After an injury that was not your fault, you may have several legal questions. From how to tell if you have a legal claim to if you can sue more than one party at once, an experienced attorney has answers to your questions.
If you were recently injured and another party could be at fault, you might have a valid personal injury claim. You likely have many questions about filing your claim and its potential. Meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to find answers to your questions that are specific to your case. In the meantime, here are some general answers to common personal injury questions.
Under Illinois civil law, anyone who wants to file a legal claim for a personal injury has two years from the date of their injury to do so. The injured party must serve the at-fault party with court paperwork before the two-year deadline, or they will lose their legal right to pursue the claim.
Valid personal injury claims share four basic elements of negligence:
Unless you or your attorney can prove each of these elements, your claim is likely not valid. It is always best to check with a personal injury attorney to be sure.
You are not required under Illinois law to have an attorney file your lawsuit for you. You can file the lawsuit yourself. However, personal injury law can be extremely complicated. Most personal injury plaintiffs who try to represent themselves find that they are in over their heads and reach out for help. The good news is that by hiring an attorney, you could receive more compensation than representing yourself.
In some circumstances, there is more than one person or party liable for your injuries. When this happens, multiple parties can be listed as defendants in the lawsuit. They may each settle on their own with you, or some could settle, and some could proceed to trial. If your case proceeds to trial, the court will determine how much fault each defendant has for your injuries and order them to pay a proportional share of your damages.
This is a question to ask your attorney when you meet with them. No formula will tell you what your case could be worth. However, based on the severity of your injuries, the circumstances that led to your injuries, and other factors, an experienced personal injury attorney can estimate what your case might be worth.