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The Illinois Department of Transportation reports nearly 73,000 people statewide were injured in car accidents in one recent year, with more than 8,500 people suffering incapacitating injuries. If you were involved in an accident in Illinois that wasn’t your fault and are seeking compensation for your injuries, one of the most important pieces of evidence you will need is the police accident report. This report can help establish a baseline set of facts regarding how the accident occurred and who was at fault, which can help you in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you do not know what to look for in an Illinois police accident report, you do not need to worry. The Chicago car accident lawyers of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have been helping people pursue fair compensation for their injuries since 1970. In our more than 50 years of business, we have recovered more than $400 million for our clients. Our highly trained attorneys and staff can help you obtain your police report, show you what to look for, and assist with all other aspects of your personal injury case.
An accident report in Illinois will generally contain the following information:
As you are looking through the accident report, here are a few things to watch for:
Before you can obtain an accident report in Illinois, you need to figure out which agency investigated the crash and filed the report. If you were involved in an accident on a highway, your report was likely filed by the Illinois State Police (ISP). You can purchase a crash report from the ISP online or request one by mail. If you want to request the report by mail, send your request to:
Illinois State Police
Patrol Records Unit
801 South 7th Street, Suite 600-M
Springfield, Illinois 62703
When you send your request, be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a $5 check or money order made out to the Illinois State Police. You also want to include as much information on the crash as possible (date, time, location, etc.).
If you were involved in an accident on a Chicago city street, you will likely have to go to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for a copy of your accident report. CPD allows drivers to request their reports online for a $6 fee.
The Chicago car accident attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can help you request your police accident report so you can seek fair compensation for your injuries. To learn more about how we can help you with your case, call (312) 346-8620 or visit our contact page today for a confidential consultation.
A car accident can be overwhelming and physically disabling. Within days of reporting the accident to the at-fault party’s insurance company, you will likely be approached by an insurance adjuster.
It’s important to understand that the insurance adjuster is focused on limiting their client’s financial liability. Their goal is to find something that could potentially damage your claim for compensation.
Insurance adjusters may try to get you to admit to being at fault in the accident, and they may minimize the extent of your injuries. Their goal is to get you to discuss your diagnosis and injuries in detail so they can turn the information against you.
They may suggest that they’re calling to get your version of the accident and answers to some of their questions. However, this is done in an effort to disprove your claim. The attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have years of experience working with insurance companies and adjusters to represent and protect their client’s rights. Before talking with an insurance adjuster, consider getting your own representation from lawyers who have a successful track record of protecting their clients.
You have a choice to speak with the insurance adjuster on your own or with legal representation. Your personal injury lawyer can help prevent you from inadvertently sharing information that can damage your claim. Here are some things that you should never say to an insurance adjuster.
Admitting fault: Using apologetic language is enough for the insurance adjuster to assume you’re admitting fault and use that against you. Even if you feel you’re at fault, wait for the official investigation to prove what actually happened. Don’t say things like “I’m sorry” or “it was my fault.”
Your injuries: Insurance adjusters may reach out to you in the hours after an accident and well before an accident investigation has made clear who was at fault. Do not tell the insurance adjuster anything about your medical condition. Saying things like “it’s okay” or “I’m fine” can downplay your injuries and cause your adjuster to reduce the settlement offer.
Although the adjuster asking about your injuries may seem routine, you do not have to answer their questions. Explain to the adjuster that you will give them information when you and your attorney can send a demand letter to the insurance company. It may be tempting to go into detail, but you may not even know the full extent of your injuries at this point.
Recorded statement: You are not under any legal obligation to give a recorded statement or sign a statement after a car accident. Of course, the insurance company will need documentation of your injuries and property damage in order to settle a claim. But you can politely refuse to give a recorded statement or sign an initial statement until you have spoken with your attorney. This protects you from the adjuster finding ways to use the statement against you in the future.
Speculation: If you are involved in a crash, do not speculate about what happened with the insurance adjuster. For example, don’t say things like “I think he was speeding,” “I may have been changing the radio,” or “He was trying to avoid a pothole.” You must cooperate with the insurance adjuster during their investigation, but you do not have to offer information or speculate about information that you do not have or don’t remember.
First offer: Don’t say yes to the first settlement offer. The insurance adjuster may say it’s the last or final offer. However, until you have spoken with a personal injury attorney about your case, you can assume that the first offer is usually much lower than the true value of the claim. Most insurance companies and adjusters hope that you do not have enough information about insurance claims or the law to realize that the first offer will not be the best offer.
Insurance adjusters may call in the hours after the accident with the hope of getting information from you that can be used against you. There are several things you can do to help protect your rights.
Remain calm and be polite. You might be angry about the accident, property damage, and your injuries, but taking your anger out on the insurance adjuster will not help get you a fair personal injury settlement. You may also inadvertently say something they can use against you. Remember to keep your cool and stay professional.
Before you start the discussion, get the name, address, company, and telephone number of the person you’re speaking with. Next, only give out limited information initially. This can include information that does not implicate you in any way, such as your name, address, and telephone number.
You can also tell them about the work that you do and where you are employed. However, during this initial contact, you do not need to explain anything else about where you work, what schedule you keep, your income, or any other personal information.
The adjuster may try to get you to give a statement about how the accident happened. Even during a simple conversation, they may suddenly try to get you to tell them about the accident. Stay focused on what they’re asking and what they’re talking about so you can politely refuse to discuss these facts.
