Personal Injury Lawyers Handling Accident Claims for AAA Clients throughout the Greater Chicago, IL Area
The American Automobile Association (AAA) has over 56 million members in North America. While the group’s services transcend auto insurance (it is better known for its roadside assistance services), most clubs operate their own auto insurance agencies that allow customers to purchase insurance through certain companies, such as Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group, that were established specifically to serve AAA members.
The AAA may have served you well in the past – when you were broken down on the highway and needed a tow, for example. When it comes to an auto accident claim, however, the dynamics of an AAA claim work the same way they do with any other insurance company. AAA is a business, not a charity, and in order to profit, it must minimize its expenditures.
Since paying out a claim is obviously an expenditure, you can expect the same treatment from an AAA-affiliated auto insurance company as you can from any other insurance company. And that means your interests are fundamentally in opposition to each other – you are seeking money, and they are seeking to minimize their business expenditures, including the amount of your claim.
Since auto insurance companies are professionals at what they do, and since negotiating auto accident claims is a large part of what every auto insurance company does, you are at a built-in disadvantage unless you negotiate auto insurance claims for a living – or unless you hire someone who does. At Malman Law, personal injury law is what we do all day, every day. We have been doing it full-time for decades, and we bring home a verdict or settlement for our client 95 percent of the time.
We realize that you may need money quickly. Although we are certainly not inclined to accept a low settlement offer from an insurance company simply to achieve a settlement as soon as possible, we will be aiming for the quickest possible resolution of your claim as long as you are fully compensated.
We are not afraid, however, to duke it out in a courtroom if the other side insists on being stubborn. Our success in courtroom litigation, however, has earned us a reputation that discourages insurance companies from forcing us to sue in the first place – which is why the vast majority of our clients’ claims are settled out of court.
“Two years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first — it was the best decision I’ve made yet.” – Malman Law Client
- Personal injury: A personal injury claim can arise from any injury you suffer that was someone else’s fault. Normally, a personal injury arises from the negligence of the defendant. Nevertheless, an intentional injury such as an assault or a “road rage” incident can give rise to a personal injury claim.
- Nursing home abuse: Illinois hosts over 1,200 nursing homes. Although most nursing home professionals are competent and well-intentioned, incidents of nursing home abuse occur all too frequently. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes an investigation to trace a resident’s problem to staff abuse.
- Assisted living facilities: Injuries caused by the negligence of staff in assisted living facilities is all too common in Chicago as well as the rest of Illinois. Some of the most common injuries include broken bones and hip fractures, bedsores, and medication errors. Distressingly, incidents of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are known to occur.
- Vehicle accidents: Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles often collide with each other and with pedestrians. In most cases, the accident didn’t “just happen” – it was someone’s fault. When the injured party and the person at fault are not the same person, justice demands a remedy.
- Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation is designed to cover work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault. While damages are more limited than in other types of personal injuries, liability is often easier to prove. Moreover, some work-related injuries can be pursued as ordinary personal injury claims.
- Medical malpractice: It is frightening to remind yourself that the doctors into whose hands we place our lives can make errors. While not every medical error amounts to malpractice, in some cases a doctor’s conduct falls below the minimum professional standard, justifying compensation for the patient who has been harmed.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents are among the most common types of injury accidents, and they can be among the most serious, especially if the victim is elderly. Liability is particularly likely to arise when the owner or lessee of a commercial establishment fails to ensure the safety of customers.
- Product liability: When you are injured by a defective product, you are entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or distributor, even if the product in question did not belong to you. Malfunctioning auto parts and defective drugs trigger a significant proportion of product liability claims.
- Dog bites: Dog bites send thousands to the emergency room every year, and these injuries account for about one-third of all homeowner’s insurance claims. Fortunately for victims, Illinois holds dog owners strictly liable (liable without fault) for injuries caused by their dog.
- Wrongful death: A wrongful death claim is the type of claim you file when the victim of a personal injury dies in the accident. It is filed by the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate, and is normally a close relative. Damages go to close relatives and the victim’s estate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) Why do I need to worry what a court might do if my case is probably going to be settled out of court anyway?
An insurance company has no motivation to pay your claim unless it knows you can force it to pay by winning a lawsuit against it. Without the ability to win a lawsuit, you have no negotiating leverage. For this reason, the best approach is to prepare a h3 case and present it to AAA during negotiations. If they remain intransigent, you can always file a lawsuit later.
2) Why can’t I negotiate with the insurance company myself?
Insurance companies are skilled negotiators, and they can be tricky. Imagine, for example, being pressed to state the exact time of the accident, only to discover later that the insurance company is claiming that since you knew the exact time, you must have been looking at your cell phone or watch instead of watching the road, thereby causing the accident. This is only one example of what is contained in the invisible bag of tricks that an insurance company brings to the settlement table.
3) The insurance company denied my claim because they assert that the accident was partly my fault. Do I have any recourse?
Yes, you do. First of all, the insurance company may be wrong. Second, even if they are right, under Illinois comparative negligence rules, you are still entitled to at least some compensation if you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
4) If the defendant was intoxicated, am I automatically entitled to compensation?
Not necessarily, but your chances will greatly improve if you can prove intoxication. To win, you must also prove that intoxication caused the accident, and that the accident was mostly the defendant’s fault notwithstanding any error you might have made yourself (running a red light, for example).
5) Exactly what do I have to prove to win a personal injury case?
Under Illinois law, you must prove three elements to win a negligence case arising from an auto accident injury:
- Negligence: The defendant breached the duty of ordinary care – by driving too fast or weaving between lanes, for example.
- Causation: The defendant’s negligence was a substantial cause of the accident.
- Damages: You suffered injury or property damages because of the accident. You can only recover the amount of damages you can prove.
Although most auto accident cases are based on negligence, a reckless or intentional act by the defendant will also support liability.
6) Which losses can I recover for?
Theoretically, you can recover any damages that would not have arisen if the accident had not occurred. The most common types of damages are:
- Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Lost earnings (past, present, and future)
- Travel expenses (to and from medical clinics, for example)
- Child care while you were incapacitated
- Pain and suffering, and other intangible psychological harm
- Punitive damages (in unusual cases)
Take Your Fate into Your Own Hands
Over the last two decades, our accident lawyers have recovered literally hundreds of millions of dollars for over 20,000 personal injury clients. We are so confident that we can bring home a recovery for you that we offer our Zero Fee Guarantee – you pay us nothing in legal fees until and unless we bring you a monetary recovery. If you believe that you might have an AAA auto insurance claim in Illinois or Greater Chicago, phone us today or contact us online for your free initial consultation. We have someone available 24 hours a day to take your call.
Our accident and injury attorneys work with clients from Lansing, Dolton, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Sauk Village, Chicago Heights, Hazel Crest, Westchester, South Holland, Riverside, Oak Lawn, Cicero, Homewood, Berwyn, Bellwood, Blue Island, Maywood, Harvey, and Oak Park in Cook County. Clients from Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County. If injuries or other problems prevent you from coming to us, we will come to you.