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Was hit by city bus and in hospital for 1 week what should I do?

Chicago, IL |

City wants to just pay hospital costs and says I don't need a lawyer as they will just make things more complicated and it will take longer to get monies and it will cost me big time. Plus they said I would probably get a lot less with an attorney. My brother says I need to get an attorney. I have a broken leg, bruises and scrapes and stitches. City wants me to sign something that agrees to just hospital costs. I will have ongoing bills from this (more doctors visits, x-rays, getting stitches removed, etc.) I also cannot work right now and may even lose my job if I don't get back to work soon. I don't have the money to pay for an attorney. There were multiple witnesses and there is a police report on the accident. The bus driver was at fault.

Rumor has it that the bus driver was drinking on the job - no wonder he hit me. Doctor thinks I have some possible nerve damage in my leg. Who do you all recommend as the best attorney for my case here in Chicago? I can't afford to pay for an attorney.

Attorney Answers 14

  1. You do need a lawyer. Otherwise the city will take advantage of you. Study after study shows that claimants who use an attorney recover much more than claimants without attorneys. You need someone who is on your side. The city is not on your side.

  2. Frankly speaking, the city is trying to screw you. You are entitled to much more than the costs of the medical expenses, including pain and suffering, lost income, disability, et cetera. Retain a lawyer on contingency right away to file suit. Many of us, including myself, have experience dealing with the CTA.
    (773) 853-3062

    This answer is intended as informational only, and does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship between us.

  3. Hire a lawyer without delay. Hire an attorney who has litigated cases against the City. Talk to a few lawyers before you decide.

    J. Younes

  4. An injury attorney will take this case on contingency. You can choose to believe them---ask yourself if they are likely looking out for your interests or theirs. Think your brother has your interests at heart? Get an attorney. They know they are on the hook big time and just want to minimize the payout.

    The contents of this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any comments made in this post are general in nature and may not apply to the specific facts and law of your case.

  5. If you are physically able get to the office of an experienced local personal injury attorney ASAP and stop talking to the city before you irrevocably undermine your claim. There are too many things that you do not know that can hurt you.

  6. You CANNOT afford NOT to hire an attorney! There is NO up-front cost. Consult an experienced Personal injury attorney ASAP. Most of us are willing to arrange to meet with you at home if you are unable to travel, due to your injuries. Good luck.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:

  7. Of course you could listen to the city which is trying to screw you, as Mr. Kasher points out, or you could get a lawyer to help you refute their nonsense.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

  8. You definitely do NOT want to sign anything that limits your recovery to medical bills only. You are entitled to more than that if you were injured, such as lost income attributable to the injury, and compensation for the pain and suffering you are having due to this accident. If there is any permanency to your injury that limits your ability to do things in the future, you are entitled to recover for that as well. You should speak to a personal injury attorney to help you protect your rights. My office, as well as most injury attorneys, offer a free initial consultation and you need not pay anything up front. The attorney earns his/her fee as a percentage of the recovery from the defendant(s) on your behalf. Contact an attorney as soon as possible. You do not want to navigate a claim against the bus company by yourself.

  9. Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer.

  10. Contact and consult with a local personal injury attorney.

  11. I think you already know the answer: GET A LAWYER!!
    Why on earth would you ever consider signing a paper liming you recovery to just doctor bills, and waiving your right to recover for pain & suffering, loss of income, disfigurement, future damages, and anything else that you may be entitled to? Because the people on the hook for paying these damages told you it would be a good idea? It is disgusting and reprehensible for an adjuster to attempt to get you to sign a release of your rights and try to talk you out of getting legal advice and representation. It is also unauthorized practice of law for this person to be giving you (bad) legal advice.

    Many qualified attorneys will give a free consultation and represent you on a contingent fee basis (you only pay a percentage of the recovery at the end of the case, nothing up front). Start by getting a private, detailed, free consultation from a Chicago personal injury lawyer. Do not sign anything or even speak with the city adjuster again until you've done that.

    Steven A. Sigmond
    Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
    345 N. Canal #1208
    Chicago, IL 60606

    (312) 756-1186

    Call (312) 756-1186 for a FREE CONSULTATION with Steven A. Sigmond, confidential and available to anyone who has been injured in an accident or hurt at work. However, a free consultation is not legal advice, nor is the answer to the question listed above or anything posted on this website. This answer is general information. Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.

  12. Retain a personal injury lawyer to handle it

  13. This is a situation where hiring an attorney will clearly mean more money in your pocket. Most injury attorneys will agree not to charge you any fees unless money is recovered on your behalf.

    Mario Palermo
    Woodruff Johnson & Palermo

  14. When the other side tells you NOT to get a lawyer, that is when you absolutely should get a lawyer. The City is liable to you for far more than your hospital bill. You are entitled to compensation for ALL medical care and treatment: past, present and future. You are also entitled to compensation for your lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of normal life/activities, etc...again, past, present and future. You do not need money to retain a lawyer in this situation. All fees should be based upon a percentage of what is recovered for you by way of settlement or judgment (typically one-third). This is called a contingency fee arrangement. I would urge you to consult in person with at least two experienced personal injury attorneys. Most of us will provide you a free consultation.

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