Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Chicago?

Picture this: you’re driving on a packed Chicago freeway after a long day at work. You’ve made this drive a thousand times before, so everything looks and feels familiar — until a speeding driver attempts to bring their vehicle to a screeching halt. Only it’s too late. They have now hit the back of your car.

When you get out to inspect the damage, you find that there is none. And you and the other driver seem to feel fine. So no harm no foul, right? You agree not to involve the police and you go your separate ways. But a couple of days later, your neck starts to hurt. 

This chronic pain paves the way for recurrent headaches, blurred vision, and general confusion. You wonder if it has something to do with the car wreck, but you aren’t entirely sure. 

This imaginary scenario is all too real for many people who do not hire a lawyer after a car accident. That’s because a lawyer knows what to look out for. After all, they’ve helped many clients who have been in similar scenarios. 

If you or a loved one has been in a minor car accident in Chicago, here’s why you should hire a lawyer.

What If the Other Party Files a Claim?

Returning to the scenario described above, suppose that you and the other party decide not to involve the police and go your separate ways. However, later you receive a summons in the mail indicating that this other person has filed suit against you, even though they were the one who caused the accident.

In this scenario, it helps to have a lawyer standing by with a thorough understanding of personal injury law. In the event that you are sued by another party, they will understand how to respond and the best angle to take to minimize your liability. 

In addition to helping your wallet, the lawyer can save you the headache of dealing with litigation. If you call a lawyer immediately following the accident, you won’t have to worry about searching for one in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

Just remember, if you are in a collision, never admit fault or openly discuss your policy limits. This gives the other party insight into your financial situation, which they could easily use against you. When dealing with potential litigation, it is best to let the facts speak for themselves.

Delayed Injuries After a Collision

Injuries aren’t always immediately visible, even in the cases of minor car accidents. This is why it is extremely important to see a medical professional following the accident and to record your thoughts and feelings in a diary. When you consult a lawyer, this information will help them as they advocate for compensation on your behalf.

When people think of injuries, they think of the extreme: severe lacerations, broken bones, or irreparable trauma. However, while real-world injuries can certainly reach that degree of extremity, many of the injuries sustained in minor car accidents are much more subtle.

For example, if the force of the other vehicle smashing into your car caused your body and neck to move in two different directions, you may have incurred whiplash or a concussion as your neck snapped back into place. This can have severely debilitating effects if it isn’t identified and treated. 

Unfortunately, your adrenaline can obfuscate the pain and make it so your body doesn’t feel the extent of its injuries for a couple of days. If you haven’t seen a doctor and have been telling everyone how great you feel, these actions could work against you as you pursue compensation. 

If you trust your immediate senses and leave the scene of the accident without talking to the police, you will probably have a tough time fighting for compensation, even if the medical facts are on your side. 

Proving your case means you need to establish a timeline. If you lack details of what happened immediately following the accident, this gap in information can severely impact your case.

What You Should Do Following a Car Accident in Chicago, IL

Here are some things you should do following a car accident that will help your lawyer as you pursue compensation. If you have questions, make sure to raise them with your attorney during your initial consultation.

Talk To the Police Before You Leave the Scene

The official police report will serve as one of the most important documents in your case. It will play a major role in your awarded compensation and will also help your lawyer strategize as litigation begins.

If you leave the scene without talking to the police or filing a report, you will not have this important evidence. This mistake leaves a lot of factors to chance and renders the outcome of your case uncertain.

Gather as Much Evidence as Possible

After the accident, you should take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Photograph the road, the damage to both vehicles, and any damage you may have sustained to your person. This will help support any claims later on. 

If any delayed injuries rear their heads, you will be able to reference these photos and prove that your ailments are a direct result of the accident.

Don’t Admit Fault

Admitting fault can destroy your case before it even begins. After an accident, the adrenaline and insecurity you might be feeling will lead you to say things you might not necessarily mean. 

If you admit fault to the other party or the police on the scene, this could be incorporated into the police report and bite you later on, regardless of whether you were actually at fault.

The Best Thing You Can Do After a Chicago Car Accident

The best thing you can do after an accident is to contact a Chicago personal injury attorney. Many attorneys offer free consultations, which will give you a chance to present your evidence and see if the attorney is a good fit for your case.

Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced car accident lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884