Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut answer to this question. Each case is as unique as our clients. When you’ve been injured, our primary concern is to see that you get the medical treatment you need and are compensated fairly. In order to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, it’s not unusual for a case to take a year or more. Typically, there’s not much that can be done until treatment is completed. That’s because we have to be able to prove damages, and we can’t do that without knowing the full extent of your medical expenses incurred. Once treatment has completed, all of your medical records and bills must be ordered from the providers, reviewed by our office, and submitted to the at-fault insurance company for their own review. Only after this has been done can negotiation of a settlement begin.
Generally you do not, unless for some reason you happen to receive “punitive damages.” Punitive damages are damages intended to punish or penalize the actions made by the other party. Punitive damages are not very common and are usually only awarded if your case goes to a jury trial.
For personal injury cases, attorney fees are on a contingency basis. What this means essentially, is that if we don’t recover a settlement, you don’t owe us anything at all! We advance all up front costs for medical records, court fees, depositions, etc., so there’s no out of pocket cost to you. Once a settlement has been reached, attorney fees are usually assessed at 33% of the total settlement.
If you have already hired us and the defendant’s insurance company has been trying to contact you, tell them that you have a lawyer. Don’t give a statement or discuss your injuries from the accident with the adjuster. However, if you have property damage to your vehicle, it is usually alright to discuss this with the property adjuster.
You usually don’t need to provide us with your medical records or the police report. When you hire us to handle your personal injury claim, we will have you sign a medical release so that we can contact the healthcare providers ourselves and then have them send us the information.
As long as it is clear who the “at fault” driver is, property damage to your vehicle can usually be resolved without much conflict. This is because your vehicle damage will be repairable or your vehicle will be assessed as being “totaled.” Sometimes we will advise our clients to turn property damage over to their own insurance company, even if the accident wasn’t their fault, because the property damage can be resolved more quickly and your deductible will be reimbursed by the defendant. If you are having difficulty resolving your property dispute after hiring us, please give us a call.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime you have a right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. Whether you should remain silent before being arrested and charged with a crime is a complicated question. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that silence in some circumstances, primarily before you are actually arrested and charged, can legally be used against you. However, after you have been arrested and charged with a crime, and you are planning to hire an attorney to defend you, it is usually best for you to assert your right to remain silent and speak only to an attorney.
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends entirely on the type of crime you are being charged with. Our initial attorney’s fees are usually based on the number of hours we estimate will be required to defend your case. And if it appears that we will need to proceed to a criminal jury trial these costs will likely substantially increase. Attorney’s fees can range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand for felony matters. If you would like a precise estimate for your criminal issue schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
Court supervision is a remedy in Illinois for some criminal charges. Basically, supervision is like one long continuance that lasts usually for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, or 1 year. When you accept court supervision for your criminal charge there is no conviction entered and the court agrees to monitor whether or not you receive any further violations. If you successfully complete the term of your supervision without receiving any further traffic or criminal violations the charge is dismissed. Court supervision is not available for all criminal offenses, and for some offenses, like DUI, you can only receive court supervision once in a lifetime.
While they might seem similar, court supervision is not the same thing as probation. The biggest difference between them is that court supervision does not require you to register with the probation department. You are also not required to check-in with a probation officer or pay monthly probation fees.