A serious accident can upend your life entirely. Things that used to come easily, like working and engaging in hobbies, can quickly become difficult, if not impossible. If you were hurt by the negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions of another person, you may be owed compensation for any resulting damages. Illinois state law creates a legal avenue for accident victims to pursue this compensation, known as a personal injury lawsuit.
A Chicago personal injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. This type of lawsuit is often the most effective method for injury victims to recover necessary compensation for things like lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. If you have any questions about this process or are ready to get started on your claim, contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.
Illinois Personal Injury Claims We Handle
We handle a wide array of injury cases at our Chicago law firm, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber accidents
- Lyft accidents
- Electric rental scooter accidents
- Wrongful death
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Negligent security
- Construction accidents
- Boat accidents
- Sexual assault
If your accident doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, do not hesitate to contact our law offices for a free consultation. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys are well-versed in all areas of personal injury law and can provide expert guidance on your potential legal options.
Common Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
The type and severity of injuries are often contingent upon the type of accident a victim was involved in. For example, injuries associated with medical negligence may involve the preventable worsening of an existing condition, whereas a car accident is more likely to cause a victim to suffer a new injury. For this reason, there is no such thing as a typical personal injury.
However, in our years of representing personal injury victims as they seek to recover compensation for their damages, we have noticed certain injuries tend to occur more frequently, including:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, contusions, and abrasions
- Wrongful death
While some accident victims suffer relatively minor injuries that improve with treatment over time, others suffer more serious injuries that have life-long implications. At Thomas Law Offices, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t have to bear the burden of their injuries alone.
When To File a Chicago Personal Injury Lawsuit
Not every injury necessitates the filing of a lawsuit. In general, pursuing an injury claim is necessary and appropriate when you or a loved one was injured, that injury was the result of another person’s negligent or wrongful actions, and you suffered damages related to your injury.
Sometimes deciding whether to file a lawsuit can be understandably confusing, such as in the case of parents who are unsure whether their child’s condition is the result of birth injuries or birth defects. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can advise you whether filing an injury claim is appropriate for your situation.
Financial Compensation for a Personal Injury
Determining the value of your case is a complex process. No two personal injury claims are the same, which is why it’s important to seek out individualized legal representation. An experienced personal injury lawyer should consider a variety of factors when determining the worth of your claim, including your financial and non-financial losses, each party’s percentage of liability, the extent of your injury, and the impact the accident has left on your life.
This process relies heavily on a strong attorney-client relationship. You should only work with a law firm whose personal injury lawyers see you as a whole person, not just an accident victim.
At Thomas Law Offices, we spend time getting to know each and every client we work with, developing a deeper understanding of how an injury has affected them and what recovery means physically, emotionally, and financially. We know that in the majority of cases involving a serious or catastrophic injury (such as a brain injury), recovering full and fair compensation is the most effective way to support our clients.
Compensation will vary from person to person depending on the severity of a person’s injury, their financial need, type of personal injury claim, and more. Maximum compensation in medical malpractice cases will be different than compensation available in car accident and wrongful death cases.
Injured victims in Chicago, IL may be entitled to compensation for the following damages in a personal injury case.
Your economic losses are your tangible, calculable financial losses. These are the financial costs that your personal injury attorney will link to your injury and may encompass a wide array of losses. Although no two cases are alike, responsible parties are often ordered to pay for the following costs or losses in a personal injury claim:
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
- Reduced earning capacity if you are no longer able to perform the same job
- Current and future medical bills, including costs associated with physical therapy, surgery, and more
- Travel costs to and from your doctor’s appointments
- The cost of renovating your home or vehicle to accommodate a new disability or deteriorating physical condition
- The cost of domestic services, including cleaning services and child care
This is far from a comprehensive list of all economic losses to which you might be entitled. Always defer to your Chicago personal injury attorney’s expertise if you are unsure of what full and fair compensation might look like in your case.
