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Vehicle Collision Settlements in Chicago

How Long Will It Take To Receive a Settlement For My Car Accident Case?

Chicago car accident victims have a common question: How long will it take to receive a settlement in my Chicago car accident case? The reason car accident victims ask this question is obvious. They want the monetary compensation that they need and deserve, sooner rather than later. Also, they want to put the car accident – which may have been very traumatic – behind them. While the question is simple, the answer is not. The contents of this article assume that litigation is not necessary in order to bring a car accident case to conclusion.

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration such as: What happened in the accident? What is the nature of the injuries? What insurance company are we dealing with? There are many more questions that need to be taken into account. However, even in the most routine car accident cases, there are at least three things must happen.

The Simplest Case Scenario

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration such as: What happened in the accident? What is the nature of the injuries? What insurance company are we dealing with? There are many more questions that need to be taken into account. However, even in the most routine car accident cases, there are at least three things must happen:

  • You finish treatment, reach maximum medical improvement, or have a definite prognosis
  • We have assembled all information on medical bills and lost wages
  • We submit a demand package and receive a response

And then we wait for a reply. We will continue to harass the insurance company to try to get your settlement check as soon as possible, but don’t be surprised if they drag their feet. After all, they know you need the money, and they don’t have any pressing need to settle.

The Client Finishes Treatment or Reaches Maximum Medical Improvement

First, the client has to either (1) fully recover and need no further treatment, or (2) reach maximum medical improvement, which means that while the client may need additional treatment, this is as good as the client is likely to get. If future surgery or other medical procedures have not yet been performed, an accident lawyer can ask a doctor to give an estimate of what the costs of the future treatment will cost. Doctors will usually honor such a request albeit for a rather large fee.

All of the Clients Medical Records, Bills and Wage Loss Information Have Been Obtained

If a case is going to be settled without a lawsuit for top value, an Illinois car accident lawyer will need to obtain all of the medical records, bills and wage loss information for the client. Even if treatment is complete, sometimes the medical facilities that we order records and bills from move slowly. It is not uncommon for one of these facilities to take a month or more to respond to our requests even though we are constantly calling. However, getting the records and bills are essential: for settlement before a lawsuit the accident claims are fought based on the client’s medical records. How these records reflect the injuries is – at this stage of the game – the most important variable the insurance companies use to determine value.

The Demand Package: Waiting for a Response

After a settlement demand letter is sent with all of the relevant medical records, bills, wage loss information and other information necessary to resolve the claim, it takes the insurance company time to evaluate the claim. It should not take more than a month for most insurance companies to evaluate a claim, but it often does, and your Chicago car accident lawyer needs to be following up with the insurance company to keep your case at on top of the pile.

If after negotiations your case does settle, your Chicago car accident lawyer needs to continue to nip at the insurance company’s heals to get you your money to you as soon as possible. Some insurance companies drag their feet after settlement has been reached. It is important that Chicago car accident lawyers stay on top of the insurance companies to get you your settlement check as soon as possible.

Some Warnings

Don’t be too anxious to get your car accident case settled without knowing the extent of your injuries. Once your case is over, it’s over. For instance, let’s say you injured your back in a car accident. Anxious to get your case settled, you or your car accident lawyer accepts an offer from an insurance company that seems reasonable. A few months later, after more back pain, your doctor informs you that you need surgery. Now, you determine that the settlement you received hardly seems fair. Therefore, you call your car accident lawyer to re-open your case. Your lawyer will tell you, “Sorry. There’s nothing that can be done.”

Next, insurance companies can often sense weakness. If you are trying to get your car accident case settled shortly after an accident, you may be sending messages to the insurance company. One message you may be sending is that your injuries are minimal. After all, someone trying to settle their car accident case a couple of months after a car accident is obviously not very injured. Another message you may be sending to the insurance company evaluating your car accident claim is that you or your car accident attorney is desperate for money and will settle short of full value to get quick dollars. It’s not uncommon for our Chicago personal injury law firm to receive phone calls from our car accident clients during the holiday season looking to settle their car accident cases before settlement discussions are appropriate.

As experienced Chicago car accident lawyers, we explain to our clients the reasons why their cases might not be in a position to settle, for full value that is. We explain that we would like to bring their car accident cases to conclusion sooner rather than later as well since we do not get paid until they do. We then go over our main goal which is to achieve a settlement that is full and fair. Sometimes the timing matters – don’t hesitate before calling a car and trucking accident lawyer in Chicago.

