Not every car accident case requires the help of a lawyer. That has to sound like a strange sentiment coming from a Chicago personal injury lawyer, but in some cases, particularly those with less serious injuries, someone who is hurt in a car wreck can come out further ahead from a financial point of view by dealing directly with the insurance company. However, in cases where there are more severe injuries such as fractures, herniated discs, or brain injuries, or worse, wrongful death, the car accident victim risks missing important sources of potential compensation.One important possibility that has to be examined in any serious car accident case is the possibility that the at-fault driver was doing something work-related at the time of the accident. The law holds employers responsible for the negligent acts of their employees, and this includes negligent operation of a motor vehicle. There have been several times where our investigation has shown that the at-fault driver was doing something work-related at the time of the car accident, and as a result, we were able to obtain compensation for our client through the large commercial insurance policies covering the employers, instead of being limited to the personal auto policies covering the at-fault drivers. For example:
- Our client was in a serious car accident at O’Hare Airport and ultimately needed a knee replacement and a hip replacement. The at-fault driver was a bank executive who was going to O’Hare to pick up a superior for a business meeting. Since that was part of his job duties when he had the car accident, the bank was also legally responsible for his unsafe driving.
- In a Chicago car-pedestrian accident, our client was crossing the street in her wheelchair when she was hit by a car and sustained several fractures. The driver of the car was a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company who was making a sales call to a doctor’s office when the pedestrian crosswalk accident happened, it was also liable for our client’s injuries.
In each of these car accident cases, our investigation showed that there were other potentially liable defendants who could be held responsible for the serious injuries our client sustained. Our clients benefitted greatly by hiring a lawyer because but for our investigation, they otherwise would not have known that there other sources of compensation available to them. Not every case needs a lawyer, but people suffering serious injuries in a car accident will certainly benefit from hiring an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to make sure that all avenues of compensation are exhausted.