Call 312-422-0500 if injured in an accident.

Pre-existing injuries frequently surface in car accident cases, and insurance companies try to use them against victims of Chicago car accidents. Insurance companies argue that they are not responsible for compensating victims who had a pre-existing injury, such as a slipped disc or a back injury, which was made worse by the most recent accident, or they make low-ball offers which amount to nothing more than a nuisance settlement offer. 

Insurance companies who take this tact are short selling the victim’s injuries and are also ignoring Illinois law. Victims of Illinois car accidents who have a pre-existing injury, sickness, or have a medical condition that makes them more susceptible to further injury have a right to receive compensation for the aggravation of his or her injuries that are worse after the car wreck,

How Should Pre-Existing Injuries Be Accounted for in Chicago Car Accidents?

Determining the exact amount of compensation is not a precise science. However, a well-documented medical history can shed some light on how much compensation a car accident victim could receive. Current medical records can prove the condition of the injury before the car accident. Physicians can compare those medical records to those generated by the most recent car wreck to understand the damage the latest accident caused.  

Following through with your medical care will lend you credibility with an opposing insurance company and will provide objective data that proves how your injury has worsened or that your pre-existing condition led to another medical condition. Similarly, your employment history could provide objective data. If you had to change your job function or cannot work any longer after the car accident, the insurance company can see that your pre-existing injuries are objectively worse.

Having a pre-existing injury exacerbated by another person’s negligence in a car crash can be frustrating and annoying. Having the be lawyers by your side can help you focus on your physical recovery while providing the legal support you need to win just financial compensation from the responsible party.

INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS

Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 422-0500
Website | Directions

Do I need a personal injury lawyer

Lawyer for Car Accident Abdominal Injury Lawsuit, Claims & Settlements in Chicago, Illinois

Our abdominal area is exposed to injury in car accidents. The abdomen is a sensitive area filled with vital organs and blood vessels that has little protection from our skeletons. Any traumatic impact, either blunt or sharp, can cause the vital structures in our abdomens to rupture and start to bleed. Internal bleeding can be challenging to perceive and can be a fatal injury if the bleeding is not stopped.  Internal bruising can lead to significant malfunctioning of the injured organ and can take a long time to heal. 

Abdominal Structures Vulnerable to Injury in an Accident

A collision with a blunt object or a piercing wound from a sharp object can injure one or more of the vital organs in the abdominal area. The stomach, large intestine, small intestine, pancreas, liver, kidneys, bladder, ureters, gall bladder, spleen, colon, ovaries, uterus, abdominal muscles, and vascular structures are exposed to injury in an accident.  

How Do Abdominal Injuries Happen in a Chicago Car Accident?

Any car accident victim may sustain an abdominal injury. The injury could range from slight such as a strained abdominal muscle to life-threatening if an organ is ruptured or internal hemorrhaging causes the body to pump blood into the abdominal cavity. An accident victim could suffer a severe abdominal injury from the seatbelt, striking the steering wheel, dashboard, or another hard surface in the car, the first blow from a vehicle to a pedestrian or bicycle rider, and also when a motorcyclist hits the ground after being struck by another vehicle.

Hidden Injuries

Not all internal injuries are easy for physicians to detect. The onset of pain or symptoms such as shock from a loss of blood might not happen immediately after a collision. Instead, the symptoms could take hours to surface unless the accident victim seeks immediate treatment after a crash. Seeking treatment right away gives doctors the best chance to diagnose abdominal injuries and take appropriate steps to repair the damage before it becomes life-threatening.

INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS

Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 422-0500
Website | Directions

Car Accident Brachial Plexus Injury Settlement Lawyers in Illinois

Chest pain is a non-specific injury a car accident victim might feel and can indicate a number of injuries. Injuries from an accident that cause chest pain range from a contusion on the breastbone after striking the steering wheel, seatbelt, or airbag or to a massive vascular injury which can be fatal. Therefore, a car accident victim should not trivialize any sensation of chest pain experienced after a car wreck. 

