Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit is Not Simple--Here's What You Need to Know
If you’ve been injured in an accident and you’re looking to retain a personal injury attorney, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to retaining a lawyer and filing personal injury lawsuits. This is an overwhelming time and we understand that, so we’d like to provide you with some basic information to gather from the personal injury attorney you’re looking to retain.
Fees and Disbursements
The first and probably most important question you have is how much the attorney fees will be. Most will work on a contingency basis, meaning if you don’t win your case, you don’t get paid. Also, you’ll want to ask about disbursement fees and whether or not they’re required up front. It helps to know the financial aspect of things before you commit.
You want to make sure you have a strong case in order to understand if you have a good chance to recover damages. If your case is not strong enough, it’s really just a waste of everyone’s time.
You’ll want to find out exactly what you can sue for, such as repair bills, medical bills, and even emotional distress. And while your attorney can give you an approximate amount, he can help estimate how much you stand to collect if successful.
Knowing the time frame you're under is helpful when preparing to file a lawsuit is necessary. Ask what the statute of limitations is so you know how long you have before making a decision to file your suit. You don't want to rush into your decision, but you don't want to procrastinate and miss the deadline. It's also helpful to know how long the case may last in order to plan accordingly.
For more information on filing a lawsuit, contact us to review your case.
Night driving is often the most dangerous time to drive, Koester & Bradley share tips to make it safer.
Darkness triggers melatonin production, which tells the body that it's time to sleep. This causes drowsiness. Furthermore, people aren't nocturnal creatures by nature and therefore their vision is poorly suited for the dark. These facts mean that the hours after sunset is a dangerous time to drive. While headlights and tail lights make driving possible, they're a poor substitute for sunlight. Here are five tips for making your night driving a safer experience:
Check Your Lights
Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. Shine your car's headlights on your garage door and note the beams' reflections. If they point up, down, or off to the side, have your mechanic adjust them. Replace headlights, tail lights, and brake lights that are burnt out or appear dim. Keep them clean.
Keep Your Windshield and Glasses Clean
Dirt and grime covered glass scatters light. This produces glare when light passes through dirty windshields and glasses. Keep the inside and outside surfaces of both clean. Consider getting an anti-reflective coating on your glasses, which dramatically reduces glare.
Avoid Looking at the Headlights of Oncoming Traffic
The glare of oncoming headlights can cause temporary night blindness. To avoid this, look at the right side of your lane to guide your steering and use your peripheral vision to track oncoming traffic.
Get Plenty of Rest
Get seven or eight hours of sleep the night before a long road trip. Avoid driving at night when you feel physically or mentally exhausted. Therefore, hard manual labor or running a marathon should be avoided before your trip. This is also true for lengthy exams, interviews, and similar experiences that tap out your mental energy.
Drink Coffee When Needed
If you start feeling fatigued during your night drive, get off at an exit and drink a cup of coffee. If you're at a rest stop, a coffee works especially well after a 20 minute nap. While occasional coffee consumption is effective, don't rely on it too heavily. Your body will develop a caffeine tolerance that renders it less effective. At some point, even coffee won't prevent falling asleep at the wheel when your fatigue is sufficiently extreme.
If another's reckless or negligent driving injured you in an accident, our experienced lawyers can help. Contact us today at Koester & Bradley, LLP.
Stay safe while driving during flood conditions in Champaign Illinois and Beyond.
With little rain in Illinois over the last few months, you must drive with extra caution when the sky actually opens up. Recent floods caused the deaths several people, including some trapped in their car by water. Therefore, we want to provide you with tips about Automobile Accidents and Safety during floods.
On February 15, 2017, the NSC released a report on a safety poll conducted in late January and early February. Such data is frequently collected by the group which is part of the Department of Transportation, and the analysis applicable to this study is relevant to drivers in Central Illinois from Bloomington to Danville and Beyond.
The 2,001 survey respondents were asked a series of questions about automobile accidents and safety. To participate, they had to have unrestricted licenses, live in the United States and drive at least 15 minutes per day. Due to this relative low inclusion threshold, almost all Americans were part of the sample group.
Problem Drivers a Major Concern
Drunk, distracted, drugged and aggressive drivers were the four biggest areas of concern among respondents. Certainly any trip up or down Interstate 57 from Chicago to Memphis will prove that these fears are legitimate. At least 65 percent of the participants cited these types of problem driving as a “major concern.”
No we all know the vague language used in these types of surveys, but the result are convincing.
Respondents strongly or somewhat supported a number of new safety measures, although there was lesser support (58 percent) for lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit to .05. However, there was wide support for prohibiting handheld cell phone use, requiring ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and more education about impaired driving.
Many in Accidents With Injuries in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Eighteen percent of all respondents said they had been in a crash in the past three years. Almost half of these crashes caused injury or death or both. Ten percent admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol, and 43 percent of those said they had been involved in a crash.
National Safety Council estimates that more than 40,000 people died in crashes in 2016 may energize some safety proposals. The number of traffic deaths is now at its highest level in nine years. While some of this increase may also be due to an increased number of drivers dues to lower gas prices, the results are staggering.
When a motorist’s negligent conduct causes injury, it is possible to seek compensation for a variety of losses, including but not necessarily limited to: medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages and permanent loss of function. This is where experience of an attorney is vital, and where Koester & Bradley excels. The Survivors of those killed may seek monetary damages for pain, suffering, burial expenses and loss of companionship and often these recoveries can be substantial.
