When someone’s negligent or voluntary actions cause you a loss or suffering, the incident is legally termed as personal injury. The losses and suffering could include physical injuries, medical expenses, personal property damages, and more.
In simple words, a personal injury claim is filed when someone’s negligent actions cause you injury and damage.
Now, it is noteworthy that you hold the right to file the claim with your own insurer or with the liable party’s insurance company.
In the state of Illinois, the courts follow a fault system. It means, the court can only grant a claim if someone is at fault.
Can You File Personal Injury Claim Anytime?
Of course, you’re here either because you have sustained injuries or someone you know has. Regardless of that, you must understand that you cannot file a personal injury claim, just anytime. Or better said, you cannot delay filing for a personal injury claim for too long.
In Illinois civil courts’ Statutes of Limitations nominates plaintiffs for two years to file a personal injury claim. During this period, the plaintiff may receive medical care, or get other repairs done.
However, for personal injury lawsuits, the Statutes of Limitations is only 1 year. Meaning, if you are to file a lawsuit you must do so within a year of your accident. In some cases, you may be allowed to file even after the time has run out. The courts would then consider the time from the day you discovered the injury or the losses.
How Do Courts Decide Fault/Negligence?
The state of Illinois is a fault state, as already mentioned. Expert Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers explain that personal injury claims can only be processed if somebody is at fault for the injuries caused. Besides, if the plaintiff is found more than 50% at fault, the claim may then be automatically dismissed.
The civil courts in Illinois also use modified comparative negligence doctrine to decide the fault, when there are multiple defendants.
Depending upon the fault that a party shares, the compensations to be paid are reduced or increased. For example, if you are found 10% at fault for the injuries you sustain, your claim would also be reduced by 10%.
Are There Any Other Limitations?
In several states, the compensations that plaintiffs can receive are usually capped. Most of these limitations are only capped on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Though Illinois is a ‘fault’ state, there are no caps on any type of personal injury claims.
The last cap that was removed from the Illinois state constitution in 2010, limited the payments for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. As of now, there are no limits, whatsoever.
Like every other state, Illinois also protects its citizens against any civil or criminal act. Several laws, both civil and criminal, define personal injury acts. And likewise are firm in serving rightful claims to the victims. That being said, personal injury cases are still a complex decree of the legal system. And likewise, require professional assistance for justified implementation.