Abels & Annes

Chicago injury lawyers hired in car accident case after insurance company makes lowball settlement offer

Illinois car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have entered into an agreement to represent a Plainfield woman who was injured in a Will County crash. The accident occurred on September 1, 2010 at Interstate 55 & Route 30 in Joliet. Our client was traveling on Route 30 through the intersection with a green light when another driver failed to yield while making a left turn and struck her vehicle.

The Joliet Police Department responded to the accident. After an investigation, police issued a citation to the other driver for failure to yield.

The plaintiff had immediate onset of back pain after the accident. She was taken by ambulance to Provina St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. Over the following week her pain only increased and she followed up with a medical doctor.

Here is where the case gets interesting: Shortly after the accident my client was contacted by the defendant’s insurance carrier. She informed the insurance adjuster that she was injured in the accident, and the insurance company (without knowing the extent of her injuries) immediately offered to settle her case for $1,600, plus they would pay for her medical treatment for the next 60 days.

The claimant was suspicious and contacted our law office. If you’ve been injured in an accident, accepting an offer from insurance company while you are still undergoing medical treatment is a very bad idea for many reasons. At this point, just days after an accident, the extent of her injuries are unknown. It could just be a bump and bruise case, however, it could be much more serious.

Often an injured party treats with a doctor after an accident for back pain, and the pain does not go away. At that point it is likely that a physician will order an MRI. This test will show whether an accident victim has sustained a more serious injury, such as a herniated disc.

Here is a good example: We currently reset represent a woman who was in an accident that started off similar to the one I just described above. She was in the crash, she had back pain, she went to the ER, she followed up with a doctor.

Today, we are about a year into the case. After initial treatment, the client’s back pain did not resolve and an MRI showed she sustained a herniated disc. She has since undergone a surgical procedure called a lumbar fusion. Her medical bills far exceed $100,000. The case has a long way to go, but we expect the settlement value, at a minimum, to be worth several hundred thousand dollars.

Can you imagine if this plaintiff settled her case for $1,600 with a 60 day limit on medical treatment? This situation is the perfect example of why injury victims need legal representation when dealing with insurance carriers.

If you’ve been injured in a Chicago car accident, contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes to make sure your rights are fully protected. Call 312-924-7575 for a free appointment or telephone consultation.