Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

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If someone is responsible for causing an injury, they should have to pay for damages. Under Illinois law, injury victims can file a personal injury claim to get compensation to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. Personal injury claims include car accidents, slip and fall injuries, defective product injuries, and other injuries caused by negligence.

Personal injury accidents are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you suffered an injury, it is important to contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer who understands Illinois personal injury law. Our personal injury law firm has years of experience serving Cook County and Chicago residents and their families. Contact our office for a free consultation to help you get damages after an accident.

Types of Chicago Personal Injury Cases

There are many types of accidents that can lead to a personal injury claim. If an accident was caused by someone’s negligence, the injury victim should be compensated for their losses. Some common personal injury case for people in Illinois include:

Chicago Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Car accident and motor vehicle accident claims are some of the most common types of personal injury claims filed in Illinois. Car accidents are common and often result in injury. Vehicle accidents can involve:

  • Passenger vehicle accidents
  • Semi-truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Van crashes
  • SUV rollover crashes
  • Train injuries
  • L Train injuries
  • Rental car accidents
  • Pedestrian injuries
  • RV accidents
  • ATV crashes
  • Taxi accidents
  • Lyft accidents
  • Uber accidents
  • Delivery driver accidents

Most vehicle accidents involve driver negligence. One or multiple drivers may be speeding, running a red light, or be distracted by their phone, leading to an accident. The at-fault driver may be liable for the injury victim’s damages, including car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. Other car crashes are caused by something other than driver negligence, including:

  • Vehicle defects
  • Defective motor part
  • Tire defects
  • Defective airbags
  • Defective brakes
  • Lack of vehicle repair or maintenance
  • Hazardous road conditions
  • Debris in the road
  • Improper or missing traffic controls

Most people just have their insurance company represent them in a car accident. However, the insurance company is in the business of making money and may not have your best interests at heart. Talk to your Chicago car accident lawyer if you have questions before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance company.

Illinois Workplace Accident Claims

With most people spending 40 plus hours a week working, it is not surprising that there are so many workplace injuries. Some jobs are more dangerous than others, with an increased risk of death or serious injury. However, any job can present dangers to employees and visitors. Some examples of workplace or on-the-job injuries in Chicago include:

  • Construction accidents
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Manufacturing injuries
  • Chemical burns
  • Slip and falls
  • Burn injury
  • Electrical shock
  • Stair accidents
  • Hit by a falling object

Many injuries that happen on the job are covered by workers’ compensation claims but some injuries may be eligible for personal injury claims. Injuries to independent contractors are often not covered by workers’ comp in Illinois. Injuries caused by subcontractors or when not on the job may also have damages available in a personal injury lawsuit.

Premises Liability Law Firm in Chicago

Premises liability involves an injury that occurred on someone else’s property. Businesses have a duty to customers and visitors to make sure the property is safe and free from hazards. When the property owner fails to maintain the property and it causes an injury, the property owner may be liable for damages. Examples of premises liability accidents include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Elevator injuries
  • Stair injuries
  • Lack of proper lighting
  • Lack of security
  • Blocked emergency exits
  • Wet floor slip and falls
  • Falls on torn carpeting
  • Tripping on broken concrete
  • Icy walkway falls
  • Grocery store injuries
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Restaurant injuries

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Chicago

A personal injury claim begins with filing a lawsuit. There is a limited time to file a personal injury claim in Illinois so it is important for an injury victim to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The time limit for filing a personal injury claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” There are different time limits for different types of claims.

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Under Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/13-202, most personal injury claims in Illinois have a 2-year statute of limitations. This means that the injury victim generally has 2 years from the date of the accident or injury to file a claim in court. If the claim is filed even one day late, the injury victim may have their claim denied and recover nothing.

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Under Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/13-212, most medical malpractice claims have a 2-year statute of limitations. A medical error victim generally has 2 years from the date of the injury or when the victim found out about the injury to file a claim. However, no medical malpractice claim can be filed more than 4 years from the date of when the injury occurred, even if it is discovered later.

For minor victims of medical practice who are injured when they are under the age of 18, they have additional time to file a claim. Minors have up to 8 years from the date of the injury to file a claim but no action can be filed after the minor victim reaches the age of 22.

Illinois Statute of Limitations Against the Government

When the city, county, or state government is liable for an injury, there are additional time restrictions. A claim against the state of Illinois, Cook County, or City of Chicago generally has to be filed within 1 year of the injury. Under Illinois statute 705 ILCS 505/22-1, there are additional notice requirements to file a claim. Contact your Chicago injury law firm as soon as possible after an accident to make sure your claim is filed in time.

