Have you been injured in a traffic accident in the state of Illinois? If so, you might find yourself wondering exactly who is responsible for the resulting medical bills. Let’s take a look at what to expect below, and don’t forget that you can reach out to the professionals at Frederick & Hagle for a free consult at 800.642.1227!
First of all, it’s important to understand up front that the responsible party’s insurance company won’t pay for your medical expenses until after your case has been settled. We know that’s not what you want to hear right now, especially if you’re also dealing with lost wages on top of steep medical bills. You need to keep this information in mind, however, so that you understand that your medical expenses will likely be sent to collections if you tell the medical professional in question to “bill” the responsible party’s insurance. You’ll most likely have to pay up front and seek reimbursement after the fact.
With that said, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean insurance won’t cover your bills at all. It just means that you’ll have to pay them before your case is settled and take reimbursement out of the compensation secured on your behalf by an experienced attorney.
Check in with Your Health Insurance
When you go in for medical treatment, make sure to tell the provider that they should bill your health insurance agency. Many of the larger agencies will have special rates with certain facilities, so they’ll end up paying less than you might. Note that you might still be responsible for things like deductibles or the like require upfront payments. Additionally, your health insurance will likely expect their reimbursement to come from any compensation you receive from your injury case.
Many car insurance policies contain a clause with medical payment coverage, also known as medpay. If it is present in your insurance policy, then you’ll likely have a set amount of money they will pay out of pocket. Once they meet that threshold, you’ll have to look elsewhere for expense coverage. This can be a great option to look into before worrying about other payment methods; however, you should keep in mind that this clause is optional. It might not be a solution for you, but it doesn’t hurt to check with your insurance company.
Another option to consider – or one that might be utilized whether you’re aware or not – is that of a “lien.” A lien is put in place to ensure that once you recover compensation, you pay off your medical bills. Some medical establishments will file for a lien on their own and others will enter into that agreement with you in exchange for providing treatment without billing you until your lawsuit has been settled.
For more information about your specific case, reach out to the skilled attorneys at Frederick & Hagle today!
Workers’ compensation claims are notoriously complex to settle fairly. It’s really no surprise, then, that almost anything related to them is seen in a rather negative light. Functional capacity evaluations (FCEs), for example, are often viewed with much mistrust on the part of patients completing them. And while that’s understandable, it’s important to note that there’s nothing inherently bad about the process. Infact, FCEs can work to prove your claim and help you receive the compensation and work restrictions necessary for your health.
What is an FCE?
An FCE is a type of test where patients demonstrate their capacity to do various tasks related to their daily lives and their work lives. It is designed to simulate activities that they might run into in their workplace or during the course of their work day in order to assess how well they can reasonably be expected to perform them. If the patient works as a construction worker, for example, but was injured while working and can no longer use their hands effectively for manual labor, an FCEto determine their exact capacity might be ordered.
These exams are generally overseen by a neutral physician or healthcare specialist who has specific activities they’ll ask patients to complete.
Why do I need an FCE?
If you’ve been injured at work and are in the midst of a workers’ compensation suit, you might wonder why you’re being asked to undergo an FCE in the first place. Keep in mind that,depending upon the injuries in question, the stakes for both you and the business in question could be pretty large. Even specialists might not be able to give a definitive answer about how your injuries would impact you at work, especially if they aren’t familiar with the industry. An FCE, then, is conducted to allow a professional to assess how the injuries you’ve received will impact your ability to do your job.
In addition to the above, keep in mind that an FCE is often highly valued in workers’ compensation cases because they are used by the people hearing or reviewing your claim to determine what accommodations or compensation you should be awarded.
How should I approach an FCE?
Your first instinct might be to try and appear as injured as possible during the examination, but this is not a good option for the long haul. If the exam administrator notices that you’re purposefully not giving your all, they will make note of that in the report and it could significantly negatively impact your case. At the same time, you shouldn’t strain yourself and overexert yourself during the exam. Just give your best effort without straining your ability – that’s all anyone expects.
If you’re facing a workers’compensation claim, it’s important to have experienced attorneys on your side.The professionals at Frederick & Hagle can help! Reach out to us today for a free consultation to see what we think about your case and how we can help.
Car accidents are a major cause of injury in the United States. In fact, they are probably far more common than anyone would like to admit, with 324,473 crashes and 93,160 injuries being reported in Illinois in 2016 alone. That’s nearly 1,000 crashes (and 10 injuries an hour) per day according to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Illinois Roadway Crash Data. It’s not surprising, then, that even the most cautious and safest of drivers can end up involved in a serious car accident. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in Illinois.
