If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be able to receive additional compensation from the responsible party by filing a lawsuit against them with help from your Chicago personal injury lawyer. But there are rules in place that determine when you can file and how much compensation you’re entitled to. Here’s what you need to know about the personal injury law in Illinois so you can better decide if filing a claim is worthwhile.
Illinois Follows Modified Comparative Negligence Rules
Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state. This means the amount of money you receive will be based on how much fault you share in the accident. Under this rule, you’re only able to receive compensation as long as you’re less at fault for the accident than the person you’re suing. If the court decides that you’re 50% responsible for the accident that led to your injuries, your case will be dismissed. But if you’re 49% responsible for the accident, you may still be able to receive compensation.
This rule applies to all personal injury lawsuits, whether you’re suing for defamation, medical malpractice, or injuries resulting from a car crash or assault.
How the Modified Comparative Negligence Rule Works in a Case
When you file your case, the court reviews the documentation and determines how much fault each party carries for the accident. This will be expressed as a percentage. As long as you’re less than 50% responsible, you’ll be eligible to receive additional compensation. But there’s a catch.
Any compensation you may receive is reduced by the amount of fault you share for the accident. Say the court decides that you’re entitled to a $20,000 settlement for your injuries, but they also decide that you’re 10% at fault for the accident. You’d be eligible to receive 90% ($18,000) of the total compensation amount to account for the fault you bear. If you’re 40% at fault for the accident, you’d receive 60% or $12,000 of the settlement.
You Have a Limited Time to File
The comparative negligence rule isn’t the only one you need to follow when filing a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. You’re also bound by the statute of limitations. For most cases, the statute of limitations is two years after the discovery of the injury.
If you know you were injured at the time of the accident, the clock starts ticking immediately. You’ll have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit with help from a Chicago personal injury lawyer. But if you don’t learn about your injuries until a year or two after the accident, you’ll still have two years from the date of the discovery of your injuries to file your lawsuit.
If you wait too long, you risk your case being dismissed entirely. Once this happens, you’ll lose your right to pursue additional damages. That’s why it’s essential to meet with an attorney as soon as you know you want to sue the responsible party.
Contact Anesi Ozmon Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident, take action as soon as possible and speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. At Anesi Ozmon, our team will review your case and help you decide on the best next steps. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.