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Matthew Willens Interviewed by Sonia D. Coleman

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Interview Transcript:

Coleman: Welcome to the podcast for the law office of Sonia D. Coleman, PC. I’m your host, Sonia Coleman, and I’m so happy that you’re joining us today. The office of Sonia D. Coleman is a Professional Corporation where we advise and counsel clients on wills, trusts,powers of attorneys, represent clients in real estate closings, probate, corporate and employment law.

Today, I am excited that we are talking about a very important topic – personal injury. And joining us today is a very special guest, Matt Willens, a fellow alum of my alma mater, Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Law. Matt, thank you so much for joining us today.

Willens: Thank you for having me.

Coleman: So, tell us a little about what it is you do.

Willens: Well, I am a personal injury trial lawyer. Now I emphasize trial because if you’ve been around for more than a couple of years, everyone seems to know a personal injury lawyer, but I emphasize trial lawyer because so many personal injury lawyers are trying to settle cases and only settle cases. I’ve met guys who have practiced law for fifty years, and have never had a trial. But we’re actual trial guys.

So, do a lot of our cases settle? Absolutely! But I think they’ve settled for more because we’re not afraid to step in the ring with the other heavyweights called the defense industry.

Coleman: Absolutely. I agree with that Matt. I think that it’s very important to know that you are willing to go to bat for your clients and that you’re not willing to just settle because you’re afraid to go to trial, but that you’re willing to do what you need to do. And to zealously represent your clients. So, what would you advise individuals who have experienced a personal injury?

Willens: Well, the first thing is to contact a personal injury attorney. We’ll tell you if we don’t think we can help you. We’ll also tell you if we can help you with your case. But it’s important to contact someone right away because evidence needs to be preserved. For instance, yesterday we got a call, a very sad call, from a family whose lost a loved one. He was a 50 year-old man who was hit by a truck and killed. We got a call from his brother.

Coleman: That’s terrible.

Willens: We want to get moving right away cause right now, presumably, the truck driver called his insurance company or reported it. I promise you they’ve already started doing their investigation. Now, the family, I’m going to meet with them tomorrow. It’ll be a sad day but I’m anxious, because I want to get going. Right now, the insurance company has a little head start on us so I want to catch up with them. If the family had waited weeks and weeks and weeks, videos get destroyed, pictures get destroyed, things happen mysteriously.

So, we want to get involved right away, so we can be at the same starting point as the defendant insurance company.

Coleman: So, you mentioned a couple of things Matt that I think are very important that people need to know.

First of all, you mentioned the importance of having an attorney by your side when you’re going through something very traumatic because you don’t want to be grieving and at the same time trying to remember what it is you need to do, or research what you should be doing and one of the things you mentioned was preserving evidence.

What you’re saying is there are certain things that attorneys who are trained in this field that know what to do to preserve that evidence to make sure it’s not destroyed.

Willens: If they’re doing their job properly, they’re uncovering every rock. So, in this particular case, are there video cameras in the area where this happened? I don’t know, but I want to know that and I promise you if there are, we’ll get those videos. If the family waits a little too long or hires the wrong lawyer who decides “I’m just not going do much about it,” well, it is very likely that if there is video then it’s gone fairly quickly.

Coleman: I can imagine that it’s very challenging when you are experiencing a personal loss to then try to retain an attorney. What are some of the things an individual should be thinking about when they want to retain counsel?

Willens: It’s a hard thing because it seems like the inappropriate thing to do when you’re either hurt or whether you’re grieving for the loss of a loved one. What we try to tell people is you need to let us focus on your legal case, while you get your life back on track. Whether that’s grieving for a loved one or taking care of injuries, let us take the insurance company off your back. Let us investigate. Let us get a lawsuit on file. Let’s get protective orders, again, so we can preserve evidence that might not otherwise be preserved. Let us worry about all that, and you worry about what’s important, and that’s your health, work, or in some cases grieving the loss of a loved one.

Coleman: And so, Matt, with that being said, are there some things that individuals can do that can harm their cases?