One of the main causes of accidents is distracted driving. This is any kind of driving where the driver is not fully engaged in driving. This includes a wide range of behaviors, including:
- Checking Social Media
- Interacting with Their Passengers
- Reading a GPS App
- Driving While Emotional/Upset
- Driving While Fatigued
This kind of behavior is extremely risky and increases the changes of the driver causing (or being involved in) a motor vehicle accident.
Not Driving While Sober
Whether it’s under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs, driving while not sober is a big cause of motor vehicle accidents. There are many substances that can alter your judgment and perception and using them before driving is almost inviting a crash.
Driving Too Fast
Speeding is another big cause of car accidents. Frustration with posted speed limits is understandable in certain situations, however that doesn’t change the fact that adhering to them is safer than not. They were put in place for a reason. Failure to follow speeding restrictions can quickly end in a tragic situation.
Have you been the victim of a motor vehicle accident? The experts at Frederick & Hagle understand how difficult and overwhelming the situation can be. We’re ready to help fight for your rights and secure the compensation necessary to move on. Contact us today for more information!
In 2016, the people of Illinois were involved in over 300,000 car accidents. About 20 percent, or 60,000, of these crashes resulted in a serious injury. And about 1 percent, or 1,000, of them ended in death. A mix of nasty winter weather and dense urban traffic make for a dangerous driving environment.
If you were involved in one of these accidents or any other accident, you need a car accident attorney in Illinois. Our car accident attorneys know the impact of even a small car accident and can help you get the relief you need.
Common causes of car accidents
Car accidents can happen for many reasons. Accidents can happen when two people are driving safely, but usually they occur because of one driver’s negligence. Here are some common reasons for accidents:
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Drowsy driving
• Distracted driving
• Disobeying traffic laws or signals
• Aggressive driving
• Bad weather
Also, here some common indicators of fault:
• Not stopping at a stop sign
• Backing out and hitting another car
• Driving without legally required glasses
• Driving without headlights on at night
• Driving distracted by texting, being on the phone, eating, etc.
• Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
If the other driver was doing any of these, it’s likely the accident is their fault legally. Of course, there are more factors that are considered when determining fault, but this is a good start.
If you had a car accident that was not your fault
The first thing people do after they get into a car accident that wasn’t their fault is hire an attorney. They almost always hire a local attorney: so, if you live in Champaign, you need an attorney in the Champaign area.
An attorney will help the process go much smoother for you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Here’s what our attorneys will do:
• Understand the accident to find out its cause
• Make it clear that the person who caused the accident is responsible for the accident
• Find the best source of compensation from insurance
• Learn about all your medical needs and recommend a doctor
• Count all your financial and non-financial losses
Our attorney’s will get the compensation you need for all your losses.
This process can be confusing for most people; an attorney will take care of the whole process and make it easy for you, but an example will clear up how the process works.
(Truck accident? Read this.)
Jim gets in a car accident with Sally when Sally makes a left turn into the front left side of Jim’s vehicle. Jim had a green light and Sally had a green light for yield. The accident is Sally’s fault. Jim gets all of Sally’s contact information and goes to the hospital for serious back injuries. At the hospital Jim racks up $25,000 in medical bills; he goes to an attorney as soon as he gets out of the hospital. The attorney listens to the case and then determines the best source of compensation. Sally works a minimum wage job. But she has an insurance policy worth over $100,000. This is an important note, whether the attorney sues Sally or the insurance company, generally, Sally herself won’t pay the money, her insurance company will.
Jim’s attorney files a claim against Sally’s insurance company. Instead of taking the matter to court, the insurance company agrees to settle the matter for $35,000. If Jim had filed a claim without an attorney, the insurance company may have only given him $25,000 maximum because they would not have taken him as seriously. Jim didn’t pay the attorney anything upfront and only now that Jim gets paid does the attorney get paid: the attorney gets paid a percentage of the settlement amount.
This is a routine process. An insurance company will give a self-represented person less every time. Hire an attorney and the process is easier and you will be compensated with what you deserve.
How much is a car accident claim worth?
Here are some real car accidents that happened in Illinois and the real amount the plaintiff (the person suing) received.
Dislocated collarbone from car accident
Where: St. Clair County, Illinois
Facts: The plaintiff was 14 years old and driving with his mom. His mom turned left in front of another car — both with green lights — they collided. The plaintiff’s collarbone was dislocated and cost $1,100 in medical bills. Ultimately, the jury sided with the defendant, because the plaintiff was making the left turn, and the plaintiff got nothing.
