Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Insurance policies are supposed to provide us with some sense of security should we get hurt in a car accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies often resort to playing games or trying to interpret their policies in a way that benefits them the best. While you are suffering from your injuries and trying to get back on your feet, it can be hard to take the time to read through your policy and understand whether you are getting a fair deal. One way to protect your rights and to make sure you get the payout you deserve is to work with a Chicago personal injury lawyer. If you are involved in an auto insurance dispute or were hurt in a car accident, call Therman Law Offices now.

In a recent case, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered whether an insured’s auto policy required the insurance company to pay her benefits when she was hurt while riding in someone else’s vehicle. The driver of the vehicle in which she was riding hit another car in an intersection. The plaintiff maintained an auto insurance policy that also included uninsured motorist (UM) coverage up to $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person up to $50,000 per accident.

The insurance company filed a claim for a declaratory judgment. This type of claim asks the court to issue a ruling that decides who is right in a legal conflict, such as a contract dispute. The lower court eventually concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to coverage under her UM policy even though she was not riding in her vehicle at the time of the accident.

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In some serious accidents, the victim passes away before they are able to bring a lawsuit to recover damages. This is not only an incredibly traumatic experience for the victim’s loved ones, but it also leaves a number of questions regarding what happens to the lawsuit and whether justice will still be served. At Therman Law Offices, we represent the victims of Chicago car accidents and assist them with recovering the compensation that they deserve. Our team of legal professionals will make sure that you understand your rights and that your family has the financial recovery it deserves.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered whether a lower court properly granted summary judgment in a case involving a plaintiff who passed away due to circumstances unrelated to the accident while his lawsuit was pending. The plaintiff alleged that the other driver swerved into his lane of travel and sideswiped his vehicle. The plaintiff and the defendant were the only witnesses to the accident. The plaintiff passed away after the case was filed, and the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the plaintiff’s representative could not prove negligence because there were no other witnesses.

Although an officer reported to the accident, by the time he arrived, both vehicles involved in the accident had been moved to the side of the road. As a result, the defendant argued that the officer was unable to testify to shed light on whether the defendant was negligent. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff’s deposition could not be used as evidence. Under an Illinois discovery statute, the party seeking to use a deposition transcript as evidence when a witness has passed away must show that there are “rare, but compelling, circumstances” that justify the use of the deposition.

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If you lost a loved one in a personal injury accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages and expenses. It can be terribly overwhelming to think about pursuing legal action during such a traumatic time, which is why consulting with a lawyer can be a great idea. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago wrongful death lawyers are standing by to assist you with learning more about your legal rights following the tragic and sudden loss of a loved one. We will make sure that you understand every step of the process and help you fight to secure the settlement or judgment that you deserve.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving a wrongful death claim. The decedent tragically lost his life in a car accident on Illinois Route 114 in Momence. The driver of the vehicle that struck the decedent’s vehicle had left her friend’s house and was intoxicated at the time of the crash. The plaintiff, a representative of the decedent’s estate, brought claims against the driver and the friends, alleging that they were negligent in allowing the driver to leave the premises while visibly intoxicated.

The plaintiff amended the complaint a number of times and eventually included a claim based on the doctrine of respondeat superior, also known as vicarious liability, alleging that the defendants were liable for the driver’s negligence because the driver was acting in the capacity as an agent for the defendants at the time of the crash. The plaintiff alleged that the driver was acting as an employee of the defendants when the crash occurred. The driver had assisted the friends with unloading feed for their horses before spending two hours consuming alcoholic beverages at the property.

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If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the persons or companies who are responsible for your injuries. To protect your right to recovery, it is incredibly important that you follow all the applicable procedural rules governing how and where you should file your claim. This includes ensuring that you file the claim in the right court. The seasoned Chicago car accident attorneys at Therman Law Offices are prepared to assist you with investigating your claim and ensuring that you follow all the right rules in seeking compensation.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case in which the defendants challenged a lawsuit alleging personal injuries on the basis that the court in which the lawsuit was filed did not have jurisdiction over them. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit seeking damages for injuries he sustained when he was struck in a supermarket parking lot by a vehicle being driven by the defendant’s employee. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. It alleged that the plaintiff’s accident happened in Indiana, that the employee was an Indiana resident, and that the employer was a Massachusetts corporation with only limited operations in Illinois.

