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Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Being injured can be a big strain on your peace of mind as well as your finances. One way to recover at least financially is through a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. These lawsuits can be quite complicated, and the courts may even find you partially at fault for the accident, which means you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

Contributory Fault in Illinois

The state of Illinois has laws that determine how much a plaintiff in a personal injury claim can recover based on how much they are found to be at fault. This is called contributory fault. Contributory fault measures the amount of negligence of both the defendant and the plaintiff in a claim. This means that the plaintiff could be found partially at fault for some of their injuries.

If the court determines that the plaintiff was over 50% at fault for the accident, they could be barred from receiving any compensation. If the plaintiff is found to be less than 50% at fault, the recovery they receive may be reduced by the percentage that they are found at fault. Fault is determined by four elements that are most easily understood by asking these questions:

  • Did the defendant have a duty of care to protect the plaintiff from harm?
  • Did the defendant breach that duty of care?
  • Were the plaintiff’s injuries a result of the defendant’s breach of duty?
  • Are the injuries suffered by the plaintiff damages that can be compensated?

In addition to the above, it is also important to understand the time limits, or statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In most situations, the statute of limitations is two years. However, this can be different for certain circumstances. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the time limits for filing your specific kind of claim.

Punitive and Actual Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, the point is to recover damages that were the result of the defendant’s negligence. Damages refer to monetary compensation that remedies physical, financial, and psychological stress. There are two types of damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit – punitive and actual damages.

Actual damages are for specific injuries and provide compensation for personal and financial damages. These may include medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and pain and suffering.

Punitive damages, however, are not for a specific loss. They are awarded against the defendant to punish them for wilful and wanton or reckless conduct. The court will determine whether the plaintiff will be granted such damages during the trial as well as how much should be awarded.

Punitive damages are not favored in the law, but we have had success in winning large punitive damages awards. For instance, in a retaliatory discharge lawsuit, we were able to win a $2.5 million jury award over and above the compensatory damages.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Suffering an injury, particularly if it was the fault of a negligent party, can change your life. It can cause physical, emotional, and financial stress. While a personal injury lawsuit can not erase what happened, it can relieve some of the stress caused by the accident. The attorneys at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd. can help you understand your rights and legal options if you have been injured by a negligent party. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 332-5400

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