Someone else caused a serious car accident that has left you reeling. You have high medical bills to deal with. You may have ongoing pain from your injuries, not to mention severe limitations related to the accident itself.
At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney At Law, our team has helped many Illinois car accident victims recover compensation for the injuries they sustained. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
Stewart J. Guss Can Help After Your Illinois Car Accident
Stewart J. Guss has more than 20 years of experience dealing with a wide range of personal injury claims across the nation. What does that mean for you? You cannot get a guarantee on the compensation you will ultimately recover for the injuries you sustained in your car accident. But, you can feel much more confident that you have placed your claim with someone who will fight hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Learn more about the compensation you may actually deserve after your Illinois car accident.
Most people have no idea how much compensation they deserve after a serious car accident. Actually, most people continue to assume that the insurance company will provide them with a reasonable settlement offer, which they must only accept to receive reasonable compensation for the injuries they sustained.
Unfortunately, it may not always work out that way.
Many insurance companies work in the best interests of the insurance company, not in the best interests of the people who may have sustained severe injuries in an accident. As a result, many people accept low initial settlement offers: offers made by the insurance company to convince injured parties to give up the compensation they should really receive for their injuries
When you work with Stewart J. Guss, you will get a much better idea of how much compensation you really deserve from your car accident. You will get a breakdown of your actual financial losses and the compensation you deserve as a result.
Get a deeper, more comprehensive review of the evidence related to your accident.
If you suffered severe injuries in an accident, you need to know that you have clearly identified the party that bears liability for your accident and your injuries. Often, that means identifying the fact that the other driver caused your accident and that, as a result, you should receive compensation through that driver’s insurance policy. Other times, it means a deeper investigation into the different elements of your accident: the driver’s employer, for example, in the case of a driver on the clock, or even the cause of a mechanical defect.
Stewart J. Guss can evaluate every element related to your Illinois car accident to give you a better idea of who may have caused the accident—and to collect the evidence you may need to establish that the other driver acted negligently.
Feel confident in dealing with the insurance company.
Dealing with the insurance company directly leaves many accident victims struggling. Even though the insurance company should provide you with a fair offer, you may find yourself fighting to get the compensation you deserve. Worse, the insurance company may use a variety of tactics to decrease the compensation it has to pay out.
Navigating that snarl can leave you feeling drained, stressed out, and frustrated at a time when you need to focus on your recovery.
Instead of trying to manage your claim on your own, let Stewart J. Guss take over those interactions for you. You can rest assured that he can handle the insurance company, avoid potential challenges that could cause you to miss out on compensation, and help establish your right to compensation through a car accident claim.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Illinois
Car accidents can cause immense injuries, many of which can permanently impact the victim’s ability to live life to the fullest. Severe injuries may, in many cases, have lifelong consequences—and their impact on you may go way beyond the initial accident itself. If you have suffered any type of injury in a car accident, you may deserve compensation for the expenses and suffering associated with that injury.
#1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, can create challenges that impact every possible area of your life. Following a TBI, you may find yourself struggling to get back to work.
You might have memory challenges.
Your injury might interfere with your ability to focus or concentrate, making it very difficult to enjoy leisure activities or take care of your work responsibilities.
Traumatic brain injury can even interfere heavily with emotional regulation, which can make it very difficult for many victims to manage even minor frustrations or common interactions with friends and loved ones. Recovery can be long and unpredictable. Many patients with even minor traumatic brain injury can have symptoms that linger more than a year after the incident. If you suffer a more serious TBI, you may find that your symptoms linger for the rest of your life
#2. Spinal Cord Injuries
The force of an accident can cause immense damage to the spinal cord. When the spinal cord severs completely, it can lead to permanent paralysis below the injury site. However, even incomplete spinal cord injury can have substantial repercussions to the victim’s mobility.
The extent of the mobility loss caused by a spinal cord injury often depends on where the injury occurred and how much damage the patient suffered.
Patients with relatively minor, incomplete spinal cord injuries may recover some mobility over time. However, victims with complete spinal cord injuries rarely recover that vitally-needed mobility.
Illinois car accidents can, in many cases, involve enough force to lead to limb amputation. Limb amputation may occur either because of direct trauma during the accident, including slicing damage, or extreme crushing damage that necessitates removal of the affected limb following the accident.
