When You Have Suffered A Personal Injury In Northern Illinois You Need Experienced Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyers In Rockford To Get The Compensation You Deserve
Personal injuries are extremely challenging for several reasons and this is why you need the services of a personal injury lawyer in Rockford. First and foremost, the victim of a personal injury experiences pain and suffering. If that weren’t enough, some types of personal injuries cause long-term health problems – sometimes causing the healing process to last years.
On top of physical challenges, an individual can experience tough financial challenges as they are met with expensive healthcare costs and sometimes the inability to provide an income for their families.
Fortunately, there is good news. If you suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering and you may even be eligible for workers’ compensation. The absolute worst thing you can do after a personal injury is failing to reach out to a trustworthy personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your condition. Call us today at 815-962-0044
Types of Personal Injury
Personal injury is a blanket term that accounts for a lot of specific physical maladies. However, the Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. Personal Injury Lawyers in Rockford can help you recover compensation from the following types of personal injuries:
How Do I File a Personal Injury Case in Rockford, Illinois?
How can you file a personal injury case in Rockford, Illinois? The answer to this question will depend in part on the type of accident or incident that gave rise to your injury. Generally speaking, when it comes to personal injuries, victims and their families may be eligible to file an auto insurance claim, a workers’ compensation claim, or a personal injury civil lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.
In some cases, it may be possible to file an insurance or workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit, while in other situations, only one of these paths toward seeking compensation may be possible based on the specific facts of your case.
Workers’ Compensation Claim For Injuries
If you were injured while you were working, you could be eligible to seek financial compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. For most workplace injuries, the workers’ compensation system is an exclusive remedy. What this means is that you will not be eligible to file a lawsuit against a negligent party—such as your employer or a co-worker—but instead will be eligible exclusively for workers’ compensation benefits.
One of the reasons for this is that the workers’ compensation system protects both employers and employees alike—regardless of whether an employer or even the injured employee caused the injury because of negligence, the employee can be eligible for benefits and compensation. There are exceptions in cases where a third party, such as a manufacturer of a defective product, caused the harm. In those cases, the injured worker may be able to sue the responsible party in a civil lawsuit.
Insurance Claim For Car Accident Injuries
For injury victims who were harmed in a motor vehicle collision, it may be possible to obtain fair compensation through an auto insurance claim. Indeed, anyone who has been injured in a car crash, a motorcycle collision, or a truck accident may be eligible to file a first-party claim through their own insurance policy or a third-party claim through the negligent driver’s insurance.
Then, if the insurance claim does not yield a fair or reasonable settlement offer, the injured party may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
For other types of accidents resulting in personal injuries, it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. Each type of personal injury lawsuit will have its own required elements that the injured party must prove in order to be eligible to receive damages. You should seek advice from a Rockford personal injury lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation for your losses.
Steps to Take to Preserve Your Right to Compensation in a Rockford Personal Injury Case
The steps you will need to take after an accident in order to preserve your right to compensation will vary depending upon the kind of accident or incident and where it occurred. Generally speaking, however, you should always do the following after you have sustained personal injuries as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing:
- Document the injury as much as you can, from taking photographs at the scene where the accident happened to securing other types of documentation and witness contact information.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you can. With many kinds of injuries, failing to seek treatment quickly can result in the injury worsening. If you do not seek proper medical attention in a timely manner, the at-fault party may be able to successfully argue that you are partially at fault for the severity of your injuries. This could cause your damages award to be reduced or barred altogether.
- Get advice from a personal injury attorney in Rockford, IL. No matter what type of personal injury case you file, you should have an experienced Rockford personal injury lawyer on your side. This will help ensure that all aspects of your case go as smoothly as possible and that you have the best chance of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Injuries in Rockford Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries can vary greatly in type and severity depending upon the nature of the accident or incident. Some common types of injuries in Rockford personal injury cases may include but are not limited to the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic amputations
You should always seek advice from our Rockford personal injury attorneys about your particular injuries and the best way to seek the financial compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations in Rockford Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Each type of personal injury lawsuit will have a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. Once that time window closes, the plaintiff’s claim will become time-barred.
