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Chicago Attorneys Advocating Aggressively for Accident Victims
Many of us live according to routines and take for granted our ability to conduct the daily business of our lives. Unfortunately, an accident can throw everything off balance. Whether it is a car accident, a truck crash, a slip and fall, or an injury on the job, accidents can make it challenging to do even the smallest tasks. In cases of car accidents, seeking guidance from a Chicago car accident lawyer can be crucial. Sometimes injuries are catastrophic or even fatal.
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes have helped hundreds of accident victims recover compensation after suffering injuries due to the negligence or misconduct of other people or entities.
Common Factors in Chicago Personal Injury Cases
All personal injury cases have two things in common, even when the actual ways the injuries happened are starkly different:
- You sustained an injury
- Your injury was caused by a negligent third party
Common Personal Injuries People Suffer in Chicago
People can suffer various personal injuries because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing in Chicago. Although injuries vary in type and severity depending on the accident and other factors, some of the common types of injuries we help clients recover compensation for at Abels & Annes include:
- Sprains and strains
- Fractures and broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Deep bruises and contusions
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Dental and facial injuries
No matter how serious your injuries are, you should always get a prompt medical evaluation. You should also contact a Chicago personal injury attorney for help determining whether you can pursue a claim to recover damages.
What Should You Do After an Accident in Chicago?
If you have been involved in an accident in Chicago, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention: If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured, seek medical attention immediately.
- Contact the police: Call 911 to report the accident and request police assistance. The police will document the accident and create a report that can be used later.
- Exchange information: Exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved in the accident.
- Take pictures: Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to vehicles and any injuries.
- Contact your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
- Contact an attorney: Consider contacting an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Follow up with medical treatment: Follow all medical treatment recommendations and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure a full recovery.
Remember, it is important to act quickly after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the necessary medical treatment and compensation. Contact the attorneys at Abels & Annes as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your case for free.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
The damages principle in a personal injury case is also the same, no matter what type of case it is. If you can prove that someone else was negligent, they must pay you for everything you have suffered.
Personal injury damages break down into:
- Economic damages – These pay you for your financial damages. These cover things like lost wages, property damages, and all of the costs of medical expenses. Even though these seem straightforward, there is room for significant disagreement when the insurance company tries to estimate what they think you deserve.
- Non-economic damages – These damages use the money to estimate how you have suffered and what you have lost in your life since your injury. The type of non-economic damage that everyone knows about is pain and suffering. In addition, you can recover damages for things like emotional trauma and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are highly subjective, no matter how “objective” the insurance company tries to be about them.
- Punitive damages – These damages send a message and punish the defendant for atrocious conduct. Punitive damages are uncommon, and you should not expect them in every case. They are assessed by a jury when the defendant has been extraordinarily careless or reckless. Insurance companies will not pay punitive damages as part of a settlement.
Receiving Your Full Damages Almost Always Takes a Fight
You must also prove your damages, just like you need to prove liability. The challenge is that damages can lend themselves to multiple opinions. You can receive financial compensation for both past and future damages. However, an insurance company does not want to pay you what you are entitled to in full.
One of the critical parts of your personal injury claim happens before you even file it. Your attorney will review your damages and come up with an estimate of what you are seeking. Without knowing how much your claim is worth, you risk being tempted by a low offer from the insurance company because it is immediate cash. Hiring an attorney can help prevent this because an experienced lawyer will identify low-off offers and respond accordingly to the insurance company.
What Happens After You Contact Abels & Annes for Your Chicago Personal Injury Claim
When you contact an attorney at our law firm for help with your Chicago personal injury case, you can expect:
- The lawyer will talk to you to learn more about your case and ask you questions to find out more about your situation.
- They will work to prepare your claim or lawsuit, gathering evidence that can show that someone else was responsible for your injuries.
- The attorney negotiates with the defendant or their insurance company to get you total compensation for your injuries.
- If the insurance company denies your claim or will not offer you appropriate compensation, your attorney will file a lawsuit in court on your behalf.
The personal injury process is complicated enough. You need an experienced attorney who will compassionately deal with your case while fighting hard on your behalf. Insurance companies may take a different tone when you have hired a lawyer.
They know personal injury lawyers by their reputations. When you retain an aggressive lawyer who will hold them accountable, you go from being an easy mark to someone they must take seriously. This transformation happens when you approach them with a lawyer.
Do Not Worry About the Cost of Hiring an Attorney
One worry you may have is how you will pay an attorney. After all, you are likely dealing with mounting bills and less money coming in after your injury. The good news is that paying a lawyer is something you do not have to worry about.
