Illinois Auto Accident Insurance Claim Procedure

Filing a claim to recover damages for personal injuries after an Illinois car accident can be a daunting procedure. Insurance companies like it that way because they can save money when people become frustrated with the process. They find that settling quickly is sometimes in their best interests, while at other times, dragging the case out is the best course of action. In short, the insurance company will do what is in its best interest rather than yours unless they are forced to do otherwise. In the end, however, most cases settle and never go to court. 

The insurance claim procedure in Illinois begins immediately after an accident. The injured person should inform his or her insurer as soon as possible. Additionally, the injured person, or someone like a lawyer working with that person, should obtain a copy of the police report. The other party’s insurance information should be listed in the report. You should have an attorney contact the other party’s insurance company and file a third-party claim.

Your attorney will send updated information to the third-party insurer periodically as you progress through medical treatment and recovery. The length of time required for a full recovery, if a full and complete recovery is possible. This is the time for your lawyer to identify expert witnesses, if the lawyer deems them necessary in your case, to discuss the long-term effects of your accident.

When all medical bills are in, and the losses from your employment along with other damages have been calculated, then a settlement demand can be made. If there is no settlement forthcoming, or Illinois’ two-year statute of limitations is about to run, your lawyer will file a pleading, called a complaint, in court. Once the case is in court, the process of formal discovery begins as the case winds its way through an overcrowded court system.

It is best to remember that settlement can happen at any time, even if your case is in court. The parties are free to continue to negotiate. Also, they can go to mediation or arbitration to settle the case without waiting for a trial date.


Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

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