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Broken Bones Can Result in Thousands of Dollars in Losses

Accidents Often Cause Broken Bones

Accidents can result in many different types of injuries. Some of the most common injuries related to accidents are broken bones. Although broken arms and legs are relatively common, especially among daredevil youth, they can be very serious injuries when they’re caused by traumatic events like a slip and fall or a motor vehicle accident.

Dealing with broken bone injuries can be painful, stressful, and emotionally exhausting. Also, the cost of a broken bone, including emergency room and doctor visits, x-ray costs, and further complications that may arise, can create serious financial hardship for some accident victims when they face the final bill.

Most people think of a broken bone injury as a broken arm in an arm splint simply requiring non-surgical treatment. But they really have no idea about the cost of a broken arm or the doctors’ fees that might be involved. The term “broken bones” can also refer to multiple breaks in one bone or damage to multiple different bones. Also, crush injuries, fractures to spinal bones, and fractures to facial bones can qualify as commonly broken bones.

Serious fractures like these can end up costing accident victims thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Further, they can also cause significant time away from work, resulting in lost wages or the inability to return to former employment.

The severity of a broken bone from an accident can vary, but they all run the risk of costing thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. Taking the right steps after you are injured is important to ensure your timely recovery. Seek medical attention immediately and then talk to an experienced accident injury lawyer to understand the compensation you may be entitled to recover from the responsible person or insurance company.

What Causes a Broken Bone?

A broken bone or bone fracture occurs when force is exerted against a bone that is stronger than the bone can bear. This causes the structure and strength of the bone to tear or break. Broken bones can lead to severe pain and loss of function. In some instances, bone breaks can cause complications like nerve damage and infection.

Some people think of bones as static or dead tissue. But this isn’t true. Bones are a type of connective tissue that is made up of cells and reinforced with calcium. Our bones have a relatively soft center, called marrow, which is responsible for producing the blood cells humans need to stay alive. But the main functions of our skeleton are to support our body, allow us to move, and protect our internal organs. This tissue-like structure and soft center are what allow a bone to break. The important role of our skeleton is what makes that break so critical.

Many accidents can result in broken bones, such as:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Falls

If you sustain a fracture in any accident and believe someone else was to blame, you should allow a personal injury lawyer to assess your legal rights and options.

Symptoms of a Broken Bone

If you are involved in an accident or traumatic incident, you should get medical help right away after the personal injury incident. You do not want to risk waiting when you have an injury or making an existing injury worse. In most cases, you will definitely know if you have a broken bone because of clear symptoms. However, shock and other injuries can mask certain fractures. That is why going to a hospital is so important after an accident to ensure that you don’t aggravate an injury.

Symptoms of a broken bone can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Deformities, such as a fractured arm or broken limb appearing to be out of place
  • Swelling, bruising, tenderness, numbness, or a tingling sensation around the injury
  • Difficulty or pain when moving a limb.
  • Hearing or feeling a snap or a grinding noise as the injury happens
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, or sick as a result of the shock

Broken bones can range from stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bone, to more serious fractures where the bone is actually cracked and moves apart during an accident or fall.

The worst bone break is a compound fracture. Here, the bone breaks into two or more pieces, and one or more of the pieces punctures the skin, exposing the bone and creating a wound. This complex fracture poses a risk of infection. Also, it presents serious issues for an orthopedic surgeon while reconstructing and setting the break. The goal is for the bone to heal properly and as close as possible to its original position. Compound fractures require x-rays, emergency surgery, and additional doctor visits to improve the prognosis and prevent complications.

Any fracture requires immediate medical care. X-rays will determine whether you have broken a bone and whether you need a cast or a splint to treat the fracture. It is also possible that surgery will be necessary, depending upon the location and severity of the break. Pins, screws, or other measures might be necessary to stabilize the fracture. As a result, compound and other complex fractures are the most difficult and expensive to treat.

Broken Bones Are Common in Accidents

Fractures are among the most common orthopedic injuries, with roughly 7 million people suffering bone fractures in the United States every year. The average adult in the United States suffers two bone fractures in their lifetime.

Extremity fractures such as broken arms are the most common, usually suffered by men under 45 years old, or women over 45 years old. For women, this is due to osteoporosis, a reduction in bone density commonly found in older women.

Types of Fractures

There are different types of bone fractures. Some are more severe than others, depending on the strength and direction of the force, the particular bone involved, and the age and health of the victim.

When we speak of a broken bone after an accident, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something like a person with their arm in a cast. But other bones in the human body can break too. In fact, if it’s a bone, it can probably break or fracture during a serious accident, like a car accident.

For example, a person may break a rib during an accident; or they may have their foot crushed, causing multiple bones in their foot to break or fracture at once. Someone may also break a bone in their back or neck, which causes its own unique issues and treatments, but nonetheless, is a broken bone.

The point is, insurance companies don’t always take broken bones seriously, since a broken arm or leg can be quite common in daily life. But in reality, these types of injuries are often serious.

Some common types of fractures include:

  • Avulsion fracture: a piece of the bone that is attached to a tendon or ligament gets pulled away from the main part of the bone.
  • Comminuted fracture: the bone becomes shattered and breaks into many smaller pieces. Some slip and fall victims try to catch themself as they fall, leading to a broken wrist and comminuted fractures.
  • Compression fracture (wedge fracture): the bone is broken from a downward force, and usually occurs in the spine.
  • Fracture-dislocation: an injury where both a fracture and dislocation happen simultaneously. This will often cause a bone fragment to remain lodged between the dislocated segments and require surgery for removal. Car accident victims often suffer from these types of injuries.
  • Hairline fracture (stress fracture): small breaks along the bone or bruises inside the bone.
  • Impacted fracture (buckle fracture): occurs when the broken ends of the bone are pressed against one another due to the force of the injury.
  • Intraarticular fracture: a fracture that pushes into a joint. This can damage the cartilage between the joints and has a higher risk of developing long-term complications.
  • Pathological fracture: break in a bone that is weakened from underlying illness.
  • Spiral fracture: occurs when torque or twisting is applied to a bone

Complications from Breaks, Fractures, and Crushed Bones

Broken Bones Can Result in Thousands of Dollars in LossesBroken bones are not always straightforward. Sometimes, they can be accompanied by or lead to other problems. Serious complications are rare, but they are more common in injuries that are caused by severe force like those caused by car accidents.

This can significantly increase the amount of damage, pain and suffering, and cost of treatment. This is one of the major reasons why some broken bones end up costing thousands of dollars to treat.

Below are some common complications seen in broken bone cases.

#1. Excessive Bleeding and Disrupted Blood Flow

Many fractures cause noticeable bleeding around the injury. In most cases, it’s not serious. However, in some cases like those involving large bones or crushed bones, internal bleeding or bleeding from an open wound can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure.

Sometimes a dislocation or break can cause a disruption of blood flow. This can cause some tissue to not get enough blood, which can be a major problem for the body. In worst-case scenarios, it may not be noticed and leads to amputation.

#2. Nerve Damage

Sometimes when a bone is fractured, nerves are stretched, bruised, or crushed. These injuries usually heal on their own, but they can also cause severe pain while they do. In rare cases, nerves are torn, sometimes by sharp bone fragments. Torn nerves do not heal on their own and may have to be repaired surgically.

#3. Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism is the most common severe complication caused by a fracture, usually to the hip or pelvis. It occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, breaks off, travels to a lung, and blocks an artery. As a result, the body may not get enough oxygen.

Pulmonary embolism is most common in older people who break their hip. But they can occur to anyone who suffers a serious fracture.

#4. Infections

If the skin is torn when a bone is broken, the wound has a chance of becoming infected. In some cases, this infection may spread to the bone or blood, which can be very serious and will require extended hospital care.

#5. Joint problems

Fractures that extend into a joint can damage the cartilage at the ends of bones. Damaged cartilage can scar, which makes joints stiff and limits their range of motion. Physical therapy is usually needed to treat joint problems from broken bones. Surgery is required to repair damaged joints in some cases.

#6. Osteonecrosis

When blood flow to a bone is disrupted by a fracture or dislocation, part of the bone may die from a lack of blood. This is known as osteonecrosis. Most of the time, doctors can prevent this before it becomes a problem. However, in cases where blood flow is hindered for too long, patients may lose function or require amputation.

How much does a broken bone cost?

As you can see, broken bones and fractures can be complicated and can result in lots of complications. Even if you have health insurance, a relatively simple procedure involving a broken bone can get pretty pricey.

Adding up charges for an emergency room visit, doctor’s fees, lab fees, x-rays, fees for follow-up care, braces, slings, bandages, splints, casts, clinic visits, CT scans, and other procedures can quickly push the costs over $10,000.

Physical therapy, if necessary, can also add significant costs. Treatments for any nerve damage or other complications, such as muscle damage, also will escalate the cost. Depending upon your insurance policy, there is no guarantee that all or even most of these costs will be covered.

With medical costs constantly on the rise, any injury in an accident may wind up costing far more than you expect. Broken bones are no exception. Even with health insurance, a broken bone can be very expensive.

The Cost of a Broken Leg

Without health insurance, the costs of a broken leg can reach many thousands of dollars

  • If you don’t have health insurance, treatment for a broken leg generally can be as much as $2,500 or more just for a break that calls for a cast. That can include an average of more than $200 for an x-ray – although that can cost as much as $1,000 – about $225 for a cast, and as much as $1,000 for the doctor’s fee, in addition to up to $200 for an office visit fee. Fees can vary depending on where you are and what prevailing healthcare costs are in your region.
  • If you suffer a broken leg that requires surgical treatment and you do not have health insurance, surgical treatment of a broken leg typically costs $17,000 to $35,000 or more.
  • Health insurance will typically cover a broken leg, but you remain responsible for copayments and coinsurance. These can amount to thousands of dollars. This is especially true if your deductibles or yearly out-of-pocket maximums are high. This would be common with many plans on the Healthcare Exchange.

The Cost of a Broken Arm

A broken arm from an accident is common but no less expensive. Here’s a summary of broken arm costs in the United States:

  • If you have no health insurance, the cost of diagnosis and treatment for a broken arm that does not require surgery generally runs up to $2,500 or more.
  • If surgery is required, without health insurance a broken arm generally costs about $16,000 or more.
  • Health insurance would normally cover a broken arm. However, for someone on a health insurance policy through the Healthcare Exchange, deductibles could be more than $5,000. This means you will wind up being responsible for the full costs yourself.

In addition, the severity of the break is a major factor in how much it costs to treat a fracture. Compound fractures, for example, can be considerably more expensive to treat.

