Never Accept An Insurance Settlement Without An Attorney

Insurance settlement

Suppose you were in a Waukegan car accident and broke your arm when it slammed into the steering wheel. Rather than hire an attorney to handle the case, you decide to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company yourself. Unfortunately, you settle only for your current medical bills and no additional compensation. You may have been entitled to further compensation but were unaware of it.

Scenarios like this one occur all too often in Illinois personal injury cases. If you were hurt in a recent Waukegan accident caused by another party, you should have your case reviewed by experienced Cook County personal injury attorneys in Waukegan. The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. may be able to obtain money for your economic and non-economic losses.

Why Negotiating Without An Attorney Is Usually A Mistake

Many accidents in Waukegan involve two or more vehicles on a street or highway. You must deal with the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver hits and injures you. When speaking to their insurance company, it is essential to remember you are talking to experienced insurance negotiators whose goal is to give you the smallest possible settlement.

The insurance company also has attorneys who will work at every possibility to reduce or deny your claim outright. Unless you are an experienced insurance professional or personal injury attorney, being represented by a lawyer during settlement negotiations is best.

The Insurance Company Knows You

They may not know everything, but they almost certainly know:

  • You are injured and what the injuries are.
  • You have bills to pay and wages you are not earning.
  • You need cash to pay your medical bills and other expenses.
  • You might need help to understand your rights under Illinois personal injury laws.

The insurance company will use this information to manipulate you and even make you think that you do not have a valid claim. Or, they will try to convince you the claim is worth much less than it is.

Insurance Companies Take You More Seriously With An Attorney

When the insurance company understands a skilled litigator is representing you, their tactics become less effective. This is because experienced personal injury attorneys like Robert T. Edens know the law and how to negotiate for the most money. They also know how to find and preserve critical accident evidence to prove the other party was at fault.

Clients Represented By Attorneys Often Get Larger Settlements

In 1999, the Insurance Research Council first determined that injury victims represented by an attorney received settlements 3.5 times higher than those who represented themselves. Additional research has been conducted on this subject since then, which is still true today. So, having an attorney represent you can lead to more money in your pocket, even after accounting for the legal fees you are charged.

Talk To Our Cook County Personal Injury Attorneys In Waukegan

If you reside in Waukegan and are the victim of an accident caused by someone else, our Cook County personal injury attorneys in Waukegan at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens can help. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience holding negligent parties accountable in car and other types of accidents. Speak to our personal injury attorneys today at (847) 395-2200.

How Is Pain And Suffering Determined In Illinois Personal Injury Case?

pain and suffering

The consequences of an accident can go far beyond medical bills and lost earnings. If you suffer a severe injury in a car or other accident, you could have tremendous pain and suffering, making life difficult to bear. When another person caused the accident, how is pain and suffering compensation determined in a lawsuit? Learn about pain and suffering compensation below, then our Cook County personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., can answer your questions.

Pain And Suffering Overview

In a legal context, pain and suffering refer to physical or emotional distress due to a physical injury. Pain is the discomfort you feel in your body from the injury, while suffering is the psychological or emotional harm you experience. Suffering may include anxiety, depression, PTSD, anger, frustration, and sadness about your physical condition.

Pain and suffering are often called non-economic damages in a personal injury case because they lack the specific economic value that medical bills and lost earnings have. Pain and suffering after an accident are real but subjective, so what you deserve in compensation in a claim or lawsuit is open to debate.

Determining Pain and Suffering In A Personal Injury Claim

Illinois personal injury cases have no formula for pain and suffering damages. There are many ways that pain and suffering can be measured to put a monetary value on what you are experiencing. The following methods are most commonly used to measure pain and suffering:


Assigning an exact value to your pain and suffering is difficult, so a multiplier may be used. Your pain and suffering would be given a number from 1-5 depending on how severe your injuries are. One is the least amount of pain, and five is the worst. That number is multiplied by your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses.

Suppose you were hit by a car in Chicago and shattered your femur. You needed $20,000 for medical treatment and lost $5,000 in wages. Your leg will never fully heal, so you have a small limp, so your pain and suffering is valued at 4. In this case, you would receive $100,000 in pain and suffering.

Per Diem

Another way to value pain and suffering is to use a per diem. The insurance company might place a per diem estimate for your pain and suffering. Then, that number is multiplied by how many days you were suffering pain.

