Did you suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence in Illinois?
Do you have questions about the compensation you really deserve for those injuries, including what steps you need to take to maximize your compensation?
Are you tired of dealing with the insurance company on your own-or starting to feel as though the insurance company does not have a plan in place that will offer you the compensation you really deserve for those injuries?
Let Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers help you pursue the compensation you really deserve. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
Stewart J. Guss: Helping Illinois Personal Injury Victims Obtain Real Results
If you suffered serious injuries in an Illinois accident because of someone else’s negligent actions, you may deserve compensation-and Stewart J. Guss can help. With more than 20 years of handling catastrophic injury claims across the United States, Stewart J. Guss is ideally positioned to help personal injury clients throughout Illinois and across the nation through strategic legal representation following a serious accident.
Feel More Confident That You Have the Evidence You Need
Do you need to prove that the other party caused your accident? Is the insurance company refusing to accept liability for the accident, even though you can clearly show that the other party caused your accident?
With Stewart J. Guss on your side, you can feel more confident that you have all the evidence you need to establish your claim and move forward with the case more effectively.
Learn How Much You Deserve
Many personal injury victims throughout Illinois have no idea how much compensation they really deserve for the serious injuries they sustained in an accident. All too often, they fall prey to the insurance company’s initial settlement offer, which may not reflect the compensation they deserve.
Stewart J. Guss can provide you with a better look at how much compensation you really deserve-and then fight to help you obtain it.
Avoid the Insurance Company’s Damaging Tactics
All too often, insurance companies will utilize a variety of tactics designed to limit the compensation they have to pay out to you. If you get hit by any of those tactics, you may find yourself with less compensation than you really deserve for the injuries from your accident, struggling to manage your bills, and frustrated by the fact that, although someone else caused this suffering in your life, you have relatively little recourse.
Stewart J. Guss can help you avoid the tactics the insurance company might use, from pressuring you to take that insultingly low settlement offer trying to prove that you caused at least part of the accident.
Illinois Personal Injury Claims
Stewart J. Guss handles a variety of personal injury claims throughout Illinois. Those twenty years of experience mean a lot of time spent dealing with a wide variety of claims that span from car accidents to construction site accidents.
#1. Auto Accidents
On the streets of Illinois, you may find yourself dealing with everything from snow and ice (with an average of 22 inches of snow per year) to dangerous drivers who simply fail to exercise adequate precautions out on the road. If you suffer injuries in an auto accident, you may think that you can rely on the insurance company to provide you with a reasonable settlement offer.
All too often, however, the insurance company will come back with an offer that does not even come close to reflecting the real compensation you deserve. Having an attorney on your side can prove critical to establishing your real right to compensation and fighting to help you get what you really deserve.
#2. Pedestrian Accidents
In Illinois, pedestrians have right of way-which means that when a driver ignores the pedestrian’s right of way and you suffer a serious injury as a result, you may deserve substantial compensation.
When you have an accident as a pedestrian, you may find yourself dealing with severe injuries. You had no protection from the car that hit you or from anything around you, from the ground you hit to any obstacles in the way. Pedestrians may suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or multiple broken bones, including highly severe long-term injuries that can permanently limit their lives.
If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident, you need an attorney who will fight to help you maximize the compensation the driver that hit you has to pay out for your injuries.
#3. 18-Wheeler Accidents
Big trucks take up a lot of room on the road. When they end up involved in an accident, they may also cause a great deal of damage. Because of their much larger size, 18-wheelers can quickly crush smaller passenger vehicles, leading to severe injuries for everyone inside. Victims of 18-wheeler accidents often suffer from severe injuries, from traumatic brain injury to multiple broken bones, and may have a long road to recovery ahead of them.
18-wheeler accident victims need to ensure that they have an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side. 18-wheeler accidents often involve a much longer, more complicated investigation process than the average personal injury claim, and addressing those challenges quickly can prove essential to ensuring that you can maximize your compensation.
#4. Drunk Driving Accidents
Do you deserve punitive damages after an accident with a drunk driver? What happens if the police mishandled the evidence that another driver drove while intoxicated, and you find it more difficult to prove that you deserve compensation?
Drunk driving accidents may involve substantial injury due to the drunk driver’s inability to control his vehicle, his slowed reaction times, and the challenges associated with predicting his behavior. Having an attorney on your side can make a big difference in your ability to establish your right to compensation following a drunk driving accident.
