Boone County Car Accident Lawyer

Auto accidents are no minor event. These occurrences are difficult to experience, and can leave you and your family feeling shaken, upset, or even unsafe in your own community. Crashes happen in a variety of ways, and can result in several different injuries and forms of damage, which makes each case unique and individual to those who experience it. Though not every accident is life-threatening, some certainly are, and it is important to know what to do if one happens to you. No matter whose fault the accident was, it is essential that you follow specific protocol, and contact your car accident attorneys right away.

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Fault and No Fault States

One of the most common concerns after an accident is whether or not you will be held responsible, or at fault, for the collision. While some states do hold one driver responsible for a collision, many states do not aim to discern who is responsible for the accident. In no-fault states, your insurance company should cover your damages and medical charges, no matter who caused the collision. In fault states, the insurance of the person who caused the accident is responsible for both party’s expenses.

Illinois Is a Fault State

Here in Illinois, insurance companies determine fault. This is relatively good news for you if you clearly did not cause the accident, as your insurance should be unaffected. However, if you are at fault, or if the accident was not cut and dry, it may be weeks, or even months, before you see any sort of payout. In an at-fault state, the insurance companies need to determine who is responsible before they will pay for damages, and insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying a settlement.

After An Accident

The moments following a crash are often incredibly stressful and scary. If you are caught unaware, it is easy to make a mistake that could jeopardize your compensation, especially in a fault state. If you are in a car accident, follow these steps:

  1. Assess yourself for injuries. If you are okay, do the same with others in your car.
  2. Call 911 if there are injuries or significant damages.
  3. If you can safely move your vehicle without creating further damage, move it out of the way of traffic.
  4. Get the name, contact information, license information, and insurance information from the other car’s driver.
  5. Take pictures of any damage. This includes damage to the cars, any injuries, debris on the road, etc. You can never take too many photos in these situations.
  6. Get the name and contact information of any witnesses, including pedestrians, individuals in the other car, and other drivers who have stopped to help.
  7. Contact your personal injury attorneys.
  8. At no point during this process should you apologize or admit your side of the story to anyone except your attorney and law enforcement.

Though no one wants to think about getting into an auto accident, it is essential that you know what to do if one should occur. These steps can help to secure a fair settlement for all involved.

Common Car Accident Injuries

The health and safety of you and your family should be your first concern in an accident. This means keeping a watchful eye out for injuries of all kinds. Not all accident-related injuries or ailments appear immediately after the crash. If you believe that you were injured during your car accident, your Boone County attorney will be able to advise you about seeking medical attention.

These are some common car accident-related injuries to be aware of:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Scrapes, cuts, and road burns
  • Spinal injuries, including a herniated disk
  • Internalized bleeding
  • Diminished mental health or PTSD

Some of these conditions can last only a few days or weeks, but others can last for years, or even give you a permanent disability. Signs of any of these conditions warrant medical attention and compensation. You should not have to pay for your own medical bills after an accident; that is what insurance is for. This is especially true if the accident was not your fault; the other driver’s insurance should be held accountable for the harm caused and the consequences.

Non-Medical Expenses

What many people do not realize is that medical expenses are not the only factor in determining a settlement. In fact, there are several other categories of damages that can be baked into your case. After all, your life and family have suffered because of another driver’s reckless actions, and you should be properly compensated for that. Other factors include:

  • Wages lost while you were out of work recovering
  • Loss of workforce ability, if your injuries have impeded your ability to do your job indefinitely
  • Ongoing pain or discomfort that cannot be remedied
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments

Though this is by no means an exhaustive list of possible consequences, it is important to remember that your medical bills are not the only burden that comes from a car accident.

Is It Worth Getting An Injuries Lawyer For A Minor Car Accident?

It is in your best interest to get an attorney after a car accident of any caliber. Though many people believe that insurance companies have their best interests at heart, the reality is that insurance companies are more concerned with money than your wellbeing. They will do almost anything to avoid paying a settlement, bills, or for car repairs. The tactics may be innocuous or aggressive, depending on your situation. In some cases, an insurance representative calls you directly after your claim is created to try and pressure you into admitting that you are fine without having first gone to a doctor. In other cases, insurance companies hire private detectives to follow victims, and ensure that their injuries are as bad as they claim that they are. Without an attorney, you can easily waive your rights and end up with nothing at all. When you hire a Boone County car accident attorney, however, you can direct any insurance company interactions to your attorney, ensuring that you have the best chance at an appropriate settlement.

Talking With Insurance Companies in Boone County

Many insurance companies will attempt to get a statement from you regarding your accident. This statement will be used to discredit your case and ensure that they do not have to pay. Though they will make it seem urgent, it is important to know that you are not legally obligated to give them a statement, or to talk with them at all. The best course of action is to hire your attorney first.

What Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?

The payout for your car accident will depend on several different factors, and there is no single formula for calculating a payout. You can be assured, however, that your settlement will be more significant and appropriate if you have an attorney fighting on your side. Overall, your settlement depends on factors such as:

  • The extent of the damage done to your property
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact your injuries will have on your future and the future of your family
  • The circumstances surrounding the accident
  • Your attorney’s capabilities

Though it can feel frustrating to be left in the dark, it is important to remember that your experienced Boone County car accident attorney will be able to give you more insight into your unique case.

Timeline for Filing Accidents Claims

Though insurance companies constantly try to hurry the process along, it’s important to note that there is a statute of limitations for claims. After your accident occurs, the timeframe is up to two years to file. However, this does not mean you should wait that long. It simply means that you have that much time to do so if an injury appears later on, or you have residual costs. Generally, the farther you get from the date of the accident, the harder it will be to prove that the injury was caused by the accident and not something else. Your Boone County car accident lawyer will be able to assist you in creating an appropriate timeline. One thing that should not wait, however, is hiring your attorney. Even if you don’t file a case until much later, having an attorney on your side is highly beneficial.

Trust Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley with Your Auto Accident Claim

At Franks Gerkin Ponitz &Greeley, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our community. We believe in building kinship and trust throughout Marengo, and part of that is protecting its citizens from predatory insurance companies. For decades, our attorneys have been representing personal injury victims in their fight for fair compensation and care. We understand that car accidents are difficult and intimidating, and we want to help you traverse the process with ease. Our empathy for our community translates into fierce protectiveness in the courtroom. Though we remain tough on insurance companies, we are always sensitive to our clients, and ensure that everyone who walks through our doors feels seen, heard, and represented.

If you’ve been in a car accident, the time to act is now. Don’t wait, contact us today.

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