While we often refer to car wrecks as automobile “accidents,” the truth is that when a car crash happens, someone usually made a bad decision, chose to violate a safety rule, drove distracted, or otherwise did something wrong.
If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another driver, you would probably benefit from a knowledgeable Shelbyville car accident lawyer. An experienced injury attorney could help you through the claims process, and if necessary, through litigation, to obtain compensation for your damages.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Car Wreck?
When a driver’s negligence results in significant injuries, lost wages, high medical bills, and pain and suffering, the stakes are high, and you may need help to obtain justice. An experienced local lawyer can review your car accident case, identify all potential sources of insurance coverage available to compensate you for your damages, work to maximize a settlement offer on your behalf, negotiate down medical bills and liens, and make the process much easier for you, often at a difficult time in your life.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters are typically motivated by a goal of settling injury cases as inexpensively as they can to protect the company they work for. An injured person without help from an experienced lawyer is at a significant disadvantage when attempting to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company staffed by professional adjusters supported by teams of lawyers.
What Does a Car Crash Lawyer Do?
An experienced Shelbyville auto accident attorney can help you by:
- Explaining your legal options,
- Gathering and preserving evidence,
- Investigating your case,
- Collecting all the police and accident reports,
- Identifying all available insurance coverage,
- Consulting with any needed experts,
- Determining the parties who are responsible for your damages,
- Evaluating and advising you on the value of your case,
- Negotiating with the insurance company to maximize the value of your case, and
- Negotiating reductions in your medical bills and liens, to maximize how much of the settlement you can keep.
By enlisting the services of a Shelbyville attorney, you can feel confident your vehicle accident case will be handled with your best interests in mind.
What Statute of Limitations Applies to Motor Vehicle Accident Cases?
As a general rule, Illinois car accident cases have a two-year deadline or statute of limitations to file the case. (See 735 ILCS 5/13-202). Like all general rules, there are exceptions. For example, cases against government entities may only have a one-year statute of limitations. When a child is injured, typically the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the child’s 18th birthday. If a case is not filed within the appropriate statute of limitations, the claim may be barred and is very likely to be dismissed. The best way to determine what legal deadline applies to your specific case is to take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced Shelbyville car accident attorney.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
We generally recommend hiring a Shelbyville lawyer as soon as possible an auto accident, for three reasons:
- A lawyer can make sure your medical bills are paid and paid in a manner most advantageous to you;
- A lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes that can seriously undermine your claim;
- A lawyer can help you gather critical evidence you will need to prove your case.
Additionally, the sooner you get in contact with legal representation, the sooner an attorney can begin gathering important evidence and witness statements, which can be vital to proving your case.
How Much Will it Cost to Hire a Car Collision Attorney?
There is no cost for a consultation about your case and no up-front cost to hire our firm to represent you in an injury case. We do not charge by the hour or ask for a significant retainer to help injured people. Instead, we typically handle injury cases on a “contingency fee” basis, which means our firm’s fee is contingent on recovering money for you. In other words, there is no fee unless and until we win. In most cases, our firm charges a one-third contingency fee. One advantage of a contingency fee arrangement is that you are able to afford to get professional help, without a financial hardship at a difficult time while dealing with the aftermath of an injury.
What Damages are Recoverable After an Auto Wreck?
An experienced Shelbyville auto accident attorney can help identify all the types of damages you could recover and work to recover financial compensation for your losses. There are several potential types of damages that may apply to your case, including:
- Property damage to your vehicle (including diminished value and damages for loss of use)
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering, physical and emotional
- Lost wages, profits, or earning capacity
- Damages for disability or disfigurement (scarring)
- Loss of normal life
- Wrongful death, in the event of a fatality
An attorney could ensure you are compensated for all the financial and personal losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.
What Should You Do After a Car Crash in Shelbyville?
If you were involved in a vehicle wreck in Shelbyville, our experienced attorneys encourage you to do the following:
- Report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible, especially if injury was involved.
- Do not admit fault or give a written or recorded statement to any insurance company without consulting your attorney first.
- Get evaluated by a medical professional and get the medical care you need
- Keep a record of all of your other losses related to the accident. Examples may include lost wages, costs for services you would have usually performed yourself and have been prevented from performing by your injuries (pet care, lawn care, household cleaning), and expenses related to auto rental, car replacement, car repair, and repair of other damaged property.
- In most cases, we recommend clients submit their medical bills to their own health insurance instead of directing medical providers to bill the other party’s insurance carrier.
- Do not agree to an early settlement of your case. Both the other party’s insurance provider and your own may offer you cash if you resolve the case swiftly. Do not sign a settlement until after you consult with a skilled car accident lawyer. In most cases, a lawyer can help you recover more money
Call a Shelbyville Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you were injured in a car crash due to someone else’s negligence, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Dealing with medical bills, injuries, and other losses can be daunting, especially without legal help and advice.
You do not have to navigate this difficult process alone. A Shelbyville car accident lawyer can guide you through each step of a claim, from collecting evidence and calculating damages, and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. To learn more and get help with your case, please call today for a free consultation.