All Broken Bones are Serious, Contact an Experienced Chicago Injury Lawyer

If you suffer a broken bone in an accident involving another party, whether in a traffic accident or an accident on someone else’s property, the other party may be legally liable for your damages. Regardless of what your insurance does or does not cover, you might be able to recover damages from the other driver or property owner, or from that person’s insurance carrier.

It is important to explore your legal options to obtain compensation for your injuries. There is no reason for you to bear all the expenses yourself if another party was responsible. In addition, the law imposes deadlines on the amount of time you have to bring a legal claim for compensation after an accident. Don’t delay, contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t jeopardize your important legal rights.

We can help in the following ways, among others:

  • Gathering evidence that someone else was liable for your accident
  • Collecting your bills and calculating your past and future losses, including non-economic losses
  • Filing the necessary insurance claims with supporting evidence
  • Handling all communications with insurance adjusters
  • Negotiating the highest possible settlement for your broken bone
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit when necessary to seek full compensation
  • Handling all litigation matters, including ongoing settlement negotiations or even a trial

There is no need to add the stress of financial losses or injury claims to an already stressful situation. Instead, allow our personal injury attorneys to take over this process for you.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C.

If you have been injured in an accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights. The attorneys of Abels & Annes are here to help you following an accident. You can reach us at (312) 924-7575 or through our website.

​What Do I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

All traffic collisions are stressful, but some are more devastating than others, such as hit-and-runs. These accidents are complicated and more nuanced as the at-fault driver flees the scene, attempting to escape responsibility for their actions and leaving any victims to tend to themselves.

Not only do the injured parties lack help at the scene, but they also don’t have important resources they might use to recover physically and financially from their injuries.

Hit-and-run victims frequently have more worries and questions than answers and help.

Injured parties need to know:

  • They have legal rights and options as they seek compensation and justice.
  • A highly experienced car accident lawyer can aggressively advocate their rights and help them obtain the best possible outcomes in their situation.

Hit and Runs: What You Need to Know

A hit-and-run occurs when a driver causes a crash and leaves the scene. Under state laws, anyone involved in a vehicle wreck has to stop at the scene, whether it is with another vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Leaving the scene without stopping and taking steps to ensure others’ safety and exchanging information is illegal.

Still, drivers leave without stopping for various reasons, including:

  • Lack of any auto insurance coverage or the legally required amounts of coverage
  • Being in the process of committing another crime, such as driving a stolen vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Panicking or being concerned that they will face blame for the accident
  • Having a warrant out for their arrest

No matter the reason for leaving the wreck scene, multiple problems are ignited when someone does this. Unfortunately, those problems don’t just impact the person who left; they affect those injured or drivers who incurred property damage in the crash.

If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a hit and run, we are here to help. You can’t change someone else’s poor decisions, but you control what you do next to help yourself. One of the first steps you should take is to call an experienced car accident attorney.

Who Pays for Damages in a Hit and Run?

In other types of crashes, the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier typically end up paying for your losses. Also known as damages, they might include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, when the at-fault driver flees the scene leaving no information, how can the injured parties file a claim on their insurance policy? Sadly, there’s really no way they can. Instead, they are left dealing with the expenses and hardships of the crash on their own.

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that nearly 13 percent, or one in eight, of all drivers in America, are currently uninsured. If an uninsured driver causes an accident, they are more likely to leave the scene or not bother to stop at all to avoid further legal repercussions.

For insurance purposes, a hit-and-run accident are like an accident in which the negligent party did not have auto insurance coverage. The problem with uninsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents is that when an accident occurs, no matter whose fault it is, the known driver or the driver with insurance faces the monetary burden of the accident. If this happens to you, you need the services of a reliable car accident lawyer who will fight for you.

What is a Hit and Run Accident?

An average of 682,000 hit-and-run accidents happen each year, or about one every minute, according to AAA researchers. These accidents are increasingly common. Even ones that do not cause injury or death can cause thousands of dollars in property damage.

The three general types of hit-and-run accidents include:

  • A motorist leaves the scene of a crash involving more than one driver
  • A motorist leaves the scene after hitting a parked vehicle
  • A motorist leaves the scene after hitting a pedestrian, cyclist, or another road user

State laws demand that all drivers stay at the scene whenever there is an accident, even a minor one. If they do not stay to exchange relevant information and contact local law enforcement when required (usually required if there are injuries, fatalities, or property damage), they can receive a misdemeanor or even felony conviction and a hefty fine. Even still, some drivers leave the scene of the accident immediately. Perhaps they do not have insurance, are wanted by law enforcement, are in denial, or don’t want to accept responsibility for the accident.

Recovering Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Once the other driver has left the scene, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to hold them accountable. However, you should absolutely still file a police report. It’s possible that there are witnesses or surveillance camera footage that can help locate the driver.

If the police find that driver, they will hold them criminally accountable for their actions, and you can pursue a civil claim against them or their insurance company for compensation. But in many cases, the police never find them.

For this reason, many states mandate uninsured motorist insurance coverage. In some states, it will be part of your policy unless you elect to reject this coverage in writing. The good news is that you can use uninsured motorist coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a hit-and-run accident. Even if this coverage is not mandatory, you can choose to carry it with your other auto insurance coverage, and this is always wise.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurer. However, even though you are insured, many auto insurance companies will use several tactics to deny your claim or decrease its value. Suppose you feel that your insurance company is not living up to their agreement with you. In that case, you need to hire a skilled car accident attorney to ensure you are getting full and fair compensation for your damages from the accident.

If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you might still file a claim under other types of coverage on your policy. So it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company and an attorney.

What Motorists Should Know About Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

To access your coverage and enforce your full legal rights, you should know these things about UM coverage:

  • In many states, insurance companies must give you UM coverage unless you reject it in writing.
  • You might not access UM coverage if you were using your vehicle for business purposes when the crash happened.
  • If you were involved in a hit-and-run crash, most insurance policies require you to file a police report to access UM coverage.
  • If you let someone else drive your car, that driver and all their passengers typically have coverage under your UM policy.
  • The UM policy should cover all of your family members living in your home.
  • Your minor children have coverage even if they don’t live with you.
  • Even if your child attends college out of town, they usually have coverage.
  • You have limited time to file a claim after the accident.
  • In some states, UM won’t cover property damage, but your insurance company will allow you to use your collision coverage to pay for the damages.

What Should You Do if You’re in a Hit-and-Run Crash?

If you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, stay at the scene even if the other party doesn’t. After you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident, every moment counts.

As quickly as you can:

  • Make sure you’re safe: Check to see if you or any other passengers have injuries. If someone is hurt, call 911 immediately for help before taking any further steps. If your vehicle is in a dangerous location and can move it, move it. If you can’t move it, attempt to get you and your passengers out of the vehicle and into a safe area.
  • Gather information: Once you’re safe and the EMS is on their way, write down as much information as you can on the other car and driver, including their physical description and the make, model, and color of their vehicle, license plate number, and their direction of travel. Written documentation is imperative, so you don’t have to rely on memory alone. You can record notes on your smartphone if you don’t have anything to write with. Additionally, if there are any witnesses nearby, ask if they’d be willing to provide a statement to the police and get their contact information.
  • Take pictures or videos: If possible, take pictures or videos of the damage to your vehicle, the accident scene, and any injuries you have. These can serve as evidence and may help locate the hit-and-run driver.
  • Call the police: Even if no one has visible injuries, you should call the police to make a report of the accident. You will need the report for insurance purposes to prove that the accident happened. Calling as soon as possible can increase the chances that the hit-and-run driver will be found and allow the police to collect fresh evidence. The police will come out and make a report. You should ask for a copy once available, as your insurance company will usually require a police report as part of your UM claim.
  • Contact your auto insurance company: Once the police finish their investigation and you can leave the scene, contact your auto insurer and file a claim. The sooner you make the report, the better your memory of the accident will be. Call the same day as the accident if you can. With most insurance companies, you have 30 days to file a claim.

Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident

Damages in a hit-and-run accident are similar to those in any motor vehicle accident. They will depend on the severity of the accident and the types of injuries the victims sustained.

Special damages have an inherent monetary value, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damages
  • Lost wages and income

General damages are those that don’t come with a pre-assigned value.

They are often simply called pain and suffering, but can also include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

A hit-and-run victim can receive compensation for both special and general damages, either through an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver (if the police located the driver).

Even if the police find the hit-and-run driver and the driver faces criminal charges, you still need to seek compensation for your damages on the civil side. A possible conviction for the liable driver won’t pay for your damages.

Some hit-and-run cases may qualify for punitive damages. Only a judge or jury can award these damages, as they only apply in personal injury cases when the liable party with extreme disregard for someone’s safety and well-being. In some cases, leaving the scene of an accident can trigger punitive damages. Instead of compensating the victim for their damages, punitive damages punish the liable party and attempt to prevent them and others from similar conduct in the future.

Were You the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Car Accident? Call an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer to Help

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
Hit and Run Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your own insurance company will treat you fairly after a hit-and-run accident or that the driver will be found and held accountable. Instead, speak to a trusted legal advocate to determine your next steps. They can help you identify all sources of potential compensation so that you receive the money you deserve for your damages.

Car accident lawyers know how to identify all sources of compensation, even in a complicated hit-and-run case. Reach out for a free case evaluation today.


Chicago Office

100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: (855) 529-2442
Phone: (312) 924-7575

​Who Is at Fault for a T-Bone Accident?

It doesn’t matter what you call it; being in a broadside or T-bone accident can cause serious injuries and property damage to your vehicle. To make matters worse, there’s no magic method to determine fault for these side-impact vehicle crashes. Unless the liable party admits to police that they caused the crash, proving liability frequently comes down to gathering reliable and robust evidence, such as witness statements or surveillance camera footage.

Unlike rear-end collisions, in which the motorist in the back vehicle is typically liable for colliding with the vehicle in front, the motorist of the striking vehicle may not be at fault for a T-bone collision. Industry experts like car accident lawyers can assess the damage pattern at the point of impact to help them determine if the other car hit you first and possibly estimate how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of the crash. But, unfortunately, damage patterns won’t show which driver had the right-of-way.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

A T-bone accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another, forming the shape of a “T,” where one vehicle impacts the other. These accidents often occur at intersections when one driver ignores a stop sign or red light proceeding through the intersection at the same time another vehicle with the right of way traverses the same intersection. However, poor judgment calls on green lights can also cause T-bone crashes.

T-bone accidents aren’t just limited to intersections. They can happen on a highway or interstate if a motorist loses control of their vehicle and skids to the side. T-bone accidents are also known to occur in parking lots. For example, one driver can be backing out of a parking space when another vehicle strikes it from the side.

