Suffering an injury can cause numerous unexpected consequences. From mounting medical expenses to lengthy recovery times, we can experience lost wages, property damage, physical and mental pain and suffering, and a serious blow to our finances.
If someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation for these losses through a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois civil court. However, navigating this process alone can be confusing and difficult following an accident — and unnecessary errors can delay your claim.
Trust Duncan Law Group to represent your personal injury claim and handle these administrative tasks on your behalf. With tens of millions of dollars in compensation recovered, we have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to advocate aggressively for your rights each step of the way.
A personal injury occurs when you suffer physical and/or emotional damages as a result of someone else’s negligent act or, in some cases, failure to act. Personal injuries can be very painful, sometimes requiring lengthy treatment times and lifelong care. Compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits can help you recover from these losses.
Common types of personal injury claims we handle include the following:
If you are unsure whether or not your case qualifies for personal injury litigation, contact Duncan Law Group as soon as possible. Our attorneys will evaluate your claim and inform you of your legal options.
All personal injury claims in Illinois rely on the theory of negligence. If you can establish the presence of negligence and show how that negligence played a role in your accident, you are likely to see a settlement at the conclusion of your case.
Proving negligence involves providing evidence that proves the following four elements:
The methods you will use to prove each of these elements will vary, depending on the circumstances of your case. You will need to work closely with your personal injury lawyer to build your claim.
For example, say you are in a car accident with another driver. At the time of the accident, you were driving through a four-way intersection, and the other driver ran a stop sign and collided into the side of your vehicle. You are seeking $50,000 for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering damages.
All drivers owe each other a duty of care to drive safely and follow traffic laws. You can establish the at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care by driving through the stop sign, and surveillance footage and medical records can prove you suffered injuries as a result of this breach. Your lawyer will help you compile the necessary evidence to prove your damages, and you can present these arguments to the court to collect the compensation you need to recover.
While you may present an effective case to the courtroom, you will not receive your full award amount if the court determines you shared a portion of the liability. This is due to Illinois’s comparative negligence rule, which reduces a person’s personal injury settlement if he or she also breached his or her duty of care during the accident.
Using our car accident example, let’s say you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident. The court determines you share 20% of the blame for your injuries. The court will then deduct 20% of your $50,000 settlement, leaving you with $40,000.
However, if you share more than 50% of the fault, the court will not award you any damages at all. If the court finds that you sped through the stop sign as well, you may share 51% of the liability. In this situation, you will receive $0 out of your requested $50,000.
You must file your personal injury claim within two years of the accident. If you did not discover your injuries until a later date, you have two years from the date of discovery to file your claim. If you are filing a claim against a city or county government agency, you have one year from the date of the accident to file.
This is due to Illinois’s statute of limitations, which sets various time limits on all civil lawsuits. If you do not file your claim by your case’s statute of limitations, the court will likely dismiss your claim and you will lose your chances at compensation.
While this rule may seem restrictive, it is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps ensure that the evidence you need to prove your claim does not become destroyed or lost before you file. Second, filing your claim sooner rather than later helps increase your credibility, and finally, filing by the statute of limitations ensures your witnesses’ testimony is fresh and reliable.
Are you struggling with a personal injury in Wheaton? Don’t wait to seek help — contact the Duncan Law Group today. Our attorneys have over 15 years of experience in personal injury law and will use the full extent of our firm’s resources to build a compelling case for your compensation.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.