With more than 2.7 million residents, Chicago is the third most populous city in the country and the most populous city in the Midwest. Where there are people, there are accidents, and sometimes another party’s negligence can cause you serious injuries.
If you’re dealing with medical bills, lost income, physical or emotional pain, permanent disability, or other damages from a personal injury, you may need help recovering compensation. But what if the at-fault party and their insurance company try to avoid responsibility by blaming you?
A Chicago Personal Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help
Recovering your damages after an accident shouldn’t bring you more stress when you’re already struggling with your injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying your claim or to pay as little as possible.
You may think you can clear things up by talking with the insurance adjuster, but this usually isn’t effective—and in many cases, it can make things worse.
You don’t have to fight the insurance company alone—an experienced personal injury lawyer will examine your case, calculate the total value of your claim, and negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. We work for you, not the insurance company, and we’ll fight to ensure you receive the best settlement possible for your injuries.
You don’t need to worry about upfront costs, either; at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, your initial consultation is free. If you’re uncertain whether you have a case or are wondering what your options are, we’ll answer your questions and explain the possibilities so you can make an educated decision.
If you decide to proceed with our assistance, we won’t charge you anything until we win or settle your case, so you have nothing to lose. Contact us today to learn more.
What Is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is a physical or mental injury a person suffers due to another party’s actions. The majority of personal injury claims are based on negligence, but in some circumstances, you can also file a personal injury claim due to strict liability or intentional acts like crimes.
Often, people struggle to understand the difference between a personal injury and an accident. The reality is that most personal injuries are accidents; the other party probably didn’t intend to hurt you, but because they were careless or reckless in some way, they did.
This is where the concept of negligence comes in: If another party failed to use a reasonable or ordinary level of care to avoid injuring others, they might have been negligent.
What is a reasonable level of care? This looks a little different in each situation.
In general, no one is expected to eradicate all risks, but everyone should do their best to avoid creating obvious hazards to others. This is sometimes called a duty of care.
Here are some examples of what a duty of care might be in different situations:
A motorist driving on the Kennedy Expressway has a duty to obey the speed limit, follow other traffic laws, and avoid any reckless actions that might lead to a car accident.
The owner of a store in the Loop has a duty to maintain a safe environment for shoppers by picking up merchandise left on the floor or fixing a torn carpet.
A person operating a boat on Lake Michigan has a duty to use safe boating practices and avoid speeding or other reckless behavior that could cause an accident.
A company that manufactures furniture has a duty to confirm its items are safe for consumer use. This might mean testing the design to see if it collapses or tips over in a way that could cause injuries, checking that the paint isn’t toxic, etc.
A golfer driving a golf cart to the next green has a duty to watch where they’re going, drive at a reasonable speed, and avoid running into other golfers.
If another party had a duty of care and failed in that duty, and you were injured and suffered damages due to their failure, then you may have a personal injury case. Your lawyer can review the details of your injuries and help you determine if someone was negligent.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident In Illinois?
“Car accident” is often the first situation that comes to mind when people think about personal injuries. While car accidents are certainly not the only category of personal injuries, it is true that they are one of the most prevalent ways people suffer injuries and fatalities.
After a car accident, you should pull off the roadway and park in a safe place if possible. If your car can’t be moved, turn on your flashers and call 911 to report the accident.
While doing so, check yourself and your passengers for injuries—the 911 operator will ask if anyone is hurt.
Some people don’t notice their injuries immediately following a car crash; the adrenaline rush can stifle pain, and some injuries are more impactful after the body begins the healing process. If you start to feel pain or experience other new symptoms within a week or so of your collision, please see your doctor right away and tell them about the accident.
Once you’ve called 911, if you are not dealing with a medical emergency, get out of your vehicle and check on the other car’s occupants to see if they need help. Let the 911 operator know if anyone is hurt and follow their instructions for rendering aid if necessary.
If no one is injured, you can take this time to exchange contact and insurance info with the other driver but don’t get pulled into a discussion about the fault. If the other driver becomes irate or tries to pick a fight, return to your car and wait for the police to arrive.
Next, we recommend you take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance claim. Of course, you should be mindful of traffic—you don’t want to be hit by another car while taking photos.
If possible, try to capture images of all the damage to your car. A 360-degree photo is ideal if your phone’s camera offers that setting.
