Urbana Auto Accident Attorney
“Should I get an attorney after a car accident?” This is a question that comes up everyday throughout Illinois. Many people are unsure as to the benefit of hiring a lawyer for a car accident. They think it might be a rash move that will only lead to unnecessary litigation.
Hiring an attorney who deals with car accidents everyday can provide valuable assistance to you and your family as you deal with the aftermath of a collision. While many people “walk away” from a crash without problems, the reality is that far too many motorists and passengers sustain serious, life-threatening injuries. Indeed, many injuries are not fully realized or diagnosed until days or weeks after the accident occurred. As the victim’s financial losses start to mount–as a result of increased medical bills and decreased wages–they soon realize they need legal advice from a qualified car collision lawyer.
This is where Champaign car accident attorney Baku N. Patel can help. Our team at Patel Law, PC, represents car crash victims in Urbana-Champaign and throughout Illinois in seeking the compensation they are entitled to under the law. We recognize the aftermath of an accident is a difficult time for you, and we will make every effort to ensure the negligent parties who put you in this position are held accountable.
Why it is Better to Hire an Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Sooner Rather Than Later
Hiring a lawyer is often not the first thing you think to do following a collision. But the longer you delay in speaking with an attorney, the worse off your position may be legally. The reason for this is simple: Illinois law imposes strict time limits on people who need to bring personal injury claims based on a car accident.
This time limit is known as the “statute of limitations.” The actual time limit will vary depending on the nature of the claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations works as follows:
- Claims related to personal injury must be filed within two years of the date of the accident;
- Claims for the “wrongful death” of an accident victim must be filed within one year of the accident, or the date of death if that occurred later; or
- claims solely related to vehicle damage only must be filed within five years.
Now, you might think that a one- or two-year deadline is not that bad. In practice, however, investigating and preparing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is a significant undertaking. The sooner you can begin this process, the better position you will be in should you need to go to court. This is where having a local auto accident attorney knowledgeable in Illinois laws and court procedures can prove invaluable.
It is also useful to work with a car crash lawyer because there are many accidents that raise special or complex legal issues. For example, if your accident was caused by a vehicle driven by a government employee, there are special rules you need to follow to pursue a claim. Or the negligent driver may lack sufficient insurance to cover the full amount of your damages. In either scenario, having a Champaign car accident attorney on your side can make it much easier to seek and obtain compensation.
What if the Other Driver Claims I was at Fault?
Another reason that some Urbana-Champaign car accident victims are reluctant to come forward and speak with an attorney is they are afraid of getting blamed themselves for what happened. If you are in this position, you might even harbor some doubts regarding your own actions in the moments leading up to the accident. Such doubts should not prevent you from taking action against a negligent driver.
Illinois follows what is known as a “comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases, including car accident lawsuits. What this means is that a judge or jury will apportion fault between all of the relevant parties. Even if you are found to be partially at-fault, you can still recover damages from the negligent defendant. Your award will be reduced, however, to account for your comparative fault. Only if the jury decides that you were more than 50% at-fault will you walk away with nothing.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer? Contact Patel Law, PC, Today
Hiring a lawyer following an auto accident should not add to your stress. That is why the team at Patel Law, PC strives to provide a supportive environment for accident victims looking to rebuild their lives following a traumatic experience. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.