At Thomas Law Offices, we believe that the needs of injured victims and their families always come first. When someone suffers due to wrongful or negligent actions, a Chicago personal injury lawyer from our firm can step in and do whatever is necessary to defend our clients’ rights and help them speak against injustices that have been committed. Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers who are dedicated to helping Illinois families recover and start the process of rebuilding.
Our legal team understands that the process of rebuilding after a tragedy begins with seeking closure. To seek closure, we question how something happened and why it happened. What events caused a chain reaction that led to the resulting incident? When a multivehicle wreck on the Illinois turnpike during rush hour occurs, what event triggered the first collision? Did poor weather or visibility play a role? Was a driver distracted or was there another factor—like a tire blowout—present?
Questions like these need to be answered. A standard police investigation may not allow for the types of answers we deserve if our lives are torn asunder by a serious injury and the financial aftermath that often follows. Insurance companies rarely offer the answers we seek, and in some circumstances, may jeopardize our financial stability with an unfair settlement offer. In the case of a complex incident involving multiple factors, we may not receive any type of answer that allows for closure.
If you’re in a similar situation and are struggling to recover and move forward from an incident or accident, the U.S. civil legal system is on your side. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against an individual, group, or company that committed a wrongdoing or reckless act, you may be able to receive the answers you need to place the matter at rest. If someone intentionally caused harm or made a negligent decision, you can gain closure knowing that justice is on your side and the responsible party is aware of the injuries they caused.
In addition to receiving closure, filing a claim with the help of an experienced Chicago attorney may allow a family to recover compensation, also referred to as damages, that can be used to cover the costs of the injury.
Illinois Personal Injury Claims Thomas Law Offices Handles
We handle a wide array of injury cases at our Chicago law firm, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber accidents
- Lyft accidents
- Electric rental scooter accidents
- Wrongful death
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
If you’re in need of legal services and your potential case doesn’t fit into any of the above categories, we will be happy to assist you however we can. Our injury lawyers are well-versed in all areas of personal injury law and will give you our full attention when we discuss your potential legal options with you.
We additionally handle small business dispute claims in Illinois, such as those that are filed in the midst of natural disasters or pandemic events.
Our Chicago personal injury attorney understands how an accident that results in injury can severely affect a person’s life and their family’s as well. It seems that you’re suddenly responsible for figuring out how you’re going to recover, how you’re going to proceed within the legal system, and how you’re going to keep yourself financially afloat during this difficult time. No one should have to deal with all these responsibilities on their own.
The Importance of Having a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer You Can Trust
When you’ve been wrongfully injured, you can seek legal options to hold the negligent party responsible and recover the damages. The best way to ensure a strong claim is to have an experienced lawyer at your side. Searching may take some time, but it’s vital to have dependable legal representation. As you begin your search, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Your lawyer is supposed to help you make a claim to get the compensation you deserve. Your compensation is the way you are going to recover financially from the accident. If you don’t have a lawyer at your side that’s going to advocate for you, this may result in an unfavorable compensation amount that could put you in a tough financial situation later on. Remember, you’re your best advocate and it’s important that you choose a lawyer that you feel will represent you best. Let’s go over the signs of a dependable lawyer versus an unreliable lawyer.
Dependable lawyers respect their clients and understand they are likely in uncharted waters. At this time, they need clarity and someone who will help them get through the legal process. When you meet with a personal injury attorney, search for these qualities:
- Communicates and Listens
- Is Upfront About Fees and Your Case
- Is Organized
- Has Experience
- Strong Testimony
When you meet with your personal injury lawyer in a consultation, this is where they’ll get to know you and find out what happened and how it’s affected you. Pay close attention to see if they are listening and taking in what you’re saying. A reliable attorney will have strong listening and communications skills. This includes returning phone calls, making follow-up emails, and keeping appointments. When they are clearly communicating and listening, they’re conveying their professionalism and respect for you as an individual and a client.
You’re probably wondering what it will cost to hire a personal injury attorney along with the chances of your success with a claim and the amount of your compensation. An attorney should be upfront about their fees and clearly explain how they will be compensated for their work. When it comes to the chances of your claim being successful, they may layout the strengths and weaknesses of your case. A reliable attorney will only proceed if they believe you have a valid and strong claim.