Your non-economic losses are your non-financial losses. Compensation awarded for these types of damages acknowledges the myriad of ways that serious injuries can alter the lives of accident victims. Personal injury verdicts typically include compensation for non-economic losses such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Inability to engage in hobbies
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of advice and guidance due to the wrongful death of a loved one
Non-economic damages are not any less serious because they do not have a specific dollar value attached to them. When you choose to work with a Chicago personal injury attorney from Thomas Law Offices, you are choosing to align yourself with a legal representative who understands how profoundly these types of damages often impact an injured person.
Punitive damages are awarded in only a small number of civil claims in Chicago, IL. These damages are not intended to compensate victims but are instead used as a way to deter future negligence. Punitive damages may only be awarded in cases that involve willful or wanton behavior or when the at-fault party acted with gross negligence, malice, fraud, or deliberate violence.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can advise when punitive damages might be justifiable in an auto accident claim, such as in a case involving a drunk driver that caused serious injury through their actions. If you suffered a severe injury in a preventable accident, contact us to schedule your free legal consultation today.
Illinois Personal Injury Law
Personal injury laws are set at the state level. If you live in Illinois or your accident occurred while you were visiting, it’s important to work with Chicago personal injury lawyers who have a profound understanding of your type of injury claim and the applicable state laws. It is also helpful to seek out an attorney who has experience with your specific injury claim.
While many law firms specialize in one or two types of injury claims, Thomas Law Offices is pleased to offer legal guidance on a wide range of injury matters, including car accident, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice cases. We believe that we have the best personal injury lawyers in the Chicagoland area.
Your personal injury lawyer will outline all applicable laws to ensure that you understand your legal rights and options to recover compensation.
The Concept of Negligence
Negligence describes a situation in which someone owes a duty to someone else but fails to uphold that duty. As a result, they become liable for any resulting injuries, losses, or deaths. Personal injury claims are based on the legal concept of negligence, and allow victims the opportunity to pursue maximum compensation for their losses.
The legal concept of negligence is specific. To prove the defendant in your claim was negligent, your Chicago personal injury attorneys will establish the following four elements:
- Duty of Care. A duty of care refers to a person’s legal obligation to act in a certain way toward another person. For example, our Chicago car accident lawyers establish when a driver owes other motorists a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely so as not to cause an accident.
- Breach of Duty. When someone breaches their duty and someone else is injured, the injured person can take legal action. For example, breach of duty in a medical malpractice case may include a doctor’s failure to order tests despite the presence of concerning symptoms.
- Causation. Your attorney must demonstrate that the breach of the duty of care caused you to suffer injuries.
- Damages. To successfully recover compensation, your lawyer must also demonstrate that your injuries caused you to suffer damages.
Our law firm is prepared to take on the challenge of proving your case. If you suffered life-threatening injuries or are now living with a permanent disability, we are the Chicago personal injury attorneys you want on your side. Our years of experience and knowledge dealing with the insurance company makes us uniquely positioned to handle everything from medical malpractice cases to wrongful death claims and more.
Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Thomas Law Offices offers a free consultation to injury victims, their families, and those who have lost loved ones. During your free consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to sit down with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the details of your case. Any confidential or sensitive information discussed during your consultation will remain private, and our attorneys will provide expert legal advice based on what you tell us.
However, we understand how helpful it can be to address some of the most frequently asked questions that many accident victims have.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for My Injury?
Victims who have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury often worry that they will be barred from seeking compensation if they played any part in the accident. The majority of personal injury cases rely on Illinois’ modified comparative fault laws.
In Illinois, you may still seek compensation for an accident so long as your percentage of fault is less than that of the other person’s. Only those who are 49% or less at fault are eligible to recover compensation.
The defendant in your personal injury lawsuit will likely try to increase your percentage of fault in order to decrease their own liability. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer will help protect your right to compensation.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all timeline for personal injury lawsuits. The time it takes to complete your case will largely depend on the type of claim you are bringing. The typical car accident case takes anywhere from several weeks to several months, whereas a medical malpractice case may take several years.
