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Personal Injury FAQ’s

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Strom & Associates welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and answer any questions you might have about the legal process and how it affects you.

From our office in Chicago, we serve clients throughout Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our firm, call 312-423-1571 or toll free at 866-371-7511. You may also contact us by email.

Should I hire a personal injury lawyer?

Are you unsure whether you have a valid personal injury claim? Are you nervous or apprehensive about contacting a lawyer? The uncertainty you feel is very common and very understandable. If you are like most people, you only need an attorney a few times in your life, and you might not know where to start.

If you have suffered bodily injury, sickness or disease resulting from libel, slander, malicious prosecution, someone else’s neglect, false arrest or false imprisonment, you need to consult with a lawyer right away. You should also consult with an attorney if a relative or other loved one has died as a result of libel, slander, malicious prosecution, someone else’s neglect, false arrest or false imprisonment.

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an accident in the Chicago area, you can reach out to Strom & Associates for advice. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation, so it does not cost you anything to find out if you have a potentially valid case. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience handling everything from car accidents to slip-and-falls to workers’ compensation claims. We will give you an honest, no-obligation assessment so you can decide how to proceed.

What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

This is perhaps the most common question there is, and the answer to it is an encouraging one for injured people. In Illinois (and virtually all other states), personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. That means that you, as the client, do not have to pay your attorney any fees upfront or out of pocket. Your attorney only gets paid if he or she wins your case at trial or negotiates a settlement for you. And even then, his or her fees are taken as a percentage of your recovery. For example, you and your attorney might agree that the attorney will get 30 percent of whatever financial compensation you eventually receive. You may have to pay for some court costs and filing fees along the way, however.

In other words, if cost is what worries you most about hiring a lawyer, you can stop worrying.

What types of compensation could I get?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. In fact, two people with the same injury caused by the same type of event could very well end up with different compensation. Generally speaking, however, your lawyer may be able to secure compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including future medical costs for ongoing treatment, additional surgeries and similar expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Emotional/psychological treatment, if necessary
  • Lost wages
  • Travel expenses to and from your doctor’s office
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Funeral expenses in wrongful death cases
  • A variety of other expenses

What are the sources of compensation?

Identifying and pursuing all possible sources is one of the main reasons why hiring an attorney is so important. In many cases, such as a car accident case, the defendant (the other driver) has some type of insurance. That is why, in the vast majority of cases, you must go up against an insurance company, not an individual person. The same is true if you were hurt in a fall on someone’s property; that person’s homeowner’s insurance company will be involved.

There are some situations where you may need to litigate against your own insurance company. For example, if you were hurt in a hit-and-run and the other driver cannot be found, you can make a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage. Your own insurer may resist paying the claim, and at that point having an attorney on your side makes all the difference.

How long will it take to settle my case?

  • Discovery: This is the insurance company’s opportunity to “discover” everything about you and the accident. You will receive written questions to answer under oath and you and your lawyer will need to gather up all of the medical records, bills, and other documentation of your injuries. This process often takes time and money.
  • Depositions: You and other parties to the case will be asked questions under oath, with a court reporter typing up every word you say. You will be asked in great detail about your injuries, your medical history, the accident itself, and your treatment.
  • Motion Hearings: Different motions are filed and lawyers from both sides must go to the hearings on them. Some motions are unimportant, while others may be critical to the case.
  • Mediation: Many courts are forcing lawyers to mediate or arbitrate cases prior to trial. Mediation is typically a settlement conference without the formalities of a courtroom. A neutral party will try to help the parties reach a middle ground. Arbitration, on the other hand, is a binding “mini-trial” of the case in front of an arbitrator or panel of judges who listen to an informal presentation of the matters involved in your case.
  • Trial: If your case doesn’t settle, it must go to trial, where six to twelve members of a jury will decide what your injury is worth. Trials are scheduled on the court’s schedules and can sometimes take years to be scheduled. Once you have a trial, your case may not be over — there may be an appeal and further motions and hearings.
  • Collection Issues: Once the money finally comes in, your lawyer must deduct litigation expenses such as deposition fees, transcript fees, filing fees, service of process costs, medical record costs, costs involved in documenting medical bills, costs of hiring expert witnesses, costs of paying treating doctors to testify, subpoena charges, lawyer’s fees, and any legally-required medical bills or liens.
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If you, or a loved one, have been injured at work or in an accident, contact our office today at (312) 609-0400 to schedule a free consultation.

We want to earn your business.