Take a moment to observe their work environment. If the area is kept clean and neatly organized, then you can likely trust this lawyer to keep your case file in the same manner. There won’t be a risk of losing important documents or missing deadlines.
Ask the lawyer about their experience in personal injury. Let’s say you were seeking compensation because of a negligent driver who caused a car accident. You’ll want to see if the lawyer has successfully handled car accident cases in the past and will be familiar with the process and how to best protect your rights.
You can also gather information on their record with past testimonies. If clients are leaving positive reviews about how this lawyer handled their case, you can take this into consideration that they’ll take the same experienced and professional approach to your case.
On the other hand, an unreliable lawyer will not exhibit the qualities above. If you experience the points below, you may want to reconsider working with that legal representative.
- Interrupts and Speaks in Legal Jargon
- Doesn’t Answer Your Questions
- Guarantees Results at the Start
- Doesn’t Have Experience
- Poor Reviews
If you find you’re trying to talk about what happened to you, but the lawyer is repeatedly interrupting you, this is a sign that they’re not truly listening. They will not retain the important information that you give them. This also indicates that this will be what it’s like to have them as a representative. If you cannot get a word in at the consultation, you likely will not get a word in throughout the process. You’re under enough stress already—you shouldn’t have to deal with an abrasive lawyer.
Another indication of their demeanor is if they’re using legal jargon in a way to make themselves sound smart. While lawyers will need to use legal terms, they should also take the time to explain them to you so you’re on the same page. If you’re getting the impression this person is speaking this way to show they’re the legal professional in the room, then they’re probably not the best option when it comes to reliable and compassionate representation.
Our Chicago personal injury attorney understands that you may not be familiar with the legal language of your case and explain them to you so you’re comfortable around these terms and concepts. If you do want to look at some legal terms commonly associated with personal injury cases, check out our blog on essential legal terms here.
One of the biggest red flags in a personal injury attorney is if they guarantee results from the beginning. They haven’t investigated your case, and they don’t yet know how many parties are involved or all the factors applying to this case. How could they possibly guarantee results at this stage? Be especially wary of lawyers guaranteeing positive results of massive payouts. An unreliable lawyer could use these points to try and hook their clients in, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be able to deliver on their promise.
If you ask about their experience and they seem to talk around the question or avoid the subject, then they likely have not handled cases like this in the past. This means that they may not have a clear plan of how to best fight for you. Also, look for reviews from past clients. If the overall reviews are negative and full of complaints, then you should consider continuing your search.
While you have tangible positive and negative characteristics to look for in a personal injury lawyer, it’s also vital to go with your gut. If you cannot find a reason why you don’t want to work with a particular person or firm but your gut is telling you this isn’t the right fit, then listen to your instincts and continue to seek other options. You don’t want to work with an individual who you cannot trust.
How Can a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Help You?
Now that you have tools for how to find a personal injury attorney, you may be wondering how much a legal representative can help you. Between knowledge of personal injury law and what you’re entitled to, meeting the many requirements when filing a claim, and being prepared to take the case to the courtroom, having legal representation at your side gives you the strongest chance of success.
Personal injury lawyers can also navigate the communication with the insurance company or companies involved. After you are injured, an insurance adjuster may contact you to get information about your claim. While you may think they’re gathering basic information, know that the insurance adjuster is working on behalf of an insurance company. The adjuster is going to do everything they can to save the company money.
An insurance adjuster can do this by trying to get you to make an official statement in person or recording phone conversations. They may seem conversational and friendly, but then they could start to ask more detailed questions. Even their friendlier questions could still be used against you. For example, if they ask how you’re doing and you give a typical reply stating you’re fine, this could be used against you if you claim you’ve been injured in an accident.
