Chicago Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury cases handled by the motor vehicle accident lawyers of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Every driver knows that the road can be a risky place. There are over eleven million registered motor vehicles in the state of Illinois, and about 8.9 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 2021, there were 295,604 crashes in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Those crashes resulted in 1,217 deaths and 60,991 personal injuries.
Injuries sustained in a car accident can be severe and life-altering. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get auto 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 Chicago car accident lawyers today at (312) 586-1700.
Why Choose Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman
- Our firm has recovered over $500 million in settlements and record-setting jury verdicts on behalf of our clients. We will advocate aggressively for your maximum possible compensation.
- Our personal injury 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 and protect your rights.
- Navigating a car accident claim can be difficult after a recent injury. Our Chicago car accident attorneys will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery—not paperwork.
Car Accident Resources on This Page:
- How Can an Auto Accident Attorney Help Me?
- What Compensation Can I Recover in a Car Accident Claim in Chicago?
- What Are My Legal Options After an Accident in Illinois?
- Car Accident Case Results
- Types of Auto Accident Cases We Handle
- Negligence Laws in Illinois
- How to Prove You Are Not At Fault After a Car Accident?
- How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?
- Is the Rear Driver Always At-Fault for an Accident?
- What to Do After a Car Accident in Chicago
- Illinois Car Insurance Requirements
- What Are The Most Common Car Accident Injuries in Chicago?
How Can an Auto Accident Attorney Help Me?
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 car 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 avoid speaking to insurance adjusters before you consult with an experienced car accident injury claims lawyer so that they can provide you with free guidance and advice.
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 and give you the support you need. 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 car accident case and answer any questions you might have.
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.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Car Accident Claim in Chicago?
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 Chicago 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 fair compensation.
What Are My Legal Options After an Accident in Illinois?
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 car accident 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.
Car Accident Case Results
The car accident attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC will advocate aggressively for your maximum possible compensation. Here are some of the results we were able to achieve for our clients:
- $4,800,000 combined verdict and settlement for a family of three that sustained significant injuries in a car crash in Chicago. This was a zero offer case in which our client was actually improperly ticketed.
- $3,125,000 in DuPage County for an ankle injury following a vehicle roll-over collision.
- $2,500,000 settlement for a bicyclist hit by a car and suffered multiple injuries.
- $1,200,000 for a rear-end collision with no property damage for a woman who had back surgery.
- $1,045,923 excess verdict in an automobile case. We tried to settle the case without filing a lawsuit for the full policy limit of $250,000, but Allstate refused to offer the money and denied the claims arguing that the injuries suffered by our clients were not related to the collision. Allstate ultimately settled for a total of $1,045,923 after the trial.
Types of Auto Accident Cases We Handle
Our trusted car accident attorneys handle a variety of car accident cases in Chicago, 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
- Drunk Driving Accident
Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers understand that any of these auto 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.
Negligence Laws in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, a fault-based system is used to determine liability after a vehicle accident occurs. Some states use a no-fault system in which individuals will turn to their own insurance carriers for compensation after an accident, regardless of who caused the incident. However, since this is a fault-based system, determining liability is important period this revolves around establishing negligence, which includes four separate elements:
- Duty. Every driver on the roadway owes a duty of care to others around them. This duty extends to those inside other vehicles as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. A driver’s duty includes operating the vehicle within the confines of traffic law. Establishing a duty of care in a car accident case in Chicago is not challenging. So long as drivers were operating vehicles, they did indeed owe a duty of care to others.
- Breach. Establishing a breach of duty is more challenging. Drivers can breach their duty of care to others on the roadway in a variety of ways. This includes but is not limited to speeding, following others too closely, driving while impaired, driving distracted, failing to yield the right of way, road rage incidents, and more. There will need to be an extensive investigation into the incident to determine whether or not one driver breached their duty of care.
- Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty occurred, a plaintiff and their attorney will need to show that the breach directly or indirectly led to injuries or property damage.
