Posted on Friday, December 15th, 2023 at 9:00 am
Have you sustained injuries from someone else’s negligence in Chicago, Illinois? Various types of circumstances and incidents that occur due to another’s actions or carelessness can cause significant injuries. Examples include:
Those are just a few examples. You may be eligible for compensation if you sustain injuries in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence.
Personal Injury Claims
You can seek the compensation you’re entitled to by filing a personal injury claim. Although every case is unique, the personal injury claim process in Chicago generally involves the following steps:
Reporting an Accident
You may need to report an accident depending on how you sustained injuries. For example, perhaps you sustained injuries in a car crash. According to the Illinois State Police (ISP), motorists must report wrecks to law enforcement when they cause one of the following:
- Bodily injury
- At least $1500 in property damage
Err on the side of caution and always report motor vehicle crashes. Doing so can help you begin gathering evidence to use during the personal injury claim process. When talking with the police, avoid making statements suggesting you caused the wreck.
A car crash isn’t the only type of accident you may report. Maybe you sustain injuries in a slip and fall at a store. You should report the incident to a manager if so. Again, don’t say anything that indicates the incident was your fault.
Generally, if reporting an accident is a possibility, you should. Confirm that you’re reporting your accident to an authority. Ask about obtaining a copy of the accident report they file.
Exchanging Information and Documenting the Scene
The personal injury claim process often involves filing a claim with the insurance of the party who injured you. Thus, you must exchange contact and insurance information with them at the accident scene.
Document the accident scene as best you can during this stage. For example, you may take pictures of the scene and your injuries.
Identify any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur. Get their names and contact information, too. Ask if anyone would be willing to give statements.
Statements made at the accident scene may be more valuable than later statements. Witnesses can provide more accurate information when an accident is fresh in their memories.
Seeing a Doctor
Seeking medical care after an accident that has the potential to cause injuries is vital. You must see a doctor even if you don’t notice any symptoms of injury. Seeking medical treatment on the day of your accident is another way to gather evidence for your claim.
Some types of injuries, like concussions, may not always cause noticeable symptoms right away. You might not experience symptoms of your injury until hours or even days after an accident. Or adrenaline could prevent you from noticing injury symptoms in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
Seeking medical treatment on the day of your accident is another way to gather evidence for your claim. Check out what to say and not to say to doctors during the personal injury claim process. Making the wrong statement to a doctor might harm your chances of receiving compensation.
Notifying the Relevant Insurer
File a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. However, that doesn’t mean you should begin working with an insurance adjuster directly. The insurance company’s priority may be to settle your claim for as little money as possible. You should talk to a personal injury attorney first before accepting any offer from an insurance adjuster.
You’ll need to gather evidence of negligence before you file your claim. Doing so is necessary to prove to the insurance company you deserve compensation.
You’ll also need to add up your losses to determine how much compensation you’re eligible for. This aspect of the personal injury claim process involves assigning a dollar value to non-economic losses, like pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can take on these aspects of your case for you.
The insurance company may make a settlement offer after you file a claim. This is where settlement negotiations begin. If you can’t arrive at a settlement, you can take your case to court. Your lawyer will present a strong case before the judge or jury, showing you’re entitled to the money you requested.
Contact a Chicago, IL Personal Injury Lawyer
Managing the personal injury claim process isn’t something you should do on your own. With help from a Chicago personal injury attorney, you can focus on your recovery while a professional handles your claim.
At Wallace Miller, we’re prepared to explain your legal options and offer the representation you deserve. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (312) 261-6193 for a free case review.