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Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury law encompasses a variety of different types of cases involving personal injuries. Illinois personal injury laws allow Chicago residents to receive compensation if they were injured through the negligence of another party.

Car and Motor Vehicle Accidents

With its busy roadways, Chicago witnesses thousands of car and motor vehicle accidents every year and they commonly lead to personal injury cases. Typically these type of accidents are the result of negligent actions by one or more drivers. Victims in vehicle crashes have the option of bringing a personal injury claim to collect compensation for damages for injuries sustained as a result of the accident. For car accidents, Illinois uses a system of modified comparative fault where drivers who were 50 percent or less responsible for the accident can take action. Those who are 51 percent or more at fault cannot bring a claim.

Medical Malpractice

In the past few years, reports have come out claiming anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 people die every year due to medical errors. These statistics make medical error the third leading cause of deaths in the U.S. Some common errors include incorrect treatment, misdiagnosis, prescription mistakes, and others. The consequences of medical mistakes can be devastating and it is possible to bring up a lawsuit against health care professionals and providers. However, medical malpractice personal injury cases are amongst the most complex types of claims and have a low success rate. Claimants who do win cases may receive significant award amounts.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death in Chicago is defined by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 180. The act stipulates that a representative of the deceased person, such as a spouse, parent (if the deceased was a minor child), or adult child, can seek compensation for the loss. Wrongful death cases are filed in civil court and are only for monetary sums and collection of damages is restricted to immediate family members. The normal statute of limitations for personal injury in Illinois of two years from the date of the accident is extended with wrongful death cases and claimants can seek damages up to a year after the death date. If you are seeking compensation for a wrongful death, you should enlist the aid of an attorney.

Dog Bite Cases

There are anywhere from 70-80 million dogs in the U.S. and while most live in happy harmony with humans, there are times when dogs may show aggression. Illinois ranks as the state with the second most number of dog bite claims in the U.S. with $8.9 million paid out in damages in 2013. In Illinois, dog bite laws follow a “strict liability” model, meaning that the dog bite victim is not required to demonstrate that the owner was not taking reasonable precautions to restrain the animal. The statute states that any “owner, harborer, or keeper” of a dog, or any animal, is liable if the animal attacks or attempts to attack a person so long as the person had the right to be in the place (as in a public space, not private property), and the animal was not provoked. If the requirements of the statute are met, the injured person has the option of seeking compensation for damages including medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.

Premises Liability

If a person is injured as the result of unsafe or defective conditions on someone else’s property, they may be able to seek compensation through a premises liability claim. Regulations specifically governing premises liability in Illinois can be found in statute 740 ILCS 130. According to the law, in order to collect damages, an injured person must prove the negligence of the third party was the cause of the injuries. Generally, this negligence is defined as failure of the owner to provide reasonable care for the property. Some typical examples of premises liability cases include slip and fall accidents, inadequate maintenance, amusement park accidents, inadequate building security, and fires.

Product Liability

When a person or people are injured from a defective product there may be the possibility of a product liability case. These types of personal injury cases seek damages from a manufacturer or seller for making a defective product accessible to customers. Product defects may stem from design issues, manufacturing defects, or marketing problems. In Illinois, these cases are treated as strict liability. This means that liability for the defect may rest with one or more parties working in the defective product’s chain of distribution, including the manufacturer, the manufacturer of the product’s components, the assembler, a wholesaler, or even the retailer. An injured person must prove the injuries were caused from the defect, that the defect was dangerous, and that the defect was present when the product left the manufacturer.

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