If you have sustained personal injuries or been injured in a automobile accident, then you must have questions concerning what you should do and what type of representation you should obtain in order to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
Your injuries are more than enough to worry about. However it is also important you obtain the maximum compensation possible for the injuries you have sustained in an accident. The Tetzlaff, Cervantez & Associates Law Firm has the knowledge, experience, and skill required in order to fight for the maximum compensation that you deserve. Aggressive representation, meticulous case preparation, and exceptional communication with our clients, are the foundations of our practice at the Tetzlaff, Cervantez & Associates Law Firm. The Tetzlaff, Cervantez & Associates Law Firm will thoroughly investigate the cause of your injury or accident and will aggressively build your case to pursue damages on your behalf.
The Tetzlaff, Cervantez & Associates Law Firm is different from other firms because we will always work around your schedule and come to you when necessary. It is also important to know we do not get paid unless you get paid and we have the incentive to get you the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. All of our cases are handled by an attorney, not paralegals or legal secretaries. We value your time. You will always have the ability to speak directly with the attorney who is handling your case. The Tetzlaff, Cervantez & Associates Law Firm will fight against any negligent party on your behalf, no matter who it is or how big of a multi-national corporation they are.
Common Types of Personal Injury and Auto Accident services
The types of situations vary widely depending on the individual case. Here is a run down of some common types of our Personal Injury and Auto Accident services:
- Auto Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice/Birth Injuries
- Nursing Home Neglect
- Trucking Accidents
Commonly Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a valid personal injury claim?
If you have been injured or harmed through someone else’s fault, and you act promptly to protect your rights, then chances are very good you may have a valid personal injury claim. In order to succeed in a personal injury case, the injured party usually must prove that the injury was somehow at least partly the result of the fault of someone else that is financially viable. This, however, does not require any proof anyone meant to cause harm, only that someone was negligent or at fault, In fact, most valid cases do not involve anything more than innocent mistakes or momentary lapses in attention.
What do I do if I have been injured?
If you have been injured, there are many things to consider, but getting proper medical care is the most important consideration as your health and recovery always come first. Other considerations, however, include preserving evidence, reporting to the police, deciding whether to hire a personal injury lawyer and, if so, finding qualified legal counsel. A qualified personal injury lawyer will be a skilled negotiator and posses the skills and resources needed to aggressively pursue the maximum result for each client’s unique circumstance. If you have been sustained a personal injury or auto-accident you should always try to remember the following:
- remove yourself from any potential danger, whether at the scene of the accident or from someone or an animal that may cause you further injury;
- seek necessary medical attention immediately;
- contact the proper authorities, including the police, your employer, or the property owner, to alert them that you suffered an injury and get them to make a report.
- take photos of your injuries, your vehicle, or any object involved in your injury.
Should I speak to the insurance company?
The simple answer is, NO. Many personal injury or auto-accident cases are damaged when an unprepared person says the wrong things to insurance companies. It is extremely important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side and that they are in business to make money and not to act for what is in your best interests. However, many people think about avoiding litigation by promptly settling their legal claims, but most times, insurance companies will be offering amounts that are substantially undervalued for your injuries or claim. This is where qualified a personal injury in personal injury and wrongful death cases can make a huge difference. In the end, it is almost always beneficial to retain an attorney to handle your claim. Typically a personal injury lawyer’s fee will be based on a percentage of what is recovered in a lawsuit, so the attorney and the client have aligned financial interests.
What do I say if the insurance company contacts me?
If insurance company contacts you, you should politely inform him or her you are represented by an attorney or that you intend to hire an attorney and they should contact your attorney or your attorney will contact them. Most times, the insurance company representative will understand and respect this answer and will not be surprised by your desire to seek adequate legal representation.
What kinds of damages can I recover in my personal injury or auto-accident case?
In Illinois, if you have been injured by the other party’s mere negligence you can recover economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, and also non-economic losses like pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement and emotional distress. The most typical forms of compensable damages include:
- past and future lost earnings
- past and future pain and suffering
- past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- permanent scarring or disfigurement
- physical disability
- loss of enjoyment of life
- mental or emotional anguish
How much does cost to retain a qualified personal injury attorney?
In a personal injury or auto-mobile accident case, nearly every attorney charges on a contingency fee basis. On a contingency fee basis clients usually do not have to pay any money up front to the attorney and there is no hourly fee. Instead, the attorney is paid a percentage of the amount recovered at the time the case is concluded. Although the percentage can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, almost all attorneys charge a one-third or 33% contingent fee. Additionally, attorneys will usually always pay all necessary out of pocket expenses subject to a right of reimbursement without interest at the conclusion of the case, sometimes before, and sometimes after the contingent fee is calculated. In a contingent fee arrangement, there is only a fee if there is financial recovery on your behalf. It is important you familiarize yourself with the exact terms of your specific attorney-client contract.
Are personal injuries settlement proceeds taxable?
Amounts recovered for personal injuries, including injuries sustained in an auto-accident, that are caused by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another are generally not taxable.
If I bring a personal injury lawsuit will I have to go to court?
You might, and it is essential you be prepared to do so. Nevertheless, many personal injury cases are settled out of court. Thus, it is important you retain a qualified personal injury attorney who has the skills necessary to not only to fully and properly litigate your claim through trial and appeal if necessary, but also to negotiate for a settlement for the compensation you deserve without a trial. Moreover, qualified attorneys with a track record of success are usually more respected and feared by the insurers and are able to obtain better out of court settlements for their clients than attorneys who lack these qualifications.
What are Illinois statutes of limitations?
The statutes of limitations are a legal time limit placed upon when an injured person can bring their legal claim. The most important thing to remember is that if you do not act within the time restriction, that you are barred forever from filing a claim and recovering from your injuries. In Illinois, the time period for personal injury claims is two (2) years from the day you were injured or hurt, but there are exceptions to that general rule, such as in the case of minors or people who are unaware of their injuries. In those circumstances, a minor has two years past his age of majority (18) to bring a claim or two (2) years after the date you learn of the injury in the case of an unknown injury.
What is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM Coverage) is automobile insurance that you pay for that covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages in the event that you are hurt by someone without insurance or without sufficient insurance. If the insurance of the at-fault party is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can provide compensation. Making claims against your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage are governed by your insurance contract which usually provides for administrative or arbitration of your claim with your insurance provider.
What is the minimum car insurance coverage in Illinois?
- $20,000 for injury to one person
- $40,000 for injury for everyone injured
- $15,000 per accident for damage to property
- $20,000 for injury to one person
- $40,000 for injury for everyone injured