Where: Madison County, Illinois
Facts: The plaintiff was driving and was rear-ended while stopping to turn right onto a small access road. The defendant was speeding. The accident caused neck bone, tissue, and nerve damage and resulted in $3,000 in medical bills and $500 in lost wages. It went before a jury and the jury awarded $6,720 to the plaintiff.
Death by head injury
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: 28-year-old Hurley was driving down the road when a tractor-trailer pulled out in front of him. Hurley’s car went right under the trailer, tearing the roof from the car. He didn’t survive. His wife brought the lawsuit against the tractor-trailer company. The company settled the matter for $1.4 million.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, our car accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve, so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact our Champaign office to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our qualified attorneys, and let us discuss the legal options that are available for your specific incident.
If we decide to take on your case, there are no upfront fees.
Call 1-800-642-1227 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
In 2016, pickup trucks were involved in the second highest number of accidents after passenger cars, in Illinois. Altogether, there were over 63,000 vehicles involving trucks of all kinds — just in one year. Accidents with trucks are more dangerous than those between cars.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck, you need a truck accident attorney in Illinois. Our truck accident attorneys know the gravity of a truck accident and can help you get the relief you need.
(Read the official car accident report here.)
What causes truck accidents?
Truck accidents happen for all the same reasons as car accidents. But one thing is for sure: the person not driving the truck is the person in the most danger. Only 21 percent of the people injured in truck accidents were the people in the truck, 77 percent were in the other vehicle, usually a car. Also, only 3% of all accidents in Illinois involve large trucks, but 10% of deadly accidents are with large trucks.
Here are some common causes for large truck accidents in Illinois:
• Speeding – Illinois has more than the normal amount of accidents from speeding: 39 percent of deadly accidents in Illinois were from speeding, whereas the national average is 28 percent.
• Drowsy driving – truckers have a legal limit on how many hours they can drive a day. Sometimes they exceed that limit.
• Distracted driving – eating while driving is common among truckers. This could also include driving while texting, drinking, or talking on a cell phone.
• Driving under the influence – this could include alcohol of course, but also prescription drugs.
• Not enough driver training – sometimes trucking companies undertrain their drivers.
• Unrealistic delivery schedules – sometimes drivers are under the pressure of intense delivery schedules. This can lead to poor decisions and accidents.
(For more on car accidents, go here.)
Whose fault is a truck accident?
A “truck accident” can include anything from pick-up trucks to three-trailer semis. Oftentimes people use it to refer to an accident with a commercial tractor-trailer or semi. These accidents are unique because it involves more parties, or groups, that can be responsible. Parties include:
• The truck driver
• The employer of the truck driver
• The maker of the truck
(Want to know what to do after an accident? Read this.)
How much is a truck accident claim worth?
Here are some real truck accidents that happened in Illinois and the real amount the plaintiff (the person suing) received.
Pelvic fracture caused by a truck accident
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: This was a case of suing the wrong person. 18-year-old Williams sued the City of Evanston, claiming its truck had hit him while he was walking across the street. He then held onto the truck until one of the passengers kicked him off. Pretty messed up. But Williams’ license plate number he provided did not match any of the city vehicles. He piled up $5,400 in medical bills and the jury gave him nothing.
Leg fracture caused by a truck accident
Where: Cook County, Illinois
Facts: Kruse was driving when her vehicle was hit by a commercial truck. The company admitted fault and settled for $1.5 million. Kruse had multiple leg and facial fractures and scarring and had tallied $200 thousand in medical bills.
(Want to see our case results? Go here.)
When it comes to unexpected situations that can change a life forever, traffic accidents are among some of the most devastating around. Because they involve heavy, large machinery moving at fast speeds, it perhaps makes sense that the injuries traffic accidents inflict upon their victims are often catastrophic in nature. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident of some kind, it’s important to reach out to an experienced attorney who can help. With that said, you might be wondering exactly when you should hire an attorney. Let’s look at some of the considerations to undertake when making your decision.
Who is liable for the accident?
If the liability in your case is crystal clear, that can help the process move smoothly. In the event that the liability is shared or unclear, however, you might find yourself facing an uphill legal climb. This can be a serious issue, especially if you have medical bills or property damage to cover (not to mention lost wages if your injuries have left you unable to complete your normal shifts). Whether you are looking to secure your compensation or help ensure that the responsible person is held accountable, an attorney can help.
