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What Should I Consider When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Sustaining injuries as a result of negligence or wrongdoing by another party is grounds for a lawsuit. When a legal case is imminent, the wronged party should seek the professional services of a personal injury lawyer. Prior to hiring the attorney, consider the following.

A personal injury lawyer can help a victim of an accident or an individual who has been injured due to the negligence of others. Such a competent legal professional is knowledgeable about personal injury laws and can help the victim seek compensation for her injuries.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and major corporations will go out of their way to avoid paying compensation for a victim’s injuries and damages. A skillful personal injury lawyer, however, protects a client’s best interests against these hostile companies and explains her legal rights.

When is a personal injury lawyer necessary?What-to-Do-After-Personal-Injury-at-Work-Talk-with-Doctor

An individual who is injured in a car accident must prove the negligence of the offending party. Without evidence, the victim cannot recover compensation for the injuries. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is expedient when the negligent party disputes liability, as the lawyer gathers evidence to prove liability.

A personal injury case will need a lawyer when multiple parties are involved. Examples include medical malpractice claims, construction accidents, product liability claims, and multi-vehicle accidents. The personal injury lawyer develops a case to protect the victim and seeks higher monetary compensation.

Injuries that result in permanent disability or traumatic injury could cause a victim to require ongoing medical care. Depending on age and disability, future damages could run in the millions over a lifetime. A lawyer assembles a team of medical and economic experts to ensure the victim receives maximum compensation.

The abovementioned scenarios are only a handful of instances when a personal injury lawyer can help. In general, the at-fault’s insurance company will aggressively fight back in order to protect itself from liability and avoid paying compensation. A personal injury lawyer fights for fair compensation.

What should be considered when hiring a personal injury lawyer?Talk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

  1. 1. Consider relevant experience

The right personal injury attorney will have experience handling specific types of personal injury cases. Consider that personal injury law is broad, ranging from medical malpractice to vehicle accidents and wrongful death. Ask the attorney what type of personal injury law he practices.

Probe into the lawyer’s professional experience to determine how many similar cases he’s handled. A law firm could give little or extensive focus to specific types of cases, so it is important to know their areas of expertise. Note what types of cases they recently handled and the outcomes.

Although a lawyer may have handled similar cases, the cases may not have gone to trial. While many cases are settled before they go to court, not all attorneys possess the skill to try a case in court. Find a lawyer who has taken similar cases to trial and won.

  1. 2. Consider a good reputation

Personal injury lawyers with a track record of success enjoy a stellar reputation. Lawyers who have earned a good reputation have extensive legal experience; they will also have gained the respect of peers. Overall, a solid reputation gives insight into the quality of the legal practice.

Evaluate the attorney’s reputation by researching the local chapter of the bar association. Additional feedback may be obtained from customer reviews; ratings can provide a wealth of information about client experiences in working with the lawyer and how the lawyer handles client relations.

  1. 3. Consider legal fees

Understand the personal injury lawyer’s fee structure before hiring. Most lawyers who specialize in personal injury law operate on a contingency fee basis, which means the client pays no legal fees unless she recovers compensation from her personal injury lawsuit.

Once the case is resolved, the lawyer will take a fixed percentage of the money awarded. In most cases, the fixed percentage ranges from 20 to 40 percent. If a contingency agreement is not in place, find out if the lawyer charges by the hour or a flat rate.

Be aware of accumulating litigation costs that are paid out of pocket. Whether a case is won or lost, the client may have to pay medical record retrieval fees, filing fees, and other miscellaneous clerical charges. Ask the potential attorney about his policies regarding out-of-pocket litigation costs.

Personal injury lawsuits can be lengthy, especially when severe injuries are sustained. The lawyer should be able to provide a rough estimate of the time frame for the case, though an accurate one may be unrealistic (due to case complexity, willingness to settle, or court calendars).

Assess the experience and qualifications of a potential personal injury lawyer before making a hiring decision. When you are looking for a competent personal injury law firm, consider Berry K Tucker & Associates. We offer 50+ years of combined legal experience in building successful personal injury cases.

In Illinois, personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations, meaning injured parties must file their claim within two years after the injury. When you choose our qualified personal injury lawyers to work on your behalf, your case will be handled swiftly and competently.

Looking for more information?Bankruptcy-Coins-on-Desk-Calculator-Reviewing-Documents

The attorneys at Berry K Tucker & Associates have skillfully handled numerous types of personal injury cases. Our firm specializes in car and bicycle accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death, among others.

