car crash

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Car Crash?

March 23, 2022

Every auto accident is unexpected. Most people involved in traffic wrecks have little first-hand experience with what to do or who to turn to after a crash.

Determining whether you need a lawyer or not depends on the circumstances involved in your wreck. In some cases, hiring an attorney is not necessary. However, there are many ways a lawyer can help you; and, at the very least, you may want to speak with a lawyer to make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.

The Chicago car accident lawyers at Coplan + Crane are passionate about protecting the rights of accident victims. We know that after a wreck, you may have many questions, which is why we offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you understand your rights and legal options. 

During your complimentary case review, we will assess the merits of your case and advise you on your potential next steps. If we don’t believe you have a strong case, we will tell you right away; we won’t lead you on with false hope or unrealistic expectations.

You Might Not Need a Lawyer for Your Car Crash If . . . 

We’ll start by covering the situations in which hiring a lawyer may not be necessary. In some circumstances, car crash victims can handle their insurance claims on their own. For example, you might not need a lawyer for your car crash if:

  • You were involved in a single-vehicle crash involving only minor property damage; or, 
  • You were involved in a crash with an insured driver involving only minor property damage.

Note the emphasis on “might.” Even in these two scenarios, it may still be in your best interests to speak with a lawyer. There are a couple of reasons why. 

First, even if the crash appears to involve only minor property damage initially, you (or the other driver) may discover additional damage during the repair process. If the accident ends up costing more than you expect currently, you will want a lawyer on your side. 

Similarly, even if you may feel fine now, you could begin to experience pain or other symptoms in the days or weeks to come. Injuries from car crashes can get expensive very quickly; and, if you end up dealing with an injury, it will be important to have evidence of liability from the scene of the crash.

You Should Talk to a Lawyer about Your Car Crash If . . .

Outside of the two scenarios listed above, it will make sense to speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer in virtually any other scenario involving a car crash in Illinois. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Car crashes resulting in significant property damage
  • Car crashes resulting in physical injuries
  • Car crashes involving multiple vehicles
  • Car crashes involving trucks and other commercial vehicles
  • Hit-and-run car crashes 

Why do you need a lawyer in each of these situations? In truth, there are several reasons why you will want to hire a lawyer to help you. Some examples of why you will want to hire a lawyer for your car crash include:

  • You need to make sure you properly report your car crash. Under Illinois law, drivers must report most car crashes to the police. You may also have a contractual obligation to report your crash under your auto insurance policy. If you fail to properly report your crash, not only could you receive a ticket, but you could also run into issues when seeking coverage for your crash-related losses. 
  • You need to prove liability in order to receive financial compensation. In Illinois, recovering financial compensation for a car crash requires proof of liability. This means that you need evidence from the scene of the crash—and possibly from other sources as well. A lawyer can collect this evidence and use it to your advantage. 
  • The insurance companies may accuse you of being at fault. If the insurance companies accuse you of causing your crash, this will complicate your claim. You will need to dispute their accusations, and you will need evidence to prove your legal rights. 
  • The insurance companies won’t tell you how much they owe. Even if the insurance companies accept liability, they won’t tell you how much they owe. In fact, they will still try to pay you as little as possible. A lawyer can calculate your financial and non-financial losses and then negotiate for a favorable settlement on your behalf. 
  • You have a lot at stake if you were injured in the crash. Medical treatment for traumatic injuries can be incredibly expensive, but your medical bills could still account for just a small fraction of your crash-related losses. If you were seriously injured, you have a lot at stake, and you may not be able to afford settling for less than you deserve. 

Talk to a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer for Free

At Coplan + Crane, we offer a modern approach to personal injury law that leverages expertise, technology, and the collaborative effort of our entire team. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients through verdicts and settlements.

If you were injured in a crash and have questions about what to do next, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney at Coplan + Crane.

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To speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer today, contact us online or at (708) 358-8080. Our firm serves clients in Chicago, Oak Park, and Rockford, Illinois.