#5. Bicycle Accidents
Often, cyclists have a hard time sharing the road with the larger vehicles that seem to move all around them as they attempt to navigate safely through the streets of Illinois. While Illinois does have a broad network of bike trails and bike paths, including clearly-marked bicycle lanes, sometimes, drivers may encroach on those lanes or might ignore the rules of the road, pushing a cyclist in unsafe ways. Bicycle accidents may also lead to severe injuries since the cyclist rarely has substantial protection from the road.
#6. Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders often face greater challenges out on the road than the average driver of a passenger vehicle. Motorcycles have a much smaller overall visual profile, which may make it more difficult for other drivers to spot those motorcycles out on the road. Motorcycles also offer no protection from other vehicles, which means that the motorcycle rider may take the brunt of a collision directly. Motorcycle riders frequently suffer severe injuries in accidents due to the negligence of other drivers around them.
#6. Construction Worker Accidents
Dealing with an accident that occurred on a construction site can prove tricky. Often, multiple people share liability for a construction site accident: the general contractor responsible for managing the entire scene as well as the subcontractors, for example. You may have to pursue an investigation into the manufacturer of faulty equipment, or into why equipment rented from another source malfunctioned at the time of the accident.
#7. Premises Liability Accidents
When you visit specific premises, whether you have entered a private homeowner’s house or you need to enter a business, you expect to have a safe experience. Unfortunately, some premises owners simply fail in their duty of care to you.
They may fail to maintain stairs or walkways. They may not clean up spills, especially not in time. They might allow things to fall around you. All those accidents can lead to substantial injuries in the blink of an eye-and you may deserve considerable compensation for those injuries.
You may also deserve compensation if an Illinois business owner fails to provide adequate security and, as a result, you suffer serious injuries in an attack, or if a property owner has a dangerous dog that bites you.
#8. Slip and Fall Accidents
Dealing with the aftermath of a slip and fall accident can mean immense challenges. Some people may suffer severe injuries from what seems like a relatively minor fall, including loss of mobility from a spinal cord injury or severe traumatic brain injury that interferes with their ability to engage in many normal activities.
Having a lawyer on your side can make it much easier to navigate that critical road to compensation and pursue the assistance you really deserve for your injuries.
Recovering Damages Following an Illinois Accident
Regardless of what type of accident you have and what injuries you suffer, the compensation you can recover from a personal injury claim will generally break down into the same basic categories.
#1. Medical Costs
If you have serious injuries, you probably have serious medical bills to go along with them. Regardless of where in Illinois you have to pursue treatment, from an Advocate Health Care hospital to an urgent care center, you may find yourself going through multiple, long-term treatments for your injuries.
You will probably have to have emergency medical care immediately after your accident.
You may have a long stay in the hospital.
You may spend a lot of time going through treatments, from surgeries to help repair some of the damage you suffered during the accident to physical therapy designed to help you regain strength and mobility after the accident.
Talk to your lawyer about the medical bills you have faced due to your injuries and any future medical needs you can anticipate. For example, if you know that you will need a knee or hip replacement surgery within a few years as a direct result of the accident, you might want to consider those costs as part of your calculations.
#2. Lost Income
Serious injuries can go a long way toward preventing you from working while you recover. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident, for example, you might not have the cognitive ability to go about your usual work tasks. If you suffered multiple broken bones, you might have a hard time with any job that requires you to stay on your feet all day or to manage heavy lifting tasks.
Your employer might not even let you come back to work until you can show that you have recovered enough from your injuries to perform those tasks.
All that lost income can lead to a serious financial challenge, especially since you may already have increased bills and financial woes because of your medical costs. A lawyer can help you calculate how much income you have lost as a direct result of your accident and include it in your claim.
#3. Pain and Suffering
Serious injuries cause much more than financial disruption in your life. They may leave you struggling to take care of yourself and your home. You may have to give up many of your favorite hobbies and activities-sometimes temporarily, while you recover, but other times permanently, due to the full extent of your injuries.
Many people suffer immense emotional distress as a result of their accidents and their injuries. Dealing with those challenges can leave you feeling drained, uncertain, and unsure about what to do next. As part of your claim, you can include compensation for those less-tangible losses you have to deal with.
