In a legal sense, personal injury violates your rights to be free from an injury. A personal injury may involve injury to the body, mind, and emotions. Negligence is the ground for liability in most personal injury claims. It occurs when the at-fault party breaches the duty of care to the victim.
At CCAL, our team of experienced Chicago negligence accident lawyers are well-versed in all aspects of personal injury law in both Cook County and DuPage County. This includes negligence as the ground for liability. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may recover compensation for your injuries. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys in Chicago to find out if you have a case.
How Is Negligence Determined in Personal Injury Claims?
Negligence involves a scenario where an entity or an individual owes a duty of care to another individual, breaches that duty, causing injuries to the other person, and the breaching entity or person can be held responsible for their negligent actions. For example, a surgeon who leaves a needle in a patient during surgery, causing infection, is liable for medical negligence. Also, a distracted driver who is texting while driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and causes an accident that injures another motorist may be held liable for negligence.
To recover compensation in a negligence personal injury claim, the injured party must prove the following elements of a negligence case:
- Duty of care. The injured party must have formidable proof to show that the defendant had a legal duty to employ a level of care under the circumstances stipulated. For instance, in a car accident case, drivers must obey traffic rules. They must maintain proper overlook and not intentionally cause accidents. Thus, when a driver sees a potential hazard, they must not ignore it just because the law implies they have a right of way. Further, when a driver is on a highway street and approaches a green light; it’s their duty not to crash into another vehicle that’s obstructing an intersection.
- Breach of duty of care. This element recognizes if there was any lack of proper care by the defendant. After proving a legal duty of care, the plaintiff (injured party) must show that the defendant failed to uphold that duty. The injured party must have formidable evidence to show that the accused party knew, and has an apparent knowledge of the accident, or must have known that his/her actions would cause an undesirable consequence. During car accident cases, a licensed driver must know and understand that following another vehicle closely may cause a rear-end collision. The driver must fully know the distance they need to keep when following another car. Thus, if a driver can’t maintain a proper distance from the other car, a collision may occur. With that said, the driver has breached their duty to keep a safe following distance.
- Cause. An injured party in a car accident or uber accidents also needs to prove that the breach of a legal duty of care caused their injuries. Further, the injured party is expected to show a specific bodily injury, such as whiplash, that happened because the defendant ran a red light and caused the accident.
- Actual injuries. Finally, the injured party and their Cook County negligence attorney must show an actual injury or harm for which the injured party may receive compensation. This element requires a physical injury and must be actionable. The emotional harm caused by trauma doesn’t qualify for a claim for emotional damage.
Once the injured party and their Chicago personal injury attorney meet all the burdens of establishing negligence based on the four elements mentioned above, they may receive their compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Claim in Chicago?
It’s imperative to file your personal injury lawsuit by the statute of limitations, a deadline Illinois imposes on all civil lawsuits. If you don’t file your suit by the respective time limits, the judge will most likely dismiss your claim and you won’t recover your damages.
In Illinois, for personal injury claims, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. However, sometimes, you may not discover your injuries until a later date--in this case, you have two years from the date of discovery to file your suit.
Although these time limits may seem restrictive for victims seeking justice, however, these rules are beneficial for several reasons. Filing within two-years increases the chances that your witnesses will provide reliable testimony and your evidence is still unharmed and available.
To make sure you meet the time limits and retain your right to recover compensation, contact CCAL as soon as possible. Our competent Chicago personal injury lawyers will begin the initial steps to file your claim, helping you to meet the Illinois statute of limitations.
Will I have to go to court for a personal injury claim in DuPage County?
Not necessarily, but you may have to go to court if the at-fault party won’t make a fair settlement offer. Most Chicago personal injury lawsuits settle before they ever go to court. But if the at-fault isn’t willing to negotiate, your lawyer may need to take them to court to get you what you’re owed.
What Happens If I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury lawsuits in Chicago can be very complicated. To file such a lawsuit, you’ll need copies of your medical records. Also, ask other medical professionals to review your medical records. After consulting with a Chicago personal injury lawyer, they may want to interview your witnesses. After the initial investigation is complete, your attorney will file a claim. Personal injury attorneys determine your traumatic brain injury settlement based on:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Rehabilitation cost;
- Past and future lost income;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of quality of life.
If a traumatic brain injury causes the death of a loved one, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here, our experienced Chicago negligence accident attorneys can help you claim unique damages. We know that money can never replace your loved one, but it can help you and your family recover financially, so you can focus on healing.
Typically, we can settle your injury lawsuit without needing to go to court, but if a medical malpractice settlement can’t be reached, one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at CCAL law offices will be ready to take your case to trial.
Can I Still be Compensated for My Personal Injury If I Hold Some Blame?
Yes, you can recover compensation even though you hold some blame, as long as you’re not more than 50% responsible. Thanks to comparative negligence, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries, even if you hold some blame.
However, it’s crucial to note that any percentage of blame you hold will reduce the amount you receive. For example, if you’re 30% to blame for your auto accident, then you’ll only get 70% of the money awarded to you.
What Is the Difference Between Negligence and Premises Liability?
Negligence and premises liability are similar, but they need different criteria. Premises liability refers to the duty of property and landowners to employ reasonable care when addressing certain hazards that might occur in their property. Sometimes, premises liability claims must meet a higher burden of proof than a negligence claim.
A negligence claim refers to the negligent activities of a land or property owner. Here, you must prove that the land or property owner acted in a manner a reasonable person in similar circumstances wouldn’t. A premise liability complaint occurs when a land or property owner doesn’t take the necessary measures to reduce or eliminate potential hazards or risks. The owner must know, or at least knew, about these hazards or risks, and failed to exercise their duty of protecting visitors or patrons.
Premise liability claims occur when someone is injured on another person’s or entity’s property. Common premise liability matters that may warrant a suit include:
- Slip and fall claims
- Animal attacks and bites
- Negligent security, including inadequate lighting
- Bodily injuries because of failure to comply with building safety and fire regulations
- Construction site accidents.
Negligent claims can sometimes be difficult to prove because of the time-sensitive nature of the evidence in some situations. The injured party must prove that the land or property owner created the hazardous conditions or failed to maintain reasonably safe conditions of the property. This could mean the owner knew of the hazards and didn’t take precautions to warn visitors or patrons. If the property owner could've avoided visitors being injured, then the injured party may have a negligence case. The investigation related to the claim must be accurate and thorough.
Contact a Chicago Negligence Accident Lawyer Today!
Negligence laws differ from state to state. Personal injury law largely depends on individual situations, too. An average person is often unfamiliar with state and local laws, and they may not know what they’re entitled to. That’s where having an experienced Chicago negligence attorney by your side comes in handy.
Our experienced Chicago negligence lawyers have extensive experience and substantial knowledge about personal injury and negligence law and can negotiate the compensation you deserve. We will help you get the compensation you truly deserve. Most of the time, because insurance companies tend to lower claims, we’ll help you further with the claim’s disputes. The negligence accident attorneys at CCAL law firm will make sure you get the money you deserve. Call us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online for a free initial compensation.