Malman Law: A Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm Serving the Greater Chicago Area

Safeco Insurance is a national insurance company that is a member of Liberty Mutual Group.  It offers auto insurance through independent agents. Although Safeco advertises that it is “known for helping people protect the lives they’ve built,” a healthy dose of skepticism would be a good idea if you are considering filing a claim against them.

Ultimately, Safeco is driven by exactly the same economic incentives that drive every other auto insurance company – they make money by collecting premiums and spend money by paying out claims. In legal terminology, that is known as a conflict of interest – one that is likely to result in considerable resistance to your claim.

It’s Different With Us

It really is. At Malman Law, we are not subject to a conflict of interest problem, because with our Zero Fee Guarantee,  we only make money if you do too. If you retain us, you will pay no up-front fees – and you will never owe us a dime for our services unless we win compensation for you. In other words, our interests are in harmony with our clients’ interests, not in conflict with them.

The Courtroom Versus the Settlement Table

We will do our best to bring you home a quick out-of-court settlement through aggressive representation. Given our reputation for courtroom prowess, most insurance companies don’t want to face us in court and will settle a claim rather than risk an adverse trial result. In fact, this is exactly what happens over 95 percent of the time. If the other side insists on being stubborn, however, we are ready for action in court.

Real-Life Results

  • “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 Our Main Practice Areas

Vehicle accidents: Illinois roads are beset with dangers – intoxicated drivers, texting and driving, “road rage,” and even simple absent-mindedness. These mistakes are costly, to the tune of over 1,000 lives every year and oftentimes more serious injuries. The good news is that you can often obtain compensation even if the accident was partly your fault.

Nursing home abuse: Our blood runs cold when we see evidence of abuse of the elderly. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in Greater Chicago nursing homes.  In some cases, the signs of abuse are difficult to see and to trace back to their origins. This is where legal expertise can make a real difference.

Workers’ Compensation:  Illinois workers’ compensation claims are based on work-related injuries and are subject to a set of rules all their own. Some of these rules are more advantageous to you than the rules for an ordinary personal injury claim, while others are decidedly adverse to you. We can help you maximize the benefits of the system while minimizing its disadvantages.

Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice claims often go unrecognized, because it is frequently unclear whether or not a “complication” was unavoidable or the result of medical negligence. We understand how complex these cases can get, and we are adept at tracing an injury back to its true source so that your compensation claim can be proven.

Product liability: A product liability claim can arise from a defective prescription drug, malfunctioning auto airbags, or even food poisoning, as long as you were injured by the product’s defect. Although such claims can get technically complex, in many cases you don’t have to prove fault to win.

Wrongful death: Just about any type of personal injury claim can become a wrongful death claim if the victim dies from the injury. Wrongful death claims are subject to special rules about who can file the lawsuit and who receives compensation. A successful wrongful death claim, however, can result in substantial compensation.

Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents can cause all sorts of serious medical conditions, including head and spinal cord injuries. Sadly, the elderly are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. You are particularly likely to have an actionable slip and fall claim if you are injured by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, including a private business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a hospital lien?

If you don’t have enough money to pay your medical bills while you are waiting for your claim to be resolved, the hospital might decide to delay collection action and simply place a hospital lien on any future verdict or settlement you receive in order to ensure payment of your bills.

Does my claim qualify for punitive damages?

Probably not, but it might. A court may award punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct is so outrageous that it wishes to punish the defendant to deter future misconduct. A DUI accident, for example, is more likely to qualify for punitive damages than an ordinary negligence claim.

What kinds of witnesses would be most useful to my case?

The best witnesses will not be related to you, and they will have no personal interest in the case. They may include passers-by or other motorists, for example. Expert witnesses, such as medical witnesses and accident reconstruction specialists, can also be useful.

How do traffic violations affect a car accident claim in Illinois?

A traffic violation can be used to prove negligence if it actually caused the accident. If the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, you can use the verdict as evidence of negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.

Can the court reject my personal injury settlement?

Yes, if a personal injury lawsuit has already been filed by the time settlement is sought. A judge might reject a settlement offer if he or she believes it is grossly unfair to one of the parties. In general, however, judges are eager for parties to settle.

What are the steps in the settlement process?

In general, the settlement process works like this:

  • Decide whether to seek settlement (seeking a lawsuit verdict is an alternative).
  • Determine the value of your claim.
  • Negotiate your claim.
  • Draft and sign a settlement agreement (court approval may be necessary).
  • Enforce the settlement in court if the defendant refuses to pay.

Do I need to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident?

Yes. It is best to get a personal injury attorney involved as early as possible. A good accident and injury lawyer can prevent you from committing many common errors that will reduce or eliminate the value of your claim.

What are some of the most important facts about my case that my lawyer needs to know?

Initially, your Chicago injury lawyer is likely to want to know:

  • Whether you have any pre-existing or subsequent injuries.
  • The date of the accident.
  • Whether the other party’s insurance company has contacted you.
  • Whether you are filing for bankruptcy.

You may have to provide other information, as well.

How do I secure compensation if the at-fault driver was uninsured?

Possible alternative sources of compensation include:

  • Your own uninsured motorist policy.
  • The defendant’s personal assets.
  • The defendant’s employer, if he or she was on-duty at the time of the accident.
  • The city or state government, if it was partially at fault.

What are some common causes of truck accidents?

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Inadequate driver training
  • Driving without a commercial license
  • Lack of sleep on long trips
  • Distracted driving
  • Intoxication
  • Vehicle malfunctions (due to inadequate maintenance or a defective product)
  • Regulatory violations (commercial truck drivers are heavily regulated)

Our Results Are Our Recommendation

Our track record speaks for itself – over the past two decades of practice, we have brought home a staggering $200 million in settlements and verdicts for over 15,000 personal injury clients, including many multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements. We can afford to offer our Zero Fee Guarantee because we win 95 percent of our cases.

We understand that in the aftermath of a serious personal injury, you need to be concentrating on recovery, not litigation. We will do everything possible to make the process smooth, speedy, and painless for you. We understand that you are more than just a faceless case number, and we will craft a strategy for victory that is just as unique as you are.

Make It Happen Today

If you believe that you might have a Safeco auto insurance claim in the Greater Chicago area, telephone us today or contact us online to schedule a no-charge, obligation-free initial consultation. We have someone standing by to speak with you 24/7, and if you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you. Take the first step towards victory today.