Whether you’re a business owner, property owner, or professional practitioner, you want to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to protect yourself from legal liability. This is where premise liability insurance comes in. Premise liability insurance provides additional protection from legal claims that arise out of the ownership or maintenance of property and/or activities conducted on it. It includes the expenses for legal defense and any resulting damages.

If you need assistance with premise liability insurance or are currently facing a liability lawsuit, contact an experienced Chicago premise liability lawyer today for a free consultation at (312) 300-2515!

What is Premise Liability Insurance?

Premises liability is an important concept that businesses and property owners must understand. Premise liability insurance is a type of coverage that protects businesses and property owners from financial losses related to any injuries or damages sustained on their premises. This insurance coverage helps protect the insured from lawsuits filed by visitors who are injured on their property. Coverage includes legal costs associated with defending against such claims, as well as any potential settlement or judgment payments. It also covers any necessary medical expenses incurred by those injured on the premises due to negligence.

The types of claims that may be covered by premises liability coverage often include common slip and fall accidents, escalator accidents, swimming pool accidents, injuries from defective equipment, and poorly maintained fixtures and furnishings.

Chicago premise liability attorney Chris Ktenas

For example, a property owner may have forgotten to hose down their entranceways after their cleaning staff finished mopping it, putting those who walk through at risk of slipping and suffering an injury because of it. If this were the case, then the business owner would be liable for the victim's medical care costs since things weren't kept safe.

Snow and ice also present unique challenges that must be taken into account when assessing possible legal liability, as do inadequate maintenance of the premises and defective conditions like broken windows or falling objects. Having proper insurance coverage for accidents can ensure all such liabilities are taken care of without having to worry about too much financial burden on your end.

Types of Premise Liability Insurance Coverage

To determine which type of premises liability insurance is right for your business, it’s important to consider the risks you face due to your business’s operations and activities. For example, if your business involves children, then you may need more than just basic liability coverage due to the heightened risk of injury or illness that may occur in these settings. Depending on the size of your business and amount of visitors each day, you may need to select a more comprehensive coverage option than other types of businesses. 

When obtaining premise liability insurance, it is vital that you provide accurate information about yourself and your business so that you can be sure your policy will properly cover all potential liabilities. Be sure to read through all terms carefully so that you understand what is covered in case an incident occurs on the property for which you are responsible.

a book titled "Premise Liability" on a desk next to a gavel

It’s important to note that premise liability insurance does not cover intentional acts or criminal activities that lead to injury on a property. Additionally, many policies do not provide coverage for certain activities such as trampoline use or swimming pools. Therefore it’s important to review your policy carefully and speak with your insurer if you are unsure about what is covered under your policy.

Who Needs Premise Liability Insurance?

Premise Liability Insurance is a type of insurance that is essential for property owners, business owners, and professional practitioners as it provides coverage for medical expenses, damages for pain and suffering, court expenses, settlements, and other related costs.

Property Owners

Property owners and occupiers are subject to premises liability law, which outlines their responsibility for visitors on the property. This legal framework sets out specific requirements and duties of care depending on the visitor’s status on the property and whether they were invited or not.

Generally, any visitor that is lawfully present on the premises is owed a duty of care by the owner or occupier. This includes people who visit the property with permission, those who enter without permission (trespassers), and even those who come in with implied consent based upon certain circumstances, such as store customers at a retail establishment.

The person’s status is important as it determines how far the owner/occupier’s legal duties extend to them. For example, social guests who are invited onto someone else's property are owed a higher duty of care compared to trespassers, while customers in a public space can be owed a varying degree of duty of care depending on the circumstances.

Business Owners

Business owners who have premise liability insurance will have coverage for any accidents that occur at the office building or premises. This insurance will provide coverage for accidents that involve individuals such as employees, customers, and visitors to the business premises. Business owners are liable for any injury or accident that happens on the property, so it's important for business owners to have insurance coverage in the case of an accident. 

a premise liability insurance form next to a computer and some money

Professional Practitioners

Premise liability insurance can offer coverage for professional practitioners in case they are faced with claims due to bodily injuries or property damage caused while providing services. Professional practitioners, including doctors, lawyers, and accountants, may be held responsible for their actions when they are found negligent in delivering services or advice. Premise liability insurance can provide assistance in safeguarding practitioners from such claims.

Duties of Care and Reasonable Care for Property Owners and Business Owners

When it comes to premises liability and the duty of care, property owners and business owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. This includes providing safe access paths, maintaining adequate lighting, and taking necessary safety measures such as proper fencing around potentially hazardous areas.

The law divides visitors into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees have invited guests on the property for the benefit of the owner; patrons of businesses fall into this category. Licensees are those allowed on or invited onto the property by its possessor but not for his/her benefit. An example would be a family member visiting his/her home without an invitation from the occupant. Finally, trespassers are people who enter or stay without permission or right from an owner or occupier of the land.

The legal responsibility that owners have toward each of these categories varies depending on the knowledge of risks involved with particular activities and dangerous conditions, the provision of warnings about potential hazards, and any attempts to correct existing hazards before injury occurs. Business owners must recognize their responsibilities under “duty of care” when it comes to premises liability in order to avoid liability issues in the event there is an accident or injury on-site caused by a hazard or faulty condition.

What Happens if You Don't Meet Duty of Care Requirements

A duty of care includes making sure any dangerous conditions or activities are avoided, that visitors and staff have the necessary information to remain safe, and that all of the proper security measures are in place. If your business does not meet these obligations, you may very well find yourself facing personal injury lawsuits.

One way for businesses or property owners to protect themselves from this type of liability is to purchase premises liability insurance. This type of coverage can potentially help with court costs associated with defending against personal injury claims, as well as any medical bills and settlements arising from such disputes (up to particular policy limits).


It’s important to pay close attention when you’re selecting an insurance policy for your business—each one is unique and offers different levels of protection, so make sure you understand both the positive aspects and limitations of the coverage each plan provides.

Potential Risks Covered by Premise Liability Insurance

There are several potential risks that are covered by premise liability insurance including property damage claims, bodily injury claims, medical bills for the injured party, and more. For more information on how to file a premise liability claim, contact Ktenas Injury Attorneys!

Property Damage Claims

Premise liability insurance provides financial protection for property owners in the event of property damage caused by another individual. It includes coverage for claims and legal fees associated with property damage caused by employees, visitors, or customers. Additionally, it covers claims related to personal injury or medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained on the premises.

Bodily Injury Claims

Bodily injury claims are frequent in premise liability insurance. This insurance covers injuries that happen on a business or homeowner's property, like slip and fall accidents, animal attacks, or accidents. Property owners can be held responsible for injuries to visitors, customers, employees, or tenants. Premise liability insurance provides protection in case of a bodily injury lawsuit.

Medical Bills and Other Damages from Bodily Injury Claims

Premise liability insurance can safeguard business and property owners against the potential financial losses resulting from injury on their premises. If someone suffers an injury on the property, the insurance will pay for medical bills and other damages resulting from the incident. This coverage is typically included in a general liability policy and helps protect against legal costs associated with lawsuits related to medical costs and damages associated with bodily injury claims.

Call Ktenas Injury Attorneys Today!

