Have you been the victim in a personal injury accident and are now looking at negotiating with the insurance company involved to attempt to secure compensation? If so, you should take a moment and seriously consider hiring professional help. The fact of the matter is that insurance companies will exhaust any and all possible angles to reduce the amount of money they have to pay you. In order to understand exactly why this is the case, and why legal counsel is your best option, let’s take a look at a few of the more pertinent and less obvious reasons that insurance companies have for avoiding settling with victims.
First of all, don’t make the mistake of believing that your premium is the main way that insurance companies make their income. In reality, they earn the vast majority of their money through investment. That means that they have large sums of money held up in different investment options and earn more the longer they have it in place. Additionally, interest payments can different greatly depending upon the amount of money in question – in general, you earn more money in interest the more money you have invested.
This is one of the main reasons that insurance companies fight notoriously hard to avoid paying victims compensation. When they part with large sums of money, they lose their main income source. In fact, they stand to lose far more than they pay out. If they lose a particularly large sum of money, for example, market prices could be negatively affected. This could impact their investments, not to mention the fact that they suddenly have a much smaller amount of money upon which to earn interest.
Attorneys Can Help
Most insurance companies are far more likely to settle with victims who have hired legal aid. Note that for this reason, they will go to great lengths to discourage you from hiring an attorney. The reason for this is simple: as explored above, insurance companies stand to lose big time if they pay out large settlements. Attorneys are better able to secure those large settlements because they understand exactly how the insurance company works and can better anticipate their manipulative tactics than other individuals can.
Delay and Deny
Remember the section above where we learned that insurance companies make most of their money from investments and the interest they earn from them? Well, welcome to yet another reason to hire an attorney. Insurance companies will go out of their way to delay paying a settlement, and that’s especially true if the case in question is likely to win. They have more to lose than you do and will therefore expend a lot of effort to delay the payment as long as possible in order to continue to earn interest on the money in question for as long as they can. Additionally, they often flatly deny claims that have a great chance of winning in court because it forces victims to seek legal aid. This takes them more time and effort, allowing the insurance company to keep the sum in question a little bit longer.
Hiring an attorney from the get-go, of course, is a great way to avoid this game as much as possible.
You’re on Candid Camera
Maybe you’re not convinced that an attorney is necessary. The adjustor you’re speaking with seems very nice, after all, and they’re happy to take a lot of time out of their day to discuss the problems you’re experiencing in detail. That must mean that they truly understand how much you need the compensation in question in order to recover, right?
Well, no, as it turns out. In fact, adjusters are trained to record absolutely everything you say and do during negotiations so that they have more material to work with when it comes to discrediting you and lowering the amount of money they have to pay out. Do not forget that you are being recorded and that everything you say and do will be used against you. This is the main reason attorneys will instruct you not to speak with an adjuster until you’ve met with them.
Be Suspicious of Quick Claims
Everything we’ve discussed until now has talked about just how advantageous it is for insurance companies to deny your claims and drag out the process. If your insurance company is all too eager to settle, then, you should take some time and think about why. Why would they be willing to give you money right away when they could force you to go to court and make money in the meantime?
If you have a particularly great claim and they could stand to lose a lot more than they’re offering you if they go to court, you might be surprised at just how quickly they settle.
Insurance companies aren’t interested in what is best for you. They don’t care about your needs or your injuries. Their focus is on making and keeping money. For that reason, you should reach out to experienced personal injury attorneys for help immediately if you are facing a personal injury claim. The lawyers at Frederick and Hagle can help. Call 217-367-6092 today for a Free Consultation.
Automobile accidents are incredibly serious issues that can have catastrophic consequences. This is as true of accidents that occur on private property as it is of accidents that occur on a public thoroughfare. That is not to say that the two don’t have any differences at all, of course. Determining who is responsible for the accident can be more difficult with accidents that occur on private property. It is important that you understand your rights during this difficult time and are able to determine who is liable for the accident.
Who is at-fault?
When someone drives or otherwise behaves negligently and leads to the damage of person or property, they might be held liable for the victim’s losses. This does not change when the accident takes place on private property. Note that this can encompass situations where the accident was not caused by another individual physically striking your vehicle. If a privately-owned parking lot fails to mark blind spots or to ensure that the proper number of “no stop” or “yield” signs are in place, for example, then they very well might be found liable for accidents that occur in the lot.
Depending upon the property owner in question, you might find that gathering information about your accident, including camera footage, if available, that shows you were not at fault, to be quite difficult. A property owner who has an active stake in ensuring that you (and not they) are found to be liable for your own damages, for example, is less likely to willingly help you prove that the accident was not your fault. That is where an experienced attorney familiar with the laws governing auto accidents and private property comes in handy.
