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Chicago Car Accident Lawyer | What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need

Millions of Americans suffer car accident injuries in crashes every year. Thousands die. Some wrecks are unavoidable, but most crashes could be prevented. They are caused by someone’s careless acts.

Car accidents happen every day in Chicago and across Illinois – even to the safest drivers. You can’t control what careless motorists do. But you can take control of your life after a crash. The road to recovery starts by contacting an attorney who will protect your rights, seek the compensation you deserve and ultimately help to lift your burdens.

The car accident lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. have decades of experience with helping crash victims and their families in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Clients know they can trust us with their case while they focus on getting better.

We Answer These Questions On This Page

Car Accident Settlement Results

Our attorneys strive to ensure our clients are fully compensated for their losses. We have recovered more than $950 million on behalf of our clients, with 207 verdicts or car accident settlements of $1 million or more. Our results include:

  • $33.2 million verdict Obtained on behalf of a young man who suffered severe injuries in a Lake County accident. It remains the largest jury verdict in Lake County history.
  • $17.9 million verdict Awarded by a Cook County jury to a woman who was injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Shortly before the jury returned its verdict, the case settled for $14 million.
  • $10.8 million partial settlement Obtained on behalf of a Lake County man who was permanently disabled after being struck by a car.



We take pride in the professional, friendly service we provide to every client. We may work quickly and aggressively - but we always take the time to talk with our clients about their case.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today. Call or submit our online form. Our consultations are always free, and they carry no obligations.

What Will A Car Accident Lawyer Do For Your Car Accident Claim?

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we believe it is crucial to conduct an immediate, thorough investigation of a car accident so as to ensure that no evidence is lost or destroyed. It is critical you contact an accident lawyer immediately about your car accident claim.

We can collect extensive evidence in your case, including:

  • The police crash report
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Photos of the damaged vehicles
  • Eyewitness statements

  • Information from the event data recorder (EDR, or “black box”)
  • Cell phone records and other electronic evidence
  • Manufacturer records or recall information
  • Medical records and work records.

We can also consult with highly qualified experts who can help us to determine:

  • Who caused the accident?
  • Who should be held liable?
  • How much you deserve to recover?

Our goal is to compile enough evidence to establish a solid car accident claim and make the best case possible for full and fair compensation. We aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and use a skilled approach to representing our clients in the courtroom.

As we pursue compensation for our crash clients, our attorneys can search through all possible options, including:

  • The at-fault driver’s liability coverageIllinois law requires drivers to carry liability insurance that pays for bodily injury and property damage they cause others.
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverageYou are required by Illinois law to have this coverage. It covers bodily injury to you, your passengers, members of your household or others authorized to drive your car if the other driver lacks liability coverage

  • Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverageIf you purchase UIM insurance above that of the at-fault driver, you may be entitled to compensation from your own UIM policy. This coverage can pay for bodily injury damages. It covers the difference between your UIM limits and the at-fault driver’s coverage.
  • Other insurance coverage We can review your insurance policy to determine if other types of coverage are available in your case, including medical payments, collision and comprehensive coverage.

Chicago, IL Car Accidents 101 - A Guide To Your Car Accident Case

As we stress to each of our clients: Do not speak with the insurance company unless you have first talked with an attorney. You do not want to say or sign anything that will cost you the chance to obtain a just recovery for your losses after a car crash.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we will conduct a comprehensive review of your case to determine the full extent of your losses and the proper value of your car accident claim. We can then negotiate directly with the insurance company or go to court on your behalf to obtain a car accident settlement.

We can also carefully resolve any healthcare, workers’ compensation or other liens that may be attached to your recovery after an auto accident.

 What Can I Recover After a Chicago Car Accident?

A car accident can result in heavy financial losses. According to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the average costs of crashes during one recent year were:

  • Fatal crashes – $1,479,670
  • “A” injury crashes — $72,580
  • Property damage crashes – $9,280.

(An “A” injury crash is one that results in car accident injuries that prevent a victim from walking, driving or “normally continuing the activities he/she was capable of performing before the injury occurred.”)

The amount that can be recovered in a car accident lawsuit in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois will depend on the case’s unique facts and legal issues, including the availability of insurance coverage. However, the damages typically sought in a car accident lawsuit are:

Vehicle repair or replacement

car accident settlement can cover auto repairsReimbursement for all necessary repairs to your vehicle or the fair market value for your car if it is declared to be a “total loss”  by the insurance company

Pain and suffering Compensation

car accident injuriesCompensation for all physical and mental suffering that you experience due to being involved in a crash caused by another person.

Payment For Medical Bills

car accident claim for compensationAll past and future medical costs that arise from the treatment you need due to your accident, including emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, medication, assistive devices and rehabilitation

Emotional distress

car accident injury stress and emotional traumaAnxiety, depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional health problems caused by your crash.

Lost Income Compensation

lost wages due to car accident injuriesAll past and future wages that you lose because your injuries prevent you from being able to work and earn a living. Compensation should include all bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits and income you would have earned through self-employment.

Punitive damages

punitive damages from car accidentsDamages that are intended to punish a party for engaging in especially egregious misconduct such as drunk driving (and to deter that party and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future).

If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to seek coverage of all medical costs as well as:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost financial support
  • Loss of consortium or loss of companionship.

