Personal injury lawyers help people recover compensation when they have been hurt because of another person’s negligence. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases may have suffered extensive damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. However, these costs are not always easy to recover.
Personal injury lawsuits may take weeks to months to years to complete. Further, insurance companies may fight plaintiffs every step of the way. They will hire doctors, lawyers, and private investigators to try and decrease the value of a claim. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers will fight insurance companies and guide clients on the road to recovery.
If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, get help from experienced Naperville personal injury lawyers by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 964-8342 for a free assessment of your potential case.
Elements of a Personal Injury Case in Naperville, IL
Each personal injury claim filed in Naperville requires four basic elements to succeed. All of the following elements must be established for a personal injury case to proceed:
- The defendant had a duty of care that they owed the plaintiff.
- The defendant breached that duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
Personal injury lawsuits come in many forms. However, these four elements will always be required. Furthermore, each of these elements involves a complex set of rules and intricacies. Our legal team can thoroughly explain the elements required for a personal injury case to succeed.
Potential Damages in a Naperville, IL Personal Injury Lawsuit
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate a plaintiff for injuries suffered because of another person’s negligent acts. The costs that will be compensated are referred to as damages. Damages can come in many forms, some of which are easier to calculate than others. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers can assist clients when determining which of the following damages apply to their case.
Victims in personal injury cases often incur a wide array of medical expenses. Medical expenses can range from physical therapy to prescription medication to ambulance rides. These damages are typically proven through medical bills and are a type of “economic damages.”
Personal injury plaintiffs may be unable to return to work at full capacity because of their injury. If plaintiffs are unable to work or face restrictions, they will be compensated for the wages lost while they were away. Furthermore, victims may also be paid for their inability to work in the future. Lost wages are also a form of economic damages.
Pain and Suffering
Damages related to pain and suffering are a type of non-economic damages. These damages may be more difficult to calculate but can have a serious impact on victims. These damages account for the physical pain and emotional distress the victim suffered because of the accident. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers can help victims fight for pain and suffering damages in their personal injury lawsuit.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Damages stemming from a loss of enjoyment of life account for a victim’s inability to enjoy their daily activities, hobbies, or other interests they enjoyed before their injury. These are another form of non-economic damages that may be difficult to prove.
Loss of Consortium
Damages for “loss of consortium” are another form of non-economic damages. This type of damages seeks to repay spouses for the loss of intimacy incurred because of their loved one’s injury.
Finally, in some cases, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages seek to punish the at-fault party for grossly negligent behavior. Punitive damages attempt to disincentivize repeating similar actions and to stop other people from engaging in similar, negligent conduct in the future. However, these damages are rare and difficult to recover. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers can advise plaintiffs as to whether punitive damages may be available in their case.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases Our Lawyers Handle in Naperville, IL
Personal injury lawsuits can come in various forms. While the circumstances surrounding each case may be different, most personal injury lawsuits will be approached in similar ways using comparable types of evidence and legal arguments. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers handle a wide array of personal injury cases, including the following:
Car Accident Cases
Car accidents often result in personal injury lawsuits. The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that there were 858 car cashes per day in 2019 in the state. Furthermore, more than 10 people were injured per hour because of car accidents in Illinois in 2019. Car crash injuries can be severe or even fatal.
Drivers owe a duty to exercise reasonable care and follow traffic laws. Still, drivers in Naperville will regularly swerve, tailgate, drive dunk, and drive distracted. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers can help obtain compensation for drivers who were injured because of these kinds of driving errors.
Products Liability Cases
Products liability is a field of personal injury law that involve dangerous and defective products. Manufacturers are expected to produce items that are safe for public consumption. Accordingly, individuals who have been injured because of a defective product may file a lawsuit against a manufacturer for negligent manufacturing, negligent product design, or failure to warn of a defect.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases are also a common type of personal injury case. A 2016 study from Johns Hopkins suggested that medical errors were the third leading cause of death in the country. When doctors or other hospital staff act negligently, their actions or inaction can have severe or even fatal consequences. Common sources of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis, medical errors, hospital errors, surgical errors, defective medical equipment, and failure to warn patients of risks.
However, the elements of a medical malpractice case can be difficult to prove. Our Naperville personal injury lawyers can review your case to determine whether you have a valid claim for medical malpractice.
Proving Fault in a Naperville Personal Injury Lawsuit
In order to recover damages in a personal injury case, you must gather and present evidence that shows you were injured as a result of the defendant’s negligent behavior. There are many different forms of evidence that may be used to accomplish this task. The following are all examples of evidence that may be utilized by our personal injury attorneys:
Eyewitness statements are firsthand accounts provided by individuals who witnessed the events leading up to and following an incident. In a personal injury lawsuit, eyewitnesses can play a critical role in establishing fault by offering unbiased perspectives on what transpired. For example, in a car accident case, an eyewitness might testify that they saw one driver run a red light and collide with another vehicle in the intersection. Their testimony can help establish a clear sequence of events and provide insights into the behavior of the parties involved, potentially pointing to the defendant’s negligence as the cause of the accident.
