If you have been hurt in a Rockford car, truck or motorcycle injury, your personal injury may have left you with significant medical bills. If your injuries were caused by another person — including accidents not involving vehicles, such as medical malpractice or dram shop (liquor establishment) liabilities — you may be entitled to recoverable money.
How can we help you?
Personal injury law involves civil lawsuits filed because of wrongful conduct or behavior. A claim in a personal injury lawsuit is filed by the party who was injured — either physically or emotionally — due to the behavior of another party. Some of the most common types of personal injury claims that we handle are:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles
- Highway and trucking accidents
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
If you have an issue not listed here, do not hesitate to reach out to us to find out if it is something we can help you with.
While personal injury laws recognize that accidents can happen, there is an assumption of personal responsibility by the party responsible for the physical or emotional damage. Would a reasonable person have acted differently in a similar situation? That is at the heart of most personal injury cases, and it’s why having an experienced attorney on your side is critical.
That’s because a party’s negligence is determined by four key elements and the common law principle of the “reasonably prudent” person. The four elements are best understood when posed as questions:
- Did the defendant owe a duty of care to safeguard the plaintiff against harm?
- Did the defendant breach that duty?
- Was the defendant’s breach of duty the cause of the plaintiff’s injury? (And was the injury foreseeable and preventable by the defendant?)
- Are the plaintiff’s injuries actual damages that can be compensated?
We pride ourselves on being proactive, and available. If you or a loved one needs an attorney we routinely make house calls as well as hospital/nursing home visits to make life easier for our clients.
You, or your family, do not pay anything to have us represent you in your claim unless there is a recovery made at trial, or through settlement negotiations, otherwise known as a “contingent fee agreement.”
Types of Damages
Monetary damages can be awarded if someone is found to be legally responsible for injuring person. Those monetary damages are called compensatory damages (or actual damages). The purpose of compensatory damages is to attempt to put the injured person in the position he or she would have been had the injury not occurred. These damages may include medical expenses (past and future), pain and suffering (past and future), lost wages (past and future), loss of a normal life, and loss of society.It’s important to keep records of your medical bills and time off from work as these can help you calculate your actual damages.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant if his or her conduct was not just negligent but reckless or intentional. Punitive damages aren’t recovered for any specific loss. Instead, they are levied against the defendant as punishment to discourage negligence in the future. The court will determine whether to award the plaintiff with punitive damages and how much the award will be. According to Illinois law, punitive damages may only be awarded if actual damages are also awarded.
Advice in the Event of Personal Injury
If you have been the victim of a personal injury in Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park or anywhere in northern Illinois, there are several things you can do to help yourself:
- Make sure that you seek proper medical attention and that you follow the advice of medical professionals
- Fully cooperate with the police and your own treating physicians
- Follow up with the proper authorities and your own insurance company
- Contact an attorney if you believe your injury was caused by the carelessness or intentional act of another
You should call a lawyer as soon as it is convenient to do so and avoid discussing the matter with strangers and insurance representatives who are not from your own insurance company.
A personal injury can be severe and life-altering, and your life can change in a split second. All of a sudden you can be faced with debilitating pain, extensive medical bills, lost wages and the threat of permanent disability. For victims and their families, a personal injury or a wrongful death means that life will never be the same again.
You may have a long and difficult recovery period. At a time when you should be focused on your recovery, many issues may suddenly demand your attention, including:
- Obtaining proper medical care
- Payment of your medical bills
- Loss of income if you are unable to work
- Loss of mobility, function, or the ability to conduct your normal daily activities
- Obtaining fair compensation for your property damage
- Attending traffic court hearings
- Resolving insurance issues
Seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight for you rights and help minize the impact an injury can have on your life.
Time Limits on Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois
Illinois sets a time limit of two years on filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state generally is two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help to guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Contact a Skilled Attorney Today
Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated. You may not receive the compensation you request if the court finds you partly responsible for the accident. That’s why the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett strives to settle personal injury cases with favorable terms. Contact the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett office at (815) 391-0089 to schedule your free consultation about your personal injury case in Rockford, or use the contact form on this page to receive a response within 24 hours.