Malman Law: Auto Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers for Greater Chicago

Farmers Insurance Group operates through 50,000 agents and more than 20,000 employees. While its claim to be the “Smart Choice in Auto Insurance” may very well be accurate, it is important that you remember the fundamental reality of insurance claims – insurance companies lose money when they pay out claims. This is the inherent conflict of interest of the insurance industry.

Consequently, it is unlikely that you will receive a simple “yes” answer to your claim. To obtain the amount you deserve, you’re going to have to negotiate for it, sue for it, or both. Under certain circumstances, such as long-term injury, you may not even know how to calculate the value of your claim – and, dangerously, you might not even realize that you are entitled to more than you think you are.

It’s Not the Same with Us

Unlike insurance companies, we suffer from no conflict of interest with our clients, because we’ve set it up differently. You will owe us no upfront fees, and you will never owe us anything at all for our services until we bring home compensation for you. If we fail to do so (only about five percent of the time), you will owe us nothing for the entire case. That is our Zero Fee Guarantee.

Settling Out of Court

At Malman Law, we understand that financial pressures are bearing down on you at the worst possible moment, and we understand that you may need money fast. We also understand that if you give in to the temptation to accept a quick but inadequate settlement, you might grievously regret it later.

Consequently, from the moment we take your case, we will be seeking a quick but generous settlement for you. Insurance companies know and fear our trial lawyers, and they are almost always willing to settle at some point, just to avoid messing with us in court. But, if they do insist on a trial (about five percent of the time), we will be ready to fight to victory for you.

Two of Our Success Stories

  • “This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!” – Cheryl Wagemann
  • “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

Some of the Areas of Law We Practice

Vehicle accidents: Most car accidents are caused by the fault of one of the drivers, or by defective equipment such as worn tires or faulty brakes. Many motorcycle and bicycle accidents are caused simply because motorists are not watching out for them. We can help you trace the cause of the accident and win compensation.

Nursing home abuse: Nursing home abuse can take the form of a positive act (striking or sexually abusing a patient, for example) or an omission (failing to turn the patient over in bed, for example, resulting in bedsores). Psychological abuse is also distressingly common. One common approach in nursing home abuse claims is to identify a regulatory violation.

Workers’ Compensation: An Illinois workers’ compensation claim works differently than other types of personal injury claims – on one hand, there is no need to prove fault; on the other hand, compensation rules and filing deadlines can be disadvantageous to you. We can help you successfully navigate the bureaucratic maze.

Medical malpractice: Health care providers have a well-deserved reputation for fighting hard against malpractice claims. Add to this the fact that many malpractice claims involve complex scientific issues, and a skilled malpractice lawyer is probably going to be a necessity if you want to maximize your chances of full compensation.

Slip and fall accidents: A loose stairway railing or a wet floor can lead to a debilitating accident, especially if you are elderly. Your chances of having an actionable slip and fall claim rise substantially if you were a customer in a business establishment or a guest in a private home at the time of the accident.

Wrongful death: Any personal injury claim can become a wrongful death claim if the victim dies from the injury. In Illinois, certain close relatives are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased victim.  Claim values can be quite substantial, especially if the victim was a young wage earner with financial dependents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I establish a claim for “pain and suffering?”

Some cases merit pain and suffering damages that far exceed medical expenses, while some do not merit such damages at all. It all depends on:

  • The severity of your pain.
  • The anticipated duration of your pain.
  • The type of injury you suffered.

What types of product defects can support a product liability lawsuit?

Three types of defects can support a product liability lawsuit:

  • Design defects (a cruise control mechanism that is hand-operated and does not shut off when the brakes are tapped, for example).
  • Manufacturing defects.
  • Failure to properly warn of the product’s dangers (known as “warning defects”).

What is the “overtreatment” defense to a personal injury claim?

“Overtreatment” essentially refers to unnecessary medical treatment. The purpose of an overtreatment defense is not to defeat your claim, but merely to reduce its value. An insurance company might accuse your doctor of overtreatment to avoid reimbursing you for certain medical expenses, for example.

How will filing for uninsured motorist coverage affect me?

Illinois drivers generally carry uninsured motorist coverage with minimum coverage limits of $25,000 per victim, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage (this coverage must be disclaimed in writing or it will be included in your policy). Some insurers might raise your rates after a claim, especially if the accident was partly your fault.

What happens at a deposition?

A deposition is an out-of-court proceeding where you will be questioned under oath by the opposing party’s lawyer.  If you contradict yourself in subsequent court testimony, it will be used to discredit you. Bring your personal injury attorney with you and have him or her sit next to you.

What are some common misconceptions about car accident claims?

Some of the most damaging misconceptions are:

  • “The defendant’s insurance company will pay your medical bills as they come due.” – You are entitled to nothing from the defendant until a settlement or verdict is finalized.
  • “Your claim will take years to resolve.”  – Actually, most claims are resolved in a matter of months.
  • “You don’t need a lawyer.”  – Yes, you do.

How can insurance companies use social media posts against me?

There are a lot of ways in which an opposing party can use social media posts against you. You might post a photo of yourself standing and smiling, for example. The defendant might use this to claim that you are exaggerating your pain even though you struggled to rise for the photo.

What are some common claim settlement pitfalls to avoid?

The most common settlement pitfalls include:

  • Accepting a quick but inadequate settlement.
  • Lacking a clear idea of the value of your claim.
  • Attempting to negotiate without a lawyer present.
  • Allowing the other side to lull you into missing the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit.

What happens to my claim if I was partly at fault for the accident?

Under Illinois comparative negligence rules, you can still recover some compensation, as long as your degree of fault was less than the defendant’s degree fault. The value of your claim will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.

Experience is the Key that Unlocks to Door to Justice

A doctor needs years of post-graduate training to practice in a particular sub-field, such as cardiology. A lawyer, by contrast, can practice in almost any field of law, including personal injury, shortly after graduating from law school. The problem with retaining “my cousin Vinny,” however, is that even if your lawyer “wins” compensation for you, you might end up with only a fraction of what you deserve.

We have been helping injured clients just like you for over 20 years now – in fact, personal injury law is all we do, all day long. After winning a staggering $200 million (and counting) in settlements and verdicts for over 10,000 personal injury victims, we are confident in our ability to offer you the best legal representation that you can find anywhere in Greater Chicago.

The First Step is Yours to Take

If you believe that you might have a Farmers Insurance Group auto insurance claim in Greater Chicago, call us today or contact us online to schedule a no-strings-attached initial evaluation, so that we can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case together. We have someone standing by to answer you 24/7, and if your injuries prevent you from coming to us, we will come to you.