In addition to running stop signs or red lights, other causes of T-bone collisions include:

  • Turning across traffic lanes: Motorists in a turn lane must wait until it’s safe to cross the lanes of traffic. Most of the time, drivers who turn left across traffic are to blame for the resulting accident.
  • Making a right turn into oncoming traffic: Drivers must also wait until it’s safe to join oncoming traffic before attempting a right turn at a stop sign or red light and getting into the lane. However, frequently drivers can’t see speeding vehicles coming from the side until it’s too late. While the motorist already in the lane of traffic can be held partially at fault for speeding, most liability usually falls to the driver who failed to yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Aggressive driving or recklessness: Reckless behavior behind the wheel and aggressive driving frequently go hand in hand. Sometimes motorists try to use their cars to intimidate others, and they ignore other drivers who are legally in an intersection as a scare tactic. The reckless or aggressive motorist is liable when aggressive driving results in a crash.
  • Cell phones: Using cell phones, including texting while driving, is not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal in most states. Unfortunately, cell phones take the driver’s eyes, concentration, and focus off driving. A talking or texting motorist is distracted, and if an accident occurs, it can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Intoxication by either drugs or alcohol impairs a motorist’s reflexes, sight, and thinking abilities. While under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they often don’t look for traffic coming from their side. If they do see other vehicles, their intoxication causes them to misjudge the oncoming driver’s speed and location.

Some causes of T-bone accidents that might not just be the other driver’s fault:

  • Mechanical failures: Although less frequent than other causes, equipment failure is an equally dangerous cause of T-bone accidents. Traveling into oncoming traffic often becomes unavoidable if a motorist can’t stop because of brake, steering, or other mechanical failures. However, the motorist might still be negligent if the vehicle wasn’t properly maintained or if they knew it had issues but didn’t fix them.
  • Weather and road conditions: Severe weather, such as unexpected freezing rain or snow, can make it nearly impossible for a motorist to stop safely. Sliding or skidding past a traffic signal or stop sign into an intersection is an unfortunate invitation to a T-bone collision.

Can There be More Than One Liable Party?

In some T-bone accidents, there may be multiple liable for your injuries and resulting damages. Identifying all responsible parties is essential as this ensures that you seek all sources of compensation to resolve your accident injury claim or lawsuit. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident attorney who can help uncover all potential sources of compensation.

In addition to the at-fault driver, other parties with potential liability can include:

  • Parents or legal guardians of teenage motorists
  • The vehicle owner, if someone other than the driver
  • Business owners, if the at-fault driver was operating a company vehicle
  • A vehicle’s manufacturer or dealer, if mechanical issues resulted in the accident
  • Municipal or state government agencies, if neglected road, traffic lights, or sign conditions caused the accident

The Importance of Evidence in Proving Fault

After a T-bone accident, it might be clear to you that the other driver caused the accident. However, you or your attorney on your behalf still must prove it to the driver’s insurance company before they will compensate you for your claim. Proving another driver’s negligence requires reliable evidence.

You must have evidence to support that:

  • The at-fault motorist had a legal duty of care to drive safely.
  • The at-fault driver violated their duty of care such as by running a red light or failing to yield the right of way when making a left turn.
  • The motorist’s breach of duty of care was the direct cause of your injuries.
  • Your injuries lead to compensable damages.

A motorist’s failure to drive safely is negligent conduct and a breach of their duty of care owed to you and other drivers on the road. If a breach of duty is the direct cause of a T-bone accident, the at-fault driver is liable for your injuries and damages.

Evidence to Support Your Claim

Your attorney will usually take on the task of collecting evidence to support your claim, which typically includes:

  • Police Report: The investigating police officer who came to the scene of the accident will draft an official police accident report. It will have valuable information to help support your claim, including eyewitness statements and their contact information, a diagram of the accident, and a list of traffic citations if any, that the police issued to the other motorist.
  • Photographs: Pictures or videos taken after the crash are convincing evidence. The police usually take photos during car accident investigations. If you are physically able, take pictures of the vehicles from as many different angles as you safely can. Also, get some of the intersection or surrounding accident scene, including traffic signals, any stop or yield signs, and skid marks on the road. You can also take pictures of your visible injuries to serve as evidence.
  • Surveillance Camera Footage: Pictures and videos taken by red light cameras or security camera surveillance footage from nearby businesses can erase any doubt regarding which driver had the right of way when the accident happened.
  • Your Notes: If you or the eyewitnesses heard the other motorist say something like “I didn’t see the car coming” or “I’m sorry, it’s my fault,” write it down as soon as possible. Statements admitting fault for the accident are often compelling evidence of liability. After the accident, you should also keep detailed notes. Record everything you remember from the day of the crash, the events leading up to the crash, and what happened immediately after the collision.
  • Medical Records: Never refuse medical attention at the accident scene. A thorough medical exam as soon as possible after the accident is imperative to not only ensure your health and well-being but also to set your legal claim up for success. You or your car accident attorney can request copies of all your medical bills and records from the ambulance, hospital, doctors, and any other medical and rehab specialists who diagnose or treat you related to your T-bone accident injuries.

What Are Damages?

Damages are the losses, inconveniences, and suffering you have endured due to an injury accident. After a T-bone accident, injured parties deserve to receive full and fair monetary compensation for their damages. The amount and type of compensation will vary depending on the available insurance policies, how the accident happened, who the at-fault party was, and various other factors.

Some factors are economic and have bills or receipts to prove their value. Other factors are non-economic and are more challenging to value because they are subjective and without a predetermined value.

Typical damages in T-bone collision claims include:

Individuals suffering injuries in a T-bone accident should consult a seasoned car accident attorney. An attorney can discuss the types and amounts of compensation they may be entitled to receive if their case is successful. Your attorney can also help you gather medical, financial, and other relevant documentation to build a strong case.

T-Bone Accident Lawsuits: Time is of Essence

After a T-bone collision, injured parties usually have many important tasks to attend to; medical appointments, filing insurance claims, arranging time off of work to heal, and finding help for tasks they cannot complete for themselves due to their recent injuries. However, during this stressful and busy time, accident injury victims must know they only have a limited amount of time to take legal action concerning their accident and damages.

The time limit for filing a lawsuit is short, and the clock starts on the date of the accident or when the victim discovered their injuries. The deadlines are different in cases involving an injured minor or other circumstances, such as claims against the government. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can inform crash victims of their claim’s timeline and what to expect, as each state sets its own deadlines for personal injury cases, including those arising from car accidents.

Injured individuals should note that if they wait past their state’s deadline to file their injury claim, the at-fault party can enter a motion to dismiss the case due to the elapsed statute of limitations. The court will most likely reject the case because of the late filing, and the injured party won’t have any recourse to pursue compensation for their damages.

Never risk waiting too long to seek legal help; consult with a car accident attorney today.

What to Do After a T-Bone Accident

Seek Medical Attention

The most crucial step you can take after being involved in a T-bone accident is seeking medical attention. In some cases, accident victims don’t experience any pain or other injury symptoms right away due to the adrenaline rush they are experiencing from the accident or the nature of their injuries.

If you’ve been in a car accident but don’t have pain or other symptoms, it’s still best to be examined by a doctor. You should seek care as soon as possible through your own primary care doctor or at an urgent care facility if you don’t go to the emergency room immediately after the accident. Failing to get medical care right away can have negative implications on your injury claim in the future.

In addition, you should follow the medical advice that your physician gives you. If you fail to keep up with your treatment recommendations, you can risk the insurance company denying parts of your claim.

Seek Legal Help

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
T-Bone Accident Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

The second most crucial step to take is to contact an experienced car accident attorney. They can help preserve your rights and help you move forward to seek the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, without the help of a car accident attorney, you may never receive a financial recovery for your damages.


Chicago Office

100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: (855) 529-2442
Phone: (312) 924-7575

​Why Pay a Lawyer?

People may suffer severe and debilitating injuries when drivers, property owners, medical providers, and others commit negligent acts. As a result, accident victims may need to undergo lengthy medical treatment, risky medical procedures, and ongoing physical therapy. They may also experience large amounts of suffering, pain, and inconvenience, including not working.

If you suffered injuries in an accident resulting from another person’s carelessness or recklessness, you have legal options. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area is in the best position to explain those legal options to you and help you decide on the best course of action for your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

In most instances, personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they do not receive a fee unless they recover monetary compensation for you through a favorable settlement, jury trial verdict, or binding arbitration award.

Having a personal injury lawyer represent you is one of the most intelligent decisions you can make in your case. Your lawyer can assist you by investigating the circumstances of your accident, filing a personal injury claim on your behalf, negotiating with the insurance company adjuster handling your claim, and, if necessary, litigating your case in court, and bringing it to an efficient and favorable conclusion.

 

Types of Personal Injury Cases that Lawyers Handle

Personal injury claims and lawsuits have a basis in negligence law. Individuals or entities behave negligently when they act unreasonably or carelessly under the circumstances. In most situations, a negligent party does something that a hypothetical reasonable person should not do under the same circumstances. Alternatively, a negligent party might fail to do something that a hypothetical reasonable person should do in the same scenario.

Personal injury claims stem from various accidents and circumstances.

Some of the most common events that result in personal injury claims and lawsuits include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes: Motor vehicle accidents can involve a single vehicle or more than one vehicle. They can also involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, or some combination. Motor vehicle accidents typically result from driver error and negligence. In some circumstances, a driver is negligent when they violate a rule of the road, such as a traffic sign, posted speed limit, or traffic control device. Other motor vehicle crashes result from road rage, where a driver reacts inappropriately to a roadway situation, such as by zealously weaving in and out of heavy traffic, tailgating another vehicle, or failing to use a turn signal when changing lanes or executing a turn at a traffic intersection. Finally, some motor vehicle accidents occur when drivers fail to observe the road or operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Passenger vehicle drivers are legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent or lower if they operate a commercial vehicle or are under 21.
  • Premises accidents: Property owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition at all times for the benefit of property visitors. Specifically, they must regularly inspect their properties for unknown dangers, as well as for known dangerous conditions. If the property owner or inspector comes across a defect, they have a duty to remedy the defect within a reasonable period. This typically means that the property owner either corrects the dangerous condition or warns others about it in a meaningful way. If a premises owner or occupier violates this duty of care, and a slip and fall or other accident occurs, the property owner and their insurance company may be liable for any injuries the accident victim suffers.

If you suffered injuries in one of these occurrences that resulted from another person’s negligence, you should immediately speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area. Your lawyer can determine your legal options and help you select the best way to proceed with your case. If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim with an insurance company, your lawyer can assist you throughout the claims-filing process. They can also help you negotiate a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries and other damages.

The Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

In any personal injury case, the injured accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. The at-fault individual or entity does not have to show or prove anything in the personal injury claim.

