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The Anatomy of A Personal Injury Claim

Marker & Crannell Attorneys at Law Feb. 22, 2022

According to a report by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 246,752 crashes involving motor vehicles statewide in 2020, causing 72,989 injuries. Accidents carry serious consequences and may cause various physical, mental, and emotional injuries to the victims. Fortunately, personal injury laws were designed to compensate victims of negligent accidents for their injuries, damages, and other accident-related losses. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can help you understand how personal injury claims work, and help you strive for fair financial compensation.

At Marker & Crannell, our attorneys only represent injury victims, which means our office, staff, and systems are designed specifically for personal injury cases. We are not a "Jack of all trades," kind of law firm - we have committed our practice to one area of law so we can know it best. As your legal counsel, we can evaluate the facts surrounding your case, educate you about the personal injury claim process, and let you know what to expect when you file. Our skilled attorneys can assist you through every step of the injury claim process and fight diligently to pursue the financial justice you deserve. Our firm proudly serves clients across Illinois, including Naperville, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Aurora, Romeoville, and Wheaton.

PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS IN ILLINOIS

Illinois is an at-fault auto insurance state. Under the state's fault laws, the party responsible for the accident (at-fault party) will be held civilly or financially liable for injuries, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the victims.

MODIFIED COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE RULE

Additionally, Illinois operates using the "modified comparative negligence" rule, with a 51% bar. According to the system, an injured person may be allowed to recover damages if they were found to be partially or equally (50% or less) at fault for the accident or injury. However, your total compensation will be reduced by your fault percentage.

For example, if the court awarded $60,000 in total damages against the at-fault party, but you were found to be 10% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by $6,000. You will only receive 90% of $60,000 ($54,000). Under Illinois's modified comparative fault rule, you will be barred from recovering damages if you were mostly (51% or more) at fault for the accident.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The statute of limitations (time limit for filing a claim) can be different based on the identity of the plaintiff, the identity of the defendant, and the type of lawsuit that is being brought:

  • Plaintiffs who are minors or plaintiffs with disabilities can extend the statute of limitations

  • Tort immunity shortens the statute of limitations to 1 year for municipal bodies

  • Wrongful death and product liability cases have different statutes of limitations

An experienced lawyer can advise you on the different types of personal injury claims and make sure you file your insurance claim on time. Failing to fully resolve your claim or file a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations may completely bar you from recovering for your injuries.

TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

In the state of Illinois, a personal injury claim may arise due to a different number of injuries and accidents, including:

This is not a comprehensive list of all the types of personal injury claims in Illinois. Keep in mind that each injury claim has its own rules and regulations. A skilled personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine the best way to proceed.

FILING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM

If you're injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, you can proceed by:

  • Filing a first-party claim with your own insurance carrier

  • Filing a third-party claim against the at-fault party's insurance company

  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court (whether they are insured or not)

A knowledgeable lawyer can investigate every aspect of your unique situation and help you seek the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

DAMAGES AVAILABLE

The following damages may be recovered by filing a personal injury claim in Illinois:

Economic damages

  • Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical treatment

  • Lost wages and benefits

  • Therapy and rehabilitation

  • Loss of earning capacity

  • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as personal care and medications

  • Funeral and burial expenses, if the victim dies

Non-economic damages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of enjoyment of life

  • Emotional distress

  • Psychological trauma

  • Mental anguish

  • Loss of consortium

  • Permanent disability

In limited cases, punitive damages may be awarded to further penalize the at-fault party for their reckless actions. An experienced personal injury attorney can carefully review all of the details of your case, determine the extent of your injuries, and help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider.

HOW A KNOWLEDGEABLE ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU

In Illinois, personal injury statutes allow accident victims to seek damages for their injuries and losses. However, filing a personal injury claim often involves a lot of complexities. Proving fault, establishing liability, and negotiating a settlement with the insurance provider can make the entire process feel overwhelming. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is crucial to protect your best interests and help you navigate critical decisions.

At Marker & Crannell, we are committed to providing experienced legal guidance and vigorous representation to clients in their accident cases. Using our understanding of laws and rules addressing liability in personal injury cases, our team can help guide you through the complex injury claims process. We will fight diligently to protect your rights and help you seek rightful compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other potential damages.

If you or someone close to you were hurt in any kind of accident, and are trying to understand the personal injury claims process, contact us at Marker & Crannell to schedule a simple case assessment. Our attorneys can offer you the personalized attention and support you need. We're proud to represent clients across Naperville, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Aurora, Romeoville, Woodridge, and the rest of Illinois.