Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago, IL

Chicago Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash, a Chicago car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices is your legal advocate. We handle collisions involving catastrophic injury, wrongful death, property damage, commercial vehicles, and more. We have decades of experience winning maximum compensation for injured victims of car accidents.

No matter the case, our award-winning Chicago car accident attorneys will work harder than anyone else to see you get a fair outcome.

We treat you with compassion, dignity, and respect—because you deserve nothing less. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Come learn why Chicago trusts Thomas Law Offices.

I’ve Been in a Car Accident—What Should I Do?

What to do after a car accident is not something most of us think about every day. But once you’ve been involved in a crash, you know how important the next steps are.

If you were the victim of a car accident in Chicago, your next steps should be to:

  • Seek medical attention. No matter how fine you feel, see a doctor. Many injuries are hidden by adrenaline. Get a complete physical, even if you’re not sent to the emergency room by EMTs at the accident scene.
  • Call for help. Request that police and an ambulance come to the scene. A police officer can make an accident report. Emergency personnel can assess for injuries.
  • Take pictures. Use the opportunity to get critical evidence to protect your rights. Take photos of the vehicles, surrounding property damage, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, and wide panoramic shots of the entire scene.
  • Get contact information. Exchange names and insurance information with other involved drivers. Write down contact info for any eyewitnesses of the crash.
  • Schedule a free consultation with a Chicago car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer can review your rights and legal options with you. This will give you the knowledge you need to make the best decision about what to do next.    

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

Hiring a lawyer after a Chicago car crash is not mandatory. But if you want to recover full and fair compensation, it’s your best bet.

We advise that you hire an attorney….

  • If you are seriously injured,
  • If your vehicle sustained costly damage,
  • If someone lost their life in the accident,
  • If the insurance company isn’t treating your case fairly,
  • If you don’t know what your case is worth, or
  • If you have questions about the car accident claims process.

Thomas Law Offices has the legal team with the experience and knowledge to help you solve all these problems and more. And we do it at no upfront cost to you.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis—so we only get paid when we win your case. There’s no fee unless you win.  

When To Hire a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

The time period right after a car accident is the best time to reach out to an attorney. In this early period, evidence (like vehicle damage or skid marks on the road) is still fresh and available. Enlisting the help of a Chicago car accident lawyer right away also prevents the insurance company from taking advantage of you—and shows that you’re serious about your case.

Another important thing to consider is the statute of limitations that applies to your case. If you don’t act within the legal deadline, you miss out on your chance to recover compensation.

How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Claim in Chicago?

A statute of limitations sets the amount of time you have to take legal action. You must file a car accident lawsuit within the statute of limitations, or you will not have a second chance.

Under Illinois law, you only have two years from the date of the accident, in most cases. There may be exceptions to the rule. You should speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer quickly to see if any exceptions apply.

Building a strong car accident claim takes time. The sooner you get started, the better.

Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After My Car Crash?

You typically need to report your vehicle accident to your insurance company right away. Check the terms of your policy to see exactly how long you have to report a collision.

However, we urge you to exercise caution when dealing with your insurance carrier. Even though you are a policyholder, it doesn’t mean the company is on your side. At the end of the day, the insurer is a business. And paying out large claims isn’t good for business.

Most insurance companies do everything they can reduce payouts—and that often means giving you far less than you deserve.

Tips for Dealing With the Insurance Company

Our Chicago car accident attorneys recommend keeping these tips in mind when communicating with an insurance adjuster or other company representative:

    • Know that the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind
    • Your words can be used against you—so speak carefully
    • Be polite and honest, but don’t give away too much information
    • Don’t discuss your injuries in detail—just say you are getting medical treatment
    • Never agree to give a recorded statement
    • Stay away from social media (and change your privacy settings) until your case is closed
    • Remember that you do not need to (and should not) speak with the other party’s insurance company

The best tip we can offer is to obtain high-quality legal representation. Then you can safely refer all communications to your Chicago car accident attorney from Thomas Law Offices.

I’m Being Blamed for the Accident—How Can I Prove I Wasn’t at Fault?

Negligent motorists are notorious for blaming victims. If another driver acted wrongly and caused your accident, they may try to shift some or all of the responsibility onto you.

So how can you protect your rights?

