Erie Insurance doesn’t quite qualify as one of the top-tier players in the auto insurance industry, but they still insure millions of clients. Although that might be a justifiable source of comfort to you, it is still important to remember that the relationship between an insurance company and a client or a third-party claimant is troubled with a built-in conflict of interest – the less they pay to settle your claim, the more of your money they get to keep. And that is exactly why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you if you have a sizeable claim against them. At Malman Law, we are big enough to wield clout, but small enough to resist the temptation to treat clients as mere case numbers. What we see when we meet an injured client is a human being, in pain and under financial distress. Despite the financial pressures bearing down on you, you don’t need to worry that you can’t afford to pay for a lawsuit. Unlike Erie, we have no conflict of interest with you – we are so confident that we can add you to our long list of happy clients that we offer our Zero Fee Guarantee – you won’t have to pay us anything up front, and if we don’t win, you will owe us nothing for the entire case. We don’t earn a dime unless you do.
From the moment when we take your case, we will be aiming to reach an out-of-court settlement – and that is exactly what happens in well over 90 percent of our cases. If we weren’t who we are, that would be problematic. Insurance companies like Erie frequently make mincemeat out of inexperienced lawyers at the negotiating table, since they negotiate insurance claims for a living. Even mastery of negotiating skills is not enough to protect your interests, however – insurance companies negotiate out of necessity, and they are disinclined to raise an anemic settlement offer unless they are convinced that you have the ability to force them to pay in court. A lawyer with h3 negotiating skills but no courtroom prowess cannot win the respect of an insurance company. We don’t worry about that, because we don’t have that problem – insurance companies know our reputation, and they know we are not to be trifled with. “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
Comparative negligence is a concept that allows Illinois courts to apportion fault for an accident when both parties were at fault. Under Illinois comparative negligence rules, a court will assign each party a percentage of fault based on the evidence. A party 50 percent or more at fault will recover nothing, while a party less than 50 percent at fault will recover his or her own damages minus a discount that equals his or her percentage of fault. If the individual was 25 percent at fault, for example, 25 percent will be subtracted from damages.
Yes, you can, and you should reject it if it is inadequate. Insurance companies will typically try to lowball you by offering you a quick but inadequate settlement, hoping that you will jump at the chance for a quick buck. Rejecting a settlement offer doesn’t necessarily mean a lawsuit – settlement negotiations typically continue even after the first rejection.
If your case is settled, in most cases Erie will simply write you a check. If you win a courtroom verdict and they decide to get stubborn (an unlikely scenario), you may need to institute a separate collection lawsuit asking the court to seize their assets and transfer them to you.
This is an impossible question to answer without knowing more about your case. Some claims are resolved in a few weeks, while others take years. A lot depends on the size of your claim, the evidence in your favor and, of course, the skill of your accident attorney. Lawsuits typically take longer to resolve than settlements.
Any number of possible defenses may apply, depending on the facts of your case. Some of the most common are:
2 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
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim