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How an Illinois Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim

How an Illinois Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim

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Car accident injuries can be life-altering for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In 2020, there were more than 1,000 fatal car accidents in Illinois. Even when car accidents do not result in death, they can cause catastrophic injuries, which is why you need an experienced lawyer to defend your rights to financial compensation.

The personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates have the skills, resources, and experience you need following a car accident. Our attorneys can investigate your accident, determine liability, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We

Investigate the Cause of Your Crash

Filing a car accident claim for compensation requires understanding what caused the accident and gathering evidence to prove the other driver is liable for your injuries. A knowledgeable Chicago car accident attorney from Nessler & Associates can investigate the cause of your crash and collect documentation to prove your claim.

Video Footage and Photographs

We will collect and review photos and footage of the accident and its aftermath, including your injuries and property damage. We can request footage from traffic cameras, dash cams, and storefront surveillance to provide images or video of the accident scene.

We will also take pictures of your property damage and injuries to prove the impact on your life and to maximize your compensation.

Police Report, Witnesses, and Medical Records

We can obtain police reports, interview witnesses, and review your medical records to understand what caused the crash, the severity of your injuries, and how your injuries are linked to the crash.

Reviewing the evidence allows us to establish who was at fault for the accident. For example, a police report and witness testimony may show that the other driver was speeding or texting when they hit your vehicle.

Reconstructionists

Our legal team can also investigate your claim using accident reconstructionists. These professionals can use the information from the accident report to reconstruct the incident, helping your legal team understand what caused the accident and who was at fault.

Determine Liability

You must determine liability to win a settlement in a car accident case. Comparative negligence is a legal concept that states you must be less than 50% responsible for an accident to receive financial compensation. Damages you receive will be reduced by any percentage of fault you have in the accident.

Our attorneys can determine responsibility for your car crash and seek compensation on your behalf by examining the following:

Poorly Maintained Vehicles

Improperly maintained vehicles pose a risk to other drivers. Common causes of accidents in poorly maintained vehicles include faulty turn signals, burned-out headlights or brake lights, broken fuel pumps, or worn-out windshield wipers.

We will review the evidence and determine if a car accident resulted from a preventable mechanical issue in one of the vehicles involved.

Distracted or Negligent Drivers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an average of 9 people in the United States are killed each day in a car accident caused by a distracted or negligent driver.

Distracted driving occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road, remove their hands from the steering wheel, or lose focus on driving. In Illinois, it is illegal for a driver to text or use other electronic devices like hand-held cell phones when operating a vehicle.

We can subpoena cell phone records to show that the other driver caused your injuries by driving distractedly.

Reckless Drivers

Reckless driving is hazardous and is a significant factor in serious car accidents. Speeding was responsible for 29% of all traffic deaths in 2020. In 2021, speeding was a factor in 36.9% of injury crashes and 44% of fatal crashes in Illinois.

We will review the facts of your case to determine if reckless driving occurred. We would look for evidence such as photos, video footage, eyewitness testimony, or radar readings if the driver sped past a police car.

Drunk Drivers

In Illinois, 22.2% of fatal crashes involved alcohol in 2021. Your legal team can review police reports and obtain sobriety or blood alcohol test results performed at the crash scene. We can interview witnesses and review traffic camera footage to prove the driver’s reckless actions.

Under Illinois’ Dram Shop laws, we can also request receipts from local restaurants or bars that may have served the driver alcohol before they got behind the wheel. You may be able to seek compensation from these parties if their actions contributed to the auto accident.

Drowsy Drivers

Based on a survey from the CDC, 1 in 25 adult drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel sometime within the past 30 days.

An experienced car accident attorney in Illinois can help show that the driver’s drowsy state contributed to the accident. For example, we can look for indicators of drowsy driving, such as:

  • Dash and traffic camera footage that shows the driver was unconscious behind the wheel
  • Lack of skid marks on the concrete (drowsy drivers don’t know they are about to crash, so they do not hit the brakes that typically cause skid marks)
  • Medical records that indicate the driver has a condition, such as sleep apnea, that causes fatigue or takes medication that can cause drowsiness, such as an antidepressant
  • Employment records that show they work long hours, such as a commercial or long-haul truck driver, overnight factory worker, or healthcare worker

Calculate the Damages You Are Entitled To

When filing a car accident claim, you must know how much compensation to ask for. In personal injury claims, you have the right to seek a settlement for economic and non-economic damages. In some accidents, you may also seek punitive damages from the negligent driver.

