Being injured is frustrating enough, but what about when someone else is to blame? If another person caused the incident that led to your injury, it’s important to understand that you have legal options and the right to pursue compensation.
If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, get in touch with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. We have years of experience helping people in situations similar to yours and promise that our legal experts will do everything possible to help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call (800) 985-1819 today.
Steps to take after being hurt
If you can remember these simple steps, you can protect your health, your case, and your rights.
1. Find a safe place away from the source of injury
Your safety is always the priority. If you were in a car or truck accident and you can move your vehicle to a safe location off the road, do so as quickly as possible. Get the vehicle to the shoulder of the road and away from any oncoming traffic.
If you were in another kind of incident such as a construction accident, get yourself as far from any potential danger (electricity panel, machine, etc.) and wait for help.
2. Perform a self-evaluation
Check to see how badly you’re hurt. Can you move your limbs? Are you bleeding? Can you breathe normally?
It’s important to be honest with yourself. Don’t try to “tough it out” because you don’t want to admit that you’re hurt. Denying the existence of your injury or its severity can be extremely dangerous and might prevent you from getting the medical attention you need.
The symptoms of some serious injuries can be masked by adrenaline and shock, so you should proceed with an abundance of caution and get evaluated by emergency personnel and a doctor.
3. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and the police
If possible, check the condition of anyone else who may have been hurt. Even if it doesn’t seem that there are any major injuries to you or anyone else, call 911 immediately.
The 911 dispatcher will send emergency medical personnel such as paramedics and firefighters and law enforcement. Just as with your self-evaluation, don’t deny or downplay any injuries, and don’t reject medical care or treatment at the scene of the accident.
After you’ve been evaluated, inform the police officer what happened. The police report that comes from their investigation is going to be vital to your case as it’s their educated opinion of what happened in the accident and who was at fault.
It’s important that you’re truthful and that you don’t embellish your statement. If you aren’t sure of something, tell the officer that you aren’t sure or that you don’t remember. If you need to, you can supplement your statement at a later time.
4. Take notes and photos of the scene
Photos and videos will also be critical to your case. If you’re safely able to, use your phone to take photos and videos of the scene and the surroundings. In the case of a car crash or truck accident, pay special attention to the road. In the case of a construction injury, take photos of the immediate work area. Wherever the incident occurred, pay special attention to any traffic lights, caution signs, or lack thereof.
For instance, if you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, take photos and videos of the hazard that caused you to fall and the immediate surrounding area to show the lack of signage.
5. Collect witness contact information
There’s a pretty good chance that a few people saw the accident as it occurred, and their testimony could be important to your case. Get their names, email addresses, and phone numbers, but don’t worry about interviewing them – that’s a job for your attorney.
6. Keep a written or digital record of your experience in the minutes, hours, and days after the accident
The more detailed your notes, the better the chances you’ll be able to get the money you have coming. Try to remember as many details as possible — either write them down or make a voice memo on your phone.
Take time-stamped photos of your injuries so you can send them to your lawyer. These pictures will record the severity of your injuries and may defeat the insurance company’s efforts to argue that you’re not as badly hurt as you’re trying to get everyone to believe.
7. Visit your primary care physician or specialist
Let the medical personnel who arrive at the scene transport you to the emergency room so you can undergo a thorough examination. Visit the doctor even if you think you’re fine. Many injuries won’t show symptoms for hours or even days, but the damage they cause without immediate intervention might be irreparable.
8. Speak with an attorney
Once you’ve received the medical help you need, including any immediate follow-up care, contact a personal injury attorney in Aurora as soon as you can. Time is of the essence because your attorney needs to launch their own investigation as soon after the accident as possible. If you don’t hire a lawyer right away, relevant evidence could disappear forever, and that could seriously damage your case.
Personal injury lawsuit process
A personal injury case starts with an attorney consultation. After you hire a lawyer, they’ll immediately investigate the incident by obtaining copies of your medical records, police reports, interviewing witnesses, and possibly even visiting the scene. They’ll then contact the at-fault party’s insurance company and demand compensation on your behalf.
