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Calumet City Personal Injury Lawyer

Located in a prime location in Cook County, a short distance to the west of the Illinois-Indiana state border, and a short drive or bus ride south of downtown Chicago, our city is home to at least 35,000 residents. Surrounding cities that neighbor Calumet City on Chicago’s southside include Dolton, Harvey, Blue Island, and Hazel Crest.

The point of discussing location details surrounding Calumet City isn’t to give you a geography lesson but to instead emphasize just how much of a bustling area our city is located in. In addition to standard residents who live here, there are countless visitors who travel into our city to visit various venues of interest, including the Green Lake Family Aquatic Center, Wolf Lake, and Sand Ridge Nature Center, to mention a few places.

Driving around and visiting different locales comes with a whole host of risks, which we will elaborate on below, which can result in someone getting seriously hurt or unexpectedly losing their life. As a Calumet City personal injury lawyer, injured parties or those who are struggling to cope with the sudden loss of a loved one will often reach out to us at Thomas Law Offices to discuss what’s occurred and any legal avenues they can pursue to hold responsible parties liable for what happened. Continue reading to gain a more comprehensive understanding of personal injury cases, and then reach out for our help.

Calumet City, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

What Are Examples of Personal Injury Cases?

Situations that occur that may fall into the category of personal injury cases are varied. Some of the more common types of cases that we handle here in Calumet City include:

Negligent Security

Some of the latest data published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows that Calumet City has some of the highest violent crime and property crime rates in Illinois and among the many cities in the Chicago metro area. In 2019, the last reported year, there were:

  • At least 186 violent crimes committed, including eight manslaughters or murders, 30 rapes, 99 robberies, and 49 aggravated assaults
  • An estimated 1,040 property crimes that occurred, including 158 burglaries, 680 larceny-thefts, 202 motor vehicle thefts, and four arsons

The point of highlighting all of this isn’t to shed a bad light on Calumet City, as all cities have some unsafe areas, but instead to point out situations that may prematurely claim an unsuspecting person’s life. In these cases, the property crimes that may have occurred under force or outwardly violent acts may have been preventable had property or business owners simply instituted security measures like:

  • Enclosing their grounds with a fence to keep trespassers with potentially ill-intentions out
  • Hiring a security guard to regularly circle their grounds to establish a “presence” that keeps away would-be criminals like carjackers or those lying in wait to commit physical assaults
  • Installing security cameras or enhanced lighting, which have a tendency to ward off those looking for privacy or darkness to take advantage of others
  • Being more diligent in screening visitors or restricting access to their premises

Ask any Calumet City personal injury lawyer in our office, and they’ll readily tell you we see our fair share of cases in which prospective clients suffered severe injuries due to gunshot wounds, stabbings, sexual assaults, and countless other violent acts that unnecessarily occurred. Let Thomas Law Offices help you too.

Auto Accidents

Calumet City is less than a 30-minute car ride on I-94 E from downtown Chicago. I-90, I-294, US Hwy 41, and I-57 are just some of the main thoroughfares surrounding Thornton Township, where our city is located.

Aside from personal vehicles, there are subways, public or charter buses, trains, taxis, rideshares, motorcycles, and many other modes of transportation residents take to get to and from our city to other parts of Chicagoland, within Illinois, and beyond. There are also individuals who, out of preference or necessity, go by foot or bicycle to their destination.

Like you may suspect, with a population as large and dense as Chicago and its surrounding cities have and as much commerce occurs in the area, there’s a strong likelihood for motorists to become entangled in an auto accident, whether with a car, train, bus, taxi, truck, subway, motorcycle, pedestrian, or bike—many of these can have catastrophic consequences for victims. We handle all of these at Thomas Law Offices in Calumet City.

