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 initial consultation 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. In Illinois, the time limit established by the statute of limitations 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.
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.
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.