The plaintiff challenged this by alleging that the defendants, although not residents of Illinois, had operations within the state giving the court jurisdiction over them. Specifically, it argued that the company had availed itself of Illinois’ stream of commerce for a period of years by operating transit points at two locations in Illinois while delivering and picking up products over 35,000 times at over 140 locations. The lower court eventually entered an order without conducting a hearing or oral argument denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The defendants appealed.

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If you are involved in an auto accident, you are probably wondering how your insurance policy works and whether you will receive coverage from your insurer and any other insurers involved in the crash. In addition to pursuing a civil claim for damages from the person who caused your injuries, you can file an insurance claim to seek coverage benefits. This may sound straightforward, but insurance companies are notorious for hiding the ball and being unfair to insureds. At Therman Law Offices, we are available to assist you with all aspects of your Chicago car accident including ensuring that you receive the insurance coverage that you deserve in a timely fashion.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case in which the plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action asking the court to interpret an auto insurance policy that was issued to her and in effect at the time she was involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist. The total damages that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the accident was $250,000. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash had a policy with a limit of $100,000. It paid this limit to the plaintiff without contest or litigation. The plaintiff then filed a claim with her own insurer for payment of underinsured motorist benefits. The limit for her Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy was $250,000 as well as medical payments of $100,000. Her insurer paid the full medical payments coverage limit.

Next, the plaintiff’s insurer offset the $100,000 that the at-fault driver’s insurer paid from its $250,000 UIM limit and offset the $100,000 of medical payments it provided to the payment. It provided her with a check for $50,000. The plaintiff declined the check on the basis that it had no right to offset the medical payments against her total damages rather than the limits of liability. The parties both filed motions for summary judgment in the plaintiff’s declaratory judgment action and the court ruled in favor of the insurer. The plaintiff argued that the insurer improperly set off the medical payment benefits that it paid to her against the $250,000 UIM policy limit rather than her total damages of $350,000. The plaintiff appealed.

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When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to receive insurance benefits from the policies involved in the crash including your insurer policy and the at-fault driver’s policy. This can sound like a straightforward process, but all too often an insurance company fails to play by the rules. Also, there are a number of rules that apply to your insurer’s ability to recoup any benefits paid to you from a settlement or judgment entered in your favor in a corresponding civil case. The seasoned Chicago car accident lawyers at Therman Law Offices are available to assist you with understanding your right to insurance coverage following a car accident.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case in which the plaintiff appealed two orders of summary judgment entered in favor of the defendant, an insurance company. The plaintiff had filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment asking the court to interpret an insurance policy that was issued to the defendant and active at the time the parties got into an accident. The plaintiff suffered injuries when she was hit by an underinsured motorist. Her damages totaled $350,000.

The insurer for the at-fault motorist provided the policy limits of $100,000. The plaintiff then applied for underinsured motorist coverage with her own insurance company to recover the outstanding damages, including a $250,000 coverage limit and $100,000 in medical payments. Her insurer provided the $100,000 medical payment coverage. It then offset the $100,000 paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the $100,000 in medical payments to conclude that the plaintiff was entitled to $50,000. The plaintiff declined the offer and filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment from the court explaining the proper interpretation of the policy.

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Uninsured motorist coverage is supposed to help us cover the unforeseen costs and expenses associated with a car accident, but receiving the benefit of your policy can be fraught with headaches. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interests in mind following an accident and when considering an insurance claim. As seasoned Chicago car accident lawyers, Therman Law Offices has substantial experience dealing with legal situations involving insurance companies. We will fight zealously to ensure that your insurer treats you fairly and that you receive the treatment that you deserve following a painful and stressful motor vehicle accident.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Illinois Court of Appeal was asked to consider a case where the plaintiff, an insurance company, sought declaratory judgment regarding whether it was required to provide uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage to the defendant, it’s insured. The defendant had a UIM policy, and she sought coverage for injuries she sustained during a motor vehicle accident that another driver who did not have an auto insurance policy caused. The policy included a provision requiring the insured to cooperate with the insurer when asked to assist in giving or securing evidence. This included providing proof of loss forms when requested. It also stated that there would be no coverage provided to the extent that it would benefit any workers’ compensation coverage.