If an insurance adjuster is seeking information about your injuries and you state any pain you’re feeling, you may be feeling symptoms of an injury you’re not aware of yet. If you talk about pain in your neck, the adjuster can make a note of this. However, after this conversation, you may also start to feel pain in your back. Often after an accident, symptoms may take hours, days, or weeks to present. Your back was injured in the accident, but you didn’t feel the symptoms until later. Unfortunately, because you only mentioned neck pain to the adjuster, they could call into question why you didn’t mention that in your statement. This could call your credibility into question—and if your injuries are as serious as you claim.
Unfortunately, this typically results in you getting an unfair settlement offer. Your total expenses may not be covered. Without a lawyer, you may not realize the insurance adjuster is trying to settle the case quickly and the settlement offer is for less than you deserve.
If you aren’t aware of this, accepting a settlement offer can be tempting. While you may want to accept the settlement so your legal process is done, you may run into financial difficulty in the future. If you accept an early settlement, all your medical needs may not be covered. You shouldn’t have to be in a difficult situation where you feel the need to choose between getting the medical care you need or putting food on the table. This situation is tough for one person on their own, but can become more stressful if a family is depending on you.
Personal injury lawyers are familiar with the types of injuries that can occur in accidents and that you deserve compensation that will cover the associated costs. We’ll go over the facts of your case and the true extent of your injuries. This includes symptoms of what you’re feeling and the required medical treatment you’ll need to undergo so you can heal. Let’s go over the types of personal injuries that you may be dealing with.
The Consequences of Personal Injuries
Accidents that result in personal injury can range from minor to catastrophic. However, minor injuries can still take their toll. While a fractured bone will heal, you may still have to take time from work and other activities to rest and recover. You’ll also have medical costs for the treatment. Some injuries that may not be catastrophic but will still take significant time to heal include broken bones, sprains, or strains. These can be painful, but with time and treatment they will ultimately heal.
On the far end of the injury spectrum is catastrophic injuries. These can result in disability, disfigurement, and affect a person’s ability to continue to work. It’s devastating to suffer from such a serious injury and it’s possible that it will not fully heal. While the individual is coming to terms with living with these consequences, they may also worry about how they’re going to support themselves. Our lawyers have advocated for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries and will do the same for you.
With a Chicago personal injury attorney looking out for your best interests, they’ll seek to maximize your compensation. Your compensation will comprise of economic and noneconomic damages. Let’s take a look at what these are.
Economic and Noneconomic Damages
Economic damages have a monetary amount connected to them. You likely suffered financial losses because of your injury. As you go through the recovery process and rest from work, you may continue to sustain these losses. The economic damages we’ll fight for you to recover include:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
Your medical expenses include your past bills and future expenses from continued treatment, therapy, medication, surgeries, or equipment you may require. If you need to take time off work and are out of sick days, we’ll fight for you to recover the wages you’ve lost because you weren’t able to be at work. We can also seek lost earning capacity if you’ve suffered an injury that will prevent you from returning to your job or the workforce. Property damage could cover vehicle damages if you were in a car accident.
Your economic damages are not the only loss you’ve experienced. We’ll fight for you to recover noneconomic damages as well. These are the other consequences of the accident that do not have an assigned monetary amount.
Consider the emotional toll of experiencing a motor vehicle accident or suffering a severe medical injury. These can have long-lasting effects that reach beyond finances. When you’re seeking compensation, we’ll fight for you to recover the following noneconomic damages:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
The injuries can have painful symptoms and continue to cause pain as you recover. Your pain and suffering may not cost you money, but still takes a daily toll on you every day.
Another aspect of your injuries may be preventing you from attending events or activities that you would have been able to participate in had your accident not happened. Your injuries preventing you from living your life is frustrating and upsetting, especially when your injuries happened because of someone else’s negligence.
If you’re dealing with an injury that resulted in disability or disfigurement, you may be experiencing mental anguish at this difficult change. You may need to re-learn how to accomplish basic tasks as you’re learning to live with this injury. This adjustment will take time, patience, and care.
In some cases, an accident can cause wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one, losing that presence in your life is a tragedy. If you ran a household with this person, you may have co-parented, divided the labor of maintaining the house, and your loved one could have provided companionship, guidance, and support. Dealing with this kind of loss takes much more than a financial toll. Our wrongful death lawyers will help you get justice for your loved one and provide you with maximum compensation for your loss.
