An Accident Attorney Filing Claims with Travelers Auto Insurance for Clients in the Greater Chicago Area
Auto insurers vary in size, quality and market experience, and Travelers has been in business in some form or another since 1864. One aspect all insurance companies share in common, however, is a conflict of interest with their customers: The more they pay out in claims, the lower their profits become. This is, of course, an inherent liability of the insurance industry. Although you may never have really thought about this reality before, it begins to matter as soon as you assert an auto accident claim against Travelers, whether the policy at issue is your own or the at-fault driver’s.
If your claim is small, things may go smoothly. If it is substantial, however, you can expect resistance. Your claim may be denied altogether based on frivolous reasoning. More likely, Travelers will counteroffer a paltry sum that doesn’t even begin to cover your needs. What’s worse, if you are seriously injured and under financial pressure from mounting medical bills and lost work time, you are not likely to be in a good position to argue with streetwise insurance company executives who negotiate personal injury claims for a living.
That is where we come in. At Malman Law, we resolve personal injury cases for a living. We win 95 percent of our cases, almost all of them through out-of-court settlements rather than lawsuit verdicts. After serving over 15,000 clients in the last 20 years, we have heard it all from stingy insurance companies, and we won’t fall for any of their tricks.
Although only five percent of our cases are resolved in court, our courtroom record is so spectacular that insurance companies generally prefer to settle with us than risk facing us in front of a judge. All told, we have recovered over $200 million for our clients, including a number of multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements.
One of Our Success Stories
“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
This website, unfortunately, is not big enough to hold the thousands of success stories that we have in our files.
- Personal injury: A personal injury claim arises when someone injures you through wrongful conduct. “Wrongful” can refer to mere carelessness, to recklessness, or even to intentional criminal behavior. As such, a personal injury claim can be asserted in response to just about any type of injury other than pure emotional trauma.
- Nursing home abuse: Over 100,000 Illinois residents live in nursing homes and other types of assisted living facilities, and most of them are treated well. As unpalatable as it may be, however, some nursing home staff abuse their patients through mistreatment or neglect. A typical nursing home claim is based on violation of the many strict regulations that govern nursing homes.
- Vehicle accidents: Traffic accidents kill tens of thousands of people every year and injure hundreds of thousands more. Different types of accidents invoke different concerns – a trucking accident, for example, results in a different set of facts than a collision between a motorcycle and a pedestrian.
- Workers’ compensation: The workers’ compensation program is designed to compensate employees who suffer job-related injuries. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act governs workers’ compensation payments in Illinois, and unfortunately it can make workers’ compensation claims more complicated than they really need to be. Indeed, a lawyer is often required to navigate the system effectively.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice kills and injures a shocking number of Americans every year. These cases can be quite complex, requiring significant investigation as well as the testimony of expert medical witnesses. Indeed, since not every medical error constitutes malpractice, you may need legal assistance simply to determine whether you even have a valid claim.
- Slip and fall accidents: You may have fallen down a flight of stairs when a railing collapsed, or you may have slipped on a recently mopped floor in a restaurant. Either way, the owner or proprietor of the premises has an obligation to remove certain dangers or at least warn you of them. Failure to do so can result in a slip and fall claim when an injury results.
- Product liability: The manufacturer of a product with a manufacturing defect, a design defect or even a “warning defect” (failure to warn of the product’s dangers) can be held liable for an injury caused by a product if the court finds that it is unreasonably dangerous. An injured party need not have purchased the product to file a claim.
- Dog bites: Unlike many states, Illinois has no “one bite rule” – dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs even if there has been no prior indication of aggressive tendencies. Homeowners and renters usually carry insurance that will pay out on dog bite claims.
- Wrongful death: A wrongful death claim is a claim asserted by the personal representative of the estate of the deceased victim of a personal injury that was caused by someone else. Close relatives are the main beneficiaries of compensation, although the victim’s probate estate is often awarded damages as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do I need to worry what a court might do if my case is probably going to be settled out of court anyway?
Insurance companies have to be forced to settle, and there is no motivation for them to settle with you unless you can present a claim that is likely to be upheld by a court. The threat of a successful lawsuit is, ironically, exactly what motivates an insurance company to settle with you so that you won’t have to file a lawsuit in the first place.
Why can’t I negotiate with Travelers myself?
Travelers Insurance negotiates insurance claims for a living, and they are good at what they do. Just as you wouldn’t be well-advised to bet your money on winning a tennis match with Roger Federer, you wouldn’t be well-advised to risk your personal injury claim against professional claims negotiators. At Malman Law, we are professional negotiators too, and we have seen every negotiating trick in the book on many occasions.
The insurance company denied my claim because they claim that the accident was partly my fault. Do I have any recourse?
Yes, you do. First of all, claiming that the accident was partly your fault is not the same as proving it, and the insurance company may be making this claim as a negotiating tactic. Second, even if the accident was partly your fault, you can still recover reduced damages under Illinois comparative negligence principles, as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault.
Do I win automatically if I can prove that the other driver was intoxicated?
Not automatically. Believe it or not, defendants have escaped liability under these circumstances before. There are two main pathways that could allow a defendant to attempt to escape civil liability for intoxication. He or she can assert that:
- Intoxication did not cause the accident, or
- The accident was at least 50 percent your fault, notwithstanding the fact that he or she was intoxicated.
In most cases, however, you will win if you can prove that the defendant was intoxicated.
Exactly what do I have to prove to win a personal injury case?
The four elements of a personal injury claim are:
- Duty: In a traffic accident, this means the duty to drive with reasonable care.
- Breach: Failure to drive with reasonable care, for example. Breach of duty equals negligence, but negligence does not necessarily equal liability.
- Causation: The defendant’s negligence actually caused the accident.
- Damages: You suffered physical injury and/or property damage.
Can I sue a trucking company for an accident caused by its driver?
Not in most cases, but sometimes you can. It all depends on whether the court classifies the truck driver as an “employee” or an “independent contractor,” based on how much independence from the trucking company the driver enjoys. Most 18-wheeler truck drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
Start on the Road to Victory Today
You might be worried that you can’t afford to retain the services of a top personal injury law firm. Fortunately, however, we operate on a “no win, no pay” basis. If we take your case, we will not charge you a dime in legal fees unless we win. Unlike Travelers, we have no conflict of interest with you – since our fees are proportionate to your compensation, we win only if you do, and we win only to the extent that you do.
We will immediately assign your case to a team of lawyers, and will make sure to keep someone available to you 24/7. If you are too seriously injured to make it to our office, or if you cannot come to meet us for some other reason, we will come to you. From Day One, we will be seeking to obtain a fully adequate settlement for you as soon as we possibly can.
If you believe that you might have a Travelers Insurance auto accident claim in Illinois or Greater Chicago, phone us today or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case by one of our personal injury attorneys.