If you or a family member is a victim in a crash, we make it possible for you to speak with an attorney free of charge and without obligation. We fight hard to get our clients all the compensation they are entitled to under the law. To learn more, please contact us.
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident will go a long way toward determining the eventual outcome. This is especially true if you you are not the only one in the care and have passengers. If you wan to protect your safety as well as your ability to pursue rightful compensation, you need to take specific, measured actions to protect your interests as well as those with you.
When multiple people are riding in one car, the insurance coverage for all of the passengers is associated with the vehicle. This means that when it come time to settle the case, or divide a jury verdict, the insurance funds are split among the injured parties. Essentially, when it comes to collecting payment from insurance companies, every person in the car needs to fend for themselves. This is also a consideration if your children are in the car.
Here are some steps to keep in mind when confronting an auto accident involving multiple passengers. (These rules apply not only in Illinois, but across the country)
1. Determine If Everyone Is Okay
Is anyone in your vehicle or nearby injured? If so, call 911. A Good Samaritan may have already done so, but it never hurts to make sure that medical help and law enforcement officers are on the way. Better safe than sorry when someone's health - and maybe life - are at stake.
It is also important to fight the urge to resolve the situation quickly and get home. Even if other people in your care claim not to be hurt, it is wise to insist that an ambulance take them to the hospital or doctor. This is especially true if the passenger(s) is not a member of your family but a friend or associate.
2. Call The Police
Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can lead to big problems down the road. To preserve a potential legal claim down the line you need to get in touch with the police and make sure you file a police report about the accident. Then, make sure you have the other driver's insurance information. A full an detailed police report is the key to successfully achieving an appropriate damage award.
3. Take Care Of Yourself
You may feel fine right after the accident. In fact, you may feel nothing at all due to the adrenaline pumping through your body after such a close call. However, you may start to feel some soreness, stiffness and pain as that adrenaline wears off in the hours, days, and weeks that follow.
It is critical to get checked out by a doctor after your accident to rule out invisible injuries such as internal bleeding, and to create a record of treatment that will help a personal injury claim if you decided to pursue one.
Remember, similar rules apply to those we hear on airplanes where you must put on your own oxygen mask before placing one on your traveling companion. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't help others--even those involved in the wreck.
4. Talk To An Attorney
It will cost you nothing to find out whether you have a viable claim for damages, but going without the legal representation you need could leave you alone to bear the burden of medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don't let that happen. Further, if there are other injured parties involved, generally the first party to retain an experienced local lawyer will receive the greatest amount of compensation and best service. Insurance companies will do their best to withhold payment no matter what the injuries, and it is important to have help from a lawyer. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Don't Let Insurance Adjusters Deprive you of the Compensation You Deserve
No one ever expects to be injured in an auto accident. Unfortunately, automobile accidents happen all the time. Regardless of whether you were driving home from work or going to the grocery store, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries if you are the victim of the negligence of others. The last thing you want to do is end up making a mistake that could cause you to lose out on the money owed to you. Avoid these three mistakes when it comes to automobile accidents and your safety. Unfortunately, directly after an auto wreck, the last thing going through your mind is preserving your right to compensation. That is just fine, as long as you remember a few simple facts, by the time you first meet with your accident attorney, you can be well on your way to the compensation you deserve. Avoid this three common errors.
Settling too quickly.
Insurance companies will often try to get you to settle your case fairly quickly. In fact, insurance adjusters receive extensive training in learning how to force a victim to take a fast and low settlement. The quicker they settle, the less likely you are to fully understand the scope of your injuries and how much the whole accident is going to cost you. The Illinois legislatures knows this, and this is why the Statute of Limitations in Illinois is actually two years. Even though you might need the money now, you are better off waiting until you are close to being fully recovered. This makes sure you can claim everything you lost from the incident. Furthermore, the settlement achieved by retaining an experienced local attorney are almost always higher than negotiating on your own.
Giving statements on pain medication.
Many insurance companies will try to get you to give a statement right after being in an accident. If you are taking pain medication, you need to refrain from giving any statements until you are completely coherent and able to understand what is going on. Remember, you are never required to give a statement to the insurance company for the negligent driver. Your contract is only with your insurance company not with that of the defendant driver. Additionally, insurance adjusters want to take statements as soon after the accident as possible since it is less likely that you are in severe pain. Due to increased levels of adrenaline, the pain seldom sets in until weeks after the wreck. Finally, bear in mind that you are always permitted to have your attorney present when you give your statement.
Not hiring a trained lawyer.
When dealing with an auto accident case, you need to make sure you have a trained lawyer working on your side. They will deal with the insurance company for you so you can focus on recovering from the accident. This seems obvious, and the horrible attorney ads on television, billboards, and on the radio constantly state it, but the reality is, insurance companies will never take an individual seriously until a lawyer is hired. This is not a positive situation, but it is a reality.
Contact us to schedule a consultation about your case. If we can help we will let you know and work through the process with you from start to finish. If we can't help you, we will let you know and still try to help you through. No hard sell, just good advice. As always, you don't pay us until we recover.
Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP
Legal News with Illinois Impact from Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP
Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases form medical malpractice to automobile accidents.