some cases, insurance companies may seek to hold the government entity responsible for black ice accidents.

Inclement Weather

Winter weather conditions, such as freezing rain or snow, can lead to black ice forming on the roads. In these cases, it's even more critical for drivers to exercise caution and for government entities to treat black ice on the roads properly.


Black ice is more likely to form in shaded areas or bridges, as the temperature is often lower in these locations. This is usually the case when black ice forms overnight, as the temperature is cooler. Drivers should exercise an extreme level of care when driving in these areas during cold weather.

What You Should Expect of Drivers in Black Ice Conditions

Usually, black ice forms during cold winter months. As a result, drivers are expected to be cautious and prepared for black ice on the roads. This means driving slower, increasing the distance between cars, and being alert for black ice.

a road with black ice on it

Therefore, drivers' expectations during black ice conditions should include safe driving behavior and be prepared for black ice. Adhering to these expectations can help prevent black ice accidents and keep everyone on the road safe. Also, it's essential to have sufficient car insurance in case of black ice accidents.

Damages in a Car Accident Caused by Black Ice

Accidents caused by black ice can result in various damages depending on the severity of the accident. This can include vehicle damage, driver and passenger injuries, and even fatalities. In these cases, insurance companies may cover the damages, or a lawsuit may be necessary for determining financial compensation for the accident.

Ultimately, black ice accidents can result in significant injuries, and drivers must exercise caution during bad weather conditions. Injuries that mainly occur during car accidents caused by Black Ice include the following:

It is necessary that you seek medical attention as soon as possible following a car accident that may have been caused by black ice, as these kinds of injuries may have long-term consequences for your health.

How an Attorney Can Help

Overall, black ice accidents can be complicated to navigate legally and financially. So, if you've been involved in an accident caused by black ice or other icy weather conditions, consulting with a personal injury attorney can help determine your legal options, such as who may be responsible and how to seek compensation for damages. Insurance companies may try to deny coverage or not fully cover the extent of damages.

An experienced car accident attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation for the accident. In addition, a lawyer can also help navigate any legal proceedings that may arise from the accident. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we work diligently to protect your rights and ensure that you receive compensation for any damages or injuries.

Car accidents are unexpected events that have the potential to impact the rest of your life. You could be left with major financial burdens, permanent disabilities or disfigurement, or severe mental trauma following a serious auto accident. Situations like this call for the help of an expert to guide you through the right steps toward receiving compensation for the damages you have suffered. If you have been involved in a car accident, the right time to get a lawyer is as soon as possible.

An auto accident injury lawyer from Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal options following a car accident. Our expertise and knowledge can be the difference between you getting the maximum compensation from your claims process and settling for an unfair offer from the at-fault driver's insurance company.

a client retaining Chris Ktenas as his car accident attorney

You can easily find yourself having a difficult time keeping up with your case as well as looking after your health following a serious car accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us show you how we'll be able to handle your personal injury claim while you focus on your recovery.

Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident

Car accidents are stressful situations that typically involve high emotions. You should take every effort to remain calm and think in the moments following your collision. This can mean all the difference between receiving the compensation you are entitled to and being wrongfully assigned blame for the motor vehicle accident. Common mistakes in the aftermath of an accident include:

scene after a car accident, Get a Lawyer For a Car Accident
  1. Admitting Guilt: Emotions will run high immediately after a car accident. Some drivers will react with aggression and anger which could prompt you to apologize in an effort to calm them down. This can be a serious misstep for you. Always check on the other driver and ensure that anyone involved in the accident is okay, but be careful not to say anything that can be interpreted as an admission of guilt. It could come back to bite you later.
  2. Leaving the Accident Scene Without Collecting Evidence: The more evidence you have supporting your claims the better. Once you leave the scene you will also lose access to a wide range of information that could help you with your insurance claim. Before you leave you should be sure to take pictures of the scene (including any important factors such as skid marks, stop lights, etc.), collect brief statements and contact information from any witnesses, and request a copy of the police report.
  3. Not Getting Medical Treatment: Even if you feel fine following your accident you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Your adrenaline will be high immediately following your accident and it is common for injuries to manifest or worsen as time goes on, in some cases even taking weeks to become clear. If you accept an offer from the insurance company before discovering an injury caused by the accident you will almost certainly receive no further compensation to help with your medical costs.
  4. Accepting a Settlement Offer Too Quickly: Insurance carriers will often reach out to car accident victims very quickly after the crash to offer lowball settlements in the hopes of pressuring them to accept less money than they are likely entitled to. Accepting this offer without carefully reviewing it can leave you paying for vehicle repairs and medical expenses out of pocket. Be sure to have an attorney look the offer over before moving forward with it.
  5. Waiting to Hire an Attorney: Expenses tend to add up quickly after a car accident. Insurance companies try to close the case as quickly and cheaply as possible, medical bills can begin piling up, and lost wages can add up to leave you in a desperate financial situation. And all the while the case moves forward and leaves you further behind as witnesses begin to forget important details, evidence fades at the accident scene, and other parties build their cases. Hire an attorney as quickly as possible after your accident to prevent all this. They will act quickly to file your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and build the strongest case possible based on the unique factors of your accident.

