Car Accident Knowledge Center

Our Car Accident Knowledge Center serves as your guide to navigating claims in Chicago and surrounding areas of Illinois. Here, our car accident lawyers have created resources and informational guides for Illinois victims struggling in the aftermath of a crash. 

This knowledge center offers information on the essential elements of a car accident case. Through our comprehensive guides, informational videos, and FAQ section, our attorneys help ensure that car accident victims stay informed in the greater Chicagoland area. 

If you suffered injuries in a Chicago crash, call an experienced car accident lawyer with Ankin Law for a free case evaluation. (312) 600-0000.

Choosing a car accident attorney involves evaluating factors such as reputation, experience, legal fees, and diligence. Qualities of a good car accident attorney include knowledge about insurance claims, pragmatism, effective communication, transparency, compassion, and focus. 

Tips for finding the right attorney include deciding between a big firm and a solo practice, seeking recommendations from friends and family, utilizing online resources, scheduling a consultative meeting, and researching past clients and colleagues.

as co-counsel for misdiagnosis resulting in above-the-knee leg amputation. 2021
in combined benefits for tradesman who fell from scaffold. 2022.
as co-counsel for a client who suffocated and died while cleaning her tracheotomy. 2016.
as co-counsel for anesthesia death. 2015.

Car insurance companies investigate accident claims by assigning an adjuster, who may collaborate with private investigators. The process involves obtaining the police report, medical notes, and conducting interviews to verify claim credibility. 

Adjusters visit the accident scene for physical evidence, monitor social media, and gather information on parties involved. Investigations aim to prevent fraud, assess injuries and damages, determine claim value, and establish liability. The duration of an investigation varies, with minor claims resolving quickly and serious cases taking longer. Legal assistance is crucial to navigate insurer communication and ensure fair compensation.

In the aftermath of a car accident, most cases are resolved through insurance company settlements. However, certain circumstances may necessitate going to court. Typically, when the liable party is uninsured, a lawsuit may be filed, seeking punitive damages as a deterrent. Another scenario arises when parties fail to reach an agreement, often due to an insurer’s refusal to offer reasonable damages, claiming the victim’s liability. 

In such instances, opting for court intervention becomes essential. Collaborating with an experienced car accident lawyer is crucial for navigating the legal complexities and ensuring optimal compensation, especially in higher settlement cases.

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    Information from the other involved driver, such as his or her name, address, license number, vehicle plate details, and insurance details, forms the initial evidence for supporting a car accident claim. Additionally, obtaining documentation like the police report, receipts for vehicle repairs, and medical bills is essential. 

    Evidence from the accident scene includes photographs of the accident, the other driver’s information, statements from witnesses, the police report, and potential data from a vehicle’s event recorder. Collaborating with a car accident attorney becomes crucial to navigate the overwhelming process of collecting evidence and securing rightful compensation, especially when injuries result from another driver’s negligence.

    Understanding the scope of car accident insurance becomes a critical concern for injured parties. Car accident insurance encompasses various monetary losses resulting from the incident, including medical bills, lost income, vehicle repair/replacement costs, and physical pain and suffering. 

    In Illinois, where a fault system is in place, drivers must maintain liability coverage with specific minimums, including uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A car accident lawyer plays a pivotal role in initiating a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, ensuring a persistent pursuit of the highest possible settlement.

    Suing an uninsured drunk driver in Illinois may be futile if the driver lacks assets, but legal assistance can help maximize compensation from your own insurance. Attorneys evaluate the viability of a claim against the drunk driver and explore potential defendants, such as a bar or car owner. 

    Illinois drivers must carry Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UM), covering injuries caused by at-fault uninsured or underinsured drivers, including hit-and-runs. Seeking compensation involves a process similar to claims against insured drivers, with insurance investigations playing a crucial role in financial recovery.

    Understanding the damages available in a car accident lawsuit is crucial. Recoverable damages include medical costs, wage loss, property damage, physical pain and suffering, and general damages, contingent on case specifics and injury severity. 

    Identifying the at-fault party and determining liability are pivotal in seeking compensation. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer, well-versed in state negligence laws, can assist in this process. Illinois, a comparative-fault state, holds the liable party responsible for damages, and options for compensation include third-party claims, direct lawsuits, and first-party claims with one’s insurance company. Consulting a lawyer, often on a contingency fee basis, is advisable to navigate complexities, prove fault, and secure rightful compensation.

    Losing a car accident lawsuit doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Without an appeal, no compensation is recovered for accident-related losses. Appealing a verdict in Illinois requires valid grounds like legal or factual mistakes, contradictory evidence, or an unfair trial. 

    The 30-day appeal window necessitates speedy filing, starting with a Notice of Appeal. Potential appellate decisions include affirming, remanding, reversing, or reversing and remanding the circuit court’s decision.

    Illinois operates as an at-fault or tort state, contrary to the no-fault system present in 12 U.S. states. In Illinois, the responsible driver for a car accident bears the financial responsibility for the victim’s damages. To claim compensation, the injured party must file a car accident claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. 

    Unlike no-fault states, Illinois mandates the establishment of fault when filing claims or lawsuits. The process involves proving duty of care, breach of duty, and resultant damages. As a comparative fault state, Illinois allows recovery as long as the victim is less than 50% responsible. Proving fault in an at-fault state like Illinois can be challenging, emphasizing the importance of legal assistance in collecting and presenting evidence for a successful claim or lawsuit.