Chest pain after a car accident is the result of a traumatic injury to your ribs, breastbone, shoulder, collarbone, or an internal injury. A car’s seatbelt is designed to hold the occupant in place if a collision occurs. The tension placed on the seatbelt is high so that the occupants are not ejected from the vehicle. However, the shoulder strap of a seatbelt locking across the chest upon impact can cause substantial damage to sternum and ribs. Common injuries from seatbelts are broken ribs and a broken breastbone. These injuries are excruciating. Breathing can become very difficult because of the intense, sharp pain the accident victim experiences every time the ribs move when inhaling and exhaling.  

A collision with an airbag can cause similar injuries. An airbag is not merely a soft pillow filled with air that will softly cushion your body and head as they are violently cast toward the dashboard, steering wheels, or doors. The airbag opens upon a small explosion. The explosion fills the bag with gas. The airbag is made of a dense, durable fabric that can resist a tremendous amount of force. The airbag will block your head and upper body from smashing into the hard surfaces of your car. However, there is still a tremendous force applied to the areas of the body that come in contact with the airbag. Thus, airbag deployment can result in broken ribs, a broken breastbone, and contusions as well. 

One injury that is not common but can occur is an internal injury. Internal injuries can cause damage to organs and the vascular structures of the body. Therefore, accident victims might suffer a punctured or deflated lung, or a torn blood vessel resulting in internal bleeding.

INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS

Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 422-0500
Website | Directions

What Should You Do When an Insurance Company Disputes Your Version of the Accident?

Insurance companies exist for the sole and exclusive purpose of making money, just like every for-profit corporation. With that understanding, it is easy to comprehend why insurance companies, whether yours or a third-party’s, may dispute your version of events. 

Disputing your version of events gives the insurance company against whom a claim is filed a better chance to negotiate a reduced settlement or deny settlement and force the victim to file a case in court. In other words, pushing back makes it difficult for the accident victim. Insurance carriers can force victims into nuisance settlements or agreeing to a damage amount well below the actual value of the claim.

All is not lost if the insurance company denies the claim and commences an investigation. The insurance company is not automatically in the right just because it disputes your claim and sends out an investigator to look deeper into the facts of the accident. The company could initiate an investigation because the company’s insured told a version of the accident that differs significantly from yours, or because you have had a bad streak of luck and had more than one accident. Multiple accident claims send up red flags in the insurance industry. Companies will fight hard to avoid paying damages to an accident victim for injuries not caused by the company’s client but by another driver stemming from some other incident.

Insurance companies will fight back when the evidence is not clear. Vague witness statements or hazy memories can hinder your claim. These scenarios give the company an opportunity to dispute your case because they are not sure what happened.

What Can Be Done When an Insurance Company Denies My Accident Injury Claim?

Filing a claim with the Illinois Department of Insurance for bad faith negotiations is one method of attack. The Division of Insurance cannot pay the claim but can investigate the insurance company for unfair settlement practices which can inure to your favor. The other method of fighting an insurance company who disputes your claim is to overprepare. Having all of the evidence you need to prove your case to a jury may help the insurance company realize that you have a genuine damage claim and that you mean business. At that point, the insurance company could settle for the amount you want because they stand to lose much more if they allow the case to go further.

INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS

Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 422-0500
Website | Directions

Free case analysis car accident attorney in Chicago, Illinois

How Do Sideswipe Wrecks Occur?

Sideswipe accidents are common occurrences on Chicagoland roads. Sideswipe accidents can be hazardous. A sideswipe accident is most likely to happen while driving on an Interstate or another multi-lane thoroughfare. Anyone who has been in a motor vehicle while traveling on a multi-lane road has most likely observed one car begin to enter a lane to the left or right when another car is in the adjacent lane. Sometimes, an alert defensive driver can maneuver out of the way and avoid a crash. Other times, a collision is inevitable. Sideswipe crashes like these happen because the driver switching lanes did not look and confirm the path was clear before changing lanes. Failing to signal is a common component of a sideswipe accident. Drunk or distracted drivers can also cause sideswipe accidents by losing control over the car and weaving in and out of his or her lane.

