What is Personal Injury Law?
“Personal injuries” can occur in a variety of ways. Personal injuries typically fall into one of two categories: (1) intentional torts, or (2) negligence. This distinction is incredibly important. Whether your injury was caused by intentional or negligent conduct will significantly affect what you have to prove and how your attorney will handle the case.
What are Intentional Torts?
Sometimes, personal injuries can result from “intentional” conduct. The term “intentional” can have different meanings in different contexts, but typically, conduct is “intentional” if it was not an accident or mistake. There are countless intentional torts, including assault, battery, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, conversion, trespassing, sexual abuse, etc.
What is Negligence?
Unlike intentional conduct, negligence occurs by accident. If someone hurts you by mistake, you can still recover money for your injuries. When someone hurts you by mistake, it’s called “negligence”. You may suffer a personal injury because of the negligence of another driver who slams into the back of your car because they are not paying attention to the road. You may suffer a personal injury because a grocery store custodian negligently left a puddle of water on the floor in the produce aisle. You may suffer a personal injury because of a negligent doctor who prescribed you the wrong medication.
If you have been injured because of the carelessness (“negligence”) of another person, the law in Illinois allows you to recover money from that negligent individual. This rule also applies to businesses, corporations, government entities, hospitals, and doctors who act in a careless or negligent manner. This means that if you were hurt because of the negligence of an employee, you may be able to sue both the employee, and the company for which they work.
In order to win your negligence lawsuit, you must prove four elements:
- the person who hurt you had a duty to act with reasonable care;
- the person who hurt you did not act with reasonable care,
- the person’s failure to use reasonable care caused your injury; and
- you were injured.
What Can I Recover for my Personal Injury?
As a result of your personal injury, you may face substantial medical bills, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, inability to enjoy the hobbies and activities you used to enjoy, lost wages, and emotional distress. Personal injuries can bring your dreams, goals, and plans to a grinding halt.
The goal of a personal injury lawyer is to make their client “whole”. Your personal injury attorney will try to recover a money award not only to cover your medical expenses, but also to compensate you for your pain, suffering, loss of normal life, emotional distress, lost future wages, and whatever other categories of damages may be applicable to your case. While your personal injury attorney cannot turn back time and reverse the permanent injuries you may have suffered, a settlement or verdict for money damages can help reduce or eliminate many of the challenges that you may face in the aftermath of an injury.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury litigation is complex and challenging. You need a competent personal injury attorney to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at SSW have been litigating personal injury cases throughout Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, and DuPage Counties for decades. We know exactly what needs to be done to obtain a fair and timely award for your personal injury claim. Our experience includes:
- Car accidents
- Truck and motorcycle accidents
- Uninsured/underinsured claims
- Slip and falls
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Survival and wrongful death
Consider the following accomplishments of our capable personal injury attorneys:
$1,000,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiff who suffered a broken wrist and broken ankle in a motor vehicle accident. Rappe vs. Porter, Circuit Court of Lake County
$1,000,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiff who suffered fractured vertebrae in a motor vehicle accident. Gardner v. Watson, Circuit Court of Cook County.
$835,000 settlement on behalf of deceased plaintiff killed in a motor vehicle accident. Lovitz vs. DeGuide, Circuit Court of Lake County.
$425,000 pre-suit settlement on behalf of minor child who suffered burns on the back of her thigh at a day care facility.
We offer free initial consultations for Illinois personal injury cases. Contact the attorneys at SSW today.
For more information regarding personal injury law, check out our blog post, “The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case”.