Lawsuits can be an incredibly stressful and daunting experience. However, the good news is that you do not have to fight the insurance company’s lawyers on your own. With Ktenas Injury Attorneys, our experienced premises liability lawyers are ready to offer help at any stage of the lawsuit process. They will analyze your case and will help you understand how best to present it in order to get the most out of it – ensuring that you don’t have to take whatever minimal sums that are offered by insurance companies or their lawyers who specialize in minimizing payments. Call Ktenas Injury Attorneys today for a free initial consultation.

When you're involved in a car accident in Chicago, you have the right to seek maximum compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other financial losses.

Often, car accident victims avoid filing legal claims because they believe that hiring a personal injury lawyer is too expensive. The truth is, it can cost you even more if you don't hire a car accident attorney. Why? Because you might be stuck paying medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, lost income, and more – all out of your own pocket.

car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

Even if you can get a settlement offer from the other driver’s liability insurance company, they’re not likely to offer you a fair settlement. That is unless you have an experienced car accident lawyer in Chicago representing you.

How Do Auto Accident Lawyers Get Paid?

Often, the lawyer you hire will charge an hourly fee. This is true whether you're going through a divorce or facing criminal charges.

In personal injury law, however, things are a bit differently. Instead of car accident attorneys charging an hourly rate, they charge on a contingency fee basis where they get a percentage of your settlement amount or jury award. If your experienced car accident attorney doesn’t get you a settlement or award, you pay nothing.

This works out for you in many ways:

When you speak to your Chicago auto accident lawyer, ask about the contingency fee percentage of your settlement or award you'll need to pay at the conclusion of your case.

a car after being T-boned by another vehicle, how much does a car accident lawyer cost

While each auto accident case is unique, the typical fee ranges between 30% and 40%. The contingent fee percentage you're charged depends on several factors, including:

Because each case is unique, it’s essential to at least schedule an initial consultation with an attorney before you make any financial decisions. These initial appointments are free, and they allow your potential attorney to delve deeper into the details of your car crash, your crash injuries, and who may be liable.

Once your potential lawyer has a clear picture of what happened, they'll be ready to discuss their contingency fee and the percentage you might need to pay.

Your first initial appointment is always free, so call our personal injury law firm now at (312) 300-2515 or contact us online to speak to an experienced Cook County car accident attorney with no obligation.

Why Hire a Chicago Traffic Collision Lawyer?

As knowledgeable car accident lawyers, we understand the unique complexities of achieving the best possible settlement for your car accident case. Our car accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for thousands of car crash victims.

Our personal injury law firm understands the tricks insurance companies use to deny or delay car accident and injury cases and we'll use our legal expertise to your advantage. Immediately after motor vehicle crashes occur, our car accident lawyers work to secure the evidence needed to provide you with the best financial recovery that the law allows. We understand the effect a car crash can have on your emotional, physical, and financial health and do all the legal work on your behalf to allow you adequate time to heal.

Through our legal representation, you're assured that your Illinois auto accident attorney handling your case has your best interest at heart. Personal injury claims are stressful, and we work to lighten your load by drafting a legal fee structure to make life easier. Our Chicago personal injury law firm postpones accepting payment for our fees until we resolve your case, securing your economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict. 

Our auto accident attorneys have extensive experience resolving a wide range of car accident injury cases via mediation, settlement, and trial. Whether you have suffered severe injuries in a car crash related to distracted driving, texting, reckless driving, road rage, exceeding the speed limit, driver fatigue, or drunk driving, we have handled all types of car accidents – and won. We have represented clients who have experienced various catastrophic injuries including spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, herniated discs, joint damage, broken bones, and burns.

We use our extensive understanding of the law to represent our clients fighting insurance companies and take steps to accomplish the best outcome for the victims. We handle complex and straightforward cases involving rear-end accidents, hit-and-runs, intersection accidents, head-on accidents, turning crashes, and highway crashes. In choosing to work with the skilled personal injury attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers, you benefit from our extensive experience.

Studies show that auto accident victims recover more in financial damages when represented by an experienced attorney than when they deal with an auto insurance carrier on their own.

The reality is that a Cook County car accident lawyer can offer a variety of legal services that are aimed at recovering the maximum compensation for you and your family after a fatal crash. These legal services include:

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we offer no-cost initial consultations. And we don't charge for our legal services unless we secure financial compensation for you. We have helped car crash victims in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and throughout Illinois recover fair insurance settlement and we can help you too. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact our Chicago law office today at (312) 300-2515.

Learn More: Is it Worth Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?

What an Auto Crash Attorney from Ktenas Injury Lawyers Can Do for You

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we believe it's essential to conduct an immediate, thorough investigation of automobile accidents to make sure no evidence is lost or destroyed. It's imperative you contact a skilled Chicago car accident attorney as soon as possible about your personal injury claim.

Our legal team can gather extensive evidence in your case, including:

a car after rear-ending another car

Also, our skilled auto accident attorneys can consult with highly qualified experts who can help us to establish:

Our goal is to gather enough evidence to establish a solid auto accident claim and build the best case possible to help you recover fair compensation. We'll negotiate fiercely with insurance companies and use a skilled approach when representing our clients at trial.

You can’t control what reckless motorists do. But you can take control of your life after a motor vehicle crash. The road to financial recovery starts by contacting an experienced car accident attorney who will protect your constitutional rights, seek the financial compensation you deserve and ultimately help to lift your financial burdens.

Our car accident lawyers in Chicago have decades of experience with helping injured victims and their loved ones in Chicago and throughout Illinois secure fair compensation. Clients know they can trust our attorneys with their cases while they focus on getting better. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our legal team today at (312) 300-2515.

Motor vehicle accidents are always a huge inconvenience, even more so when the at-fault driver has a total lack of auto insurance coverage. Not only will you possibly be recovering from accident injuries and emotional trauma, but you will also have the added stress of thinking about how you'll pay all of your vehicle repairs and medical bills.

If you have been caught up in this unfortunate situation, it's crucial that you know that you don’t have to go through this alone. An auto accident attorney can provide legal counsel and work to secure financial compensation for any damages on your behalf.

Chris Ktenas, Chicago car accident lawyer

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, our legal team has decades of experience between them. We have worked with many people who have been involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured driver to secure a fair settlement. Contact our personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515 for a no-cost initial consultation. 

Minimum Auto Insurance Policy Requirements

Illinois law codified at 625 ILCS 5/7-601 stipulates all individuals who own motor vehicles must maintain auto liability insurance that pays for the damages that they cause with their negligence.

Minimum auto insurance coverage includes the following:

If the other driver was at fault for the automobile crash, you would typically file an insurance claim with that person’s auto liability coverage. However, if the negligent driver doesn't have auto insurance coverage, there is no auto insurance company with which to file a claim. You can still sue the responsible party. However, if the at-fault driver couldn't afford liability insurance, they may not have enough money to compensate you for your financial damages.

While your automobile liability insurance covers damage sustained by other people involved in an auto accident, it doesn’t cover your losses. Because of this, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage. In Ilinois, Optional coverage includes:

Learn More: How to File a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

What Do You do if the At-Fault Driver has no Insurance?

If the liable driver either doesn’t have auto insurance coverage or carries an insufficient amount, they can be held personally responsible for bodily injuries and damages caused in the crash and for damages exceeding the auto insurance policy limit.

