Evanston, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

Not all accidents are truly accidental, and someone is often at fault. An attorney can help you sue the person responsible for your accident and injuries to get fair financial compensation.

Many people shy away from the idea of filing a lawsuit because it is an arduous, complicated, and time-consuming process. However, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit if you have significant damages that you cannot afford and because you deserve justice. Our office has experience with numerous personal injury cases, and we are prepared to assist you in any way we can. We can help you assess your damages, including non-economic injuries like pain and suffering, and economic losses like medical bills. Before we can file the initial complaint, we might need to do extensive preparation.

If you were injured, our personal injury lawyers can help you figure out who is responsible and how to hold them liable. For a free review of the case, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.

Why You Should Sue for Personal Injuries in Evanston, IL

It is normal to feel hesitant about filing a personal injury lawsuit. These kinds of lawsuits and the people who file them sometimes get a bad reputation for being litigious, and people assume plaintiffs are exploiting the justice system for a quick buck. This unfair perception could not be further from the truth.

One good reason to file a personal injury lawsuit is to cover your damages. Damages encompass the losses and injuries you incurred because of the defendant’s negligence, and damages are often significant. Many plaintiffs cannot pay for these damages on their own, and they need financial compensation to cover these debts.

Money and expenses aside, filing a lawsuit can help you emotionally move on from your injuries. A successful lawsuit helps many plaintiffs get the justice, vindication, and closure they need to move on with their lives. Even if your damages are not that significant, you should file a lawsuit to get the justice you deserve.

What You Have to Prove in an Evanston, IL Personal Injury Case

The interesting thing about many personal injury claims is that defendants often do not mean to cause harm. Personal injuries are usually the result of accidents. If you believe the defendant in your case injured you on purpose, you should speak to an attorney about the possibility of bringing an intentional tort claim. Since many personal injuries are unintentional, they are usually based on negligence.

We might generally define negligence as someone’s lack of care or attention. The law defined negligence by four critical legal elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In order to win your case and get fair compensation for your injuries, you need to establish each element of negligence in a court of law. If even one element is lacking, your entire case might be in jeopardy.


The first element is duty, which refers to the defendant’s legal obligation or duty of care to the plaintiff. The defendant does not necessarily have to have a personal relationship with the plaintiff to owe them a duty of care. Strangers often owe each other a duty under certain circumstances. For example, in car accident cases, the defendant’s duty is to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances and obey traffic laws. If the defendant never owed you a duty, you likely cannot sue them for negligence.


Next, we have to prove that the defendant breached their duty. The breach might be something the defendant did or failed to do that somehow violated their duty of care. Continuing with the car accident example, the defendant might breach their duty of care by running a red light or failing to signal a turn.


Proving the defendant’s breach of duty is not enough to establish negligence. We must also show causation, or how the breach is the direct cause of the accident. The mere fact that the defendant ran a red light does not necessarily prove that they caused the car accident. Perhaps another car came along and caused the accident instead. We must show that the defendant is in fact the direct cause of your injuries.


The final element is damages. We must show that the injuries and losses you experienced are very real. Hypothetical injuries cannot be claimed and are not enough to prove damages. If you did not suffer damages, you might not have a legal claim, at least for negligence.

Cases Our Personal Injury Lawyers Handle in Evanston, IL

Personal injury claims might be for numerous possible accidents and injuries, and it is important that you speak to an attorney who is familiar with the nature of your specific claims. Our personal injury attorneys have handled various cases and are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Bike Accidents

Like many cities, Chicago is very bike-friendly, and many people get around the city by bike. Unfortunately, bike riders are often at risk of accidents when negligent drivers are not paying attention. Bike riders injured in accidents can sue the drivers who hit them in personal injury lawsuits. Often, bike riders are badly injured, as they are no match for a moving vehicle in a collision.

Auto Accidents

Auto accidents are perhaps some of the most common causes of personal injuries anywhere. If you were in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you can sue the person responsible. The reasons behind these accidents tend to vary, and your case deserves an individualized investigation from our personal injury attorneys. Our personal injury lawyers can help you investigate the crash and file a lawsuit against the other driver.

Animal Attacks

Although having a pet is very common, keeping dangerous animals is, well, dangerous. Animal attacks might be as simple as a dog bite or as severe as a mauling, and plaintiffs often experience painful injuries. The person responsible for the animal, usually its owner, can be sued for damages. Animals might be cute and cuddly, but they can be unpredictable, and it is the owner’s duty to make sure their pet is properly trained or at least kept away from other people.