For example, if your pain and suffering is valued at $500 per day and you had pain for 60 days, you would receive $30,000 in compensation for pain and suffering. This is only an estimate, and the amount you receive in your case could be more or less. Talk to an attorney about your case specifics to understand your pain and suffering compensation.

Speak To Our Cook County Personal Injury Attorney Now

If you were in an accident caused by another party, you may endure substantial pain and suffering. You could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Contact our Cook County personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for help with your claim, so please call (847) 395-2200.

How To Recognize Brain Injury Symptoms

brain injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically occurs from a blow or jolt to the head in an accident, most often in auto crashes, falls, and athletic injuries. These injuries can be severe; if another party caused it, you could be entitled to compensation. First, learn about common brain injury signs below. Then, if you need help with a claim, our Lake County personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. can assist you.

Most Common Brain Injury – Concussions

It is hard to say how many Americans have concussions annually because many are unreported or undetected. However, mild brain injuries, including concussions, comprise at least 75% of all brain injuries in the US. While many people can have concussions, the most common victims are children, teens, and those 65 and older.

While not every concussion can be prevented, you have a lower risk by wearing your seatbelt in the car and a helmet during athletic events. It also is critical to get a diagnosis and receive care because having more than one concussion can lead to a more severe injury. A mild concussion can show signs such as trouble with balance, dizziness, delayed verbal responses, and even controlling your emotions.

Common Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury

The symptoms of a brain injury depend largely on how severe the injury is. For example, a more serious injury could cause you to lose consciousness or even go into a coma. On the other hand, people with a less severe brain injury could have a variety of symptoms in the hours and days after the accident, such as:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to smell and light
  • Sleeping a lot or too little
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision or dilated pupils

How A Brain Injury Is Diagnosed

Your medical provider will conduct an examination and ask about any symptoms you are experiencing. They also will want to know how the accident happened. Then, based on the severity of the brain injury and your symptoms, they may diagnose you with:

  • Neurological evaluation: A medical professional, such as a neurologist, will check your thinking, memory, motor functions, hearing, and vision.
  • Imaging scans: MRIs and CT scans can check your brain for swelling and bleeding.
  • Blood tests: Several blood tests can examine your blood for proteins that suggest a concussion or brain injury.

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

A personal injury attorney could be necessary in a brain injury case if another party caused the accident. For example, if another car hit you in Lake County and you hit your head on the window, you could be compensated for your brain injury in a lawsuit. Many brain injuries are expensive to treat and recover from, so do not hesitate to speak to an attorney if someone has injured you.

Speak To Our Lake County Personal Injury Lawyers Today

A brain injury is severe, and you could be entitled to compensation if someone’s negligence caused your accident in Illinois. Please contact our Lake County personal injury lawyers today at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 for legal assistance.

As Weather Warms Heed These Swimming Safety Tips

swimming safety

The weather in Illinois is growing warmer, and pools will be open soon. Unfortunately, there are many avoidable swimming injuries and deaths annually. If you remember the following swimming safety tips, you and your loved ones can stay safe. But if you were hurt in a swimming accident caused by another person or entity, contact our Lake County personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Robert T. Edens today.

Check If There Is A Lifeguard On Duty

You may want to take a swim at a beach on Lake Michigan, Fox River, Wolf Lake, or another nearby body of water. It sounds fun, but remember to check if a lifeguard is on duty at the beach during your visit. The chances of severe injury or death are always higher when lifeguards are absent.

Also, consider going to the pool instead; seeing a struggling swimmer in a pool is usually easier than in open water. Also, the pool has clear depth markers, so swimmers are less likely to get into trouble. Finally, while swimming in a pool with a lifeguard is not foolproof, it reduces the chances of the myriad factors contributing to drownings in open water, including drop-offs, waves, and currents.

Always Have Adults Present

Any time children are swimming, there must always be adults actively supervising them. Never just drop your children off at the pool because that is how accidents happen. When you watch your kids at the pool, always keep an eye on them, too; do not be distracted by conversations or cell phones.

Never Dive

You should not dive into a pool or body, or water, no matter how deep you think it is. The risk of severe head and neck injuries is too high. Also, if you are on open water, the depth could be shallower than you think because of tides and currents.

Always Have Life Jackets On Open Water

It does not matter if you are a beginner or advanced swimmer, everyone should always have life jackets available. In addition, experts usually recommend life jackets for anyone who is under 13 when they are on open water.

