Car Accident Lawyer in Waukegan, IL

March 7, 2024
Car Accident Lawyer in Waukegan, IL

Upwards of 9 people an hour are injured in an automobile accident in Illinois every day. Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of sharing the road with others. While car accidents are relatively commonplace – with an estimated 810 traffic crashes per day in Illinois – it does not make it any less stressful and frightening.

In non-fatal car accidents, affected passengers often face injuries, unplanned expenses, and unexpected time taken off work. This can significantly impact the physical, mental, and financial well-being of the victims, as well as their career and social life.

It can be incredibly disheartening to suffer the consequences of an accident that was not your fault. While financial compensation cannot erase the devastating mental, emotional, and physical effects of your accident, being reimbursed for all of the surprise costs can provide significant relief.

If you’ve been involved in a collision due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, please know that you simply don’t have to endure these repercussions. Lane Brown, LLC is here to help.

What to Do After You’ve Been Involved in a Waukegan Car Accident

We genuinely hope that you’ve found this page to educate yourself on what to do in the event you find yourself in an automobile accident, but we recognize that, most likely, you are here because you have already suffered an accident.

If you are reading this in search of guidance after experiencing a car accident in Waukegan, Illinois, don’t panic if you haven’t followed the outlined instructions in the letter below. While the steps we’ve provided for you here can help streamline the process of your car accident claim, you likely still have a case if you did something differently.

If you are concerned about whether or not your decisions following your accident may have impacted your ability to file a claim, you can connect with one of our attorneys at Lane Brown, LLC, for a free consultation today.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

Immediately following an accident, your top priority should be your physical well-being. Regardless of the accident’s severity, visiting a doctor as soon as possible is imperative.

In the aftermath of a traumatic incident like a car accident, your body releases a flood of hormones, such as adrenaline. Adrenaline temporarily heightens alertness as your body redirects all of its resources to ensure you escape this dangerous situation.

Adrenaline also acts as a pain suppressant. While this is helpful now, it can mask injuries you’ve sustained during the crash. If you do not seek medical attention immediately, you risk exacerbating these hidden injuries until they manifest hours or even days later.

This is a risk both to your health and your car accident claim. If you don’t maintain detailed medical records, the defense may be able to assert that your injuries were unrelated to your accident, affecting your ability to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

If it is feasible for you financially, scheduling regular check-ups following your accident to monitor your healing progress can provide precious evidence for your claim. It is helpful to show the progression of your injuries and how they impact your daily life. All of this is vital to accurately calculating the damages for your case.

Gather Evidence

Meticulous record-keeping is vital in navigating your Waukegan car accident lawsuit smoothly. If you are unsure what evidence to gather for your case, here are some starting points. Aim to be as thorough as possible.

Capturing photographic evidence has become increasingly convenient in today’s digital age, with smartphones readily available in most peoples’ pockets. If you are not too injured, taking photos immediately following your accident would be worth it.

Document the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles from various angles, including close-ups and wide shots to capture the surrounding landscape. Background details like posted signage may prove relevant in establishing fault.

If you are comfortable photographing your injuries and their progression as you heal, this may supplement your medical documents.

Gather contact information from any bystanders or passengers who witnessed the scene and provide it to your attorney. Basic details such as names and contact information (like phone numbers and email addresses) will do.

Organizing all the evidence you’ve gathered in a binder chronologically can also help streamline the process for everyone involved.

File a Police Report

In Illinois, you are legally obligated to report any accident resulting in death, injury, or property damage greater than $1,500. If either involved driver does not have insurance, you must file a report as soon as the property damage exceeds $500.

If the police arrive on the scene, they may file their report, but filing one for yourself is still a good idea. Try to gather their contact information, such as their names and badge numbers. Regardless, you can request a copy of any relevant police reports here.

Types of Car Accidents

There are multiple types of car accidents, all of which can result in property damage, injury, or even death. The following are the most common car accident types in Illinois.

Head-on collisions occur when the front end of one vehicle collides with the front end of another. These collisions are often caused by factors like drunk, drowsy, or distracted driving. However, they can also happen if one of the drivers experiences a medical emergency while behind the wheel, such as seizures or heart attacks.

Hit-and-run accidents involve drivers fleeing the scene out of fear of legal repercussions. If the driver was intoxicated or driving with an expired or otherwise invalid license, it increases the chances of a driver committing a hit-and-run. Tracking these drivers can be challenging, but details like the offending vehicle’s make, model, or license plate number may help.