Willens: Absolutely. I’m going to use a car accident for an example. Someone gets in a car accident and fairly quickly, they’re contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and they want to take a statement. Those statements are completely designed to benefit the defendant or the insurance company and completely against the victim of the negligence. You can trust me on that. In addition to being a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer,  at one time I worked for an insurance company. I promise you those statements are not designed to help someone who’s been in an accident. Don’t talk! No statements!

Coleman: In that context, how soon should some contact an attorney if they have been involved in an auto accident?

Willens: A.S.A.P. You know, it doesn’t cost anything to call most attorneys. Right? Certainly personal injury attorneys. We don’t get paid. We only get paid if we win your case. At the very least, it’s smart to call a qualified personal injury attorney right away just to get a few pointers. You know, some people call us and they’ll say:

I’m at the scene of the accident, should I talk to the police?” Absolutely. You always want to cooperate with the police.

“Should I go get checked out? I’m feeling OK.” Yeah, but you should get checked out. And I think the answer is ASAP.

Coleman: And how would they know to select the attorney then?

Willens: That’s a great question. There’s a lot of personal injury attorneys out there, people who’ll handle personal injury cases. I wish I was the only good one, but I’m not.

Coleman: You are.

Willens: So, I think a couple of things. One is check the person. Make sure they have success both in and out of the courtroom. Out is pretty easy, anyone can settle a case. But a person with a track record of success at the courthouse. That doesn’t mean your case is going go to trial. But the insurance companies take note of who’s not afraid to step in the ring and who is not and people who are not afraid get bigger settlements across the board. That’s one.

You want to find someone with skill. That’s obvious. Also, you want to get someone you can relate to.  So, that’s one thing we offer at our firm, we really want to meet with you. Nowadays, you can sign someone up just by pressing a button on your computer and say “OK, you’re hired.” But, we want to meet you. We recognize that not everyone wants to come to our main office in downtown Chicago. We’ll come to you. That’s OK. We make house calls. We’re a service business and at the beginning of a relationship, looking at each other in the eye, talking, getting to know each other, is a huge part of a successful relationship and a successful case.

Coleman: I agree with that because your relationship really is built on trust. At the end of the day, you want to feel you trust your attorney and your attorney trusts you. And that you know that he’s going to do what he says he’s gonna do. When he says he’s gonna do it. Or she. So, those are some things that are very important because you are building a relationship. So, what are three things an individual can do that can help their case?

Willens: OK, so I think the first one is to get the proper professionals in place right away. One, we already talked about, at a minimum, calling a personal injury attorney. Another, when I say professionals, also the right doctors. Not everyone knows who the right doctors to go to are. And we generally try to stay out of that process. But some people just don’t know. So, we guide them in the right direction in terms of getting past that, so get the right professionals on your side quickly.

Two, stay off the internet if you can. I mean that in a few ways. One, people like to post everything nowadays. So, they’re posting pictures of themselves at the scene of the accident, and they think it’s just going to their Facebook friends or Twitter friends. It’s not.

The defense will get those somehow and they have a right to them. And if there’s pictures of you smiling and taking pictures at the scene of the accident, it really devalues your case. And another reason to stay off the internet is that there’s a lot of information out there— everyone’s kind of a Monday morning lawyer nowadays — so they’re going on the internet and they’re reading all this information. “Well, I went on the internet,” they’ll say, I get that there is some good information on the internet, but I’d say 95% or more of it is bad. So, we have professionals, we have the internet, and let me add a third thing. I would say to be a good patient.

Most of the people who come to see us are, well, they sometimes miss physical therapy sessions. They miss doctors’ appointments, and that’s all evidence that going to hurt them later on. We appreciate it if they’ll cooperate with us.
We want them to cooperate with their medical professionals, as well.

Coleman: I think that makes a lot of sense. What you’re telling us then is that it’s not enough to seek an attorney, but to make sure you’re doing what your doctor advises you. And to see the physician. So, there you have it.

Today, we learned about what we have to do if we are experiencing a personal injury. We learned about how to select a stellar personal injury lawyer such as Matt Willens. And we learned things that we can do to either help or hurt our own personal injury case.

