Illinois Injury Lawyer

My name is Barry Zlotowicz and I am a Personal Injury Attorney In Chicago. I often get asked by clients “can I sue the insurance company?” In this article, I Illinois Injury Lawyerwill address this common question and also briefly discuss when you can in fact sue an insurance company. If you are involved in a dispute with an insurance company, call me today at 847-305-4105 for a free consultation.

Who do you sue?

Auto insurance companies can be very difficult to deal with. The insurance company has one goal – to make money. They do this by taking in as much in premium payments as they can while at the same time paying as little as they can for insurance claims.

As such, it should be no surprise that the insurance company will nickel and dime you to every extent possible to save money. They know that the likelihood of someone filing a lawsuit against them is small – the vast majority of cases settle. Few people will file a lawsuit over a couple hundred dollars in property damage.

This often leads to serious frustration when dealing with an insurance company after an auto accident or other personal injury accident in Chicago. I have received many calls from people who ask: “can I sue the insurance company?”

The answer is….

As an Illinois injury lawyer, I’m very familiar with insurance company tactics. But generally speaking, no matter what the insurance company does, you do not sue the insurance company directly for injuries and damages suffered in an auto accident. Rather, you sue the person who hit you.

Example

Let’s say you are involved in an auto accident with a “John Smith.” Mr. Smith rear-ended you while driving on the Kennedy Expressway. Mr. Smith is insured by Geico Insurance. After the accident, you obtain Mr. Smith’s auto insurance information. You file a claim with Geico and after you finish treating you demand $25,000 to settle your case. Geico offers you only $10,000. You are not happy with the offer. What do you do?

In short, your Illinois personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit against John Smith, not Geico Insurance. Geico has a duty to defend Mr. Smith. Therefore, once Mr. Smith is served with your lawsuit, he will call Geico and Geico will pay for a law firm to represent Mr. Smith.

When do you sue the insurance company?

The only time you will hear your Illinois injury lawyer talk about suing the insurance company is when he or she alleges that the insurance company is acting in “bad faith.” It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot by people but as applied to auto insurance claims, it is not used that often.

In short, a bad faith claim in this context usually arises when an auto accident victim files a claim against the defendant driver and there is a reasonable probability that the recovery will be in excess of the insurance policy. Despite this, the insurance company refuses to “tender” or offer the entire insurance policy to settle the case.

If your Illinois injury lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf and you win an amount in excess of the policy amount, you may be able to file suit against the defendant’s insurance company and recover the entire amount of the verdict plus attorney’s fees and more.

If you want to read more about this topic and the standard for a bad faith claim, check out the Illinois Insurance code 215 ILCS 5/155.

Practical use of bad faith

Most of the time I have used this allegation is when an insurance company engages in significant delays in responding to a demand letter or other request for compensation. In that case, I will send a letter to the insurance company subtly suggesting they are acting inappropriately. An insurance company is usually fairly quick to respond to such a letter. However, this is normally a last resort.

Conclusion

Have a question for a Chicago area personal injury lawyer including can I sue the insurance company? Feel free to contact us today for a free consultation at 847-305-4105.

Can more than one person be held liable for an auto accident?

A recent case handled by our office addressed the issue of can more than one person be held liable for an auto Glenview auto accident lawyeraccident. If you were involved in an accident where multiple parties were involved, feel free to contact Glenview lawyer Barry Zlotowicz at 312-848-9783 for a free consultation.

Can more than one person be held liable for an auto accident?

The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? If two parties (defendants) were negligent and caused your injury, they should be held responsible or “liable” for your damages. This is called “Joint and Several Liability.”

  • If the defendants are “jointly liable”, then each defendant could be liable to pay up to and including, ALL OF YOUR DAMAGES. This might be necessary if for example, the other defendant was uninsured or otherwise unable to pay
  • If the parties are “severally liable”, that means that they are only responsible for their fair share of the damages

Why would one defendant be held responsible for ALL the damages?

It is a matter of public policy. If someone is the victim of an auto accident that they did not cause, it is simply fairer to hold the defendants responsible for all the damages, than it is to put the burden on the victim.

What if the defendants were not equally liable?

What if the defendants were not equally liable for the accident? In this situation, Glenview lawyer Barry Zlotowicz and counsel/insurance for all the defendants will apportion liability among the parties. Or, if the case goes to trial, then apportionment would be left to a judge or jury.