Insurance Has Offered (or Denied) a Claim
Insurance can be incredibly difficult to deal with. Keep in mind that their main interest is in ensuring that they keep as much money in their coffers as possible, not what is best for you. That means that they will do their best to pay out as little as they can if they offer a settlement. They will often deny a claim outright, leaving victims feeling as though there is no recourse. A lawyer can help you handle insurance claims and do their bests to secure the compensation you need to recover. If your claim has been denied – and even if you have been offered a settlement – you should hire an attorney.
You are Facing Extenuating Circumstances
Finally, if you are facing extenuating circumstances, you should reach out to an attorney for help. This means that if you are facing issues with lost wages or even problems with caring for loved ones after an injury from a car accident, a lawyer can help. Remember that insurance claims tend to calculate immediate losses, not complicated issues like lost work, caregiver fees, and extended projected medical fees. An expert can help make sure that you receive the compensation that you need to move on with your life.
Statute of Limitations
Something else to keep in mind when working through your traffic accident claim is the statute of limitations. You want to make sure that you understand how much time you must file a personal injury claim. In Illinois, this is generally within two years from the accident. Regardless, contacting an attorney can help you stay on top of any important due dates. It should be noted that a lawyer can also help protect you if you are concerned that someone might file a personal injury claim against you within the statute of limitations.
If you need help with your traffic accident personal injury case, the attorneys at Frederick & Hagle can help. We have the experience, knowledge, case history, support, and reputation needed to fight for your best interests. Contact us today for more information!
Automobile accidents are incredibly serious issues that can have catastrophic consequences. This is as true of accidents that occur on private property as it is of accidents that occur on a public thoroughfare. That is not to say that the two don’t have any differences at all, of course. Determining who is responsible for the accident can be more difficult with accidents that occur on private property. It is important that you understand your rights during this difficult time and are able to determine who is liable for the accident.
Who is at-fault?
When someone drives or otherwise behaves negligently and leads to the damage of person or property, they might be held liable for the victim’s losses. This does not change when the accident takes place on private property. Note that this can encompass situations where the accident was not caused by another individual physically striking your vehicle. If a privately-owned parking lot fails to mark blind spots or to ensure that the proper number of “no stop” or “yield” signs are in place, for example, then they very well might be found liable for accidents that occur in the lot.
Depending upon the property owner in question, you might find that gathering information about your accident, including camera footage, if available, that shows you were not at fault, to be quite difficult. A property owner who has an active stake in ensuring that you (and not they) are found to be liable for your own damages, for example, is less likely to willingly help you prove that the accident was not your fault. That is where an experienced attorney familiar with the laws governing auto accidents and private property comes in handy.
Auto accidents can happen to anyone. Even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves caught off-guard and put into a bad situation. If you have been the victim of an automobile accident on private property, the attorneys at Frederick and Hagle can help. Our experienced legal experts understand how to determine who is at fault for accidents as well as how best to ensure you receive proper compensation.
Reach out to us today at 217-367-6092 for more information!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are approximately 40 times more likely to be victims of deadly accidents than passenger vehicles. With that in mind, our lawyers would like to take one last chance to provide some helpful information on the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, in the hope that it will help our readers have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Brake Lights That Are Difficult to See-This is especially dangerous for motorcycles because riders often decrease their speed by downshifting, or simply letting off the throttle, and this doesn’t activate their brake light. When riding behind a motorcycle, it is important to be ready to slow down, even in the absence of a visual warning.
The most recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test results for midsize SUVs are available, and both the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2018 Ford Explorer received a “Poor” rating, the lowest possible, in front-end collisions involving the right side of the vehicle. Officially called an “overlap crash,” the front-end crash tests found that injuries were more likely from collisions occurring at speeds of 40 mph or higher with both cars, specifically to the lower leg and foot for Jeep Grand Cherokee front passengers, and to the high and thigh area for Ford Explorer front seat passengers.
The information is significant, given that 4,000 front seat passengers died in a car accident in 2016. That accounts for 16% of all car accident victims that year.
The Ford Explorer had serious issues in front right end collisions, most notably the likelihood of the car to collapse inward onto the font passenger as the result of a front-end accident.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s passenger side air bag didn’t deploy during the crash test, and the passenger door popped open, leaving the passenger susceptible to serious head injuries.