The Types of Injuries That Occur in Sideswipe Crashes

Today’s vehicles do not protect the occupants of a car from a strike on the side of the car. Although some cars have side curtain airbags, many do not. Consequently, sideswipe accidents when one car bumps the other may cause a severe injury requiring immediate medical attention. However, when a sideswipe accident forces a vehicle to spin out of control, roll over, or go into a skid, then the injuries could be catastrophic or even fatal. The forces applied to the occupants of the car when they are hit in a sideswipe accident throw the head, neck, shoulders, hips, arms, and legs rapidly in all directions, leading to injury or death. Therefore, common injuries people suffer in sideswipe accidents are whiplash, deep lacerations from broken glass, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and death, along with other injuries.

What Type of Monetary Compensation or Damages Could I Recover?

Victims of sideswipe crashes in Chicago may recover damages for the injuries sustained in the crash as well as the consequential damages suffered as a direct consequence of the sideswipe accident. Sideswipe accident victims can recover monetary awards for medical losses, financial losses, along with pain and suffering in a Chicago sideswipe accident. 

INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS

Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 422-0500
Website | Directions

Chicago Accident Attorneys

The cause of every car crash in Illinois is not clear cut. Many auto accidents are the result of two or more drivers making mistakes. The question insurance companies will argue about is whether you or the other driver was at fault for the crash. Insurance companies can save money if they successfully dispute an insurance claim. 

Insurance companies make money when disputing an insurance claim through one of two common methods. The first method is an outright denial of liability and then fighting the case in court. The company will pay less in attorneys’ fees (which the company writes off as the cost of doing business anyway) than will pay in a claim if its attorneys successfully argue that you committed an act of negligence, thereby causing the accident. Therefore, the insurance company’s lawyers will argue, you are not entitled to receive any money for your losses. 

The company does not have to prove you are 100% at fault for the crash to avoid liability. Rather, the company may use Illinois’ rules of comparative negligence to argue that you were 50% or more responsible for the crash and, as a consequence, you are not eligible to recover anything. 

The second method of limiting financial exposure in insurance claims is related to the first. The insurance company’s adjusters can factor your relative fault in causing the accident as justification for making a lowball offer to settle. They know they have the law on their side and couch their offer such that you should feel grateful for receiving a settlement in the first place because your alleged bad driving caused the accident, in part anyway. 

The insurance industry sets you up to fail unless you purchase adequate coverage. When you buy insurance coverage, the company is betting on you not to use it. They will gladly collect your premium and put it in their coffers and hope that you never call upon the company to pay damages for you. But, having the appropriate amount of first-party coverage, for which you pay a premium can help you maneuver around Illinois’ comparative negligence laws. 

Compensation for injuries, property damage, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering caused by motor vehicle crashes in Illinois,  are paid by insurance companies in almost every case. There are some instances when a large company, like a logging company, for example, might self-insure and pay claims through a fund that acts like an insurance company, although these cases are rare. Therefore, if you are seeking compensation for your injuries and losses in the aftermath of an Illinois car accident, you will need to deal with an insurance company. 

The insurance company has the upper hand if you try to take them on alone. Auto insurers in Illinois have dedicated professionals who receive extensive training and possess a substantial amount of information shared throughout the insurance industry that puts you, as an individual trying to heal from injuries, keeping your finances from going out of control, at an extreme disadvantage. You are in no position to argue for yourself, and that is why you must obtain counsel. Your Illinois auto wreck attorney will have only your best interests in mind when negotiating your insurance claim and having a dedicated professional on your side will level the playing field.

The minimum insurance requirements mandated by Illinois state law are low when judged by the comparative cost of replacing a vehicle and the cost of health care today. Illinois law requires, as a minimum, that drivers carry $25,000/$50,000 death or bodily injury coverage and $20,000 for property damage coverage. To put it more simply, when a driver has the minimum coverage required by law, the insurance company is contractually bound to insure the driver for $25,000 for a single injury or $50,000 for all injuries in one event, as well as provide property damage coverage up to $20,000. The insurance company has no duty to compensate you for more than the amount for which they are contractually obligated.

Illinois auto insurers allow drivers to purchase underinsurance coverage the far exceeds the minimum required by law. The underinsurance coverage, known as a first-party claim, will cover your losses if your damages exceed the third-party limits.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer

If you have been in a car crash in Illinois and made a property damage claim, the chances are excellent that you have required the opinion of an insurance adjuster. The process of “adjusting,” or determining the cost of the damage to your car after an accident, is a bit mysterious and can be extremely frustrating. You might need the services of an Illinois car accident lawyer to help you through Illinois claims adjusting process whether you are filing a first-party claim with your insurance carrier or a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance so you can receive the true value of the costs to repair your vehicle.

