When you’re injured or your motorcycle is damaged in an accident caused by another party, you may be entitled to compensation in Illinois. But how do you obtain that compensation?

Filing an insurance claim is usually the right place to start your journey toward financial recovery. A motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC can help you with filing your claim and ensuring you receive the result you deserve.

Two Types of Insurance Claims for Motorcycle Collisions

When you’re involved in a collision, there are generally two types of claims, depending on your situation: personal injury claims and property damage claims.

A personal injury claim helps recover compensation for injuries and related losses you sustained due to your accident. On the other hand, a property damage claim can help you recover financially from damage to your motorcycle.

Based on the specifics of your case, you may file a claim for one or the other, or even both. If you aim to seek compensation from another driver’s insurance company, it’s important to create a connection between the driver’s wrongdoing and your injuries and/or damage.

Preparing to File Your Insurance Claim

Before filing your collision claim, preparation is key. One of the best ways to prepare for filing an insurance claim is to collect relevant information and evidence.

If possible, try to collect evidence soon after your collision. Some of the best evidence for motorcycle accidents includes:

  • Photos and videos showing your motorcycle, the other vehicle involved, your helmet, and your injuries
  • The other driver’s contact and insurance information
  • Witness contact information
  • Medical records and bills

You or your attorney can obtain additional evidence as it becomes available, including police reports and traffic camera footage.

One of the most critical parts of an insurance claim is proving the other party’s fault. By using pertinent evidence, you can strengthen your claim and increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Fault or No-Fault: How Does Illinois Handle Collision Claims?

When dealing with collision claims, it’s essential to determine whether your state follows no-fault or fault rules.

In a no-fault state, no one is to blame immediately after a collision. Instead, you must carry personal injury protection insurance and file a claim under your own insurance policy for compensation. Then, if it is later proven the other driver was at-fault, your insurance company can pursue reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance.

In a fault state, the person at fault for an accident is financially responsible to the victim for their harm and property damage. Instead of filing a claim with your own insurance company, you’d file a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance for compensation.

Illinois is a fault state. Therefore, in a collision caused by another party, you can pursue financial recovery from that party’s insurer.

Filing a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claim

Regardless of whether you intend to file a third-party collision claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, you still need to notify your own insurance company. Insurers want to know when their insured vehicles are damaged or involved in collisions. As soon as possible after your crash, contact your insurance company to put them on notice.

To initiate the claims process with the other driver’s insurer, your attorney can contact them directly. The insurer will ask questions regarding your collision and assign an insurance adjuster to your claim. The adjuster is responsible for investigating your collision to determine how much your claim is worth.

Once the insurance company’s investigation has concluded, they can render their decision. They may offer you a settlement, or deny your claim. Regardless of the outcome, you shouldn’t proceed without first discussing it with a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer.

What if the Responsible Driver Is Uninsured?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, this does not automatically mean you won’t receive any compensation for your injuries and losses.

If your insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage, you can make a claim under your own policy. This type of insurance coverage exists to protect you in case you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured driver.

Should your insurance policy not feature uninsured motorist coverage, however, you may have the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the driver. It’s best to speak with a skilled attorney regarding your options.

The Importance of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When you suffer harm or your property is damaged in a motorcycle collision, it’s vital to seek guidance from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.

While some insurance claims are simple and straightforward, many are not. Additionally, insurance companies have a reputation for being difficult to work with and taking advantage of unrepresented parties. A lawyer can help ensure the claims process goes as smoothly as possible and you obtain the recovery you’re entitled to.

The dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC are highly experienced in helping motorcycle accident victims protect their rights. Our firm offers two convenient locations in Nokomis, IL, and Litchfield, IL.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Semi trucking seen through car side mirror.

The only silly question is the one you decide not to ask, or so the adage goes. But if you are like many truck accident injury victims, you may not know what questions to ask following a collision with a semi-trailer. You may be in such a state of shock that you legitimately expect others to tell you all the information you need.

Failing to ask the right questions of your attorney after a truck crash not only deprives you of important information. It can also prevent you from making fully informed decisions that affect the resolution of your case and the amount of compensation you might receive.

Ask Your Attorney These Four Questions About Your Truck Crash Case

An experienced trucking accident lawyer can be a wealth of information about the legal system and what you can expect as your case progresses. An attorney who has handled many cases will often be able to provide you with the necessary details and explanations throughout the life of your case. However, you should make sure your attorney answers the following questions:

How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

You should beware of an attorney that will guarantee you a specific dollar amount of compensation. Any case involves too many variables to permit anyone to know precisely how much compensation you will receive for your injuries. However, after reviewing your case, your attorney can give you an informed estimate of what compensation you might reasonably expect.

Having an accurate picture of your case’s worth helps you better evaluate any settlement offers that may be made. You and your attorney can openly and smartly discuss what you would be giving up by settling your case compared to what you might receive by going to trial.

Do I Have a Strong Case?

Along with discussing what compensation you might receive, ask your attorney about your odds of success in recovering compensation. As with the amount of compensation you might receive, no attorney can guarantee you a specific outcome in your case. However, your lawyer can give their impressions of whether you have a substantial truck accident case in light of the available evidence.