Economic Damages

To calculate a fair settlement, you’ll need to know the total cost of your economic damages. These damages refer to quantifiable expenses you incurred due to your accident. They can include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Cost of life-long care assistance and home accommodations
  • Current and future lost wages
  • Property damage

Hospital bills, maintenance shop receipts, and W2s or 1099s can help us estimate your economic damages. If you have ongoing care from a physical therapist or follow-up reconstruction surgeries, we can help you estimate the cost based on industry benchmarks and expert testimony.

To calculate your loss of future earnings for compensation, we look at your past wage earning capacity, prospects of advancement, and how long you may have reasonably been expected to earn wages.

Non-Economic Damages

When you file a claim, you can also seek non-economic damages for harm to your mental and emotional well-being. Non-economic damages include:

  • Mental trauma
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Chronic physical pain

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify than economic damages, but an experienced car accident lawyer can calculate these costs by gathering expert testimony, personal records, and legal documentation on your condition.

Punitive Damages

In rare instances, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are additional damages imposed on the liable party as punishment. These occur in cases where the responsible party’s conduct leading up to the accident showed a wanton disregard for the safety of others.

Actions such as extreme speeding, illegal drag racing, and driving while impaired may allow you to seek punitive damages with the help of your attorney. In Illinois, punitive damages are limited to 3 times your economic damage award.

The legal team at Nessler & Associates can help you calculate all damages you are entitled to for your injuries and file a claim for the maximum amount.

Hammer gavel judge with car ve

Help You File Your Car Accident Claim

Filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company is the first step in claiming damages following a car accident. However, filing a successful claim requires completing the appropriate paperwork, gathering evidence, and filing by Illinois’s two-year statute of limitations.

We can help you file your claim, beginning with a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The demand letter initiates your claim and details the extent of your injuries, economic damages, and other costs incurred due to the accident.

Your claim can only ask for the amount available in the negligent party’s liability auto insurance policy. Illinois requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $20,000 to cover property damage. However, many drivers carry higher limits, increasing the settlement amount you can ask for.

A well-written demand letter can help you resolve your case quickly. Per Illinois law, insurance companies must give you filing forms within 15 days of your attorney’s request and investigate and respond to your claim within 60 days.

If the insurer doesn’t abide by good faith practices or tries to offer you a low settlement, your legal team can help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Negotiate a Large Settlement

Settlement negotiation plays a significant part in getting car accident victims the amount they are entitled to for accidents occurring in Illinois. A skilled car accident attorney from Nessler & Associates can help you get a maximum settlement rather than accept an initial, lowball offer.

Our legal team will do the following during the negotiation process:

  • Ensure the insurance company follows all legal guidelines regarding claims
  • Review and help you understand policy limits and available compensation
  • File all documents on time and provide substantial evidence for your claim
  • Handle all communications with the insurer so you don’t feel pressured to accept an unfair settlement
  • Calculate the full value of your damages to ask for what you’re owed
  • Keep you updated on settlement offers
  • Help you understand your legal options for accepting or refusing a settlement

Recovering Damages in Court

If you and the at-fault party’s insurer cannot agree on an adequate settlement, we can help you file a lawsuit with the court. Your attorney can help you understand the benefits and risks of a lawsuit and represent your interests to a judge or jury if your case goes to trial.

Your legal team from Nessler & Associates will use their trial experience to present your case to the court and demonstrate the other party’s liability with evidence from your accident. We will oversee the discovery process before the trial and gather all relevant documents, depositions, and affidavits.

During the trial, we will use our legal expertise to establish the negligent party’s liability and convince the court that you are entitled to specific damages.

Contact the Experienced Car Accident Attorneys at Nessler & Associates

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a car accident, contact the skilled Chicago car accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates. Our legal team has a track record of more than four decades of success in securing maximum compensation for victims of vehicle accidents in Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Colorado, including $15 million for a boy injured in a rollover crash.

Our auto accident attorneys handle claims involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. Don’t hesitate to get skilled legal representation if you have suffered bodily injury, a traumatic brain injury, or economic losses from a car accident.

Call us at (800) 727-8010, or use our online contact page to schedule your free consultation. With our no fee guarantee, you won’t pay any legal fees unless we win a settlement or verdict for your case.

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