A billboard advert for a small, country hospital once read that “the only life you want, is the one you had.” We have all seen similar advertisements for health and life insurance - a grieving widow, a person walking down a flight of stairs with one foot hovered precariously over a misplaced toy car. The phrase “Life comes at you fast” could accurately be changed to “Life and death come at you fast.” For two unfortunate individuals in early December of 2018, this was certainly the case.
A girls’ basketball team was driving home on a bus late one evening in December when a semi truck that was coming down the wrong side of the road collided with them on Interstate 74. Two men were killed at the scene, but the rest of the girl’s team and their chaperones were left without serious injuries.
Another tragedy struck the Illinois highways in mid-December. A woman was pinned between an SUV door and a toll-booth until help arrived. Her own Buick inexplicably lurched forward as she fumbled for debit card and wedged her between the booth and the car. By the time help arrived she was already unconscious. Sadly, the 40-year-old victim died of complications from mechanical asphyxiation four days later.
In both of these sad instances, families were robbed of loved ones, parents, spouses, and breadwinners. Oftentimes an avalanche of bills follows these horrific events. Medical debt collectors harass the families, funeral expenses must be paid, and the most vulnerable people in these situations are the ones left holding the bag as the vultures gather. If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, a personal injury attorney can help you and your family fight for the compensation you need to recover.
How does one settle crippling medical debt? In the state of Illinois there are a number of ways:
- Health insurance (either private or through your employer).
- Medicare (federal program, eligibility depending on age).
- Medicaid (state medical program in Illinois. Eligibility determined by income).
- Out of pocket (by far the most expensive and least popular option).
Legal aid can often help bridge the gap between the varying options. Even people with wonderful, private insurance (full coverage) can be left with some medical bills and a loss of income due to recovery. The poor victim’s family in the toll booth disaster discussed above could possibly have a case against Buick if the car malfunctioned. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Illinois can help victims to recover funds from the negligent party who injured them.
If you fear that you can not afford counsel, know that our personal injury attorneys will take your case on what is called a contingency fee. This means that we will represent you with no upfront payment. We only collect a fee if you are successful in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured by another motorist, you should act fast. According to Illinois law you have two years to act on personal injury suits and five for damage to property. Luckily, especially for those suing entities like Buick, there is no cap on how much you can recover. However, like many states, Illinois is a modified fault state.
Modified fault, also called comparative fault, is a school of thought that minimizes a victim’s award based on the percentage that they are at fault. In short, a court could determine that someone is 50% at fault and thus reduce their damage awards accordingly.
This area of the law can grow complicated quickly. Let our personal injury attorneys help you obtain the compensation you need, while you focus on recovering from your injuries and caring for your family.
Contact our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Chicago
If you have been injured in an auto accident, our professional, friendly staff is here to help. Do not wait until it is too late to contact an attorney. At Newland & Newland, we are standing by to help you. Contact us at (847) 797-8000, or a fill out our online contact form for a complimentary evaluation of your situation. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Wojtek Witkowski)