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Negligence and Personal Injury Law
Negligence is a large part of personal injury claims and lawsuits. When you get injured from the negligence of another person it’s important that you have a solid understanding of the laws if you plan to file a claim or lawsuit. But if you’re not a lawyer, all the particulars of negligence law can make your head spin. This is when you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and bring peace of mind while reducing the “what if’s” and “what’s next” of your case or claim. It’s well known that hiring a lawyer to help with a negligence claim results in a quicker settlement and more compensation. Our negligence lawyers will make sure every aspect of your injury is well understood for a winning case and maximum compensation.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. This “behavior” can be the act of someone doing, or the lack of someone doing something. That is the person doesn’t have to act in a bad way, or purposely neglectful, but if a regular person wouldn’t do something similar it can be considered neglect.
Here a real world example:
Failing to Follow Guidelines
Your job may have certain rules about moving heavy objects, opening gates or doors, or wearing hardhats/steel toed boots. This not only normalizes how everyone acts, and how everyone does things, it also ensures safety in that everyone acts with the same level of care. If a mechanic fails to inspect the brakes on the company truck on a regularly scheduled maintenance program, and the brakes fail on the truck and cause an injury to someone, that can be considered negligent. The mechanic failed to behave like someone with ordinary prudence under the same circumstances.
What are the types of negligence recognized in Illinois Law?
Negligence– a person has a duty, fails to execute that duty, and someone is harmed in the process.
Gross Negligence – a person shows “extreme” carelessness, or reckless disregard for the consequences to the safety of others or property.
Comparative Negligencee – is when the person who was injured is partly at fault for the injury. Every State is different and in Illinois a person filing a negligence claim or lawsuit can be up to 49% responsible for their own injury. This means that if someone was awarded $100,000 and found to be 20% responsible for their injury the defendant would only have to pay $80,000, or 80% of the settlement. However, if the person claiming the injury was found to be more than 50% responsible for their own injuries they can’t recover ANYTHING. More info on modified comparative negligence can be reviewed under this Illinois statute.
Joint and Several Liability for tortfeasors/defendants – Illinois has a 25% rule for joint and several liability which essentially means that IF you have a case where more than one defendant caused an injury or wrongful death to a plaintiff that if a jury finds that any defendants were at least 25% responsible for the injury or death, those specific defendants become liable for the ENTIRE amount assigned to the plaintiff by a jury.
As an example, if a plaintiff sues three corporations for an injury arising out of a traffic crash and the jury comes back with a verdict for $3,000,000, and Defendant 1 is found to be 30% responsible, Defendant 2 is found to be 20% responsible, and Defendant 3 is found to be 50% responsible, the following breakdown can happen. Defendant’s 1 and 3 could be forced to pay the ENTIRE judgment of $3,000,000 and then go back in subrogation actions to attempt to collect against the other Defendants. Defendant 2 can only be forced to pay 20% of the entire judgment because they did not reach the 25% threshold as required under the joint and several liability law in Illinois.
Vicarious Negligence – In practical effect vicarious negligence is saying that a third party should be liable in whole or in part based on the negligent actions of someone else (a third party). An example of how this comes up in our practice especially over the last few months is in the McQueen v. Green case.
Prior to this recent decision in McQueen v. Green, an injured plaintiff could ONLY sue a trucking company under a vicarious liability theory. First, prove that the actions of the defendant truck driver were negligent, but also that something the company did was negligent. However, this recent case proved that the truck driver did everything they could to try and remedy an unsafe situation, but their company compelled them to take an improperly secured load on our interstate. It seriously hurt a passing motorist. The jury obviously felt that the driver didn’t do anything wrong, so they found that the trucking carrier itself was negligent for putting the load on their truck and then having their driver transport the load.
Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Lawsuits
As you can tell there are a lot of potential claims that may be simple negligence, some claims may need to be brought or proved up at trial to a higher standard of care, or a “negligence plus” for certain defendant/tortfeasors, other cases may really involve multiple responsible parties to try and earn a recovery for an injured plaintiff, and some claims may need to be investigated for multiple parties under vicarious liability theories to try and earn a recovery for an injured plaintiff.
Why Hiring Our Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Negligence Case
Paul Marriett believes that personal injury lawyers have one job and it is to recover money for people hurt or killed by wrongdoers. Lawyers fight for justice on behalf of those who have been injured, killed, marginalized, forgotten, or abused. Using the legal system, they work to obtain compensation for victims to make up for what they’ve experienced or lost due to someone else’s wrongdoing. This helps create a more open, honest, and safer society for all.
Recovering money for victims is and will always be paramount, and the pinnacle of working with plaintiff’s who’ve been harmed in some way. A close second, and one that requires an equal amount of trust from a client and their attorney is having that lawyer be able to identify where the pockets of money are to be hunted down for the client. It could be the difference between accepting a low ball offer, or maximizing your compensation so you can heal and get back to your life.
Reach Out For A FREE Consultation
We offer a 100% free, no pressure consultation. If you want to discuss your case, potential theories of liability, discuss possible parties to a lawsuit, or if you’re another attorney facing an issue where you’re trying to find insurance coverage, we are always happy to assist in helping. Feel free to contact us securely through this webpage, call/text message us 24/7/365 at 815-391-0089, or email Paul directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Our Clients Have to Say
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August 20, 2019
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