A car accident attorney comes into mind during the most stressful and vulnerable time of your life. They can help you build a strong personal injury claim and seek compensation for the damages caused by another driver. If you have sustained injuries in an auto accident and you were not at fault, you need to understand what a car accident lawyer does and how they can help your case.
Instead of getting overwhelmed with filing for financial compensation while trying to heal and recover, you can work with an experienced Chicago car accident attorney who can handle the legal side of things. Let's see if we can answer the question 'What does a Chicago car accident lawyer do?'
Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?
The primary goal of a car accident attorney is to win you financial compensation to cover your expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement, and pain and suffering.
Car accident attorneys are personal injury lawyers who practice tort law surrounding motor vehicle accidents. There are many ways they can help you pursue the maximum possible compensation.
Here are some things a car accident lawyer can help you with.
Helps You Understand Your Rights
Most car accident victims aren’t well-versed in personal injury laws regarding automobile accidents. So, when a car crash happens, it’s understandable if you don’t know your rights.
If you weren’t at fault for the car crash, you shouldn’t have to pay for losses resulting from it. The laws around auto accident injuries vary from state to state, but in Illinois, the at-fault party in any motor vehicle accident is liable for all damages--and the injured person can seek compensation for their damages.
A car accident lawyer will go through all relevant laws with you regarding your case. Auto accident lawyers will help you understand what your rights are. Also, they’ll help you protect yourself legally. Insurance companies are notorious for making car accident victims think they have little choice in how their case goes--but you have more legal options than you realize.
Provides Best Legal Advice
After being involved in a car accident, you may get a lot of contradicting advice from your friends and family members. Also, you may look online and see articles saying different things. It can become confusing quickly, leaving you wondering how best to approach your car accident claim--or where to start.
Turn to legal experts; car accident lawyers know what you should after a car accident. They have years of training and hands-on experience with car accident claims. A car accident attorney can look at the details of your case and advice you on how to pursue the full financial recovery you need and deserve. However, if you want to have the best shot at winning your car accident case, you must find an experienced car accident lawyer.
Determines the Full Extent of Your Damages
It’s common to only consider your immediate expenses after an accident, however, when building your claim, your personal injury lawyer in Chicago will look at all the ways the accident will affect, now and in the future. A car accident attorney will consider your current and future medical treatment costs, how your personal injuries have affected your ability to work, and the emotional impact of the car accident.
After considering all your damages, they’ll come up with an accurate estimate of your total damages. This makes sure you aren’t left footing the expenses of the crash you hadn’t considered. The insurance adjuster won’t help you in this aspect, thus, you should hire a car accident attorney who knows what they’re doing.
Fights and Negotiates for a Good Settlement Offer
A successful car accident claim requires a lot of work and investigation. An experienced car accident attorney does so much behind the scenes to build a solid claim for you and fight for your rights and interests. An experienced automobile accident lawyer can help you:
- Investigate the details of your motor vehicle crash;
- Gather all relevant evidence, including photographs, police reports, witness statements, and proof of damages;
- Build and file a personal injury lawsuit with the responsible party’s insurance company;
- Negotiate for a higher settlement offer if the insurance company tries to lowball you;
- File a lawsuit if the insurance company disputes or denies your claim.
Represent You in Court
Fortunately, most car accident cases are resolved before they need to go to trial. Insurance companies are likely to offer you fair settlement offers if you have a car accident attorney by your side. Even though you end up filing a lawsuit, it’s likely your attorney will reach an agreement with the insurance company before the trial.
However, if you end up going to court, your car accident lawyer will be by your side through the entire legal process. They’ll fight fiercely for your right to compensation. Experienced car accident lawyers aren’t afraid of insurance companies and their tactics. They’ll be ready for whatever the insurance company brings to the table.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
Imagine that you’re driving around the city of Chicago when another driver runs into the back of your vehicle at a spotlight. The damage to your car might be relatively minor, and you may drive your car home after you finish recording the police report. However, even though you can walk and drive, you might feel slight tinges of pain on your neck, shoulders, and back. While you know the other driver was fully responsible for the collision, you might hesitate to file a personal injury claim because the accident seemed minor.
Yes, it’s worth hiring a car accident attorney even for a minor car accident where you suffered an injury. Often, injuries that seem minor after a car accident might be more severe than people realize. Some injuries don’t show symptoms for days, weeks, or even months after a car accident. Often, this delay is caused by the adrenaline that rushes through your body after a car collision.
Thus, if you’re a victim of a car accident, it’s a brilliant idea to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to make sure you’re okay. Then, you must also talk with a car accident attorney to find out what your options are. An experienced Chicago car accident attorney at CCAL can offer you an honest assessment of whether you should move forward with a personal injury claim.
Who Pays for the Attorney in a Car Accident in Chicago?
If you have been in a car accident in Illinois caused by another party’s negligence, you may be looking for a car accident attorney to help you with your case. However, you may be wondering who will pay the car accident lawyer.
Most car accident lawyers charge for their legal services in different ways; as opposed to the hourly rate that many law firms charge in other types of cases. When handling personal injury cases, a typical car accident attorney works on a “contingency fee” basis. This means the attorney doesn’t get paid any attorney’s fees unless they win you money in your case. The car accident attorney or law firm will get a percentage of the settlement offer you receive from your car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if your case goes to trial).
The percentage that a car accident lawyer receives in a contingency fee agreement varies, but normally it ranges between 25 to 40 percent, and 33 percent (or one-third) is the standard rate. Thus, if you have a 33% contingency fee agreement and you recover $210,000 in your motor vehicle accident case, your attorney will receive $70,000.
How Do I Settle a Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer in Illinois?
Here are steps that can help you settle your car accident claim without an attorney:
- Determine the extent of your damages.
- Speak with an insurance adjuster to learn how much the insurance company is willing to cover you once you file your claim. You must negotiate with the insurance company to get a reasonable settlement offer.
- Craft your demand letter explaining why the insurance settlement offer is too low and why you need more money. Explain the extent of your injuries and damages in as much detail as possible, use actual numbers if possible.
- Do your due diligence before going to trial. If the insurance company isn’t willing to offer you a fair settlement, it’s to go to court. However, before you appear in court, do your research. Understand the costs of taking your case to court. Also, research the settlement offers other drivers in your position have received in previous lawsuits. This will help you understand your options and chances of winning. However, remember if you lose, you may have to pay the other party’s attorney fees. The more you’re prepared to go to trial, the better off you’ll be.
- Wait for the judge’s verdicts and accept the settlement offer. If you made a solid case, you may get more than the insurance company’s original settlement. Once you accept the settlement offer, you can now close your accident claim and move on with your life.
Although it’s possible to represent yourself in court and settle your car accident case without hiring an attorney, it’s a bad idea. Car accident attorneys have extensive experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Even better, a car accident attorney can simplify the settlement process so you can get your compensation quickly. If you end up going to trial, your lawyer will build a strong case and argue on your behalf against the insurance company’s experienced legal team.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyers
At CCAL, our Chicago car accident lawyers understand car crash victims have many questions about their legal rights following a car crash. We’re dedicated to helping injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians understand their rights and how they can recover compensation for damages, including medical bills, property damages, lost wages, wrongful death, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.
Our lawyers represent car accident victims throughout Illinois, including: