Car accidents are common in cities like Urbana-Champaign, with large populations of college students and commuters traveling throughout the metropolitan area each day. These accidents may range from minor to severe, often resulting in thousands of dollars in damages for drivers, pedestrians, and passengers alike.
If you are in an accident in Urbana-Champaign, you may be eligible for financial compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit. The attorneys at Duncan Law Group will guide you through these processes and help you build a strong claim for compensation, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Why Choose Us for Urbana-Champaign Car Accident Claims?
- Our attorneys care about your well-being and health during the personal injury process. In addition to finding your paths to compensation, we will help you find the support you need.
- We believe that honesty, transparency, and regular communication are key to a strong car accident claim. We will always answer any questions you may have and help you prepare for each stage in your case.
- Our firm uses a contingency fee system, which helps limit your out-of-pocket expenses. You do not have to pay upfront legal fees and you do not have to pay for our services unless we secure compensation on your behalf.
Common Injuries in Urbana-Champaign Car Accidents
Car accidents can easily result in severe, catastrophic injuries, depending on the cause of the crash. These injuries can lead to life-threatening complications, lengthy recovery times, and thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
Some common injuries in car accident claims include the following:
- Internal injuries: Whether the crash results in crushing injuries or you suffer blows from flying debris, you could be at risk of internal organ damage after a car accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible following an accident is important to ensure these injuries do not become fatal.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Suffering a blow to the head or having an object penetrate your skull are serious risks during a car accident, and a traumatic brain injury may occur. From concussions to bleeding and swelling in the brain, these injuries can lead to permanent damage and lifelong complications.
- Broken bones and fractures: Some of the most common car accident injuries involve broken wrists, legs, arms, hips, ribs, and ankles, as well as other broken bones and fractures. These injuries require lengthy recovery times and cause serious pain.
- Spinal cord injuries: Your spinal cord helps your brain and body communicate with each other, and any damage to this area can lead to permanent damage and paralysis. Slipped or herniated discs, severed nerves, and damage to the vertebrae can cause severe pain and a loss of function or feeling below the injury site.
- Whiplash: This injury occurs when your head jerks forward and backward suddenly during a car accident, harming the tissue in your neck. Although many insurance companies dispute these injuries, soft tissue damage to the neck can lead to serious, invasive pain that can take months to recover from.
What Are Your Legal Options After an Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Car Accident?
Like most states, Illinois follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accident claims. This means the driver responsible for your accident must pay for the injuries you and other victims sustain, including your medical expenses and vehicle repairs. Under this system, you have three pathways toward this compensation:
- You can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You can file an insurance claim with your own policy, if you have the appropriate coverage.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois civil court.
To uphold this financial responsibility, all drivers in the state of Illinois must carry at least $20,000 in property damage liability, $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, and $50,000 in total injury liability per accident. Illinois insurance policies also automatically include uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are in a collision with a driver who does not have insurance.
Your attorney will advise you on the best pathway for your claim, but most car accident cases begin in the insurance stage and progress to a lawsuit if the insurance company denies the claim or offers an insufficient settlement. If your case involves high amounts of damages that may exceed the insurance policy’s limits, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit immediately.
What Damages Can You Claim in an Urbana-Champaign Car Accident Case?
In Illinois, you are eligible to claim two types of damages for a car collision: economic and non-economic. These terms refer to the tangibility of each type of compensation.
Economic damages are the tangible, out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of the accident. You can usually prove these damages with receipts, invoices, bills, and statements from your employer. Common types of economic damages include lost wages, loss of future earnings, and property damage, including vehicle repairs. You may also collect economic damages for past and future medical expenses, including medication, surgeries, hospitalizations, and physical therapy.
Non-economic damages are the intangible losses you suffer due to physical and mental pain and suffering. Your attorney and insurance companies may use different methods to estimate the amount of these damages, but two main formulas exist. They are:
- Per-Diem Method: Using this formula, the insurance company will assign a standard dollar amount for each day until you fully recover from your injuries. Once you reach maximum recovery, the company will calculate the amount of non-economic damages based on this calculation. For example, if it takes 100 days to recover and the company assigns a $150 per diem, the company will determine you need $15,000 in pain and suffering.
- Multiplier Method: This method is more common than the per diem method. Under this formula, the insurance company will examine your injuries and assign you a multiplier from one to five. The company assigns a multiplier of one to injuries that are less severe, and a multiplier of five to the most severe injuries, such as brain trauma or spinal cord damage. To calculate your non-economic damages, the insurance company will multiply your economic damages by the multiplier to determine the amount you should receive. For example, if you have a multiplier of three and $20,000 in economic damages, your non-economic damages will be $60,000.
Your attorney will help you understand which damages you qualify for and the estimated amount of your total settlement, allowing him or her to accurately evaluate your settlement offers and advise you through the car accident claims process.
Were You in an Urbana-Champaign Car Accident?
While car accidents are common in Urbana-Champaign, you may have the right to claim compensation if you were not at-fault for the collision. Duncan Law Group can guide you through the claims processes and help you craft a compelling case for a settlement.
Reach Out To Our Skilled Urbana-Champaign Car Accident Lawyers
Our attorneys will take the time necessary to learn your story, gather all valuable pieces of evidence, and help you prepare for each stage of your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our Urbana-Champaign car accident attorneys.