When will I get my settlement money for my personal injury case?

It’s not wise to be approaching an insurance company regarding settlement of a personal injury until at least four to six months from the date of the accident.

When should we approach the insurance company regarding settlement?

The honest answer is, “I don’t always know.” That’s not what most people want to hear. They want to hear something along the lines of “Soon, very soon.” There are lawyers, many lawyers out there who will tell people just that. Frankly, those lawyers are being dishonest, don’t know what they are doing or are not keeping your best interests in mind.

I tell people the following:

  • It’s not wise to be approaching an insurance company regarding settlement of a personal injury until at least four to six months from the date of the accident. First, we need to figure out where you are medically and that often takes some time. That nagging neck or back injury might be a simple strain or something more serious. It takes time to tell.
  • If you are approaching an insurance company regarding settlement shortly after an accident, you are sending a message, a loud message. That message is either, 1.) I’m not too hurt; and/or 2.) I’m desperate for money. Both are horrible messages to send to insurance companies who make millions of dollars by underpaying injured people for legitimate claims.
  • Those things being said, as a contingent fee lawyer, we don’t get paid until you do, so rest assured we will be aggressive about bringing your case to a conclusion BUT, AT the appropriate time.

Be careful of lawyers who promise quick settlements.

Now, there is no doubt that there are lawyers who will sign up a case and try and get it settled soon, very soon after an accident. Those lawyers generally aren’t acting in the best interests of their clients. They are acting within the best interests of their bank accounts. They are going for the quick easy money. Their philosophy is that they are better off settling a case 3 months after an accident for 20 to 50 cents on the dollar rather than working the case appropriately for a year or so and obtaining the full value of a particular case. Shame on those lawyers, and there are plenty of them.

5 Tips To Get The Best Settlement For Your Injury

Recovering from a vehicle accident isn’t easy if you sustained injuries, that’s why you want to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve from the party at-fault. You would typically have to negotiate with that party’s insurance company for a good settlement. These five tips are best practices to help you settle at a satisfying amount.

1. Start Right At The Scene

Be calm, cautious, and proactive at the scene of the accident. Take the name, contact details, and insurance information of the person at-fault. Talk to witnesses and note their names and contact details as well. Take as much documentation as you can: photos of your damaged car, license plates, injuries, skid marks, and the like. Once police officers arrive, cooperate with them and also ask for a police report to be filed. All these can help support your injury claim later on.

Also remember to watch what you say after the accident. Avoid saying anything you don’t mean and avoid making self-assessments – even a simple “I’m fine” could be used to downplay your injuries and reduce your settlement.

2. Know What Your Case Is Worth

It is vital to get yourself checked by a medical professional even if your injuries look minor. A doctor can assess the true extent of your injuries, including those that may not immediately be seen. Based on this professional assessment, you’ll have an idea of how much you should be paid for the injuries. Also consider other damages such as lost wages and emotional suffering.

Understanding all these, decide on a range of what your claim is worth. This way, you can specify a solid amount in your settlement demand letter. You also won’t have to panic when an insurance adjuster makes a take-it-or-leave-it offer – you have a minimum amount in mind and you have good reasons to demand this amount.

3. Respond Patiently And Methodically

Usually, insurance adjusters make very low first offers, and sometimes, they even deny liability and having to pay altogether. Don’t jump at the first amount they offer. Instead, respond in two steps.

First, get the adjuster to justify the offer. Note down his/her justifications, then write a letter responding to each of these justifications. On your next conversation, begin by asking the adjuster about your response. If the offer doesn’t budge, move on to step two: making a counteroffer that shows you are willing to bargain. You can lower your initial demand slightly, but keep in mind the range of your claim’s worth.

4. Emphasize Strong, Emotional Points

During negotiations, highlight certain details in your case that clearly show you were wronged. Refer to photos of your wrecked car or records of your serious injury. Point out the other driver’s fault and the details that emphasize this, such as beer bottle in his car or tire marks indicating reckless driving.

Further, explain how the accident emotionally affected your life – you may now be unable to care for your small child or you may have had to give up important long-term plans.

5. We can help.

We recognize that many people want their money and they want it soon. We also realize that trying to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company too soon after an accident can cause damage to your case. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, we can help.