A personal injury lawyer works for you on a contingency basis. You do not have to pay them out of your pocket during your case. If you do not win your case, you will not be billed for their time afterward. If you do win your case, your attorney collects their payment from the proceeds of your settlement or jury award.
There is no risk to you. The only danger is that you try to handle matters on your own and end up being one in a long line of people on whom the insurance company has imposed their will in the name of profits.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Chicago?
In Chicago, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the injury or accident. This means that you have two years from the date of the injury or accident to file a lawsuit in court.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the injury was not immediately apparent, the statute of limitations may be extended.
Additionally, if the injury was caused by a government entity or employee, there may be different time limits and notice requirements.
It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not miss any important deadlines.
How Long Will My Chicago Personal Injury Case Take to Resolve?
The duration of a personal injury case in Chicago, or anywhere else, can vary significantly based on several factors. It's essential to understand that every case is unique, and the timeline for resolution depends on various elements. Here are some key factors that can influence how long your personal injury case may take to resolve:
- Severity of Injuries: The extent and seriousness of your injuries can have a significant impact on the timeline. More severe injuries often lead to longer recovery times and more extensive medical treatment, which can delay the case's resolution.
- Type of Case: The type of personal injury case you have matters. For example, a simple car accident case may resolve more quickly than a complex medical malpractice case.
- Liability and Disputes: If liability (who is at fault) is clear, the case may proceed more smoothly. However, if there are disputes over liability or if multiple parties are involved, it can prolong the case.
- Insurance Company Involvement: Negotiations with insurance companies can take time. Some insurance companies may be more cooperative and quicker to settle, while others may be more resistant.
- Legal Process: The legal process itself involves various stages, including filing a lawsuit, discovery, pre-trial motions, and potentially a trial. Each of these stages can add time to the case.
- Negotiations: The negotiation process can be lengthy, especially if there are multiple rounds of negotiations to reach a fair settlement.
- Court Dockets: The court's schedule and backlog can also impact the timeline. Courts may have many cases on their dockets, which can lead to delays in scheduling hearings and trials.
- Complexity of the Case: Complex cases, such as those involving multiple parties, expert witnesses, or intricate legal issues, often take longer to resolve.
- Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Parties may choose to engage in mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods, which can expedite the process but still take time to schedule and conduct.
- Appeals: If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may request an appeal of the decision. The appellate court probably won’t grant an appeal unless the party can prove judicial errors affected the outcome, but the process can still extend the resolution timeline.
While it's difficult to predict precisely how long your personal injury case in Chicago will take to resolve, you can work closely with your attorney to get a better estimate based on the specific details of your case. They can provide guidance on the expected timeline and help you understand the various factors that may affect the duration.
Keep in mind that prioritizing a fair and just resolution often takes precedence over speed, as your attorney will work to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I’m Partially At Fault for the Chicago Accident?
Yes, you may still be able to recover damages in a personal injury case in Chicago even if you are partially at fault for the accident. Illinois follows a legal principle known as "comparative negligence" or "modified comparative fault." Under this principle, your ability to recover damages is not necessarily barred just because you bear some degree of responsibility for the accident.
However, your percentage of fault cannot exceed 50%. There is a threshold in Illinois known as the "51% Bar Rule." If you are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you are barred from recovering any damages. Also, the damages you can receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault and the total damages are $100,000, you can recover $80,000 (i.e., $100,000 minus 20%).
It's important to note that the determination of fault is often a subject of negotiation between the parties involved and their respective insurance companies. If a settlement cannot be reached, it may be up to a judge or jury to decide the apportionment of fault in a lawsuit.
To protect your interests and maximize your chances of recovering damages, it's crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Chicago. They can assess the specific details of your case, negotiate with the other party's insurance company, and help you navigate the complexities of comparative negligence laws to seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Chicago Emergency Rooms
There are many emergency rooms and urgent care centers that serve the Chicago area. A few examples are:
- Ascension Saint Joseph – Chicago Emergency Room: 2900 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60657
- Methodist Hospital of Chicago: Emergency Room: 5025 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60640
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital Emergency Department: 251 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611
*Disclaimer – Abels & Annes does not endorse these medical providers, nor do we profit from having them listed on our website.
- Circuit Court of Cook County: Richard J Daley Center, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
- Cook County Circuit Court: 3150 W Flournoy St, Chicago, IL 60612
- Circuit Court of Cook County, Branch 35 & 38: 727 E 111th St, Chicago, IL 60628
- U.S. District Court: 219 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60604
- Illinois Supreme Court: 160 N La Salle St # 20, Chicago, IL 60601