Car Accident Attorney in Chicago332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
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Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
Getting in a car accident is not something anybody ever wants or expects. Still, the reality is that we will get into a car accident about once every 18 years in our lifetime. In 2020, Illinois had almost a quarter million motor vehicle accidents with 1,088 fatalities. As Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, with nearly three million residents and even more visitors and tourists, a significant number of these accidents occur on the streets of the Windy City. The causes of these accidents vary widely. However, most involve operator error. When someone's negligence or carelessness causes injury to you or someone you care about, you may need the help of a car accident lawyer in Chicago.
Cook County, unsurprisingly, is the deadliest because of a larger population and booming commerce that uses semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles to transport goods. While any motor vehicle accident can cause serious injury, passenger cars that collide with commercial trucks often have catastrophic consequences. Victims of car accidents often don't know the full value of their claims and are vulnerable to being exploited by insurance companies. That's why consulting with a car accident lawyer in Chicago with substantial experience in these kinds of claims is imperative.
At Morgan and Morgan, our lawyers have not only the experience you need but also the backing necessary to litigate even the most complex cases. With more than 900 trial-ready lawyers and extensive support staff and resources, you'll have the kind of representation that is vital to winning meaningful compensation for you and your family. There's no risk when you work with one of our legal experts because, in the unlikely case that we can't recover compensation for you, you're not responsible for any fees. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Let's take a look at why car accident claims can be complicated and how our law firm tailors legal strategies to your specific claim to ensure you end up on the winning side.
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What Makes a Car Accident Claim Problematic?
A car accident can involve one or more drivers. Typically, the more parties involved, the more problematic handling the claim will be. Likewise, the severity of injuries will complicate matters more. Another factor that makes car accidents difficult is determining which party is at fault.
After a car accident, injuries may be obvious, and the injured party will seek medical attention right away. In some instances, a car crash victim will put off seeking medical care until they start to experience disturbing symptoms. Often, brain, neck, internal, and psychological injuries take some time to become apparent and aren't diagnosed without medical intervention. Extensive exams and tests may be required. From a legal perspective, the issue doesn't lie in the injuries but rather the delay in treatment.
Delaying treatment invites car insurance representatives to question whether your injuries resulted from the car accident or some other incident. Another issue with delayed treatment is that injuries can worsen. While this shouldn't impact an insurance claim, it can impact your health. That's why we strongly encourage all of our clients to seek medical care right away, regardless of whether they feel it's necessary.
Brain injuries - Head trauma may be left untreated longer than other forms of injuries because of the reason mentioned previously. Still, when a brain injury is diagnosed, the full extent of the damage may not be known for some time, which makes resolving a claim more challenging. The last thing you want to do is accept a settlement that isn't sufficient to cover future medical expenses. A qualified car accident lawyer in Chicago will work with your physician, physical therapists, and other medical professionals to determine any long-term medical requirements you will have so we can ask for appropriate compensation.
Neck injuries - Whiplash is a common injury after a car accident, but feeling it may take a while. When it does kick in, it can be extremely painful. In rare instances, whiplash can plague car crash victims for weeks, months, or even longer. Being unable to turn or hold up your head without immense pain will impact your ability to live your life and work. A pinched nerve, slipped disc, neck fracture, or compression can be debilitating and cause long-term problems which need to be addressed in the insurance settlement. Again, these kinds of injuries need to be examined through the lens of long-term costs and discomfort to come up with a reasonable sum to request from an insurance company.
Internal injuries - Organ injuries and internal bleeding are highly serious. Still, they can take hours or more to manifest, such as lacerations to the liver, spleen, and other abdominal organs. When swelling, pain and other symptoms compel a car accident victim to seek medical treatment, it may be under emergency, do or die circumstances. Immediate surgery may be required, and until scar tissue forms and heals around the wound, you may be out of commission for months on end. Beyond the medical expenses for emergency surgery and rehabilitation, you may be looking at missing a lot of work and paychecks.