First-Party vs. Third-Party Claims

There is no simple answer to this question and the time involved in the claims process varies depending on what the claim is for and whether or not it involves a third-party. The first thing that must be determined is whether the victim should file a first-party or third-party claim. If the driver has appropriate coverage, he or she should file a first-party claim regardless of who was at-fault for the accident; otherwise, he or she should file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

For first-party claims, the insurance company is required to adhere to all conditions described by the policy. When it comes to third-party claims, only the other driver or policyholder can contact the insurance company, and the insurer’s primary responsibility is to the policy holder and not to the claimant.

Car Accident Claims Process

In the state of Illinois, a person can file a bodily injury lawsuit within two years of a motor vehicle accident. If the claimant was under 18 when the accident occurred, the two year period starts on the claimant’s 18th birthday. For property damage, claimants have five years to file a claim irrespective of their age at the time of the accident. Insurance companies are required to produce the necessary paperwork to present a claim within 15 days of the request. Insurance companies must provide a written explanation for property damage claims that remain unresolved for more than 60 days.

When a person files a claim, the other driver’s insurance company conducts an investigation of the accident to determine whether the person they insure is legally liable for injuries and other damages. The insurance company then offers a settlement and the person receiving the damages is asked to sign a “release for damages”. Once an individual signs this document, the claimant can never claim any more damages from the insurance company. It should be noted that insurance companies cannot deny to process your property damage claim even if your bodily injury claims are still ongoing.

Reasons Why Your Car Accident Claim Was Denied

Car accidents can leave a victim with medical bills adding up to thousands of dollars and they often count on insurance money to pay these bills. Unfortunately, car accident claims are often denied. When this happens, it is important to understand why your claim was denied.

The Car Accident Was Avoidable

A claim can be denied because the accident was avoidable or you have partial liability in the accident. If you were driving drunk or you allowed an unlicensed driver to use your car, your car insurance policy will not cover your expenses. If your claim is denied because the insurance company believes that the accident was avoidable but you think otherwise, seek legal help from a Chicago car accident lawyer.

Policy Exclusions

Each insurance policy will list certain items that are not covered. For example, an insurance policy may not cover an “act of god” or intentional actions. The insurance company may use one of these items, known as policy exclusions, to deny your claim.

Lapsed Policy

If the premium was unpaid at the time of the accident, the policy may have lapsed. The insurance company may argue that the no coverage existed at the time of the crash.

There Was No Medical Treatment at the Time of Injury

If you fail to seek treatment for your injuries immediately after the crash, the insurance company may argue that the injuries did not occur as a result of the accident or the injuries are not accident-related. Always seek immediate medical attention after a car accident to have documentation.

Pre-Existing Condition

If the victim has a pre-existing condition, the insurance company may contend that the pre-existing condition is causing injury and pain and not the accident. If your pre-existing condition was worsened by the accident, you may still be able to recover some compensation.

Denial May Be a Sign of “Bad Faith”

It is possible that the insurance company may be denying the claim in bad faith. Insurance companies sometimes use certain tactics to minimize compensation or may unethically refuse to pay your claim. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you may think.

Appealing an Illinois Car Accident Settlement

Before taking any settlement offer, it’s important to talk to a lawyer to make sure it’s a good decision.

There are many ways your car accident case can end. It can end by you dropping the case or receiving a verdict either for or against, but the most common way for car accident cases to end is with a settlement. A settlement is an agreement among the parties in the lawsuit that a certain amount of money will be paid by one or more parties to one or more other parties to end the lawsuit.

Settlements Resistant to Appeal

In many cases, you cannot appeal a settlement. After all, a settlement is intended to resolve the situation, and often include specific language that you waive your right to further action or compensation. A signed settlement is generally the end of your legal action.

There are rare cases in which you might be able to appeal a settlement, such as if your lawyer acted without your consent or the settlement can be shown to be inherently unfair to one or both parties. These situations are so infrequent that they almost don’t bear mentioning, and rarely apply in car accident cases.

Consider Carefully before Signing

Because settlements are resistant to appeals, it’s important to consider them carefully before signing. It’s a common insurance company tactic to offer you a settlement early after your accident to try to get you to waive your rights in future actions. If you take that settlement offer before you know the full extent of your injury, you may regret it later.

