If you have recently been involved in a car accident in the state of Illinois, chances are you are feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. It is imperative that you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to filing an insurance claim for damages and medical costs related to the accident.
Before you begin the process, however, it is essential that you clear up any misconceptions about car accident claims in Illinois that may be clouding your judgment. Our attorneys at Marker & Crannell Attorneys at Law represent victims of car accidents in Naperville, Illinois, and surrounding areas, including Aurora, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Plainfield, Wheaton, Lisle, and Woodridge. We represent the best interests of our clients and help provide guidance through every step of the car accident claims process.
Misconceptions About Illinois Car Accident Claims
Navigating car accidents and their resulting claims can be a complicated process, especially if there are misconceptions clouding one's judgment along the way. To ensure you receive fair compensation for damages related to your auto collision, you need to be able to separate fact from fiction. Below are some of the most common misconceptions about car accident claims in Illinois.
“My Own Insurance Will Cover My Medical Costs and Damages to My Car”
In many cases, your own insurance will cover some of the costs associated with a car accident. However, this does not necessarily mean that all costs will be taken care of by your policy, especially when you live in an at-fault insurance state such as Illinois.
Depending on who was at fault for the accident, the other driver's insurance may provide coverage for some or all of the expenses associated with your damages or medical costs. Thus, it is essential to prove the other party's fault before making any decisions regarding how to proceed with an insurance claim. Consider hiring a skilled car accident attorney to help you investigate your crash, prove the other driver's fault, and pursue fair compensation for your damages and losses through the available sources.
“I Feel Okay So I Don't Need to See a Doctor”
It is not unusual for people involved in a car accident to feel fine immediately after the incident and assume that no medical attention is necessary. However, there can be internal injuries or other complications that can arise days or weeks after the initial crash, even if no pain or discomfort is present at first. That is why it is always a best practice to seek medical attention following an automobile collision as soon as possible so any potential health issues can be identified and treated quickly.
“There's No Need to File a Police Report After a Minor Accident”
According to the official website of the State of Illinois, a police report must be filed within 10 days of the incident occurring any time there is injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500 (the property damage threshold is reduced to $500 if any driver has no insurance).
Failing to do so could result in fines or other penalties from law enforcement officers. Regardless of how minor an auto accident may seem on its surface, it is always best to file a police report right away, especially if it is difficult to estimate property damage costs or it is not immediately clear whether you or other parties were injured. A police report could become an invaluable piece of evidence for your car accident claim.
“I Can't File a Claim If I Was Partially At Fault”
The state of Illinois follows something called modified comparative negligence laws when determining fault for an auto accident. This means that if you were partially responsible for the crash, as long as you weren't more than 50% at fault, you can still file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your losses. However, if you were partially at fault, your recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
“Car Accident Claims Take Years to Settle”
The truth is that there is no set time frame for how long it takes to settle a car accident claim—each case is unique with its own circumstances. However, if you and the at-fault driver's insurance provider agree on an out-of-court settlement agreement early on, your claim could be settled much faster than if it had gone through litigation.
Additionally, hiring an experienced attorney familiar with the process could help accelerate the settlement process since they know what evidence needs to be collected and what needs to be done to expedite the resolution of your case.
“I Don't Need an Attorney to Get Assistance With My Claim”
Filing a personal injury claim without legal representation can often leave victims with far less than they deserve because insurance companies have skilled and aggressive lawyers working hard behind the scenes to protect their interests—not yours.
An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the entire claims process and fight hard against any attempts by insurance companies or other parties involved in the crash who try to deny or downplay your injuries or damages.
Understand Your Car Accident Claim
With reliable legal advice and representation available, victims of auto accidents have access to justice and fair compensation for their losses following a car accident. It is critical that you are not misguided by the misconceptions surrounding car accident claims when filing yours. Schedule a case review with our knowledgeable attorneys at Marker & Crannell Attorneys at Law to understand your car accident claim in Illinois.