Springfield Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident injuries leave victims facing significant financial burdens and a complex claims process. The weight of medical bills piling up, combined with lost wages during your recovery, can cause you to feel overwhelmed. Let our Springfield car accident lawyers take over negotiations with the insurance company, so you can focus on healing. If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay you a fair settlement, the attorneys at Strong Law Offices will fight for your rights in court.
Hurt in a crash? Call our Springfield car accident lawyers at Strong Law Offices to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. (217) 544-9005.
Do You Need a Springfield Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accident victims need a personal injury lawyer in Springfield who isn’t afraid to stand up to the insurance company. If you’ve suffered serious injuries from your accident, sustained a disability, or the other driver was intoxicated, you need a car accident lawyer to secure a favorable outcome for your case. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying you a fair settlement. A car accident lawyer with Strong Law Offices will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and if necessary, take your case to trial.
What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents in Springfield?
Car accidents can happen in a variety of circumstances. However, there are several negligent driving behaviors that often lead to car accidents in Springfield:
- Driving too fast for weather or road conditions
- Intoxicated driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while distracted
- Poor road design or maintenance
What to Do After a Car Accident in Illinois
The steps you take after a crash can impact your chance at a reasonable settlement for a car accident. The most important first step after an accident is to seek medical treatment for yourself and other victims. Once all medical emergencies are resolved or attended to, victims should:
- Move to safety if the vehicle is in a hazardous location
- Contact the authorities to report the accident
- Document the scene
- Retain a car accident lawyer
- Contact his or her insurance company
Seek Medical Treatment
Seeking immediate medical treatment helps to ensure you have the best chance at fully recovering from your injuries. Additionally, it allows you to document the severity and nature of your injuries early on. This documentation is essential in proving the validity of your injuries to an insurance company or judge and jury.
Document the Scene
Documenting the accident scene will help you prove liability in your car crash claim. Filing a police report and retaining the report number, collecting eyewitness statements and information, and taking photographs will help you paint an accurate picture of what transpired. This information will aid significantly in a car accident scene reconstruction.
Retain a Car Accident Lawyer in Springfield
Retaining a car accident attorney immediately after a crash can help you maximize your recovery. An attorney is familiar with the elements of a car accident claim, and can help you fight the insurance company for a fair settlement. If you are unable to achieve a fair resolution with the other party’s insurance, the car accident lawyers at Strong Law Office can help you fight your case in court. We will:
- Establish the other party’s liability
- Retain expert witnesses when necessary
- Walk you through a deposition
- Prepare you for a hearing
- Use evidence to support your claim in court
Timeline of a Springfield Car Accident Claim
The amount of time a car accident claim takes is influenced by the number of involved parties, the cooperativeness of the liable party, the severity of a victim’s injuries or the value of the damages, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a settlement, and whether your claim progresses into a lawsuit. A car accident claim begins by contacting the insurance company. Then, with their motor vehicle accident attorney, victims will calculate their losses and make a request for damages. The attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement award with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and, if unsuccessful, file a lawsuit.
What to Expect in Your Car Accident Lawsuit
When you file a car accident lawsuit, you become the plaintiff, and the at-fault party becomes the defendant. There will be a judge assigned to your case, and your attorney will participate in the jury selection process ahead of time. Before the trial, plaintiffs, defendants, and their attorneys will participate in the discovery process. Discovery in a lawsuit is the time allotted for both parties to review evidence and witness statements.
Once the trial begins, both sides will present opening arguments. Then, witnesses will be cross-examined and evidence will be presented to the judge and jury. Once both sides have presented evidence and questioned witnesses, they will present closing arguments. Then, the jury will deliver a verdict to the judge, and the judge will make any remaining legal decisions.
Types of Injuries Our Springfield Car Accident Lawyers See
Car accident injuries can range in severity from mild to catastrophic. Often, accidents involving large trucks or vehicles traveling at high velocity yield more severe injuries. The severity of a victim’s injuries impacts his or her recovery time, and, in turn, the value of the car accident claim. In some cases, a victim may even become permanently disabled after a crash.
Injuries commonly seen by Springfield Car Accident Lawyers include:
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Soft tissue injuries
What Damages Can I Recover in a Car Accident Claim?
You can recover a majority of the costs associated with your accident by filing a claim against he at-fault party’s insurance company. In a car accident claim, victims can recover economic, non-economic, and, sometimes, punitive damages.
- Economic Damages—Economic damages are derived from tangible financial losses that occur after an accident. These include losses such as medical treatment expenses, lost wages, long term care costs, and future lost earning capacity.
- Non-Economic Damages—Non-economic damages are calculated from losses that aren’t as tied to a specific financial value. Instead, non-economic damages center on how the injury has affected the victim’s life. These losses include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life.
- Punitive Damages—Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for his or her actions. These damages are rare, and only apply when the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
Identifying the Liable Party
Victims and their attorneys can take several steps to prove liability in a car accident claim. To prove that another driver was responsible for a victim’s injuries, a car accident lawyer will need to show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, he or she breached that duty, the victim suffered injuries due to the defendant’s breach, and the victim suffered damages from his or her injuries. A car accident lawyer may use the following evidence to support this claim:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness accounts
- Documentation of the accident scene
- Expert testimony
- Accident scene reconstruction
- Medical bills and wage statements
A victim may be determined to be partially liable for his or her accident. Illinois operates under a comparative negligence standard, meaning that victims can still recover damages as long as they are less than 50% at-fault for the car accident. The amount of the settlement award will simply be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault.
What if I Become Disabled After My Car Accident?
If you can’t work due to injuries you suffered in a car accident, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. To qualify for benefits, accident victims must meet a disability listing in the SSA blue book, or suffer from a condition that impacts their life for 12 months or more. The most common car accident injuries that lead to disability are:
- Non-healing fractures with no solid union of bone
- Non-functional use of a limb after a break or fracture
- Back injuries, such as compression of nerves, limited mobility, loss of sensation, muscle atrophy, spinal arachnoiditis, or lumbar spinal stenosis
- Soft tissue injuries that reduce functionality of limbs or require prolonged treatment
- Anxiety disorders, depression, or PTSD
A car accident victim qualifies for disability benefits when:
- He or she has a mental or physical impairment that lasts, or is expected to last, 12 months or more
- He or she is prevented from earning an income greater than the limit set by the SSA
- They are unable to work entirely, or preform their previous job duties
- They are unable to train for a less demanding position to replace their old job
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Claims
- How much is my car accident case worth?
The value of your car accident claim is based on the severity of your injuries. Damages in a car accident claim are calculated by assessing the medical costs, lost wages, and emotional impact caused by a victim’s injuries.
- How do I pay my Springfield car accident lawyer’s fees?
The Springfield car accident lawyers at Strong Law Offices work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only pay attorney fees if you recover damages. Once you receive your settlement award, your attorney will retain a percentage of your award to cover his or her fees. Other costs, such as payments toward expert witnesses or filing fees, may also be paid out of your settlement.
- What if the other driver flees the scene of my car accident?
If the other driver flees the scene of an accident and can’t be located, you can still recover damages through a car accident claim. You would simply have to file your claim with your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, rather than filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance.
Additional Resources on Springfield Car Accident Claims
- When to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident
- Is Distracted Driving Negligence?
- What to Do After a Car Accident in Illinois
- How Much Do Injury Lawyers Usually Take from Settlements?
- How to Get the Most Money from a Car Accident
Were you injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence? Call a Springfield car accident lawyer at Strong Law Offices at (217) 544-9005.