Answering Questions About How Lawsuits Work
Most people have no real experience working with lawyers and base their understanding of attorney-client relationships on books, movies and TV shows. Not surprisingly, these depictions are not always entirely accurate (there is no such thing as a “surprise witness” and forensic evidence alone does not prove guilt). To help you get a better idea of what to expect if you hire an attorney, we have answered some of the questions that we hear most often. If you have more specific questions, please reach out to us by calling 630-225-8137 or filling out our online contact form.
Why do I need a lawyer?
First and foremost, you should hire a lawyer so you can focus your energy on healing. The insurance company will immediately put pressure on you to sign a small settlement check before you have a true sense of the financial needs associated with your accident and injuries. They are focused on maximizing their profits by keeping your settlement check as small as possible. You need an attorney to focus on your needs so you can get a fair settlement check.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
If you decide to allow me to represent you, I accept almost all cases on a contingency fee basis. That means my fees are only paid contingent on winning your case – you only pay me if you win a settlement. If you do not get a settlement check, you do not owe me anything. If you win, my fees are deducted from your settlement check before you get paid.
How much is my case worth?
The value of injury cases is based on factors that are unique to each case. Without discussing the specifics of your case, it is impossible to predict what your case is worth. There is no magic formula, but some of the major factors involved in determining what your case is worth include:
- Total current and future medical expenses
- Any lost wages
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- The length of your recovery
- Any permanent injury
After our initial consultation and a review of bills and expenses related to your accident and injuries, we will have a better idea of what your case is worth.
What if I’m in an accident and the other driver is not insured?
If you get into an accident caused by an uninsured driver in Illinois, you have a couple of options for filing a claim. First, you can file an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance company. Illinois law requires all insurance companies to provide “no-fault” coverage for uninsured drivers. This means that in cases of hit-and-run accidents, uninsured motorists or situations where the other driver has a policy that pays less than you need (an underinsured motorist), you can still file a claim for damages.
Your second option, when possible, is filing a claim against a third party. For example, if the uninsured driver was working at the time of the accident, you may be able to sue the company they work for. If the uninsured driver was working for a commercial trucking company, you may also be able to file a claim against the shipping company.
Other third parties that you may be able to seek compensation from include the vehicle manufacturer (if the defects in the vehicle contributed to the crash), agencies responsible for maintaining safe road conditions, and if the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you could sue the bar or restaurant that over-served alcohol to them.