A car accident can cause traumatic and life altering injuries, and we at Langdon & Emison promise to represent you effectively and professionally with our experienced and resourceful attorneys who will ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Choosing the correct Chicago, IL car accident lawyer could be the difference between getting fair compensation and feeling as if you were cheated. Langdon & Emison will ensure that you are heard, are represented to the fullest, and understand the full limits to your rights in your car accident case.
If you have questions about your Chicago car accident, but aren’t sure where to start, call a Langdon & Emison car accident lawyer to guide you through the claims process. And if the insurance company won’t fairly compensate you, we are prepared and trial-tested attorney’s with a proven track record, and we will take them to court.
Our Car Accident Attorneys in Chicago are Here for You.
We’ve been representing car accident victims for more than 30 years, so we know exactly what your Chicago, Illinois car accident case needs. We have been nationally recognized as some of the best in personal injury litigation and have earned our clients almost $1 billion in verdicts and settlements.
Our secret is simple: we treat our clients as people, not cases. We are a team of highly experienced and compassionate attorneys committed to earning you the highest possible compensation for your injuries and damages as a result of a negligent driver or company’s actions. Our practice stretches beyond Chicago, including Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Lake County, and all points in Illinois. Give us a call at (312) 872-3389 and we will review your case with no obligation to you.
What is the Comparative Fault Law in Illinois?
Illinois follows a fault-based system, which is also called a tort liability system. So drivers who cause car accidents are held accountable to paying for them. Illinois is also a comparative fault state, meaning the under 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1116, drivers may each be held partially liable for an accident and that awards are diminished based on the amount of fault.
Is Illinois a No-Fault State?
No, Illinois is not a no-fault state. Illinois allows car accident victims to pursue lawsuits against negligent drivers.
Our Promise to You
We will fight for you against insurance companies who seek to minimize or erase your pain and injuries.
We will pursue maximum compensation as your Chicago car accident lawyer for your peace of mind and legal rights.
We will investigate all aspects of your potential case to make sure no stone is left unturned as to what was at fault in your wreck.
When life may never be the same, we will be there.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Chicago
Chicago Car Accident Statistics
As the largest city of the American Midwest, Chicago is a city full of interesting sights, beautiful buildings, and bad drivers. Chicago survived the Great Fire of 1871, rebuilt quickly and continues to thrive with bustling people from all over. While the city has a history of bringing itself from the ashes, its car accident statistics are scary to look at.
Cook County and DuPage County accounted for 57% of all car crashes for Illinois in 2018 according to the 2018 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics report. Chicago had 183,315 accidents with 282 crashes resulting in a fatality, 36,236 crashes resulting in injuries not permanently incapacitating, and 3,911 resulting in a life altering injury to the victim.
That adds up to over 500 accidents per day in just Chicago. With those odds, it’s only a matter of time before a negligent driver could change your life forever.If the negligence of another driver has left you hurt or resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, you may seek financial compensation in a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Even when your injuries are minor, a car accident can significantly alter your life. We know that the financial cost of an accident (the car, the medical cost, the lost wages) is only a portion of the cost associated. We will make sure the invisible damages are included as well. Pain, suffering, and emotional damages are covered for current and future lingering issues, as well as restitution for the wrongful death of a loved one.
What To Do After an Auto Accident in Chicago, IL
We know that a car accident can be an incredibly scary experience, but remember that while your adrenaline is high you must stay calm and collected. We have more extensive directions on our article 10 Things You Need to Do After a Car Crash, but here’s a quick 10 step summary of what to do after a car crash.
- Stay at the Scene of the Accident – Never leave the scene of a car accident or you may be accused of being the one who was at fault. Even if you’re late for work, you need to pick up the kids, or anything else, stay on the scene and wait for the police.
- Stay Safe and Preserve the Scene – Keep safety a priority as you wait for the police. If your accident was minor, it would be fine to move to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot after taking photos of the scene. For serious accidents with potentially severe injuries, staying put is your best option so the police officers can get a clear picture of what happened.
- Call the Police – After staying and deciding whether or not to move, call the police and wait for them to arrive. If you do not report your accident to police, it is like it never happened. Your lawyer will need the police report to build a strong case, so never take a promised amount of money from the driver at fault.
