Personal Injury FAQs
Here are common questions people often have about personal injuries. If you have any questions, contact us at 800-529-7285. We offer a free case consultation.
At the scene of your accident, move your vehicle to a safe location, determine if anyone is injured, and call 911 immediately. Obtain information – name, address, insurance, and drivers’ license numbers – from all parties involved in the accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, record their contact information. In addition, use your phone or camera to take photos of the accident scene, weather, and road conditions.
After your accident, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe you were not injured or you suffered minor injuries. Contact your insurance company to report the accident. If you have been injured, continue to keep appointments with your doctor and keep him or her informed about your pain or other effects of the injury. If you believe your accident was caused by somebody else’s wrongdoing, contact an attorney immediately to learn your legal rights.
Yes. Reporting your accident to the police is critical when it comes time to pursue compensation and other damages after an accident. At the scene of your accident, police may fill out an Illinois accident report to document the cause of your crash and the extent of both property damage and injuries sustained in the accident. If a driver is clearly at fault – perhaps she is drunk or admits to speeding or driving distracted – police may issue a citation or make an arrest at the accident scene. This information may become critical when filing a claim with the insurance company.
No. At Deratany & Kosner, we offer all prospective clients a free case evaluation. We take the time to listen to what you have to say about your accident. We want to help you know your rights. Chances are you have a lot of questions after an accident. You may have never needed to speak with an attorney before. Our experienced legal team firmly believes you should not have to fear out-of-pocket expenses when seeking answers.
Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can dramatically increase your chances of receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other damages caused by the accident. Accidents happen fast. Evidence may disappear even faster. Witness memories may fade. Our attorneys can collect evidence from the accident scene, obtain medical and police reports and help determine the long-term cost of your injuries. That way, we can help get your life back on track as soon as possible.
Yes. Report your accident to your insurance company, including contact information for other drivers involved. You should stick to the basic facts and refrain from discussing fault, even with your own insurance companies. If you are concerned about talking to your insurance company, do not hesitate to contact us first at Deratany & Kosner. We may be able to deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Decline to comment. If you have an attorney, give the law firm’s contact information to the insurance company, and tell them to talk to your legal counsel about the crash. If you are not represented, politely decline to comment, and then contact Deratany & Kosner. If you are represented by us, we will deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf.
Remember, anything you tell the insurance adjuster can be used to reduce your compensation or deny your claim. It is critical never to consent to providing a written or recorded statement to another driver’s insurance company.
Unfortunately, some accidents involve drivers who are either uninsured or do not have enough insurance to cover your losses. Accidents involving uninsured drivers can be particularly frustrating, but you do have options. You may still be able to recover compensation for accident-related damages through your own auto insurance policy. This process can be difficult without a lawyer on your side. An attorney can gather evidence of your accident and injuries to support the claim you submit to your insurance provider.
One of the most common personal injury claims is known as a “slip and fall” accident, which means someone slipped or tripped and fell on someone else’s property and was injured as a result. Slip and fall accidents can happen on any premises when business owners, managers, employees, property owners, homeowners or landlords allow an unsafe condition on their property to exist.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents have a variety of different causes in Chicago, including:
- Wet or slippery surfaces
- Torn carpeting or broken tiles
- Unsafe steps or narrow stairs
- Inadequate upkeep of a sidewalk or walkway
- Poor lighting or visibility
- Safety code violations
Property owners, including landlords who oversee apartment complexes, have a legal responsibility to maintain their premises and keep conditions safe for visitors. Unfortunately, people in Chicago and throughout Illinois are injured in property accidents every day. Property owners or managers who fail to keep premises safe or fail to address safety issues promptly need to be held accountable for injuries sustained in an accident.
Premises liability claims can involve any number of circumstances, including but not limited to:
- Serious injuries from slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Dog bites or animal attacks
- Negligent or inadequate security
- Accidents in pools
- Injuries due to poor maintenance of a property
Each case is different, and needs vary from client to client. But generally speaking, we typically pursue compensation for ambulance and emergency room fees, medical bills, and estimated cost of future medical care. In addition, we pursue lost wages and future lost wages from missing work. Depending on the circumstances, we may pursue punitive damages which are intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. These damages, which go beyond pain and suffering, are considered as punishment. They may be awarded when the negligent individual or company’s actions are particularly outrageous, and the defendant shows a blatant disregard for safety.
Most cases handled by our firm are settled out-of-court, but we prepare each case as if it will go to trial. When going head-to-head with an insurance company for a negligent individual or company, preparation is essential. Insurance companies may want to settle when an accomplished and well-regarded law firm like Deratany & Kosner is representing the victim. However, they may dig their heels in and choose to go to court. In such cases, we file a personal injury lawsuit, which may be the best way to secure compensation. We leave no stone unturned when pursuing justice for clients. If your case does go to trial, we will thoroughly explain the process to you every step of the way and keep you up to date on the progress of your case.
The Illinois Statute of Limitations is a law that sets limits on the amount of time you have after an accident to initiate legal proceedings. In Illinois, accident victims have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit when filing a personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim. For property damage claims, victims have five years from the date of an accident. The Statute of Limitations may vary from case to case, so it is critical to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Failure to file a claim on time may result in the loss of your right to recover damages for your accident.
Shortly after your accident, you may learn that the at-fault party’s insurance company has decided either not to pay you or it makes an offer that does not pay for all of your expenses. In these cases, the insurance company may argue that you were at fault or that no fault existed so you should file a claim against your insurance policy. It is not fair if you did nothing wrong to have to seek recovery from your carrier, which will result in higher premiums. Your best option is to talk with an experienced injury attorney who can explain your options. Call Deratany & Kosner today.
Even if you believe your case is straightforward and you know you are not at fault, you will still have to prove that you have the right to recover compensation for your losses. While you can try to present evidence to the insurance company on your own, we urge you to contact a seasoned attorney who knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies and go to court if necessary. Deratany & Kosner’s attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience – and the resources necessary – to get the results clients need. We gather evidence, from accident scene photos to medical and police records. We interview witnesses. These are all elements that we can utilize to prove your claim. We work with clients one-on-one to build the most solid and successful legal strategy possible. That way, we can work to ensure you are in the best position to receive the compensation you need after your accident.
There is no set amount of time in which a personal injury case can take in Illinois. However, Deratany & Kosner strives to maintain clear communication with clients throughout the duration of each case. We return phone calls and emails. We keep clients up to date. Your case – and any concerns you may have about how long your case will take – matters to us.
At Deratany & Kosner, we offer a free case evaluation to all prospective clients. You do not have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses just to find out if you have grounds for a legal case. There is no pressure. If you choose to retain us, we work on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay attorney fees unless a favorable verdict or settlement is reached on your behalf. If we are not successful, you pay us nothing.
It is critical for injury victims to choose a skilled litigator with a demonstrated track record of success in providing aggressive legal representation to people injured in similar accidents. The best attorneys for accident victims in Chicago are well-versed in the law. They must be driven to go to battle in the courtroom. They must have vast experience handling all sorts of injury cases. Our attorneys handle a variety of cases. Whether you have been in a car or truck accident, fall down accident, or fallen victim to medical malpractice or a defective drug, we are eager to show you we are the right firm for you.