After you or someone you love experiences injury, it is important to determine your legal rights regarding the losses suffered as a result of the injury. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may receive compensation for a number of losses. However, you should address some crucial questions to determine which losses you have suffered, possible compensation, and which circumstances make your suit viable.
To provide you with important information to begin the personal injury suit process, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates answers these frequently asked questions.
Why Choose Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates?
- Our firm has served Chicago communities since 1924.
- The combined experience of all our attorneys is over 350 years.
- We regularly make recoveries for our clients in the tens-of-millions.
Is There a Deadline for Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Statutes of limitations are laws regarding the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Illinois, you will have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to do so within this time frame eliminates your ability to recover compensation for your damages. It is important to note that the statute of limitations begins from the date you learn of your injury and not the date of the accident itself. Therefore, if you have hidden injuries that become apparent later, the Illinois personal injury statute of limitations begins on the date of discovery.
What Will You Receive Compensation For?
Your compensation depends on the circumstances of your accident and it is not possible to determine exactly what compensation you will receive without a consultation. However, in general, the injured party often receives compensation for damages related to:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
What Should You Do After a Personal Injury Accident?
If you suffer injuries as a result of an accident, taking proper action can help your case. While these steps do not guarantee a settlement, you will have the information you need to proceed with an effective case.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene and collect physical evidence.
- Record the circumstances of the accident, your injuries, and other losses such as property damage and lost wages.
- Save all medical bills related to your accident.
- Locate any witnesses and ask for their recollections. Take notes regarding any conversation related to your accident.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to assist you regarding the further collection of evidence and to begin the process of filing the lawsuit.
What if You Were Partially at Fault?
In Illinois, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit if you were partially at fault, provided you were less at fault than the other party. However, the amount awarded will reflect your level of responsibility. For example, if the accident was 40% your fault and your medical bills and damages reach $100,000, the other party must only compensate you for $60,000.
How Long Will Your Case Take to Settle?
Again, every case is unique, and there’s no set time period in which cases of certain types must settle. Depending on the amount of evidence collection, witness testimony, and fact-finding necessary, cases can take anywhere from a few months for straightforward settlements, to a few years for cases that go to trial. Speak with a personal injury attorney to determine how long your case may take.
Can You Settle Out of Court?
It is usually possible to settle a claim out of court. However, it may be in your best interest to pursue your case before a judge and jury. Speak with your attorney regarding your options for your case’s unique circumstances.
How Long Will It Take to Receive Your Settlement?
After your lawyer and the insurance company or courts decide on a settlement, you will still wait for the settlement amount to become available to you. During this time, you will sign documents, and determine how you wish to proceed with the settlement. Usually, settlements are complete in about four weeks, though some take as little as two weeks or as long as six weeks.