Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys
Suffering from a personal injury can be a life-changing event. Depending on the nature and extent of the injury, an individual’s life may never be the same following the accident caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness. If you have sustained injury from an accident and believe that someone else is to blame, you can file a claim with the help of our reputable personal injury attorneys in Chicago. With an experienced injury lawyer from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC at your side, you can obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today!
Why Choose Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman
- Our Chicago personal injury attorneys bring decades of experience to our clients. We will aggressively pursue every angle of your case to achieve your best possible outcome for you and your family.
- We have a history of successful outcomes for our personal injury clients. Our firm has recovered over $400 million in settlements and jury verdicts, including an $18.6 million for a client injured on a construction site.
- Our lawyers are dedicated to obtaining justice for our clients and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need. We will not hesitate to take your case to trial if it is in your best interest
Personal Injury: An Overview
Personal injury is an area of law that allows you as an injured individual to sue the negligent party and receive monetary damages for your losses. The right to recover compensation depends on how the plaintiff can prove the following elements of negligence in a personal injury case:
- Duty – The injured individual has to establish that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care to prevent injury to others.
- Breach – The aggrieved party needs to prove that the responsible party acted carelessly or in a manner that deviates from what other people would do under similar circumstances.
- Causation –The claimant needs to show that the negligence or misconduct of the defendant caused the injury complained of.
- Damages – The plaintiff must present evidence showing how their injuries adversely affected them. Plaintiffs in injury cases can claim such losses as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, loss of a normal life or the ability to enjoy the pleasurable aspects of life, and disfigurement. Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases can claim loss of consortium as well as grief and sorrow among other losses.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Chicago
A range of situations can give rise to a personal injury case. Some of the most common kinds are:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Motor vehicular accidents comprise the most personal injury cases in the country. They are usually due to a motorist’s failure to drive carefully or follow the rules of the road. Wounded individuals can hold the negligent driver financially responsible for the harm arising from the accident. They can seek the help of a qualified auto accident injury attorney to obtain the monetary damages that are needed to bring their lives back to normal.
- Medical Malpractice – The negligence of nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals can cause serious injuries. There are many different kinds of malpractice, failure to diagnose a serious health condition, failure to adequately treat a condition, birth injury due to avoidable mistakes committed during delivery, pharmacy errors, surgical blunders, and improper treatment. Cases involving medical malpractice are complex and require the expertise of a knowledgeable injury lawyer.
- Premises Liability –This refers to accidents caused by a dangerous condition on someone’s property. These incidents can happen almost anywhere, from commercial properties, such as retail shops, malls, gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, to a neighbor’s house. Examples of these cases include slipping on a wet substance in a walkway, tripping over an obstacle, and falling down the stairs due to a missing handrail. In many circumstances the law holds defendants to a duty to warn of dangerous conditions on their premises.
- Product Liability – Flawed and dangerous products can cause serious injury in public places, at work, or at home. Examples include harmful food, drugs, and consumer products; defective medical devices and vehicle parts; and toxic chemicals and materials. Liable parties can be the corporations that marketed, distributed, manufactured, designed, and/or sold a hazardous or faulty product.
Common Injuries in Personal Injury Claims
Any type of accident, from slip and falls to motor vehicle collisions, can lead to serious injuries. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, you may require surgery, prescription medication, long-term care, and disability accommodations. The physical and emotional toll of the injury may be difficult to bear.
Some of the most common injuries in personal injury lawsuits include the following:
- Neck injuries: During an accident, you may suffer sprains and strains to the soft tissues in your neck. As a result, you can develop a painful condition known as whiplash, which occurs when your head snaps forward and backward quickly. Whiplash symptoms can last for months and require extensive treatment.
- Internal organ damage: Accidents often lead to organ damage, such as punctured lungs, kidney trauma, ruptured spleens, and internal bleeding. Without prompt treatment, these conditions can be life-threatening.
- Spinal cord injuries: Your spinal cord is responsible for transmitting messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Any damage to the spinal cord, which can occur during an accident, may lead to a permanent loss of feeling and function below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries often require long-term care and disability accommodations.
- Broken bones: During an accident, you can sustain fractures to many bones in your body. Broken legs, arms, ribs, hips, and ankles are common, and you may also sustain fractures in your skull or back. Broken bones can take months to heal and limit your ability to function.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A TBI occurs when you sustain damage to your head, either due to a blow to the head, significant force that shakes your brain, or an object that penetrates your skull. These injuries can occur in car accidents, slip and falls, work injuries, and more. Depending on the severity of the trauma, TBIs can result in a permanent loss of function.
Damages in Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuits
After an accident, you can suffer from significant financial, physical, and emotional hardship. However, you are eligible to recover compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Under Illinois law, you can claim both economic and non-economic damages in your claim.
Economic damages refer to the financial losses that you sustained due to the accident such as lost income. These may include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Disability accommodations
To prove your right to this compensation, you will need to supply evidence such as medical bills, paystubs, repair invoices, and other financial documents. To calculate your future expenses, your attorney will speak to expert witnesses who can estimate your long-term care costs and adjust appropriately for inflation.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, involve your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Common types of non-economic damages include emotional distress, chronic pain, disability, and the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since emotional and physical pain is difficult to quantify, these damages can be challenging to calculate. Different insurance companies use different formulas to assess non-economic losses. Your attorney will estimate your pain and suffering damages using one of two different formulas.