Expert Witness Statements
Expert witness statements come from professionals who possess specialized knowledge and experience in a particular field relevant to the case. In personal injury lawsuits, expert witnesses can provide valuable insights into complex technical, medical, or scientific matters. For instance, in a medical malpractice case, a medical expert could testify about the standard of care that should have been provided by the defendant healthcare professional. Their testimony can help the jury understand whether the defendant’s actions fell below the expected standard, thereby proving their fault in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Surveillance recordings, such as security camera footage or dashcam videos, can provide objective visual evidence of the events leading up to an accident. In cases like slip and fall incidents, surveillance footage from a store or establishment can reveal hazardous conditions that caused the injury. For example, in a slip and fall case, surveillance footage might show a wet floor without proper warning signs, capturing the moment the plaintiff fell. This visual evidence can clearly demonstrate the defendant’s negligence in maintaining a safe environment.
Photos from the Scene
Photographs taken at the scene of the incident can serve as powerful visual evidence. In cases involving property damage or accidents on the road, photos can document the conditions and positions of vehicles, objects, and potential hazards. In a pedestrian accident case, photos could show a crosswalk with faded road markings and poor visibility, supporting the plaintiff’s claim that the defendant driver failed to yield the right of way. These photos provide a clear visual representation of the scene’s circumstances and contribute to proving the defendant’s fault.
Physical Evidence from the Scene
Physical evidence collected from the scene can help reconstruct events and establish fault. This can include items such as skid marks, debris patterns, or damaged objects. In a product liability case involving a faulty product causing injury, physical evidence could involve examining the defective product’s components. For instance, if a defective tire caused a car accident, experts could analyze the tire’s tread and structure to show manufacturing defects, proving the defendant’s negligence in producing a safe product.
Victims’ Personal Recollections
The victims’ personal recollections of the incident and their injuries can also contribute to proving fault. Their firsthand accounts can provide insights into how the incident occurred and the immediate effects it had on them. In a slip and fall case, the plaintiff’s testimony might describe how they slipped on a wet surface in a store and fell, sustaining injuries. Their recollection can establish the presence of a hazardous condition and demonstrate the defendant’s failure to address it, thereby supporting their claim of fault.
Common Types of Personal Injuries Suffered by Victims in Naperville, IL
Personal injuries can come in many different forms. Some injuries may heal quickly, while others can require expensive, long-term medical care. The following are all examples of common injuries suffered by victims in Naperville:
Broken and Fractured Bones
Broken and fractured bones are common personal injuries that can result from accidents such as car crashes, falls, or sports-related incidents. These injuries involve the partial or complete breakage of bones in the body. Treatment options depend on the severity and location of the fracture. Simple fractures may only require immobilization with casts or splints, allowing the bone to heal naturally. More complex fractures might necessitate surgical intervention to realign and stabilize the bones with the use of pins, plates, or screws. Rehabilitation and physical therapy often follow, helping restore strength and mobility to the affected area.
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage refers to injuries affecting muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft structures in the body. Whiplash from car accidents or strains from slip and fall incidents are examples of such injuries. Treatment can involve rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) methods, along with physical therapy to gradually restore function and flexibility. In severe cases, surgical repair might be necessary, followed by ongoing rehabilitation to prevent stiffness and promote healing.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries occur due to severe blows or jolts to the head, leading to brain dysfunction. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe cases involving long-term cognitive impairments. Treatment options include rest, monitoring, and cognitive therapy for milder cases. More serious cases may require extensive rehabilitation and specialized therapies tailored to the individual’s needs. In some instances, surgery might be necessary to address bleeding or pressure on the brain.
Spinal Cord Damage
Spinal cord injuries can result from accidents like falls, car crashes, or acts of violence, leading to partial or complete loss of sensation and mobility. Treatment varies depending on the extent of damage. Mild cases might require rest and physical therapy to improve function, while severe injuries could necessitate surgery to stabilize the spine and prevent further damage. Long-term rehabilitation and assistive devices may be required to help individuals adapt to changes in mobility and function.
Internal injuries involve damage to organs and tissues within the body, often caused by blunt force trauma from accidents. These injuries can be life-threatening and may require immediate medical attention. Treatment options depend on the specific injury and can range from observation and rest to surgical intervention. Surgical procedures may involve repairing damaged organs, stopping internal bleeding, or removing damaged tissue.
Burn injuries can occur due to fire, chemicals, electricity, or hot liquids. The severity of burns is classified into degrees, with higher degrees indicating deeper tissue damage. Treatment depends on the degree and size of the burn. Superficial burns may require topical treatments, while more severe burns may necessitate surgical procedures like skin grafts to promote healing and reduce scarring. Extensive burns often require a combination of medical interventions, including wound care, pain management, and rehabilitation.
If You Have Been Injured Because of Another Person’s Negligence in Naperville, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you need help filing a personal injury lawsuit in Naperville, IL, seek advice from experienced Naperville personal injury lawyers by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 964-8342 for a free case review.