The law in Illinois

Some states follow the theory of “pure joint and several liability.” This means that the plaintiff/victim can only recover the specific amount of damages that a defendant is responsible for. So, for example, if your case is worth $100,000 and each defendant is ½ at fault, you can only recover a maximum of $50k from each defendant – NOT $100,000 from one defendant and zero from the other.

Illinois however follows the concept of “modified joint and several liability.” In Illinois, if a defendant is more than twenty-five percent responsible for an accident, then he/she is responsible for up to 100 percent of the victim’s damages (if the other defendant is uninsured, underinsured, or, otherwise unable to pay).

If a defendant is less than 25 percent responsible for an accident, then he/she is responsible for 100 percent of the economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) but only “severally liable” (responsible for their fair share) for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

It’s very confusing and if you are faced with this situation, please call Glenview lawyer Barry Zlotowicz for a free consultation at 312-848-9783.

It’s easier to understand in a couple of examples:

Scenario 1

Plaintiff A:           0 % liable

$100,000 in medical bills

$100,000 in pain and suffering

Defendant A:     50% liable

$250,000 in insurance

Defendant B:     50% liable

Zero/no insurance

Result:

Defendant A:     Is liable for ALL damages

Liable for 100 percent of ($100,000) medical bills

Liable for $100,000 in pain and suffering

Defendant B:     Liable but has no assets to recover against

Scenario 2

Plaintiff A:           0 % liable

$100,000 in medical bills

$100,000 in pain and suffering

Defendant A:     80% liable

$25,000 in insurance

Defendant B:     20% liable

$250,000 in insurance

Result:                  Defendant A is primarily responsible for the accident but has limited insurance.

As such, Defendant B will have to pay practically all of the medical bills. But, since Defendant B is less than 25 percent responsible for the accident, he only had to pay his several share of the pain and suffering – 20 percent, or $20,000.

It is important to note that in Illinois, if the Plaintiff was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, she could not have recovered at all for her injuries and damages.

If you were injured through someone else’s negligence and are faced with the question of whether more than one person be held liable for an auto accident, contact Glenview lawyer Barry Zlotowicz at 312-848-9783 for a free consultation.

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

Most auto accidents result in minor injuries, but they all, by definition result in at least some property damage. Many people contact me about their accident and ask, “Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?”

Automobile Insurance
Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

Most people don’t pay much attention when they’re buying automobile insurance online or from an insurance broker. The majority of drivers are looking for the cheapest insurance possible to meet the mandatory minimum requirements set forth by the State of Illinois. As such, they accept high deductibles and purchase inadequate amounts of uninsured and underinsured coverage. Unfortunately, if you commoditize the insurance, you may get left paying a high deductible if you are involved in an accident.

What is a deductible?

In short, a deductible is a specific amount of money an insured has to pay before the insurance company pitches in to pay for the damage to a damaged vehicle.

For example, if you contracted with Allstate Insurance for a $500.00 deductible and your car has $750.00 in damage to it, you will have to pay the first $500.00 before the insurance company pitches in the extra $250.00.

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?

If the accident is not your fault AND you want to use your own insurance to pay for the repairs, you will have to pay the deductible before your insurance company pitches in to get your car fixed. Your insurance company will then file a claim against the defendant’s auto insurance policy for reimbursement. When your insurance company gets reimbursed for the money they put out on your behalf, you should be reimbursed your deductible.

Unfortunately, this can take some time and the defendant’s insurance company may dispute who is at fault for the accident. This could result in a significant delay in getting reimbursed.

Why would I use my insurance then?

It is often quicker to use your own insurance to get your car repaired. It often takes time for the third party (the defendant’s insurance) insurance to “accept liability” or responsibility for the accident. If you have collision coverage, your insurance will often step in to get your car repaired immediately.

Some defendants always take longer to investigate the facts of an accident. For example, we’ve worked on several cases where the defendant is a governmental entity/employee. The government is always slow in offering compensation for damaged property. In these cases, it’s almost always better to go through your own insurance.

You may be involved in a case where the facts of the accident are in question or even in dispute. If that’s the case, the defendant’s insurance company is not going to pay for your property damage until liability is allocated and agreed upon. In this case, it’s also best to use your own insurance company to pay for the property damage.

Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault and we both have the same insurance company?

There are situations that we have been involved in where a client did not have to pay their deductible even though they used their own insurance. For example, if both parties to the accident have the same insurance company, I’ve had cases where the deductible issue was handled “in-house” and my client did not have to put out the money to pay the deductible.

I’ve also had situations where liability for the accident was so obvious that the defendant’s insurance company accepted liability immediately. In that case, my client’s insurance knew they were going to get reimbursed for the deductible and as such, waived the deductible.

These cases are the exception more than the rule, however. And consequently, when I’m asked the question: “Do I have to pay the deductible if it’s not my fault?” The answer is usually “yes.”

If you are faced with this situation, we are more than happy to provide you a free consultation to discuss your options. Call us at 312-848-9783 now.

Illinois Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Claims

Underinsured Motorist Claims Illinois
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Pursuant to Illinois law, all motor vehicle drivers in the state of Illinois are required to have liability insurance of no less than $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident. In addition, all drivers must also have Illinois uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to their liability coverage.

That is the minimum amount of coverage drivers should have. However, if you are injured in an accident, $25,000 could very well be insufficient to pay for your medical bills and compensate you for your pain and suffering.

As such, we recommend that you have at least $100,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance.

Why is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage important?

It is estimated that 15 percent of all drivers are uninsured and countless others have so little insurance that if you get hit, you may need to tap into your own insurance for compensation. There are over 4.7 million cars registered to drive in Illinois. If the 15 percent statistic is accurate, that means that approximately 700,000 cars driving in Illinois are uninsured.

You cannot control what insurance another driver has but you can control what insurance YOU have.

In addition, if you get hit by a car while a pedestrian walking in the street, in a hit and run, or, while you are riding your bicycle, you can seek compensation from your auto uninsured and underinsured motorist policy.

Success Stories

Auto Accident- My client suffered torn ligaments in his knee when an automobile sideswiped him. The at-fault party had a minimum Illinois insurance policy of $25,000. The defendant’s insurance company offered the $25,000 to settle the claim. Then we filed a claim against our client’s $100,000 underinsured motorist policy. RESULT: Success. The case settled for $100,000 – $75,000 from the client’s UIM policy and $25,000 from the defendant’s auto policy.

Bicycle Accident hit and run – Our client was riding his bike in Northfield Township when he was hit by the end of a truck’s trailer. The driver apparently did not know he hit our client and left the scene. The client suffered a fractured clavicle, multiple pelvic fractures and a severe concussion. We filed a claim under our client’s uninsured motorist policy and successfully recovered on his behalf.

Motorcycle Accident – Our clients, a husband and wife, were riding their motorcycle with a group of other riders, when an automobile driving the other way, crossed over the center line causing our client to lay down his motorcycle. Both clients suffered extensive injuries including, severe road rash and multiple fractures. Fortunately, our client had a 100/300 uninsured motorist policy and we recovered $100,000 for each of our.

Many clients are concerned about filing a claim against their own policy. Not to worry. In nearly all cases where a driver is not at fault for the accident, the amount of a driver’s insurance policy will not increase as a result of filing a claim.

If you are unable to settle the claim with your insurance company, then, in almost all cases, you will have to file to take your case to arbitration rather than to trial. Arbitration is less formal and can be less expensive than filing a lawsuit. In addition, it takes much less time to schedule an arbitration than it does to get to trial in most jurisdictions. The drawback is that awards are often less in arbitration than you would get from a jury.

Make sure you have adequate amounts of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you get injured in an auto accident, feel free to call the lawyers at the Chicago Legal Group for a free consultation at 847-305-4105

Autopilot Leads To Auto Accidents

It is a day like any other day.

You are driving home from work as you replay the events of the day through your mind. Your body is on autopilot as you maneuver your car though traffic.

You are an experienced driver. The act of driving has become an almost unconsciousness act for you.Auto Accident Attorney

You come up to a stop light.

As you sit there, you relive a difficult situation you had at work earlier today. At the same time, you are unconsciously keeping track of whether or not the light is red or green.

As soon as the light turns green, you hit the accelerator while still lost in thought. You begin moving forward.