Before taking any settlement offer, it’s important to talk to a lawyer to make sure it’s a good decision.

If you’ve been offered a settlement by an insurance company in your car accident case, we can look it over for free and help you decide whether it’s a good offer for you.

Featured Chicago Car Accident Verdicts and Settlements

$3,000,000 Chicago Car Accident Wrongful Death Settlement

This was an out-of-court settlement that was reached on behalf of a 20 year old woman. Her mother was driving down a suburban street when a car driving the other way crossed the center line and crashed head on into her vehicle. The accident killed the plaintiff’s mother. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed for the deceased’s daughter. While many lawyers would have allowed a case like this one to drag on for years, Mr. Willens would not. The case was settled in less than a year from the time of the accident.

$2,250,000 Truck Accident Wrongful Death Settlement

This was an out-of-court settlement that was reached on behalf of a husband and his two minor children. The husband lost his wife and the children lost their mother when a truck lost control on a highway in Indiana and struck the woman’s car, killing her instantly. The case, which was filed in Indiana, settled at a mediation in Indiana.

$1,500,000 Truck v Pedestrian Accident Wrongful Death Settlement

An employee for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was in the process of removing reflectors from an Illinois Tollway – I-294. There were several IDOT vehicles behind the IDOT employee which was designed to protect him and his co-workers from traffic on the road. A truck had passed the IDOT vehicles and began to cut over when he struck and killed one of the employees. A lawsuit was filed on the victim’s family’s behalf in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The defense lawyers vigorously contested liability. The victim was 26 years old, unmarried and had no children. After extensive litigation, the case settled at mediation for $1,500,000. Initially the defense offered $350,000 to settle which Willens said “no way” to and the family agreed. The proceeds of the settlement went to the deceased’s parents and sisters.

$510,000 Chicago Truck Accident Settlement

A 45 year old male truck driver was driving a semi-tractor trailer northbound on I-94 in Chicago when he was rear-ended by another semi-tractor trailer in snowy conditions. The defense asserted that the plaintiff was to blame for the collision because he suddenly moved his truck in front of the defendant’s. Plaintiff suffered a low back disc herniation requiring surgery. The defense contested damages as well and hired an expert orthopedic surgeon to contest the opinions of the plaintiff’s surgeon. The defendant’s expert was of the opinion that the accident at issue did not cause the plaintiff’s back herniation, that any injuries the plaintiff had pre-existed the subject truck accident. After extensive litigation, the case settled just prior to trial at a pre-trial settlement conference presided over by Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez. This particular case took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

$500,000 Richmond, IL Motorcycle Accident Settlement

A 51 year old man was driving his motorcycle in Richmond, Illinois when he was broadsided by an elderly man driving an automobile. The motorcyclist suffered major trauma to his right leg, initially undergoing below-the-knee amputation and later (when it was determined that his knee could not be saved) above-the-knee amputation. The case took place in McHenry County, Illinois and though liability was contested, it was brought to conclusion within approximately one year of the accident for full insurance policy limits. With the proceeds of the settlement, the plaintiff was able to buy a prosthetic of his choice rather than the uncomfortable one dictated to him by his health insurance company.

$500,000 Glenview, IL Car Accident Settlement

A 67 year old  man was a front seat passenger in an automobile that was making a left turn from Willow Road to I-294 in Glenview, Illinois, when the defendant ran a red light and t-boned the vehicle that the plaintiff was a passenger in.  As a result, the plaintiff suffered an exacerbation of pre-existing injuries to his lower back resulting in surgical intervention. The surgery consisted of removing hardware from a previous surgery and extending the fusion from previous surgeries. Plaintiff collected policy limit settlements from both the at fault driver’s insurance company and from his own underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.

$491,863 Evanston, IL Car Accident Verdict

The plaintiff, a 34 year old woman was driving her car southbound on McCormick at the intersection of McCormick Blvd. and Golf Road in Evanston, Illinois. At the same time, the defendant was heading eastbound on Golf Road at the same intersection. A collision occurred in the middle of the intersection. Each driver claims to have had the green light. The plaintiff suffered a right lacerated kidney requiring removal. She made an excellent recovery and all of her medical treatment was completed ten days after the accident. She incurred about $35,000 in medical bills and missed eight weeks of work as a nanny. Her lost wages totaled $1,600. The plaintiff demanded $100,000 policy limits from Allstate. Allstate made no offer. After a two day trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $491, 863 broken down as follows: $175,000 pain and suffering; $259,000 loss of a normal life; $20,000 disfigurement; $35,763 past medical; $1,600 lost wages. The verdict was paid in full.

