Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Everyone has the legal duty to prevent injury to others within reasonable expectations. Drivers must follow traffic rules to avoid causing car accidents. Business owners must follow safety precautions to keep patrons safe. Dog owners must leash and train their pets to prevent biting incidents. The list goes on.
If a person fails to meet this legal obligation, they may cause injury, death, or other damages to others. Consequently, they could be held liable for injured parties’ losses under personal injury law.
Sustaining an injury or losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is unfair, and you deserve financial compensation for your damages. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are here to help you hold negligent parties accountable for their actions through whatever means necessary.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We offer legal help to all personal injury victims in Chicago, IL, including victims of pedestrian accidents, car crashes, medical malpractice cases, and more.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury law, also known as tort law, allows an injured person to take legal action against the party whose negligence was responsible for their injuries or losses.
In law, negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care a person with ordinary prudence would have applied under the same circumstances. Negligent conduct consists of actions but can also extend to omissions when there is a duty to act.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury laws apply to a wide range of accidents, including:
- Auto Accidents: Most motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents result from the negligence of one or more drivers (or, in some cases, everyone involved). The person at fault (or with the most liability) may be responsible for the other party’s injuries and losses in a car accident.
- Medical Negligence: A medical professional who acts negligently, causing harm to a patient, may be held responsible in a medical malpractice case. Every medical professional must perform their duties according to the standards of care set by the health care community, and failure to do so may be considered medical negligence. Exceptions apply to extreme circumstances, which could result in a criminal case instead of medical malpractice.
- Product Liability: People injured by malfunctioning products could hold manufacturers liable under product liability law. However, product liability excludes injuries caused by “unavoidably dangerous” products, such as industrial-strength bathroom cleaners and hair dye.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Anyone who causes another person to slip and fall, whether accidentally or otherwise, may be held accountable in a personal injury claim.
- Nursing Home Abuse: Nursing homes may be held accountable for injuries and deaths of residents caused by abuse, neglect, and mistreatment.
- Premises Liability is a legal concept in personal injury claims where the injury is caused by an unsafe condition on someone’s property. A property owner or non-owner tenant may be responsible if someone is injured by a preventable hazard, as long as that person has permission to be there.
- Workplace Accidents: People injured at work can hold their employer accountable by filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, workers’ comp only compensates for medical expenses and lost income. A personal injury claim can help injured workers recover compensation for other damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Animal Attacks: Pet owners are responsible for their pets’ actions. If an animal injures a person, the owner will be held accountable for the injured party’s damages regardless of whether their negligence contributed to the incident (per Illinois’ strict liability rule for animal attacks).
- Wrongful Death Cases: If a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, their surviving family members could hold the negligent party responsible for damages. These civil actions occur independently from criminal prosecutions and only seek monetary compensation.
Common Injuries in Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases usually involve significant injuries. The following are the most common injuries our lawyers have seen:
- Head Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other forms of head trauma are common in almost all types of accidents. A person that suffers a severe brain injury may be at risk of severe complications, such as hemorrhaging, coma, and death.
- Fractures: Broken bones frequently occur in accidents involving significant impacts, such as car accidents, falls from a great height, and struck-by accidents.
- Road Rash: Motorcyclists and bicyclists that get into accidents may suffer road rash, which is abrasions caused by the skin sliding across a hard surface, such as concrete.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A catastrophic injury to the spinal cord increases the risk of severe complications, such as chronic pain and paralysis.
- Soft Tissue Injuries occur when people stretch or tear their ligaments, muscles, or tendons. Common types include sprains, strains, and whiplash.
- Lacerations: Coming in contact with a sharp object during an accident can lead to cuts ranging from mild to severe.
- Burns: Burn injuries can occur in any fire accident, such as when a crashed car bursts into flames or an electrical component explodes.
- Crushing Injuries: These injuries can occur in accidents where a victim is crushed between two hard objects. Excessive pressure on the trapped body part can lead to muscle damage, nerve damage, and organ failure.
- Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma to the organs (e.g., kidneys, spleen, liver) can cause organ failure, internal bleeding, and eventual death.
- Amputations: Severe accidents can lead to instantaneous loss of limbs or severe injuries requiring amputation.
- Medical Malpractice Injuries: Medical malpractice can result in various injuries, including illnesses. Common injuries in medical malpractice cases include birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections, and drug overdosing or underdosing.