Next, you’ll want to take pictures of the other car’s damage, the road (particularly any tire or skid marks), and any debris in the road—broken glass, a fallen bumper, etc.
When the police arrive, they will take statements from you, the other driver, and any witnesses—usually passengers, but sometimes bystanders. Always reply to the officer’s questions honestly, but keep your answers brief and don’t add any info they didn’t request.
There is no need to speculate about who caused the accident, and you should never admit fault if you think you were to blame. Many people incorrectly believe they were at fault in accidents.
Additionally, fault is often shared in car collisions, which we’ll explain in more detail later.
Get medical attention for your injuries, even if they seem mild. As we discussed earlier, injuries often become more severe or painful after some time has passed, so it’s best to see a healthcare provider so they can rule out any serious injuries that require immediate treatment.
You’ll also create a record of your injuries in case you need more care later.
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so we can begin investigating your accident and gathering evidence to demonstrate fault.
How Does Modified Comparative Negligence Affect Your Claim?
As mentioned in the previous section, fault can belong to more than one party in a car accident or other personal injury situation. Under Illinois law, an injured person can recover damages if they are less than 50 percent responsible for the injury or accident.
Any percentage of fault they do have will be deducted from their final award.
In most car accident cases, the insurance carriers for the drivers will negotiate a percentage of fault for each driver. Your insurance adjuster won’t want to pay the other driver’s claim, so they will likely argue that the other motorist was more at fault.
If the evidence against the other driver is very strong, your adjuster may even argue that you had no fault at all.
However, the other driver’s insurance adjuster is also tasked with saving the company money, so they may argue that you were more or entirely responsible for the accident. The two adjusters will negotiate and eventually reach an agreement that satisfies them both, at which point one of them will extend a settlement offer to the less-responsible party.
This system may not be in your best interest. Your adjuster might agree to a higher degree of fault than you had if it’s below 50 percent; after all, they don’t have to pay for it, nor does the other insurance company—but you do.
Both adjusters could also undervalue your damages.
Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you avoid these difficulties. Unlike an insurance adjuster, your attorney works for you and will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
We’ll continue to investigate your accident, canvassing the scene, talking to witnesses, and searching for doorbell or security camera video to show who was at fault. In many cases, we can demonstrate that the client did not contribute to the accident at all or that their contribution was very small.
We’ll also calculate the value of your claim to ensure the insurance company’s settlement offer covers all your damages.
Does Illinois Have Strict Liability For Dog Bites?
Yes. Dog owners are strictly liable for injuries their dogs cause through biting, jumping, or other incidents. That means you don’t have to prove the owner was negligent to recover damages, but you will have to show that:
Their dog caused your injuries. In some situations, the owner may claim it wasn’t their dog or suggest it was some other similar-looking canine. Your lawyer will work to find evidence to show their dog bit you.
You were peacefully conducting yourself at the time of the incident. For instance, if you were yelling at or shoving the dog owner, and their dog attacked you, they might not be liable.
You were legally in the place where the attack occurred—in other words, you weren’t trespassing.
You did not provoke the dog. Provocation usually includes yelling at, taunting, or hitting the dog or trying to take its puppies or food dish.
You can seek damages for injuries caused by the dog even if they didn’t bite you. For example, if an overly friendly dog jumps on you in greeting and causes you to fall, the owner would still be liable.
If a dog has bitten you, always seek medical care immediately, even if the bite doesn’t seem severe. Dogs’ mouths are not the most sanitary places, and the risk of infection is significant.
A healthcare provider will clean the wound and prescribe antibiotics or vaccines if needed. A larger bite may require stitches, and getting prompt care from a professional can reduce the risk of scarring.
What Is Premises Liability?
This is a type of personal injury case that occurs when a person is injured on another party’s property. The property might be public, such as a store or amusement park, or private property, like your best friend’s home, your colleague’s beach house, etc.
Sometimes, people assume they can make a claim on the homeowner’s insurance or business liability insurance simply because they were injured on a property, but it isn’t that simple. These insurance policies typically cover many situations in which the owner is liable for someone’s injuries on their property.
However, being injured on the property doesn’t prove the owner was responsible. Instead, it will be necessary to show evidence that:
There was a hazardous condition on the property.
The owner or party in control of the property (such as a store manager) knew or should have known about this hazard. Generally, any problem that should have been discovered during routine maintenance would fall into this category.
The party who owned or controlled the property failed to use reasonable care to find, fix, or warn guests about the hazard.