Further, insurance providers in Illinois are legally obligated to include uninsured motorist coverage with your auto insurance policy. The insurance coverage limits must be equal to the insurance policy’s injury liability coverage. Thus, if you’re involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist coverage will cover your financial damages up to the amount of your insurance policy’s injury liability coverage.

It’s also unlikely that your auto insurance policy will cover the total amount of financial damages. Medical payments are fairly limited and don’t cover other financial expenses, such as lost wages from missing work. The best way to recover the financial compensation you need is by hiring a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer at Ktenas Injury Lawyers. 

It’s essential that you understand the consequences of taking someone to court. In Illinois, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within the specified statute of limitations. If you don’t file your claim in time, your personal injury case will be thrown out and you may never receive the financial compensation you need.

If you decide to take legal action against the at-fault driver, you must file:

The insurance claims process is confusing and can be difficult, so it’s in your best interest to hire a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer. You should also understand that insurance carriers often deny and delay personal injury claims – you need an experienced attorney who won’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Call our skilled Chicago auto accident lawyers today at (312) 300-2515 for a free case review.

What Happens if the At-Fault Party Doesn't Have Car Insurance?

What are Criminal Penalties for Being Uninsured in Illinois

If you drive a vehicle in Illinois without proper insurance coverage, the following criminal penalties apply:

As is the case in all states, the police officers will find out you’re driving without adequate insurance coverage if they pull you over and ask to see your insurance card — or if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Further, the state employs another enforcement method: Illinois randomly selects registered motor vehicles using a computer program and sends a questionnaire to the vehicle owner of each car selected. The questionnaire asks for the name of the vehicle owner’s auto insurance provider and their policy number. If the motor vehicle owner doesn't return the questionnaire within 30 days or if the information provided can’t be verified, the motor vehicle owner’s driver's license will be suspended.

Can Standard Collision Coverage Cover the Accident?

You can add collision coverage to your policy and, although it costs more, it'll help you pay for vehicle repairs after an accident. This is true whether you or the other driver are found to be liable for the accident, or if you were the victim of a hit-and-run car accident.

Again, collision coverage covers collision costs. This means it doesn’t apply to medical costs for your physical injuries, only the costs involved with repairing your vehicle. And, again, you can only take out as much as your maximum coverage will allow, so if your vehicle costs more than that to repair you’ll need to file a property damage claim for the remainder.

Call Ktenas Injury Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!

If you have been injured in an auto accident and the at-fault party was uninsured, our experienced attorneys can help. Our car accident attorneys have decades of combined experience and have helped many car accident victims recover financial damages from uninsured drivers.

We offer a no-cost consultation where we will review your car accident case and tell you if you have a valid claim. If you choose to work with our law firm, we will support you every step of the way and work relentlessly until you get a fair settlement. Contact our law offices today at (312) 300-2515. Our phone lines are open 24/7. Our Chicago car accident attorneys are ready to get started on your car accident case.

Even minor car accidents can be major sources of stress. Seeking fair compensation from an insurance company in your personal injury claim may turn into a marathon of back-and-forth communication and negotiations. It may be in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident attorney to handle your accident claim.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, our legal team has a track record of success in getting a fair settlement for our clients. Call us today at (312) 300-2515 or schedule an appointment online for a free initial consultation to see how we can help you. 

Why Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

There is no obligation to call an auto accident attorney if you're involved in a minor auto collision; however, it never hurts to be prepared.

Ktenas Injury Lawyers car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

For a minor car crash, you may consider exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver at the accident scene and continuing on with your day. Even a minor fender bender can result in medical costs and emotional trauma, and you may benefit from hiring an experienced lawyer. 

An experienced attorney can help you get a quick settlement from the insurance provider of the at-fault party, to include compensation for minor damage to your vehicle and medical costs for physical injury. Consider contacting our knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers for even a minor car accident case. 

The Damage Could Be More Severe Than You First Think

You may think that when you are involved in a relatively minor motor vehicle accident you will simply file a claim with the insurance company, get compensation for damages to your vehicle, and move on. This is not always the case, and you may face a difficult time throughout the claims process while having to manage out-of-pocket costs for vehicle damage that was not your fault. 

A skilled attorney will know the hurdles you can face when negotiating financial compensation with an insurance agency and can help you avoid them altogether. This is particularly true for any hidden injuries you may have sustained in the accident that didn't surface until some time passed. You may find yourself paying for the additional cost these can bring. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers our experienced car accident injury attorneys can help you through the auto accident claims process and will fight for the monetary compensation you deserve. We have experience managing accident lawsuits that you will need to get a fair resolution. 

Learn More: Why You Should Hire a Lawyer For a Car Accident

Possible Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents result in over 2.3 million visits to emergency rooms around the country every year. Particularly after a minor collision, you may have adrenaline in your system masking injuries. Even if you believe you are unharmed, you should still visit a doctor as soon as possible to verify and have proof of a possible injury in your medical records.

It is common to suffer an injury in a car accident that does not present for days or even weeks after the initial accident. These sorts of injuries can leave you with chronic pain and may require expensive long-term treatment. It can be particularly difficult to get automobile insurance companies to offer fair compensation for these types of bodily injuries. If you already accepted an accident settlement, you will likely be stuck paying for these out-of-pocket expenses with no additional compensation to come. 

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Ktenas Injury Lawyers for help recovering from your financial losses. We have experience in helping injured clients file a claim for compensation and will provide you with the legal counsel you need to get the proper settlement to help pay for your medical treatment.

Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?

Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury usually involves torn or stretched ligaments, muscles, or tendons. Low-speed collisions may not be fatal but they can cause serious injuries. If drivers hit their brakes too hard they can experience jerking movements throughout their neck. This can cause a condition known as whiplash, and symptoms may not manifest for several days. They can include:

Head Injuries

You might not even remember hitting your head on the steering wheel when you get out of your car after the accident. An impact like that may result in a concussion. Concussions can be major injuries, but you may not experience symptoms right away. They can include: 

Visit a Doctor After Your Accident

Concussions and soft tissue injuries are both very common after even minor car accidents, and both can require hospital or doctor visits, diagnostic imaging, prescription medication, and rehabilitation. 

These sorts of medical expenses can add up very quickly. Getting checked out by a medical professional after your accident is critical, whether you think you sustained an injury or not. If you think you are alright, settle your insurance claim, and go about your everyday life only to have symptoms appear later, you may find that you have waived your right to seek further compensation for your injuries. 

Having a doctor evaluate your condition soon after your accident can help you get maximum compensation for your case. A skilled auto accident lawyer can use your medical records, the crash report, and other evidence, to build a strong case throughout your insurance claims process.

Economic and Noneconomic Damages

In case someone else was responsible for causing your injuries or damages, you shouldn't pay out any costs yourself. If you're injured due to someone else's actions, you might be able to recover damages from them in the form of an insurance claim or lawsuit. You may seek compensation for economic damages, which include:

You may also seek compensation for noneconomic damages, which include:

Work With an Experienced Accident Attorney

You might not realize you've been hurt until days or even weeks after your accident when the pain starts setting in. Injuries don't always heal up well and sometimes they even get worse.

