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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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IL accident lawyerIf you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. However, a successful claim typically requires substantial evidence of the negligence at hand and the damages you have suffered. Depending on the situation, this can include physical evidence, photos and videos, documented reports, and more. Various types of witness testimony can also be invaluable when it comes to supporting your claim.

Witnesses to the Incident

Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, a dog attack, or some other situation, chances are that someone saw it happen. Eyewitnesses can help you establish the circumstances surrounding your injuries to determine whether they were caused by a negligent act or some other incident that would entitle you to damages. Eyewitnesses can include many different people, such as:

  • Friends, family, and acquaintances who were with you at the time of your injuries
  • People who were with the negligent party at the time of your injuries, as a passenger in the other vehicle
  • Bystanders in the surrounding area
  • Law enforcement officers who saw the incident happen or responded to the scene

Other types of witnesses can also help you establish the negligence of another party. For example, a person familiar with the other party could speak to a pattern of dangerous behavior similar to the act that caused your injuries. Expert witnesses like car accident reconstruction specialists can also speak to the likely causes and effects of a collision.

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IL accident lawyerPersonal injury law deals with injuries and deaths caused by another party's illegal, reckless, or negligent actions. The party liable for an injury may be an individual, a commercial business, the owner or occupier of the property on which the injury occurred, or even a government entity. Personal injury lawsuits can be an effective way to hold a party accountable for the harm caused by negligence or wrongdoing. It may also serve as a means of financial recovery for the claimant. Personal injury claims are also subject to critical deadlines and rules – many of which are often overlooked.

Key Considerations if You Wish to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Many misunderstandings and myths are surrounding personal injury law. If another party harmed you or a loved one and you are interested in seeking compensation for damages, it is essential to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • You only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are subject to time restrictions called statutes of limitations. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death and personal injury cases is two years. Once two years have passed, you lose your option to sue.
  • Key evidence may be lost or destroyed if you do not act quickly. It is also essential to get started on your case as soon as possible because many forms of evidence are time-sensitive. Evidence may be lost – intentionally or unintentionally – soon after an injury or death. Your attorney can send an anti-spoliation letter that prohibits the defendant from destroying or "losing" evidence relevant to your case.
  • Most cases are settled before trial. Some people assume that filing a lawsuit is the same thing as going to trial. On the contrary, most personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations before trial. This is why it is important to hire an attorney with solid negotiation skills and a history of getting high-dollar settlements for clients.
  • You might be entitled to compensation even if you contributed to the injury. Illinois follows a legal doctrine called "modified comparative negligence." You might be entitled to monetary damages even if you contributed to your injury. For example, if you were speeding when a drunk driver struck you, you may still recoup a significant portion of your losses.
  • Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. Many people assume that they cannot afford to retain a quality attorney. Fortunately, most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that legal fees are taken from the settlement or award that the claimant receives at the end of the case.

Contact a Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, pedestrian accident, or another incident caused by the negligent actions of another party, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. for a free consultation. Our Waukegan personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation. Call 847-662-3303 today.

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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue financial compensation for losses caused by an injury. Nearly any type of injury may be the basis of a personal injury claim, but severe injuries typically result in higher settlements and awards. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury that resulted in a permanent disability, you may be able to seek monetary damages through a personal injury claim.

Understanding When a Successful Personal Injury Claim is Possible

A personal injury claim is a civil claim that may be based on either “negligence” or recklessness or intentional wrongdoing. There are four main components in any personal injury claim based on negligence:

  • Duty – The defendant, meaning the person or entity from whom you are seeking compensation, owed a duty of care. This could be a driver’s duty to drive cautiously, a manufacturing company’s duty to prevent dangerous product defects, a property owner’s duty to maintain a safe property, or another type of duty.
  • Breach of duty – The defendant breached the duty by failing to act as a reasonably cautious person would act.
  • Injuries – The plaintiff suffered injuries because of the plaintiff’s actions.
  • Damages – The plaintiff suffered damages. Damages include the direct financial consequences of the action such as lost wages and medical expenses as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

A personal injury lawyer can help you determine if each of these elements is present in your case.

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IL injury lawyerWhen an individual is injured because of another party’s actions, the injured person may have a right to pursue financial compensation for their damages through a personal injury case. Many personal injury claims are brought against the at-fault party’s insurance company. While personal injury cases vary substantially from case to case, most personal injury cases involve the same basic steps. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall, or another injury-causing incident, speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about what may be involved in pursuing compensation for your damages.

Retaining Legal Counsel and Investigating the Cause of Your Injury

Once you decide on a personal injury lawyer, the first steps that he or she will likely take will be investigative in nature. Your lawyer will need to know how you were injured, the severity of your injuries, and whether another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing may have caused the injuries. Your lawyer will then begin to gather evidence to support your claim such as police reports, videos and photographs, and witness statements.

Demanding a Settlement

Many people assume that all personal injury cases involve filing a lawsuit. However, some injury victims are able to receive a settlement without needing to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will send a letter demanding compensation for your injuries to the insurance company or other opposing party. Typically, the opposing party responds with a counteroffer. Your lawyer and the opposing party may negotiate back and forth until a satisfactory settlement is reached. If the opposing party refuses to offer a reasonable payout, your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit.

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IL injury lawyerDid you know that over 80 percent of homicides and 37 percent of assaults are committed by people under the influence of alcohol? Alcohol is thought to increase impulsive and aggressive behaviors because of the substance’s effect on the brain mechanisms that typically inhibit these behaviors. It is no surprise then that physical altercations are common in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other establishments that serve alcohol. If you or a loved one were injured in a bar fight or another physical altercation while in a commercial establishment, it is important to know your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages.

Personal Injury Claims Involving Assault and Battery

Most victims of assault and battery know that the aggressor can face criminal charges for his or her violent conduct. Fewer realize that they may have the option of bringing a civil claim for damages in addition to the criminal charges. If somebody attacked you in a bar or other commercial establishment or you were injured by other patrons who were fighting each other, you may have several legal avenues for pursuing compensation for your damages. You may be able to bring a personal injury claim directly against the individual who hurt you. You may also be able to bring a premises liability claim against the establishment itself.

Premises Liability Claim for Lack of Security

Premises liability deals with the duties that property owners have to individuals visiting their properties. Bar and nightclub owners have a legal duty to maintain reasonably safe premises and prevent avoidable injuries. This includes implementing adequate security measures. If a property owner’s failure to maintain reasonably safe premises results in a patron’s injury or death, the property owner may be liable for damages. However, determining what constitutes “reasonably safe” is not easy. Typically, premises liability claims come down to the foreseeability of the injury. If a bar or nightclub has a known problem with customers becoming physically violent and the property owner does not take steps to increase security measures, the property owner may be considered negligent.

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