COVID-19 Notice: Malman Law’s staff is working at office & from home so that we can do our part to fight the spread of this virus within our community.

Learn more x
Free Consultations | Tap To Call Today: 1.888.625.6265

Speak to a Lawyer 24hrs a Day


Free Consultation, Call Now!

Laws to Know About Personal Injury in Illinois

Schedule Free Case Review

Free Case Reviews

Please fill out the form below and a representative at Malman Law will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the specifics of your personal injury case.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Laws to Know About Personal Injury in Illinois

Every state is unique with how they handle personal injury claims. In Illinois, you have several state-level laws that will affect your case, and these are important to know if you ever have a personal injury lawsuit you need to file in the future.

These rules apply when you are filing insurance claims for an accident, but also if you are filing the lawsuit in court. They also apply to any settlement negotiations you might have between yourself and the insurance company.

While you should know these laws, it is equally important to speak with an attorney. An attorney can advise you about which laws apply to your case, and how to go about collecting the compensation you may be entitled to.

The Laws You Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims in Chicago, Illinois

It does not matter if you have been in a car accident, tripped and fell, or you were injured at work. You need to know these laws and how they affect you before you attempt to file a claim and seek compensation for your injuries.

Time Limits  

All states have a time limit on how long you have to file a claim against the insurance company or a lawsuit. They do this so that a company or person is not sued years after the fact – when there is no evidence available to disprove or prove a case. The time limit is officially known as the statute of limitations.

In Illinois, you have two years to file your lawsuit in the civil court. That two-year limit starts from the date of the accident or date you knew that someone else caused your injury (which typically correlate with one another).

There are instances where you can go past the two-year mark, which is known as the “discovery rule.” The discovery rule states that you can file two years from the date you discovered you were injured rather than the time of the event.

Special Rules for Filing Claims Against the Government

If you need to file your injury claim against the government or an entity of the state of Illinois, for cities and counties in the state you only have one-year to file that lawsuit. If you are submitting against the state itself, then you still have two years; but you must file the formal claim within one year to file your suit later.

Negligence Laws Fall Under §735 ILCS 5/2-1116

The state’s negligence laws are in the statute, which falls under code section 735 ILCS 5/2-1116. The state describes negligence as a situation where one person owes a duty to another person and breaches that duty; thus, resulting in injuries. We will go further into depth on this law later in this article. However, it is vital that you know that the statute governs all personal injury cases. That means that the judges overseeing these cases will follow the statute and previous case law to determine how to rule in your case.

Comparative Fault in the State of Illinois

Comparative fault is when a person can collect damages even if they were partially at fault. The courts would simply reduce the settlement value based on the percentage of fault of the plaintiff. Illinois uses the modified comparative fault rule, which is used to determine damages even if the plaintiff was partially at fault for his or her injuries.

Comparative fault is rather simple to understand. If you were in a retail store and you read a label without seeing where you were walking, then you tripped and suffered an injury – you could technically be partially at fault for your injuries. After all, you were not watching where you were going, and you have a duty to act in a way that limits injuries as well. In this case, the store could be found to be 95 percent at-fault, while you would likely be about 5 percent at-fault.

When the jury awards you a settlement of $100,000, the courts reduce it by the 5 percent of your contribution, taking away $5,000 from what you receive.

When You Contribute 50 Percent or More

There is a limit to how much you can contribute to your injuries and still seek compensation. If you contribute 50 percent or more in an accident, your settlement drops to zero, and you cannot receive compensation. Therefore, you must be 49 percent or less at-fault to seek compensation.

These rules may be used in settlement negotiations too; therefore, do not be surprised if the insurance claims adjuster tries to reduce your settlement based on your fault or the fault they assign to you – whether you truly contributed or not.

There Is a Fault System for Car Accidents

Most states, including Illinois, have a system in place to determine fault in a motor vehicle accident. Using the fault system, an injured party can go to court to prove fault and receive compensation from the responsible party or their insurer.

Most people will start with filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company; then they will negotiate with their attorney and the insurance claims adjuster to find the settlement. If for some reason no one can agree on a settlement or the insurer refuses to settle, then the victim can file a lawsuit in civil court.

Damage Caps Could Apply

Damage caps will reduce personal injury cases from receiving more compensation than is constitutionally fair. All states have their way of handling damage caps, and some caps only apply in certain types of cases, such as medical malpractice.