At Thomas Law Offices, our top-notch investigators find whatever evidence is needed to protect our clients from being unfairly blamed for a crash. We do a lot of legwork so you don’t have to.

Evidence that can protect you may include:

  • Police report
  • Surveillance camera footage
  • Field sobriety test results
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Evidence provided by accident reconstructionists
  • Photos of the crash scene
  • Cell phone records
  • And more

What if I Was Partially at Fault for a Traffic Accident?

If you may have been partly at fault for the crash, don’t worry. You can still recover financial compensation for your damages.

Illinois follows a comparative negligence law when it comes to personal injury accidents. That means two or more parties can share fault. As long as you are less than half at fault, you are eligible to file a car accident claim against the other party.

Get in touch with a Chicago personal injury law firm like Thomas Law Offices to learn more about how Illinois comparative negligence laws work in your situation.

Thomas Law Offices Has the Chicago Car Accident Lawyer You Need

Getting fair compensation is complicated. It shouldn’t be—but it is.

You have an at-fault motorist, their lawyer, and their insurer working against you. The company you pay to protect you is a big business auto insurance company that prioritizes profits over people, and you know you can’t trust them to help. The laws around Chicago car accident cases are highly complex. And on top of all that, you’re dealing with injuries, losses, and pain and suffering that has completely changed your life.

We understand what you’re going through. And we’re here to help.

How Thomas Law Offices Helps You Win Your Collision Case

Thomas Law Offices wins multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for victims. We restore justice. We protect the futures of our clients. And We work hard to make a safer Chicago for all of us—motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike.

To be the best legal advocates we can be for our clients, our car accident attorneys have worked diligently to become:

  • Expert negotiators who can bargain a fair settlement with an insurance company
  • Top trial lawyers with a reputation for excellence in Chicago and Illinois courts
  • Locally-involved litigators with nationwide resources and experience
  • Award-winning lawyers highly acclaimed by peers in the legal community
  • Well connected to medical experts and other professionals who can support your case
  • Equipped with the latest investigative technology
  • Skilled investigators who can uncover the evidence needed to prove your right to compensation
  • A winning team of attorneys who have what it takes to get you maximum compensation

Ready to take the next step? All you need to do is contact us. A real attorney from Thomas Law Offices will sit down with you for free to discuss how to move forward.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois?

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, Cook County suffered 399 traffic fatalities in 2022. Chicago and Cook County as a whole generally experience more traffic incidents than any other county or area in Illinois.

The entire state of Illinois saw 1,269 traffic deaths in 2022. While this was slightly lower than the 2021 total (a year influenced by pandemic-era traffic patterns), it was much higher than the previous several years.

Top Causes of Chicago Car Accidents

Almost all motor vehicle crashes—in Chicago and across the nation—are caused by human error. Your crash might have been the result of:

  • Texting and driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drug-impaired driving
  • Failure to yield
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for weather conditions
  • Broken traffic laws
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Aggressive driving
  • Erratic lane changes
  • Failure to signal a turn
  • Distracted driving Distracted driving infographic

Most Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

A collision between two vehicles can be classified as a:

  • Rear-end crash
  • T-bone collision
  • Sideswipe accident
  • Head-on collision
  • Or other type of crash

Our Chicago car crash team is equipped to handle all of these and other types of car wrecks. We are also competent and experienced in other types of vehicle collisions, including:

Car Accident Injuries Our Attorneys Can Handle

There is a wide range of car accident injuries. Our lawyers have the know-how to help injured victims through many types of injury cases, including:

Compensation for Car Accident Victims in Chicago, IL

Being a victim of someone else’s negligence means they owe you something. Their wrongdoing has put you in financial, emotional, and physical debt. The law requires them to pay you back for what they took from you.

The law refers to these as “damages,” and you may be eligible for compensation for economic damages like:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Decreased future income
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

As well as noneconomic damages like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Our job is to calculate all you are owed. You’re more than just your medical bills—and we make sure your case value reflects that.

It takes longer to calculate full, fair value for a case than it does to add a few bills together.

But at Thomas Law offices, our Chicago car accident lawyers know how much this compensation will change your future. We give nothing but our best to see that you get the highest value possible.