Accident victims have a right to seek compensation for the damages they suffered. An experienced auto accident attorney can bring the knowledge and skill you will need for your settlement negotiations or lawsuit. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation.

When a person's life ends tragically because of another person's negligence, family members are left devastated. They need to grieve, and the last thing they think about is a wrongful death lawsuit. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers understand that the recovery of financial compensation can never compensate for the pain of losing a loved one too soon. However, a personal injury claim can help your family recover financially from the tragic loss of a loved one and may prevent future tragic incidents from occurring.

Illinois wrongful death lawyer Chris Ktenas

If you're looking for the right wrongful death attorney to represent your family after the tragic loss of a family member, then we've got you covered. Our compassionate Chicago wrongful death attorneys can support your family through this difficult time and help you and your family recover fair settlement to cover medical and burial expenses. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys, contact our personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515.

Who Can You Sue in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Chicago?

In Illinois, the next of kin can file a wrongful death accident lawsuit against the individual or the company responsible for negligent actions that led to the death of a loved one. If a state, county, or city agency is responsible, special regulations may apply. Thus, you should seek legal representation by contacting an experienced wrongful death attorney who has extensive experience helping wrongful death victims recover fair wrongful death settlements. Examples of liable parties in a wrongful death action could include:

How Do You Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

How Do I Prove a Wrongful Death Accident Case?

For a wrongful death claim to be successful, there are certain elements that you must prove before you can be awarded any monetary damages. This means that the plaintiff must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the at-fault party was negligent and that the negligent behavior caused the death in question.

Often, the elements that the plaintiff must prove in a wrongful death accident case include:

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Accident Case in Chicago? 

The time limit you have to file a civil lawsuit is known as the “statute of limitations.” If you're filing a wrongful death lawsuit, for instance, the statute of limitations is two years from the day your loved one died.

However, there are deviations from this rule. For instance:

If, for instance, you're suing a government agency for the wrongful death of a family member, file the wrongful death claim within one year. Thus, it's essential to have a personal injury attorney review your case to establish if special time limits apply.

What Financial Damages are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The damages that you can recover after the death of a family member depend on whether the wrongful death claim is brought under the Wrongful Death Act or Illinois Survival Act.

In a survival claim, the estate may recover damages for the harm the deceased person suffered between the time of injury and the time of death, which include:

Review your wrongful death claim today with CCAL

The individual survivors or the estate of the deceased may bring a separate lawsuit to recover funeral expenses. In a lawsuit, the surviving family members may recover fair compensation for their own pecuniary losses, including the loss of consortium, loss of services, loss of protection, and financial burdens caused by the death.

The amount depends on evidence of what the deceased typically contributed in the past and what they would have contributed in the future. Damages for grief and sorrow are also recoverable damages. 

The amount also depends on the degree of a surviving member’s dependency. Here, your relationship with the deceased plays a crucial role. For example, a spouse may seek to recover monetary damages for a loss of companionship, while a child may seek to recover financial compensation for the loss of instruction.

Contact Our Seasoned Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident caused by another person's negligent actions, the wrongful death attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you recover the financial losses you're entitled to. Our wrongful death lawyers will focus on legal matters so that you can focus on more pressing issues while you grieve and work through your loss. We work on a contingency basis, which means you only need to pay for our legal services once we win your case.

We have helped thousands of wrongful death victims in Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, DuPage County, Will County and throughout Illinois recover maximum compensation and we can help you, too. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact our Chicago personal injury firm today at (312) 300-2515

When you are in an accident with a commercial truck driver, you might assume that all of the liability is on the driver. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, however, you may actually be able to hold the trucking company accountable for your damages. It makes sense given that companies are usually responsible for their employee's actions while on the job. These situations can get complicated, and determining who is liable for a truck accident may not be as simple as it first appears.

Truck accidents are complicated by the fact that it is difficult to determine whether the driver of the truck or the trucking company itself is responsible for any injuries or damages caused by the accident. Liability for any damages that occur may fall on the driver or on the company depending on the details surrounding the particular accident.

Illinois truck accident attorney Chris Ktenas

If you have been in an accident involving a commercial truck you should contact an experienced accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the complications that will come up in determining liability and getting the payment you deserve for your damages. Call us today at (312) 300-2515 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free case consultation.

What Determines Liability? 

Determining liability in an accident with a commercial vehicle is a complex issue, but it is also a critical step for your case. The situation is rarely as straightforward as filing a claim with the driver's insurance company when you are seeking compensation for damages, medical bills, and lost wages. With multiple parties involved, things can get messy, and liability will be determined based on a number of factors. These may include:

There are an incredible number of possibilities that come into play when determining liability in a commercial trucking accident. If you are unfamiliar with previous cases and the law that governs these situations, it can be nearly impossible to handle your case in a way that sees you receiving fair compensation. Hiring a dedicated and experienced Chicago truck accident attorney will help you navigate this complicated situation with less stress, and let you focus on your recovery.

When Are Truck Drivers Liable for Damages from a Truck Accident?

If a truck accident occurs while a driver is acting within the scope of their employment, they typically are not liable for the damages caused. Liability will typically fall on the trucking company even when a truck driver is at fault. That said, there are situations in which a truck driver might be financially liable for the damages that result from a truck accident. These can include:

Independent Contractors

Trucking companies would historically use this employment classification as a loophole to shield themselves from liability in accidents. By leasing trucks and listing drivers as independent contractors, they could often dodge any blame in an accident case and put it squarely on the driver. 

Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for an Accident?

Current federal law requires trucking companies to have exclusive control and use of the equipment throughout the life of the lease, and puts responsibility for the operation of the equipment back onto trucking companies.

While these regulations largely make the independent contractor defense invalid in commercial truck accidents, it is still common for defense attorneys to try to apply it in court.

Was the Driver Acting Within the Scope of Their Employment Contract?

A trucking company may avoid liability for an accident if the driver was acting outside their role as an employee. There are a number of outside factors and laws that can rule over this, but some common factors in determining if this is the case include:

A truck driver found to be acting outside the scope of their job may be held liable for the damages of an accident they are involved in, either fully or in part. This determination will be left to the court to decide after examining the driver's duties at work, the time and location of the accident, and other details that may come into play.

An experienced accident attorney can anticipate this as a potential issue in your case and develop a plan to manage it.

The Driver Acted Negligently

If the driver is found to have made decisions that were deliberate and negligent, and directly lead to or contributed to the accident, they may hold liability for damages. These types of behaviors include:

When Are Trucking Companies Liable for Damages from a Truck Accident?

State and federal laws require trucking companies to comply with a number of factors concerning truck maintenance and operation, hiring, and training. When one of their drivers is involved in an accident, they can be held liable if they don't comply with those rules. Factors that make trucking companies liable for accidents can include:

Poor Truck Maintenance

The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which requires trucking companies to maintain their trucks in roadworthy condition. Regular inspections of trucks are required of. Trucking companies, as well as making immediate repairs and performing preventative maintenance.

Poor maintenance practices by trucking companies can put their drivers and people on the road at risk for accidents and injuries. This is particularly true when there is a mechanical breakdown. Truck features can lead to dangerous and deadly truck accidents if they aren't properly maintained, including:

If it can be proven that a mechanical failure due to improper maintenance caused or contributed to the truck accident, the trucking company may be held liable for damages. 

