Important Questions to Ask Your Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Illinois, you are likely entitled to compensation. Generally, car accident claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. However, if an insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, car accident victims may need to file personal injury a lawsuit against the negligent driver. If you are considering filing a lawsuit in your car accident case, you need to work with a trusted and experienced Chicago car accident attorney. However, there are various questions you should ask prospective attorneys before you allow them to begin work on your case.
Do they have experience handling your type of case?
You need to ask your personal injury attorney if they have any experience handling car accident cases like yours. There are plenty of attorneys in and around the Chicago area, but not all of them have significant experience handling complex car accident cases. You want an attorney by your side who has a track record of success handling these cases.
How long should you wait to file a claim?
The Illinois personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs, but your attorney will not want you to wait this long to file your claim. The sooner you file a lawsuit in your car accident case, the more likely you are to have a favorable outcome.
What documentation does the attorney need?
You need to ask your attorney what type of documentation you need to provide. Typically, your attorney will want any medical records you have related to the car accident, as well as any bills that you have already received. They will also want any evidence you have gathered thus far, including photo or video surveillance, eyewitness contact information, accident reports, and more. Do not worry if you do not currently have all of this documentation. Part of the lawsuit process will be your attorney investigating every aspect of the case in order to prove liability.
How long will it take your case to be resolved?
Every car accident case is different, and there is no set timeline for how long it will take for your particular case resolve. However, an experienced attorney will be able to tell you how the settlement process usually proceeds, and they will explain why cases that require personal injury lawsuits will take longer to resolve.
How much compensation could you receive?
Your attorney will not be able to give you an exact amount of money that you will receive if your case is successful, but they will likely be able to provide you with a ballpark estimate. An attorney will walk you through their investigation process and help you understand the various types of compensation you could be entitled to. This could include coverage of your medical bills, lost income if you cannot work, general household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering losses, property damage losses, etc.
Should you accept an offer from the insurance carrier?
You should always ask your attorney whether or not you should accept a settlement from the insurance carrier. Some attorneys are quick to settle because they want a quick payout for themselves, but this may not be in the best interest of you and your family. You need to have an attorney who is willing to take your case to trial if necessary to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.
How much does the attorney cost?
A skilled car accident lawyer in Illinois will take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to your claim and will only pay legal fees after your attorney secures the compensation you are entitled to.