As an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer, Michael A. Shammas has recovered millions for injured victims. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury. The burdens of experiencing injuries in a car crash can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with medical bills, wage loss, emotional distress, and constant pain and physical limitations. Filing a car accident claim to recover money damages can help victims reduce financial strain and maintain control of their lives during the recovery process.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to a negligent driver, you may be able to recover compensation. Contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer at Shammas Law Office for legal assistance. 312-971-5959.


Nearly 6 million auto accidents occur annually. Approximately 4.4 million Americans sustained injuries that required medical attention in car crashes in 2019, and another 38,800 lost their lives. Each year, over 1,600 children under 15 years old are killed by traffic crashes. Many more victims are left disabled and face significant financial distress following an accident. Chicago personal injury attorneys frequently see Illinois victims facing financial hardship as a result of their injuries.

Sustaining injuries, whether mild or severe, leaves victims with costly medical bills and time away from work. Many of the injuries caused by auto accidents result in permanent or long term health complications that can impact a victim’s quality of life. More than 2.35 million victims are left disabled after their accident. Law firms see many crashes take place during the holidays when alcohol consumption is increased and DUI accidents are more common. Thanksgiving day accounts for the highest number of single-day car crash fatalities, followed by the 4th of July and Memorial Day.


Common Injuries in a Car Crash

Traffic accidents can cause a variety of injuries to victims. Minor injuries, such as whiplash, cuts, and bruises, typically require minimal treatment. Injuries such as fractures and broken bones, neck, disc, and spinal cord injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and loss of limb or paralysis are more serious and require extensive medical treatment. Some victims may sustain psychological injuries from an accident, such as PTSD, anxiety, grief, or traumatic guilt. Many injuries create a significant emotional toll, even if no professional treatment is required. These injuries often impact an individual’s day to day life and require professional treatment. In Illinois, Chicago personal injury attorneys can help victims pay for treatment through a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Damages in a Car Accident

The money recovery in a personal injury case usually involves the same items of economic and non-economic damages. The value or size of the case depends on the nature and extent of the injuries, whether the injuries are permanent, and a number of other factors. Examples of some common items of measurable damages recovered in a car crash case are the following:

  • Total medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost earnings (past and future)
  • Property damage
  • Medical equipment

Examples of recovery that can be obtained that are not easily measured but have significant value are the following:

  • Pain & Suffering
  • Loss of your normal life
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional damage

Of course, the most devastating loss after a car crash is death or paralysis. In cases of wrongful death, a victim’s family can recover damages for grief and loss of financial support.

Chicago car accident lawyers are experienced in evaluating damages after a car crash. As an accident victim in Illinois, you can file a claim through a Chicago personal injury lawyer to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries.


Car accidents are often caused by careless driving behaviors. Drunk, drowsy, or distracted drivers are at a high risk of causing a traffic crash. Bad weather, poor vehicle maintenance, or unfavorable road conditions can also lead to accidents. The top causes of car accidents that Chicago personal injury attorneys see are:

Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs
Swerving out of the traffic lane
Failure to yield
Distracted driving
Reckless driving

Age and sex play a factor in car accident risk. Males are found to be in more accidents than females, and individuals under 24 account for roughly 70% of fatal traffic crashes. Accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and truck drivers can lead to serious injuries. Chicago car accident lawyers see these types of accidents influenced by similar factors. Motorcycle accidents are most commonly caused when passenger vehicles fail to yield or fail to detect them, or when weather conditions are not ideal for driving. Accidents involving pedestrians frequently involve intoxicated persons, whether it be the victim or the driver. For trucking accidents, speeding, reckless driving, fatigue, intoxication, and overtaking vehicles are common causes.