Top 10 FAQs for Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

We’ve answered a few frequently asked questions to help you get started. We encourage you to write down any other questions you have to bring to your free case consultation with a lawyer at our law firm.

1. How do I know if I have a case?

We don’t know if you have a case until we meet with you.

Then, by reviewing the facts of your case, we’ll be able to advise you of your legal options. Usually, we’ll need to see if the other driver was negligent—meaning they owed you a duty of care but violated it, leading to your injuries and damages.

2. What is my case worth?

Again, the value of a case depends on the circumstances—so we can’t take a guess without a case evaluation. That’s one of the main reasons we give risk-free consultations for no cost.

Car accident claims and lawsuits may allow you to recover thousands or hundreds of thousands, depending on your losses. In short, the more damages you suffered, the more you should be entitled to recover.

3. How long will my case take?

We hope you’ll understand if we have to say “it depends” just one more time!

Each Chicago car accident case is so unique that it’s impossible to apply one case’s timeline to another. Cases generally take anywhere between a few months to a year or more. The case will typically be longer if it needs to go to trial.

4. Can I sue the other driver if I was partly at fault?

Yes, you can sue the other driver even if you were partly at fault. Illinois comparative negligence laws allows you to recover compensation as long as you were less than half at fault.

5. How do I file a car accident claim?

Filing a car accident claim starts by identifying all at-fault parties. Then, you’ll need to submit documents and evidence to the at-fault party’s insurance company to request the compensation you’re owed.

Before you can do that, you’ll need to add up all your economic and noneconomic damages and find evidence to support your claim.

You’ll likely go through a back-and-forth negotiation period with the insurer next. This will either end in an out-of-court settlement or proceed to trial before a judge and jury.

This is a general overview, but the specific steps and actions in each Chicago car accident case will vary.

6. Do I have to report the crash to the police?

The state of Illinois requires you to report a vehicle crash whenever there is:

  • Injury or death
  • Damage over $1,500 to any single vehicle or property
  • More than $500 in damage to any uninsured vehicle

7. How do I get a copy of the police report after the accident?

The answer depends on which police department responded to your crash.

You can get a copy of the police report from the:

8. Do I have to report the crash to my insurance company?

Most likely, yes. Almost all insurance policies require you to report any incident to the company. If you don’t understand your policy terms, we can help you review them.

9. What information do I need to exchange with the other driver?

After a Chicago traffic accident, you and any other involved parties need to exchange:

  • Names
  • Contact information
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Vehicle make, model, color, and VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Insurance carrier and policy information

10. How do I choose a good car accident lawyer?

The best way to choose the right lawyer for you is to schedule a free consultation at a local law firm. This is a fantastic opportunity to find out if you and the law firm are the right fit for one another.

We hope you’ll take the time to consider Thomas Law Offices when choosing a Chicago car accident lawyer. For decades, we’ve been helping people just like you recover the financial compensation they need after a vehicle collision.

We have:

  • A proven track record of success
  • The high praise of former clients
  • Millions in verdicts and settlements recovered for our clients
  • Compassion, understanding, and a heart to do what’s best for every client we work with

Contact Thomas Law Offices to see what our family can do for yours.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Where Do Car Accidents Happen Most Often in Chicago?

As someone who lives in or has traveled through Chicago, you likely don’t need any reminding of how congested our city’s roadways are. This heavy traffic often leads to collisions, which cause motorists to suffer serious injuries and lose their lives. While you’re likely aware of where some of our city’s crash-prone roadways are if […]

Read More

Learn How to Protect Your Loved Ones with My Nursing Home Abuse Guide

Thomas Law Offices has over a decade of experience helping families seek justice on behalf of loved ones who have been abused, neglected, or otherwise harmed in nursing homes and long-term care facilities around the nation. Tad Thomas himself has spoken multiple times on live TV about the work our firm does and the changes […]

Read More

One Year Since Old National Bank Shooting, Co-Counsel Representing Survivors, Families Release Statement

LOUISVILLE, KY – Today, Thomas Law Offices, Everytown Law, and Romanucci & Blandin, who together represent survivors as well as families who lost loved ones in the mass shooting at Old National Bank in Louisville on April 10, 2023, released the following statement: “April 10th marks one year since the tragic mass shooting at the […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion