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Do You Need an Attorney for a Minor Car Accident?

Posted on February 25, 2021 in

Many Illinois residents have been in a car accident, from minor rear-end collisions to serious multi-car pileups. After an accident that results in minor injuries and few damages, you may ask yourself if it is worth it to hire a Chicago personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. You may also wonder if you should file a claim at all.

It is very important to contact a Chicago car accident lawyer after any collision, even a minor one. If you plan on filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you will need to defend your right to maximum compensation—and an attorney will advocate for your best interests throughout these processes.

Legal Options After an Illinois Accident

Illinois is a fault state, which means that the driver responsible for your accident must pay for your resulting losses. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Under this system, you have three options to secure compensation.

  • You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
  • You can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have certain policies, such as underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
  • You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

If someone else caused your accident, you should always file a claim, even if the accident is minor. Car repairs can be expensive and can be difficult to pay for out-of-pocket. You may have an injury, such as whiplash, that may not appear for days after the collision. Additionally, you may develop physical and emotional pain and suffering due to the accident. You deserve compensation for all of these damages.

Why You Need an Attorney for a Minor Accident

Whether you choose to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you need an attorney to advocate for your best interests during each stage of the process. These processes can be very complex, and there are many situations that can arise where you might need a lawyer’s help.

  • Even minor accidents can have complex liability questions. If there is a dispute about who is at-fault, your attorney can conduct an investigation, gather evidence, and contact expert witnesses to prove the other driver’s liability.
  • Many insurance companies do not want to pay maximum compensation in a claim. You may receive a lower offer than what you actually need to pay for the accident’s damages. Your attorney can calculate the compensation you need and evaluate any offers you receive, negotiating for a higher settlement if necessary.
  • If you have a lingering injury that requires long-term care, you may be unsure what treatment you will need and how much it will cost. Your attorney will have access to expert witnesses who can evaluate your injuries, create a life care plan, and provide an accurate picture of what you need to recover.
  • If you are going to court, you will need an attorney on your side. The litigation process can be overwhelming, especially while recovering from an accident. Your attorney will understand the processes, paperwork, and filing requirements necessary to bring your claim to court, as well as the strategies necessary to establish the other driver’s liability.

After any car accident, big or small, it is crucial to seek help. A lawyer will advocate aggressively for your right to maximum compensation so you can recover from your injuries. Before speaking with an insurance representative, contact a lawyer to discuss your next steps.