Taking certain actions immediately after a car accident can help your claim with a Chicago car accident lawyer. Assuming you are physically able to do so safely, an accident victim should:

  • Call 911. Call for any possibly injured people, and for police to come make a report.
  • Remain at the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and could result in a hit and run case.
  • Document the scene. Take photos of all damage to the vehicles involved and any visible injuries like cuts or bruises. Take photos of the scene of the crash.
  • Exchange insurance information. Car accident injury victims should exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved. It is important not to apologize or admit fault.
  • Make a police report. Tell the responding officer what happened without admitting fault, make sure that a report is made, and get the report number. If an officer does not respond, go to the nearest station to make a report after the crash, or after you leave the hospital/urgent care.
  • Get medical attention. Get medical treatment as soon as possible for any pain and discomfort, even if it doesn’t seem serious. This is probably the most underrated step after an accident, and also probably the most important.
  • Dealing with insurance companies DO NOT contact the other driver’s insurance. That is your attorney’s job. You may contact your own insurance company to provide notice of the crash so you can satisfy any requirement under your policy. However, you should not give facts about the accident or discuss your injuries or medical treatment. This is a job for your attorney.
  • Hire a lawyer. Some people think they can handle a personal injury case themselves. This is a mistake. It’s similar to trying to perform surgery yourself…it’s best to leave it to a surgeon. There are many complex legal and medical issues with a personal injury case. You need a well-qualified Chicago personal injury lawyer to help get compensation for your car accident injury.
Call 911
Remain at the scene
Document the scene
Exchange insurance information
Make a police report
Get medical attention
Dealing with insurance companies
Hire a lawyer


Law firms in Chicago, Illinois have extensive experience in helping accident victims. Filing a successful car accident claim requires selecting a specialized personal injury lawyer to help navigate the claims process. Understanding how insurance and fault factor in, and what damages are recoverable, can help clients to more comfortably undergo the claims process and maintain control over their lives as they recover from an accident. The following article explains why Shammas Law Office is the right choice for your injury case.

Who is Responsible for Paying?

Illinois is an “at-fault” state for car accidents. This means that the person or company responsible to pay damages in an injury case is the party who caused or contributed to the accident. For example, somebody who rear-ends you at an intersection would be the responsible party. Also, a person who drives through an intersection against a red light or stop sign and hits a pedestrian would be the responsible party. Obviously these are just a couple simple examples.

The amount of money that will be paid depends on the nature and extent of the injuries, as well as any other harms and losses that a victim suffers from the accident. This could include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. It also includes any future losses of those damages above.

The amount of money paid for a claim also depends on the extent of insurance coverage available under the policy for the at-fault driver. If a company car or company driver is involved, the company’s insurance policy usually has a large amount of coverage that will be enough to cover most, if not all, injuries and even death claims.

Uninsured & Underinsured Car Accident Claims

In claims that involve uninsured or underinsured motorists, a victim’s own insurance policy may cover damages. Uninsured motorist coverage applies when you are hit by another driver without insurance, including hit-and-run cases. Underinsured motorist coverage protects a victim when the at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the value of the claim. For more on this topic, you can click to our blog post.


Uber & Lyft Rideshare Car Accidents

Issues about insurance and fault are slightly different when rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft (or taxi cabs) are involved. When rideshare drivers cause an accident, insurance coverage and liability depends on the driver’s activity in the app. When drivers are signed-in with passengers, or on the way to a confirmed trip, the ridesharing company’s insurance provides coverage. When drivers are not signed-in, the driver’s personal insurance provides coverage. Uber and Lyft insurance policies typically cover passengers who are struck by another car without insurance, or inadequate insurance.

Car Accidents Involving Trucks

Similarly, trucking accidents have unique insurance and fault issues that are different from the ordinary traffic crash. In a trucking case, there are multiple parties that can be completely or partly responsible for a crash, and each party’s insurance may provide coverage. Examples include the truck driver, the company providing the transportation service, the company arranging the shipment, the broker of the shipment, and the company who loaded the cargo onto the trailer. A personal injury lawyer in Chicago, Illinois can help Illinois crash victims understand insurance and fault.