Personal Injury FAQs

How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my injuries before the statute of limitations bars my claim?

We strongly recommend seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after the date of injury to discuss and determine the applicable statute of limitations (the time limit) for your claim. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, meaning that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of injury or all legal rights to pursue that claim are lost. However, it is important to note that the statute of limitation can be less than two years depending on the legal status of the wrongdoer (for example the statute of limitations to file suit against governmental bodies is generally one year from the date of injury) or the legal theory of liability against the wrongdoer. In addition, for some governmental bodies (such as the CTA) written notice of the personal injury claim must be made within as little as six months after the date of injury or the claim will be barred.

Can I afford legal representation for my claim?

Yes. Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you, the client, are not billed an hourly rate. Rather, Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle’s fees for services are based on a percentage (usually one-third) of any amount recovered in your personal injury claim either through settlement or through trial. If there is no recovery on your claim, there is no legal fee owed to Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle. Thus, there is no financial expense to you, the client, in pursuing your personal injury claim through our firm.

Am I better off trying to settle my claim directly with the wrongdoer’s insurance company?

Probably not. Oftentimes, the adjuster (claims handler) of the insurance company for the wrongdoer will contact you shortly after the incident which caused your injuries and advise of their willingness to settle your claim quickly and fairly with you directly without any need to involve attorneys. This is a standard strategy of insurance companies. Although the adjuster may come across as a nice person who is trying to get you a fair settlement, his or her sole interest is to protect the interests of the insurance company. That is accomplished by settling the case for the lowest amount of money possible.

Many people are unaware that in addition to reimbursement for reasonable necessary medical bills and lost wages, the injured person is entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering and disability (also referred to as loss of a normal life) related to injuries caused by the wrongdoer. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the monetary value of pain and suffering and disability can be significant.

An experienced personal injury attorney is in a far better position than a lay person to determine the actual value of a personal injury claim, and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that it does make a truly fair settlement offer.

It is also extremely risky to accept a quick settlement from an insurance company before the true nature and extent of your injuries can be determined. Once you accept settlement money from the insurance company, you are forever barred from making a claim against the insurance company. If you accept a settlement but later on your injuries significantly worsen, you cannot then seek additional compensation from the insurance company. So it is extremely important that you receive a fair and full settlement that factors in any permanent problems that you may have due to your injuries.

Why should I hire Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle as my attorneys for my personal injury claim?

The attorneys of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, have many years of experience in personal injury litigation. However, Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle is a general practice firm that does legal work in many areas. This is important because many law firms which concentrate only in personal injury work rely on achieving quick settlements of their cases for economic survival. Many times these quick settlements are less than the full value of the claim, at the expense of the client.

At Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle we place the interests of our clients first and recommend settlements to our clients only when we believe the settlement offer is truly a fair one. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we insist upon proceeding to trial as quickly as possible.

ZRFM makes it its practice to provide the utmost professional, personal service to clients, including returning phone calls promptly, taking whatever time is necessary to meet with clients to make sure they understand all aspects of their claim, and accommodating the client’s schedule with weeknight and weekend appointments. The law firm works tirelessly to help clients get the best possible legal representation.