    The cost of a car accident lawyer depends on factors such as the lawyer’s fee structure, the case complexity, and whether the case goes to court.

    Most car accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, typically 33% of awarded compensation. Additional client responsibilities may include copying medical records and court costs. While some cases may involve retainers, flat fees, or hourly fees, these are less common in car accident cases. 

    The value of legal representation outweighs the cost, ensuring successful outcomes by handling tasks like obtaining medical records, police reports, negotiating settlements, proving liability, and recovering fair compensation.

    After a traumatic accident, victims often require emergency medical treatment, hindering their ability to gather essential information at the scene of the accident. Illinois Laws mandate a police report if an accident causes injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500. This report provides information that can support a claim.

    To obtain a report, victims must identify the responding police agency. Chicago Police Department reports can be obtained in person, by mail with a fee, or online, requiring details like the other driver’s name and report number. Police reports include vital information such as location, date, time, involved parties’ details, and a narrative of the incident, assisting with insurance claims and legal proceedings.

    Proving fault often involves demonstrating negligence by the liable party. Traffic law violations, such as speeding or drunk driving, are clear indicators. Left-turn and rear-end collisions may also make fault determinations clearer. 

    Police reports, detailing citations and witness statements, support fault claims. However, not all accidents involve police, necessitating prompt reporting. Other evidence gathered at the accident scene, such as photos of the scene and video evidence, can help prove fault. 

    Comparative negligence systems influence compensation in states where partial fault exists. Collecting evidence, seeking medical treatment, notifying insurers, and consulting an attorney can strengthen fault claims and aid in fair compensation negotiations.

    After a car accident, essential steps include staying calm, ensuring safety, and seeking medical treatment. Consulting a car accident attorney aids in navigating complexities and maximizing settlements.

    Immediate actions involve checking for injuries and calling 9-1-1 and reporting the accident. Prompt medical treatment establishes early records supporting injury claims, and contacting the insurance company initiates the claims process. 

    Knowing what to do after a car accident empowers victims, ensuring fair compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost income, disability, and pain and suffering. Consulting with experienced attorneys aids in accurately assessing total compensation and pursuing successful claims for a full recovery.

    Illinois drivers, particularly those in Chicago, must be aware of auto insurance laws. The minimum liability coverage in the state has increased since January 1, 2015, requiring $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for two people, with property damage coverage rising to $20,000. Despite increased premiums, this offers essential compensation for accident victims. 

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is mandatory, ensuring compensation even in cases of an insufficiently insured negligent party. Illinois follows modified comparative negligence principles, barring parties over 50% at fault from recovering damages. Accepting or contesting an insurance claim must occur within specific timeframes, emphasizing the importance of consulting skilled auto accident attorneys, such as those at Ankin Law, for proper guidance and representation.

    Contributory negligence and comparative negligence standards play a pivotal role in assessing liability in motor vehicle accidents. Most states, including Illinois, follow a modified comparative negligence system where recovery is limited if the victim’s fault exceeds 50%. 

    Conversely, contributory negligence, used in very few states, bars victims from collecting damages if found negligent in any way. Establishing liability is crucial for determining which party’s insurance covers damages. Personal injury lawyers specialize in navigating the complexities of contributory and comparative negligence, ensuring victims receive rightful compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

    Proving driver negligence in car accidents impacts a victim’s financial outcome. Negligence encompasses rule violations, like running stop signs or driving under the influence. Illinois employs a modified comparative negligence system, influencing the awarded amount. 

    Comparative negligence bars recovery if the injured party is over 50% responsible. Claimants responsible for a percentage of fault see reduced awards. Seeking legal counsel promptly, with experienced auto accident lawyers, is crucial for accessing expert witnesses and maximizing recovery.

    Our Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago Provide Answers to Clients’ FAQs


    When Is It Too Late to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

    A car accident lawyer can be retained during any part of the claims process. However, seeking a lawyer for a car accident promptly is crucial. Delays may hinder evidence collection and impact the case. It’s generally advisable to consult a lawyer soon after the accident to ensure a thorough assessment of the situation and timely initiation of legal proceedings, preventing potential complications.


    What Types of Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident in Illinois?

    In Illinois, car accident victims can recover various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and, in certain cases, punitive damages. Consulting a skilled attorney is essential to understand the specific circumstances of your case and maximize the recovery of applicable damages.


    What if the at-Fault Driver Is Uninsured or Underinsured in Illinois?

    In Illinois, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory. If the at-fault driver lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage, your own policy can provide compensation for injuries and damages. Seeking legal advice is crucial to navigate uninsured/underinsured motorist claims and ensure you receive full compensation from your insurance company.


    Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was Partially at-Fault for the Accident?

    In Illinois, under a modified comparative negligence system, you can still recover damages even if you’re partially at fault. However, the amount of damages you receive may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. If your fault exceeds 50%, recovery is barred. Consulting an experienced attorney is vital to maximizing your compensation.


    Do I Need to See a Doctor After a Car Accident, Even if I Don't Feel Injured?

    It’s crucial to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you don’t feel injured. Some injuries may not immediately manifest symptoms. A medical evaluation can identify hidden injuries, ensuring early detection and proper treatment. Additionally, timely medical documentation is vital for insurance claims or legal proceedings related to the accident.


    How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

    The time to settle a car accident claim varies widely based on factors like the complexity of the case, severity of injuries, and cooperation from involved parties. Simple cases may settle in a few weeks, while complex ones might take months or even years. Promptly consulting with an attorney and efficiently gathering evidence can expedite the process.

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