If your own negligence partially contributed to an auto accident, you may still be able to recover damages. Your recovery would be reduced according to your percentage of fault. If you were 51 percent or more at fault, you would be barred from recovering anything unless the other party was engaged in reckless conduct such as drunk driving.

Car Accident Do’s and Don’ts from our Chicago Auto Accident Lawyers

Key steps to take and mistakes to avoid if you have been in a crash in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois.

car accident do's and don'ts from our Chicago car accident lawyer

Download our free pdf on the Do’s and Don’ts of car accidents. Our Chicago auto accident lawyers have put together a quick checklist of items you should and should not do after you have been involved in a vehicle collision.

 Six Key Steps Afer a Car Accident

6 key steps after a car accident


Following up the Do’s and Don’ts of car accidents is this downloadable pdf on the 6 key steps to take after a car accident. If you have been in a car wreck before then you know how stressful and chaotic it can be. Follow these steps to insure you are properly covered after you have been in an accident.

Illinois Car Accident Facts

You are not alone when it comes to getting into a car accident. Many others face the same challenges as you after a crash.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that 296,049 auto accidents occurred in our state in one recent year, or a rate of 811 crashes per day. Those crashes caused:

  • 61,084 injuries
  • 845 deaths.

The following car accident facts break it down by county. The majority of those crashes – 69 percent – occurred in Cook County and its five bordering counties. As these stats show, driving can be especially dangerous in Chicago and surrounding areas, which may be due in part to the high volume of traffic, heavy road construction and large number of pedestrians and bicyclists who share the road with vehicles in our region:


The key is to take charge after an auto accident. You must act right away to protect your legal rights and increase your chances of obtaining a full recovery for the physical, mental and financial harm you have suffered. Like many others who have been impacted by a crash, you can move on in life with a sense of security.

Types of Car Accidents in Chicago and Illinois

The types of car accidents that we most commonly encounter when working with crash victims and their families in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois include:

Drunk Driving

type10IDOT reports that roughly one-third (30.4 percent) of the state’s fatal crashes during a recent year involved alcohol. In some circumstances, the establishment or social host who provided alcohol to the person who caused the crash can be held accountable. Read more on Drunk Driving.

Distracted Driving

type8When a person tries to multi-task behind the wheel, it can lead to a crash. Talking on a phone and texting while driving are common examples. Distracted driving also includes interacting with other passengers, eating and drinking, putting on makeup or any other activity that takes one’s attention away from driving.

Speeding Accident

type7Speeding factors into roughly one-third of Illinois auto accidents, IDOT reports. A driver can cause a crash when he or she drives above the posted speed limit or goes too fast for weather and road conditions.

Vehicle Defects

vehicle defects such as faulty airbagsMany car accidents are not caused by driver error but rather by a defective automobile or automotive part such as brakes, tires, or steering. In some cases, a crash victim’s injuries are made worse by a defective safety feature such as an airbag or seatbelt.

Highway Construction Accidents

type15Even slight misplacement of equipment or road markers in a highway construction zone can create a hazard that endangers the safety of motorists and workers alike. A government agency or its contractors may ultimately be held responsible for

Head-on Collisions

type6A driver can cause devastating harm by using poor judgment and attempting to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road or by drifting across the center line due to impairment caused by distraction, alcohol or fatigue.

Truck Accident

type1Commercial truck drivers often cause crashes due to speeding, fatigue, distraction or impairment. Many crashes involving large tractor-trailers (or semis) can be traced to mechanical defects. These crashes can result in severe and often fatal injuries due to the size and weight difference between trucks and passenger cars.

Motorcycle Accidents

type2Careless mistakes by car drivers and motorcycle riders alike can lead to deadly accidents, including following too closely or trying to share the same lane. IDOT reports that motorcycle crashes accounted for 16 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities during a recent year.

Pedestrian Accident

type13A driver failing to keep a proper lookout, rushing to beat a red light or turning with an obstructed view are common causes of crashes that occur at intersections in Chicago and other areas of Illinois.

Intersection Accidents

A driver can cause devastating harm by using poor judgment and attempting to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road or by drifting across the center line due to impairment caused by distraction, alcohol or fatigue.

Teen Driving Accidents

type16Distracted driving is a particular concern when it comes to young, inexperienced drivers. A recently published AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that distraction played a role in 58 percent of teen crashes, including 76 percent of rear-end accidents.

Side Impact Accident

type14These are also known as angle crashes or T-bone collisions. They commonly occur at intersections. They can produce severe injuries due to the lack of protection most cars provide on the sides.

Drowsy Driving Accidents

type12Fatigue can have an impairing effect on a driver that is on par with alcohol or drugs. In fact, one recently published study estimated that fatigue plays a role in 6-10 percent of all motor vehicle accidents.

Rear End Accidents

type5IDOT statistics show that these are the most common type of car accident in our state. In a recent year, there were 84,000 rear-end collisions in Illinois. They often are caused by a driver “tailgating” a car in front or failing to pay attention as he or she approaches a red light or stop sign at an intersection.

Drugged Driving Accidents

type11A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) roadside survey revealed a significant increase in the number of drivers who use illegal and prescription drugs while driving.

Reckless Driving

type9Speeding, running a red light, tailgating, weaving in-and-out of traffic, refusing to yield the right of way – these are all forms of reckless driving (also called “aggressive driving”) that puts others in danger.