Rather than continue to lose wages and watch medical bills accumulate, contact the personal injury lawyers at Berry K Tucker & Associates. We will determine whether or not you are eligible for punitive damages related to your injuries. Our firm works with insurers to ensure maximum compensation.

If you suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party, do not delay contacting Berry K Tucker & Associates. Our personal injury lawyers in Oak Lawn, Illinois, will provide you with expert legal guidance and representation. Contact our office today to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer.

How Long After a Settlement Do I Get Paid?

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A settlement can end a personal injury case fairly quickly. In fact, in most personal injury settlements, the case is finalized within one to six weeks. However, the process is complex and relies heavily on various factors, such as the ones that follow.

It’s important to recognize the different types of lawsuit settlements. Personal injury cases occur after the victim is injured as a result of the careless actions of another person. A civil case is filed by the plaintiff in an effort to receive compensation for medical expenses from the offender’s insurer.

The severity of the victim’s injuries determines the amount of compensation awarded. Typically, lawsuit settlements can range from low to substantial. An average personal injury settlement ranges from $3,000 to $75,000 but depends largely on circumstances surrounding the individual case.

What are different types of personal injury cases?Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

A lawsuit settlement may involve vehicles. The verdict in car accidents depends on the type of car and the severity of damages sustained. The condition of the vehicle also influences the amount of compensation awarded. Damaged property is repaired using the money from the settlement.

Personal injuries may occur when individuals accidentally slip and fall on slick surfaces. Hazardous, wet floors are found in workplaces or general stores. Tripping over objects on the floor can also lead to a legal case in which the lawyer attempts to obtain funds to cover the plaintiff’s medical expenses.

A class action lawsuit settlement involves many people who have been harmed by the wrongful actions of a manufacturer, retailer, financial institution, or government entity. The plaintiff in such a class action lawsuit usually lacks the financial power to pursue legal actions individually.

What are the various types of settlements?

A personal injury case can fall into either of two categories: formal settlement or informal settlement. A judge decides whether or not the defendant is guilty during a formal settlement. Restitution is often a large sum in such cases, or the benefit may be worth more than a monetary award.

During an informal settlement, both parties negotiate and arrive at an agreement prior to the case going to trial. A written agreement in which both parties agree to not pursue further legal actions follows. The case is ultimately resolved with an agreed-upon monetary sum.

The type of settlement influences how soon a plaintiff will receive compensation. The entire settlement may be paid in one lump sum, which is known as a lump sum settlement. Most personal injury cases are settled via this basic form of settlement. All the money is paid without a wait.

Structured settlements, however, allow the defendant to compensate the plaintiff in a series of payments. The annuity plan may continue for years or even a lifetime. Inflation may increase each payment in structured settlements, or the payments may decrease as medical expenses lessen.

What additional factors influence the timing of payments?

Personal-Injury-LawAfter both parties sign the settlement agreement, the insurance company in a personal injury case will remit compensation. The legal documents must be filed appropriately in order to protect the plaintiff in the future. Only once the process is satisfactorily complete will the plaintiff be paid.

Once the lawyer receives the settlement check, it is temporarily placed into an escrow account or trust. The plaintiff’s attorney will pay any unpaid medical bills, health insurance fees related to the accident or auto debts using the settlement check received.

Then the court and legal fees must be paid. Court fees include the costs to file the settlement, to compel witness participation, for court appointed experts and for miscellaneous expenses, such as transcripts and document copying. Once all the aforementioned fees are paid, the plaintiff receives the rest.

Delays in the receipt of settlement compensation may also be due to the day of the week the payment is remitted. Weekends and holidays can delay payment, as funds are normally distributed on business days. Banks may also hold large sums for several days to ensure the deposit is lawful.

In most cases, compensation from settlements is received within six weeks after negotiations complete. Any extensive delays should be discussed with the personal injury attorney handling the case. The attorney should explain the reason for the delay and can help resolve any issues.

Work with a Personal Injury AttorneyBerry-K.-Tucker-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

The personal injury lawyer can also work to expedite the payment due. A partial settlement payment may be an option as the attorney negotiates existing liens. In such instances, the lawyer will retain a portion of the settlement proceeds during the course of negotiations.

Personal injury lawsuits are complicated processes. Without an experienced personal injury attorney to provide legal representation, a plaintiff is potentially subject to frustrating delays in receiving compensation, the forfeiture of critical rights and an undervaluation of the personal injury case.

When you are the victim of a personal injury, such as a slip and fall accident, nursing home abuse or birth injury, you deserve expert legal representation to ensure you receive fair compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will help file your claim in a timely manner.

