Illinois residents harmed in auto accidents may be able to seek compensation for injuries and property damage through a personal injury claim. If you suffered injuries in a car crash, you might want to hire a lawyer but are unsure what an attorney can do for your case.
An experienced lawyer can help you through several aspects of your auto accident claim, including filing the paperwork, negotiating with the insurance company, and gathering evidence to support your case. Examine the role of an auto accident attorney from Nessler & Associates and learn when hiring a car accident lawyer might be the right choice for you.
What’s the Purpose of a Car Crash Lawyer?
Auto attorneys can serve several roles depending on your case. Their legal knowledge often covers several elements related to car accident claims, such as personal injury, property damage, and insurance claims.
An auto accident attorney uses this experience and skill to help you navigate the often complicated landscape of personal injury claims. Without an attorney, you may miss important filing deadlines, fail to produce acceptable evidence of your injuries, or accept a significantly reduced settlement that is less than what you deserve.
Your auto accident lawyer’s purpose is to protect your rights throughout the claims process, advise you on a competent legal strategy, and act on your behalf when dealing with insurance companies or the court.
What Your Attorney Can Do
While every case and every attorney is different, many personal injury lawyers handle specific legal procedures and tasks resulting from a car accident. Your lawyer will be able to:
Help You File a Claim
Your attorney can help you file your initial claim for compensation from the other driver’s insurance. During this process, they will draft a detailed, well-supported claim and demand letter outlining your case and expected settlement.
Your lawyer can use your medical bills, pay stubs, and other evidence to calculate a fair settlement amount that the insurance company will likely agree to for a swift resolution of your case.
Obtain Relevant Records and Evidence
It’s easy for you to access some records related to the accident, like a copy of the police report or your medical records. However, you may be unable to obtain security camera footage, prior DUI charges against the other driver, or other records that would help you build a strong argument in a car accident case.
An auto attorney can obtain these and use them as evidence in your claim with the insurance company or a jury trial.
Illinois is an at-fault state, which means that the at-fault party’s insurance is responsible for compensating you for injuries you incur in an accident. However, to receive compensation, you must prove:
The other driver acted negligently
Their actions caused the collision
You suffered injuries from the crash
Your injuries have caused you economic and non-economic damages (such as lost wages, high medical costs, and pain and suffering)
Your car accident lawyer can argue fault in your accident case to win your maximum compensation. Illinois uses modified comparative negligence, which makes a party ineligible to receive damages if they are more than 50% at fault for an accident. If you carry a smaller percentage of fault, for example, 10%, you can still win compensation, but your damages will be reduced by 10%.
An attorney can work to prove that you are not more than 50% at fault for the incident and reduce your percentage of fault.
Obtain a Settlement from the Insurance Company
A car accident lawyer can recover more money from insurance than you can on your own. For example, an auto attorney can ensure that the insurer values your car correctly and that the other drivers’ car insurance isn’t lowballing you. They can also help you obtain lost wages if you miss work or earn compensation for medical bills that you incurred due to the accident.
Because your lawyer understands how insurance companies work, they can negotiate a reasonable settlement. They know what type of evidence to use to prove your injuries and can threaten legal action if the insurance company doesn’t settle your case fairly.
Get Your Fair Share from Lienholders
When you seek compensation, you aren’t just recovering money for yourself but also for your insurance providers. Your health and car insurance are considered a lienholder entitled to a portion of any compensation you earn.
If you receive money in a judgment or settlement, your lienholders are first in line to receive payment, and the more they receive, the less you’ll get. Your lawyer can help maximize your payout by working with the lienholders so that they take a smaller share.
They can also craft a Letter of Protection (LOP) after your accident to help you receive medical care upfront. An LOP is a detailed agreement signed by you and your healthcare providers of when and how much you’ll pay if you obtain a settlement resulting from your claim.
When Should I Get an Auto Accident Attorney?
You should contact an auto accident attorney after any collision in Illinois. Working with an experienced lawyer from Nessler & Associates can ensure that you are treated fairly by your insurance company or a third-party insurer in an injury accident.
You don’t have to battle insurance companies alone or accept a lowball settlement after a collision. The auto accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates handle various motor vehicle accident cases involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles. We offer our clients legal services at no cost unless we win your case.