Car crashes often result in serious injuries that can lead to years of suffering and substantial financial losses. To make matters worse, many collisions are preventable and are caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you were hurt in a collision that wasn’t your fault, an Aurora car accident attorney with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is ready to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Our firm has decades of experience in this area of the law and we’ll fight for your best interests.
You can schedule a free case review by contacting us online or by calling (800) 985-1819.
Steps to take after being in a crash
Being involved in a car wreck is stressful and can be disorienting leaving you wondering what to do. If you find yourself in this situation, following these simple steps can have a dramatic impact on your health and any potential claim you decide to make.
1. Move your vehicle to a safe location
If your car is driveable, move it to a safe spot as soon as possible, especially if you’re on a highway or a heavily-traveled street. Even if you can only move it to the shoulder, that will be much safer than leaving it in the middle of the road for you and others. If you’re near a parking lot, take it there to be as safe as possible.
2. Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries
Check to see if you’ve been injured by checking for any bleeding, that you can move your limbs, and to determine if you’re thinking clearly. If possible and if safe to do so, check on your passengers and any other motorists to see if they’re okay.
3. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance
Even if you don’t think you’re injured or that your injury is major, report the accident to 911. The dispatcher will send emergency medical technicians and police to the accident scene, all of which are necessary.
If any emergency personnel recommend that they transport you to the hospital, you take their advice and go to the doctor because there are several serious injuries that could be masked by adrenaline or that require formal medical testing to diagnose and treat.
4. Tell your story to the responding police officer
Be completely honest with the officer who arrives, and tell them exactly what happened. Your statements will be incredibly important to your case and will appear in the police report, so if you don’t remember something because you’re in shock, tell the officer you don’t remember at that time.
You can supplement your statement later if necessary, and it’ll be better to provide additional information rather than change the information you initially provided.
This report will reflect the opinions of the officer who investigated the accident, and their opinions or conclusions will play a major role in determining the outcome of any lawsuit you file.
5. Gather evidence at the scene
The more evidence you gather at the accident scene, the better, but only do so if you can do it safely. Take pictures and videos of the accident and the surrounding area including the road itself, the conditions, the damage to all involved vehicles, and any other type of damage such as property damage, collapsed guard rails, bent road signs, or anything else you can see. If possible, take pictures of your injuries if you can.
6. Visit Urgent Care or your primary care physician
Don’t wait to see a doctor, go right away — the importance of this can’t be stressed enough. There are several injuries that aren’t visible or apparent immediately after the accident. You might not start feeling symptoms for hours, or, in some instances, even days. Delaying medical treatment could increase the chances of complications or worse injuries that could set back your recovery for months.
Immediate medical care is critical for your health, but it could also be critical to your case because the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything possible to deny you compensation. If you don’t get medical help, the insurer will argue that your injury wasn’t nearly as bad as you’re claiming, or they might claim you were injured at another time and are simply trying to get them to pay for your treatment.
7. Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurer as soon as you can. They can help you get situated following your accident while you consult with attorneys. Your insurer might also cover some of your expenses while your personal injury claim is pending.
8. Meet with a car accident attorney to understand your legal options
After you’ve received the medical help you need, speak with an Illinois personal injury attorney at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates as soon as you can. Your attorney will need to investigate the accident to determine how it occurred, what evidence will be helpful for your case, and to identify all liable parties. The investigation needs to start soon after the accident to secure evidence before it disappears.
File your car accident claim in time
In Illinois, you only have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations.
Although you have two years to take legal action and it seems like a long time, you really should start the process as soon as possible because not only will your lawyer need to perform an investigation, but there are also many additional steps that need to be taken. The earlier you hire an attorney, the sooner you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Possible damages you can claim
You’re going to run across many legal terms regarding your accident that you might not know. One of them is the word “damages” which is simply the losses you’ve suffered due to the accident and the compensation you receive in the personal injury claim.
There are two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic.
These are damages that are easily proven with documents like medical bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and more. These can include:
- Your medical expenses incurred after the accident such as the ambulance, the hospital, or urgent care
- Necessary follow-up care and treatment
- Future medical care you’ll need for your injuries
- Wages or benefits you lost during your recovery
- Future benefits or wages, including bonuses and promotions, that you’re expected to lose if your injuries prevent you from working in the same capacity or from returning to work at all
You’re also probably going through a great deal of pain and suffering due to your injury. You might not be able to sleep at night because of the emotional trauma associated with the wreck and because of the stress caused by all of your expenses.
Since you can’t pursue the activities you love because you’re hurt, the quality of your life has also diminished. Although they might be difficult to calculate, they’re all damages you can recover with the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Aurora car accident attorney.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
Although it might seem like there’s only one driver to blame for a two-car accident, there could be other liable parties if they contributed to the wreck. For example, if a tire was defectively manufactured and blew out, you might also be able to sue the manufacturer.
How our Aurora car accident attorneys prove negligence
When you hire an Aurora car accident attorney with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we’ll work to prove negligence through our in-depth investigation and with evidence that the negligent driver can’t disprove. Our attorneys will talk to witnesses, obtain video from nearby surveillance cameras, and will even request phone records if needed. We’ll leave no stone unturned in an effort to see that justice prevails.
We fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
We can’t overstate the importance of hiring a lawyer immediately after your accident– it all goes back to the investigation. Once we gather the proof we need, we’ll present it to the insurer and will negotiate a fair settlement. If they refuse to offer what you deserve, we’ll be well-positioned to defeat them in court.
Car accidents are more frequent and more dangerous
Nearly 1,200 motorists in Illinois lost their lives in traffic accidents–that’s an 18% increase between 2019 and 2020 despite fewer cars being on the road due to the pandemic. This isn’t just an Illinois problem–it’s estimated that 42,915 died on U.S. roads, up 10.5% from 2020. This was the largest percentage increase since 2015.
Common car accident injuries
Car wrecks subject drivers and passengers to incredibly strong forces which can result in catastrophic injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe concussions
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- And many others
Cost of hiring an Aurora car accident attorney
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our attorneys are highly experienced, and our investigations are exhaustive—all without you paying any of our fees upfront. You won’t pay us anything out-of-pocket for your consultation or when you first hire us. This means that you won’t pay unless we win your case. Our payment is a percentage of your settlement or damages award, so you don’t suffer a loss by hiring the best Illinois personal injury attorneys.
Why work with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates?
No other law firm will provide you with more passionate and skilled representation than we will. We have a long track record of helping clients obtain maximum compensation, and we’re ready to do the same for you.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we may be able to help you, such as options that are only available to you through an attorney, please contact us online or call (800) 985-1819 to get in touch with an Aurora car accident lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates.