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The Progressive Corporation is the nation’s fourth-largest private auto insurer, writing over $20 billion in premiums. When negotiating with Progressive, it is important to remember that this company is a private, for-profit business and you are asking them for money. Since Progressive makes money by selling policies and loses money by paying claims, they are not on your side, since their interests are in direct opposition to yours.
In most cases, the victim of a car accident caused by the negligence of the other driver file claims against the negligent driver’s auto liability insurance policy. In some cases, however, this may not be enough. If the driver was breaking Illinois auto insurance law by driving without liability insurance, for example, you may be forced to rely on your own insurance, unless the driver possesses enough personal resources to pay your claim. Even if the other driver was insured, his or her policy limits might not be enough to fully satisfy your claim – Illinois law requires only $25,000 in coverage per victim, up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident. If the negligent driver cannot pay the remainder, you may have to rely on your own insurance to cover it. Finally, you may be forced to rely on your own insurance for your claim if you were victimized by a hit and run driver who disappeared immediately after the accident. In any of these cases, you can rely on your own Progressive auto liability insurance policy, which is required by law to include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance of at least $20,000 per victim and $40,000 per accident.
If your injuries were minor, you may be tempted to forego the services of a lawyer. Even then, however, there may be good reasons to retain a lawyer to represent you. If your injuries were substantial, it seldom makes any sense at all to “go it alone.” Considering that an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer might be able to secure you several times the amount of the verdict or settlement that you would be able to secure on your own, your choice of attorney is likely to be the most important decision you make during the entire case. Following are some of the benefits of making that decision wisely:
To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove three elements – negligence, causation, and damages. In some cases, such as when the driver was an on-duty employee, you can sue the negligent driver’s employer as well. In this case, you can win a lawsuit against the employer by proving these three elements against the driver alone, even if the employer was not negligent at all.
To prove negligence, it is not enough to prove that an action committed (or omitted) by the driver caused the accident – you will need to prove that the driver failed to exercise the ordinary care that a reasonably prudent driver would exercise under the same circumstances. This will be easier if you can show that the driver was breaking the law by, say, texting and driving; however, it is possible for a driver to be negligent without actually breaking any traffic laws.
You will also need to prove that the driver’s negligence was a substantial cause of the accident. If the driver rear-ended you, for example, you probably cannot win the case by proving that his or her brake lights were malfunctioning. Finally, you will have to prove that you suffered damages. Furthermore, you cannot recover for emotional distress unless you suffered a physical injury, as well.
Under Illinois law, an injured minor (under 18) cannot file a personal injury lawsuit in his or her own name, even if he or she is represented by a lawyer. Instead, a parent or legal guardian must file the lawsuit on their behalf. If the child is awarded damages, the money will probably not be sent directly into an account accessible to the minor. Instead, proceeds are likely to be placed into a protective bank account accessible to a parent or guardian, to be used only for the benefit of the minor.
Probably not, but it is possible. In Illinois, punitive damages are awarded only for outrageous conduct – mere negligence is not enough. The classic case justifying punitive damages would be if the defendant rammed into your car intentionally in a carjacking or to satisfy a personal grudge against you. In some cases, drunken drivers are subject to punitive damages awards. If you are awarded punitive damages, they will be awarded in addition to the normal compensatory damages. Unfortunately, unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are taxable.
It depends on the legal relationship between the trucking company and the driver. If the driver was an employee of the trucking company, the trucking company is generally responsible for all damages caused by the negligence of the employee, unless the employee was off-duty at the time of the accident. If the employee was an “independent contractor,” however, the trucking company will not be liable unless they were negligent themselves – by negligently hiring a driver with a bad driving record, for example.
Most trucking companies retain drivers under an independent contractor arrangement, because they wish to limit their liability in case of an accident. Nevertheless, the trucking company cannot arbitrarily classify a driver as an independent contractor instead of an employee – a court will decide that question based in how much control the trucking company exercised over the driver.
Absolutely not, unless it is a written statement prepared by your lawyer. Insurance company adjusters will attempt to secure the lowest possible settlement, and they have many time-tested ways of tricking you into “admitting” something that could hurt your case. They might, for example, insist that you provide them with the exact time for the accident, so that they can later assert that the accident occurred because you were looking at your watch instead of paying attention to the road. A good Illinois personal injury lawyer knows these tricks and will not let you fall for them.
They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
- Britany Weaver
I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. 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
I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!
- Elvira G.
I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
would do everything they could for me.
- Tony S.
I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!
- Devin Jones
Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
- Annie Ong
Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
- Eugenia Cathery
They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.
- Omolewa Snyder
I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
- Trevor Harris
Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
- Ernest Pitts
Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.
- Ariel Fleming
I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!
- Carmen Rivera
Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
- Greg Gustafson
Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.
- Malak St.Clair
Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.
- Devri Lott
I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
- Adrian Lopez
A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
- Vanessa Leon
Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
- Nyah Vuljanic
This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker
- Jeff Walker
Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.
- Steve Acosta
Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
- Jose Cruz
Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!
- Meagan Cruz
- Eddie Villarreal
I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!
- Madissen Miller
Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!
- Christina Ocon
Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!
- Adriana Martinez
So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!
- Virgil Sanner
I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!
- Jazlyn Caraballo
My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
- Ashley Jenkins
ALL FIELDS REQUIRED
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