To recover monetary damages, the accident victim must show that another individual or entity owed them a legal duty of care, that they violated this duty of care, and that the subject accident occurred as a result. Moreover, the accident victim must show that they suffered at least one injury in their accident and that their injury directly resulted from the subject accident.

Satisfying the legal burden of proof in a personal injury claim or a lawsuit is often an uphill battle. This is because the insurance company will likely try and offer the accident victim as little monetary compensation as possible to settle the claim. The insurance company may do this by denying liability for the accident and trying to shift the blame onto someone else, including the accident victim.

In some situations, an accident victim’s lawyer can retain one or more experts to help with satisfying the necessary legal burden.

First, your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist to testify in support of your case. An accident reconstructionist can speak with eyewitnesses to the occurrence, review police reports, visit the scene of the event, and piece together who caused the accident and how it likely happened. An accident reconstructionist can also testify at a deposition that occurs during the discovery phase of litigation. They can further testify in court at a civil jury trial.

In addition to being an accident reconstructionist, your lawyer can retain a medical expert who can testify in support of your injuries. First, the medical provider can state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your injury or injuries directly resulted from the subject occurrence. Moreover, the doctor can establish that one or more of your injuries are permanent. A permanent injury is unlikely to improve over time and is likely to cause you significant symptoms going forward.

A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer in your area can help you retain the necessary experts to satisfy your legal burden of proof and help you recover the damages you need in your case.

Injuries That an Accident Victim May Suffer

Accident victims often sustain severe injuries in accidents that result from negligence. The exact injuries an accident victim will suffer usually depend upon the type of accident, the force of the accident, and the affected body parts.

Common accident-related injuries include soft tissue contusions, neck and back injuries, fractures, broken bones, traumatic head injuries, internal organ damage, cuts, bruises, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.

Contingency Fee Agreements in Personal Injury Cases and How They Work

A personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable help when it comes to settling or litigating your personal injury claim. When accident victims retain a lawyer to represent them, they will first sign a contingency fee agreement (CFA). This agreement provides that a lawyer will be entitled to receive a certain percentage of the accident victim’s gross recovery in the case. In some circumstances, the lawyer’s fee is one-third of the accident victim’s gross monetary recovery, while at other times, the fee may increase to 40 percent. For example, a lawyer may be eligible to recover a 40 percent fee if they file a lawsuit in the case or take it to a jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.

In the event a lawyer does not recover monetary compensation for the accident victim via a personal injury settlement, jury verdict, or binding arbitration award, the lawyer will not be entitled to receive a fee according to the terms of the agreement.

Before signing a CFA, you should ask your lawyer any questions you may have. If you sign the agreement, your lawyer will assume you understand it fully. Your attorney can answer all of your legal questions and address your concerns prior to beginning their representation.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help with Your Case

When you retain a personal injury lawyer to represent you, your lawyer can help with every aspect of your personal injury claim or lawsuit from the beginning until the very end. First, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine your claim-filing eligibility.

Next, your lawyer can gather up your medical records, lost wage documents, injury photographs, and investigation documents and assemble them into a settlement demand package. Your lawyer can then send the demand package, along with a settlement demand letter, to the insurance company for review.

If the insurance company adjuster accepts fault for your accident, your lawyer can negotiate a settlement offer on your behalf. In many instances, insurance companies are unwilling to offer accident victims the fair damages they deserve. If that happens, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and assist you throughout the litigation process.

During litigation, the parties will usually answer written questions and engage in discovery depositions. Your lawyer can help you file written answers and prepare you to testify at your discovery deposition.

Finally, if your case must go to trial, your lawyer can represent you in court and advocate strongly for your legal interests. During your case, your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer or litigate your case and take it to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Your Area to Represent You Today

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
Personal Injury Attorney, Gary Annes

Retaining a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to represent you is one of the most important steps you can take to maximize your monetary compensation in a claim or lawsuit. Some people might think their case isn’t too complicated or that lawyers are too expensive, which is a mistake.

Your lawyer can file a claim and recover the monetary damages you deserve for your medical expenses, lost earnings, suffering, pain, inconvenience, and mental distress stemming from your accident.


Abels & Annes

714 E Rose Ln #200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 819-5191

​How to Claim Injury in an Accident?

Accidents that result from another person’s negligence can lead to severe injuries and other consequences. If you suffered injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you might have to miss time from work, endure lengthy pain and suffering, and refrain from partaking in activities you once enjoyed.

Many accident victims are unsure of where to turn next or what to do. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area can help maximize the monetary compensation you recover in your case.

In addition to meeting with you and investigating your accident circumstances, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. Your lawyer can also negotiate the claim, and if favorable settlement compensation is not forthcoming, file a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Your lawyer will do everything to help you maximize your monetary recovery and pursue the total amount of damages you deserve for your accident-related injuries.

Schedule A Free Consultation

The Basis for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

In most instances, negligence is the basis for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Individuals or entities behave negligently when they deviate from the prevailing standard of care and act unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, a car or truck driver behaves negligently when they engage in distracted driving, fail to follow the rules of the road, or drives while intoxicated.

If you suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligence, a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area can help you file the appropriate claim or lawsuit to recover the monetary damages you deserve.

Types of Occurrences that Lead to Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits

When an individual or entity behaves negligently, they may cause an accident, leading to various injuries.

Accident victims can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit based on:

  • Motor vehicle accident claims where a driver violates a rule of the road, and a traffic accident involving another car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian happens.
  • Premises accident claims, where a property owner fails to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of property visitors, causing an accident and injuries

If you suffered injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, your lawyer can meet with you to discuss the accident circumstances and your injuries. Your lawyer can then determine if you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking damages. If so, your lawyer can assist you during the claims-filing process and, if necessary, litigate your case in court.

Injuries That Accident Victims May Suffer

There is no disputing that victims of serious accidents may sustain severe and debilitating injuries. An accident victim’s injuries often depend upon various factors, including the type of accident and the degree of force involved.

Some of the most common injuries that accident victims suffer include traumatic head and brain damage, including concussions, as well as fractures and broken bones. Victims of car accidents and other serious collisions may suffer soft tissue neck and back contusions and different muscular strains. Accident victims may also sustain eye injuries, spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis. Finally, they may suffer cuts, abrasions, scarring, and internal organ damage due to their accident.

As soon as possible after an accident, you should seek prompt medical treatment at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room in your area. Even if you are unsure about the severity of your injuries, you should still seek this initial treatment. That is because even seemingly minor injuries can worsen as time goes on especially if those injuries go untreated. Moreover, suppose you later need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages. In that case, the insurance company may become skeptical if you waited too long after your accident to seek treatment.

The medical provider can order the necessary imaging studies at an emergency medical facility, including CAT scans, X-rays, and MRIs, and render an accurate medical diagnosis. Moreover, the provider can recommend follow-up treatment in the event your symptoms become worse.

While you focus your attention on seeking the medical treatment you need, an experienced personal injury lawyer can start advocating for you right away. While you finish your medical treatment, your lawyer can begin gathering your medical documents, lost wage statements, earning statements, photographs of your injuries, and photographs of property damage.

Once you finish your treatment, your lawyer can assemble these documents into a settlement demand package and send them to the insurance company adjuster for their consideration. Then, your lawyer may begin settlement negotiations on your behalf and pursue the fair damages that you deserve for your injuries.

The Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim

In every personal injury claim or lawsuit, the accident victim carries the sole legal burden of proof. Consequently, the victim must demonstrate that the at-fault person or entity violated their legal duty of care, causing the accident. The victim must also show that they suffered at least one injury in their accident and that their injuries directly resulted from the accident.

To establish the necessary legal burden of proof in a personal injury case, the accident victim may need to retain several experts to testify in support of their claim. First, the accident victim can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the accident scene, speak with eyewitnesses, review police reports, and determine precisely how the accident occurred. Accident reconstructionists are often necessary in personal injury cases where the insurance company disputes fault or liability for the subject accident.

In addition to an accident reconstructionist, the accident victim may need to retain a medical expert who can causally connect their injuries to the occurrence. A medical provider can testify at a discovery deposition or on the witness stand in court that the accident was at least one cause of the accident victim’s injuries.

The expert can also establish, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the accident victim’s injuries are permanent. A permanent injury is likely to last for a lifetime and cause the accident victim to experience ongoing pain and other symptoms.

A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area can be an invaluable help when it comes to proving the legal elements of your claim and recovering the monetary damages you deserve. Your lawyer can help you retain the necessary experts to prove your case and work to maximize the compensation you receive from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Contact Us Today for Ethical Legal Services

Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

Retaining a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to represent you as soon as possible is the single most crucial step you can take in your case. This is because accident victims have a brief window of time to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages.

The statute of limitations time clock begins to run on the accident date and continues for two years after the accident date. If the accident victim files their claim or lawsuit even one day after the deadline expires, they will no longer be eligible to recover monetary damages for their injuries.

In light of this brief statutory period, your lawyer can file a lawsuit right away in your case especially if the statute of limitations period is running short. After filing a lawsuit, your lawyer can start negotiating a settlement or pursuing litigation in the court system on your behalf.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Damages

If you are eligible, a personal injury attorney in your area can file a claim on your behalf usually with the insurance company for the at-fault person or entity.

The claims-filing process begins when your lawyer prepares a settlement demand letter, along with a settlement demand package, and submits it to the insurance company adjuster handling your case.

The demand package will usually include:

  • Copies of all related medical records and bills
  • Lost wage documentation from your employer, including recent earnings statements
  • Photographs of the incident scene
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Pictures of property damage, if your accident involved motor vehicles
  • A personal statement that you prepare explaining the overall effect the accident had on your life and well-being

The insurance company adjuster will then review all of these documents and decide whether to accept fault for the accident. If the adjuster accepts fault, they might make an initial settlement offer to resolve your claim.

Since most initial settlement offers are meager, your lawyer will need to negotiate with the adjuster and try to convince them to offer more. If that does not happen, your lawyer can always file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf, seeking the damages you deserve.

While your case may still settle at any time, litigation gets your case moving in the court system. If the case remains unresolved once litigation discovery is complete, the case will likely go to a jury trial, where a jury will decide the case outcome.

Recovering the Damages You Deserve for Your Personal Injuries

Injury victims are often eligible to recover various types of monetary compensation in the form of damages. The purpose of monetary damages in a personal injury case is to make an accident victim whole again, to the greatest extent possible.

The damages that an accident victim recovers will depend upon certain factors, including the type of accident that occurred, the force of the accident, the injuries suffered, the medical treatment that the accident victim underwent, and the extent of their pain and suffering.