A driver coming from your right has decided to try to hurry and get through the yellow light. He did not make the yellow light and he is not slowing down. He thinks you see him and will wait until he passes.

He is wrong.

You are in a terrible auto accident. You are severely injured.

You could have avoided this.

You can train yourself to check certain things in certain situations. This will insure that you dramatically reduce the possibility of having a car crash.

Had you paused to check left and right first before going, you might still be unscathed.

There are other times where driving on autopilot can end badly as well.

Trucks are one example. They have poorer visibility than cars and make wide right turns. They can end up clipping you if you get between them and the curb.

When you are changing lanes, forgetting to check your blind spot can wake you up fast if someone is hiding in it.

When you are in a parking lot about to back out of your spot, just looking left and right is not enough. Check directly behind you as well. Pedestrians could be passing by behind you and can be hard to see.

Staying awake at the wheel can help you reduce accidents they are still going to happen. Be sure to have a good auto accident attorney. If you or someone you know is injured in an accident, Barry Zlotowicz for a free consultation at 847-305-4105.

Prospect Heights Bus Accident Attorney

Illinois is one of the most significant locations for passenger bus transportation.  Whether or not children take the school bus, public bus riders or passengers taking a long-distance bus trip, there are a large number of people in Prospect Heights that count on bus transportation every single day.

Bus accidents occur all too often on America’s streets and highways.  Roughly 300 fatal bus crashes take place each year, in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Bus accidents without any fatalities, the damage to property and the price of serious injury is much higher.

As soon as stepping foot on a bus, the passenger has faith that the driver is licensed, rested and prepared to operate the bus in the safest possible way to protect the safety of all passengers.  A passenger also trusts that the bus has been properly inspected and all parts of the bus are fully functional.  Even so, bus accidents do take place, and in many cases it is the consequence of negligence on the part of the bus driver, the bus company or the bus manufacturer.  When passengers are severely injured in a bus accident, they might be able to take action and hold everyone who is responsible accountable.

Our Prospect Heights bus accident lawyers take care of all sorts of bus accident cases.  A number of these types of accidents include the following types of buses:

  • School buses
  • CTA buses
  • Shuttle buses
  • Chartered bus tour buses
  • Sight-seeing buses
  • Interstate passenger buses – including Greyhound

Because of the size of most buses, the injuries can be quite serious and even life-threatening for some.  Passengers located from Prospect Heights, Illinois that are involved in accidents can possibly suffer from some serious physical injuries requiring hospitalizations and continuous medical care, plus many injured victims may even lose the capability of being able to work and earn an income.  The long-term repercussions of an accident of this nature can be very devastating, so it is vital to take action very early if involved in a bus accident to guarantee your rights will be protected.

If ever in a bus accident whether or not physically injured, help dealing with stress and anxiety may very well be needed aside from any physical injuries.  With that said, you might just be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills and any lost wages resulting from the bus accident.  If death occurs, the liable driver can also face criminal charges for wrongful death.

We represent all kinds of Prospect Heights bus accidents, whether you have been injured or not, you will be pleased to know that our office is well equipped to assist you with recouping from any damages. IF you have been in a bus accident, don’t delay in getting touch with a qualified Prospect Heights personal injury attorney.  Contact us today for a free consultation with Barry Zlotowicz, a Prospect Heights personal injury attorney at 312-848-9783 or 877-LAW-4312.

Chicago car accident settlement

Chicago car accident settlement

Chicago car accident attorney Barry Zlotowicz, just secured a recovery on behalf of a client injured in a bizarre car accident at a Chicago dry cleaners.

The Chicago car accident took place in 2013. Our client, a tailor, was seated at in her chair working on her sewing machine when an automobile driven by a young woman, hit the gas and drove her car through the front window of the cleaners. The crash destroyed the front entryway and caused furniture, chairs and the sewing station to slam into our client. The client ended up on the ground fifteen feet from her work station. Our client sought medical attention that day at her local hospital where she was diagnosed with severe contusions/bruising. She then sought medical physical therapy/chiropractic treatment where she was diagnosed with a back strain/sprain.

After several months of treatment, our office approached the insurance company to obtain appropriate compensation. After a month of negotiating, our office obtained a recovery on behalf of our client that paid all her medical bills, paid her attorneys’ fees and also left her adequately compensated for her injuries.

