Suffering from any life-altering injury, regardless of the cause, can be devastating and overwhelming. Aside from the physical pain and emotional suffering it has caused , you may also have to deal with other consequences like costly medical care, lost wages, and emotional trauma.
Many victims try to handle their personal injury claims themselves to avoid legal fees. However, not all personal injury cases are simple, and not all personal injury lawyers in Chicago ask for upfront fees. Moreover, they can handle the complexities of your case and fight for your rights so you can receive fair compensation.
Knowing if you should hire a personal injury attorney might not be crystal clear when you’re going through a difficult time. Here are some considerations to help you decide.
Proving Liability Can Be Tough
When it comes to personal injury claims, the only way to recover compensation from the party at fault is by proving that they, indeed, negligently caused the injury.
However, establishing liability can be challenging, as this involves obtaining and compiling evidence. This can include securing surveillance videos of the incident, statements by witnesses, medical records, photographs of the scene, photographs of the injuries, and more. The at-fault party can also deny the claim, file affirmative defenses, counter-claims, and employ a myriad other legal tactics to tip the scales in their favor.
When recovering from an injury or dealing with a disability caused by the incident, gathering proof and protecting yourself from common defense maneuvers can be exhausting. Hiring an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can take this heavy weight off your shoulders so you can focus on your health.
Personal Injury Lawyers Study the Value of Your Case
While attorneys cannot promise you a specific compensation award, they have the knowledge and experience to evaluate your case, including for settlement purposes, so you can obtain the recovery you deserve for the injuries and other damages you suffered. They do this by calculating all economic and non-economic losses, often through medical and other experts, while also factoring the likelihood of recovery at trial compared to settling before trial.
This is crucial when pursuing personal injury claims, as insurance companies will try to devalue claims and offer the lowest possible settlement offers. Understanding the value of your case with the help of a personal injury attorney can protect you from unreasonably low offers.
They Level the Playing Field
At-fault individuals or parties will likely have an attorney representing them, especially if they were covered by insurance at the time of the incident. This means that pursuing your personal injury case yourself may not only be intimidating but also put you at an unnecessary disadvantage.
Getting the best Chicago personal injury lawyer advocating for you means having a proven litigator fighting for your case and pursuing the maximum compensation for your losses.
They Help You Avoid Legal Pitfalls
Navigating the personal injury claims process can be tricky, as it involves understanding how the law works. This can vary from state to state. Missing an important detail or even committing an honest mistake can derail your claim and, worse, cost you your right to pursue legal action.
One of the most common pitfalls in personal injury cases involves the statute of limitations – the maximum time you are allowed to file a lawsuit. In Illinois, the statute of limitations on personal injury is generally two years from the time of the incident. If you wait too long or fail to take the necessary steps and this prescriptive period expires, you may permanently lose your right to prosecute the party at fault.
Victims may also be led to say things that can hurt their claims. Insurance claim adjusters are experienced in getting victims who speak up on their own behalf to make statements that can be used against their case.
However, when a Chicago personal injury lawyer is involved, they will be the one to handle all the intricacies of your case, including communication with all the other parties involved. Most importantly, they can help ensure that you are meeting all deadlines that apply to your case to preserve your rights.
Most Attorneys Work on a “Contingency Fee” Basis
If your financial situation is keeping you from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit and hiring an attorney, the good news is that most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This usually means you don’t need to pay any upfront costs related to your case. Instead, they collect fees for their services only if they obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has a potential personal injury case, it’s possible to pursue your claim risk-free. And with the right personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer, you can get the compensation you deserve while avoiding costly legal fees.
How to Know If You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that we’ve established the importance of hiring personal injury lawyers, it helps to discuss another question that gets thrown around often: how do you know if you need a personal injury attorney?
If you have been affected by a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or a similar incident, here are some key signs you have a potential case and can benefit from getting an attorney involved.
The Incident and Resulting Injury Were Not Your Fault Or Not Primarily Your Fault
Personal injury cases generally involve accidents and injuries that are not the victim’s fault; in some instances, the victim is only partially at fault and can still recover. Some examples of such incidents include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property
- Injuries from product defects
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
You Sustained Serious Injuries or a Permanent Disability as a Result
Some accidents tend to end with minor injuries like cuts, bumps, and bruises — conditions that can be easily treated after a couple of days. But if you’re looking at serious injuries that require weeks, months, or even years of treatment, or are causing chronic pain, brain damage, or permanent paralysis, it’s best to discuss your situation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
You should never have to shoulder the overwhelming costs of your medical care if you sustained the injury because of another party’s fault. A personal injury attorney will evaluate your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
You’re Not Receiving Fair Compensation
Recovering monetary damages for your losses is crucial in helping you cover your medical bills as you recover.
Recovering from serious injuries often entails paying for a lengthy hospital stay, expensive medications, and even rehabilitation therapies. Of course, this is not to mention the other costs you incurred due to the incident. So when the party at fault provides or insists on a settlement that doesn’t adequately meet these expenses, this is a telltale sign of when to hire a personal injury lawyer.
You Find Yourself Being Accused of the Incident
In some cases, individuals or parties that want to avoid liability go as far as accusing you of fault or wrongdoing.
Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that the victim can only recover damages if they are 50 percent or less responsible for the accident. Even then, the amount to be recovered can be reduced in proportion to the responsibility of the at-fault party.
It’s also possible that individuals and parties at fault may counter-sue victims for any number of things. When this happens, they can seek attorney fees and other damages which can ultimately jeopardize your financial recovery.
If you are facing or anticipating this situation, it’s best not to delay hiring a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer or a personal injury attorney. They can gather evidence to reinforce your claims and, most importantly, defend you from these pressuring tactics.
Understand the True Value of Your Claim With the Help of the Best Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
From proving the other party’s liability to avoiding common legal pitfalls, pursuing a personal injury claim can be challenging. Insurance companies will also try different ways to devalue your claims and pay you less. With that said, an experienced and diligent attorney can help you understand your rights and, ultimately, obtain the best possible settlement for you.
If you have suffered serious injuries from the negligence of an individual or an organization, you are not alone, and Kroot Law, LLC is here to help. We treat all clients with consideration and vigorously prosecute injury cases to ensure victims receive maximum compensation for their case.
Whether you’re up against negligent individuals or large corporations, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation with Jason M. Kroot.