Personal Injury FAQs

How much money is my personal injury claim worth? Will it cost me anything to pursue?

There is no upfront cost to you to pursue a case. You only pay if you win. The determination of the value of the case takes a thorough review of all documents and evidence on the accident and treatments.

How severe are your injuries? If it was an auto accident, what was the weather condition during the accident? How long has it been since you were injured? Did you see a doctor immediately? Did you take photos of your injury? These are just a few questions that we will ask you during this process to ensure that we are being thorough in our investigations.

If you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you’re injured, you’re on the right track. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your questions will be answered immediately. One major factor in how much your accident injury claim in Illinois is worth is the range of lasting effects. Has this injury permanently or temporarily affected your life? We may not know this answer 10 days after you’ve initially been injured. And if we don’t know this answer, we don’t know how much compensation you’re entitled to.

If you have more questions about this or are wondering how much your personal injury claim is worth, please don’t hesitate to call our law office in Marengo, Illinois. We’ll speak with you on the phone and explain your rights. Our goal is to demand justice for you and your family. Sometimes this takes a little bit of time, but it is because we strive to act in your best interests from day one.

What do I have to prove to win my personal injury case? How hard is it to do?

It’s difficult. That’s why having a lawyer is important in the process because you’ve got to prove the liability.

You need to prove that you’re injured.

Right after you have been injured, there are a few important steps that you should take in order to “prove that you’ve been injured.”

One of them is going to the emergency room. If you’ve been in a car accident, and you don’t go to the emergency room immediately after the wreck, your immediate injuries will not be examined or reported on. Many will shrug off their injuries, claiming that they are not severe enough to require an emergency room visit and an expensive ambulance ride. Some injuries do not seem severe at the start, but more harm can result if you do not get treated right away.

Another is to take photos of your injuries. Do so throughout the entire recovery and treatment process. Do this even if you don’t know whether or not you’d like to fight for compensation.

You need to prove that the injuries, (cause is for compensation too. There is just no concern for fault in compensation) were caused by the accident itself.

For some cases, this will be proven by a simple explanation of cause and effect. For example, you were in an auto accident. Before the crash, you were completely healthy. After the accident, you had chronic back pain.

However, medical history is taken into account. If you were in a car accident and now have chronic back pain, but had visited a doctor for chronic pain in the past, to some this could seem like it wasn’t the accident that solely caused the injury.

This is why it is incredibly important that you speak with an injury attorney soon after your accident so that he or she can determine if the accident aggravated a pre-existing condition.

To present that properly in the claim process is very difficult, but we’ve got our systems in place to be able to present the information as best as possible.

To learn more contact our office in Marengo, Illinois and speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. We’ve been demanding justice for the people of McHenry County, IL for decades, and we’ll continue to do so for you and your family.

What are the steps I should take after I’m injured in an accident?

When it is appropriate to leave the scene of the accident, the first thing to do if you are injured is to get medical treatment. We can’t stress this enough. Your health should be your top priority.

Second, while you are being treated, make sure that your injuries are fully documented. If you are injured and you’re unable to keep track of this documentation, make sure you designate a family member or close friend to do so.

Once you’ve been to the doctor and the emergency room, the next thing you’ll want to do is to contact a personal injury attorney. You want to make sure that your personal injury lawyer can be on board from day one.

At Franks Gerkin McKenna, the most efficient and successful way for us to maximize the result is to be there from the get‑go and guide everybody along the process. Keep in mind that the insurance company for the at-fault driver will use everything you say against you moving forward, so call us before you talk to them. We can help you even after you’ve spoken with the insurance company, but know that a personal injury lawyer should be on board from the beginning.

Remember that you’re not paying your insurance to advocate for you. While they are kind, and the do probably care about your situation, at the end of the day your interests do not come first. As you work with a personal injury attorney, you’ll quickly realize that he or she is your advocate, looking out for you and your family from the beginning to the end.