Factors unique to your case will affect how long it takes to reach a settlement, and the exact timeline of your claim may be shorter or longer than average.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
The worth of your claim is highly contingent upon the severity of your injuries and the impact it has had on your life. This is not a number you can quickly draw up on your own. Instead, determining the value of your claim is a complex process that involves taking all of your damages into account. As discussed above, the compensation you are owed for your injuries encompasses much more than just your medical bills.
Your Chicago personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate all of your losses to determine how much you are owed for your injuries. This may involve reviewing medical bills, pay stubs, your medical records, and more.
How Long Do I Have To File My Personal Injury Claim?
Illinois imposes a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. A statute of limitations sets a timeframe for when you can file your claim. If you fail to file your case within that timeframe, you’ll forfeit your right to take legal action. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the type of claim you are filing, which is why it’s important to have a Chicago attorney by your side.
In our state, most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years.
Can I Afford To Hire a Lawyer?
When meeting with a lawyer for the first time, one of the most important questions to ask is how they collect their attorney’s fees. At Thomas Law Offices, we work with clients on a contingency fee basis. This allows us to provide our services without upfront payment. We only get paid a small percentage of your overall award when you win your case. We find that this arrangement allows us to provide our services to those who might be otherwise unable to afford the legal backing of an attorney.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Personal Injury Claim?
When you’ve been wrongfully injured, you can pursue legal action to hold the negligent party responsible. You are not required to work with a lawyer when filing an injury claim. However, having the backing of a personal injury law firm will show the defendant and their insurance company that you mean business. The best way to ensure you build a strong claim is to have an experienced lawyer at your side.
How Do Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Help?
After suffering a serious injury, your priority should be your recovery. Focusing on your health and well-being is not easy when you are also fighting for your right to compensation. Having a lawyer on your side will take the legal burden off your shoulders and allow you to focus on what matters most—your recovery.
Investigate Your Claim
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into your claim. This includes:
- Determining what caused your injuries and assigning liability
- Reviewing your medical records and other documents for important evidence
- Reviewing dashcam and security footage of the accident or incident
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and recording statements
- Valuing the worth of your claim
- Answering any and all questions you have about your case
Secure the Support of Experts
Lawyers often work with experts in other fields in order to build the strongest possible case. For example, if you are seeking compensation because you were injured in a car accident, an accident reconstructionist could help show how the other driver’s negligent actions led to the collision.
In the event of medical malpractice, securing the testimony of a medical expert is often key to demonstrating that a doctor acted outside of the current accepted standard of care. Any deviation from this standard could be evidence of neglect, thus strengthening your case.
Value Your Claim
How much are you owed for your injury and how much is your claim really worth? This might be a difficult question for you to answer, but a lawyer will have the knowledge and experience it takes to consider all of your losses and correctly value the worth of your claim. Your lawyer will also advise you of when the insurance company is trying to lowball your settlement by offering you less than you deserve.
Take Over Communications With the Insurance Company
Big insurance companies are not your friend. Unfortunately, when you first speak with an insurance adjuster, they will likely try to position themselves as someone who is on your side while simultaneously chipping away at the legitimacy of your case. A lawyer can take over all communications with the insurance adjuster to minimize the chances of you saying something that is taken out of context or purposely misconstrued.
What Makes Thomas Law Offices Different?
For more than a decade, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have been putting their knowledge of tort law to use by handling personal injury cases for victims of car accidents, nursing home abuse, fall accidents, and more.
As a personal injury law firm, we strive to provide unrivaled legal representation to injury victims. This means that we treat each and every client we work with as a whole person, not just the victim of a serious accident. We get to know who you are so that we can truly learn how your life has been impacted by your injuries. You will never feel as if you are alone in this process when you have the backing of Thomas Law Offices.
Thomas Law Offices Is a Chicago Injury Law Firm You Can Believe In
We know that our clients have the choice of working with many different law firms in Chicago, IL, and we are honored that they trust the outcome of their legal cases to us.
When you contact us to schedule your free consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer who truly cares about your case. There is no need to delay, call or fill out our convenient online form today.
Thomas Law Offices – Chicago, Illinois Office Address
30 N. LaSalle Street Suite 4020 B
Chicago, IL 60602