Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Every day, unsuspecting people suffer injuries and other harm because of someone else's recklessness, negligence, or intentional conduct. Personal injury lawyers intend to hold the at-fault party responsible for the losses and damages incurred. In many cases, the injured person files a claim with the responsible party's insurance company to recover damages, including lost income, medical costs, and emotional distress or pain and suffering. If the insurance company offers a low settlement or tries to deny the claim altogether, a personal injury attorney can appeal the denial, negotiate a more fair payout, or file a lawsuit to pursue maximum compensation.
If you suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case and assess your legal options.Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
At Levin & Perconti, our Chicago personal injury attorneys share a commitment to helping those harmed by the negligent, careless, or wrongful actions of others. We handle all types of personal injury litigation for clients in the Chicago area and throughout the state of Illinois.
If you've suffered losses or an injury after an accident or incident in one of the following categories, we want to review your case to decide how we can best help you:
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Birth injures
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Work-related injuries
- Sexual abuse and assault
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Wrongful death
According to Chicago's Code of Civil Procedure at 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, a person can be at fault for any action or omission that's negligent, reckless, willful, or wanton.
To assert a personal injury claim in Illinois, you must establish fault, meaning you must meet the burden of proof or "preponderance of the evidence" in a personal injury case before the burden to rebut the claims shifts to the defendant. In short, you have to prove the following elements:
- Duty: The defendant owed you a duty of care or had a responsibility to you.
- Breach: The defendant breached their duty or failed to act reasonably.
- Injuries: The defendant's breach was the actual cause of your injuries.
- Losses: You suffered a loss due to your injuries, whether economic or non-economic.
Illinois follows a "modified comparative negligence" rule as a viable legal defense to determine assignable fault or shared responsibility in personal injury cases. Under this rule, you cannot recover compensation for their damages if the court decides you're more than 50% responsible for the accident resulting in their injury. However, if your shared liability is less than 50%, the court will assign you a percentage of responsibility or fault, and your compensation is reduced by the same.
Do not ever admit fault after an accident or incident causing injuries or losses. Even if you believe you're at fault, it's always best to speak with an attorney before taking any action or deciding not to act. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can help assess your percentage of responsibility and determine your legal options and how to proceed for the best possible outcome.How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case in Chicago?
There are various considerations that determine the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. If you’ve been injured, we encourage you to contact a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as you can so they can help you meet the relevant deadlines.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Illinois is two years.
The two-year limit for personal injury claims runs from the date of the accident or the discovery of the injury or from the date the injured person should've reasonably made its discovery. For wrongful death cases, the two-year limit begins to run on the date of the person's death.
In Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit must generally be filed within two years of the date that the claimant discovered or should have reasonably discovered their injury. However, all medical malpractice actions must be brought no later than four years from the date on which the medical malpractice occurred—even if the victim was not aware of the malpractice until more than four years later. If the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations is generally longer.Exceptions to Illinois' Statutes of Limitations
There are certain exceptions to the previously outlined laws. These include:
- In medical malpractice cases, if the victim is under 18, the statute of limitations allows for filings up to eight years from the medical treatment date, However, a lawsuit cannot be filed later than the individual's 22nd birthday for the claim to be valid.
- If a person has a legal disability at the time of their injury, the statute of limitations pauses until the removal of the disability. This same pause applies if the person suffers a legal disability after the date of the incident but not before the statute of limitations expires.
- In medical malpractice cases involving fraudulent concealment, injured patients have up to five years to file a claim if the health care provider liable for the injury attempts to hide or cover up the negligence causing the harm.
A personal injury lawyer can help prepare your court case to maximize compensation. They'll collect the available evidence on your behalf, work closely with expert witnesses, and ultimately prepare a compelling legal argument supported by the facts to help convince the insurance company or jury that you deserve compensation for your damages.
At Levin & Perconti, we recognize that accidents and injuries often happen due to preventable negligence. That's why we've worked hard to develop a solid legal strategy to help victims recover maximum compensation for their damages, striving to make our clients whole again and deter future negligence or wrongdoing on the defendant's part.
Our track record in handling personal injury cases is reflective of our loyalty to our clients. Several of our recent successes include:
- $17.7 million settlement against a Chicago hospital in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed after a former police officer suffered a severe brain injury due to the negligence of the nursing staff
- $14 million record high verdict against a doctor and hospital for ignoring abnormal chest x-rays and thereby, substantially delaying a diagnosis of lung cancer in the patient
- $10 million settlement for a 5-year-old who lost a leg and half of his pelvis after being run over by a City of Chicago Fire Department truck
- $6 million settlement for the families of six children who passed away in an apartment fire—the children were not able to vacate the building quickly because the landlord had not installed working smoke detectors in direct violation of the Chicago Municipal Code
- $4.1 million record-breaking jury verdict for an 85-year-old woman who suffered injury at a nursing home due to the mismanagement of medications
According to 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2, injury victims are eligible to receive both economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury case. Monetary damages are actual, measurable financial losses you've incurred because of your injuries. Non-economic damages are types of harm, such as pain and suffering, that don't have a specific dollar amount assigned to them.
Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical bills (including follow-up doctor's office visits, diagnostic tests, prescription medication, physical therapy, mobility aids, surgeries, etc.)
- Mental health treatment costs (includes expenses to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition stemming from your injury)
- Lost wages
- Future lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Household services
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Humiliation and reputation damage
- Disfigurement or disability
In addition to the above damages, personal injury victims can sometimes seek punitive damages. These damages are awarded by a court of law not to compensate injured plaintiffs but to punish defendants whose conduct is considered grossly negligent or intentional. However, punitive damages do not always apply in medical malpractice cases
Section 35.01 of the Illinois Civil Duty Instructions outlines the circumstances in which a jury can award punitive damages. An example includes drunk driving. In such a case, the defendant could have made a conscious decision not to engage in egregious or knowingly harmful behavior. Additionally, organizations, such as nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturers for various products can be held accountable for failing to ensure the safety of residents and consumers, putting profits over people.Does Illinois Have Caps on the Amount of Damages Received?
Illinois currently doesn't have any laws setting damage caps on personal injury compensation. In 2005, Illinois did set a limit on non-economic damages. However, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned that law in 2010, ruling that it was unconstitutional. The Court further ruled that decisions regarding any damages should be the purview of judges and juries.How Can the Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys at Levin & Perconti Help With My Claim?
Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Chicago may seem daunting at first. However, the personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti have a combined 200+ years of robust experience and have recovered nearly a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements. We strive to achieve the best possible outcome for each of our clients in every case we handle. If you have questions about a potential lawsuit, we can help.
Contact Levin & Perconti to schedule a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.