Hours of Service Violations

Commercial truck drivers have a cap on the number of hours they can drive each day and each week set in place by the FMCSA, known as Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The HOS regulations also establish mandatory breaks for drivers before they are permitted to resume driving. They require truck companies to enforce these rules, or be subject to fines and other penalties. The FMCSA has also made it a requirement for trucking companies to install electronic logbooks in their trucks to comply with HOS regulations.

Is the Driver or Company Liable for a truck Accident?

There are some truck companies, however, that have found workarounds for the logbooks and will push drivers to work beyond their HOS hours. These overworked and fatigued drivers are more likely to become involved in accidents. Companies that encourage or force HOS violations can be held liable for damages in an accident caused by a tired driver. 

Poor Hiring Standards

A trucking company has a legal responsibility to hire safe drivers who are qualified to drive and operate specific vehicles. Companies may find themselves liable for accidents caused by drivers that were hired due to poor standards. These negligent hiring practices can include: 

Issues with Cargo

Many trucking companies have employees that load cargo onto their trucks. The FMCSA has rules and requirements in place to ensure safe transit of goods and materials on a truck or trailer. Loaders are required to secure cargo so it doesn't shift during transport, and each truck and trailer has specific weight and balance requirements. In the event of an accident caused by a truck's cargo spilling onto the road, the trucking company may be held liable if they failed to properly train their employees to secure cargo. Alternatively, if the employee who loaded the cargo made a negligent mistake that lead to the accident, they may be held liable. 

Learn More: Do You Have to go to Court for a Truck Accident Claim?

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Many of the most dangerous accidents on the road involve a commercial truck. These can carry higher medical costs to those involved as well. A loaded semi-truck is more likely to cause a violent impact that causes serious property damage and a higher possibility of death or grievous injury. In the aftermath of a truck accident, you shouldn't have to suffer financially. The talented personal injury lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers have experience advocating for truck accident victims and will handle your case with the dedication needed to get the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at (312) 300-2515, or contact us online, to set up an appointment with a car accident attorney for a free case consultation!

After you report your accident, and even before you file an accident claim, an insurance adjuster will call you. The insurance claims adjuster is paid to investigate your personal injury claim and gather evidence. And to determine if the insurance company will have to compensate you for your personal injuries and other financial losses suffered after the accident.

The insurance representative will most probably ask you for two things: (1) to give a written statement about the crash and (2) to sign a blank Medical Release form so that the insurance adjuster can review your medical reports and medical treatment records as part of an investigation into your personal injury claim. Your answer should be: No.

In this article, we'll explain why you should not release medical records to an insurance adjuster and what your rights are as an injury victim who has received a Medical Records Authorization form.

Illinois personal injury lawyer Chris Ktenas

Many of these regulations rules apply to personal injury claims based on another person's or entity's negligence and tort law. So if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident on your own time, sustained physical injuries in an auto accident while working, or were hurt by a defective product, this article can help you safeguard legal your rights and maximize the financial compensation you recover.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, our experienced personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of injury victims recover the compensation they deserve and we can help you as well. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our Chicago personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515.

How to File Initial Insurance Claim and “Proof of Loss”

To receive long-term disability benefits, you must file an application. Most auto insurance providers have specific forms that you must file to start the claim process. It's crucial that you fill this insurance claim form out truthfully. Leaving some sections blank or providing incorrect information could give the insurance company the loophole it needs to deny your personal injury claim and say you committed “fraud”.

Your application should be supported by proof of your accident injuries and disability, which is also called “proof of loss”. This could include a statement from you about your injuries and disability and what can no longer do, or calendars and schedules showing days you have had to take time off work and why.

However, your application should also include evidence of your condition, such as test results and medical records. This evidence makes it difficult for the insurance provider to claim “it’s a pre-existing condition or it's all in your head.”

Related: How Long do You Have to File an Injury Claim in Illinois?

Should You Sign a Medical Release for the Insurance Adjuster?

Your insurance provider will almost always request access to all of your medical care records. The insurance company has a right to review all medical records related to your accident claim. That includes doctor’s office records, test results, notes from mental health professionals, and your prescription and medication history.

However, if the medical records they're requesting are entirely unrelated, you can refuse to sign the medical release form. For instance, medical records related to your child's birth might be irrelevant to a later Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. You and your accident lawyer can limit the medical records you provide to exclude unrelated medical treatments or medical records from the distant past.

Release Medical Records to an Insurance Adjuster

Also, your insurer might ask you to agree to an “independent medical examination” by a medical professional of their choice. Your insurance policy might require you to attend an independent medical examination to receive your benefits. However, your personal injury lawyer and your doctors can work together to help you make the right decision in this situation.

Instead of asking you to provide your medical records directly, an insurance company representative may ask you to sign an authorization form to release your medical records. Review this form carefully. While it's given to you in the context of gaining access to your medical records, this authorization typically covers far more. The broadest forms give the insurance adjuster the right to get a wide range of financial, medical, and work-related documentation, and the right to talk to any person who knows you and your medical condition.

Signing that authorization form typically gives the insurance provider the right to snoop into every aspect of your life. The insurance policy might also require you to sign a release form to allow insurance adjusters to speak to your doctors. However, your long-term disability insurance attorney can help you limit the exposure of your personal information.

Why Would the Insurer Want Access to My Medical Records and Medical History?

Insurance providers don't make profits by paying large insurance settlement claims. Thus, insurance companies try to lower the compensation they must pay to injury victims to settle their personal injury claims. If they can't find a valid reason for denying your insurance claim, such as you were partially liable for the crash or liability for the accident claim is unclear, the insurance adjuster might try to find a reason to reduce the value of your accident claim.

Blaming pre-existing injuries or previous accidents is a common way insurers try to reduce the value of insurance claims. The insurance company will review your medical history searching for illnesses, injuries, or health conditions that might be related to the current bodily injury. The insurance company will then blame the current injury entirely or partially on the past medical condition to lower the value of your claim.

However, if you hire an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, this tactic rarely works. There are case laws that support accident victims receiving full financial compensation for current injuries, even if a preexisting condition or injury may have worsened the injury you sustained in a car accident. 

However, personal injury victims who don't seek legal representation before accepting a settlement offer might not know that they may recover full financial compensation.

Related: What to Expect From Personal Injury Mediation

Call Our Seasoned Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Today for Legal Advice!

Before you sign any authorization or release forms for an insurance adjuster or agree to a settlement, talk with one of our experienced Chicago, IL, personal injury attorneys. Learn about your legal options and legal rights for recovering maximum compensation after an accident from a person who only has your best interests at heart. Contact our Chicago accident attorneys today at (312) 300-2515 for a free initial consultation.

Car accidents may well be among the most unpredictable things in this world. One minute you’re driving along the highway and the next minute someone is pulling you out of your car and you have a bad concussion and blurring vision. You wake up in a hospital bed, with totally no clue how you made it there. You have a broken arm, blunt wound to your abdomen, with two broken ribs and you can hardly feel your legs. The police come in moments later after you wake up to take a statement and you hardly remember what happened.

These are among the many stories people have after experiencing an accident. After that, it’s all about the medical cost and bills. Most people do not have the cash to pay for the hospital charges which skyrocket each passing day. Medical bills can be from scheduled doctor’s appointments, physiotherapy, and medical treatment. Insurance companies are supposed to pay for compensation for injuries incurred during the accident as well car damages. However, most insurance companies would rather avoid paying for any insurance claim even if they are at fault party.