In order to facilitate the settlement, meaning, to optimize our client’s recovery, our office was required to reduce her medical bills which we did by one-third. That put more money in our client’s pocket. In addition, we negotiated with Illinois Medicaid to resolve her bills paid by IDHS.

While most of the Chicago auto accidents we deal with are garden variety T-bone accidents or rear-enders, if you have been injured in any type of Chicago car accident, you should know that our office is well prepared to assist you in recovering for your pain and suffering. Contact Barry Zlotowicz, a Chicago car accident lawyer for a free consultation at 847-305-4105 or 877-LAW-4312.

What to do when you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago

what to do if you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago
What to do if you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago

In this blog post, you will find advice about what to do if you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago. Of course, the first thing you should do is stay calm. Accidents happen. Just because someone did something stupid, like texting while driving, doesn’t mean they’re an awful person. They just made a mistake.

Sometimes those mistakes have big consequences. One of my clients was rear-ended while driving in Aurora, Illinois. The young woman who hit him admitted that she was texting when she hit him. He suffered multiple shoulder tears because of her negligence. Simply stated, her mistake caused him severe pain and suffering that may result in permanent injuries to his shoulder. Unfortunately, neither side had enough insurance (liability or underinsured protection) to cover his injuries – see my article on UM/UIM insurance.

If you are involved in a car accident in Chicago, you should:

  1. Call the police/file a report
  2. Get the contact information, insurance information and names of all witnesses to the accident
  3. Obtain medical treatment: put your lawsuits/claim aside, it is critical that you obtain medical assistance to quickly treat your injuries
  4. Take photographs immediately – this includes photos your injuries as well as the damage to your vehicle
  5. Keep everything involved in the accident
  6. Never give a recorded statement to an insurance company without first consulting a Chicago car accident attorney
  7. Do not post much about the accident on Facebook
  8. Keep a daily journal of how you are feeling and the way your life is impacted by the accident.
  9. Keep a mileage log of visits to your doctor’s office or to get your car repaired and receipts for all medical or other bills
  10. If you did suffer injuries, contact a Chicago car accident attorney for a free consultation

Every few minutes, a car accident in Chicago takes place. It’s an epidemic. In 2014, the most recent year that the Illinois Department of Transportation released records for, there were 296,409 car accidents in the State and 143,943 car accidents that took place in Cook County, Illinois. That’s 394 car accidents in Chicago per day!

Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a traffic crash every 10 seconds. In 2015, there were 6,296,000 crashes. That number is astonishing when you think about it. Of those, there were over 35,000 fatalities.

Common causes of car accidents include getting hit by a drunk driver (around 20% of all crashes), weather conditions like ice, snow or rain, or due to distracted driving. In my practice, I would guestimate that 7 out of 10 of all accidents we see were caused by a distracted driver. They could be smoking a cigarette, talking on the phone or, texting while driving.

Our office regularly represents people who are the victim of a car accident in Chicago. Our clients have suffered various injuries and recoveries have varied greatly depending how injured they were as a result of their Chicago car accident.

If you are involved in a car accident in Chicago or anywhere in the State of Illinois, contact our office for a free consultation at 312-848-9783

You can recover for injuries suffered in an Illinois car accident, even if you are partially at fault!

Our office recently received a call from the victim of an automobile-on-pedestrian accident. The victim of the accident walked out from behind a bus and entered the cross walk without looking for cars. He was subsequently struck by a passing car and suffered a broken leg. He inquired of our office whether he could still recover for his injuries even though he may have been partially at fault for the accident. This fact scenario raises a good question. Can someone recover for injuries suffered in an accident where they were at least partially at fault? The answer is — it depends — but it is possible.

Illinois is like many states in that it weighs the “comparative fault” of the parties to a Chicago car accident in order to determine whether the victim of an accident can recover for his or her injuries. But it’s not easy. In this economic climate, insurance companies are not in a settling-mood. More and more insurance companies are fighting traditional liability claims where they might have otherwise assumed liability quickly. This prolongs litigation and increases your attorney’s expenses. This is particularly true for cases where liability is disputed and/or shared.

So what does “comparative fault” mean and at what point are you NOT entitled to recover for your injuries? In short, a plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit) is at fault for his own injuries if he was negligent and his negligence contributed to his injuries. Pursuant to Illinois statute 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/2-1116, the plaintiff will thus be barred from recovering damages if he is more than 50% at fault for his injuries.