Slips and Falls

Another commonly occurring accident that each Calumet City personal injury lawyer on our team handles is slip and falls. While these incidents often occur during cold weather months when there’s an accumulation of snowfall, melting, and residual ice buildup, as individuals try to navigate their way down sidewalks or parking lots in front of or adjacent to homes and businesses, they can happen almost anywhere, such as:

  • In the entryways of office buildings or stores, if water is tracked in, liquids like cleaning solvents or spilled oils aren’t cleaned up, certain foods (like bananas) aren’t picked up, or a floor mat isn’t properly set in place
  • The tile surface surrounding a swimming pool (which may become more slippery the more water accumulates on it)
  • At a nursing home, if a resident feels the need to take matters into their own hands and get up to go to the bathroom, get something across the room, etc.
  • On staircases, if there’s an accumulation of trash on them, poor lighting, or handlebars aren’t secured in place
  • A pipe burst or freezer defrosts, causing the puddling of water

Certain situations, like the ones above, can seriously hurt individuals, making it necessary to seek assistance in paying their medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related losses. That’s often when they reach out to a Calumet City personal injury lawyer like ours at Thomas Law Offices to help file a claim or sue the grocery store, government agency, public transit station, recreational facility, and others who failed to adequately maintain their premises.

The examples above are only three types of personal injury cases that our legal team regularly handles. Aside from car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, pedestrians getting hit, negligent security, and slips and fall situations, other legal matters we can help with include:

  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Dog bites
  • Sexual abuse
  • Medical malpractice cases, including ones involving pharmaceutical errors
  • Dangerous or defective products
  • Swimming pool drownings
  • Daycare abuse and neglect

Long story short, if you believe that your injuries or loved one’s fatal accident occurred because someone failed to uphold their obligation to take reasonable measures to maintain their premises safely or otherwise uphold their duty of care or standard of care, then you may have a valid personal injury claim per Illinois law. Meeting with an attorney from our Chicago area law office to discuss your potential case is completely free, so reach out to us to schedule that free initial consultation today.

Should You Report Your Personal Injury Incident to the Police?

What you should do after you suffer injuries is a common inquiry personal injury victims make. In the case of auto accidents, 625 ILCS 5/11-408 outlines how Illinois law requires every driver to file a crash report when the collision results in at least one of the following (provided all motorists involved are insured):

  • $1,500 in property damage
  • Bodily injury
  • A fatality

If one of the drivers involved in the accident doesn’t have insurance, then the $1,500 threshold above drops to $500. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI), not having a police officer summoned to the scene of your collision, for example, could affect your ability to recover compensation for your crash-related losses if you end up filing an insurance claim. Additionally, not filing an accident report within ten days is a violation of state law.

Motor vehicle accidents aside, there’s no single law that details how you must reach out to the police to report an injury; however, it may be best to do so in some situations to have an independent third party document each party’s version of events. And, of course, police notification should always occur if any type of incident results in a fatality.

Filing an incident report with a business or property owner where you or your loved one was hurt is also critically important. Not only does it create a record of what happened, but it also might result in a further investigation into what caused it, as:

  • Employers are often required to report worker injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Teachers, clergy members, therapists, and doctors, for example, are all mandated reporters, requiring them to report incidents to certain government agencies when they’re told about certain concerns that involve personal harm

Aside from the above-referenced, certain government agencies, for example, have special notification requirements if an accident involves their property or personnel. So, if your child gets hurt on a playground, like the one at Finneran Park or Memorial Park, you slip and fall on a sidewalk outside the Calumet City City Hall or somewhere else in Chicago itself, it’s best to report it to the police to have it documented somewhere, as this will likely matter if you move forward in taking legal action.

Damages Personal Injury Victims Typically Have

Individuals often suffer injuries as a result of their involvement in a personal injury accident, whether that’s some kind of physical injury, like a broken bone, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, or some type of often-unseen mental health concern, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The term “damages” refers to the monetary losses a victim suffers due to their involvement in an accident or incident. Generally, a claimant, either alone or with the assistance of their Calumet City personal injury attorney, might demand economic and noneconomic damages, depending on the nature of the harm they suffered.

Economic damages are those accident-related losses that are relatively easy to quantify as they’re often backed by actual records, such as bills or pay stubs, or cost forecasts, and thus, may include:

  • Reimbursement of outstanding medical bills and allocated compensation for future health care costs
  • Repayment of any lost wages that mounted during the recovery process and any future lost earnings that they may incur due to not being able to work in their same profession or as much as they once did
  • Property damage costs, whether that is a car or personal property destroyed in the injury incident

Noneconomic losses cover some of the less tangible ill-effects associated with the injury incident, like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish or emotional distress
  • Losses of enjoyment of life, companionship, or consortium

While it’s likely that your Calumet City personal injury lawyer, if you’re represented by one, will do everything possible to settle your case with the negligent party’s insurance company outside of court, situations happen whereby insurers deny negligence or otherwise don’t want to play fair, and having the case heard by a judge or jury in a Chicago area courtroom is necessary to secure compensation. In those scenarios, the Court may decide to impose punitive damages if there’s a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

The judge may impose these extra damages to send a message to the defendant of the seriousness of their actions, which is aimed at discouraging them and others from repeating the same offenses. Punitive damages are most often imposed by judges in cases that involve notable maliciousness.

