Can You Settle a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?

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Yes, in Illinois, you can settle a car accident without a lawyer. Before you decide to negotiate and settle your car accident claim on your own, though, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the at-fault driver have enough coverage to fully cover your losses?
  • Does your own insurance policy offer any additional coverage?
  • What if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured?
  • How is the fault and value of your claim determined?
  • How are your medical bills calculated?
  • How long does the insurance company have to settle your claim?
  • What forms and other information will the insurer require?
  • How many repair or replacement estimates are required?
  • How will the insurer value your car if it is deemed a total loss?

A lawyer can help you answer these questions, ensure your claim is accurately valued, and that you are not left paying out-of-pocket expenses for a car accident that was not your fault.

A Lawyer Can Calculate the Full Value of Your Insurance Settlement

Calculating your total losses in the aftermath of a car accident is a complex undertaking. You may be entitled to have certain expenses covered by the at-fault driver. Since an insurance settlement is considered full and final payment for your expenses and losses, it is important to make sure your calculations are accurate.

If you want to settle a car accident without a lawyer and still ensure all the following economic and non-economic losses are accurately tallied, then you may want to consider:

  • The full cost of all emergency and follow-up accident-related medical care
  • The cost of necessary personal and household help while you recuperate
  • Required assistive medical devices, like crutches or a wheelchair
  • The cost to repair or replace your damaged or totaled vehicle
  • Your accumulated current and future lost wages
  • A dollar value for your pain and suffering

Because every car accident case is different, yours may have additional costs that can be recovered from the at-fault driver or his insurer. Your lawyer can help you fully and accurately assign a monetary value to your compensation claim and ensure you are not underpaid and that fault for the accident is accurately assigned.

Understand How Contributory Fault Can Affect Your Settlement In Illinois

Illinois is a comparative fault state, meaning each driver in an accident is financially responsible for the percentage of the accident they are proven to have caused. According to 735 ILCS 5/2-1117, the degree of fault can determine the way damages are assigned after a car accident. If the other driver in the accident claims you are 25% at fault for the accident, any dollar amount you receive will be reduced by that amount.

If you are accused of being more than 50% at fault for the accident and cannot prove this allegation of majority fault is inaccurate, you are at risk of not receiving any compensation at all. If you believe the other driver is fully at fault for the accident in which you were involved, a lawyer can help you determine fault, locate witnesses, and appropriately assign liability to your claim.

This information is valuable during insurance settlement negotiations because an inability to prove fault can significantly lower the monetary value of your claim. You can also put your potential settlement at risk by allowing too much time to pass before filing a claim.

Settle Your Insurance Claim Quickly and Accurately

Negotiating for and accepting an insurance claim quickly is as important as settling your claim accurately. The sooner your claim is settled, the sooner you can get back to recovering from the accident, replacing your property, and getting back to work.

Also, in Illinois, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for your physical injuries, emotional trauma, property damage, and for the wrongful death of a loved one who was killed in the accident (two years under 735 ILCS 5/13-202 and 740 ILCS 180/2, respectively). Knowing and meeting these timelines on your own can be complicated and confusing. Your lawyer can ensure you know, understand, and meet the state-mandated timelines that may apply to your case.

The Kryder Law Group Can Help You

After a car accident, a lawyer can support your claim for financial compensation. When you are ready to pursue financial compensation, contact a team member at The Kryder Law Group. Call (312) 598-0982 to reach a member of our client intake team today.

Can You Settle a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?
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