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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois
In Illinois, you have the right to file a personal injury claim if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, malpractice, or default. By filing a claim, you can seek compensation for your injury-related damages, such as medical expenses, future care costs, pain, and suffering.
At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we have earned a reputation as one of the area’s leading personal injury law firms. From our office in Chicago, we serve individuals and families throughout Illinois, providing compassionate support, personalized counsel, and aggressive representation throughout the entire legal process. We are known for our commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients, an approach that has helped us recover more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts to date. If you were injured in a car accident, slipped and fell due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, or lost a loved one due to a fatal truck accident, our team is ready to fight for you and the justice you deserve.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call (888) 302-3669 or contact us online using our secure case evaluation form. Hablamos español.
What Constitutes Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
Most personal injury cases are brought on the grounds of negligence. In other words, most claims involve one party (known as the “plaintiff”) bringing a claim against another party (known as the “defendant”) based on an injury caused by the defendant’s negligent conduct.
To have a personal injury case based on negligence, there are several things you must prove:
- Injury: You must first establish that you were injured. If you were not injured, you do not have a case—even if the other party was clearly negligent. Additionally, you must show that your injuries led to measurable, compensable damages. These damages can be economic, such as medical bills, or non-economic, such as physical and mental pain and suffering.
- Duty of Care: You must also prove that the defendant owed you a “duty of care.” A duty of care is a legal responsibility to take certain actions to prevent foreseeable injury and avoid others that could cause harm. For example, all motorists have a duty of care to follow the rules of the road, obey traffic laws, and avoid causing accidents whenever possible.
- Breach: Proving that the defendant breached the duty of care most often involves proving that they acted negligently or wrongfully in some way. A breach of the duty of care can be either a negligent act or omission; it can also involve intentional acts meant to inflict injury, as well as wanton or willful disregard for the lives and safety of others.
- Causation: Also known as “fault,” causation refers to the connection between the defendant’s breach of the duty of care and your injuries. In other words, you must prove that the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct was the proximate cause of your injuries. If you were partly to blame, you must prove that the defendant was at least 50% at fault.
Proving each of these elements can be challenging without the help of a skilled and experienced legal team. At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, our Chicago personal injury lawyers work with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, economists, and other expert witnesses who provide valuable testimony and evidence in support of your claim. We know how to build solid cases, and we are not afraid to go up against powerful insurance carriers, manufacturers, trucking companies, and other entities in our pursuit of fair compensation for our clients.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of injury to file your personal injury claim in court. If you miss this deadline, known as the “statute of limitations,” the court will most likely dismiss your case, and you will not be able to sue the liable party for damages.
There are some exceptions to this rule. If your injury could not have been discovered right away, you typically have two years from the date on which the injury was discovered (or reasonably could have been discovered) to file your lawsuit. Additionally, if you are bringing a claim against a government or municipal entity, you have only one year from the date of injury (or date of discovery) to do so.
Note that the statute of limitations only applies to personal injury lawsuits, not insurance claims. In fact, you generally have much less time to file an insurance claim after an accident or injury—generally a few days to a couple of weeks at most.
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When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is strongly recommended that you hire a personal injury lawyer anytime you have been injured due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person or party. While your claim may seem fairly straightforward, there are likely many complicating factors. Additionally, the insurance company will almost certainly push back. The adjuster may argue that you were at fault for the accident, or they may question the validity of your injuries.
When you work with an attorney, you put yourself in the best possible position for success. Studies show that people who hire personal injury lawyers tend to recover better settlements than people who resolve their insurance clams on their own. This is because your attorney understands the law and can use this knowledge to protect your rights against the best interests of the insurance company.
Perhaps just as valuable, working with an attorney can significantly reduce the amount of stress you are under. A serious injury is stressful enough on its own; you shouldn’t have to also worry about dealing with the insurance company and fighting for fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Instead, you can let your attorney handle all communication with the insurance company, as well as the various other details of your case, freeing you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
How Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
The Mike Slocumb Law Firm team has what it takes to aggressively advocate for you and your maximum recovery.
We proudly offer:
- Completely free, zero-obligation consultations and case evaluations
- Contingency fees, meaning you don’t pay unless we win your case
- Highly personalized representation tailored to your unique situation
- Quick response times, reliable communication, and accessibility
- Aggressive advocacy aimed at securing maximum compensation for you
We don’t back down from tough challenges, and we don’t settle cases for less than we truly believe they are worth. If necessary, our team will even take your case to trial.
Get in touch with us by calling (888) 302-3669 or by contacting us online.