Our personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable in all facets of Illinois law. We’ve successfully won cases when clients were involved in bicycle accidents, car accidents and construction accidents. Our experience also ranges from medical malpractice to wrongful death and workers’ compensation.

The family law attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are also available when you fail to receive the alimony or child support to which you are entitled. Our divorce attorneys provide sound legal counsel and guidance in matters involving property division and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Call for a Consultation

The highly competent attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. provide comprehensive legal representation, whether you are injured and are burdened with expensive medical bills or are pursuing a difficult divorce. Our firm serves residents in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Call our office at (708) 425-9530 for a consultation. 

How a Missing Police Report Affects Your Car Accident Claim

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A police report is not always needed in a car crash claim especially when the accident was minor and there were no injuries. But a car accident claim could get complicated if the claimant does not have a police report. In this article, this issue is discussed in detail to help readers if they are facing this issue.

Why Is It Important to File a Police Report?Car Accident

The first thing a victim should do after a car crash is calling 911 so that police can immediately reach the scene, review the situation, check the health of people involved in the accident, issue a traffic citation, and if necessary call the other first responders like paramedical staff, fire department, more police officers, etc.

When police officers arrive on the accident scene they initiate an investigation to find out the cause of the accident and who is liable for that. Other information that usually police gathers in their report include:

  • Witness statements
  • Information of driver and passengers of all parties
  • Diagram of the accident scene
  • Description of property damage or injury
  • Condition of road and weather when the accident happened

When Missing Police Report Complicate The Case?

The burden of providing proof falls on the victim in the car wreck claim. Moreover, insurance companies deny the claim that victims made and say that these injuries were not linked to the crash. They might be proved right if you fail to file a police report.

Thus, this police report is the official record of the collision and helps to link the injuries to the accident. With this report, it will be easier to establish who was at the fault.

Is It Possible to File A Claim Without a Police Report?Client-Talking-to-Attorney-in-Office

Even without a police report, you can still file the claim. As discussed earlier, it becomes necessary when the insurance company requires it, and if there is no report you might be prohibited from filing the claim.

Still, it is better to file a claim if there is no such requirement of the insurance policy. Another step that can help in proving the claim is collecting evidence at the accident scene such as:

  • Car accident scene photos
  • Statements of the third-party witnesses
  • Dashboard, traffic, or surveillance camera video footage

Learn How Attorneys Will Help You

Your car crash case may become complicated if the police report is missing. Also, collecting the related evidence stuff like the traffic camera video might be difficult without any personal injury lawyer’s help. If you have queries in your mind regarding the legal process of the car crash, consider consulting an experienced attorney.

Long Beach Accident Lawyers have a proven track of dealing with such cases on a regular basis. Call them today and discuss your case in detail with their lawyer. They can assist you if you filed a police report or not.

You do not need to pay an upfront fee and just focus on getting the compensation you deserve. That is why most collision claimants consider hiring a lawyer to represent them during the entire legal process.

10 Common Mistakes Made by Personal Injury Claimants

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Personal injury cases are rarely straightforward and claiming compensation from the at-fault party is never easy. More than 50% claimants are victims of auto accidents injuries that are normally covered by vehicle insurers; yet, the claim process can be complicated under certain circumstances. The majority of personal injury victims are in a financially compromised and emotionally vulnerable state, which is why fulfilling legal obligations becomes a burden. Lack of familiarity with how personal injury law and insurance works leads them to make these common mistakes:

1. Vague Assessment of Injuries

Before filing a claim, it is necessary to recognize the extent of injuries and evaluate the fiscal value of the case. Many personal injury victims have no idea of the total estimated cost of their damages. You may not consider ongoing charges or possible expenditure in case long term medical treatment is required. Insurance adjusters take maximum advantage of claimants’ obliviousness.

2. Unrealistic Expectations or FearsWhat-to-Do-After-Personal-Injury-at-Work-Talk-with-Doctor

Some victims expect to be paid as soon as the claim is filed with the insurance company; just because your claim is valid does not mean that you immediately receive compensation. Some claimants get anxious about the case going to trial and the imposing legal expenses of court procedures. In the real world, less than 5% personal injury cases go to trial. There is no need to worry unless you faked injuries, or your claim is worth six figures or more.

3. Skipping Medical Treatment

If you don’t consult a certified doctor for your injuries, you may not have a case. Even if your injuries seem minor at the time of the accident, you must seek medical attention at all costs. Strictly follow up with treatment and never miss an appointment with the doctor. The medical reports and testimony issued by the practitioner are crucial to your claim.

