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Archive for July, 2019

What Will Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

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An individual who is injured has the right to file a personal injury claim. Whether the damage involves a car accident, requires treatment by a physician or provokes emotional distress, the insurance company of the person who caused the injury could be responsible for financially compensating the victim.Personal-Injury-Law-Oak-Lawn-IL

Insurance settlement offers are made in accordance with the level of pain endured, meaning the payout is higher if the individual suffers a great deal. Insurance companies utilize a formula to determine how much pain the victim suffered in order to calculate a fair settlement offer.

The formula insurers use is not set in stone. Their method of coming to what they view as fair compensation relies heavily on certain factors that result from the sustained injury. No insurer will admit they are using a formula. Still, the formula sets the starting point for negotiations.

Check out the following factors that affect personal injury claims.

1. Minor vs. Severe Injuries

The first step insurance adjusters take to arrive at a settlement offer is to calculate the sum of medical expenses that were necessary to treat the injury. These medical special damages, when minor, are multiplied by one and a half to three times.

Severe medical special damages, such as those that are long-lasting or especially painful, are multiplied by five or more. Once an initial figure is decided upon, the adjuster factors in any wages that were lost due to the injury. This final number is the starting point for all settlement negotiations.

Important factors that influence how much the insurance company will offer include the extent of medical treatment necessary to relieve the pain, a long recovery period and clear medical evidence of damage. The more treatment, recovery time and evidence there is, the higher the insurance payout.

2. Mainstream vs. Alternative Medicine

The type of medical treatment the injured seeks weighs in heavily on the amount of compensation offered by an insurer. Most insurance companies disfavor alternative medicine, which includes such forms of treatment as chiropractic care, acupuncture and even physical therapy.

Insurers take seriously treatment received by medical doctors (MDs rather than non-MDs) and in hospitals or medical clinics. Once the injured person receives the medical bill, insurers take even the most exorbitant expenses seriously and attribute a higher numerical value in their formula.

Although treatment by non-MDs may come with a smaller price and yet be effective, insurance adjusters apply a smaller number when they calculate their formula. The application of a smaller multiplier means the claimant will receive a much lower initial settlement offer.

3. Treatment Duration

The length of time treatment takes is a significant factor in the personal injury claim settlement offer. A prolonged period of treatment suggests the injured endured more pain and suffering. Again, when the medical care is mainstream rather than alternative medicine, insurers are less suspicious.

4. Prescription Medicine

Prescribed medicines are given consideration when calculating insurance settlement offers. When a physician prescribes a drug for a lengthy duration or one that is especially strong, these details communicate to the adjuster that the injuries sustained are serious and will result in a higher settlement for the victim.

A lower settlement offer occurs when the medical treatment is brief and there is a lack of resulting emotional problems. Short recovery periods, no permanent injury and no medications prescribed to address the injury lead to the insurer factoring in a lower multiplier when calculating compensation.

5. Evidence of InjuryPersonal Injury Law

Medical records play a role in how much the insurance settlement will be. A doctor’s notes about continuing pain and the number of office visits will be included in the patient’s medical charts. The insurance company will be made privy to this information, which will affect the compensation.

The proof of injuries is in the hands of the victim. By relaying to the doctor symptoms of discomfort that result from the injury, evidence is established via the medical charts. Additional proof includes photographing bruises or discoloration and writing down when pain precludes one from activities.

While physical damage can be evident, general damages may be more difficult to assign a formulaic number. These less obvious damages include anxiety, stress and emotional distress that can result from the injury. Although less quantifiable, these damages are included when calculating insurance settlements.

6. Fault

Those injured may have played a part in their injuries. When victims of injury share blame for the incident, they are less likely to receive a higher settlement offer. Lower compensation will also be offered if witnesses are unavailable to support the victim or favor the case of the injured.

Comparative fault is recognized in Illinois courts. Essentially, when the injured is partially to blame for the incident (known as comparative fault), the individual’s compensation offer drops. If a victim is found to be 50 percent at fault for the injuries, the compensation drops by 50 percent.

In direct contrast, when the injured has no fault in the incident, insurers will assign higher numbers that raise the compensation amount. Plus, witnesses who support the injured and the victim’s calmness toward the claims process steers the insurance adjuster toward offering a higher compensation.