$460,000 Barrington, IL Car Accident Award

The plaintiff, a 70 year old woman was driving her car northbound on Route 59 near the intersection of Route 59 and Eaton Road in North Barrington, Lake County, Illinois.  The defendant, who was driving the opposite direction crossed the center line and caused a head on collision.  The plaintiff’s main injury was a fractured knee cap requiring surgical repair. After less than one year of litigation, the insurance company for the defendant driver paid its policy limits of $250,000. The plaintiff then filed an underinsured motorist claim against her own insurance company, who had offered her an additional $30,000 to settle the case. The plaintiff rejected the $30,000. The case went to arbitration and the three arbitrators awarded $460,000.  The plaintiff got an additional $210,000, seven times more than what her own insurance company offered.  The gross amount received by the plaintiff is $460,000, $250,000 from the defendant’s insurance company and $210,000 from her own insurance company under her underinsured motorist coverage (UIM insurance).

$450,000 Chicago, IL Bus Accident Settlement

A 52 year old man was driving his vehicle home from a Chicago Bears game when he was struck by a PACE Bus.  As a result, he re-injured his lower back. The plaintiff did not seek medical treatment for quite some time because he was already treating for a shoulder condition unrelated to this accident.  When he finally did seek medical treatment for his lower back, it was determined that he needed surgery to alleviate his pain. As the Cook County trial date approached, the case settled out of court.

$405,000 Glenview, IL Bicycle Accident Settlement

A 74 year old retired cardiac surgeon was driving his bicycle in Glenview, Illinois when he was bumped by the defendant’s vehicle knocking him to the ground. The plaintiff suffered a bimalleolar right ankle fracture which required surgery. The surgical wounds then became infected. Liability was contested throughout the litigation. Eventually, the case settled at a mediation presided over by Judge Casciato (retired).

$374,340 Chicago Bus Accident Verdict

The plaintiff, a 41 year old man was a passenger on a CTA bus on his way to work. As the bus traveled westbound on Adams Street between Wacker Drive and the Chicago River Bridge, it drove over a bump in the road which threw the plaintiff slightly into the air while he was walking to the rear door. The plaintiff landed on his right heel, sustaining a Type 2 comminuted displaced calcaneus fracture (fracture of the heel bone). While the plaintiff claimed that the bus driver drove in an unsafe manner under the conditions present, the defense contended that the bus driver was driving slowly when he went over the bump and that the plaintiff should have held on to the available handrails. The defense also hired an orthopedist to contest the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. As a result of the injury, plaintiff incurred medical bills in the amount of approximately $31,000. Prior to trial, the plaintiff demanded $225,000. The defense offered $75,000. After a one week trial in Cook County, the jury awarded the plaintiff $734,000 reduced by the plaintiff’s comparative negligence of 49%. The jury awarded $60,000 for past and future medical expenses; $292,000 for past and future pain and suffering; and $382,000 for past and future loss of a normal life (sometimes referred to as “disability”).

$350,000 Chicago Taxi Accident Settlement

A 21 year old woman sustained a herniated disc in her lower back when the taxi in which she was riding struck a light pole near Navy Pier in Chicago. Though the impact was considered light, her injury necessitated surgery. Full insurance policy limits were tendered to the plaintiff in this case which was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

$350,000 Chicago Car Accident Settlement

Plaintiff, a 34 year old female photographer/re-touch specialist, was rear-ended by a taxi cab while travelling southbound on I-90 near Kimball Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle was minimal and initially her neck and back injuries were treated conservatively with chiropractic treatment. However, eventually she had an MRI which showed herniated discs. She came under the care of an orthopedic doctor and eventually had surgery on both her neck and back. Full insurance policy limits were tendered to the plaintiff in this case which was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

$300,000 Chicago Motorcycle Accident Settlement

A 28 year old male was operating his motorcycle westbound on Ontario Street near Orleans Street when a cab driver veered into his lane striking the plaintiff with his vehicle. The cab driver denied any wrong doing. Since Willens Injury Law Offices was hired soon after the accident, we were able to secure video tape footage from a nearby police surveillance camera. We were also able to interview an eye-witness to the accident. The video, along with the witness statement, showed that the cab driver was at fault. The plaintiff suffered a left intraarticular distal tibial pilon fracture with associated distal fibula fracture. The injuries required surgical repair. This case was litigated for only one year in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois before settlement.

