Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs Answered by Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have questions about your case, whether it's a general legal question or a question about a specific case type, take a look at our FAQs. We've divided up the questions by case type and provided information as specific as possible (while still applying to every case). If you have specific questions about your claim, feel free to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation for your legal case.

General Questions

Why do I need an attorney?

Everyone has the right to represent themselves. However, if you are not an attorney, it is very difficult to accurately determine the value of a case. In one case, a caller contacted our firm regarding a case that he was about to settle for $65,000. The caller felt that his case was worth about $30,000, so $65,000 was much more than he expected, and he felt quite happy with the sum. The caller was also feeling pressured by the insurance company, which was eager for him to accept the offer of $65,000 and settle the case.

However, after our attorneys evaluated the circumstances of his accident and the severity of his injuries, it became clear that his case was worth far more than $65,000. Perhaps that's why the insurance company was so eager to settle. The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm filed suit and prepared the case for trial. The court awarded our client $235,000 for his injuries. Without the experience from handling thousands of cases, clients are ill-equipped to evaluate their cases or fight insurance companies without an attorney.

What if I am not happy with my current attorney?

As a client you always have the right to switch attorneys, even if they have been working on your case for years. After you contact and hire a new attorney, the new attorney will contact the prior attorney to take over the file and keep the process moving, normally without any delay. There are no additional attorney's fees incurred by you when you switch lawyers. The client only pays the same single fee from the settlement and the attorneys decide how to split the fee.

Do I need any money to hire your firm?

No, you do not. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we win your case.

Can you represent me in any state?

Attorneys are able to represent clients in any state either through the reciprocity of a state's bar rules, court approval, or through local co-counsel. In 25 years, the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented thousands of clients across the US

How do I know if the negligent party has enough insurance?

That's why you hire us. We will conduct a full investigation into circumstances of insurance and evaluate your injury so that you receive the maximum recovery for your injury.

If I was hurt at work do I have to sue my employer?

No. A workers' compensation claim is more similar to an aggressive health insurance claim. There is no lawsuit involved. We file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance company and arbitrate the claim if it cannot be settled.

How do my medical bills get paid for?

Using your health insurance, if available, is normally your best option. If you do not have health insurance, there are still other available methods to pay your medical bills. For example, if your injury involved a motor vehicle accident, some policies contain provisions just for medical bills.

Also, in some cases, the medical provider will wait until your case is settled before seeking any payment. There are still other possible options, such as federal paid benefits as well as certain types of medical loans which may be available to you. We can better discuss your options after we know more about your case.

How long will it take for my case to be concluded?

All cases are different and some require more time and expertise than others. The length of time it takes to resolve a case depends on, to name a few factors, the type of injury, liability issues, amount and quality of insurance, amount of damages sought, and strategies of the parties involved. You can be assured that our firm will handle your case skillfully and professionally.

What is the Statute of Limitations for my case?

The Statute of Limitations is the period of time that you have to file your claim, as dictated by the law. Each state's laws are different. To check the Statute of Limitations for wrongful death, medical malpractice, or nursing home negligence, please visit the Nursing Home or Medical Malpractice sections of our website. For other types of personal injury cases or if you have questions regarding the statute as it applies to your case, please contact our law firm.

Auto Accidents

My car was rendered a total loss; does the responsible insurance company pay the balance of my car payment?

The insurance company is only responsible for paying the fair market value of your vehicle. Any debt you may owe in excess of the fair market value of the car is your responsibility unless you have purchased "Gap Insurance."

I was involved in a car accident and the negligent driver's insurance company is delaying in paying for the damages to my vehicle-what are my options?

We recommend you contact your own insurance company to settle the damages to your vehicle. You will be responsible for paying for your deductible, however, your insurance company will get your deductible back to you from the responsible insurance company.

I was hit by a driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for my damages, what are my options?

If you have underinsured motorist coverage you may proceed with a claim through your own insurance. Our firm recommends that you carry at least $100,000.00/$300,000.00 in liability, uninsured/underinsured coverage. This type of coverage protects you and your family in cases where you are injured by an uninsured motorist or by a motorist who carries low liability policy limits.

You may also want to investigate the negligent driver's assets. It is rare that someone with large assets would have low vehicular liability policy limits but it is possible. If a negligent driver has a large amount of assets, you may waive your rights to his/her policy limits and proceed directly against him/her.

Medical Malpractice Claims

Do I have a case?

There are three elements that must be proved to have a medical malpractice case. First, the healthcare provider must have acted negligently. This means that the healthcare provider did not follow the normal standard of care advised for your condition. Healthcare providers include hospitals, medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, and most other types of healthcare professionals. Second, you must sustain an injury, otherwise known as "damages." Third, you must show that the damages, or your injury, were "proximately" caused by the malpractice. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help evaluate if your situation meets these three requirements.

How long do I have to decide to file a lawsuit?

Each state differs in the time period you have to file; however, the statute typically begins to run from the date the injured person knew or reasonably should have known of the injury. There are many exceptions that apply to this rule, so we can inform you more accurately after you contact our firm.

Slip & Fall

What are typical examples of negligence in a slip and fall case?

  • Water, ice, or snow which was not naturally accumulated
  • Cracked or uneven floors
  • Poor lighting
  • Lack of handrail where required
  • Holes, gaps, and other hidden hazards
  • Ripped or torn carpeting
  • Polished or slippery floors

Who is responsible for a slip and fall case?

Property owners, managers, or the persons who created the negligent condition are the typical parties responsible. Most properties are covered by insurance, so you can claim damages from an insurance company.
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