Car Accident Attorneys in Charleston
Fighting for Justice after Serious Auto Accidents in Coles County
Have you or someone you love been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver? Did you know that you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries, property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and possibly more?
In Illinois, the Department of Transportation (DOT) recorded more than 281,700 motor vehicle collisions throughout the state. Over 900 persons were involved in fatal crashes. The total cost of these accidents was $5.5 billion, including injuries and property damage.
At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our Charleston, IL car accident attorneys have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients throughout Central Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. We are dedicated to helping victims fight for the justice that they deserve. We proudly offer free case reviews to accident victims and we only get paid when we win.
To find out how we can help you, call us today at (217) 394-5885 or simply fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
How is the Value Of A Car Accident Claim Is Determined?
One of the most important factors in a car accident claim is determining what your case is worth. Our Charleston car accident lawyers will take a look at the following factors to determine the value of your case.
- Injury costs. Medical expenses often make up the majority of a victim’s losses, especially if he or she was forced to undergo emergency treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, or rehabilitation. Injury victims have a right to recover all medical treatment related to the injury, including ongoing doctors appointments, assistive devices, prescriptions, and other out-of-pocket costs.
- Lost income. Victims may miss a significant amount of work during their injury recovery, and some may never be able to return to their former employment.
- Future losses. Injuries that result in permanent losses—such as paralysis, brain damage, or disability—often require long-term expenses and reduced earning capacity. Victims may be awarded an amount for their pain and suffering (non-economic damages) related to the crash in addition to their economic losses.
- Insurance limits. In most cases, car accident victims are limited to recovering the amount available in the drivers’ insurance policies. However, if the accident was caused by a commercial trucking carrier or a defective car part, victims can seek additional compensation through a third-party claim.
Going up against the insurance company is not easy. They will try to discredit your claim, and may even try to make you see doctors of their choosing. You don't have to fight this fight alone. The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm knows what it takes to win your claim, and are here to help you every step of the way. We represent injured victims in Central Illinois, as well as St. Louis, get the compensation they need to recover quickly, safely, and fully.
What to Do If Your Car Accident Settlement Is Too Low?
Many victims are tempted to accept low settlement offers in order to get payment for their crash expenses as soon as possible. However, you should be careful about accepting a settlement if your injury has not yet stabilized or you are unable to go back to work.
Once you accept a settlement payment from an insurer, you cannot ask for more money later—even if you are unable to earn a living or are permanently disabled. You will have to sign paperwork when you accept a lump-sum settlement stating that you will not seek any future damages stemming from the accident.
With this in mind, if you have been offered too little, you have the following options:
- Reject the offer. Insurance companies will rarely provide everything you need in their initial settlement offer. You can choose not to accept in order to begin negotiations, or until you know the full extent of your injuries.
- Negotiate. Insurers have years of experience reducing the amount of claims, while victims will have to gather medical records, repair bills, pay stubs for lost income, and other evidence to prove their losses. If you plan on making a counteroffer to an insurer, it is best to have an attorney perform negotiations on your behalf for the best possible chance to get what you need.
- File a lawsuit. If the insurer refuses to provide adequate payment, you may have to take the matter to court. You can continue to negotiate with the insurer as your lawsuit progresses, and may even seek additional compensation for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Our Charleston car accident lawyers help victims understand the injury laws that apply to their case and maximizing the amount of available compensation.
Contact the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm via our online contact form to schedule an appointment.
Can I Recover Damages If I Was Partially At Fault For A Car Accident In Illinois?
Even if you were partially responsible for a crash, you can still suffer the negative impact of an injury including medical expenses and lost income; this is called contributory negligence. Contributory negligence refers to a plaintiff’s own involvement and contribution to the harm or injury they experienced
While Illinois law allows at-fault drivers to still recover payment for their losses, there are limits to the maximum amount of damages they can be awarded. In order to recover damages under contributory negligence laws, you must be found less than 50% at fault for the accident. If you are more than 50% at fault then you will not be eligible to recover any damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Once the percentage of fault has been established by the judge in your case, your damages will be reduced by that percentage. For example, if your judgment is $100,000, but a judge determines that you are 30 percent at fault, you are only entitled to $70,000.
Some actions that could translate into an argument of contributory negligence include:
- The driver plaintiff was speeding at the time of the crash
- The pedestrian plaintiff was making sudden, unpredictable movements in the road
- The passenger plaintiff was riding with a driver they knew was intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted
- The driver plaintiff was aware the car they were driving was defective or improperly maintained
Proving fault in a car crash case can be very difficult. You need an experienced attorney in Coles County on your side to collect evidence and compile a strong case to support your side of the story. Call Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm today at (217) 394-5885 to get started on your case!
Common Car Crash Injuries
Thousands of people are injured each year in traffic accidents. There can be hazards inside and outside of a motor vehicle that can cause a driver or passenger to be seriously injured during a collision.
Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Cuts and lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Facial wounds
- Dental injuries
- Wrongful death
Psychological injuries are a common after-effect of a serious car accident that our car accident attorneys see frequently. Many times, people experience anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they try to return to the road, which could prevent them from driving.
Types of Car Accidents
Despite recent advancements in accident avoidance technology, such as early warning detection systems, anti-lock brakes, and rear-facing cameras, many vehicles on our roads are using technology that is more than 25 years old.
In fact, as there are so many different types of vehicles available from auto manufacturers, there are many ways that a motorist can be involved in a major crash. According to the Illinois DOT, there were more than 10 million registered vehicles throughout the state and most accidents reported involved cars rather than trucks or motorcycles.
Some common types of car accidents include:
Another type of crash is a hit and run accident, wherein a party involved in the accident flees the scene in order to avoid being held responsible. Hit and run collisions most commonly involve parked vehicles.
Causes of Car Accidents in Central Illinois
Recently released statistics from the Illinois DOT note that approximately 32% of all fatal car accidents involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08%. Another report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that nearly 10% of all automotive collisions that occurred in the U.S. in 2016 involved distracted driving. There are many reasons why a person might be involved in a car crash. It is important to note that some of these types of accidents are completely preventable.
Some of the usual causes of traffic accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Driving while texting
- Driving under the influence
- Careless driving
- Distracted drivers
- Bad weather conditions
- Failure to obey traffic signs/signals
- Fatigued driving
Some accidents are also caused by animals, such as deer, and there were more than 18,000 of these accidents reported.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in an accident can be a terrifying moment for all parties involved, but it is very important to try to remain as calm as possible. If someone has been injured, make sure to call for medical help and also call the police so that a formal accident report may be filed.
It is also very important to document the accident as best as you can by writing down any specific information you remember prior to the crash. Take photos of the scene and exchange insurance information with the other vehicles involved.
A driver should never leave the scene of an accident and should seek medical treatment if injured.
Insurance adjusters may rush to the scene of an accident in an effort to quickly obtain information that could limit the liability of their insured. It is important for a driver to be aware that these insurance investigators may use this information against their claim. An experienced Charleston, IL car accident attorney can help deal with insurance adjusters and all other interested parties.
Serving Central Illinois & St. Louis
Our car accident attorneys proudly offer a free consultation to help determine if you or a loved one have sufficient grounds for a lawsuit, and we only get paid when we win. Our primary office is located in Charleston, IL and we have an additional office in St. Louis, Missouri.
To find out how we may be able to help you with your accident claim, call (217) 394-5885. Our intake staff members will connect you with a lawyer best suited to handle your claim.
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