4. Overlooking Medical Records

Filing a claim without using medical records is a ridiculous, yet common mistake. The defendant’s insurer may respond to a claim immediately by making an offer. However, you must be patient and wait for your medical reports to come in; without them, it would be impossible to estimate the true worth of your case.

5. Failure to Retain Evidence/Important Information

Some claimants exercise negligence by losing receipts and other tangible evidence that are integral to their claim. Make sure to keep track and secure all relevant information and documentation that supports your case.

6. Settling without Negotiation

No matter how appealing the insurer’s initial deal looks, do not fall for the bait. Once you agree to a proposition, there is no turning back. Take your time to think and push for a better offer.

7. Not Hiring a Lawyer

Dealing with the defendant and their insurance adjuster on your own is never a good idea. They will try to trick you into accepting a scanty offer or even attempt to deny your claim. Hire a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer to fight for you and win the compensation you deserve.

8. Inadequate Attorney Shopping

All attorneys and law firms are not the same. You must conduct ample research before choosing a lawyer to represent your case. Many people skip attorney shopping and go with the unwarranted firm recommended by their insurance company.

9. Hesitating to Ask Questions

If you have any concerns about your case, ask away. Oftentimes, the questions that seem stupid lead to the most promising answers. Asking questions encourages elaborate discussions, which helps the personal injury lawyer and their client understand the case better.

10. Not discussing the psychological impact of injuries

When you talk about the accident and injuries with your lawyer, leave nothing out. You must reveal the physical and mental impact of the incident, even if the details sound embarrassing. The more your personal injury attorney knows, the greater leverage you get on the case.

What If You Were Injured By a Police Car?

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Usually, in car accidents, the driver is liable for the car crash as well as for the damages caused to the person and property. The victim is entitled to file the case against the driver or person at fault. But are you still eligible to file a claim if the driver was a police officer or he/she was in the police car when the accident happened? If not, who would you sue in court?

Such claims are complicated. That’s is because many police officers have an exception from various types of personal injury claims. Sometimes police officers are also involved in gross negligence.

Car Accident

Gross Negligence: What Does that Mean?

Gross negligence has no specific definition, but essentially that there is no room for interpretation. Generally, gross negligence is used for an extreme case of carelessness such as driving under influence. In the case of a police officer, gross negligence means a police officer was driving at a dangerous speed and neither was trying to get to the crime scene or involved in the crime scene.

Reason Why Accidents with Police Cars Happen?

Police car chasing criminal suspects is one of the most common reasons why innocent bystanders get involved in the crash. For instance, a police officer could hit a passenger or a car while chasing someone who escaped just after committing a crime such as snatching or fleeing arrest.

While driving, a police officer could also be negligent and hit someone like other reckless drivers may involve in an accident. A police officer may likely be held responsible for what happened in the chain reaction car, like a rear-end crash.

Statute of Limitation for Compensation Claim

Usually, insurance companies have a deadline for filing a compensation claim. However, the deadline for filing a lawsuit against a police officer is different as filing this claim is against the government. The victim got 6 months from the injury date sends the claim notice to the party at fault for the harm.

That notice includes the description of the whole incident, injuries, compensation you are seeking as well as the solid evidence to support the allegations. The response time for the entity or agency has 2 months once they receive the notice. Not receiving the claim within this duration means the claim is denied. However, the victim can still eligible to file the lawsuit in the state court.

Need Help in the Car Accident Claim?

Sometimes, the police officer seems to be at fault straightforwardly. Still, you should seriously consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you at the court. That is because filing a claim against the police department or a police officer involves many complexities. Someone with no experience in dealing with such claims may miss key requirements and deadlines.

On the other hand, an experienced lawyer will make sure that your claim is properly pursued and will fight back to hold the officer negligible. If you have more queries or want assistance during the legal proceedings then call the long beach car accident lawyer. They have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with such complicated cases.

The Rule of Discovery of Harm in Medical Malpractice

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In a personal injury case, every state of the US has its own laws related to the time span when a person can bring forth the case within that time. Such law is called ‘statute of limitations.

Personal-Injury-Law

Medical malpractices are one of the subtypes of personal injury cases. In a few states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is the same as there are for other personal injury cases. While in other states, they differ. For instance, a few states allow two to six years to bring forth a case of medical malpractice; whereas some allow only one year.

The Discovery Rule in Medical Malpractice

The discovery rule changes the statute of limitations depending upon the case. This refers to the concept that the victim did not know that the legal claim occurred and must not be punished as the harm was discovered quite late. The goal of this rule gives the plaintiff an opportunity to file the case after the statute of limitation is collapsed and he or she did know that the particular harm existed.

