We are experienced lawyers who help people who are injured in Illinois car accident cases. We can help you when you are not primarily at fault for the accident occurring.  Usually, this means that the police report blames someone else, but that’s not always the case. Some law firms will only handle the injury aspect of a car accident. That means if you are having trouble getting your car replaced, they won’t help you. To me, that is terrible lawyering. If you hire an attorney for an accident case, you should get help with everything related to that accident.

The reason some of these firms don’t handle property damage is because they won’t get paid for that part of the case usually and if they do it’s not worth much. To me that’s shameful.

One big property damage issue that comes up in Illinois car accident cases is diminished value. Diminished value refers to the difference in the car’s worth before the accident as compared to after the accident. Even if the car gets repaired, your ability to sell it for what it used to be worth would be used.

If the other party was at fault, the insurance company is not only supposed to pay for the repairs, but they are also supposed to compensate you for the diminished value of the vehicle. Of course, insurance companies don’t just give money away, and they will use this issue to try to gain leverage over you to either settle the case before you should or settle for less money than the case is worth.

The sad but honest truth is that the less you are injured, the more likely it is that insurance companies will get away with this. We don’t know any law firms that do property damage-only cases, because it’s just not a way to make money in a business. But car accident attorneys make enough money in most injury cases that they should handle diminished value and other property loss issues. And ironically in some cases that have HUGE value, the insurance company might mess around with compensating you for the car value in an effort to get a total settlement too soon.

Our best advice is:

  1. If you are injured or not feeling well after an accident, go to the doctor. Don’t do it to just help you get a lawyer. Do it because you are sincerely hurt.
  2. Beware of the insurance company trying to quickly settle your case in exchange for fixing your car and paying diminished value. That’s usually in their best interests, not yours.
  3. Don’t believe anyone who says diminished value isn’t a thing.
  4. Ask your attorney before you hire them if they will handle the property damage issues. If they say no, don’t hire them. If you’ve already hired them, you can usually fire them and get a new attorney without owing them anything, especially if it’s not too long since the accident.

If you have questions about any of this or want our help in finding the best attorney for you, call us any time at 312-346-5320.