Car Accidents

Handling Car Wrecks in Illinois and Missouri

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Illinois or Missouri, you are probably confused, scared, and asking yourself, “What happens now?” Car accident injuries change lives, and unfortunately, cut lives short. Every car accident, no matter how large or how small is emotionally and physically overwhelming. Even from a seemingly simple rear-end auto wreck, you can suffer a serious injury that greatly affects your life. This is when you need a car accident lawyer to fight on your team.

The driver responsible for your injuries has a team already working against you. His insurance company is building its evidence, hiring attorneys and investigators, and outlining its plan on how to prevent you from recovering money for your injuries. The insurance companies are experts at downplaying your tragedy and minimizing any compensation you receive. That is literally their business. The car accident lawyers at the BiState Injury Law Center fight back against unfair insurance adjusters, countering their tactics and asserting your legal rights.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

  • Seek medical treatment immediately.

Car accident victims are rarely transported to the emergency room via ambulance. In fact, more often than not, they refuse medical attention at the scene so they can get home: they are worried about their families and what will happen to their car. Even if you feel fine, go see a doctor. You can visit your primary care physician, an Urgent Care Facility or an Emergency Room – all of these are fine, so long as you see a qualified medical professional.

  • Don’t Ignore Pain, Numbness, or Tingling

A small pain after your car accident could be an indication of a larger problem that will show up later. Get checked out by a doctor, and then follow up with your primary care physician. The follow-up visit may be the most important part of your medical care. Emergency rooms are not equipped to fully investigate the injuries you suffered. More often than not, the ER will only ensure that you did not suffer immediate life threatening injuries or any obvious broken bones. Even though you get released from the emergency room after a car crash, you may have herniated discs in your back, broken bones, or severe nerve damage.

  • Be safe – see a doctor.

Follow-Up On Your Appointments – Do Not Leave a Gap In Treatment

Waiting to get medical care is the single biggest mistake you can make after in a car accident. First, you need to protect your own health – have a doctor check out all of the bumps, bruises and pains, as they may be symptoms of much more serious medical conditions. Second, waiting to see a doctor or missing doctor’s appointments tells the insurance company that you do not value your claim. The insurance company’s position: if you were really hurt, you would have gotten medical treatment right away and kept all of your appointments. The unfair insurance companies call this a “gap in treatment.” The defendant’s insurance adjuster may completely reject your claim if enough time has passed between the accident and when you see a doctor. Even if you have a good reason why you could not keep an appointment, the insurance company is not going to care about your explanation.

If you do not have a doctor, or do not have health insurance, a car accident lawyer from the BiState Injury Law Center may be able to help you. We can help you find doctors that will work with you, so you can get the treatment you need to get better.

Who Is Responsible For My Car Accident Injuries?

Professionals To Investigate Your Car Accident Injury Claim

Even though the defendant driver was behind the wheel, a number of people or businesses may be responsible for the injuries you suffered in the car wreck. The BiState Injury Law Center and its team of attorneys, paralegals, and investigators will review the facts of the auto wreck and determine if the accident was caused by the recklessness of another driver, a defective part or bad repair to your car, or an inherently unsafe road condition that the city or county ignored. We will find the parties responsible and hold them accountable for the hurt they have inflicted on you and your family.

Find Money The Insurance Companies May Be Hiding

When the BiState Injury Law Center investigates your case, we look for insurance coverage that will pay for the injuries, pain and suffering you have endured, and the wages you lost from missing work. Drivers in Missouri and Illinois carry a variety of types of insurance that can pay for your injuries: liability coverage, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and medical payments coverage. One of the main purposes of hiring a car accident lawyer is to uncover all of the possible insurance coverage and using the law to maximize your recovery. Insurance companies have become very good at either hiding this information or simply not saying anything about money that could pay your expenses. We uncover the money that can get your life back to normal.

