Huner Law Office Blog

Understanding the Aspects of a “Personal Injury” Case

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As consumers and employees, insured drivers and individuals become more aware of their rights, the laws that govern personal injury are more frequently utilized by those who have a right to be compensated for debilitating injuries. Personal injury law is something that few people understand until they have a reason to make a claim that will help get them back on their feet, or in the most serious cases, provide the long term ambulatory and assistive care that they need.

Personal injury cases come from a variety of backgrounds. Injuries can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, in which case the individual will be seeking compensation from an insurance carrier. In other cases an individual can be injured in the workplace, whereby the facility or employer may be found negligent and responsible for retributive compensation. In other cases, a felony charge may be involved with regards to domestic assault, or in aggravated assault in which the accused may be charged in a civil court for damages regarding the personal injury of his or her victim.

It’s important to know whether your injury qualifies as a case of personal injury where compensation may be owed to you. After substantial injury there are medical costs, the cost of assistive devices and medical caregivers or therapies, which may be required to return an individual to preinjury functioning. A successful personal injury legal suit will provide the income needed to cover costs and recoup (where possible) pre-injury functioning and quality of life.

Personal Injury Law in Illinois

In the state of Illinois there is a time limit of two years with regards to filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Twenty-four months after the injury has occurred the statute of limitations for filing a civil case expires. Usually the statute of limitations begins on the date of the injury or the incident, however in some cases the statute of limitations begins on the date that the individual realized that they were injured. This sometimes happens when there is a delay in acknowledging the injury or when the individual does not feel they are hurt, but significant injuries are documented upon medical evaluation. In this particular situation the statute of limitations is set on what the court in Illinois refers to as the “discovery date”.

It should be noted that in the state of Illinois for personal injury claims made against a city or municipality (such as the town or county) the statute of limitations is 12 months. An individual must file a formal complaint and personal injury claim within one year after the discovery date. The time provided to legally sue a government agency is up to two years.

The Comparative Fault Rule in Illinois

The state of Illinois believes that in all cases of personal injury there is mutual liability. For instance, the state does not allow an individual who is been injured to claim no fault. A Comparative Fault Rule in Illinois allows the court to determine what percentage of fault the injured was responsible for versus comparative fault for the business, employer, or facility who may have been negligent in their operations and contributed to the injury. For instance, if an individual chose to part in a construction area and was injured by construction equipment, the court may decide that 20% of the fault resided with the decision to park in a high risk zone. The other 80% of fault resided with the construction company and the owner operator for contributing to the injury. In the case of comparative fault, if the injured was awarded $100,000 they would be entitled to receive the amount less the percentage that reflects their own personal at fault. In this demonstration individual would receive $80,000 as a settlement.

The purpose of the Comparative Fault Rule in Illinois is to ensure that people are making intelligent decisions and choices when it comes to protecting their own personal health and well-being. It also attempts to be fair in the assumption that they are two sides and two contributing factors to every personal injury case.

Personal Injury and Long-Term Disability

In cases of minor injury, the purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the injured for expenses regarding medical, rehabilitative care, and loss of income as a result of the inability to work. In some cases however even long-term care and therapies cannot restore someone to their pre-injured level of employability. In those cases the personal injury lawsuits will estimate the lost income potential as well as medical expenses incurred and those which may be incurred in the future as part of necessary treatment.

If you feel you have a personal injury case where a second party was negligent in a manner that contributed to your injury you may have grounds to seek compensation through civil court. A personal injury attorney in Chicago will be able to evaluate your injuries, medical documentation, and the circumstances of the accident to determine your eligibility.