Use The Buddy System

No one should ever swim alone. Unfortunately, even the best swimmers sometimes run into medical problems or unforeseen weather conditions. So always swim with a buddy, even at a local pool in Chicago with a lifeguard present.

Do Not Rely On Water Wings For Children

Parents should remember that water wings are fun for children, but they are never a replacement for a life vest. Water wings are just toys and are not designed to prevent drowning. Only use floatable toys when swimming with those who can stay safe in the water without them. Also, never leave children unattended when swimming, especially with water toys when not wearing a lifejacket.

Keeping these swimming safety tips at the top of your mind can help to avoid tragedies. But if you were hurt while swimming and someone else was responsible.

Call Our Lake County Personal Injury Attorneys Today

Were you or a loved one injured in a swimming accident because someone was negligent? You could receive compensation in a lawsuit, and the Law Office of Robert T. Edens can help. Contact our Lake County personal injury attorneys today at (847) 395-2200 for legal assistance.

How a Helmet Can Save Your Life in a Bicycle Accident

bicycle helmetWhether you ride a bicycle for leisure or sport, a helmet is an essential piece of safety gear you cannot ignore. Besides preventing traumatic brain injuries, wearing one will also make you more visible on the road so you can avoid a bicycle accident.

How Bicycle Helmets Work

A bike helmet has a hard outer shell and a soft lining inside. The former protects the head if you fall by spreading the impact area and thus, prevents head injuries. The smooth outer shell allows the head to slide across the impact surface without making the neck jerk. The soft lining limits the impact by absorbing the force of the accident. Both work together to reduce the impact on your head, which may otherwise lead to a fractured skull, brain bleed, or worse.

How to Choose A Bicycle Helmet

Experienced Antioch bicycle accident lawyers will tell you that your helmet choice should depend on its specific use. For instance, a BMX cyclist will have a sturdier helmet than one who rides their bicycle for leisure on the road. Whether you are the former or the latter, follow these general tips as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to choose a suitable helmet:

  • Make sure the helmet fits snugly over your head. There should not be any spaces between the foam and your head inside. Get a looser one if the helmet squeezes your head like a vice. A tight fit will cause headaches, increasing your chances of getting into an accident.
  • The helmet size can differ between manufacturers. So whether you know your size or not, always try one on before buying it.
  • Check the recall date on each helmet beforehand. If it has the US Product Safety Commission (CPSC) label, that means it passed federal safety standards and crash tests successfully.

When Should You Replace a Bike Helmet

If you are involved in a bike crash, get a new helmet afterward, even if your existing one looks undamaged. Hidden damage such as compressed foam or cracks can compromise its structural integrity to the point that it won’t be able to protect your head later. For the same reason, never buy a second-hand helmet from friends, online, or any place for that matter. You don’t know what it has been through and the damages it may have sustained under someone else’s ownership.

Contact Robert Edens for a Consultation Regarding a Bicycle Accident

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bike accident, you need Antioch bicycle accident lawyers to get the compensation you deserve. At the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, we understand how insurance companies work and the aggressive tactics they can use to reduce your claim. We are not afraid to get equally aggressive if you are not compensated for damages and medical bills. Our lawyers have more than 20 years of experience representing victims such as you and have a successful track record to show for it. Get in touch with us for a consultation today.

Accidents That May Require a Personal Injury Attorney in Waukegan

It happens to the best of us. If you have suffered severe injuries because of an accident that could have been avoided, the negligent party should compensate you. If they or their insurance company deny your claim, do not hesitate to hire a personal injury attorney in Waukegan to claim damages.

Unsure whether your accident merits a claim? Here are some of the types of accidents that may require a personal injury attorney in Illinois:

Car Accidents

As one of Illinois’ most common types of accidents, car crashes are often caused by drunk, sleepy, speeding, or unruly drivers. If you sustain a car accident injury, you can file a personal injury claim to get financial compensation for your losses. This includes serious medical bills, lost wages, and even physical and emotional distress.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles can go from 0 to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. Plus, most motorists fail to see motorcyclists before it is too late due to their compact size. A motorcycle accident usually results in debilitating injuries that can prevent victims from living a normal life. Anything from road rash to broken bones to paralysis can reduce their quality of life.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can take on several devastating forms. It can include birth injuries caused by an inexperienced doctor, surgical injuries caused by a slip of a surgeon’s hand, and even a fatal disease missed during diagnosis. When a doctor or a medical professional fails in their duties and, as a result, hurts their patients, he/she can be held liable via a personal injury lawsuit.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Don’t underestimate slip and fall accidents. These are some of the most common types of personal injury claims made in Illinois. Here is how the law works: if you slip, fall, and injure yourself on another individual’s property, the latter can be held liable for damages you sustain.

