Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at the Gorey Law Group.
- Does it cost anything to have my case reviewed by the Gorey Law Group?
No. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients. We will meet with you in person or by telephone in order to discuss your case.
- How much does the Gorey Law Group charge for handling a personal injury case?
We do not charge our clients a fee unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on their behalf. We work on a contingency fee contract, which means that our fee is entirely dependent upon the recovery made in the case.
If we accept your case, we charge a fee based upon a percentage of the recovery obtained by settlement or verdict. If we are unable to obtain a recovery for you, there is no fee for the work that we have completed. The percentage charged depends upon the type of case that is pursued. Most personal injury and wrongful death cases involve a fee of one-third of the recovery, while medical malpractice fees are governed by an Illinois statute and the percentage depends upon the amount of the recovery. We will go through the contract in detail so that you fully understand the fee arrangement as well as the costs and expenses related to the case.
- Can my family bring a claim on behalf of a family member that has died?
Yes. The Wrongful Death Act and the Survival Act allow for claims to be brought in the unfortunate event that a family member dies from an accident. The Wrongful Death Act focuses on the damages to the family, for example the financial support and loss of society and companionship resulting from the death, while the Survival Act allows for damages for pain and suffering and other elements of damage to the family member from between the accident and their death. This statute is used when a family member dies while litigation is still pending. In that event, an estate is opened and the claim can continue to be pursued by the family.
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim?
This depends on the type of claim being brought, who the claim is being brought against and the age or mental status of the person bringing the claim. For most personal injury cases involving an injured adult the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years from the date of the event that caused the injury. However, if the claim involves filing suit against a municipality or government agency the claim must normally be brought within one-year. There are many exceptions to the general rule so it is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine whether there is time remaining to file a lawsuit. Because time is of the essence and an otherwise valid claim can be dismissed if it is filed too late it is always a good idea to take action and speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
- If I was involved in a car accident with someone that did not have insurance can I still bring a claim?
Yes. You can bring a claim for any damage that results from the negligent act of another. The problem with an uninsured driver is not whether you will be successful in obtaining a judgment but whether you will be able to collect any money for the damages awarded by the jury or a judge. If you have Uninsured/Underinsured coverage on your vehicle you can bring a claim directly against your insurance company if the person that has hurt you is either not insured or is insured for less than your coverage. This type of insurance is always a very good idea to carry on your vehicle to serve as protection for you and your family in the event that you are involved in an accident with someone that has no insurance.
- If I was injured at work is my only claim through workers compensation?
It depends on how you were injured. The Workers Compensation Act is the sole avenue of recovery against your employer. However, if you were injured at work as a result of the actions of a third-party that is not your employer you an bring a separate claim against them for your injuries. For example, if you drive a delivery truck and are injured in a car accident that is the fault of a another driver you can bring a workers compensation claim for your work related injury and a separate claim against the driver that hurt you. The only caveat is that the insurance carrier that paid your workers compensation benefits will be entitled to file a lien on your lawsuit and will receive a portion of your settlement. This can be a very important consideration for an injured worker because recoveries in workers compensation cases are often limited by comparison to a lawsuit filed against a third party. Therefore, you should always make sure that you have a qualified personal injury lawyer with experience in evaluating third party liability cases look at your work related injury case to determine if there is a potential lawsuit that can be filed for your injury.
- If the Gorey Law Group accepts my case how will I be kept informed about what is happening with my claim?
While your claim is pending you will receive periodic letters from our office advising you of the status of the case. You can also call at any time during the pendency of your case to get a status over the telephone or to schedule an in person meeting at our office. We believe that open communication is an important part of the attorney-client relationship and will make every effort to keep you as informed as you need to be to be comfortable that your case is being handled correctly and with the care it deserves.
- Will my case have to go to trial or will it be settled out of court?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions by clients and one of the most difficult to answer. Most cases settle prior to a trial. However, we believe that the only way to obtain the maximum recovery available is to prepare the case for trial and be ready, willing and able to proceed to trial if the settlement offer is not reasonable. The psychology applied to insurance companies and litigation is no different than what you see on the playground with the neighborhood bully – once he knows that you aren’t scared and won’t back down, he treats you differently and picks on someone else. We won’t be bullied into a settlement that isn’t fair to our client because we are willing to go to trial when it is necessary.