So, Matt, how can we contact you for more information?

Willens: My phone number is 312-957-4166. My email mwillens@willenslaw.com

Coleman: So, for more information about our podcast and the law office of Sonia D. Coleman, PC, please visit our website at scolemanlaw.com and don’t forget to like us on Facebook. The law office of Sonia D. Coleman, PC where we are preserving your wealth and protecting your future.

The proceeding was a legal advertisement. This podcast was prepared by the law office of Sonia D. Coleman, PC for informational and educational purposes. It was neither intended to be, nor should it be construed as legal advice.

Let us help with your case, Call Us 24/7: (312) 957-4166

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Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Navigate Your Injury Case

Willen’s Injury Law Offices’ Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers have varied and extensive experience with personal injury law, from both sides of the aisle, is a true asset for their clients. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys not only have years of litigation and negotiation experience working for victims of accidents or negligence, but they also have Matthew L. Willens’ background as a former insurance company executive. 

Additionally, another accident lawyer at the firm, David Baez, spent the first part of his career as a defense attorney who represented insurance companies. As the firm’s clients sometimes say, “It’s like they know the other side’s playbook!”

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Twenty-five years of success in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

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Voted “Best of the Best” in personal injury and medical malpractice law, year after year.

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No fees unless we win, plus we advance all costs.

