You do not need a lawyer for a car accident settlement. You can file an insurance claim and negotiate for a settlement on your own. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer.
However, working with a lawyer may provide you with several benefits. A lawyer may be able to handle all legal work, communications, and deadlines in your case while you focus on your recovery.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case
If another party’s negligence caused your accident, they might be liable for your resultant damages. Depending on the nature of your accident and your injuries, the recoverable damages may include:
- Medical expenses: if you were injured in a car accident, your current and future accident-related medical expenses might be covered.
- Property damage: damage to your vehicle and other property may also be covered in a car accident settlement.
- Loss of income: you may be able to claim lost wages if your injuries prevented you from working during your recovery.
- Pain and suffering: any emotional or physical pain you have due to your car accident injuries may also be recovered.
To recover compensation in a car accident case, you may need to provide evidence of your damages to the responsible party’s insurance company. A personal injury lawyer can help you identify your damages and their value when they represent you.
Settlement Offers and Insurance Companies
After a car accident, the responsible party’s insurance company may reach out to you with a settlement offer. It is important to understand that accepting a settlement offer may require you to sign a release that prevents you from suing for further compensation later. In other words, a settlement offer may be final.
Because of this, it is important to carefully evaluate a settlement offer and make sure that it reflects the value of all your damages. If you sign off on a low settlement offer and realize later that you have additional accident-related expenses, you may be unable to recover further compensation.
Although you do not need a lawyer for a car accident settlement, having one in your corner can help you during the settlement process. If you decide to work with a lawyer, they can take over all communications with the responsible party’s insurance company for you. Your lawyer can also evaluate settlement offers for fairness and negotiate on your behalf. If the responsible party’s insurance company is unwilling to make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can take your case to trial.
Evidence in a Car Accident Case
To recover compensation in a car accident case, you may also need to prove the responsible party’s liability. This action may require evidence that the responsible party’s negligence caused your accident.
Gathering evidence is not always an easy task. A car accident lawyer can collect evidence on your behalf. This evidence may include:
- Video footage and photographs from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
- Your medical records
- Mechanic’s statements
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
- And more
Contributory Fault in Illinois
Per 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the state uses a contributory fault system in personal injury cases. So long as you are 50% at fault for an accident or less, you still may be able to recover compensation for your damages. However, your payout may be reduced according to your degree of fault.
For example, if a judge decides that you were 20% at fault for an accident and that your damages are worth $50,000, your court award may be reduced by 20% to $40,000.
Because of Illinois’ contributory fault system, it can be important to gather evidence of the full extent of the responsible party’s liability in a car accident case. A lawyer can help you do this.
The Deadline to Sue in Illinois
According to 735 ILCS 5/13-202, there is a general two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. If you fail to take legal action by the deadline in your case, your lawsuit may be dismissed, and you may be unable to recover compensation for your damages.
A lawyer can help you file your case on time and meet appropriate deadlines when they represent you.
Call The Kryder Law Group, LLC Today
The Kryder Law Group, LLC represents car accident victims in Chicago. If you were hurt in a car accident and are wondering about your legal options, we invite you to call us for a free case review at (312) 223-1700. A member of our team can discuss your accident and our services during this call.
If you qualify, we may be able to provide you with representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.