After a serious accident, injury victims and their families may encounter significant medical, financial and psychological repercussions. Even if the parties maintain active insurance policies, the policies do not cover the extent of a person’s damages in many situations. After an accident, a victim may encounter substantial costs related to emergency treatment, inpatient hospitalizations, rehabilitation and prescriptions. These medical issues often require a person to miss work, leading to missed opportunities for advancements and other benefits. In addition to medical and financial impediments, the realization that a potentially preventable accident changed the trajectory of a person’s life can be particularly challenging.
After an avoidable accident, those who have suffered losses because of another’s fault may file a Chicago personal injury lawsuit against the culpable party or parties. The initial step to recovery is filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. However, insurance companies work to maintain their financial standing and often present hurdles to those attempting to evoke coverage. Settlement negotiations between claimants and insurance companies can be daunting, complicated, and lengthy. These negotiations often leave the claimant with insufficient coverage to meet their losses.
The lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, are here to provide Chicago, personal injury victims with the resources and tools to recover for their damages. The experienced team of Chicago injury attorneys has years of combined experience helping injury victims through all steps of a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys assist in negotiations with adversarial insurance companies and at-fault parties, in addition to litigating claims, if necessary. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg lawyers maintain positive industry recognition from clients and peers by providing clients with the ability to face challenges with confidence.
Personal Injury Statistics:
• A study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) entitled, “Paying for Auto Injuries” revealed that injury victims represented by a lawyer recovered settlements that were 40 percent higher than those who were not represented by attorneys. Another IRC study, entitled “Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs,” focused solely on bodily-injury claims. That study found that the average payout for car accident injuries was 3.5 times higher for claimants who hired a lawyer.
• In 2018, there were more than 319,000 Illinois motor vehicle accidents.
◦ About 21 percent, or over 67,000, of these accidents resulted in at least one injury and nearly 950 people were killed.
• Over 13 percent of all injury-causing traffic accidents result in an incapacitating injury, meaning that the accident victim is no longer able to walk, drive or normally continue the activities that they were able to perform before the accident.
• According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there are more than 20,000 Illinois truck accidents each year, resulting in more than 100 deaths per year and thousands of injuries.
• In 2018, there were 184 Illinois workplace deaths
• The top causes of fatal workplace accidents include:
◦ Transportation accidents: 40 percent
◦ Contact with objects or equipment: 15 percent
◦ Violence (either by other people or animals): 16 percent
◦ Falls, slips and trips: 15 percent
◦ All other accidents: 15 percent
Should I File a Chicago Personal Injury Lawsuit?
After an accident, you may be shock, and the extent of your pain and suffering does not become immediately apparent. Even seemingly minor accidents can result in delayed injuries. Slip-and-falls might not cause immediate pain even if a person sprained a muscle or tore a ligament. Similarly, drivers and passengers may not experience pain right after a car crash; however, whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries pain may become evident after a few days, weeks or even months.
On the other end of the spectrum, injury victims may suffer serious injuries immediately following an accident. A slip-and-fall or car accident may cause someone to hit their head and blackout, or break a bone, requiring immediate hospitalization.
After an accident, it is essential that victims receive prompt medical attention. Injury victims may suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, amputation, internal organ damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other similar ailments and illnesses. Untreated injuries can result in long-term medical challenges and can make medical and financial recovery difficult. After seeking medical treatment, victims should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
What a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Brings to Your Case
While there is no requirement that an injury victim retain an attorney to assist in the preparation of their case, doing so is almost always a good idea. Statistics show that accident victims who are represented by an attorney not only tend to obtain compensation more often, but they also obtain greater damages awards, on average. Below are a few reasons why a Chicago personal injury attorney is of critical importance for accident victims.
Insurance Claims and Personal Injury Cases Are Often Complex
Attorneys will take over negotiations with an insurance company even if the victim had already begun the process. Many victims do not consider hiring an attorney right away. It is advisable to have an attorney navigate these complex discussions. Attorneys can assist in insurance negotiations in many ways. For example, insurance companies generally take injury victims who are represented by an attorney more seriously, potentially resulting in a more sizeable settlement offer.
An Attorney Can Help You Avoid Denial, Delays and Insufficient Resolution of Insurance Claims
Attorneys can assist if an insurance company wrongfully denies a claim. After a denial, a lawyer can work with the victim to appeal the insurance company’s decision and achieve a more appropriate resolution. An attorney can help investigate the accident, gather required evidence, medical records and expert opinions to present a complete picture of the incident.
Further, in many situations, insurance companies delay claims and fail to provide claimants with updates. If the insurance company fails to communicate with a claimant or provide meaningful updates, an attorney can step in to ensure that the company responds. An attorney can help victims understand their potential avenue for relief against an insurance company that ignored their claim.
Finally, an attorney can help victims determine whether a proposed settlement is appropriate. In many cases, insurance companies try to resolve claims for the least amount of money possible. Victims should discuss the actual cost of their damages with an attorney before accepting an insurance settlement. Lawyers often provide free consultations to clients to help identify the full extent of the damages they suffered in the accident, ensuring nothing is left on the table.
Identifying All Potentially Liable Parties to Maximize Your Chances of Recovery
A personal injury attorney can help a victim identify the responsible party and apportion damages accordingly. Chicago personal injury lawsuits require victims to establish the elements of a negligence claim. The initial inquiry in these claims is who is responsible for the victim’s injuries. In many cases, there is more than one party responsible for the accident, and an attorney can help identify relevant claims against each party.
In some situations, a driver may be responsible for an unsafe lane change, but a car manufacturer may be liable for defective brakes that led the driver to be unable to stop their vehicle effectively. Similarly, in some medical malpractice cases, a victim may pursue a claim against the negligent doctor as well as the hospital that employed the healthcare provider. Naming all potentially liable parties is crucial, as it increases an accident victim’s chances of collecting on any damages award.
Evaluating Damages and Assessing All Paths to Recovery
After determining whether an accident requires additional compensation and identifying liable parties, an attorney can help victims understand their paths to recovery. In a small minority of situations, an insurance payout may be sufficient to cover a victim’s losses. However, in many cases, a lawsuit is necessary to compensate a victim fully. Even if a victim is already engrossed in settlement negotiations, an attorney can provide them with critical guidance regarding their full extent of damages and potential recovery.
Litigating Claims and Protecting a Victim’s Interests
If a case proceeds to trial, an attorney is an invaluable tool to ensure that the process is as streamlined as possible. Personal injury claims require a thorough understanding of complex substantive rules and procedural laws. The failure to meet a filing deadline, notice requirement or evidentiary rule can result in a dismissal. Attorneys possess the legal knowledge to represent clients through this process and ensure that they obtain the compensation they deserve.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
Recovering compensation after an accident can be a challenging process for injury victims and their families. The experienced and dedicated attorneys at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg can help you through this process. Our attorneys provide free consultations with an actual attorney. We pride ourselves on consistently treating our clients with courtesy and respect, and providing them with the confidence they need during a stressful time.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries after a Chicago accident, contact our office to discuss your rights and remedies. Our attorneys at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg handle all types of personal injury cases in Chicago, and throughout Illinois, including those stemming from auto accidents, instances of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and abuse, and more. To learn more about how we can assist you, contact us at 1-877-595-4878, to schedule a free consultation.