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Client Reviews

Willens Injury Law Offices was highly recommended by a friend. Upon my initial consultation, David was very friendly yet profesional. He was able to get a favorable result, I will definitely recommend him to my family and friends. Thank you!
Lucia R.
19:41 08 Apr 21
When I got into my accident in 2018, I was 18, I was scared and I didn’t know what to do. David worked with me and made sure I was taken care of all the way to the end. He fought for my case and made sure I got the settlement I deserved. Definitely will be recommending the Willens office to my friends and family .Thank you!!!!
Emmalee R.
19:51 23 Nov 20
I 100% back this firm. I was in an accident that caused me some injury that needed medical attention. I reached out to Willens Law Offices to assist since I noticed a large amount of overwhelmingly positive reviews. Believe all the positive ones!!This firm is very professional and helpful from the beginning to end. They look out for their clients, and do their best to achieve 100% client satisfaction. If you consult with them to help, you will not be unhappy at the end.I want to give a huge shoutout to David Baez who assisted my throughout the entire case. I highly recommend him and this firm.Please note, if you utilize them and don't hear back a lot during the case, don't be alarmed. They will reach out to you when the time is right. They are not neglecting you, they are working hard day in and day out to resolve your case.1 Million % recommended!!!!!
Michael R.
18:42 13 Jun 20
It's been over a year since I was involved in my car accident - everyone knows that is a very stressful time for the injured party. I considered going through the whole process on my own but I quickly realized the insurance company was NOT my friend. I reached out to Willens Law Offices, met Matt and the attorney that would be handling my claim, David Baez. David was excellent, I'm big on communication and anytime I texted David; sometimes ad nauseam, he would always respond quickly and professionally. I had a ton of questions, and David answered everyone of them to my satisfaction. I could not have asked for a better attorney to fight for me, I have extremely high expectations and they were exceeded consistently.
Edmond P.
15:33 28 Apr 20
Reliable, efficient, & informative. Personable yet professional, Willens office took care of my every last need & then some!!
Kyle M.
15:35 10 Apr 20
I got into a car accident a couple years back, I didn’t know what to do so I researched on Google then found Willens law office. At the time it was new to me but after they help me out, guided me, let me in the right path and I haven’t been happy here ever since because justice was served! Thank you Willens coming from the Herrera family
Jose H.
18:38 03 Apr 20
I had an accident injuries and based on google reviews I reached out to Willens Law Offices in Chicago. David Baez helped me with my case. He came to meet us and understood our case in detail and he guided me all the steps of the process. I had advices from friends that you are unnecessarily going after the process and nothing will happen. David made everything worthwhile and he gave right advice always which was right for my health and right for the case. He worked very hard on my case for 2 years collecting all the paperwork, talking to physicians and taking care of my case and making it in my favor. I was truly blessed by having David Baez handling my case who was extremely professional, great ethics and felt as my family with him. After the injuries and pain I was afraid to select one but my God made me select the right one. If anyone feel they need accident injuries lawyer then I will only recommend David Baez. Nobody will beat his hard work, professionalisms, ethics and perseverance and yet down to earth and honest. Thank you for everything you have done for me and blessings from my heart for his success.
Mamta S.
14:25 06 Mar 20
David A. Baez at Willens Law office has been fantastic to work with. Very professional, informative and responsive to all questions. Hopefully I don't get into another car accident but if so I will call the Willens Law Offices asap.
steve B.
17:33 10 Dec 19
The initial impressions I had of this place turned out to be false, and I am thankful that I am pursuing the case with Mr. Willens. He is pretty incredible at what he does.
Donald B.
08:05 27 Nov 19
I can only say good things about Mr. Willens. He was fantastic, Aside from his awesome expertise, he is very down to earth and make you feel like family! HE TRULY CARES! Always eager to help and make himself available at every point of time. Thank you Matt again for everything!
Arthur L.
10:27 25 Nov 19
Truly passionate about their clients. Professional and easy to work with.
Peter W.
11:01 22 Nov 19
I came across Willens Law Offices after searching endlessly for a law firm to represent me in my personal injury case. I was well accommodated and he made me feel at ease, you truly feel like he will go the extra mile for you from the moment you hand the case over to him until the very end. I highly recommend this firm to anyone looking for representation!
Edna S.
10:05 20 Nov 19
If I ever find myself needing another law firm I will not hesitate for a second to contact him!
Micheal E.
10:12 18 Nov 19
I was involved in a car accident and was having trouble getting compensated for the amount I felt I should get. I contacted Willens Law Offices through a referral, worked with David Baez and had a very good experience. They helped educate me on the process along with helping me get what I deserved. I would HIGHLY recommend contacting them if you are involved in an accident.
mohsin M.
19:38 15 Nov 19
His staff was always so nice and friendly and responded promptly if I ever had any questions. I'm very thankful to come across them and will highly recommend them!
Rodrick M.
10:04 15 Nov 19
I'm sending a special thanks to Matt for working patiently and closely with me regarding the status of my case till the end. I can't recommend him highly enough.
Randy D.
14:08 13 Nov 19
