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Answers To Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

At Theriault Booth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys regularly receive questions from prospective clients throughout Illinois. Below, we’ve shared answers to those we hear most often. If you have additional questions or wish to discuss your legal options, we invite you to contact our St. Charles office and schedule a free initial consultation.

What should I do if I am in a car accident?

The things you do and say immediately after a car crash can make a major impact – either positive or negative – on your health and on an eventual personal injury claim. First and foremost, it is critical to check on everyone involved in the crash and seek emergency medical care, if needed.

If immediate care isn’t needed and/or you are waiting for police to arrive, you should do the following:

  • Move everyone out of the road and to a safe location
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, license plates, vehicle damage, tire skid marks and anything else you feel could be important later
  • Participate in the creation of a police accident report, but avoid discussing fault
  • Refrain from discussing fault with the other driver or apologizing, as this could indicate you were partially to blame

Once you have left the accident scene, you should seek medical care if you haven’t done so already. You need to ensure that you are medically stable, and you will need to document your injuries in order to file a personal injury claim later on.

Finally, contact our firm to discuss the next steps.

How do you know who was at fault for a car accident?

Sometimes, the answer is obvious. If you were struck by a drunk driver, for instance, there is little debate about fault. Other times, determining fault is trickier, but it can be done with the help of an attorney. Our lawyers quickly and thoroughly investigate the details of a crash and gather all available evidence to show that the other driver was to blame.

This evidence could include footage from traffic and security cameras, witness statements, cellphone records, data from each vehicle’s “black box” (known as the event data recorder) and photos taken from the crash scene. When necessary, we work with accident reconstruction experts.

Determining fault is important, but you must also be able to prove it. We do the work necessary to help you build a convincing case against the at-fault driver.

Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

Legally speaking, the answer is no. From a practical standpoint, however, it is in your best interests to work with an attorney. Insurance companies don’t care about making things right after a car accident or compensating victims fairly. Their job and their top priority is resolving the claim quickly and for as little money as possible. That means denying liability when they can or offering to settle for far less than the real value of the claim.

It is very difficult to negotiate with insurers on your own, especially when you don’t know how much your claim is worth. An experienced attorney like those at our firm can help you accurately assess your expenses and losses, calculate noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, and negotiate aggressively to maximize your compensation. If a settlement can’t be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial.

Who is responsible for a dog bite?

Illinois is what’s known as a “strict liability” state. That means if someone owns a dog, they are automatically liable for injuries the animal causes to others (with few exceptions). It doesn’t matter if the dog has never previously shown aggressive tendencies. Although dog owners are liable, dog bite claims are often paid through homeowner insurance policies.

What are the different kinds of product liability claims?

Although specific defects vary by products, there are three main types of defects. They include defects in design, defects in manufacturing and failure to warn. We discuss each of these in greater detail on our product liability and mass torts page.

Have More Questions? Contact Us For Case-Specific Answers And Advice.

From our St. Charles office, Theriault Booth Attorneys at Law serves clients throughout Illinois. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, contact us online or call 630-912-5622.