Q:What is personal injury/tort law?
A:Personal injury, or tort, law covers a wide range of accidents and injuries from auto accidents to construction accidents to slip and fall accidents. Personal injury law generally provides that the party responsible for causing or contributing to an accident is liable for the damages, injuries, or deaths caused by the accident. If a person is found liable in a personal injury lawsuit, he or she may be required to pay the plaintiff compensation to cover medical bills, physical injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of normal life, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Q:What compensation can I get if I have been injured in an accident?
A:Victims of personal injury or medical malpractice may be entitled to compensatory damages and possibly punitive damages. Compensatory damages include: Medical expenses Lost wages Property damages Disfigurement Disability Loss of normal life Pain and suffering Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party for his or her wrongdoing, and deter future grossly negligent or intentional wrongdoing.
Q:What is medical malpractice?
A:Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of medical care to a patient, and the patient is injured or dies as a result. In order to assert a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff generally must prove the following: The medical professional had an obligation to the patient to provide appropriate care; The medical professional did not provide appropriate care; The patient suffered an injury or death; and The patient’s injury or death was caused by the failure of the medical professional to provide adequate care.
Q:What is a contingency fee?
A:At Cogan & Power, P.C., we offer our clients contingency fee arrangements, whereby we receive a percentage of the recovery that the client receives either through a settlement or in a verdict. If you do not recover compensation for your injuries or damages, you do not pay any fees.
Q:How long do I have to make a claim?
A:All accident and injury claims have applicable statutes of limitations, or time limitations, during which a claim for compensation can be made. In order to comply with the applicable statute of limitations, it is important to consult with an accident and injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Q:If I have been in a car accident, do I have to fill out a police report?
A:If the police do not come to the accident site, you should go to the nearest police station and fill out a police report. This will ensure that you preserve your version of events for evidentiary purposes.
Q:If the other driver receives a ticket, do I need to show up at their court date?
A:Even if the police issued a ticket to the other party to a car accident, you should attend court to present your version of events, if necessary. If neither you nor the issuing police officer is present in court, the judge may dismiss the ticket.
Q:If I’ve been involved in an accident, should I give a statement to the other party’s insurance company?
A:If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, you should refer them to your lawyer. You are not required to speak with the other party’s insurance adjuster. You and the insurer have a fundamental conflict of interest: the insurer’s goal is to pay out the lowest amount possible, if any. Leave it to your lawyers to conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf, and never give a recorded statement to the other insurer.
Q:If I have been the victim of medical malpractice, do I need to obtain a copy of my medical records?
A:Our first course of action is to order a copy of your medical records, but we always advise our clients to obtain an initial copy, if possible. Not only does it enable us to begin work on the case immediately, it also may reveal relevant discrepancies.
Q:What distinguishes Cogan & Power from the other premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in Chicago?
A:Our firm is committed to helping our clients recover as fully as possible–both financially and otherwise–from the trauma they have suffered. We offer an intimate, compassionate, supportive environment, where our partners give out their cell phone numbers and keep in close contact with their clients. Ours is not a large firm, but our lawyers have an impressive breadth and depth of experience. With almost 200 years of combined legal experience, and verdicts and settlements totaling more than $600 million, our legal team includes former defense counsel, former counsel to a prestigious teaching hospital, and a former surgical nurse. They bring their combined wisdom, knowledge, and perspective to every case, ensuring that our clients receive the personal attention they deserve and the legal acumen they need.