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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer > Chicago Personal Injury

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

If you become injured in an accident, you want to choose a personal injury attorney who is dedicated to your case, and who can get you the damages you deserve. You also want a lawyer who treats your injury with compassion, as you and your family are going through a difficult time, financially and emotionally.

Look for a personal injury lawyer or law firm with extensive experience representing seriously injured people and obtaining large settlements and verdicts for their clients. Look for an attorney who will listen to your concerns and explain the details of your claim in a way you can understand.

At Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. our Chicago personal injury lawyers are committed to offering personal attention and being readily available to our clients. We value our connections with our clients and know that our approach will benefit you as well as your claim. We don’t work for the money, we work for you.

Obtain Referrals from Friends and Acquaintances

Talk with your friends, family or coworkers who have dealt with a personal injury attorney to see if they can refer someone for you. Put this lawyer on your list, but do not make your decision on these recommendations. Different people will have different experiences, so do not make up your mind until you have met several prospective lawyers, discussed your case and have found someone with whom you feel comfortable working.

Ask the Opinions of Other Lawyers

If you know a lawyer, such as a defense attorney or an environmental lawyer, ask that person for recommendations. Attorneys often refer cases to one another, and most lawyers will know a reputable lawyer who handles plaintiffs’ personal injury cases. Add these names to your list, but again, do not make a final decision until after your initial consultation.

The Initial Consultation

Most attorneys do not charge for a consultation, so be sure to speak with these first. During your complimentary consultation with your potential lawyer, tell them the details of your claim, and ask how they might handle it. Bring copies of all your documents, including your:

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills and other hospital fees
  • Police report
  • Income loss information
  • Every correspondence with the insurance company

Also ask your prospective lawyer details about him or herself, such as:

How long they have been practicing, what professional organizations they belong to, and how they keep up-to-date on the changing laws.

What percentage of their practice involves personal injury cases (You want someone who specializes in personal injury law).

If they mostly represent plaintiffs or defendants. (If they are a defense attorney, they may be closely connected to insurance companies and not pursue your claim as vigorously. You want someone who solely represents plaintiffs).

Would they handle your claim personally or pass it off to another lawyer (who may be less experienced). If there is another lawyer with whom you will deal, make sure to talk to them also.

How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been involved in an accident, you may be wondering whether you can receive compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. There are three basic questions you must answer to determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim. First, did you suffer injury to your person, and not just property damage? Second, was the accident caused by the negligence of another person or persons? Finally, do you have recoverable damages?

This page provides some guidance on how to answer these questions, but the best way to know for sure if you have a personal injury claim is in a consultation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer. Please call 312-265-2778 or email Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. for a free case evaluation today.

Did You Suffer Personal Injury?

Personal injuries are injuries that affect your person in some way. They may be physical or psychological. A spine injury, for example, is a physical type of personal injury. The loss of a loved one that may lead to a wrongful death lawsuit is in no way a physical injury to you, but you still may be able to recover damages (see below). Disfiguring burn injuries are physical injuries with a large psychological component.

Is Someone Else at Fault?

If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be able to file a claim if that injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. In Illinois, you can still file a claim if you were partly responsible for the accident that resulted in injury. Illinois uses what is called a comparative negligence rule that allows you to receive compensation for an accident if you were 50% or less responsible for that accident, although your compensation will be reduced by the degree of your fault. For example, if the court determines you were 25% responsible for your accident, you would still receive compensation for 75% of your injuries.

This means that you should consult with an attorney even if you were partly responsible for your accident.

Do You Have Recoverable Damages?

Damages is the legal term for losses you suffered as a result of your personal injury. They can come in many forms, including:

  • Lost wages (yours or a loved one’s, such as in a wrongful death lawsuit)
  • Diminished earning capacity and retraining, if necessary
  • Medical bills
  • Disability accommodations for vehicle and home
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of companionship and support

Obviously, these damages can be both economic and noneconomic. Economic damages you may be able to just sit down and calculate, but noneconomic damages generally require the perspective of an experienced lawyer to make reasonable estimates.