Each state has a different rule regarding the discovery of the harm. For instance, few states extend the statute of limitation to one year while others extend for many years. While few states have laws that until the harm is discovered the statute of limitations does not start.

Application of the Discovery Rule

There are countless ways that the rule of discovery is applied.  For instance, if a patient had a surgery in January 2017, and had no negative symptoms or problems till January 2018 when the patient began experiencing symptoms such as pain.

The statute of limitations for filing the case will start from the day of discovery, January 2018 until January 2020, as long as there is a statute of limitations of three years. After collapsing of the standard time limit, the victim must rely on the discovery rule to file a lawsuit.

Sufficient and Reasonable Notice

The foundation of the discovery rule states that the statute of limitations begins running when the victim reasonably ought to have known that he or she remains the victim of medical malpractice.

For instance, a patient is diagnosed that he or she has a surgical instrument inside the body, this will place the victim on notice that he or she fell victim of the medical malpractice.

Additional Factors Affecting Statute of Limitations

Apart from the rule of the discovery of harm, other factors also come into play that affects the statute of limitations. For instance, claims of medical malpractice can have a shortened statute of limitation. Certain claims related to product liability can also lessen than other kinds of personal injury cases; this is called the statue of repose.

In case the victim is under the age of 18, the statute of limitations will not start until the victim turns 18. In case such claims are made against a government entity, statute of limitations will be shorter with an additional requirement to file the case.

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Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney have dedicated their lives to the craft and stand by your side throughout the entire case, should you have any questions or concerns about the process.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

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After suffering a personal injury such as a slip and fall, dog bite, or car accident, it’s not uncommon to think about how much your case is worth. The answer ultimately depends on the damages incurred, such as what you have suffered physically, mentally, monetarily, and even if the defendant’s actions deserve to be punished.

Personal-Injury-Law

Here you can get an idea of the personal injury damages for which you are eligible as well as the kind of damages for which you would identify.

Typically in personal injury cases, charges are paid to the injured party (plaintiff) by the company or person who is legally responsible for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). After a settlement has been reached, the damages awarded will be determined between both parties, their attorneys, and the insurance companies. In other cases, they may be ordered by a jury or judge to go to trial.

The following information discusses the types of damages that are common in personal injury cases as well as how the compensation will be affected by the plaintiff’s actions.

Compensatory Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases are identified as “compensatory,” meaning that the intention is to compensate the injured party, or defendant, for the damages on behalf of the plaintiff. This compensation is determined to provide the needed relief for the injured party to recover properly.

This case will put a dollar value on each injury suffered, and while some are easy to determine, some are not. For example, quantifying medical bills and property damages can be easy, but it’s difficult to put a value on the amount of physical pain and suffering or ability to perform future activities due to physical disabilities.

The following includes a list of compensatory damages that are found in most personal injury cases:

  • Pain and suffering. If you have suffered serious discomfort or pain after an accident or its aftermath, you may be entitled to a specific compensation.
  • Medical treatment. Known to be relatively easy to determine the amount of awarded damages, personal injury compensation almost always includes the cost of medical treatment after an accident. This compensation may include the cost of treatment you have already received as well as additional treatments you may need in the future.
  • Property loss. In addition to pain and discomfort, any damages incurred to your property, such as your car, home, or items, may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement. This will be taken at the fair market value of the property.
  • Emotional distress. This type of pain and suffering are usually only compensated for more serious accidents. But it is meant to compensate the injured party for the psychological impact taken on, such as sleep loss, anxiety, or fear. There are some states that still consider this as pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment. When you are not physically capable of enjoying specific activities, such as exercise, hobbies, and other recreational activities, you may be eligible for “loss of enjoyment” compensation.
  • If the accident had caused you to miss work, it will have an impact on your salary or wages. This would include both the income you have lost but the money would have been able to make in the future if the accident never happened. This type of compensation would be counted as “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Loss of consortium. This is mostly related to the impact the injuries incurred on the relationship between the plaintiff and their spouse. Some states also consider the impact on the relationship between the plaintiff and their child if one is injured. Some cases may conclude that the consortium damage is awarded directly to the family member.

Punitive Personal Injury Cases

If the defendant’s actions were intentional or extremely negligent, the plaintiff can be awarded compensation both punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are usually intended to push consequences on the defendant for their negligent or intentional actions.

This would usually result in extreme charges, such as charges significantly exceeding the cost to make the injured party “whole again.” But many states still have a cap on the damages to prevent such outrageous charges from being incurred.

