Numerous car accidents occur each day in Joliet, many of which are caused by at least one drivers’ negligence. Drivers are legally required to exercise reasonable care and follow traffic laws. When drivers fail to exercise reasonable care, severe injuries can occur.
Some car accidents are unavoidable. The roads of Joliet are filled with careless motorists whose conduct causes car accidents. These accidents can cause severe injuries to responsible drivers who were following the rules of the road.
Victims of another drivers’ negligence can recover financial compensation. There are several types of damages victims may incur after a crash, but getting compensation is not always easy. Accordingly, our Joliet car accident lawyers can help you understand your case better and fight for the damages available in a car accident lawsuit.
If you or a family member were injured in a crash that was caused by another driver’s negligent conduct, get help recovering the compensation you deserve by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 for a free case review.
Common Causes of Joliet, IL Car Accidents
There are various forms of careless conduct that may be considered negligent for drivers. Drivers are expected to use reasonable care and follow traffic laws when operating their vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to abide by this standard. The following are common forms of negligence that cause car accidents in Joliet:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane changes
- Failing to obey street signs or signals
- Wrong-way driving
- Braking abruptly
- Reckless driving
However, there are many other forms of negligence that lead to car accidents. If you suspect you have been injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, our Joliet can accident lawyers can help assess the validity of your case.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Joliet, IL
Car accidents occur unexpectedly. The experience of a crash can be shocking and disorienting for victims. However, it is important to remain composed in the moments after an accident.
The time period immediately after a car accident can be hectic. However, there are certain steps car accident victims should take after a crash to protect their interests. Victims can contact our Joliet car accident lawyers for further assistance with the following steps to take after an accident:
Stay at the Scene
You should find a safe space and remain at the scene of a car accident. Fleeing the scene of a crash will harm your ability to recover compensation. Furthermore, you may be charged with a hit and run.
The first priority after an accident should be tending to any injuries. By calling 911, victims will be able to have the dispatcher send emergency services for anyone who requires immediate medical attention. Furthermore, a police officer will visit the scene and write up a report about the accident. A police report may provide crucial information for your future lawsuit.
Next, you may exchange contact and insurance information with all other parties to an accident. Contact information should include names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and email addresses. Furthermore, contact information for any witnesses to an accident should be collected. Witness testimony can also be highly beneficial to our Joliet car accident lawyers when building a case.
When conversing with witnesses and other parties to an accident, it is important not to apologize or admit fault. Unfortunately, such statements may be construed as an admission of fault in a car accident lawsuit.
Document the Scene of the Crash
It will also be valuable to document the scene of the crash after a car accident. When proving fault, it may be valuable to establish the circumstances surrounding an accident such as road conditions, weather, or time of day. Furthermore, photo documentation can be used to prove the extent of property damage related to an accident.
It can be extremely beneficial to document the scene of the accident by taking photos and videos. Furthermore, victims are encouraged to make their own recollection of an accident while their memory is fresh. Documenting the accident may help you prove circumstances surrounding the crash such as weather and road conditions. Furthermore, photo documentation may help when accounting for the cost of property damage stemming from an accident. Our Joliet car accident lawyers can offer further advice and counsel regarding what information to document after a car accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you do not believe that you suffered an injury, you should seek a medical assessment after suffering a car accident. Many injuries such as soft tissue injuries may not manifest until weeks later. Furthermore, injuries should not be left to heal on their own. Insurance companies may use a delay in treatment to dispute your claim.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Finally, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Your insurance company can establish their own deadline for filing a claim. Waiting to notify your insurance company of an accident could affect your ability to recover compensation, especially if you were injured because of an uninsured motorist.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident in Joliet, IL
On the contrary, there are certain actions drivers may take that will hurt their chances at recovering damages after an accident. Insurance companies will look for any reason to decrease the value of a claim. Car crash victims in Joliet should avoid making the following mistakes after an accident:
Do Not Admit Fault
It can be natural for drivers to apologize after a crash even when they are not at fault. However, these statements can be construed as admissions of fault. Drivers should keep their composure after an accident and avoid apologizing if they are not at fault.
Do Not Accept an Early Settlement Offer
Insurance companies wish to settle cases as soon as possible. Accordingly, insurance adjusters may make low settlement offers quickly after crashes. Drivers should always wait to determine the full extent of their injuries before agreeing to settle. Many medical injuries may not arise until days after an accident. Furthermore, some forms of property damage may not be discovered until well after a crash when a mechanic gets a chance to look at your vehicle. Our Joliet car accident lawyers can help victims calculate the full extent of their damages after an accident.
Additionally, car accident victims do not need to speak with other drivers’ insurance companies after accidents. If other insurance companies call drivers for statements, they should decline and refer them to their Joliet car accident lawyer.
Do Not Delay Treatment
Car crash victims should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. Some victims may wait to see if injuries heal on their own. However, it is important for doctors to document victims’ injuries if the victim is to receive compensation. Furthermore, insurance companies may use a delay in treatment to complicate the settlement process or claim the injuries were not linked to the crash. Our Joliet car accident lawyers can help victims find the right physicians to treat their injuries promptly after a crash.
Damages Available in Joliet, IL Car Accident Cases
The first category of damages available to plaintiffs in Joliet car accident lawsuits is referred to as economic damages. These damages are based on quantifiable monetary expenses and include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage related to the accident.
Victims are also often entitled to non-economic damages suffered because of an accident. Non-economic damages include losses for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Although these damages do not have a clear financial cost, they are no less impactful than economic damages. Our Joliet car accident lawyers will fight for car accident victims to recover the non-economic damages they deserve.
Proving Fault in a Joliet, IL Car Accident Case
In order to recover damages from an at-fault driver, you must present evidence that another driver’s negligent conduct was the cause of your injuries. Medical records, surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, accident reports, crash site photographs, and other sources of information may all be used. Our Joliet car accident lawyers can help gather the multitude of evidence required to support your claim.
Furthermore, insurance companies can use the vast resources at their disposal to refute your claim. They may hire defense attorneys, private investigators, doctors, and other expert witnesses who will attempt to decrease the value of your case. Accordingly, the assistance of experienced car accident lawyers can also benefit you when negotiating for fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Joliet, IL
A statute of limitations establishes the time limits for filing a lawsuit. In Joliet, IL, victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a car accident lawsuit. However, evidence may become harder to gather over time. It is better for car crash victims to contact our Joliet car accident lawyers as soon as possible to begin building their case and gathering evidence. Waiting to file a lawsuit can cause you to miss out on compensation.
Our Joliet, IL Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you suffered an injury because of a car accident, seek assistance from our car accident lawyers by calling Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 for a free case review.