car accident illinois

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know how chaotic the scene can be: broken windows, car fluids spilled across the road, dents and scrapes, and injuries are all common. For many, the immediate aftermath is a blur, but it’s what comes next that often proves to be the most difficult. When you’re in an accident that’s not your fault, you’re still left to deal with the healing, both physically and emotionally. Add to that missed wages, ongoing treatment or surgeries, and property damage. Understandably, many Chicago car accident victims are unsure how to start receiving compensation for their damages. 

Car Accident Damages

In personal injury cases such as car accidents, there are several types of damages a victim can recover. Damages are broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages represent the monetary loss a car accident victim sustains. Since these losses can be quantified, they’re among the most commonly-sought. Documentation is crucial when determining the amount of economic damages caused by a collision, so be sure to keep records and receipts of all related costs.

  • Medical Costs – Emergency room visits, surgery costs, doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, and more are all associated with medical costs after a car accident. Future medical costs should also factor into the total amount of damages. 
  • Lost Wages – Often, car accident victims are forced to miss work or take an extended leave; some may even be forced to quit a job due to serious injuries or recovery.
  • Property Damage – Whether it’s extensive repairs to the victim’s vehicle or damaged personal property, a victim should receive compensation for car repair bills and to replace damaged property.

Other damages are more subjective, but a skilled car accident lawyer can prove non-economic damages suffered by the victim as well.

  • Pain and Suffering – Many car accident victims are traumatized long after the dust has settled. They may suffer from stress, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and may have difficulty returning to a normal life even years later. 
  • Loss of Enjoyment – An accident can turn a car enthusiast into someone afraid to set foot in a vehicle again. Additionally, severe injuries such as paralyzation or loss of limb can contribute to lost enjoyment. 

No two car accidents are alike, so it’s difficult to predict the amount of compensation you can recover after being involved in a collision. To further complicate the matter, Illinois utilizes modified comparative negligence when determining fault in car accident cases. That means that you can seek compensation as long as you’re found to be less than 50% at fault. For example, if you were determined to have 20% fault in the cause of the accident, you can only recover 80% of damages incurred. 

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Although you have the right to handle a car accident case yourself, hiring a skilled lawyer is your best chance at receiving fair compensation for your damages. A car accident lawyer has a deep understanding of Chicago car accident laws and can help you stay informed of your rights. Attorneys are also skilled negotiators who can ensure you receive a fair settlement offer or, in some cases, can take your case to court if necessary. The Saperstein Law Group, P.C. has extensive experience handling car accident cases in Illinois, and we can tailor a strategy to your unique situation. The sooner you can talk to a lawyer after your accident, the better; so contact AFJ Law Firm today to schedule a consultation during which we can discuss your case.