Car accidents can be jarring and frightening experiences, and what unfolds afterward—injuries, medical bills, dealing with insurance companies and bureaucracy—can add stress and frustration onto that. Many people often make the mistake of contacting the other driver’s insurance company, which is always a dangerous thing to do, or not seeking immediate attention for potential medical injuries, which can also lead to serious problems, especially for traumatic injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
Most importantly, immediately after an accident, obtaining assistance from qualified professionals and as much documentation as possible is crucial. Ensure that you receive a thorough medical examination so that medical issues are caught sooner rather than later; contact police, as they will compile an official report on the accident; and take pictures and gather witness information if you can. And if there are injuries and damage involved, speaking with an experienced auto accident attorney can also be crucial to ensuring that you are taking all of the necessary steps to make sure that you and your family are protected throughout the process ahead.
The state of Illinois follows the rule of modified comparative negligence when it comes to at-fault parties in an accident. This effectively means that, if both parties contributed to the accident, an injured party can only recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault for the damages and any amount that they recover can be reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed. So, for example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident and the other driver is 80 percent at fault, that other driver’s insurance company might then cover 80 percent of your damages.
Where this gets complicated is when the other insurance company makes offers based on what it believes to be the amount of negligence demonstrated by its insured individual. The company itself conducts its own investigation, but inevitably, its bottom line is going to be limiting how much it pays out for claims. It is then up to the injured party to negotiate with the insurance company, which can be difficult, especially since the injured party presumably isn’t trained as an auto accident attorney and the insurance company is well aware that an attorney is going to be better able to ensure that any settlement reached is a fair one.
At Arami Law Office, we’ve been representing victims of car accidents in Skokie. We have the understanding, comprehension, and strength to represent our clients, both inside and outside of the courtroom. We know how stressful auto accidents can be, and we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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