Intersection accidents result from negligent actions such as failing to yield to cars or pedestrians with the right-of-way, disregarding traffic signs or signals, or making illegal turns. Aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding to beat a yellow light before it turns red, often contribute to intersection accidents.

 Multi-vehicle accidents are exactly what they sound like. Multi-vehicle accidents most often occur on busy highways and usually result in difficulty determining fault.

Rear-end accidents happen when one car’s front end collides with the rear end of another one. Typically, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is found to be at fault, with tail-gating being one of the most common causes of rear-end accidents. There are exceptions, of course.

Road construction accidents occur when drivers disregard posted signage warnings of construction sites. Carelessness or distraction near construction sites can result in a severe accident. Navigating through construction zones can be confusing and unpredictable, so it is all the more important to heed all signage on the road.

Rollover accidents may occur when a driver suddenly turns the steering wheel to avoid obstacles, often at the last second. While usually involving single vehicles, they can include others if the driver swerves a particular way.

Sideswipe accidents involve two vehicles traveling parallel to each other, with their sides making contact. While sideswipes are rarely the cause of fatalities, they can still result in severe injuries and property damage if either of the involved drivers loses control.

T-bone accidents, or side-impact collisions, happen when the front of one car strikes the side of another, often due to failure to yield at intersections or parking lots. Stubbornness, recklessness, and negligence are all contributing factors to t-bone accidents.

Most Common Injuries in Illinois Car Accidents

Various factors contribute to the types and severity of injuries following a car accident. Car accidents almost always involve high-impact forces, sudden motion, flying debris, and shattered glass.

Factors influencing the nature and extent of car accident injuries include:

  • The age, health, and medical history of involved passengers.
  • Whether or not passengers were wearing their seatbelts.
  • The positions of each occupant in the vehicle(s).
  • The speed of the impact.
  • Whether or not the airbags deployed.

Car accident injuries typically fall into two main categories: impact and penetrating.

Impact injuries, such as concussions, result from forceful impacts, like hitting your head on the steering wheel during a collision. Penetrating injuries occur when objects, like an unfolded Swiss army knife from a cup holder or a piece of broken glass, become lodged in the body.

While the following list is far from exhaustive, some commonly reported injuries in Waukegan, Illinois car accidents include:

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries, like concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Strains and sprains

If your injury isn’t mentioned above, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. If you feel uncertain about your claim’s validity, contact one of our attorneys at Lane Brown, LLC, for a free consultation today.

Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Acknowledging that it might be time to contact an attorney can be stressful. While it may feel daunting to admit you need legal help, your best bet at winning your accident claim is to seek assistance.

Unfortunately, the American legal system wasn’t designed to be readily accessible to the average person. Without an extensive legal education, a network of connections, and familiarity with legal precedents, effectively representing oneself in court is nearly impossible.

Personal injury law is intricate, as are the mountains of accompanying paperwork, and with help from an attorney, your case is likely to be successful.

Assistance Accessing Evidence

Because your attorney has invested years in their legal education and establishing connections, they will find it significantly easier to access evidence that can benefit your case.

Additionally, your attorney has access to a network of expert witnesses from various fields who may be called to testify to strengthen your case.

For instance, if the defense claims that your vehicle sustained damage before the accident, your attorney might call upon a seasoned mechanic to testify that the damage to your vehicle aligned precisely with the nature of the collision you suffered.

While you can testify yourself, it won’t carry the same weight as that of an impartial expert who is well-known in their field.

Help Handling Communications with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are supposed to serve as your safety net when life throws you a curveball. In reality, they are designed to operate as for-profit businesses. Unfortunately for you, paying the actual value of your claim is not in the best interest of a for-profit entity like your insurance company.

Consequently, when speaking to an insurance adjuster, they will likely aim to conclude the conversation as quickly as possible while offering the most minor settlement possible for your car accident claim.

Insurance adjusters employ various tactics to achieve this goal, such as attempting to elicit an admission of fault from the claimant. Even an off-handed “I’m sorry,” could be used to devalue your claim.

Fortunately, you can delegate this task to your attorney. With years of experience handling insurance companies, a Lane Brown, LLC attorney is perfectly adept at navigating these situations efficiently while avoiding common pitfalls set by insurance adjusters. Entrusting this task to your attorney can save you time and unnecessary stress.

Compensation Available for Your Waukegan Car Accident

You are most likely eligible for compensation for anything you lost due to your car accident. Compensation can also be called damages in legal terms. Damages may fall into one of three categories, though sometimes they overlap. These categories are economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

It is considered economic damage if you have a financial document such as a receipt, bill, invoice, or bank account charge for your loss. Economic damages are easy to calculate, provided you keep your papers in order.