The defendant was injured while working as a driving instructor for a trucking company. She was riding as a passenger at the time of the crash. The employer’s insurer sent a letter stating that its policy did not provide coverage for bodily injuries sustained by employees. The plaintiff concluded that coverage might not be appropriate, given the work-related implications of the crash. It later requested confirmation from the defendant that no workers’ compensation insurance was being issued for the loss. The defendant sent a letter from the employer’s insurer. The plaintiff sent another letter saying it needed to do more investigation regarding whether the other parties in the accident had insurance.

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A common issue that arises after a motor vehicle accident is whether the parties involved in the accident have insurance policies that provide coverage for physical and property damage. In some situations, this is easy to determine but in others questions may arise regarding whether a policy’s coverage extends to a driver or victim. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers we are ready to assist you with protecting your rights after a car accident. We will assist with all aspects of the matter including negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.

A recent case explored the limits of coverage for an insurance policy in a one-car accident. The accident involved a non-owned, uninsured vehicle. The passenger of the accident died as a result of his injuries. The passenger would occasionally live rent-free with his father’s ex-wife at the time of the crash and had been living there for six months. The ex-wife never officially adopted the passenger.

The ex-wife had three insurance policies that provided uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. Two of the policies also provided coverage for medical expenses up to $10,000. The special administrator of the passenger’s estate asserted a claim for medical payment coverage and uninsured motorist benefits under the policies. The insurance company filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a statement that the decedent was not entitled to coverage benefits because he did not meet the definition of a “resident relative” under the policy provisions. He was not related to the insured by blood, marriage, or adoption on the date of the accident and did not primarily reside with her, according to their view.

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Rental cars offer an incredibly convenient way to travel when you are away from home on vacation or a business trip. There are specific issues that arise when it comes to liability and insurance for rental cars when accidents take place while a renter is behind the wheel. If you were involved in a car accident and one of the parties including yourself was renting a vehicle at the time of the accident, it is crucial for you to understand your rights. Our seasoned team of Chicago car accident lawyers is standing by to assist you.

Recently, an Illinois Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving a rental car collision. A man rented a car with a policy that provided for supplemental liability protection but included an exclusion for situations where the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While driving the rental car, the man was involved in a crash that injured a woman and killed her husband. The man was convicted of driving under the influence of drugs.

The wife filed a personal injury action on behalf of herself and her late husband alleging that he was negligent in operating the rental car and that she sustained injuries and her husband died as a result. She also filed a complaint against the rental car company seeking a declaration that it provided coverage for her damages. The rental car company filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that it was not required to provide coverage due to the exclusion in the policy and the fact that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

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Insurance policies can be pretty confusing, especially if you are trying to cover medical bills after a car accident. The seasoned team of car accident lawyers at Therman Law Offices has helped many different Chicago area residents with figuring out their rights after an accident. We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and fight to make sure you get the outcome that you deserve.

The Illinois Court of Appeal recently handed down a decision in a case involving a dispute over an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy. The insured was involved in an accident caused by another driver. The other driver had an insurance policy that provided liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person. The other driver’s insurance company offered to pay the full policy limits to the insured in exchange for a release of liability, but the insured concluded that her damages were more than $25,000.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against her own insurance company alleging that it failed to adhere to the terms of her policy agreement by failing to pay for her damages and medical costs in accordance with her UIM policy. The insurer filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that the insured did not submit a written demand for arbitration in accordance with the policy. The trial court ultimately agreed with the insurance company and dismissed relevant portions of the insured’s complaint. The trial court specifically noted that the policy required the insured to submit a written demand if the insured and insurer disagreed about the amount of coverage she was owed.

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