Product Liability

Product liability cases are a branch of personal injury law that involves accidents caused by defective products and goods. For example, if you purchased a lawnmower, and the lawnmower malfunctioned and injured you because it was damaged or poorly designed, you can sue the manufacturer. Plaintiffs can often sue numerous parties in the chain of sale of defective products, including retailers. Our attorneys can help you prove that a defective or damaged product caused the accident.

Medical Malpractice

One of the scariest personal injury claims to deal with is medical malpractice. This claim arises when a patient is injured because of a medical professional’s negligence. To assert this claim, you must have experienced more than a mere mistake in treatment. The doctor’s actions must have fallen below the standards of care. Surgeries gone wrong, misdiagnoses, and failure to warn patients of certain medical risks are common reasons for malpractice claims.

Where to Get Evidence to Support Your Evanston, IL Personal Injury Case

Evidence is the foundation of a personal injury case. A plaintiff cannot recover damages based on allegations alone. We need evidence to show the extent of your injuries and how the defendant is responsible. Where you find evidence depends on the nature of your accident. While some plaintiffs have little trouble finding strong evidence, others struggle. Just remember, evidence is fickle, and a lack of evidence in your case does not mean your claims are invalid or incorrect.

If possible, we can return to the accident scene and try to collect evidence. Details about the location and the surrounding area might be pertinent to the case. For example, in a car accident claim, we might take pictures of road signs, intersections, and speed limit signs to give the jury an idea of what the road is like and how drivers should be driving in that area.

We should also interview potential witnesses to see if they can provide testimony in your case. Eyewitnesses might have seen your accident happen right in front of them. Witnesses who can testify about not just seeing the accident but seeing the defendant cause the accident are very important.

We should also consider getting copies of your medical records from when you were treated for your injuries. This is often important in cases involving significant injuries. These records can help us show the jury how severely you were injured and the costs of care.

How to Assess Your Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Evanston, IL

Your damages in a personal injury lawsuit might be very high, and you should not have to shoulder this burden alone. Our personal injury attorneys can help you convince a jury that the defendant should have to cover your damages.

Economic damages are related to the loss of money. Injuries are not just painful; they are also expensive. Since personal injury cases involve some bodily harm, many plaintiffs claim medical bills as part of their damages. If you are so badly hurt that you had to take time away from work, you can also claim any income you lost.

You might also claim non-economic damages that are not connected to money. Instead, non-economic damages account for painful experiences. Pain and suffering can be significant, and many plaintiffs have to live with trauma and chronic pain from their injuries. These damages are subjective and might be experienced differently by different people, and they are usually assessed by how much they affect your daily life.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Personal Injury Claim in Evanston, IL?

Having a lawyer for your personal injury case is not exactly required by law, but it is highly recommended. The judicial process is often so complex and difficult to navigate that judges tend to be wary of allowing defendants to handle their cases alone. If you choose to proceed unrepresented, the court might ask you a series of questions to make sure you understand what you are doing.

It is definitely a good idea to hire an experienced attorney. Just preparing your case is a lengthy and complex endeavor. You must investigate the accident, gather evidence, prepare a formal complaint, and submit the complaint to the correct court. You also need to track down the defendant and serve them notice of your case according to very strict legal protocols. Doing all this is hard enough, but doing it while recovering from personal injuries might be nearly impossible.

Your lawyer can help you start your case and determine the best way to get fair compensation. Perhaps pursuing a full trial is not the best idea, and a settlement is a better option. Your lawyer should be able to make that determination and offer guidance and advice.

When You Must File Your Personal Injury Case in Evanston, IL

You might want to take some time after the accident to recover from your injuries and think about whether you even want to take legal action. While you should take the time you need, avoid taking too long. Your deadline to sue might be quickly coming up, and failing to file on time might cost you everything.

According to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/13-202, a plaintiff has only 2 years from the day of their accident to file their case in court. While this might seem like a long time, it is a tight deadline. Many plaintiffs spend months just preparing their case with an attorney. This might be after months of recovery. By the time you are ready to submit your case, the deadline might be very close.

If the deadline has expired in your case, talk to your lawyer about whether tolling the statute of limitations is an option. Tolling might allow you additional time to file if you could not do so because of circumstances beyond your control. For example, if you were a minor when you were injured, the deadline might be tolled until you are 18.

Call Our Evanston, IL Personal Injury Lawyers for Assistance

Injuries can be expensive, and you deserve just compensation. Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to arrange a free case evaluation with our personal injury lawyers.