Personal injury and negligence are legal words that are often used in connection with various types of accidents. Although the words are thrown around easily, there are many misconceptions about personal injury claims. The following discusses 5 things to know about personal injury cases:
- It is not enough to have been injured in order to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Rather, in order to have a valid personal injury claim, an injured party must be able to prove both liability and damages. To establish liability, the plaintiff must prove the following: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached his or her duty of care; (3) the plaintiff suffered injuries; and (4) the breach of the defendant’s duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Most personal injury claims settle out of court. The vast majority of claims resulting from personal injury accidents – whether an auto accident, a slip and fall accident, or a workplace accident – are not decided by a judge or jury after a trial. Rather, in most cases, a personal injury attorney will negotiate with the defense for a favorable settlement. If, however, the defense is uncooperative or will not agree to an appropriate settlement amount, a personal injury lawyer will fight to get you the maximum money damages in a court of law.
- You may be able to bring a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence model, whereby a plaintiff can still obtain money damages from the defendant even if the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident. The amount of the personal injury damages are reduced, however, by the extent to which the plaintiff was partially responsible for causing the accident.
- You can recover money damages for emotional injuries, in addition to physical injuries. Plaintiffs who successfully prove liability can recover money damages for the following: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and emotional distress. Because personal injury accidents are often traumatic events, an injured party may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or other psychological injuries for which the defendant may be liable. Damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other emotional injuries can be more difficult to prove than physical injuries, however, so it is important to seek the assistance of a personal injury accident who can help you get the full amount of money to which you are entitled.
- You may be entitled to more money than the insurance company has offered. Insurance companies are businesses and, as such, they have an incentive to settle claims for as little money as possible as quickly as possible. Accordingly, an insurance settlement offer may not adequately compensate you for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will deal with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to and fight to get you full and fair financial recovery, whether through settlement or in court.
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Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Chicago personal injury law firm of Ankin Law focuses on representing accident and injury victims. We are dedicated to helping clients navigate the personal injury claim process and obtain maximum money damages. We charge our personal injury lawyer fees on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay a dime until we win your case, and you receive a payout.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the personal injury claim process.