When Accidents Happen, You Need A Chicago Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust
Personal injury law seeks justice for an injured person when the fault of another causes injury or death. The law attempts to put the injured party in the position they would have been in if the accident had not happened, by paying the wronged person, money damages. Justice and fairness require that the wrongdoer should pay for the damages, rather than the person who is injured. The attorneys at Berg & Berg have been helping clients throughout Illinois for a combined 75 years.
Experienced With Helping Victims After Many Different Accidents
Our attorneys have significant trial and litigation experience and possess the skills and resources to handle even the most complex personal injury and wrongful death cases in Chicago. Berg & Berg has successfully represented clients in claims alleging many types of negligence, including:
- Auto accidents, which are unfortunately very common
- Trucking accidents, including 18-wheelers
- Pedestrian injuries, which include slip-and-fall accidents and accidents involving buses or other vehicles
- Professional negligence, including medical malpractice
- Construction accidents, resulting in the need for workers’ compensation benefits
- Motorcycle accidents, which can cause catastrophic injuries
- Boating accidents, including dealing with necessary parties
- Product liability cases, when a product causes injury
Personal injury law not only compensates the injured person, but also makes society a safer place for everyone by making the wrongdoer take responsibility for their actions. While insurance companies typically insure businesses and people for negligence, the costs of lawsuits and paying damages encourage insurance companies, businesses, lawmakers, manufacturers, and even individuals to be more careful and to think of new innovations and ways to make society safer. Ultimately, avoiding accidents saves the economy billions of dollars in lost wages and medical bills.
Proving Negligence In Personal Injury Claims
In Illinois, there are five necessary elements needed to prove negligence in a personal injury claim. The way this is done will vary depending on the type of injury. For this explanation, we’ll use a car accident claim as an example.
- Element one: The defendant owed you a duty of care. Someone had a responsibility to reasonably ensure your safety. All drivers in Illinois owe a duty of care to all others on the road to drive in a manner that minimizes the risk of auto accidents.
- Element two: The defendant breached their duty of care. You must show that the at-fault party breached their duty of care to you by driving in a dangerous and/or illegal manner (speeding, texting, driving drunk, etc.).
- Element three: Cause-in-fact. This means showing that, were it not for the defendant’s breach of the duty of care, you would not have been injured.
- Element four: Proving proximate cause. This is closely related to element number three. You need to show that the defendant’s actions were the reason for your injuries, and that they can’t be easily explained by other factors.
- Element five: You suffered damages due to the accident/injuries. If someone behaved negligently but you didn’t experience any losses or damages because of it, there would be no reason for the legal claim. Therefore, you must show that because of the car accident, you experienced injuries, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and other losses.
Some of these elements are easy to prove, while others are best achieved with the help of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney.
How Long Do You Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Illinois?
For most personal injury matters, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. If you try to file a claim after that time, you will likely be out of options. Additionally, it is wise to consult an attorney as soon as reasonably possible to preserve as many legal options as you can.
How Does A Contingency Fee Structure Work?
You may have heard that nearly all personal injury firms (including ours) take cases on a contingency-fee basis, but you might not be sure what that means. Simply put, it means we don’t get paid unless you do. Before taking any case, we discuss the details with a prospective client to assess whether there is a reasonable chance of a successful outcome (based on things like available evidence). If we take your case, we assume the financial risk and front all the costs. We only get paid if and when we help you recover money through a settlement or a judgement.
When we are successful, our fees are taken as a portion of how much ever money we help you obtain. In Illinois, standard contingency fees range from about 33% to 40% of the award. This means that your legal fees will always be considerably less than the amount you recover. Even after adjusting for attorney fees, the amount of your compensation will likely be much higher than what you could have obtained by negotiating directly with insurers. In short, the contingency-fee model is a win-win for both you and your attorney.
Call Today To Talk To An Attorney For Free
If you or a loved one was wrongfully injured, we can help. Send us an email or contact our office in Chicago for a free consultation at 773-823-9000. Se habla español.