As per Illinois Premise Liability Act, property owners owe a duty of care for guests and even people passing through their property. They have to place warning signs on hazardous areas and/or fix them before they cause an accident.

Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases

Whether you are injured in a slip and fall accident, because of medical malpractice, in a car/motorcycle accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. If you miss this deadline, you may have to forfeit your claim and thus, give up the compensation you deserve.

However, if you wish to file a personal injury claim against a government entity, you only have one year to file your claim. Time is of the essence. Get in touch with an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney in Waukegan, such as Robert Edens, at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a consultation today.

Personal Injury Attorney

With over two decades of experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims in Illinois, Robert can ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Claims adjusters are NOT your friends. Before they swoop in and try to make you say or do things that can limit the settlement you may receive, contact his office in Waukegan.

Ways to Prepare Children for a Road Trip That Can Prevent Accidents

Personal Injury AttorneyA road trip can be relaxing, but when you have excitable kids onboard, you can get into an accident. The good news is you can prevent it, make the most of the trip and ensuring it does not become a nightmare by following these tips.

Prepare Your Car Beforehand

You will be spending hours behind the wheel, so making sure it is good driving condition just makes sense. A lot can happen on the road that can cause an accident. For example – do not wait for it to rain before finding out your wipers do not work. Plus, an overheated engine can strand you for hours and your kids can suffer in the heat as they wait for you to fix the car. Worse, what if your car veers off the road because of a broken axle?

If you think your vehicle cannot perform for hours on the road, consider getting a rental instead. It will be a safer option for you and your family since these are usually in proper working order. Make sure they have safety belts as well. According to Illinois law, there should be two sets of these.

Distract the Kids with Meals and Snacks

Finger food and snacks are often enough to calm down toddlers and older children. If you have a baby on board, pull to the side of the road or in a safe area and then get in the back seat to feed him/her pureed baby food or cereal.

If your baby is still nursing, pull to the side of the road to feed him/her on a strict schedule. Plus, either have food in the car or stop at a restaurant at mealtime. Children usually act out when they are hungry. By maintaining a meal schedule during the road trip, you can do your best to ensure they remain calm.

Drive at Night

If your children are quite young, consider driving at night. This is going to be quite helpful if you have 2-year old’s or younger children. Keeping them calm and occupied for hours at a time can be a challenge as it is.

By driving at night when they are tired from a day full of play and sleepy, you will be able to drive without distractions. However – make sure you are not too tired to remain behind the wheel.

Personal Injury Attorney

If despite taking all of these precautions, you get into a car accident with a negligent driver who refuses to pay for damages, get an expert attorney on your side. Get in touch with us at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a consultation as soon as possible. We offer our services in Chicago, Waukegan, Woodstock, Libertyville and Antioch, IL.

What You Need to Know About Filing a Traffic Crash Report in Illinois

Personal Injury AttorneyWhether you are involved in a light or heavy traffic accident, you must file a crash report with the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) within 10 days. As a rule, you don’t have to file a report if the accident caused $1,500 worth of damages, but the rules can change if you were partially responsible for the incident. If you fail to file a report before the deadline, you may have to pay a hefty fine and lose your driver’s license.

Why You Should File a Traffic Report ASAP

The accident report can be filed by either the driver, the police officers who arrive at the scene or passengers. You should file a report as soon as possible so you can use it as proof for a personal injury case, which will allow you to get compensated for your medical bills and wages you lost during your recovery. You can also receive compensation for emotional trauma you suffered. Here are a few reasons why this is important:

  • You can correct discrepancies in the crash report before the insurance companies receive
  • Your insurance company can use it to prove your claims
  • Your attorney will be able to move your case forward much sooner if they have the report

How to File a Crash Report

To file the report, you need to complete the Motorist Crash Report and give it to IDOT. Here is some information that should be included:

  • The location and time of the crash
  • The name, date of birth and address of everyone involved in the accident. This includes individuals who are insured
  • The license plate number of the vehicles involved, and the state of the people involved
  • The names and addresses of registered motorists who were involved in the accident
  • Details about the crash

Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash, get in touch with the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a free consultation. We represent traffic victims in Chicago, Libertyville, Woodstock, Waukegan and Antioch. With more than two decades of experience in auto accident claims, our team of professionals will leave no stone unturned to ensure you receive justice. This includes aggressive representation against the at-fault driver’s insurance company who will try and deny or reduce your claim. Just look at our case files available on our website and see our success rate for yourself.