Each state decides whether there will be caps on damages plaintiffs can recover in personal injury cases. However, Illinois does not have any. There is, however, a federal cap of $250,000 for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Filing a Claim if You Were Hurt in a Personal Injury Accident

If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s apparent negligence here in Calumet City or neighboring communities of Dixmoor, Posen, Midlothian, Markham, Harvey, South Holland, Burnham, Merrionette Park, Sauk Village, Homewood, or elsewhere in South Chicago, you’ll want to take any appropriate measures to document what occurred. You should do this with the owner or the management where the incident occurred or the police. You’ll also want to seek immediate medical assistance to ensure you know exactly what type of injuries you’re dealing with and can receive any potential life-saving treatment you may require to deal with them.

Securing the responsible party’s name, contact information, and insurance information is critical to know who to file a claim with. With that information in hand and liability sorted out, you can file a claim with the negligent person’s or entity’s insurance company.

Illinois law 735 ILCS 5/13-212 highlights how there is a 2-year statute of limitations that applies to personal injury cases in our state. There are some exceptions to this statute of limitations, though. It’s best to schedule a free consultation with a Calumet City personal injury lawyer like ours at Thomas Law Offices if you’ve suffered harm to discuss your case and how to proceed to best protect your rights to compensation.

How Long To Expect It To Take To Resolve Your Case

A common question our Thomas Law Offices attorneys receive from prospective clients and existing ones alike is how long to expect it to take to resolve their cases. There’s no single go-to answer in that case. How long it takes to strike a resolution in the case may depend on such factors as:

  • Whether you’re still receiving medical treatment
  • If the fault is in dispute (an insurance company denies liability)
  • Whether you’ve already gathered all medical records and bills, documentation proving lost wages, and other accident-related expenses or still need to track them down
  • How long an insurance company takes to process the claim (it may be delayed if they deny liability or request extra documentation)

Also, it should be noted that while our Calumet City personal injury attorneys often are able to resolve cases outside of court via the pre-litigation process with insurance companies, insurers may be unwilling to budge. In those instances, it may be necessary for lawyers to take cases to trial. In those instances, it may take time to get on the court schedule, for any pre-trial motions to be addressed, and for the actual trial to occur.

Even if a settlement is reached with an insurer, it can take some time to actually receive a release of all claims, have you sign it, and eventually receive a check for your damages. It can also take some time post-trial if the judge or jury rules in your favor for you to ultimately receive your settlement check—especially if the defendant appeals the case.

What Can You Expect in Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer?

According to the City of Calumet City webpage, our community is described as a family that triumphs or suffers together. Our personal injury attorneys at Thomas Law Offices view the handling of our clients’ cases similarly. We believe that when we hold liable parties accountable for their actions and secure settlements for our clients, we send a message to the greater Chicago community that we’re not going to let their negligent actions slide. Our hope is that by doing this, it motivates others to be more cautious in their actions.

In working with a Calumet City personal injury lawyer from our law office, you can expect us to:

  • Know and advise you of the statute of limitations that applies to your case
  • Counsel you as to what to do and not to do to build a strong case
  • Handle all interactions with insurance adjusters about your case
  • Make liability determinations
  • Secure all your medical bills, pay statements, and other records documenting your losses
  • Identify all potentially liable parties and their respective insurance coverage information
  • Negotiate a settlement to your claim or take your case to trial in an attempt to do so

The list above doesn’t encompass everything your attorney may advise you to do if you’ve been hurt in our area, but it gives you a general idea of the main ways they may help. Please reach out to us to schedule your free case evaluation if you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence here in our southeastern Chicago suburb or elsewhere in Illinois. You and a Calumet City personal injury lawyer can discuss specifics regarding your case and the legal remedies available to you during this complimentary consultation.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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