Our office is parallel to Des Plaines and our managing partner Barry Zlotowicz lives on the border of Des Plaines and Glenview. We are proud to serve this city and its residents who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions. If you have been involved in an accident and are searching for a Des Plaines auto accident lawyer, reach out to us at 1-847-305-4105.
How do I know if I have a claim?
A lot of times, people will call an auto collision lawyer and ask if they have a claim. If you were involved in an accident, you have a claim. The question is, are you the plaintiff (victim) or the defendant? And what type of claim do you have?
First and foremost, the most important issue is whether you were the victim of someone else’s negligence? Did someone else mess up? Did they rear-end you? Did you get sideswiped? And so forth. If the answer is yes, then you are likely the “victim” of the accident and you may have a property damage claim, an injury claim, and/or both.
It may be that you are partially at fault for the accident. That’s ok. You can be up to 50% at fault for an accident and still recover for your damages – at least 50% of them (for example). However, if you are 51% at fault for the accident, you are barred from recovering – from the other party’s insurance at least. You may still be able to recover against your own insurance policy for the damage to your vehicle etc.
How Big a Claim do I Need for a Lawyer to get Involved?
We get a lot of calls from people who only suffered property damage in an accident but still want to hire an auto accident attorney in Des Plaines to represent them. Unfortunately, most personal injury attorneys including our office won’t get involved in a property damage only case. There is no money to be made as p.i. attorneys are compensated on the amount we recover for your pain and suffering and physical injuries.
If you did suffer an ‘injury,’ well then there are lawyers that will take almost any injury-related claim. Our car accident law firm gets involved in moderate to large-sized injury claims. However, we have a great network of attorneys who take ‘soft-tissue’ type claims and we are also more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your property damage. So feel free to reach out to our Des Plaines auto accident lawyers at 1-847-305-4105.
Who can file an injury claim?
You are driving down Lee Street in Des Plaines on your way to the Department of Motor Vehicles office when you get rear-ended while sitting at the intersection of Lee & Touhy. You, your significant other, and your two kids are in the car when the accident occurs. You and your significant other are both taken to the emergency room by ambulance but your kids are fine but for a back sprain or strain. Who has a claim and for how much?
If you are 50% or less at fault, and you are injured by the negligence (or intentional) act of a third person or party, you may have a claim. In this case, all 4 people in the car suffered injuries and there is property damage. As such, all 4 people will theoretically have a claim for damages. The next question is, how much is your claim worth?
How much is my claim worth is the question this traffic accident attorney gets asked the most by clients. The answer is it depends – on a lot of different factors. Take the hypothetical above. The kids sound like they have minor claims based on back or neck sprains or strains. The parents however may have more serious claims if they were taken to the emergency room.
There is no ‘formula’ for how much your claim is worth. There is in workers’ compensation law but not in auto accidents. That’s why it’s important to hire a Des Plaines auto accident lawyer to help you assess the value of your claim.
Beyond the extent of your injuries, the value of your claim will also be dependent in large part by how much auto insurance there is available. People rarely consider this because they think the claim is against an insurance company that has ‘deep pockets.’ However, the insurance company is only on the hook for the amount that their insured contracted with them for.
Most drivers in Illinois have the minimum insurance policy limits of $25,000 per accident. This is why it’s so important to have uninsured motorist coverage of at least $100,000 and more if you can.
For more information about how you can pursue your legal rights, reach out to the Chicago Legal Group at 1-847-305-4105.