Should I hire a lawyer for a car accident? The answer is yes, you should. Going to court and representing yourself is totally allowed. Who knows you may even get a good settlement, but going into a courthouse without a car accident lawyer is risky. If you need a better personal injury claim settlement that can help you carter for medical fees, unemployment and sustain you during recovery, a car accident lawyer is your best bet.

Chicago car accident attorney Chris Ktenas

The defendant’s lawyers are equipped and they have access to every professional by their side. They have doctors and forensic officers that enable them to make a case that aimed at reducing the amount of money they should pay you. However, with an experienced Chicago car accident attorney, you have a greater chance of getting higher compensation.

Experienced lawyers understand the laws and court procedures revolving around car accident cases. They have dedicated their lives to helping you in court as well as in out-of-court settlements. They carry out investigations beforehand, make the calls relevant and work towards you getting you a better settlement. They are keen on details and hence they are not easily surprised by tactics used by the defendant’s side.

What to do After a Car Accident

Accidents can cause a lot of confusion. After an accident, you are likely to not understand what has happened or where you are after regaining consciousness. However, in the situation where you are feeling well and you are able to quickly respond to the situation here are a few things you need to do.

The first step is to check for injuries. Check yourself first for any injuries you could have suffered as a result of the accident. Do you have any cuts or abrasions to your skin? Do you feel pain anywhere? Are you dizzy or feeling sick? Your health is the most important thing in such an occurrence. If you feel any of the above symptoms it is best to go to the hospital as quickly as possible.

The second step, check the safety of every passage with you in the car as well as the safety of the at-fault driver. By checking on them, you will get rid of any doubt that anyone has been hurt, and then you can proceed to check for the extent of damage to your car. Once you’re done check if there is any oil spillage on both your cars. Do not move the cars, they are evidence by themselves.

The third step, call the police. The police are the first point of contact. They are able to come and arrive at the scene of the accident faster and are equipped with other faculties such as the fire brigade and the ambulance. They also take the liberty of calling your family and informing them about the accident. The other step taken by the police is that they are able to come and take a record of the accident, document it for use by the court when it comes to insurance, and also show whose fault it was, hence it gives you an upper hand since it saves some paperwork.

What to do After a Car Accident

The fourth step, call a personal injury lawyer. This is a crucial step. The lawyer can visit the site of the accident, take pictures, gather evidence, take phone numbers from witnesses who are willing to testify to the case, talk to an eye witness and get as much help as possible for your case. The lawyer on your behalf can talk to the insurance company about the accident, and notify them on your behalf. Since the lawyer knows what to say without taking the blame, it will help in building your case.

Gather as much evidence as you can even before you get in touch with your lawyer. Start by gathering information from the crowd. Collect all data from pictures to videos of the car accident and even phone numbers. This is important as it will help in strengthening your case. Note that the insurance company is liable for damage suffered after an accident.

Finally, go to the hospital for a check-up. Some people choose not to go for check-ups because they are either tired or don’t see the need to spend money for a check-up while they feel absolutely fine. After an accident, you should ensure that you visit a hospital so you go through a thorough check-up for any small yet fatal injuries. Your health should be your number one priority and hence going for a check-up not only proves useful in noting a problem but also helps in saving money when the condition has proven fatal, later after the accident. Many people may ignore minor injuries and they later develop into something more serious.

Aim For the Highest Compensation Possible

The sole purpose of insurance companies is to make a profit. They are purely profit-making businesses. They sell their ideas to you as their target market, using good market techniques they lure you on how you will receive compensation if you ever got into an accident, but immediately you get into one, they turn their backs on you. They aim to give you a low insurance compensation, by either showing you that you are not capable of getting highly compensated or by showing you that you were also at fault at the time of the accident.

They have a group of professionals all ready to implement their tactics and inform you that it is impossible to get good compensation. Some insurance companies try to drag the process so the injured party will be desperate enough to accept a low compensation.

What you need to know is that it is your right to get fair compensation. As a result of an injury, you have had to incur hospital bills, pay for trips to physiotherapy as well as pay for the sessions, you have been out of work due to a broken leg. Getting low-balled by insurance companies will only help you pay for immediate bills but it will not help you to take care of medical expenses in the long run. Hiring a good car accident lawyer can help you get enough coverage for food and finances for the spending you and your family have had to incur when you didn’t have a job.

An experienced car accident lawyer will be in charge of taking care of your needs. He will take every cost into consideration. They’ll consider the time that you are likely to take for you to recover, how long you may be out of work, cash that is used for transport to and from the hospital for medical care if there is any person employed to take care of your needs. The car accident lawyer will use all of the above information to help you get maximum compensation.

Hire a Lawyer For a Car Accident?

It is also important to know that a person represented by a car accident lawyer has a higher chance of receiving higher compensation than a person without legal representation. It has been proven that car accident lawyers who have experience representing their clients in court bring out the best of the case to the judge helping are able to get a favorable outcome.

Going into the Chicago court system without a lawyer may prove to be more expensive than you thought. It’s also important to note that some expenses come much later after the case has proceeded. This includes post-traumatic stress disorder may take some time to set in, minor injury costs that turn out to be major injuries, requiring admission, surgery, therapy, and a high cost of prescription drugs. All this may be very stressful for you, hence to curb all this, ensure that hiring a car accident lawyer is a priority to you.

Do Not Ignore Minor Injuries

Most people ignore a minor car accident. Many times they occur when a person is in a hurry and he or she wants to get home after a long day of work or is late for an interview. At such a time a person rarely thinks of the most important yet minute things, hence after being involved in an accident, you may postpone either making a complaint or end up not making a complaint at all. It is risky if you develop issues later on and want to file a car accident claim since it will be more difficult to prove that you developed injuries as a result of the accident.

Did you know that you are required to report every accident to the police, whether small or big? By not filing a report you are breaking the law and you are liable for a fine if not more than that.

The other most important thing is that when you report a case to the police it gives you a ground to claim compensation. Without informing the insurance company, you are not eligible for any insurance coverage.

Minor injuries may look minor but they can lead to very serious and threatening conditions. These conditions can include; internal bleeding, cracked bones, and even blunt object injuries that could cause conditions like fractured ribs. You also need to take care of medical bills that will be incurred as a result of physiotherapy and counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder. You are as well likely to incur charges for imaging and lab tests that would be often carried out as well as major and minor surgeries expenses.

At times an insurance company will ensure will make you an offer for compensation early on. While offering you compensation at the same time they will ensure that you receive a small amount of money to avoid charges that may present themselves later. Insurance companies have a lot of tricks up their sleeves but with the help of a lawyer, you can face them and have a positive outcome in your claim.

The Chicago injury attorney will calculate all charges that have been paid, that are still being paid and those may arise even later as a result of the accident. It is crucial as an accident victim to go to the hospital after any accident occurs so a thorough check on your body is carried out, and ensure that you are in great health. Even minor scratches and bruises are physical injuries that should be checked and treated.

