Four reasons to hire an attorney after an Illinois car wreck

People may choose to handle such matters on their own, but there are several benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car crash.

Often resulting in serious injuries and deaths, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 313,316 auto accidents occurred across the state in 2015 alone. Some may choose to represent themselves, working with their own insurance companies and negotiating with the other drivers' carriers. However, there are several reasons why it may benefit those who have suffered harm in motor vehicle collisions to obtain legal representation.

Experience assessing damages

Sometimes, the potential compensation those injured in car wrecks could receive may not outweigh the costs of taking legal action. On their own, people who do not practice law may not know how much they might recover through an auto accident claim. Lawyers who primarily handle personal injury cases, however, may be familiar with the subtleties involved in assigning a value to the non-economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

Understanding the laws

When it comes to assessing liability in car wreck cases, the state of Illinois employs a modified comparative negligence standard. Therefore, people may only be awarded compensation if they are less than 50 percent to blame for the collision. Auto accident attorneys generally understand how the state's at-fault rule works, as well as how official blame may be determined. They may draw on this knowledge to help ensure their clients appropriately recover damages for their losses.

Navigating the limitations

Following auto collisions, those injured do not have an indefinite period to take legal action. There is a two-year statute of limitations placed on personal injury claims in Illinois. As such, people may lose their right seek compensation if they do not file their petitions with the court within that timeframe. In addition to being familiar with the legal processes and procedures, lawyers who focus their practice on car accident cases understand the filing limitations.

Dealing with insurance companies

Alone, while recovering from serious injuries, going up against large insurance companies and their legal teams may seem overwhelming for average people. Consequently, they may be pushed into taking a settlement that is less than they deserve. Regularly working with other legal representatives and insurance carriers, personal injury attorneys may be less easily intimidated. Putting their clients' best interests first, they may offer guidance as to whether a settlement offer is appropriate or if they should further pursue legal action.

As a result of Illinois auto accidents, drivers, their passengers or others may suffer serious injuries, which require extensive medical treatment that carries undue expenses. Further, they may be forced to take time off work to recover, potentially resulting in lost wages. Working with an attorney may help people who have experienced such situations to understand their rights and options, as well as determine the best course of action given their circumstances.

  • Foundation
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Association For Justice