Personal Injury FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury

Helping injured people for 43 years. Let our experience work for you.


#1 If I am injured in an accident, should I hire an attorney?

You have the right to attempt to resolve your claim directly with the insurance company, however that is very risky as what you say may result in a denial of your claim. Handling an accident case requires a high degree of skill and experience. At Orzoff Law Offices, our attorneys are well versed in analyzing the legal issues of liability, the types of insurance coverage and the amount of compensation you should receive. Our knowledge and experience will allow you to maximize your financial recovery. Please call us at 847-564-0285 so we can discuss your case and answer your questions.

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#2 Will I have to pay for a consultation or will I have to pay a retainer if you accept my case?

No. The initial consultation with Orzoff Law Offices is free. If we accept your case you only pay a fee if you receive a settlement. The fee is always contingent upon your recovery. Typically, the legal fee is one-third of the gross amount of your recovery. If there is no recovery then there is no fee.

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#3 How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

In the State of Illinois, the Statute of Limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. In cases against the Chicago Transit Authority, you must file a written legal notice within six months of the date of the accident and a lawsuit within one year of the accident date. In cases against the City of Chicago and other governmental bodies, the Statute of Limitations for filing your claim is one year from the date of the accident. These time limitations are strictly enforced. If your claim is not filed within these time limitations it will be legally terminated. Please do not wait until the last minute to contact an attorney, as your lawyer will need a reasonable amount of time in order to properly prepare your case.

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#4 Does it make a difference when I hire an attorney?

Yes. In order to ensure the maximum success in your case, it is best to hire an attorney immediately. Witnesses have to be contacted as soon as possible after the accident. If the insurance company contacts the witnesses first, there is a good chance that their statements will be twisted to the insurance company’s advantage. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will begin our investigation immediately after accepting your case. We employ trained investigators who will take the statements of all witnesses, which will strengthen your case from the beginning. Call us at 847-564-0285 so that we begin working on your case as soon as possible. This is the best thing that you can do in order to properly protect your legal rights and guarantee that you will eventually receive the maximum settlement.

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#5 If I am a victim of personal injury, do I have to sign an authorization allowing the disclosure of my medical records or employment records?

No. You are not under any legal obligation to sign any authorizations without first consulting an attorney. An insurance adjuster or investigator may tell you that you must sign these types of documents in order to have your claim processed. The truth of the matter is that your claim will be processed regardless of whether you sign these authorization documents. Once you sign these types of documents, you may be waiving your right to object to the disclosure of any irrelevant or private information that should not be disclosed in relation to your claim. Also, you are giving the insurance company direct access to speak with your doctor, which could be damaging to you, as the insurance company will attempt to influence your doctor to minimize your treatment.

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#6 If my medical bills are paid by my own health insurance and, if my employer has paid me my full salary even though I have missed time from work, am I still entitled to make a claim for personal injuries?

Yes. Payment of your medical bills by your health insurance company and the payment of your wages by your employer are, under Illinois law, considered to be collateral sources. This means that the insurance company for the responsible party is not entitled to receive credits for your own personal health benefits and the generosity of your employer. The liability insurance company for the responsible party is still fully responsible for all of your damages, including the payments made by your health insurance carrier and your employer.

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#7 In order to settle my case, will it be necessary to file a lawsuit and have a trial?

We estimate that 75 percent of our cases are successfully settled and resolved without the necessity of filing a lawsuit. The remaining cases are those in which the responsible party’s insurance company is not making a fair settlement offer. Those are the cases that must be taken to court in order to achieve a fair result. Many of those cases are successfully settled during the course of the lawsuit without the necessity of a trial. If a trial is necessary, we see to it that our clients are properly prepared to testify and that everything else has been done in order to achieve the most successful result.

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#8 What is a slip and fall accident and can I make a claim for personal injuries?

Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents are those that occur as a result of a property owner’s negligence or as a result of dangerous or hazardous conditions on someone else’s property. If you are injured under these circumstances, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim. Here are some common causes of slip and fall accidents:

  • Snow, which has been plowed and piled high in parking lots, which then melts, runs off and freezes
  • Ice formations on walkways due to water that has leaked through broken gutters or downspouts that drain on walkways
  • Poor lighting, lack of handrails or loose handrails on staircases
  • Ripped or torn carpeting
  • Broken staircases
  • Loose objects or spills on floors

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#9 Do I have a medical malpractice case?

There are two elements that must be proved in order to have a medical malpractice case. First, you must prove that the health care provider acted negligently. Second, you must show damages that would not have otherwise occurred unless there was negligence on the part of the medical provider. Among the types of medical providers that may commit malpractice are hospitals, medical doctors, chiropractors, dentists and most other types of health care professionals. If medical malpractice is suspected, it is highly advisable that you immediately consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Call our medical malpractice lawyers at 847-564-0285 so that we may advise you regarding your possible claim.

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#10 How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

The general rule in the State of Illinois is that the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date of the accident or two years from the date that the claimant knew or reasonably should have known of the medical malpractice and the injury, but in either event no later than four years from the date of the negligent act. There are many exceptions that may apply to this rule, so contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney in order to make sure that you file your claim within the necessary period of time.

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Does Your case Have Merit?

When you contact Orzoff Law Offices, you will receive a free initial consultation to answer your questions and focus on your goals. Call 847-564-0285 or send us an email using our quick contact form.

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