Throughout the process of the case, he did an exceptional job. The entire process was extremely smooth and the staff kept me up to date on the status of my case. I give him 5 stars as he is the best legal attorney there is in the greater Illinois area. He truly deserve it.
Regina B.
15:40 11 Nov 19
I just want to thank Mr. Willens for being extremely reliable and diligent. He was able to adequately answer all my questions and concerns. He settled my case rather quickly. I will definitely recommend him to friends and family.
Bernadette F.
15:43 08 Nov 19
I was involved in a bad accident with multiple cars and I was in a terrible shape. Matt Willens handled my case exceptionally. Everyone that helped was also great! he was detailed and clear in all our communication and he always made sure I was aware of everything that was going on throughout my whole case. Really helped me get through a rough time. I am 100% satisfied with the outcome of my case. If you need a good lawyer on your side, look no further!
Laura W.
14:49 06 Nov 19
Willens Law Office handled my accident and they were incredible! Matt drove all the way to see me and I could see he really cared. He handled my injury case from start to finish and I’m now rebuilding the part of my life that I lost. Thanks for your help.
Todd Z.
05:55 11 Oct 19
I was involved in an accident back in last year and was searching for an attorney who looked like I can trust. I found Matt Willens and I am thankful. I called him up just to get a feel for him as a person and I could tell right away that he truly cared, not only about me but my family too. To say that he fought for us would be an understatement. He was ready to go to trial! Luckily we settled and it was for more money than I imagined, especially after my initial talk with the insurance company. Thanks Matt!
Paula D.
13:14 10 Oct 19
Matt Willens went above and beyond for my case. I felt as though he cared more about me and my situation than he did himself and the time that he was required to spend on my case. I highly recommend using him.
Marci P.
13:24 03 Sep 19
It was great to work with this firm. They handled every piece of paperwork. David Baez handled my case. He kept me informed through the whole process and treated me like family. I highly recommend David and the entire firm.
John C.
14:42 16 Aug 19
Willens Law is a firm I trust in because they specialize in personal injury matters. I have had a wonderful experience with Matt WIllens personally and I can say he is pleasant to work with and communicates thoroughly with his clients. I would recommend Willens Law.
Grant V.
05:28 19 Jul 19
I’m rarely compelled to leave a review for anyone but I felt I needed to show my gratitude.From the first time I spoke with Matt Willens on the phone I actually felt like he was there for me, looking after my best interests and not his own. That’s rare in my experience.Matt is an absolute pro and I wouldn’t think to call or recommend anyone else if I or a loved one were injured in the future. Thanks Matt!
Kyle W.
04:16 19 Jul 19
When I first contacted Willens law office, I just wanted to make sure everyone was paid after I was rear ended and I wasn’t the one doing it. My correspondence was primarily with David, he was always patient when I was slow to get him information and ended up calling me with great news after almost a year of back and forth with the at-fault insurance company.I can’t thank David and the Willens law office enough.
Amanda H
18:36 14 Jun 19
Willens Law Office is GREAT! David handled my case. He made me feel like family. He explained everything in detail every step of the way. He fought to get the results that would best benefit me. David is a great attorney. Thanks David and the Willens Law Office family.
Michael S.
17:53 31 May 19
Willens Law came highly recommended after I was badly injured when hit by an out of control car. I in turn most highly recommend Willens Law based on my great experience over the past year and a half.I am very pleased with both the outcome of my case as well as the experience working with Matt Willens and David Baez throughout the process.I had no specific expectation regarding a case outcome, seeking only ‘the best outcome possible.’ I certainly believe my case outcome was a great outcome. And I strongly believe that outcome was a direct result of fantastic work done by Matt and David.From beginning to end Matt and David were great to work with. They did a great job setting expectations; explaining what was to happen, including the why and the how; guiding me through the steps I needed to take; and answering both my “need to know” and “just curious” questions. They were always extremely prompt and clear in their guidance and responses to me.A silver lining in a tough situation was working with Matt and David, both of whom I came to respect professionally and like personally. I do most highly recommend Willens Law to others who may need such services.
Keith
18:55 22 May 19
Willens Law Offices is simply the best!!! David handle my case , and was nothing but professional! He is the best at what he do!!!!!Every step of the way, I was informed of my case!!!Thanks again!!
cassandra J.
17:55 26 Mar 19
Great team, did me right, pleasurable experience.
Robert P.
03:34 21 Feb 19
David Baez was prompt and professional in answering all of my questions.
Richard D.
00:19 07 Feb 19
David Baez was very professional, helpful and always kept me informed about my case. David responded quickly to any questions I may of had. I highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury case. Thanks again David for all the great work you did.
JCSM 1.
21:39 06 Nov 18
After being in an Uber accident about a year ago, I reached out to Willens Law to assist me through the settlement process. I had the pleasure of working with David Baez. From the start he was very personable and professional. He was always willing to educate me on the process and made sure I understood each step before going forward. Even after receiving my settlement, David has been willing to assist with any questions related to my case. I would highly recommend Willens Law.
Madelyn D.
02:47 05 Oct 18
