Accidents resulting in injury are extremely common. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 32 million emergency room (ER) visits per year due to injury. Many of these ER visits result from the negligence of others and present a possible personal injury claim. The most commonly reported forms of personal injury in the United States are motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice. Other common claims include slip and falls, dog bites, dangerous products and medical devices, harmful drugs and medications, sexual abuse, and wrongful death.
Car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents may cause serious bodily injuries and physical pain that increases over time and lasts long after the accident. Nevertheless, accident victims may be reluctant to pursue a claim or retain an attorney for a variety of reasons — they think that hiring an attorney takes too much time, they don’t know a good lawyer, or they choose to deal with the injury on their own. By doing so, accident victims forgo any compensation they could have potentially received and lose a real chance to fully recover from their injuries.
It is important for accident victims not to fall into the trap of going through it alone. The assistance of a lawyer can be a great asset at a very difficult time. An accident disrupts the victim’s life and creates health issues, financial burdens, and confusion. The relationship between the victim and an attorney is often the only bright spot in an otherwise difficult situation. Our Aurora personal injury lawyer has a successful track record of getting people the financial compensation they deserve. Their dedication and experience will protect a person’s rights under the law; they also will go to great lengths to fight for a positive outcome from an otherwise unfortunate situation. Suffered an injury, and want to know your legal options? Contact an Aurora personal injury lawyer who will evaluate your claim and help get you the assistance you need.
First Steps in an Injury Claim
After retaining an experienced attorney, many people are anxious to know what comes next. Accident victims want the necessary information to help them understand the legal process.
The first step: proper evaluation of the victim by competent doctors. Those doctors will assess the accident victim’s injuries and develop a treatment plan specific to their injuries. Once the treatment plan is in place, the accident victim will begin to get the care that they need to recover from their injuries. The accident victim will continue to work with their doctors in order to recover as quickly as possible.
Once the accident victim completes the treatment plan, the attorney will pursue settlement of the claim with the adverse parties. The attorney will collect all of the medical bills associated with the treatment received for the injuries in the accident and work with the accident victim to properly place a value on the claim. Once the attorney and the accident victim agree on an amount to demand for settlement from the adverse party, the attorney sends a settlement demand letter to the adverse party and includes all of the medical bills for the treatment received for the injuries sustained in the accident.
Hopefully, a reasonable settlement can be reached soon after the settlement demand is sent. If the adverse party refuses to settle the claim for an acceptable amount, the Aurora personal injury lawyer, and the victim may then decide to file a complaint. In Illinois, the complaint must tell a simple story regarding how the accident occurred, what the other party did to cause the accident and generally describe the accident victim’s injuries.
Once filed, the defendant receives notice of the lawsuit through a summons and a copy of the complaint. The defendant has a deadline within which they must file an answer to the complaint in which they must either admit or deny each fact alleged.
Once the defendant files an answer to the complaint, the attorneys involved start the discovery process through which they exchange information relating to the accident and the injuries sustained in the accident. The individuals involved in the accident are often asked to submit to depositions in order to get their view of what happened on the record. In a deposition, the accident victim appears with their counsel while the defendant’s lawyer asks questions about the accident and the injuries sustained in the accident.
Attorneys also have the ability to request certain documents that will aid them in uncovering the truth. Either side can ask for things like medical records, pictures, and witness statements in order to understand the accident. The defendants can request that a person be examined by a doctor of their choosing to get an accurate assessment of their injuries. However, that person can request that their personal injury lawyer in Aurora be present while the exam is taking place.
Illinois Injury Laws
There are several important laws that govern Illinois citizens regarding personal injury claims. Those laws are referred to as the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The Illinois Vehicle Code sets out the rules of the road and help determine responsibility for an accident.
The first thing to know: Illinois has set a two-year time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing claims against a city or county is only one year. Most of the time people have up to two years after the accident date to file a suit in state courts. The limited situations for extensions include claims by children or someone with a mental incapacity. This can include situations where the accident victim does not realize that they were injured by the negligence of someone else. This sometimes happens with medical malpractice claims.
Illinois courts also have modified comparative fault for when more than one person is found to be at fault. When in court or negotiating with an insurance company, people can claim that the person injured was partially/totally at fault for the injuries received.
The comparative fault system will then be applied to determine what percentage each party was at fault. Each party becomes responsible for their proportionate share of the damages. Therefore, if the accident victim is partially responsible for their accident, then the accident victim becomes proportionately responsible for their own damages. Illinois courts must use the comparative fault rule during personal injury cases.
It is also good to be aware that there are no damage caps for most personal injury cases in Illinois. The purpose of damage caps is to limit the amount and type of compensation a person can receive. Different states have different rules regarding this issue; but in Illinois, a person filing a personal injury claim does not have to deal with damage caps.
Contact an Aurora Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Injured in an accident or caused harm by another person? You should contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys have dealt with all kinds of personal injury cases. We know the personal and financial strain put on accident victims and their families. An attorney will act as an asset for a person by providing them with the best possible service.
Received an injury caused by the negligence of another party? Contact an Aurora personal injury lawyer today at 708-222-2222. They can review the evidence and file a claim that will get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.