Disputes with insurance adjusters are common after Illinois car accidents. Insurance adjusters employed by an insurance company have an incentive to minimize the significance of the damage to your vehicle. In-house insurance adjusters get paid by the insurance company for whom they work and are not advocates for you. In-house insurance adjusters will try to keep the cost of repair low to save their employer money, and that notion applies to first-party claims as well as third-party claims. 

Justifiably, insurance companies should pay for the damage incurred in the accident and not for every bump, scratch, or ding in your car that was the result of another incident like a runaway shopping cart slamming into your car at the supermarket. Insurance adjusters will, therefore, take a narrow view of the damage attributed to the accident for which you are seeking compensation for vehicle repairs. Therefore, you must be ready to prove that the crash exclusively caused the damage to your car rather than another event or general wear and tear. You can help your cause by taking timely pictures of the damage and acting quickly to get the insurance adjuster out to inspect your vehicle.

Most motorists do not understand their auto insurance policies. To be fair, auto insurance policies are drafted in favor of the insurance company, subject to the limitations imposed by Illinois law. The contract language is thick with legalese and written to obfuscate the insurance company’s obligations as well as leave huge exemptions from coverage that can trap the unwary. 

Insurance companies want to make money. Their business is revenue driven, and their business model is simplistic at its base. Insurance companies are profitable when they generate more revenue by selling insurance policies and pay less money out to claimants.

One method of keeping their costs down is by claiming exclusions in their contracts. Exclusions in Illinois auto insurance contracts allow insurance companies to deny coverage for particular incidents. For instance, not paying an insurance premium for a household member who is expected to drive the family car allows the insurance company to avoid coverage if that person is involved in a crash. In other words, the third-party insurance company has no contractual obligation to cover that driver because you did not pay for coverage for that person.

Another common insurance exclusion is the commercial use exclusion. People working for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft might encounter this problem unless they purchase commercial insurance. The commercial use exclusion gives the insurance company a lawful method of denying coverage if you use your vehicle in a business venture without buying the right coverage. 

Unfortunately, most people find out about these harsh and unreasonable exclusion clauses hidden in their insurance contracts when they need coverage after an accident. You should have your Chicago auto collision attorney review your policy and coverage to make sure that you are protected. Otherwise, you could suffer enormous financial consequences that could ruin your life. Take steps now to cover you and your family before it is too late. 

What does a personal injury lawyer charge in legal fees?

Chicago and Cook County, like the rest of the nation, has seen fatal car crashes decline slightly over the last few years. Of course, any progress toward reducing the number of deaths in auto accidents is positive. The heartbreaking reality is that hundreds of people each year lose their lives in Chicago car accidents. Those hundreds of death wind up affecting hundreds of more people whose lives are forever altered by the loss of their loved ones. Holidays, birthdays, weddings, graduation, births, all of the joys people experience in life are not as joyous as they might otherwise be because a relative perished in a Chicago auto collision.

As of mid-March, 2019, 42 people have died in Cook County auto accidents according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The current pace, although tragic on a case-by-case basis shows promise that 2019 might not be as deadly as the previous two years. In 2018, 267 people died in car crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents in Cook County. In 2017, 288 people died in Cook County vehicular crashes. 

People die in motor vehicle crashes for a variety of reasons. Some deaths are entirely preventable. That is why all motor vehicle occupants must wear a seatbelt. The greatest chance of surviving a severe car crash is to stay in the car. The frame of the vehicle and all of its safety features protect the occupants. However, all bets are off when someone is ejected from the vehicle because he or she was not wearing a seatbelt. 

The onus is not entirely on the victim to protect himself or herself. Fatal crashes caused by intoxicated drivers, distracted drivers, or speeding drivers are preventable as well. There is no excuse for driving after alcohol consumption or taking drugs. Similarly, there is no excuse for looking at a cellphone, texting, emailing, or using a cellphone app while driving.

Furthermore, drivers need to be more careful. Numerous fatal accidents may be prevented if motorists slow down, obey the rules of the road, and drive defensively rather than aggressively and carelessly.