How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Maximize My Settlement?Published: Apr 24, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
A car accident can be as stressful as it is devastating, completely upending your life. Since you can suffer many losses, such as medical bills, car repair bills, or lost wages at work, you may be focused on recovering compensation following an accident is to recover compensation. To potentially maximize your accident settlement, the best decision you can make is to hire a car accident lawyer.
Speak to an attorney as soon as you can following a car accident, especially if you have been injured and the accident was caused by someone else. Insurance companies often take advantage of people who do not have an attorney and will likely offer you the lowest amount possible in an attempt to settle your claim.
Other ways a car accident lawyer can help you potentially maximize your settlement include:
- Evidence: Strong injury claims usually have a substantial amount of evidence. A lawyer can help gather the evidence you need to show the insurance company or court the amount of damages you incurred, including medical bills, photographs of injuries and the accident itself, and medical treatment plans. Evidence may also include lost wages at work because of your injuries, or lack of enjoyment of life.
- Case reviews: A case review with an attorney is the first step in building a strong car accident case. Here, an attorney will go over the details in your case and can explain the legal process you will be facing as well as if you have a viable case or not. A lawyer can also answer any question you have concerning your case and when would be a good time to settle.
- Value of damages: By looking over the three types of damages you may have suffered from the accident (the economic, non-economic, and punitive damages), a lawyer may be able to determine the value of your injury claim. With the evidence and research they gather for your case, a lawyer may be able to show you where your case can actually increase in value.
- Negotiations: An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case and will go over the details of the accident. With the information they gather, they may offer you a settlement claim. However, the first initial offer is likely to be the lowest. An experienced car accident lawyer is familiar with negotiating and can advise you when the offer is the one you should take.
Understanding Illinois Car Accident Laws
One of the major advantages of hiring a car accident lawyer is their knowledge of Illinois’ car accident laws. Some things you should be aware of include:
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a car accident lawsuit. In Illinois, the statute is two years from when the accident occurred. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the two-year deadline starts on the date of death. A vehicle damage lawsuit, one that only includes repair or replacement of damaged property, has a statute of limitations of five years.
- Comparative negligence: With comparative negligence, both parties are seen to have shared blame in the accident. The amount awarded to the plaintiff is then reduced by their percentage of responsibility. For instance, if the plaintiff is found to be 25 percent liable for the accident, then they receive 75 percent of the final amount. If they are found to share over 50 percent, then they would receive no compensation.
- At-fault insurance: Some states have no-fault insurance laws, which means that accident victims would make claims with their own insurance company following an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Illinois follows an at-fault insurance rule, whereas the driver found to be liable for an accident will likely pay for the damages they caused the other driver.
Belleville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Accident Survivors Maximize Their Injury Settlements
To increase the value of your car accident settlement, it is essential to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to help you with your claim. If you have been injured in an accident, our Belleville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm can help. Call us at 618-277-3644 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we proudly serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.