After any kind of accident that results in a serious injury, you may find yourself dealing with unexpected medical costs, missed time at work, and a slow and sometimes lengthy road to recovery. If someone else is directly responsible for your injuries, though, you may also have to decide whether to pursue legal action against them.
Given the complexities of Illinois state law and the potential significance that financial recovery could play in an accident victim’s future, anyone thinking about pursuing civil litigation should speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Assistance from a Hazel Crest personal injury lawyer could make it much easier for you to construct a compelling case and effectively seek the restitution you deserve.
There are many reasons why an individual files a personal injury suit. The most common involve:
A seasoned Hazel Crest personal injury attorney could investigate the cause of your accident and help determine the validity of your claim.
Not every accident necessarily justifies civil litigation, nor does every type of harm from such an accident serve as effective grounds for a lawsuit. In general, a personal injury lawsuit of any kind must be based on a physical injury that required the victim to seek professional medical attention.
Furthermore, the injured party must prove based upon “a preponderance of the evidence” that the person who allegedly harmed them directly caused their injury by violating an implied or express duty to act reasonably and keep other people around them safe. It should be noted that this standard for evidence is not as strict as that for a criminal case, in which the defendant must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Assuming these prerequisites are met, many different types of accidents and losses could be answered by a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, a knowledgeable Hazel Crest personal injury attorney could help a plaintiff file suit over a car crash, a fall on someone else’s property, a defective product, an attack from someone’s pet, or a variety of other situations, seeking compensation for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Illinois state law establishes a number of rules for civil lawsuits that can impede the recovery of any plaintiff not prepared for them. For example, 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/2-1116 states that any plaintiff found partially liable for their own damages may have any award they are granted reduced by their percentage of fault. In addition, any plaintiff found to bear a majority of the fault for their accident may not be allowed to recover any award whatsoever.
Perhaps even more importantly, a case may become time-barred if a prospective plaintiff in Hazel Crest waits too long to contact a personal injury lawyer and begin the filing process. According to 735 ILCS §5/13-202, any civil case seeking damages against a non-public entity must be filed within two years of the date of the incident in question, with only a few exceptions. This statutory period is further shortened to one year for cases against a municipal agency or government body.
Filing a civil lawsuit can be a complicated, lengthy, and frustrating process, especially if you have never had any experience with the legal system in Illinois before. Without professional guidance, you may end up with an unnecessarily drawn-out case, a settlement that does not address all your needs, or even no compensation at all.
You should not take risks with your personal or financial future—instead, let seasoned legal counsel help you protect your rights and stand up for your best interests. If you were hurt in an accident someone else caused, call a Hazel Crest personal injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options.