The Insurance Company is Your Competitor

The first person that will be blamed for an accident will be the driver at fault. In reality, the driver caused the accident and you will be driving your frustration to the driver at fault, but this may be the wrong route. The focus should not be entirely on the driver, but rather the insurance company. The driver at fault has insured their car and you will be up against the insurance company in court.

The insurance company has great resources on their side to ensure that they make the best of this process. Their aim is to reduce your claim, by discrediting everything possible.

The Insurance Company is Your Competitor

Having a lawyer on your side may balance the equation and ensure you get an even better chance of a higher settlement. Your lawyer will go head-on with the insurance company and negotiate on your behalf through mediation if possible. Negotiation can be requested by the court or parties may be willing to settle the issue out of court. Even after it has become impossible to get a good settlement during mediation, the lawyer can represent you in court and help defend your claim.

Mistakes People Make after Getting into an Accident

Here are some of the common mistakes people make.

Driving Away After an Accident

Driving away is not the best course of action after a minor car accident. When you drive away in such situations you make yourself liable and will face charges for a hit and run accident. You may be the driver not at fault but by driving away you may be charged with a court fine or even worse. By driving away you limit your chance of getting a proper case, the insurance company will use this against you and say that you caused the accident. Since there is no proof to say otherwise, ensure that you protect your interests, by remaining report the case to the police and informing your lawyer so they can help you further pursue the case.

Not Calling a Lawyer

When you decide to go through the case alone, you may put yourself in a very difficult situation. The defendant can corner you and make you think that you have no option. An experienced car accident lawyer will help you get a good settlement since they understand how such cases work and they have both the knowledge and expertise. Ensure that your lawyer takes the step to call the insurance company on your behalf. This way you remove the direct contact between the insurance company and you.

Never Accept the First Deal

Most individuals would choose a deal if it fits into what they wanted. Let’s say they wanted a certain amount and the insurance company offered that it only feels right to accept the offer and end the process. But no, for the insurance company to give a certain amount as the first deal, it means that they know you are way above that. Be mindful of body language and avoid showing interest in the first deal. Instead, remain neutral.

Not Going for a Hospital Check Up

You should consider your health. You can get into an accident but due to the adrenaline levels, you realize later that you have a persistent chest pain that has worsened after some time.

At our firm we handle cases just like yours. Give our Cook County car accident attorneys a call and schedule an initial consultation. We would love to listen to your case and answer all your car accident claims questions.

It can take a few moments to collect yourself when you are involved in a car accident. You may have trouble making the right decisions in the heat of the moment. Knowing the correct steps to take can make all the difference in the resolution of your case. To make sure that you protect your legal rights after a car accident, it is best to follow the tips below, as a trusted car accident attorney like one from Ktenas Injury Lawyers can further explain to you:

Illinois car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

Remove Your Vehicle From the Road and Make Sure Your Passengers are Alright

After a car accident, you are still at risk.  There is no guarantee that other drivers will come to a stop or slow down as they approach a crash site. Stay inside your vehicle until it is safe to get out to view the damage, as stepping out of the car without taking care may put you squarely in harm's way.  If it is possible to safely do so, move your vehicle over to the side of the road. 

If you are unable to move your car, you may want to remain in the vehicle until emergency services can arrive.  Be aware that staying in the car in or near traffic can be dangerous as well, so be certain you contact emergency services as quickly as you are able.  If there are any passengers in the vehicle with you make sure they are okay.  When speaking with emergency services let them know if there were any injuries sustained in the accident, as doing so can help ensure paramedics arrive quickly to begin providing treatment.

Related: Illinois Car Accident Statistics

Call the Police

If you or another person are injured in a serious car accident call the police as quickly as possible.  Never accept money from the other driver and never let them convince you to not call the police.  In the event of an injury or property damage, you are required to attempt to contact the local police department to inform them that a car accident occurred. 

If the police department is facing a high call volume or a higher priority call they may not be able to reach you, but it is your responsibility to make a genuine attempt to contact them.  An officer responding to an accident will create an accident report listing what took place and may provide evidence of who was at fault. 

An image of a man calling the police after an auto accident

Take down the name and badge number of the officers on the scene (not only the one who took your statement).  Make sure you get a copy of the police report, it will be the first evidence of the crash and is important for filing a personal injury claim for damages and when dealing with insurance adjusters.  Police reports on accidents often contain information such as: 

Do NOT Admit Fault

When you talk to the police officer taking your statement you should be honest, but do NOT admit fault in the accident.  Even if you think you caused the accident, you may be mistaken in how events took place.  Accident victims frequently are disoriented and in shock following the crash, so it is not uncommon for them to get important details wrong.  In the case of traffic accidents, fault is determined by a court.  Admitting fault at the crash site can remove any chance you have of collecting a fair settlement later on.

When dealing with the other driver, the same holds true.  Watch what you say and how you say it, as apologizing, expressing guilt, or accepting blame for the traffic accident can all be used against you in court and cause your claim to be denied.  It is in your best interest to avoid speaking to the other driver as much as possible, as explained further below.

Related: What Happens in Court For Car Accident Claims?

Document Evidence at the Scene

If you are not seriously injured in an automobile accident, taking the time to document as much as you can about the accident scene should be a top priority.  This includes photos of property damage and injuries, witness information, and the police report.  Good evidence can make all the difference in the outcome of your future claim, and the more you have the better off you will be.  

Make sure you talk to any witnesses you notice at the scene.  Try to get as much information from them as you can regarding what they saw happen and take careful notes.  Be willing to ask questions to gather more details.  You may be in shock or confused after the accident, so gathering more information from witnesses will help you moving forward. 

It can be critically important that you collect their contact information to provide to your insurance company and legal representative. Go ahead and ask the witness for their permission to be contacted by your insurance agent and experienced car accident attorney. Your case will be stronger the more witness testimony you can gather as compelling evidence, so be thorough.  This is also a good chance to make sure that statements from different witnesses are consistent so that they won't jeopardize your accident claim later on. 

You should also take pictures of the scene and the surrounding area:

Detailed and thorough photography of the scene can be used by an accident reconstructionist to recreate the accident and help show any negligent behavior by a driver and identify liable parties.  Be sure to photograph any injuries sustained by you or your passengers, as these can be used in your insurance claim. 

Try to include both pictures in which you can identify the injury victim as well as closer, more detailed shots.  Make sure you can easily reference the date the pictures were taken.  With all these in hand, you will have fantastic evidence to support your case and help in identifying the liable driver.

If you do not have a phone capable of capturing photos at the scene, ask if one of the witnesses will take pictures for you.  Having access to the information these can provide after the fact can be of critical importance when dealing with insurance adjusters.  

Do Not Trust the At-Fault Driver

The other driver involved in the accident will not be looking out for your best interests.  They may try to persuade you to deal with the accident between the two of you and to not call the police.  These should be immediate red flags as they are often a sign of guilt.  A driver pushing for no police involvement may be uninsured, may be driving with a suspended license, or may have something on their record they don't want the police to notice, none of which are good for you when trying to deal with them in clearing up the accident. 

Rights After a Car Accident

Try to only speak to them when necessary, such as checking if they are in physical pain after the accident, and exchanging vehicle and insurance information.  When you do speak with the other driver be careful of what you say.  Offer only the essential information, as you may accidentally say something that will harm your case. It's best to keep your communication minimal after an accident and let an injury lawyer in Chicago handle it to avoid any potential complications.