Ford defended itself saying that they have redesigned their 2020 Explorer, which is expected to be commercially available in 2019. Jeep has also said they have recently redesigned the Grand Cherokee, but the release date is not yet available.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s scale ranks cars as either Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor. This year, 3 midsize SUVs received a “good” rating, while 3 others received an “acceptable” rating. Out of 2018 midsize SUVs, none were found to be “marginal” in terms of crash test safety.
- GMC Acadia
- Kia Sorento
- Volkswagen Atlas
- Honda Pilot
- Nissan Pathfinder
- Toyota Highlander
- Ford Explorer
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
If you or someone you love was a front seat passenger in a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee or 2018 Ford Explorer and have injuries resulting from a collision, please contact the car accident and injury attorneys of Frederick and Hagle. For nearly 30 years, our firm has successfully represented those who have been harmed as the result of car accidents stemming from reckless driving and faulty vehicles. Contact us now for a free consultation with one of our attorneys at 217-367-6092 or by completing our online case evaluation form.
Have you been the victim in a personal injury accident and are now looking at negotiating with the insurance company involved to attempt to secure compensation? If so, you should take a moment and seriously consider hiring professional help. The fact of the matter is that insurance companies will exhaust any and all possible angles to reduce the amount of money they have to pay you. In order to understand exactly why this is the case, and why legal counsel is your best option, let’s take a look at a few of the more pertinent and less obvious reasons that insurance companies have for avoiding settling with victims.
First of all, don’t make the mistake of believing that your premium is the main way that insurance companies make their income. In reality, they earn the vast majority of their money through investment. That means that they have large sums of money held up in different investment options and earn more the longer they have it in place. Additionally, interest payments can different greatly depending upon the amount of money in question – in general, you earn more money in interest the more money you have invested.
This is one of the main reasons that insurance companies fight notoriously hard to avoid paying victims compensation. When they part with large sums of money, they lose their main income source. In fact, they stand to lose far more than they pay out. If they lose a particularly large sum of money, for example, market prices could be negatively affected. This could impact their investments, not to mention the fact that they suddenly have a much smaller amount of money upon which to earn interest.
Attorneys Can Help
Most insurance companies are far more likely to settle with victims who have hired legal aid. Note that for this reason, they will go to great lengths to discourage you from hiring an attorney. The reason for this is simple: as explored above, insurance companies stand to lose big time if they pay out large settlements. Attorneys are better able to secure those large settlements because they understand exactly how the insurance company works and can better anticipate their manipulative tactics than other individuals can.
Delay and Deny
Remember the section above where we learned that insurance companies make most of their money from investments and the interest they earn from them? Well, welcome to yet another reason to hire an attorney. Insurance companies will go out of their way to delay paying a settlement, and that’s especially true if the case in question is likely to win. They have more to lose than you do and will therefore expend a lot of effort to delay the payment as long as possible in order to continue to earn interest on the money in question for as long as they can. Additionally, they often flatly deny claims that have a great chance of winning in court because it forces victims to seek legal aid. This takes them more time and effort, allowing the insurance company to keep the sum in question a little bit longer.
Hiring an attorney from the get-go, of course, is a great way to avoid this game as much as possible.
You’re on Candid Camera
Maybe you’re not convinced that an attorney is necessary. The adjustor you’re speaking with seems very nice, after all, and they’re happy to take a lot of time out of their day to discuss the problems you’re experiencing in detail. That must mean that they truly understand how much you need the compensation in question in order to recover, right?
Well, no, as it turns out. In fact, adjusters are trained to record absolutely everything you say and do during negotiations so that they have more material to work with when it comes to discrediting you and lowering the amount of money they have to pay out. Do not forget that you are being recorded and that everything you say and do will be used against you. This is the main reason attorneys will instruct you not to speak with an adjuster until you’ve met with them.
Be Suspicious of Quick Claims
Everything we’ve discussed until now has talked about just how advantageous it is for insurance companies to deny your claims and drag out the process. If your insurance company is all too eager to settle, then, you should take some time and think about why. Why would they be willing to give you money right away when they could force you to go to court and make money in the meantime?
If you have a particularly great claim and they could stand to lose a lot more than they’re offering you if they go to court, you might be surprised at just how quickly they settle.
Insurance companies aren’t interested in what is best for you. They don’t care about your needs or your injuries. Their focus is on making and keeping money. For that reason, you should reach out to experienced personal injury attorneys for help immediately if you are facing a personal injury claim. The lawyers at Frederick and Hagle can help. Call 217-367-6092 today for a Free Consultation.