Car accidents can leave you with expensive repair bills and even medical bills and lost wages. When you are injured in a car crash, getting compensation through insurance might be challenging, and our attorneys can help you maximize the compensation you receive.
Relying on insurance companies to properly value your case and pay you what they owe you is often risky. Insurance companies might deny claims and undercut values to save themselves and their drivers money. For help with your car accident injury case, you should always work with an experienced car accident attorney.
At the Rhatigan Law Offices, our Streamwood, IL car accident lawyers offer free case reviews to get you started. For your free case review, call us today at (312) 578-8502.
Getting Compensation for a Car Accident in Streamwood, IL
When you face vehicle damage only, a car insurance claim is often enough to get you the damages you deserve. However, when you face serious injuries after an accident, the insurance companies might not compensate you fully for your claim. Insurance adjusters often try to save their companies money by denying claims, refusing to accept blame for their driver, and under-valuing cases. In order to get your damages paid, you may need to have your Streamwood car accident lawyers take your case to court.
In Illinois, car insurance is handled through an at-fault system. In this system, each driver carries insurance to pay for the harms they cause in an accident. This means that you get compensation by filing a third-party claim with the insurance policy of the driver who hit you.
You may have some other first-party benefits that can also help you. These are similar to a no-fault insurance policy in that you file with your own insurance company to get these damages covered. There may be first-party benefits for medical costs, but the most common type of first-party benefit is for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. These policies cover you in case the driver who hit you did not have insurance or in case their insurance was too low to cover your crash.
The at-fault driver’s insurance could conceivably pay for all of your damages. Drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover at least $25,000 per person for injury ($50,000 per accident) and $20,000 for property damage. This could cover your injuries in full, but if you need additional coverage, our lawyers can help you file with your own underinsured motorist coverage and take the at-fault driver to court.
Most car accident cases benefit from filing both an insurance claim and a lawsuit. If the insurance companies deny your claim and fight you on the facts, you always have the backup of taking the case to trial and fighting the case before neutral parties (the judge and jury) instead of waiting on the insurance company to give in to your demands. Additionally, if the insurance claim is denied or the settlement offer is too low, your case is already filed and you do not need to start anew in court.
Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether you accept an insurance settlement or fight the case at trial. Our Streamwood car accident lawyers can advise you on your options, but as our client, you have the final say in whether or not to settle. If you do settle, your damages might be paid more quickly, but they could be reduced in many ways. If you take the case to trial, it is possible that you could get higher or lower damages, so it is important to have your attorney explain the pros and cons of each path to you.
Although punitive damages are rare, a lawsuit might allow additional punitive damages to punish a very negligent driver or a trucking or transportation company that repeatedly caused dangers on the road. Talk to your Streamwood car accident lawyer about whether these damages might be available.
Damages for Streamwood Car Accidents
A car accident can leave you with various expenses. Insurance claims can reimburse many of these damages, but insurance companies may be reluctant to pay the full amount you are owed. In a lawsuit, you can claim any damages caused by the accident, whether they are economic or non-economic in nature.
Economic damages are the kinds of damages that have a monetary value associated with them from the beginning. This includes bills like hospital bills and car repair bills or other expenses, such as the cost of alternative transportation or the cost of wheelchairs and crutches.
Economic damages can also include claims for money that you missed out on, primarily lost wages. If your injury keeps you from returning to work – either on a temporary or permanent basis – the at-fault driver should be responsible for paying you back for lost wages. Our Streamwood car accident lawyers can hire financial experts to project lost wages into the future and claim damages for lost earning capacity as well. This could compensate you for reduced wages if you had to take an alternate job, and it can help reflect the loss of potential future raises and promotions.
The phrase “non-economic damages” is sometimes used interchangeably with “pain and suffering,” though pain and suffering is only one area of non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for experiences like pain, fear, embarrassment, discomfort, emotional distress, and mental anguish. These damages do not have a price tag or financial statement associated with them, but you can nonetheless receive money damages for these experiences.
Calculating and proving these damages is somewhat complex. Talk to your Streamwood car accident lawyers for help understanding what evidence you need to prove these damages and how much they could be worth.
Call Our Streamwood, IL Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered any level of injuries, call our Streamwood car accident lawyers today for a free case review. Contact the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.