How Damages Awards are Affected by the Plaintiff’s Actions

There are cases in which the injured party’s actions, or even inactions, can take away from the damages awards they are eligible to receive.

  • Contributory negligence. Not many states follow this, but the concept of this is that the injured party may not be eligible for any compensation because they were held partially responsible for the accident.
  • Comparative negligence. If the injured party is at any fault for the accident that caused the injuries, the compensation they receive can reflect this.
  • Failure to mitigate damages after the accident. Most state laws don’t require but do expect the plaintiffs to take steps to help “mitigate” or minimize the damage. This in turn can reduce the financial harm caused to both parties. But if they don’t do anything, such as not getting the proper treatment needed and their injury becomes worse, the compensation awarded will be reduced significantly.

Work with a Personal Injury AttorneyBerry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

The damages and types of personal injury cases stated in this article are intended to help understand the circumstances in which compensation is received and affected; it is not to be taken as legal advice. For more information on obtaining the compensation you deserve, it is highly recommended to reach out to a personal injury attorney.

Contacting a professional that is experienced can even maximize the amount of damages for which you are eligible, provided that all evidence, details, and efforts are made. Finding one that specializes in specific personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall, etc. will also help your case due to their specialization and experience.

Our personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can provide insight to your case. Our attorneys not only have over 50 years of combined experience working in diverse cases, but ensure to stay updated on changes in the law. This allows us to develop the best strategy for your case, fighting for the compensation you deserve so you can recover properly.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information or to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Steps Included in a Personal Injury Case

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Due to the unique situation of each person, there is no black and white solution for each personal injury case. But there is a basis in which each case would follow provide an idea of what to expect.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Here you can get an idea of what to expect when filing for a personal injury lawsuit.

At the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our personal injury attorneys take a professional approach to the situation. We combine the right information with years of experience and knowledge of current law in order to provide the most effective solution for the client.

Our process of personal injury cases goes as follows:

  1. Consultation with an attorney
  2. Personal injury case investigation
  3. Demand for settlement
  4. Filing a personal injury lawsuit
  5. Discovery phase of the case
  6. Mediation
  7. Trial
  8. Appeal

1. Initial Consultation with an Attorney

Immediately after an accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney about the details of your case, including:

  • Whether the other party was negligent
  • If there is a defendant from whom to receive compensation
  • The severity and extent of your injuries
  • Your legal options
  • Your medical expenses

Feel free to ask any questions during the initial consultation with Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

2. Personal Injury Case Investigation

If you retain counsel, one of our attorneys will investigate the details of your case, including all details about the accident scene, photographs, police reports, witness testimony, medical bills and records, employment history and earning power, as well as other details that are important to your case.

They may also work with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, or other professionals involved in your case. They will also look into the defense of the other party to determine their liability.

For many cases involving car accidents, we will need to research the vehicle’s information, including its condition before the crash as well as the condition of the road. If there was any video footage of your vehicle or even of the crash, it will be found as well.

Finally, additional witnesses of the accident may also be contacted in order to obtain statements. But your attorney should keep you informed at all times regarding the details of your case as well as be responsive to your legal questions.

3. Demand for Settlement

This step will demand a settlement that will include the letter outlining your case. This will include the liabilities and damages that highlight the following:

  • Injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment
  • Future medical care and expenses

This demand letter will be reviewed by the defendant, be it an individual, business, or insurance company in which they will either reject, counteroffer, or accept it. As this letter is often the most important step in starting the case, ensuring that it includes all details is crucial.

4. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your case cannot be settled without taking legal action, one of our attorneys will work with you to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.

5. Discovery Phase of the Case

Before going to trial, the other party will need time to gather evidence and determine the nature of both sides of the case. Keep in mind that it’s not only using the right information during this time, but how it’s done.

When the time is right, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will work aggressively in order to gather the necessary information for the case.

6. Mediation

Before filing the lawsuit, it is possible that a mediator will schedule a session in which you and the opposing party can reach an agreement to prevent going to trial. But keep in mind that the actions taken during this session can significantly impact one’s case, so it’s important to work with a trained and experienced attorney.

At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience, including handling negotiations. These experiences have allowed us to win numerous high-value cases in order to provide the solution that served in our clients’ best interests.

7. Trial

If an agreement was still unable to be made, the next step in this case would be to go to trial. During this process, the jury will review the facts, determine the fault, and then award the damages.

8. Appeal

Depending on the proceedings, the opposing party may appeal the case. Known as an appellate process, this will usually proceed differently than the normal trial process. But it’s helpful to work with experienced appellate practitioners to assist with these cases.