Amputees may have a long road ahead of them. Often, they have to relearn how to perform everyday activities that they once took for granted. While they may use prosthetics to help regain some mobility and strength, frequently, amputees do not fully restore range of motion and capability with a prosthetic limb. Furthermore, the cost of prosthetics can add up substantially, particularly since amputees may need to replace a prosthetic an average of every three to five years.
If a car bursts into flames in an accident, it can quickly consume everything. Flames often move fast, and people trapped in the vehicle may have difficulty escaping. Burns can cause more pain than nearly any other type of injury. Frequently, burn victims have to stay in a special burn unit, where they may have a reduced risk of developing an infection
However, staying in that unit may not eliminate the risk of infection entirely.
Burn victims may face multiple complications on their road to recovery. Infections occur all too commonly. Failed skin grafts can require additional surgeries. Furthermore, burns may lead to permanent scarring that can impact a victim’s overall self-esteem and functionality for a long time to come.
#5. Broken Bones
A single broken bone can cause considerable pain and limitations in mobility—not to mention considerable medical expenses. On the other hand, multiple broken bones can lead to even more substantial limitations. Often, victims with broken bones find themselves isolated, prevented from engaging in the activities they enjoy most, and stuck in a downward spiral emotionally.
You may have surgeries to help repair those breaks
You may have to spend considerable time in physical therapy.
All the while, you may miss out on the many activities you usually enjoy on a regular basis. Dealing with those losses can impact your emotional health as well as your finances at a difficult period in your life.
Determining Liability in an Illinois Car Accident
Several factors can go into determining liability following a car accident. Frequently, the police report serves as a starting point. The police report offers a look at who the police offer that responded to the scene believes caused the accident. Often, that report provides accurate information about the accident.
Sometimes, it does not.
If you find that your police report contains incorrect information, you should take steps to correct it as soon as possible. Talk to your lawyer about what steps you may need to take to fix a police report that does not contain accurate information.
Furthermore, the police report may not contain the full story about your accident. Sometimes, you may find that additional factors contributed to the accident, leaving other parties liable for the damages you sustained.
The Driver’s Employer
If you have an accident with a driver on the clock, it may automatically complicate the accident investigation. In addition to checking out the accident itself, your lawyer will want to look at whether the driver’s employer had policies that may have contributed to the accident. Did the driver’s employer push him to drive in unsafe circumstances? Did the employer provide a damaged vehicle? In those cases, the employer might share liability for the accident.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Did a vehicle error lead to or contribute to the accident? Stories of locked steering, tire blowouts, and even engines catching on fire hit the news on a regular basis. Most of the time, vehicle manufacturers act to get those vehicles off the road as soon as possible. Sometimes, however, they miss out on the steps they need to take to avoid a severe accident. If the vehicle manufacturer’s negligence contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may share liability.
Sometimes, vehicle errors occur, not because of manufacturer mistakes, but because of a mechanic who works on the vehicle. Modern vehicles involve several complex mechanisms. Damage can lead to serious problems out on the road, often without anyone realizing that a problem has occurred until the accident hits.
Did a mechanic recently work on the vehicle?
Did the mechanic fail to repair the vehicle properly or, worse, cause damage to some vital component that ultimately led to the accident?
It may take an expert investigation to identify mechanical damage. Fortunately, a lawyer can connect you with an expert who can take a deeper look at the vehicle and anything that may have caused or contributed to the accident.
Recovering Compensation After an Illinois Car Accident
Following an Illinois car accident, you have two years to file a personal injury claim for compensation for the damages from your car accident. However, that does not mean you should wait until the statute of limitations runs out. Ideally, you should start talking to a lawyer as soon after your accident as possible so that you can move forward confidently with your personal injury claim.
Many victims wonder how much compensation they can recover for the injuries they sustained in a car accident. A lawyer cannot guarantee how much you will ultimately recover since that may depend on the insurance company. However, compensation for a car accident usually breaks down into several categories.
Your Medical Costs
Medical bills can become immense following any type of injury. Even broken bones can leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, especially if you require surgery. If you have more severe injuries, especially those that may require long-term physical or occupational therapy, you may find that your medical costs may grow even more complex.