What Should You Do After an Injury?
While you know how a personal injury lawyer at your side can help you and your claim, you may be wondering what you can do after an accident occurs. There are a few steps you can take to protect your claim, get important evidence, and benefit your future.
- Remain Calm and Assess for Injuries
- Seek Help
- Report the Incident
- Record Evidence
- See a Medical Professional
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
An accident of any kind can leave you in shock. It’s important for your health that you remain calm and check to see if you have any injuries. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, the traumatic and fearful experience can put you in an emotional state. Sometimes, this can mask symptoms of injury. You should still check to see if anything needs immediate medical attention. If you tripped and fell in a public place, you may feel pain from injuries, but you may also feel embarrassment from what transpired—which could make you want to jump up and act like nothing happened. However, your injuries may be more severe than you realize, which is why it’s important to stay calm, stay where you are, and check for injuries. After you’ve done this and are able to move, you should provide assistance to anyone else who needs it.
After this step, contact help. Calling emergency services to assist you and anyone else who was injured will put healthcare professionals on the scene. They can administer first aid and advise you on what to do next. In some cases, like a truck or motorcycle accident, the police will also arrive on the scene to take statements. This falls into the next step: report the incident.
You could be making a police report or a report to the person in charge of where you were injured. Whether you’re answering police questions or writing down what happened, be as detailed as possible and only report the facts. It’s okay if there are gaps in your memory—accidents happen suddenly and can be over in seconds. The most important item here is to not fill in details or assign fault. You don’t have all the facts yet and the at-fault party may have not been at the scene of the accident. You can make your statement and move on to the next step to help your claim.
Gathering any evidence you can from the scene may benefit you later. This can be in the form of photographs, a record you keep, contact information of others on the scene, and eyewitnesses. Photographs can help provide evidence of how the accident occurred and the conditions it occurred in. This could be capturing the weather and road conditions for a motor vehicle accident or photographs of injuries your loved one sustained while they were in a nursing home. Preserving evidence in the moment means that you won’t lose crucial clues over time.
After you’ve recorded as much evidence as possible, you need to get a medical evaluation from a doctor. They’ll be able to go over your injuries and start treatment. You’ll have an idea of how much the accident affected your health and what it’s going to take for you to recover. It’s important to see a physician as soon as possible so your injuries do not worsen—waiting could cause your symptoms to be more painful and you may not be able to recover compensation if you wait too long to see a doctor.
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
While there’s no denying the fact that lawsuits are often complicated, the process of filing one with the help of an experienced lawyer is less complex than many individuals believe. When you have a compassionate legal team on your side that is dedicated to aiding your recovery process however they can, the process becomes less daunting. Legal matters are complicated, but with the right attorney yours don’t have to be.
Here is a general overview of some of the steps you and your lawyer will need to complete when bringing forth a personal injury claim:
- When you reach out to your lawyer and they decide to take your case, they will research the case as well as the information you’ve provided. An in-depth personal interview will take place at this time if possible where a contract will be signed.
- Your lawyer will contact the defendant (the party you’re suing—as the party filing suit, you’re the “plaintiff”), as well as any insurance companies that are involved to find out where the case stands.
- A detailed investigation of how and why the incident and injury occurred will take place, called injury discovery. Evidence will be collected and examined at this time. Possible evidence may include investigative police reports, surveillance videos, travel logs if applicable, and any witness testimony.
- Your attorney will obtain any pertinent medical records, as well as a final medical report of the victim’s condition from a medical provider that details the extent of the injury and its projected outcome.
- Your personal injury lawyer in Chicago will put together a demand letter at this point which is a document detailing the extent of the victim’s injuries, the facts surrounding the accident or event, and an estimation of the monetary damages of the victim’s injuries. This is sent to the defendant.
- The defendant may agree to accept the demands of the plaintiff and their lawyer and settle pre-suit. If an agreement can be reached, the case will settle early.
- If an agreeable resolution cannot be made, the lawsuit proceeds to the next step—which is litigation.