Related Content: Illinois Car Accident Statistics

When Should You Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

If you have received injuries or experienced any property damage in a car accident you should hire a qualified car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Car accidents are stressful times and the aftermath can pile on more difficulties. An attorney with extensive experience in car accident law will be able to look through the details of your case and help you determine the best options moving forward to get a fair settlement from your situation.

You will likely be overwhelmed dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Consequences of a serious crash can include permanent injuries that require ongoing medical attention, severe property damage that will be costly to repair or replace, mental trauma that can keep prevent you from feeling safe getting back behind the wheel, and lost wages from time away from work while you recover. While all this takes place you will be expected to deal with an insurance company that will do everything it can to avoid paying you what you deserve.

scene after a car being T-boned

By hiring an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash, you will have fewer of these issues to deal with. Your personal injury lawyer will know the process of getting a fair accident settlement from auto insurance companies and can take on the task on your behalf while you focus on getting better and returning to your life as best you can. The sooner you hire them to work your case, the more effective they will be at getting you fair financial compensation. Act quickly to find an experienced car accident lawyer to file claims for damages after your accident.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

If you have never taken legal action against another party following a car accident, chances are that you won't even know where to begin. The stress of the situation, in addition to you treading unfamiliar ground, stacks the odds against you making much headway with your personal injury lawsuit. You will certainly face significant amounts of paperwork, all set against deadlines you are unlikely to know while receiving bad faith offers from insurance companies looking to close the case quickly. And you will have to take on this task while dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of your accident.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will allow you to level the playing field. They know the usual tricks from insurance companies, are familiar with the deadlines you will face after a car accident and can help you decide on the best course of action for your case using state and local laws you may not have even been aware existed. A knowledgeable auto accident attorney will save you time and not only prevent you from accepting a low-ball settlement offer but will be able to leverage their experience into getting you more in compensation for your damages.

FAQ: How long do you have to make a claim after a car accident in Chicago?

Studies have demonstrated that accident victims with legal representation have been able to receive compensation of as much as 3.5 times more than those without. Experienced lawyers will allow you to focus your attention on your recovery while saving you time and getting you more money following your accident.

Review Your Car Accident Claim With Our Firm

Medical bills from accident injuries can stack up with the costs of property damage and lost wages to quickly put you in dire financial straits. You deserve fair compensation to cover these costs, but determining that value (and successfully getting it from an insurance settlement) can be extremely difficult. Keep in mind that it isn't you against the at-fault driver, but rather you against their insurance provider following a car accident. This immediately places you at a serious disadvantage as they will have a dedicated legal team with experience in handling these types of insurance claims. You will need the help of an experienced attorney to balance the situation out.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and with taking accident lawsuits to trial for our clients. Our dedicated legal team will fight on your behalf to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your situation, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery following your accident. Contact one of our talented car accident injury lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation for your case.

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Chicago due to someone else's actions you are entitled to compensation. Here we discuss how long you have to file a claim in order to pursue this compensation, factors that affect the amount of time you have, and other important information like how soon you should report an accident to your insurance company and the police.

a client filing a car accident claim with attorney Chris Ktenas

We can help you file your claim properly, in the allotted time frame, and ensure you recover fair compensation. For more information about your individual motor vehicle accident case. For more information speak to a representative at Ktenas Injury Lawyers today. 

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

The general time allowed, the statute of limitations, for filing a car accident claim to receive payment for damages or injury in the state of Illinois is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are a number of circumstances that can increase or decrease this allotted window. Some of those factors include:

Injury to a Minor

If a minor was injured in an automobile accident, the statute of limitation does not begin until the minor reaches 18 years of age. If the child would like to file a claim seeking compensation for the medical expenses or emotional damages caused by an accident, they have up to two years after their 18th birthday to do so. 

Property Damage Claims

Property damage claims are allotted up to five years after the date of the accident. This claim extension is for individuals who did not experience any bodily harm but had to spend out-of-pocket to repair their vehicle or other personal property.

Product Liability Claims

If a driver is seeking damages due to a defect in the vehicle, the time allowed can be affected by the age of the car. Whether it was a manufacturing defect or an issue that the seller knew about, but did not disclose, an individual may be entitled to compensation for property damage or bodily injury caused by that defect. 

In instances where the driver chooses to sue the seller, they must do so within 12 years of the first date of sale, lease, or possession of the vehicle by the seller. This means if it has been more than 12 years since the vehicle was purchased, they have no right to a product liability claim.

a van with extensive damage after an accident

A product liability claim may also be filed against someone other than the seller but in the chain of supply. Like a mechanic or someone who allowed you to borrow their vehicle and failed to alert you of any defects. These claims must be filed within 10 years of the first sale, lease, or delivery of possession of the automobile to its initial non-seller. 