- Exchange Information with Other Drivers – Since you were in an accident, it’s important to exchange insurance information. Hold off actually talking to the other insurance company until you speak with a lawyer though to make sure your rights are protected.
- Document the Scene – Take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Damages to each car, obvious injuries, street conditions, weather, and any road signs that may have been broken or ignored. Sometimes a lawyer can arrive on scene, but most of the time you’ll need to provide a clear picture of what happened to the attorney on your case.
- Speak With Witnesses – Did anyone else stop when your accident happened or see it when it did happen? Get the names and number of any witnesses on the scene and hand those over to your attorney. Multiple accounts of the same accident will strengthen your potential trial.
- Answer the Police Honestly (But Don’t Self-Incriminate) – Many people feel empathy for others who were hurt at an accident that wasn’t their fault. Asking if the person is okay is fine, but saying the words “I’m sorry” may insinuate you had responsibility for the crash when you are only trying to empathize. Give a clear, honest statement to the police, but don’t self-incriminate.
- Seek Medical Attention Within 12-48 Hours – The sooner you receive medical attention after an accident, the less likely an insurance company will claim you received your injuries another way. Going straight to the hospital and getting extensive tests, screenings, an MRI, and x-rays will ensure all your bases are covered medically when seeking financial compensation.
- Contact the Insurance Company – Contact your insurance and give them the information for the other driver’s insurance. They will be communicating and trying to reach a common amount to award you, which you can either accept or decline. If their offer is too low, do not accept.
- Get an Experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyer – A lawyer can help communicate with the other insurance company easier and once you get a lawyer involved, many insurance companies become more forthcoming with a decent payout amount. But if your injuries are extensive or permanently will affect your life, your best bet is to take the case to trial.
Why Should I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago?
After a car accident, you have a lot to do and think about. You may have to seek medical treatment, you’ll have to think about repairing or replacing your vehicle, and you worry about your current lack of income. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about receiving the compensation you deserve.
Langdon & Emison takes that anxiety off of your shoulders. Our nationally-recognized lawyers have handled hundreds of car accident cases in Chicago and surrounding areas. We help our clients through every step of the legal process and stand by them when they need it most. As one of the nation’s leading law firms, our diligence and work ethic speak for themselves. Here’s why you should speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
1. You’ll protect your legal right to sue.
If you were injured or your property was damaged in a car accident, you have a legal right to pursue compensation from the party who caused the accident. However, it’s important that you treat litigation as a privilege. You lose your right to sue if you fail to meet the deadlines specified by Illinois law.
A car accident lawyer in Chicago at Langdon & Emison will ensure your case moves forward and follows an important legal deadline. This deadline is known as the “statute of limitations” and protects your right to sue. Keep in mind that a pending insurance claim will not “pause” the statute of limitations. If you’re wondering when to get an attorney for a car accident, err on the side of caution; it’s best to hire a Chicago auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.
2. A lawyer will be able to prove liability.
Personal injury lawyers are educated and trained in establishing liability and proving negligence. Our lawyers at Langdon & Emison have handled hundreds of these cases and know how to treat each one with the attention and skill needed to recover equitable compensation.
It’s not a good idea to try and establish liability on your own. Even though you were involved in the car accident, you may not be able to form an objective, factual stance on the events of the crash. An auto accident lawyer will be able to prove negligence through the following elements:
You (the plaintiff) and your lawyer must prove that the defendant (the at-fault driver) owed you a legal duty. In the case of a car accident, the legal duty would have been to drive with reasonable care and to follow traffic laws, just like every other driver.
Breach of duty.
If the at-fault driver was speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or was otherwise unfit to drive, your lawyer will argue that they breached the duty of reasonable care.
To win a negligence case, your attorney must prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused your injury.
You, the plaintiff, must also prove that you were injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.
3. You’ll have a greater chance of recovering more money.
A frequently-cited study by Nolo found that nine out of ten people who hired a lawyer received a settlement. Compare that to the five out of ten who negotiated on their own. Another eye-opening statistic lies in the amount of money recovered for those who hired an attorney and those who did not.