Frequently, your medical costs will serve as the vital foundation for your personal injury claim and the compensation you pursue. Your lawyer can help walk you through how to calculate both your current medical costs and future anticipated medical expenses, including the likelihood of future procedures and other challenges you may face during your recovery.
Your Income Losses
Frequently, severe injuries mean substantial time lost at work.
Your employer might prefer that you stay out of work while you recover.
Your injuries might prevent you from accomplishing your job duties. For example, you may find it very difficult to spend all day sitting behind a computer screen when you suffered a TBI, or you might find it very difficult to take on warehouse duties when you have several broken bones.
Your injuries might require your attention while you work toward healing.
Whatever the case, you may have substantial missing income as you wait for your injuries to heal. You can include those lost wages as part of your personal injury claim—and if your injuries permanently prevent you from working in your previous industry, you may choose to pursue compensation for your lost earning potential, which may allow you to go back to school or pursue a new career track.
Serious injuries can lead to a great deal of suffering, including suffering that can stick with you long-term.
- You lost the ability to engage in many of your favorite activities.
- You have ongoing pain from your injury.
- Your lack of independence causes you substantial emotional distress.
All those challenges can add up to a great deal of emotional distress, not to mention the physical challenges you face along the way. Talk to your lawyer about how to calculate the suffering you have faced due to your incident and include it as part of your personal injury claim.
Illinois Car Accident FAQs
If you suffered serious injuries in an Illinois car accident, you may have a lot of questions, ranging from how much compensation you might actually deserve for your injuries to how to manage your medical costs after the accident. Take a look at the FAQ below to see some of those answers and help you on your quest for compensation.
1. When do I need to contact an Illinois car accident lawyer?
Do you need to call a car accident attorney in Illinois every time you have a minor fender bender? Probably not. Most of the time, you can handle minor fender benders that involve only minor property damage on your own. You may not even have to struggle if your car ends up totaled in the accident, as long as you do not need to contend with other challenges along the way.
In many cases, however, you may need to reach out to a car accident lawyer.
You suffered injuries in the car accident.
If you suffered injuries of any type in an Illinois car accident, do not try to handle your car accident claim on your own. All too often, Illinois insurance companies will try to prevent you from getting the full compensation you deserve for those injuries.
You may get a low initial settlement offer.
You may have to fight to prove the full extent of your injuries and the compensation you deserve as a result.
Having a lawyer on your side can make a huge difference as you pursue compensation for your injuries. Having a lawyer on your side from the beginning can make it easier to navigate the challenges the insurance company might throw in your way, including misleading questions or settlement offers that fail to reflect the compensation you deserve.
You cannot get the insurance company to provide a reasonable settlement offer.
You know that you deserve reasonable compensation for your injuries. The insurance company, however, may seem determined not to offer it.
You might get that insultingly low settlement offer.
You might present a claim to the insurance company, only to have it refused.
Regardless of why you find yourself struggling to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, a car accident lawyer in Illinois can help fight to ensure that your rights get taken into consideration as you move forward with your claim.
You have to deal with disputed liability for the car accident.
The insurance company says that you caused, or at least contributed, to the car accident.
First, you should not admit to any guilt in a car accident. Instead, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you establish who really caused the car accident, including all the factors that may have contributed to the incident, and make it easier for you to pursue the full compensation you deserve. Furthermore, a car accident lawyer can fight aggressively to establish all the evidence you really need.
The insurance company tries to dispute the extent of your injuries.
What do you do next when the insurance company tries to dispute the injuries you suffered in the accident? You may have records from the hospital, including the Advocate Health Care system: a well-known series of hospitals that span throughout Illinois and the entire Midwest. Your doctor might write a statement on your behalf. Nevertheless, the insurance company continues to try to dispute the extent of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
A lawyer can help establish what injuries you really suffered and how much they have impacted your life.
Do not wait to call an attorney if you need one. Ideally, if you suffered injuries in your Illinois car accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
2. What should you do after an Illinois car accident?
After an Illinois car accident, you need to remember to take care of several vital tasks that can be crucial to both protecting your physical health and establishing your right to file a claim in the future.
First, report the accident.
