Whether you’re injured in a car accident or not, it can be a scary experience. No one wants to find themselves in a situation of an accident. Unfortunately, accidents are inevitable. Non-injury car accidents are the most common accidents that occur. If you drive a vehicle, you put yourself at risk for experiencing one of these accidents. In which case, you’ll need a non-injury car accident lawyer.
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2018, 71% of reported crashes in the U.S. were non-injury car accidents. That is over 4.8 million non-injury accidents in one year alone.
You could be the best driver in the world, but you cannot account for other people on the road. Mistakes happen, and you never know when you might be on the other side of one. Non-injury car accident lawyer Joseph R. Curcio wants to help you stay prepared and informed. The information below will serve as a guide for what to do in the case of a non-injury car accident in Chicago.
If you did suffer injuries, but they were from a faulty airbag, please contact an airbag injury lawyer with our firm as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In A Non-injury Car Accident?
Knowing what to do in the event of a car accident is necessary. It is as important to know the steps to take in a non-injury car accident as it is in a more serious one.
Even if the accident was minor, you need to stop your vehicle. Failing to do so could result in a hit-and-run charge. Besides, without assessing the damage done to others involved, you can never be sure how “minor” it is.
Do not move your vehicle unless it is blocking traffic. If you are in the way of traffic, pull out of the way before exiting your vehicle. Check on any other parties involved to be sure no one needs medical attention.
Once it is clear that nobody has been injured, you must exchange information with the other party involved. The state of Illinois requires that you provide your name, address, and insurance information. Be sure to get theirs, too. You’ll also want to exchange driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers.
The next step is to call the Chicago Police Department and notify them of the accident. In the meantime, you’ll want to gather evidence from the scene to help your case. This includes taking photographs or videos of the scene of the accident.
Do I Need To Report A Non-injury Car Accident?
In the case of a car accident in Chicago, you should immediately report the accident to police if it resulted in:
- Death of another individual
- Injury to an individual
- A hit-and-run accident
- Property damage of $1,500 or more
For non-injury car accidents, this only applies to a hit-and-run or property damage. Getting a crash report is a necessary step in making sure you receive the money you deserve. If there is none filed, insurance companies will use that fact to try and deny any claims made.
If the accident occurred in a private area or parking lot, police will be less likely to assist. In this case, check to see if the business of the lot you are in has a procedure for this. Sometimes places like grocery stores or large chains will have a means to report the accident. Check to see if the lot you are in has surveillance cameras that documented the accident. If they do, ask if you are able to view the footage. It would help your case to have video of the accident on hand.
You are also required to file a report with the Illinois Department of Transportation. This should occur within 10 days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. You can do this by visiting a law enforcement office or a local insurance provider. They will give you the necessary forms and instructions of what to do from there.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Non-injury Car Accident?
You may think that a non-injury car accident lawyer is not necessary. This is not always the case. If there is any damage to your vehicle, you should seek compensation for any losses or repair costs. Your attorney will help you reach a settlement to cover these expenses.
If an insurance provider notices there is not an attorney involved, they will try to use it to their advantage. A lawyer will make sure that the company doesn’t try to lessen your deserved compensation.
If either party chooses to file a lawsuit, it is important to have a lawyer to represent you. In the case that you were at fault in the accident, a non-injury car accident lawyer can help protect you.
Can I Sue If I Wasn’t Injured In A Car Accident?
Even if you were not injured in the car accident, you are still able to file a lawsuit. Illinois’ statute of limitations places a time limit on this action. You can only file a lawsuit two years after the accident to seek compensation from injuries. For damage to property, you must file within five years after the accident.
Regardless, if you received no injuries but your car suffered damage, you should file a lawsuit as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you suffered, say, a head injury, then you’ll need a Chicago brain injury lawyer on your side.
Illinois goes by a traditional fault-based system. This is also called a tort liability system. What this means is that the driver responsible for the accident is liable for any damages caused. They’re required to compensate the other person in full.
This is why it is important that the accident is investigated. If you were not at fault, you will want to be able to prove it. If you have no way to prove fault, it is necessary to have a lawyer. Otherwise, the other person may try to put you at full blame. If they are able to prove you are liable, you will be responsible for the cost of losses and damages.
In some cases, the fault can be split. Illinois is a comparative negligence state. This means that both parties are responsible for the accident. A jury may assign percentages of fault to each person. For example, the jury might find that the accident was 10% percent your fault and 90% the other party’s. If the damages were $10,000, your compensation would reduce by 10%. Thus, you would only receive $9,000. If the accident is over 50% your fault, you cannot recover any compensation.
Building Your Property Damage Insurance Claim
Property damage claims after an auto accident are the most common form of these claims. Fortunately, your own insurance company or the responsible driver’s insurance company can often cover the expenses from the car crash. However, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable car accident attorney throughout the process.
