12 Myths and Facts About Illinois Car Accidents

12 Myths and Facts About Illinois Car AccidentsCar accidents are stressful and confusing experiences. In the aftermath of a crash, misinformation and misconceptions can add to your financial and emotional burdens. Today we want to clear the air on some of the most common myths surrounding Illinois car accidents. We’ll debunk the following 12 myths and provide the right information to help you better work your way through the complex car accident legal process. And remember, at Glisson Law, we are always here to help.

Myth #1: If I wasn’t seriously injured, I don’t need a car accident lawyer.

Fact: Even seemingly minor injuries can have long-term consequences. Medical bills can add up quickly, and lost wages due to missed work can create financial strain. An experienced car accident lawyer can help ensure you receive fair compensation for all your injuries, including future medical expenses and lost earning potential. We can also handle complex insurance claims and negotiations, allowing you to focus on what’s important – your recovery. Read more about why you shouldn’t handle a car accident case on your own.

Myth #2: The insurance company will take care of everything.

Fact: While insurance companies are obligated to cover damages under your policy, their primary goal is to minimize payouts. They may try to downplay the severity of your injuries, deny your claim altogether, or offer a lowball settlement. Our skilled attorneys can advocate for your best interests, fight for the compensation you deserve, and navigate complex insurance policies and processes.

Myth #3: If I share fault for the accident, I can’t recover any damages.

Fact: Illinois follows a comparative negligence law. “Under modified comparative negligence, an injured party may recover damages only if he/she is less than 50% at fault for the injury or damages.” Your recovery will be reduced by the percentage you’re found at fault for the accident. For instance, if you’re deemed 30% at fault and your total damages are $100,000, you can still recover $70,000. Our attorneys can help establish the other party’s fault and minimize the percentage attributed to you.

Myth #4: I have plenty of time to file a lawsuit.

Fact: Illinois has a strict statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits arising from car accidents. Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. Missing this deadline could bar you from seeking any compensation. Don’t delay – consult our attorneys as soon as possible to ensure you meet all deadlines and we can investigate while everyone’s memories are still fresh.

Myth #5: My car insurance covers everything if I’m hit by an uninsured driver.

Fact: This may not be true. While Illinois requires all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance, uninsured motorists are unfortunately a reality. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) protects you if the driver who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your damages. Your attorney can advise you on your UM coverage options and help you navigate your claim if necessary.

Myth #6: I can’t afford a lawyer.

Fact: At Glisson Law, our car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything upfront – our fee is a percentage of the compensation you recover. If you don’t win your case, you won’t owe us any fees. Consultations are free, so there’s no risk in discussing your case with an attorney to see if we can help.

Myth #7: All car accident cases go to trial.

Fact: The majority of car accident cases are settled outside of court through negotiation with the insurance company. However, our experienced car accident attorneys are always prepared to go to trial if necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our presence during negotiations strengthens your position and sends a message that you’re serious about seeking fair compensation.

Myth #8: There’s nothing I can do to prevent a car accident.

Fact: While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. Always practice safe driving habits, such as obeying traffic laws, avoiding distractions, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Proper vehicle maintenance also plays an important role in preventing accidents.

Myth #9: I should accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company.

Fact: Insurance companies are notorious for offering initial lowball settlements. Don’t be pressured into accepting the first offer without fully understanding the extent of your damages. Our attorneys can evaluate your case, estimate the true and full value of your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement that reflects all of your losses.

Myth #10: Reporting the accident to the police isn’t important if there are no injuries.

Fact: Even in seemingly minor accidents, it’s important to file a report. It creates a documented record of the accident details, date, time, and parties involved. This report can be important evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit later. The Illinois Bar Association notes:

Illinois law requires you to file a written report of any accident in which you were involved which resulted either in the death or injury to any person and in most accidents where property damage occurred. Failure to file a report may cause you to lose your license. A report form may be obtained at any police station or sheriff’s office and should be filed at the appropriate place as indicated on the form. The filing of the report should be within ten days after the accident.

If you call the police to the scene of the accident, they will take care of filing the police report. You can also ask us if you have any questions.

Myth #11: Social media posts about the accident can’t hurt my case.

Fact: They absolutely can hurt your case. In today’s digital age, insurance companies and opposing attorneys often scour social media for information that can be used against you. Avoid posting anything about your accident on social media, even seemingly harmless details. Allow your attorney to handle all communication regarding the case.

Myth #12: I don’t need medical attention if I don’t feel any pain right away.

Fact: Adrenaline can mask injuries after a car accident. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you don’t feel any pain. A doctor can diagnose any underlying injuries and create a medical record that documents your condition. This record serves as important evidence in case you need to file a legal claim.

By understanding these common car accident law myths (and facts), you can make informed decisions after an accident. Remember, if you’ve been injured in a car crash, don’t hesitate to consult with the experienced car accident attorneys at Glisson Law. We can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Facing a car accident and its aftermath can be overwhelming. Medical bills pile up, lost wages create financial strain, and dealing with insurance companies adds to the stress. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. At Glisson Law, our experienced Alton-based car accident attorneys understand the complexities of Illinois car accident law. We’ll fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free case evaluation, simply call our office or submit our contact form. Our attorneys proudly serve Belleville, Edwardsville, Springfield, Madison, St. Clair Counties, and all of Southwestern Illinois and Missouri.