Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury victims often struggle with mounting medical bills, hindrances to their ability to work, and the emotional and psychological consequences that may result. However, you should be aware that you may have a legal path to recover monetary compensation for these harms from the party responsible.

Whether you were injured in a slip and fall, car accident, construction site accident, through medical malpractice, or another accident caused by negligence, you could potentially recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Your compensation will account for both economic and non-economic damages and, in some cases, may call for additional punitive damages.

Though this avenue exists for all victims of injurious negligence, it can be hard to navigate without seasoned legal counsel. That is why the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Rhatigan Law Offices offer you a free case review when you call us today at (312) 578-8502.

Common Causes of Personal Injuries in Chicago

Personal injury can occur in a variety of circumstances. Depending on how and where it happens, your injury may create liability for the at-fault party. Identifying these situations and how you can recover may be complex, but your Chicago personal injury attorney will help point you in the right direction. Below are some of the most common situations where personal injury claims could arise.

Slip and Falls

In the State of Illinois, property owners owe duties to anyone that they invite onto their property. These duties vary depending on the nature of the property and why the visitor is there. For instance, there is a difference in the duties that a restaurant owner owes its patrons and the duties that a person owes a dinner guest at their private residence. But in every case, the property owner or manager is responsible for taking reasonable precautions for preventing foreseeable accidents where a guest could fall and injure themselves.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injury. Drivers who behave negligently by breaking traffic rules and regulations on public and private roadways may cause devastating harm. Illinois is a fault-based car insurance state, meaning that the compensation for car accident injuries should come from the insurer of the driver who was at fault for causing the accident.

Medical Malpractice

Chicagoans commonly rely on the care of medical providers in several situations. When that care deviates from established standards, the consequences could be dire. Personal injury lawsuits are available to malpractice victims who suffer new injuries and those whose existing injuries were unnecessarily exacerbated by the malpractice.

Construction Site Accidents

Negligence on construction sites can cause various accidents that could affect both construction site workers and passersby. In these cases, identifying who is responsible could be the most important step. Construction site operators, independent contractors, and machinery manufacturers may be liable, so consult with your Chicago personal injury lawyer to determine who to name in your lawsuit.

Truck Accidents

Additionally, many personal injuries are caused by truck accidents in Chicago. Trucking companies often place immense pressure on their drivers to remain on the road for extended periods to deliver their cargo on-time. Accordingly, many accidents are caused by tired truck drivers. Tired drivers are prone to making several kinds of mistakes like veering out of their lane or disobeying traffic signals.

Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries because of the size of vehicles involved. If you were injured because of a truck accident, our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help recover financial compensation for the harm you suffered.

Wrongful Death

Lastly, in some cases, victims may suffer fatal injuries because of other parties’ negligent behavior. Deaths that occur because of other peoples’ wrongful acts are referred to as wrongful deaths. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, you should contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers for help determining the appropriate next steps.

Damages for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Chicago

When a personal injury victim succeeds in their lawsuit, they recover monetary compensation in line with the harms that their injuries have caused. In the legal world, this compensation is commonly referred to as “damages.” Damages are calculated based on both economic and non-economic harms. In certain situations, victims may also recover punitive damages based on the defendant’s intentional or highly reckless behavior.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are calculated based on the strictly financial harms that a personal injury victim incurs as a result of the accident. These include the expenses that the victim is forced to pay, such as medical expenses. They may also include any money that the victim lost out on due to their injuries, such as lost income or missed opportunities for advancement from missed time at work.

Noneconomic Damages

Your pain and suffering will also factor into the calculation of your damages. Noneconomic damages are meant to cover the more personal consequences of a personal injury. This might include compensation for chronic pain or disfigurement that could affect the victim’s personal relationships and ability to enjoy life as they had before the accident. If you have questions about how a court might calculate your non-economic damages, your Chicago personal injury attorney may be able to help answer them, as well as find expert witnesses that can help express these harms in financial terms to a court.

Punitive Damages

If a court finds that the defendant’s injurious conduct was intentional or highly reckless, the court may determine that this conduct warrants further punishment. Punitive damages are not available in every case, but they can be substantial where they are. Your Chicago personal injury attorney can identify whether your compensation might include punitive damages.

Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Chicago

In any case, there is only so much time that a personal injury victim has to file their lawsuit in court. According to 735 I.L.C.S. 5/13-202, the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois is generally two years from the date when the injury occurred. Missing this deadline will likely result in the loss of your case and chance to recover. However, certain exceptions do exist:

Exceptions to the Illinois Statute of Limitations

There are limited exceptions that apply to the statute of limitations. Victims who were minors at the time of their injurious accident or whose cause of injury was improperly concealed from them may have slightly longer to file their case. Still, it is better to file sooner rather than later, so we urge you to reach out to an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you believe you may have a personal injury claim.

