Piatt County Personal Injury Lawyers
Whether you are a resident of Piatt County, Ill., or just passing through, many activities there can result in or involve accidents that cause devastating injuries. It can be extremely disorienting and frightening for victims who have been injured in accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone else.
If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries in any kind of accident in Piatt County, whether vocational, recreational, or otherwise, you deserve maximum compensation for what you and your family are going through. That’s when skilled legal counsel becomes important. You should not hesitate to contact Spiros Law, P.C. for assistance with pursuing your claim for injuries, property damage, and emotional and physical suffering.
Our service-oriented team has recovered more than $100 million for our clients in the last decade alone. We will outline all your legal rights and options in a free, initial consultation in our Champaign office or a location convenient to you. Call us at (815) 929-9292 or contact us online to set up an appointment to discuss your case.
Injury Cases We Handle
Spiros Law, P.C. represents clients in a wide range of personal injury matters. Some of the most common kinds of cases our team handles include, but are not limited to:
- Medical malpractice— According to the 2018 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis from Diederich Healthcare, Illinois had a total medical malpractice payout of $300,790,050 in 2017, an 11.49 percent increase from 2016.
- Car accidents— The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)reported that in 2017 there were 311,679 crashes involving motor vehicles in Illinois.
- Defective drugs & devices— Patients can suffer many different kinds of injuries when they are prescribed defective drugs or have medical procedures performed with defective devices.
- Trucking accidents— According to IDOT, truck-tractors with semi-trailers were involved in 11,732 accidents, other single unit trucks were involved in 7,701 crashes, and farm tractors or equipment were involved in 440 accidents.
- Nursing home abuse— The Illinois Department of Aging reported that the Adult Protective Services Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report stated that the agency received 16,507 reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
- Product liability— When a person is injured by any kind of a dangerous or defective product in Piatt County, they could have a possible legal claim against the manufacturer or retailer for a design defect, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn.
- Premises liability— Public and private property owners in Illinois are obligated to either correct or warn others about dangerous premises conditions, as failure to do so can make the property owner liable for damages when a property hazard causes an accident.
- Sexual assault— While sexual assault is a criminal offense in Illinois, a victim can also file a separate civil action against the offender. The burden of proof is very different, and a suspect who is not found guilty in a criminal case can still be held civilly liable because of a lesser standard of proof. A civil claim only needs to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This is perhaps akin to a feather on the scale of justice, as opposed to the rock required by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard in criminal cases.
- Wrongful death— A wrongful death lawsuit allows certain family members of a person killed by another party’s misconduct to seek money damages from the responsible party for loss of financial support, funeral and burial expenses, and other compensation.
- Workers’ compensation— Workers’ compensation provides benefits for on-the-job injuries, but a lawyer can also determine if civil actions may be filed against other third parties in your case depending upon the circumstances.
Some of these categories may overlap. With that in mind, you should always speak to a lawyer whenever you sustain any kind of injury to find out about the full spectrum of your legal rights.
Negligence Law in Illinois
When it comes to negligence claims, Illinois is considered a modified comparative fault state. Under state law, an injured person is barred from recovering damages if they were more than 50 percent responsible for what happened.
A negligence claim is based on the legal duty of care that a person or entity owed to a person, and that the responsible party must have breached their duty. The breach of duty needs to be the cause of your injuries which resulted in you suffering harm.
When a person is awarded damages in a personal injury case in Illinois, their award can be reduced in proportion to their own negligence. For example, a person who potentially is eligible for $100,000 in damages, but was found to have been 25 percent at fault, could see their award reduced by $25,000. In this scenario, the injured person would receive a total of $75,000 in personal injury damages.
Statute of Limitations on Negligence Claims in Illinois
Under Illinois law, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed in court within two years of the date of the accident, otherwise, the injured person’s claim evaporates. In some circumstances, however, the two-year deadline may be extended.
In one exception, for example, the statute of limitations will be tolled (or delayed) until a victim turns age 18, the age of majority. The two-year clock then begins running on that person’s 18th birthday.
Similarly, the tolling occurs for a person who is mentally incompetent or suffers from a legal disability of some kind. Such individuals also get two years to file from the date they become cognizant again.
Each situation is unique, however. To avoid any unforced errors when it comes to legal deadlines, contact a personal injury attorney promptly after an accident of any kind.
Compensation Available for Injury Claims
You, understandably, want to recover every dollar of compensation you are entitled to after an accident results in personal injuries to yourself or a family member. An insurance company for the negligent party in your case, however, is looking to pay as little as possible to resolve your case. Many cases are ultimately resolved through settlements because insurers find settling cases to be more cost-effective than going to trial.
When a case cannot be resolved through a settlement, it can go to trial in an Illinois federal or state courtroom. A plaintiff who proves their case by a preponderance of the evidence can be awarded compensatory damages. Compensatory damages usually include economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Medical expenses, lost income, and property damage are common examples of the tangible economic damages. Noneconomic damages are far more subjective and may be less quantifiable, usually including pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of consortium.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
After your accident, the insurance adjuster for the negligent party’s insurer will likely contact you. Regardless of how friendly and sincere the agent you speak with seem in their concern about your well-being, remember that the insurer is never on your side.
In most cases, the insurance company will be actively looking for ways to pin the blame on you for your accident. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get you to admit to your own fault. This is exactly why you must always decline any invitation to provide a formal statement.
Let a lawyer handle all of the complexities of dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. This is especially true when it comes to settlement negotiations.
The insurance company might offer you a lump sum settlement and tell you that accepting the offer will let you keep more money for yourself. Know that doing so usually leaves a lot of money on the table because these offers are usually of a low-ball nature.
An experienced, dedicated attorney is going to know what your case is truly worth and fight to recover as much compensation as possible for you.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Piatt County Today
Did you or a family member sustain severe or catastrophic injuries in an accident in Piatt County or elsewhere in central Illinois? Make sure to not delay in retaining legal counsel, such as the robust and diverse personal injury practice of Spiros Law, P.C..
Our professional and experienced team has been helping residents of and visitors to Piatt County since 2005. Call (815) 929-9292 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Champaign, Kankakee, and Danville. Remember, we stand ready to take your claim to a judge or jury if a fair settlement cannot be achieved outside of court.