Nolo found that those who hired an attorney received an average settlement of $77,600 in compensation. Compare that to the average $17,600 for those who handled their own cases, and you’ll see why most people see the value in hiring a lawyer for their car accident case.
You’re also more likely to recover a greater amount of money with a lawyer because they understand the tricks that insurance companies or other parties might use to shirk responsibility.
Attorneys are also better judges of when to cease negotiation and go to trial. A person representing themselves might jump the gun and make the mistake of going to court without preparation, which could cost them in time, money, and effort.
4. It’s much more likely that you’ll win a lawsuit.
Representing yourself in court is like driving a car with no steering wheel – you may know what you need to do, but you have very little control over what will happen.
Study the local laws and procedures as much as you’d like, but the simple fact of the matter is that lawyers are more prepared and knowledgeable about how to obtain a favorable outcome in court. One mistake during self-representation could compromise your entire case. To avoid that risk, hire an experienced car crash lawyer at Langdon & Emison.
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict
The difference between a settlement and a verdict is simple. If the insurance company can offer an amount that sufficiently covers the cost of your injuries and damages, a settlement is reached between the client and the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation for your injuries and damages, then the claim turns into a lawsuit and goes to trial. The jury or judge enters a verdict for the lawsuit on whether to award the victim for their damages. Reaching a verdict is sometimes the only way to be fairly compensated, which is why we prepare every case as if it will go to trial.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover From My Chicago Car Accident?
Car accidents can range from inconvenient to life altering. A head-on collision on the way to work could end up being a few thousand dollars in damages or millions due to severe injuries. It’s important to understand the differences between economic, non-economic, and punitive damages as it relates to your car accident.
Economic Damages In Car Accidents
Economic damages cover anything that has a bill, receipt, or paper trail. So that includes property damage, medical and treatment costs, and lost wages or income due to the accident. Most people injured in accidents are quick to say they are fine, but that is often the case. Always be seen by a doctor after a car accident.
Types of Economic Damages Include
- Medical bills
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance fees
- Cognitive or physical therapy
- Chiropractic treatments
- Paralysis or permanent disability
- Property Costs
- Car repairs
- Car replacement
- Personal property lost in the accident
- Rental car fees
- Lost wages
- Income lost due missing work
- Potential earning capacity
- Future earning capacity
Non-Economic Damages In Car Accidents
The harder type of damages to quantify is non-economic damages. These are damages that are intangible, but not invisible. The pain you feel from a lingering injury, the depression that comes with being confined to a bed for months on end, or the joy you will miss out on in the future due to your car accident are all non-economic damages.
Types of Non-Economic Damages Include:
- Physical Pain – When you have lingering pain from an injury that has already healed, that pain and suffering should be compensated as well.
- Mental Trauma – Emotional trauma and mental distress can come from triggers relating to an accident. They can cause a multitude of mental and emotional issues like rage or hopelessness.
- Unexpected Losses – Loss of companionship, quality of life, or enjoyment of life. When you lose a persona close to you, you’ll have to live on without them, never being able to enjoy the life you’d planned together due to someone’s negligence.
- Physical Reparations – Severe scarring, disfigurement, physical impairment, or sexual dysfunction are all types of physical reparations. Severe scarring can change the mental and financial future of a person. For example, a face-to-face sales man may experience loss of income due to intense facial scarring.
- Mental Anguish – Terror or fright surrounding the accident or triggers relating to it. Could include being fearful of cars or the particular road the accident occurred on or becoming humiliated about the loss of a limb.
- Mental Hardships – Depression or anxiety due to the accident or grief from losing a loved one. Chronic anxiety leaving you unable to drive places is one example.
Punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff if the defendant was found to have operated their car in a fraudulent, intentional, willful or wanton manner. This is not included in the compensatory damages, but are fines intended to punish the defendant for their intentionally reckless behavior that could have been avoided. And while most states have a cap on the amount of punitive damages you can collect, Illinois has no cap.
How Much Can I Expect to Recover for my Car Accident?
Understanding how much you’ll be compensated for your accident depends on the cap on the defendant’s insurance policy and the next three questions.