Work with an Experienced Attorney

Berry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry Tucker has years of experience with personal injury cases. Be sure to ask him how he can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Personal injury cases are definitely no walk in the park. Especially when filing a lawsuit, working with an experienced attorney who has negotiated during both mediation and trial will be critical. It’s also important to ask the right questions during the consultation to get an idea of what will be done when working on your case.

If you live near the Oak Lawn, IL area, don’t hesitate to contact the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our personal injury attorneys are not only experienced in handling numerous cases, but we will provide a consultation to discuss your case as well as what will be done in order to obtain the compensation that you deserve. We will then work with you throughout your case, negotiating with the other party in order to reach a solution that works in your best interest.

To speak with one of our attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Worker’s Compensation Eligibility: Find Out If You Are Eligible

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A warehouse worker who slips and falls while mopping the floors could be eligible for worker’s compensation. The drug store employee who injures herself while moving merchandise boxes to the appropriate aisle could also be a candidate for worker’s compensation. A businessman who falls down the hotel lobby stairs while on a business trip could also receive worker’s compensation benefits.

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Worker’s compensation protects employees from the financial consequences of workplace injuries. This insurance program covers the employee regardless of who is at fault, whether a colleague, customer, or employer. Limits do apply to receiving worker’s compensation benefits, however.

All of the following factors will determine whether or not one is eligible for worker’s compensation benefits:

Worker's-Compensation-Form

The following factors will determine whether you are eligible for worker’s compensation

1. Employee Status
2. Injured on the Job
3. Commutes
4. Reporting Timeframe
5. Employer Coverage
6. Exceptions

1. Employee Status

An individual must be an employee to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Volunteers, for instance, provide services on a volunteer basis and are not candidates for benefits. Exceptions do exist, however. Volunteer firefighters are sometimes covered by some states’ worker’s compensation programs.

Independent contractors and consultants are not typically eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Still, the rules vary state by state, and those who signed a 1099 tax form will likely go to court to resolve any disputes.

2. Injured on the Job

To be eligible for worker’s compensation, the employee must have been injured while engaging in work-related activities. The fine line between work-related and non-work-related situations can be illustrated with the following examples:
An employee takes a lunch break and is injured in the cafeteria after slipping on spilled food. This individual is likely to receive worker’s compensation benefits because the injury occurred during work hours and on the company’s premises.

However, an employee who takes a lunch break at the local deli and twists his ankle while at the deli is not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. This individual’s injury did not occur on workplace premises and is not a work-related incident. However, this employee could receive worker’s compensation benefits if he picked up lunch for his boss from the deli and the injury occurred at the time.

3. Commutes

Commutes to and from work are not considered time on the job and do not entitle an employee to worker’s compensation benefits if injuries occur. However, exceptions to this rule do allow some employees to receive benefits. For instance, an individual driving a company vehicle, an employee running errands for the employer or someone who regularly travels for work can be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

4. Reporting Timeframe

Employees who have been injured as a result of work-related activities must report the injury within a specified timeframe, which differs from state to state, in order to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Typically, most states have a 10 to 90-day time period for employees to make a written report for their employer. Once the employer is made aware of the employee’s injury, the employee typically has one to three years to file a worker’s compensation claim.

Different states may allow more time to file a claim. Some states also extend the time limit for filing claims if the individual is unable to file a claim immediately due to such scenarios as falling into a coma, prolonged treatment of the injury (such as burns), or being quarantined due to a contagious condition.

Those with mild work-related injuries should not hesitate to file a claim, since injuries can get worse over time. A claim will simply close in the event that a work-related back condition heals on its own. However, waiting to file a claim for a back injury that grows increasingly severe could lead to becoming ineligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

5. Employer Coverage

The vast majority of employers provide worker’s compensation coverage. While state laws differ, worker’s compensation coverage is usually dependent on the number of employees an employer has, the nature of the business and the type of work employees engage in. Most state laws require an employer to have coverage if they have at least one employee; other states require two to five employees.

Employees of the federal government are protected with a unique federal worker’s compensation system. Federal workers are guided by federal worker’s compensation benefit systems rather than state systems.

6. Exceptions

Domestic workers, such as housekeepers or nannies, are typically not covered by many states’ worker’s compensation programs. Other states exclude these professions if the employees are part time.

Temporary workers, or those hired by staffing agencies, are also covered by worker’s compensation so long as any injury sustained occurred while on the job. The primary challenge in temp workers’ claims is determining who is responsible for the coverage, the temp agency or the company to which the employee was sent to perform work.