Proving Fault in a Chicago Personal Injury Lawsuit

In order for a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, plaintiffs must show that their injuries were caused by defendants’ negligent actions. Proving fault for a personal injury can be a difficult task. Our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can offer assistance to plaintiffs in the following ways:

Collecting Evidence

A crucial step in any personal injury lawsuit involves gathering evidence. Plaintiffs must gather evidence that proves another party was at-fault for their injuries. There are numerous forms of evidence that can be used to prove fault. The following are common types of evidence used by our Chicago personal injury lawyers:

  • Witness testimony
  • Photos from the scene
  • Physical evidence from the scene
  • Surveillance footage
  • Accident reports
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Personal recollections

Unfortunately, gathering and properly utilizing the aforementioned evidence is not a simple task. Some evidence, like as expert witness testimony and accident reports, can be difficult to evaluate. Furthermore, parties in control of relevant evidence may not behave cooperatively with victims. Our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can help ease plaintiffs’ stress by collecting the evidence required to support their cases.

The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof refers to a plaintiff’s duty to prove their cause of action. Plaintiffs in Chicago personal injury cases must usually do this with a “preponderance of evidence.” Preponderance of evidence is an evidentiary standard that requires a plaintiff to establish that there is a greater than 50% chance their claim is true.

Some people may be familiar with the burden of proof from criminal cases on T.V. and in the movies. In criminal cases, fault must be established “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The preponderance of evidence standard that applies to Chicago personal injury lawsuits is a substantially lower standard. Personal injury plaintiffs in Chicago must simply prove that their claims are more likely to be true than not true. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can further explain how the burden of proof will apply to your case during a free case review.

The Process for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Chicago

The process for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Chicago can vary depending on a variety of factors. For instance, the cause of your injuries and extent of harm you suffered can both impact which legal strategies and analyses will apply to your case. However, each personal injury lawsuit will follow a similar basic process. Our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can offer support throughout each of the following stages of the legal process:

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing your case is one of the first steps toward recovering compensation in a Chicago personal injury lawsuit. Plaintiffs must adhere to numerous requirements when filing their cases. For instance, potential plaintiffs must bring their cases to the right court, pay any required court fees, attach necessary supporting documents, serve all named defendants, and ensure they are filing a complete and valid claim. Those who do not adhere to any of the previously mentioned requirements may have to re-file their cases. Accordingly, the assistance of our attorneys can be highly valuable when ensuring you have satisfied the required conditions for filing your claim.

Witness Interviews

Witness testimony is a highly valuable form of evidence when proving fault for a personal injury. However, interviewing witnesses can be a stressful task. Interviews can take hours to complete, and it is imperative that plaintiffs know the right questions to ask when seeking pertinent information. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help ask the right questions to obtain evidence that supports your claim.

Presenting Evidence

Next, our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can offer help when presenting evidence at trial. Extensive amounts of evidence are often required to support a personal injury claim. Organizing and presenting such evidence can be difficult. Therefore, our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help ensure you present your evidence in a convincing manner.

Jury Verdict

Lastly, our team can help plaintiffs evaluate and understand the consequences of a jury verdict. Furthermore, if your verdict is less than favorable, our attorneys can assess your ability to appeal. There are numerous potential reasons for an appeal. If your appeal is successful, you may recover monetary damages that were denied in your original trial.

How Much is My Chicago Personal Injury Case Worth?

The amount of damages awarded in Chicago personal injury cases can vary drastically. The amount of damages awarded in your case will depend on the extent of economic and non-economic damages you sustained because of your injuries. Fortunately, our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can help assess the potential value of your case during a free case review.

How Can a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Most personal injury plaintiffs in Chicago are faced with the difficult decision of either settling their cases early or going to trial. Fortunately, our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help plaintiffs decide which is the right choice for them.

Settling with Insurance

A settlement agreement is a type of legal contract that ensures a defendant will pay a specific amount of monetary damages to a plaintiff for their case to be dismissed. Plaintiffs who settle early may acquire compensation more quickly. Furthermore, those who reach settlement agreements before going to trial can save on the many costs associated with litigating a case. However, not all settlement offers reflect the true value of plaintiffs’ cases. Insurance companies typically want to settle cases as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Going to Trial

Plaintiffs that go to trial will have the opportunity to recover additional compensation. However, those who are unsuccessful may receive little to nothing for their injuries. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help accurately assess settlement offers to determine if going to trial is the right choice for you.

Get Help from Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Rhatigan Law Offices’ dedicated Chicago personal injury attorneys have over 25 years of experience recovering for our clients. To hear more about our services during your free initial case assessment, call (312) 578-8502 today.