Our Chicago injury lawyers have compiled answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury lawsuits. If you have further questions or if you would like a free consultation with an experienced attorney at Latherow & Duignan, call 312-372-0052 or contact us online.
No one plans on being injured or losing a loved one. When such an unfortunate event does happen, it can place you in a very stressful and unfamiliar position. On top of the physical pain and mental grief you may experience, medical bills may start to mount and your income may be greatly affected. Insurance claims adjusters may also start to call you, wanting to take a statement from you or to try and settle your case. Keep in mind the adjusters are professionals who work for the insurance companies. As you might imagine, their interests are rarely consistent with your best interests. You should consult with an attorney before communicating with the insurance carrier’s claims adjuster. Consulting with an attorney does not obligate you to hire that attorney and pay attorney fees.
In determining if you need a lawyer, you should consider the seriousness and cause of the injury. To determine if you really need a lawyer, we can discuss your specific claim. Each case should be evaluated individually.
If we feel you will not benefit by retaining a lawyer, we will tell you and possibly give you guidance on how to handle the claim on your own.
We cannot tell if you have a viable case without knowing the circumstances of your potential claim. There are many factors to consider in evaluating whether a case is valid. When did the injury occur? When is the deadline (statute of limitations) for you to file a lawsuit? If a case is not filed within the appropriate statute of limitations, it will be permanently barred. Other factors to consider are the liability, litigation costs and the potential award you will receive.
Contact us online or call us at 312-372-0052 to speak confidentially with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your situation. At the conclusion of that conversation, we can advise you whether you have a case that should be pursued.
A lawsuit begins with filing a Complaint. The Complaint gives reasons why the injured party is entitled to recover money (damages) from the person or entity being sued (the defendant). The defendant will file an Answer to the Complaint.
Once the defendant answers the Complaint, the discovery phase of the case begins. Discovery is conducted so that each side is fully aware of the facts of the case, including the extent of the injuries and damages sustained. As a plaintiff, your involvement in the discovery stage consists of reviewing and signing answers to written questions and appearing for a deposition with oral questions. Defendants also answer written questions and appear for depositions. Witnesses and medical providers might also appear for a deposition. If needed, expert witness discovery is then conducted. Upon completion of the discovery stage, the case is ready for trial.
Filing a lawsuit does not mean your case will not settle. In fact, the vast majority of cases settle without a trial. However, at Latherow & Duignan we prepare every case as though it is going to proceed to trial so there is no chance of us not being ready. Defense attorneys and insurance company claims adjusters know how we handle our cases. When we are your attorneys, they know that the only way your case is going to be settled is for you to be fully compensated for your loss. Otherwise, they know we will not hesitate to go to trial.
Placing a value on an injury or the death of a loved one can be extremely difficult and involves the consideration of many factors. Generally, other than for lost income and medical bills, compensation for a personal injury is determined under Illinois law by assessing the nature, extent and duration of the injury.
The amount of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is determined by the amount of money that will fairly and reasonably compensate the next of kin for what the law refers to as the pecuniary loss sustained. The only way to truly evaluate what compensation you should get is through a thorough and complete analysis of all the relevant factors involved. At Latherow & Duignan, we do just that.
Our experienced attorneys understand the physical pain, emotional hardship and financial difficulties that can accompany an injury or the loss of a family member. The is one reason why we push our cases aggressively. We also understand that each case is truly unique and must be viewed in light of its own special circumstances. That is how we handle every case.
The length of time a case takes to resolve depends on the complexity of the case, the injury involved, and where the lawsuit is filed. Cases may settle at any time, even without filing a lawsuit. Cases normally average one to two years from the date of filing suit to trial. As you might suspect, more complex cases, such as medical malpractice, truck accidents and aviation accidents, tend to take longer to resolve. The more complex cases in Cook County currently average roughly 2½ to 3½ years from suit being filed to the time of trial. Knowing that lawsuits can go on for extended periods of time, we normally file suit immediately so that we do not add a further delay. That filing does not preclude a settlement from being made and can even expedite settlement by putting pressure on the insurance companies to hold down their litigation costs and attorney fees.
Cases can also be advanced for trial on a more expeditious schedule when issues of age, health and financial concerns dictate. At Latherow & Duignan, we strive to resolve each case as quickly as practical while maximizing the recovery you are entitled to under the law. Call us at 312-372-0052 or contact our personal injury attorneys online to discuss your potential case. At that time, we will be in a better position to provide you with more information about how long you should expect your particular case to take to resolve.