Many residents of Illinois forget how hazardous driving can be until they’re involved in a collision. In 2021, almost 61,000 motor vehicle accidents in Illinois left somebody injured. Vehicle accident injuries can require intensive medical care, prevent you from working or living independently, and cause long-term or chronic pain that affects your health and happiness.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois vehicle accident, the vehicle accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates are ready to help. Nessler & Associates provides legal representation to accident victims in Illinois and will help you recover the compensation that you’re owed.
Types of Vehicle Accidents
While collisions between two passenger cars are the most common type of motor vehicle accident, insurance companies and attorneys handle many more types of accidents, including:
- Passenger vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Some vehicle crashes have more serious consequences than others. For example, victims of motorcycle or pedestrian accidents typically receive more severe injuries in a collision since they lack airbags or other protective factors. It’s important to consult with an attorney who has experience with the type of vehicle accident you were injured in.
Nessler & Associates has experience with many types of vehicle accidents. Our firm has taken on a wide variety of car accident cases and recovered millions in damages for victims.
Steps to Take After a Vehicle Accident
After a motor vehicle accident, you must follow the appropriate procedures to file a claim with your insurance company. Once you have filed, contact the legal team at Nessler & Associates to ensure your claim goes smoothly.
Seek Medical Attention
If anyone has been injured in the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Immediately after the crash, pull over and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Per Illinois Vehicle Code § 11-403, you must also check if anyone in the other vehicle has been injured. If anyone has suffered serious injuries, dial 911.
Call the Police
Call the police and inform them of the collision. The police will likely come to the accident scene to document the crash and take statements from both drivers. You will receive a copy of the police report to provide to your insurance company.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
You will need the other driver’s information to file a claim with your insurance company. Talk to the driver and obtain their:
- First and last name
- Driver’s license
- Insurance provider and policy number
- Car registration
- Vehicle make and model
Only share necessary information with the driver. Don’t apologize for the accident or make casual conversation. The other driver’s insurance company can use your statements to say you were at fault for the accident.
Collect Evidence of the Accident
Evidence from a car accident can help you prove fault or verify the severity of your damages. Use your phone to take pictures of any injuries or property damage, and save footage captured on your dashcam if you have one. Store this evidence on a cloud-based service and back it up to an external drive.
Talk to Witnesses
Pedestrians and drivers of nearby vehicles may be able to provide witness testimony after the crash. This can help police, insurance adjusters, and attorneys establish a clearer picture of the accident.
Talk to others near the crash scene and ask if they would share what they saw. If they agree, write down their name and phone number so you can provide it to your attorney later.
File with Your Insurance Company
After a vehicle accident, you will typically need to file a claim with your insurance company within a month. Specific deadlines may vary depending on your policy. File your claim as soon as possible and provide all requested documentation to your insurance company.
You are not obligated to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and ask you to provide a recorded statement or sign a release, which they will then use to claim you are at fault for the collision. If the other driver’s insurance contacts you, consult with an attorney.
Consult with Nessler & Associates
Hiring an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer from Nessler & Associates ensures your car accident claim goes as smoothly as possible. We can help you recover all necessary documentation for the accident, file a claim with your insurance company, and negotiate an appropriate settlement. We can also communicate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf.
Do I Have a Car Accident Claim?
Illinois law allows someone seriously injured in a car crash to file against the at-fault driver. If the vehicle accident was due to the other driver’s carelessness or negligence, and you suffered significant injury or financial losses from the crash, you may be able to file a vehicle accident claim against the other driver.
For example, you suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. The TBI impairs your movement and memory, which prevents you from returning to work. In this case, you could file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover compensation for your damages.
If you are still unsure whether you have a valid claim, schedule a free consultation with the car accident law firm Nessler & Associates. Our attorneys can review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim against the other driver.
When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Most victims of vehicle accidents benefit from the help of an attorney. However, there are some situations where the assistance of Nessler & Associates will make a difference in your claim. Contact our Illinois legal team if:
You Suffered Serious Injuries
Those who suffer serious injuries in a car accident may file a claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, if not more. If you lose the claim, you will find yourself responsible for hefty medical bills, property repairs, and other expenses you may not be able to afford.
Hiring an attorney reduces the risk of losing out on compensation when there is a significant amount of money at stake. Our personal injury lawyers can help you build a strong case and win the settlement you’re owed.
You Were in a Truck or Bus Crash
Trucks and buses are considered commercial vehicles, which are held to separate laws. Additionally, in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you do not file against the vehicle driver; instead, you file against the company the driver is employed with.
Commercial vehicle companies have much higher insurance minimums, which means you can recover more compensation for your injuries. However, they also have more money to hire attorneys who can cause you to lose your claim. Truck and bus accident attorneys are familiar with Illinois’ commercial vehicle laws and can provide a fair fight against the company’s lawyers.
Insurance is Not Paying What You’re Owed
Auto insurance companies often search for ways to deny your claim or pay less than what you’re owed. For example, they may wrongly claim you’re at fault for the crash, refuse to compensate you for damages covered under your insurance policy, or offer you a settlement that doesn’t cover your losses. Others may delay your claim without explanation, leaving your settlement in limbo.
