Why getting compensation after a car accident is such a complex process
A car accident caused by another driver's negligence can occur within a split-second and cause serious injuries. You're likely faced with costly and accumulating medical bills. At the same time, you're unable to work and earn a paycheck. It's only fair that the other driver's insurance company reimburses you for your losses. Unfortunately, pursuing compensation for your losses isn't that simple.
The Chicago attorneys at Coplan + Crane explain why getting compensated for damages after a crash is such a complex and frustrating process.
There is a burden of proof when negotiating for compensation
Insurance companies will look for any opportunity to downplay or deny your claim. If they find any leverage to use against you, you could end up with nothing more than a lowball settlement or no compensation at all.
The negligent or reckless actions of the at-fault driver must be proven. With the right evidence to support your claim, it's no longer your word against the other driver's word. Insurance companies can't dispute hard evidence. Your attorney will collect the following pieces of evidence to prove negligence:
- Evidence gathered from the crash scene. This may include evidence collected by a crash reconstruction expert or photos from the crash scene.
- The police report. A police officer will document the details surrounding the crash and put together a crash report, which includes a narrative on how the crash occurred and if the other driver was cited or arrested. Your attorney can obtain a copy of your police report for you, but it's critical that you ensure that the information on the report is accurate.
- Video footage of your crash. Your crash may have been captured by a nearby surveillance camera or another driver's dashcam. Getting video footage of a crash is often tricky. It's often quickly over-written and sometimes difficult to track down.
- Electronic records. Your attorney can get a subpoena for the other driver's cellphone records. This evidence is useful for distracted driving crashes. Cellphone records can prove that the at-fault driver was texting or using an app at the time of the crash.
- Witness statements. Witness statements are valuable pieces of evidence in car accident cases. A witness (or more than one witness) may have seen how the crash occurred and how the at-fault driver behaved before the crash. Witnesses sometimes catch the other driver's actions on a dashcam.
Why your medical evaluation matters
Always get medical attention after a crash. There are three reasons for this:
- You may have sustained an injury even if you don't feel any pain. Injury symptoms can take several days to appear.
- The other driver's insurance company will attempt to downplay or deny your claim if your medical treatment is delayed.
- Documentation from your medical evaluation can prove that you sustained injuries from someone else's negligence.
It's also important that you follow your doctors recommendations, avoid certain physical activities and take your prescribed medications as directed.
Contact our Chicago attorneys for help with your claim
If you were involved in a crash, speak an experienced Chicago car accident attorney at Coplan + Crane to learn about the legal options available to you. Our legal team knows how to deal with the insurance companies and advocate for fair financial settlements for our clients.
We'll help maximize your compensation to pay for accrued medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other losses. Contact our law firm online to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.