Most personal injury lawsuits in Illinois have a two-year statute of limitations, but you should check with a lawyer about when you must file a claim and when the clock on the statute of limitations began ticking.
Common Damages in a Rockford Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury cases in Rockford, Illinois allow an injured plaintiff to seek two different kinds of compensatory damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Compensatory damages are designed to provide a plaintiff with economic compensation to cover losses. Under Illinois law, those two types of compensatory damages include the following:
- Economic damages, which compensate a plaintiff for economic losses or “all damages which are tangible, such as damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of income or earnings and other property loss”; and
- Non-economic damages, which compensate a plaintiff for non-economic losses or “damages which are intangible, including but not limited to damages for pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of society.
Illinois law clarifies that compensatory damages can also be known as “actual damages,” and they include “the sum of economic and non-economic damages.”
In addition to compensatory damages, some plaintiffs also may be eligible to seek punitive damages. You should know that punitive damages are not available in all cases. Punitive damages are only appropriate in lawsuits where the defendant’s behavior was so deliberately harmful or grossly negligent that the defendant needs to be punished.
To be clear, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for especially egregious harm. Before you consider seeking punitive damages in your case, you should discuss with a Rockford injury lawyer whether this type of damages award may be appropriate.
How Comparative Fault Can Affect Your Personal Injury Recovery in a Rockford, IL Claim
We mentioned above that failing to seek quick medical attention might result in the at-fault party arguing that you are partially responsible for the severity of your injuries. This matter concerns comparative fault, and the issue of comparative fault can arise in many different types of cases involving personal injuries.
In short, comparative fault or contributory negligence is a defense that the at-fault party can raise to say that the injured plaintiff also bears some responsibility for the accident itself or for the severity of the injuries sustained, and as a result, the plaintiff should see his or her damages award reduced or should be barred from receiving any damages at all.
Different states have their own comparative fault laws. Some states allow plaintiffs to recover damages regardless of whether the defendant can prove that they are 1 percent or 99 percent at fault, although the damages award ultimately will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of negligence. These states are known as “pure comparative fault” states.
Other states will bar a plaintiff from recovering if that plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault. These states are known as “pure contributory negligence” states. Many other states fall in between and use a “modified comparative fault” law. Illinois is one of these modified comparative fault states.
Under Illinois law, a plaintiff can recover damages as long as that plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault. Once a court determines that a plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault, the plaintiff is barred from all recovery. In cases where the plaintiff is still eligible for recovery at 50 percent or less of the fault, the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced by the plaintiff’s portion of fault.
For example, if a plaintiff sustains serious injuries in an accident and files a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused the accident, that negligent party might argue that the plaintiff is also partially at fault. Let’s say the court awards the plaintiff a total of $500,000 but agrees with the defendant that the plaintiff’s fault contributed to the accident. In this scenario, the court says the plaintiff was 25 percent at fault.
Under Illinois law, the plaintiff’s damages award of $500,000 would be reduced by 25 percent (25 percent of $500,000 is $125,000), so the plaintiff would ultimately recover a total of $375,000. However, if the court determined that the plaintiff was 51 percent or more at fault, the plaintiff would recover nothing.
The First Step on the Road to Recovery
The first step to securing your future is to reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Fisk & Monteleone. With over 55 years of combined experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims, we are more qualified than anyone in your local area to help you recover compensation. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by contacting us today.
We understand what you’re going through, and we want to provide you with the resources you need to recover from your injury. We urge you to let us fight for your rights because we proudly protect the best interests of our clients to help them recover. At Fisk & Monteleone, we offer free, no-obligation consultation. Call us today at 815-962-0044. No-Risk Call Fisk!