- How severe was your accident? – A severe accident would be likely to cause more damage to the victim. Juries will look at photos of the scene, police reports, and more material that tried to rebuild the scene. If you lost your car in the accident, you also can include lost wages and income due to the time required to find a new car. If your accident is minor, you may expect a few thousand in reparations, but for severely negligent accidents, awards may be in the millions.
- How severe are your injuries? – If you sought out medical attention immediately following your accident, it will be much better proving all your injuries were caused by the accident. Lingering injuries may take longer to heal and your lawsuit attempts to wait until all treatment is completed to avoid lingering injuries becoming worse after the verdict. Pre-existing conditions may be included as long as your lawyer can prove the injury was made worse by the accident.
- Will any of your injuries cause permanent change to your life? – If your quality of life, capacity for joy or potential earning capacity has been negatively affected by your car accident, make sure your lawyer takes that into account when calculating in their non-economic damages.
Common Car Accident Injuries
In the event of a traumatic car accident, there are bound to be injuries. And on these busy and dangerous Chicago streets, injuries can be more severe due to negligence of laws and road signs. Langdon & Emison will be sure to collect all the right documents, case files, and medical information to ensure you are justly compensated for your time, injuries, pain and suffering. These are common car accident injuries one may experience during and following a car accident.
- Whiplash – One of the most commonly cited injuries in car accidents, whiplash includes the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck being overexerted to the point where they can cause intense neck, head, and shoulder pain.
- Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises – While most of these types of injuries are simple, they can lead to bigger problems depending on the severity. Issues such as infection and amputation may develop from simple cuts or scrapes.
- Traumatic head injuries – In the event of a car crash, your head may receive a lot of the momentum of the accident, sometimes slamming or hitting it against an object. If the brain or head is damaged, this can lead to serious side effects such as a coma, loss of coordination, or even death. Always treat any head injury as serious and see a doctor fast.
- Broken bones – The impact of a car colliding with another is enough force to break even the strongest bones. Broken bones can be severe or minor, but they are always painful and costly. Make sure any persistent pain is checked and don’t be a tough guy.
- Internal damage – Seatbelt injuries that are very common are soft tissue damage or bleeding from where the lap belt sits near the stomach. While these injuries are not seen at first, they can cause irreparable damage to the body and may lead to death.
- Back and spinal cord injuries – One of the most costly injuries are ones that affect the back and spinal cord. Breaking the back, herniated discs, and straining those important muscles can leave you with partial or full paralysis, loss of mobility, or pain and suffering. Take any back injury seriously and be seen by a doctor immediately.
- Wrongful Death – If your car accident resulted in the death of a loved one due to the negligence of another driver, let Langdon & Emison fight for your rightful compensation. When the death of a loved one happens, several damages can be claimed in your case as a loss of companionship, loss of quality of life, and loss of enjoyment of life. When a loved one is taken soon, we will fight against the insurance company to ensure you won’t pay out of pocket for this life-altering event.
- Mental Trauma – Not all pain is physical or can be fixed physically. Once all healing has been exhausted, severe scarring or disfigurement could affect you in ways that a physical injury doesn’t. Even if your pain is invisible, those responsible are still liable for the severe life change you will inevitably experience. Several damages can be claimed as mental suffering, such as: PTSD; Mental Anguish; Fright, Shock, or Anger; Permanent disfigurement.
5 Common Types of Car Accidents in Chicago
- Read-end Accidents – Some of the most common types of car accidents is a rear-end accident. This happens when a car fails to stop within enough time and hits the backside of the car in front of them.
- Multiple Car Collisions – More common on multilane highways, car pile ups or multi-car accidents can cause a tremendous amount of damage with a confusing web of fault with so many drivers involved. And in a comparative fault state, the amount of fault attributed to each person can vary wildly.
- Vehicle Rollovers – Vehicle rollovers can leave drivers walking away with barely a scratch or cost someone their life. The reason for your vehicle roll over in Chicago should be investigated because if the road wasn’t in good repair or lacked proper signage, that negligence could be held liable. Additionally vehicle defects should be considered as well.
