Can I Collect Damages After a “Minor” Auto Accident?

Car accidents | April 1, 2021

Collecting Damages After a "Minor" Auto Accident

Vehicle accidents are not uncommon in Illinois, particularly around crowded urban areas like Chicago. The vast majority of crashes are considered “minor” when we look at data provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation. However, just because a crash is minor does not mean that those involved should not be entitled to collect damages. Here, we want to discuss the various expenses that victims of car accidents can incur, as well as whether or not they can secure compensation from an at-fault party in the aftermath. If you have been injured in an accident and need additional information about your claim, speak to our Chicago car accident lawyers today.

Not all Vehicle Accidents in Illinois are Considered Catastrophic

When we turn to the latest data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 319,000 total vehicle collisions during the most recent reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were more than 1,000 fatalities and over 11,000 injuries that were considered catastrophic.

However, many of these incidents were considered relatively minor. Now, minor can have different meanings depending on exactly who you are talking to. Some people consider all accidents with non-catastrophic injuries minor, while other people consider accidents that resulted in only property damage to be minor. Regardless of how a person defines “minor” when it comes to vehicle accidents, the reality is that very rarely is a collision actually minor.

Most Common Expenses Resulting From “Minor” Vehicle Accidents

Even these “minor” crashes can result in significant expenses for that was involved. For example, suppose a person is rear-ended in a vehicle accident and is not experiencing much pain, but emergency medical crews who respond think that there may be a suspected spinal cord injury. Now suppose this person is completely immobilized and taken to the hospital in the ambulance. At the hospital, this person goes through the regular battery of tests and scans, and thankfully it is discovered that they have no serious injuries. However, the person may have whiplash, which can result in time away from work and necessary follow-up doctor visits.

Even though this crash may indeed be considered minor because the person involved did not sustain any significant injuries, they still likely will receive bills costing more than $10,000 as a result of the entire process.

This scenario did not even delve into any possible property damage the person experienced as a result of the accident. Even seemingly minor crashes can result in thousands of dollars of vehicle damage.

Yes, Minor Crashes can Yield Compensation

In the theoretical scenario mentioned above, and any other supposed minor vehicle accident, those involved can indeed collect damages. Any person involved in an accident caused by another driver in Illinois should be entitled to compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Insurance carriers should provide full compensation for the damages sustained by other parties, but it is not always easy to receive this compensation.

It may be necessary for a crash victim to secure assistance from a Chicago personal injury attorney, even for a “minor” incident. An attorney can use their resources and experience to fully investigate the situation, determine liability, and negotiate with all parties involved can share their client receives fair compensation.