Economic damages can look like:

  • Property damage
  • Vehicle damage
  • Ambulance bills
  • Medical bills
  • Long-term medical care expenses
  • Physical and mental health therapy
  • Prescription costs
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Lost wages during recovery

Maintaining detailed records of all expenses related to the accident will greatly assist you in the future, ultimately saving you and your attorney a lot of time and effort.

Non-Economic Damages

Quantifying non-economic damages is much more challenging, as they are abstract rather than tangible. These damages typically encompass emotional and social losses experienced by the victim.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Mental pain and suffering
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Long-term or permanent disability
  • Scarring or permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

Loss of consortium is legalese for the decline or deprivation of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, moral support, sexual intercourse, or the ability to have children as a direct result of the damages you suffered during your automobile accident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages serve as extra financial compensation awarded in a case, not to reimburse the victim but to punish the negligent party. Punitive damages are difficult to pursue unless the defendant has been reckless or careless.

The purpose of punitive damages is solely to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent from repeating similar misconduct in the future. There are no caps on the amount of punitive damages a claimant can seek in Illinois.

Common reasons to seek punitive damages in Waukegan car accident cases include driving under the influence, speeding in a school zone, or street racing. Any intentional wrongdoing or gross recklessness can be grounds for seeking punitive damages.

You will most likely need to go to court to receive punitive damages.

Finding the Right Car Accident Attorney for You in Illinois

If you or someone you love has suffered property damage or injury due to another driver’s negligence, don’t wait to seek legal counsel. Lane Brown, LLC is here to help you understand your options.

We offer free consultations, and we don’t get paid unless we win because we believe financial barriers should not prevent a person from getting the legal help they deserve. No fees unless we win, guaranteed. Give us a call today at 312-313-6890 or submit a request here

Waukegan Car Accident FAQ

How long do I have to file my Waukegan car accident lawsuit?

The time limit, or statute of limitations, for filing your Illinois accident claim differs depending on whether you are filing for personal injury or property damage.

If you are filing a personal injury suit for your car accident, you have two years from the date of the incident. If you are filing a suit for property damage, you have five years from the incident date.

How much is my claim worth?

It is impossible to accurately calculate the worth of your claim without knowing the details, but below are some averages for Illinois car accident cases by severity of injury:

The average payout for a minor injury is between $373 – $11,000. Moderate injuries can be compensated between $12,715 and $60,000. Severe injuries payout between $70,000 – $6,250,000

If you want a more accurate estimation, please contact us today for a free consultation!

How do I get the settlement I deserve from my insurance company?

Engaging with your insurance company without consulting an attorney is not advisable. Despite being there to provide financial security for you in an emergency, insurance companies’ primary aim is to settle your claim as quickly as possible and for less than it’s worth.

We strongly advise against accepting any settlement offers from insurance companies, particularly if you are still undergoing medical treatment for accident-related injuries. 

Insurance agents typically seek to close cases swiftly while offering minimal compensation. If you’re still recovering, you don’t know the long-term damage caused by your accident, and therefore, you do not see the value of your claim.

Allowing your attorney to handle all communications with insurance companies is the best course of action. This approach reduces stress for you and protects you from being exploited by insurance agents who bank on you without knowing your rights.

Do I have to go to court to settle my claim?

If the other party and their legal counsel are amenable, you can settle out of court! Most people prefer to avoid the courtroom. Your attorney will be able to help negotiate with the other party’s legal representation and handle communication with any involved insurance companies.

Should I speak to the other driver’s insurance?

You are under no obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance and have nothing to gain by doing so. It is not worth it to talk to the other driver’s insurance. It is much more likely to harm than good.

How long will it take for my case to get resolved?

Every case is different. Some cases can be resolved quickly in just a few months without ever seeing a courtroom. Others can drag on for over a year.

It is impossible to estimate the time it will take to resolve perfectly, but several factors come into play, such as the severity of your injuries, your recovery time, and the approximate calculation of the value of your car accident claim.

The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a Lane Brown, LLC attorney and get a free consultation!

What if I cannot afford to pay a lawyer?

Your Lane Brown, LLC attorney won’t get paid unless they win your case! We work on contingency fees, which means you don’t owe a thing unless you win. If we represent you successfully, our payment will come from the settlement at the end of your case.

Not only does this protect you financially, but it also motivates your legal team to do everything possible to win your case.

Get Answers, Contact Us Now REQUEST A CONSULTATION
OR CALL NOW 312-332-1400