- T-Bone Accidents – T-bone or “side impact” accidents happen when one car is crashed into by another from the side. Either driver could be at fault and this type of accident normally happens at intersections with traffic lights, stop signs, or warning signals.
- Head-on Collisions – One of the most deadly types of collisions are head-on collisions. These accidents occur when a driver swerves or ends up driving on the wrong side of the street and hits another car head on. These types of accidents may be caused by drunk or distracted driving. Other times, these accidents may be caused by obscured vision or weather conditions.
Call a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Today
When It Matters, We’ll Be There
We have been around for more than three decades, and our list of clients who have received just restitution in their car accident cases only continues to grow. We have four offices in Missouri and Illinois, leaving your Chicago car accident in experienced and resourceful hands whether you are from Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Lake County, or anywhere else in downstate Illinois. Wherever your accident happens in Chicagoland, know that we will fight tirelessly to represent you and earn you the maximum compensation justly deserved due to the negligence of the other driver.
Don’t let an insurance company pull the wool over your eyes by cutting you a check that is far less than what is fair for your injuries, pain and suffering. Let us help.
We will review your Chicago car accident case at no cost to you and with no obligation from you. We only take cases we believe we can win and take on the cost until a settlement is reached. Give us a call at (312) 872-3389 and we will review your case at no obligation to you.
Car Accident Verdict Results
When it matters, we’ll be there. We have successfully represented dozens of clients in the Illinois area and cover the areas of Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and Lake County. Our system of representation includes a well oiled machine of interrogating those responsible, investigating the situation individually, and practicing with a mixture of expertise and empathy.
We know what it takes to win a lawsuit against negligent parties at court and we have the settlements to prove it.
$4 Million – A couple was seriously injured due to the negligent conditions of a taxi driver and his vehicle. The taxi driver started driving erratically and in the wrong direction while being distracted by a GPS resulting in a collision with a car and then was rear ended by another vehicle. Neither passenger had access to safe seatbelts and both wife and husband suffered life-changing injuries.
$1 Million – Settlement for a victim of a car accident involving a company truck accident. The defendant failed to yield at a stop sign and the collision resulted in the plaintiff being ejected from his vehicle. The plaintiff suffered several serious injuries including; broken neck, back, collarbone, shoulder, and several broken ribs.
$2 Million – Verdict from a truck and automobile collision which resulted in the wrongful death of the driver.
Car Accident Questions and Answers
Why should I hire a car accident lawyer in Chicago?
A car accident lawyer will be able to determine and prove the fault of the other driver. While you may attempt to represent yourself in court, it isn’t recommended. Your Chicago car accident lawyer from Langdon & Emison already has decades of experience and a reputation for results. They will fight tirelessly in your place and will only get paid if you do.
What should I tell insurance after a car accident?
You should offer the information of the other driver’s insurance and let them know of any claims you need to make to repair or replace your car. When talking to the insurance adjuster, you should not give any sort of statement to them. You should not explain your injuries or agree to release your medical records to them. You should refuse to be recorded and limit any conversations with them. Instead, you should guide them to contact your car accident lawyer. Remain calm, remain quiet, and let your lawyer make sure you are fairly compensated.
What should I tell the police on the scene of a car accident?
Give a simple explanation of events to the police officer on scene. Provide any information the officer requests, but be sure you are careful in your speech. Remember that anything you say may end up on the police report, so do not admit fault or self-incriminate. The police officer is there to get a clear picture of what happened, and this can help or hinder your future case if you say the wrong thing.
I don’t feel injured. Should I still seek medical attention?
Because the adrenaline from a car accident can give you a false sense that you are perfectly fine, it’s always recommended to see a doctor after a car accident. Injuries can become apparent only a few hours after an accident or take a day or two to notice. Going to the doctor within the first 12 hours will ensure that your injuries are due to the car accident and not something else that may have occurred in that time. Don’t give the insurance adjuster any ammunition to reduce to deny your claims by waiting too long to be seen.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the date of the accident. That doesn’t mean you can just wait two years to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies may sometimes draw out the claims process in the hopes you won’t find legal representation. That is why calling a car accident lawyer as soon as you can helps ensure you are covered from the very beginning. Don’t wait for your injuries to get worse, call us now.