Chicago Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury cases handled by the auto accident lawyers of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Every driver knows that the road can be a risky place. There are over ten million registered motor vehicles in the state of Illinois, and about 8.8 million licensed drivers. In this day and age, many of those drivers are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. It is not surprising then that in 2011, there were 281,788 crashes in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Those crashes resulted in 918 deaths and 84,172 personal injuries.
Injuries sustained in a car accident can be severe and life-altering. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get insurance companies to cover the entirety of your care, and depending on the type of injury, medical care may be necessary for years. Never limit your treatment because the insurance company is pressuring you. Obtaining the compensation you deserve is possible with the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney. Contact our firm to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today at (312) 586-1700.
Why Choose Us
- Our firm has recovered over $400 million in settlements and record-setting jury verdicts on behalf of our clients. We will advocate aggressively for your maximum possible compensation.
- Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in their personal injury claims, including car accidents. We will leverage our knowledge and skill set to craft a compelling case in your favor.
- Navigating a car accident claim can be difficult after a recent injury. Our lawyers will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery—not paperwork.
Auto Accident Cases We Handle
Our trusted car accident attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:
- Head-on Collision
- T-Bone Accident
- Hit and Run
- Single-Vehicle Crash
- Multi-Vehicle Crash
- Lane Crossover
- Sideswipe Collision
- Rollover Accident
- Rear-End Accident
Our knowledgeable auto accident lawyers understand that any of these accidents can be a financial burden. If you’ve sustained injuries and suspect that someone else is to blame, we’ll fight to obtain the monetary damages you deserve. We’ll come up with a plan to help you get the maximum amount of compensation and hold the negligent party liable for what happened to you.
Illinois Car Insurance Requirements
Like most states, Illinois follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. This means that a driver who causes a car accident must pay for the damages of his or her victims, including other drivers, their passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. To uphold this financial responsibility, Illinois law requires all drivers to hold the following minimum amounts of liability insurance.
- $35,000 for injury or death per person per accident
- $50,000 for total injury or death per accident
- $20,000 for proper damage per accident
Every insurance policy in Illinois automatically includes uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage equal to the policy’s liability limits. UIM coverage provides compensation in case you are in an accident with a driver who does not comply with Illinois’s car insurance laws. Penalties for driving without insurance are steep; drivers could face a fine of at least $500, or $1,000 if the vehicle also has a suspended registration.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in serious injuries that require long-term care. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Whiplash: This injury occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your neck and upper back move in a fast, unnatural way during a car accident. Whiplash can be very painful and take months to heal.
- Traumatic brain injuries: During a car accident, you can sustain an injury to your head that leads to severe, long-lasting complications. Without prompt treatment, these traumatic brain injuries can be fatal or result in a permanent loss of function.
- Broken bones: It is common to sustain broken arms, ribs, legs, hips, and other fractures during a car accident. These collisions generate a significant amount of force, which can crush and break your bones.
- Organ damage and internal bleeding: The impact of a car crash can damage and lacerate your internal organs, leading to dangerous bleeding. Without prompt treatment, this damage can be life-threatening.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord, which is responsible for transmitting messages between your brain and body, can sustain damage during a car accident. Spinal cord injuries can result in a permanent loss of feeling and function below the damage site.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Not all car accident injuries are physical. Many people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a collision, a mental health condition that results in significant emotional anguish. PTSD can make it difficult to drive or ride in a vehicle after an accident.
Legal Options for Injured Illinois Drivers
Through a car accident claim, you can recover damages for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are in a car accident with an at-fault driver, you have three options to recover this compensation.
- You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Illinois civil court.
- You can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You can file an insurance claim with your own insurance company, if you have the appropriate policy.
Most car accident claims begin in the insurance process and proceed to a lawsuit if necessary. However, there are certain situations where it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit from the beginning. If your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, for example, you are unlikely to recover maximum compensation through an insurance claim. These limits do not apply to lawsuits and you will have a stronger chance of recovering the full extent of your damages.
During each of these processes, you will need to prove that the at-fault driver caused the accident. When you file an insurance claim, the company will assign an adjuster to your case who will conduct an independent investigation. The adjuster will then determine who caused the accident and whether you deserve compensation. If your claim is successful, the company will provide a settlement offer, which you could accept, negotiate, or reject.
The car accident lawsuit process follows a different procedure. To successfully prove your claim, you and your attorney must provide sufficient evidence to establish the following four elements.
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers owe a duty to drive safely and follow all Illinois traffic laws.
- The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care. For example, failure to yield or drinking and driving are breaches of duty.
