Accidents can happen at any time, leaving us with a host of unexpected consequences. From medical bills to lost wages and chronic pain, this experience can be difficult to cope with — especially if someone else’s actions caused our injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a Quad Cities accident you did not cause, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Trust Duncan Law Group to help guide you through the litigation process.
Our attorneys have secured several multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients, developed a wide network of resources and expert witnesses, and refined the strategies necessary to advocate aggressively for your right to compensation.
Whether your accident took place in Iowa or Illinois, you and your lawyer will need to establish the presence of negligence in your case. Negligence is what makes an injury a personal injury — to successfully secure a settlement, you must prove that the at-fault party was negligent at the time of the accident.
To prove negligence, you will need to satisfy the following elements:
Another aspect of Illinois and Iowa personal injury law you need to be aware of is the concept of comparative fault. Although you may establish the at-fault party committed negligence, his or her defense attorney may try to prove you shared a portion of the fault for the accident. If the court finds you share liability in your claim, your award amount can reduce or disappear altogether.
Both Illinois and Iowa follow the same comparative fault rule. If you share 50% or less of the liability, the court will reduce your settlement by the percentage of fault you hold. If you share 51% or more of the liability, you will not receive any damages at all.
For example, let’s say you were in a car accident and suffered injuries when another driver ran a red light. You’re seeking $40,000 in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle repairs.
The court discovers you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, and the defense claims your injuries could have been less severe if you were wearing one. The court assigns you 30% of the liability, and you will receive $28,000 out of your original settlement. If the court assigned you 55% of the fault, you will receive $0.
All civil lawsuits in Iowa and Illinois are subject to a rule called the statute of limitations, a deadline by which you must file your claim. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, the court will dismiss your claim and you will lose your chances at receiving a settlement. Iowa and Illinois have similar rules regarding the statute of limitations in personal injury cases.
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim. In some personal injury cases, you may have not discovered your injury until much later; you will then file your claim two years from the date of discovery rather than the accident date. If your claim involves charges against an Illinois city or county, you have one year to file. The statute of limitations for state claims remains at two years.
Iowa also sets a two-year deadline for personal injury claims, beginning on the date of the injury. Like Illinois, if you did not discover your injury until later, the clock starts on the day of discovery. The statute of limitations for claims against a state government agency is also two years.
While the statute of limitations may seem counterproductive, filing your claim in a timely manner is very important. Waiting to file your claim could cast doubt on your credibility. Evidence can easily disappear or suffer damage, harming your case in the courtroom. If you have witnesses willing to testify on your behalf, their memories can fade as time passes and their testimony may become unreliable.
To ensure you file your claim before the deadline passes, speak with your attorney from Duncan Law Group as soon as possible.
Personal injuries can have devastating impacts on your life — but you can seek justice through a civil lawsuit in Illinois or Iowa court. The attorneys at Duncan Law Group have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we are committed to helping you find your optimal pathway to maximum possible recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Quad Cities personal injury attorneys.