$275,000 Highland Park, IL Bicycle v Pedestrian Accident Settlement

A 41 year old female school teacher was assisting in staging a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The defendant bicyclist, an employee of a local bike shop, participating in the parade, collided into her. Plaintiff suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament of her right knee requiring surgery. The litigation took place in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois.

$250,000 Lake County Car Accident Policy Limit Settlement

A 70 year old woman was operating her car in Lake County, Illinois when a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck her vehicle head on. Plaintiff suffered a broken knee requiring the surgical placement of plates and screws.  Eventually, the hardware needed to be removed.  The defenadant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits of $250,000.

$250,000 Schiller Park, IL Bicycle Accident Settlement

A 59 year old man was driving his bicycle when a car made a left hand turn in front of him.  The plaintiff struck the car and flew off of his bicycle, broke his nose and injured his neck.  The defendant’s insurance company paid its policy limits without litigation.  The plaintiff’s insurance company also paid its policy limits under the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist (UIM) policy he had for his vehicle.

$234,409 Effingham, IL Car Accident Verdict

Plaintiffs, two brothers, were travelling westbound on Fayette Avenue through a controlled intersection at 3rd Street in Effingham, Illinois. An oncoming truck turned into the path of the vehicle that the two plaintiff brothers were in. As a result of the accident, one brother suffered from lateral epicondylitis of the right elbow and right shoulder impingement syndrome and the other brother suffered ulnar neuritis in the left elbow, traumatic chondromalacia of the left knee and a soft tissue neck injury. Defense argued the truck driver was making his turn on a protected arrow and that the brother who was driving failed to keep a proper lookout and was going too fast for conditions. The defense further contested damages and hired an expert orthopedist to dispute both of the brothers’ injuries. Prior to trial, plaintiffs demanded $250,000. The defense offered $150,000. After a one week trial in Kankakee County, Illinois, the jury awarded a net verdict of $234,409 – $190,330 to one brother and $80,143 to the driving brother. The jury determined that the driving brother was 45% at fault and therefore reduced his award to $44,079. The gross verdict was $270,473.

$175,000 Deerfield, IL Car Accident

A 48 year old man was a passenger in the defendant’s tow truck with his disabled vehicle in tow in Deerfield, Illinois. The tow truck driver applied his brakes, causing plaintiff’s disabled vehicle to rear-end the tow truck. As a result, plaintiff suffered from chronic lower back pain though his injury did not require surgery. Damages were highly contested and this case did not settle until the first day of trial. This case was litigated in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois.

$150,000 Chicago, IL Bus v Pedestrian Accident

A 65 year old man was standing just outside the driver’s side of his vehicle while waiting to pick up someone at O’Hare Airport. A bus came toward him when he was forced to evade it. The bus struck the car but not the plaintiff. While trying to get out of the way, plaintiff suffered a tear to his medial meniscus eventually requiring surgery. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and was eventually brought to a conclusion at a mediation.

$140,000 Chicago Car Accident Settlement

A 53 year old female music teacher was the passenger in a vehicle driven by her daughter. The vehicle was cut off by the defendant’s vehicle, a flower delivery van, and forced into a median. As a result of the car accident, plaintiff suffered the aggravation of left shoulder acromioclavicular degenerative joint disease requiring arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff also suffered from a cervical strain. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

$132,885 Chicago Bicycle Accident Settlement

A 31 year old male was driving his bicycle eastbound on North Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The defendant turned her vehicle right from North Avenue onto Orchard in front of the plaintiff causing him to run into the passenger side of her vehicle. Plaintiff suffered from a deviated septum which required surgery. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

$130,000 River Forest Pedestrian Accident Settlement

A 50 year old male counseling therapist was walking through a parking lot in River Forest, Illinois when he was struck by defendant’s backing vehicle. Though the impact was light, it was enough to make him lose his balance and fall to the ground. He suffered a fracture of his left wrist which required surgery. The litigation took place in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

$125,000 Barrington Car Accident Settlement

A 50 year old female IT employee was driving her vehicle in Barrington, Illinois when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle which had reversed into her vehicle while leaving a parking spot. The plaintiff twisted her knee while braking and suffered a torn meniscus requiring arthroscopic surgery. She also had some steroid injections. The original offer was approximately $56,000 as defendant contested damages alleging that the plaintiff’s symptoms were due to aging and arthritis, not the subject car accident. As the case approached trial, the defense requested a pre-trial settlement conference in front of the Honorable Judge Lynn Egan. After two pre-trial sessions, a settlement was reached.