Most of these settle outside of court by negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement, but if the at-fault party’s insurer fails to make an equitable offer, your Illinois personal injury attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will be ready to take them to court to help you get the money you deserve.
Personal injury cases we handle in Aurora
With years of experience under our belt, our firm specializes in aiding clients with many types of personal injury cases. Some of these practice areas are:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workers’ compensation
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
Don’t miss the deadline to file your claim
You may not want to do anything except stay at home and recover from your injury, so calling an attorney keeps getting put on tomorrow’s to-do list. While both of these things are understandable, time isn’t on your side because you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action called the statute of limitations.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t file your claim within that deadline, you’ll be responsible for all of your accident-related expenses and won’t be eligible to file a claim.
Possible damages you can claim
The compensation you receive in a personal injury claim is referred to as “damages.” The purpose of these damages is to “make you whole” or to put you in as close of a position as possible to the one you’d be in had you not been injured in an accident. Your damages award covers your injury-related expenses and financial losses in economic and non-economic damages.
These are often considered tangible because they’re easily proven with documents like medical bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and more. These cover things like:
- The medical expenses incurred immediately after the accident
- Necessary follow-up care, treatment, or rehabilitation
- Medications or supplements
- Medical care or treatment you’ll need in the future for your injuries
- Wages or benefits you lost during recovery
- Future benefits or wages, including bonuses and promotions, you’re expected to lose if your injuries prevent you from working in the same capacity or from returning to work at all
Non-economic damages require the expertise of a skilled lawyer to prove and collect because they’re subjective — there aren’t any receipts to turn to for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and many others.
The trauma you may experience is valid and legitimate, and you should be rightly compensated for it. Don’t lose out on the compensation you deserve simply because you didn’t hire legal representation.
We’ll fight the insurance company to get you full compensation
The highly skilled personal injury attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates know how to defeat the games and tactics employed by many insurance companies. After all, insurers only have one goal – to make as much profit as possible, so they’re going to fight to deny you the compensation you deserve.
They’ll try to place blame on you and trick you into saying something damaging to your case. You’ll need an attorney working on your behalf to defeat this formidable opposition.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
To find the right attorney for you, talk to anyone you know who has recently worked with a personal injury attorney in Aurora. If that’s not possible, go online to see what others are saying about the attorneys you’re considering. You can also check the Illinois State Bar Association for information on attorneys’ credentials and their standing with the State Bar.
Speak to at least three lawyers to get a feel for whether or not you’d be able to work with them, then go with whom you believe to be best equipped – and most experienced – to handle your case.
Determining who’s liable for your injuries
Several parties could be responsible for the accident. For example, if you were injured on a construction site, several parties could be responsible, including the subcontractor, general contractor, and potentially the property owner.
A skilled attorney will identify and help hold all responsible parties accountable.
How our attorneys prove liability
Hiring an inexperienced lawyer because they were cheaper could cost you everything. Their mistakes, such as failing to prove one of the required elements of negligence, could cause you to lose the entire case. We use our extensive investigation into your case to make sure that each and every element and damage is proven with irrefutable evidence.
For example, in order to successfully prove negligence, at minimum, your attorney must prove:
- The liable party owed you a certain duty of care,
- They breached or failed that duty,
- Their breach caused the accident,
- You suffered injuries or financial losses as a result of their breach of duty.
Proving those four elements might seem simple on their face, but ensuring that you have ample evidence that can’t be disproven requires the skill of a knowledgeable and reputable Illinois personal injury attorney.
Cost of hiring an Aurora personal injury lawyer
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, you won’t pay us anything out-of-pocket for your consultation or when you first hire us. In fact, you won’t pay unless we win your case. Our payment is a percentage of your settlement or damages award, so you don’t suffer a loss by hiring the best personal injury attorney in Aurora.
Your personal injury attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are here to help
No other law firm provides more passionate and skilled representation than us. We have a long track record of helping clients obtain maximum compensation, and we’re ready to do the same for you.
If you would like a free review of your case or would like to learn more about how we may be able to help, such as options that are only available to you through an attorney, please contact us online or call (800) 985-1819 to get in touch with an Illinois personal injury attorney in Aurora.