Personal Injury & Wrongful Death FAQs

Working with us if you are injured

The attorneys of Chicago-based Phillips Law Offices have helped injured individuals and their families for over 65 years. If you have been injured in an accident (vehicle collision, at work, in a hospital, or by a defective product), or had a loved one die because of the reckless, negligent or wrongful behavior of another, we know you have a lot of questions.

Contacting our office for a free consultation may be the right way to go. However, we know from experience that the answers to the questions below can be helpful if you are considering a lawsuit or claim.

Serving injured individuals and families in Illinois for over 65 years

From offices in Chicago, the attorneys of Phillips Law Offices offer the highest quality legal services to the injured and their families throughout Illinois. Call (312) 470-6765, or contact us online today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys about your case.

What constitutes "personal injury" under the law?
Legally, the term personal injury defines the physical, emotional, and financial injuries suffered by an individual due the negligence or wrongdoing of another. Phillips Law Offices represents clients who have been victims of—

  • Transportation accidents—car, truck, motorcycle, bus, ATV, plane, and railroad accidents, etc.
  • Workers compensation/workplace accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Products liability
  • Medical malpractice—surgical, failure to diagnose, pharmaceutical, unsafe hospital care, nursing home abuse, etc.

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What is considered “non-economic loss?"
After a personal injury, victims may suffer physical pain and/or deep suffering caused by the inability to perform previous activities.  Other elements may include disability, decreased life expectancy, scarring, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.  Personal injury is the legal term that encompasses these symptoms and is a very real component of personal injury claims and lawsuits.

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What is "wrongful death?"

Wrongful death is a legal term describing a life that has been lost due to the negligent, careless, or possibly illegal actions of another. Issues include:

  • Differing views on how events occurred that resulted in a death
  • Whether the defendant owed a duty to the victim, and whether that duty was breached
  • The monetary value of losses for which a family may recover, including:
    • Lost wages
    • Benefits such as healthcare and retirement
    • Loss of consortium or personal relations
    • Loss of society
    • Grief, sorrow, and mental anguish

While compensation cannot bring back a loved one, replacing the financial and societal contributions that the loved one would have made is a way to help the family strive to become whole again.

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Insurance companies say I don’t need a lawyer to obtain a "fast" and "reasonable" settlement for a personal injury. Are they correct?

The simple answer is NO. Remember, insurance companies usually put profits before people. No matter how nice insurance agents may seem, their job is usually to see that you get as little compensation as possible. This is why they are not likely to explain all of your legal rights, identify all potential areas for which you might be entitled to damages, or value correctly how much you deserve.

An experienced lawyer can fully protect your interests and be a powerful advocate in negotiations or at trial. It is in your best interest to only provide your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. In fact, the more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement or information.  It costs you nothing to consult a Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.  If a Phillips Law Offices attorney takes your case, you pay nothing for legal services unless the firm wins you a money award or settlement.  At that point, the attorney is paid a percentage of the award or settlement.  In the vast majority of cases, a seriously injured victim represented by a personal injury lawyer receives more money, even after legal fees are deducted.

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What is a typical personal injury case settlement amount?
Every personal injury case addresses three issues:

  • Liability—establishing someone’s negligence
  • Damages—the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection—insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered
  • Consultation—who caused the injury and how

An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim depending on:

  • Incurred medical bill amounts
  • Future medical bills
  • Loss of past income
  • Your age
  • Permanent limitations caused by the injury
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
  • Prognosis for further problems
  • Strength of witness testimony

The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury.  An experienced attorney knows what a reasonable jury may award. The strength of lay and expert witness testimony generally also influences the amount.

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Can you guarantee success?
No reputable law firm can, should or will make a guarantee. What we tell clients is that we will not take your case unless we think it has a good chance to succeed. We also tell clients that we love to win and our record speaks to our talent at obtaining results for those we represent.

Our goal is to keep you informed about your options and what to expect. We treat every client with compassion, respect, and a fair assessment of the case.  This includes the time it usually takes to resolve a case, and types of damages you could receive—based on our years of experience with injuries similar to yours that have settled or had jury verdicts.

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Will I have to go to trial to recover damages? And, how long will it take?
About 95 percent of personal injury cases filed are settled before trial by insurance companies. That said, we are trial lawyers.

Know that while most cases settle before trial, this usually happens after both sides have prepared their cases. There is no way to predict how long your case may take.  Every case is unique.  However, our experience is that lawsuits generally last about two to four years from filing to trial.  Settling for the amount identified as fair and full compensation by Phillips Law Offices is usually a bit faster.

What all this means is that while the rewards can be significant, and you should allow us to constantly fight to get you what you deserve, you will need to be patient. We encourage you to focus on getting healthy, while we focus on getting you the justice, peace of mind, and compensation you deserve.

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How much do you charge for a personal injury case?
We charge on a contingency fee basis. This means you typically do not pay us anything unless there is a settlement or a winning verdict at trial. Our fee when we win your case is a percentage of the total compensation plus case costs that are clearly explained as your case progresses.

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