Stages of a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

Car accident claims in Chicago are often complicated legal matters. Car accident claims can get drawn out by insurance company lawyers and become very frustrating for the victim. The personal injury attorneys at Stein & Shulman understand your frustration and despair. But remember, we are with you every step of the way. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest level of representation because we are determined to win just compensation for them. Our goal is to win compensation so that our clients feel justice was done when their case is over.

First Stage in a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

The first stage of a car crash claim begins in the immediate aftermath of the car crash. The first stage is the point in time when you focus on your recovery but still need to pursue your claim actively. Make sure you document everything fully and save every piece of paper, email, and letter you receive regarding the collision. You will want to get a police report as well. Give all of this information to your attorney. Remember that there is a time limit called a statute of limitations.  Your attorney can advise you about that statute of limitations and the ramifications of trying to file after the “statute has run.”

Second Stage in a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

The next stage focuses on solidifying your claim. Your attorney needs to collect all of your medical records. Your attorney may also need to hire an expert witness like an accident reconstructionist to analyze the crash data or hire a medical expert to determine whether the injuries you suffered may be permanent or chronic in nature. Once your treatment is complete, or as close to complete as possible taking the statute of limitations into consideration, your attorney will file a claim with the offending driver’s insurance company demanding an amount of money as settlement for your damages. This letter is commonly known as a demand letter. The insurance company will continue to investigate your claim. They might try to take your statement. You do not have to give a statement to the opposing insurance company’s attorney. However, you do have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company.

Third Stage in a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

The following step of the claim process involves negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement. Your attorney and the insurance company’s attorney will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you cannot reach a settlement, the next step is to file a claim in court. Your lawyer will prepare a complaint and to file in the appropriate court. Filing a complaint in court begins your lawsuit.  Your attorney will arrange to have the other driver served with the complaint and other court documents. The other driver will contact their insurance company and the insurance company’s lawyer will file a formal answer to the complaint.

Fourth Stage in a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

After the commencement of the lawsuit, the parties will request information from each other in a process known as discovery.  In the discovery process, you have the opportunity to depose, or ask questions of the other driver under oath, ask the driver written questions called interrogatories, and request the other party to produce certain documents.  After discovery is complete, the parties can request a trial date. Most judges will encourage the parties to resolve the case by continuing to negotiate. If negotiations fail, then a jury can resolve those differences or the parties can attend mediation or arbitration. Mediation and arbitration are useful tools that allow parties to resolve their differences without going to trial.

We Are Here to Help You With Your Chicagoland Car Accident

The Chicago Car Accident Injury Law Firm of Stein & Shulman, LLC is a group of dedicated, successful, and committed attorneys who devote their practice to winning compensation for their clients who were injured through no fault of their own.

Instant, No Obligation Auto Accident Case Review

Learn how you can protect your rights by making an appointment today by calling (312) 422-0506 or by filling out our free contact form online. Our legal expertise comes at no cost to you, unless we win or settle your car accident case. There is no fee unless they are successful on your behalf.


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