Do not leave the scene of a car accident in Illinois without reporting it. You may call the Illinois Highway Patrol or the local police in one of Illinois’ smaller cities and towns. When the officer arrives at the scene, you will get a documented police report that establishes when your accident took place and, in many cases, who may have caused your accident.
Calling 911 can also summon emergency medical attention to the scene of the accident if you need it.
Next, get medical attention as soon as possible.
If you did not suffer immediate injuries, you might wait as much as 24 hours before visiting a local hospital or urgent care center. On the other hand, getting immediate care in an emergency room can prove essential to your overall healing after an accident. If you suffer severe injuries, your trip to an emergency room can make all the difference.
Do not delay needed medical care. The insurance company may try to use the delay to claim that you suffered your injuries at another time and that, therefore, that insurance company does not have to pay out for your injuries.
Finally, get a lawyer.
In a perfect world, you would not talk to either insurance company before you get in touch with a lawyer.
Often, after an accident, people do not prioritize legal counsel. They may try to wait before they call a lawyer. They may even think they can handle a car accident claim independently. When it comes down to it, working with a lawyer may substantially increase the compensation you can ultimately recover for your car accident injuries, making it one of the most vital steps you can take as you move forward with your claim.
3. I did not notice my injuries immediately, so I did not seek medical care. Can I still file an Illinois car accident claim?
Waiting to seek medical attention can make your car accident claim more difficult, but it does not automatically prevent you from pursuing the compensation you deserve. You can still file a car accident claim if you did not get medical attention immediately after your accident. You may even have the right to file a claim if you noticed injuries weeks after the initial accident. However, you may have a much more complicated road to compensation ahead.
Fortunately, a lawyer can help you navigate that road and increase the odds of recovering the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
4. What should I do about my medical bills following an Illinois car accident?
Whether you sought treatment at one of the Advocate Health Care hospitals or you went through a series of specialists as you pursued treatment for your injuries, one thing likely holds constant: you have substantial medical bills from your accident. While you will need to take responsibility for paying those bills, you have several options that can help you ensure that your medical bills get taken care of in a timely manner.
Use Your PIP Insurance
While Illinois makes PIP insurance optional, it does provide that coverage option for drivers. Personal injury protection adds to your existing liability or collision insurance coverage and provides much-needed compensation for any medical expenses you suffer due to injuries from an accident. PIP insurance can take out some of the initial burdens that often go along with serious injuries.
Use Your Health Insurance
If you carry health insurance, it can make your life much easier following any serious accident or illness. Health insurance helps provide compensation and coverage for many of your medical costs and can alleviate a great deal of the financial burden you may find yourself dealing with if you have faced severe injuries from your accident.
File a Car Accident Claim
A car accident claim does not provide immediate funds to help you recover from your injuries, nor does it require the liable party to pay your medical costs directly. It does, however, provide much-needed compensation for the various expenses you have experienced as a direct result of the accident, which can make it easier for you to take care of paying those medical bills.
5. I got a settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company. What should I do next?
Take a look at that settlement offer.
Does it reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries?
Do you even know if it reflects the compensation you deserve?
If you have any questions about a settlement offer, always take the offer to a personal injury attorney and discuss it with that attorney to help you determine how much compensation you may deserve and what steps you might need to take to secure it.
Insurance companies may not issue the settlement offer you deserve right after your accident. It may take several rounds of negotiation before you get to a reasonable offer. A lawyer can help you take a closer look at that offer and how it fits with your actual needs, which may make it easier for you to determine whether you want to accept.
Keep in mind that if you accept a settlement offer, it ends your right to file a claim then and there. You cannot pursue future compensation from the insurance company, even if you later discover that you have sustained much more severe injuries than you initially thought. Furthermore, you may have more expenses than you think you will—so talking with an attorney can make it easier to figure out what you really need.
6. How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Illinois?
Realistically, you should expect it to take time to reach a settlement agreement and get an offer that really, fully reflects your needs. All too often, Illinois car accident victims accept a lower offer than they really deserve because they feel pressured to end their claims as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you streamline the compensation process and move through your personal injury claim more effectively, but you should still expect a wait before you have that compensation in your hands.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Illinois?
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in an Illinois car accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.