Auto accidents can happen to anyone. Even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves caught off-guard and put into a bad situation. If you have been the victim of an automobile accident on private property, the attorneys at Frederick and Hagle can help. Our experienced legal experts understand how to determine who is at fault for accidents as well as how best to ensure you receive proper compensation.
Reach out to us today at 217-367-6092 for more information!
At some time in our lives, we will experience the powerful effects of Murphy’s Law when driving a motor vehicle.
Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
Auto accidents range from less serious fender benders to full blown crashes that leave one or more people with severe injuries. The personal injury attorneys a Frederick & Hagle want to explain how to mitigate the negative impact of Murphy’s law by helping you understand what happens after car accidents in Illinois.
What To Do After You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident in Illinois?
Remaining at the scene of an auto accident is your first priority. Illinois state law makes it a crime for a driver to leave a car crash scene, regardless if the driver was considered to be at fault. Leaving a vehicle accident scene will make you appear to be guilty and hence, make it more likely that you will face civil liability litigation. After stopping your car, what you do next after an accident in Illinois determines whether you file a persuasive insurance claim.
Contact Law Enforcement
A formal police report is the most important document you attach to an insurance claim. The report will include physical evidence such as photographs of the accident scene, as well as anecdotal evidence in the form of witness accounts of the crash. If you contact the nearest police station and the responding officer declines to send law enforcement personnel to the scene, then it will be your responsibility to collect evidence and obtain the contract information from the other driver(s).
Evidence and Information
Photographs of the accident scene is a good start, but you should gather more physical evidence by saving images to your Smartphone of the road and weather conditions at the time of the accident. Pics of the damage to your vehicle should expedite the claim process. Interview witnesses right after the crash to preserve the fresh accounts the witnesses had of the incident. Contact information to obtain from the other driver(s) include name, address, and telephone number. You also need the name of the insurer and the number of the auto insurance policy.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel any lingering pain, it is still a good idea to see your physician to chronicle any physical injuries. Some types of injuries such as migraine headaches appear days, it not weeks after a car accident. If you received one or more serious injuries, you should seek immediate medical help at the nearest healthcare facility. Make copies of every medical bill and record for attaching to your auto insurance claim.
How Illinois Assigns Fault in Car Accident Cases
Illinois uses what is called a tort system for determining which party must compensate the other motorists involved in an auto accident. The tort system means the insurance company of the motorist found at fault is legally liable for paying claims. It also means that you have the right to file a civil lawsuit to seek addition compensation for the pain and suffering caused by physical and/or emotional distress symptoms. The tort system in Illinois for auto accidents operates on the comparative negligence principle, which means motorists receive damages that represent the percentage of fault assigned to every driver involved in a car crash.
Here is an example:
You are involved in a car crash, which eventually leads to assignment of 60% fault to the other driver. Under the Illinois tort system for assigning fault, the other driver is on the legal hook to cover 60% of all monetary damages. The other driver or the insurance company representing the driver have the option to pay you directly for monetary damages.
Three Common Actions after Car Accidents in Illinois
What action can you take after a car accident in Illinois? First, you can file a claim with your insurance company. This method for receiving monetary damages assumes your insurer will handle the reimbursement by interacting with the party involved in the auto accident. Second, filing a claim with the other motorist’s insurance carrier represent a viable option. However, this method for receiving compensation typically takes longer than going through your insurance company. Finally, you have the right in Illinois to file a civil lawsuit, which is a valid option if your attorney believes the other insurance company treated you unfairly and/or if your attorney feels the monetary damages offered by the other insurer falls short of what you deserve.
Illinois and Auto Insurance Requirements
Every state mandates different car insurance coverage requirements. Here is what Illinois law says you must have for minimum auto insurance coverage:
- Property damage of $15,000
- Personal injury and/or fatality of $20,000
- Personal injuries and/or fatalities of multiple people of $40,000
Illinois Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) in Illinois protects motorists against the monetary damages caused by a negligent and uninsured driver. You must carry UIM coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Her is how IUM insurance can kick in after a car accident:
- Hit and run incident
- Struck while walking
- Anyone riding in a vehicle you drive, but do not own
- You are drove a vehicle or rode in a vehicle named in your auto insurance policy
- A relative rode in or drove a vehicle named in your policy
- A driver and/or passenger(s) of your insured vehicle that had your permission to be in the vehicle
In Illinois, car insurance laws are complex, which means you should consult with an Illinois licensed personal injury attorney. You also have to deal with complicated auto insurance language. At Frederick & Hagle, we do much more than help clients receive just compensation for the injuries caused by an auto accident. We also ensure the claim you file with any insurance company includes convincing evidence and the claim is filed in a timely manner.
To receive the compensation you deserve after a car accident in Illinois, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Frederick & Hagle. You can reach our law firm by calling (800) 642-1277 or by submitting the online Contact form.