A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Greater Chicago and Illinois
Nationwide Insurance is one of the major players in the auto insurance industry – it writes over $7 billion in premiums every year. Of course, many of its client have been greatly assisted by Nationwide’s payment of their claims in times of need. Fundamentally, however, the interests of an insurance company and the interests of the insured conflict when a claim arises – after all, the more Nationwide pays out in claims, the lower its profits become. Keep this in mind next time you hear that Nationwide is “on your side.”
Attempting to resolve any but the most trivial claim on your own will pit you against experienced insurance industry executives who have negotiated thousands of claims and whose sole purpose is to reduce the value of your claim as much as possible – even to zero if possible. Insurance companies know that injured parties are seldom aware of the true value of their claims. When you suffer injury in an auto accident, especially when you are not the at-fault party, the sooner you retain competent legal representation, the safer your claim will be.
The personal injury lawyers at Malman Law have served over 15,000 clients over the last two decades, with a 95 percent success rate. Unlike your relationship with your insurance company (or the at-fault driver’s insurance company), your relationship with us will not be inherently antagonistic. Under our Zero Fee Guarantee, you will owe us precisely nothing in legal fees unless we win a verdict or settlement for you. Since the amount you will owe us will be proportionate to the amount we win for you, our interests are harmonious – we win if and only if you win.
We won’t play around with your claim – right from the start, we will be seeking the quickest possible out-of-court settlement for you, as long as the amount of the settlement reflects the real value of your claim. We will not fall for the negotiating tricks that insurance companies routinely try to pull on claimants who are unrepresented or who have selected mediocre legal representation.
Although we will try to settle (and 95 percent of the time we do), we stand ready and able to aggressively pursue a lawsuit that will compel the payment of your claim. Nationwide Insurance, along with other major insurance companies, knows this about Malman Law – we have proven it many times in the past in a wide variety of personal injury cases.
“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
- Vehicle accidents: Over 1,000 people lost their lives in Illinois roads in 2016 and many, many more were injured. Most of these accidents were avoidable consequences of driver negligence – DUI, texting while driving, and aggressive driving are among other causes. Chicago, as usual, led the state in both injuries and fatalities.
- Nursing home abuse: Given that 100,000 people reside in nursing homes in Illinois, a certain amount of nursing home abuse is sadly inevitable – some of it intentional and some of it merely negligent. A nursing home abuse claim is typically based on a violation of one of the many regulations that apply to Illinois nursing homes.
- Construction accidents: Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations available – in fact, construction workers are injured on the job more than any other major occupational group with the possible exception of coal miners. While most of these claims are subject to workers’ compensation limitations, some are not.
- Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation allows a worker who is injured on the job to establish liability without proving fault on the part of the employer. Workers’ compensation insurance provides permanent disability payments in some cases, and can also pay out in cases of wrongful death.
- Medical malpractice: A medical malpractice case arises when a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, harms a patient through professional negligence. These cases can be difficult to prove, but they can result in large verdicts and settlements once liability is established.
- Slip and fall accidents: Although elderly people are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents, anyone can fall down a flight of stairs or slip on a wet floor. Liability is particularly likely if the defendant is a retail establishment and the injured victim was a customer.
- Product liability: When you are injured by a defective product, you don’t have to prove that you owned the product in order to establish liability on the part of the manufacturer. In many cases, you don’t even have to prove that the defendant was negligent. A product liability claim proceeds under a distinct set of legal rules that make it different from an ordinary personal injury claim.
- Dog bites: Although anyone can be victimized by an aggressive dog, children are particularly vulnerable. In Illinois, you don’t need to prove that the dog owner was negligent in order to win your claim. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance typically cover dog bite claims.
- Wrongful death: Any personal injury claim can become a wrongful death claim once the victim dies from the injuries. Illinois applies different legal principles to wrongful death claims than to personal injury claims. Normally, a close relative will file the lawsuit on behalf of eligible relatives and the victim’s probate estate. Settlement amounts are usually substantial.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I know that the accident was legally the other driver’s fault?
Certain acts, if you can prove that the defendant committed them, will drastically improve your odds of winning. Some of these acts are:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Texting while driving
- Driving too fast for the conditions (doing the speed limit during a snowstorm, for example)
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Defective vehicle component, such as brakes (possibly the fault of the manufacturer rather than the driver)
What should I do after an accident to prepare for my claim?
You should perform the following acts within the first few days after the accident:
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Obtain a property damage evaluation from your insurance company
- Record details of your medical treatment
- Record and keep receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses, such as parking fees
- Calculate and record your expenses for lost work time
How can I afford my medical bills while I wait for my claim to be resolved?
Your auto or health insurance company may pay these bills as they come due, even if your claim is directed against the other driver’s insurance company. If they do pay, however, they are likely to place a lien on any settlement that you receive, meaning that they will have to be repaid out of any settlement received.
If my airbag failed to deploy, can I sue the manufacturer?
If you are injured in a car accident by a defective air bag, you can file a claim against the manufacturer, and perhaps the distributor, under Illinois product liability law. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you will also need to file a claim against the driver who caused the accident in the first place.
My child was injured in an accident. Can he or she file a lawsuit in his or her own name?
Illinois does not allow a child under 18 to file a lawsuit in his or her own name. Instead, a parent or legal guardian must file the lawsuit. Any settlement or verdict might be placed in a special account that can only be withdrawn from for the care of the child.
Am I entitled to damages for “pain and suffering”?
If you suffered a physical injury, you are usually entitled to a certain amount for pain and suffering (workers’ compensation claims are an exception). The exact amount depends on the nature of your injuries. The amount can range anywhere from a token sum to several times your combined damages for medical expenses and lost earnings.
Take Decisive Action Today
Our results speak for themselves – we have collected more than $200,000,000 over the years, including many multimillion dollar judgments for individual clients. We accomplish this by valuing every client who works with us, and by crafting individualized approaches that take into account the particular facts of every individual case. No two clients are alike, and no two case are alike. Our approach reflects this reality from beginning to end.
We will assign your case to a team of lawyers with expertise in the particular areas that are critical to your case. We have someone ready to speak to you 24/7, and we will not make any major case decisions without consulting you first. If you believe that you might have a Nationwide auto insurance claim in Greater Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, phone us today or contact us online for your free initial case evaluation. If you can’t come to us for whatever reason (a serious injury, for example), we can come to you.