Being involved in a car accident is an unwelcome, unexpected and traumatic event for all too many people. Despite improvements in the design and manufacturing of cars over the past decades (seat belts, air bags, rear view back-up cameras, etc.), car accidents have not become a thing of the past (heavier road traffic, distracted driving, road rage, etc.). And despite the future potential for self-driving vehicles, it is a pretty safe bet that millions of drivers will still be at the wheel for the foreseeable future and car accidents are not going away any time soon. If you are ever involved in a car accident, there are some things that you can do to make the best of a bad situation.
Though we can never prepare for a car accident and would not willingly be a participant in one, one thing we can control is making sure we have the right kind of insurance. Though the State of Illinois requires all drivers to have auto insurance, some persons do not obey the law and may not have insurance or have sub-par insurance. Having our own auto insurance with sufficient liability, underinsured/uninsured and med pay coverage can protect us even if the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance. (Ep 15 Auto Insurance Basics) Additionally, having adequate health insurance also plays an important role in your treatment after an accident and the value of your claim. (Ep 19 Health Insurance and Car Accidents)
The impact of a car accident on a person is multifaceted; there is the physical impact both to person and property, as well as the psychological or emotional impact of such an event. The immediate reaction to an accident is “What do I do?”. Contacting the police is the right things to do immediately after an accident. A police officer is a professional who can best assess the situation for injuries, damage and fault. (Ep 01 Car Accident)
After the accident has been cleared away and any emergency treatment has been rendered to victims of an accident, many issues arise in the aftermath. Many people feel that they can handle an accident themselves and hesitate to contact a lawyer. They may feel it is immoral to bring a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are many entities to deal with in resolving a car accident claim; police, insurance adjusters, health providers and health insurance, to name a few. It may be unclear who will pay medical bills or property damage. (Ep 17 Who Pays Your Bills in an Accident?) It may be difficult to be treated fairly by the insurance adjuster. (Ep 25 How Your Attorney Values Your Injury in $$$ and EP 5 Two Parts to Any Claim-Fault and Damage) Additionally, most people do not know intuitively what an insurance adjuster looks for in an accident case to minimize their risk, and thus try to pay out as little as possible or nothing to a claimant (Ep 11 Rear-End Accidents and Ep 17 Who Pays Your Bills in an Accident) A claimant who has been in an accident without a knowledgeable attorney representing them may not obtain the full recovery for their damages including medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income. (Ep 25 How Your Attorney Values Your Injury in $$$)