Let’s take a look at four facts most people don’t know about personal injury law in Illinois.
1. To win your case, you must prove that it is more likely than not that someone else’s negligence was a cause of your injuries.
The burden of proof in personal injury cases is called the “preponderance of the evidence.” This basically means that, in order to win your case, you must be able to make the judge or jury feel at least 51 percent certain that the defendant is at fault. This is a much lower bar than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in criminal court.
2. If you can’t prove that you were less than 50 percent at fault, you won’t be entitled to compensation.
However, your own level of fault also comes into play. Different states have different rules, but in Illinois, the rule is this: If you were the primary cause of the accident, you are not entitled to recover for any of your medical expenses, property damage, or other losses. If you were 25 percent at fault, you will only be able to recover 75 percent of your damages.
This is part of the reason why it is so critical to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The more time we have to investigate the accident and build your case, the better chance you will have to obtain maximum compensation for your losses.
3. You can – and should – negotiate with the insurance companies.
Most personal injury claims are resolved through insurance settlements. The settlement process involves negotiating for a higher payout by demonstrating the cause and extent of your injuries. You don’t technically have to meet the burden of proof that applies in court, but you do need to convince the insurance company that your claim would be likely to succeed if you went to trial.
Letting an experienced personal injury lawyer do the negotiating for you will ensure that all of the money is on the table.
4. You may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties.
Speaking of all of the money being on the table, it is important to make sure all of the responsible parties are involved in your claim. In auto accident cases, for example, some or all of the following might be partially to blame for your injuries:
- The other driver (or drivers)
- The driver’s employer (if the driver was on the clock)
- The manufacturer of your vehicle
- The manufacturer of the other vehicle (or vehicles)
- Any repair shops that have recently worked on the vehicles
- The government agency responsible for the road where the accident occurred
Learn More by Calling Malman Law
If you have a personal injury claim in Illinois, attorney Steven J. Malman can help you fight for the full compensation you deserve. Call (888) 625-6265 now to schedule a free consultation or fill out our online FREE case evaluation.