Personal Injury Law in Illinois

Personal Injury Law in Illinois

Getting hurt is never a pleasant experience, but it is especially unfortunate when you become injured due to the actions of another person. You shouldn’t have to suffer economically because someone else was being sloppy or thoughtless.

Emergency medical treatment, pharmaceutical drugs, and physical therapy are some of the costs related to injuries. When you become seriously injured, there are always costs involved. In some cases, your home and/or vehicles may need to be altered in order to accommodate your new condition. Other costs include the loss of wages due to time away from work and psychological therapy used to treat the mental impacts endured due to the injury.

Can I sue for personal injury damages?

If you sustained an injury is due to the actions of another person, a company, an institution or a government agency, you may be entitled to sue for repayment on the majority of your injury-related costs.

The following are the different types of personal injury lawsuits that exist in the state of Illinois:

  • Negligence

    • Comparative negligence

  • Wrongful death

  • Medical malpractice

  • Worker’s compensation

Negligence can be claimed if you are able to prove that the other party disregarded to employ legitimate responsibility during the incident and that this neglect led to your injury.

The comparative negligence rule allows you to collect damages from the other party as long as they are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. You may not collect any damages at all if the court deems you 50% or more at fault for the incident.

A wrongful death lawsuit is viable only if the personal representative of the decedent's estate brings it about. The estate holder must have died due to either: a vehicular or airplane accident, on-the-job vulnerability to unsafe environments or materials, unlawful conduct, or death while participating in a supervised action.

A medical malpractice suit is one in which injuries are sustained due to incorrect treatment administered by a healthcare professional. Pain and suffering damages may not exceed $500,000 in suits against doctors or $1 million against hospitals.

Worker's compensation operates similar to insurance in the sense that you will not be required to file a lawsuit, but instead open a claim to be paid out by your employer. Illinois is a “no-fault” state, which means that as an employee, you will automatically receive compensation, no matter what happened to cause the trauma. You need to file a claim before the 45th day after your injury, otherwise, you forfeit your benefits.

Statute of limitations

The state of Illinois has a statute of limitations that indicates the legally acceptable amount of time once an injury takes place in which a plaintiff is able to take legal action against a defendant. The statute of limitations varies depending upon the type:

  • General personal injury: 2 years

  • Medical malpractice: 2 years

  • Wrongful death: 1 year

  • Property injury (damage): 5 years

  • Written contracts: 10 years

  • Oral contracts: 5 years

Compensatory vs punitive damages

Compensatory damages (also referred to as “actual damages”) are earnings for explicit trauma endured, including personal and monetary. These damages are used to recover lost work and earnings, medical costs, as well as pain and suffering. It is vital to keep detailed records of medical bills and time taken off work in order to accurately determine your compensatory damages.

Punitive damages are used as a consequence to discourage the defendant from engaging in improper behaviors again in the future. It is determined by the court whether or not you are owed punitive damages, and in what amount.

Illinois state law specifies that punitive damages are only allowed to be distributed if compensatory damages are granted, too. In order to receive punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence was performed with bad intent or carelessly aloof to your well-being and rights. The state of Illinois allows punitive damages of up to three times the value of your compensatory damages. You may be entitled to even more compensation surpassing that limit if the defendant’s negligence was criminal and they are penalized with incarceration.

Recovering from an injury is difficult enough without having to navigate Illinois’ complex legal system. The attornies at Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy have the experience and compassion needed to successfully pursue your personal injury lawsuit.

Call Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy today at (773) 906-4063 to speak with an attorney about your Illinois personal injury case.

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