Some of the most common damages that an accident victim may recover in their personal injury claim or lawsuit include:

  • Compensation for all related medical bills and expenses
  • Lost wages, for the amount of money the accident victim lost from being unable to work
  • Loss of earning capacity, if the accident victim had to switch to a lower-paying job due to their injuries
  • Past and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience
  • Mental distress and emotional anguish if the accident victim had to seek the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist due to trauma associated with their accident and injuries.
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part, such as when the accident victim suffers a permanent injury or medical complication
  • Loss of spousal companionship and consortium

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can advocate for you and will do everything possible to help you maximize the damages you receive in your personal injury case.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
Personal Injury Attorney, Gary Annes

Having skilled legal representation in your personal injury claim or a lawsuit is extremely important. In fact, if you do not have a knowledgeable lawyer representing you throughout your case, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely take advantage of you and offer you far less compensation than your case is worth.

In addition to investigating your accident circumstances, your lawyer can negotiate favorable settlement compensation on your behalf and assist you throughout the litigation process. Finally, your lawyer can represent you in all legal proceedings, including a possible jury trial, and pursue the fullest possible monetary damages on your behalf.

With the right legal assistance, you can obtain financial support for your future. This can help with your overall recovery, even if you continue to feel the physical effects of your injuries.

Schedule A Free Consultation


Abels & Annes

714 E Rose Ln #200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 819-5191

​How Long Does a Bicycle Accident Claim Take?

Riding a bicycle on a trail or through the city can be an enjoyable experience on a warm, sunny day. However, one of the disadvantages of bicycle riding is that cyclists have minimal protection if and when an accident happens.

Except for their helmets, cyclists experience direct exposure to their surrounding environment. Even sturdy, well-made helmets can crack in a forceful collision where the cyclist strikes the ground. Moreover, cyclists may suffer severe and sometimes deadly injuries when they hit the ground in an accident.

Suppose you or someone you love suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that resulted from someone else’s carelessness or negligence. In that case, you may file a bicycle injury claim for damages. The time it takes to resolve your claim will depend upon various factors, including the extent of your injuries and medical treatment and the insurance company you’re dealing with.

One of the most important steps you can take to efficiently resolve your bicycle accident claim is to retain a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer to represent you throughout your case. Your lawyer can represent you at every stage of the claim or lawsuit and work to pursue the total monetary damages you deserve.

First, your lawyer can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your bicycle accident and your medical treatment. Next, if you are eligible, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and negotiate with the adjuster.

Finally, if the insurance company refuses to offer you the compensation you deserve, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and litigate your case to an efficient resolution. Your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way and work to maximize the damages you receive in your personal injury case.

How Do Bicycle Accidents Usually Happen?

Bicycle accidents frequently occur because of negligent motor vehicle drivers. A driver is negligent when they act unreasonably under the circumstances and violate their duty of care to other drivers and cyclists. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include road rule violations, intoxicated driving, distracted driving, and road rage.

Motor vehicle drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and carefully at all times. Most importantly, they have a duty to yield the right-of-way to cyclists at the appropriate times. They must also follow all posted speed limits and refrain from tailgating other vehicles including bicycles. When drivers violate traffic laws, they significantly increase their chances of causing a severe bicycle accident.

At other times, bicycle accidents result from intoxicated drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent are legally intoxicated. Drinking and driving can have severe consequences and convicted drunk drivers may incur criminal as well as civil and administrative penalties.

When a driver is under the influence, they may experience blurred vision and limited concentration. Moreover, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a cyclist or other vehicle in the vicinity.

Distracted driving is another all-too-common cause of bicycle crashes. Drivers may become distracted when they listen to loud music in their vehicle or roughhouse with vehicle passengers. Electronic devices, including cellular phones, tablets, and GPS navigation systems, may also distract drivers from their duties. When drivers fail to observe the road, they may not notice a cyclist in the vicinity, causing a severe crash that dislodges the cyclist from their bike onto the road.

Finally, some bicycle accidents directly result from road rage. Common road rage characteristics include aggressive driving maneuvers, like tailgating, failing to use turn signals at the appropriate times, and aggressively weaving in and out of busy highway traffic. When drivers operate their vehicles in a risky and careless manner, they may inadvertently strike a cyclist and knock them to the ground, causing them to suffer severe and sometimes fatal injuries.

If you suffered injuries in one of these types of bicycle accidents resulting from driver negligence, you have legal options available to you. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in your area can determine what those options are in your case and help you pursue the monetary damages you need for your accident-related injuries.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

The injuries that bicyclists suffer in serious accidents vary from case to case, depending upon the accident circumstances and whether the cyclist falls off their bike and hits the ground directly. Moreover, the injuries a cyclist suffers will depend upon which body part or parts they strike on the ground, as well as the force of the collision.

When a cyclist strikes their head on the ground, for example, they may sustain a severe traumatic head or brain injury, such as a concussion. Moreover, if they strike their back or neck on the ground, they may suffer a severe spinal cord injury or some type of full or partial paralysis.

Other common injuries that bicycle accident victims suffer include internal organ damage, fractures, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.

As soon as possible after your bicycle accident, you should follow up at a local urgent care facility or hospital emergency room for medical treatment. While you are there, the medical provider on duty can order necessary imaging studies, like CAT scans, MRIs, and X-rays. They can then render an accurate medical diagnosis and make recommendations for your follow-up care and treatment.

Seeking same-day medical treatment is extremely important after a bicycle accident, even if your symptoms are minimal. That is because even minor injuries can become much more severe when left untreated. Moreover, if the at-fault party’s insurance company discovers that you significantly delayed medical treatment following your bicycle accident, they will become skeptical about the seriousness of your injuries.

While you focus your attention on making a full recovery, a bicycle accident attorney in your area can begin advocating for you. Specifically, your lawyer can start gathering up your medical records and bills, lost wage documentation, and other potential evidence to use in your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can submit a demand package to the insurance company on your behalf and begin negotiating the fair compensation you deserve for your serious injuries.

Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim With the Insurance Company

Bicycle accident claims can be extremely tedious. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney on board and represent you throughout your entire case.

The claims-filing process begins when your lawyer submits a settlement demand letter, complete with a demand package, to the insurance company adjuster handling your claim. In most instances, your lawyer will submit the demand package to the insurance company for the at-fault driver who caused your bicycle accident.

In addition to medical records and bills, a demand package will include:

    • A settlement demand letter.
    • Lost earnings statement.
    • Photographs of injuries.
  • Pictures of the accident scene.
  • Police diagrams.
  • Property damage photographs.
  • A personal statement.

The insurance company will then review these documents and decide whether to accept fault for your accident. If the insurance company accepts fault, the adjuster might make an initial settlement offer. Since initial settlement offers are typically far below the actual value of a claim, your lawyer will likely need to negotiate with the adjuster several times to obtain a better offer.

If the adjuster refuses to increase their offer significantly, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system and begin litigating your case. Once the case is in litigation, your lawyer may still continue settlement negotiations with the adjuster, and your case can resolve at any point up until the trial date.

How Long Will It Take to Settle or Litigate My Bicycle Accident Claim?

The amount of time it takes to settle or litigate a bicycle accident claim depends upon various factors, including the extent of your injuries and medical treatment, whether or not the insurance company disputes liability in your case, the experts involved, and the insurance company with whom you’re dealing.

Generally speaking, the more significant your injuries, the longer it will take you to complete your medical treatment. In most cases, settlement negotiations cannot begin until your medical treatment is complete and your lawyer has obtained all of the necessary medical documentation, including medical records and bills.

Another factor influencing the length of a bicycle accident claim is whether or not the insurance company disputes fault for your accident. When that happens, your lawyer and the insurance company may need to retain an accident reconstructionist or other experts who can review the evidence, speak with eyewitnesses, and piece together exactly how the bicycle accident occurred and who likely caused it.

Dealing with experts can take a significant amount of time since the expert will likely need to perform an investigation and draft a detailed report. Moreover, the lawyers may want to take the experts’ depositions during the discovery phase of litigation, which can also take significant time.

Liability disputes may also add time to your case because the insurance company is less likely to enter into meaningful settlement negotiations under those circumstances. In fact, many disputed liability cases must go to a jury trial, where the jury will decide all disputed issues.

Finally, the insurance company and the adjuster with whom you’re dealing may make a bicycle accident claim longer or shorter. Some insurance companies and adjusters are more generous with settlement negotiations, while others are far stingier.

In the latter case, you may need to wait a significant time for the settlement adjuster to fully evaluate your claim and offer sufficient monetary compensation worth accepting. If that fair offer is not forthcoming, your lawyer must file a lawsuit in the court system, which may further delay your case.

One crucial step you can take to expedite your claim or lawsuit is to retain a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will know all the tricks and tactics insurance companies and their adjusters often use to undermine personal injury claims. Your lawyer can efficiently negotiate with adjusters. If a fair settlement offer is not forthcoming, promptly file a lawsuit in the court system and litigate your case to a resolution.

Filing a Timely Bicycle Accident Claim or Lawsuit

Victims of bicycle accidents only have a limited time to file a claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages. In all personal injury claims, accident victims only have two years from the date of their accident to file suit. If they file suit even one day after the deadline expires, they will no longer be eligible to recover monetary compensation for their injuries.

Therefore, you should retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney to represent you and file a lawsuit on your behalf quickly. Once the suit is pending in the court system, your lawyer may continue settlement negotiations with the insurance company and begin navigating your case to a prompt conclusion.

Talk to an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
Bicycle Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

If you suffered injuries in a recent bicycle accident, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be an invaluable help when it comes to maximizing your monetary recovery.

Bicycle accident victims may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for their lost earnings, physical pain and suffering, mental distress, inconvenience, loss of life enjoyment, permanent disability, and loss of the ability to use a body part.

First, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine your claim-filing eligibility. Your lawyer can then file a prompt claim with the appropriate insurance company on your behalf and aggressively negotiate with the adjuster.

If favorable settlement compensation is not forthcoming, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf, litigate your case, and represent you at all courtroom proceedings. Your attorney will do everything they can to maximize the settlement compensation, jury verdict, or arbitration award you receive for your bicycle accident injuries.

Never wait to reach out for a free case evaluation to start protecting your rights as an injured cyclist.


Abels & Annes

714 E Rose Ln #200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 819-5191

The Largest Settlements and Verdicts in U.S. History, and Why They Matter

When someone suffers a serious injury or illness because of the negligent actions—or inactions—of an individual or company, our civil justice system allows victims to seek financial compensation for their damages and losses. This is an extremely important part of our society since it serves as a safety net to prevent innocent injury victims from going broke or not getting the care they need.

