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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 lawyerBeing seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, car accident, fire, or another type of accident can lead to painful, debilitating injuries. Even if these injuries heal, the accident victim may be left with disfiguring scars for the rest of his or her life. If you or a loved one were recently involved in an accident that led to disfiguring injuries, you may have questions about your legal options. If your accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for scarring and disfigurement.

Accidents That Lead to Disfigurement

There are many different types of accidents that can lead to disfiguring injuries. A serious car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident can lead to deep lacerations that leave lasting scars. Cuts to the face, arms, and hands are especially common in car accidents. Fires, explosions, fireworks accidents, workplace accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals, and electrical accidents may cause burn injuries that lead to lasting scars. Amputation of a limb may result from a construction accident or another incident in which body parts are crushed or severed. Disfigurement can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to work, perform daily living tasks, and enjoy life.

The Role of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim Involving Disfigurement

A personal injury claim is a legal claim that is used to pursue compensation for injuries caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. To recover compensation for disfigurement after an accident, you and your attorney will need to show that the defendant acted negligently or broke the law and that this negligence or wrongdoing led to your injuries. Negligence is typically defined as the failure to exercise a level of care and concern a reasonable person would have exercised in a similar situation.

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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue compensation for a person who has been injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. The other party may be an individual or it may be an organization such as a manufacturing company or business. The term “damages” is used to describe the harm for which a personal injury plaintiff receives compensation. In some cases, additional compensation called “punitive damages” is awarded.

Reckless Indifference to a Risk of Harm

Typical damages in a personal injury claim include medical expenses, lost income, reduced future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are above and beyond compensatory damages and are intended to punish the at-fault party for behavior that is especially reprehensible. Illinois law states that a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if he or she can prove that the defendant’s actions were with “evil motive” or reckless disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are referred to as “exemplary” damages because they are designed to “make an example” out of the defendant and discourage other parties from acting similarly.

Obtaining Punitive Damages in an Injury Claim

Punitive damages are not recoverable under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act or in medical malpractice cases. However, punitive damages may be available in cases involving product liability, car accidents, premises liability such as “slip and fall” injuries, and other types of injuries. In order to obtain punitive damages, your attorney will need to show “clear and convincing” evidence that proves the egregiousness of the defendant’s actions. The court will consider factors including the duration and frequency of the plaintiff’s misconduct, the type of harm suffered by the plaintiff, whether the defendant attempted to conceal the reckless or dangerous behavior, and the overall facts of the case. In Illinois, the amount of money that may be awarded in the form of punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensation awarded for economic damages.

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