They will ensure that after you file a claim with an insurance company, the insurance adjusters give you fair compensation in the settlement offer. If the other driver is at fault, their liability insurance should cover the damages up to the insurance policy limits.
Even in an auto accident where nobody suffered injuries, it’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side. A good auto accident attorney who truly values their attorney-client relationship with you will put your needs first. At Curcio Law Offices, we offer a free case evaluation for all clients, whether they have a major injury, minor injury, or a non-injury claim.
Types of Compensation in Property Damage Cases
In most car accident cases involving property damage, most lawsuits or settlements will cover certain costs. For minor damage, your claim should cover the cost of repairing your vehicle as well as the cost of a rental car, if necessary. If your car was totaled from the accident, the claim should include enough money to buy a new car. Your attorney will work with the insurance adjuster and the insurance company to ensure they offer you a fair settlement.
Can I Sue After a Car Crash for Mental Distress?
Absolutely. Property damage and other relevant expenses aren’t the only losses people suffer from a car accident. Even if they have no physical injuries, car accident victims often experience psychological issues. Examples include fear, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In some cases, this can qualify as recoverable damages in a car accident claim.
It is very common for types of emotional suffering to occur after a car wreck. Even after a small fender bender, liable parties could find themselves paying for medical and mental health services. An experienced car accident attorney will fight for your right to compensation for expensive therapy and psychiatry appointments. After all, personal injury cases often involve seeking compensation for more than just bodily injury.
If you and your Chicago personal injury attorney prove liability, you can sue for the following losses after an auto accident.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage claim
- Serious injuries
- Internal injuries
- Hidden injuries
- Non-injury damages
- Other accident-related expenses
Proving Non-Material Damage in Accident Cases
Non-material or non-economic damages are an essential part of a car accident claim. A good personal injury lawyer will ensure that you receive compensation for not only any injuries caused by the accident but also for the mental consequences of the crash.
Non-economic damages include damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, emotional or mental anguish, humiliation, damage to one’s reputation, and even having previous injuries worsened.
It’s essential that your personal injury attorney understands how to prove these elements. One way to do this is by gathering witness testimony. Those close to you may have noticed a significant change in your mental health or quality of life. These testimonies, along with doctors’ testimonies, can greatly strengthen your case.
The more evidence you and your car accident attorney can present, the better. In a car accident settlement, recovering compensation for losses depends on being able to clearly show those losses. An experienced attorney with Curcio Law Offices will have an in-depth understanding of the claims process. While you focus on recovery, we’ll focus on getting you the most compensation we can. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can help make it more attainable after a car crash.
How Does Insurance Handle Non-injury Car Accidents?
There are two ways to file a claim with an insurance company. One way is to file a claim with your own insurance. This is a “first party” claim. The other is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. This is a “third party” claim.
Another way to file a claim would be to file a lawsuit in civil court.
Whichever option you choose, you should have a non-injury car accident lawyer at your side.
By going through insurance companies, you’ll find they do whatever it takes to pay as little as possible. To make sure you get the compensation you deserve, you’ll want an experienced negotiator involved. Should you choose to go the other route, you would need an attorney to represent you in court.
Why Should I Hire a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer?
Even after a minor car accident that resulted in no injuries, personal injury protection in the form of a lawyer can be highly beneficial. The following are just a few ways in which an attorney can help after a non-injury car accident.
We Handle the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often want to offer claimants as little as possible to avoid spending money. However, you deserve compensation after a traumatizing and stressful experience. That’s why we speak with adjusters on your behalf and fight for the compensation that works for your case.
We Prove Fault and Seek Maximum Compensation
While it might seem easy to handle a claim on your own when you suffered no injuries, it can be quite challenging without prior experience. We handle every step on behalf of our clients, including gathering medical records, getting a copy of the police report, speaking to a medical professional about your health, and much more.
In order to prevent you from drowning in bills and repair costs, we seek maximum compensation every single time. We won’t allow an insurance company to bully you into accepting a lowball offer.
We Offer Free Consultations
Not every personal injury law firm offers an initial free consultation. Curcio Law Offices, however, understand that car crash victims often have enough stress to worry about without paying for an attorney. After a crash, you have medical expenses, property damage bills, and emotional stress to deal with. We offer a free case review to all clients in order to make their claims process a little easier.
Contact Curcio Law Offices Today
If you have been involved in a non-injury car accident in Chicago, seek help from our team of Chicago car accident attorneys. We will guide you through your next steps and help you get the money you deserve. Call us at 312-321-1111 and receive a free consultation. Contact Curcio Law Offices today for your case evaluation. Not only do we handle car accident claims, we also handle medical malpractice claims. Visit our Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations page for more information.