2 Critical Steps You Should Take After You Have Been in an Auto Accident

Auto Accident AttorneyA car accident can leave victims feeling disoriented and if it is serious enough, in excruciating pain. While the experience can be traumatic, the worst thing you can do is delay charges. Don’t delay and take these critical steps as soon as possible after an accident:

1. Collect Evidence

The first thing you need to understand is the strength of your case is determined by the proof you can provide, i.e. the facts that surround it. This will ensure you receive the justice and monetary compensation you deserve. Here are some facts and documents you should collect:

  • Information about the weather conditions before, during and after the accident.
  • The complete police report.
  • Witness statements.
  • A list of injuries you sustained.
  • A list of damages your vehicle sustained.
  • Details about the condition of the road and on which the accident occurred.
  • Traffic conditions at the time of the incident.
  • Medical reports, bills, medication receipts and other information pertaining to the accident.

2. Check the Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, time is of the essence when it comes to filing cases against negligent drivers who may or may not be insured. Victims only have a couple of years to file their case before it is deemed invalid. There are basically two limits you should look up. If you are injured because of the accident, you have two (2) years to file a lawsuit and five (5) years if you want to file one for property damage.

The insurance company of the negligent party will try to take advantage of this by delaying the insurance claim for as long as they legally can. In other words, you may not have time to file a lawsuit if they can get away with it. At this point, you should get in touch with a law office that has experience overcoming such obstacles and ensuring their clients get the compensation they deserve.

Get the Money You Deserve with Help from Robert T. Edens

Personal Injury Attorney

From the time of your auto accident, the law office of Robert T. Edens will have a team of dedicated professionals working on your case. Whether you want to deny or reduce the claim, no stone will be left unturned during the proceedings whether the accident occurred in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock or Antioch. Call us today and get the money you deserve.

Auto Accidents Due to Driving Under Influence

Personal Injury AttorneyDriving under influence is one of the single biggest contributors to auto accidents and subsequent personal injuries, which may also lead to death. In various reports, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has highlighted one death every 48 minutes – or 28 percent of all traffic deaths, were due to driving under influence, with total crashes costing the U.S. economy more than $44 billion in 2016. Also is 2016, a million drivers were arrested and fined for driving under inference of alcohol and various other drugs. Apart from alcohol and drugs, the use of marijuana while driving continues to rise, leading to a 25 percent higher risk of road accidents.

Considering the fact crashes happen often and because there are strict laws – which may result in a jail sentence, suspension of license or fines – consult a competent personal injury attorney to help your case. Likewise, if you’ve been injured in an auto crash due to driving under the influence and need to recover medical costs, or need legal advice for a potential lawsuit, call a personal injury attorney.

Effects of Alcohol on Driving

Consuming alcohol reduces muscle coordination, leads to impaired thinking and has negative effects on the nervous system. It also reduces the ability to focus on a task, making it a risk to roadside safety. Although some use of alcohol may be permitted, it is strictly advised not to drink before a long journey, or under distressed weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 can increase the risk of a crash and subsequent auto accidents. It is illegal in all states, including Illinois, leading to heavy fines of up to $25,000, three (3) to seven (7) years of jail term, suspension of license for 10 years and considered a felony if found guilty on multiple occasions.

Ways to Prevent Driving Under Influence

Following proactive steps can reduce the risk of crashes and subsequent legal action when driving under influence, such as:

  • Arrange a taxi, carpool, or a different mode of transportation after drinking at an event or gathering,
  • Choose a sober driver beforehand to transport drunk individuals to their residence,
  • Always wear seatbelts when driving,
  • Never drive immediately for long distances after an episode of drinking,
  • Drink responsibly and refrain from using excess drugs before driving,
  • Engage in alternative beverages that are non-alcoholic such as soda, coffee and water,
  • Seek rehabilitation to stop future episodes of drinking.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more driving under influence, auto accidents, and unusual injuries in Illinois schedule a free consultation contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.