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Risk or Danger of Handling Your Auto Accident Claim Without an Attorney

Chicago Attorneys for Auto Accident Lawsuits

Car accidents can result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Many people don’t know their recourse after an accident, and they may not realize that the other driver’s insurer is not on their side. Sometimes insurers try to use a friendly approach to get damaging evidence from a trusting plaintiff. The purpose of getting this evidence is to evade liability or get the plaintiff’s damages reduced. The stakes of your lawsuit may be high, and you should not be fooled by an insurer’s efforts to gain your trust. Handling your car accident claim without an attorney presents enormous risks. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our experienced Chicago car accident lawyers have more than 60 years of experience fighting for accident victims.

Risks of Handling Your Auto Accident Claim Without an Attorney

Our lawyers will need to establish the defendant’s fault to recover damages after a car accident in or around Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois. Usually, this means we will need to establish the defendant’s negligence by showing it is more likely than not the defendant: (1) owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. To show these elements, we will need to obtain evidence through discovery. One significant risk of proceeding with a lawsuit without an attorney is that you won’t be able to obtain the necessary evidence to meet your burden of proof.

Defendants, insurers, and defense lawyers may obstruct your ability to obtain discovery or information that could lead to other relevant information to prove your claim. For instance, there may be valuable information that shows a defendant was texting while driving stored within the defendant’s phone. With an experienced lawyer representing you, the phone records and messages on it may be discovered through legal process. The defense may try to raise various privileges to avoid turning over this information so that you cannot meet your burden.

Securing Damages for Your Injuries

When we can establish a defendant’s liability for a car accident, we may be able to recover a wide range of compensatory damages on your behalf. These include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement, and lost earning capacity. In most cases, a defendant is represented by a zealous legal defense team that will work to show that the car accident was partly or wholly your fault.

When a defendant can prove that a plaintiff was comparatively negligent and thereby caused some or all of his injuries, the plaintiff’s total damages award will be reduced by an amount proportionate to their fault. For example, if your economic damages are $100,000, but the defense can prove that your speeding was 50% responsible for your injuries, you would only be able to recover $50,000, even if you were catastrophically injured and your life was changed permanently as a result of the accident. We can help ensure your interests are protected throughout the lawsuit so that you can recover the total amount of damages to which you’re entitled.

In some cases, more than one defendant is to blame for a car accident. The defendants may try to point fingers at each other to ensure they are not on the hook for the total amount of your damages. Or they may band together to establish your comparative negligence. In either case, your damages award could be reduced, and you might not receive the full value of your case. When defendants are less than 50% responsible for a car accident, they may face several-=only liability for a plaintiff’s noneconomic damages.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm

Securing legal counsel if you were injured in a car accident is important. We seek best results for clients in connection with personal injury lawsuits, workers’ compensation claims, and SSDI claims in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.