Accidents can happen to anyone living in O’Fallon, IL. You could be going about your regular activities, minding your business, and doing everything right, and someone, through their carelessness or negligence can cause you injuries. These injuries can lead to an extended hospital stay, long recovery, lost wages, and possible financial devastation.
Unfortunately, even when you file a compensation claim with the insurance companies, they tend to underpay you instead of giving you a fair settlement. This is why you should speak to an experienced O’Fallon personal injury lawyer if an insurance company has made you an offer or if you intend to file an injury claim in Illinois.
Morelli Law Firm’s injury attorneys can help ascertain if the insurance company’s offer is fair. And if there’s no offer yet, we can help you pursue and recover compensation.
Grounds for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Not all injuries qualify for a personal injury claim. Certain criteria must be met before that can occur. For instance, tripping over your carpet in your living room and breaking your arm doesn’t mean you can file a claim against the landlord or the carpet manufacturer.
But, if someone ran a red light and crashed into your vehicle when you had the right of way, you can file a compensation claim with the appropriate insurance companies. Every personal injury compensation claim must have the following negligence elements:
- Duty of care: The accused or at-fault party had an obligation to act in a manner that’s reasonably safe and doesn’t put other people in harm’s way. For example, all drivers are responsible for driving safely and ensuring that other road users aren’t in danger because of their driving.
- Breach of duty of care: When someone doesn’t adhere to or keep the required legal obligations, they are said to have breached that duty. For example, if a driver exceeds the speed limits or drives recklessly, they have breached that duty.
- Causation or cause in fact: This applies when the at-fault party’s careless actions or negligence leads to accidents and injuries. For example, the driver’s excess speeding led to a car crash involving an innocent victim who was adhering to all safe roadway practices.
- Damages or losses: This applies when the victim suffers losses or damages as a result of the at-fault party’s actions or inactions. For example, because of the accident, the victim has to spend money getting treatment for their injuries or suffers some other losses.
These are difficult to figure out and itemize without the help of an experienced O’Fallon personal injury lawyer. Seek the help of a competent Morelli Law Firm attorney if you need any help with understanding these terms.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
How Long Should You Wait Before Filing a Personal Injury Claim in O’Fallon?
In Illinois, there is a two-year deadline from the date that injury occurred to file a claim. This is the same for all injuries including those caused by medical malpractice. This is known as the Illinois Statute of Limitations.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. These are:
- Delayed discovery rule: This applies if the injury wasn’t discovered right after the injury. Once identified though, the plaintiff has two years to file an injury claim.
Minor victim rule: If the victim was younger than 18 years at the time of the injury, the statute starts counting once they clock 18.
Mental incompetence or legal disability: Victims who become legally disabled will have the statute tolled (paused) until they are no longer disabled or when they recover fully. And even then, there’s a 10-year limit to the toll.
- Defendant resides outside the state: Statutes are usually tolled or paused if the at-fault party resides outside the state and starts running again when they return.
Of course, it’s better to file your injury claim as quickly as possible. This way, you’ll have ample time for any eventuality that might show up during the claims process.
For example, it’s easy to assume that you have an open-and-shut case, particularly when there’s a clear case of fault on the defendant’s part. But, new details such as partial fault can blow the case wide open, necessitating the need for a lengthy complex case. So, start the claims process right away.
If all goes according to plan, you’ll get your money on time and get on with your life. And if there are complications, you’ll have enough wiggle room and avoid having your claim denied on time-barred grounds.
Damages You Can Recover in an O’Fallon Personal Injury Claim
If you suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden. In Illinois, injured victims have access to compensation by seeking the following damages:
These are losses that the victim suffered due to the injuries they sustained from the accident. These include:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity–important when the injury affects your ability to earn like you used to
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Property damage
- Household maintenance costs–necessary if the injuries are preventing you from doing your regular chores and you have to hire help to run the home
These are intangible losses and discomfort that an injured victim has suffered. They are usually more difficult to quantify because of their subjective nature. For instance, two people can be in pain, but the degree of suffering can be different. Therefore, the compensation will likely vary too. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- PTSD and depression
- Mental distress and anxiety
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship
Economic and noneconomic damages are often referred to as compensatory damages and are more likely to be awarded to injured victims.
Although it’s not as common, these are awarded as punishment when there’s clear evidence of harmful behavior and intentional negligence.
Contact an O’Fallon Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury law is broad but Morelli Law’s O’Fallon personal injury lawyers can take on your case if they fall into the following categories:
- Car accident
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Defective drugs
- Truck accident
- Construction accident
- Wrongful death
Our injury law attorneys are experienced, skilled, and capable of fighting for you to get your compensation. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation.