A Personal Injury Lawyer Filing Auto-Owners Insurance Claims for Clients in Greater Chicago and Illinois
Although Auto-Owners is not the largest auto insurance company out there, it still insures millions of drivers. You may think of them as your ally, and it certainly is nice to have someone guaranteeing your liability in case of an accident. You shouldn’t hesitate to file a claim if you are involved in an accident that is covered by one of their policies.
Once you file a claim against Auto-Owners, however, whether as a direct claimant against your own auto insurance policy or as a third-party claimant against the at-fault driver’s policy, your “ally” immediately becomes your adversary. This is not the insurance company’s fault. It’s just how the insurance industry works – an insurance company makes money by accepting premiums and loses money by paying claims. You’re just going to need effective legal representation, that’s all.
Here at Malman Law, personal injury law is what we do for a living, and it is all we do. Retaining us to represent you is no shot in the dark – we win 95 percent of our cases, year in and year out. Of course, we understand that you need money today, not tomorrow, and we will do our best to settle your case quickly – but not at the expense of maximum compensation for you. Although we settle the vast majority of our clients’ cases, we are ready and willing to battle it out in court should that become necessary. Insurance companies know about our lawsuit track record and, quite frankly, they usually do not want to mess with us in court.
The reality of the Illinois legal system is that, in most cases, it takes more than just a good case to win maximum compensation – you need experienced legal representation on your side. We are so confident of our track record that we will not charge you a penny in legal fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. Furthermore, whatever you do end up paying will be proportionate to the amount of your recovery.
“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: Personal injury covers a broad category of claims – basically, any injury you suffer that was somebody else’s fault. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, your compensation could range from a few hundred dollars to a few million. The hardest part of winning is usually gathering evidence to prove your claim.
- Nursing home abuse: Nursing home abuse is a despicable practice that can result in large compensation and even criminal charges. Unfortunately, with over 1,200 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Illinois, some incidents of abuse are inevitable, whether they are intentional or due to inexcusable negligence. Violation of one of the hundreds of applicable nursing home regulations is often enough to establish liability.
- Vehicle accidents: Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents all involve distinct considerations – motorists are generally obliged to yield to pedestrians, for example, and truckers are heavily regulated by state law. Vehicle accidents are among the most common of all personal injury claims.
- Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation law allows you to recover compensation for an occupational injury without even proving that your employer was at fault. Employers can be stubborn, however, and the Illinois workers’ compensation system can look like a maze to unrepresented claimants. Legal representation can make a huge difference in the amount of compensation you are eventually awarded.
- Medical malpractice: It can be frightening to remind ourselves that doctors are human, too, and that they sometimes act unprofessionally. When a patient is injured in this way, however, Illinois medical malpractice law provides a remedy for those who know how to take advantage of it.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents send a million people to the hospital every year. Most people are not aware of the degree of care that a private homeowner or the proprietor of a business establishment is obligated to observe in order to keep guests safe. A slippery floor, for example, might be enough to support liability.
- Product liability: You are entitled to compensation if you are injured by a defective product, and in many cases, you do not even have to prove that the defendant was at fault – only that the product was “defective and unreasonably dangerous” and that you were injured by it.
- Dog bites: Dog bites, together with car accidents and slip and fall cases, are among the most common of all personal injury claims. You don’t need to prove owner negligence under Illinois dog bite law, and most dog owners carry homeowners or renters’ insurance that will cover your claim.
- Wrongful death: A personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death claim when the victim of an injury caused by someone else’s culpable behavior dies from those injuries. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit mostly go to close relatives of the victim, and they can be substantial.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) How can I prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault?
Unless the other driver caused the accident intentionally (a “road rage” incident, for example), you will have to prove negligence or recklessness on the part of the other driver. There are two ways to do this. A violation of a traffic law will usually suffice as long as it caused the accident. Otherwise, careless behavior might be negligent under the circumstances, even if it wasn’t illegal. Some examples are:
- Texting while driving
- Driving too fast for the circumstances (a snowstorm, for example), even if within the speed limit
- Poor vehicle maintenance leading to a blowout
- Driver inattentiveness
2) What should I do after an accident to prepare for my claim?
There are several steps you need to take:
- Obtain the contact details of the driver and anyone else involved in the accident
- Get the other driver’s insurance information
- Get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident
- Write down a plate number and vehicle description for any vehicle involved in the accident
- Seek medical attention and obtain a report on your injuries
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Take your car to the repair shop to document any damage to it
3) How can I afford my medical bills while I wait for my claim to be resolved?
Your own insurance company might pay these bills, even if they are not ultimately liable for the claim. If they do, they will have a lien on any verdict or settlement that you receive. It is also possible to make a deal with your healthcare provider to delay bill collection action until you receive compensation.
4) If my airbag failed to deploy, can I sue the manufacturer?
Yes, and you can win the lawsuit if you can prove that the airbag was defective and unreasonably dangerous as defined by Illinois product liability law. You will only be able to recover for damages that you suffered because the airbag failed to deploy, not for the accident itself (look to the driver who caused the accident for further compensation).
5) My child was injured in an accident. Can he or she file a lawsuit in his or her own name?
No, a child can’t – the court will have to appoint a guardian to sue on the child’s behalf if under 18. The court usually appoints a close relative. Any amount he or she receives is likely to be put into a bank account that resembles a trust fund in certain ways.
6) Am I entitled to damages for “pain and suffering”?
“Pain and suffering” is a form of non-economic damages under Illinois law. As long as you were physically injured, you should be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, pain and suffering damages can amount to well over 50 percent of your total compensation.
Contact Malman Law Today
Here at Malman Law, we are “caught in the middle” – we are big enough to offer our clients the financial and investigative resources that small law firms lack, yet small enough to treat our clients like people, not case numbers. Once you retain us, we will assign your case to a team of experienced personal injury lawyers, and we will have someone available to speak to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to visit us, we will come to visit you.
Our track record of $200 million recovered for over 20,000 personal injury clients over the last 25 years is a source of great satisfaction to us, and should be a source of great confidence for you. If you believe that you might have an Auto-Owners auto insurance claim in Illinois or Greater Chicago, phone us today or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case.