If I am injured because of an accident but I think it was my fault, can you still help me?

Accidents happen incredibly quickly. One second you’re going about your drive as normal, and the next you’re on the side of the road in a panic. Do not jump to assume that the accident was your fault.

It is normal to be uncertain of whether or not you caused the crash. For some accidents, the cause and effect seems obvious. Someone ran a red light or surpassed the stop sign. But other times it doesn’t appear as simple.

Don’t let your fear of fault stop you from contacting a personal injury lawyer and exploring your options for compensation. If there is some partial fault to the other party, there is a chance that our team can get recovery for you. You might think that you have the share of fault, but after a thorough review of all the facts, it might come to be that it’s actually the other party that is more than 50 percent at fault.

At Franks Gerkin McKenna, our first consultation is free for this very reason. Because here’s the thing: you know a few things for sure, that you’re injured and you have an incredible amount of medical and car repair bills, but you don’t know who or what caused the accident. That is okay. You don’t need to have all the answers. That is our job. We’ll do our best to thoroughly explain the process and the scope of your accident so you have an idea of whether or not you want to pursue further action. Learn more about car crash injuries and how we fight for people through the process.

What is “pain and suffering”?

Pain and suffering is a legal term that describes the stress someone endures after they’ve been injured. It encompasses both the physical and emotional stress you undergo because of an injury-causing event.

This term can be hard to understand because it isn’t necessarily quantifiable. Let’s think about an example:

Susan was in a car accident and sustained injuries. Her broken arm will heal in 4 to 6 weeks. However, she has a great deal of scarring from which she’ll never truly recover. She hasn’t slept, still shaky from the trauma.

As you can imagine, Susan has experienced a great deal of stress because of her car accident. At a glance, it doesn’t seem like she has severe injuries. A broken arm isn’t that bad. But when you consider the long-term stress, her situation is much more severe.

This is why it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer after your accident. One week, even two weeks afterward, you still might not know the full extent of your injuries.

Learn more about the McHenry County personal injury attorneys at Franks Gerkin McKenna.

Can I Reopen My Personal Injury Case?

A common question that we receive from accident victims is whether or not they can reopen their case once it has already been closed.

Before we answer that, though, we must first explain what a closed personal injury case is. If you accept a settlement from the insurance company, this means that your case is closed. The insurance company has no responsibility to pay any more money related to your injury.

So can you reopen it?

Let’s say that an individual is involved in a car accident and has to receive medical treatment. During their treatment, they receive a settlement offer from the insurance company and accept it. They then have to receive more medical care, and even surgery in the worst case scenario and none of it is covered as a result of the accident. Since the reason they require continual medical care is due to the accident, they ask to reopen the case.

Unfortunately, once you sign a settlement agreement, the case is closed and can no longer be reopened. The insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible when it comes to your medical bills as a result of an accident. If you were not properly advised or handled the matter on your own, you might have taken a lower settlement offer than was necessary to help you recover to your fullest.

This is why when you are injured, it is extremely important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. One who can help you receive a proper settlement amount for your case to include all current and future damages. Settling with your insurance agency may seem like the quickest, most pain-free route, but it isn’t necessarily the one that will best support you and your family after your accident.

You will not be able to reopen a case once it is settled, so make sure you hire an attorney who you trust. Call our experienced personal injury attorneys today if you are a victim of an injury to receive the help you need.

Can I Recover Lost Wages Due to My Injuries?

Being injured in an accident is an extremely traumatizing experience. Many people will find themselves feeling helpless against an insurance agency, which is why they hire an experienced personal injury accident attorney. They will receive their medical attention while the attorney will fight to get all of the medical bills covered. As well as the lost wages due to not being able to perform a job properly as a result of the injury.

If you are injured in an accident and are unable to return to work, you are most likely eligible for compensation of the lost wages. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injury, the time missed at work, and the hourly rate in which you are employed. In order to successfully receive compensation, you will have to have your medical providers document the extent of your injuries.