Because of this hazard, you were injured.
Is Premises Liability Just Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
No, although falls are a frequent type of injury in premises liability. However, there are many other situations in this category, such as:
Falling objects. This type of accident usually occurs in stores or warehouses where merchandise is stacked on high shelves. Typically, these shelves are very sturdy, and merchandise will stay put unless it’s stocked haphazardly by an employee. For instance, if an item hangs over the edge, it may fall on an unsuspecting customer. Store managers have a duty to regularly inspect the aisles and look for hazards, including poorly stacked items.
Hidden defects. If you see a giant hole in the floor, it should be obvious that it’s a potential hazard. But not every hazard is noticeable. If you were injured by a structural defect, toxic substances, a loose railing that gave way, or other hidden defects, the property owner might be liable.
Construction site hazards. Construction projects, both public and private, are a common sight in Chicago. Unfortunately, with these projects come potential hazards like falling objects, debris lying around that could trip someone, large equipment like bulldozers backing up, holes in the ground, etc. Construction crews have a number of safety standards to follow to prevent injuries, but if they fail to do so, the project owner or site manager may be at fault. For instance, if the crew fails to put out cones or tape around a hole in the sidewalk and you trip and fall, you might have a claim.
Slip, trip, and fall hazards. We mentioned these briefly, but it’s important to understand that fall hazards aren’t limited to puddles or liquid on a floor. Items or merchandise left on the floor, loose floor tiles, a torn or snagged carpet, an uneven floor, worn or damaged stairs, gardening tools or toys strewn across a walkway, and poorly lit areas/stairwells are all potential hazards that could cause a fall.
Attractive nuisances. These are attractions that might draw the attention of young children who aren’t able to appreciate potential dangers. Swimming pools are a good example—homeowners who have pools should keep them fenced and insist on supervision for young children who use them. Playground equipment like swing sets or trampolines can also be an attractive nuisance if an unsupervised child decides to play on them. Construction sites are exciting for some kids, which is why they typically put up a fence (aside from discouraging criminals who might want to steal equipment). In the event that your young child blundered into a potentially dangerous situation like this and suffered injuries, you may be able to recover damages if the owner didn’t take appropriate care to keep kids away from the potential dangers.
Negligent security. This is one that people often overlook, but in some situations, a property owner might be liable if a guest is injured by another person committing a crime. One example would be a hotel that uses only one cheaply-made lock on its room doors. If it’s easy for a criminal to break in and attack a guest because the hotel didn’t take reasonable precautions, the hotel could be liable. Or, if you were attacked in the parking lot of a store with poor lighting and no surveillance, the owners could be at fault. This is more likely if the neighborhood has a high rate of similar crimes or other attacks that happened on the property in the past, yet the owners did not take steps to improve security—such as installing cameras, improving lighting, putting in a silent alarm for cashiers, etc.
Sometimes, people ask us why they can’t simply sue the criminal in a negligent security case. You could do that, but in most situations, it isn’t worthwhile. Criminals don’t carry liability insurance, and if they don’t have the money to pay your claim, you may waste a lot of time and energy on a lawsuit only to find you can’t collect your damages.
We don’t advise clients to pursue claims in these situations because it’s not in their best interest. However, we will examine the case as a whole and determine if the property owner might be liable for negligent security.
If so, this is usually the best way to recover the compensation you deserve because businesses typically do have liability coverage.
When Should You Talk to a Lawyer About a Potential Premises Liability Case?
Any time you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, it’s a good idea to learn more about your legal rights by speaking with an attorney. You don’t necessarily have to sue anyone, and your consultation is confidential.
We understand that sometimes, premises liability claims can be complicated because the property owner might be a friend or someone you know. In many cases, we can find an amicable way to recover your damages through an insurance claim or negotiations with the property owner.
How Can You Learn More From a Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm?
A personal injury could leave you with medical debt, damaged property, permanent disabilities or chronic pain, lost income, and other damages. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury that may have been another party’s fault, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation.
We’ll review the details of your case and lay out your options for recovering compensation. There is no obligation, and if we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we win or settle it.
Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm only a few years ago and has since transformed it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. With the help of his experienced team, he has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families with a 99.5 percent success rate.
When he’s not fighting for his clients’ rights in court or negotiating with insurance companies, you can find him on social media delivering no-nonsense legal advice to more than a million followers. Work with him today by calling (833) 254-2923.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.