The following list is an overview of some of the biggest personal injury settlements in American history. For more information, reach out to our Chicago personal injury lawyers.

Tobacco Settlement — $206 Billion

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was filed in 1998 against the four largest tobacco companies in the United States. This included Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard.

The lawsuit was brought by attorneys general from 46 states to get compensation for all the money tobacco illnesses cost the state healthcare system. The final settlement agreement required these companies to pay $206 billion dollars.

In addition to the financial sum, the tobacco companies involved also agreed to stop certain marketing practices, to pay states for future healthcare in perpetuity, and to fund anti-smoking campaigns like Truth.

This was an important case in America because it imposed major changes to the ways tobacco companies were able to market their products. Without this ruling, Big Tobacco marketing practices may have continued unchecked, including targeting young people. This settlement is thought to have prevented countless respiratory illnesses and cancers.

BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill — $20 Billion

After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that wreaked havoc on the gulf coast, BP faced a massive class action lawsuit. A New Orleans judge gave final approval on a payout nearing $20 billion dollars, which would be paid in both private and public settlements.

A major reason for the size of the payout was to cover the federal penalties for the massive amount of environmental damage directly caused by the spill. The remaining amount went to state and local governments for recovery efforts, as well as for private settlements for victims of illnesses like cancer.

Volkswagen Emissions Scandal — $14.7 Billion

The Volkswagen emissions scandal (referred to as Dieselgate by some) began when the EPA filed a violation of the Clean Air Act against Volkswagen. The automaker was intentionally programming some engines to only activate their emission controls while undergoing testing. This falsely allowed them to pass the tests. In real world driving, the cars produced 40 times the allowed amount of emissions.

The $14.7 billion dollar settlement funded a buy-back program and an additional cash payment to victims.

While this is one of the few cases on this list that does not directly deal with personal injury, it is worth noting that multiple studies estimated that the extra emissions created by VW led to 10 to 350 unnecessary deaths and thousands of cases of ​​asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

General Motors Auto Defect Case — $4.9 Billion

Every year, millions of defective auto parts are recalled. In most cases, there are no serious issues. But an L.A. jury in 1999 ordered General Motors to pay a record $4.9 billion in damages after a family of six was trapped inside their car.

The vehicle was rear ended, and the faulty placement of the gas tank caused the vehicle to catch fire. The victims inside suffered severe burns. The verdict was stated to allow $107 million to compensate the family for pain and suffering and disfigurement. The additional $4.8 billion was for punitive damages after finding that GM acted out of fraud or malice.

A judge later reduced the award to $1.2 billion. However, this case exemplifies the kind of harm that negligent corporations can cause unsuspecting consumers. This verdict amount may be rare, but serious and life-altering injuries caused by defective auto parts are not.

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Case — $4.69 Billion

Baby powder is a staple in lots of people’s lives and is something most people remember from their childhood. This explains why it was so shocking when it was revealed that not only did talc-based body powder have cancer-causing asbestos in it, but Johnson & Johnson knew about it for years and hid the fact.

That’s why a jury awarded a $4.69 billion dollar payout to 22 women after they claimed the powder caused their ovarian cancer.

An appeals court rejected Johnson & Johnson’s appeal, but reduced the verdict to $2.12 billion.

This case was extremely important due to the huge number of people who have been using J&J’s products on a daily basis for years. Currently, there are over 19,000 active cases related to talc powder pending.

Fen-phen Diet Drugs Settlement— $3.75 Billion

In 2000, a federal judge approved a $3.75 billion settlement for victims of the diet drug known as fen-phen. The drug potentially caused fatal heart valve damage. Before the drug was removed from the market, it was used by millions of people as a weight loss aid.

The settlement provided funds for injury victims based on their injuries and the length of time they used the drug.

Defective drugs are not limited to diet pills, unfortunately. In recent years, popular medications like Zantac and Belviq have been found to be harmful.

Silicone Breast Implants — $3.4 Billion

In the 1990’s, a group of silicone breast implant manufacturers were sued when it was found that the implants caused autoimmune and connective tissue disorders. After one manufacturer went bankrupt from the number of cases filed against them, the victims ultimately got compensation in the form of a $3.4 billion dollar settlement.

Settlements as in this defective medical device case put an end to a dangerous situation. But it also calls attention to current and future issues so that consumers are more informed.

Actos Diabetes Drugs — $2.4 Billion

Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed to a settlement of $2.4 billion dollars after it was found that the drug producer’s diabetes medication called Actos led to bladder cancer in some patients. It was also found that Takeda concealed the dangers of using their product.

Sometimes, exposing the malicious acts of a corporation is the only reason that changes are made. Without people standing up against them, they would continue producing harmful medications aware of the injuries they could cause.

Brain Injury Caused by Train Derailment — $60 Million

A gas station manager in Virginia had his life changed forever after a train derailed next to his gas station. The victim suffered from permanent injuries, including a serious traumatic brain injury, which required long-term medical care. Due to this, he was awarded $60 million dollars in total for the injuries he suffered.

Brain Injury Due to a Defective Seatbelt — $32.5 Million

A man from Orlando, Florida suffered a traumatic brain injury after his seatbelt failed during an auto accident. The seatbelt that was supposed to protect his life ended up being defective.

The victim filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Company. The jury awarded $32.5 million in damages, agreeing that the seatbelt was defective.

Bus Accident Causes Leg Amputation — $27.5 Million

A woman was awarded $27.5 million by a New York jury after she was hit by a city bus and had to have her left leg amputated as a result. The trial took four years, but in the end, the victim got the compensation she needed to rebuild after such a horrific bus accident.

Pedestrian Accident Causes Brain Injury— $22 Million

In another case of a pedestrian accident, a woman suffered permanent brain damage and other bodily injuries after she was hit by a commercial truck while crossing a street in New York. A jury awarded the victim $22 million in financial restitution for medical bills, pain and suffering, and for a lifetime of in-home care.

Abels & Annes, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured by a person or company’s negligence, consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

The attorneys at Abels & Annes are here to help. For a free case evaluation, call us at (312) 924-7575 or contact us using our online form.

 

Explaining Lost Wages After You Were Injured

Accidents resulting from others’ negligence can lead to serious personal injuries, which may cause mounting medical bills. Victims sometimes need to undergo complicated medical procedures or surgery after an accident. They might also need to pay for a hospital visit, ongoing physical therapy, and other medical appointments.

Healing after a serious accident can also take a financial toll on the accident victim. However, that burden may increase significantly if their injuries prevent them from working. Many accident victims who work in the building or construction industries must take a lengthy leave of absence from their job. If they don’t have a regular paycheck coming in, they may experience severe financial hardship.

If you suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from someone else’s carelessness, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for monetary damages. In most instances, your lawyer can file a lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

You can recover your lost wages as part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. In some circumstances, you can also claim loss of earning capacity.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim and pursue lost earnings. If so, your attorney can assist you with every aspect of the claims-filing process and will work diligently to recover the damages you need. If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your lost earnings, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your case to a conclusion in court.

What are Lost Wages in Personal Injury Cases?

The purpose of bringing a lost wage claim is to recover the monetary compensation you should have earned from your job had you not suffered injuries in an accident. In some instances, the sheer pain associated with your injuries may prevent you from working for a significant period. Alternatively, you may need to take time off work to attend medical and physical therapy appointments. This is especially true if you suffer a permanent injury or disability in your accident.

Permanent injuries are those which are unlikely to become better over time. These injuries may also cause an accident victim to experience lifelong pain and discomfort in the affected areas of their body.

The burden of Proof in a Lost Wage Claim

In all personal injury claims and lawsuits, the accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. Therefore, they must establish every legal element of their claim. On the other hand, the at-fault party does not have to prove anything in the case. The same holds true in a lost wage claim, as the accident victim has the legal burden of proof.

Proving lost wages in a personal injury claim is sometimes an uphill battle. That is because insurance companies often try to avoid paying these damages.

One of the best ways to prove your entitlement to lost wage compensation is by documenting your income. For example, you might submit a letter from your employer that shows the dates and times that you missed work, along with the amount of money you lost.

In addition to recovering monetary compensation for past lost wages, you may be eligible to make a future lost wage claim. You improve your chances of recovering these damages when you introduce medical records in your case. In those records, a medical provider must estimate—to a reasonable degree of medical probability—the amount of time it will likely take you to recover from your injuries. The insurance company can then use this information, along with your employer’s records, to determine the anticipated work compensation you will lose.

For example, if a medical provider believes that you will need to undergo a complicated medical procedure in the future, they can estimate how long it will likely take for you to make a full recovery.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can help you obtain the documents necessary to prove your past or future lost wage claim. Your lawyer can then submit these documents to the insurance company as part of a settlement demand package and pursue a fair offer from the settlement adjuster.

Lost Wages When an Injured Worker Is Self-employed

Obtaining lost wage compensation when a worker is self-employed can be more difficult. This is because self-employed individuals typically do not receive a formal salary.

In this instance, the insurance company will have to look at the self-employed individual’s average earnings from their company or another business enterprise. In cases where a self-employed individual’s monthly or yearly income has gone down significantly following their accident, they may use this fact as a basis for proving their lost wage claim.

In cases where an injured accident victim is self-employed, they will need to demonstrate that the reason why their company’s profits decreased is that they were unable to work following their accident.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can help you prove your entitlement to lost wages and other monetary compensation stemming from your recent accident.

Monetary Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity

Explaining Lost Wages After You Were InjuredIn addition to pursuing monetary compensation for lost wages, an injured accident victim may be eligible to make a claim for loss of earning capacity. These types of damages are especially common among injured construction workers and builders. These workers typically rely heavily upon their bodies to perform their work duties.

If they suffer injuries in a serious car crash or slip-and-fall accident, they may be out of work for a significant time. Moreover, if they suffer severe enough injuries, they may need to change jobs or entire careers due to their inability to work. As a result of accepting a less-lucrative position, they may also need to take a large pay cut.

When the insurance company evaluates your claim, they should consider any pay cuts you experienced, as well as a lack of bonuses, promotions, or career advancement. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you decide if you are eligible to bring a claim for loss of earning capacity. If so, you can pursue the necessary claim with the insurance company.

Workers’ Compensation, SSDI, and SSI Considerations

Whenever an individual suffers injuries while working at their job and within the scope of their employment, they may be eligible to bring a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are generally available to accident victims without regard to fault. Moreover, the benefits an accident victim recovers usually depend upon the circumstances surrounding their accident and other related factors.

As a result of a workplace injury, injured workers may be eligible to recover a portion of their lost wages, along with compensation for their medical expenses. If they suffered a permanent disability or impairment in their accident, they might also be eligible for permanency benefits. Finally, if the workplace accident prevents them from working at their current job, they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits.

Similarly, disabled individuals may be eligible to recover Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under certain circumstances. These benefits may provide individuals with the financial relief they need after becoming disabled in an accident.

A knowledgeable attorney in your area can determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation or disability benefits and can help you file the necessary benefits claim.

Types of Accidents That Lead to Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits

Personal injury claims, including claims for lost wages, usually arise from others’ negligent actions and inactions. A person or entity is negligent when they fail to follow the applicable standard of care under the circumstances. In other words, they must act unreasonably.

To prevail in a negligence claim, an accident victim must satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must show that the at-fault party behaved unreasonably under the circumstances and that, as a result, the subject accident occurred. Next, they must show that they suffered at least one injury in the accident and that their injury directly resulted from the accident.

When individuals and entities behave negligently, they may cause various types of accidents.

Some of the most common accidents that result from others’ negligence include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes, where a driver engages in road rage, violates one or more traffic accidents, or engages in distracted or intoxicated driving.
  • Premises accidents, where a property owner fails to take care of their property and correct—or warn about—dangerous conditions within a reasonable time period

If you suffered injuries in any of these occurrences that resulted from someone else’s negligence, your lawyer can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim—including a claim for lost wages. If so, your attorney can assist you throughout the process and work to maximize the lost wage compensation you recover.

Injuries That Accident Victims May Suffer

Whenever individuals and entities behave negligently, and an accident occurs, victims may suffer various injuries. The specific injuries that accident victims sustain often depend upon the type of accident that occurs, the force of the accident, and the body part(s) affected.

Common injuries that accident victims suffer include traumatic head and brain damage, soft tissue contusions, broken bones, fractures, internal organ damage, cuts, bruises, abrasions, paralysis injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

If you suffered injuries in an accident that prevented you from working, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can help you file your lost wage claim—or a claim for loss of earning capacity. If the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously and will not offer you the wage loss compensation you deserve, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate it in the court system.

What Other Damages Can I Recover Besides Lost Wages?

In addition to lost wage compensation, accident victims can recover other types of damages. The total damages that an accident victim recovers usually depend upon the severity of their injuries, the cost of their medical treatment, and other related factors.

In addition to wage loss compensation, accident victims can pursue damages for their:

  • Related medical expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of spousal companionship and consortium

A skilled personal injury attorney in your area can negotiate with the settlement adjuster and work to maximize the total compensation you recover in your case. If your case must go to a jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding, your lawyer can aggressively represent you and fight for your right to recover the damages you deserve.

Disability and Workers’ Compensation due to Personal Injuries

In the United States, 61 million adults live with a disability. Some of these disabilities leave them unable to work. Fortunately, there are resources like Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to keep Americans able to take care of their bills. SSDI is available to longtime members of the workforce. SSI is available even to those who don’t have an extensive work history. This often includes young people who become injured prior to starting their careers or shortly after they start working.

Both SSI and SSDI provide a great deal of financial relief for people living with a disability. However, the application process is detailed and lengthy. It can take over six months to begin receiving benefits, and not all applications are approved.

If you were injured due to a workplace injury, you can collect Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are eligible under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. When you are injured while on the clock, you may be able to collect temporary total disability pay (TTD). Your personal injury attorney can help you to get the proper benefits and walk you through what steps will be necessary to get you financially stable as quickly as possible.

In any situation involving lost wages or wage compensation, it is best to speak to an attorney as early as possible. Having a qualified personal injury attorney handle your injury claim from the start can help you to receive maximum compensation for your injuries much faster.

Call a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney to Represent You Today

Dave Abels Personal Injury LawyerIf you suffered injuries in an accident resulting from another person’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable help. In fact, if you elect to represent yourself, the insurance company handling your claim will likely take advantage of you. Most insurance companies and their adjusters believe that unrepresented individuals lack the necessary settlement negotiation and litigation skills to handle their cases effectively.

Therefore, insurance companies typically offer unrepresented accident victims far less compensation than their case is actually worth. If you incur lost wages after your accident, the adjuster may not even consider those damages as part of your personal injury claim.

A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area can represent you during every stage of your claim or lawsuit and work to recover the damages you deserve, including compensation for your lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Do not risk losing out on wage replacement payments. Seek legal help today.

Chicago Office

100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: (855) 529-2442
Phone: (312) 924-7575

Who Is the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Me?

An accident often leads to chaos and confusion, and you might be unsure where to turn. It is normal to feel angry and fearful about what will happen next, and while you address the feelings from your accident, you will also need to deal with the legal aspects. You must find a personal injury lawyer who works for you and can adequately represent your best interests.

Victims are often unsure where to start, but you know you need a Personal injury lawyer, so today, we will show you how to find the best personal injury lawyer for your situation.

Why you need a personal injury lawyer

Anyone can try to settle an insurance claim independently, but you are likely doing yourself a huge disservice. You have the impression that you should get a certain amount of reimbursement and coverage for your losses. When the insurance offers you an attractive but low settlement, you might want to take it immediately. Still, as time passes, reality sets in, and you realize what you accepted is insufficient to cover all of your losses.

A personal injury lawyer helps with the legal elements of the insurance claim process and also offers emotional benefits. Since someone you trust is handling the legalities and negotiations, you can use your emotional energy towards other pertinent items like medical care and getting back to everyday life.

You might get various settlement offers during the claim and potential lawsuit. You will need to decide whether the amount is sufficient and fair. A personal injury lawyer can advise you whether an offer is fair and covers all your damages. They can tell you the risks and benefits of moving forward with a settlement. While they can advise you, they do not make the final decision for you. The ultimate decision is yours.

What is the focus of the firm?

Personal injury law covers many topics, and since it is a vast area of law, some personal injury lawyers will focus on specific types of cases. They can technically handle any case but choose to concentrate on certain kinds. For example, there are lawyers whose sole focus is on class action lawsuits. Some lawyers focus on workers’ compensation, and others on vehicle accident claims.

If you were in a car accident, find a personal injury lawyer who regularly handles car accident claims. Their focus is not the only thing to consider but also how far they take these cases and if they have experience winning compensation. Their track record will speak volumes, and finding just any personal injury law firm is not enough. You need one that handles and succeeds in cases similar to yours.

Consider their experience

While the firm’s focus is vital, you must also consider the experience of the lawyer you are meeting with. You can conduct some research to determine how much experience they have and if they are the right fit. Find out what other attorneys say about them, and do not be afraid to ask questions.

You can ask how many referrals they get from other lawyers because it is a strong indicator of someone’s experience that another person in their field refers clients to them. High referral rates mean that other lawyers hold them in high regard and respect their work ethic. Also, ask to speak to references and conduct a search through the state bar to get information on their disciplinary record.

Consider the length of time the personal injury attorney has been practicing law. You will want a seasoned lawyer to handle your case and should consider this when you ask about experience. Also, look for how many years they have been handling personal injury cases specifically, as some lawyers can start in one field and later switch areas of law. Overall, you should feel confident in your attorney’s past experience helping people in similar situations to yours.

Have they ever been to trial?

Nearly all personal injury cases settle before reaching trial. Still, on the chance you go to trial, you need a personal injury lawyer with experience and a winning track record. You must find out how often they successfully negotiate insurance claims, how often they file lawsuits, and how many go to trial for those lawsuits.

Ask about the lawyer’s success rate; if they cannot give you one, it is likely not very high, or they do not have enough experience to calculate it. Having one or two low-value cases resolved successfully out of court is insufficient to take on a severe case like a truck accident that might go to trial. Your claim will likely not make it to trial, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you have a chance at winning if it goes that far.

Insurance companies will also pay attention to who represents you to gauge their risk factors. The insurance company works with many lawyers, knowing how far some personal injury lawyers are willing to go and how much they will fight for their clients. Always ask about a trial track record.

How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer help Victims?

Aside from providing advice and handling paperwork, attorneys play a critical role in your accident claim. They will assess your damage and conduct a professional investigation into the accident.

Since they have experience helping injury victims, they likely have created relationships with medical professionals over the years. These connections can help you get the care you need and allow your personal injury lawyer the opportunity to gain more knowledge and present your medical condition properly.

The legal realm is complex, and your claim can go through more steps and processes than you might ever imagine. Your personal injury lawyer knows how to work through these processes and keep everything running smoothly and on time.

Examples of what personal injury lawyers handle include:

  • Analyze insurance policies
  • Calculate damages
  • Gather evidence of liability
  • File claim forms
  • Negotiate medical bills
  • Review medical records
  • Negotiate with relevant parties and insurers
  • Consult with experts when necessary
  • Prepare witnesses for testimony
  • Draft summons and complaints
  • Filing motions
  • Conducting depositions
  • Preparing interrogatories
  • Creating trial exhibits
  • Analyze verdicts and file appeals
  • Address liens against the settlement

A personal injury lawyer will handle a range of tasks for you, and if you do not have the best lawyer possible, some of all of these tasks might fall on you.

Ask questions during an initial consultation.

An initial consultation is a time to ask all the questions and ensure the lawyer is the one for you. Before you meet with any lawyers, compile a list of questions you might like to ask.

Here are some sample questions start:

  • What are your fees?
  • Are there case-related costs I will pay if you do not win?
  • How long do you estimate my claim will take to resolve?
  • How many cases have you handled that have gone to trial?
  • How large is your caseload?
  • How much time will you spend on my claim?
  • What is an estimate of what my case is worth?
  • How involved will I need to be, or can I be with my claim?
  • Will my claim go to trial?
  • How much communication should I expect between the firm and me?

You will have many questions, and your lawyer should take the time to answer them appropriately. While legal jargon is necessary for some answers, they should also explain answers in layperson’s terms.

Pay attention during a consultation.

The initial consolation is very telling, and you should look for red and green flags during your time together. Pay attention to their level of dedication; if they give you the time and attention you deserve, that is a good sign. Suppose they cannot focus on the details and face constant distractions; that can be a red flag. Judge the communication with the law firm. Are staff polite, prompt, and professional? If not, this might not be the way to go.

Practical factors to consider

One worry often comes up is the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer. As you can imagine, hiring a lawyer can be expensive, but that is not always true. Personal injury lawyers, in particular, have a different fee structure than other types of lawyers, starting with the initial consultation, which is free. During the consultation, you can ask as many questions as possible and feel whether the lawyer is right for you. Conversely, the lawyer can also determine if your claim is something they can handle effectively.

During the consultation, you should ask about fees and remember fees can vary depending on what your claim requires. Pre-litigation settlement might have one fee, and litigation might have another. A trial will come with additional fee structures. While most reputable personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, always verify the fee structure and ensure it is fair before hiring a lawyer.