Auto Insurance Coverage in Missouri and Illinois

  • Liability Insurance Coverage

Under Missouri and Illinois Law the minimum liability insurance is $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. Every person that gets behind the wheel of a car is required to have this minimum amount of insurance or risk losing their license. The purpose of such minimum insurance is to provide a level of protection for people that are hurt in car accidents.  If a person negligently injures someone else with their car, then liability insurance covers the injuries. A car accident lawyer will fight on your team to recover every penny possible from the negligent driver’s insurance.

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Not everyone driving on the roads of Missouri and Illinois follows the law – they make the decision to drive without any liability insurance. However, part of the “minimum insurance law” also requires that you carry $25,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage (UM) on your own policy. This is automatically included when you get car insurance. When someone injures you in a car accident, and they do not have insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for your injuries. This is coverage that you already pay for, and your insurance company cannot raise your rates or take any action against you for tapping into it.  Unfortunately, your own insurance company will fight you to keep this money away from you, despite the fact it is coverage you pay for every month.

  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Sometimes the other driver’s liability coverage (or your uninsured motorist coverage) is not enough to cover the extent of your medical bills. When that happens, the lawyers at the BiState Injury Law Center look to the underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) on your own automobile policy. Underinsured Motorist Policies comes into play when Liability or Uninsured coverage limits have become exhausted, but you still have thousands of dollars in bills and losses. Importantly, underinsured coverage is not on every policy. Simply asking for “full coverage” may still not include this crucial type of coverage – you must ask your agent to include it specifically.

Insurance is all about protecting yourself and your family in the event that something horrible happens. You cannot control when a car accident will happen. You cannot control how much insurance the other driver will have, or how many medical bills you will incur to get better. However, you can control the total amount of insurance coverage available to pay for those bills by securing underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) in your own policy. Importantly, you may already pay for this type of coverage but your own insurance company may not tell you about the money that is available. They will also fight against you, trying to hold on to money that is rightfully yours. This is why you need a car wreck lawyer to fight on your team and uncover all of the available insurance coverage.

  • Medical Payments Coverage

You probably already pay for this type of insurance coverage and do not even know it. Most people carry at least $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 in medical payments coverage on their auto policies. As the name suggests, this type of coverage pays for medical bills you incur as the result of a car accident.  Again, your own insurance company will probably not tell you about this money that they owe to you. This is no-fault coverage – it is your money, but you may not be able to get it without the help of a skilled car accident attorney.

Exercising Your Rights Under Your Insurance Policy

Several of the insurance sources mentioned above are from your own auto insurance policy. Our clients are often worried: “Won’t the insurance car company punish me and raise my rates if I collect that money?” If you exercise your right to collect these funds, the insurance company cannot raise your premiums or drop you from coverage. This is your money and a benefit that you pay for every month – they are forbidden from doing so under the law. Our team is experienced in maximizing your recovery, even when the responsible parties do not have insurance or do not carry enough insurance to cover your injuries.

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

It is impossible to put a dollar value to your car accident case over the Internet and without reviewing the facts and laws specific to your accident. Our team needs to review the factors that apply to your case and uncover all of the insurance coverage that may be available. A few of the things we look at:

  • Did the other driver violate any laws of Missouri or Illinois?
  • Was he or she driving drunk at the time of the accident?
  • Did a bar serve the other driver too much alcohol?
  • How fast were the vehicles traveling?
  • Was the other driver working at the time of the wreck?
  • What type of injuries did you sustain?
  • Did you need surgery to heal your injuries?
  • How much work did you miss?
  • Did you miss important events in the lives of your spouse and children?
  • How much insurance coverage is available?

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

How much do I pay a car accident lawyer?

A car accident lawyer from the BiState Injury Lawyer works on a contingent fee basis. That means you pay no money upfront and not a penny comes out of your pocket to hire us. Our legal fee is contingent upon how much we win for you. Our fee is 33%. If we do not win money for you, we do not get paid at all.