In Illinois, there are no damage caps, even in medical malpractice cases. There was an instance in 2010 where a damage cap was applied to non-economic damages; but was struck down as being a direct violation of the state’s constitution.

The Law Requires the Plaintiff to Prove the Elements

As the plaintiff, you carry the burden of proof. In this case, you must show that the defendant breached their duty of care. But you must also show that your case is eligible for compensation by proving that you have all the required elements. These elements include:

  1. Duty – You must prove to the judge or jury that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, a motorist owes a duty of care to follow all applicable laws and do their best to avoid causing an accident.
  2. Breach – Next, you must show the courts that the defendant breached the essential duty you established. Driving intoxicated is an example of such breach.
  3. Cause in Fact or Proximate Cause – A “cause in fact” shows that had the defendant not breached his or her duty you would not be injured. A “proximate cause” shows that the breach of duty (and nothing else) caused your injury.
  4. Damages – Even if you can prove the three above elements, you still must have damages to collect compensation. The law allows you to collect various forms of damages, including non-economic and economic damages.

Recent Verdicts and Awards Play a Role

The value of your injury case, including what a judge might award you, is influenced by other verdicts in the jurisdiction on similar cases. A judge or jury typically will reach similar results if the injuries and circumstances are the same. If you have not filed an official lawsuit, the insurance company and your attorney may also use past verdicts and awards to determine a settlement amount. The insurer may find it is cheaper to offer a settlement close to recent decisions than incur the costs of going to court and paying the same award.

You Must Prove by a Preponderance of the Evidence

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are not proving the elements of your claim beyond a reasonable doubt. That high standard of proof is for criminal trials only. Instead, you are proving your civil case by a preponderance of the evidence, which essentially means “more likely than not.” Therefore, if you have enough proof tipping the scales in your favor, you could be awarded compensation.

Evidence comes in numerous forms but might include photographs, witness statements, expert witness testimony, police and accident reports, and past violations or claims filed against the same defendant.

Your attorney determines what evidence is needed to prove your case.

Injured? Seek Legal Assistance for Your Injuries

Illinois has a wide variety of complicated tort laws that may apply to your case. Injury cases range from slip and fall to malpractice to automobile accidents – and a minor section of an applicable statute can significantly impact your compensation value. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney in the area about your case.

Finding an attorney that has a deep understanding of the personal injury laws of Illinois can increase the chances that you will receive maximum compensation for your injuries.

Contact an attorney from Malman Law right here in Chicago today. We serve as your advocates and we not only help you file your claim, but we will aggressively seek compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 888-625-6265 or request more information online.

Related Posts

Why People Choose Malman Law

You’ll want your lawyers to be this good.
You’ll want our experience on your side.
  • Icon

    Credibility & Experience

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Track Record of Success

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Team of Litigation Lawyers

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years

Know Your Rights!

  • img

    They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.

    - Britany Weaver

  • img

    I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!

    - Cheryl Wagemann

  • img

    I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!

    - Elvira G.

  • img

    I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.

    would do everything they could for me.

    - Tony S.

  • img

    I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!

    - Devin Jones

  • img

    Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!

    - Annie Ong

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!

    - Eugenia Cathery

  • img

    They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.

    - Omolewa Snyder

  • img

    I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.

    - Trevor Harris

  • img

    Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.

    - Ernest Pitts

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.

    - Ariel Fleming

  • img

    I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!

    - Carmen Rivera

  • img

    Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!

    - Greg Gustafson

  • img

    Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.

    - Malak St.Clair

  • img

    Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.

    - Devri Lott

  • img

    I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.

    - Adrian Lopez

  • img

    A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.

    - Vanessa Leon

  • img

    Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.

    - Nyah Vuljanic

  • img

    This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker

    - Jeff Walker

  • img

    Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.

    - Steve Acosta

  • img

    Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.

    - Adrianna Gomez

  • img

    Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars

    - Jose Cruz

  • img

    Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!

    - Meagan Cruz

  • img
    Malman Law goes above and beyond handling your legal injury case needs. From the first appointment through to the ending verdict my sister and brother in law were very happy with their case results. Highly recommended!

    - Eddie Villarreal

  • img

    I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!

    - Madissen Miller

  • img

    Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!

    - Christina Ocon

  • img

    Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!

    - Adriana Martinez

  • img

    So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!

    - Virgil Sanner

  • img

    I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!

    - Jazlyn Caraballo

  • img

    My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.

    - Ashley Jenkins

View more testimonials

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review


2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet

NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim