If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s imperative to hire an aggressive and experienced Orland Park car accident lawyer. At CCAL, we provide free and confidential consultation about your personal injury case. Our law firm has been practicing in the greater Chicago area for decades and has won many personal injury cases and recovered multi-million dollars compensation in many of them. Call us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online to see how we can help.
What To Do After a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person, this can be a confusing and challenging time for you and your family. Not only do accident victims have to deal with injuries, but they also have to contend with extra expenses brought about by medical bills, lost wages, and even rehabilitation. An auto accident victim can take several steps after an accident to make sure they receive maximum compensation for their personal injury claim, including:
- Stop and check for injuries and call 911. As soon as an accident happens, pull your car to a safe location, if possible. Check for injuries and call 911. Even though the crash seems minor, you must report it to the police under Illinois law. Allow law enforcement officers to investigate the accident, because the accident report is a valuable part of your insurance claim.
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. No matter how minor or major your injuries are, you must seek medical treatment immediately. It’s crucial to note that many car accident injuries don’t seem severe at first, but become apparent hours or even days after an accident occurs. By seeking medical treatment soon after a crash occurs, you’re ensuring your safety while also establishing a clear link between the accident and your bodily injuries.
- Collect evidence and exchange information. If you can safely do so at the scene of the accident, use your smartphone or camera to take photos of damages, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, cause of the accident, and more. Also, get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident, and the driver’s license number and insurance information of other drivers involved.
- Report the car accident. Typically, if the police come to the accident scene, they’ll file the accident report with the state officials. However, if the police don’t come to the accident scene; you must file the accident report within 10 days of the accident occurring. You can file your report by going to the Motorist Report website and downloading the form.
- Inform your insurance carrier. As soon as the crash occurs, notify your insurance carrier about the incident. However, you only need to tell your insurer that an accident has occurred, where it happened, whether there are any injuries, and the names and insurance information of other drivers involved.
- Contact an Orland Park car accident lawyer. You should contact a skilled personal injury attorney in Orland Park. An attorney can determine the viability of your case, and they can help you receive the maximum compensation.
Types of Car Accidents
Whether you’re on a side road, in traffic, in a small neighborhood, or even in a parking lot, car crashes occur anywhere and in different situations. Depending on how vehicles collide with one another; this affects the resulting injuries. Here are the 5 most common types of car accidents:
- Head-on collisions. These occur when a driver drives the wrong way down a one-way street or an exit ramp, or when they cross the median on a highway. These are some of the most traumatic and potentially fatal types of auto accidents, however, they’re the least common accidents. Here, the fault is usually clear because one driver was moving in the wrong direction.
- Rear-end accidents. These are much more common but are less damaging because they usually occur at lower speeds. Often, the rear driver is presumed to be at fault for not leaving enough stopping distance, but that’s not always the case.
- Side-impact accidents. These collisions, also known as broadside or T-bone accidents, occur when one driver can’t yield to another driver at an intersection. Because the side of a car has less structural protection, passengers in the car that’s T-boned may suffer serious bodily injuries.
- Vehicle rollover. These types of accidents are complicated and fatal. Rollovers show the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. Even though the type of vehicle has a tremendous role in the crash, so does the driver’s behavior and road and environmental factors. Other causes of rollovers include alcohol consumption, speed, and location. According to data from the NHTSA, about 85% of all rollover-related accidents are because of single-vehicle crashes.
- Negligent driver accident. These accidents occur when a driver can’t exercise a reasonable level of care and damages property or injuries another person in the process. Here, the driver is said to be negligent and is liable for the damages incurred by the victim(s).
How does Fault work in Illinois?
Illinois follows a fault-based system when handling car accident cases. An injured driver files a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy after a crash. Just like other fault-based states, Illinois requires all drivers to get and maintain individual auto insurance policies that meet the state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage. However, before a driver can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance policy, they must prove fault for the accident.
Illinois Statute of Limitations
Under Illinois’ 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202, an accident victim must begin claims for damages within two years after the accident occurred.
This means that after you have suffered injuries in an auto accident in Illinois, you must file your claim within two years of the exact date of the car accident. If you don’t file your claim on time, you may lose your rights permanently. Your Orland Park personal injury lawyer will inform you of your time frame and make sure you file your claim on time.
What Type of damages are recoverable After A Car Accident?
In a personal injury case, the injured party may recover different compensatory damages, including:
- Economic damages. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a car accident, you’re entitled to a loss of income from the date of the accident to the date of recovery and future earning ability that’s lost because of the accident. Economic losses include anything related to a loss including car rentals, vehicle repair and replacement, ambulance fees, and attorney’s fees.
- Medical expenses. Car accident victims are eligible for past, current, and future medical expenses. An auto accident victim may receive compensation for bills paid for or which they’re liable to pay, for customary, usual, and reasonable medical services.
- Noneconomic damages. This refers to general damages, such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress. This category of damages is difficult to prove because it includes past and future physical and emotional distress, disability, and trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Punitive damages. Unlike other types of damages, punitive damages punish the at-fault party for their behavior. In Illinois, judges award these types of damages under limited situations where the at-fault party engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior.
Each of these damages is a well-recognized part of the compensation equation that experienced Orland Park car accident lawyers are well versed in figuring out to help their clients recover maximum compensation for their losses.
How Much Does a Orland Park Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Usually, Orland Park car accident lawyers charge on a contingency basis. This means you don't have to pay attorney’s fees unless you win your case. So, you pay no money upfront. Injury attorneys charge a percentage of the amount they recover from the insurer.
Mostly, car accident lawyers advance the costs to prosecute a car accident case. The costs of a car accident case include paying for medical records, court filing fees, expert witnesses, and court reporters. You reimburse the costs after recovering compensation.
Although hiring an attorney won’t cost you anything unless you recover compensation, not hiring a car accident attorney can cost you a fair settlement. Almost all car accident victims in Illinois recover more compensation with an Orland Park car accident lawyer representing them. Insurance companies often offer higher settlements once they discover a claimant has hired an attorney.
Contact Us Today for a Free Car Accident Case Review!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the Chicago car accident lawyers at CCAL can help. We understand it’s challenging to decide what actions to take after a car accident. When you hire our law firm, we’ll diligently investigate the cause of the accident and fight fiercely for your full legal recovery. We have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for our treasured clients. Contact our Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online for a free consultation. Don’t wait! Contact us today!