Suffering an injury due to the irresponsibility or negligence of somebody else is very painful and unfair. You not only suffer physically but also emotionally, psychologically and financially. In Illinois, like other states across the United States, victims are empowered by personal injury statutes to get compensation for damages and expenses.
However, filing for a personal injury lawsuit is not a walk in the park as many people may think. There are statutes and laws to be followed, making the whole process tedious and complicated. Should you be involved in a personal injury incident in Illinois and you are considering a lawsuit, you should seek counsel of an experienced Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer.
Illinois State Laws related to Personal injury
After suffering an injury in Illinois, you can recover your losses and damages through filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party you believe to be at fault. However, before any compensation is rewarded, there are several state procedure and laws which are considered.
1. Time Limits for filing a Personal injury lawsuit
The Statutory of Limitation for Personal injury is Illinois is set at two years from the date and time of the accident. It might also run from the date which you discovered or found out you were injured (known as “Discovery date”
Filing for lawsuits against the county or city is marked at one year while for lawsuits against the state it is two years. For lawsuits against the state, however, a formal claim should be made within one year.
Failure to observe these time nullifies a victim’s rights to seek compensation and may have your lawsuit thrown out.
2. Comparative Fault
In the determination of fault in Negligence cases, Illinois courts use a “modified comparative fault” rule to calculate the amount of compensation you can receive. This means that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your contribution to the accident. Moreover, if you were more than 50% at fault, you are barred from receiving compensation.
3. Actual and Punitive Damages
The main goal in a personal injury lawsuit is for the plaintiff to recover damages (monetary compensation) for the defendant’s negligence. These are of two types: Actual and Punitive Damages.
Actual damages are for both personal and financial injuries whereas punitive damages are levied as punishment to the defendant to discourage future negligence.
Illinois Law dictates that punitive damages can only be awarded when the actual damages are awarded. All these are awarded once you (the plaintiff) can prove the defendant’s negligence was reckless and endangered your safety.
Furthermore, punitive damages awarded to the plaintiff may be worth three times the amount of the actual damages. This can be even more, should the defendant’s negligence be determined to be criminal
Personal injuries strain your peace of mind and your budget as well. Nobody should suffer due to the recklessness of another person. When filing for a lawsuit for personal injury, the services of an experienced personal injury are vital and very critical.