The personal injury attorneys at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. have over 75 years of experience winning cases for injury victims. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency, meaning that we will never charge unless we win your case. If you are wondering how to choose a qualified Chicago personal injury lawyer, please call or email us to learn more.

If you or a loved one has been hurt, and you need help, please call or email us today for a FREE consultation.

When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you have been hurt in an accident, your entire life may be changed. All the things that made up your normal life before–work, family, and hobbies–may be lost to you now. The law allows you to receive compensation for the effects of your accident, and a Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you use the law to get the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to know when to contact a personal injury lawyer.

This page explains some factors that may influence your decision to contact a personal injury lawyer. At Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd., we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We can tell you what compensation you may be able to receive. Please call 312-782-8550 or email Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. in Chicago to receive free information about your legal options.

When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

There are many factors that can influence your decision to contact a personal injury lawyer. First, you must know that you have a personal injury claim. Next, you should consider the following factors:

  • Do you understand your insurance coverage (or that of others)?
  • Have you been given a settlement offer?
  • Has your ability to work been impacted?
  • Do you have noneconomic damages?
  • Do you even know the extent of your injury?

Carefully weighing the answers to these questions will tell you when it’s time to contact a personal injury lawyer.

Do You Understand Applicable Insurance Coverage?

In many cases, your accident is covered by insurance. Ideally, this should compensate you for all your injuries, but in many cases it can be hard to understand just what may or may not be covered, especially when the policy is someone else’s. If you are having trouble understanding your coverage, or that of another person, you need an objective party that understands the contractual language of insurance policies to take a look at the policy and offer advice.

Settlement Offers

A settlement offer may seem like a godsend after your injury. You need money and someone is offering it to you. But settlement offers are often a trap–they are often made when the other party believes you may have significant injuries that may result in hefty compensation, which they want to avoid by offering a small settlement today in exchange for you signing away your rights.

Your Ability to Work

If an injury has impacted your ability to earn a livelihood, you need to think in terms of the rest of your life and make sure you receive enough compensation to ensure that you and your family are taken care of.

Noneconomic Damages

If your life has been impacted in more than just purely financial ways, you may only be able to get adequate compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers have experience with the amount of compensation typically considered appropriate for things that are considered priceless, such as being able to play with your kids or enjoy your favorite hobbies.

The Extent of Your Injuries

Another problem with personal injury is that injuries may have far-reaching impacts, or may be hard to diagnose early on. Some types of injuries, such as mild brain injury, don’t typically show up on some of the most advanced diagnostic instruments. Instead, other tests are required to determine the full nature of your injury. Personal injury lawyers have worked with many victims such as yourself, and can help you figure out what your future may hold after your injury.

What is Emotional Pain and Suffering?

The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. believe our clients are entitled to maximum compensation. Determining compensation for issues such as lost wages, medical expenses, lifestyle modifications, and property damage is fairly straightforward. These damages can be backed up with solid numbers, making it easy to determine their worth. Less easy to determine is emotional pain and suffering, but this is equally important to your claim.

Defining Emotional Pain and Suffering

Emotional pain and suffering is any suffering you sustain following an accident. This may include things such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Fear
  • Embarrassment or insecurity
  • Limitations on physical ability

Victims of personal injury face potential problems that exceed the physical and financial. The aggressive Chicago personal injury attorneys at our firm know how devastating any type of accident can be and will fight to ensure you are compensated for any emotional duress you may deal with.

To prove emotional pain and suffering, it is helpful if you keep records of your daily experiences. Detail how your accident makes you feel on a daily basis, any frustration or limitations you now experience, and the various ways your injury has impacted you personally. It can also be helpful to work with a psychologist who can provide a diagnosis for your emotional suffering. While this is not necessary, it can be helpful when determining the maximum compensation you are due.

Contact Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

Our personal injury attorneys will work with you on an individual basis. Listening closely to your concerns and paying attention to the ways in which your accident has impacted every area of your life, we will do whatever it takes to help ensure you are provided with compensation for all of your damages.

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