- The at-fault driver’s breach of duty directly caused your accident.
- You sustained damages due to the accident that you can collect in your lawsuit.
You can use medical and police reports, witness testimony, surveillance footage, and many other pieces of evidence to establish these elements. Your attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC will conduct an in-depth investigation into your case to gather this evidence and craft a compelling case in your favor.
Why You Need Help with Your Auto Accident Injury Claim
The goal of the insurance company is to pay out the smallest amount possible to settle your car accident injury claim. It’s the reason insurance companies make billions of dollars every year, and they continually employ persuasive adjusters and high-priced attorneys to make sure their dollars stay out of your hands. It’s also common for the insurance company to use excuses to deny or limit your claim. The car crash wasn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t feel guilty. Don’t let your insurance provider get away with giving you less than what you deserve. Seek the assistance of an aggressive accident lawyer to make sure you obtain a fair settlement.
Getting help with your injury claim can also help you save time, which is a critical factor in any car accident claim. It is possible that evidence in your case may be lost, witnesses may disappear, the statute of limitations will pass, and memories will fade. The smallest mistake can cost you, and without a reputable auto accident attorney, you may never be fully compensated for your injury claim. Even if you don’t retain an attorney, it can significantly help to consult with an experienced car accident injury claims lawyer so that they can provide you with free guidance and advice.
What Damages Can You Receive in a Car Accident Claim?
Under Illinois law, car accident victims have the right to collect two types of damages: economic and non-economic. While economic damages involve your tangible financial losses, non-economic damages concern your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Some of the most common types of car accident damages include:
- All past and future medical expenses related to your accident, such as doctor’s visits, surgeries, hospital stays, and prescription medication
- Disability accommodations that you require following your injuries, such as modifications to your home and vehicle, live-in care, and mobility equipment
- Lost wages during your recovery period, as well as the loss of future earnings and benefits if you cannot return to work due to your injuries
- Property repairs and replacements for damage that you sustained in the accident, including vehicle repairs
- The cost of rehabilitative therapies after a collision, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health counseling
- Emotional pain and suffering, such as emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Physical pain and suffering, including chronic pain, permanent disability, disfigurement, and amputation
To prove your right to economic damages, you can supply evidence such as medical bills, paystubs, correspondence with your employer, and invoices. For future expenses, your attorney will enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as economists and medical professionals, who can assess your condition and calculate your long-term care needs.
Since non-economic damages do not come with a bill or invoice, these losses can be difficult to quantify. Different insurance companies use different formulas to calculate pain and suffering. However, your car accident lawyer will have the tools necessary to estimate these costs and determine the value of your non-economic losses. Evidence such as journal entries can establish your right to this compensation.
What to Do After a Chicago Car Accident
The moments after a car accident can feel overwhelming and disorienting. However, these moments are vital to establishing your right to compensation. Immediately following the collision, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. Illinois requires most car accident victims to file a police report, and taking this step immediately can fulfill this requirement. Additionally, the police report will include important details that could serve as evidence in your claim.
You should also seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel hurt. You may have internal or underlying injuries that you may not feel in the moments after the crash. Going to the hospital will also establish medical records that you can use to validate your claim.
If you are able to move around the accident site safely and without further injury, take the following steps to preserve evidence.
- Exchange license, contact, and insurance information with the at-fault driver. Keep your interaction brief and do not admit anything about your accident or injuries.
- If there are any witnesses in the area, ask them for their contact information. These witnesses could provide valuable testimony in your case.
- Take as many photographs of the accident site, your injuries, and property damage as possible. If there are any traffic signs or signals, photograph them as well.
Once you receive medical attention, contact a Chicago car accident attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC as soon as possible. Do not speak to an insurance representative until you speak to a lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your case and explain your optimal course of action.
Why Work With Our Chicago Car Accident Legal Team
At Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC in Chicago, our seasoned auto accident lawyers will handle your car crash injury case from start to finish. Our decades of practice has been focused on helping victims of car crashes recover from their injuries and move on with their lives. Our associates will assist you in every aspect of your case. We will go to traffic court with you, deal with the adverse party’s insurance company to assist with your medical bills and your property damage and work with your doctors to make sure you get the best medical treatment available in your situation. And most importantly, we are ready to take your case to court and fight for your maximum compensation if the insurance companies are not treating you fairly.
Hiring the right car injury attorney can make all the difference when you have been injured in a car accident. Contact our office for a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident and want to discuss your options with an experienced attorney.
If you or someone you know needs help, it will cost you nothing to discuss your injury case with an attorney. Give us a call anytime at (312) 586-1700.