What does this mean to the victim? Let me explain by an example: Suppose you bring a lawsuit against the driver of another car who hit you. The jury finds that the other driver is 75% responsible for the accident, that you are 25% responsible, and then awards you $1,000.00. Since you are 25% responsible for the action, your award is reduced by 25% or $250.00. Your total recovery would therefore be $750.00. If the jury found that the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible for his injuries, he would not be entitled to any recovery at all.

The Chicago Legal Group refers our personal injury cases to Chicago automobile accident lawyer Paul Wolf. Mr. Wolf has extensive experience dealing with the comparative negligence maze. If you or a loved one has been involved in an injury where you may be partially at fault, you should contact our office immediately to protect your rights.

Recent settlement!

Mr. Wolf recently litigated a case involving comparative negligence. Mr. Wolf’s client’s car broke down in the middle of the road during rush hour. The defendant driver was not paying attention and negligently rear-ended the plaintiff’s stalled car killing her. Sounds like an open and shut case doesn’t it? However, the plaintiff was also potentially negligent. The plaintiff failed to adequately care for her car resulting in the malfunction that caused the car to become stranded in the road way. In addition, the plaintiff was under the influence of an illegal substance when the accident occurred. As such, she was comparatively responsible for part of her own injuries. Despite these challenges, Mr. Wolf was able to settle the claim for $1.3 million dollars.

For immediate assistance from a car accident lawyer or for any other accident where you may need a personal injury lawyer, contact Paul Wolf through the Chicago Legal Group by clicking here or telephone us at 312-848-9783.

Find the right attorney

Let’s set the record straight, most lawyers are honest, hard working, ethical members of the bar. Most participate in their community and/or sit on boards of directors of charities or on local school boards. Most are mothers or fathers and all have parents and/or other loved ones. And for certain, all have been themselves, have a loved one or know someone personally who has been in a car accident in Glenview, been divorced, got caught for DUI, needed an estate plan or required some other legal services. In short, most lawyers are just like you.

It is likely that one day during the course of your life you are going to meet a lawyer and may even require his or her services. If this occurs, DO NOT PANIC! Rest assured that there are countless numbers of qualified lawyers ready to help you. In fact, there are so many lawyers that the trick is not finding a lawyer, its finding the right lawyer.

So the question is, which lawyer do I hire and why?

The usual method for hiring an attorney in Glenview is to get a referral from a family friend. That is an acceptable first step toward hiring an attorney however it should not be your final step. Another method for finding an attorney is to ask your existing attorney whether he practices in the area you are looking for. However, in most cases he or she will not be qualified. So for example, your current lawyer wrote a will for you and now you want him to represent your son in a criminal matter. Chances are he is NOT qualified to handle your case. Further, chances are he does not have a direct relationship with a criminal attorney he can refer you to. Lastly, you may still be one of the few people who try to find a lawyer in the print Yellow Pages.

In today’s modern world, the most efficient, the most full-proof way of finding a lawyer, is by using the internet. Nowhere but the web can you not only find an attorney with a click of your mouse, but you can read all about the areas in which the attorney practices, you can find information about the attorney’s personal life and you may even be able to find reviews about the attorney’s work. Even if you are referred to an attorney by a friend or relative, it is still essential today to look him or her up online to see what he or she does. Don’t waste any more of your time – go to the source – the internet.

Once you do find an attorney via referral and/or by the internet, your next step will be to analyze whether the lawyer does what you are searching for. Nothing is more frustrating than finally getting a hold of a lawyer only to find out that he doesn’t do what you need. That’s where the website comes in. Speaking from personal experience, if I can’t find a lawyer on the internet, I would not use him or her. A website authenticates that the lawyer you are using lives in the 21st century. If he doesn’t have a website, I have to wonder whether he uses a cell phone, has an iPod or even cable TV. A website is an integral part of a lawyer’s business – don’t hire one without it!

So you review the lawyer’s website and you learn that she is a Chicago divorce lawyer. Don’t end your search there. Read a little deeper – try to determine if this lawyer’s specific experience matches what you are searching for. If it does, great, contact the lawyer and set up an interview, if it does not, keep looking. And so forth.