Car Accident FAQ
An experienced Illinois lawyer can help you find answers
A car accident in and around Champaign-Urbana can change your life in seconds. You’re left injured and in need of medical treatment. You may not be able to work or take part in your usual activities. Then you have to deal with the insurance company, which adding even more stress to your situation. Many people aren’t sure what to do next.
Attorney Michael Cerasa used to work for big law firms, where he learned how to build strong cases and deal with insurance companies. He founded The Cerasa Law Firm P.C. so he could give more personal attention to clients. When people are injured, attorney Cerasa can guide them through the legal process to help them recover compensation.
Here are some of the questions people have about car accidents:
- What are common causes of car accidents?
- Do I need to see a doctor after a car accident?
- Do I have to report an accident to my insurance company?
- Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
- What types of damages can I recover?
- Can I ask the insurance company for more money?
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
- Can I sue if I was a passenger in a car accident?
If you were hurt in a car accident in the Champaign, Urbana or Central Illinois, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We can review the details of your accident, go over your legal options and answer any questions you have. If we do represent you, there are no upfront costs. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation.
What are common causes of car accidents?
Car crashes are often caused by negligent drivers. A driver may have been texting or using the phone. Other negligent behaviors behind the wheel include speeding, driving recklessly, and running red lights. Some drivers cause accidents because they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or were fatigued. An attorney can investigate your accident to gather evidence that proves a driver was negligent.
Yes. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is important to see a doctor within the first 14 days. By doing so you, protect your ability to recover all of your no-fault benefits under your insurance policy. If you wait longer than that, the amount of no-fault benefits available to you are drastically reduced. See a doctor after you are in an accident, even if you seem to feel fine. A doctor can also document your injuries, which will help you in your claim for compensation.
Yes. Your insurance policy requires you to give prompt notice about any accident you were involved in. it’s important to tell them about your accident as soon as you can to protect your rights and benefits. But talk to a lawyer before answering any questions about what happened or if you are asked to give a recorded statement.
Insurance companies often offer settlements not long after the accident. Your medical expenses add up and there is less money coming in. You may just want to be done with this, heal from your injuries and move on. But the insurance company offer will fall far short of covering the damages you have suffered. That’s why it’s in your best interests to get legal advice before accepting any offer.
There are economic damages and non-economic damages. Examples of economic damages include current and future medical expenses for treating your injuries, lost wages if you couldn’t work and property damage. Non-economic damages are losses you suffered that have no specific dollar value. Examples include pain and suffering and emotional distress. A lawyer can help you determine the total damages that apply to your case.
Yes. Insurance companies typically offer settlements that all far short of covering all of the damages sustained in an accident. You can ask for the compensation that you deserve. However, insurance companies are much more likely to increase their settlement offer if you have built a strong case built on facts. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can investigate your accident and gather evidence.
There’s no simple answer, as each is different. Some cases can be resolved in a matter of months. Other cases are more complicated and will need to through the process of litigation, trial and appeals. These could take years. Nobody can predict exactly how long it will take to reach a settlement or verdict. But a lawyer can identify the issues in your case that could affect how long it will take to reach a resolution.
Yes. If the driver of the other car caused the accident, you can pursue a claim for compensation with that driver’s insurance company. If the driver of the car you were in was responsible, you can pursue a claim with his or her insurance company. You won’t be getting your friend or family member in trouble. You are simply trying to get the insurance company to provide the compensation you are owed.