Illinois Personal Injury Overview
The basic principles of personal injury law are the same across the country, but important details can be very different from state to state. Personal injury lawsuits often stem from accidents such as auto accidents, slip and fall, and many other types of accidents, but can also include cases involving property damage, medical malpractice, false imprisonment, and a wide variety of other negligence wrongdoing which causes you physical, emotional, or financial harm.
Illinois personal injury lawsuits can include cases stemming from is a very broad area of law, and while the general principles are the same across the country, important aspects vary from state to state.
You must act quickly
Every state has a time limit for filing a lawsuit called the statute of limitations. In Illinois you have two years to file in most types of personal injury cases. However, various circumstances will apply to when that time limit begins, so you need to talk to an attorney about the specifics of your case as soon as possible. Do not wait until you think the time limit is about to run out, because by then it may already be too late and you will have forfeited your right to compensation.
For more in depth information about time limits in Illinois read our Illinois Statute of Limitations page.
In most personal injury cases you will need to prove negligence, in order to prove fault. Negligence means that the person at fault failed to use reasonable care, and this failure was the cause of your injuries. In Illinois you can still recover compensation if you were partly responsible for your accident. Under “modified comparative negligence,” you must be 49% at fault or less in order to recover damages.
If you were injured by a defective product, you need to prove strict liability rather than negligence. Under strict liability, in Illinois, a product must be unreasonably dangerous, even if it used properly, and the defect must have existed when it left the manufacturer.
If you have been injured in the state of Illinois you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Other expenses that were a direct result of your injury
There is no limit on punitive damages in Illinois. Non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are limited $1,000,000 per hospital and $500,000 per doctor.
When there are multiple responsible parties, Illinois uses the rule of joint and several liability. Each responsible party is responsible for the entire amount of damages. If one party fails to pay their share you can collect the full amount from the other party. The parties who pay can seek compensation from the other responsible parties.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim and you live in Illinois, please contact one of our Illinois personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.