I was badly hurt last week and wondering if i can sue anyone.

Asked about 2 years ago - Chicago, IL

I was standing on a sidewalk last Friday in Evanston, IL when a drunk driver lost control of his companys pick up and struck me throwing me 20 feet in the air. I am still in the hosptal waiting for surgery to fix my leg and heel fractures. I also need wrist and rotor cuff surgery. A friend of mine is a young lawyer in Arkansas and he called up the auto insurance company for the drunk guys boss and the insurance company said they were denying insurance on the truck since the drunk didnt have permission to use the truck, andbecause he was driving it drunk. Is there anyone who i can sue? I do own my own car and live at home with my parents. Desperate.

Attorney answers (13)

  1. Steven Adam Sigmond

    Contributor Level 13

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have several potential paths to recovery. First, as an attorney I have learned not to accept the insurance company's first pronouncement on coverage as the last word. That can be challenged. Second, agency and insurance coverage are different issues. Even if there is no coverage, the company may be liable for your injuries. Third, if all else fails you can still make an uninsured motorist claim on your own family vehicle. If you've been hurt badly, do not have an inexpperienced friend make calls for you. In the hands of an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney, you have a good case. All of us offer free consultations. Call me, or any of the other personal injury attorneys on Avvo, first thing Monday morning.

    Steven A. Sigmond
    Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
    345 N. Canal #1208
    Chicago, IL. 60606
    (312) 756-1186
    Steve@Siglaw.com
    www.siglaw.com
    www.ChicagoAccidentLawyer.com

    This answer is general information and should not be considered "legal advice." Proper legal advice can only be... more
  2. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You may have several options, as the denial of insurance can be challenged by a clever lawyer.

    You also may have an Uninsured Motorist claim.

    I encourage you to talk to a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible. I'd be happy to discuss the particulars and guide your options.


    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email:  stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website:  www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog:  www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  3. Nima Taradji

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Just because they are denying responsibility, it does not mean that none exists. You need to speak with an attorney so that the facts can be reviewed in detail and a solution found for your case. Don't feel desperate! There is help out there. We have helped folks in worst situation(s).

    Please contact my office or any attorney to discuss the matter in more detail.

    I hope this helps-

    The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be... more
  4. Louis Joseph Meyer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Liability is not an issue. You will be able to get a judgment against the driver. The question then will be who has to pay. You should hire an attorney in Illinois that can request the insurance policy and see under what argument they are claiming they do not have to pay. The company itself may have to pay even if the insurance does not cover them. I would consult with an attorney as soon as you feel up to it.

    Louis J. Meyer
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC
    53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 856
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    312.765.0100

  5. Joseph Paul Giamanco

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My firm represents both injured parties and we are hired by insurance companies who claim coverage issues similar to this. What many of the other attorneys here have said is correct, so I won't repeat all of the same advice here - but the bottom line is that you need to retain an attorney immediately to assist you on this. There are multiple ways you can seek compensation for your injuries - but none of them are easy and you would certainly benefit by hiring a lawyer who is experienced in such matters to assist you.

    Yours truly,
    Joe Giamanco

  6. David W. Terry

    Contributor Level 9

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You really need to talk to an attorney right away. Feel free to call me.

  7. Daniel G. Galivan

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance company's apparent denial of coverage can be challenegd just as the employer's assertion that the driver did not have consent to operate the truck can be attacked. In fact, you not only need a personal injury lawyer but one that also understands and handles coverage matters, as they are very different animals. Your "uninsured motorist coverage" will likely not apply, as your question clearly states that you were a pedestrian and not operating an insured vehicle of your own. The standard form policy in Illinois requires that you be an occupant of an insured vehicle for your own policy to kick in.

    You need an attorney to aggressively pursue the employer and its insurer. Consultation is free and such cases are handled strictly on a contingency fee basis. Act quickly as there is likely to be both physical and documentary evidnece requiring immediate action to ensure its preservation. www.galivanlaw.net

  8. Eric J. Parker

    Contributor Level 10

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am very sorry to hear about your injury. What a terrible situation. In addition, it sounds like the insurance company has treated you terribly as well. You are going to need a lawyer. There are a number of strategies that should allow you to make a recovery in this situation. It's a little more complicated than a quick comment, but I would be happy to discuss the issues with you. I would guess that any number of personal injury lawyers will offer to help. Take your time, ask questions and choose a good one.

  9. Kenneth Howard Levinson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced Illinois injury attorney. As others have mentioned, just because an insurance company initially denies they are responsible for paying damages, does not mean they are correct. I good lawyer will investigate and file all appropriate paperwork to make sure your rights are protected. There are also other options to explore. Does the drunk driver has his own insurance coverage? Was he coming from a bar that "over served' him? You may also have insurance coverage that may apply.
    I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery. I know you are going through a very difficult time and I wish you the best.
    Please contact my office or an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.

  10. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Don't automatically accept the denial for the reasons or excuses given. While a claim of unpermissive use could relieve the owner of the car from being held liable due to the negligence of the driver, there is generally a presumption of permissive use, and the burden is often on the owner to prove by a high degree of evidence that permissive use wasn't given. This defense is often (not always) circumvented. There is also a question of the employer being held liable for the negligent employee's acts under a doctrine called "Respondeat Superior", and his being drunk does not automatically negate the responsibility of the employer. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area a.s.a.p. Also, if you have your own car, which has insurance that includes "uninsured motorist coverage", you should file a claim with your own carrier for protective purposes, a.s.a.p. Again, speak with an attorney a.s.a.p.

  11. Robert Don Fink

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance company's denial of coverage is far from the final word and you should not accept anything the insurance company tells you as gospel truth. You may also want to be careful about having further discussions with the other driver’s insurance company or investigators, as anything you say has the potential to be used against you later. The good news is that you may have multiple avenues of potential recovery available to you.

    You need an experience attorney to aggressively pursue your case and to work to recover fair compensation for your injuries and all you are going through. Feel free to give me or another lawyer of choice a call to discuss your case. If you call me, the consultation is free and your case would be handled on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay anything upfront. It is important that you contact someone quickly, as there is likely to be evidence which must be preserved in order to ensure your greatest recovery possible.

  12. Paul J. Whiting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should definitely be seeking legal counsel. Good luck and hopefully you get better soon.

  13. Howard Robert Roitman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . You need to hire a IL lawyer. He will tell you how to go ahead with this.

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more

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