Illinois Personal Injury FAQs
You suffered serious injuries in Illinois. Now, you have serious questions, including questions about your right to compensation. Contact Steward J. Guss or take a look at the FAQ below to learn more.
1. How do I know who bears liability for an accident in an Illinois personal injury claim?
You suffered serious injuries in an accident, and you want to know who actually bears liability for those injuries. In fact, you need to know who bears liability before you can move forward with a personal injury claim!
Luckily, a lawyer can help take over many of those tasks for you, providing you with a better look at everything you need to know to locate the liable party-or, in some cases, multiple liable parties-after your accident.
Your lawyer will likely evaluate several key factors to determine liability.
Who bore a duty of care to you at the time of the incident?
Establishing a duty of care to you can prove easier than you think. Suppose, for example, that you get involved in a drunk driving accident. The other driver automatically bears a duty of care to you because the two of you share the road. If you head to a building, either a public building or a private property where you had the right to go, and suffer injuries in a slip and fall, the owner of that building bore a duty of care to you.
What act of negligence did the liable party commit that violated that duty of care?
Showing the act of negligence that the liable party committed can prove trickier-and having a lawyer on your side to help collect that vital evidence and establish your right to compensation can make the entire process much easier.
Generally, negligent actions include careless or reckless decisions, usually made because the liable party failed to consider the consequences rather than because the liable party tried to deliberately take action against you.
For example, a property owner who fails to properly maintain a flight of stairs, a walkway, or even the ceiling in a room could have committed an act of negligence. Likewise, a driver who exercises unsafe behavior on the road usually does so not out of direct malice, but due to general negligence.
What injuries did you suffer due to that negligence?
For some people, the injury part of a personal injury claim gets tricky.
To file a claim, you must show that you suffered damages due to the other party’s negligence. Sometimes, you may have grounds for a claim because you discovered immense financial damages. Most of the time, however, personal injury claims involve substantial injuries.
If you did not suffer an injury, you might not have grounds for a claim.
Suppose, for example, that you saw a spill on the floor at a local movie theater. No member of the staff moved to do anything to clean it up. In fact, that spill just sat there, in a high-traffic area, on a slippery floor. Even after you reported it to the management of the facility, no one came in to do anything about it.
You chose to walk around the spill, reducing the risk that you would suffer a serious accident. As a result, you did not suffer a slip and fall, and you do not have any injuries from the incident-so you do not have the right to file a personal injury claim.
On the other hand, if you did not notice that spill, and you slipped and fell, you may have grounds to file a claim.
Many people feel that the other party’s negligence should entitle them to some type of compensation regardless of whether an accident occurred. However, unless you suffered an injury in the accident, you may not have the right to move forward with a personal injury claim (though you might have the right to pursue compensation in some other way for, for example, the inability to use the full features that you paid for).
For example, suppose that you rented a property for a vacation. You discovered, while there, that you could not use the back porch due to unsafe construction and inattention to repairs. You might pursue a partial refund from the property owner, but since you did not have an accident on that porch and did not suffer any injuries, you will not pursue a personal injury claim.
2. Who has to pay my medical bills after a serious accident in Illinois?
Medical bills can pose a serious financial problem following an Illinois accident. The Advocate Health Care system, which runs through Illinois and most of the Midwest, means that most injury victims have ready access to medical care when they need it, but it does not come cheap. Often, accident victims find themselves racking up tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt.
Who has to pay for it?
Following an injury, you, since you will receive treatment for those injuries, will have to make arrangements to pay your medical bills. If a child suffers injuries in an accident, the child’s parents will need to pay the medical bills.
However, the fact that you must take responsibility for your medical bills does not have to mean financial catastrophe. You may have several options for covering the cost of much-needed medical treatment following a serious accident.
Your health insurance may help cover many of the basic costs that go along with recovering from your injuries.
Often, health insurance will cover many of the costs you will face after your accident.
However, make sure you talk to your health insurance provider so that you have a better idea about your coverage, including:
- What copay and deductible amounts you can expect while managing your claim
- How many physical or occupational therapy sessions your insurance will cover
- What your out-of-pocket maximum looks like for the year
- Whether your insurance company will cover certain providers at a higher level
Keep in mind that your insurance company may have different limits for in-network versus out-of-network coverage and that you may need to carefully consider your available in-network providers before deciding how it may affect your right to compensation.
