Injury Claims Timeline_ Maximizing Your Compensation Post-accident

Have you recently sustained injuries in a Chicago car accident that was somebody else’s fault? If so, you could file a claim for compensation.

Understanding the process is critical. For example, if you miss the car accident injury claim deadline, you may be unable to receive compensation. Guard against this by familiarizing yourself with the general timeline of such claims.

Immediate Steps to Take After a Car Crash

Taking key steps immediately after a collision can improve your chances of receiving compensation later. After a crash, you should:

In the immediate aftermath of a crash, there are also certain mistakes you must avoid making. Steps NOT to take after a wreck include:

  • Confronting another driver who you believe caused the collision
  • Saying anything to suggest your own carelessness or actions played even a minor role in the crash
  • Saying you’re “fine,” “okay,” or otherwise not seriously hurt when people check on you
  • Speculating as to the cause of the wreck

Stick to the facts when cooperating with police as they investigate the scene. See a doctor as soon as the police give you their permission to leave the scene.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Care After a Wreck

You have three main options for medical care after a collision:

  • Visiting the emergency room
  • Visiting the nearest urgent care center
  • Making an appointment with your primary care physician

You should see a medical professional on the day of the crash. If your own doctor can’t see you right away, visit an ER or urgent care center. You can always follow up with your PCP later.

You may assume you don’t need to see a doctor after a crash if you don’t notice injury symptoms. Don’t make this error. It’s possible to sustain injuries in a motor vehicle wreck without knowing it. Researchers have found that adrenaline can block pain perception. A surge of adrenaline during a stressful experience (like a crash) can prevent you from feeling your injuries right away.

Some types of injuries cause symptoms that don’t appear for hours or even days after the crash. For example, you may not notice the symptoms of a concussion for a few hours. Always seek medical care immediately after any accident that has the potential to cause injury. A doctor should determine whether there is an injury or there’s no need for treatment.

To file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you must show a link between the crash and your injuries. If you wait until days after a crash to see a doctor, an insurance company might argue you haven’t shown this link. They may claim it’s possible you sustained your injuries in a separate incident.

By providing copies of your medical documentation and through further investigation, you might convince the insurance adjuster that your injuries are consistent with car wreck injuries. However, this might not be necessary if you see a doctor on the day of the crash.

Illinois Car Accident Injury Claims: How Long Does the Process Take?

The specifics of the car accident claim process vary on a case-by-case basis. Generally, though, the process involves these steps:

  • Filing a claim – Contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver and submit a claim. Your claim should include documentation of your losses and evidence of the insured’s liability.
  • Investigation – The insurance company should investigate your claim. Be very cautious when speaking with a claims adjuster. They may be listening closely for statements you make that they can use against you. Even the slightest admission of fault could harm your case. In addition, giving any indication that your injuries are less serious than you claim could limit how much compensation you receive.
  • Evaluating offers – The insurance company may deny a claim if, after an investigation, they determine the insured didn’t cause the crash. You may appeal their decision if this happens. If the insurance company does offer a settlement, you don’t have to accept it immediately. Review its terms carefully to ensure they’re fair.
  • Negotiating – The insurance company’s initial settlement offer might be unreasonably low. You can negotiate for a better offer in these circumstances. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation in court.

There’s no way to tell how long it will take to resolve your claim without knowing more about the details of your case. Often, it’s possible to resolve a straightforward car accident claim in two to three months. In more complex cases, the process can take years.

What Is the Car Accident Injury Claim Deadline in Chicago?

a person is signing a form for injury claims compensation after an accident

How long after a car accident can you claim injury in Illinois? That depends. The deadline for submitting various claim documents may vary from one insurance company to another. Filing injury claims late often results in victims waiving their rights to compensation. Contact an insurance company promptly after a collision to learn more about their injury reporting timeline.

The statute of limitations also establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit after a crash in Illinois. In most car crash cases in Illinois, you have two years from the date you got hurt to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

One of the best ways to improve your chances of receiving fair compensation after a motor vehicle wreck is to seek experienced legal representation. At JJ Legal, our Chicago car accident lawyers are on hand to fight for what you deserve. Learn more about how our team can help by contacting us online or calling us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review.

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