Filing a Chicago Personal Injury Claim
You might be entitled to financial compensation if someone else’s negligent behavior injured you. However, you must first prove that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The breach caused your accident
- The accident directly led to your injuries and other losses
To file a successful personal injury case, you need substantial evidence to establish the negligence of responsible parties and show the extent of your damages. Your personal injury lawyer will help you collect relevant forms of proof, such as:
- Photos of injuries
- Documentation of the accident scene
- Surveillance footage
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluations
- Proof of lost income, such as previous pay stubs
- Medical bills
- Witness accounts
- Expert testimony
- Victim testimony
- Police reports
- Incident reports
Filing a claim against at-fault parties could help you pursue maximum compensation for the following:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical treatment costs, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, treatment, and anticipated future medical bills.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your accident leads to permanent disability. These damages may include loss of future earning capacity, mobility aid expenses, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages, income, and benefits lost while recovering from your accident or caring for an injured loved one.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident, possibly manifesting in reduced independence, loss of enjoyment in daily activities, accident-related mental illness, etc.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: Compensation for the economic and non-economic losses caused by permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, and grief.
No two cases are the same. Hence, settlement values vary. Your Chicago personal injury attorney will calculate the potential value of your settlement based on these damages and other applicable factors to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Reaching a Settlement
You will likely face an insurance company once you file a personal injury case against the defendant. Depending on the accident’s circumstances, you could recover damages from the other party’s auto, homeowner’s, or general liability insurance.
Regardless of the insurer, you are dealing with, remember that most companies make lowball offers to claimants to avoid paying more money than necessary. With this in mind, we highly suggest you let a personal injury attorney negotiate the offer before you accept.
Once you take the payment, the case closes, and you can no longer sue for additional damages.
Additionally, our lawyers recommend that you:
- Do not sign over any evidence or agree to recorded statements
- Do not admit fault in the accident
- Have your lawyer handle communications with the insurance adjuster
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In some cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit is necessary to recover fair compensation. Your personal injury lawyer could help you file you pursue personal injury litigation if:
- The defendant denies responsibility for your accident
- The insurance company refuses to make a better offer
- The insurance company denies your claim without a proper reason
- Negotiations have stalled
- The value of your claim exceeds the maximum payable amount of the defendant’s insurance policy
Filing a lawsuit may seem daunting, but our personal injury lawyers will help you through every step. Your Chicago personal injury attorney will discuss the implications of going to court and the likelihood of your case going to trial.
If you want to avoid litigation, our lawyers could help you seek compensation through alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or mediation. These methods are usually less expensive, formal, and time-consuming than court trials, making them ideal for people who need compensation as soon as possible.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Illinois is two years from the underlying incident (735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202). The court will refuse to hear your case if you miss the two-year deadline, so it’s best to forward it to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What if you are partially to blame for the accident? Can you still pursue damages? The answer is yes, but only if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident.
Illinois uses the modified comparative negligence rule as the standard for recovery of damages (735 Illinois Complied Statutes Section 5/2-1116). Under modified comparative negligence, an injured party may recover damages only if their degree of fault for the incident is less than 50%.
For instance, if you slip on an unmarked wet floor at the grocery store while running, you may be partially responsible for your injuries. However, the business owner will hold most of the fault for failing to warn you of the hazard.
The court will adjust your compensation depending on your level of negligence contributing to the accident. If the court finds you at 10% fault, it will reduce your damages by 10%.
Not sure if you played a role in your accident? In any case, do not admit fault and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Personal injury laws are often complex, and recovering fair compensation is not always easy. You need a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer who can help you:
- Investigate how and why the accident happened
- Establish the liability of responsible parties
- Determine the extent of your injuries and damages
- Gather substantial evidence to support your claim
- File a personal injury case
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago, IL
A person’s negligence can cause life-threatening injuries and significant financial losses to another. Even if the incident is purely accidental, the injured person has the legal right to seek compensation for their damages.
Did you or a loved one suffer harm due to another person’s actions (or lack thereof)? If so, don’t hesitate to seek help from the best personal injury lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team. Our attorneys have an unparalleled track record in handling personal injury cases involving medical negligence, nursing home abuse, auto accidents, and more.
Contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our lawyers handle all accepted personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay for our services unless we make a financial recovery for you.
- Cornell Law School – Negligence
- Cornell Law School – Strict Liability
- Medical News Today – Medical Malpractice
- American Bar Association – Personal Injury