Seasonal workers may also be excluded from some states’ worker’s compensation programs. Most states do, however, cover immigrant workers who lack the legal status to work.

Work with an Attorney

As the victim of injury while on the job, your medical bills, lost wages, and time off work are likely to cost you and your family valuable time and expense. You’ll benefit from seeking the services of a worker’s compensation attorney who will handle your case with professionalism and ensure you receive proper compensation. The attorney will discuss with you what is considered eligible under your state’s worker’s compensation laws and find out if your injuries make you eligible for benefits.

In Illinois, workers who have sustained injuries on the job have a two year time limit to file a worker’s compensation claim. When you are ready to discuss your claim, contact Oak Lawn’s most trusted personal injury lawyers. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. legal team is experienced in all facets of personal injury law. Our lawyers’ wealth of experience includes birth injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful death.

The dedicated team of personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will review your case, work with your insurance company, inform you of your legal options and fight for maximum compensation. We also offer an initial consultation to help you get started on resolving your worker’s compensation claim quickly.

What is Considered Personal Injury?

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Personal injury law (also known as tort law) includes the case of an injured plaintiff to receive compensation for the fault of another’s intentional or negligent act to cause the plaintiff harm. Personal injuries can include a number of situations and can be serious if the individual suffered a severe injury.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Make sure to contact a personal injury attorney right away if you have suffered on behalf of another.

This article will explain what is considered personal injury, according to the law.

  1. 1. Car Accidents
  2. 2. Medical Malpractice
  3. 3. Slip and Falls
  4. 4. Defamation: Slander and Libel
  5. 5. Dog Bites
  6. 6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

1. Car Accidents

Car accidents make up the majority of personal injury cases in the US. An accident usually occurs when one isn’t following the rules of the road, either not paying attention or going too fast in the given conditions.

The defendant, or careless driver, will be held responsible for the injuries occurred during the accident. There are exceptions in “no fault” states, whereas the drivers must collect from their insurance companies, except in cases of severe injuries.

2. Medical Malpractice

When a healthcare professional or doctor does not provide the necessary or competent care a patient needs, the injury or pain and suffering of a patient is the result. These medical malpractice cases are considered more complex as they involve a number of unique situations.

3. Slip and Falls

Another type of common personal injury case, the property owners (or renters) must keep their homes free of hazards and safe to prevent the injuries of any and all visitors. While not all injuries sustained on the property will result in the owner being liable, this is not always the case. Ultimately, their legal duty will vary depending on the unique situation and state where the injury happened.

Slip and Fall personal injury claims are usually based on premises liability laws.

4. Defamation: Slander and Libel

Defamation in the state of slander or libel is when one suffers an injury to his or her reputation as a result of false claims. The plaintiff must prove who they are and the situation in which the claim was made. Usually, this person will need to prove that the false statement was made and they suffered financial harm as a result.

In the case of public figures or celebrities, they must prove “actual malice,” meaning they must prove that the false claim was made intentionally or with disregard to the truth of what was really true.

5. Dog Bites

Most dog owners are always financially responsible for bites and injuries occurred to the person from the dog. The details of the law will vary according to each state. But in some situations, there are strict liability rules and the owner of the dog will be liable for the damages caused by the dog bite, even if the dog never showed aggression in the past.

Some states go by the “one bite” rule in which dog owners are responsible for personal injury charges if there is a reason for them to know their dog is aggressive.

6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are not based on accidents as a result of carelessness, but when one intentionally harms another. These cases will usually involve the condition of a criminal case against the perpetrator. For instance, if one physically harms another, they will most likely face criminal charges. The victim can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the criminal to get proper compensation for the injuries.

Work with a Personal Injury Attorney

Berry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry Tucker has years of experience with diverse divorce cases. He can also provide a cost-effective solution for your case.

If you can identify with any of the situations explained above, it’s important to reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. In addition to paying for your medical bills, you can also be compensated for pain and suffering as a result of the injury.

When searching for a lawyer, it’s important to find one who is experienced and is knowledgeable of all updated laws in order to receive the most compensation. This must also be done as soon as possible as there is a time limit for which you will need to file to fully prove that their wrongdoing was a result of your injuries.

One such experienced law firm includes Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Not only do they have over 50 years of combined legal experience, but they can provide the guidance and assistance you need to receive proper compensation for all injuries occurred. They have also worked in diverse cases, allowing them to make well-rounded decisions in unique situations that have ended up working in the client’s best interest.

For more information on their personal injury attorneys, please call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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