Personal Injury FAQ

If you were injured because of another person’s careless actions, you may have the right to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs. However, you likely have many questions about the process ahead. You might be unsure of your legal rights or where to turn for help. 

This is why we have prepared these answers to the personal injury FAQs we most often receive. You can also contact our law office if you have any other questions about your personal injury case. 

What Is a Personal Injury?

What Is a Personal Injury?

When someone acts negligently and causes another to suffer damages, this is called a personal injury. 

Common examples of accidents and incidents that can lead to personal injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Drunk driving crashes
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Plane crashes
  • Industrial accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Defective product accidents
  • Workplace accidents

In these cases, the party or parties responsible for your injuries may be financially liable for the harm they caused. 

Who Is Responsible For My Personal Injury?

Who is liable for your personal injury largely comes down to being able to show who was negligent for your accident. 

Negligence means that someone harmed you under the following circumstances:

  • They had a duty of care to you, such as owing a duty to drive safely to all other motorists
  • They breached the duty of care to you, such as by speeding
  • Their breach of duty caused the accident
  • You suffered damages because of the accident

Possible parties who may be named as defendants in personal injury claims include:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Government entities
  • Manufacturers
  • Employers of negligent employees

It is necessary to carefully investigate the facts surrounding the accident to determine who was negligent and responsible for your damages. 

How Can I Prove Negligence?

Proving negligence is often difficult. Most at-fault parties do not admit that they caused an accident. Insurance companies try to minimize their losses by denying or devaluing claims as much as possible. 

To combat these tactics against you, you may need strong evidence to establish negligence, such as:

  • Accident or police reports
  • Statements from objective witnesses
  • Photos or videos of the accident site
  • Accident reconstruction reports and presentations prepared by experts
  • Medical records
  • Employment records
  • Electronically-stored data

A Chicago personal injury lawyer can help obtain the evidence you need to establish your case.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me? 

Personal injury lawyers are familiar with personal injury laws and the court system. We can handle your claim paperwork and manage deadlines. We take the burden off your shoulders and put it on ours. 

A personal injury lawyer can help with your claim by:

  • Explaining your legal rights
  • Identifying all at-fault parties
  • Preserving evidence in your case
  • Handling communications on your behalf 
  • Coordinating communications with your medical providers
  • Negotiating medical liens
  • Evaluating your legal options at each phase of your case
  • Preparing a demand package
  • Negotiating aggressively for the compensation you deserve

Because we offer a free case review, you can contact us to learn more about how we can help with no risk to you.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Illinois?

If you are involved in an Illinois car accident, you should take certain steps to protect your rights:

  • Report the accident to authorities and request an ambulance if anyone is injured
  • Receive care at the scene and any necessary follow-up care
  • Request a copy of the police report once it is prepared
  • Exchange information with the other driver
  • Ask any witnesses for their contact information
  • Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, street signs, road conditions, weather conditions, and wide angles of the crash site
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible

In addition to taking these steps, there are also some things you should not do after an accident, such as:

  • Don’t admit fault – Simply saying, “Sorry” or “I didn’t see you” could be used against you, so don’t say anything that sounds like you’re taking responsibility for the accident. 
  • Give a recorded statement to the insurance company – The insurance adjuster assigned to your case may request a recorded statement. However, they only want this to try to get a recording of you saying something they can use against you or to justify a denial of your claim. 
  • Sign a release form – The insurance adjuster might say they need a release to get your medical records. However, they often ask for more records than necessary to try to find a pre-existing condition or other reason to deny your claim. 

An experienced car accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process and protect your legal rights. 

What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

Illinois recognizes a personal injury victim’s right to recover various damages after an accident, which might include:

  • Economic damages – These damages are intended to compensate a victim for the actual financial losses they experienced or reasonably anticipate they will incur, such as property damage, medical expenses, past lost wages, future medical expenses, and future lost wages.
  • Non-economic damages – These are damages that are awarded to compensate the victim for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship and society.
  • Exemplary damages (punitive damages) – These are damages that are a penalty on the defendant and are meant to deter similar conduct in the future.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can gather evidence in your case, determine the types of damages you can request, and calculate the potential value of your claim. 

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Some people are afraid of hiring an attorney after an accident because they are concerned about the cost. 

However, we take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay any fees upfront. You don’t pay any attorney fees unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf. 

We get paid the percentage that is outlined in your retainer agreement, but again, that’s only if we recover compensation on your behalf. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid attorney fees. 

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Chicago?

According to the Illinois statute of limitations, you generally have two years to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident injuries. If this time passes and you do not file a lawsuit, you can lose your chance to seek financial recovery and accountability through the courts. 

How Can I Get Help With My Personal Injury Case?

If you need assistance with your personal injury case, you can reach out to Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have decades of combined experience and have recovered tens of millions for injured clients. 

We offer a free case review, so there is no risk in learning more about your legal rights and options. Contact us today at (312) 726-1616 to get started.