You should also determine how professional the office is since you interact with the lawyer and the entire firm. A law firm must work like a well-oiled machine, and there should be consistent communication between all parties. Organization and professional staff are crucial to ensuring you do not miss important deadlines and have access to support. The lawyer and staff should be on time when you have conference calls and other meetings. These are signs that they are a professional and reputable law firm.

Tips for choosing the right lawyer

Dave Abels Personal Injury Lawyer
Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer, Dave Abels

While you likely have never had to file a personal injury claim, you likely have a relative or friend who has and can point you in the direction of the best personal injury lawyer. Ask family and friends for an attorney referral if you have no idea where to begin a claim. Make sure they have a good experience with the attorney, as you do not want to go with someone who will not give you the time and respect you need.

Your comfort level with the lawyer is essential, and you need to pick a lawyer based on all the above practical factors, but also someone you get along with. Depending on the details of your case, you might work with the lawyer for months or years, and you do not want to battle with them. You want someone you can be honest with and have amicable conversations with.

Signs that you are comfortable are a lawyer who patiently answers your questions, listens, and explains things until you understand. If you think they are only taking your claim because they see dollar signs, it might not be the right fit. But if they seem to have your best interest at heart, you will want to move forward.

An initial consultation can help narrow down who you feel most confident and comfortable with. You can get a good idea of their experience and what you can expect. Since consultations are free, you can meet with multiple law firms if you feel you have not still found the right fit. However, you might find the best fit on your first try.

There are online rating sites for attorneys; they get these ratings from their peers and clients. Three rating sources are The Best Lawyers in America website, the Super Lawyers website, and the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry. Once you have your list of criteria and a list of lawyers, it is time to make some appointments. While you should stay practical, you should also follow your gut. Consider the size, availability, and experience of the firm. Most importantly, go with a firm that understands you and feels good about it.

Take time to think

While moving quickly is important, you also should take a little time to consider which law firm and attorney you choose. Compile a list of criteria that outline what is important to you, which will help narrow down your list. Conduct online research about different law firms and their reputation.

A local lawyer is often the best option, as they will have experience working with the courts and other resources in your area where the accident happened.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Case

Timeline of a Personal Injury Case

An accident can result in severe injuries that can alter your life forever. After you suffer an injury, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party and obtain compensation. Most cases will settle before reaching a trial, but knowing the personal injury timeline is essential since you cannot predict the outcome. Read on below to learn more from our experience personal injury lawyers.

What is personal injury?

Any accident that was another person’s fault that resulted in injury is a personal injury case.

Some examples of personal injury cases are:

There are many more accidents and injuries that fall under the personal injury umbrella, and you must discuss your options with a nearby personal injury lawyer.

Medical treatment

Before you take any legal steps, you will need to get medical treatment directly from the site or by making an appointment with your primary doctor within a few days. Medical treatment allows you to get the help you need but also shows a link between the injury and the incident.

You may experience minor discomfort and ignore it until it becomes unbearable. That is a huge mistake because if you wait too long for care, your condition gets worse, and your legal case gets weaker. Insurance adjusters and juries see a delay in treatment as the person not suffering significant injuries. Get medical treatment for your health and for your claim.

Contact a local personal injury lawyer

No matter how minor your injury and incident are, the least you can do is contact with a local personal injury lawyer. You lose nothing by getting a legal opinion on the case. During an initial consultation, a lawyer can inform you of your options and determine if it is worth your time. Most personal injury lawyers will not take on a case that is too small or will not have a favorable outcome.

You can handle mirror accidents independently if you are comfortable with the process and paperwork that comes with it. However, since most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation, it’s always better to be sure. Serious accidents always require personal injury lawyers because the opposing side is unwilling to budge. A severe injury includes being out of work for more than a few days, medical bills over a couple of thousand dollars, and broken bones.

Filing a personal injury claim

Filing a claim will look differently depending on the accident you suffer. Suppose it is a car accident; you must file a claim with the insurance company, which will assign an adjuster to your claim. The store will have liability insurance to cover these cases for a slip and fall. Medical malpractice claims depend on where they occurred, but it can be the doctor’s insurance or the hospital’s.

Investigation and medical records for your claim

Once you retain a lawyer for your personal injury case, they will begin conducting an investigation. The first step will be an interview about the accident. Your consultation is essential to your injury claim because your lawyer will get to know everything about the incident and your viewpoint of what happened. You must be honest, so your lawyer can prepare and not face any surprises down the line.

The next part of the process is obtaining medical records from the accident and previous incidents. Getting these records will take time.

We will speak to witnesses and collect police reports, videos, photos, and other pertinent information for your claim. Once they have enough evidence, they will move on to the next step.

Demand package and negotiations

how to pay for a lawyer with no moneyCompiling all of your medical records, receipts, and more to place in your demand package. Your lawyer will send the demand package to the insurance adjuster or the opposing lawyer. Once your personal injury lawyer has sufficient evidence, they will begin calculating your case’s worth and future prognosis.

Within the demand letter, your lawyer will outline the theory of liability, the injuries per your medical records, and the amount you are demanding. You can only send a demand package when you reach maximum medical improvement, which means you do not have any more medical treatment.

In more severe cases, your lawyer can file a demand package to move the case, but waiting to reach MMI is always best. Most personal injury claims settle before you need to file a lawsuit and settle with a demand package.

Once the opposing party receives the demand, they will review the terms and issue a response. They will either accept the offer or come back with a new offer, and there will be some back and forth. You will move into litigation if negotiations stall or the two parties are too far apart.

filing a personal injury lawsuit

The litigation process begins when your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit with the local courts. Up to this point, all legal actions were pre-litigation, but once settlement negotiations stall, you will go into the litigation phases. There are many actions to take during this phase, and while preparing for trial, it is not to say that trial is necessary.

The pretrial process will vary slightly depending on where you reside, but the steps are about the same. A trial will be one to two years after you file a lawsuit barring exceptional circumstances. There are stringent deadlines to file a lawsuit, so while you need to reach MMI, you also need to be aware of the statute of limitations for your lawsuit.

Discovery process

After filing a lawsuit, the discovery process will begin. This is one of the most extended phases because both sides will ask for evidence. Depending on what is in your lawsuit, the opposing party will investigate your claims. They will also begin to build a defense that disproves your claims.

The insurance company’s lawyer will send you interrogatories, take depositions and request various documents. In comparison, your lawyer will do the same but will look for things that help your claim.

Request for production

One of the requests opposing counsel will make are interrogatories that ask for basic information like employment history, names, and date of birth. It will also require you to answer questions regarding the incident and your injuries. You will need to provide information about all medical providers you have seen in the past ten years; your lawyer can help you fill these interrogatories out.

There is also a request for admission where one party will ask the other to admit to the date of the accident and other facts of the incident. They will also need to confirm ownership of the vehicle or premises, depending on where the accident occurred. All parties will have 30 days to respond to any requests.

Depositions

Another element is taking depositions, an interview that goes over your interrogatories and clarifies any issues. While the parties in the lawsuit will undergo depositions, so will other witnesses. The deposition will take time to schedule because the opposing party must request and review pertinent documents to prepare.

There will be your attorney and the defense attorney, and a stenographer. For the most part, the questions will be similar to your interrogatories and confirm what you already reported. The defense lawyer will ask all the questions, and your lawyer will object to anything you should not answer.

Expert witnesses

While you will visit your doctors, the defense might try to send you to a Compulsory Medical Exam (CME) or an (IME) to confirm or deny your prognosis.

If you must attend one of these appointments, do not trust the doctor because they work for the opposing party and not for you. They do not provide medical care and will look for ways to provide a favorable opinion to the defense lawyer.

The more witnesses and injury victims, the longer the process can take. However, when there is a permanent injury, your discovery will surpass a year.

Mediation and negotiation

Once discovery is complete, the attorneys will reconvene to negotiate again. They will first try to negotiate among themselves, and if they are still too far apart, they will schedule mediation. During mediation, both lawyers, the plaintiffs, and a third party will meet to reach a resolution.

The beginning of mediation is when all parties are in the same room. Each attorney will present their case and opening statements describing the accident, injuries, and damages. It is confidential, so you cannot speak to anyone else about what happens during mediation. The discussions cannot come up at trial, and it allows both parties to go back and review their cases.

Next, the parties will break into separate rooms, and the mediator will go back and forth to settle. The mediator does not decide the case’s outcome; they only help both parties reach a middle ground. They will point out the strengths and weaknesses of each side and even give you an idea of how the trial can go depending on the current arguments. If your case goes into litigation, it will likely resolve during mediation, and if it does not, then a trial is the next and final step.

Trial

If the issue did not resolve in mediation, all parties must agree to a trial date, depending on the judge and attorney’s availability. The trial length will vary, but they will schedule a trial for longer than you need.

Scheduling a date for trial does not mean it will happen because you can resolve the lawsuit before trial. You can have a trial day on the schedule, which the court will push a few times. Do not think that a trial date push is a bad thing; it can be due to the judge’s schedule or another irrelevant reason.

Before trial, the attorneys will continue to negotiate and reach a resolution. No one wants to go to trial because it is costly and time-consuming. Severe accidents or those with contentious negligence issues will likely go to trial, but there is no surefire sign that your claim will go this far.

Personal Injury Claim Results

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary Annes
Chicago Injury Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

A trial verdict is not always the end, the other party can agree to the terms, and your legal troubles are over. If they disagree, they can appeal the verdict through the appellate process. Sometimes they agree with parts of the decision and want to appeal to other parts. When the opposing party files an appeal, it can take another year before you get a resolution.

At the end of the process of the appeal, the jury verdict is final or reversed. You may need to try the case again if a court reverses it. The personal injury timeline is extensive, and depending on your injuries and liability, the claim can resolve at different points.

Upon settling, no matter during which phase of the timeline it occurs, you will have a disbursement of funds. The award disbursement will happen within 30 days, but that does not mean you will get the money the right way. Before you receive any funds, your lawyer and medical providers will receive payment. That can prolong the process of receiving funds.

Factors that might prolong your claim

Injuries that resolve in a few months will have a shorter timeline than those involving catastrophic injuries. However, other factors can prolong your claim. While you want to settle soon, you should not settle too soon.

Some factors that will prolong your timelines are:

  • Your recovery
  • Your injuries
  • Liability disputes
  • Permanent impairment or disability
  • The length of the investigation
  • How willing is the insurance company to settle

Always stay patient and communicate with your lawyer.

Don’t wait to consult a personal injury lawyer

After an accident, you will want to resolve your case as quickly as possible, but it may not be that simple. Any respectable lawyer will not rush the process and will instead take the time to review all aspects and reach a resolution that works for your circumstances.