If you have been injured in an accident it is important to hire skilled and proven legal help. Our highly experienced Rockford Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Malman Law provide a free, zero obligation, confidential consultation about your injury. Our law firm has been practicing in the greater Chicago area since 1994, and has won a wide range of personal injury cases and achieved multi-million dollar verdicts in many of them. Dial 1-(888) 997-7599 or fill out our free online consultation or to set up a time to speak with a proven Rockford Accident Lawyer.
What should Rockford Illinois personal injury victims do to seek compensation from liable entities? Although few Rockford citizens relish the notion of seeking damages, the costs of injuries can add up quickly. Obviously, medical bills for initial treatment can cost a pretty penny. But longer term costs can cripple your budget even more and lead to untold amounts of stress.
The good news is that Rockford Illinois injury victims have a friend in Steven J. Malman. For more than 25 years, the law firm of Malman Law, PC, has been advocating aggressively for injury victims throughout the Chicago area. We have tackled practically every kind of personal injury case under the sun, including dog bite cases, police brutality, cerebral palsy, birth accidents, and medical malpractice. Steven operates a client-oriented practice and views his work as a kind of public service. As a result, he and his associates provide 24/7 access to assistance, a zero fee guarantee, and plenty of personal, strategic attention.
The so-called “Forest City” of Rockford is either Illinois’ second or third largest metropolis, depending on how you slice the numbers. Situated in Winnebago County, Rockford supports over 150,000 people and serves as home base to an array of artists, architects, engineers, and scientific innovators. The Klehm Arboretum, the Coronado Theater, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Centre, and the Burpee Museum of Natural History all attract tourists galore from every corner of the world.
Yet the breadth of Rockford’s cultural palette (e.g. consider the city’s Victorian bridges, Art Deco hotels, and innovative children science centers) aside, this quaint town can prove to be a dangerous place for visitors and residents alike. In the winter, icy, sleety weather blowing in off Lake Michigan can lead to slip and falls, car crashes, and construction accidents, for instance. Experienced Rockford Accident Attorneys are here to help in the event of an accident.
Yes, you can sue the bar under the Illinois Dram Shop Act. To win, you have to prove that: (i) the vendor actually sold the alcohol to the patron, (ii) the same patron who was sold alcohol was the person who caused your injuries (not someone else who the patron might have given the alcohol to), (iii) the patron’s intoxication was a foreseeable result of selling alcohol to him or her (selling a single 12-ounce beer, for example, might not be enough to establish this), and (iv) the patron’s intoxication was a substantial cause of the accident that caused your injuries.
The recovery from the vendor is limited to $65,017.86 per injured person. Loss of financial support and loss of society claims are limited to $79,466.27 per person. Of course, you may also sue the intoxicated patron who caused the accident. These amounts are subject to annual adjustment, and they tend to increase over time.
If the victim dies because of injuries sustained in the accident, the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving spouse and next of kin. If the victim did not appoint a personal representative of the estate (if the victim is a child, for example), the court can appoint a personal representative, and it will usually appoint a close relative of the deceased.
You have until two years after the accident or one year after the victim’s death to file a lawsuit; otherwise, your claim will expire. Damages in a wrongful death case are comparable to personal injury damages in cases of serious injury and can be more than that.
If the victim was an employee who died in a work-related accident, a claim for death benefits will probably have to be filed under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Death benefits under this program can amount to several hundred thousand dollars.
Illinois personal law allows you to claim punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) under certain limited circumstances. If you receive punitive damages, they will be awarded to you in addition to the normal compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the victim, but to punish the perpetrator and to discourage others from conducting themselves in a similar manner.
Punitive damages are normally awarded only when the defendant’s conduct was outrageous, not merely negligent. You might be awarded punitive damages against a mugger, for example, or someone who assaulted you in a bar fight, a drunken driver who caused an accident, or a physician who operated on you while intoxicated. If you are lucky, the defendant will have been an on-duty employee, which will allow you to sue the employer in case the defendant lacks the financial resources to pay. Illinois courts award punitive damages sparingly – they are the exception, not the rule.
Not anymore. Previously, there was a cap on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering that amounted to $500,000 against a doctor or other health care provider, and $1,000,000 against a hospital. Since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down these caps in the 2010 case Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, there is no longer any formal cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. There was never any limit on economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost work time. Nevertheless, there may be informal limits on how much an Illinois court is willing to award you for non-economic damages.
No, not necessarily, although this will certainly increase your chances. Under Illinois law, violation of a safety regulation in a personal injury case is considered prima facie evidence of negligence, meaning that it switches the burden of proof to the defendant to prove that he or she was not negligent, despite a violation of a traffic law. In practice, it is very difficult for the defendant to prove that he or she was not negligent under these circumstances.
Another possible defense would be to assert that the violation did not cause the accident. If the defendant was driving on an expired driver’s license, for example, he or she could argue that this did not cause the accident, even though he or she wouldn’t have been on the road at all, had the individual complied with the law. To discuss these and other question please contact our knowledgeable Rockford Accident Lawyers.