Who is Responsible for Injury Damages in Illinois?

The person or party responsible for personal injury damages is generally based on negligence. Negligence is the breach of a duty which causes harm. For example, if a driver is distracted by their phone and gets into an accident, the injury victim could show the driver was negligent because they had a duty to drive safely, breached that duty by texting and driving, and the distracted driver caused the victim to suffer an injury.

In some accidents, more than one party may be liable for damages. A jury may determine the share of fault in an accident based on the actions or inactions of everyone involved. Illinois has modified joint and several liability. If a defendant is found 25% or more at fault for the injuries, the defendant may be liable for all damages. If a defendant is less than 25% responsible, they are proportionally responsible for their share of non-medical damages but fully liable for medical damages.

The plaintiff may also be partly responsible for their injuries. If a plaintiff is greater than 50% at fault for an accident, the injury victim will not be able to recover any damages. For fault less than 50%, the injury victim’s damages are reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, Jim gets into a car accident with John at Belmont and Kedzie. Jim suffers $100,000 in damages. A jury determines Jim was 20% responsible for the accident and John was 80% at fault. Jim could seek up to $80,000 in damages from John.

Product Defect Injuries in Chicago Illinois

Some injuries do not require a showing of negligence. These are known as strict liability claims. The most common strict liability cases involve defective products. When a manufacturer puts out a defective product that causes an injury, the seller, manufacturer, or dealer may all be liable for damages. Product defect cases are based on the following:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Failure to warn defects

A manufacturing defect occurs when there is a problem during manufacturing that makes the product more dangerous than it was designed. This could involve using cheaper materials that are more likely to break. If an injury was caused by a manufacturing defect, the injury victim could seek compensation from the manufacturer or vendor.

A design defect is a problem with the way a product is designed. If a product is defective based on a faulty design and causes an injury, the injury victim could file a claim against the seller for damages. An example of a design defect could include an SUV that is unstable and more likely to roll over in an accident.

Failure to warn defects involve products that are dangerous in an unexpected way. Manufacturers should warn customers of dangers that are not obvious to the user. An example of a failure to warn defect could include silly string spray that does not warn customers that the product is highly flammable.

Settlement Offers for Personal Injury Claims

A settlement agreement can be made any time before a judge or jury rules on a lawsuit. Most personal injury lawsuits never even go to trial. Before a trial, most personal injury claims are settled between the parties. The decision to accept or refuse a settlement offer is ultimately up to the injury victim. It is important to know the benefits and drawbacks of making a settlement agreement because once the settlement is signed, the injury victim waives their legal rights to recover damages.

The party responsible for the injury or the insurance company may offer a small settlement upfront. The settlement offer can be negotiated with the help of your personal injury attorney. A settlement agreement can be good for the injury victim because it avoids the time, expense, and stress of going to trial. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer can give you an idea of how much your claim might be worth.
Damages in a Chicago Personal Injury Accident Claim
Damages in a personal injury claim are the losses suffered by the accident victim. Damages are supposed to compensate the injury victim and put them back into a similar place they would have been if the accident had never happened. Damages can be classified as economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages usually have a clear monetary value. This includes out-of-pocket expenses, outstanding bills, and loss of income. Economic damages can include past expenses, current costs, and future expenses. In a personal injury accident, economic damages can include:

  • Vehicle repair
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of income potential
  • Future medical treatment

Medical expenses can be very high after an injury accident. The cost of health care in the U.S. is expensive, even for people with insurance. A serious car accident in Chicago, IL can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, including:

  • Emergency care
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Drugs and medication
  • Medical equipment
  • Outpatient care
  • Specialty consultations
  • Hospital stays
Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages may be harder to set with a specific dollar amount. These are real losses that may be difficult to quantify and will be determined by a jury. Non-economic damages after an injury accident in Illinois include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of normal life

A serious car accident could leave someone suffering chronic pain, disfiguring injuries, and loss of a limb. The injury victim may have to deal with a lifetime of pain. The victim may be reminded every time they look in the mirror at their scars or disfigurement. The victim may be unable to do the things they enjoyed before the accident, like caring for their child or competing in sports. The person who caused the accident should be liable for these losses.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be available in some injury claims. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and dissuade others from causing similar injuries in the future. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Punitive damages are usually reserved for people who caused an injury through intentional conduct or extremely outrageous behavior.

Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys

At Gilman & Bedigian, our aggressive trial lawyers have helped our clients and their families recover millions of dollars in compensation after an injury accident. Don’t let the insurance company sell you short by offering a small settlement. We have years of experience serving Chicago injury victims and their families across Illinois. Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.

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