Psychological injuries - Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often thought to only be in the realm of war veterans. However, this form of anxiety disorder can dramatically impact car accident victims too. It can affect anyone who has witnessed or experienced a terrifying event and may last for months or years after the trauma. Recovery can include treatments that require trauma-focused therapy and medications. The costs for these treatments need to be figured into any settlement you accept.
While we've covered injuries that may not be apparent directly after a car accident, that doesn't mean that obvious injury can't complicate a car accident claim. Generally, the more severe injuries are, the more difficult it will be to get a significant payout.
Why Do Insurance Companies Fight to Minimize Payouts for Serious Injuries?
Fortunately, Illinois is an "at-fault" insurance state, which means whoever is responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying for it. While many insurance claims are paid out quickly and with relative fairness, serious injuries change the game quite a lot. Accidents that cause significant trauma can skyrocket costs into the millions. When faced with a hefty loss, an insurance company's response may be to delay, decrease, and deny.
When you or someone close to you has sustained severe injuries from a car accident, the last thing you want to deal with is excessive paperwork, drawn-out communications, interviews, and the risk that you won't receive a fair settlement. Unfortunately, that's what most accident victims with significant trauma have to look forward to when handling a car accident claim on their own.
Although Illinois law has bad-faith insurance laws in place to combat really dirty tactics and outright fraud, you'll still likely deal with loopholes and technicalities that benefit the insurance company. Here are frequent challenges a Morgan and Morgan car accident lawyer in Chicago can help you combat:
Denying damages - As discussed previously, if you're in a car accident and think you're fine and walk away only to discover later you've sustained a serious injury, the insurance company will use this to deny damages. Following a car accident, your body's defense mechanism starts to supply the body with adrenaline to mask the pain. Suppose you refuse medical care at the scene. In that case, an insurance adjuster may use this to dispute that your injuries are linked to the accident. The first step to contest this decision is to get advice from a Morgan and Morgan attorney.
Downplaying injuries - If an outright denial doesn't work, their next tactic may be to minimize the severity of your injuries in order to pay less. This is particularly true of injuries that are expected to heal over time. If you're lucky enough to have injuries that will heal, that's fantastic. But it doesn't discount the fact that you're still going to endure a lot of pain and inconvenience while that takes place. In the event of permanent injuries, they may downplay their liability by arguing your injuries were only worsened by their client's negligent actions and were preexisting. Another tactic they may use is disregarding the impact permanent disability will have on your future earnings.
Delay - When all else fails and a large settlement looms, an insurance company may try to delay payment for as long as possible. This is an attempt to exhaust you so you'll settle for less simply to be done with the endless hassle. You may get handed from representative to representative or placed on long holds in search of answers. Even when knowing they'll be forced to settle eventually, they can use your funds for other business purposes every moment they can hold on to the money.
While delaying is cruel, the vilest reason an insurance company may drag out the process when injuries are severe is to wait for the claimant's death. They may take into account the prognosis of the victim or even their age. Traumatic injuries in the very young or very old make it harder for the victim to make a recovery. Historically, when a person was injured due to someone else's negligence, the liability went away when they died. The insurance companies would like nothing better than if this were still the case. However, under modern Illinois law, survivors can now sue for wrongful death.
Working With a Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago
You've probably heard and seen enough lawyer advertisements on the radio, TV, and billboards to last a lifetime. Most talk about how long they've been in business, how they're experienced, and how many cases they've won. We know. But few can boast that they've recovered billions (that’s right) for their clients or that their law firm has represented tens of thousands of clients over the course of their existence. We can do both.
While we have departments that handle ever-increasing segments of law, personal injury caused by car accidents is our bread and butter. While the work of protecting the rights of clients and ensuring they are awarded fair compensation is a routine matter for us, we don't treat any case as routine. We understand how important it is for our clients to be able to pay their bills and get the care they need so they can continue to provide for their families and live as comfortably as their injuries permit.
With all that's riding on your successful claim, there's absolutely no reason to use a lesser law firm. Morgan and Morgan Law Firm only employ attorneys that are willing to fight for what's right for their clients, and nothing less will do. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.