Wrongful Death Claims

Generally, a wrongful death claim can be filed within two years of the date the victim passed away. 

Claims Against State and Local Government Entities 

Technically, an accident victim who is injured or sustained property damage from an auto accident caused by a state or local government entity or employee has two years to file a claim against them. However, you are required to file a notice of the claim to the Attorney General and Court of Claims within one year of the accident.

This includes accidents caused by state emergency vehicles (like police cars and fire trucks) and non-emergency vehicles (like local sanitation departments and public transportation services). 

The process can vary and have further complications depending on the department. Some require shorter time limits for notice than the usual one year. Some require that you first file an administrative claim, which has a 30 to 60-day window.

Often suits against state or local entities require more proof than claims against other private citizens or businesses. There are also cases where you may not be allowed to file a claim against a vehicle. For instance, if the vehicle was responding to an emergency situation and was not a case of negligence. 

Overall the process and time periods you have to file an insurance claim are specific to your individual case. A car accident lawyer can review your case and answer any questions you may have and will provide legal consultation about actions you can and should take to receive adequate compensation for your losses or injuries.

Do You Need to File a Police Report After a Car Accident?

In the state of Illinois, there are no accident laws that require you to call the police after a motor vehicle accident. Individuals may exchange insurance information and settle disputes between themselves. However, for any accidents involving death, injury, or more than $1500 in property damages, you are required to file a police report within 10 days of the incident. This report can be filed by either driver or a legal representative. 

In most accidents where drivers choose to leave law enforcement out of it, they believe they have suffered only minor damages or that there were no accident injuries. Even if things seem simple at the scene of the collision, more severe injuries and damages can appear up to weeks after the incident. If the police were not called to the scene, you may still file a report at a local precinct, but it could be harder to determine an at-fault driver.

If you have not yet filed a police report you can contact an auto accident attorney about your options. They can answer any questions you may have about beginning your auto accident claim.

Why Should I File A Police Report?

Evidence - A police report will document clear evidence, such as skid marks, damages, and witness testimony. The police officers may also be able to obtain footage from traffic cameras or local business or residential security systems. They will also be able to determine which driver was responsible. When it comes to filing a claim, you want as much evidence as possible to leave little room for dispute and to expedite the process.

Insurance Claims - If you are seeking compensation from an insurance company a police report may be required to establish liability and the driver responsible before any property damages are paid. 

Legal Claims - While it is also best to personally take pictures, speak with witnesses at the accident scene, and gather information from the other driver, an accident report can verify any details you have gathered as well. A traffic officer's official documentation is a neutral third-party account of the incident, which is very useful if the at-fault driver attempts to contest your story. 

If you are not the fault party, a police report can only help you in a personal injury lawsuit

How Soon Do You Need to Contact Your Insurance Company After an Accident

You should report your accident as soon as possible. There is a difference between reporting an accident to your insurance company and filing a claim. Reporting simply means you are notifying them that you were involved in a collision. Filing a claim means you are seeking coverage for any property damage or injuries. Your individual insurance policy will tell you the time frame you have to report and file a claim.

The period of time to report a claim is commonly 30 days. The time allowed to file a claim can vary greatly and depend on the type of damages you are seeking. For instance, an insurance carrier may allow up to 3 years to file a claim for bodily injury. But it's always best to report the accident as soon as you can.

a pen on an insurance claim form, How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Chicago

How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Typically Take?

Many factors affect the length of time to receive a car accident settlement. If you are working solely with an insurance agent, they will want to settle quickly and cheaply. Though you may receive financial compensation within a few weeks, they may not thoroughly review your case and attempt to lowball you on their first offer.

For a more complicated personal injury claim, perhaps involving traumatic brain injuries or long-term care, the insurance company may take time to review all medical records and perhaps wait until the patient is at maximum restored health to settle. They will take their time determining responsible parties and perhaps try to establish comparative negligence. It's important to remember insurance adjusters want to pay you the least amount possible.

If you are seeking damages beyond the insurance coverage minimum payout and are suing another private citizen or business for further expenses you may be facing litigation. For these cases, you will need to gather documentation of all expenses related to the collision. This includes records of medical care and medical bills, out-of-pocket costs related to transportation, proof of loss of income, and any other unforeseen financial losses due to the accident.

No matter the instance, legal representation from an experienced car accident attorney can expedite the process. As they will be able to dedicate more resources, time and effort to representing you. They will also know what angles to pursue and the settlement ranges for cases similar to yours.

Why Should You Hire a Lawyer For a Car Accident Claim?

As you can see, the legal process from calling the police to the scene of the crime, reporting an accident to your insurance provider and to the state, and gathering the appropriate evidence to receive fair compensation can be lengthy and complicated. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand the process and fight for the settlement you deserve.

They will be able to help you receive maximum compensation for damages you may not have even known could be covered. A car accident attorney will help the process go quickly, smoothly, and efficiently. Contact our Chicago injury law firm to schedule an initial consultation to begin the process of obtaining the financial compensation you are entitled to for your personal injury lawsuit.