If the evidence in your case strongly suggests that the truck driver is at fault, you may want to avoid settling for far less than the losses you sustained. In such a case, it may be worth the risk of proceeding to trial instead of not receiving enough compensation to compensate you fully.

Conversely, if your attorney indicates the evidence is inconclusive, you may reconsider settlement offers that do not entirely compensate you. In this situation, the certainty of some compensation is better than the risk of not receiving anything.

How Can I Help My Case?

Even the most skilled truck accident lawyer will need their client to cooperate with them if the client’s case is to succeed. In any truck accident case, a client may need to:

  • Sign releases so the attorney can obtain medical records
  • Appear and provide testimony at a deposition
  • Assist the attorney in responding to interrogatories
  • Show up in court for pretrial hearings and trial
  • Accept or reject a settlement offer

You should know what your attorney expects of you as your case progresses. Needless frustrations in the attorney-client relationship can be avoided by understanding your role in successfully resolving your case.

Make sure that your attorney knows how to reach you quickly. There may be times as your case moves along that your truck accident lawyer will need to reach you quickly so that they can effectively communicate with you and represent you.

What Fees Do You Charge?

Not every attorney charges an hourly fee. It is becoming more common for truck accident lawyers to take cases on a contingency-fee-basis. This fee structure allows you to retain the attorney’s services without depositing money up front. The attorney recoups their fees by taking a portion of the recovery for you. You do not owe any attorney’s fees if your case is unsuccessful.

Let a Dedicated Attorney Help You with Your Truck Accident Case

At the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC we are committed to arming our truck accident clients with the information they need to make the right decisions. We partner with our clients, helping them pursue the best possible outcome and receive the compensation they deserve.

If you are in Illinois, visit us at either our Nokomis, IL, or Litchfield, IL office. We look forward to meeting with you during a one-on-one consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

When you have been injured by another person, receiving compensation is the result of either a successful lawsuit or a settlement agreement. While lawsuits may attract more attention and interest, most legal disputes will be resolved through a settlement.

Settlements offer greater predictability, lower fees, and quicker resolutions than lawsuits, which makes them favored by plaintiffs and defendants alike. There is also a higher likelihood that a settlement will be discussed in your own personal injury case.

The defendant in your situation may offer you a specific amount for damages in return for your agreement to drop your lawsuit. The compensation value the defendant offers you — and the amount for which your case will settle — will depend on three key factors.

Settlement Amounts Are Tied to the Facts of Your Case

The three factors that impact your settlement’s value are unique to your case. Suppose that you are injured in a car crash when a negligent driver runs a red light. Even if another person is hurt under similar circumstances at the exact same intersection, the value of compensation the two of you could receive might be dramatically different.

This disparity in outcomes occurs because, despite the similarities, there are distinct circumstances at play in every case. These differences have a greater effect on how much your case is worth than where your accident takes place or how many people are involved. These determinative facts include the following:

1. The Strength of the Evidence Supporting Your Claims

If your case were to go to trial, your success would depend on whether you had witnesses and evidence available to prove the truth of your claims. This includes proving not just who was at fault but also the amount of damages you need to be fully compensated.

The more persuasive this evidence is in your case, the more likely the defendant will be to want to settle your case on favorable terms. You’ll want to have credible witnesses who clearly point to the defendant’s fault and objective medical records that support your claim for damages. With those key pieces of evidence, a defendant will be more eager to avoid a trial and the large potential judgment that might come with it.

Conversely, perhaps there are no witnesses to your accident besides yourself, the available evidence is inconclusive on the issue of fault, or there is room to doubt that you were injured as much as you claim.

In such a situation, you may still receive a settlement offer. However, the amount you are offered may be less than you could expect in a case with clearer evidence.

2. The Extent of Your Physical Injuries

A personal injury accident will often leave you with physical and mental or emotional harm. However, it is easier to assign a value to broken bones and brain trauma than the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder or anxiety. As a result, the more severe your physical injuries, the more compensation you could receive through a settlement.

If you are shaken up but have no physical injuries, it will be more difficult to receive a larger settlement. You will need to produce compelling evidence that your mental injuries have dramatically impacted your quality of life to support a larger settlement award.

3. Your and the Defendant’s Desire to Avoid Trial

A trial represents risk, and each person’s or company’s risk tolerance is different. For the injured plaintiff, going to trial runs the risk that the judge or jury will not rule in their favor or will not award them as much compensation as they believe they deserve.

For defendants, a trial could result in an adverse judgment requiring them to pay significant amounts of compensation to the plaintiff. These charges would be incurred on top of attorney’s fees and other costs incidental to trial that they would bear regardless of the outcome.

If you are more comfortable with taking your case to trial than the defendant, you are in a good position to achieve a larger settlement. However, if your defendant is more comfortable with the risks of trial than you, then you may end up settling your case for a lower amount just to take advantage of the security and finality that a settlement offers.

The Difference an Experienced Attorney Makes in Your Case

Having legal counsel to represent you throughout your personal injury case can also make a difference in the outcome of your lawsuit. The experienced team at The Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC can help you understand the value of your case and decide on a reasonable settlement amount.

We are also able to vigorously and competently represent your interests at trial if no reasonable settlement can be reached. We are committed to helping you obtain full and fair compensation for all of your losses.