- Damages. Lastly, it must be shown that the plaintiff sustained some sort of monetary loss as a result of the vehicle accident that occurred.
You can use medical and police reports, witness testimony, surveillance footage, and many other pieces of evidence to establish these elements. Your attorney from the law firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC will conduct an in-depth investigation into your accident case to gather this evidence and craft a compelling case in your favor.
How to Prove You Are Not At Fault After a Car Accident?
There are times when individuals are accused of causing an accident or even being partially responsible for causing an incident. In fact, this is not an uncommon tactic for insurance carriers and at-fault parties to use. They could try and shift some or all of the blame onto you for causing the incident, which can help limit how much compensation they pay out altogether. Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence system, which means individuals will not receive compensation if they are 51% or more responsible for causing their own injuries.
Proving you are not at fault for an accident is complex. As the investigation moves forward, it will include examining every aspect of the incident. Essentially, if you were not at fault for the incident, the investigation needs to uncover which party or multiple parties were at fault. By proving others were at fault, you will essentially be proving that you were not at fault for the incident.
We strongly encourage reaching out to a skilled car accident attorney if you have been harmed due to the negligent actions of another driver. Your attorney will help investigate the incident and determine liability.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?
The personal injury statute of limitations in the state of Illinois applies to car accident claims. This law says that car accident lawsuits must be filed in civil court within two years from the date an injury occurs. If a crash victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this two-year time frame, then the case will likely be dismissed, and the victim will not be able to recover compensation for their losses.
However, most Chicago car accident cases are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. Each insurance carrier involved in a case will have its own reporting deadlines that individuals need to be aware of. It is best to file a car accident claim within a day or two after the incident occurs in order to avoid the insurance carrier delaying or denying the claim for failure to meet their deadlines.
Is the Rear Driver Always At-Fault for an Accident?
It is a common misconception that a rear driver will always be responsible for an accident if a rear-end accident occurs. However, even though that may mostly be true, that is not always the case. Vehicle accident claims can become incredibly complex, and there are a variety of factors that can influence liability. Yes, rear drivers do have a responsibility to leave enough distance between themselves and a front vehicle so that they can stop before slamming into the rear. However, there are times when other drivers on the roadway cause a rear driver to slam into other vehicles, which means there may be others liable for these incidents.
Sometimes, more than one driver is at fault. Above, we mentioned the modified comparative negligence laws in Illinois. Even if a rear driver is found to be somewhat responsible for the incident, there may be others that hold responsibility. This can affect how much compensation a person receives for their injuries and property damage expenses.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Liability in a Car Accident Claim?
There are times when insurance carriers deny liability for a car accident claim. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but usually occurs if they believe that someone other than their policyholder caused the incident. If your claim has been denied by an insurance carrier, you need to reach out to a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
There are specific appeals processes that your attorney can go through, but it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in order to move forward with the case. When an attorney gets involved, they will conduct a complete investigation into the incident and go head to head with the insurance carrier in order to help you recover compensation for your losses. The insurance carrier will still be involved even after a lawsuit gets filed because they have a responsibility to defend their policyholder. Your attorney will take the case all the way to trial if necessary, but it is not uncommon for a claim to settle during the discovery process (this is when both parties exchange evidence and information with one another).
What to Do After a Car Accident in Chicago
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. Document as much of the accident scene as you can.
Once you receive medical attention, contact an experienced 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 car accident lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your case and explain your optimal course of action.
What Are The Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois?
Like most states, Illinois follows a fault-based system when it comes to motor vehicle 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.
What Are The Most Common Car Accident Injuries in Chicago?
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. This is often the result when speeding is present in an accident.
- Traumatic brain injuries: During a car accident, you can sustain a serious 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 the internal organs of an accident victim, 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 accident victims 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.
Get a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you, a family member, a loved one, or someone you know has been injured due to negligence, it will cost you nothing to discuss your injury case with an attorney. Reach out to our injury lawyers anytime by filling our online form, or by phone at (312) 586-1700 and get legal representation from an experienced car accident attorney in Chicago.
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