Make Sure You Get Medical Treatment

If you need immediate medical help after an accident be sure to say so when reporting the incident to authorities.  Doing so will help you get quick care from paramedics who can get you to a hospital if necessary.  The details and paperwork from ambulance treatment or hospital treatment, including doctor notes, are vitally important to getting you due compensation in an insurance claim.

If you feel you do not need emergency care and were in a minor accident, you still should see a doctor for medical treatment as quickly as possible.  Car accident injuries can take time to manifest, and early treatment can help reduce physical pain or keep things from getting worse down the road.

It is fairly common to feel fine following motor vehicle collisions, accept an initial settlement, and then develop symptoms from a latent injury with an expensive treatment that you will now be responsible for paying for. Catching a physical injury early can also help your initial claim, as insurance companies may argue that your symptoms were not caused by the accident or even that you are making them up.

Getting a copy of medical records, bills, and doctor's notes can be critical evidence in getting a fair settlement through an injury claim.  Obtaining these will be helpful in dealing with an insurance company.

Related: Who is Responsible for Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Take legal action.  It's a good idea to speak with an auto accident lawyer about your case if you have to file a claim for financial damages.  Having an experienced car accident lawyer is extremely beneficial to your car accident claims in a number of ways.  It is possible for your lawyer to protect your accident rights and hold the negligent driver accountable in the difficult times when you need them the most. If you have physical injuries having a Chicago car accident attorney help will allow you to focus on your recovery while they handle all the rest. 

A personal injury attorney protects you from insurance companies trying to reduce or deny your claims for damages in pursuit of compensation. Insurers are required to communicate and negotiate with your lawyer concerning your case. Your lawyer will also conduct their own investigation into the case in order to make sure that you get a full and fair settlement award for your injuries. While an attorney navigates your claims through the legal process and deals with the insurance provider, you will be able to focus on what's most important - your recovery.

If you have been involved in a car accident and are seeking compensation, contact the legal professionals at Ktenas Injury Lawyers to begin the process.  You have the right to appoint legal representation to communicate with insurance professionals, calculate your damages, document evidence of fault, negotiate a settlement agreement, and help you in asserting and protecting your rights during every step of the process. Call our firm today at (312) 300-2515 to get started with a free consultation.

Sustaining a work-related injury is devastating to an injured worker. Not only do workplace injury victims have to deal with incoming medical bills, but they can't work and earn an income to support themselves or their loved ones. There are many traumatic injuries and illnesses covered by workers' comp law in Illinois.

workers' compensation attorney Chris Ktenas

Often, people think of specific accident injuries when they hear about workplace injuries. This includes lacerations, broken or dislocated bones, slip and fall, concussions, and herniated disc injuries. However, there are many types of injuries and illnesses that can occur at work. The Chicago workers' comp lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers are committed to helping injured workers secure the workers' comp benefits they deserve to cover their medical care expenses. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation with one of our experienced workers' compensation attorneys, contact our legal team today at (312) 300-2515.

What Is Workers' Compensation in Illinois?

Worker's compensation is a type of insurance coverage that offers a safety net for employees who sustain a work-related injury or illness. Under the Illinois workers comp law, injured workers who are hurt performing job-related duties can receive several types of financial assistance to cover their medical treatment expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. Unlike a personal injury claim, injured workers can qualify for workers' comp benefits, even if they're at fault for a work-related accident. However, they can't recover financial compensation for damages often awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.

covered by workers' comp

What Does Workers' Compensation Cover in Illinois?

According to Illinois workers' compensation law, all businesses with employees must have workers’ comp insurance, with limited exceptions. The workers' compensation policy offers medical benefits for workers who suffer injuries on the job.

When an employee sustains an occupational injury or work-related illness, they're eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation insurance coverage covers the cost of medical treatment. It also provides payment when the injured employee can't work.

Workers' compensation coverage in Illinois includes:

What Kinds of Injuries Are Not Covered By Workers’ Comp?

There are many types of injuries that aren't covered under job injury claims in Illinois. This often includes:

Related Content: Chicago Construction Accident Injuries

If you believe you have suffered a job injury, call us and consult with one of our experienced workers' comp lawyers. The consultation to determine whether your workers' comp claim is compensable is free of charge! Please call (312) 300-2515 to speak with one of our Chicago workers' compensation attorneys.

What Should I Do if I'm Injured at Work?

If you sustain a work-related injury in the course of your employment, report the injury, job accident, or condition immediately to your employer. This is crucial, even if your injury seems minor. That's because injuries that appear minor initially can become severe in the coming days or weeks.

For example, a bodily injury that may seem minor, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a strained muscle, could be a symptom of permanent nerve damage. Or a minor low back injury from heavy lifting might be a herniated disc that needs surgery.

FAQ: How long do I have to file an injury claim in Illinois?

Further, you should always have a job-related injury or an occupational disease evaluated by a medical professional. This is the only way to know the extent of your injury and what needs to be done to recover. This is imperative for repetitive motion injuries or stress-related injuries. Here, using ergonomic equipment may not only cure the injury but help you prevent other severe injuries. 

Finally, waiting too long to report a work-related injury may foreclose your right to recover any workers’ compensation benefits.

How to Prove a Job-Related Injury

Evidence is a crucial component of your claim for benefits. There are several pieces of evidence you can collect immediately after your job accident. Here are some of the evidence you can use to prove that your injury is work-related:

workers' comp lawyers

With this form of evidence, you're on your way to proving that your injuries occurred on the job. However, your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may undermine your account of what happened to avoid paying you the workers comp settlement you need. So it's important to seek legal representation to protect your rights throughout the legal process.

When Should I Hire a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

You should consult with a Chicago work-related injury attorney as soon as possible

The goal of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is to avoid the challenges of seeking a financial remedy through a lawsuit. However, it doesn't mean that filing a workers' comp claim and recovering benefits is easy. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Workers’ comp laws and insurance contracts are confusing. And recovering fair comp benefits requires more than just filling out legal paperwork. It often requires the help of an experienced lawyer to fight for your rights.

While the intent of workers’ comp insurance coverage is to provide you with maximum protection, insurance companies are experts at reducing their exposure. Even when insurance companies seem to be cooperative, issues may arise, causing delays, limitations, or outright denials of workers' comp claims. This is devastating, especially when medical expenses are piling up or you can't return to your original job to earn an income.

When any of these issues arise, you need the legal advice and advocacy of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Chicago to ensure that your interests and rights are protected. This is true when the work comp insurance carriers are represented by seasoned lawyers and adjusters.

Contact the Workers’ Comp Attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!

If you have sustained injuries on the job, contact our experienced legal team right away. Those procedures and legal processes we mentioned? If you don't follow them, you could lose the right to file a workers' compensation claim to recover the comp settlement you're entitled to. Our experienced workers comp lawyers and experts will guide you every step of the way, making sure that you do everything needed to protect your claim for workers' compensation.

If you have already filed for workers comp benefits and are struggling with the legal process, if your insurance claim has been denied, or if you were receiving workers comp benefits but your employer’s insurance company cut you off, it's not too late to seek help. To schedule a free no-cost initial consultation, contact Ktenas Injury Lawyers today at (312) 300-2515.