4 Aug, 2023

What Does a Bloomington Car Accident Lawyer Do?

Author Todd A. Strong
Car crash at night. Concept of What Does a Bloomington Car Accident Lawyer Do
Car crash at night. Concept of What Does a Bloomington Car Accident Lawyer Do

What does a Bloomington car accident lawyer do? After your crash, a car accident attorney can gather information from the accident, give you legal advice, and negotiate with insurance companies. He or she can help you pursue compensation for your losses, so you can heal and get back to your normal routine.

Why You Should Hire a Bloomington Car Accident Lawyer

After experiencing a car accident, it's important to focus on your recovery. However, once you've regained your health, it may be beneficial to seek assistance from an attorney. In addition to the physical and emotional toll of the accident, you may also be facing financial difficulties such as medical expenses, vehicle repairs or replacement costs, and lost income. A car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the responsible party or his or her insurance company for the damages you have suffered.

Ensure That Your Case Is Handled Correctly

If you decide to handle your case without an attorney, there is a risk of making mistakes. You may:

  • Not follow the correct process.
  • File your suit late.
  • Address the wrong defendant for damages.
  • Present your information in the wrong way.

These mistakes could result in losing your case or not receiving fair compensation. Additionally, you may even have to pay for costs and fees related to a crash you didn't cause. To avoid these risks, it's best to hire a Bloomington car accident lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure that your case is handled correctly.

Calculating Damages

In addition to understanding the legal process, it's essential to know your rights and the full extent of your damages when filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. A car accident lawyer can help you determine what constitutes fair compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering, lost income, and your family's loss of companionship. With their experience, they can assess the value of your case and ensure that you receive a fair compensation, which may be significantly higher than what you might estimate on your own.

Knowledge of the Law

You may not be aware of all the laws pertaining to your situation. An experienced car accident lawyer can determine which laws and factors are applicable to your case. If you need to file a lawsuit, you should be prepared for a lot of paperwork and complicated rules that will take up a significant amount of your time. You will need to figure out what to file, how to format it, cite legal precedents, determine admissible evidence, and more. This can be a rigorous process, and time is of the essence. A skilled lawyer with a thorough understanding of the law can provide valuable guidance to navigate through a complex lawsuit.

Settlement Negotiations and Representation in Court

It is common for car insurance companies to attempt to reject or underpay your claim, but lawyers are well-versed in the information that can increase your chances of winning your case.

In the event of a denied claim, an attorney is ready to appeal and advocate for your compensation. Insurance companies may try to offer you a settlement to quickly resolve your claim while paying out as little as possible and avoiding personal injury lawsuits. However, these offers are often not fair. An auto accident lawyer has the experience to recognize when an offer is insufficient. He or she can advise you on how much you should settle for and can negotiate for a better amount.

Filing a case can be complex, and proving your case is an even greater challenge. Rules and formalities can limit the questions you can ask and the types of evidence you can present. Convincing a court and jury to rule in your favor requires legal research. Proving personal injury liability is an arduous task to undertake alone, and most car crash cases necessitate the skills and representation of a competent auto accident lawyer, especially if your case goes to court.

What to Do After a Car Accident

In the aftermath of an accident, it's understandable if you feel overwhelmed. You may not fully comprehend the extent of your injuries due to the emotional aftermath of the accident. Regardless of the specifics of the situation, it's important to follow some basic steps to ensure your wellbeing and build a strong personal injury case.

Make Sure You Are Safe

First and foremost, prioritize your safety. Keep calm and try to think clearly. In the case of a car accident, move yourself and your vehicle out of traffic to avoid further damage.

Call the Police

If there are any injuries to report, call the police immediately. It's crucial to have an official police report on file, and they can also send medical assistance to the scene if necessary.

Collect Information

It's essential to gather information after an accident. Make sure to get the names and contact information of anyone involved, as well as any witnesses. If the accident happened at work, ask for details about your employer's workers' compensation insurance plan.

Document the Scene

Additionally, documenting the scene with photos from your phone can be helpful for your lawyer to build your case. Be sure to take pictures of everything from property damage to road signs and signals.

Seek Medical Attention

It's crucial to prioritize your health and wellbeing by seeking medical attention as soon after a car accident as possible. Even if you don't have any obvious injuries, it's important to get checked out by a doctor since injuries may take days, weeks, or even months to appear or can worsen over time.

Seeking medical treatment also creates evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries, and links them to the accident.

If you delay, the other driver, or the insurance company, might claim that your injuries were due to some other cause. They may also claim that your injuries worsened due to the delay, thus alleging that you were at fault for the extent or severity of your injuries. Get a checkup as soon as possible, rather than waiting until you are in pain.

Consult With an Attorney

It's advisable to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer right from the start to avoid losing valuable time in pursuing a claim. Your lawyer can investigate the accident, build your claim, and guide you through the process from the beginning.

Damages You May Receive

Following an accident, there are two major categories of damages that you may be able to receive compensation for – economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to quantifiable losses that are associated with a dollar amount. These include medical expenses, future medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost income or wages, reduced earnings capacity, hospital bills, property damage, car rental expenses, and rehabilitation costs.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are losses that are not precisely calculable in terms of dollars. Some examples of non-economic damages that you could be covered for following an auto accident include pain and suffering, mental distress, lower quality of life, long-term disability, and fear or anger.

In Illinois in 2023, there have been 845 fatalities in car crashes to date. In an accident resulting in fatalities, you can claim both economic and non-economic damages for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of consortium, and loss of parental benefits.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

If you've been in a car accident, a lawyer can be a valuable asset in helping you get your due compensation. With his or her abilities in insurance negotiation, knowledge of injury prevention, and understanding of the law, he or she can guide you through the process. A car accident lawyer can help you by:

  • Investigating the incident by gathering evidence and eyewitness testimonies, medical records, and police reports.
  • Identifying who was at fault and determining who to sue.
  • Building a case by using evidence and demonstrating details and circumstances of the incident, including the sequence of events.
  • Communicating with all parties on your behalf. These include insurance companies, other attorneys, and any other parties involved.
  • Representing you in negotiations or court, if necessary.
  • Keeping you informed every step of the way throughout the process.

When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

When it comes to car accidents, the earlier you hire a lawyer, the better. This can help you avoid costly mistakes that you might make on your own, especially if you are dealing with a serious accident for the first time.

Waiting too long can lead to the risk of missing the statute of limitations, which in Illinois is only two years for car accident claims. While there is time before the statute of limitations expires, it's best to take action immediately and use any fresh evidence available to strengthen your case. Waiting too long can weaken your ability to fight the insurance company.

About The Author

Photo of Todd A. Strong
Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.