- The per-diem method assigns a dollar amount for every day you cannot work due to your injuries. For example, if you sustain a broken leg and cannot work for 45 days, the insurance company may assign a $100 per diem. Your estimated pain and suffering will be $4,500.
- The multiplier method assigns a number to you based on the severity of your injury. The insurance company will multiply this number by your economic damages to determine your pain and suffering award. For example, if you receive a multiplier of 3 and claim $5,000 in economic losses, your estimated non-economic damages will be $15,000.
The third category of compensation is known as punitive damages. Illinois awards punitive damages if the defendant in your case exhibits fraudulent, intentional, or willful and wanton conduct that results in your injuries. For example, say that you cut off another driver on the road. In an act of road rage, this driver then speeds up and intentionally collides into the rear of your vehicle. In this situation, the driver will likely be liable for punitive damages due to his or her intentional conduct.
How Long Do You Have to File an Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuit?
All civil lawsuits in Illinois are subject to a rule known as the statute of limitations. This law sets a deadline for filing a claim in court. If you do not file your lawsuit within the applicable time period, the court will likely dismiss your claim.
For personal injury lawsuits, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim. If you could not discover your injury until a later date—which is common in cases involving medical malpractice—you have two years from the date you discovered or should have discovered your injury to file.
Different deadlines apply to lawsuits against government agencies. If you are filing a claim against a city or county agency, you have one year from the date of the injury to file. If your lawsuit is against a state agency, you have two years to file—but you must file a formal claim within one year of the accident to be eligible for a claim.
Adhering to the statute of limitations is vital to protecting your right to compensation. Speak to a Chicago personal injury attorney at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC to identify your appropriate filing deadline.
Comparative Fault in Illinois Personal Injury Claims
Although you may be able to prove the at-fault party’s negligence in your lawsuit, your award could be at risk due to Illinois’s modified comparative fault laws. If you share a portion of the liability for the accident, the court may reduce your award by the percentage of a fault it assigns to you. If you are at least 50% responsible for the accident, you will not be eligible to receive any compensation.
For example, say that you are in a car accident with a driver who was speeding in a school zone. You file a lawsuit and ask for $50,000 to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and vehicle repairs. However, surveillance footage shows that you made an unsafe lane change before the accident occurred. The court may assign 40% of the liability to you, and you will only receive $30,000 of your award. If you were assigned 50% of the liability, you would not receive an award at all.
How Much Will Your Claim Be Worth?
Personal injury settlements and verdicts vary from case to case. As a result, it is difficult to provide an average settlement amount or an estimated award until you speak to an attorney. However, there are a few factors that may influence the amount of compensation you will receive.
- Severe injuries: If you have very serious injuries, such as spinal cord damage or brain trauma, your compensation is likely to be higher than if you had a less serious injury. This type of harm often requires extensive and long-term medical care, a larger amount of lost wages, and a higher degree of pain and suffering.
- Treatment and recovery time: The longer it takes for you to reach maximum medical improvement, the higher your monetary award will likely be. This is because you will spend a longer amount of time away from work, which may affect the lost wages portion of your settlement as well as your pain and suffering award.
- Disruption to daily life: If you can no longer work due to your injuries, have to make accommodations to your home or vehicle, or are no longer able to participate in the activities you once loved, you will likely receive a higher settlement. A permanent disability affects many aspects of a personal injury award, including pain and suffering and future earnings.
Why Hire a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Even if you think that your case is straightforward and solid, compensation is not likely to come easily. Instead of tackling the entire claim process by yourself, let an experienced personal injury law firm handle your case. Here are the benefits you’ll get when you hire a trustworthy lawyer:
- Your attorney understands the legal process – The average person is unfamiliar with the legal procedures involved in a personal injury claim. Your lawyer, on the other hand, is well versed in handling this type of claim. Your attorney will strategize for you.
- Your lawyer knows the correct legal documents to file, the proper way to complete forms, and how to combat the legal technicalities that insurance companies use to disprove or undermine your claim.
- Your lawyer knows the value of your claim – Many nuances go into valuing a claim, such as the strength of the liability portion of your case as well as the nature and extent of your injuries and future medical needs. Your attorney will consider all the important factors of your particular case to advise you as to the reasonable value of your claim.
- Your attorney isn’t afraid of a trial – If all settlement attempts fail, your lawyer will take your case to a jury. Having your lawyer represent you in court shows the insurance firms that you are serious about getting the right amount of compensation.
If you need a law firm that can give your personal injury claim a high chance of success, come to Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. Our team handles all kinds of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, nursing home abuse or injuries, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, civil rights, and class action cases.
When we take on your case, we use a new-age modern approach and technology to help you obtain the maximum value for your claim. Additionally, our experienced attorneys have represented thousands of injured clients and obtained numerous substantial and record settlements and verdicts in the Chicago area.
Call Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers For A Free Consultation
If you or someone you know needs help, it will cost you nothing to discuss your injury case with an attorney. Schedule a consultation with a Chicago personal injury attorney by filling our online form or calling (312) 586-1700.