In 2018, there were more than 300,000 car accidents, 67,453 injuries, and 951 fatalities, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). You might wonder when you should get a lawyer for a car accident. You could consult with a personal injury lawyer at any point if you were involved in a car accident to learn about your legal rights and options. There are certain times when you may have a greater need for a lawyer, such as if you were injured or your claim is complicated.
Here are some signs that you may want a car accident lawyer to help with your claim.
You Suffered an Injury
Car accidents can cause several different types of injuries:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
If you were injured in a car accident, you might suffer substantial economic and physical harm. You might have excessive medical bills. You may also lose months’ worth of income while you are recovering. In addition, you may have become permanently disabled due to the accident. This may entitle you to compensation for other damages, such as lost earning capacity. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you experience. A lawyer can help calculate the true extent of your damages.
Multiple Parties Are Involved
In some accidents, multiple parties are liable for your losses. There may be a pileup or a chain reaction that sets off several other accidents. These claims are often complex because it can be difficult to pinpoint the original source of negligence.
It can also be hard to determine how other drivers’ negligence contributed to the accident. Rather than getting to the bottom of the situation, all the insurance companies involved may try to deny liability. This can make it harder for you to get a fair resolution of your claim without the help of a trained lawyer.
Your Claim Is Denied
Insurance companies stay in business by receiving more in premiums than they pay out in claims. They will look for any reason to deny your claim. However, if your claim is denied, this may not mean that you are not due compensation for your accident. You may just have to fight harder for a financial award.
Personal injury lawyers often offer a free consultation in which their team reviews the circumstances of a prospective client’s claim to determine whether they have a right to compensation.
The Insurance Company Contacted You
The insurance company may try different tactics to reduce or eliminate the value of your claim, such as:
- Getting you to sign a release of your claim with no or little compensation
- Convincing you to give a recorded statement that is later used to undermine your claim
- Getting you to review communications from them so that they can misinform you about your rights
You Received a Settlement Offer
Another tactic that insurance companies sometimes use is to send a lowball settlement offer quickly after receiving a claim. A company would do this hoping that you would accept the offer without consulting with a lawyer. This settlement may not provide full compensation for all the damages you sustained, so you might choose to contact a lawyer for a detailed evaluation.
What a Car Accident Lawyer Does
Even if none of the situations above apply to your case, you may still prefer to have a lawyer who can guide you through the claims process. Car accident lawyers take on many time-consuming and technical tasks that you may not want to do (or that you do not feel equipped to do), such as:
- Investigating your accident
- Gathering documentation to establish liability for your damages
- Consulting with expert witnesses, as necessary
- Calculating the full extent of your damages
- Handling communications with the insurance company
- Preparing a demand package
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Advancing legal arguments
- Evaluating different legal options
Your Right to Legal Representation
The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) encourages you to consult a lawyer of your personal choice if you are not sure about your rights. It also cautions you not to let the defendant’s representative influence you against taking the advice of your own lawyer. The other side will likely have their own legal representation. You may choose to hire your own lawyer to level the playing field.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today for Help
You now know the answer to when you should get a lawyer for a car accident. The personal injury team at The Kryder Law Group, LLC wants you to know that we are here for you during this difficult time. We provide a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options and explain how we can help.
Contact us today at (312) 223-1700 to get started.