- Witnesses will be called on to provide testimony in court. Additional expert witnesses may also be hired to provide testimony. All evidence is prepared.
- The case will proceed to trial.
A Chicago personal injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will make sure your case is filed properly and on time. In Illinois, most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years. Missing this deadline could result in rendering you ineligible for compensation. When we’re at your side, you’ll have peace of mind knowing we’ll meet the necessary deadlines for your case. We’ll also keep you updated on the progress of your case, as the timeline for reaching a conclusion is unique to each case.
How Long Does It Take to Reach Settlement?
Due to their many complexities, most personal injury claims take anywhere from a few months to one or two years to settle. The number one determining factor in a case’s length is whether it goes to trial. Lawyers depicted on television often appear to take every case to court before a judge and jury, but most injury claims actually settle outside of the courtroom. This lessens the time it takes to recover damages significantly and benefits all parties involved.
If a case does go to trial, it can take anywhere from one year to multiple years to finalize. If a case reaches an early settlement, it can finish within a year or as little as within a few months. The exact time frame a case finishes in will depend on many factors. Since an injured victim only gets one chance to file a lawsuit after an accident, an experienced lawyer will make sure that the case is 100% complete and as strong as it possibly can be before reaching the settlement step.
While getting the compensation you need can take time, it’s important that you have the means to recover financially, physically, and emotionally from your injuries. Having fair compensation for what you experienced will allow you to do this.
Thomas Law Offices Is Proud to Practice in Chicago, Illinois
When deciding what city to open our firm’s next personal injury law office in, Chicago seemed like the ideal choice. As the most highly-populated city in the Midwestern U.S. and the third-most populous city in the United States, the city of Chicago is one of the world’s largest metropolitan centers. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as “Chicagoland,” is home to almost 10 million people and is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in North America.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago grew rapidly after becoming incorporated as a city in 1937. It grew so massive so quickly that the city pioneered multiple architectural advancements as well as urban planning and zoning advancements, including the Rand McNally Building, the world’s first all-steel framed skyscraper.
Chicago is also, of course, one of the major international centers for finance, trade, industry, technology, commerce, transportation, and telecommunications. The city has one of the highest gross metropolitan products (GMP) in the world yet boasts one of the world’s most diversified and balanced economies—one not dependent on any single industry. No one industry in Chicago employs more than 14% of the city’s workforce.
That strong level of diversity continues throughout the city. Chicago is the second most visited city in the nation, and boasts an extraordinarily diverse community as well as diverse landscapes, attractions, entertainment establishments, culture, and architecture, in addition to some of the best universities and sports teams in the nation. With world-famous attractions and venues like Millennium Park, Willis Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Wrigley Field, and more, there’s always something for residents and visitors to enjoy and feel pride in.
As one of the most diversified and pioneering cities in the nation, everyone who lives, works, plays, and visits Chicago enters the Windy City expecting to experience the best life has to offer in a global community that embraces energy, passion, ambition, progression, and initiative like nowhere else in the world. The city is truly a home for those who want to lead the way to a brighter tomorrow.
A Chicago Injury Law Firm You Can Believe In
At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys hold the same ideals that are central to Chicago residents—progression, ambition, and diversity—near and dear to the core of our practice. Just as we’ve proudly served the Louisville community for years and have pioneered numerous personal injury cases and delivered relief and recovery to local victims and their families, we’re now committed to serving the Chicago community and doing the same for you.
We’re dedicated to helping Illinois residents who have been wronged or harmed by individuals, companies, and other groups move on with their lives by fighting for their rights to full and fair compensation. We help our clients secure their futures. Our lawyers are leaders in the legal industry and our goal is to not only help people, but to make a difference within the communities where we practice law. We believe in helping the community and having a positive impact in every way possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident or incident in Illinois that could have and should have been prevented, we encourage you to get in touch with the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices today. Our attorneys can make a difference and help your family find the road to recovery.
Thomas Law Offices – Chicago, Illinois Office Address
30 N. LaSalle Street Suite 4020 B
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone Number: 312-786-4822
We also serve clients in the following areas near and around Chicago: New Lenox