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Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

January 25, 2023

Hiring a lawyer for a car accident you caused can help mitigate the consequences of your mistake. But, what about when someone else is to blame? Should you get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault? 

The short answer to this question is, “Yes.” As we discuss below, there are several reasons why you should get a lawyer after a car accident that wasn’t your fault—especially if you were injured in the collision. While you typically have to pay when hiring a lawyer to fight a ticket in court, when you have a claim as the result of a car accident, you can hire a lawyer at no out-of-pocket cost.

7 Reasons to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

This is referred to as “contingency fee” representation. When you hire a lawyer to seek just compensation after a car accident, you don’t pay anything unless you win. With this in mind, here are seven reasons why you should get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault: 

1. You Need To Protect Yourself Against the Insurance Companies 

If another driver was at fault in your car accident, recovering your losses will involve dealing with his or her insurance company. If multiple drivers were involved, you may have to deal with multiple insurance companies; and, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, you may want to file a claim with your insurance company as well. Dealing with insurance companies isn’t easy, and they will use various tactics to try to delay, deny, or deduct value from your claim. 

2. You May Have a Claim Outside of Auto Insurance 

In addition to dealing with the insurance companies for you, your lawyer can determine if you have a claim outside of auto insurance. This could be the case, for example, if your accident involved a vehicle defect or road defect. Additionally, if another driver involved in the accident was on the clock behind the wheel, your lawyer may be able to pursue a claim against his or her employer. 

3. You Need Evidence of Liability 

Regardless of what type of claim (or claims) you can file, you will need evidence of liability. This evidence can take several different forms, and it can come from several different sources. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will conduct an investigation to gather evidence such as:

  • Forensic evidence from the scene of the accident
  • Video footage from traffic cameras or surveillance cameras
  • Statements from eyewitnesses 
  • Phone records from the driver’s cell phone company (if another driver was distracted)
  • Receipts from bars, restaurants, or liquor stores (if another driver was drunk)

4. You Need Evidence of Your Economic and Non-Economic Losses

Along with evidence of liability, filing a successful claim after a car accident also requires evidence of your economic and non-economic losses. While you may have some of this evidence (i.e., medical bills and receipts), you will need to rely on your lawyer to gather and prepare many forms of evidence as well. 

5. You Need To Know How Much Compensation To Seek 

Once your lawyer has adequate evidence of your losses, then your lawyer can determine how much compensation you deserve. Making this determination requires an in-depth understanding of Illinois law, as the law allows for recovery of damages for both current and future economic and non-economic harm. If you don’t know how much you are entitled to receive, you won’t be able to fight effectively for the compensation you deserve. 

6. You Need a Lawyer To Negotiate On Your Behalf 

If you don’t have a lawyer, the insurance companies will try to take advantage of you. That is the simple truth. To obtain a fair settlement that reflects your economic and non-economic losses, you will need your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. 

7. You May Need To Take Your Claim (or Claims) To Court 

One reason why insurance companies are more willing to negotiate when you have a lawyer is because it shows you are prepared to go to court if necessary. If you have a strong claim and the insurance companies refuse to pay what they owe, your lawyer can take them to court to win the compensation you deserve. 

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Car Accident in Illinois for FREE

Were you injured in a car accident in Illinois? If so, we strongly encourage you to speak with a lawyer at Coplan + Crane about your case.

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To get started with a FREE, no-obligation consultation, call (708) 358-8080 or tell us how we can reach you online now.