$110,000 Elgin Car Accident Settlement

A 53 year old male food salesman was driving northbound on Randall Road near the entrance to I-90 in Elgin, Illinois when the defendant rear-ended the vehicle behind the plaintiff’s causing a chain collision. The impact caused the plaintiff to develop left-sided cervical radiculopathy, necessitating a foraminotomy – a surgery that increases the opening in the neck where nerve roots leave the spinal canal. Since the impact was light, the defense disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s damages but eventually requested a pre-trial in front of the presiding Judge. The case was litigated in Geneva, Kane County, Illinois.

$100,000 Logan County Car Accident Settlement

A 20 year old male was driving his vehicle in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, when a vehicle coming the opposite way turned left in front of his causing a collision. The plaintiff suffered a fractured ankle requiring surgery. The defendant’s insurance company paid full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.

$100,000 Chicago Pedestrian Accident Settlement

A 45 year old male teacher sustained a mild traumatic brain injury when he was hit by defendant’s vehicle while crossing Belmont street in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff made an excellent recovery and has no permanent residuals. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits and the plaintiff’s insurance company paid the full amount of his underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) limits.

$100,000 Chicago Bicycle Accident Settlement

A 39 year old window salesman was driving his bicycle in Chicago when he was hit by defendant’s vehicle. He suffered a fractured patella requiring surgery. The defendant’s insurance company tendered its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.

$100,000 Calumet City Pedestrian Accident

A 60 year old female custodian was hit by defendant’s left-turning vehicle while she was in the crosswalk at an intersection in Calumet City, Illinois. She suffered a left pelvis fracture. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.

$100,000 North Chicago Car Accident Settlement

A 40 year old female dental assistant was rear-ended on Route 41, in North Chicago, Illinois. As a result of the accident, she suffered a Grade II AC joint separation requiring arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The litigation took place in Lake County, Illinois and the defendant’s insurance company eventually paid its full policy limits prior to trial.

$100,000 Lake County Car Accident Settlement

The defendant pulled his car out of a gas station near Sheridan Road and Beach Road in Lake County, Illinois directly into the path of the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing a collision. The plaintiff, a 55 year old male plumber sustained a fractured sternum, broken ribs, a bruised heart and knee strains. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.

$100,000 Du Page County Car Accident Settlement

The defendant turned left in front of plaintiff’s vehicle causing a collision in Addison, Du Page County, Illinois. The plaintiff, a 63 year old retired mechanic, suffered a sternum fracture, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and strained hand ligaments. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed and the plaintiff’s insurance company paid the full amount of his underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) limits.

$100,000 Des Plaines Pedestrian Accident Settlement

The defendant valet driver struck the plaintiff as he walked across the driveway in front of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Des Plaines, Cook County, Illinois. The plaintiff, an 82 year old man, suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). In addition to the $100,000 settlement, the defendant hospital waived all of the medical bills

$100,000 Chicago Bus vs Pedestrian Accident Settlement

Plaintiff was bumped by a CTA bus while she was walking in front of it at the Jefferson Park Bus Terminal in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff, a 67 year old woman sustained a fractured pelvis from the bus accident.

$100,000 Kankakee Pedestrian Pedestrian Accident Settlement

The defendant turned left in front of plaintiff’s vehicle at the intersection of Chestnut and Harrison in Kankakee, Illinois. The 28 year old plaintiff sustained a right patellar fracture which did not require surgery. After litigation which took place in Kankakee County, Illinois, the defendant’s insurance company paid its full policy insurance limits.

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Illinois Injury Law Firm Practice Areas

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!”

Types of Damages Causes For Compensation


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


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


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


Available to speak with you 24/7. Can’t come to us? We’ll come to you for your free consultation.


We are dedicated to obtaining the best possible resolution for our clients.

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.
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.
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.
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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