Car Wreck Questions: What You Need To Know

Whether you suffer what appears to be a “fender bender” at first or a serious car crash, the experience is almost always disorienting. You have many choices you must make in the first moments and days after a collision. Sometimes it appears that the best and easiest thing to do is whatever the insurance company advises you to do, but the unfortunate fact is that the for-profit nature of the insurance business ensures they will put their financial needs before your medical or logistical needs.

Clark Frost Zucchi stands with injury victims and keeps their needs at the forefront. In the past 10 years, we’ve recovered more than $70 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients in Rockford and the Rock River Valley region. Because you likely have many questions about what to do after a car accident, we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our personal injury attorneys hear.

Why do I need a lawyer after a crash? Can’t I just let the insurance company handle it all?

You can do that, but if you have serious injuries, or injuries from the crash that surface after the initial collision, you will be unlikely to get adequate compensation from the insurance company. Hiring a lawyer, even if your case is never litigated, sends a message to the insurance company that you understand that you have the right to sue for compensation to take care of your economic and medical needs. Your lawyer can investigate the details of the collision, help you calculate the support you need, ensure you can access medical care, advise you on the best ways to document injuries and ongoing care needs, and much more. Your “best offer” from an insurance company is often inadequate to replace what you have lost. Our attorneys are tenacious negotiators and aggressive representatives in civil court. They will make every effort to ensure your settlements sets you up for a brighter future.

What should I do immediately after a car accident?

These steps are some of the most important things you can do after a crash, both for your health and for any case you may need to bring related to the accident.

  1. Get medical care immediately, even if you feel “all right” at the crash scene. You may be in shock.
  2. If you are able, document the crash scene by taking photos of your car, the place where the collision occurred, and getting the other driver’s name and contact information.
  3. Report the accident to police, particularly if there may be injuries or your car has more than $1,500 in damage. This is an important document for your case.
  4. Contact your insurer – insurance companies require a timely reporting of claims to consider them valid.
  5. Do NOT make admissions, to the police or to the other driver’s insurance company. Do not apologize or claim fault. Stick to factual descriptions of the situation.
  6. Call a personal injury attorney, who can help you file a claim for settlement money and who can represent you if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

What if the other driver didn’t have insurance? Can I still get compensation?

In Illinois, if you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of a full-coverage auto insurance package, you should be able to make a claim up to the limits of your policy. However, taking advantage of this coverage puts you in an adversarial position with your own insurance company, so having an experienced attorney is a must for receiving the maximum amount available from your claim.

What types of compensation are available to accident victims?

You may claim two types of compensation after a car accident. Economic compensation covers directly measurable losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical or occupational therapy related to the accident
  • Lost income due to being unable to work
  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Rental cars during vehicle repair period

Non-economic losses are also available to Illinois motorists injured in an accident and include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and disability
  • Wrongful death if the motorist dies as a result of the accident
  • Loss of companionship (in the case of a wrongful death)

More Questions? Send Them To Us.

Clark Frost Zucchi produces outstanding results for our injury accident clients. Discover how we may help you by calling us at 815-962-6144 or by using our online contact form to set up a free consultation.