One of the tricks an adjuster uses is to come across as your friend. Remember, they may be friendly, but they are not on your side, and their goal is to get you to let your guard down, so you’ll say something you’ll regret later. Be concise with your responses and do not speculate. Stick to the facts and respond directly to each question.
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, contact the Chicago car accident attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today. During your confidential consultation, we’ll review the facts of your case and offer you advice on the next best steps you can take.
Driving during the winter presents its own unique set of challenges. The lack of traction and lower visibility during snowstorms can increase the frequency of accidents. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have some tips for staying safe during winter driving conditions. Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident this winter:
Driving during the winter can be stressful but watching your speed and ensuring your vehicle is in good working condition goes a long way toward preventing accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident due to another’s negligence, call the Chicago area car accident attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at (312) 346-8620 today for a free consultation.
The holidays are a joyous and celebratory time of the year for families and friends. They can also be a dangerous time with significant numbers of people on the road, traveling near and far for family gatherings, holiday parties, and vacations. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1-54. To keep you and your family safe while traveling, here are some helpful tips for this holiday season:
Before you hit the road, be sure you are well prepared. Start with your car. Take care of any necessary maintenance, such as an oil change or tire rotation. Check the windshield wiper blades. This is extremely important if you should encounter rain or snow. You need to be able to see clearly out your windshield, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Stock your car with emergency equipment, such as a blanket, flashlight, jumper cables, ice scraper, cell phone charger, etc. These items will be helpful in the unfortunate event that your car breaks down or you get into an accident.
As you plan your route, consider the ideal driving conditions. Aim to leave at a time that avoids the heaviest traffic. This often means leaving very early in the morning. If inclement weather is in the forecast, plan ahead. If it is possible to leave before or after the brunt of the storm, do so. Plan your route so that you stick to the main highways, where convenience stores, gas stations, law enforcement, and emergency medical services are more accessible. Check to see if there is any road work along the route, and build in travel time accordingly.
There can be many distractions on the road. The kids are whining, Grandma is calling your cell phone to see where you are, your GPS is telling you to make a left turn, and you’re stressed out to boot. Make sure you are well-rested before you depart. If you get drowsy or sleepy while driving, stop and take a break. In absolutely no circumstances should you get behind the wheel if you have had any alcohol to drink, used drugs, or are on medication that impairs your ability to drive. You need to be 100 percent present and focused on the road while traveling during this hectic time.
If you are driving to an unfamiliar location or along an unfamiliar route, remain vigilant during your travels. Criminals can take advantage of you if you are not attentive to your surroundings. When you stop for a break, park in a well-lit area. Do not keep valuable items within plain sight in your car. Be cognizant of your appearance. If you look like a clueless tourist, you might be a target for burglary or worse.
The holidays are a busy time on the road. Not only are countless people traveling to visit family and friends, but large semi-trucks are speeding down the highways to deliver just-in-time holiday presents. Wintery conditions like snow, sleet, and freezing rain only make matters worse. Drive with caution, and constantly be watching for wayward drivers. Practice defensive driving by always using your blinkers, checking your blind spots before merging or changing lanes, double-checking in both directions before entering an intersection, and maintaining a sufficient following distance from the car in front of you. Lastly, make sure that everyone in your car has their seat belt buckled, always.
If you do find yourself in an accident this holiday season, do not rush to get to your destination. Take time to document what happened, including taking pictures of your car and the other vehicle and of any injuries sustained in the accident, and getting the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Call the police to report the accident. Before departing, make sure you are unharmed and your car is safe to drive.
It may help to contact an attorney about your accident, especially if your car sustained significant damage or you experienced serious injury. An experienced lawyer can advise you about your rights, gather crucial evidence, and if necessary, pursue compensation on your behalf.
The Chicago car accident attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC understand that accidents often come at the worst times. Let us handle the stress of the accident so that you can focus on your family this holiday season. Contact our office today at (312) 346-8620 for a confidential consultation.
One person was killed and another was injured in a recent vehicular accident in Chicago caused by a driver who was driving on the wrong side of the road, a December 4 article of Chicago Tribune reported.
According to reports, the wrong-way accident happened on December 3 in the westbound lanes of the Chicago Skyway. Skyway police said around 9:40 at night a 70-year-old man drove in the opposite lane until he struck a vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle, a 50-year-old man, was declared dead and the wrong-way driver was transported to a medical facility for his injuries. Charges have not been filed as of reporting and the condition of the injured driver was not available. A major accident unit of the Chicago Police Department is figuring out the cause of the fatal crash.
The Chicago legal team at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC send their deepest thoughts to the family and friends who mourn the loss of their loved one.
At least three people in Orland Park sustained injuries in a recent accident involving two vehicles, a report of Chicago Tribune stated on September 10.
According to reports, at around 12:35 a.m., a car and a pickup truck collided in a construction area in the 10400 block of 159th Street. Orland Park Fire Protection District’s Ray Hanania told reports that a woman was trapped inside her vehicle after the collision. Though further information about the crash was not available, authorities believe that speed was a factor in the head-on collision. After rescuers extracted one woman from her vehicle, she was transported to a hospital, along with two additional people from the other vehicle. Authorities withheld the identities and conditions of the persons involved in the incident.
Many people are left permanently disabled after being involved in vehicular accidents. However, if this happened to you or a loved one in Chicago, a lawyer at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC may be able to represent you. Find out how we could help you obtain your needed remunerations today by calling (312) 346-8620.