If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, it’s time to contact the car accident attorneys at Gerling Law. Even if you practice defensive driving skills, you can’t control what other motorists do. However, you can control what happens after an accident. Our Illinois auto accident lawyers have decades of experience helping clients just like you recover compensation for their damages.

What Should You Do After an Accident?

Understandably, you may be anxious and scared after an accident. It’s important to remain calm; otherwise, you may not complete everything you need to do. First, you want to move to somewhere safe if possible, getting out of the way of traffic. Next, you should contact the police.

While waiting for the police to arrive, take notes and photographs of the vehicles, accident scene, and any other essential details. Were bushes blocking a stop sign, were traffic signals hard to see in the glaring sun, was it pouring rain, etc.? 

Ask for contact information from all parties involved, including witnesses. Don’t assume the police will add all witnesses to the list. Someone may have to leave to get to work, or the police may list only a couple of witnesses.

If your injuries are not severe enough for you to be transported from the scene by ambulance, you still want to make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think your injuries warrant it. Please do not wait, as it might harm your case value. If you wait weeks to get checked out, the other party’s insurance will use the delay to say you weren’t injured.

Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim in Illinois

Report the accident to your insurance company when you get home. You can use your notes to file the claim and offer to send the photos to them. Next, you will get a call from the other party’s insurance asking for a recorded statement. This call is when some people will start researching online for a “car accident lawyer near me.”

You should hire a car accident lawyer before giving any recorded statements. These statements are used against you during the claims process. Insurance adjusters cannot force you to provide a recorded statement if an attorney represents you.  

If your claim doesn’t resolve during negotiations, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. After the complaint is filed, the defendant has a certain amount of time to respond. Once they file a response, the case goes into a discovery phase. During discovery, both sides will exchange legal documents and build their respective cases.

You may be required to attend a mediation and even give a deposition. Witnesses and experts may also be called to give depositions that can help your case at trial. Both sides may continue to engage in possible settlement discussions as well. If this doesn’t resolve the case, we will prepare for trial.

Illinois Statute of Limitations

Illinois law requires you to file a lawsuit within a certain amount of time, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Illinois is two years. Failure to file by the deadline means you could be barred from recovering any compensation. For example, if you are still negotiating right up to the deadline, you must file a lawsuit to continue working toward a possible settlement. If you miss the deadline, the other side doesn’t have to offer you any money.

Choosing the Right Attorney

Choosing the right attorney in a car accident case is crucial. You want someone with experience handling cases that are similar to yours and with whom you feel comfortable. Come prepared with a list of questions and things you want to know when you meet with car accident attorneys in Illinois. That will help you decide how to narrow down your options and find the auto accident lawyers right for you.

If you hire Gerling Law to represent you, you’re getting a team of very knowledgeable lawyers who have decades of experience handling auto accidents in Illinois. We are proud of our reputation in the areas we service and are involved in over one hundred community organizations. Both our lawyers and staff participate in various community activities and events, and we recognize the importance of giving back.

When we represent you, we will always protect your rights and fight tirelessly to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Damages to Consider in Illinois Car Accidents

Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, you could receive reimbursement for a variety of damages. First is your property damage, which is for vehicle repairs or replacement in some cases. If your vehicle was severely damaged, the insurance company might declare it a “total loss.”

Medical expenses typically make up a large portion of auto accident claim damages. The amount of money your car accident attorney will demand includes reimbursement for your medical bills to date, plus any expected future treatment you may have. It also includes payment for any work you already missed. If you expect to be off work for a longer period of time during your recovery, that amount will also be included in your list of damages.

In addition to your property damage, loss of earnings, and medical treatment, you are entitled to compensation for your physical and emotional pain and suffering. This amount is to reimburse you for the physical pain you suffered every day since the accident. If you developed any emotional problems like anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, etc., those would also be listed here. Your pain and suffering and emotional distress are what are known as general damages. There is no specific financial loss attached to general damages. Instead, they are subjective in nature.

Our skilled car accident attorneys know how to build your case and submit a demand that is reflective of all your damages.

Get a Free Consultation with Gerling Law

If you are ready to hire a car accident lawyer, please give us a call. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation. With our decades of experience, we can tell you what your case’s potential value is early on and start working on our investigation right away. We are eager to help you recover financial compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact Gerling Law today to schedule a meeting with our dedicated team of Illinois auto accident lawyers to learn how we can help you. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.™