Frequently Asked Questions
Personal Injury Claims
How do I know if I have a viable case?
Generally, it is based on the facts and applicable laws which determine whether you have a viable case. Since there is no charge for learning your rights, you should call our office at 847-240-9010 to determine if you have a case, what your rights are, and the value of your case.
Is there any charge to determine if I have a case?
There is no charge to determine whether you have a viable case. Since our firm has concentrated in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims for over 40 years, you may call our office to determine if you have a case and to learn your rights without obligation.
Should I rely on the insurance adjuster to advise me of my rights and whether I have a claim?
Definitely not. If you rely on the adjusters, you are relying on the very people who owe you the money! The adjusters are trained to “minimize” your claim. Their job is not to pay you what you are due, but to save the insurance company money. Their interest is with the insurance company which is paying out your claim. The adjusters are not looking out for your best interest. Many adjusters will simply “pump you” for information and then deny your claim. When they ask to take a statement from you, ask if you can take a statement from the defendant. It will never happen!
Do I always need an attorney?
No. Typically, smaller injuries can be settled directly with the insurance company. However, since there is no charge for learning your rights and determining the value of your claim; you should, therefore, call us to determine your rights and the value of your case.
Can I trust the insurance company in looking out for my interest and determining the proper value of my claim?
The fact is insurance companies employ claims adjusters and attorneys to look out for their best interest … not yours! They are interested in minimizing your claim. You need someone on your side to represent your best interest.
What should I do to protect my legal rights at the time of the accident?
First and foremost, if you are injured, you should seek immediate medical treatment. You should give an accurate history of your injuries to your doctors. Then, if your injuries are serious, you should contact an attorney who concentrates in personal injury law to learn your rights. Photographs and evidence should also be obtained at an early stage.
Are there time limits within which to give notice or file my claim in court?
Yes there are many time limits within which to file your claim. This area of the law is complex. For example in a worker’s comp. claim, generally an employer should be notified of a work-related accident within 45 days. Personal injury cases against most governmental agencies must be filed in court within one (1) year of an accident, but “notice” dates to the governmental agencies can be as early as six months from the accident. In general, most personal injury cases must be filed in court within two (2) years of the accident. We receive calls each year from victims of accidents who have let the “statute of limitations” expire because they were not aware of the deadlines. Again, since there is no charge for determining these important deadlines, call our office.
Who ultimately decides the value of my case?
If a case does not settle, an arbitrator, a jury, or a judge decides the value of your case depending on the type of case. The insurance company does not determine its ultimate value! Over 90% of all cases settle. Attorneys, based on their experience, are in the best position to evaluate and recommend to the client when and under what terms their case should be settled, or whether it should go to trial. Over 90% of all cases settle.
How will I be charged for legal services?
If we accept your case, we will handle it on a “contingency” basis. If you do not recover money damages, we do not charge you for our services. Our fees are contingent upon you recovering money damages. Also, all cases involve litigation costs which are your costs and which are different than attorneys’ fees. We advance those costs on your behalf while processing your claim. The attorneys’ fees and your costs will be deducted from your settlement proceeds when the case is resolved.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
What is a worker’s compensation claim?
In most cases, if your injury (or occupational disease) is related to work, you most likely have a worker’s compensation claim.
Is there any charge to determine if I have a workers' compensation claim?
No. Since our firm concentrates in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, you may call our office to determine if you have a worker’s compensation claim without obligation.
What am I entitled to under Workers’ Compensation?
If you have a worker’s compensation claim, you are entitled to medical treatment by doctors of your choice, payment of your medical bills, wage benefits while you are off work recovering from your injury and a lump sum for the permanent nature of your injury. Sometimes, rather than a lump sum, you receive periodic payments for life. Your medical benefits may also be extended over your lifetime. As experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, you should call us to learn your rights without obligation.
Should I handle my own workers’ compensation claim if the insurance company is already paying my benefits and medical bills?
Minor or temporary injuries can be handled without an attorney. However, for permanent injuries, you should seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney so that your rights are protected. (For example: Because of the seriousness of the following injuries you should retain the services of a workers’ compensation attorney for back injuries, surgeries of any type, being unable to work or on light duty for more than two weeks, medical treatment over four weeks, or unable to perform your job at 100%.) There is no charge to call our office to determine your rights and the value of your claim. Again, the insurance adjuster is protecting the insurance company’s interest, not yours.
Is my employer or the insurance company legally required to inform me of my rights and benefits provided by the Act?
No. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act does not require your employer or the insurance company to advise you of your rights. In many instances the insurance company will never contact you and inform you that you are entitled to lump sum payments over and above your medical benefits and temporary benefits while you are off work. If you are not aware of your rights; many times you will pass the deadline to recover for benefits you are entitled to, including a lump sum settlement. Again, the adjuster is there to protect the rights of your employer and the insurance company who is paying your claim, not you. As experienced workers’ comp. attorneys, you should call our office to learn your rights.
What if my workers’ comp. benefits are terminated?
You need to call an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the first sign that benefits are threatened by the adjuster. Once benefits are terminated, many clients are financially pressed. It is best to call us before your benefits are cut-off.
What is the role of the “insurance adjuster” and “case manager”?
Their role is to keep you under their “control”. They will lead you to believe that they control your medical treatment. They are being paid by the insurance company which is ultimately going to pay on your claim. So their job is to look out for the insurance company’s interest.
Can I have more than one case?
Yes. Often, injured workers have a workers’ compensation claim against their employer and a personal injury case against the company causing the injury. For example, an electrician falls through a hole left uncovered by the concrete sub-contractor. The electrician then has two separate claims for the same injury. He can have a worker’s compensation claim through his employer and a “third-party” personal injury claim with other entities, such as the concrete sub-contractor.
Can I choose my treating doctor or hospital?
Absolutely. You are entitled to treatment by two (2) doctors of your own choosing (excluding emergency room care), at your employer’s expense. The Act further provides that you are entitled to receive treatment by additional doctors if you are referred by either of your first two (2) choices.
Can I recover despite a pre-existing condition?
Yes. This happens frequently especially in workers’ compensation cases. You can recover even if the accident aggravated a pre-existing condition.
Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome be “work-related”?
Yes. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that “although carpal tunnel syndrome develops gradually and not the result of a sudden mishap”, it is still considered work-related if it results from repetitive work.
Can repetitive trauma be “work-related”?
Yes. Repetitive activity at work may produce a compensable worker’s comp. injury. Common repetitive work injuries have been awarded for the back, shoulders, arms and other body parts.