Minor Car Accidents_ When to Lawyer Up for Maximum Compensation

If you sustain injuries in a Chicago car crash someone else causes, you can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your medical bills and related losses.

Hiring an attorney is wise when filing a claim. Pursuing compensation can be a complex process, even if the accident appears to be minor. Hiring an attorney simplifies the process and potentially improves your chances of receiving the compensation you’re entitled to.

You may wonder whether you need a lawyer for a minor car accident in Chicago. Yes, you do. Although you’re not legally required to have an attorney to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, having a lawyer takes the burden of any claim-related actions from you, giving you time to focus on healing.

Most Chicago car accident lawyers offer free case reviews. Getting basic legal advice after a minor car accident may cost nothing except your time. A consultation with a legal professional can help you better understand how to proceed.

Reporting a Motor Vehicle Wreck in Chicago

If you’re unsure whether hiring a lawyer for a small accident is necessary, you might also question whether you need to report a minor crash.

At one time, Illinois motorists were required to report any accident that resulted in bodily injury or death or property damage of a certain value. Motorists are no longer required to report a collision to the police unless they are state employees.

Always err on the side of caution and call the police after a collision. Take the following steps while waiting for an officer to arrive at the scene:

Adrenaline can prevent you from noticing injury symptoms right away. When the police finish with the accident scene and allow you to leave, seek medical care immediately. A physician can examine you and determine whether any treatment is necessary.

Keep copies of your medical records. If you do file a claim, they can help you demonstrate your losses.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident in Chicago? Factors to Consider

“Is hiring a lawyer for a small accident necessary?” Often, answering this question is easier when you first ask yourself certain other questions. They are:

Will Someone Accuse Me of Causing the Wreck?

It’s not always immediately clear who is liable after a collision. It’s possible one of the motorists involved in the wreck will try to claim that you caused it.

A lawyer will investigate a crash on their client’s behalf. Doing so is key to gathering evidence that someone else caused the wreck. A lawyer’s investigation may also generate evidence that can help you guard against false accusations that you’re to blame for a collision.

Do I Know What Types of Losses I Can Claim Compensation For?

This may be your first experience filing a claim for compensation after a motor vehicle wreck. You may not know what types of losses you can get money for in these circumstances.

For example, maybe a seemingly minor car crash causes whiplash or a similar injury. You may already know you can seek compensation for medical bills associated with said injury. But what if your injury causes long-term pain and suffering.? Or what if the trauma of the crash causes you to experience emotional or mental anguish?

You might be able to seek compensation for these types of intangible losses. If you’re able to provide documentation showing you genuinely incurred such losses, you could account for them when filing a claim.

An insurance claims adjuster is unlikely to tell you what types of losses you may seek compensation for. Hiring a lawyer can help in this scenario. A lawyer can advise you of your rights and ensure you’re pursuing the full amount of compensation you deserve.

How Complex Is My Life Now?

Seeking compensation even after a minor wreck can still involve various tasks. They may include:

  • Gathering documentation of your losses
  • Gathering evidence to show that the insured caused the wreck
  • Adding up your losses to determine approximately how much compensation you’re eligible for
  • Completing paperwork and submitting it by the deadline
  • Corresponding with a claims adjuster
  • Entering into negotiations if the insurance company’s initial settlement offer is too low

You may already have a busy life. If handling these tasks yourself seems like too great a burden, hire a lawyer. They can handle your claim while you focus on your health.

Can I Afford to Hire a Chicago Car Accident Attorney?

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Hiring a lawyer for a small accident may seem like an unreasonable expense. You might even assume the cost of an attorney will be greater than the amount of compensation you receive.

That’s not a necessary concern. Most Chicago personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they don’t charge upfront fees for their legal services. Rather than charging upfront fees, a lawyer who works on contingency gets their fee as a percentage of the compensation they secure for you. If you don’t get paid, neither does the lawyer. You can also be confident an attorney’s fees won’t be greater than your payout.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Hopefully, the information in this minor accident attorney guide has helped you better understand how a lawyer can help and whether you need one for a minor accident claim. However, you may still have questions. Discussing your case with an attorney for free is the best way to get answers to them.

At JJ Legal, our Chicago car accident lawyers will review your case and your questions. You’re under no obligation to hire us after your initial meeting. For more information, contact us online or call us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review, and let our team start helping you today.

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