If you suffer injuries in an auto accident, your PIP insurance may cover some of your initial medical costs.
Illinois offers personal injury protection coverage as an optional add-on to your usual insurance coverage. If you have PIP coverage, it doesn’t matter who caused your accident. Even if you caused or contributed to the accident, you will have the same rights to coverage and compensation. PIP coverage can help alleviate some of the immediate medical costs that come along with serious injuries, so you may feel more confident managing the rest of your expenses following the accident.
The funds from a personal injury claim can go toward your medical treatment.
Your personal injury claim helps ensure that the party that caused your accident will have to take responsibility for some of the bills you might face, albeit not directly-or at least that the liable party will have to pass some of those costs on to its insurance company.
While the liable party will not pay your medical bills, you can use the funds from an Illinois personal injury claim to cover the cost of medical treatment. Those funds can make it easier for you to manage either immediate or ongoing medical treatment costs and make you feel much more confident about your financial situation after the accident.
3. If I suffer an injury on private property in Illinois, do I have the right to a premises liability claim?
If you have the legal right to enter someone else’s property, and you suffer injuries due to that party’s negligence, you may have the right to file a premises liability claim. Premises liability claims do not just let accident victims pursue compensation against businesses. They can also allow you to pursue a claim against a private homeowner.
Many people feel guilty about filing a claim against a private homeowner, especially when they consider that homeowner a friend or family member. However, in most cases, the claim will not go directly to the homeowner. Instead, you will file a claim through the homeowner’s property insurance company. If you do not file a claim, you may not have the funds you need to take care of your expenses after the accident, and you may find yourself struggling.
Talk to your lawyer about the damages you have suffered and whether you may have grounds for a claim, including how you can move forward with the claim in a way that will maximize your benefits.
4. Do I really need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim in Illinois?
Filing a personal injury claim can mean a long, complicated legal battle. Insurance companies rarely want to let go of the funds you need to help you recover from your injuries-and the financial losses that go along with those injuries-easily. You may find yourself fighting hard to get the insurance company to release the funds you deserve after the accident.
A lawyer can make the entire claim process a lot easier.
A lawyer can identify all liable parties and collect evidence after your Illinois accident.
You may know who caused your accident-or you might not. Frequently, legal investigations uncover more than one party that might share liability for a serious accident. Filing a claim against each liable party can help you maximize the compensation you can recover.
A lawyer can help you understand how much compensation you deserve.
Many people simply do not know how much compensation they should expect following a serious accident. How does that calculation for pain and suffering work? How do you know you have gotten a settlement offer that really reflects your needs? A lawyer can help break down the numbers and make sure you go after the full compensation you deserve.
A lawyer can prevent your claim from causing unnecessary stress.
Dealing with the insurance company can raise your stress levels in the blink of an eye. If you have an attorney on your side, on the other hand, you will have a much easier time managing that claim, since you can turn the challenges over to your attorney instead of having to deal with them directly yourself.
5. What should I do if the liable party’s insurance company offers me a settlement?
Getting a settlement offer sounds like it should get you to the end of the road. Once you have that offer in hand, you can accept it and move forward with your life, right?
Unfortunately, that settlement offer often represents just the beginning of your claim. Frequently, insurance companies will try to get to you soon after the accident, before you have a chance to fully consider how much compensation you might deserve or even go through the recovery process to learn more about what your medical bills will look like. That settlement offer might reflect just a small percentage of the compensation you really deserve for those severe injuries.
Now, you have to decide what to do next.
Before accepting any settlement offer, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can go over the conditions that led to your accident, take a look at the full compensation you may deserve, and give you more information about whether you have received an offer that really reflects your unique needs and rights after the accident.
If you accept the settlement offer, the claim ends there: no further compensation will come your way. On the other hand, if you believe that the offer does not reflect the full compensation you deserve, you have the right to file a counteroffer that represents the compensation you really deserve.
Contact Stewart J. Guss to Learn More About Your Illinois Personal Injury Claim Today
Did you suffer serious injuries in an Illinois accident? Do you have questions about the compensation you may deserve, or need a lawyer to help guide you through the process? The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in an accident in Illinois, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
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“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.