These kinds of bad-faith acts are unlawful under the Illinois Insurance Code and can be handled by a skilled car accident attorney. Your attorney can compel insurance providers to handle your claim in a timely manner and offer an appropriate settlement.
You Don’t Think You Can Win Your Case Alone
Navigating the legal system is challenging for anyone, especially those coping with a vehicle accident’s aftermath. If there’s any reason, you don’t think you can take on your case alone, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer will reduce your worries and greatly aid your case.
Nessler & Associates has assisted many victims of vehicle accidents in recovering compensation for their damages. Contact us today to find out how we can help you win your claim.
Compensation You Can Recover for a Vehicle Accident
When you file a lawsuit against another driver, you can claim multiple types of damages. These damages typically fall into three broad categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Our legal team at Nessler & Associates will determine the damages you can claim.
Economic damages are losses that can be financially quantified. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property repairs, and other financial losses you suffered from the accident.
We can help you collect bills and invoices, calculate lost wages, and determine what other expenses you can recover. For example, we can help you recover the costs of adapting your home or vehicle for your injury.
Non-economic damages are based on subjective experience and do not have a financial quantity. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and wrongful death.
Since non-economic damages are not financially quantifiable, these damages are calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. This number is determined based on the perceived severity of your losses or suffering. For example, if the accident caused you to become disabled, develop chronic pain, and lose a loved one, you are more likely to get a higher number.
Our vehicle accident attorneys will determine what kind of non-economic damages you can claim. We will also help you provide evidence of these damages, including medical records, documents from therapy sessions, and testimony about how the accident has affected you.
If the vehicle accident resulted from deliberate violations of the law, you may be awarded punitive damages. These damages are intended to deter unlawful or malicious behavior and are typically demanded of large companies.
For example, a trucking company forces its drivers to drive longer than legally permitted. One of their truckers, exhausted, falls asleep at the wheel and hits you. The court may order the trucking company to pay you punitive damages to deter them from committing further violations.
The economic, non-economic, and punitive damages you can obtain depend on your case. The car accident injury lawyers at our law firm will explore the types of damages you can recover.
How a Vehicle Accident Attorney Can Help
While the role of your vehicle accident attorney will vary depending on your case, Nessler & Associates seeks to provide consistent assistance across all aspects of your claim. The Chicago car accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help with many parts of your vehicle accident case, including:
Filing a Claim in Court
When filing a lawsuit, you must provide paperwork to the court by various deadlines and pay the associated fees. Someone recovering from a vehicle accident may have trouble finding and filing the paperwork by the deadline.
An attorney can handle the filing process so that you can focus on recovery. They will collect and complete all required paperwork while staying on top of deadlines.
Collecting Evidence of Negligence
Many accident victims lack sufficient evidence of the other driver’s negligence. Your attorney can gather evidence of the other driver’s negligence that you may not be able to access on your own.
For example, they may obtain security footage of the accident or request the results of the driver’s alcohol and drug tests. They may also locate potential witnesses to the accident and record their testimony of the crash.
Calculating Your Losses
Victims of vehicle accidents may face expenses even after their injuries have been treated. For example, if you suffer a spinal cord injury, you may require more frequent medical care for the rest of your life. Some accident victims don’t anticipate these expenses or know how much they cost, leading them to seek a settlement that only covers their current losses.
Vehicle accident attorneys are familiar with the expenses you will face after the accident. They can calculate your existing losses, estimate your future expenses, and negotiate an appropriate settlement based on your current and future expenses.
Negotiating with Insurance
Once your attorney calculates your damages, they will send what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A demand letter lists the damages you suffered from the accident, how much those damages cost and explains why the other driver is at fault.
It’s common for insurance companies to offer less than what’s requested in the demand letter. Your attorney will negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and ensure you receive a settlement you’re happy with.
While Illinois is a fault state, Illinois also uses a modified comparative fault doctrine. This means that you can only recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. Additionally, your earnings will be reduced if you are considered partially at fault for your damages.
For example, you were speeding when another vehicle swerved into your lane and hit you. The judge determines that you are 25% at fault because you were speeding, which reduces your compensation by 25%.
Your attorney can argue down the amount of fault you hold in the accident. They may provide evidence that you hold no liability for the crash or argue that you hold less fault than the other driver’s attorney claims you do.
Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney can help with many other aspects of your case. Schedule a consultation with Nessler & Associates to learn what services we can provide.
Consult a Vehicle Accident Attorney at Nessler & Associates
The aftermath of any vehicle accident can be costly and chaotic. The legal team at Nessler & Associates understands the challenges that vehicle accident victims face in Illinois and seeks to hold the negligent driver responsible for your losses. We will handle the paperwork and deadlines of your claim, collect evidence against the other driver, and fight to retrieve the restitution you’re owed.
Nessler & Associates works on contingency and does not require payment before your case is settled or won. Call us at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.