Of course, every case is different and not every circumstance may be eligible for wage compensation, so it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case. For information on your case, give us a call today.

To read more about personal injury accident cases in McHenry County, and how our team at Franks Gerkin McKenna fights for families like yours, please read our other FAQ pages.

If I slipped and fell due to ice, and as a result, am injured, should I seek personal injury compensation?

In Illinois, the slip and fall law is as follows—where there is a natural accumulation of ice, there’s no recovery that can be made against the property owner.

Illinois lawmakers created this law with the knowledge that our state is prone to ice and snow-related issues. Everybody has to deal with ice, and a lot of people fall on the ice despite past efforts of the owner to keep their walkways maintained.

However, you are able to recover financial compensation for unnatural accumulation.  This is where liquid has frozen—usually near the entryway or under a gutter system.

Because of the icy and/or dangerous conditions of the property are not caused by the rain that turns to ice, or snow that turns to ice, this is unnatural accumulation. Something needs to be fixed so that this is no longer a hazard for a passerby.So if you slip on that, then you’ve got the ability to seek compensation.

At Franks Gerkin McKenna, we know that Illinois slip and fall law is very, very confusing. How do you know when the ice accumulation was natural or unnatural?

Please fill out an online form or call our McHenry County, IL office if you have any questions about your case. We’d be more than happy to walk through what happened to you and determine if seeking financial compensation is in your best interests.

What if I fall because of a walkway defect?

The same applies to trip and fall accidents when there isn’t a defect in the walkway. For example, let’s say that there is a brick that has come up, or there is a hole in the pavement. If there’s no defect, you just tripped, some people think, “I tripped on someone’s property. I’m entitled to make a claim.” But unfortunately, you’re not.

There has to be a significant defect that the owner knew about and failed to rectify. But if you could see a big hole, then you should be able to navigate around it.

How do I know whether or not my fall was my fault? Should I talk to you anyway about it?

If you, after falling, realize there was any kind of defect, it’s worth contacting us to discuss, because we can evaluate that defect and determine whether it’s one that we’re able to recover compensation.

Will my medical history affect my ability to receive compensation after my fall?

If you had a medical condition that kept you from being able to properly travel on a property, then there’s an issue there that you may be partly responsible for your fall.

We need to make sure that your medical condition was not a contributing factor, and that the injury was solely due to a defect on the property or the unnatural ice accumulation.

At the end of the day, the injury attorneys at Franks Gerkin McKenna want what is best for you and your family. We know you have questions. If you call our office and explain what happened to you, we can help you figure out whether or not it is worth your while to pursue a personal injury claim related to your slip and fall accident.

Contact our Marengo, Illinois law office today.

Wrongful Death FAQ: Why should I file a wrongful death claim after my loved one has passed away?

Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences you’ll endure in your lifetime. And when his or her death was caused by the negligence of another, the stress is almost unimaginable.

So why file a wrongful death claim?

The first thing is to understand that filing for compensation after the wrongful death of a family member shouldn’t be a stressful thing if you are working with an experienced injury attorney. You’ll play a large role, but it is his or her job to make sure that this is relieving stress and helping you cope with your emotional and financial burdens, not increase your stress.

We know that you’ll never be able to bring that person back as a part of bringing a claim, but you’re going to do a lot of positive things for you and your family by filing a wrongful death claim.

You’re going to make sure that, especially if that loved one was a wage earner and breadwinner for the family, there’s money available to fill in that gap. The financial burden may not seem like it is too much to bear–right now. But in time, you’ll realize that.

Also, it serves as a deterrent and an additional punishment for the wrongdoers, to make sure that they’re held responsible by getting a monetary award against them.

If you have questions about whether or not you should seek compensation after your loved one has been killed due to someone else’s negligence or error, please do not hesitate. Call one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Franks Gerkin McKenna. We fight for families in McHenry County, demanding justice along each and every step of the process.