I reached out to Willens Law Offices following a car accident that my girlfriend and I were involved in, and we met with David Baez for an in-person consultation shortly after. David was very personable and knowledgeable, and gave us confidence and peace of mind in a situation where we felt initially felt completely overwhelmed. There were times when we felt the communication could have been more proactive, but David was always responsive when we felt the need to check-in, even if there were no significant updates on our case. The process took a little longer than anticipated, but David was honest, thorough, and professional throughout.Overall, great experience and I'd recommend to anyone in need. Thank you David!
Geoff B.
20:44 17 Sep 18
After I was injured, and after researching Chicago's best law firms, I found Willens Law and read their reviews. After meeting Matt, I retained their services, along with the special efforts of his Partner, David Baez.They handled my case in a professional, efficient manner, while keeping me regularly informed. We worked incredibly well together, and won a very nice settlement. You would be foolish not to consider Willens Law for your Counsel, as I did. I highly recommend them!Ed Dybas
Ed D.
21:26 07 Sep 18
We had a very positive experience and felt their representation was very effective.
Kent M.
22:43 29 Aug 18
Working with Willens Law was a pleasure. They were responsive and extremely pleasant whenever I had questions or concerns. In my case, I personally took a little longer than I should have to start the process on my end, but David was able to pickup on my delay and process my personal injury case in a timely manner. I would highly recommend Willens Law and David when looking for an attorney to represent you in a case.
Maggie O.
14:07 23 Jul 18
I had a tremendous experience with this law firm, and I would highly recommend them. I had a bicycle injury caused by a negligent Uber car, and when I was first doing research and calling law firms all over the Chicago area to find representation, Matt Willens himself returned my call personally within ten minutes. I found that to be a huge integrity move as every other firm I contacted had a lower level employee call me back. Nothing wrong with that per se, but to have the lawyer whose name is on the door personally return my call meant a hell of a lot to me and was ultimately why I decided to meet with them first.I made an appointment and met Mr. Willens and the fantastic young attorney David Baez in their offices and they were wonderful to deal with. They are down-to-earth, funny, intelligent, tenacious, capable, experienced lawyers who explained the entire process to me in a way I could understand and made me feel comfortable and confident, and we were off and running with my case.I work in a law firm and I know exactly how slowly the wheels of justice turn, and my case was settled in about half the time that these things normally take! Amazing results. Mr. Baez and his team were incredible throughout and kept me informed every step of the way, and negotiated a higher settlement number and a lower fee for the insurance company in the eleventh hour which meant more money in my pocket!! I wholeheartedly recommend this law firm for your personal injury case. They are highly skilled and I couldn't be happier. This organization is fantastic and they will produce results for you.
saxmantommy
15:01 05 Jun 18
Matt has been there for us every step of the way. He, personally, has taken the time to answer all of our questions. We never feel like we are bothering him or pestering him. We have only experienced patience and professionalism from both Matt and his team.
Maribeth C.
15:45 03 May 18
David was very good at keeping me up to date with what was going on and helping with every step throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for better representation.
Jennifer B.
21:14 24 Apr 18
David Baez was an excellent representation of the Willens Law Office. He achieved my desired result along with keeping me updated during the entire process. Very fortunate to have him by my side - thank you David.
keith B.
19:29 20 Apr 18
Matt is an impressive attorney and person! Took on State Farm and won for me. Highly recommend Matt for PI cases.
Danielle B.
22:47 10 Apr 18
This Law firm has been very prompt and kind in dealing with my case. I would recommend this law firm to anyone who needs injury lawyers.
F Z.
22:45 10 Apr 18
I used Willens Law for a personal injury claim. Matt was knowledgeable and professional. He also responded quickly which I really appreciated. I would definitely recommend.
Robyn R.
21:44 29 Mar 18
After a bad auto accident, and months of rehab, Matt Willens and his staff worked with me as though they were part of my family. They were professional, courteous and looking out for my best interest during the entire legal process. I would highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury.
dan B.
19:27 25 Mar 18

What Types of Cases Can Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Injured in an Accident? Give Us a Call Today: (312)-957-4166

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle My Case?

You are not legally required to have a personal injury attorney to handle your injury claim. You could file all the necessary paperwork yourself and represent yourself in court. However, your chances of winning your case and getting the compensation you deserve are much higher if you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Why You Shouldn't Settle Directly With An Insurance Company

Insurance providers will try to get you to settle quickly. In the midst of your crisis, they might offer you what seems like a large dollar amount. The problem is they rarely make an offer of settlement for the true full cost of your damages. Don’t be misled, hospital bills aren’t the only things for which you will need compensation. You also need to keep in mind the suffering and pain associated with your traumatic event. 

Personal Injury Resources

Illinois Personal Injury FAQs

The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Willens Injury Law Offices respond to frequently asked questions related to personal injury, car accidents, medical malpractice, and workers’

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