Chicago Car Accident Lawyers
Representing Victims of Auto Accidents in Chicago
Car collisions are among the most common types of accidents resulting in personal injury claims, and they are often the most serious. Thus, if you are the victim of a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost income, loss of normal life, disfigurement, and more.
For these reasons, you should retain an attorney with considerable experience in representing car accident victims. At Cogan & Power, P.C., victims trust our Chicago car accident attorneys to provide comprehensive legal representation, leverage our extensive litigation experience, and work tirelessly to obtain substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients. In fact, we achieved $6.8 million in compensation for a 24-year-old victim who was killed on an Illinois expressway after colliding with a commercial motor vehicle.
Leading Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents don’t just happen by themselves ― there’s always a reason. As such, it’s important to be mindful of the following factors that frequently cause motor vehicle accidents so you can better avoid them:
- Distracted driving: Among the leading causes of car accidents is distracted driving, which can take on many forms. In fact, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019. That being said, distracted driving includes texting and driving, changing the radio, eating and drinking, fiddling with the GPS, and more.
- Auto defects: Flaws in a motor vehicle’s components could lead to a serious car accident. These auto defects can include airbag issues, braking errors, defective tires and blowouts, car fires, and unintended acceleration.
- Driving under the influence: Also referred to as “DUI,” driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is not only a leading factor in car accidents but also a crime. Depending on the circumstances, an intoxicated driver could get misdemeanor or felony charges, but worse, they could hurt or kill someone in a motor vehicle accident.
- Traffic violations: Speeding, improper turns, tailgating, reckless driving, running red lights and stop signs, and failing to use turn signals are all common traffic violations that tend to result in car accidents. Traffic laws exist for a reason, so when these laws a broken, the outcome could be serious and even fatal.
- Road conditions: When road conditions are bad, things can go awfully wrong for drivers and those with whom they share the roads. Uneven surfaces, potholes, cracks, construction zones, and slippery surfaces are common examples of poor road conditions that could ultimately result in a vehicle collision.
- Weather conditions: Rain, wind, hail, and cloudiness can contribute to car accidents, as they can cause poor road conditions, distractions, and difficulties for drivers to control their vehicles.
- Low visibility: Nighttime driving is a threat because factors like fatigue, low visibility, rush hour, glares, and impairment are significant during this time of day. As such, drivers have higher risks of getting into accidents during the nighttime than during the day.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents
People can get into various types of car accidents, although, all of these collisions could result in the same outcomes: Injuries or death. With this in mind, common types of car accidents include:
- Head-on collision: Some of the most dangerous accidents a person can get into is a head-on collision because of the direct impact and force involved. Whether a person speeds, falls asleep at the wheel, drives on the wrong side of the road, or drives distracted, a head-on collision can cause devastating injuries and even death.
- T-bone accidents: The sides of a vehicle generally have less protection than the front and rear, so T-bone accidents can still wreak havoc for drivers and passengers alike. T-bone car accidents occur when a vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. As you can imagine, these incidents can cause serious injuries and even death.
- Rear-end collisions: Read-end crashes kill thousands of people every year. Incidents like distracted driving and tailgating tend to cause rear-end collisions, although, special circumstances where traffic hazards are unavoidable can also cause rear-end collisions.
- Sideswipe collisions: Two vehicles can sideswipe each other whether they’re traveling in the same direction or in opposite directions. Factors like changing lanes without looking, merging, slippery roads, and reckless driving can lead to sideswipe accidents. These types of car accidents can also occur when a vehicle hits a parked car.
When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents can be traumatic and life-altering events. In the aftermath of a collision, many individuals are left wondering if they should hire a car accident lawyer. While not every accident necessitates legal representation, there are specific situations where seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney is crucial.
- Serious Injuries: If you or anyone involved in the accident has sustained serious injuries, it is highly advisable to consult with a car accident lawyer. Serious injuries can lead to extensive medical bills, ongoing treatment, and potential long-term disabilities. An attorney can help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Liability Disputes: When there is a dispute regarding who is at fault for the accident, a lawyer can be an invaluable resource. Insurance companies often try to minimize their liability, and it can be challenging to prove fault on your own. An experienced attorney can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to establish liability.
- Multiple Parties Involved: If there were multiple vehicles or parties involved in the accident, the situation can become complex. Determining responsibility and navigating insurance claims can be convoluted in such cases. A lawyer can help untangle the web of liability and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
- Insurance Company Denials: Insurance companies may deny your claim or offer a settlement that does not adequately cover your damages. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Long-Term or Permanent Disabilities: Accidents that result in long-term or permanent disabilities can have a profound impact on your quality of life and earning potential. An attorney can help you secure compensation for future medical expenses, rehabilitation, and loss of income due to your disability.
- Wrongful Death Cases: In the tragic event of a loved one's death due to a car accident, a lawyer can help the surviving family members pursue a wrongful death claim. This can provide financial support and justice for the family left behind.
- Complex Legal Procedures: Car accident cases involve intricate legal procedures, deadlines, and paperwork. Navigating this legal maze can be overwhelming, especially when you're dealing with injuries and emotional distress. A car accident lawyer can handle the legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- Inadequate Settlement Offers: If you receive a settlement offer from the at-fault party's insurance company, it may be insufficient to cover your losses adequately. A lawyer can assess the offer and negotiate for a fair settlement that considers all your damages.
Car Accidents Involving Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
Car accidents are bad enough, but when the negligent motorist who caused the accident is uninsured or underinsured, the situation may feel overwhelming and hopeless. However, not all hope is lost for victims. Illinois requires all motorists to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. Effective January 1, 2015, all Illinois auto insurance policies must include minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of two people. The minimum liability coverage motorists should have for property damage is $20,000.
Our car accident attorneys can fight for maximum compensation to help victims financially, physically, and emotionally recover from their auto accident, regardless of the plaintiff’s insurance status. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may even be able to compensate you for the negligent driver’s actions. Many insurance policies have provisions addressing the legal recourse for accidents involving underinsured or uninsured motorists, so we can help you understand your legal options for recovering compensation after your accident.
Extensive Experience. Compassionate Counsel. Superior Results.
When you retain our Chicago car accident lawyers to represent you, we will immediately launch an independent investigation of your accident to collect and analyze any available evidence that could help your claim. After conducting a comprehensive legal evaluation of your situation, we will vigorously advocate to help you the compensation you need to get back on your feet and move forward.
“They were very personable, knowledgeable, and intimate. Overall, they were very good! I’d highly recommend them.”- Pedro N.
“I can not speak highly enough”- Beatrice H.
“From personal attention to the client, to excruciatingly-thorough Discovery and Expert selection, I can say without hesitation or fear of contradiction, that I would not be in the ‘made whole’ state of affairs after my MedMal claim if it were n”- Henry G.