CAR ACCIDENT FAQS
Help When You Need It Most
People in the Chicagoland area have turned to the proven personal injury lawyers of Curcio Law Offices since 1957. Many things have changed in the decades since, but one thing will always remain the same: Our focus is on making sure that the victims of negligence have a legal ally as they pursue the financial compensation that they need to rebuild their lives.
Similarly, having an advocate looking out for you is never more important than after losing a cherished loved one due to the negligence of another. During this tragic time, you can rely on our experienced wrongful death attorneys to provide you with the compassionate support you need while handling your legal claims.
Frequently Asked Questions
In a personal injury case, you are entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages. These damages include past and future medical treatment costs arising from the injury, lost income, pain and suffering compensation, and emotional distress damages.
Everyone has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against anyone who hurt you either intentionally or because of negligence. Illinois requires most cases to be filed within two years from the time the incident occurred. You then must prove all the required elements of an injury case, including if the defendant was unreasonably careless, acted unsafely or broke rules or laws.
If you prove your case, then you have the right to be compensated for both economic and non-economic damages resulting from your injury.
Proving negligence involves establishing how a person’s careless conduct caused you to suffer injuries.
Different standards apply in different situations. The defendant is compared with what an average hypothetical reasonable person would have done in the same situation. In specific types of personal injury claims, such as medical malpractice, a doctor’s behavior is compared to that of a reasonable physician with a similar background.
To protect your legal rights, you need to document all injuries and losses. You must also gather evidence to prove the defendant’s actions caused your harm.
Calling the police right after an accident and taking pictures at the scene provide valuable information on the cause of the injury. Detailed medical records and information on missed work are important to properly evaluate the damages of your claim.
Hiring an attorney is one of the most important steps in ensuring your rights are protected. At Curcio Law Offices, we provide free initial consultations. You can schedule one by calling us or contacting us online. These consultations help us learn the facts of your case and to help you understand your legal options.
A personal injury attorney will help you comply with all court rules and maximize your compensation.
An attorney is your personal advocate from the beginning of the case to the end. Your attorney will gather evidence, subpoena witnesses, negotiate a settlement, or prove your case to a jury.
Pursing a personal injury claim brings with it many legal challenges such as:
- Understanding the evidence required for your specific claim and what you will need to prove in order to recover compensation.
- Know who to take legal action against in the form of a lawsuit and when, where, and how to file the lawsuit.
- Comply with the applicable court rules and complete all paperwork correctly.
At Curcio Law Offices, our attorneys understand the ins-and-outs of the legal system and have been trained on how to handle personal injury cases.
The value of your case is determined based upon several factors. If you suffer injuries through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation that will “make you whole.” Every case is different. Our firm looks at the following factors when assessing the value of your case:
- Medical Bills and Costs – You deserve to be compensated for both your past medical bills and any future treatment including medical devices, pain management therapies, physical therapy, and transportation to and from your doctor.
- Lost Income – If your injury forces you to miss work, Illinois law entitles you to compensation you were unable to earn. If you can only work again at a diminished capacity, then you deserve the difference between what you earned before and after the injury.
- Pain and Suffering – Insurance companies sometimes use “pain multipliers.” This means that your actual economic loss is multiplied by a designated number in order to estimate your pain and suffering damages.
Emotional distress – If you suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia, depression or anxiety, you should be compensated for these mental injuries as well.
The attorneys from Curcio Law Offices can gather medical records, employment records, and other evidence to establish these damages. We can also consult with medical professionals, economists, and others to assess the full extent of past and future losses in your case.
Other factors that determine the value of your claim are:
- Comparative negligence – If you were partially to blame your accident or injuries, then your damage claim may be reduced by the percentage of fault that you bear. For example, if a jury were to determine you were 25 percent responsible and suffered $100,000 in damages, Illinois law requires your damages compensation to be reduced to $75,000 which is paid by the Defendant. Unfortunately, if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, you would recover nothing.
- Insurance limits – The at-fault party’s insurance coverage usually covers your costs and losses in a personal injury claim. However, insurers will pay only up to the policy limits. For example, if the at-fault party has a $100,000 limit, the insurance company will pay no more than $100,000 – even if a jury compensates you with $150,000 in damages.
While you can pursue a claim against the at-fault party for the excess, most people do not have enough money to make up the difference. This means you might not be able to collect it at all, or you must go through steps such as garnishing the at-fault party’s wages or placing liens on his or her property. Therefore, settlements tend to be for an amount equal to the at-fault party’s policy limits.
An attorney at Curcio Law Offices will help advocate for you to ensure you get sufficient compensation for your injury so you have the money you need to provide your medical care and pay your other expenses so you can move on with your life. You don’t want to accept less than you deserve, which means you need to have a clear idea of what your case is worth.
It is best not to accept any offer from the insurance company without first seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. Offers made by the insurance company are in their best interest, not yours. They would love nothing more than to reach a quick settlement so they can move on. It is important to make sure that any offer provides your family with the resources you need now and will need in the future to cover the economic costs of your tragic loss. When an offer is not in your best interest, we will aggressively litigate to obtain the outcome you deserve.
Wrongful death claims are brought against the insurance companies of at-fault drivers. If the driver responsible for your family’s loss did not carry insurance, it may still be possible to collect via your own policy’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This also applies to cases involving hit-and-run accidents.