Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Chicago?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - December 22, 2021
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in an auto accident in Chicago, it is crucial that you report the incident to the insurance carrier, regardless of how minor the incident seems. Additionally, you may need to consider working with a skilled vehicle accident lawyer in these situations. Here, we want to examine when you should consider calling an attorney after a vehicle accident occurs in Chicago.
How Often do Minor Vehicle Accidents Occur?
The aftermath of any vehicle accident can be confusing. This is true even for what many consider a “minor” accident. According to information available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there were around 84,000 crashes reported during the latest year on file where property damage was relatively low. However, this does not account for a significant percentage of minor vehicle accidents because many of these incidents go unreported.
Right after a vehicle accident occurs, individuals usually do a quick assessment to make sure that there are no injuries to themselves and their passengers. This is usually followed by getting out of the vehicle and checking to see how much property damage there was. In the event there is not much, if any, property damage, and if there are no injuries, it is not uncommon for individuals to simply walk away from the incident.
However, Illinois law does require that vehicle accidents be reported even if there is relatively minor property damage. In this state, drivers have to report incidents to law enforcement if property damage was $1,500 or more, so long as all of the drivers are insured. If any driver in the crash was not insured, property damage has to be reported if it is $500 or more.
But this does not tell us whether or not you should hire a lawyer after a minor vehicle accident.
Will it Make Sense to Hire an Attorney?
In general, hiring an attorney after a minor vehicle accident is not going to make too much of a difference in your claim. The vast majority of minor vehicle accidents are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. However, there may be some instances where it makes sense to reach out to a Chicago car accident attorney, including the following:
- You experience delayed car accident injuries that you were not aware of at the scene of the incident.
- Your property damage is worse than you expected.
- The other driver involved changes their story and places all the blame for the incident on you.
If you or somebody you care about is involved in a vehicle accident in the Chicago area, we encourage you to do a few things. First, you need to seek medical care as soon as possible to ensure that you have not sustained any delayed injuries that may pop up any hours or days following the crash. Additionally, you need to report the incident to law enforcement officials so they can fill out an accident report. We want you to report the incident to your insurance carrier, regardless of whether or not you think the other driver will do the same.
If you run into any difficulties, reach out to an attorney who can offer a free consultation and guide you towards the best path moving forward.