Illinois Personal Injury Law: Legal Issues Overview

When an injury happens to you or your loved one, the pain and trauma that comes with it can strain you financially and emotionally. The losses experienced may range from monetary resources to loss of loved ones. Personal injury laws basically are types of civil law that provide monetary compensation to a person that was either injured or killed due to another party’s negligence.

Some common types of personal injury cases include medical malpractice, defective products, vehicle accidents, premises liability, and wrongful death. In the event you suffer a personal injury in Illinois, you can file a lawsuit against the defendant you believe is responsible for the accident. However, you must be able to prove the negligence or fault of the defendant.

Filing of personal injury lawsuits can be complicated, and it will require the help of experienced attorneys. This is affirmed by Tuite Law, one of Illinois’ best law firms. This institution further believes that the process is confusing and may take longer especially when you decide to ignore the services of a personal injury attorney.

Getting compensation for the damages you suffered may not be as easy as it may seem. There are several legal issues that must be observed to steer your compensation claim in the right direction.

Comparative/Contributory Fault

Comparative fault rules aim to sort out damages in cases where more than one party is at fault for causing an injury. This measures the negligence of both the defendant and the plaintiff in any case. Illinois courts use this to determine the quantity in damages a plaintiff can recover. The plaintiff may not be free entirely, as he/she may share blame for their injuries. You (the plaintiff) can be barred from receiving compensation if you are more than 50% at fault.

The negligence of the defendant can be determined when the following are proven:

  • The defendant’s duty of care to protect the plaintiff from harm.
  • That the defendant breached that duty.
  • That the plaintiff’s injury was a direct result arising from the defendant’s breach of his duty of care.
  • The plaintiff’s injuries are actual damages which can be compensated.

Statute of Limitations

All states across the United States have statutes or time limits which provide a legal timeframe over which a plaintiff should file a personal injury case following your injury. When this provided timeframe elapses, a lawsuit cannot be filed.

In the state of Illinois, the statute of limitation for personal injury is 2 years. You should, therefore, file a personal injury claim within 24 months, from the date of the injury.

Actual and Punitive Damages

Damages are the monetary compensation sought by an injured plaintiff to remedy their psychological, financial and physical distress after an injury.

Types of damages

There are two types of damages:

  • Actual damages-compensation for actual/specific injuries. It’s important to keep a record of relevant documents like medical bills, and time off work for calculation of actual damages.
  • Punitive Damages-these are levied to punish the defendant and discourage future negligence. This is determined by the court.

Illinois Law allows for the award of punitive damages only when actual damages are awarded. Furthermore, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the negligence of the defendant was malicious.

When you have suffered a personal injury, it is a very painful experience. You are entitled to file for damages and the loss you have gone through as a result of the injury. Tuite Law agrees that the process of filing may be hard and the insurance companies may be sluggish in compensating you. Therefore, you require the assistance of experienced attorneys to expedite your settlement.

 

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