When filing personal injury claims in Illinois, victims have two years to take action in the civil court system. This statute of limitations starts from the date of the accident. In some instances, the discovery date, or when the injured learned about the injury, is accepted when filing a claim.

Work with a Personal Injury Attorney

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

Oak Lawn’s most prestigious law firm, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., is prepared to help victims of injury receive the maximum compensation for their pain and suffering. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in fighting for victim’s rights. Our legal experts work diligently with insurance companies to ensure quick and fair personal injury settlements.

The personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. successfully represent clients who are victims of medical malpractice, dog bites, nursing home abuse and neglect and birth injuries, among a host of other types of injury.

Get A Free Consultation

No individual should have to suffer without seeking justice. If you are injured, receive the compensation you are entitled to with the help of the skilled personal injury lawyers from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. We are committed to serving our clients in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and the surrounding communities.

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 to receive a free consultation.

What Do You Need to Understand about Mandatory Arbitration Clause in a Real Estate Contract?

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With the boom in real estate, mandatory arbitration to resolve the disputes has become very common in real estate transactions. Arbitration is a widely used method to settle the dispute out of the court. There are certain advantages in this method of conflict resolution that the court does not offer, such as, it is private and resolve the dispute efficiently and timely. Arbitrations are a cheaper alternative to dispute resolution as opposed to the full court trial.

While opting for arbitration to resolve the dispute, the parties must give due attention to the language of the clauses. If the language is vague, many unfavorable consequences can arise.

Legal Disputes in Real Estate Transactions

While signing a real estate contract, there may arise disputes for many reasons. The buyer may think that the seller has kept a few aspects of the sale hidden, and did not provide complete information about the property and its condition. Thus, the buyer may have stepped back after signing the contract.

The Lawsuit in Real Estate Disputes

In a legal dispute, the parties may consider filing a lawsuit. The process of lawsuit involves hiring a real estate lawyer, who seeks the solution that the party wants. When a lawsuit is filed, the party has to pay to serve the other party. After that, discovery is conducted which involves the parties send questions or put forward their demands.

Litigation is very expensive. The parties involved in the disputes have to pay attorney fees. When an expert witness is necessary, the party presenting the expert must pay him or her.  Moreover, because of a number of pending cases, it can take a lot of time until the judge will hear the case. When the hearing of the case is completed, the verdict is made. But, either of the party can appeal the decision which makes the procedure more expensive as well as longer.

Arbitration is an Alternative to Dispute Resolution

Because of a number of disadvantages of litigation, arbitration is considered as an effective alternative to resolving the dispute. This is less expensive and quicker in finding the solution than litigation. In this process, an arbitrator is appointed instead of a judge to make a decision. Another reason why arbitration is preferable is that the parties can choose the arbitrator who has the background and knowledge of real estate transaction. An arbitrator is not a random decision-maker.

Moreover, in the case of binding arbitration, appeals are not made generally and the finality of the decision is greater than litigation.


Apart from the advantages, arbitration has some disadvantages too. In arbitration, the parties have to agree to the decision and hence, they waive their right to a jury trial.

Since the arbitration is supposed to be cheaper and faster, there are certain shortcuts during the process. Such as, discovery can be limited, meaning that the parties will not have a bigger opportunity to gain information and evidence from another party as it would be in litigation.

Apart from it, the right to appeal may also be limited to only a few situations when fraud is involved. In the results of arbitration that you don’t like, you may end up with very limited resources. You can have arguments to appeal a decision in litigation, for instance, you can argue against an improper ruling on an evidentiary issue. On the other hand, in arbitration, these mistakes will not be sufficient to permit a party file an appeal.

Mandatory Arbitration as Part of the Agreement:

Mandatory arbitration becomes a part of the agreement when a party signs it. In case a party refuses to sign the arbitration agreement, despite that the transaction is completed, and a dispute arises, arbitration can be suggested by one of the parties. The court prefers this method because this way, they remove one case on their side.

In this situation, a real estate attorney can guide well about whether signing the arbitration agreement is in your favor or not.

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